For men, women are the most desirable of all God’s creatures. Not only Adam had this experience, all his male descendants do too, and each has his own ranking of women on the “desirability-from-afar” scale. However, all men also learn (as do women about men) that, up close and real, many high rankings crumble because intrinsic to her desirability is a woman’s goodness. Nobody but the insanely lustful wants a physically beautiful woman who comes with major vices. Which, sadly, brings us to “the modern woman”.
The search for the beginning of the end of Western Civilization can go back quite a distance, well into the middle ages. I vote for Ockham, though others will go further backwards or forward. But, within the modern maze of cracking foundations, many would point to the acceptance of abortion in law as the most significant change.
Abortion changed, and was designed to change, the status of all women in law. In social relations it also changed the more hidden status of those women who bought into it — who accepted “non-marital sex with abortion as backup insurance”. Such women, at heart, are very different from those who reject this regime. Unwittingly, most of these new women have embraced grave evils. They are changed, and in this they are totally different from women “of old”.
And the men who welcome these new women are of the same heart, and probably even worse because they will have in spades that vice easily inflamed in the male: to lust after many women, not just one. He will be prone to lust after, use and then discard the woman of the moment as soon as the next desirable one comes along. Enter myriad Harvey Weinsteins. But, in this new regime, no man can be really at ease for all know we have a Harvey close within — locked up, we hope, but in a jail easily broken out of.
There is real justice in the pursuit of Harvey and his imitators, no doubt, but I am not sure there is much virtue to it. It leaves the rather immediate root causes (abortion as backup to sex outside of marriage) as sacred cows in the religion of the accusers and the courts of the enforcers.
I am sure it has amazed all men — sexually virtuous or not, guilty as Harvey or not — who have seen some of the accusers still dressing in a way that is real “sexual harassment” of men. In effect, these women say: “I present myself physically to you so that you will lust after me, but don’t you dare present yourself physically to me in response. Do that and you will end up in court, hopefully in jail.” It seems they are flaunting a legally protected form of sexual harassment.
This highlights the modern dilemma for Western civilization and its laws: it has lost its bearings on what it is to be a man and to be a woman, but it is not yet prepared to go for deep reform on what the difference means – namely, that the intimate connection between male and female which balances the difference is the child.
Instead, modern sexual relations are premised on the exclusion of the child, both in contraception and in abortion, although that very child is the anchor of civilization, its compass and its destination.
While the behaviour of Weinstein and the other men sharing his (justified) fate is more about harassment than sex, it is the sexual culture that excludes the child, and gives free play to lust, that produces the poisonous gas of harassment spreading through contemporary society.
It used to be true that women were the cause of men becoming civilized. Today, the woman who rejects the child though “contraception + abortion” is incapable of being such a civilizing source. The power to grow civilization lies neither with the man nor the woman but with the one between them — the most powerless of all, their child. Power provides no path to the child, only love does. And the love that unites man, woman and child —overwhelmingly is God. So the data show.
When the child is front and center in all matters sexual the world will have found its way forward again. And it will be easier for all men to keep their Harvey in jail.
Pat Fagan is the director of the Marriage and Religion Research Initiative at The Catholic University of America. He is publisher and editor of Marripedia.org. Adapted from the MARRI blog with permission.