Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The "hook-up" culture and a question for feminists

Wow. The commenting has continued at a steady pace for the past three days over at my last post ("How Planned Parenthood talks to your teen"). When a new commenter, "college student", piped in with her own sad experience of the "hook-up" culture on an elite college campus, it had us all -- atheist and Christian alike -- advising her, commiserating with her, and rooting for her.

It's not that we Catholics don't know what the Culture of Death looks and feels like, but her heavyhearted words and resigned attitude made a lot of us pensive, and a bit melancholy. I'm still processing it all, and frankly, I'm angry that we've gotten to this place in our society, and that she and countless other young women are suffering this way.

So, now I'll state the obvious: The situation "college student" describes is the predictable and natural consequence of the sexual revolution: Sex without boundaries, sex without "hang-ups", sex without commitment, sex as recreation. Sex when I want, with whom I want, how I want. Most especially, the free sex must come with no guilt or bad feelings. Yes, the "hook-up" culture is the manifestation of everything feminists wanted, complete with easy abortion to make it all work. They gave us the blueprint, and it's been built to order on a college campus near you, and almost everywhere else.

That leads me to a question that I've often wanted to ask a feminist: How do you think it's working? Do you truly believe that women are happier now that they are experiencing sexual freedom as your philosophy designed it? Does it bring more peace, joy and contentment to a woman's heart? Are women less broken and more whole?

I'm sincerely asking.

102 comments:

  1. Perfect follow up post. Look to the fruit.

    I would have also added that the hook up culture, I know it is a big, ugly word, has also lead to a culture of prostitution. I'll shovel the snow off your car if you give me oral sex.

    Sorry, but it is an exchange. A sexual favor for a relational favor. Civility and brotherly love is thrown out the door. Not to mention the heights and depths of sexual love.

    Fortunately, there are traditional cultures out there that have the long view. That know the revolution that took place in the 60's and 70's was a sad blip on the screen.

    And, this generation is quickly aging out of cultural dominance.

    A new day IS dawning.

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  2. The modern day feminists have ruined it for plenty of women. They have given us "freedom" at the cost of our morals and souls, fortunately I truly believe that the young women of my generation are taking true feminism back. True feminism to me is embracing Christian values,and shunning the so-called sexual revolution. I think many of our mothers who embraced that disgusting culture see what a mistake it was and have vowed to raise conservative, chaste girls. At least my mother tried her best and it did have some effect on me that I am only just beginning to understand.

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  3. As someone who lived her 20's as a woman with strong feminist views, I believe that the feminist movement did have some positive effects but for me, most of those lie within the workplace. As a working woman, that has been important to me.

    I am new on my journey so I do not have the views (yet, perhaps I will as I learn) that sex is as "serious" as an act as the Catholic church (again, from what I've heard) would make it out to be. With that said, I do not believe that "hooking up" is a good idea. It does no good for either person and always leads to something bad. Be it disease, unwanted pregnancy or very hurt feelings and emotional damage. I do believe in being faithful to the person you are committed to, that sex is a beautiful and fun thing with the right person.

    Just because the feminist movement gave us more opportunities doesn't mean that the sexual freedoms that came with it did anything to help us. I think it reality it had the opposite effect.

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  4. the hook up culture comes from the "hooker culture." That's the origin of the term of art.

    This is where this leads us.

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  5. Being a "Feminist" started out as a good thing! Equal pay for equal work, being able to get jobs in a male dominated field, better education etc etc. But something went WRONG!! somewhere along the road we LOST our dignity as women and got our priorities mixed up!!
    WE have created a unholy trinity, "me myself and I" and are more miserable than our grandmothers were who had 10 kids and never worked outside the home. THEY knew who they were, we are still trying to figure it out.

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  6. I second wht Theresa EH said. It started as a good thing until it delved into our personal, moral and sexual side of things. As a former lesbian feminist, I was the ultimate follower until it left me broken, unwhole and wondering what happened and why I didn't feel good about myself and why I had killed an unborn child to make it work.
    DD

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  7. I've got a great book to recommend (my DH and I are reading it now): Holy Sex! A Catholic Guide to Toe-Curling, Mind-Blowing, Infallible Loving by Gregory Popcak, PH.D.

    It explains exactly why sex is "as serious" as Catholics claim, and a whole lot more! ;) I'm taking away new insights with each chapter.

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  8. Furthermore, just read College Student's comments. Does she sound like she's empowered, independent, self-confident - all the things feminists promised?!? NO!! She sounds sad, desperate, and seeking acceptance...all thanks to "free sex." My heart is still breaking for her. Argh!!! I'm so mad!!

    As theresa EH said, feminism did some good things in the workplace, but sexually it has destructed society. And it has evolved into: "You can't call yourself a feminist unless you're vehemently pro-abortion!" It's not even about strong women anymore. It's all about politics (and it seems to me feminism should never have been about politics). The feminist groups vilify strong, successful women when their political leanings are conservative - just look at how they treat Sarah Palin.

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  9. I think many modern feminists have become disallusioned by feminism. As others have said, feminism started out with some great goals. And not just in the workforce. When STDs started to become widespread thanks to unfaithful married men, women rightfully began to speak out. Some groups advocated for more marital faithfulness (Hmmmm) and others went the other way and just decided men and marriage weren't worth a woman's time. It's the second group that ultimately dominated modern feminism, and it's so sad.

    I was raised by a feminist. She taught me a lot of great things, like how to question and think for myself. She saw a lot of genuine sexism against women even just a few decades ago that needed to be addressed. She even saw real sexism (not just misunderstood theology) in the Church. But now that she has grarndkids, she is disillusioned with feminism. She can no longer relate to their cause. I think she feels feminists abandoned women for other agendas long ago. I have to agree with her.

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  10. I couldn't agree more with all of you. The initial goal of feminism was GOOD! But somewhere along the third- or fourth-wave (not sure of my terms), feminism went wrong. I remember when I was writing my newspaper column in the mid-90s, there was a book that came out called Who Stole Feminism? by Christina Hoff Sommers. She was dead on! Feminism was hijacked along the way by those who made libertine sex and abortion the linchpin. Sad, sad, sad.

    For those of us who are feminist in essence, but who do not buy into modern feminism, there is a great pro-life organization called Feminists for Life. And, the Susan B. Anthony Fund is a great political organization.

    I just feel really sad for the generations of women who were sold a bill of goods.

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  11. It is infuriating to me that the abortion issue has attached itself quite comfortably with feminism. I used to buy into it too. I used to think if you were against abortion that meant you wanted to keep women on their knees. I thought that's what I was fighting for when I was "pro-choice" thanks to organizations like NOW.

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  12. Ugh even the words "hooking up" immediately make me upset and sick to my stomach :(
    I despise all of it!!!

    I'd rather give up my right for a job with a decent salary if it meant all women could have dignity back.

    (not saying I don't like my job, because I do :) but I like dignity more.)

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  13. CBB, you said: I am new on my journey so I do not have the views (yet, perhaps I will as I learn) that sex is as "serious" as an act as the Catholic church (again, from what I've heard) would make it out to be.

    I have been meaning to write a post on this for months now! I really thank you for your "push" to get me going. :)

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  14. Lily, Theresa EH, and all the other newer commenters (of all persuasions), I wish I could greet each one of you. I just want to say thank you for your great comments!

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  15. Oh, but it's just so "Sex and the City" to hook-up, doncha know. Just so liberating and empowering. Not.

    I personally know people who are on their third marriage before they've hit 40 yrs of age. Very sad, all of this leap frogging from man to man, which is really just a search for the God-man; meaning the ideal man.

    So it goes to show, whether dating or married, women are always searching for their God-man; the man who won't disappoint them, who won't betray them in some way small or large, who won't faulter in his weakness.

    The liberating part comes when we women are graced with the power to believe that the only God man who won't disappoint is the One True God-man Incarnate, Christ Jesus.

    In the meantime, we're wise women not to give ourselves sexually to any man who is a cheap counterfeit of the real deal. The real deal could be Mr Right, if our calling is to married life.

    Or it could mean the real deal is that God's has called some of us to a life of singlehood. Singlehood is not shameful when lived out as conscecrated to Christ.

    Even a period of singlehood, as college girl is living, can be used as a purifying time to draw closer to Christ and discern His plan.

    That's not to say singlehood is forever. It's just to say that a period of singlehood, though it seems like a dry, wasteful desert, can be used to strengthen the individual's spiritual life as they wait on the Lord.

    Waiting is never wasteful, if we can realize that empowerment comes in the fruitful waiting, and not in the downtrodden mindset of 'oh, if I want a man, I better lower the bar.'


    This isn't meant to sound proud, as I realize it's a grace to know and live for Christ. It's a comment meant to encourage so please forgive any scattered sloppy thoughts. --Nubby

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  16. Honestly, each and every person should be able to choose their own path, and something that they 'are' (i.e. a woman) should not affect that decision in any way, shape, or form. But I agree with all of you ladies that feminism has gotten way off track.

    While I think we can all agree (I hope) that women deserve and should have the opportunity to take advantage of the same rights that men have, feminism unfortunately has degenerated into "we have to act the same as men act in order to gain any respect." Women and men are inherently different. That is not to say that there is ANYTHING that a man can do that a woman can't (except perhaps produce sperm, but that's obvious), but there are some things that a woman would have to train or study longer to be good at compared to a man, for whom it might come naturally (or vice versa).

    I think modern feminists have it all wrong. If a woman wants to do a traditionally male job, she should not get the job because she is a woman, but she should get the job as long as she is the best candidate. Women have turned feminism into a man-hating world, where in order to step up the ladder, we have to push the men down. It's terrible, and not (I don't think) what the original feminists intended.

    True feminism: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. I am a feminist. My mother is a feminist. My father, brother, and husband are feminists. I hope I will raise my son to be a feminist.

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  17. Regarding College Student (I want to give you a hug!) and the hook up culture, this is another place where feminism has gotten terribly off track. True feminists should be telling women that they DON'T have to sleep with a man if they don't want to. They have the RIGHT to wait until they are married to become intimate. And they also have the right to sleep with a man if they want to and not feel guilty about it! While I might have lost you all at that last point, I think it's an important one. Unfortunately, modern feminists have left the first two points behind, taken the last one, and championed it as the main point of their movement. It's tragic, because it gives women very little confidence to not have sex if they don't want to.

    Sorry if I have rambled a bit. The confusion about what feminism is and is not really gets to me.

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  18. The "hookup culture" has certainly not worked for my daughter, and I pray that she realizes this and returns to the Church.

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  19. Mrs. M... I don't think you've lost us. :) While we don't think sleeping with someone outside of marriage is the right/best/healthiest/holiest decision, free will is important to us. I certainly don't support forcing anyone to feel or think a certain way.

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  20. Diane, I will pray for your daughter! There is always hope (look at me, ha ha!).

    Mrs. M, I can definitely agree with what you have said about feminism. It is not serving women any longer, with its very limited focus on sex and abortion.

    I also agree with Sarah that Catholics are all about free will. It's a great and untouchable gift. God doesn't even touch our free will. I would just put in the caveat that although anyone is "free" to do anything at any time, they are not free to determine or avoid the consequences. Sometimes those consequences are negative, and sometimes they are temporal and physical only, and sometimes they are spiritual and affect our very soul (I know you don't agree with that last part, Mrs. M).

    I also think that guilt is sometimes an involuntary emotion. It's not necessarily something we can just "turn off" and we have the mechanism for guilt for healthy reasons. Sometimes guilt can be imposed on us unjustly, and sometimes guilt is unfounded and disordered. But I wouldn't want to tell a thief, for example, "don't feel guilty for what you did, because you wanted to steal!" I hope that the innate sense of guilt does kick in when we know we have done something wrong, or against our (or someone else's) human dignity.

    As for freedom, there is a saying from JPII that authentic freedom is not the freedom to do what we want, but the freedom to do what we ought. I just love that.

    Also, since we are speaking of freedom, Stacy has a good article on that today, here:

    http://www.acceptingabundance.com/2011/02/secularism-gave-us-freedom.html

    Great comments, guys.

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  21. Good caveats.

    In regards to feelings... . Many times my feelings do not match the truth of a situation (and I get resentful whenever a person tells me what I *should* feel as I rarely feel that). So I typically avoid telling a person what they should or should not feel about anything because feelings well up from within (but I do want folks to know that down the road, they may very well find themselves overwhelmed with crushing negative emotions if they make certain decisions. Few things are worse than grieving a past choice and KNOWING others suspected this would cause grief but opted not to warn me).

    In regards to thinking... well, in that realm we can debate what is true. But I can't make a person agree with me nor do I want that power!

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  22. There are two great books out there about this topic: Unhooked: How Young Women Pursue Sex, Delay Love, and Lose at Both by Laura Sessions Stepp and Sex and the Soul by Dawn (?) Frietas. They both look at this "hookup culture" on college campuses and how its affecting people.

    I used them as part of my graduate degree thesis. I wrote about how to make Catholic colleges more pro-life, and one way that I talked about was by addressing this hook-up culture which is alive and well, even at Catholic colleges.

    I'm thinking of doing a post on my own experiences with this. Its truly heartbreaking.

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  23. Hi Leila,,,I would LOVE to have coffee with you and the other posters as I have found such a wealth of postings and comments on this website!! I am a "born again catholic" coming on 7 years and am just scratching the surface of all the treasures our beloved church has for spiritual reading,theology,pschology etc.
    Another excellant read for authentic femininity is Johnnette Benkovic's book Full of Grace.

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  24. It seems I have inspired a post!

    I assure you ladies, no one hates the hook up culture more than me: but I think you are ignoring one major culprit of the hook up culture, not liberals, not abortion, not radical feminists…but rather girls themselves girls like me. Maybe even girls like your daughter.

    I think at the core of sexual feminism is this belief. Women should not be defined by their sexual choices. Their worth isn’t attached to their virginity.

    I think we can agree that those statements are fair and we can agree that goal has been distorted, and who has distorted it? Sex and the City is the perfect example. The "prude" on the show: Charlotte had about 19 sex partners in 6 years; the "slut" Samantha had about 40. Sex and the city wasn’t peddled by feminists but capitalists, who knows sex sells!
    .
    And we bought it ! Why? Some because they like sex. But overwhelmingly because that’s what boys offer. Hooking up is how you get to know a boy. It’s how relationships are formed now. Men aren’t judging us as much by our sexual choices, a nice beautiful girl who ends up in his bed is not a bad thing, if he likes her he WILL make her his gf, maybe even take her out to breakfast

    Thus you hook up: you get sex (which is presented as the ultimate by good) maybe you even get a nice boyfriend

    Or you don’t: you don’t get the pleasure of sex and don’t open yourself up to the possibility of a relationship

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  25. College Student, I'm still SO sad for you! You keep admitting you hate the hook-up culture and you seem to realize how destructive it is, yet you are clearly buying into it! It's not just "how it is!" You DON'T have to succumb to it. Have you ever heard the phrase "In but not of?"

    Therefore I would agree with you that "girls themselves" are culprits of this culture. Simultaneously culprits and victims. As long as these poor women keep sleeping around it's never going to change. Unfortunately it's a vicious cycle, but it's going to take women like you...women who realize what's going on and it's effects...to change it!! Please...start now!!!

    I just want to touch on something you said: "Hooking up is how you get to know a boy. It’s how relationships are formed now." Except - it's NOT how relationships are formed. You said it yourself in comments on the last post. A lot - no, MOST - of the time after you sleep with a guy right away he doesn't want a relationship. The chase is over. He leaves and then you are left with the emotions, only to sleep with someone else to get rid of those emotions. Another vicious cycle.

    There are a lot of "maybes" in your comment. Are those "maybes" really worth all the heartache?

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  26. College student, you are right on a couple of points. First, the women who allow themselves to be treated as recreation by boys (I find it hard to call them men) do bear responsibility. Women allow it. If all the women went back to the days when "you put a ring on it", then boys would be courting, wooing, and be respectful, hoping to win the girl. What was that ancient war where all the women told their husbands that they would not have sex with them until they stopped the war? Anyway, women do have power, the power of their dignity and will.

    You are also right about the effects of materialism. Materialism is just as bad as liberalism insofar as they are both "godless" movements that don't care a whit for the human soul. It's sad. But if Americans did not have an appetite for Sex and the City, no one could make a dime off of it. So, why do we enjoy it and allow it to flourish? I think the adults have abdicated their role in making society safe for children. Why is smut better than wholesomeness? Who does it benefit, except creepy, dishonorable males?

    The line about "maybe he'll even take her out to breakfast" is heartbreaking.

    College student, ever revolution starts with one person. Why not start a revolution? You should. :)

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  27. Hi Lelia,

    I'm a first time commenter! I love your blog, and just recently came across it.

    I don't want to start out on the wrong foot, but it's odd to me that your questions are posed to only feminists. I can hear feminists crying through a CNN interview right now, rallying around why they really do believe women have it all, and in fact, need to have more!

    You ask, are women happier? (Emphasis on women.) Why?

    It seems to me that the hook-up culture has a trend of letting men off the hook. Regarding "College Student's" original post, commenter Little Joann provided, "Boys, young men, men of all ages...need to be in on this conversation. They WANT TO BE holy."

    So, why are we asking feminists? THEY'LL NEVER CHANGE! They'll always think they have it all with PP, abortion rights, sexual freedom platforms. But, their following can change.
    Why are we so quiet in the domains where we actually do have input? In our churches, in our colleges, in our communities, it’s a rare experience to find purposeful ministries that thwart the Culture of Death. You mentioned your daughter attends a secular college and has found a good group to belong to, but inferentially, you suggested that this was a rarity. Yes, I live in Phoenix and am a practicing Catholic like you, and I know that the annual Diocesan Men’s Conference is coming up, but WHAT ELSE?

    I have a distant family friend, a young man who has just turned 21, who has encountered some trouble in hanging out with the wrong crowd. And I see from a distance that he wants to prove that he’s a man, and he doesn’t know how. So, while he knows the lifestyle that he’s dabbled in is a Culture of Death, he doesn’t see the other opportunities available to him because this one is practically forced on him.

    I’m just suggesting that we actually have more power within our grasp to mitigate the Culture of Death. So my question is not, do feminists think it's working, but what can we do, now?

    College Student: I'm an anomaly, hands down. I'm a single 27 year old woman, a practicing Catholic, and I live a chaste life. Not only that, but I plan on waiting until marriage. Even if marriage happens later in life, or not at all. Purity is that important. What goes unsaid, is that inferentially, if the hook-up culture is the norm, I'm automatically counter-cultural if I don't buy into it.

    I've read the comment threads on the previous post, and I have to say that I admire you for being so upfront with your experience. But, I also want you to know who you are, and whose you are, before you make any further choices about hooking up.

    -Trinny

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  28. College student, just cuz they're selling, doesn't mean you gotta buy it.

    Don't u feel you're worth more?

    -Nubby

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  29. Trinny, welcome! Excellent points! I am out the door, but I will come back tonight and really speak to your questions. I am glad you are on fire about this!

    Oh, and my husband and seventeen year old son are both going to the Men's Conference. Should be great....

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  30. Trinny, you're right about the need to change the culture from the ground up. Good points.

    And College Student, I totally get it. I was in your shoes 3 years ago and it was very lonely sometimes because I didn't want the hook up culture. However, I was fortunate to be part of a great Catholic student center where I met lots of other young people my age, men and women who put their values and faith above all. Now, my story doesn't have the "stereotypical" happy ending; unlike many of my friends, I didn't meet my spouse in college, but that doesn't mean my chastity was a road to failure. On the contrary, I can look back at situations where I could have gone home with a guy or invited him to my place... and as much as it might have sucked at the time, in the end I know I made the right choice.

    And I'll echo someone else above who recommended Dorothy Cummings' book and blog, Seraphic Singles. It's been invaluable in my own life.

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  31. I would be willing to bet a large sum of money that they are definintely more broken....

    I lived a somewhat wild child college life 3 hours away from home for a period of time, and I felt empty and longed for stability and love. I used to regret so many decisions I made until I made a general confession in Lourdes so I know that most others feel the same way I did.

    By Jesus's forgiveness, we can be make whole again though, the is the great news!!

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  32. I wasn’t intending to defend the hook up culture. Moreso , I wanted to paint an accurate picture of it

    When I say this is how relationships are formed, I don’t mean to say doing this will get you a relationship, rather that its considered the proactive approach to “meeting boys.” Also I was trying to point out that most of my friends who are in 2+ year relationships, met their boyfriends through hooking up, it wasn’t a judgment it was an observation.

    As an honest and self-aware person I must tell you I don’t defend my actions. I am not so naive as to think society controls me, and I have no choice but to submit and sleep with boys. Reminder: I’ve slept with 2, so I don’t know if I would say I’m sleeping around

    I am not someone of implausibly low self-worth ☺. I think highly of myself. I think I deserve a whole lot but I say this earnestly, I do not know what to expect. These boys you describe, I have never seen them, I don’t know anyone who knows anyone like that. I have no reason to think they exist.

    I tried very sincerely, for a very long time to find for someone who would like me first. I couldn’t do it. I admire women who embrace being single. But after 4 years of watching friends boyfriend’s fly into the see them and make breakfast with them on snow days (boys they met hooking up) I want something too


    I am not claiming to be right, only human.

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  33. College student I like your honesty. I think you are right around the corner from meeting a true Mr. Right. I really do. You have the right longings, a sincere heart, and now, maybe after hearing all of our postings, can hone your radar for the kind of man we are talking about. Of course, going to the right place increases one's chances, no? My mom use to say, "You won't meet a brain surgeon at a construction site."

    So step 1 is: ya gotta join and participate in the places such men congregate.

    College is no automatic to finding a decent person.

    Indeed, men are not attending college like the use to. Some cultural anthropologists are even pointing out that the more marriage minded and responsible men in our culture are not even going to college anymore but instead are becoming tradespeople and business persons sans degrees.

    College in a way can be a dumping ground for today's youth that has such a long extended adolescence. That strange time between 18 -25 where our culture has decided people should not ideally be parents but also not get pregnant.

    No wonder our culture is broken.

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  34. Dear College Student:
    Speaking as a mom of two current female college students and one married grad student (with baby), let me tell you, the boys are out there! My girls have always been better about forming friendships with guys (not girls) but it hasn't been easy finding the guys to date! They have all studied "Theology of the Body" and listened to Jason and Crystalina Evert so my girls had/have a strong sense of not succumbing to the "hook-up" culture. So, where do you find the great guys? Folk choir, church retreats (Newman Center), lab partner from class, orientation teams, ballroom dance class, theological studies, performing in a play/concert together, etc. Figure out what your interests are - get involved in that activity. My daughters have had to be the one to ask someone out - goes against my grain - but it's worked for them. Northwestern is such a great area! You're surrounded by culture and other campuses (if yours doesn't have what you want!). I'll be praying for you....

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  35. College Student, I wish your friends well in their relationships and I pray they don't become another statistic but honestly ask yourself if having a relationship with a guy is the most important thing right now. I know it can become all consuming wanting to meet someone but maybe you need to ask yourself why it's so important to meet someone right now? Do you have other interests and hobbies? Most of us have been where you are seeing our friends have boyfriends and even get married and now I've seen quite a few of those friends go through breakups and divorces and they have to start all over again. Finding someone to spend the rest of your life with is one of the most important decisions you can make and you don't want to just waste it on anyone. There's someone out there that's just right for only you. It's not just anyone. No amount of hooking up would have brought me to my husband. It would have wasted precious time and perhaps derail my chance to meet the man I was meant to marry. I wasn't even religious at the time but I just knew the universe brought us together when it was meant to be and the time was right. I know you want to meet someone but take the extra care that it's the right someone and what all of these wonderful women have suggested are ways to put yourself in that place. But for now, maybe forget about trying to find a relationship and find something else that you're passionate about and can focus on. I didn't meet my man in college. There's no expiration date on you that says once you're done with college, that was your one chance to meet someone. The cliche is true that you meet someone when you're least expecting it and when you're not really looking.

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  36. College Student, I just wanted to say that I am also only 4.5 years out of college, and the good men are out there!
    I read a few of your comments to my husband, and he confirmed that he knew guys like that, but he seconded that they aren't worth your time.

    I agree with the other commenters that you have to seek out these good men in the right places. My husband's best guy friends are all practicing Catholics who were virgins when they got married, and a couple of them are still waiting for Ms. Right! These guys stuck together because it is equally tough out there for the men who are trying to live a chaste lifestyle. So if you find one, you will likely find a few of them. :)

    Keep your eyes open, and you will know the good guys from the bad guys pretty quickly! DH lived in a scholarship house in college, and he was surrounded by boys... His roommate had a poster of a half naked woman pinned up over his bed, and over my DH's bed was a large sketch of Christ with His arms outstretched on the cross.

    My younger sister who just finished her masters less than a year ago, went through college not finding the right guy but refused to do the hook up thing.
    6 months ago, she met an amazing guy who is committed to remaining chaste. He attends young adult Catholic get togethers, and they met and hit it off! He is very handsome, smart, and a dental student!
    They are out there! I promise! You really do just have to look in the right places. :)

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  37. Gosh, great comments everyone!

    Trinny, I totally get your question about why ask the feminists because they are pretty much set in their ideas. But as a woman, it's always really bothered me that women can think that "free love" and abortion could fulfill women. So, as I say at the top of my blog ("Please Read First"), and as I mentioned here...

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2010/06/why-i-cant-talk-to-liberals-even-though.html

    ...I always have had a desire to ask questions when I don't think something is logical, or if I don't understand it. So, I just simply want to understand the mind of a liberal feminist. I keep digging and digging, using a semi-socratic method to get to the answer. I also want the folks on this blog (lurkers, readers) to learn what the best answers are from each side (there are fence-sitters out there).

    So, I definitely don't ignore the role of the men in all this (where are the gentlemen these days?!), but do have some great commenters who are feminists here, and I want them to state their case the best they can. I'm sorta sad that none of the feminist readers have yet answered the question posed on this post.

    But one thing which has been a true joy for me (if you read that link I just gave you) is that on this blog I actually have found many liberals willing to dialogue and answer questions! Yay! I am grateful to them! But sometimes they still leave before the conversation is over. Boo.

    Anyway, I hope that helps explain what I do here. I'm glad you found us!

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  38. In response to Leila’s comment I have posted some food for thought. More providing a plausible explanation than a definitive one:

    Men spend their 20’s and 30’s having sex and preparing for their careers. Without birth control women (married and unmarried alike spend their 20’s and 30’s having sex but having and raising babies.

    Thus women have a very major, very natural dilemma in achieving what men achieve (financial stability). Without the means to control, via birth control and abortion, their bodies they are unable to enjoy sex and perhaps more importantly are unable to be what they want to be besides mothers: doctors, lawyers business professionals, as they are at the mercy of becoming a mother whenever they engage in sexual activity

    Feminists and non-feminists agree that women should go to school. Divorce rates are high; no one wants to spend their formative years having babies over developing their career because if your husband does leave you, as statistically he might, your screwed

    Women fought for equality, but that also means we don’t deserve more leniency than men for maternity leave and childcare. Take college for instance, which though has its faults is the fastest track to a high paying job. If a woman gets pregnant and misses class she will fail them, the teacher will not care why, if she unexpectedly needed to take the rest of the semester off she would be out the better part of 20g or might loose financial aid, putting her at a disadvantage for the rest of her life

    (I have never seen a pregnancy girl around campus. If there were one it would make the school newspaper as such an anomoly!!

    Birth control and abortion are thus needed for women to achieve financial independence (something they need not only to attract a good mate, but incase their mate leaves them.)

    The increase in the availability of birth control ( needed to help women achieve financial independence ) had another side effect. It separated sex from potential consequences. (I myself engaged partially on the reason there was no reason not to) casual sex took off, hook up culture flourished.

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  39. College Student,

    I think you are right to paint an accurate picture. I know what it's like to see guys swooning over your friends and want to be like that. I did become like that...it isn't what it looks like.

    A hook up that lasts a few months is still a hook up, and you are constantly left wondering if you'll mean as much to the guy next week. Someone better always comes along.

    When I finally did meet a very different kind of man that knew about commitment, I was too jaded to even realize it. Accepting it was hard because I'd sold myself short for so many years. I expected him to leave too. Instead, I hurt him.

    Don't do that. Let your friends go to breakfast. It's just breakfast. Someday a man will commit as your husband and you'll have breakfast every morning and dinner every night together. Marriage takes work, and it starts right now for you. What you do now will affect your marriage one day.

    Listen to these wise women! They know.

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  40. Thank you, Leila, for opening this conversation! I have read your "Please Read First" notice, as well as your reversion story. I identify so much with your story, and I admire the Truth that you are so bravely able to present here. Thank you for this blog. It certainly has "BAM!" opened my eyes to represent my faith that had, in recent years, fallen into stagnation.

    -Trinny

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  41. College Student, you're missing a very important piece of the puzzle in your last comment. You say, "Without birth control women (married and unmarried alike spend their 20’s and 30’s having sex but having and raising babies."

    Except - if you hang on to your dignity, don't worry about the sex, and concentrate on your studies and career, there's no need for birth control and thus no problem.

    You also say, "Women fought for equality..." yet every paragraph in your comment exemplifies the exact opposite. Widespread acceptance and use of birth control hasn't made us more liberated. In fact it has made us more dependent - on men, on sex, and on birth control itself. Dare I say birth control has almost enslaved women today.

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  42. Sorry, not sure if that last comment made sense. You imply that our only options are to not have birth control, have babies, and give up a career; or have access to birth control and abortion and be able to have sex and a career.

    That missing puzzle piece is not having sex, not needing birth control and having a career!

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  43. College Student, I heartily echo Nicole C's comment. Birth control, far from being the panacea it was touted in the 60s/70s, has, in fact, been terrible for women's "liberation."

    Religious aspects aside, many non-religious people immediately saw that it would lead to disaster. Feminist Germaine Greer said, "Contraceptive technology, instead of liberating women, has turned them into geishas who risk health and fertility in order to be readily available for meaningless sex." Sigmund Freud, certainly no ally of the Church when it came to sexual ethics, wrote, "The abandonment of the reproductive function is the common feature to all perversions. We actually describe a sexual activity as perverse if it has given up the aim of reproduction and pursues the attainment of pleasure as an aim independent of it."

    Medically, birth control pills are HORRIBLE for a women's body. The World Health Organization classified the synthetic hormones of the Pill, the IUD, and the patch/ring/etc as Class 1 carcinogens. There is a growing body of research that links the Pill to cancer, especially breast and ovarian. Risks of stroke, rates of depression... all this increase when a woman is on the Pill.

    Liberating?

    It is hard. Your whole life you've been told one thing, and figuring out that it's actually not true is tough. I remember.

    But remember, sex is not necessary for survival (I mean personal survival, not the survival of the human species). No one has ever died from not having sex. It is a privilege, not a right. Is their sacrifice involved in chastity? Surely. But then, most things worth striving for involve sacrifice.

    It's also important to remember that pregnancy isn't just something that happens randomly; rather, it's the result of sex. Whether or not a woman should have a baby (because she is in school, or working a demanding job, or not emotionally ready for the responsibilities of parenthood) isn't meant to be the issue here; sex is designed by God for a couple to bond and make babies (though clearly, based on the physiology of women that limits our fertility to about 100 hours/cycle, that's not its only intended purpose). So as sad as it is when teen girls (or college women, or unmarried young adults, etc) are pregnant and didn't want to be, we have to recognize that sex often leads to babies, so if someone is really, really is a life situation that wouldn't accommodate children at that point in her life, sex is off the menu.

    For example, I, a single woman, do not have the right to have sex. Oh, sure, legally I do, and my free will allows me to do whatever I want, but if I were to run out to the bars tonight and bring a guy home, or even sleep with a boyfriend/fiance whom I really loved, that would be an immoral action because I would be taking something that doesn't belong to me: the privilege of having sex. But the consequences of that free will are something I would have to live with; if I were to become pregnant or get an STD from that kind of action, saying "oh no, I got pregnant, woe is me!" would be ridiculous since I chose to have sex. (and the argument about 'safe sex" is utter b.s. 2/3 of women who have abortions were using some kind of contraception when they conceived. Medically, safe sex is a joke. HIV and other STD viruses are small enough to slip through minuscule holes in the latex of a condom. HPV (which causes warts and sometimes cervical cancer) can be passed by skin-on-skin contact even using a condom).

    Even for married couples, sex is a privilege they enjoy when both have agreed and when they are open to having children. I have many married friends who, for various serious reasons, cannot have children right now, so they use NFP to avoid pregnancy, which involves some periodic (~1 week during fertile time) abstinence.

    Sorry, wall-of-text. And there's more coming below because I kind of started ranting...

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  44. Part 2:

    Even if you don't agree that sex ought to be reserved for marriage, it's not that much of a leap to see that the postmodern idea of "sex whenever, no matter what" has been terrible for women. When sex and babies are separated, it opens a Pandora's box of societal problems. Pope Paul VI actually predicted this in his 1968 letter Humanae Vitae. He predicted that, if contraception would become widely available and socially acceptable, 4 things would happen:

    In his 1968 letter Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI predicted four consequences of widespread contraceptive use:

    1) Increase in marital infidelity (because without the Pill, one of the main deterrents against cheating was the risk of getting pregnant out of wedlock. Contraception = ability to hide one's infidelity. Infidelity is a leading cause of divorce. Look at the divorce rate today).

    2) Less respect for women. Can anyone really make an articulate case against this one? In many ways, there is greater respect for women in the workplace- the truly beautiful fruits of feminism incude equal pay, opportunities for career advancement, trying to put an end to sexist discrimination - but your own story corraborates that contraceptive thinking has decreased overall respect for women. If a woman isn't considered valuable as a girlfriend or intriguing to a man unless she is willing to have sex (obviously, being on contraception to do so), her value is no longer in her brains, her beauty, or her intrinsic dignity, but in her body and her willingness to put out. Catastrophic affects on the ways in which women are valued/respected.

    3) Government control over populations. Look at China, specifically, but look at Europe and the US too. Family planning (=contraception and widespread abortion) was pushed by Western governments almost right away. It has gotten so bad that in most of Europe the fertility rate (=number of children per woman) has sunk to below 2.1, the require rate in order for a country to maintain its current population. Western society is dying. That sounds extreme and macabre, but think about it. Our generation (yours and mine; I am 25) is much smaller than the generations before us. As our parents retire, there will be far far far more retirees above us, and not enough younger people to work, pay taxes, support them, etc. It's going to be grim. And this came about because governments aggressively pushed family planning, either the way China has with its one-child policy, or the way America has by funding Planned Parenthood/etc with federal monies and creating an economy where having more than two or three children is considered too expensive.

    4). General moral decay: no one can argue with this one. Divorce and infidelity through the roof. P-rn is the most profitable industry in America. I could go on, but I don't think anyone needs more proof that the era in which we live looks at a life of chastity and self-control and laughs.

    I hear what you're saying, I really do.
    But don't buy into the lie that birth control and abortion are "necessary."

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  45. We need a women's movement to take back our choice to say no to sex if it's not in our best interest.

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  46. College student, I get you, I really do.

    But, it is possible contrary to the myth to demand men uphold women's dignity and for a woman to have it all.

    Sex is complex. Sin is too. I would say don't risk the abortion route no matter what.

    But, realize human love can be shared in other non-genital ways that is awesome and satisfying.

    I have it all. An amazing husband, a baby, three degrees, two from TOP public Universities in America and an excellent paying job that allows me to live in the richest zip code in America.

    I'll be honest. I was raised by a VERY liberal family that had no qualms about pre-maritial sex.

    But, something urged me on to not follow that route even though it was more than ok by my parents and siblings.

    What urged me on? Seriously, studying the lives of the great social change activist in the world, i.e., Mahatma Gandhi and learning Eastern Religion that teaches one to channel one's sexual energy for greater good! Yep, siree and not to do harm to others, Buddhist thought!

    It wasn't Catholicism at first that taught me the right thinking regarding sex. Also, follow the lives of your friends who engage in casual sex (you might need 5 years to 10 years) and ouch, you will see that that it does not yield good fruit.

    I like what you said, College Campuses don't have pregnant girls.

    Exactly, because abortion is the basic ethos of our society.

    And, it is a scandalous, horriying capitulation that I dare say, the liberal college elite paradigm shares blame for.

    UGH. Do I sound old and crotchety?

    Well, I am old, but believe you me, I love a good time more than most.

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  47. Maggie, brilliant points. Glad you brought up Humanae Vitae. PPVI was quite the prophet!

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  48. There was a sex guide floating around when I was in College - it was a big book of everything technical/historical/spiritual/factual related to the topic. I'll never forget one illustration - it depicted two women staring at each other from opposite pages. One was dressed in skimpy lingerie, full made-up, hair tousled in a sexy style. One was covered head to toe in a burqa. The caption read:

    "Which woman is a sexual prisoner and which is liberated?"

    To be sexually liberated as women, I believe simply that sex and sexuality should be on our terms and be equal to our partner's. We shouldn't need to dress and act sexy to be desirable by men. And we shouldn't have to hide and withhold the goods to be desirable to men, either. Both sides of that pendulum rely heavily on control issues.

    I believe girls should wait until they feel like THEY want to and are ready, not when Johnny "ain't waitin' for no virgin" is ready. Or their girlfriend who had sex too early and now wants to pressure her into it is ready. Not when the church says she is ready. And not some arbitrary event, like marriage, says she is ready. (Husbands can walk out too, you know.)Sex should be something that she wants and feels good in her heart about.

    Blaming feminism and liberals for the hook up culture is like blaming Zenith TVs for the fact we have to be subjected to Jersey Shore and Teen Mom on the tube these days. (GAG!)

    The fact is there is a TON of quality shows and programming these days, but all we hear about in general is the lowest common denominator: Snooki. Just like there are a lot of great teens and young adults out there who want love and companionship, but maybe girls like College Student don't know about them, because they are quieter, don't hang out in bars and aren't as flashy as the other dudes.

    The problem, in my opinion, is not so much with feminists and liberals (there are pros and cons to them), but it is with a culture that - you're right... ISN'T PRO-LIFE.

    (I'll continue next post)

    -L

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  49. Trinny, thank you! Please spread the word about the blog, because my biggest hope and prayer is that lukewarm Catholics would start to take a second look at this astounding gift we have in the Church! I am so glad it has been helpful and inspiring for you! The truth sells itself, but it's got to be told! :)

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  50. College student, you're on the right track. The philosophy of modern feminists is that economic equality (literally, numerical, quota equality) equals liberation of women. And the only way that feminists see that equality happening is through the suppression of women's biology. Abortion and birth control are non-negotiable routes to "equality". They are at war with their own bodies.

    They also want the freedom to have sex at any time and with anyone, without guilt or consequences (just like the worst of men have always had). They see this as "liberating" too, for some strange reason.

    But it is a recipe for a hook-up culture which leaves women dehumanized and objectified (and lonely, and compromised), and it leaves 50 million dead unborn children, and it leaves women with all the physical side effects of contraception (enumerated by others here).

    It is a sad legacy. I want to do a post on it at some point, but this is my friend Kim's experience as a gender feminist:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/p/from-gender-feminism-to-catholicism-by.html

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  51. And by pro-life, I do not mean abortion and contraception. Let's shelve that for a moment.

    I mean we live in a dual-income society where often both parents need to work. Day cares are raising our children. They do not get adequate nutrition from fast food because their parents are too tired & out of time to cook. They get a few harried hours an evening with their parents. Who is guiding them? Who is showing them as they grow up how the world works all day? With 30 other kids to look after, it sure isn't Tutor Time.

    No one believes in healthcare or education for our children. Women get completely screwed with maternity leave for the most part. It is not easy to raise your baby or breastfeed or have one parent home (I know great stay at home dads, so either parent) to mind the roost in a culture of "every man for himself!" Where money and status are king and everyone thinks life will fall into place if they just make a little more.

    If you truly want to be a culture of life, it takes a village to value children as they grow and learn. You can't stop at simply making sure every baby is born. They must be nurtured as well.

    Colleges - especially state schools have become bastions for these little kids who have had no guidance or responsibility to go nuts out on their own. They binge-drink, they have promiscuous sex, they skip classes and act like idiots. WHY? Again, I believe no one has been around to guide them and teach them how to value themselves and be independent beforehand.Everyone's too busy with the rat race.

    As for women's lib, a woman shouldn't have to have babies if she doesn't want to. We don't have to hearken back to where many (though not all by any means) women felt depressed and trapped by their "role" to be mother. So they changed things for the better. We can have jobs now, we can choose to be moms or not, get married or not, be celibate or not. There isn't one future for us anymore. This is GOOD.

    So instead of "giving up my job in an instant for all women going back to chastity & motherhood" how about we fix the barriers that prevent us from being able to raise our kids instead?

    Not all women feel the call of motherhood like you. (Or me - I have three!) And not all men are users - I married a sweet geek who treats me like a Queen. He NEVER pushes sex if I am not into it (never did!)and he will love me forever and not cheat. I know this. Great guys are out there, in droves! Just not at bars, most of the time.

    Again, just because Snooki exists doesn't mean that is a typical sample of the American woman.

    -L

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  52. L - I was brought up in a household that told me to wait until I "felt" ready. The problem is, that phrase means nothing to a teen. How does one know when they are truly ready? By what measure is one "ready?"

    As a teen, I craved knowing the honest truth. What is best in life? What is most meaningful. What will lead to happiness, the lasting kind? Not just, "whatever you feel, honey." I felt that was a cop-out. What did I feel? Hormonal. And wandering around with no way to discern. I ended up making choices I regretted. "Well, hon, you made those choices so now you have to live with them." I felt like I'd been thrown to the wolves. Given little guidance and then when I didn't like the consequences, hey, everyone throws up their hands "It's not my fault! I didn't TELL you to make that mistake! I said do whatever you want! Clearly you wanted this!"

    I was a pretty pissed off teen with your method.

    Marriage is not arbitrary. Tell that to the kid whose parents broke their vows. Marriage means a hec of a lot to those kids (and just because some don't keep their vows, doesn't mean marriage never meant anything to begin with. Again, it meant a lot to those kids and they are grieving a real loss). It also means a lot to the kids whose parents never married... talk about stress. Dad and Mom won't publically commit.

    Have you ever caught your kids looking at your wedding photos? Most kids can't get enough of that album or that old video. Kids seem to get what so many adults can't figure out... that marriage is the foundation of a family, a stable place to grow up, a shared last name, culture, an identity.

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  53. And just to clarify, my parents are awesome people who genuinely love and care for me. But their decision to teach me to have sex "whenever I felt ready" was definitely not their finest parenting decision. While I am thankful I could talk openly with them about such intimate topics, not even "good communication" could take away the fact that I really needed more guidance than just "when you personally feel ready." Both parents now regret going that route with us, but that was what they had been taught was best (see, this idea has been around for awhile. What you've proposed has already been tried on teens).

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  54. Hi L!

    You said: Blaming feminism and liberals for the hook up culture is like blaming Zenith TVs for the fact we have to be subjected to Jersey Shore and Teen Mom on the tube these days. (GAG!)

    But remember, a Zenith TV is a morally neutral inanimate object. By contrast, liberalism and feminism is a philosophy which has influenced countless people. It would be a more apt comparison to say that liberalism and feminism facilitated not only the hook-up culture, but also shows like Jersey Shore and Teen Mom.

    Also, you are talking a lot about policy issues, and I am talking about the loss of personal virtue.

    They are two different issues.

    As for the tarty woman or the burqa, I would say the most beautiful, amazing middle ground is the Catholic view of sexuality and feminism. Read Theology of the Body... it's like a breath of fresh air and balm to the soul, without going to either destructive extreme.

    I hope that all makes sense.

    I love your comments, though, and you have some good points.

    Sarah, I couldn't have said it better.

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  55. L, you made a really good point about the holistic understanding of pro-life. You're right that raising kids is expensive. Living a normal "middle class" lifestyle is expensive. It really is. (also, I'd encourage you to read The Two Income Trap: Why Middle Class Parents are Going Broke.> Very interesting.

    You also make a good point that many things the feminist movement pushed- equal pay, higher education - were great goods. That is true. However, it's also true that achieving great good, especially for another, not just oneself, requires sacrifice. The biggest lie of feminism is not just being at war with one's own body through contraception and abortion, but the lie that we (men or women) can "have it all."

    You pointed out that many women work because they love their career and/or because they have to in order to make ends meet, which often leads to daycare-raised children, latch-key kids, or kids who don't get enough parental attention. Those kids, as you correctly pointed out, grow up to make terrible moral decisions (binge drinking, promiscuity, etc) because they didn't receive enough nurturing in their formative years. In our rush as women to want "it all," something had to give, and in many cases, it was their kids.

    I know many women who work full time and are the mothers of 3,4,5, (even 11 in one case, though she works from home) children and manage to thrive both at home and at work. But even they aren't kidding themselves that they can "have it all." For example, my mother worked full time for most of my growing up, but even though she had a busy career she ALWAYS put my 2 sisters and I first, and *we knew it.* We knew that when push came to shove, we were Mom's priority, not her job or her friends. She turned down a promotion several times because she didn't want a 70-hour workweek. Through it all she never expressed feeling deprived or treated unfairly. She chose to have children, and darnit, she was going to be the best mother she could be. And she was. I am in awe of my mother.

    So in the end, if we need to 'reclaim' feminism, as someone said above, we don't have to force women to stay at home and each bear 12 children. Rather, we need to support and affirm those who DO choose that option, and society needs structures in place so women who work are not punished when they have children. In Northern Europe the maternity/paternity support parents receive from employers and the government is REMARKABLE. It's time we Americans looked at that.

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  56. Wow so many arguments I don’t know where to start
    1st.@ Maggie HIV CANNOT slip through the tiny holes of latex condoms. This attitude is very dangerous! Condoms can break absolutely, and people need to be wary of this, but condoms are infinitely better than no condoms!

    Many of you talk about how wonderful it was to save yourself for your husband, and how that was a truly special gift. Yet you condemn birth control as something that has eroded marriage as it has led people to have pre-marital sex with multiple partners and allowed people to cheat without getting caught.

    However if you believe that marriage is as strong and great as we both know it can be, shouldn’t the invention of birth control be irrelevant? Meaning don’t you think its kind of cheating if people only don’t have sex because they are scared of getting pregnant, isn’t it a much greater testament to God and their spouses to be pure regardless of how easy it is not to be? Don’t you want your husband not to cheat on you because he loves you! Not because he’s scared of having a baby (remember, him and his mistress could just use natural family planning too!

    I’m still missing something major; Maggie said you shouldn’t have sex until your ready to have a baby. #1 do we tell that to young men? Never, and that is partially the problem! Mary married women are not yet ready for children! You point to natural family planning as being effective, imagine how effective it would be with a condom, there are many many ways to have sex married or non and not get pregnant that don’t involve abortion. Pulling out, not having sex during a woman’s fertile week and wearing condoms are some of them, that don’t have any of the unnecessary side effects of the pill!

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  57. "Hooking up is how you get to know a boy. It’s how relationships are formed now. Men aren’t judging us as much by our sexual choices, a nice beautiful girl who ends up in his bed is not a bad thing, if he likes her he WILL make her his gf, maybe even take her out to breakfast"

    Whaaat? I am a married woman, but I'm still in my twenties and I work with a lot of men in their twenties and thirties who are still looking for the right girl. Many of them have confided in me, and questioned me on where they should be looking for a wife. I can assure you that they are judgmental of women who hop into bed casually, and I can assure you that it is built into a man's BRAIN to do so. Men want a "nice girl" who values herself highly enough to hold out for love. And they will respect you as much as you demand respect...and value you as you value yourself. Your self-worth comes from your Creator. He loves you and he wants you to invite him into your daily life.

    Trust me. Men are judging you when you hop into bed with them. That will never change as much as some wish to believe things change.

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  58. Many of you speak about virginity and how it is closely related to godliness even self worth.

    While well meaning, can you not see how this, like the feminist’s message, could become distorted?

    Christian’s value of virginity ignores two very important things. Divorce and Rape.

    One in five women in sexually assaulted in her lifetime. Half of all women get divorced. Although divorce is not good, we all recognize there are good reasons for it! If a man decides to leave his wife, what should she do, beg him to stay because he has her purity. Of course not. Revering Sexual purity” had an ugly side too. Sharia law for instance place such a high value on virginity, if a woman engages in sexual activity even I she is raped, she may be killed to restore the family’s honor. I understand this is an extreme example but for the reasons above I understand why feminists wouldn’t want women’s worth to be defined by their chastity

    Of course just because you aren’t defined by your sexual chastity doesn’t mean you should have multiple sex partners. But I hope we can see that both extremes are problematic. One of the reasons I believe its important to teach kids more than abstinence is because that approach even if implemented perfectly is limited. If you save yourself your marriage but your husband hasn’t (you cant control someone else) and he wasn’t safe/didn’t use a condom and you have sex with him without getting tested and without a condom because it goes against your religion. I hope we see that is a problem! If your wife was “pure” when you married her but happened to get raped in college…there are STD issues too. No one wants to talk about these things, but they are very real and relevant

    I know what you’re thinking, lets curb rape and divorce! Lets! But I still hope I’ve made my point

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  59. College girl, welcome! I hope to give you a thoughtful response when I have some uninterrupted time later.

    College student, a quick question: Do you think the accessibility to abortion and contraception facilitates the hook-up culture and casual sex on your campus?

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  60. College girl, I will quickly say this, though...

    You said: If a man decides to leave his wife, what should she do, beg him to stay because he has her purity.

    I have never heard this type of thing defended on Catholic grounds. This does not have anything to do with Catholicism.

    You said: Sharia law for instance place such a high value on virginity, if a woman engages in sexual activity even I she is raped, she may be killed to restore the family’s honor.

    You'd have to take this up with Muslims. Catholics have no such understanding, and in fact we call that "evil", very clearly.

    Also, there is no Catholic prohibition against getting tested for STDs, or having a spouse tested. And no prohibition against treatment for STDs.

    So, I think you might want to argue those points with Muslims or some other type of fundamentalists, because they have literally nothing to do with the Catholic understanding of virtue, purity and chastity.

    It seems we are on the same side, essentially, so I think it's safe to teach good ole Christian values, since they don't turn into Sharia.

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  61. Maggie - that's what I mean. (I don't mean to imply that many working women and men cannot raise their children well, it just makes it harder. Therefore many people - not all - will falter.)The root is deeper than contraception and women's lib, in my opinion. I feel too many of you are hung up on birth control and "evil liberals", when we need to support children who exist right now and aren't getting what they need.

    @Sarah - I don't mean to devalue marriage in ANY WAY. I totally believe that it is SO important to remain a united family - especially for kids. Both my husband and I come from married homes and we are in this together not only as a "romance" but a real partnership, friendship, a "one" unit kind of thing (can you believe non-Catholics can do this too?)

    What I mean is that the EVENT is arbitrary, not the commitment. I was just as committed to my husband when we were engaged and jointly owning our condo together as I am now, seven years and three kids later after the ceremony.Obviously more and more as time goes on.

    Also, my folks treated me the same way about sex, with great results. So I guess our anecdotes are all we have there.

    @ Leila - I like some of the Catholic ideas, like owning your fertility and knowing your body. That is pretty feminist stuff! But I cannot reconcile that sex is "not your right but a privilege from God" as someone put it. I cannot succumb to sex being for procreational purposes *only* and there is no way in the world that I could ever think or feel that masturbation is bad. I think it made me comfortable in my own body and able to have orgasms with relative ease. And for men, who have stronger drives by nature, it scratches the physical itch while they wait for the right girl.

    Sex might not be necessary for survival but it is one of our dominant "needs" as human beings. We just have to harness it with respect and equality. (and remember, some people are never ready for kids and will not abstain from sex forever on that fact alone.)

    -L.

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  62. In other words, if you can show me where Catholic teaching has led to a defense of honor killings, or where Catholic teaching has led to the explosion of STDs, or where Catholic teaching has caused the divorce culture, then you would have a point.

    Otherwise, I'm not seeing the connection. Sorry, I just truly am confused by why that would all be linked to the Catholic idea of virtue.

    If you want to condemn Sharia law and abuse against women, I am right with you. I wish the feminists would speak out on those very real and evil things, which happen every single day. The feminists' silence there is deafening.

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  63. If a man decides to leave his wife, what should she do, beg him to stay because he has her purity.

    I'll clarify what I said to this earlier. If a man decides to leave his wife, the sin is his. He does not "have her purity." I don't even know what that would mean in Catholic theology. Are you thinking of Islam maybe?

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  64. Commenting in two parts again, because I talk too much!!

    College student, thanks for commenting back! As you can see, so many women (and men too, though it's been mostly women commenting here) are rooting for you SOOOOO MUCH that discussion is flourishing! So thanks for giving Leila such a great topic to discuss.

    1) Concerning condoms:
    If a condom is in perfect condition, then yes, it is very effective at preventing the spread of HIV (although everyone concedes it is not perfect. Even if the rate of accidental infection with condom use is less than 1%, for the person in the "less than 1%" even one case is too many. And HPV is a different story. Condoms don't help there). But the kicker is that condoms are rarely in perfect condition. Latex is not super durable. Shipping at extreme temperatures (hot or cold), exposure to sunlight (ie especially in Africa where condoms may sit in warehouses exposed to the elements), and age reduce the integrity of the latex materials, meaning higher probably of breaking, pinhole-sized perforations, etc. And by their own admission, the condoms handed out by Planned Parenthood are lower cost because they are cheaper, lower quality, and therefore more likely to have problems (I would recommend watching the entire documentary Blood Money, or at least its trailer, for more on this). And throwing condoms at the problem of HIV/AIDS is simply not working. I would encourage you to check out Affirming Love, Avoiding Aids: What Africa Can Teach the West or listen to an interview with its author here (the interview is in the beginning, until around the 11 minute mark, although they specifically talk about the condom's lack of efficacy around the 9 minute mark).

    2) You made a VERY valid point here: Maggie said you shouldn't have sex until you're ready to have a baby. #1 do we tell that to young men? Never, and that is partially the problem!
    Right on, girl! Our men need to stand up, MAN UP, and act like grown up men with responsibilities, not little boys. This is an area culture has utterly failed. Because pregnancy ultimately affects the woman more than the man, it is SO EASY for men to ignore their duty as fathers, spouses/partners. It is RIDICULOUS. I don't want to go on an anti-man rant because I really do love and admire men, but it is absolutely true that we let men get away with irresponsible sexual decisions far more easily then women. It makes me SO MAD.

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  65. Part 2, again!

    3) I will leave it to the married women who comment here to discuss the difference between using a condom and NFP. However, as someone who has studied the Theology of the Body deeply, the basic difference is intention. If, as Catholics believe (and again, you might not buy this if you're not Catholic), the body has a spousal meaning, the complementarity between the sexes is meant to lead to a total gift of self when they share intimacy. Spouses are called to give themselves completely to the other because making a gift of yourself is what marriage allows.

    My fertility is part of who I am. If a man doesn't want that, he doesn't really love me. Similarly, a man's fertility is part of who he is. If I reject his fertility by asking him to wear a condom, my actions and the language of my body don't match. Sex says, "I am all yours, you are all mine. Give yourself to me, totally." A condom says, "I love you... except for your sperm/fertility. That freaks me out."
    Again, I'll ask married women to elaborate on how that works within a marriage; that's just the anthropology behind it.

    My mother, a child of the feminist revolution, used to debate this with me. Her main complaint was, "NFP doesn't allow total spontaneity because I would have to chart my fertility to know whether or not I am fertile. I want spontaneity without worry."
    But as Kimberly Hahn would say, "Well, I want to eat ice cream whenever I want and not get fat, but that's just not gonna happen, either."

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  66. I was not saying Catholicism causes those things.

    You asked if the hook up culture is freeing women like feminists predicted

    I am saying I don’t know if the feminists intentionally orchestrated the hook up culture. Rather, the hook up culture is the extreme of a very simple feminist principle: Women should not be defined by their purity and their worth doesn’t depend on their sexual histories

    Many people (rightly or wrongly) think fundamental Christians believe a woman’s worth lies in her sexual purity.

    The extremes of this thinking are harmful. I.E. Sharia law (which doesn’t indicate how Catholics would respond, merely how harmful elevating virginity above all else can be. I am not saying Catholics would do that, instead that a society obsessed with virginity might!


    My comments about STDs were more about marriage. Someone mentioned that one should avoid sex before marriage because of STD’s. I pointed out that even doing everything you are supposed to do doesn’t exempt you from getting an STD! Your spouse could have acquired one or you could have one from a sexual assault. Meaning everyone should have accurate information about STD’s, (testing & condoms) sexually active and abstinent people alike!

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  67. L said
    "I cannot succumb to sex being for procreational purposes *only* and there is no way in the world that I could ever think or feel that masturbation is bad"

    The Catholic teaching on sex is NOT FOR PROCREATION ONLY. This is a huge misconception that people hold, who don't know Catholicism.

    Sex is for unity and procreation. We aren't called to breed like rabbits!

    It's unitive and procreative. Not every sexual encouter w/ our husband should result in baby! God even designed it NOT to -- hence the small the window of fertility each month.

    Sex is for the building up of the unity between the couple as much as, if not MORE SO, than procreating. Please, understand Catholicism correctly before assuming we only mate to make babies. Untrue.

    -Nubby

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  68. College student said:
    "Rather, the hook up culture is the extreme of a very simple feminist principle: Women should not be defined by their purity and their worth doesn’t depend on their sexual histories."

    I don't think this was an underlying principle, as even the beginnings of the feminist movement were not about advancing against purity, but rather against the sphere women were trying to emerge from, while maintaining true womanhood which includes purity.

    Nowadays it means, "I'm a woman, but treat me as if I had a penis. Or at least let me act like I have one."
    -Nubby

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  69. College student, I'm confused. Are you also "college girl"? My responses were for college girl on those points. Help? My brain is tired. :)

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  70. College Girl,

    Just to clarify something that I think might be getting mixed up:

    Sexual purity is rightly to be valued and honored, but it is not the source of a woman (or man's) self-worth. We have worth because of our human dignity. Sexual purity is proper to our DIGNITY as human persons; a dignity that is inherent in being a person.

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  71. Nubby, thanks for those clarifying comments! Complicated Life, thanks for making that important distinction!!

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  72. College student-
    I've only been out of college a few years and I can promise you, it gets better once you leave the college bubble! I went to a very good, liberal arts Division One school and I know the scene you describe exactly. I hung out with the same people you describe. All wonderful people, who just got caught up in getting into relationships through hooking up at a late nights. I chose not to do that. I'm no Saint and it was a real struggle, but once I became convicted that I wouldn't get into a relationship that way I was free, free, free. Sounds silly but it's true. I dated a lot while in grad school. Got set up by friends/friends of friends, also did some online dating... continued to hold myself in high regard, which in turn held men to a higher standard. Men need to be challenged and held accountable. They CAN do it, they just need women to encourage them. After dating different people, I've met a really good, normal guy who also went to an excellent liberal arts Division One school. He's well rounded, fun, kind. I promise there are NORMAL, good guys out there. Don't sell yourself short. I know the heartache of not having a man in your life... it's awful, awful pain. I promise that good things come to those who wait. Your man is out there!

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  73. I did a lot of hooking up in my past even though most of the time it was not actual sex. But it didn't matter. The result was the same. I felt like crap. I felt trampy and used and with low self-esteem. I questioned everything over and over i my head, yet did it again. I was looking for affirmation. And that wasn't really the place to fine it. Quite the opposite. I wish I had read the book the book the Everts recently published: how to find your soulmate without losing your sou. From a recent interview it sounds like they touch on a lot of relevant points-everything from hooking up to dating men youa re trying to "save" (another issue I had). I firmly believe we need to teach children in junior high and high school a few things they are missing-how to find a mate, conflict resolution, and financial responsibility. Wouldn't we live in a different world if that were the case?!

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  74. College Student-

    My freshman year in college, i felt God very clearly asking me to commit to purity in dating relationships- with kissing as the stopping point. I resisted and resisted thinking "Who would date me???" But finally gave in.

    What I didn't realize was that I would start to date an entirely new class of guys.

    No- the old ones I was dating wouldn't be ok with just kissing, but the new ones were interested in ME and not what I was giving them physically.

    Now I look at my husband- the AMAZING man that he is- and praise God that He changed my heart and made me worthy of such an incredible man.

    I hope you find a man interested in YOU!!!

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  75. I can totally vouch for the fact that Lauren's husband is not only a virtuous, honorable man, but he is also drop-dead gorgeous. :)

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  76. One more thing.... I am in total agreement that the men bear a huge responsibility in all of this, and they have not been held accountable for the mess we are in. Believe me, the role of men in all the brokenness we see around us in this lost generation is heavy on my mind all the time. I have six sons, and you can bet that if they use or abuse or disrespect any woman, it will be over my dead body. I am raising Christian gentlemen if it's the last thing I do....

    I can't override their free will, of course, should they choose to go astray, but it won't be for lack of diligent parenting and instillation of virtues. I will be accountable for God one day as to how well I parented my children, so I'm determined not to drop the ball on their moral formation. Pray for me! :)

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  77. Yes I am both College student/ college girl

    You asked a while ago if i thought the avalibility of contraceptives/abortion caused the hook up culture

    I thought a lot about this..before answering no.

    Its easy to say young adults now a days have sex because there are less consequences attached. But I am always surprised on how those consequences fail to deter. I had many many friends in high school who while living with their parents had casual sex with multiple partners. Girls who were not on birth control and relied on boy's half hazard attempts to pull out because many of them didnt want their parents to find condoms. So despite going to a private school and having the resources ( a car and money to buy contraceptives many of them didn't, the fact that they didnt have contraceptives didnt matter they hooked up anyway!

    However, Does contraception make it EASIER to hook up? Definitly. We do not have abortion services at school but I'm sure they would refer you, and the morning after pill is dispensed at the school pharmacy $20 cheaper than at the Walgreens.

    Also there is a lot of oral sex in the hook up culture, ( to keep form going all the way) so that would exist, regardless of the availability of contraceptives or not.

    As for abortion, I think there is a temptation to think the hook up culture breeds abortion. While i understand that mentality, most of the girls I know who would definitly get abortions are in relationships, not hooking up.

    This is because your going to be super careful when your hooking up. You know this guys doesnt want to have a baby with you so you dont want to get pregnant, he doesnt want to chance you getting pregnant and sticking him with child care costs, so he is very diligent about protect

    When you are in a relationship, there is more trust-less need for condoms because you arent afraid of stds, more likely to forget your pill and be caught up in the romance... thus more likely to get pregnant and have an abortion

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  78. college student, this confuses me.

    Aren't the kids in a hook-up culture sort of going between hook-ups and then relationships for a while, then back to hook-ups? But to me, that's all part of the hook-up culture, but with the occasional relationship thrown in.

    Also, you say that the girls in high school were having "casual sex with multiple partners" (which is kind of like "hooking-up", right?). And that they didn't use birth control, and were not careful. They also were well-educated and affluent, but wouldn't go get birth control (which is another point I've made before, to the sex ed lady and others -- just because teens are "educated" doesn't mean they are going to use contraception all the time.)

    So, the high school girls who were having casual sex with multiple partners weren't careful, but the college girls having casual sex with multiple partners are careful?

    I'm not trying to be dense, I really just don't understand.

    It does seem to be one great big giant mess, though, with many casualties, including broken hearts, diseased bodies, and aborted babies.

    Maybe this whole "wait till you are married" thing should come back in fashion.... ;)

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  79. This is a tough question to answer because, as I become more and more detached from feminism, I´m starting to realize that I don´t know what´s true anymore. Are women happier now than before? well, ask a feminist and they will say "hell yeah, we aren´t treated as chattel slaves or adult children to be "protected" and "disciplined" by men, especially husbands, we can go to school, get jobs, travel, have babies or not have them, our lack of virginity doesn´t determine whether we have a "reputation" or not."

    But now as I disconnect from feminism, I am starting to wonder about how much of the "bad old days" were really bad, and how much of the "good new days" are really good? Were women treated like adult children or lesser humans, or is that mostly the perception of a few disenchanted angry early feminists who got control of the discourse and convinced everyone else of a disease that didn´t exist?

    Some of the older generation I know say yes, women have it better today, but a lot of younger people, myself included (though I´m not all that young anymore) am starting to see feminism as having sold us a bill of goods. Choice has become an idol to be worshiped, something naturally good that has expanded to the point where it has become a tyrannical god that can´t be contradicted, a Carthaginian god who demands tribute in the form of children´s blood.

    Being "chosen" doesn´t make a thing infallibly good...lots of people choose harmful behaviors such as smoking, drinking, reckless driving, promiscuity etc. And not being chosen, or being "forced" by circumstances doesn´t necessarily make a thing "bad". A lot of the most valuable experiences of my life were not chosen but things that came along that I had little to no say in. But feminists insist that Choice be the standard. Women need to have Choices. The Evil Judeo Christian patriarchy refused to give women Choices. So we must fight against it and reclaim our God-given right to Choose, even if it means choosing to kill our babies.

    Choice is a good thing, free will is a good thing, but like C.S. Lewis says the best things become the biggest demons when they are disconnected from God. Corruptio optimi, pessimi. No, I don´t know if women are happier now. I don´t know if they were happier then. I just know a lot of us are unhappy now.

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  80. L's husband chiming in. Wow! I'm just getting caught up.

    It's been alluded to in several previous comments, young men are looking for young women who are virtuous and confident in their identity (and, for men whose faith is central to us, women who are rock-solid grounded in their faith). If we are going to offer strength, we often times need to have that strength demanded, called out, and depended on. Because we are fallen, we are often not able to offer it instinctively as Christ did, many times because we didn't learn it from our fathers and watching how they should have loved our mothers. That is especially true in the 20-somethings, where our sinful nature, fed by the noxious culture around us, tells us the same thing that destructive feminism tells women: that it's all about me, and I can have what I want, without strings or consequences. We need to learn (or re-learn) how to be strong, virtuous men. Since the cultural norms that challenge young men to do that--to enter into a life-long journey of self-sacrificial love--have sadly been lost, it largely falls on young women to draw out that masculinity and point us, like Mary, to Jesus Christ, to fight every urge to "settle" for the standards of the hook-up culture, and instead challenge men to know that they are worth the wait and worth the fight. This is certainly not dismissing men's responsibility, only that we need your committed, feminine partnership to remake the culture.

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  81. College Student, you use a lot of anecdotal evidence in your arguments to prove that birth control does not lead to the hook-up culture. But it's much bigger and over-arching than that. Just because you know a few girls who hook up without contraception, doesn't mean it's unrelated.

    The relationship between contraception and hooking up is more of a mentality than a practice. I think that's what most of us have been trying to argue. Birth control, whether you or your friends are on it or not, has led to men's perception of women as being usable for their physical sexuality. And it has led women to believe they're more independent because now they can have sex without consequences - just like men!! Which, of course, neither is true.

    I think Maggie's comment about Humanae Vitae and how Pope Paul VI envisioned the consequences of a birth control culture illustrated just that. It has led to more marital infidelity, less respect for women, governmental control, and general moral decay. You can't argue that the hook-up culture is completely unrelated.

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  82. Oh, and let me add to the sex without consequences part. Because it has led to women believing that sex has no consequences, you CANNOT argue that birth control doesn't lead to abortion. Again, it's the mentality. 54% of women who have abortions were ON birth control. So abortion was their back-up plan. More than 90% of women use abortion as a FORM of birth control. If women are having sex that they think is going to be consequence-free, but then suffer the consequence (getting pregnant), of COURSE abortion is the "natural" solution (I use the term "natural" VERY loosely here).

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  83. A few things,

    I wasn't saying hooking up isn't facilitated by the availability of contraceptives of course it is. I'm saying we shouldn't blame hooking up on those darn contraceptives because people have been having sex out side of marriage since the beginning of time. And. people hook up look at teen pregnancy rates without condoms frequently, so to say without contrasceptives there would be no hook up culture is not entirely true. Especially, when a lot a lot of the hook up culture includes oral sex and other things that do not merit contraceptives

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  84. I take issue with the statement " birth control leads to abortion. 20 percent of abortions are by married women, does marriage lead to abortion, of course not that's absurd. Correlation does not equal causation I understand the mentality you write about and I read leilas post on the subject. It is interesting and makes sence to a degree. But because we lack data on how many abortions were prevented by some form of contraceptives and why the other 48 choose abortion.we cannot say contraception caused abortion. Abstinence if used used incorrectly can result in a pregnancy. Birth control is the same way. Many women don't take their pills consistently or use condoms together using both together properly could eradicate the idea of unwanted pregnancy and consequently abortion
    I'm curious, do you think in a world where over 95 percent of people Catholics and other included that north control does not have a place? Do you think it has done anything positive for women? Do you think BC should be outlawed or just discouraged? How about the morning after pill?

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  85. College student,

    Yes, there has been sex outside of marriage since the beginning of time. Sin is sin and there are no new sins. However, the philosophy behind the sexual revolution and feminism, as well as the widespread acceptance and availability of contraception, has facilitated sin to the degree that hooking up and casual sex and abortion and adultery and STDs, etc., has exploded.

    Human nature is weak, and humans are drawn toward sin (concupiscence). People take the path of least resistance, and contraception combined with the philosophy of the secular left (which came out of the same mindset) has been like the flame that lit the powder keg of promiscuity and empty, broken people, superficial relationships based on mutual "using", lack of self-control and just about every other self-destructive thing you can imagine. And, 50 million dead unborn babies.

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  86. For those who missed it, this is the article that College student is talking about. Even the liberals on the US Supreme Court agree that contraception is a mindset that requires abortion.

    The proof is in the pudding.

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  87. I agree with college student about sex since the beginning of time and will one up that with "read up on human history." After all it was a long, long time ago that the Catholic Church itself was waffling on the sticky issue of "ensoulment" (for college student, this was the notion that a fetus did not have a soul until 40 days gestation for a male or 90 days for a female... because the church, like most folks at the time, did not see females as equal.) Some Popes denounced any abortion regardless and some said it was okay as long as they did it before ensoulment.

    There have always been drugs, teas, tinctures to induce abortions - even hundreds of years ago. It is WELL DOCUMENTED. Ever since men have had the upper-hand over women, there has always been rape, incest, domination and subjugation throughout history. But here, in modern times we have a voice to say "NO MORE."

    What about suffrage? Thank you feminists. NOt Being the PROPERTY (not partner) of one's husband? Thank you feminists. Being able to breastfeed in public? Thank you feminists.

    You may hate contraception and abortion and the using of sex as a cheap way to fill carnal and sinful desires (secular people don't like a lot of this lifestyle either) But stop with blaming feminism. Stay out of FoxNews type talking points. These are effects of the human condition, they don't exist because some women don't want to get pregnant and take a pill to keep from doing so.

    -L.

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  88. L., you may have just walked into a new blog post, starring you. Stay tuned....

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  89. Major clarification:

    One Man is not "L" (anonymous)'s husband. He is the husband of Lauren, at Magnify the Lord with Me.

    Some people were scratching their head, so I needed to clear up the confusion. :)

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  90. L.,

    "Being able to breastfeed in public? Thank you feminists."

    Um, what? There's still a huge stigma attached to breastfeeding in public, and some self-avowed feminists (e.g., Barbara Walters) still say it makes them "uncomfortable."

    We're still fighting the war on that one, unfortunately.

    As for the link between contraception and abortion, here are two more excellent resources in that regard.

    From John Paul II's encyclical "Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life)":

    "[D]espite their differences of nature and moral gravity, contraception and abortion are often closely connected, as fruits of the same tree. It is true that in many cases contraception and even abortion are practiced under the pressure of real-life difficulties, which nonetheless can never exonerate from striving to observe God’s law fully. Still, in very many other instances such practices are rooted in a hedonistic mentality unwilling to accept responsibility in matters of sexuality, and they imply a self-centered concept of freedom, which regards procreation as an obstacle to personal fulfillment. The life which could result from a sexual encounter thus becomes an enemy to be avoided at all costs and abortion becomes the only possible decisive response to failed contraception" (no.13).

    Dr. Janet Smith's "The connection between contraception and abortion":

    "Contraception takes the baby-making element out of sexual intercourse. It makes pregnancy seem like an accident of sexual intercourse rather than the natural consequence that responsible individuals ought to be prepared for. Abortion, then, becomes thinkable as the solution to an unwanted pregnancy. Contraception enables those who are not prepared to care for babies to engage in sexual intercourse; when they become pregnant, they resent the unborn child for intruding itself upon their lives, and they turn to the solution of abortion. It should be no surprise that countries that are permeated by contraceptive sex, fight harder for access to abortion than they do to ensure that all babies can survive both in the womb and out. It is foolish for pro-lifers to think that they can avoid the issues of contraception and sexual irresponsibility and be successful in the fight against abortion. For, as the Supreme Court stated, abortion is “necessary” for those whose intimate relationships are based upon contraceptive sex."

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  91. Oh, L. Don't fall into Nancy Pelosi's semantics trap. Just as you said - that was history. We now have medical technology that tells us that a fetus is a living human being from the moment of conception and there is NO waffling from the Church on that. But, it's also important to note the very big difference between being "ensouled" and being "alive." Just because the Church couldn't agree on when the unborn child had a soul doesn't mean it ever waffled on when its life began. Either way it's moot now. Again - ancient history!

    You said, "there has always been rape, incest, domination and subjugation throughout history." As Leila has said numerous times in this comment thread, sin is sin and there are no new sins.

    "What about suffrage? Thank you feminists. NOt Being the PROPERTY (not partner) of one's husband? Thank you feminists. Being able to breastfeed in public? Thank you feminists."

    You must not have read the entire thread. Many of us have lauded much of what the early feminist movement has given us. Equality in the workplace, voting rights, etc. But somewhere along the way it turned into an all-out abortion-rights movement. Abortion is not pro-woman. And if you'd read what has been said time and time again here, neither is birth control.

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  92. Just seconding what Nicole said about "ensoulment." People who use that argument don't know what it means. The belief was always that if there's a body, there's a soul. They just didn't know when there was a body before things like microscopes and ultrasounds. Now we know. Science showed us more. The Church always said "you shall not murder a child by abortion." Look up the Didache (The Doctrine of the Tweleve Apostles) from the first century.

    L, some of us don't need a feminist to tell us we aren't property. We know it ourselves.

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  93. Stacy - true we know what we are, but you can thank feminists who fought tooth & nail for the rights we take for granted so that we may think highly of ourselves.

    And Nicole C - that is what I am saying, "THERE ARE NO NEW SINS." Just like Leila said. So why oh why are you blaming feminists for abortion when people have been aborting pregnancies since Day one?

    And forgive me - I know the church has always condemned abortion, but my point was to illustrate that abortion was around LONG before modern feminism.

    But I see you all desperately need a scapegoat.

    The sad thing is, most of us agree on a lot of the middle grounds of this issue, but it's hard to make a connection and come together to the table when most of you will not step out of the "feminism is evil" box for a second. Feminism is about equality for women, not abortions for all. There are much deeper societal issues that cause the "hooking up" culture. As College student/girl said - Teens aren't using contraception - they're invincible.

    -L.

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  94. L,

    We're not blaming feminism and all of its facets. I’ll say it yet one more time: Many of us throughout this conversation have praised much of feminism’s accomplishments. Even Leila pointed to the organization “Feminists for Life” as a great cause. Please point out where anyone said “feminism is evil.” No one did. I see you’re construing our comments to your convenience.

    But you can't argue that today's modern feminist movement is liberal-leaning, and first and foremost all about the right to have an abortion. It's no longer about empowering strong women no matter their politics. If it was, why do feminist organizations consistently vilify strong, independent conservative women like Sarah Palin?

    Did you just roll your eyes at the mention of her name? Then you have proven my point.

    None of us here think that suddenly sometime around the mid-1960’s someone “invented” abortion. Just because it has been around since the dawn of time doesn’t mean it has always been culturally acceptable. The contraceptive mentality has made it so, however. And it has increased the rate of abortion exponentially. And the feminist movement was the catalyst for the legalization of the Pill.

    We don’t need a scapegoat. We believe abortion is wrong no matter what or who contributes to its prevalence. Even if no one or nothing contributed to its prevalence (it was just some random phenomenon), we’d be fighting it. We’re simply connecting the dots.

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  95. L., you said: "but it's hard to make a connection and come together to the table when most of you will not step out of the "feminism is evil" box for a second..."

    Yes, let's look at some of the comments that called feminism evil, like this one:

    Nicole C: "feminism did some good things in the workplace..."

    Oh, wait. Maybe this one?

    Sarah: "feminism started out with some great goals. And not just in the workforce. When STDs started to become widespread thanks to unfaithful married men, women rightfully began to speak out. Some groups advocated for more marital faithfulness (Hmmmm) and others went the other way and just decided men and marriage weren't worth a woman's time. It's the second group that ultimately dominated modern feminism, and it's so sad.

    I was raised by a feminist. She taught me a lot of great things, like how to question and think for myself. She saw a lot of genuine sexism against women even just a few decades ago that needed to be addressed. She even saw real sexism (not just misunderstood theology) in the Church."


    Hmm. Maybe not. How about:

    Leila: "I couldn't agree more with all of you. The initial goal of feminism was GOOD!"

    Nope, not that one either. How about now?

    Maggie: "the truly beautiful fruits of feminism incude equal pay, opportunities for career advancement, trying to put an end to sexist discrimination" and "You also make a good point that many things the feminist movement pushed- equal pay, higher education - were great goods. That is true."

    Huh. That's strange. I don't see anyone claiming that "feminism is evil." I just see people saying that while the initial goal of feminism, and some aspects of the feminist movement are very good, others are not.

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  96. Nicole and JoAnna, really good points and questions.

    L.?

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  97. So why oh why are you blaming feminists for abortion when people have been aborting pregnancies since Day one?

    It is true that abortion has been around since the beginning, but it is also true that modern feminists advocate for it, fight for it, fundraise for it, march for it, legislate for it, put it at the center of their agenda, and even call it a good, a blessing, something sacramental.

    So, no scapegoating, just stating the facts: Feminism today promotes abortion.

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  98. L says:"that is what I am saying, "THERE ARE NO NEW SINS." Just like Leila said. So why oh why are you blaming feminists for abortion when people have been aborting pregnancies since Day one?

    And forgive me - I know the church has always condemned abortion, but my point was to illustrate that abortion was around LONG before modern feminism.

    But I see you all desperately need a scapegoat."

    The irony here, L, is that you're swiping at the one thing that has always upheld women in the highest honor and regard - The Church. You think modern day feminists care about you personally? Now you're kidding yourself.

    Feminism doesn't care about women nowadays the way you're painting it. It now seeks to feminize men and tear down anything patriarchal. For the sake of power. Not for your personal sake, L.

    It's about wanting women to men, instead of feminine women. And the word "feminine" doesn't meant a weak wall flower. Quite the opposite, to be truly feminine means to embrace all the powers of womanhood, in our person alone. Our personhood, whether or not we make more at our careers than men.

    Please, there is so much at your disposal to read regarding the atrocities of "feminism", please at least read that side of it to gain a better understanding of just what their agenda is these days. Protecting you as a woman isn't tops on their list though they like to sell it to you that way. Power is their game.

    -Nubby

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  99. http://www.slate.com/id/2286240/

    Interesting article about how slacker, uncommitted "men" (really boys) have the upper hand sexually with women. Why? Because women let them. Sad.

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  100. college student, if you are still reading, here is an interesting article where a professor at Boston College asks the men at college to be the ones to help end the destructive "hook-up" culture:

    http://www.thebcobserver.com/2010/03/30/2184/

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  101. Feminism is going to turn around and bite the women in their butt and haunt them for the rest of their living lives.
    When we have a collapse on all fronts, who is going to come to the aid of these feminist bitchez??
    Answer is: NOBODY!
    To the feminists I say: Be prepared to be bitten by a rattlesnake in the lonely desert and die a painful death.

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  102. Ladies,
    One thing that feminism didn't, or wouldn't, take into account was that men and women view sex differently. If a young woman makes herself available, no strings attached, for sex, a young man will think, why buy the cow if the milk is free? And the young woman, who is is hoping for a relationship, loses.

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