The Gadfly Vol. XVI, Iss. I
“To persuade and reproach” - Socrates, The Apology
January 26, 2012
Of God and Body: Why modesty is more than what you wear In 1638, one Cornelius Jansen, a French theology professor and bishop known for his controversial Calvinistic teaching, dictated a lengthy manuscript from his deathbed. Little did he know that this single document would quickly take the Catholic world by storm. The document proposed Jansenism, the concept that, if something has the capacity to be used as evil, it is evil. This included, but was not limited to, sexuality, certain articles of clothing, and even the human body. The document would later stand in direct contrast to Pope John Paul II‟s „Theology of the Body‟,
but though it would later be condemned as heresy by two popes, Pope Innocent X in 1653 and Pope Clement XI in 1713, Jansenism would quickly spread across the Catholic world, going from France to Ireland, and later arriving in the United States. Heartbreakingly, the Jansenistic heresy has settled here at Franciscan University. Despite the best efforts of our last two Popes, Jansenism continues to plague Catholic youth as they innocently but toxically confuse it with the virtue of modesty. Now don‟t get me wrong, I can‟t blame them: in our oversexualized culture, it’s easy to go overboard and mix up mod-
esty with Jansenism. Jansenism is, by its very nature, Satan‟s evil twist on modesty. That is why, in this article, I will attempt to separate Jansenism from modesty in a way that is easy to understand. In short, I will attempt to define the virtue from the heresy; the holy from the toxic; the right from the wrong. Jansenism is sometimes described as “ultra-modesty” but this is problematic because Jansenism more closely resembles the world‟s view of sexuality. Let me put it this way: as my friend and fellow gadfly writer Emily Rolla put it, (you can see her take on modesty in this issue of the Gadfly) “Our culture says, „look at Continued on page 5
The Cult of Ultra-Modesty When I was about 6, my father was driving me through the local Jesuit campus to pick up my older sister from some sort of day program they held. While driving through, we passed a statue of a man and woman kissing and it totally grossed me out. My 6year-old self had seen Ariel kiss Prince Eric, so why did I think this was so disgusting?
way. “No, that‟s beautiful,” my father responded.
Now today, I am greatly distressed when I hear some Catholics of puritanical leanings accuse such a work of art as pornographic. It‟s art, not porn. Why? First, neither subject in the work is reduced to a mere thing. Secondly, it reveals the Truth of God‟s plan for those called to the They were naked. natural vocation of marriage. Sex is a beautiful and powerful and “EWWWW. THAT‟S SO GROSS!” I said in that 6-year-old radical thing, understood in light
of God‟s plan, and I see nothing wrong with glorifying it in that context. That brings me to my next point: covering up that beautiful truth contained within the human form. As the body is the form of the soul, who should ever see it in that purest, most honest and vulnerable state of nudity? The truth contained within it is unique to you and overwhelmingly beautiful to others, I am sure. So we cover up- not because Continued on page 8
St. Moses the Black, pray for us!
Staff: Writers: Keith Michael Estrada (K.M.E.) Sarah Hartung (S.H.) Mary Kineke (M.K.) Jacob Popcak (J.P.) Alexander Pyles (A.S.P.) Joseph Stallings (J.S.) Anne Tulloch (A.T.)
Business Manager: Alexander Pyles (A.S.P.)
Layout Editor: Anna Schiedermayer
Assistant Editor: Victoria Bonutti
Editor-in-Chief: Daniel Romeyn Davis (D.R.D.) Interested in joining our staff? Email us at email@example.com
~Mission Statement~ The Gadfly is an attempt to “bite the sleeping horse” in the spirit of Socrates. It is a student publication whose purpose is to facilitate discussion concerning campus and cultural issues as they pertain to students of Franciscan University. It aims to be a forum for open, well-thought out, and honest discussion towards the end of knowing and loving truth in its most robust sense.
Interim Advisor: James Harold, PhD
Advisor Extraordinaire: John R. White, PhD *Image on front cover: Jaque-Louis David’s The Death of Socrates
Letter From the Editor: Dear Gadflies, I would like to begin by welcoming you all to another semester here at Franciscan University. As we begin this semester, let us keep in mind the joy of the Christ child given to us at Christmas as we progress towards the Passion of our lord and savior, Jesus Christ. This first issue for the spring semester includes a number of enlightening articles relating to Pope John Paul II‟s Theology of the Body and to other aspects of human sexuality. I find it nauseating to have to include this disclaimer on a university campus, but please, mature readers only. As adults living in a diverse world surrounded by peo-
ples and faiths contrary to our own – it is important to cultivate a mature understanding of human sexuality. Our sexuality is essential to our personhood, and it is not something to either hide from or from which to be ashamed. This has been the consistent Catholic approach to human sexuality from the earliest days of Christianity. Again, I would like to reaffirm you, the reader, to keep an open mind and to thoughtfully approach the arguments presented in this edition of The Gadfly. In Christ, D.R.D.
Letter to the Editor: Dear Gadfly, The written support for the "Occupy Wall Street" movement and others like it is confusing, especially when things like, "[the movement] coincides with the Catholic Church”, are said. (Vol. XV, Iss. V: Pg 7) How does the call for total wealth sharing and higher taxes stay in line with the Church's position on the importance of personal wealth and property? The Church was against communism for the same reasons it should be against the Occupy Movements. Why should we tax people with jobs more to pay for people to spend time in tents and receive welfare or food stamps? Most of these people are college kids who are looking for a movement to get behind, just as their predecessors did in the 1960's and 70s. Mommy and daddy are even paying for that education. Not all those 60s protestors were anti-war, cared about
burning bras, or the evil of their university, or even the civil rights movement; it became the cool thing to do. They protested the war in Vietnam, occupied school administration building, and caused riots in different cities and on university campuses. This is not productive membership in society. This is apathy, jealousy, envy, and a product of the culture of "participation awards." These 20-somthings in the occupy movement have never known rejection due to failure. They were "socially promoted" through school, or could not have been failed on a paper or a test, and always got a trophy just for trying, and not for winning. They are shamed. Instead of using this jealousy and shame to become something better, and channeling it properly, they want to blame somebody else. They didn't get a job, so instead of Continued on page 3
St. Felicity, pray for us! Continued from page 2
saying, "hey, what about me caused me to not get that job?", they instead want to a put a brick through that corporation‟s front window. That is not social justice; that is not Pope Leo XIII's Rarum Novarum. It‟s shame. Education is not a right, jobs are not right, and healthcare is not a right. Socialism and communism are not in-line with catholic social teaching. Your articles and stance are grossly incorrect. Go vote, run for public office, go get a job, join the military; earn money to make yourself a meaningful member of society. The apathy in today‟s culture leads to the occupy movement. Everyone knows who the president of the United States is, but very few people know who their local county commissioner is, or who their local state representative is. It's apathy for politics/governance on the
lowest levels that is helping these movements. People don't understand that things that change on the highest levels of government are usually wrong for the person who lives in Mount Desert Isle, Maine, or Joshua Tree, California. Looking out for the wellbeing of the poorest of the poor is a good thing, and something that we as Catholics should believe in. However, those calls by the Occupy Movement for such things are not done for the same reason's Catholics call for them. Their movement is a hopeless shill of shamed people. I hope they are still there when in a couple years when I drive by in my BMW 7 series on my way to Mass. Sincerely, ~ James R. Fortin
Don’t be Squished.
Have your say.
Professor Quote of the Week:
A Response to Mr. James R. Fortin Regarding Occupy Wall Street The last Gadfly issue for the Fall semester of 2011 can be found at franciscangadfly.org. Mr. James Fortin had the honor and pleasure of reading this issue and finding much support and understanding for a lot of what the “Occupy Wall Street” movement has stood for. As you have carefully read Mr. Fortin‟s response to that Issue (Vol. XV, Iss. V) and the various articles he is referring to, I would like to respond to Mr. Fortin now. Dear Mr. Fortin, I am happy you were able to read some enlightening material last semester and I hope it becomes a trend. You start off your message with an incorrect quotation from Mr. Alexander Pyles‟ article. You and all of the Gadfly readers can verify that by looking online. Mr. Pyles did not say that
the movement coincides with the Church. In his article, he said it was close. We all know it is not the same thing. But Mr. Pyles is right in saying they are not too far off from one another. I would explain it to you, but I would rather have you re-read the information provided to you in the Gadfly issue you misquoted from. You ask, “How does the call for total wealth sharing and higher taxes stay in line with the Church's position on the importance of personal wealth and property.[sic]”? To your mentioning of total wealth sharing: the movement does not call for this. To your mentioning of higher taxes: I don‟t understand what you‟re talking about exactly. A one per cent tax is higher than a zero percent tax. Are Continued on page 4
On Venial Sin:
“It’s just a flesh wound!” ~Prof. Amy Roberts
St. Raphael the Archangel, pray for us!
The Classics?! It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. ~ Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice Continued from page 3
you against that? Do you prefer no taxes and desire to deliver your own mail, run your own library and build your own bridges? However, the tax increase that the Occupy movement seems to call for is an increase that would make the amount of taxes individuals and businesses pay fairer (according to how these people see it). But the intention of this is not for the sake of taxing alone, but to provide and make sure people have what they need to get by, like education and health care. So perhaps, instead of spending trillions of American dollars as we do in the “Middle East,” we could re-allocate those funds and perhaps educate people and provide preventative health care.
an awareness and an opportunity to come together in solidarity against certain injustices. Communism and the Occupy movement are not the same thing.
Next you charge the movement with being a group of youth who are doing what is cool, simply complaining, using my and your tax dollars all while camping out and roasting marshmallows. Your assertion cannot be taken seriously. I doubt you have encountered this movement face to face. Besides being a rash generalization, it would be unfair of someone to say all Germans are Nazis, when they don‟t know any Germans. It would be unfair of someone to say all Mexicans are lazy, when they don‟t know any You say, “The Church was against Mexicans. It would be unfair of communism for the same reasons someone to say all Priests are as it should be against the Occupy pedophiles, when they don‟t Movements.” You‟re right, neither know any Priests – etc., etc. Percommunism nor the Occupy move- haps your news source is unfair, ments adhere to the dogma of the therefore you were misled. I do Immaculate Conception. But one suggest you consider visiting difshould be wary to equate the Occu- ferent occupations in order to py movement with communism. know who it is that is out there The last issue of the Gadfly, Vol camping in the freezing cold in XV Iss. V, has in it what the Occu- honor of peace, basic necessities, py movement is all about. It hardly and universal moral responsibilprovides a weighty solution. Com- ity. Even still, people are part of munism is a system proposed as a the movement without being solution. Occupy first brings about “under tents” (as you put it). The
movement is volunteer driven. People bring in food, water, clothing, blankets, (yes, also) tents and other supplies to donate or share. Many of the people involved with the Occupy movement are elderly, with families, veterans of the United States military etc. Your charge has no foundation. You continue to hold that the Occupy movement is simply a group of people playing the blame game. Once again your generalizations are uncalled for and inaccurate. To start: people need to get blamed for doing wrong. You want people to hold a mirror up to themselves and blame the person they see. It may be something like this, “Hello Nikolai. You are ugly. You worked overtime when you could/had to. You were kind to employees, managers and customers. You ironed your uniform every day. You always did your part to meet the budget. Profit was there, but it wasn‟t enough. So you were cut. You worthless piece of Sh*t. I blame you, maggot crap.” This would be silly, kind of like your entire rant, and the Conservative and Republican mentality. A wise man once explained to me, “As a Democrat, you walk down the Continued on page 5 Continued from page 4
street and see a homeless man and
St. Anthony, pray for us!
think, „How can I help this person?‟ While as a Republican, you walk down the same street and see this same homeless man and think, „Why doesn‟t that man get a job?‟” What job, Mr. Fortin, do you suppose that man would get? The job your capitalist structure encouraged has been moved overseas, or, the one on the field picking your veggies that you will eat next week (a job that was previously held by a former legal migrant, who could not maintain legal status or obtain a workers visa, who was then deported, ergo destroying his family)? You charge the Movement with violence and criminal activity. The Movement does not support such things that may be done by people previously involved with it. But if you‟re right, might as well call your church the „Roman Pedophile Church,‟ regardless of whether or not the Church has condemned such things and reContinued from page 1
that woman because she‟s a sex object‟ but the culture of ultramodesty (Jansenism) says, „DON‟T look at that woman because she‟s a sex object.” Put a different way, Jansenism twists modesty so that its focus is on the negative. It commands a person, especially a woman, to cover up because either her body is evil and lust-provoking, or at the very least, the people who are looking at her body are evil and lustful. This is simply wrong, however. The Church has always regarded the human body as a beautiful thing to be expressed, glorified,
jects any affiliation with the particular actions. People do crazy things some times. Just because Households at Franciscan University shun members with samesex attraction, doesn‟t mean it is the Household thing to do. Well, that‟s debatable. Just because Student Government is in the hands of sense-less people, doesn‟t mean that, in itself, Student Government is a sense-less institution. Well… So you think that the preferential option for the poor isn‟t social justice. You think others and I were wrong in our articles that showed similarities between Occupy Wall Street and Catholic Social Teaching. You insist that the movements are strictly socialist and communist. Although, unfortunate as it may be, you do not have the backbone or the facts to maintain your position. You make attacks against people that are uncalled for (so Catholic, and yes, even shown off (in the right context), as exhibited in St. Peter‟s Basilica. A huge percentage of Pope John Paul II‟s writings speak of the beauty of the body and human sexuality. Even the Bible attests to the beauty and glory of the woman‟s form, saying in the Song of Songs, “Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies.” If this is all true, however, then where does modesty fit in? How do we live out modesty while still glorifying our bodies and ourselves in a deeply Catholic way? Before we can answer the question of modesty, however, we
I know!). It was very difficult to reply to your complaint, perhaps because it was so misinformed and filled with hatred. I hope the fiery pits aren‟t too warm to cause the tires on your BMW to melt thus resulting in immobility. It would be very hard to run away from the effects of your case for the status quo of injustice without mobility. On a positive note: if Conservative Jansenist Secularist Materialism were a religion, you‟d be a saint – and so would the most of the campus. Read a book! Money God Bless You, Your Alien Commodity Friend in Capitalism Christ, ~Nikolai Vlahakis
must first look at why we must not be immodest. The fundamental problem with immodesty is not what it shows, but what it doesn‟t show. Put differently, immodesty is sinful because distracts from the dignity of the person inside, not because it shows too much skin. For instance, many saints, including our own college‟s namesake, have stood naked in public and yet have managed to maintain a holy modesty. Lady Gaga, on the other hand, could wear a nun‟s habit and still be totally immodest. Because of this, modesty can never be determined by the ques Continued on page 6
Page 6 Continued from page 5
tion “what are you wearing?” Instead, modesty can be figured out by asking the questions, “Why are you wearing it and where are you wearing it?” One has to remember that modesty is not a form of dress, but a state of mind and a way of life. Let‟s break that down slightly: Firstly, the modesty of anyone is directly determined by the motives of the person. If a person is wearing something because it makes him or her feel beautiful and self confident, and if that person is carrying themselves with humility and dignity, they are probably justified in wearing whatever it is they‟re wearing. Secondly, modesty is determined by the particular situation. For instance, a tasteful, modest ball gown can be totally immodest if worn in the middle of a county fair. Let‟s take these concepts a step further: Bringing these two criteria together, I‟ll use the example of a bikini, which is generally considered to be a lustprovoking article of clothing. Even the bikini, however, can be
St. Idisdore the Farmer, pray for us!
totally modest if worn with dignity and humility, as well as for the right reasons (like feeling good about one‟s own appearance, for instance) and in the right place (like a beach or pool). Pope John Paul II himself (when he was still Karol Wojtyla) used this example when he wrote in „Love & Responsibility‟ that, “Immodesty is present only when nakedness plays a negative role with regard to the value of the person, when its aim is to arouse concupiscence, as a result of which the person is put in the position of an object for enjoyment… There are certain objective situations in which even total nudity of the body is not immodest, since the proper function of nakedness in this context is not to provoke a reaction to the person as an object for enjoyment, and in just the same way the functions of particular forms of attire may vary. Thus, the body may be partially bared for physical labor, for bathing, or for a medical examination. If then, we wish to pass a moral judgment on particular forms of dress we have to start from the particular functions which they serve. When a person uses such a form of dress in accordance with its objective function we cannot claim to see any-
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thing immodest in it, even if it involves partial nudity. Whereas the use of such a costume outside its proper context is immodest, and is inevitably felt to be so. For example, there is nothing
immodest about the use of a bathing costume at a bathing place, but to wear it in the street or while out for a walk is contrary to the dictates of modesty.” Now I understand that, at this point, I may have lost or offended some of my readers. I can imagine that some of you must be thinking, “Surely women should cover up or refrain from wearing certain articles of clothing because they have the potential to illicit lust in others. We should support our brothers in Christ and help them to maintain their chastity by remaining covered -up whenever possible”. While I appreciate the thoughtfulness of these types of opinions, however, they‟re unfortunately misguided. Let me explain what I mean with the following analogy: Imagine you are driving through a crowded parking lot, when suddenly you come upon the perfect parking space. It‟s just wide enough for you to squeeze in and it‟s really close to the door of wherever it is you‟re trying to get to. But should you take it? What if someone else were to come along and desire that parking space, but not be able to take it because your car was occupying it? What if this prompted the person to get angry and to fall into the sin of rage? What if that person was then prompted by their rage to go home and beat their spouse? After asking yourself all of these questions, you generously choose to drive to an Continued on page 7
St. Teresa of Avila, pray for us!
firstname.lastname@example.org Continued from page 6
empty parking lot two towns away in the hopes that you will not cause anyone else to sin. Now obviously that reaction, and the questions that prompted it, are ridiculous. You cannot adjust your life for every possible nearoccasion of sin for the people around you. But this is just as true for sexuality as it is for parking. Generally speaking, the only actions that should ever matter to you are yours. It‟s impossible and unhealthy to try an account for all possible instances of sin among others. As I pointed out in my analogy, just taking a nice parking space can result in another sinning, but that shouldn‟t be your concern. The person sinning will be held responsible in this life and the next, and unless you were purposely trying to lead them into that sin (which I‟m assuming you weren‟t), their sin isn‟t your responsibility. Now obviously some adjustments have to be made for the situation you‟re in. You shouldn‟t, for instance, wear that bikini I was talking about into a Church, nor should you wear it into a sexaddicts anonymous meeting. But to refrain from wearing something that increases your confidence and self-esteem in a dignified way, simply because you assume that it might possibly illicit lust in some faceless stranger, is not holy. It is unhealthy, cynical, and sinful. Some of you, most likely men, might be reading this article and
saying, “I need people to remain modest in order to curtail my own lustful urges. Why shouldn‟t I have some help in living with virtue? Shouldn‟t women be held accountable for what they make me feel?” To those of you who think this way, I have one thing to say: Man the heck up. When lifting weights, would you lift five pounds at a time, once a month? Of course you wouldn‟t. If you want to build up muscle, you have to work hard and not shy away from a challenge. Likewise, you cannot build spiritual muscle by hiding away and asking everyone around to you to dress in a way that supports your lifestyle. That isn‟t moral strength, that‟s enabled weakness. Nobody ever said that Christianity was going to be easy. If you truly want to build up moral fiber, stop worrying about what all the women in your life are wearing and start paying attention to your own reactions. I would challenge anyone struggling with lustful urges to focus on the beauty and dignity of the person inside, no matter what the person on the outside is wearing. Before I conclude, however, I would like to address one final concern that many share with me when they learn about true modesty: “Surely,” they say, “Surely it is naïve, optimistic, and utopian to believe that one can live out modesty in this supposedly liberated and holy way without causing collateral damage in the form of the sin of others.” As realists, these
people realize that my view of sexuality, which is also the Church‟s view, is highly idyllic. However, isn‟t all of Christianity? Isn‟t the idea that you‟ve been saved from sin by the Son of God dying on a cross an optimistic idea? Isn‟t it utopian to spout off scriptures about “Peace on earth and good will towards men”? Of course it is, but we still believe and live those fundamental concepts of Christianity. As soon as one starts sacrificing certain points of Catholicism because they believe them to be too idyllic or unrealistic, one loses their Christian identity. Sexuality and modesty are no exception and should be lived out in the same way that all aspects of our faith are. So what‟s my point in all of this? Assuming that it is an appropriate situation, and that you are not trying to promote lust in others, you should feel free to wear anything that makes you feel beautiful, elegant, dignified, or attractive. Pay no attention to how others might react, as it is none of your concern. Even Mother Teresa said, “In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway”. God sees you as beautiful, precious, and empowered and you should dress in a fashion that makes you feel that way too. - The Angry Papist („The Angry Papist‟ is solidly Catholic, politically unaligned, and really annoyed with a lot of things. Email him at: email@example.com)
St. Clare of Assisi, pray for us!
Pop Culture Quote:
All that glitters has a high refractive index. ~ Unknown Continued from page 1
there is anything shameful about the body, but because its beauty and truth are too much to reveal to everyone, all the time. However, there are some Catholics who shoot for the polar opposite of hyper-sexualization in order to be virtuous. This polar opposite is known as ultra -modesty, and is, in fact, a vice. Ultra-modesty is when modesty becomes legalistic and overanalytical. “Why is it bad to be careful?” you might be asking, “you don‟t want to lead your brothers in Christ into sin.” My answer to you is: When modesty becomes that much of an obsession, it places an unnecessary emphasis on the sexuality of the woman‟s body, making it difficult to respond to the personhood of the woman because first your mentality calls you to respond to their sexuality based on what they are or aren‟t wearing. Such a mentality reduces the woman to how she‟s dressed, and anything that reduces the human person to a sum of parts is sinful in nature. The thought behind getting dressed should not
be, “I don‟t want men to look at me because I‟ll tempt them,” it should actually be akin to, “Wow, this outfit really helps to express who I am.” The focus should be on the person. Now, obviously we want to help our brothers out, but - call me a feminist - I‟m sick of hearing, “Lord, it was the woman You put here with me!” It‟s enough to make you burn some bras. Men use Adam‟s excuse to rationalize their own weakness and fall into sin. Maybe it‟s just me, but I don‟t feel like I‟m being respected by men when they blame me, scold me like a child and tell me what I can and cannot wear because they can‟t control themselves. I feel respected when I can wear what I want and it‟s not seen as a distraction because they know and respect my personhood. Unfortunately, menchildren who are incapable of taking responsibility blame women for their failure to maintain chaste thoughts. Heaven forbid men step up and take responsibility like they were created to. Men are reasoning, thinking creatures capable of making their own decisions, so to work under the assumption that you should dress a
certain way because they have no self-control is terribly uncharitable and degrading to men. The man-child, afraid of responsibility, will gladly fall back on "but I can't help it," when that's offered to him: he would rather be rendered incontinent than face blame - cowardice at its height. What we must all learn is to see the person first, not the clothing. I acknowledge for men it is a challenge, as they are ordered towards the visual. However, are we, or are we not called to perfection? Should we use original sin as a crutch to be spiritually lazy and withdraw from growing in virtue? Doesn‟t the virtuous man learn to order those parts of himself that are disordered? How do you grow if you are never challenged? When you get out into the real world you will be challenged constantly. By billboards, television, women on the street and you won‟t have the advantage of knowing them and being able to appreciate their personality. It‟s just some strange woman you don‟t know who clearly has 6 Continued on page 9 Continued from page 8
feet of legs. I‟m not saying wom-
St. Catherine of Alexandria, pray for us!
en here should go out of their way to challenge men so they can grow in virtue, but rather when it happens inadvertently, that near occasion of sin is turned into the possibility for virtue. Modesty, when properly understood, is an attitude, not a legalistic code of dress. Like most moral theology, it is based on intent behind the action rather than action alone, and guess what? Not every girl wearing a mini-skirt intends to have her legs ogled. She‟s wearing it because it‟s hot outside and it‟s a cute skirt and she has a matching top and she genuinely likes wearing it. Within that context, she is actually not being immodest at all. John Paul II, in Love & Responsibility, will back me up here: “Immodesty is present only when nakedness plays a negative role with regard to the value of the person, when its aim is to arouse concupiscence, as a result of which the person is put in the position of an ob-
ject for enjoyment.” I don‟t wear a certain dress because it hugs my curves and I want men to focus on my figure, but rather because it‟s in the style of the 1950‟s and that suits my personality. If the body expresses the soul, then what covers the body should follow the same sort of function. Obviously modesty is key in allowing the value of the person as a whole [both mind and body] to be properly respected, and therefore modesty is a good thing to consider in dress. However, when it gets to the point when you are trying to measure modesty in inches rather than in character, there is a problem. I could be wearing a turtleneck maxi dress made out of burlap, but if I walk up to a man and grab him inappropriately and talk inappropriately it wouldn‟t matter if I was in the skimpiest outfit in the world: the effect is the same. In light of Theology of the Body, we know that sexuality permeates down to the very core of a
F i n d u s n ow O N L IN E ! @ francis cangadfly.org
person. You are not sexual because of what you are or are not wearing, you are sexual because you have a body and a soul, and God made you that way. To try and take away any semblance of sexuality from dress is futile. We should not resign ourselves to being unattractive for fear of sin. When someone falls in love with me, I hope to high heaven that they don‟t love me as some sort of asexual personality, thinking my body is some sort of shapeless blob that just supports my head. I want him to love me as the woman that I am. I hope if I ever wear anything who some might consider inappropriate, he‟d look beyond that and know me well enough to say, “That is such an Emily outfit.” ~Emily Rolla
“I Want to Be, a Macho Man!”*
Ma·cho/ˈmäCHō/ Adjective: Showing aggressive pride in one's masculinity: "the big macho tough guy". Noun: A man who is aggressively proud of his masculinity. Have you seen the plethora of advertisements for the next “Man Event”? I am sure you are inspired by the machoness, as seen in the picture of the man who is „totally ripped‟, or the youngster in the comrade commando garb. Seeing these fantastic representations of being a man remind me of one of my favorite tunes, “Macho Man,” by the Village People. I hope you can tell I am joking and am about to explain why this is no “Man” event for me. In the past, my experience with the “Man” events were very difficult to sit through, my stomach turned, my head tilted down in sorrow, and my mind, my poor little mind, confused. I asked myself this question, “What makes them think a puffed out chest, a lion‟s roar, a beer belly and a (thin) beard makes them „Men‟”? Well it doesn‟t. So, because I have spoken with several women about this issue, I have decided to give myself the honorary title of “Wosonman.” “Wosonman,” is short for “Woman‟s” “Liaison” to “Man”. Of course, as Woman‟s liaison to Man, I am honored and slightly weary as I have many obstacles to deal with. I am going to list them off now, so please, brace yourself. 1) Man‟s excessive superego, 2) Man‟s “I know how to think and reason and you don‟t mentality,” 3) Man‟s “I am right, and you are not” mentality, 4) Man‟s “I am the cool one and you need to calm down” mentality, 5) Man‟s “It‟s my way or the highway” mentality, 6) Man‟s desire to get close to a woman, then run away in fear, 7) Man‟s inability to care about whether or not he is interested in a girl enough to pursue one (or many for that
matter), and lastly, 8) Man‟s being anything but a man. Before discussing these obstacles further I will mention that the man is Jesus, the Christ. Secondly, I will say that being a man means just that, being a man. Jesus is the perfect man. So, I think it would be safe to say that, to be a man, is to be a Jesus. Men are weak, so they will overcompensate. Men are hurt, so they will hurt you. Men are dumb, so they will make you feel stupid. Men are lazy, and make you wait for when they are interested. Men are sexist, and think they can be the master of your destiny when they feel like it. Men are unaware, so they put importance on stupid things. Men are slobs, because their life is a wreck. Men need God, so that they can be men for women and for the Church. Don‟t be quick to think the Manliness is measured in the quantification of women who have been attracted to you, or a**es you have kicked; for even a man who is both not physically strong and is also homosexual, can be more of a man than many. Men, as Wosonman, I am forced to remind you that the ladies aren‟t attracted to you because of your pumping iron, or your loud roars, or your stupid inappropriate jokes, your drunkenness, or your „smarter than thou‟ mentality, and especially not because of your machoness. Woman are truly attracted to men, at one point or another, because of the glimpse of God they catch in your eye at the moment you are most vulnerable, weak, tired, and famished. Because, you see, in that glimpse, they see the crucified Christ and the Resurrected Christ at the same time. It is pretty evident that you will
become a man through the Eucharist. Not by picking fights, not by getting drunk, not by getting ripped, not by using what you call „reason and logic‟ (but what I call ignorance and persistent jerkness), not by roaring, not by having naked wrestling time, not by being anything other than Jesus Christ. It is not in your ability to be appealing to a person that makes you manly enough for a woman, but in your desire to imitate Christ. It is by pursuing Love Personified that you will then, with grace, bring into the world and into the heart of a lady that same Love Person turned into Action, the works of Love. It is only with humility and dedication that a man will give up the façade of trying to be a “Man,” and just be, as he is created, manly enough for whatever vocation he is called to. Men are weak, hurt, dumb, lazy, sexist, unaware, and slobs, not because they want to be, but because they are fallen, victims of sin. It does not take the extreme of pounding on one‟s chest to rectify these sorrows, but Christ, the Man, the humble, weak, forgotten Man, to save them. In conclusion, I say, seek Christ, if you want to be a man. If you‟re going to this Man Event for free booze and a** grabbing, don‟t expect to find man-hood, and don‟t be surprised if you come out a Macho “man”. I know you are weak and want to impress, but learning how to come together and smoke a cigar, chug a beer and pound your chest isn‟t the prescription. ~ Wosonman firstname.lastname@example.org *(The views expressed in this article are those of its author and do not necessarily
The January 26, 2012 edition of the Gadfly. Features: "Of God and Body: Why modesty is more than what you wear," by The Angry Papist "The...