Where Have all the Real Women Gone?

Posted: January 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

1)  No crying today!  You’re welcome.

2)  Here’s something that’s been bothering me lately:

I’m old enough to remember when the women we admired were unapologetically elegant.

And when they weren’t trying to out-outrageous anyone.

And you didn’t have to compare their 8×10 glossies to their mug shots.


And they were funny without sacrificing their sense of decency and femininity.


And they dressed like…ladies.



Which inspired reactions like this *one:


So, hi 2011, here’s my question for you:

Lady Gaga in her dress made of meat



Singer Kesha stating the terms of employment


What happened?

Now, I know these are all famous women in the public eye but history shows us that as go our heroes, so goes a generation.

So, what do you think?  Where is this generation of women going?  What defines a real woman in the 21st century?  As a mom of three daughters and a pastor who longs to raise up an army of strong women of God, I would love to hear your thoughts on this fascinating (and very important!) subject.

Hoping to dance like Ginger and dress like Grace,


*Jimmy Stewart makes me swoon.  Steve knows and is okay with the situation.  I don’t think he believes I have a chance with Jimmy Stewart.  End of asterisk.

  1. Eleanor says:

    I asm yself the same questions you have asked, Bo. Where are all the ‘modest’, ‘sensitive’, ‘dressed’ (whether rich or poor) women today? It has led to the new TV sitcome called ‘skin’, I believe, and it’s on the program for kids. That’s what we have to look forward to, unless God sends a ‘new kind’ of revival such as we have not seen before. I’m believing for it, because the trend now is increasing in speed. God, please turn the hearts of the American Church back to you to the extent that we get BOLD about what we believe, even if it brings persecution.

  2. I will be coming back to read comments on this one. With four girls of our own now, it’s frightening to think of raising them in these times. God help us! 🙂 Good thing that greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world!

    I know that we already have lots of conversations and discussions about what our girls see and hear…talking about what is right and what’s not, what motivates people to do things, what kind of junk can come out of a broken life that is not surrendered to the Lord, self image issues, etc. I think one of the best things we can do is to constantly encourage and promote our kids’ purpose in Christ and really have the Holy Spirit’s view of our children so we can direct and develop them in their callings. If they are secure in Christ and not listening to the lies of the devil and this world about self-worth, then hopefully no matter who are the role models of this age, they will stand for truth and purity and righteousness.

    As for how the generation goes with the current female leaders and “heroes”, it seems to me that it might be a generation that is image-obsessed and entertainment thirsty. One that does what feels good instead of what should be done. One that either hates the male gender for abuses incurred up on it, or has been forced to be over-achieving, work-aholics because of lack of male leadership and accountability. One who does not know their value or potential because most likely their parents failed to see it, care about it, or encourage it. One who was babysat by the television. One who is completely confused about their sexual identity. One who allows political and cultural “tolerance” to replace the truth in their own life. One who cannot handle pressure or trial and succumbs to addictions or harming behaviors to cope with it all. One who would rather pole dance for attention instead of see the beauty of a wholesome ballroom number. One who throws caution to the wind and has no respect for authority. One who has a good chance of becoming an overbearing, opinion blaring, compassionless adult. One who views people for what it can get from them instead of what it can give to them. One who has no heart song of their own and is relegated to repeating the shallow words of another. One who most likely feels threatened by any other females who actually take a strong stand for absolute Biblical truth and therefore mocks, disregards, or wars against said women.

    That picture sure isn’t pretty. It doesn’t make me less hopeful in our God, but challenges me to become a greater intercessor for the upcoming generation and to help whoever I can that will receive it. Those are my morning thoughts.

  3. Annie K says:

    The real women are behind the scenes, doing their best to raise God-fearing children who respect authority, others and themselves enough not to run around looking and acting like Lady Gaga and the Hollyweird ilk.

  4. Joy says:

    What Annie K said. There are so many wonderful women role models , but we don’t hear about them on MTV. I admire women like Katie Davis who left behind her life in Tennessee and has more than 100 orphans in her custody in Uganda. She’s in her early 20s. Linny Saunders, an amazing speaker, blogger, and pastor’s wife from Colorado who has 10 children, 7 of whom are adopted and and a couple who have special needs. Gwen Oatsvall another Tennessee mother passionate for the orphan. Mary Beth Chapman, Leigh Anne Tuohy. Plus, I truly believe any mother raising a child with Autism is a hero. So many women doing extraordinary things who don’t wear dresses made of meat or hang out on the Jersey shore. Those are aren’t heroes. They’re overpaid “entertainers” and I use that term loosely.

  5. nitabelles says:

    Oh, you knew I’d have an opinion on this one! 😉

    I think it’s time we quit focusing on the outside, and begin to build strong women of courage on the inside. The outside isn’t bad, but will always reflect what is happening on the inside. (Matt: 15:18)

    As courageous women purpose to complete the mission God has given them, their focus’ on the necessary path to complete that task will result in all the rest will falling in to place.

    I say time to play to an audience of one, which will necessarily anger many, bring joy to God’s heart and accomplish a lot more by completing by God’s purpose here on earth!

  6. Caleb says:

    I feel strongly enough about this post to join in even though I have to thumb my answer in on a phone.
    Here is the perspective of a guy who was very much a lost and carnal guy and now for almost 10 years in love with Jesus (and hopefully less carnal):
    1. A man with any class whatsoever is repulsed by Gaga, Madonna, Janet, Brittany, and all the other circus acts pandering for attention. Here is why: on base level mentally healthy men are NOT attracted to insecure women.
    2. Confident women that are FEMININE and dress and speak age appropriately have always and will continue to catch the eyes and hearts of quality people. Note: I did not only say men. What i mean is – Women have a God given ability to generate profound effect on almost any situation they are. Women follow these type of women and often men do as well (ref. Eleanor Roosevelt, mother Teresa, princess Diana, Margaret thatcher, and even Bo!)
    3. My final point of agreement – I dare you to find one guy who wasn’t in love with Grace Kelly, Doris Day, or Audrey Hepburn when they were younger!

  7. bolovesjoe says:

    Oh wait just a minute here! Did I just see my name in a sentence with Mother Teresa and Margaret Thatcher? Sending a venti Americano with cream to Idaho right this minute! Heh.

    Loving this discussion…taking tons of notes to share with my class! Keep ’em coming.

  8. Jamie says:

    I could jump on a soapbox with you on this topic. What would the women think that fought for the our right to vote in this country to see the young girls of this generation willingly flaunting themselves as nothing more than a piece of meat? You would think, even outside Christian circles, women would be flocking to shout down the Hollywood portrayal of a woman and demanding that they be respected as more than a pair of long legs and a pretty face. But I guess the general numbness in society towards the objectifying of women is evidence of how pervading perversion is.

    As to what to do about it, my plan is to live strongly as a whole woman…not just a shell. And to do everything in my power to influence all those around me to do the same. And pray…a lot. I am open for any other suggestions though. =)

  9. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Amanda, Bo Stern. Bo Stern said: Apologies to Lady, Britney, Lindsay and Paris, but this question must be asked: http://ow.ly/3LeO0 […]

  10. jane williams says:

    okay…. so here are my thoughts i think we as American women, even Christian American women, struggle with image because– like it or not– we are part of this culture, born and raised I also think we have and not just image struggles, but cultural ‘power’ struggles as well. This is part of our societal heritage: suffragettes, feminist movement, women in the workplace, women leaders. Not the ANY of this is BAD.. at ALL… but I think, like everything else there are the downsides. The tendency in the beginning of all this was women fighting for individualism with such fervent passion that the pendulum swung away from the values that represented even a hint of self-sacrifice, or submission or servitude; they were disregarded or dismissed as weak, self-effacing, victim-ridden –and the ‘baby was thrown out with the bathwater’. In asserting ourselves as an independent force, a whole array of possibilities were opened for us, but that also opened a whole lot of doors of freedom’s ‘lines’ that were never intended for us to cross. I believe now we are seeing the aftermath, and where this whole discussion began.

    So I have to ask myself, before I point even one finger: what five are pointing back at me? Do I, as a renewed woman in Jesus, ‘buy in’ to this culture more than I think? How much, even in my renewed Jesus vision, has my position as a woman been tinted (or even tainted) by the culture around me, and the human sin-culture within? What about in terms of God’s order as it relates to my husband? How often have I usurped his authority because I was SURE I knew what was best and even (I dare say) what the LORD wanted? Is my inner beauty REALLY beautiful, or do I still walk in envy and jealousy or even hatred of a world that is more sad than evil?… and am I tongue-wagging, and ‘under-my-breathing’ and ‘flaunting’ even righteous beauty? In effect, is my ugly meat-fleeced dress just less obvious?

    Our wrestling match truly is not against flesh and blood — it’s so easy to forget.
    And our weapons of warfare truly are not carnal but MIGHTY through God for the pulling down of strongholds –even Hollywood.

    I believe that as we rise up to take back our country and our defend our daughters, we really will be just falling our knees, humbling ourselves and asking for the Lord to heal our land — beginning with us.

    PS…………… Thanks for listening and putting up with my windedness… I am just so thankful to be able to write my thoughts here. I talk at thirty-two 4th graders every day, all day. It is SUCH a blessing to think adult thoughts for a change. 🙂

  11. Kathleen Kiefer says:

    Not one comment mentions the need for our men to stand up and join us in the fight for women being recognized for something other than a way to satisfy a sexual need. Whether you want to admit it or not, men shape the world that our young women live in. They write the TV shows, they control the networks and movie studios, they give approval for the MTV shows many have mentioned in their posts. We women can work hard “behind the scenes” but we need the men to step it up! I have a 12 year old daughter and it breaks my heart to see the world she lives in day to day.

  12. bolovesjoe says:

    Kathleen, I totally agree and I have a post planned this week on exactly that topic.

  13. As a mom raising two girls, I’m alternately terrified and excited about this topic. We don’t own a t.v. We are homeschooling our girls (for now). But my four year old still knows who Lady Gaga is (she just calls her Gaga). And of course the Disney princesses could probably just live in our spare room and we wouldn’t notice the difference. BUT. We choose to live in the world and not of it. We are not sheltering our kids, but exposing them slowly, with great discussion, to all that is out there. I have to agree with many of the comments- it’s about how we parent, what we choose to embody in our role-modeling, and of course, Daddy is a very important guy around here. The Daddy in our house isn’t afraid to jump up and down and worship Jesus. He’s not afraid of hard work. He loves his beautiful women and isn’t afraid to say so. Now… I’m not saying we wouldn’t allow a dress made of meat, but I also hope a dress would never supersede the relationship we have with our girls. Because that’s how God is, too.

  14. J says:

    As a man who searched for the name of this article, I find it great that there are others recently who have asked this question. It is one over which I have pondered many a time and had passionate conversations regarding. Though perhaps this post is a bit late, I felt it worthwhile to place anyhow, if nothing more than to express gratitude for a matching place to put it.

    I have known and been the confidant of many women in what I feel is my short time in this world and borne witness to a frightening trend of the lack of leadership and basic responsibility in parenting children. This seems to be not so much a matter of teaching children properly as it is expectation of those around us. A climate of “tolerance” has led to a world of blanket acceptance, an open blindness to what should be obviously denounced, akin to watching a man beat a dog and doing nothing about it. Jovial evil if you will. Many have gained the ability to see the world for what it is and pass through it rather than live in it. If we as people only see the world around us and not the world we desire, we only plant what we already have and not what we truly desire. In short, fearful helplessness turned into apathy. Is personal freedom so important that we dare not stare an imp in the face and call him as such for fear of being “oppressive” or “intolerant”. If watching heaven turn into hell is tolerant, let the word be stricken from my vocabulary.

    As for the whereabouts of the real women, the topic of this post, perhaps it is a matter of whom we find around us. In a culture of being islands unto ourselves, we forget the basic concept of our existence: our children. Unless we intend to survive by inbreeding, perhaps care needs to spread beyond the family unit and with the realization that the seemingly lost of our world need to be found, and quick, lest they become the families of our beloved offspring one day. It may take a family to raise a child, but it takes two families to raise a grandchild. It is no longer a matter of simply taking care of one’s own, raising women of virtue, then letting “societal habit” turn them into wanderers searching facebook and film for happily-ever-afters with no expectations of themselves. How many women I have known as a man who have no substance. What would they desire of me? I can cook, keep a house, handle children, and listen with open heart, yet have seen disgusting disaster areas filled with empty pizza boxes, drugs, and no taste, complete with degrees hanging on the walls and large checking accounts. What’s the point? Are the skills so expected of women in the past “politically incorrect” or out-of-touch with the times? It has come to the point in my life that I lack basic respect for many women because they lack respect in themselves… and they do not even know it. Thus, perhaps these questions to ask… of anyone:
    What would you have your child do?
    What is the world you desire for your children?
    Were the answers to the first two questions honest?

    I have taken to one simple change in thinking that keeps my hope and leads my hand: my definition of a woman. Rather than bow and accept the “gifts” I am given, I see and love them for what they are. So far, I seem to know a lot of little girls in dire need of real mothers. Those found on television are not women: they are pulses of light from a box, no more than the shallow porn that fills the bandwidth of the web. I do not know those whose images have been taken, if they exist at all. I do know that others try to emulate these fakes though, much as a princess in a fairytale. Perhaps it is time to sit our daughters down on that box and find out what is real to them. What I find is real and sickening are the voices of the men of other cultures when they state that they will “mess around” with the “girls” of mine yet will look to their own for a “true woman”. How should I act upon this? My anger comes not from their rude comments, but from myself, because I am led time-and-time-again to accept the truth in what they say.

    As for the nature of men in this: men, so far as I can tell by nature, have two kinds of sexual desires: dismissive and possessive. The first is what they desire to be rid of and the second what they desire to have. The former leads to a hollow destruction and the latter leads to full production. Only one has a future. For the ladies who may read this, perhaps you might ask to which you have been cultivating lately in yourselves? For those girls who behave like boys in the former, you knew it was a snake before it bit you, so why insist on turning venom into wine? Call them out on it. Settle for nothing if worse than nothing is all that is to be had.

    Perhaps the question is best put simply the way it was asked:
    Where have all the real women gone? WHERE indeed? For we find those whom we meet on the road of life, and if that road is a bar, a night club, a site for lost souls, or worse, what can we expect of those whom we meet? Starbucks seems to be the way now. I feel there is hope. The place I have found it is in the word, or words: expect more.

    I am fairly new to the online writing scence, so your comments are most appreciated.


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