Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Comparison

Over at InsideCatholic, a site I read regularly, there is a debate going on over one article, written by a man who believes women should only wear skirts or dresses, as these are more feminine, comely, modest, and pleasing to men. A second article is author Simcha Fisher humorously pleading the case for women in pants. The recent uproar over a Mexican reporter who was harrased with catcalls and vulgarities was mentioned. The reporter herself was not very upset by it all, but many females reporters in the US news were. The Mexican reporter was dressed in a very *very* tight pair of jeans and an equally tight blouse. Lots of skin was covered, but a myoptic man with little imagination could still see a lot of detail about her figure.

The reactions fall into two general camps. The loudest is the "Men should treat all women like ladies, no matter how she is dressed or how she is acting." Also know as, "A woman's outfit doesn't mean she deserves disrespect." Quieter are the people asking, "What did she expect?" They are usually called nasty things like Male Chauvenist Pigs, men with a rapist's mentality, etc.

But, take it away from clothing for a moment, and imagine a car. Imagine a really, truly, snazzy, sleek sports car. One of the expensive ones, one that the normal man couldn't imagine even affording the insurance on. That kind of car. Imagine that the owner of this car, when he parks anywhere, does not roll up the windows, lock it, and set the alarm system. Instead, he leaves the keys on the passenger seat, the doors unlocked and the windows down. Then he goes off to do his shopping, his business deal, have drinks with his date, whatever.

Is he asking for his car to be stolen? Of course not. He loves his car. He is proud of it, likes to show it off, and, after all, he should be able to leave it unlocked with the keys in full view and expect everyone else to be moral enough not to steal it or even take it for a joyride. Everyone else is looking at him, thinking, "What a moron, of course it's going to get stolen." And if it does get stolen, or wrecked by joyriding teens, we do feel like he was asking for it a bit, because he chose to be extremely irresponsible with something so valuable.

The super-sexy dressing that some women, and teenage girls, and even preteen girls claim is their right, because it is fashionable, makes them feel good, or gets them attention, are no different. They are leaving their car unlocked, unguarded, and then leave the keys in plain view. They are being extremely foolish with something valuable. They then expect everyone else around them to ignore this foolishness. They flash bare backs, lots of cleavage, belly-buttons, and their thighs right up to the intersection of torso and leg, and are then just shocked, just horrified, that some guy got lecherous. Their bra straps and thong underwear are showing, but men, and boys, are not supposed to notice that. They're supposed to notice her personality. They are supposed to ignore the snazzy, sleek car, ignore the keys on the seat, the unlocked doors, the unrolled windows, and respectfully say, "That's a nice car," and keep walking. Many will. And quite a few others will be tempted beyond their desire to resist.

There's an old saying, about how respect must be earned. This applies to what we wear, not just what we do. A woman who chooses a super-tight or revealing, sexy outfit is choosing that some men (and women) will not react to her with respect because she isn't earning it with the outfit she chose to wear.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A New Face . . . Eventually

Don't rub your eyes, the baby ticker is back. A new little Fuentes will be around come mid-May of 2011. We've been hoping and trying for several months now. I suppose I should just learn to move my baby calendar back. I always take about 6 months to get pregnant.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Piece of History

While in Washington state visiting relatives, my grandmother gave me a book which her mother-in-law gave her. It is The Child Welfare Manual: A Handbook of Child Nature and Nurture for Parents and Teachers, copyright 1915 and 1919. I admit, I expected the information in it to be laughably outdated, old-fashioned in the worst sense. I expect that to some, it would be, but I am finding that some of the opinions and information are as timely now as they were nearly a century ago.

I find the first few paragraphs in the chapter titled "Home Equipment" and subtitled "A Call to Parenthood" especially appropriate in light of current political trends:

" . . . the relationship of the family to the nation is both dynamic and passive. It, too, is changing as it is affected by the forces that are making tomorrow. But it is itself also the source of change. A disintegrating home means a disintegrating society. A new generation will carry out into the world ideals or vulgarity which it has learned at home. The most superficial observer will not deny that the family as exemplified in American homes is passing through a transformation, which, although not beyond control, is full of portent for American society.

"It is this double fact of a transformation of the family which is both in process and yet not beyond control, and of a direct influence of the family upon social transformation, that constitutes the call to American parents. The call, in brief, is one to an increased realization of the responsibilities of parenthood in a social order that has changed the conditions in which parental responsibilities were once exercised and yet needs parental influence as an aid in the maintenance of social ideals. As to what these changed conditions may be that set new problems to American fathers and mothers, it is not necessary to discuss in detail. It must suffice to describe briefly some of the most important."

It goes on to list concerns as the change from parental authority to parental comradeship, from parental responsibility to state responsibility, home occupation to industrial employment for women, obligation to individual interest in the case of divorced parents. In 1915, I imagine that these problems were on the horizon, barely seeded trends that have, ninety years later, born some very rotten fruit indeed. The good news, as the paragraphs point out, is that parents have influence on society because we have influence on our children. imagine the influence on society of the Duggar family, who live their faith and have passed it, strong and pure, to nineteen children.

Definitely more to come from this book, though it may take me a few years to post all my thoughts on it.