12 November 2008

Blaming/Praising Men for Abortion

I've had the privilege of counseling women both pre- and post-abortion. Absent in every case was the father. Jeff Mirus at Catholic Culture offers this insight into the blame/praise that properly accrues to men in the decision women make to abort their children:

The pro-life movement also needs to make use of men who can get out the message of what it means to love. Brennan reveals this need in her own story when she notes that it was the departure of a man who actually treated her well that finally jolted her out of her self-centered, self-defeating philosophy of life. I have long argued that too many problems of contemporary women (especially the kind of problems that drive them to abortion) are caused by men who either do not know how to be men, or who refuse to be men—men who use women as toys, abandoning them when they no longer find them fun. Fathers who abuse and/or abandon their daughters; lovers and husbands who abuse and/or abandon their wives: These men are architects of insecurity and anger in women, both of which fuel feminism and a culture of death.

Read the entire article here.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. well first off WOWOWOW-O I made your blog roll! cool! thanks, I didn't know you read my blog! (I never get a red dot from Italy on my map....Hubby says your server much go through France or something

    Next. I'm reminded of a song.

    "Fathers be good to your daughters,
    Daughter will love like you do,
    girls become lovers and grow into mothers
    So mothers be good to your daughters too."

    I can tell you from personal experience that at least 80% of the emotional trouble I've had came from the 2 adult men in my childhood who were or weren't there when needed....the other more or less 20% came from a mother who has to this day absolutely no idea how to interact with a man in a healthy and loving manner.

    Here's another interesting thought on the topic of fathers.
    each of my parents came from families with 5 siblings.

    Of my father's sibs, the 2 men are in 2nd marriages that have each lasted >30years, there is 1 woman who was widowed at 40, remarried and has been in that marriage for almost 20 years, 1 woman who's celebrating 54 years of marriage and another woman who died at age 60 still married to her husband of 30ish years. Their father was a gruff, loud, hardworking man who was hard to live with and "strong willed" to say the least. He worked hard every day and came home every night, most days he was home for lunch too as he worked close to home.

    My mother's siblings. 4 are divorced and have lived as singles for >25 years, 1 never married. 2 proclaim and live the "lesbian lifestyle" complete with known promiscuity. Their father worked the 3-11 shift for 40 years. While an easygoing and entertaining man, he wasn't around due to his work shift.

    Now, you can't lay it all at the feet of the fathers.....but I do believe they make a really big difference!!

    it takes 2 to make a child, and it takes 2 to raise a child.

  3. Anonymous6:12 PM

    So, what activities qualify as "masculine?" Where can we find the list of traits that men have that women can't? (I presume there aren't any traits that women have that are prohibited to men. Women in Catholic doctrine are defective males, after all.)

    Do you honestly think that the world will be a better place if we enforce rigid sex roles?

  4. This piece is dead right-on.

    I am convinced pornography is one of the roots that 'emasculate' men; boys need to learn that pornography is not only demeaning to women, but demeaning to their very concept of manhood... and they need to learn this from the examples of their fathers and father-figures in their lives.

    They need to learn that being a man means protecting women, many times from themselves -- especially those women and girls who demean themselves by so easily giving up their bodies to sexual encounters for a mess of pottage they think is love ... and this means heroic self-control in the face of great temptation.

    Modesty, chastity, and self-control, need to be presented and upheld as the very core of manliness, and we need to target the insidious, seemingly harmless ways these virtues are undermined in our sex-obsessed culture.

    Quite literally, VIRtue is manly!

    Our Lady and St. Joseph, pray for us!

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  6. kit.

    huh?? women are defective males?? give me a break! the really big and OBVIOUS trait that women have which men can't is the ability to bear children...a pure blessing from God, a likeness to the Holy Mother than men will never experience.

    sounds like you just have an axe to grind without much knowledge of the substance of that axe.

  7. Anonymous9:31 AM

    mightymom, I have two sons of my own. The only unique part I have in their upbringing was that animal one of pregnancy. Pregnancy is a biological process, just like defecation only longer and more painful. Cows get pregnant and give birth everyday. I do not consider being able to imitate a bovine to be a "unique blessing from God" that makes me magically different from males so that I should have a completely separate social, economic and political role.

    I have repeatedly asked on Catholic and other social conservative blogs for a definition of "feminine" and "masculine" and I never ever get one. Please, what is it about being female that makes us so specially suited for laundry, floor-scrubbing, and toilet-cleaning but prevents us from being stockbrokers, CEO's, police officer, or other jobs that engage the mind and earn money?

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  9. The fact that this piece on true masculinity have elicited comments as Karen's and Kit's betrays how ingrained the feminist idea of Equality-as-Sameness is in our collective thinking. As long as this type of thinking is accepted a priori by women without personal and soul-rending examination of the ontological difference between the sexes, we will always witness the smoldering loathing of womanhood that considers pregnancy as merely a biological process on the same level as defecation.

    Karen, I would suggest two readings to help your search into the Catholic Church's vision of true womanhood and manhood:
    1. John Paul II's apostolic letter Mulieris Dignitatem (On the Dignity of Women), and
    2. Man and Woman He Created Them (a more recent translation of the Theology of the Body by Michael Waldstein).

    I pray for your sons that they will grow and become strong and filled with wisdom -- the kind of men we so desperately need in this world... and that they develop a higher esteem for womanhood than you have.

  10. philothea,

    you hit it right on the head!

    equality does not mean equal.

    fair doesn't mean same.

    Here's my biggest pet peeve in life.

    Feminism has done NOTHING for me except take the respect out of the very hard job of effectively running a household and raising children.

    as evidenced by the "scrubbing floors....not earning money" comment above.

    Sorry Father Philip, this comment thread has wandered waaaay far away from your original post. That original post does indeed need to be addressed without all this cross talk.

  11. I'm married to MightyMom, what she doesn't tell you is that for the past year she's been the breadwinner while I stay at home scrubbing floors, cooking, etc. Haven't got the sewing thing down yet, that'll come with time.

    IMHO if you feel relegated to an inferior position in your life then at some level you're playing along with the supposed "oppressors".

    Get. A. Life.

    Theres no such thing as "menial" work when it comes to raising children and keeping a marriage together. Regarding the traditional role of women, the old saying of, "The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world." is dead on. Try talking to anyone from a highly disfunctional background and the common theme more often than not is a stay-at-home parent who is actively abusive or cooperates in the abuse.

    As for the role of the Church, hmm. I guess our blatant sexism is shown by the belief that the most nearly perfect human being was a woman (Mary, the BVM). If you read the letters of Paul, one of the couples he often cites are Priscilla & Aguilar. Father, correct me if I'm wrong but in those times the dominant partner in a marriage was always mentioned first. Since Priscilla gets that honor in Paul's letters I'd say she must have been running the show in that household.

    Other examples are easily found, St. Joan of Arc being one. In a medieval society a 17 year old girl leads a nation's army to victory, due in large part to the Church's backing of her claim to be doing God's work. Not much sexism there if you ask me.

    Sorry for running on so much Father, I'll understand it completely if this comment never sees the light of day. Thanks.

  12. mightymom and Fr. Philip,

    I respectfully disagree that the comment thread for this entry is irrelevant to the original post ... in fact, The misogynistic feminist 'cross talk' exhibited here is exactly the consequence of "men [being] architects of insecurity and anger in women, both of which fuel feminism and a culture of death" (quoted from the original post).

    Which is why the world so needs truly manly men who are unafraid to live out true self-giving love.

  13. philothea, you make a good point.

    I just didn't like the feeling I had that I was turning the topic by focusing on rebutting the dissenting opinion...However, I, at times, can NOT keep my mouth (fingers?) shut!

    thanks for the disagreement....you made me feel better :-)

    we need an increased respect, nationwide, of fatherhood and motherhood. As well as renewed awe at the very priceless GIFT of children.

    I've seen it over and over in my professional career, children are treated like lifestyle accessories....I've actually told parents, "I'm sorry your child's illness is inconvienient for you, but he REALLY NEEDS TO SEE THE DOCTOR, TODAY." What does it say that we'd rather go to work than take a sick child to the MD? You'd be surprised how many mothers and dads I've had that very conversation with.

    but that's another post entirely.