Reactionary Male Control Freak…

against Edjimacated Uppity Women and their sinful college edjimacation.  Yes, this guy is a Catholic and not a Protestant Fundamentalist.

St. Edith Stein, Hildegard of Bingen, Elizabeth Anscombe, Dorothy Day, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Margaret Roper (Thomas More’s brilliant and highly educated daughter) would have this guy’s guts for garters.

It is with a certain sense of glee that I anticipate Simcha Fisher’s response to this guy.

  • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

    You haven’t bothered reading it. Never mind. It’s your shtick and expected of you.
    “He found a formula for drawing comic rabbits:
    This formula for drawing comic rabbits paid.
    Till in the end he could not change the tragic habits
    This formula for drawing comic rabbits made.”

    • B

      I bothered. That was idiotic. What of the women who don’t get married or have a religious vocation or get married later in life? Guess they better stay with mom and dad in case there poor shriveled wombs can’t reject the near occasion of sin that being independent causes.

      • Jordan

        Yep, it’s a total waste of time, because if you haven’t started poppin’ ‘em out by 19, you’re really burnin’ daylight because you’re basically half dead already.

    • Andy, Bad Person

      I’m sure he did bother reading it, as did I. It’s every bit as offensive as Mark states.

      • http://janalynmarie.blogspot.com/ Beadgirl

        It’s also stupid, since many if not all of the reasons could apply to sons — near occasion of sin, attracting the “wrong kind” of women, getting too caught up in material success, not learning how to be fathers and husbands, etc.

        • Andy, Bad Person

          Sure. The particularly offensive implication is that women aren’t rational, moral agents themselves that have the ability to accept or reject sin on their own.

          • http://janalynmarie.blogspot.com/ Beadgirl

            I think it would blow his mind if I told him that attending an exceedingly crunchy, liberal, secular college *strengthened* my faith.

          • contrarian

            Andy, BP,
            Yeah, I don’t know. I also think the linked post was far from nuanced, but I’m not sure that we should conclude that this is what the author had in mind. Certainly, I wouldn’t want my daughter (if I one day have one…I have all boys) to join particular sororities, assuming they attended my alma mater. This isn’t because I don’t think they are irrational hysterical little things, but because even intelligent rational people should avoid certain environments (oh man, I’m thinking of particular sororities…wow). The author seems to be conflating the entirety of the college experience, any and everywhere, to Animal House. Certainly, he forgets that one can carve a niche at secular schools, and that there are many options that are, as a whole, provide sane environments.

        • vox borealis

          Look, I think it’s a silly article as well. But on the other hand, if one accepts that men and women are fundamentally different—a view compatible with a natural law perspective, but certainly at odds with most feminist assumptions—is it possible that there are particular aspects of the contemporary campus environment that are particularly threatening to/ harmful to women in general, even if not in every case? Is it possible it is an environment more damaging in general to women than to men?

          Again, I’m not agreeing with the article; far from it. Rather, I object to some–I think–overly simplistic objections to the article.

          • Rosemarie

            +J.M.J+

            The thought occurs: What if the daughter avoids the contemporary campus environment by using credit gained from CLEP tests, commuting to a local college rather than living in a dorm, or even taking the online courses that many colleges today offer? Would it then be okay with this guy that she gets a higher education?

          • Donna

            Exactly which womanly characteristics do you think make us more susceptible to the dangers of college? I don’t disagree that men and women are different – just can’t think of a difference that makes college more threatening to women.

    • Sven2547

      You haven’t bothered reading it.

      What has led you to this conclusion?

  • Sean

    Actually, 2, 4, 5 and 6 seem like good reasons for *anybody* not to go to college, regardless of sex. I’d actually say that the bigger problem in the whole article is that Alleman has bought into the idea that college is for job training. That’s not what liberal education is supposed to be about.

    Oh, and of course all colleges are exactly the same….

    • http://janalynmarie.blogspot.com/ Beadgirl

      And every student is the same, and reacts to college exactly the same way, and true faith and good parenting can never ever ever come out on top.

      • Jordan

        I went to college, but I had trouble getting an education because I was so focused on keeping my pants on, as per #2. It’s like they were *trying* slide off.

        • http://janalynmarie.blogspot.com/ Beadgirl

          And the beers kept jumping into my hand, no matter how hard I tried to focus on my studies!

  • BillyT92679

    It’s gynophobia really. I don’t think it’s a hated of women in this case (though there are plenty of misogynists out there) but an incredible fear that ANY female advancement corrodes, corrupts, and stymies men at every turn.

  • kirthigdon

    Given the increasing control of higher education by feminists (following up on their control of lower tiers of schooling), there are even more cogent reasons not to send your son to college. Of course, the guys are already taking the hint that they’re not wanted and so the percentage of men in higher ed is slowly but steadily declining. For years men have been a minority of undergrads and now are on the verge of minority status in grad schools. Given what most universities have become, that’s a good thing. There are a few honorable exceptions, but for the most part financing a son or daughter’s higher ed is a misuse of scarce funds.
    Kirt Higdon

  • Dave G.

    Given that women are increasingly trouncing men in a growing number of areas, I’d say the best reason not to send your daughter to college is to level the playing field a little.

    • http://www.subcreators.com/blog Lori Pieper

      Odd, this is the same sort of thing we are finding in the altar girl
      situation. Boys find out that girls can also be good at something = boys
      don’t want to do it. Girls become altar servers, boys drop out. Girls succeed in college, boys stay away. So according to some people (evidently the same sort of people) we should just withdraw our girls from college and from altar server training to encourage more boys in those places. But the real question is why men are encouraged to think this way to begin with. And yes, once they get to be college age, you really can’t use the excuse that you can with middle schoolers, “they’re just awkward and uncomfortable around girls.”

      Speaking of college, there must be some way that doesn’t teach boys they are the exclusively talented and privileged sex while allowing their talents room to grow. My guess is that yes, radical feminism is in the way. Sad.

      • Dave G.

        I don’t know. The growing number of stats whereby boys are declining, such as college degrees and new business starts, with most stats suggesting women will bypass men in virtually every category left if the trend continues, suggests it’s more than just ‘I don’t want to play anymore’. It suggests that men are dwindling in their accomplishments and overall contributions to society and women are surpassing them. When not, things are immediately changed to make sure it happens. Where I work, two thirds of the management is women. And you know what? Women appear happy with that. And more to the point, men appear happy, too. I think it’s mostly that you’re stuck between men like the fellow linked to on one side, and men on the other side who, for reasons I can only imagine, feel surrendering all for the cause is the only acceptable alternative. A good middle ground, at this point, appears elusive.

        • Dave

          This is sad to me. If women are making the majority of contributions to society, it means they are making less contributions in their own home. Women, in general, are certainly more talented than men in some ways, and this is because their task is glorious and crucial. Let me defer to GKC:

          “How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness.”

          No, I’m not saying it is evil for women to be educated. Not at all. But if there isn’t a parent at home, the children suffer. And yes, I know that in many cases, there isn’t an option. We need to fix that, as a society. Unfortunately, hardly anyone even realizes it’s a problem.

          It’s to the point where women feel guilty if they stay home with their children.

          • Rosemarie

            +J.M.J+

            >>>”How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe?”

            As a four-year college-educated SAHM and homeschooler, I am glad I got the education I did since it helps me tell my own child about the universe. Not all college-educated women go on to pursue a feminist’s dream lifestyle.

            • Dave

              Certainly. I completely agree. As to the cost/benefit analysis about college costs today, I think one might reasonably decide to educate themselves in some other way. Education is still a great good for anyone, though.

              • Rosemarie

                +J.M.J+

                Yeah, higher education is ridiculously expensive today – and no better than it was in the past when it was cheaper. I’m all for kids either educating themselves, mentor programs or doing some smart planning to keep the cost as low as possible (CLEP tests, etc.)

      • contrarian

        HI Lori,
        Perhaps this is the ‘same sort of thing.’ But my Ivy League educated wife would find the linked article quite naive. She nevertheless finds altar girls to be troubling, for reasons explained ad nauseam :)

        Cheers.

      • Dave

        Well, altar girls are a different story. Boys just aren’t as comfortable around girls at that age, and there isn’t the same camaraderie if it’s a mixed group, so their inclination to do it is reduced.

        For college, that situation doesn’t apply.

        • Rosemarie

          +J.M.J+

          Yeah, I can’t imagine an 18 year old boy saying, “Ick, there are *girls* at that college. I’m not going there!”

          Though I must say, I still see altar boys despite the presence of altar girls. They sometimes even serve together.

      • Evan

        If any boy doesn’t want to do something (especially altar serve or go to college) because girls do it just as well, then he needs to be given a long stern lecture about respect for and proper interaction with girls.

        • KarenJo12

          +1, as they say.

          • http://www.subcreators.com/blog Lori Pieper

            So say we all.

  • http://www.subcreators.com/blog Lori Pieper

    “St. Edith Stein, Hildegard of Bingen, Elizabeth Anscombe, Dorothy Day,
    Dorothy L. Sayers, and Margaret Roper (Thomas More’s brilliant and
    highly educated daughter) would have this guy’s guts for garters.”

    Not to mention Sts. Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, Therese of Lisieux, also highly prized Doctors of the Church, and the COLLEGE- EDUCATED St. Dr. (M.D) Gianna Beretta Molla.

    Come to think of it, the 100 or so ladies who have already commented on his site have already done a great job of putting him in his place, which right now, is just slightly lower than an earthworm.

  • Andy, Bad Person

    What a charmer. He had me at “illicit use of NFP.”

    • vox borealis

      Whatever about the article linked, but there is room for a open discussion about the misuse of NFP—that is to say, not its poor execution, but rather its use as “Catholic birth control” for less than grave reasons, which the Church teaches are a justification for its use.

      • Andy, Bad Person

        I think, more than an open discussion of NFP’s misuse, we need an open Catholic discussion on how to mind your own damn business.

        (“We” in the general sense, not in a passive-aggressive “you” sense.)

        • http://janalynmarie.blogspot.com/ Beadgirl

          Yup yup yup. What’s a grave/serious reason for one couple is a less serious reason for another. Never mind that a couple that actually goes through the trouble of learning and using NFP most likely has their hearts in the right place.

          • vox borealis

            As Mark Shea has argued, lying to sting the abortion clinic is still wrong, even if the stinger has his/her heart in the right place. So that’s not really relevant. The reality, as I see it, is that NFP is often passed off as “Catholic birth control”—an alternative to other methods, without any reference to “grave reasons” for its use. Certainly when we were “taught” NFP at the local parish Pre-Cana program, “grave reason” was never mentioned one bit. However, we were reassured that if done properly NFP was even more effective than artificial methods. That’s a pretty flawed presentation, if you ask me.

            The subject is worthy of a broader discussion. Why do people fear discussion?

            • http://janalynmarie.blogspot.com/ Beadgirl

              I don’t fear the discussion. But every time I’ve seen it happen, in invariably boils down to “I don’t think your reason for using NFP is grave enough.” There’s a reason why the Church has decided not to publish a list of serious reasons justifying NFP. As Simcha says, eyes on your own work.

              • vox borealis

                Yes, eyes on your own work in the specific. But that does not, should not—must not—mean no discussion of the topic in general. And that is what I reacted to: Andy’s automatic dismissal of the notion of “illicit use of NFP.” It’s a fair matter for discussion.

                • Stu

                  Absolutely. That’s how younger generations learn. Let’s strive to be balanced in our approach by discuss it nonetheless.

              • chezami

                This is illustrative, again, of the Reactionary habit of attending, not to the evangelization of those who really don’t know or don’t care about the gospel, but instead of spending all the energy browbeating those who are trying to obey the Church. More and more, I attribute this to rank cowardice. When was the last time a Reactionary scolding people who try to obey the Church demonstrated the stones to evangelize somebody outside the Church.

                • Newp Ort

                  Or outside of a combox. Goodness how does anyone get converted IRL?

            • contrarian

              vox,

              I agree. I for one have never understood how NFP isn’t just a healthier sort of birth control to be used for grave reasons. Seems to me, though, that if you have grave reasons to not have kids, you should just be celibate. This whole ‘cheating the cycle’ thing seems so unbecoming.

              Many conservative protestants seem to think that Catholics are cheating, and they understand the issues just fine. At any rate, it’s certainly relevant that charitable, intelligent, informed protestants want to call our bluff.

              “Certainly when we were “taught” NFP at the local parish Pre-Cana program, “grave reason” was never mentioned one bit. However, we were reassured that if done properly NFP was even more effective than artificial methods. That’s a pretty flawed presentation, if you ask me.”

              Well said.

              • Dave

                I don’t really see why it’s cheating to make use of facts about the woman’s natural cycle to avoid pregnancy. Are you saying it is evil of humanity to have this knowledge? And if not, why is it ‘unbecoming’ to make use of it, especially since the Magisterium says otherwise?

                To me, the difference between contraception and NFP is clear as day. It’s the same difference between two people who don’t want to gain weight. One gorges, and then forces themselves to vomit. The other refrains from eating.

                • contrarian

                  Hi Dave,
                  Good points, to be sure.

                  My comment was too cryptic, so my apologies. I don’t think using NFP for grave reasons is evil. I do find it ironic, however, that it forces a couple to give up relations during the time of the cycle when a woman is, hormonally, the most interested in it. :) We should at least notice something odd about that. So yes, I’m well aware of the bulimia analogy. Yet it seems to me that for the analogy to hold, someone would have to track the digestive system daily in some such way that they knew exactly when they could pig out a few days a month and not gain any weight…and that, in addition, the days when you didn’t eat were the days where you were *particularly* hungry and wanting to eat.
                  :)

                  Then there’s the endless talk of cervical mucus and such–potentially among strangers, no less. That’s what I was alluding to specifically with the ‘unbecoming’ comment. It’s undignified, no? At any rate, even if such things are not discussed in a ‘couple to couple league’, it seems to me that any method which entails such fine biological analysis and examination should at least be considered odd.

                  I could be wrong, though. I usually am.

                  Cheers.

                  • Dave

                    I think the analogy still holds, because on any given day when one doesn’t want to gain weight (either by food or getting pregnant, lol), they have the choice to do so by refraining from the activity which causes the result which one desires to avoid, or by taking part in the activity but then taking immoral & unhealthy actions to avoid the consequences.

                    I do understand the point about the woman having to abstain when she is generally most “frisky.” It most certainly is a cross, so that’s why, in general, I doubt that people will use NFP unless they have a strong reason. (A strong reason and a just reason are not the same thing. It is possible for priorities to be misplaced.)

                  • Shawna Mathieu

                    “…any method that entails such fine biological analysis and examination…”
                    I wouldn’t consider cervical fluid examination (oh noes, I said it out loud!) that takes 30 seconds to check and taking a basal temperature in the morning, which takes about a minute, “fine biological analysis”.
                    We teach premarital abstinence, by showing that people can and should exercise self-control. it seems that as soon as marriage occurs, the concept of self-control goes right out the window. Interesting you brought up the statement that it’s not “fair” to women to abstain during her most sexual, and fertile period – I’ve run into only one WOMAN who’ve used that argument. I hear it a lot from men, who tend to admit privately that they don’t like the idea of THEMSELVES having to abstain for whatever reason.
                    My husband and I were chaste for over three years before we got married. After that, we have never found it a burden to abstain for a few days a cycle if we’re postponing pregnancy.
                    And as for talking about specifics of NFP in public being “unbecoming”…if you have children, go to a park and talk to the parents there. Birth control and sterilization are discussed a lot there, usually with gusto and details. I’ve never been in a situation where NFP specifics were brought up in a public setting. I’m sure this isn’t the case, but when you said that, it comes across more that you yourself have a personal problem with it being discussed.

            • Andy, Bad Person

              Several thoughts:

              The reality, as I see it, is that NFP is often passed off as “Catholic birth control”—an alternative to other methods, without any reference to “grave reasons” for its use.

              1. Is it? Do you really see the overuse of NFP as a rampant problem in our church today?

              2. The “grave reasons” canard needs to be put to bed once and for all. It’s “just reasons,” which according to papal teaching, can be rather broad, as long as our consciences are formed and we are honest with ourselves.

              Certainly when we were “taught” NFP at the local parish Pre-Cana program, “grave reason” was never mentioned one bit.

              As it shouldn’t have been, since that’s not what it says.

              • Jordan

                You know, if I were ever an NFP instructor, I think I would teach the method, and then explain that if you’re a couple who’s grown-up enough to marry and have sex, then you can pray, discern, and seek advice from trustworthy priests if you need another person’s input. My ideas of just reasons and necessary situations won’t be their reasons, and they’re going to have to make up their own minds, seeing as to how they’ll be the ones raising the children they may have and I wouldn’t know anything of their state of mind/intentions/personal resources anyway.

                • vox borealis

                  @ Jordan, if I were an instructor at a Pre-Cana encounter, I would teach the method and the Catholic theological justification for its use. What good is such an encounter, meant to get couples to understand their roles and responsibilities as Catholics when entering into marriage, if the *reasons* behind the method are not even mentioned. And please, put away your straw man: I’m looking for an index or list of grave reasons. I mean that the instructors should have at last said that the church expects the reasons for using NFP to space pregnancies to be serious and proportional, that NFP should *not* simply be Catholic birth control.

                  • Andy, Bad Person

                    Don’t need grave reasons. Please stop hanging unnecessary burdens around your fellow Catholics’ necks.

                  • Jordan

                    You know, since I wasn’t actually arguing with you (my reply was an addition to Andy’s thoughts) and mis-characterizing your intentions, that would indicate that I wasn’t using a “straw-man”. Note the words “If I were…” indicating what I would do in a certain situation. NFP instructors are not spiritual directors. Plain and simple. You can add all the commentary you want of your own personal spin on things, but ultimately, you have certain resources you can (and should) point people to that are actually from the Church, and then you have your own interpretations. People deserve to know that no matter how right you or I might think we are about the particulars, there’s an independent category of what the Church actually demands specifically, and it is the couple’s job to search their hearts, pray, and attempt to conform themselves to Christ.

              • vox borealis

                I don’t see overuse of NFP as a problem. I do think that its proper use within Catholic teaching on sexuality is not will taught, and that is a problem. My point involves how part of the faith is taught, not how it is practiced.

                Grave/serious v. just reasons: Humane Vitae called and says you’re wrong.

                As for the comment “As it shouldn’t have been…” I have no idea what you mean. The Church teaches that couple should space pregnancies only from serious motives. It doesn’t teach “hey go ahead on not be open to life, so long as you do it measuring mucus as opposed to slapping on a rubber.”

                • Andy, Bad Person

                  A good translation (not the rushed, agenda-driven first edition) of Humane Vitae is more nuanced and doesn’t engage in witch hunting. You don’t need to be a Latin scholar to be able to translate iustae causae.

                  http://www.hprweb.com/2008/03/humanae-vitae-grave-motives-to-use-a-good-translation/

                  P.S. The best overall address of this subject I’ve seen is here:

                  http://www.crisismagazine.com/2011/nfp-the-myth-of-the-%E2%80%9Ccontraceptive-mentality%E2%80%9D

                • Anna

                  No, the word translated as “grave” is the Latin “gravis, grave” which means “serious, weighty” – not the same sense as the English “grave.” Also, there are five different adjectives used throughout HV to describe the couple’s reasons; “just” is indeed one of them.

                  I agree that the way NFP is taught isn’t usually very good. Recently, in my own diocese, I was part of a group working on bringing better NFP instruction to the marriage prep program. It was *not* easy challenging the powers that be in the Family Life Office to present a paradigm shift rather than a “more effective than birth control – and it has the Church’s stamp of approval!” approach.

              • vox borealis

                @ Andy, and seriously, we’re going to play semantics over grave v. serious v. just. Look at the documents in context:http://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/nfp_serious_motives.htm.

                • Andy, Bad Person

                  I don’t see how that ewtn link contradicts what I’ve been saying. As a matter of fact, the overused word “grave” appears nowhere.

              • Stu

                I have encounter young, newly married Catholic couples who were educated in NFP as part of their mandated marriage prep. There seems to be an understanding on their part that they need to begin using NFP immediately to delay children. If that is the case, then why did they get married in the first place. So, yes I do think there is a problem with NFP and how it is being taught.

                Patrick Madrid had a recent call on his show with a young lady who was about to get married and was having a hard time explaining to her fiance that she wanted to use NFP because their finances were as strong as they could be.

                Now I certainly believe the people I am talking about mean well. But something does seem amiss in how they are being formed in this regard coupled with societies increasing inability to determine what and what is NOT a necessity in life.

                • Andy, Bad Person

                  There seems to be an understanding on their part that they need to begin using NFP immediately to delay children. If that is the case, then why did they get married in the first place.

                  Because having children is one of, but not the only, reason to get married.

                  • Stu

                    It’s not an “either/or”. It’s a “both/and”. If you aren’t ready for children, then you should question why you are getting married.

                • Marthe Lépine

                  Well, in order for NFP to be done properly, it is necessary for a woman to begin charting a long time before starting using NFP. And there is no reason to begin charting other than NFP. Therefore if a young couple does not know much about NFP, it will make it much more difficult to do it properly and successfully when the need does arise.

            • Andy, Bad Person

              As Mark Shea has argued, lying to sting the abortion clinic is still wrong, even if the stinger has his/her heart in the right place. So that’s not really relevant.

              Intention is almost always relevant unless you’re dealing with matter that is intrinsically evil. Lying, like abortion, is intrinsically evil, so intention doesn’t factor into the morality of an action. NFP, on the other hand, is not intrinsically evil, so yes, intention is huge.

        • vox borealis

          Huh? I’m not even sure what this means. I’ve read some good stuff from a range of Catholic writers and bloggers who have raised some interesting questions about the way NFP is passed off and taught. All I’m saying is that I am not going to be immediately put off by an article that talks about “illicit use of NFP,” as if such an idea is inherently verboten. It’s all part of the Church’s teachings on sexuality, which seem like pretty fair game for discussion, and indeed everyone’s business (in the general sense, not in the specific what do “you” do in “your bedroom” sense).

          • Andy, Bad Person

            The idea isn’t verboten, but the implication in this article is laughably stupid. College is expensive, therefore parents will be tempted into “illicit us of NFP” by it. In other words, they will manage their finances like adults to take care of their children.

            That’s a just reason. And yes, it’s no one else’s business.

            • Rosemarie

              +J.M.J+

              >>>College is expensive, therefore parents will be tempted into “illicit us of NFP” by it.

              Wouldn’t that also be an argument against sending sons to college? It’s not any less expensive for male students, after all.

              • Andy, Bad Person

                Obviously not, because women. Q-E-frickin’-D.

    • Robe Roberto

      If there aren’t ‘serious motives’ is probably what the guy meant by “illicit use of NFP”.

      If, then, there are serious motives to space out births, which derive from the physical or psychological conditions of husband and wife, or from external conditions, the Church teaches that it is then licit to take into account the natural rhythms immanent in the generative functions… [Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae 16

      • Andy, Bad Person

        Sigh. Everyone seems to skip right over that “or from external conditions” part.

        • CS

          I usually skip right over the “I am a random Catholic on the internet and I have something to say about the licitness of your use of NFP” part.

          • Andy, Bad Person

            You don’t prefer spiritual direction from anonymous random judgmental strangers? What kind of liberal are you?

  • Sean P. Dailey

    I wonder what his views are on women and pants?

    • Andy, Bad Person

      Oh please oh please oh please let this be where this conversation goes. I’ve been praying for the return of the Great Pants Debate for a couple of years now.

      • http://janalynmarie.blogspot.com/ Beadgirl

        Me, I’ve been waiting for a resurgence of the no-sandals-in-Church idea. I have so many questions about that!

        • Kathleen M. Ritter

          Because toes are so enticing they lead to lust, and it is our job as women to help the men in our lives avoid temptation.

          Unless we are Franciscans in sandals, in which case we are probably wearing Birkenstocks, and toes in Birkenstocks do not lead to lust.

          • Kathleen M. Ritter

            Toes!

        • Marthe Lépine

          I have read in a book about primary education at the time of my childhood about a priest who claimed as an argument against sandals that “lust starts with the feet and works its way up!”

      • http://www.likelierthings.com/ Jon W

        Sacks, not slacks!

      • Evan

        Now we know why you call yourself “Bad Person.”


        *whispers* I love the pants debate too, if only because I find the sola skirtura people so absurdly amusing.

  • Joyce Donahue

    Truly frightening… I know this guy from Facebook. This is only the tip of his conservative iceberg. He has 7 children (2 are girls) – and I believe mom home schools them. Clearly, his preference is that his daughters stay home to be barefoot and pregnant.

    My quibble, besides the obvious chauvinism, is that not all men are called to the same vocation, including fatherhood. Why would he assume all women are called to motherhood, or that being educated is a bar to good motherhood? Well-educated mothers nurture high-functioning children who become high-functioning adults.

    • Evan

      “Well-educated mothers nurture high-functioning children who become high-functioning adults.”
      Absolutely. And if a woman is called to homeschool her children, a college education could be extremely helpful in making her a better teacher.

      • WSquared

        …and for those who do have careers, being mothers at home enable them to steward as mothers in the workplace.

        Part of the problem is that we’re all reading motherhood as a vocation in an exclusively biological way. The Church doesn’t do any such thing. Her reverence and respect of celibacy and virginity attests as much.

        …something that Cardinal Ratzinger pointed out in his “letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the cooperation between men and women in the Church and in the world.

        But of course, many Catholics, not least the misogynist control-freak Catholics, ignore him on this (the comments that Pia de Solenni received in the combox at NCRegister when she quoted both Ratzinger and John Paul II’s “Mulieris Dignitatem” were truly appalling). …by the way: anyone notice that discussions on Joseph Ratzinger lean almost exclusively liturgical? Because other than “Summorum Pontificum” and Spirit of the Liturgy, who cares about anything else he wrote, right?

    • Stu

      “Clearly, his preference is that his daughters stay home to be barefoot and pregnant.”
      ———————
      I don’t agree with the man, but you are just as bad as he is with such statements.

    • contrarian

      Hi Joyce,
      Let’s be careful to not assume he’s some power-hungry misogynist. His heart seems to be in the right place.

      • chezami

        Nah. He’s a power-hungry misogynist control freak.

        • Tucker

          Mark, this is why people called you a “cultural Marxist”. Stop using the language and arguments of the Left.

          • chezami

            No. The reason people call me a Cultural Marxist is that they are reactionary idiots who think in slogans.

      • KarenJo12

        Read the rest of his blog. He’s a thorough woman-hater.

      • Sarah

        From the comment threads on his Facebook page that he just deleted today (now I wish I had taken screenshots…), he is a power-hungry misogynist. He believes fully that God cannot call a woman to a career. The only options in his mind for women are religious life and marriage. Nothing else.

        • Margaret

          Wow– well the church certainly disagrees with that. Opus Dei numerary women are, by canon law, NOT religious. They remain unmarried, and most pursue careers outside the work they do internally for the prelature.

        • Marthe Lépine

          He was born in the wrong century, that’s all! When I was growing up, choices for women were still too often summarized as 1- marriage and 2- becoming a nun. Of course, they could also become nurses or teachers. In those days, student nurses were living in a quasi-boarding school setting for 4 years and expected to do all the nursing assistant work in a hospital, without being paid…

    • Robe Roberto

      Seems to me that the guy’s problem is not with the education of women in general, which he is for, specially a Catholic education. The issue is with women actually attending college.

  • Evan

    I saw that via Simcha’s facebook a few days ago. When I clicked, I thought it was going to be satire. I was amazed/appalled to discover it was serious.

    • Dillon T. McCameron

      Even going through it, I thought it had to be satirical. Like a very subtle Onion-piece.

  • Dave G.

    I will say this. It’s certainly nice to find yet one more issue whereby we can separate those deplorable Catholic goats over there from us awesome Catholic sheep over here.

  • Stu

    The continual need to find obscure people on the internet to attack isn’t very productive. Generates lots of comments, though.

    • Beefy Levinson

      Every time Mark digs up another obscure writer no one’s ever heard of to use as a punching bag, it probably creates a sharp spike in his target’s traffic. Maybe it even gets them new readers.

      • Erin Manning

        Or, every time Mark does this, people who are being sent this article by relatives and friends who *approve* of this guy can do a search and find out that no, this is not actually what the Church teaches.

        I don’t want to reveal too many personal details about someone I know, but this stuff can cause grave harm. Grave harm as in “Went SSPX and married and had a houseful of kids before the male SSPX Mass Only control-freak being stoked by this kind of thinking decided she wasn’t good enough and divorced her…” harm. The more people like my acquaintance can find out that this stuff really is poison and NOT what the Church teaches, the better.

        • http://janalynmarie.blogspot.com/ Beadgirl

          Not only that, it’s making the rounds in the secular media now. I, for one, would prefer that this tool NOT be the face of Catholicism.

  • Mary Alice

    Overall, pretty repulsive. I guess my current life situation as a newly widowed mother with six children still at home gives me cause to want to smack this guy. I’m glad I have a BS in Nursing, even though I haven’t worked outside my home as a nurse in 15 years. I was able to care for my husband during his illnesses and that meant everything to me. I still have a license so that if social security and rents from the rental properties we own don’t pan out, I can put the kids in school (we homeschool) and work as a nurse. My dh did leave me a nice insurance policy but I read an article suggesting that a widow estimate that she will live to be one hundred years old, and then calculate how much of the life insurance amount she can take out for expenses every year. It is sobering to think that the seven of us could live on $14,000 a year, according to this bloggers belief. In what universe, buddy?

    • Erin Manning

      Mary Alice, I’m so sorry for your loss, and will keep your family in my prayers.

      • Mary Alice

        Thanks, Erin. We are still pretty raw. A few of my kids are sometimes angry at God for their Daddy’s death. Prayers are very, very appreciated!

  • SteveP

    Mark: are you attempting to draw a parallel between bloggers interfering with each other’s blogs and nation-states interfering with other’s populations?

  • Irenist

    Well, I’m kind of hoping my daughter DOESN’T go to college–or get a law degree, MBA, or doctorate. Of course, if I had a son, I wouldn’t want him to do any of that, either. Nothing to do with gender roles. I just think the return on investment for student loans nowadays is negative.

    Better to learn a trade, learn to farm, or acquire credentials through online courses, certificate programs, and MOOCs. If my daughter does go to college, I hope it will at least be to a community college or some other such good value proposition, and not some overpriced “elite” private university like the ones I attended.

    Oh, and yeah, that anti-feminist guy is creepy.

    • A Philosopher

      Irenist,

      I’m completely with you on the very serious problem of increasing college costs and the crippling effects of student loans. This is an important issue that the academy is only belatedly and imperfectly coming to address. (The fact that federal student loans are immune to bankrupting procedures is another crucial point.) Nevertheless, a couple of countervailing considerations:

      1. Despite the weight of student loans, the fact remains that a college education is on average a winning economic gambit. The numbers I’ve seen put total lifetime earnings hundreds of thousands of dollars higher, in typical cases, with a college degree than without, even when taking into account the impact of loan debt.

      2. I should put in a plug for state universities. There are absolutely excellent state universities at which in-state tuition is under $10,000 a year. I agree that one should think very carefully about undertaking the financial burden of sending a child to a private university, where average annual costs are rapidly approaching $50,000 a year, but many of the state schools are economic bargains and fantastic educational resources.

      • Irenist

        Great points, Philosopher!

        Certainly the non-dischargeability in bankruptcy of student loans has been a disaster for many people, and seems to be delaying the rates of family formation, entrepreneurship, home-buying, and auto-buying among the young, to the deep detriment of the economy. It would make more sense for universities to bear the risk of human capital investment (via loans repayable as a fixed percentage of graduates’ incomes for a fixed time) than to expect 18-year-olds to predict who will be hiring in four years, as if every high school kid was some kind of hedge fund maestro capable of predicting the economy.

        To reply to your numbered points:

        1. I’ve seen those numbers, too. Unfortunately, every study to that effect I’ve seen has necessarily included lifetime earnings numbers from older cohorts, since younger cohorts’ lifetime earnings aren’t available for study, absent a time machine.

        The issue there is that while a college degree was a rarer and more valuable credential in prior decades that served as a springboard to better careers, it doesn’t seem to be getting many Millennials much farther than the nearest retail or food service gig. If one were to run lifetime earnings numbers in 1885, there would’ve been a substantial “high school graduate wage premium,” I imagine. A bachelor’s is increasingly like a high school degree: it helps keep you out of the bottom of the pile, but hardly gets you to the top, or anywhere near it. Credential inflation has hollowed out the value of all but the more technical college degrees. And even in STEM fields, things aren’t always that rosy. Nursing and other medical fields look like a pretty good bet for now, but who knows about the future.

        It’s an unavoidable issue in the study design on lifetime earnings, but the use of older cohorts kind of makes the data junk as far as I’m concerned: with computers and outsourcing and credential inflation, college is worth far less now. The generation that used college as a ladder to success has, however unintentionally, kicked out all the lower rungs behind them as they’ve climbed.

        2. Agreed wholeheartedly on state universities often being better value than private, if your kid is going to go to college anyway.

      • Dave

        It has historically been a winning economic gambit. I am not so sure the same conditions prevail now as in the past though. I recently saw an article that over 50% of recent college graduates from the last four years are either unemployed or underemployed (in an area not related to their degree.) The study was from last year, so hopefully the picture has brightened some, but just because something was true in the past does not mean it is true now.

        Also, re: private schools, don’t look at the sticker price. Look at the bottom line. My daughter was able to attend (including room and board) a reasonably good Catholic school for around $13000 per year.

      • http://brianniemeier.com/ Brian Niemeier

        You’re making sound conclusions on tainted evidence. Chances are, those figures you’ve seen were put out buy the US Dept. of Education, which has a financial interest in more people getting federal student loans. The new paradigm is that associate’s degree holders, and even high school graduates with no degrees are likely to turn out wealthier than folks with four year degrees. http://money.cnn.com/2013/02/26/pf/college/community-college-earnings/index.html

    • Tucker

      Nothing to do with gender roles.

      Again, why, on a Catholic site, are we seeing people have such a problem with the idea of “gender roles”?

      • chezami

        No problem with gender roles per se. Just a problem with the blanket declaration that women should not seek higher ed. And with reactionary male control freaks.

      • Irenist

        No problem with gender roles, but my beef with student loans happens not to have anything to do with them.

  • lspinelli

    If you know you’re throwing your COMPLETE trust and future on a man, you’ll want one you can certainly rely on.

    What’s to stop some reactionary Catholic guy from finding a “purer” woman, leaving the “worldly and corrupted” wife with no way to provide for herself and her kids?

    Not for me, thanks. I have my edjamication. So will my girls.

    • Beefy Levinson

      Presumably, that reactionary Catholic guy doesn’t believe in divorcing for cash and prizes.

      What’s to stop the edjimicated feminist Catholic wife and mother from going on an Eat, Pray, Love trip and divorce raping her hapless hubby?

  • lspinelli

    The other offensive message I took away from this screed is his absolute refusal to acknowledge that people may have other God-given talents besides the very narrow traditional roles.

    My son is leaning towards a career in engineering. That’s where his talents and capabilities are. But what if my daughters had that? Why shouldn’t they be given the chance to explore those talents?

    Besides, I think God would get offended if a brilliant mind that He created was wasted.

    • Donna

      Exactly. This is my main objection to this tripe. Also, what does a parent who believes the author’s objections to college really think of their daughters? They must think they raised weak minded, weak spirited little followers who are unable to stand against temptation and who will fall for any line given them by the “wrong sort of men.” Really, it’s a statement that they did a lousy job raising their girls.

    • WSquared

      …or that the Church does not understand the vocations of motherhood and fatherhood in a way that reduces it completely to biology.

      This is why the witness of the celibate and the virgin are crucial.

      But what if my daughters had that? Why shouldn’t they be given the chance to explore those talents?

      And who says that if they did, it would get in the way of their being wives and mothers? Certainly not the Catholic Church.

      • lspinelli

        No, but this guy quotes the Catechism, Saints, and Doctors of the Church to support his views, which (imho) are closer to the Quiverfull movement than anything resembling what the Church teaches.

  • AMoniqueOcampo

    My female facebook friends and I were basically raged up about this. As someone who dreamed of going to college since 7th grade, I felt quite livid.

  • AMoniqueOcampo

    Also: Don’t forget St. Gianna. Recently canonized. Doctor AND Mother.

  • Beefy Levinson

    Well, I think going to college vs. getting an education are two separate questions. Going to college is a raw deal these days unless you major in a narrow range of STEM subjects. No matter what the Cathedral says, women cannot have it all. So ladies, if your long term goal is to become a wife and mother, then ask yourself if you really need to take on mortgage levels of debt in your early twenties for a degree in Psychology or ECE if you plan on being a homeschooling mom anyway.

    • lspinelli

      If my dad didn’t set up funds for college for my kids (I am exceedingly blessed and lucky), I would tell them: 1) Go to community college; 2) go to community college, then transfer your credits; or 3) work your way through, like your dad did. He has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from NJIT.

      • Stu

        Essentially what I have told my children, except that I have encouraged them to learn a trade first.

        And be prepared to adjust accordingly for a family.

    • Irenist

      I agree with this, but don’t think it’s only good advice for young women. Everyone should be rethinking the value of non-STEM (and even many STEM) degrees. BTW: Do you mean “Cathedral” in the Mencius Moldbug sense?

      • Beefy Levinson

        Indeed.

      • http://janalynmarie.blogspot.com/ Beadgirl

        Two quibbles. 1) There are plenty of non-STEM careers that require a college degree. But I agree that families should evaluate the costs of college, the different options available, and what the child wants to do with her life, balancing practicalities with her natural interests and skills.

        2) I’d caution everyone that life doesn’t always turn out the way you want. That career you were counting on, STEM or not, may fall through, the economy may tank, you may not find someone to marry for years and years if ever, you may not be able to have children, you may end up with a high-special needs or medically fragile child, your spouse may become disabled or may die or leave you, you may have a huge reversal in your financial situation, etc.

  • Rosemarie

    +J.M.J+

    Bishop Williamson, formerly of the SSPX, is also opposed to women going to college:

    http://williamsonletters.blogspot.com/2009/02/girls-at-university.html

    …though he quite explicitly states that women are inferior to men in everything other than motherhood. I think the Fix the Family guys would disagree with that.

    As a woman with a BA, my opinion should be obvious. Yes, campus culture is degenerate, but I mostly avoided that by commuting (except for one semester when I lived in the dorms, but that was all I could stand of that). My college had only one sorority which I couldn’t have joined if I wanted to since it was for African Americans only… but I didn’t want to join a sorority anyway.

    Such things are *not* absolutely necessary for getting a higher education, believe me. Especially nowadays when one can even take some college courses online from the comfort of ones home; that wasn’t available in my day. I also wish I knew about CLEP tests back then, which save a student both time and money on their college credits. Of course, for some kids grants and scholarships may help keep the cost down so the parents won’t have to “misuse NFP” to pay for the child’s higher education. If one plans things carefully, one could probably really minimize ones college loan debt using CLEP, online courses, etc.

    Oh, and I didn’t do the feminist thing and get a career. I married soon after graduation and though I worked for a while before my first child came along, I’ve been a SAHM ever since. I am currently homeschooling my son and have never “regretted” my college education; if anything I believe it helps me to teach my child about the world. True, homeschooling moms with only a high school education can also be fine teachers, yet I’m still glad for the knowledge and experience that I have.

    • Stu

      What a much better response to the article in question. It recognizes that the author in question has some very valid concerns about some of the toxic elements found within institutes of “higher learning” all while providing some rationale that perhaps his response isn’t exactly the “best course of action.” Not only did you read the author charitably, but you provided a counter to his “off the mark” response in a charitable manner.

      • Rosemarie

        +J.M.J+

        Oh yeah, he’s got valid concerns. Unfortunately they prove too much; they end up arguing against *anyone* going to college.

        • Stu

          I agree completely. Many of those items he brings up are just as detrimental to young men as well. Perhaps the question should be one of “how” we approach higher education to include difference in approach for young men and women.

          • Rosemarie

            +J.M.J+

            >>>Perhaps the question should be one of “how” we approach higher education to include difference in approach for young men and women.

            Many colleges used to be single-sex only. In fact, my alma mater was founded by an order of nuns and was originally … get this … women-only. (Proof that the Catholic Church is not opposed to higher education for women, right?)

            Anyway, they had opened the Fine Arts department to men in the 1970s and, at the beginning of my sophomore year, they opened all majors to men. They were also in the process of secularizing, sadly, though a few nuns were still left.

            Anyway, separate colleges for young men and women could help with a different approach to educating them. Though I think the general trend has been toward co-education for a long time now. Is it because accepting all comers is better for the institution financially? Or because some students might not want to go to a single-sex school? Maybe; some of the students in my all-girls Catholic high school wanted the school to let boys in, though I disagreed. The atmosphere was more relaxed, no silly competition over boys, more focus on learning, and I liked it that way. But I’m just going on and on now…. :-)

  • Rosemarie

    +J.M.J+

    As for the specific arguments:

    >>>1. She will attract the wrong types of men.

    The “wrong type of men” are everywhere and could be attracted to non-college educated women, too. Also, as some have pointed out, boys in college will attract the wrong type of women, so maybe we shouldn’t send your sons to college, either.

    >>>2. She will be in a near occasion of sin.

    Again, so will a male college student, another reason not to send your sons to college.

    >>>3. She will not learn to be a wife and mother.

    I think some evangelical colleges offer home economics courses. Yet this isn’t usually learned in school anyway. It’s more taught in family life by doing chores, helping with younger siblings, etc. and, of course, some elements of parenthood are just learned by *doing* once your first child comes along. Men don’t learn husband- and fatherhood in college either, yet they manage to learn it somehow outside of college, so why can’t women do the same?

    >>>4. The cost of a degree is becoming more difficult to recoup.

    For male students as well. Once again, don’t send your sons to college!

    Also, like I said below, there are ways to keep costs down.

    >>>5. You don’t have to prove anything to the world.

    Do men only go to college to “prove anything to the world”? How many people would spend that much money for no other reason than to prove something? Obviously, they must have other reasons to pursue a higher education or they wouldn’t bother. A weak reason at best which assumes motives.

    >>>6. It could be a near occasion of sin for the parents.

    See answer to #4. The serious financial burden of sending sons to college isn’t any lower.

    >>>7. She will regret it.

    How do you know? As I said below, I don’t regret it. OTOH, my Mom, (God rest her soul) got married after graduating high school and regretted *not* going to college! I’m sure she’s not the only woman who felt that way. So I don’t find the “regret” argument convincing at all.

    • Jordan

      I think those were all good and fair responses, Rosemarie. I think what bothered me the most was the idea that women as a gender were treated as much less likely than men in his analysis to be able to make good decisions in the same environment (whether good college or “party school”). If a particular environment is a great occasion of sin, it’s going to have pitfalls for both men and women, and I don’t think you can just make a blanket statement like that about most colleges (there’s good groups/friends to associate with who will build you up intellectually and spiritually, and groups that will do the opposite, kind of like in the real world). Also, being in the home just presents different occasions of sin or opportunities for growth in holiness; it’s not like Satan’s going to be afraid to come tempt you just because you’re not at a university.

      • Rosemarie

        +J.M.J+

        Yeah, it does depend on who you “hang out with.” I was involved with campus ministries which was certainly a positive social environment. When a pro-life group formed in my Senior year I joined that as well.

        • Jordan

          That’s true, although I wasn’t necessarily thinking of sexual temptations. I feel like for whatever a woman is doing (homemaker/college student/working outside the home), it’s really insulting of the author to imply a woman (any more than a man) won’t have the intelligence/formation/resolve necessary to refuse to give in to sexual temptation in particular (if that’s even what a particular woman is especially tempted by). I feel like attitudes like that (hyper concern over sexual as opposed to other types of sin) are just intimately tied in with the idea that sexual sin makes you dirty, and many effectively operate by the idea that there’s nothing worse than being dirtied up, especially for a woman (a man who’s committed a sexual mortal sin can do the same degree of wrong as a woman committing a sexual mortal sin; the woman caught in adultery had a partner, obviously), even though they may not realize it or may not say so openly. Similar but maybe less severe attitudes exist for those tempted to excessive anger/wrath (it’s easy to look down on somebody who is sinning by completely losing control of their anger, because it’s visibly ugly). We should be on guard against sin as a whole, and really, even more so oftentimes on the “invisible” types (pride, for example), as they’re more difficult to see (as opposed to someone doing the proverbial “walk of shame” after fornication or losing their temper and assaulting someone or something), and more likely to become spiritualized. If Satan knows you’re not prone to lust, that’s not how he’s going to go after you, he’ll just be sneakier and probably prod you to sit there and judge fellow Catholics for not being “pure” enough, since that’s pretty tempting to a great many of us as well.

      • Tucker

        I think what bothered me the most was the idea that women as a gender
        were treated as much less likely than men in his analysis to be able to
        make good decisions in the same environment

        Have you considered the idea that this might be true?

        • chezami

          Have you considered the idea that you are a reactionary male control freak?

          • Marthe Lépine

            Hear! Hear!

        • lspinelli

          Listen. I don’t want a guy like this one making decisions about my life. What God calls me to do is between me and Him. I don’t need a biased middleman, thanks.

    • Rebecca Fuentes

      Agreed–my husband and I had a conversation that covered a lot of those points after we read the link. It also doesn’t address women like my sister, who is 39, single, never married, and a faithful Catholic. She’s prayed and discerned and doesn’t have a vocation to the sisterhood. She has to provide for herself, and she does. Is a women like her supposed to avoid college and support herself working minimum wage, low skills jobs just because a man doesn’t come along and marry her? Or my neighbor, who was also my 3rd grade teacher. A few years into their marriage, he was in a severe car accident and is a quadriplegic. For 30+ years, she has taught (a job that needs a college degree) so she can support him. He needs round-the-clock care and cannot be left alone. The reasons for not allowing or encouraging a girl to go to college so she can have the skills or knowledge needed to support herself or her family are weak. If the environment at colleges and universities is a near occasion of sin, we need to work to change that environment. We need to work to bring down the prohibitive costs of college. Keeping our daughters out isn’t the answer.
      I also doubt that Susan Wise Bauer would approve of him using the picture from the cover of her book, “The Well-Trained Mind”, to illustrate this post.

      • Karen

        College truly educated me in a way that I use in daily life (I majored in psychology but got a well-rounded liberal arts education). I learned how to write much better, articulate higher thoughts, and understand child development and human behavior. My computer skills rank very high, and that is useful in certain situations as well. My husband thinks very highly of me partly because of my education (and he’d say, intelligence). I imagine marriage would be boring if it involved much educational disparity, but that’s just my opinion. I suppose a sharp wit makes up for a lot.

        • Marthe Lépine

          I remember a priest that I met during a retreat replying to my comment that I had not yet met a man with whom I could have an intelligent conversation explain that “this was not necessary to keep a home and raise children”, e.g. I was much too choosy.

          • http://janalynmarie.blogspot.com/ Beadgirl

            Oof. Spending a lifetime with a man I can’t talk to sounds like hell to me.

          • Jordan

            I think it genuinely makes some men nervous when women are educated and intelligent enough realize they don’t have to marry the first schmuck that propositions them, so they’d actually have to make an effort. Not be rich, not be the absolute smartest man in the world, but not be a complete neanderthal either and expect a woman to be glad to have you.

    • WSquared

      Yet this isn’t usually learned in school anyway. It’s more taught in
      family life by doing chores, helping with younger siblings, etc. and, of
      course, some elements of parenthood are just learned by *doing* once
      your first child comes along.

      Yes. Cooking, cleaning, etc. is part of responsibility and stewardship of one’s resources.

      One doesn’t learn those skills exclusively or primarily because one hopes to get married someday. One learns to cook and clean at the very least because one has to eat (and shouldn’t waste money eating out all of the time), and one shouldn’t live in a pigsty as though one was raised by wolves. It’s also humbling when you’re taught from an early age that God didn’t love other people into being and existence primarily for the purpose of cleaning up after you.

      Moreover, learning to take care of oneself does prepare one to take care of others: what truly allows for human flourishing is as much to be nurtured by the individual in himself or herself as it is in one’s own children. It’s why the Sacraments matter. In some ways, we also learn to parent by staying in touch with the way that God parents us.

      In addition, we don’t get married because we “need” a man or a woman to be happy– that kind of detachment is actually necessary in marriage in order to truly love our spouse. All the more reason why a woman can stay Catholic and orthodox in college if shown how: it gives her a fighting, discerning chance against both a toxic mainstream culture and against the reactionaries. Moreover, it puts the focus squarely on what a Catholic is supposed to do: evangelize with the way he or she lives.

      Granted, doing this on a secular college campus comes with a lot of challenges. But I wouldn’t put it past the witnesses of well-formed Catholics on those campuses: that one such student was in a class I taught was one of the way points on the way back to the Church for me. Catholic kids on a secular campus should stick close to Focus and stick close to the Newman Center if there is one. A lot of these kids love the Catholic faith, and live it with conviction. And they’re not afraid.

      What also infuriates me along with the misogyny in a piece like the one cited is the bunker mentality: as if our kids will stay Catholic if we shield them from the world and from the culture. Even St. Therese of Lisieux had to battle these very dark temptations at the end of her life, whereby they broke through what had been an otherwise cocooned life. In Introduction to Christianity, Joseph Ratzinger wrote that the believer is never free of doubt, just as the non-believer is never free of the question, “what if it’s true?”

  • http://brianniemeier.com/ Brian Niemeier

    I think that many of the author’s arguments apply equally well to people of both sexes. All people have the right and obligation to inform their consciences and develop their God-given gifts, but today’s higher education system isn’t necessarily the place to do it.

    The idea that everyone needs a college degree to validate his existence is the product of a rather narrow period in recent history when the GI Bill and postwar industrial boom created a new class of middle managers with MBAs. For the first time, you could leave high school, go to college on the four (or depending on how industrious you were, the three or even two) year plan while working an entry level job to cover tuition. The chances were excellent that a decent job paying well above a minimal living wage awaited you after graduation.

    That paradigm is over. Gone. College tuition is inflated beyond any known consumer price index. Meanwhile, the same people who profit from unserviceable student loan debt publish bogus figures advertising how much more a degreed person makes than someone with just a high school diploma. These days, somebody who starts work right after high school and saves and invests moderately will have a higher net worth at the end of the day than a college grad.

    I’m not saying that no one should go to college. I do advise against taking on the enormous expenditure in time and money that a four year degree entails unless the following criteria are met: 1) you know exactly which career you want; 2) that job requires a specific college degree; 3) your odds of landing a job in that field are reasonable.

    If any of those criteria don’t apply to you, my advice is to take two years of community college (which usually offers better quality education for the money) to learn enough history, literature, and philosophy to function in adult society. And try to hold down a job at the same time. If you don’t have a career in mind, go here: http://www.mikeroweworks.com/home. Mike Rowe has shed light on the troubling shortage of skilled tradespeople in this country, resulting largely from the lingering stigma attached to non-white collar jobs.

    • Jordan

      With the exception of anyone able to land a full scholarship (via National Merit, athletics, contests, etc.) to one college or another (in which case I say you take that and run with it, still put thought into the major, but if you earned a full scholarship, you go), I completely agree with your criteria paragraph. I read a really interesting article about a guy with a PhD in psychology (or something similar) who worked for a while in his field and ended up starting up a motorcycle repair shop with decent success and great personal fulfillment. I definitely think the “go just because” atmosphere isn’t helpful, especially when people don’t admit that “You know, going somehwere like Rice and paying out the wazoo for a philosophy degree is a waste of time. Just buy some books off of Amazon” (I personally know someone doing exactly that, with not much of a scholarship).

      • WSquared

        …ah, that would be a book called Shop Craft as Soul Craft. It was ultimately about learning about objective reality from being hands-on, if I remember correctly. It’s certainly something I think about when I’m doing needlework, cooking, or cleaning the house.

        I have received scholarships and research fellowships.

        The conversation that we’re often not having is what our children’s gifts truly are, how we can enable them to nurture them in a way that is pleasing to the Lord, and how the work-family balance is to fit into their vocations of being mothers and fathers. Neither of those vocations are to be seen exclusively biologically or materially– which invariably happens when we reduce all discussion of family to size, and when some people condemn a college education for women when the Church does not.

    • Tucker

      I think that many of the author’s arguments apply equally well to people of both sexes.

      You are right, and you’ve written a well-thought-out post here. I highlight this opening statement, though, not because it’s wrong , but because it plays into the modern Leftist frame that every argument “needs to apply equally to both sexes” or it’s invalid. I strongly urge traditionalist Christians like the ones reading this site to consider the idea that maybe daughters *should* sometimes be raised, and educated, differently than sons.

      • chezami

        “Differently” is not under dispute. “Deprived of higher education” is. Nice job being another spectacular advertisement *against* Traditionalism. With friend like you Traditionalism doesn’t need enemies.

        • WSquared

          No kidding.

          I love the Extraordinary Form. Very much.

          But that article and what’s appeared in this combox reminds me why I don’t want to join or consider myself a part of any Traditionalist community (some people who are traditionalists and some of the priests have been awesome and respectful of me and my work, though, so I do want to be fair). It also makes me grateful that the Lord “took the Latin Mass away from me” at a particular time in my life: He wanted me to use those EF-honed sensibilities to appreciate the OF better– which is what happened with attending the daily low form every day during Lent. At one time, I was attending the OF Sunday Vigil and the EF Sunday Mass back to back. Now I no longer have that option.

          That I support the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and support the musical tradition of the Church is not the same as saying that I support some Traditionalists’ creepy ideas, control issues, and attempts to mandate what the Church does not.

          And by the way, I’m another college-educated woman working on a graduate degree. I also wear a chapel veil to any and all Masses out of reverence for the Blessed Sacrament (yep, even with pants: I get cold easily in winter)– because the last time I checked, my identity as a Catholic wife and mother, and my gifts (and my stewardship thereof), are all about living and remaining in Jesus Christ.

  • Shane

    Let us pray, through the intercessions of St. Gianna and St. Edith Stein, that his daughters (if they choose to) become highly educated professionals.

    • Tucker

      Why, so they can have 1.7 children, which they deposit in daycare while they work long hours?

      (if they choose to)

      Three cheers for “female choice”, eh?

      • freddy

        I am a college educated woman. I work long hours as a stay at home mother to my seven children. A sister of mine who never went to college is a single career woman.
        So you see, “college turns women into feminists” is not a valid argument.

      • Marthe Lépine

        And what about college educated women who, through life circumstances that they had no control on, never found any opportunity to marry and have a family (like myself)? Should they, no matter their talents and abilities, be restricted to the kind of jobs that support men in their career ambitions and/or forced to forever remain at home with their parents, with no means to support themselves? Or be expected to forever be their married siblings babysitters, unpaid cooks and maidservants?

      • Marthe Lépine

        St. Gianna had six children… And she was a practising pediatrician, if my memory is correct.

        • WSquared

          The mother of one of my priest friends is a pediatrician, also.

          She worked less when she had the boys, and her husband worked more. Her husband looked after the kids when she had to do her residency in England. When she came back, she looked after the kids more and her husband helped. When the boys grew older, she worked more. So a balance can be struck.

          And both this woman’s sons are priests.

      • http://janalynmarie.blogspot.com/ Beadgirl

        I have two children with another on the way, “despite” my college education. Sometimes I’m a stay-at-home-mom, sometimes I work part-time while they are in school. Is that enough to prove my credentials as a good Catholic woman?

  • Guest

    I hate to say this, but he’s got a point. Education doesn’t work on women. It just confuses their minds and their mercurial souls.

    • chezami

      No wonder you don’t sign your name.

      • Tucker

        Well, I *will* sign my name and agree that the article is a very good one containing some crucial arguments that deserve to be heard by every traditionalist parent trying to raise daughters in this toxic culture.

        Mark, did you read the part at the very beginning where the author affirms that women SHOULD be educated?

        • lspinelli

          This article implies that young women headed off to college aren’t intelligent enough to recognize or avoid temptation. Hogwash.

        • chezami

          But not college educated. Dumb.

        • Marthe Lépine

          AT the same time, the article implies that there is nothing wrong with young men not avoiding temptation, therefore the only way to prevent sin is to remove young women from environments where both genders can study and work together… Maybe it would be better to close colleges altogether!

    • Michael Ejercito

      In many places, “education” does not work, period.

  • tz1

    Education is good, and women might desire it, but do such women desire to be single and either enter the convent or die as spinsters? There is opportunity cost.

    If they become educated in the sense of being totally independent and want a career (even if they avoid the hookup feminist culture), they will likely remain single. What does a man want or need in a wife? Does college prepare a woman for that role, or to end up unhappy and divorcing?

    Also note the fertility of women declines steeply. Does she want to marry and have children when she graduates, or put it off until she is 35 or later and when fertility will be a problem (and the church teaches NFP is only for serious reasons – a couple ought not get married if they aren’t immediately prepared for children)

    This is not evil, but if their properly discerned vocation is marriage, they are in effect taking action to prevent them from fulfilling that role. There are very few colleges that are not pagan-feminist-atheist indoctrination centers.

    I seem to have difficulty remembering what degrees Sr. Faustina had. Or St. Therese of Liseaux who is already a Doctor of the church.

    • Rosemarie

      +J.M.J+

      I attended four years of college, got a BA, then got married about six months after graduation. I did not end up unhappy and divorced; we’ve been married more than twenty years now. All of my education, including college, helped prepare me to homeschool and become a writer.

      A college education doesn’t have to lead to a career. That’s the general assumption nowadays but it’s not so. My mother (who married after high school and regretted not going to college) used to say that no knowledge is ever wasted. Even if what you learn in school doesn’t seem relevant to your life or you don’t think you’ll ever use it practically, education still enriches you so you should not see it as wasted. She was right.

      Sts. Faustina and Therese of Lisieux lived during a time when women often did not pursue higher education. Especially if they were becoming contemplative nuns, since that wouldn’t require a degree. Yet some active nuns receive higher education to prepare them for nursing or teaching. The Church does not oppose college for women. Orders of nuns such as the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary began women’s colleges long before Vatican II.

      Also, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross had a doctorate of philosophy and St. Gianna Beretta Molla earned degrees in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Pavia. That never prevented them from becoming saints. If the Church does not oppose higher education for women then we shouldn’t go beyond what she says and give others the false impression that she is against it. That is why many in this combox object to that article.

      No one here is saying that absolutely every woman must go to college. Of course not! It’s just that a woman doing so is not against the Catholic Faith and should not be presented as such.

    • http://janalynmarie.blogspot.com/ Beadgirl

      Not only did I get a college education, I went to law school — where I met my husband. I must have missed the seminar at my very secular college that was supposed to teach me to reject faith, marriage, and children. I guess I was too busy learning about literature, art, and science, making life-long friends, and attending Mass.

      Also, you assume that any woman who wants to get married and have children after high school will easily find a good person to marry. Sometimes, no matter how much a woman (or man!) wants to get married, it doesn’t happen through no fault of her own. And sometimes, people who want children can’t have them.

      • Jordan

        And it’s a good thing you missed it, too, because apparently your pretty, dumb little head wouldn’t have been able to withstand the temptations it was presented with.

        • http://janalynmarie.blogspot.com/ Beadgirl

          Aw, you called me pretty! That’s all we girls care about, anyway.

          • Jordan

            Too true. I know I can’t resist practically throwing myself at any man who gives me the tiniest compliment.

            • chezami

              Shouldn’t you little ladies be discussing Shoes and Feelings? This is veering dangerously close innerleckshul stuff. Girls are no good at that.

              • Jordan

                Oh, right. Sorry, I get confused on account of the unisex name my femnazi mother and henpecked father gave to me.

    • Donna

      Good grief. I hardly know where to begin in response to this. Have you paid attention at all to society in the last 30 years? Do you perchance look around you before and after mass? Socialize at all with fellow parishioners? If you had done any of these things you would see that higher education, professional education, even, and professional careers are not remotely incompatible with marriage and motherhood. Highly educated women get married and have children all.the.time.

      I am a lawyer, my husband and I met in college and married right after I graduated law school. We have been married 27 years and are parents to three happy, healthy, moral and loving kids. What did my husband look for in a wife? Someone to be a loving, faithful and intellectually stimulating partner and mother of his children. Someone who could think independently, love fiercely and be his helper in every way. Not every man wants the same thing in a spouse, you know.

      • Jordan

        Yes! That describes my husband as well. There are plenty of men who admire that kind of drive in a woman and are looking for someone who is intellectually stimulating.

  • Caroline

    Control issues much? Sorry, but I’ll be certain to shield my own children from this type of trash. One can love their faith AND have a brain as well.


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