The Ill-Advised Blending of the Sexes, including Gender-Neutral Names

Featured

For a number of years, an increasing disdain for the wonderful differences between men and women has led to a number of inventions ranging from unisex clothing to gender-neutral names (which have increased by 60% in the last ten years1).  In most cases, the blurring of the sexes is not a conscious challenge to God’s wisdom in creating two genders. It is, nevertheless, surprising in that celebrating the differences between men and women has been has been the healthy norm historically.

Why  Not  One  Blended  Gender?

But society’s changes seem to be asking this:  “Why not move toward making ourselves androgynous2 beings instead of having the two genders?

A Jewish insight understands a need for two genders:  “The answer is that in order to maximize giving, the recipient must be different from the giver.  If the two are identical, giving can occur, but it is limited.  One would give based on his or her own needs, since the receiver would have the exact same needs.  To truly be a giver, the person must take into account what the receiver needs and not only what the giver wants.  By giving to someone with different needs, a person is trained to think and give on terms other than his or her own.”3

Summarized from a Christian source:  “’Being man’ or ‘being woman’ is a reality which is good and willed by God.”4

Trends  Making  it  More  Difficult  to  Distinguish  Between  Male  and  Female

Thus, there seems to be no reason to oppose the manifestation of two distinct genders unless one has an agenda.  Unfortunately, they exist.

It can arise from a resignation as a result of society’s faults:  “Strange as it sounds, this simply states what religious rhetoric assumes; that the men form the legitimate body of the community, while women are allowed to participate only when they assimilate themselves to men.”5

In some cases, it springs from a dislike of marriage as the Communism has:  “The Party did all it could to push women into industry.  The bourgeois family as a social unit was to be made obsolete .”6

It can simply come from a clothes designer who has no concern for the ultimate well-being of those who are unsure of their “gender identity” but profits from it under the guise of a desire to prevent the stifling of artistic imagination.7

“This book will train you to think … like a guy.  Because dating has always been a guy’s world, until now.”8

Or it can originate from a trend with no logical purpose:  “Gender neutral makeup is on the rise. Brands like Enter Pronoun are leading the unisex cosmetics category with their selection of concealers, bronzers and eye liners.9

Reasons  Given  for  Blurring  Gender  Distinction

“…masculine names are often associated with success, for instance, which might explain why parents historically chose androgynous names for girls.”10

“Additionally, a study from Clemson University showed that women with more traditionally male names made more successful lawyers and judges than women with more feminine names.”11

“SE Hinton (Susan Eloise), DC Fontana (Dorothy Catherine), PN Elrod (Patricia Nead) and KA Applegate, to name but a few, have all ditched their first names to improve their chances of success in genres dominated by male writers.”12

“You see, I’ve learned that you can’t land a man by reading all those female-empowerment books or women’s magazines.  In fact, you have to avoid those all together.  The way to land a guy is to think, act, and react … like a guy.
“Have you ever seen a man get all goo-goo gaga over a baby in a grocery store line? No!… Have you ever been three dates into a relationship and had a guy tell you his real desire in life is to quit his job and be a stay at home dad? Absolutely not!”8

“Because I felt that being a woman was an obstacle, I wanted to become gender-neutral.  It became my way of tricking the system.” 13

“Millennials are an open-minded and accepting group, and they don’t want their children to feel pressured to conform to stereotypes that might be restrictive.”1

Some  Unintended,  But  Very  Real  Negative  Consequences

To reiterate, most who have joined the gender-neutral parade aren’t intending to challenge the natural complementary design of men and women.  However, the absence of bad intentions cannot insulate us against the inevitable consequences of attempting to redefine the inherent natures of the genders.

Dating:

Psychologist  Dr. John Gray, first renowned for his book, “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus,” wrote follow ups including the book, “Mars and Venus on a Date.”  In this one, he included the developing practice that many men and women reverse roles in dating.  These men are under the false impression that women should be pleasing them instead of the other way around.

As he wrote:  “A man hungers for the opportunity to make a woman happy.  Her happiness is his happiness… In relating to her, whatever will make her happiest makes him happy.  If he detects that her mission is to please him, he will also focus on how she can please him… If she wants to pursue him, he will happily sit back and passively receive what she wants to give… Whenever a woman pursues a man more than he is pursuing her, he will pursue her less.  Why should he risk failure when she is happy to pursue him?  Automatically, he will relax more and become more passive about the relationship.  Instead of thinking what she may want, he begins thinking more about what he wants.  This turnaround is very confusing for a woman because her assertive approach is successful in the working world but backfires on a date. “14

Negative effects of a “non-traditional” family environment:

An environment which teaches sexual norms different from Natural Law accelerates the incidences of disordered behavior.  Father Mitch Pacwa, S.J. noted this a couple of years ago on EWTN radio. Homosexuals comprise about 2.5% of the U.S. population.  However, children of same-sex parents have a 25% rate of homosexuality.  Thus, environment can be a much more powerful force than genetics.

With the increased popularity of gender-neutral concepts, should we be surprised that we also have an increase in gender-confused individuals?

Exacerbating the situation are those who deny the human track record that most adolescents will outgrow these feelings on their own or with moderate intervention.15  Sadly, states and cities have passed ordinances prohibiting any counseling for those experiencing disordered emotions.16, 17

 Children’s names:

Ironically, there’s a comical side to the unintended consequences of gender-neutral trends when it comes to naming children.  It has been the tradition for a multitude of generations to name children with names from recent ancestors, saints or names which had special meaning.

The current trend encourages applying traditional boys’ names to girl children — which have meanings the parents probably would have avoided had they done some research. Examples:

Addison (son of Addy), Campbell (crooked mouth), Carson (son of Carr), Drew (manly), Finley (fair-haired warrior) 18

Dana (from Denmark or fertility goddess), Madison (son of Matthew or possibly son of “Maddy” [Maud]) 19

Bailey (bailiff), Cameron (crooked nose), Dylan (great tide, Welsh god Dylan was son of Arianrhod), Emerson (son of Emery), Kelly (warrior woman), Logan (little hollow), Mackenzie ([Gaelic] son of Coinneach), McKenna ([Gaelic] son of Cionaodh), Monroe (from the mouth of the Roe), Remy (oarsman), Ryan (little king), Whitney (white island) 20

Charlie (free man), Paige (page to a lord) 21

Andi (brave, manly), Hayley (from the hay meadow), Parker (forest ranger), Quincy (born fifth), Torey (from the craggy hills) 22

Kennedy (helmeted chief) 23  

Brinley (hill or mound, from the Welsh “Bryn”), Bristol (place at the bridge), Harlow (dweller in a rocky hill area), Sloan (little raider) 24

CONCLUSION

Without a doubt, men have historically had disproportionate advantages over women in some aspects of life. However, the only effective way to remedy this is through a better awareness of the dignity of ALL humans.  Attacking the problem of disrespect solely with a treatment of the superficial aspects of life has only created new problems.

Take the case of the “unfairness” that women are at greater risk of “difficulties” (i.e. pregnancy) because of sex.

The secular humanistic solution was not to increase the cooperation between men and women and a mutual understanding of the reproductive cycle in order to be prudently open to life.25  Rather, it decided to develop chemical and mechanical means to block conception so that women could be more like men in their approach to on-demand sex.

The result?  As Pope Paul VI predicted in his encyclical Humanae Vitae almost fifty years ago:

“Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.” 26

In addition, we see birth control leading to increase in some female cancers and a decrease in some.27  Want to gamble?

Lastly, the significant decrease of commitment on the part of men toward women has resulted in many more of babies being born out of wedlock — creating the dysfunctional families which devastate society far more than guns can.

The lesson is that re-engineering the natural world is not going to achieve social and economic fairness with the sexes.   Rather, we need to use our supposed superior intelligence to solve the root problems directly with honest communication and leave the natural order of things to the Creator.

 

 

 1 – “Unisex baby names are nothing new, but they are officially the hottest trend of 2016.

“To prove this, Nameberry combed through U.S. Social Security data and found that gender-neutral monikers have increased by 88 per cent in the past 30 years — in the past decade alone, unisex names have risen by 60 per cent.”  From “Baby Names 2016: The Most Popular Unisex Names Revealed,” by Isabelle Khoo, http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/08/22/unisex-baby-names-2016_n_11652540.html, 8/22/2016.

2 – “1. Biology Having both female and male characteristics; hermaphroditic.

  1. Being neither distinguishably masculine nor feminine, as in dress, appearance, or behavior.

(From http://www.thefreedictionary.com/androgynous

3 – “Men & Women:  Jewish View of Gender Differences,” by Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller, http://www.aish.com/ci/w/48955181.html

4 – From paragraph 369 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 25th printing, November 2013.

5 – A quote from Elaine Pagels in her book “The Gnostic Gospels,” (1979; New York: Vintage Books, 1989) as listed in “The Da Vinci Hoax, by Carl E. Olson and Sandra Miesel, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 2004.

6 – Quote of Bella Dodd (1904-1969) who was an “open [Communist] Party leader taken from page 44 of “Takedown,” or how the left has sabotaged family and marriage, by Paul Kengor Ph.D., WND Books; Washington, D.C., 2015.

7 – “I’ve never personally designed anything with the intention of catering only to those who self-identify within a set gender binary.  But as a handmade designer who still sells on Etsy, I’ve noticed there’s no option for posting a skirt or dress or even a body chain that isn’t gendered.  Checking that box makes me feel as though I am imposing limits on my designs and those who want to wear them, which I definitely don’t support. “  From “7 Gender Non Conformist & Gender Neutral Clothing Brands To Support Right Now,” by Alysse Dalessandro, https://www.bustle.com/articles/100668-7-gender-non-conformist-gender-neutral-clothing-brands-to-support-right-now, 8/31/2015.

8 – “Dating game: Women should act more like men,” From an interview with Giuliana DePandi, http://www.today.com/health/dating-game-women-should-act-more-men-wbna14450869, 8/21/2006.

9 – “Does ‘Dressing Like a Man’ Lead to Greater Success?,” by Anna Akbari, https://www.dailyworth.com/posts/3021-rethinking-gender-and-fashion-in-the-workplace/2, 10/16/2014.

10 – “What’s In a Name?,” by Sam Kean, http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/28/magazine/28wwln-idealab-t.html, 10/28/2007.

11 – “6 Ways to Pick a Baby Name That Will Make Your Child A success,” by Gabrielle Karol, https://www.learnvest.com/2012/06/6-ways-to-pick-a-baby-name-that-will-make-your-child-a-success/, 6/15/2012.

12 – “Why are female authors still writing under gender-neutral initials?,” http://www.irishexaminer.com/examviral/real-life/why-are-female-authors-still-writing-under-gender-neutral-initials-317458.html, 3/10/2015.

13 – Quote from Heloise Letissier in the 10/17/2016 issue of Time magazine.

14 – Excerpts from pages 43, 178 and 254 of “Mars and Venus on a Date,” by John Gray, PhD, HarperCollins Publishers; New York, NY, 1997.

15 – “Gender identity disorder generally begin [sic] to manifest between the ages of two and four, in which a child displays a preference for the clothing and typical activities of the opposite sex and also prefer playmates of the opposite sex… Most children outgrow gender identity disorder with time and the influence of their parents and peers. Adolescents with gender identity disorder are prone to low self-esteem, social isolation, and distress, and are especially vulnerable to depression and suicide… Both male and female transsexuals may elect to alter their primary and secondary sexual characteristics by undergoing surgery to make their genitals as much like those of the opposite sex as possible… The operation itself is accompanied by hormone treatments that aid in acquiring the secondary sex characteristics of the desired sex. While a number of individuals have gone on to lead happy, productive lives following sex-change operations, others fail to make the transition and continue to suffer from gender identity disorder.”  From “Gender Identity Disorder,” http://psychology.jrank.org/pages/274/Gender-Identity-Disorder.html

16 – [New Jersey]  “A person who is licensed to provide professional counseling under Title 45 of the Revised Statutes, including, but not limited to, a psychiatrist, licensed practicing psychologist, certified social worker, licensed clinical social worker, licensed social worker, licensed marriage and family therapist, certified psychoanalyst, or a person who performs counseling as part of the person’s professional training for any of these professions, shall not engage in sexual orientation change efforts with a person under 18 years of age.”  “New Jersey bans conversion therapy,” by Cristan Williams, http://transadvocate.com/new-jersey-bans-trans-conversion-therapy_n_10039.htm. 8/21/2013

17 – “Today, the Cincinnati City Council became the first city to ban the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy. The historic ordinance imposes a $200 a day fine on anyone practicing conversion therapy on LGBTQ youth.”  “Cincinnati Becomes First City to Ban Conversion Therapy,” by Hayley Miller, http://www.hrc.org/blog/cincinnati-becomes-first-city-to-ban-conversion-therapy, 12/9/2015.

18 – http://www.babynamewizard.com/baby-name/girl/

19 – https://en.wikipedia.org

20 – http://www.behindthename.com,

21 – http://nameberry.com

22 – http://www.sheknows.com/baby-names/name/

23 – http://www.babycenter.com/baby-names-kennedy-5415.htm

24 – http://www.ohbabynames.com

25 – “With regard to physical, economic, psychological and social conditions, responsible parenthood is exercised by those who prudently and generously decide to have more children, and by those who, for serious reasons and with due respect to moral precepts, decide not to have additional children for either a certain or an indefinite period of time.”

From Section 10 of Humanae Vitae, given by Pope Paul VI on July 25, 1968.

26 – From Section 17, Ibid.

27 – “Birth Control & Cancer: Which Methods Raise, Lower Risk,” by Kelli Miller, http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/features/birth-control-cancer-which-methods-raise-lower-risk, 1/21/2016.

To the Grandchild I Won’t Meet Until Eternal Life

Dear Little One,

It has been two and a half weeks since your parents learned that we would not have the chance to meet you in this life. The days leading up to that event were filled with anxiety and prayer for your wonderful parents. They had wanted you so much since their wedding three years ago. I learned of their fears just the day before the doctor confirmed that you had preceded us to Heaven. Just that one day of uncertainty was difficult. Through it all, the faith that all things eventually work out for the best for those who trust in God was the overriding thought.

We had been looking forward to your arrival next February with so much anticipation and joy. We cannot know the reason why we will not be able to show you the wonders and beauty of the world God created. More importantly, however, we are comforted by the fact that it was God’s plan that you would see His face and dwell in His infinite love without having to experience the struggles of an earthly life.

In addition, you have met the relatives we miss and whose memories we cherish because they completed their time on earth before we have. I can imagine the greeting you received from my father, your great-grandfather Rubio, when you arrived! It also brings a smile to know that you are also with your youngest aunt who, just like you, was given the “express route to Heaven” a number of years ago.

I promise to focus on being grateful for your eternal joy over my disappointment of having to wait to know you. Until then, please bring your family’s prayers along with the rest of the holy ones’ to the throne of God asking that those of us still fighting the good battle may have the wisdom to seek His Will, not ours. Thanks for your intercession and that of the entire Church Victorious!   🙂

With love and constant remembrance,

Grandfather Rubio (1955-20??)

Insulted Girlfriend and Advice Columnist are Oblivious to the Real Disrespect

The Tuesday April 7, 2015 edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer printed Carolyn Hax’s advice to a young woman who had been dating a guy for five years. She is currently living with him and they are planning to be married.

The Perceived Problem

She was upset because she had learned from a previous girlfriend of his that he had taken this woman on a first date “to a really expensive restaurant (one I have expressed an interest in, but that he always said cost too much). On our first date we went to a mediocre restaurant.”

This led her to write “I feel like crap since I found this out, like he thought she was better.”

Ms. Hax brought up the possibility that perhaps “he was in better financial shape back then, or dumber about how he spent his money.” She added he might have not taken her “seriously when scheduling that first date,” then later changed his mind about her. She tried to help “Second-Class Citizen” gain confidence by saying she shouldn’t need a fancy restaurant to feel good about herself.

The Real Problem

Sadly, this exchange completely missed the most serious issue in the couple’s relationship and one that most “liberated women” of today fail to realize. The lack of respect did not stem from the trivial issue of those first dates. Rather, it began when she accepted the deceptive and cleverly wrapped belief that truly modern women show their power and independence by allowing men to use their bodies without the proper commitment of lifelong fidelity due to a lady.1 Major contradiction.

The Solution

“Second-Class Citizen” and millions like her could prevent serious damage to their sense of self-worth by recalling the lesson from the famous dialogue attributed to either George Bernard Shaw or Winston Churchill, depending on the source:

“ Madam, would you sleep with me for a million pounds?”
“My goodness, Well, I’d certainly think about it.”
“Would you sleep with me for a pound?”
“Certainly not! What kind of woman do you think I am?!”
“Madam, we’ve already established that. Now we are haggling about the price.”2

The dignity of the human person dictates that no one is to be used by another. When a guy lives with a woman in all ways married except the vows, he is doing just that.

1 – Assuming that artificial contraceptives are used in most unmarried living arrangements, the decreasing respect for women was predicted in 1968: “Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.” By Pope Paul VI, in his 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae, section 17 under “Consequences of Artificial Methods,” http://w2.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae.html

2 — http://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/new_york_city/entry/what_kind_of_woman_do_you_take_me_for_madam_weve_already_established_that_c/, 11/22/2009

“Homophobia” is Contrived, so Where is “Adulterophobia”?

What is a “phobia”? It is “a persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it.”1

“Homo” is the prefix meaning “a genus of primates that includes modern humans (Homo sapiens) and several extinct species.2

Let’s Build a Word

Putting these two together, we arrive at “homophobia” which means an irrational fear of a genus of primates. If this exists, it would be exhibited as a fear of all people… probably not the originally intended meaning.

Could it be that this word is being misused by those who wish to discredit fellow humans who understand that sexual activity between two men or two women is intrinsically disordered? Even someone who does not follow a religion should know without a doubt that this behavior is contrary to Natural Law.  (Key point: it’s the behavior that must be rejected, not those involved.)

Adulterophobia?

Distortion of language is the weapon of choice for the politically correct crowd. Realizing this, it is surprising that they haven’t labeled those opposed to adultery, and its cousin fornication, as being “adulterophobes.” Perhaps it’s because this mortal sin has been so ingrained in our society that it’s considered standard procedure. This brings to mind a mid-1980’s episode of the television series “Murder She Wrote” when one of the main characters attempted to chide another by saying, “Infidelity isn’t exactly front page news anymore.”

Of course, even if “progressives” felt the need ridicule those men and women attempting to be virtuous, the term would still be absurd. These individuals do not have an irrational desire to avoid sexual relations outside of a valid marriage. They are simply respectful of the disruption this behavior causes to society, not to mention its eternal consequences. That is a reasonable thing to be concerned about!

A Charitable Response, not Enabling Behavior, is What’s Needed

By its origins, “homophobia” does not exist as social engineers claim. It’s merely a clever attempt to demean those who acknowledge “the big picture” into accepting a disordered lifestyle which goes against Natural Law as well as the Ten Commandments. Arbitrary social changes produce contrived terms which divert our focus from what should be our top priorities, in this case: on loving and assisting those afflicted with these tendencies into a better life— both now and, more importantly, beyond.

1 – taken from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/phobia
2 – taken from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Homo

A First Step Toward Calming Race Relations Between Citizens and Law Enforcement

Growing mistrust. Resentment and feelings of no respect. Harsh words, increasing volatility and displays of anger.

Couples with serious difficulties in their relationships often have to turn to a cooling off period. A time of limited contact or even complete, but temporary, separation can provide an opportunity for learning about themselves and make reconciliation more possible.

We have reached this stage in many communities throughout the U.S. The situation in Ferguson, Missouri is just the most recent example.

The suggestion is this: For a select number of communities, not entire towns or cities, African-American leaders could decide to have a two-year period or so where their locale would be patrolled only by law enforcement of their race. A referendum may be too risky as it may set off another round of heightened emotions. Other mixed communities and cities would still maintain the normal racial ratio of those protecting their areas of responsibility.

If nothing else, this would “give peace a chance” as the 1960s liked to say. But it might also teach everyone, of all races, a lot about what works, what doesn’t and perhaps how we can get along as our nation’s founding fathers envisioned.

Our country is still The Great Experiment. To succeed, it must continue to evolve — cooperatively.

Sometimes “You Guys” is Just Too Informal

The beauty of our victory in the Revolutionary War went beyond the self-governance it brought us. It also began to dismantle the age-old custom of social classes which existed in European societies. We railed against taxation without representation, but we also despised the apparent snobbery of those who were born into nobility without having done anything to earn their elevated positions.

But we almost fell back into that same arrangement a few short years after the Treaty of Paris in 1783 by which Great Britain formally recognized our independence. When George Washington was elected as our new nation’s first head of state, many lofty forms of address were being discussed by Congress. Instead of being “Your Elective Highness” or other terms dangerously reminiscent of the culture we broke away from, it was decided to call him simply “Mr. President” to Washington’s great relief.1

Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution ends with “No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.” Nevertheless, we still address Queen Elizabeth as “Your Majesty” and “Your Royal Highness” for Prince Philip, to counter our reputation that “British royals are imminently familiar with Americans and our lack of practice with the forms of address used when addressing nobility.2

As our young nation grew, we were noted for the collegial relationships we felt with our Commanders-in-Chief. “Tippecanoe and Tyler, too”, “Honest Abe”, “Ike” and “Jimmy” are a few examples of this sense of familiarity. Even so, we continue to show respect for the office, if not for the individual we may disagree with. Therefore, we address him as “Mr. President” not “Barack” or impolite descriptives.

But like any trend, it can drift beyond what is respectful as it filters down to the average individual. While growing up in the 1960s suburbs, I began hearing a few friends referring to friends’ parents by their first names. Any suggestion that my sisters and I would consider doing the same was effectively dismissed by my parents, to my everlasting gratitude after I became an adult.

Consequently, when I became my company’s representative to a national standards organization in my early 40’s, I always addressed my 80+ year old mentor in the paper permanence committee as “Mr.Wilson,” not “Bill” as his peers or near-peers could address him. To do otherwise was inconceivable and was confirmed by his humble acceptance of my show of respect.3,4

It is this background which causes me to cringe increasingly each time I hear restaurant servers in their 20’s or 30’s ask “How are you guys doing?” or “What can I get you guys?” to members of my parents’ generation or even to mine.

Informality can be a healthy way of breaking down those barriers which inhibit productive communication. This has helped our experimental republic continue to advance. However, all of us should restrict certain levels of familiarity for use with our peers or to those younger lest we erode the respect necessary to maintain a civilized society.

1 – “Happily the matter is now done with, I hope never to be revived.” – George Washington. Article by
Harlow Giles Unger, “How His ‘Highness’ George Washington Became ‘Mr. President’”, http://www.huffingtonpost.com, 2/14/2014
2 – Robert Hickey, http://www.formsofaddress.info/Prime Minister.html, author of “Honor & Respect”
3 – William K. Wilson, founding chairman of the ASTM D6.20 Sub-Committee on Paper Permanence and its head for over 30 years
4 – For me to call him by his first name would have been similar to the time Michelle Obama put her arm around Queen Elizabeth during an official visit. Ibid.

Men: Be Virtuous Toward Women, Women: Promote Virtue

It is indisputable that our actions affect others. While we are ultimately responsible for our own behavior, we must recognize that what we do can also help or hinder others who strive to live moral lives. Understanding this allows us to recognize that the protestor in the Associated Press photo below, is missing a crucial aspect of what is necessary to create a civilized society.1

img079

Sexual assault is a terrible crime which must be eradicated. The belief that “women showing too much of their bodies deserve to be attacked”1 sparks useless arguments and sidetracks energies which could be better used to solving the problem. No one deserves to be a victim.

Unfortunately, we live in a world which suffers from our fallen human state. Despite what our federal government says, we cannot be protected from all evil regardless of the amount of privacy we are willing to surrender.

That being said, we need to be vigilant. Whether it’s protecting our families or our possessions, we can take steps to minimize our vulnerability. We don’t leave children unsupervised or display our money and prized objects on the front lawn for passers-by to be tempted to steal. Sure, we shouldn’t have to lock our cars and front doors, but that is a reality which the wise will not ignore.

The same applies to the safety of our bodies. Dressing properly for work or recreation could prevent injury or even death. We also decide what to wear and how we act out of respect for each occasion and for each other. Clothing and behavior for a sporting event would not be appropriate for a wedding or a funeral.

But it is not just special events which creates interactions with our fellow human beings. Unless we are hermits, we have countless impacts on others daily. Many of these we aren’t even aware of. A jogger running down a sidewalk is probably not conscious of those who pass in cars unless a horn is sounded! Yet, thoughts can range from “I need to take time to get in shape” to “What a fool, tearing up his knees” or worse. The jogger is not accountable for this unless he/she somehow incites the travelers.
Incitation can occur in many forms: an impolite gesture, disrespectful message on a shirt… and even very revealing clothing.

How we dress does affect others. If we choose to be provocative in our clothing, makeup etc., we need to ask ourselves what our goal is. Is it to attract a spouse? (not likely in this age of decreased respect for commitments) Is it to get the attention of a movie producer? (don’t think so) Or is it to create envy or strong desire in others? These are negative and destructive emotions.

Those who have a healthy view of themselves are satisfied just by knowing they have physical gifts and use them for genuinely good purposes. They are not compelled to show off.

We should instead focus on creating a positive social environment. If we truly believed in the dignity of human life, we would have lower crime rates, including fewer physical assaults on women.2 If we didn’t trivialize human sexual relations as a casual activity outside of marriage, then we would stop treating others as mere objects for our gratification.

Essentially, we must rediscover modesty. Old fashioned to some, perhaps, but a timeless virtue which has proven its worth repeatedly over the millennia. “Modesty is decency. It inspires one’s choice of clothing…It protests, for example, against the voyeuristic explorations of the human body in certain advertisements…Modesty inspires a way of life which makes it possible to resist the allurements of fashion and the pressures of prevailing ideologies…Teaching modesty to children and adolescents means awakening in them respect for the human person.”3,4

Respect for the human person. With this, then men and women could also understand the effects they have on each other and act accordingly.

1 – “Attitudes On Sex In Brazil Tested,” by Loretta Chao, The Wall Street Journal, 4/5-6/2014
2 – of course, the goal is zero assaults, but given the previously mentioned fallen nature of humans, this is not likely to be attained
3 – excerpts from paragraphs 2522-2524 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Liguori Publications, Liguori, MO, 1994
4 – A good summary of the Ten Commandments, what they command and forbid, can be found in “The Ten Commandments of God (Catholic Version)” by a fellow Wordpess blogger can be found at http://smattorneys.wordpress.com/2014/05/01/the-10-commandments-of-god-catholic-version/comment-page-1/#comment-3. Under the commandment against adultery, it states that it “commands chastity in word and deed and forbids obscene speech; impure actions alone or with others.”