Hypocrisy: Looking at the Modern Cultural Double Standard


 

Hypocrisy is a rather easy mistake to make. It is human to overstep our understanding with action, or with judgement of others’ actions. Our bias towards our own actions always finds new ways of hiding itself, burying itself beneath layers of good intentions and the inevitable self-righteousness that comes with an unchecked fervour.
 
What I find most interesting is when those who often brandish “hypocrisy” as the ultimate insult, have themselves taken up the yoke.

 
 
Do you believe that the Catholic church has the right to affirm that marriage is a sacrament, received from God, which is expressed between a man and a woman?
 
Do you believe that the Catholic church has the right denounce abortion as a destruction of human life?
 
Do you believe that the Catholic church has the right to exercise its choice to follow Christ’s example in only selecting men for the priesthood?
 
 

There is a mentality that is currently popular, one which I find is expressed in part by a post from a friend on Facebook:
 
“Why do we accept religion as an excuse for homophobia but not racism?”
 
If I pressed the issue it’s owner would probably waver and tell me that the Church can believe what it wants for fear of sounding like he was forcing his beliefs on someone else.
 
Then again, maybe he’d just do it, not seeing the double standard.
 
All the same, the message is clear: anyone who speaks out against “homosexual marriage” is clearly homophobic. As a result, it is understood that beliefs not accepting such a union are intrinsically bad, to be disregarded, and not valid. Not permitting “homosexual marriage” is apparently the equivalent to hating someone because of their racial background.
 
Regardless of their motivation, believers that marriage is uniquely between a man and a woman are either told that they are wrong, or that they should hold their belief in secret, in the home and never in public.
 
A similar story unfolds when discussing women in the priesthood or abortion and Pro-life related matters. The response comes back always the same: either you agree with us, you shut up, or you get out.
 
A friend of mine told me recently that she feels that she cannot be a feminist, because feminists will not allow her to express this desire. Her view of what is best for women is not the popular one, and her way of supporting women is rejected.
 
These agendas are being pushed everywhere in the public domain: the media, our politicians, by university professors, and by our school boards, to name a few.

 

Residential schools were rightly criticized on many accounts. One such criticism is that these schools tried to eradicate the indigenous’ peoples way of thinking, their beliefs, and their way of life.
 
Sound familiar?
 
At my local university anyone who proclaims any of the 3 positions I expressed at the start of this article, risks being verbally attacked, despised, and considered second rate. I have two close friends who manned a Pro-life booth on campus who were screamed at while they watched their property being destroyed by a pack of irate feminists.
 
Are we not free to live our culture in the way we see fit?
 
I recently heard a native women express that she wore her hair long because she believed that it made her more spiritual in a CBC radio interview. The other guests snickered, and belittled her belief.
 
Spiritual beliefs are silly and childlike, didn’t you know?
 
So called “cultural genocides” are not limited to residential schools. They are happening now, in our media and in our schools.

 

European colonialism’s great sin, we are told, was to force their ideals and way of life onto another culture.
 
Meanwhile, in one example, “twelve countries used [the UN’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR)] to pressure El Salvador to change its laws on abortion, removing protections from unborn children and expanding the grounds for legal abortion.”
 
Likewise, “a powerful and controversial UN population agency told the Nigerian government to change its position” on abortion.
 
International Planned Parenthood Foundation set up a center in Nepal following an earthquake in 2015. They experienced what their own website calls “myths, misconceptions and cultural resistance to contraception.” In other words, the Nepalese culture. This culture, clearly, must be eradicated for it is myths and misconceptions.
 
The resemblance to our colonial white europeans is striking, is it not?
 
Let me do a little translating: If only these morally corrupt natives weren’t so stupid and could just be more modern with like us! Bring on the abortions!
 
It may be said that beliefs about sexuality and birth are not culture, so much as food and social etiquette are. This is clearly not true. Culture instills beliefs and values, and what we believe about sexuality is just as much our culture as the nature of ethnic dishes or a particular style of clothing.
 
If colonialism does not come at the end of a barrel of a rifle, that doesn’t mean that it is not colonialism.
 
The truth is, so called inclusiveness and respect for culture only occurs when those cultures can be thoughtlessly defined within preset boundaries. If your culture happens to be outside those boundaries, you will suffer the consequences. Perhaps foreign troops will not come onto your land, but that will not stop these hypocrites from using political, personal, societal, and financial power to force their views onto others.
 

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Love the Greatest Adventure: An Inquiry into Romeo and Juliet, Like Crazy and Brokeback Mountain

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Love is the greatest adventure.



Especially if we want to live our lives to the fullest.

 

It is the moment where true beauty overcomes our reason and will, our plans are torn to bits and choices get made and voilà, life happens. Though, it is possible that we can be seduced by what appears to be beauty, beauty is itself inseparable from the great leap.

 

Everyone knows the story: Romeo and Juliet, coming from opposing feudal families, should not have fallen in love, but they did! God bless em, it was a hard road.

 

I saw a movie once called Like Crazy that captured with accuracy the modern lover. Boy meets girl, girl meets boy, they fall in love. Their lives, however, are complicated, separated by boundaries, borders, and red tape. Anna is an English exchange student studying in America where she meets Jacob, a local resident. In the initial stages of their love they make the leap, and the process of creative destruction takes place. When Anna overstays her student visa and is subsequently barred from entering the United States, their relationship becomes all the the more difficult.

 

The barriers of their long distance relationship dismantles what appeared to be mutual self-gift.

 

Love without sacrifice, is not love.

 

Anna and Jacob had sparks, they seemed to be perfect for one another. But something was missing… no one dies at the end. Even when they are back together, they fail to see past the immediate problems, the obstacles. They both fail to make the leap that love is, the final leap, the leap that tears open to human heart so that it may become an abode in which the beloved may find a home.

 

You see, when children play at romance it is like a game of house. One puts the “wife” hat on, and then takes it off. The other puts the “husband” hat on, and then takes it off.

 

When adults live romance, people lose everything and gain everything in the same breath. People die and people make mistakes, but at least it is real.



True love is complete gift.

 

Look at the tragedy of Brokeback Mountain.

 

These men, so called lovers, would not give all of themselves to anyone, neither to their respective wives, nor to each other. It is not primarily a sad story because of the persecution; it is a sad story because love failed to give. Ennis would not die for Jack, and vice versa. No matter how good the sex was, without love, the story is heartbreaking; neither had the courage to give everything.

 

Do we?

 

Doubtless someone will say, “But if there wasn’t any persecution, they could have loved each other!”

 

Whoever thinks that the point of Romeo and Juliet was a denunciation of social boundaries misses the story completely.

 

True love crosses any threshold, any boundary, even at the risk of death.

 

If it will not risk death, it is not love.

 

Love, however, can also mean saying no.

 

Take Anna and Jacob who flitter between commitment and noncommitment. If circumstance or lack of capacity prevented them from the ultimate gift that their relationship seemed to be leading to, prevented them from making the great and final “I do,” then breaking it off would have been the most loving action possible.

 

To hold the beloved in the land of “maybe” is torture and selfish.

 

We cannot say no to commitment, total self gift, and yes to the beloved at the same time.

 

It is a contradiction which would inevitably destroy the beloved.

 

We see this very destruction in Brokeback Mountain. Families crumble, children are left without a stable environment in which to thrive, to grow up as beloved. It is heart wrenching and brutal, and the longer the “maybe” exists, the more intense the destruction becomes.

 

I am not, of course, speaking against a normal period of courtship in which two souls discern together whether or not they’ve found the one. For that discerning is two people journeying together towards a goal, and knowing that the wild and ultimate freedom of the other is operative. It is a productive time of “maybe” that finishes at the appropriate time with a “Yes” or a “No”, and no nonsense.

 

Just as with any great challenge that is worth doing, “half-hearted” just does not cut it. Why should love be any different?

All things being equal: a contrast between celibacy and sterilization

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I recently read a provoking article in the Metro newspaper, often found scattered about in our local buses and subway transit system. It is entitled “The mother of all double standards,” and it rallies against the medical system which it accuses of offering permanent sterilization for men more readily than for woman.

 

We are introduced to Andy Prosserman who, though he never got a vasectomy in his 20’s because he “knew that this would be irresponsible,” did in fact get one at the age of 30. While I was under the impression that the journey of self-knowledge takes a lifetime, apparently 30 was enough.

 

In lieu of having kids, Prosserman is seen posing, ready for his new life of liberty and indulgence: in one frame of a six part montage he is seen holding a bottle of Glenlivet 12 year old scotch, in another a Nintendo controller, and in yet another his passport.

 

When I looked at these images of what must be at least in part the ideal life of Prosserman, I could not help but be overwhelmed by a sense of deep regret for this man, for the trade that he has made.

 

My reaction can be explained by another incredible social phenomenon.

 

Do you ever wonder why Isis has managed to capture the imagination of so many youth?

 

It is because we live in a world that tells us that scotch and video games, in other words unlimited personal indulgence, is the pinnacle of our existence.

 

Nothing could be further from the truth.

 

If someone told me that the meaning of my life was to stuff my proverbial gullet with as many pleasures as humanly possible before I died, I would go join Isis too. At least they understand sacrifice on some level, though they have a very twisted idea of what that means. At least they understand what it means to serve a higher cause, even though what they call a higher cause is actually darkness and death.

 

Our brothers and sisters join Isis because at least in the sands of the middle east, or even within the borders of their own countries, these young souls looking for meaning can die for something, because even the illusion of a meaningful sacrifice is more tantalizing than the alternative.

 

Humanity is made in such a way so that our own gift of self to the point of self-sacrifice is the very pinnacle of our existence.

 

It is said that Jesus came, not to be served, but to serve.

 

Meanwhile, Prosserman is going to find at the bottom of his scotch bottle his own emptiness looking up at him. One day he will ask himself, “Surely there has got to be more than this.”

 

What is disturbing is that the author of the article, Sofi Papamarko, doesn’t give any concern whatsoever for the wellbeing and the interior life of these individuals. She does not so much as ask as to whether permanently destroying the body’s capacity to produce life is questionable.

 

Her only concern: equal access for men and women.

 

Think about what happens to a society that favours equal rights, or anything for that matter, over a love and appreciation of life.

 

In The Gospel of Life by Pope John Paul II, it is pointed at that “in the Old Testament, sterility is dreaded as a curse, while numerous offspring are viewed as a blessing.” (44) Nothing is more natural for living breathing beings than to bring life into this world, to continue their existence through their progeny.

 

From the eyes of this ancient Jewish people, we are all clamouring over one another to have equal access to a curse.

 

No one seems to care, just so long as access is equal.

 

Undoubtedly, at this point, someone will remind me that the majority of Catholic priests (there are some married Catholic priests) and all Catholic religious live celibately, which is to say they do not marry, nor have sex, nor have kids.

 

The first difference between sterilization and celibacy is sex.

Sterilization in modern western society has one purpose: to be able to have sex while undermining its natural result, which is children. They want the maximum pleasure, with the least responsibility. Turning the pursuit and goal of sex into pleasure, however, naturally cheapens it and makes it into yet another item for consumption. Thus, the love within flees before an ever greedy appetite for personal gratification, at no cost.

 

Celibacy, on the other hand, is focused towards giving life. A priest or religious does not renounce marriage, and by consequence sex and children, because they fear responsibility, or because “they know what they want.” They do it because they want to dedicate their lives in the deepest way possible to the glory of Christ, which brings life in the fullest sense possible.

 

Take the priesthood as an example:

 

The man who does not have the desire to be a father, should never be a priest.

 

For a priest becomes the father of all, the caretaker and the intercessor for every soul. If he lives out his vocation, he gives up the luxury of caring about himself, and learns to die daily for those he loves.

 

Likewise, I was once told that to become a contemplative monk in order to flee the chaos of the world was a terrible reason, and a false one. Those brave monks and nuns live cloistered lives so that their life may bring fruit in the world via their heartfelt prayers to the Divine who participates in all life.

 

The difference is enormous.

 

Prosserman sterilized himself so he could he could pleasure himself; celibate priests, monks, and nuns refrain from the beautiful earthly pleasures of marriage and children in order to sacrifice themselves for the benefit of others.

 

The former sees only himself, while the latter see everyone at once.

 

What greater form of equality is there than to see others before myself?

The Eucharist: Source and Summit of My Life

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It came to me, after suffering a long bout of illness, that whenever I reached the point of emotional overload and I needed to let it all out, I always did so, without intending it, after receiving Holy Communion.
 

I realized that it was either after receiving or while praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament that I allowed myself to be vulnerable before that pure, love filled gaze which soothes the suffering of the wounds which ail us. For to weep requires that place of total comfort, where we are welcomed beyond our injustices and maladies.
 

While I am tempted to ask, “What is the Eucharist?” I cannot because that would be misleading. Instead I must ask, “Who is the Eucharist?”
 

Giving thanks is one of the most fundamental expressions of any relationship. Likewise, it is the most appropriate attitude of a humble creature towards their creator. If we then consider that the word Eucharist (from the Greek εὐχαριστία or eucharistia) means “to give thanks,” it should be of no surprise that the Eucharist is both source and summit of the Catholic/Orthodox faiths, to name only a couple.
 

No one really comes to understand the Eucharist, which we receive in the material form of bread and wine at the Holy Mass, not even the Catholics who profess it. It is called a mystery, it is called the Mystery. A mystery to be lived, to be believed, to be celebrated, to be proclaimed, and to be offered to the world. (1)
 

“In the Eucharist Jesus does not give us a “thing,” but Himself; He offers his own body and pours out His own blood.” (7)
 

It is the Catholic faith and truth that at each and every Mass, celebrated by an ordained priest, the real presence of Jesus is consumed under the appearance of bread and wine.
 

Jesus Himself.
 

It is easy to gloss over this truth treasured over the last two millennia.
 

Jesus could not be more clear in John 6; He is astonishingly unambiguous:
 

“I am the bread of life, … I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh. … Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life. … For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.” John 6 : 48-60 [my emphasis]
 

The whole dialogue, of which I have omitted parts, merits a re-reading.
 

Notice that Jesus does not say body, but flesh. The word body is often used metaphorically (a body of literature, for example) and is easy to misinterpret. Flesh, however, is more visceral, more real. It applies specifically to the skin, the blood, the nerves.
 

We believe that we eat His flesh.
 

It is an extraordinary claim and the only way we could even begin to approach some form of explanation is to rely on personal experience:
 

What does it mean to consume Jesus?
 

The mere thought of the Blessed Sacrament brings about emotions of joy, anticipation, comfort, and an earnest desire for unity.

I’m telling you that this which some mock without consideration is the absolute center of my life. It is the fire which heats the entire home and spreads comfort where before there was only darkness and cold.
 

When others speak ill of the Eucharist, I receive it as if someone had slandered my own brother or sister, my own father or mother.
 

Why then, is it so important?
 

Since humanity is in fact made in the image and likeness of God, then there is nothing in this universe that fulfills humanity more than Christ Himself. All share the same hunger: a craving to be loved without end, to have a peace that is everlasting.
 

What could be more satisfying than that God in whose image we are created by His very breath of life?
 

To receive Him is to be transformed into that very presence that holds us together in the fabric of existence, into that very presence which offers us infinite pardon and compassion.
 

Words could never express the beauty of being drawn into this mystery!
 

It is there. Every human being regardless of culture, race, or gender will profit from this most sacred communion, if it is accepted with an open heart.
 

However, this change is not limited to humanity:
 

The … conversion of bread and wine into his body and blood introduces within creation the principle of a radical change … which penetrates to the heart of all being, a change meant to set off a process which transforms reality, a process leading ultimately to the transfiguration of the entire world, to the point where God will be all in all (cf. 1 Cor 15:28). (11)
 

The Holy Eucharist, bread and wine consecrated into Body and Blood, enlivens and brings to fulfillment our very existence, both its purpose and its very being.
 

Nothing could be more desirable on earth, this fulfillment that Jesus started. In fact, the Eucharist mimics vividly the earthly life of Jesus and allows us to partake in it.
 

When the Word became flesh, Christ entered our world and glorified reality. During His earthly life He was both accepted and rejected, loved and hated. He continues to give Himself in the Holy Eucharist, and we are free either to accept or to reject this Gift.
 

That same humility which shook the foundations of our broken world is present in every mass offering the Real Presence and redemption from that brokenness.
 

I invite you personally to meditate upon this beautiful mystery and to join us in its expression.
 

** All citations, labeled by article number, come from Sacramentum  Caritatis. **
 

One Like Myself

It should be natural to look in the eyes of a loved one and see one like myself.

 

Provided this gaze is authentic love, it permits a moral awareness of the dignity, the inviolability of the other.

 

Slavery, existing throughout human history, has been/is possible due to the human capacity to stop seeing the other as myself. The Europeans saw the Africans as a “sub-race”, as non-human, which permitted them to enslave the latter without losing their feeling of rectitude. In response, the Civil Rights Movement made repeatedly one principal claim: we are equal in dignity.

 

Once equality is truly achieved, no honest person can continue such horrible violence towards his brother or sister.

 

The degradation of human beings is seen worldwide: the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany, the attempted eradication of the Tutsi by the Hutu in Rwanda, the enslavement of millions of children in, as is done in India or various countries in Africa, or the use of child soldiers, as was seen during the Sierra Leone Civil War. Today, Islamic extremists, whether from Isis, Boko Haram, or various other groups, spread a wave of death, hatred, and enslavement across the middle east and other inspired acts of violence spanning several continents.

 

What shocks is that human beings are capable of doing such things to other human beings. All made possible by a lack of empathy, compassion, and love.

 

Sadly, we are not free from this very dehumanization.

 

Abortion is the ultimate act of dehumanizing another person.

 

The duration of a life lasts from its beginning until its end, from conception to natural death. To stop that process from continuing at any point is to end a life. Thus, to stop the beating heart of a eighty year old man is no different than to stop the beating heart of a baby in the womb.

 

A life has been ended.

 

Ending a life arbitrarily is an act of murder.

 

Today a baby in the womb, who doesn’t have the qualities that we recognise as being fully human, can be killed, not only without repercussion, but even with financial aid from the government.

 

Abortion is only viable if we continue to say that a developing child is not human.

 

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Consider if we replaced a “foetus” with a one hour old child. Would any of the Pro-choice arguments make any sense at all?

Does a woman have the right to end her one hour old child’s life because she gave birth to that child, and it’s her body? Even if that child causes her stress and financial problems? Should a one hour old child be killed because they came from the unfortunate circumstances of a rape? Should a one hour old child be euthanised because they were born into poverty? If a woman harms herself in trying to end the life of her one hour old child, should we create programs to do it for her?

 

The conclusion of these questions evoke disgust, who could possibly support them?

 

Yet the only difference between a baby who is still a foetus and a one hour old child is whether or not we attribute humanity to them.

 

Apparently, the foetus is too undeveloped to be human.

 

Apparently, the foetus doesn’t have enough sensation or intellectual processing to be human.

 

Today we look back at slavery and are astonished at how it was possible for one person to look at another and ignore completely their humanity and, as a result, treat them with brutality and indifference.

 

I pray for the day when we will be human enough to look back and say, “How could we have murdered our own children?”

 

The Splendor of the Stars

 

Eight years ago in a orange Australian desert I had the blessed opportunity of seeing the night sky with no light pollution for hundreds of miles in every direction. In chorus with all those who have shared this experience, there is nothing quite like it. The sheer immensity and glory which flutters down from countless spots of light. The little dots are so thick in some spaces so as to seem like a dazzling blanket covering an enormous space, sometimes thicker, sometimes thinner, containing an incredible variety of colours. Words will never do justice…

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It is so often described how this experience makes a person feel small. I shall endeavour to take exactly the opposite route.

 

Consider this quote: “For what will it profit someone, if they gain the whole world and forfeit their life?”

 

What is implied by this quotation?

 

The word life here implies what is eternal, for, sorry to say it, no one gets out of this life alive. A synonymous word, in that case, would be soul, our life that is eternal. Thus, the meaning implicitly is that one human soul is more valuable than all known existence.

 

It means that all the stars, the heavens, the galaxies that surround us are lesser in value than the soul of one person.

 

What then should a person feel when they gaze up at the unfathomable sky?

 

They should feel big! not small.

 

For all that exists, in its glory and its beauty, is still less than that of the soul. Thus, by gazing at those brilliant stars, I should realise that within me, what is me, is even more vast, grand, and profound.

 

Just like the stars, this grandeur demands a response simply by its very magnitude. When I gaze into the sky on a dark night, I cannot help but be blown away, to stand back and admire. This is exactly the same response that should be natural when we gaze upon our friends, our brothers and sisters, our parents, even the strangers who pass by uneventfully on the bus or the train.

 

The fact is, however, that is not our natural reaction. For we do not see the soul first, but the wounds, the needs, the depressions, and anxieties.

 

If the eyes are to see clearly they need the right filter, the right prescription.

 

It is in the silence, in the chasms of my own soul where shines the gems the most brilliant because they are not adorned by myself. It is what is greater than us, from which comes our universe in all its beauty, that furnishes such beauty.

 

It is there, but it is only found in silence.

 

Just as the distraction of telephone, work, internet, and the all the rest can prevent us from ever venturing out into the dark places where the stars can actually be seen, so too the adventure inwards can only be achieved through silence.

 

Every time I make the time to leave the city, to shut off my phone, and to embrace the adventure of unplugging, I am always grateful that I did it. So it is with prayer, with meditation with the journey inward that is worth so much more than a night under the stars.
Why not start today, and search out the bright lights within?
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The Sexuality of Dress Codes

CBC reported a group of feminists in a New Brunswick school trying to banish a local dress code. The article bore the sub-headline “Women should be able to dress in whatever manner they like and expect not to be harassed.” Something felt off about this claim, so I decided to go deeper.

 

Within the video it is pointed out that popular media informs young girls to buy into certain types of fashion, and then when they do they are punished (presumably by the dress code). Likewise, it is said in the video that mainstream culture is “hyper-sexualising” women, a claim I agree with.

 

However, instead of celebrating a school that is fighting to protect the values of women by enforcing a non hyper-sexualized dress code, they blame the school!

 

If this New Brunswick school is acting in direct contrast to this hyper-sexualising media why are we not overjoyed that someone is standing up for our women? Instead of attacking the media which turns women into objects, they are attacking the school that is trying to undo the damage that has been done.

 

The whole operation is backwards.

 

The argument I draw from this video goes as such: I am upset because the media is destroying the image of women in society and informing young girls how to dress; therefore, I have every right to dress exactly like that and you can’t tell me otherwise.

 

The logic is flabbergasting, yet it is there, plain to see.

 

Another girl of only fourteen made some excellent points in a video I recently encountered on Facebook. It is a tragedy that men treat women like objects at school, in the workplace, in marriages, in families. The way men are taught to be men is in need of refurbishing, of renewal. However, her claim that girls in schools are forced to dress modestly just so boys aren’t distracted is misleading and untrue, even if some teachers say that.

 

I know that many people will happily endorse these girls because they see young women demanding their rights and sticking it to “the man,” quite literally. They will endorse phrases like: “you can’t tell a woman to cover up, you have to address the men who are sexualizing women.” Or, “women should be able to dress in whatever manner they like and expect not to be harassed or not be sexualized, not be abused.”

 

There is some truth in these claims, all the while sidled up with a sense of personal rights blown way out of proportion.

 

What about the repercussions of this infantile method of thinking and acting in society? Since when is the claim that “I can do whatever I want, if you’re effected that’s your issue,” a good solution to any problem? Is the end of this type of reasoning unclear? Isn’t it just as possible for a man to say, “I have sexual needs and I’ll express them as I please, if that offends you that’s your problem.” The statement is egotistical, juvenile, and a method of thinking which suffocates love until it no longer exists.

 

Are we going to allow these girls to believe that dress codes sexualise women?

The video and the text below, in the New Brunswick article, make completely contradictory claims: women baring themselves in the media sexualizes women and telling women to cover up in a school sexualizes women. Well which is it? It cannot be both. Unless it is being suggested that influencing a women to do anything is sexualisation, but surely that cannot be the case.

 

The idea is not founded in any meaningful basis.

 

Our sexuality is inherited from our bodies, from our physicality, not from the clothing we wear. It would be far better to inform our daughters, sons, sisters, and brothers that their body is integrated within an inherent sexuality which effects the people around them. This sexuality, whether we like it or not, is going to have an influence on how people treat us. It is a fact of being a human being. If we are living in reality, we will admit this truth and react maturely.

 

The clothing we wear alters how others interpret our sexuality.

 

Let me make one thing clear before I continue. I am not, in any way, shape, or form saying women are to blame for instances of sexual abuse, harassment, or rape. If you take that from what I’ve said, you’ve misunderstood me. What I am arguing for is a world in which we realise that our bodies, in as much as we are beings with a sexual capacity, hold a certain intrinsic power or attractive capacity. To pretend that this does not exist is to walk blindly into all kinds of suffering.

 

The bikini does not exist because it is practical.

 


The clothing we wear greatly alters not only how others perceive us but also how we perceive ourselves. If the clothing we wear treats the body like an object to be flaunted and displayed, then what responsibility have we taken to treat ourselves as person and not object?

 

What occurs in the media is absolutely besides the point. Schools and parents should teach men and women to dress according to their dignity as human beings who are not objects. If you want to tell me that the schools treat men and women differently, I can sympathise with that. But this nonsense that dress codes sexualise women, forget that. This nonsense that “I can do what I like, and I its irrelevant how it affects you,” that’s poison.

 

No society can survive with people who think like that.

 

There are two responsible parties here: men and women.

 

Men have the immutable responsibility to treat women as persons worthy of dignity and respect, just as much as women have the responsibility to treat themselves in the same way. How could it be any different?

 

Men have a lot of work to do to clean up their act; why not help them along? Every advancement in humanity involves, at all times, men and women simultaneously. When people dress like sex objects it makes it all the more difficult for those who see them to come to deep and lasting realisation that other is always person, and never object.

 

If the media gives examples of hyper-sexualised women, is it unreasonable to ask women to give a daily example of the opposite? What will we be lead by, the media and popularity which flaunt skin over dignity, or our internal sense of inalienable self-worth?

 

It cannot be both, and our clothing choices speak to which we have chosen.

 

The claim that men can’t treat women like objects while asserting that women have the right to dress like objects if they so please has already lost its credibility.

 

Any feminism which doesn’t demand of itself the same standards it demands of men is no feminism at all, for it doesn’t want what is truly best for women.

 

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