Immodest Girls Distract Boys In School And Vv By Benjamin D. Wiker

16 12 2013

Immodest Girls Distract Boys In School And Vv  By Benjamin D. Wiker

A few years back, in California, there was a young man at a state university who insisted on attending all his classes wearing only a backpack. (If only he had worn a fanny pack!) He was nicknamed “the naked guy.” The presence of this statuesque youth was disturbing. He was not rude, loud, or aggressive. The difficulty? He was sans-culottes, and then some.

The only amusing thing in this matter was that the university could not come up with a violation to pin on him — let alone a place to pin it. After several weeks of cheek-by-jowl conferencing, he was slapped with a sexual harassment charge, even though his mode of “harassing” was entirely passive, and given the boot (and, we hope, a traveling suit as well).

Why could the university not simply invoke the obvious: young men have to wear clothes in public because human beings, especially young women, have trouble concentrating sitting next to a naked man? Why could the university not admit that sexual immodesty directly disturbs the intellectual life? Why could it not draw a hemline and say, “Thus far and no farther”?

Because it had, like so many other academic institutions, abandoned any restrictions in regard to how students must dress. Having embraced both the slovenly and near-naked, the university could not find a way to regulate the naked.

Another example is from when I was teaching at a college without a dress code. I was having students give presentations on the Roman Empire. In one group, a young lady was playing the part of Julius Caesar — do not ask why. She wore a miniskirt made out of less material than a standard eyepatch. Needless to say, the young men were not engrossed in her intellectual presentation. I doubt they heard anything she had to say. Her immodesty absorbed their entire attention. As far as they were concerned, she was all body and no mind.

Those who defend such immodesty usually argue that a young woman has a right to wear whatever she wants, and the young men have no right to ogle her. On the contrary: It is not a question of rights but rather of nature. Just as it was natural for young women to be flustered in the presence of “the naked guy,” so it was natural for young men to be flustered oglers in the presence of a near-naked young woman. If he was sexually harassing the women, was she sexually harassing the men?

The Natural and the Conventional

Those who defend such immodesty do not, of course, call it immodest. A little etymology will reveal why. The Latin modestus means “moderate,” as in “keeping within bounds,” and it is derived from modus, which means “a boundary or standard of measure.” Those who have rejected dress codes have done so because they have rejected any boundaries, any standards of measure in regard to sexuality. Standards of dress and sexuality stand and fall together.

The principle normally invoked by the intelligentsia for the standardless standard is that clothing is merely conventional, whereas (we assume) skin is natural. The amount and style of clothing differs so drastically from Aborigines to Elizabethans to Americans that any standard is arbitrary. So the argument goes.

But this argument is misaimed. The focus must shift from the clothes, which do vary, to the human beings underneath, who in their essentials do not. Unless we are entirely Gnostic — and I believe that many trendy moderns are, at heart, ancient Gnostics — we must recognize that sexual passion is a human given. It is natural and not conventional.

Further, sexual passion is like any other passion — anger, joy, hunger: it is not continually “on” but becomes aroused. Hence, the barbarous but accurate phrase, “He [or she] turns me on!” This sudden flutter and consequent flow of hormones is natural.

But we are not defined solely by our capacity to feel and express passions. Human beings are, by nature, able to think deeply and come to profound insights. As the politically correct crowd rightly points out, the intellect is not the sole possession of white, western males but is a human endowment, shared universally.

Passion Cancels Intellect

And now the pinch. Science may be brought in to confirm the following, but that would only be to vindicate what almost all of us know by experience. Thinking deeply (which is natural) and sexual desire (which is natural) cancel each other out (which is natural). Our intellectual and sexual attentions are inversely proportional.

This relationship is not confined to sexual passion. Such distraction of the intellect occurs with most other passions as well: “I was so hungry, I couldn’t think”; “I was so angry that I wasn’t able to concentrate”; “He was so sad that his eyes were just running over the page — he may as well not have ‘read’ the book.”

Imagine trying to conduct a seminar an hour past lunch when nobody has eaten since breakfast, when all of the participants are as mad as hornets, or when all are mourning over a fellow student’s recent death. Can we admit that these other passions disturb our ability to think but exclude sexual passion? If anything, sexual passion is a stronger distraction. Thus, the more immodesty, the more distraction.

Furthermore, admit it or not, sexual immodesty not only distracts, it reduces. It reduces especially the young women to something less than they really are. Regardless of the current attempt to equalize sexuality, it has always been the case that the female’s sexuality garners a stronger attraction. A man half-dressed in class will appear ridiculous to the women and disgusting to the men, an embarrassment rather than a source of temptation. But a woman immodestly dressed throws the young men into dry-mouthed confusion. If it were any other way, then selling-by-sex industries, from prostitution to advertising, would not be almost completely dominated by the immodesty of women directed to the insatiable sexual appetites of men.

It is this simple: We are rational animals. The rational aspect of our being distinguishes us as human beings. The animal aspect of our being is the source of the sexual distinction between male and female. The university purports to teach our rational nature, that which least distinguishes male and female, not our animal nature, which is the source of the sexual distinction and the passion of sex. It follows that immodesty exaggerates sexual difference, while modesty allows for the dominance of the intellect where there is the least difference between male and female.

Feminism’s Consequence

This is not an abstract argument. I have seen the difference it makes when the differences between male and female are hidden, so to speak, by the drape of modesty (i.e., because of a dress code). When a young woman would go up to the board to demonstrate a proposition from Euclid, all eyes were focused on the board, and all minds were attentive to her words. If she were wearing a miniskirt, for those who were watching, her natural intellectual powers would have been canceled by her natural sexual powers.

In this regard, and many others, modernity has things backwards. It tries to make sexuality common by making it public and rationality private by making it relative and particular. Thus, we are invited to display our sexuality to everyone (regardless of gender) as if it had, in its origin and goal, the universality of intellectual pursuits, and we are admonished to divide our rationality as if it had the particularities of the body, such as gender. Hence, women’s studies are declared an intellectual province, while philosophy is taken to be provincial.

But against this, modesty in academia allows for the pursuit of wisdom because it does not confuse the universality and commonness of intellectual things with the particularity and exclusiveness of bodily things. The intellect naturally tries to embrace the whole of reality; the body naturally tries to embrace another particular body. The mind is open for the sake of uncovering truth; the body is covered for the sake of opening up to another body exclusively, that of one’s spouse.

*This is not a Manichaean position. Modesty acknowledges the body. It does not hide the body because it is ashamed of it; it veils the body because its sexual power is not an appropriate object of public display. Is that not what feminists have been telling us, that they do not want women to be sex objects? They have been right to say so and should follow through with the natural consequence: modesty.

In regard to academia, the need for sexual modesty is a recognition of what should be an obvious, natural truth. Neither males nor females should be distracted from the primary purpose of the university: the formation of the intellect. Whether it be from the fall or from the inherent powerful nature of sexual desire (or both), the presence of sexual passion in the classroom displaces intellectual passion. Institutions owe it to their students to minimize such distractions. Even on the mean level of economics, students are paying tens of thousands of dollars to attend such institutions of higher learning. Why pay for sexual passion? The culture is already saturated with it, and most of it is free. If the university is “selling” itself as offering what cannot be gotten elsewhere, then its focus should be intellectual, not sexual.

Why doesn’t everyone want marriage redefined?

27 06 2013

Why deosnt everyone want marriage redefined?

The American Supreme court yesterday voted to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) paving the way for the redefinition of marriage. Gay activist and lobby groups around the world are celebrating, but it is worth having a look at why many do not want marriage redefined.

Marriage is a unique institution that transcends any other relationship. The lifelong sexual exclusivity, mutual interdependence, and potential to create a family make it the most stabilizing force in our society. For the past few thousand years marriage has been defined, almost universally, as the union of one man and one woman. This system is best for our nation and should be preserved. Redefining marriage will destabilize our society and cause undue social and economic burdens that we cannot afford.

Marriage was not created to exclude homosexuals. It simply serves a purpose that homosexual relationships cannot: procreation and the stable rearing of children. The purpose of marriage (especially from the government’s perspective) is to provide a foundation upon which children can be produced and reared in the most optimal environment. As Chief Justice John Roberts stated in the oral arguments of Hollingsworth v. Perry last Tuesday, “When the institution of marriage developed historically, people didn’t get around and say lets have this institution, but let’s keep out homosexuals. The institution developed to serve purposes [the rearing of children] that, by their nature, didn’t include homosexual couples.”

Redefining marriage to include gay couples undermines its central objective by shifting the focus of marriage away from the rearing of children, towards the emotional and economic desires of the adult participants. Furthermore, as the Witherspoon Institute puts it, gay marriage “would undercut the idea that procreation is intrinsically connected to marriage.” It would fundamentally change our nation’s social and familial structure, make marriage irrelevant, and even attack our freedom of conscience.

Because gay marriage is a relatively recent phenomenon, there are very few examples of its effects. However, we can look to Scandinavia where gay marriage has become legal and socially accepted.

In the 1990s, many Scandinavian countries granted marital rights to same-sex couples. As Stanley Kurtz, Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, has documented, the family structure has been all but eliminated, and marriage is becoming a novelty. In fact, it is becoming harder to measure the deterioration of the family there by the usual methods (divorce rates) because Scandinavians are hardly getting married in the first place. Simultaneously, the out-of-wedlock birthrate has exploded. As Kurtz writes, in only ten years, “Between 1990 and 2000, Norway’s out-of-wedlock birthrate rose from 39 to 50 percent, while Sweden’s rose from 47 to 55 percent.” Currently, “About 60 percent of first-born children in Denmark now have unmarried parents.” Single parenthood is now the norm, rather than the exception in Scandinavia.

As Frank Turek, author of Correct, Not Politically Correct, points out, here correlation does prove causation because we have seen the same patterns of family disintegration resulting from liberal marriage laws in other parts of the world as well. For example, in 1969, the year the first no-fault divorce law was enacted in the U.S. (in California), the out-of-wedlock birthrate was roughly 10%. Now that all fifty sates and DC enforce these laws, it is about 40%. As we can see, no-fault divorce laws have undermined marriage in the U.S. for the same reasons gay marriage has in Scandinavia: they focus marriage on the desires of the married people, not on children. Further liberalizing marriage in the U.S. will exacerbate our already high out-of-wedlock birth rate.

This is disastrous for both children and society. Study after study has shown that, statistically, children reared by their nuclear parents do better in almost every aspect of life when compared to children raised by a single parent. A study by Sara McLanahan, published in her book Growing up with a Single Parent, found that children born outside of wedlock are almost three times more likely to drop out of high school compared to their peers who come from traditional families. Another study in Sweden, published in The Lancet in 2003 found that children in two parent homes were about half as likely to suffer from suicide attempts, alcohol and drug abuse, and serious psychiatric illnesses than children raised by a single parent. Children born into single parent homes also do not have as many opportunities as traditionally raised children because they only have one stream of income, as opposed to two. The social harms of the familial breakdown are too much for the United States to bear.

Furthermore, as many homosexuals understand, it is nonsensical to argue that a child raised in the home of a same sex couple will get the same upbringing as a child raised in the home of his nuclear parents. Women and men contribute in different and unique ways to a child’s development. Ask yourself the question an eleven-year-old girl asked a dumbstruck Minnesota legislature last week: “Which parent do I not need- my mom or my dad?”

Though many gay rights activists like to argue that there is “scientific evidence” that proves children of gay couples are just as well off as children in heterosexual families, the truth is that gay marriage has not been around long enough for us to fully and definitively understand its effects upon children. As Justice Kennedy stated in the oral arguments last Tuesday, “There’s substance to the point that sociological information is new. We have five years of information [in California] to weigh against two thousand years of history or more.” If America is really looking out for its children, we should at least be prudent when redefining such a tried and true institution.

Gay marriage also affects children by contributing to the perception that fathers are not necessary to a child’s upbringing. If children don’t need both a mother and a father, as many gay rights activists propose, what reason is there for a father to stay around? Same sex marriage would encourage single mother households within the majority heterosexual community and further the breakdown of the nuclear family.

The economic burden this causes is enormous and will sow the seeds for a massive welfare state (many Scandinavian countries have some of the highest taxes and public welfare expenditures in the world). Currently, family disintegration costs American taxpayers roughly $112 billion per year, and the out-of-wedlock birthrate in America is only 40%, a number two-thirds that of Denmark. The economic toll caused by the breakdown of the family has been enormous in Scandinavia, and we should not force ourselves to subsidize homosexual marriage.

One of the more disturbing aspects of the gay rights movement is the toll it takes on our freedom of conscience. It seeks to force Americans to accept homosexual relationships as equal to heterosexual ones, despite possible moral or religious objections.

Oftentimes, the gay rights movement argues that homosexuals are discriminated against because they do not receive the same legal and economic benefits of marriage that heterosexual couples receive. However, the facts don’t always add up. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, many states including Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and Rhode Island, recognize Civil Unions, which give homosexual couples all the rights and privileges of marriage. (Vermont, New Hampshire and Connecticut had civil unions before they redefined marriage). California, Oregon, Washington, Maine, Hawaii, the District of Columbia, Nevada, and Wisconsin allow homosexuals to claim domestic partnerships, which give almost all of the legal benefits of marriage.

Yet the gay rights crowd in these states is not content. In fact, California is in the center of the current Supreme Court hearings. The gay agenda is not to ultimately achieve economic or legal equality; it seeks to legally enforce unanimous social approval of homosexual lifestyles, to obtain mandatory social approbation from the rest of society.

These dangers are real. Many Catholic adoption centers, including the Catholic Charities of Boston, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and many affiliates in Illinois, have been forced to close because they stood by their religious beliefs and refused to allow homosexual couples to adopt children, even after they were told by their local or state governments to do so. Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois summed it up well: “In the name of tolerance, we’re not being tolerated.”

It is frightening to think about the potential fate of our freedom of conscience if the United States government forces the American public to redefine marriage. It is only a matter of time, as many Catholic priests have predicted, until a simple moral disapproval of homosexuality will be considered a hate-crime.

Redefining marriage takes away its meaning and purpose and creates a litany of other relationships that could potentially be defined as marriage. One of the most liberal justices on the Supreme Court, Justice Sonya Sotomayor, recognized this in oral arguments last Tuesday: “If you say that marriage is a fundamental right, what state restrictions could ever exist? Meaning, what state restrictions with respect to the number of people [that could get married], with respect to… the incest laws [are there]?” Sotomayor (again, one of the most liberal justices on the bench) is exactly right: redefining marriage as a civil right, instead of an institution that serves a social purpose, opens it up to a limitless number of definitions including, but not limited to, polygamy, incest, and bestiality. As openly gay co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, Doug Mainwaring, has said, we are not redefining marriage: we are “undefining” it, and the consequences are limitless.

Modern liberals too often get so caught up in bragging that they are going against the current of tradition that they too often forget why certain values and institutions became tradition in the first place. They tend to believe that new is by necessity an improvement. In the case of marriage, new is ruinous. Homosexual marriage is destructive, causes social instability, and imposes undue economic burdens on American society. America should oppose “undefining” an ancient, tried and true, and sacred institution. Marriage is the union between a man and a woman.

— Brandon G. Gill

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