The Importance of Respecting Women ~ Fr. Daniel A. Lord


Painting by George Dunlop Leslie

by Father Daniel A. Lord

Perhaps it is because women compete with men in so many fields where cut-throat methods have destroyed all courtesy and much honor.

Perhaps it is because the stage so often treats women as bait for the unpleasant-minded. Perhaps it is because some silly women will do anything, wear anything, say anything to win a date or a dance or a none-too-complimentary smile.

But whatever it is, our age is rapidly losing its respect for women. Men are losing it. The fact that men let women stand in a crowded street car and elbow them savagely in crowds is relatively unimportant.

But it is important that girls are laughed at by college comic papers; that women are exposed shamelessly on stage and magazine covers that they are expected to pay with precious privileges for the parties they attend, the dinners given them, the dates which some man casually permits them; that pure women are sneered at and that feminine virtue is frankly doubted.

Too many boys and men are coming to take it for granted that girls and women will allow promiscuous liberties, and they class the girl who indignantly refuses as an old fogy, and the woman who declines as a foolish prude.

Women are losing it.

The harsh and bitter struggle into which modern commercialism has thrown them is trying enough. But it is frightening when women begin to accept coarse men’s standards of dress and manner.

If the women take it for granted, when privileges are demanded, that is the price they must pay for popularity; if they laugh at an unclean play for fear that they will be frowned on by their escort; if during the revue or the movie they sit calmly while their sisters are required to sing filthy songs and disport themselves shamelessly, they have lost respect for their own womanhood.

Like it or not, our age, which uses woman’s figure and frailty to advertise its wares, run up its magazine circulations, jam its theatres, popularize sin on our city streets, is losing, if it has not already lost, its respect for women.

And the respect with which the Church for centuries has surrounded women is the one thing that has kept them from being the prey of the beast in men and the beast in themselves.

Respect women because of the fairest of women, who is disgraced by every woman who disgraces herself and by every man who disgraces a woman.

Respect women for the sake of our own mothers.

Respect women for the sake of future mothers, future nuns, future wives.

Respect women for the sake of the frail, who will fall if, between them and their own weakness, there is not the steadying influence of noble men and pure women.

This is our new and very modern crusade.

Catholics, we will respect women.

Everything we do each day, we do for our families and ultimately for the love of God. Our daily duties are a springboard towards heaven and will be the way in which we gain our own salvation and bring blessings upon our family. -Finer Femininity Painting by Jeffrey T. Larson



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Author Mary Reed Newland here draws on her own experiences as the mother of seven to show how the classic Christian principles of sanctity can be translated into terms easily applied to children even to the very young.

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