Approved Hate: Abolishing God, Family and Gender

Approved Hate: Abolishing God, Family and Gender

Published on Jan 9, 2016

Down in the catacombs, Michael Matt discusses the latest front in the war against God: the gender war. Fifty years ago traditional Catholics were speaking out against women dressing as men. We’re they stark raving mad? Today such talk is ridiculed as dangerous fundamentalism, of course, but given the fact that we now have a massive attempt to blur the lines between women and men and boys and girls, maybe the traditionalists were onto something. This brief Catacomb Rant sparks up that conversation again. After all, the traditional Catholics were right about the war on liturgy; they were right about horrific social and moral consequences of contraception; and maybe—just maybe!—they were right to be concerned about women dressing as men. What do you think?

Get AQ Email Updates

26 comments on “Approved Hate: Abolishing God, Family and Gender

  1. Oh right, yes, let’s have another round of chanting no-pants no-pants. It can join the no-Islam and the no-immigrants rants, and we can get lots of clicks and offend absolutely no one and achieve very little. Because pants are not the problem, and neither is Islam. The problem is secularism, brought to the world by the United States, our country, brought to Vatican II by our country, too, the American heresy that has brought our Church to its knees. If we addressed that problem, returned to the agenda of the restoration, if we were able to put God in our constitution and in our economies, women could pull on a pair of pants in a blustery day and men could put on kilts to go to work if they wanted to and there would be no problems from it. It’s not the pants or the skirts. They are culture-bound and don’t define anything. They are not co-equal with modesty, women around the world wear a combination of pants and tunics to achieve a fine modesty and a sweet femininity.

    But beating this drum does insure one thing, that we will stay cemented in our sede isolation. We will not advertise our schools or our parishes, or engage in co-activities with our novus ordo fellow Catholics because, oh the horror, women in pants might attend. That actually happened at our church. We went to a rosary in the public square event a couple of years back and the weather turned really ugly, and we all came back to our chapel to pray it, with Father’s permission. And one of our young men, a server, a son of a leading family, came up to me with an anxious look on his face and said, “What are THEY DOING HERE??” “Who?” I said. “THEM! WOMEN IN PANTS!” He was totally offended. It was as if he were forced to see pornography.

    Yes, two inches of pants were showing beneath their winter coats. For this they should have been excluded from our precincts. And we do. We fail to invite, and at our chapel, some lace curtain Irish grande dame will be sure to inform them we don’t dress like that here.

    It is our responsibility to evangelize, not only as individuals but as a chapel. It should be an outgrowth of our faith. It is our obligation to survive numerically as well. Our chapel grows smaller each year. Our school will surely have to close, our numbers are so small. I asked once why we do not have more events, open houses directed toward the public, the neighborhood, and was told, We do not want to attract novus ordo Catholics or non-believers into our schools. And yet Archbishop Lefebvre invited Musims to his African schools, maintaining a ratio of one to seven. Muslims, whom he has been correctly quoted as saying should not be invited to Europe, he nevertheless invited to his schools. We traditionalists have been taught to react to peripheral issues, because we are really frightened to address central ones, like fighting back politically. Skirts and pants don’t make men and women, the society does, starting with its honor to God and the nature He created. We won’t solve one damn thing by ranting on women in pants and we will further harden ourselves into a bunker and starve, starve spiritually too. It’s a sede mentality!

    I guess the next dress code topic will be on tattoos–they can’t come to our chapel, either. It’s in our bulletin.

    • “It’s not the pants or the skirts. They are culture-bound and don’t define anything.”
      I respectfully disagree. By dismissing fundamental cultural norms you seem to be championing the very secularism you blame for all of society’s woes. On the contrary, culture (the root word is cult) is not indifferent to the task of discovering and transmitting the truly God-given human virtues. Catholic culture helps to transmit mores that are rooted in human nature, one of which is that women are different from men because they are created to conceive, bring forth and nurture human life.
      Here is the concluding quote from a recent Yahoo article commemorating the arrest & imprisonment of Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, 100 years ago for selling contraceptives (which were illegal back then):
      “Margaret Sanger’s holy grail was universal access to birth control for women, whose unplanned pregnancies forced them into what she viewed as sexual servitude.”
      This is a very dangerous attitude, from which not even the best of Catholics are immune… and sometimes due to the confusion caused by modern Catholic Church teaching on marriage, or weak church leaders.
      Nevertheless, this attitude that sees marital fruitfulness as a form of slavery for women must be strenuously opposed as it is from the Evil One himself.
      When a woman consistently wears a skirt or a dress, it helps to remind herself and others of her unique vocation, which is ordered to fruitfulness.
      It’s not automatic. But cultural customs can be instructive and effective in leading young people to appreciate their God-given role in society.

      • When I was young back in the fifties, we all wore dresses except in playing sports or riding bikes, etc. I wore slacks or jeans when I went fishing, etc. There was nothing thought about that at all in those days. We just dressed appropriately in formal settings or when we went out to a dance, etc. Nowadays, things are more casual. I am now 78 and I wear pant suits because it is warmer and more comfortable. Men do not wear pantsuits and what I wear is different from what men wear. I have arthritis in my feet so heels and pumps are out of the question now for me. I have to wear big clunky shoes in order to walk and they don’t look good with dresses so I wear pantsuits many times. The tops are lovely and very feminine. Even my mom started to wear those because she stopped having colds with the slacks. In older women I don’t think all this matters as much anyway. Younger girls can wear flimsy things and can handle it but I can no longer wear those things. Also, my fruitfulness is over so all this is kind of petty, I think.

        • I was glad to see your comment, Mardancy. I felt like the lone stranger! My comment addressed evangelization and our dwindling chapel, yours addresses another aspect, the effect our focus on skirts over pants (instead of modesty )has on the elderly and girls who like sports, and you could add those needing physical therapy and women whose jobs are best done in pants. Bishop Williamson is gone but his legacy lives on in our un-examined policy. It’s protestant , actually, and you’re right, it’s petty. Please, pastors, re-write our dress code so it’s consistent , and rebuke our sedes (those remaining who didn’t leave with the ‘resistance’) who would rather watch our chapels slowly die and souls abandoned to the novus ordo than see a woman in modest loose pants on her way, after a weekday mass, to work in the cold or stand outside an abortion clinic.

  2. I think we might need to be careful to differentiate between women or girls wearing jeans or slacks, yet still being women or girls, on the one hand, with women, girls, boys or men deliberately denying their gender and dressing, as homosexuals often dress, in ways that set out to shock and deny the actual gender of the person. My eldest granddaughter rarely wears a dress yet there is no way you could mistake her for a boy.
    I also think many women and girls now, even if they wear dresses, wear totally inappropriate sexually revealing clothing. This is a great scandal.
    And I strongly disagree with Jan B about tattoos – I think they are abominable and becoming more and more prevalent in my country. They are a disfigurement of the body God gave us, they are often offensive and always in bad taste.

    • Tattoos *are* disgusting–but people have gotten them! The wording in our bulletin suggests they are not welcome in our chapels. Teach against it, have sermons and booklets and so forth, but don’t exclude those for whom it’s too late!! I know you can’t possibly mean that, Fidei, but that’s what the wording as is seems to say. I would be so happy to see every tattooed son in the world kneeling at our communion rail. Wouldn’t you?

      • If you mean, men and women alike, dressed in burkas, sure. And set the communion rail up out in the parking lot, please for such a crowd.

        I literally have an unpleasant and instant physical reaction to seeing them, even on military personnel.

        Ick! Yuck! Mega-ugly!

        I am quite sure it was considered a mortal sin to wear one, back in the day.

        • Gpm, tattoos aren’t burkas! But I’d be happy to see *converted* women in burkas if they still chose to wear them at our communion rails. And they might because many like the feeling of privacy. Wow, gpm. That’s harsh! You really would not want to see them, you would not want them to convert?

      • Yes obviously everyone can repent and be welcome in God’s house. One would hope that they would then make some sort of effort to “tone down” their tattoos or at least cover them. You are right that no one should be excluded from the house of God, though we need some minimum standards of dress. For example in Rome they are (or were??) strict about what you could wear into St Peter’s Basilica – no shorts for women etc. So what about tattoos? Perhaps they could be asked to cover them, but I still think any offensive tattoos should be banned, at the very least they would be very distracting to other worshippers.

        • What I meant was, I find tattooing so offensive that I’d want both men and women covered up completely at the Communion Rail. I’ve seen both sexes with “tats” all the way up their necks and faces, even in a Catholic church!

          And, as stated, I’d support having a special facility for them to receive out in the parking lot.

          Distribution of Communion to the faithful is NOT part of the Mass, anyway. Anymore than is a sermon.
          Both are merely accommodated within the offering of the Rite.

          Michael Davies wrote a piece, long ago, about the heinous nature of tattooing and why he was glad he did not go along with the other Brit infantrymen in his unit in getting one.

          • Lessons from the Tattooed Lady

            Anthony Esolen
            THURSDAY, JANUARY 14, 2016

            I recall the first time I ever saw a tattoo on a woman. It was about thirty years ago, at a combination flea market and auction. The tattoo was a colorful snake draped over her leathery shoulder and back. I remember being stunned by it, feeling as you’d feel if you rounded the corner of a handsome old courthouse and found its back had been scrawled over by thirty feet of painted gangland tags.

            I had seen tattoos before that, on men. Most of those fell into two or three categories: the Popeye anchor on the biceps; the name of the man’s best girl, which was sometimes Ma; or some insignia related to the armed services. They were modest, and they marked the man out as belonging to the working class. Most of them were a dull inky blue or green. They weren’t attractive, but the defacement was minimal.

            Now, of course, tattoos are everywhere, even on necks and faces, and both men and women wear them. I saw an otherwise attractive girl the other day with a ring in her nose, like a prize sow. One of my students wears a ring in her lip. Guys without muscles who want to look tough spike their eyebrows. We are now even treated to people who get some plastic surgeon to bore holes in their faces, so that you can see their fangs from the side, just as when you raise your dog’s lip to pry a chicken bone from his teeth.

            I remember also – it is a long time ago, and the fad hasn’t passed – the first time I saw a man wearing his trousers around his buttocks, so that he seemed like a lusus naturae, four feet of shambling maleness set on itty bitty legs extending barely above the knee. It’s nearly impossible to walk that way without throwing your hips from side to side, like a brave crippled fellow I once knew. He had been stricken with polio when he was a boy. This guy was stricken with something else.

            The first thing people say to such reactions, as if I’d never thought of it myself, is that these are fashions, and that every generation thinks that the ways of the young people are decadent. Well, that isn’t true. At most places, at most times, young people have worn the same things their elders wore, danced the same dances, sang the same old songs, and played the same merry games. But some things are decadent.

            Dietrich von Hildebrand wrote that one of the privileges of being human was that we could raise up the creation round us to take part in the life of the spirit. We might say that human nature quivers in an unstable equilibrium. We rise to the full stature of Christ, transforming all things in Him, or we reel back into the beast.

            We can see it upon the face – the animal leer of the debauched, the hardened scowl of the cynic, the stony blankness of the man of avarice. Look at the face of one of our presidential candidates, and note the terrible engravings of ambition, and the ill-concealed scorn of the very people the candidate must race about to entice, to flatter, and to bribe. Think of what it must be like to have to live behind that face.

            The Orthodox priest, scientist, and mystic Pavel Florensky – murdered by the Soviets, of course, during the days when Stalin was all the rage in fashionable salons of the American left – says that there are two irreconcilable things an icon-painter can present to the world: One is a countenance, and the other is a mask.

            The countenance in a saint is his unique likeness to God: grace shining through the particularities of his flesh. It is the icon-painter’s humble task to revere that countenance and be taught by it.

            The mask, by contrast, is a shadowy thing, as glaring as it may be. It casts a barrier between the observer and the truth, and between the mask-wearer and God. It is a product of man’s arbitrary fantasy, like the demonic and animal shapes into which pagan man casts his natural but tenuous apprehension of God.

            We live in an age of phantasmagorical masks, vandalizing the second most beautiful thing in physical existence, the body, and turning into the ego’s billboard the most beautiful thing in physical existence, the thing that the blind Milton longed most to see again – the human face divine. In emphasis, it is as if the abdomen or the crotch or the bosom were what we thought made us most ourselves; as if we were walking and talking groins, with stunted little countenances hidden away below.

            Dogs do their doggish things by helpful instinct. We do what we do by disgraceful design.

            Catholics of all people should not be surprised. We’ve been fooled into doing plenty of vandalizing of our own. Take a look at the facade – or I should say the sfacciata, the shameless face-showing – of one of our new public buildings, say, a pharmacy or a department store or a doughnut shop. All is garish advertisement, aggressively ugly, with at most a mendacious hint of true and human architectural styles, as fitting as a weather vane on top of a dumpster.

            Now take a look at our churches – the bare walls, the commercial jingles in the hymnal, the congregational graffiti obscuring the countenance of Christ. Then take a look at ourselves and the way we behave, our posture, the prayers we say, our dress, our habits of thought in church.

            I’m not excepting myself here. We all have much to do, to become human at last, that is, to have countenances and not masks – instaurare omnia in Christo, to establish all things in Christ.

        • Tried to sneak into St. Peter’s wearing shorts on a very hot day. A guard stopped me and, pointing at my naked shins,
          barked, “Pantaloono longo!”

  3. Here is an alarming quote from Rush Limbaugh, that I believe is not unrelated:
    “…This happened on the golf course recently. I’m thinking of the shortest way to tell the story here. I was shocked to learn that a couple, three, maybe four really pro-life Catholic males, friends of mine who are in their sixties, have all of a sudden become pro-choice. They used to not be… What changed?
    “They all have daughters. They all have daughters, and they all are scared to death of the men that their daughters are meeting and running around with, and they’re scared to death that their daughters are gonna get pregnant and have their lives ruined, and they can’t rule out abortion to fix it. It’s all about kids, it’s all about their kids. It’s not that they changed their attitude about themselves…”
    With all due respect to Rush, I don’t think his golf buddies are genuinely pro-life men. But his point is interesting in regards to the TLM. In other words, I think people rightly perceive that the TLM often represents a way of life. A way of life that they have made a choice against for themselves (in many cases). The TLM-way-of-life implies marital fruitfulness, which both men and women may falsely perceive as a form of slavery for women. And these parents are not prepared to make this choice for the TLM-way-of-life on behalf of their own children, especially their daughters. Thus the challenge of promoting the TLM is compounded.
    Again, a dress code (whether explicit or implicit) helps to transmit sound cultural mores to young people. Of course, the dress code involves sacrifice, which has been note above.

  4. There has always been a “dress code” in our Church, informal as it may be, and it is based on two things – modesty and appropriate attire. Almost any outfit can be considered immodest or inappropriate to the circumstance whether worn by women, men or even children. Modesty and common sense are the bywords IMO. I don’t know of any priest who would object a woman wearing a pants-suit if it was appropriate to the circumstance. Nor do I know of any priest who would challenge a man or woman having a tattoo if their conduct were otherwise appropriate. But I do know of priests who would challenge a layperson who is determined to set their own rules on what is considered appropriate conduct in Church and I thank God for them.

  5. It was common sense in the fifties in our Church, but it is no longer common sense now in our churches.

    • Common sense has been described as a sense for the probable. Don’t you think it’s probable that if women’s dress is not readily distinguishable from men, then young men and women will tend to not gain an appreciation for the unique nature and calling of womanhood, which is that of generous fruitfulness in marriage. Why they may even begin to think that the roles of men and women are completely interchangeable. No, that could never happen… Oh wait, now we even have the phenomenon of transgender crackpots and their lunatic enablers. Sorry to be sarcastic, but common sense indeed!

  6. I don’t think woman wearing slacks is the cause of our sexual dysfunction today, no. I think the protestant culture did it. Men wore kilts for a thousand years without loss of masculinity. I think you’re identifying a peripheral issue.

    • Oh, NO! AQ’s annual “Women in Slacks” kerfuffle is about to re-ignite.

      WARNING: Some trads on this forum may have already invested in drones and participants in the “Women in Slacks” debate may incur unexpected package deliveries at their front doors from irate folks on both sides of the debate.

      Considering the extreme sarcasm intrinsic to trads, all due caution is advised!

      That said, fire away! : – )

      • Hi, gpm. Okay I quit, then. I didn’t know it was annual. I’ve said what I have to say, I’ll bet. Thanks to everyone for the work and thought they put into their comments. It is an interesting topic. Do not think I am a pants-wearer. But I am an anti-passive definition of woman person. I have kayaked in a skirt. Backpacked in a skirt, climbed mountains in a skirt. Just about every day I walk as fast as I can three miles on a treadmill n a skirt (and praying the rosary : ). I like to think at my gym I make it possible for Muslim women to work out. But what I could not do in a skirt, the physical therapy that followed my so surprising heart attack. The conditions of modern physical therapy made it impossible. The requisite privacy is not available. I had to make a choice. I know someone who chose the other way: to not break what she saw as a solemn promise to be as traditional as possible all day every day, she didn’t do the recommended physical therapy. I don’t want to say what happened next for fear someone might recognize her here. It isn’t a good outcome. If that’s the sacrifice that is required of women, but never of the men of our parish no matter what the guidelines in the bulletin say, their modest dressing costs them nothing, no activity, I’m pretty sure God doesn’t like it. I’m just sayin. I can’t see Christ loving that. He was so kind to women. Our present “let’s not talk about it, let’s not clarify it, let’s ignore it, we don’t need any pants-wearing women coming to our chapels” isn’t kind to souls. Over a supposition that pants-wearing women have caused the downfall of the Church and all mankind.

        • I’ll just say: While doing my physical therapy (post cath procedure) at the local rec center, one of the ladies passing me by on the walking track (an Oriental woman) was wearing some kind of jumper with the stretch pants underneath. Feminine, modest, and attractive.

          • Anthony, my bulletin’s rendition of our dress code specifically forbids the wearing of stretch pants under skirts. That’s what I’m talking about. I am asking for us to think it through and clarify exactly what we mean.

  7. Has “culture” really moved so far along that “decent attire” is an unknown concept, that skirts are forgotten? Then, sure, it’s aggiornamento time. Until then, however, folks who dress shabbily for Mass (shorts, tank tops) will be removed, and women in slacks will get one freebie (sans Communion). How’s that?

    As for the annual “kerfuffle,” I’ve enjoyed it much over the years. I have to bring up one of my favorite responses by Pascendi who asked what the others would think were he to buy his pants in the ladies department! And I’ll add, how about a pant suit?

    • No one at our chapel in slacks –a visitor, always–has ever been forbidden communion and I would think it could never legally be done, under Canon law! It is not a law of the Church–the Catholic church. That kind of dress code complete with shunning is found among the protestant sects. Have you actually ever seen this done in your chapel, presuming you attend one of our chapels? No, we have a jumbled, confused and confusing bulletin statement which propels most of us into thinking women should wear only midi-length skirts with no pants under them either and should not engage in any activities for which this outfit is not sufficient.

      • I would think it could never legally be done, under Canon law!

        Canon Law — ooooooh, you’re getting serious now, Jan. Ha! Does your chapel give communion in the hand? No? That’s illegal! BTW, everything traditionalists do has been illegal somewhere at some time in the last 50 years. So what?

        Good luck finding your happy legal chapel with a modern dress code, your distributist society with happy layabouts, and your neighborhood full of peaceful Muslims.

  8. I attend an fssp parish and I like it because they just emphasize modesty, not whether pantsuits are OK or not. We have lots of Novus Ordo Ca tholics who visit us and they always wear slacks to church and no one was following the written dress code anyway and as our church grows, it gets harder to enforce a strict dress code when so many people pay no real attention to it. Most people dress well but lots of girls wear leggings or long johns under short skirts. The archdiocese does not enforce dresses so it has become just too much trouble to enforce a dress code as the congregation grows bigger and we are affiliated with the regular church. I can’t understand why there is all this junk about skirts anyway. I see nothing wrong with slacks and I am an old lady anyway so I just don’t worry about it. I feel very comfortable in slacks and I don’t think it is fair that men can be comfortable and women have to wear uncomfortable outfits. Young gals can do OK but we older gals have trouble with having men dictate to us what to wear. I don’t think it is important enough to belly ache about it. Since we have stopped bothering about it, our numbers have tripled and we have lots of families coming. Most gals dress OK anyway and we have a happy atmosphere. When I go out to the mountains, I will wear what I want anyway so it is silly to screech about it when there are many more important issues.

    • I feel very comfortable in slacks and I don’t think it is fair that men can be comfortable and women have to wear uncomfortable outfits.

      Yeah, it’s that dang-nabbit ol’ patriarchy.

      I feel sorry for FSSP priests who are effectively prohibited from enforcing higher standards, and from speaking out against … oh, no, I don’t want to start another thread.

      I’ll just wish you a comfortable Mass.

Leave a Reply