“The sad result is that society has more educated brains than firm backbones, more knowledge than character. Yet, the mainstay and foundation of the state is not science, but morality; not wealth, but honor; not cowardliness, but character.”
The Pope was right after all
When Humanae Vitae was released, it predicted four things that would happen to society if unhampered artificial birth control were to be practiced:
1. Contraception would lead to conjugal infidelity.
2. Contraceptive practice would lead to a “general lowering of morality.”
3. Contraception would lead men to cease respecting woman in their totality and would cause them to treat women as “mere instruments of selfish enjoyment” rather than as cherished partners.
4. And finally, widespread acceptance of contraception by couples would lead to a massive imposition of contraception by unscrupulous governments.
The predictions of Paul VI, it seems, have come to pass and Humanae Vitae has been vindicated.
Notably, the first three of these predictions involve the abandonment, by men, of their manly role. Somewhere along the way prior to Vatican II some liberal clergy stopped believing the objective truth of the Catholic Church’s teachings on sexual morality and started seeing the Church as merely a socio-civic organization or a charitable institution, with “norms of behavior” rather than one entrusted by God with preserving His moral laws. Norms of behavior are flexible and relative to changing social mores so in believing this, they introduced to the Church, a “relativist” culture which undermined (and continues to undermine) her mission of sanctifying people.
This movement, coupled with a growing distorted brand of feminism, fueled what was to be, an artificial guilt complex among non-Catholic and Catholic men (including the clergy) that women were indeed being treated unjustly and unequally. There is nothing wrong with seeking equality, except that what was then mistaken to be “unjust and oppressive unequal rights”, was in fact merely a natural recognition that men and women had different roles to fulfill in society. It is true that this “sexual revolution” spurned some good things for women like advancement in careers, access to higher education and increased occupational competency. But these benefits also came at too high a price, namely, the objectification of women, the decline of the family unit and the emasculation of men.
Men Will be Boys
With the push of the feminist movement for “equal” rights, women started to view motherhood with some disdain, as being shackled to the kitchen and the home, and with this, men started to question their manhood and saw it as being oppressive and fatherhood as optional and no different from motherhood. The backlash was the abrogation of the manly character and the acceptance of redundant roles in raising children where a father could be mother and mother could be father. This gave fathers an excuse to spend more time at work and consequently in whatever leisure activity they pleased. Author Kay S. Hymowitz, in her book, “Manning Up: How The Rise of Women Has Turned Men into Boys Be A Man” narrates a commenter in her blog as saying “…we’re not stuck in pre-adulthood, we choose it” thus the current observation that men have become men-boys or emasculated men!
The Stupidity of Inclusivity
The Church, embroiled in a contrived identity crisis by liberals from within, failed to provide a cohesive response against the erroneous feminist notion of male oppression. In fact, the clerical state, once viewed as a manly vocation, was now under attack and became open to all sorts of “accommodation” (by the clergy themselves) to the point that even the language of the liturgy was changed (called inclusivity) so as not to offend women. (Visiting my alma mater one day, I cringed at the sight of a sign which essentially emasculated St. Ignatius’ motto “Men for others” and transformed it into “persons for others.”)
Once men’s roles became muddled by this unfounded guilt-complex, men withdrew or rather, abandoned their roles as “men” and reverted back to an “adolescent” state. The adolescent, after all, has few responsibilities, few commitments and can hardly be expected to have a grown man’s character! This reversion into the adolescent state can be seen in the astronomical rise in men engaging in pornography(read this and this) and the objectification of women. Once women are objectified, men no longer see them as women, as mothers and as wives, pure and to be sanctified but as, to quote Paul VI, “mere instruments of selfish enjoyment.” This gave rise to an increase in divorce, absentee fathering and consequently, the rise in homosexual behavior. The gay lifestyle and other deviant sexual behaviors were partly a result of the lack of an authentic male role model in the house, since many children grew up confused in divorced, fatherless homes or in homes where fathers abandoned their manly role.
What To Do
However, contraception, the feminist movement and pornography are only partly to blame in this emasculation of men. I believe that for Catholics, had proper catechesis and formation been taught faithfully, the manly role of men, as it has been practiced and expected of them from time immemorial, would have remained intact, after all, there is no greater Man than Our Lord Jesus Christ. A manly character, according to Bishop Tihamer Toth, is a “steadfastness of the human will directed toward the good”. No one would disagree that this statement in fact sums up our Lord’s life here on earth, “not My will, but Yours be done.” The solution to this emasculation then is a re-education of our children in their faith and consequently, their proper roles as boys and girls and as men and women. The development of a manly character is not easy and a strong will and perseverance is necessary to see it through.
A manly character can be developed!
To quote Bishop Toth again;
“You have to be determined, you have to will it strongly!
You have to rule your senses and emotions.
You have to put order in your thoughts.
You have to first think, then speak. You have to first reflect, then act.
You have to learn from the past, consider the future, and use the present well.
You have to work willingly, endure patiently, live an upright life, and someday die in peace expecting eternal happiness.
Is there a loftier program for your life?”
Books on Manliness:
and it won’t be complete without some Manly Quotes:
John Wayne: “…remember this, every man who signs on for the (cattle) drive agrees to finish it. There’ll be no quitting along the way…not by me, not by you.”
John Wayne, “…yup, i’m 30 years older than you. Had my back broke once, my hip twice. And on my worst day, I could beat the hell outta you.”
Liam Neeson (Rob Roy): “Honor is…what no man can give and none can take away.” The son then asks “Do women have honor?” Rob leans in and says, “Women are the heart of honor, we cherish and keep it within them. Listen to me boys never mistreat a woman or malign a man or stand by and watch one do so.” How do you get honor? “Never mind the getting of it, it grows in you and speaks to you, all you need do is listen.”
Lt. Col. Frank Slade (Al Pacino) in Scent of a Woman: “Well, gentlemen! When the shit hits the fan, some guys run and some guys stay. Here’s Charlie facin’ the fire and there’s George hidin’ in Big Daddy’s pocket.”
and my favorite…
The Gladiator: “My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.”