Tuesday, June 7, 2011

On Reading Confused Catholic Writers

"Help! Help! I'm being repressed!" by Julie at The Corner with a View
"On Dating Nice Catholic Girls" by Trista at Not a Minx, a Moron, or a Parasite
"On Reading Confused Catholic Writers" by Elizabeth at Startling the Day

The "Bright Maidens" were originally three from the oft-mentioned, widely-speculated upon demographic of young, twenty-something Catholic women. Now, we all take up the cross to dispel the myths and misconceptions. Welcome!

Beware, fair reader, if you're willing to read all three Bright Maiden posts today, the verse ending in "a woman scorned" will cross your mind. A great upside to Max Lindenman's article, "On Dating Nice Catholic Girls," is that he generated discussion.

I saw my friends get upset about the article on Twitter, I vented about it with my family, and here we are writing about it as a conglomerate.

My venting about this article was preceded by a vague support of it. The first time I started reading Lindenman's work, I thought, "Sexy Puritan? It's a little insulting, but he's a Catholic man on a Catholic site. Hopefully he'll turn this around." I trusted that he would and waited.

And waited.

At the conclusion of the article, I slumped in confusion. What on Earth was he trying to say?

He jumped several times, going off track, and back on. If he was a train, we'd hear about it on the news, read about it in the grocery aisle, and hold candlelight vigils across the country.
"In other words, the Sexy Puritan is a god-fearing, godawful tease. Come the revolution, I assure you, Sexy Puritans will be hunted from helicopters."
He could be playing devil's advocate. He might be showing what the rest of the world thinks of nice, attractive Catholic girls. I'll keep reading, I tell myself.

(I don't own the rights)
However, my efforts were in vain. He continued to write about an ex-girlfriend who was attractive and cuddly, but would not go as physically far as he wanted to go (stand up guy that he is, he even talked about his light pressure on her to comply).

Her morals were strong, but her cuddly nature and attractive physique made her a tease.

It would be childish of me to ask Mr. Lindenman, "So nice, Catholic girls should be unattractive and allergic to physical contact? Or, they should be attractive and cuddly, but "follow through" in order to avoid being a tease?"

When he insulted the JPII generation, the gloves were off.
"One thing, though: a lot of these JPII generation girls are starting to look suspiciously like Sexy Puritans."
What an insult to the work that JPII did for my generation! Theology of the Body has changed my life and many others. JPII is responsible for re-energizing a population that was starting to fall victim to apathy, our sexual culture, and anti-Catholicism.

These women who are both attractive (without having to be "Trad," or someone who looks like they're constantly judging those who show their ankles) and faithful to the Magisterium should be praised.

And you, sir, shouldn't be bitter about "teases."

They're doing their part by holding you to a higher standard. Reach for it.

Here's my suggestion to you, Mr. Lindenman: apply some of the Catholic teaching to your perception of women instead of blaming the JPII generation.


Anthony S. Layne said...

Unfortunately, you didn't include the link to Max Lindenmann's article, so I don't have the full context. I suspect, though, that he wrote all that because, writing for his paycheck, he had a minimum word count to meet, and "I'm a pig" only counts for three.

Elizabeth said...

Hey Anthony! I linked to it up at the top, embeded in "On Dating Nice Catholic Girls." Here it is again, for your reading pleasure.

And hahaha yes, I think you're right. It was really sloppy. If you can come up with a concrete thesis after reading his article, please report back!

Marc Cardaronella said...

Awesome Elizabeth! I agree with everything you said! And with Anthony's explanation. It's the only one that fits. If he did get paid for that post, it was a waste of money.

I love what you said here, "So nice, Catholic girls should be unattractive and allergic to physical contact? Or, they should be attractive and cuddly, but "follow through" in order to avoid being a tease?" What in the world was this post about? And why was it on a Catholic site? I think it was very insulting!

And yes, at least the so called "teases" are calling him to a higher standard! Well done!

Liesl said...

I read the first page of the article and stopped because I could see where it was going... I can just picture you pulling the gloves off and saying 'Them's fightin' words!'
Apparently the author can only be around an attractive Catholic woman if she is enclosed in a bubble... that way she can't touch him and tempt him! Oh well... I guess I will keep this all in mind when I next go on the prowl, I'll have to remember to cover my ankles.

Trista said...

Brilliant, E! You mentioned almost all of the parts of the article that did not sit well with me. Thank you for giving such an awesome summary!

gedert014 said...

This is awesome. And so true. The guy should be happy that she's trying to encourage him to have the same respect for himself as she has for herself. Well written!

Sean said...

interesting article. i am not a catholic, but i was raised a devote Jehova's witness so i get her side of the story, i also get what he was saying as well. the reason i got to this page was through sr_lisa twitter. It sounds like he had unrealistic expectations going into the deal. Many so called religious people dont actually follow through, so either way..very interesting dialog

Allie said...

Wonderfully put. Can't wait to read what the other posts have to say on this!

Elizabeth said...

Marc- Thank you! Yes, I think Anthony is quite right.

Liesl- Oh yes, very frustrating! I read it all the way through because Trista had tweeted about it.

Trista- Thank YOU!!

Emily- Amen!! Thank you!

Sean- Thanks for commenting!! You're right, it's really sad. But you're also right that it certainly generates dialog!

Allie- Thank you! Yes, go read Trista's.

thisjourneyofmylife said...

I really liked your post. To be honest, as English isn't my mothertongue, it was a bit hard to read the article by Lindenman, as there seemed to be no line in it. It was very chaotic. You wrote you kept expecting him to turn the article around and it baffled me too that he didn't.
I wrote about the article last week (got the dates mixed up), but can't access Facebook, so I'll post the link here:

lettersfromchristine said...

Great post! I read the original article in February, and I just didn't see where the author was going with it. It seemed to be written in bitterness, and wasn't charitable. I really liked your explanation, and it makes better sense now. I agree, women who hold men to a high standard are not teases, but rather, are practicing continence and, hopefully, chastity. Great post!

Elizabeth said...

Thanks Ciska! Yeah, even as a native English speaker, I couldn't figure out what he meant!! I loved your post and put it on the Facebook page.

Welcome Christine! Thank you! Yes, I wish he was clearer. I hope I just misunderstood him...

C. said...

"If he was a train, we'd hear about it on the news, read about it in the grocery aisle, and hold candlelight vigils across the country"- ha! my sentiments exactly! I read the article and scratched my head wondering not only what his point was, but what alternative he would propose. Granted, short-shorts aren't the number 1 choice for Mass (I'm assuming this girl wasn't wearing a mantilla about town), but, hey, maybe it was the chapel and she had a really crazy day and needed to pop in and be with Jesus.

We only have his side, when we're supposed to be in this together.

Robert Gusnowski said...

Hi Elizabeth, I am seeking your help.

For days I have been Googling for Catholic and Orthodox discussion forums, and while there are many out there, not all are accepting registrations.

It is my belief that as Christians we can all learn from each other. That does not mean converting from one faith to another, but rather just reading and discussing to get a better understanding of faith, GOD, the scriptures, and the ultimate gift of salvation that comes through Christ's Blood. It is by Christ alone we are saved, and Christ didn't limit his teachings. When our Saviour walked this earth he reached out to the Samaritan. He ate with the tax collectors. He cured the haemorrhaging woman who touched the bottom of his cloak. Example after example can be found where he followed the "spirit of the law" as opposed to the words of the Jewish laws.

A lot of time an effort has been put in to creating my forum - http://apostolictradition.org/ These initial efforts are just a start. The forum will undoubtedly evolve as I receive feedback, and as inspiration from my prayers guides me. It was prayer and The Holy Spirit that has inspired me to take up this task, risk ridicule, insult, and rejection, but I persevered and will continue to persevere. You are just one of many I have, and will, ask for help.

So far rejections have far out numbered offers to help, but I will continue without discouragement.

All that I ask is that you may share the URL for this forum, and invite others to come participate, learn, discuss, and grow. I also extend a personal invitation to you to join and participate in the discussions.

In Christ's Holy Name......


MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

- Thomas Merton, "Thoughts in Solitude"

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