Monday, October 1, 2007

Exasperation!

Our Lady of Fatima
Filli Bonella
Milan


On one of my favorite blogs there recently appeared an article where the blogger lamented about the way men and women behave towards one another and how men ought to behave like men and not wimps. Athanasius asserts that men who behave inappropriately are suffering from interior disorder. I would have to agree, though I never thought of it quite that way before.

I would lay a lot of the blame at the feet of the women who run around lacking modesty in both dress and behavior. It is scandalous, demoralizing to decent women, and it is having a negative effect in society. I would suggest that men need to remain on their guard against the immorality and immodesty of women because women, who used to safeguard societal morals (modeling the Blessed Mother) have forgotten their roles and abandoned their responsibility to the men around them.

Unfortunately I can think of many examples in my life experience where women behaved abhorrently. Too many examples, and oftentimes the handwriting is on the wall and the results are predictable. There was a happily married man amongst our acquaintances who worked with my husband. He shared a ride to work with a woman who was immodest in both dress and manner of speech. Both were married and it seemed a harmless way to economize. Guess what? Both marriages are over and the two are now cohabiting. It has effected two families and the work environment was scandalized. We all saw it coming. The only one blind-sided was the poor guy who wanted a ride to work, although I am not naive enough to think that he was victimized. I do not intend to give that impression at all. He had a free will and could make his own decisions, he chose wrongly. Perhaps there wouldn’t have been a choice at all if he safeguarded his marriage and stayed away from the shared ride to begin with. Or, perhaps they could have economized if the woman was not immodest.

Men and women are supposed to have an attraction to one another. This is natural and good because it keeps the human race in existence. But we as Catholics, nay as humans, are called to be chaste. Chastity is misunderstood. It is not celibacy, rather sexuality according to your vocation, as God intended for it to be. If you are single, you are celibate. If you are married, you are chaste. You do not try to attract the opposite sex outside of your own spouse. If someone of the opposite sex is trying to attract you, you must avoid them, at all costs, for the sake of your soul. If you find your thoughts wandering outside of your marriage, you end the distraction/temptation. If movies are too sensual, you don’t watch. If magazines are pornographic, you don’t look. If co-workers are too tempting you don’t look, don’t touch, and you definitely don’t spend time alone with them, in say, a car pool. Jane Austen would have called this ‘power’ and it is powerful. If someone has power over you, they’d better be your spouse.

This can be taken one step further. In an earlier post today, He’s Happier than She is, I made reference to Genesis where God gave Adam and Eve their roles in life. Then came the sexual revolution and feminism. Now we have women behaving, dressing, and speaking immodestly IN THE WORKPLACE with men. What on earth are they doing there?

What are women doing in the workplace? I was programmed to want a career first then family later in life. I was part of the 80s ‘me generation’ and we were so self centered. Now, there are women my age (you do the math, I’m not gonna tell you) who want babies and are past their prime. We were sold a bill of goods. We were told we could postpone family in favor of a career, and now doctors are saying, “Oops, we made a mistake. The older you are the lower quality eggs you produce. Sorry.” Isn’t that sad? Women who should have had children, children of God, put it off and missed the chance to bring beautiful souls into the world. Or, God forbid, they aborted. Again I ask, what on earth are women doing in the workplace?

Now, before you roast me on a spit (I’m donning my fireproof skirt) for being unrealistic, consider the fact that society is the way it is today because women got mad and wanted equality. But, at what cost? When we were a one income society, everything was affordable on one income. Now we are a consumer society with ‘needs’ of i-pods, cell phones, game boys, luxury cars, vacations, McMansions (forgot where I nicked that expression from), etc. Men could afford to pay for the mortgage and all the bills, and still be home on the weekends. With two incomes the price of everything went up, and the fancy toys people could afford got fancier and more choices were provided. If women stayed home and everyone was on one income, would there be a shift? It is very likely. Will it ever happen? Not unless something dramatic occurs, like an apocalypse.

Women need to wake up and get their priorities straight. Lives were better, happier, and more fulfilling when we all stayed within the roles God laid out for us. I know it is not popular to say so. But I have a hard time with the idea of going against God’s plans in favor of societal expectations. I’m not sure where, outside of earthy pleasures, there is any benefit to a woman leaving the house and going out to work. Home is supposed to be a haven of happiness. It should be clean and comfortable, warm and inviting. Families are supposed to be able to survive on one income. Men are supposed to be able to focus on their work and come home to their wives. Men are not supposed to have to face temptations, that women flash in front of them, at work. Women in the workplace are temptations to men. Women like attention, men like to give it...oops...propriety is an afterthought.

Women are the heart of the home. Without a woman at home, there is emptiness, coldness, and hunger. Kids are growing up seeing their parents 1-2 waking hours a day. It is NOT as God intended. So, Athanasius was frustrated over men being wimps. I’m exasperated over women acting like teenage boys, all hormones and minimal self control.

As a final example, I offer up my neighbors. The other day I returned from bringing my eldest daughter to a class in a neighboring town. As I approached my house, my heart leaped up into my throat. I saw my eldest daughter running down the street towards me. (Rationality hadn’t yet kicked in, this was all emotional reaction.) I thought to myself, “Oh My God! What is wrong at home that she is running down the street to meet me?” I got closer to her and realized my daughter was 20 miles away, and this is not my her. Relief washed over me as I watched this teenager, and her friend, flagging down truck drivers as they passed by. They were sashaying about pumping their arms in the ‘honk your horn’ fashion, and all the truckers were responding in kind. These girls were flirting and swaying like a couple of bar room hussies. I had to gather up the rest of my crew and head out to a soccer practice. It wasn’t until I was coming home I had the thought that I ought to have dragged those girls home to their parents. I just couldn’t believe how they were behaving. Much to my horror, I’ve since learned that my daughter was identified as the immodest young teen, and I’ve had to correct many misconceptions since then. Fortunately, living in a small town, we were able to do much damage control rather quickly, but what does this little anecdote illustrate better than immodesty reaping multiple consequences. One reason I discovered that my daughter was named in this story is that someone was concerned as they passed by and saw a truck driver stop! Oh my goodness, I wonder if those little girls would have known what to do if they’d been apprehended. They ran off to safety, I was assured. Little maidens are being spoiled very young these days, too young, and my heart weeps for them. Men must be on their guard against this. See the comm box for article Athanasius wrote. There was a list of rules one of his readers lives by to deal with women in the workplace. It is very good advice. Here is an excellent prayer to help you along.

Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas


Dearest Jesus! I know well that every perfect gift, and above all others that of chastity, depends upon the most powerful assistance of Thy Providence, and that without Thee a creature can do nothing. Therefore, I pray Thee to defend, with Thy grace, chastity and purity in my soul as well as in my body. And if I have ever received through my senses any impression that could stain my chastity and purity, do Thou, Who art the Supreme Lord of all my powers, take it from me, that I may with an immaculate heart advance in Thy love and service, offering myself chaste all the days of my life on the most pure altar of Thy Divinity.
Amen.

8 comments:

Anna S said...

Lily, thank you for this insightful article. What especially caught my eye was your reference to men and women's 'work relationships' blossoming into affairs.

I don't know *how* our culture tries to create an artificial environment where men and women aren't supposed to be attracted to each other - which fails time after time of course. Sexual tension is natural and cannot be ignored.

Lily said...

That is exactly right, Anna. We cannot expect men and women to work together, especially when modesty and propriety are lacking, and not succumb to the temptations. Now I wouldn't dream of saying that all men will succumb, but perhaps those suffering an interior disorder, as suggested by a fellow blogger. The temptations are very great. How is a man to avoid all near occasion of sin when he is surrounded by inescapable temptations day in and day out in the work place?

a thorn in the pew said...

Too much truth in this writing. Men and women share equally in this quest for modesty and it is up to women to place value on it in a marriage. Thank you for the insight.

deb said...

I wanted to write an article just asking parents to draw the line somewhere when it comes to how their children dress. I wasn't going to suggest anything extreme, just make a gentle call that parents at least set some guidlines when children are young. After reading the response to Coffee catholic, I am afraid that I will be labeled a hateful woman.

I would never have thought this before but you are very brave in stating your position so openly.

Lily said...

I'm not really sure if it is so much being brave or if it is stupidity! As a mother of a large family, several girls, I feel it is important for me to set an example, and to let them know when I think there is an issue to be discussed. We like to debate in our house, and with the teenagers it can sometimes be rather exasperating! Thanks for stopping by!

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

Lily, I wrote about the girls with signs for car washes in the summer, for my column at LAF, standing on the street corners, loudly yelling and showing a lot of skin. I told how dangerous this was. I was flamed terribly for it, and told I was blaming girls for being assaulted. I was simply saying it was like dangling raw meat in front of wolves and then beating the wolves for being attracted to it. The fact is, not everyone is good. Not everyone will abide by Biblical principle. We understand it when it comes to our cars. We keep them locked up. but somehow, we don't comprehend that our daughters are more valuable than our cars, and we refuse to cover them up, lock them up, or whatever it takes to protect them! I remember one girl was so wild she got into "trouble" as we used to call it and had a baby out of wedlock. The neighbor, who was watching this behaviour (which the girl repeated and then contined to act like she didn't know why it was happening to her again), said, "Mom, you always said you would tie me to the bedpost before you would let me out in an outfit like that, or let me out to flirt with the boys. Her mother should have tied her to the bedpost." Of course this was all symbolic speaking, but it makes a point: we think no one should peek in our windows and look at our personal belongings and lust after them, but mothers think nothing of letting the world look at their daughter's flesh and lusting after them. Of course I got riduculed and flamed for the article I wrote about it, and some of them were men, who were psychologists, who insisted it wasn't anything to do with immodesty when a girl got in trouble. In every single case at church when a girl dresses immodestly, she attracts a boy and she gets pregnant, and in most cases where she is immodest around a married man, she(girls) can break up a marriage.

MarkyMark said...

Lily,

I don't have the time to do so now, i.e. cover this in detail, but I will say this: feminism was NEVER, ever, ever about helping women. It was always about the government acquiring more power to itself. Feminism weakens the family, which is the bedrock of any society. The family is also in COMPETITION with the government for loyalty; in a socialist country like ours (and we are socialist; if you don't believe me, read the 10 planks of the Communist Manifesto, and you'll see that we meet all the conditions set forth by Marx), the government wants all loyalty for itself, so it HAS to weaken its main competition, the family.

Feminism was also about weakening men. Throughout history, men have been the architects, the builders, the creators, and PROTECTORS of civilization. Whenever it's been possible for us to do so, we've stood up to tyrants, and we took CARE of them. We had numerous weapons; we knew how to use them; we were more than HAPPY to use them on any would-be tyrant. Well, if you take out your main opposition, then your conquest will be much easier.

I'll close with that for now. Feminism was never about helping women; it was always about taking over society. Good night...

MarkyMark

Lily said...

Marky Mark,
I have been meaning to improve my collection of history, government, and economics books for my high school students. I think you've got me wanting to get started. I know what should be on my summer reading list. Any recommendations?

Lady Lydia,
I know examples of exactly what you describe, young girls breaking up marriages. Shameful. They will have to account for themselves someday. May God have mercy.

~Lily