The Trick On Women

Charles Baudelaire’s famous phrase could be amended to fit the current culture: The greatest trick men ever played on women was to convince them that no responsibility is necessary when it comes to sex.

Modern feminism sees itself as freeing the woman from an archaic suppression of her role in society and the family.  She is encouraged to see her own dignity and worth through the exercise of her freedom to do whatever she wishes.  She is thus encouraged to explore her sexuality and see it as a something “healthy”.  From this perspective, people like Ke$sha are making a lot of money singing things like,

Lose your mind. Lose it now. Lose your clothes. In the crowd. We’re delirious. Tear it down. ‘Til the sun comes back around.

Then there are the more explicit lines:

Boy come on get your rocks off. Come put a little love in my glove box. I wanna dance with no pants on. Meet me in the back with the jack and the jukebox. So cut to the chase kid’ Cause I know you don’t care what my middle name is. I wanna be naked.

But strangely, while they endorse this idea of an independent woman and her rights to explore her sexuality, they also don’t seem to care for the inconsistency and terrible promotion of male domination in a fight that is supposedly female-centered.  Katie Perry’s lyrics read, “Take me, take me. Wanna be your victim.”  And Rihanna explicitly sings, “Take it, take it. Baby, baby.  Take it, take it.”

Of course, the men are all fine with this idea of the “independent woman” if she is going to freely give herself away with no strings attached.  How wonderful for a man when he gets to sleep with a woman and she thinks that she’s exercising her freedom by exploring her sexuality and he has no responsibilities attached to their sexual encounter.  Even if he impregnates her, he has the option to be involved or not.  And because modern society tells the woman that she can certainly do without a man**, he’s often not involved because the woman thinks it unnecessary.  He is thus freed to go and sleep with other women and do the same thing again, as he wishes.

The dignity of the woman and the man does not come from an exercise of unlimited freedom and an abuse of their bodies.  It comes simply from them being who they are as children of God, created in His likeness and image.  If feminism wants to promote and protect the woman, it should tell her that her dignity and worth is found in the safe-guarding of her sexuality until she finds a man who genuinely appreciates and loves her, and who wants to be right by her side until the day she passes from this earth.  Who, on the day she passes, will weep and yearn for her because he knows that she is irreplaceable.

**I’m not here suggesting that single mothers are incapable of caring for themselves and their children, because I’m certain there are many single mothers out there who are managing just fine.  But observing from people that I know, it seems that single motherhood is tougher than a motherhood that also involves a father helping.


Truth and Humility

As a theologian and an instructor, I have to constantly remind myself that the search for truth requires the most profound humility.  If there is one thing that the Road to Emmaus has taught me is that just when we think we have grasped the totality of truth, it will disappear before our eyes.  This isn’t to say that truths are unknowable but it is to say that we would be fooling ourselves if we think that we have fully grasped it.  An article by Dr. Philip Sakimoto, an astronomist from Notre Dame, makes this case and it’s worth the full reading.  A paragraph that caught my attention:

I began to learn about the depths of Catholicism, depths that are often hidden from public perception.  I came to see that most Catholic doctrines are about truth in a very fundamental way: absolute truths not swayed by public opinion.  I wanted to learn more.  I joined a Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults class at a local parish.  It was there that I learned the real truth:  the barriers to seeing truth were hidden within me.