Category Archives: Feminism

Feminism’s Double Standard?

As a man, when discussing abortion I often hear words to the effect of “You’re not a woman, so what you think doesn’t matter.”

So, honest question:

Why is it considered OK for a woman to give her views on issues facing men, but not vice versa — it’s not OK for a man to give his views on women’s issues.

For example:

A woman, Kali Holloway, writing about what it means to be a man.

Specifically: Writing about masculinity.*

More specifically: Writing about toxic masculinity: Toxic masculinity is killing men: The roots of male trauma

My thoughts on this question:

Since “masculinity” — i.e., how men see themselves and their fellow man — is, as the meaning of the word implies, an issue that uniquely effects men, should a woman have a say in such an issue?

On the one hand: Yes. How men see themselves effects not just men, but women too. Specifically: It effects how men will treat women.

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On the other hand: No. A woman will never experience, in the same way that a man will experience, what it feels like to hear words like “Be a man.” i.e.: A woman will never be effected in the same way that a man will be by the issue of masculinity. (Hence why I said that masculinity is an issue that “uniquely effects” men.)

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Conclusion:

So, if it’s OK for a woman to give her views on, for lack of a better term, “man subjects” like the question of “What does it mean to be masculine?” since masculinity effects not just men but women too, than how is it not OK for men to talk about “women subjects” like, for example, abortion, since the death of offspring does effect men too by, for example, denying a man the opportunity to be a father.

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Finding Nemo (2003)

*Masculinity: Possession of the qualities traditionally associated with men.

Responding to “Clothe the Naked: Acknowledging the Need for Human Dignity”

Excerpts from Clothe the Naked: Acknowledging the Need for Human Dignity by Mark Shea, and my thoughts:

…nudist movements…propose that our natural state is to walk around buck naked on the theory that clothes are an unnatural encumbrance on our glorious childlike freedom.

For our ancestors of not many generations back, such a proposal was not just silly in a practical sense; it was also just about 180 degrees backwards from normality. Fallen man was, so to speak, born clothed. Something unnatural had to be done…for him to end up naked. It was seen, not as a return to simplicity and beauty, but as a shameful state. Pity — or scorn — was heaped on those found to be naked, not breezy “Flower Child” approval.

To nake someone, to strip them publicly, is universally understood as taking away their human dignity. Clothes, in some mystical sense, quite literally make the man.

First:

I don’t believe that Mark Shea understands why people can see clothes as “an unnatural encumbrance on our glorious childlike freedom.”

Going by the Catholic faith, clothes are an “unnatural encumbrance” in the sense that God’s original plan for humanity did not include clothes:

“The man and his wife were both naked, and felt no shame.”
~ Genesis 2:25

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It is only after Adam and Eve sin — only after the nature of the world is fundamentally changed — that clothes become necessary:

“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they saw that they were naked. So they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths.”
~ Genesis 3:7

My point is:

Nudity is natural. It is our awareness of our nudity that is unnatural.

It is because of awareness of one’s nudity that, for example, if a man unexpectedly walks in on a woman naked, she instinctively covers herself: Because she can’t trust this man like Eve trusted Adam — she can’t trust that when this man is looking at her breasts, he is seeing more than her breasts, he is seeing her. The woman’s shame is a defense mechanism aimed at reminding the man of her dignity.

Shame is a woman implicitly telling a man: Hey! My eyes are up here.

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And second:

Regarding “breezy ‘Flower Child’ approval” and the notion that publicly stripping someone naked  is taking away their dignity:

I don’t know anyone who, seeing a person get their clothes ripped off in public, would think that the person doing the ripping hadn’t hurt the naked person’s dignity in some way.

But: Let’s say the act of taking off clothes was consensual. Let’s say a person allowed themselves to be naked in public. Now would the fact that they are naked be an attack on their dignity?

A person who chooses to be naked in public knows what it is that they are choosing.

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On the other hand:

A person who is naked against their will is in a situation that they did not desire to be in.

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Thus, I would say: One person’s dignity is unharmed, while another’s is under attack.

A “Flower Child” gets naked for a number of reasons.

One of those reasons being: To see, and thus learn to accept and love, all of themselves. Even the parts of themselves — like their loins — that institutions like the Catholic Church tell them are shameful.

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A “Flower Child” gets naked in order to stand up for their dignity, not toss it aside.

The desire to have one’s dignity acknowledged is why you see campaigns like “Still Not Asking For It” — people undressing in order to say “Look beyond my body and see the human being underneath.”

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I might write more about my thoughts on this article later, but that’s all for now.

Thank you for reading.

The Fire Inside Us

Obvi, We're The Ladies

I feel like I cry a lot lately.

I think I have to. I research and write plays about sexual assault, so I have to read, digest, analyze, and create material about a very difficult subject. I know more about exploitation, rape, and abuse than the average person and I started doing this work in the first place because people kept sharing their assault experiences with me. I host a lot of sad stories in my heart, so I can tell them with the care and commitment they deserve.

I’m glad I’m not numb. I’m glad I can feel the shock, horror, and sadness that come with empathizing with another human being who is both a victim of a crime and a survivor of violence and terror. An event that doesn’t even scratch the surface of their identity.

But if you’re reading this, you’re probably the choir I’m preaching to…

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Why “Her Body. Her Choice,” Is An Awful Argument For Abortion

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Here’s why the “Her body. Her choice,” argument is not a good one:

Abortion does not just effect “Her body.”

Don’t believe me?

Well:

Let’s say that you, the person reading this post, are 20 years old.

If, 20 years ago, your mother exercised her right to choose what happens to her body and had an abortion than, 20 years later, you would not be currently reading this post.

Why?

Because: You would no longer exist.

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Yes: Abortion does effect a woman’s body. And in that sense, it is her choice: A pregnant woman should have the final say on what she wants to happen to her pregnancy.

But: Abortion effects more than just the woman who is pregnant. To deny that is to deny biology.

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“Nakedness without shame” and “Shameless nakedness”

According to Christopher West, a popular speaker and writer on Catholicism’s view of the body and sexuality:

To be Shameless means to know that people are looking at your naked body not with love and respect but with lust, and to not care — to make no effort to cover up.

To be Naked without shame (Genesis 2:25) means to know that people are looking at your naked body with love and respect and, thus, seeing no need to cover up.

3:09 — 3:23:

I believe the subjects of shame and nakedness are more complicated than Christopher West makes them out to be, though.

This is why:

If a person has good intentions for showing their body — for example: They’re doing it to protest violence against women…

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…than who is at fault when some people inevitably look lustily at that person:

The person who is naked, or the people doing the looking?

My point is:

I don’t believe it’s a sign of shamelessness to make no effort to cover up when you know that people are reacting lustily to your nudity, because you can’t control how other people act, you can only control how you act.

In the final reckoning it will not matter how we are dressed on the outside…but it makes an eternity of difference as to how we are dressed on the inside.”
~Archbishop Fulton Sheen, Life Is Worth Living