Once in a while my girlfriends and I get to talking about guys we’ve dated and the problem of pornography. Msgr. Pope discussed the main issue in his post about internet pornography, but I want to take the discussion a step further and explore some other places where porn lurks.
Pornography: material that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement (Merriam-Webster)
A few years back I was dating a “nice Catholic boy” and one afternoon we were watching TV and he picked up a fitness magazine that had recently come in the mail. As he was thumbing his way through, he got to a page featuring a topless woman, arms strategically crossed across her chest.
“Now that’s nice!” he said.
I snatched the magazine, rolled it up, and smacked him over the head.
“What was that for?” he asked, surprised by my reaction.
I had to explain to him that while the female body is beautiful, this woman had unfortunately sold her body to the fitness magazine. (I wonder how much she thought her beauty was worth?) Now he was seeing a very intimate view of her that he had no right to, and the most respectful thing he could do would be to not take advantage of her vulnerability.
He thought I was overreacting.
In college, I dated another “nice Catholic boy” who informed me that he and some friends had gone to Hooters for dinner. The thought of scantily-clad waitresses leaning over the table to set down their steaming plates of hot wings was very upsetting, and I tried to explain my concern. It centered around the fact that as I was making an effort to dress modestly he decided to get around that barrier by pleasing his senses on women who voluntarily dressed immodestly.
He passed the situation off as “no big deal.”
Gentleman: Yes, these are big deals and no, we are not overreacting. It is very hurtful to be in a relationship with someone who does not respect your womanhood, your beauty, or your mystery.
Here is what I would ask:
1) pray for purity of heart and mind
2) cancel subscriptions to magazines featuring erotic pictures or advertisements of any kind
3) don’t go to Hooters (or other bars and restaurants featuring scantily-clad women)
4) call your friends out on this “small stuff” and support each other in respecting women
(Yes, we women have unhealthy fantasies of our own which I will address in a future post.)