He wanted the nobles and all the other men to gaze on her beauty, for she was a very beautiful woman. But when they conveyed the king’s order to Queen Vashti, she refused to come. (Esther 1:11-12)
Relate: There’s this show that caught my eye for a while called Orphan Black. It’s similar to and about on a par with Fringe and Dollhouse but since it deals with clones, one actress actually has to play a large and diverse role of characters. Being impressed with this, I happened to notice a recent interview this actress did where she complained about the sexism in the Hollywood industry. She raises some very real and legitimate points about the demands for beauty, the attire female characters must wear, etc She has joined her voice to others like Emma Thompson and Rose Byrne in saying such things but I feel their complaint lacks a bit of bite simply because they still conform to those demands to land those roles that will bring in the money. I am sure they would just turn around and argue that if they didn’t, Hollywood execs would simply turn around and hire someone else who is more pliable. So?
The king wanted to show off Queen Vashti. He was in the middle of a party and wanted to show her off to all his drunken lecherous friends. She refused to be demeaned in this way. This made the king furious. Right in the middle of this party, he called his advisory counsel together who were probably just as inebriated as he was seven days into this revelry. They all agreed she be stripped from her title as queen, permanently banished from the king’s presence, and the search for a more pliable partner was to commence. How would the new queen be found? They held a beauty pageant. The king didn’t learn anything from Queen Vashti’s stand. He was just as perverted, sexist, and misogynistic as ever.
React: What is the good of being in a place of influence if I compromise my influence so that I might maintain my place? What is the value of having a social platform if I water down my message in order to build a bigger platform? Being the queen of the greatest and most powerful kingdom in all the land gave Vashti an opportunity to influence her world in a way few to none others could ever have. Some would say she was a fool for throwing that all away. Not in God’s economy. From His perspective integrity trumps influence any and every time.
Even if maintaining my integrity costs me my voice, will I do it? Even if doing the right thing at the cost of everything will seemingly have no influence or impact on anyone, will I still do it? What will I sacrifice even if I were to know that nothing would be gained? Would I simply complain against the injustice of the “system” or will I stand against it, even if that stand goes unnoticed and unheeded? How far will I go to do the right thing?
Let me live for You alone. Even if nobody ever hears my voice, I will shout out Your Name. Even if nothing changes, I will continue to live for what is right. Even if it is completely ineffective, my life will be lived for You alone. I will not compromise. I will not water down my message. I will not surrender my integrity for any reason. Help me to stand strong behind this declaration even when the temptation is so great, and the reasons are so compelling to bend to the whims of my world. Let me be true to You.