Amoris Laetitia and the Trans-Bathroom Can of Worms

Humans, all humans, have a need to feel safe when we go to the bathroom.  It's a viscerally rooted survival instinct.Back when we were young and childless, if a transvestite friend came to the house there were never any issues.  But now we have these young Catholics filling our home, lovely children but still growing in their life of virtue, still easily swayed from the narrow road; we have to think carefully about how that affects our social choices.  And thus, when such a friend asks to use … [Read more...]

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Sexual Bravado vs. Sexual Maturity

My 8th grader was describing an acquaintance of the same age, and I paraphrase: Her rallying cry is, "Let's go f*** some sh** up!"  She says never posts *full* nudes of herself, so it's okay.  She's obsessed with having a boyfriend, and she keeps asking me what it's like to actually talk to a boy. This is the middle school narrative: If you sext, brandish vulgar language, and organize your life around the quest for a boyfriend, you're the sophisticated one -- even if you've never had a real c … [Read more...]

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Whom Does Modesty Serve?

I've got sex on the brain, and before I start into that conversation, I want to lay out a few comments about the limits of modesty.Here's a quick working definition: With respect to chastity, modesty is the collection of actions we take in order to safeguard our purity.  Modesty includes not only the way we dress, but the way we interact with others.There are of course other areas where modesty applies -- with respect to our wealth, our accomplishments, and so forth.  For your homework, y … [Read more...]

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One for the Watchlist: Mid-August Lunch

Elizabeth Scalia's essay on the Eternal City reminded me of a film I've been meaning to mention.  Mid-August Lunch (Pranzo di Ferragosto) is a desultory Italian film in which the reluctant hero does the thing you probably don't want to do either.  It's a lovely tribute to virtue and friendship, without even a wisp of Hallmark-y sugar anywhere in it.Here's the description from Wikimedia, which doesn't include the worst of the spoilers: Gianni (Gianni Di Gregorio), a broken man with mounting c … [Read more...]

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3 Ingredients for Parental Sanity in Kids’ Competitive Sports

So I developed a new rule this weekend: If watching your child play sports causes you to spew f-bombs at your own child's team, it's time for family counseling.Thomas Wurtz has a great article up at CatholicMom.com on signs that competitive athletics are turning you into a monster.  After bouncing a number of thoughts off my daughter over the past several months, I'd like to suggest a few things I've identified that keep sports sane. 1. The Decision to Play is a Decision for Today … [Read more...]

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Can Land’s End Be Saved? Three Strategies

I thought I was done with this topic, but no b-school case study is complete until the student has proposed solutions.  I've got three.1. New management.  I realize political and religious tests are popular in certain quarters, but I don't hold with that for a moment.  If Frederica Marchionni is capable of leading an American retailer, by all means keep her on.  It appears she's generated massive mistrust from all quarters, and that she lacks either a grasp of her customer base or a grasp of … [Read more...]

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Land’s End Postscript: Sexism in Business & Politics

I've been further puzzling over the Gloria Steinem interview in the Land's End catalog, and I've come to a second conclusion: It's sexist.My thinking began by mentally reviewing the other catalogs I receive.  None of them ever feature prominent political leaders in them.  To wit:Duluth Trader (they'll tell you about the model's horse farm or blacksmith shop, but politics are right out) Vinyard Vine (they'll tell you what department the pictured employees work in, but still no p … [Read more...]

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