Archive for September, 2013

6 Counter-Arguments

Posted by Doug White under Personal, Spiritual

I have spent most of life not realizing that people like this exist.  I really didn’t.  Now they seem to be coming out in groves.  Last week it was a mother blaming young girls for the lustful thoughts of her boys.  This week it is a man trying to convince people their daughters shouldn’t go to college.

There is a Catholic organization known as “Fix the Family” that this week posted an article called “6 Reasons to Not Send Your Daughter to College” (http://www.fixthefamily.com/blog/6-reasons-to-not-send-your-daughter-to-college).  The title of the article says it all.  This man actually believes it is wrong – and in some cases sinful – to send your daughters to college.

I’d like to discuss these reasons in detail.

1.  She will attract the wrong types of men.  The argument he makes here is that lazy men are looking for “responsible, organized, smart” women.  Ok, let me get this straight.  A woman is only responsible, organized and smart if she goes to college?  And a college woman will only be attractive to a lazy man?  A man who is not lazy is going to be attracted to what?  An irresponsible, disorganized, foolish woman?  This is such a ridiculous concept.  People are attracted to who they are attracted to.  There is no rhyme or reason to it.  Going to college or not going to college has absolutely nothing to do with it.

2.  She will be in a near occasion of sin.   I have to admit, this one makes me laugh.  Apparently, this man believes that a woman will be lost in the lustful world of college.  But men on the other hand?  They’ll handle it just fine.   I simply don’t understand the mentality of some people – and these people are usually fairly conservative and religious too which boggles my mind – that men can be excused for their sexual inclinations but we must move Heaven and Earth to protect women from their sexual inclinations.  The author of that article also referenced a Catholic OB-GYN too that said something along the lines that a woman notices a man’s faults while they are friends but once they become sexually active she enters a “dreamy state” about him and ignores his faults.  Really?  REALLY?  Having been married for twenty years, let me just attest to the fact that my wife is in NO dreamy state about my faults.  None.  That has to be the dumbest thing I’ve read in a long time.

3.  She will not learn to be a wife and mother.  Apparently going to college is bad because it doesn’t teach you to cook, clean and change diapers.  He’s right.  It doesn’t.  So.  What.  I know that I’m going against a lot of masculine religious superiority beliefs that a woman is required of God to stay at home and take care of the house.  I’m at a point in my life that I don’t really care.  I’m not sure I ever did.  I flat out reject the idea that God intends all women to stay at home.  To be fair, I also reject the idea that there is anything wrong with a woman who makes that choice to be a stay at home mom.  The woman should be able to make that choice.  When my wife and I first married, she had her college degree and I did not.  I was still going to college.  Apparently I was the lazy guy he mentions in #1 that looked for the responsible, organized and smart woman.  (Thank God I found her!)  By the time I earned my college degree we had a 1 year old baby.  When I was hired at my first job, my wife told me she had decided that she wanted to stay at home and raise our daughter.  I was actually a little unsure.  I thought we couldn’t afford to live on one income but we found a way and our daughter (and our second daughter) were both beneficiaries of that choice.  However, that was a choice that we made.   It made sense for our family and may not be the right choice for your family.  When it comes time for my own daughters to make that choice, I’m going to encourage them – as I believe God intends me to – to make the choice that is best for their life.

4. The cost of a degree is becoming more difficult to recoup.  Here he goes back to the same argument he made in #2.  It’s a bad thing for the woman, but not for the man to incur a significant cost by going to college.   He also seems to imply that a man can bring a more valuable skill to the workplace than a woman.  I am a software developer, which is a profession that pays fairly well.  In my particular field, men outnumber the women.  But I can assure you, the women I’ve known in this field are equally as marketable as any man and in some cases, more so.  Gender has nothing to do with it.   Yes, college costs are inflated and are becoming more and more difficult to repay.  But that also has nothing to do with gender.  Trying to tie the cost of college to a gender simply makes no sense.

5.  You don’t have to prove anything to the world.  The author of this article made this statement:  But the confounding thing is that they went through all this effort to raise and educate their daughters themselves but don’t give their daughters the opportunity to do the same by locking her into a career.  Again, I have to ask…why is gender the culprit here?  If parents are locking their daughters into a career, aren’t they also locking their sons into ones?  There’s a common theme in this article and it is this:  women need to be protected from their choices.

6.  It could be a near occasion of sin for the parents.  This argument goes towards a belief that as a non-Catholic, I simply don’t share.  His argument on this one is that parents who bear the cost of college tuition for their daughters will then decide to not have more children because they can’t afford it.  Once again, we have the theme that parents will do this because they send their girl to college, but won’t because they send their boy.  That’s the first ridiculous aspect of this.  But the second is the apparent idea that married couples are required to do nothing more than keep popping out children for as long as they can.  I respect the fact that this is a religious belief that some have.  I will fight for your right to have that belief.  I am one who abhors the idea that the government is mandating that you who have this belief must, by law, pay for the birth control of others who don’t have this belief.  But the argument here is being used as a guilt trip on the parents.  Logically and generally speaking by the time your daughter is going to college, the parents are at an age where they are done having kids.  This argument for most people is a non-argument.

There are two other reasons he lists in his “6 reasons” not to send your daughter to college (apparently his schooling failed him as that makes “8 reasons” not 6.   I don’t feel like going into them.  I think I’ve demonstrated the silliness of his general arguments pretty decently.

In a blog not that long ago, I made a comment that a few liberal friends of mine reacted quite negatively too.  In that blog I said I “abhor feminism”.  I made this statement because my own experience with feminism hasn’t always been that great.  What I’ve seen with some feminists is the idea that they need to be “more than” a man, instead of “equal with” a man.  I reject that like I reject all of what this man has to say.  I personally would like to see no “ism’s” but rather a sense of treating everyone as an equal.

But I will tell you, after the last couple weeks, I am starting to feel like I can see the point of some feminists.  I stated at the beginning of this article that I never realized people like this guy and the mother from last week actually existed.  I’m seeing more and more people like this and when I look at my daughters and I think of what I want for their future, I feel like I need to stand up and call these people out.  If that puts me on the side of feminism, then so be it.

 

FYI (To the Mom of Teenage Boys)

Posted by Doug White under Personal

I find myself a touch surprised that I’m even writing this.  It probably wouldn’t have been that long ago that I wouldn’t have given this sort of thing a second thought.

There is a blog entry from a mother that was posted recently that has received a lot of attention.  It is from a mother of young boys and is entitled “FYI (if you’re a teenage girl)” (http://givenbreath.com/2013/09/03/fyi-if-youre-a-teenage-girl/).  The writer of this blog is a mother of young boys and she is appealing to young girls who are friends with her sons, specifically those girls who post, in her opinion, immodest pictures of themselves online.

Now at an initial glance, this mother’s blog may seem harmless.  It may even seem appropriate.  We do have modesty issues in our culture.  We do have issues with children not paying attention to just how much they give away about themselves online.  We live in a culture now where children are becoming increasingly left to their own devices – literally.  I don’t have any good answers for that.  I also believe that this mother may have had good intentions with what she was trying to say.

Except for this – she put her boy’s potential for inappropriate thoughts or lewd behavior – solely at the feet of girls.

The mother wrote: “Did you know that once a male sees you in a state of undress, he can’t quickly un-see it? You don’t want our boys to only think of you in this sexual way, do you?”

This, my friends, is a subtly concealed attempt to put the blame of any male’s action towards a female right back on that female.  This is no different than saying, “Well, I’m sorry you were raped, but maybe you shouldn’t have worn that particular dress.  Maybe they thought you were asking for it?  After all, boys will be boys and all.”

This is both a horrible approach towards not just girls but boys too.  This approach says that boys are at their core – sexual deviants.  It says that boys can’t control themselves and because of this, girls must learn to overcompensate to deal with the uncontrollable lusts of boys.

I am the father of two girls.  My wife and I teach them modesty.  We have our own perspective on modesty that differs from others.  To some, we are too strict.  To others, we aren’t strict enough.  That’s fine.  It’s our responsibility to raise them in the best way we can and other’s opinions of how we are doing is just that – their opinion.

If I caught one of my girls posting provocative pictures online – she would be permanently done with social networking of any kind until she is an adult and on her own.  But let me assure you, if I had a mother of a boy tell me it was my daughter’s fault that her son couldn’t control his own urges I would in no uncertain terms tell that mother she’s a poor excuse for a parent.

So to the mother of those young boys who is so worried about those young girls corrupting her sons, I have the following to say.  Good for you that you monitor your son’s online activities.  I commend you that you even go so far as to block posts that are provocative in nature.  But now teach your son’s that their actions are just that – THEIR actions.  Do not raise another generation of men to believe that they are not responsible for their own sexual thoughts and behaviors.  Your boys deserve better than that.