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Imagine Adam and Eve, in perfect joy walking in the Garden of Eden; the very Paradise created especially for their enjoyment. Everything they needed was there; everything, including freedom. The freedom to choose right or wrong; the freedom to disobey their Father. Any parent understands this bittersweet gift.
Along slithers the slimy serpent, who takes advantage of Eve. He tempts her and she succumbs. Eve chooses to disobey, and Adam is mysteriously silent. God created Eve to be Adam’s helpmate. Shouldn’t Adam reciprocate? What would Eve have done if Adam, ready to protect Eve, shouted, ” Eve, my love, don’t to listen him, he’s lying!” Would Eve have made a different choice?
Adam was supposed to protect Eve. Yes, Eve should have resisted the serpent’s temptation no matter what. Yes, she knew God’s instruction and God expected her to follow the law just as much as he expected Adam to follow the law. However, if Adam had used the birthright given him by his Father when he gave him dominion over the animals and the earth, Eve would have been much more likely to follow him. Eve needed Adam to stand up for her and protect her. But he didn’t. Where was he? Rather than stand up for Eve, Adam instead chose silence, then cast blame on Eve.
As much as today’s society tries to convince us that young women and girls do not need men, it is a lie. It is a lie that has grown since the beginning of the industrial revolution, the Suffragette Movement and the Feminist Movement. Yes, girls and women are valuable in their own right. And as JP II, (some call the “first feminist pope”) stressed in his Letter to Women and his apostolic letter, On the Dignity and Vocation of Women, women are valuable in their own right. Yes, women can contribute to society in many important ways. Yes, women have their own unique callings and gifts.
None of this negates the truth that women thrive when supported, guided, and led by their men. Women thrive when men love them, believe in their inherent dignity and refuse to use them or to objectify them.
I encourage every man, young and old, to speak up for women, to help them recognize their inherent dignity. “Why can’t they figure this out themselves?” one might ask. Some women can; most often those who have been nurtured by their fathers. Many young women however do not recognize their value due to the absence of paternal nurturing.
The short video at found at demandyourdignity.com shows young men imploring young women to claim their dignity and to resist “giving it up” for anyone, except their husband. They remind young women that their beauty comes from an inner beauty which has nothing to do with how sexual they look or act. This short video truly inspired me and it is my hope that it will have a similar effect on you.
Men, young and old, you are needed. Refuse to stand silently by any longer. Men, be the courageous, brave and protective Adam God created you to be. Be the man God created you to be.
Patti M. Zordich, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and Director & Founder of Triangle Psychological Services in Cary, NC. Dr. Zordich holds a Ph.D. in Developmental and Educational Psychology with an emphasis in clinical psychology, a Master’s Degree in Education. Dr. Zordich converted to the Catholic faith in 1996.
This post first appeared at Catholic Exchange. It is reprinted with permission.
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Sadly, women cannot expect this anymore. It’s a different world from the world our grandparents grew up in. The problem then lies in how women are to make their way in the world, protect themselves, resist pressure, and understand their value to God alone, absent of how the world, society and the modern man perceives them. That is the challenge facing most good women now.
Protect ourselves from what and whom? Are men suppose to protect us from other men, if so I thought all men are called to Protectors. Maybe women just need to learn to defend themselves, learn to be strong so they can build empires with their husbands. If God taught eve to protect herself, she wouldn’t have fallen prey to the serpent.
Jon Stallings says
I have often wondered what would have happened had Adam not taken the fruit from Eve. Would his headship been able to redeem her?
I don’t think women need men, (some do, but not all) but I will say that I am sick of boyfriends who stand by silently doing nothing when another man disrespects me right there. Real men don’t do that, and nothing makes me flee faster. I don’t need a man to protect me, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want one!
Since when did men ever protect women? The biggest problem our world face is human-trafficking among Pimps and young girls.
Since when? When we didn’t have the right to vote or long before that? Who helped us get the right to vote…..other women did, not men.
So you want us to believe that you men are going to protect us. LOL Where were you men when you were throwing stones at us, Where were you the past several thousands years? Men protect women……….yeah right…..they want to enslave us again……yeah that’s our protection all right.
Hank Meldrum says
I don’t like the implication that women “give up” their dignity for their husbands.
Sam Guzman says
The fact that “giving it up” is in quotes shows that the author is simply using the common, disparaging terminology for sexual intimacy, which should be saved for one’s spouse. She certainly wasn’t implying that marriage lessens a woman’s dignity in any way.
Hank Meldrum says
Thanks for making that clear.
My thoughts exactly. One’s dignity is far more encompassing than one’s virginity; it saturates their whole person. One can not give up their dignity, even to their spouse.
I think I understand what this article is trying to say- that men need to support women and help them to not be trapped by social constructs and ideas about their value and what it means to be a woman. This is a noble thought, though I completely disagree at how this article gets to this conclusion. As a woman, I reject the notion that “As much as today’s society tries to convince us that young women and girls do not need men, it is a lie. It is a lie that has grown since the beginning of the industrial revolution, the Suffragette Movement and the Feminist Movement… Women thrive when men love them, believe in their inherent dignity and refuse to use them or to objectify them.” We do not need men to recognize our own dignity. Rather, it is hidden from us because of the patriarchal society we live in.
This article puts forth the idea that without men, women would be unable to understand their own birthright, respect themselves and their dignity as women. I reject that, with every fiber of my being. The industrial revolution, Suffragette Movement and Feminist Movement fought and are fighting to give women the respect they deserve in society. They were spurred out of repression by a completely patriarchal system that for thousands of years held men up while stomping on women. It is because of men, and men only, that this system exists and has thrived for so long. The culture this article refers to was not created by women, but by men.
Both sexes are equally important to each other and to society. Why else would God have created us both in His image? Would we not expect Eve to stand up and protect Adam, if the situation were reversed, and Adam was persuaded by the serpent? So men; instead of feeding your own ego with ideas about how only men can help women recognize their identity and dignity, try thinking about if and how you have fed the patriarchal society we live in today (including rape culture, slut-shaming, etc.), because this is what is affecting women. This is what is telling us who we should be. This is what we are fighting against. Stop thinking like it, and start thinking about how you can join the fight against it. Some of that most definitely includes supporting women and encouraging us to be our best selves. But we are calling you to be your best self in return and to stop the man-made culture that threatens us, not to use its thinking to try and help us improve. Because in the end, you will still think you’re better than us instead of being our equal. Reread this article- that is its mindset, and that is what I oppose.
Why can we not figure this out ourselves? Because the man-made, oppressive, patriarchal culture tells us who to be, and it does not align with our God-given dignity. Don’t be a part of that hegemony.
Hi Jenny. I hear ya. Women, like you and I would never fall for this stuff. However, there is a movement by men trying to destroy the feminist, their rights, so men can again recapture the man’s world once again. Yep. It’s important to remind your daughter where her rights come from. Our daughters will fall prey to the men again, if we don’t educate them about the history of women’s bondage. It’s a shame that we must be on the defensive when it comes to men’s intentions. I’d rather live in a world where a man and a woman’s voice counts than to live in a world where one sex rule’s the world(nothing good comes from that). A lesson I learn, is to never keep your guard down in a dog eat dog world. It’s a crazy, mad-men world.
Hm, something worth thinking about. Men need women. Women need men. I think we sometimes get confused on what “need” means in this context. Do women need men to get up in the morning and brush their teeth? Get dressed? Get a job or to feel good about themselves/have self-esteem? No. Women no longer need men for anything they do in their practical, daily life. But to be a well-rounded, beautiful, whole human being? Absolutely yes. Women need men and men need women to be that. It’s like music needs notes and silences to be music. If you only have notes, I suppose you can still call it music but it’s not beautiful. I’d call it noise. Women and men need each other to offset their own particular strengths and weaknesses – we were made to be and do that. We all NEED that complimentary-ness or we miss out on something truly beautiful. I’m not necessarily talking solely about dating/marriage relationships (although these are where the complimentarity is particularly apparent) but also in work relationship, family relationships (siblings/in-laws/parents/etc), friends, neighbours…in every type of life we might have. When my granny’s husband died, I remember thinking about how he “evened” out the rough patches in her character – and how after he was gone she had to depend (and let) others do what my grandpa did for her. It was hard and I think she still struggles with it. But the same goes for us whether we’re single, married or consecrated religious. Priests still need women (not in the priesthood, but in their daily lives) to help them see sides of life and administration that they might not see. Nuns still need men (in their daily lives) to do the same for them. Women are needed in workplaces, especially male-dominated ones, to ensure that dignity for the human person is upheld and protected. And men are needed in the female-dominated workplaces to ensure that women don’t get caught up amongst themselves in their own faults and failings. And this kind of need is uncomfortable and vulnerable and many of us despise vulnerability. But the thing both men and women often don’t understand is that this vulnerability is only healthy when it is centred in the Lord first, and then extended to others, when the time is judged to be right. And that vulnerability is also needed to have any kind of meaningful relationship – with anyone, not just with the opposite sex.
Bishop Fulton J. Sheen talks about the calibre of women in a civilization reflecting the health of the civilization itself. Healthy, strong women means a healthy, strong society. I would add that if one sex is failing, the other is failing too – it’s a “what-came-first-the-chicken-or-the-egg” thing. Men and women are so intertwined within any civilization that we’re both responsible for and bound to each other, so when we fail each other, down goes civilization. This isn’t a finger-pointing or a fault-finding thing. We fail each other. We’re (hopefully) sorry. We pick up and try again. It is what it is. I think the best thing we can do is BE ourselves, as much as we possibly can be. Women, be 100% yourself. Men, be 100% yourself. It will, quite literally, change the world.
I think you capture it Sarah. Did you take that from the “World’s First Love” by Archbishop Sheen? I would recommend it to all.
Do you really believe intelligent women will fall for that line again? LOL… We’ll just hand over rights so you guys can protect us.
When a guy tells you “yeah baby, everything will be ok, I’ll take care of you beautiful” WATCH OUT! RUN!
Lol, I would rather my husband be able to say this than for me to go to work stressed out about not being with my babies.
Your comments imply that you think the article was addressed to women in general or even directly to you. It also seems that you interpret the message to be along the lines of “just trust men while they take away women’s rights”.
The intended audience is men. (Of course women are free to read it, too.) And the message being given to men is summarized in one if its sentences, “I encourage every man, young and old, to speak up for women, to help them recognize their inherent dignity.” In other words, it is an appeal that men through their behavior and words should help women understand that they are not mere sex objects.
I don’t understand what there is to object to.
This article is one of good will toward women. Save your anger for those men that don’t have good will toward women.
Love this post….John Eldredge in the book “WILD AT HEART” addresses how men have to stand up and discover the heart that God gave them. It goes back to the wound that we have inherited from the fall of Adam and Eve. How men have to stand up and be who God created them to be and defend God, their wives, daughters, sons and homes. Well done keep them coming.