I read a very interesting, wide-ranging movie review the other day. Sister Helen Burns's review of Magic Mike covered so much more than the movie itself! She gave a beautiful explanation of the definitions of lust, and male and female sexuality, and the theology of the body. I haven't read her blog before, but I will certainly be going back after this! Stop by now and see what she had to say; I will be happily waiting for you here.
I grew up in a very worldly, sexualized society, like most people my age, that has changed quite a bit in my lifetime! In fact, you could almost say that I've grown up with the birth control pill since it was legalized just a few years before I was born.
Wow, it only just occurred to me to wonder why my (non-Catholic) mom had three children very close together when the pill was available. I know that by the time she got pregnant with me, the last, she was miserable and wanted out. I've always known I was unwanted, but very much loved once I arrived. I have years worth of birthday cards telling me what a gift I was to my mom, and how much joy I brought her. I have no illusions that I merited any of that (although I was pretty cute and sweet!); it was merely the fact of my existence. And that is a whole different blog post about how much joy a life can give, no matter what the circumstances.
Oh, it looks like this is going to be a wide-ranging blog post, too! Back to the movie-review...which filled me with thoughts about what it means to be a woman and a sexual creature...
I grew up (along with the pill, remember?) thinking I had to dress a certain way (immodestly) to be attractive. I had to have the perfect figure, and if I didn't have those things, I had to do certain things to be worthy. Of course, not all those things I felt compelled to do were sexual (nor did I do everything. I was very uncool in that way!); I also felt that I needed to have a big career---you know, bring home the bacon and fry it up in the pan.
All I really wanted, as it turns out, was to get married at 21 and have children, preferably staying home to raise them. It was the Catholic Church and my loving husband, that opened my eyes to the true beauty of this lifestyle, which society continually tries to destroy. Children have become disposable commodities to have at our discretion. More and more, we are wanting them to be designer, perfect babies, if we want them at all. Women are not fulfilling their potential by staying home to take care of them.
These days I consider myself a feminist---one who believes that caring for a husband and family is the highest of callings. Extended breast feeding, which is a form of mothering as well as nourishing, is part of that. Now, I don't care if you couldn't breast feed, or if you feel you have to work, either for your sanity or for your bank account. I'm not here to judge your choices or abilities, and I wish that people would stop judging me for mine. I might wish you didn't feel as if you have fit a certain mold, but that doesn't mean I think less of you!
I've said before (sorry, not many links today since I'm typing on the iPad!) that we started using NFP a few years into our marriage. Learning to see the beauty of the sex act, and the miracle of children led to my conversion. I could see that the Catholic Church, far from being an oppressor of women, was the one place that I and my children were to be wholeheartedly accepted and r.e.s.p.e.c.t.e.d. Years of using NFP, teaching NFP, giving RCIA talks on marriage and sexuality, and teaching a more in-depth pe-Cana (marriage prep) class on marital sexuality further ingrained that belief in the beauty of womanhood. So, finally getting to the point, I hate to see the destruction of society and femininity brought about by contraception and porn. The continued degradation of women through movies, books, and billboards. You name it. Hardly anyplace is the value of true womanhood upheld.
Now, it would be nice if the rest of the world would let children be children instead of teaching them about sex through movies, tv, radio, and schools. It would be nice if girls knew that they could say no to sex and immodest clothing, so that they could be seen as a whole person and not just a collection of body parts to be judged. It would be awesome if each young girl knew that she was totally worth the wait and that there is nothing more beautiful than married sex which is open to God's plan for life. And it would've great if women didn't feel they have to objectify men as we've been objectified all these years.
I'm going to wrap up my rambling rant now! This is what you get when I go on vacation and I have, basically, all day long to write a post! Let me know what you think and what you'd like to rant about next. Have a blessed day!