I recently went through several boxes of CDs—converting the CDs digitally, then giving them away. I hadn’t listened to many of them in years (Whatever happened to Faith No More, by the way?). I came across a Porno For Pyros CD. Porno For Pyros was the side band formed by Perry Farrell, the lead singer of Jane’s Addiction. Farrell was known for being raunchy and subversive, as well as being Tipper Gore’s favorite whipping boy. He drew the band’s cover artwork, which was graphic and overly sexual, and more often than not banned from record stores across the U.S.
I listened to the first few songs. I’d forgotten how good they were (I was a huge Jane’s Addiction fan. I thought they would have gone down as one of the greatest bands ever had they not broken up. They reunited later on, but it wasn’t the same). The third and fourth songs, however, were the ones that floored me. “Cursed Female,” followed by “Cursed Male.”
The opening lines:
Cursed to be born
Beautiful, poor and female
There’s none that suffer more
And, the lyric to “Cursed Male”:
All the guys that really have the money
Are too old to have a good time with it
Too old to turn the women on
Too old to have a fast car and drive it
I went to a bonfire at the beach two weeks ago. A woman there mentioned a man she had had a huge crush on. But it turned out he wasn’t interested in her.
“I don’t understand it,” she said. “If a man is a doctor or a lawyer, he can get any woman he wants, right?
“Pretty much,” someone answered.
“Then why doesn’t he just choose someone and stay with her?”
“Because he can get any woman he wants.”
Who could argue with that? Of course, the question could also be turned around: Why can he get any woman he wants?
We don’t talk about this much, probably because it’s unpleasant. But we should. After all, it’s the Christian worldview: We believe the world was created perfect and good, then something happened and everything fell apart. Went to hell, you could probably say. And men and women have been suffering the consequences ever since, each in different ways.
A man wants the biggest and brightest; in terms of women, the youngest and hottest. It’s why husbands, after years of being married, will often start looking at the skirts of other women—after that, it’s usually a one-way slide to a destroyed marriage. A woman’s desire for security is just as strong as a man’s desire for physical beauty—which is probably why the #1 cause of fights between married couples is money.
How many times do we see it? A woman rejects a man because he can’t offer the security she seeks. Instead, she chooses a more successful man, thinking he will also love her, as well as provide for her. That man, realizing he can get any woman he wants (and owning the sense of entitlement that comes with affluence), leaves her to be with someone younger and more attractive. And so it goes, a vicious cycle of disappointment and frustration.
We grow up with an image in our minds of how our lives are going to look, or how they are supposed to look. A friend said, “We want a kick-ass life on earth, and heaven too.” (As if heaven is the cherry on top.) But it’s usually not until we get all those things that we realize they’re not all they’re cracked up to be.
A friend of mine, a female, divorced several years ago and later remarried. The man she remarried is a great guy and adores her. Her first husband, a doctor (not implying there’s anything wrong with doctors, by the way) didn’t adore her, and the marriage was unhappy. She said, “All my life, my parents told me how my life needed to look. The kind of husband I needed. The job I needed. What my family was supposed to look like. But I had to learn the hard way: We don’t always get what we want. The most important thing to me now is that a man loves me.”
He does, and it’s inspiring to see. But she was right—she had to learn the hard way.
That night at the bonfire, the woman ended the conversation by saying, “We all need to lower our expectations.”
Maybe she’s right. Maybe women need to lower their expectations for comfort and security, and trust God more. And maybe men, myself included, need to stop acting like pigs and judge a woman as much for her heart as for her body.
Wisdom from rock stars, and wisdom from women at the beach. Wisdom, all the same.