Is Modest Hottest?

August 10, 2017


Let me go ahead and spoiler alert, here. Whether modest is hottest is not something about which I’m actually going to debate. Whatever the hell I want to wear, be it “modest,” whatever that means as per your culture and chronology, or not, is not subject to a ratings system by a bunch of pharisaical, undisciplined, self-righteous men. I don’t care if you think modest is hottest. I do not want you to “guard my purity,” a thinly veiled attempt to shame me for looking like a woman in public. I don’t want to be hott or not hott in your eyes.

I am a human person with innate dignity, worthy of respect, a value which goes is far deeper beyond the superficial judgement of my clothing.


The whole concept of modesty seems it cannot be separated from pleasing the eyes of men. This is so perverted with which to begin. You have heard it said “leave a little to the imagination.” Why? So I can titilate you with my purity and mystery? I am not a pleasure item to be consumed by men. I do not exist to serve aesthetic pleasure. I am not dressing with placating men or others in mind. I am dressing with MY dignity in mind, my self respect which IS charity toward others.

Can we not see that these slogans #ModestIsHottest and #LeaveALittleToTheImagination are both reinforcing the erroneous idea, that women exist to please the eye of men? That’s all this modest or not is about right now. It’s certainly not about helping men avoid lust. If it were, would Modest Is Hottest even make sense?


You’re telling me that you are advocating a type or standard of clothing that is “hottest,” a colloquialism for sexy or wildly attractive? How is that at all focused on preserving a woman’s dignity? How is that about charity toward men, if the very act of modesty is apparently making women even more irresistable, more easily objectified?

As per usual, the women blaming and shaming debate on clothing and modesty has little to do with virtue, chastity, or dignity, and it has everything to do with lording over, controlling, and subjugating women. Where are the admonisions imploring upright men to discipline their own gaze and minds or to avoid pools if that is their cross? No where. It’s not about chastity. It’s about shouldering women with the lion’s share of the guilt and shaming them into accepting it. Deep down, it must also be about avoiding being truthful to themselves. If they focus on it being someone else’s fault, they do not have to indict themselves, they are not at fault.

Will I be dressing modestly? I will be dressing to reveal my dignity and my value as a human being. Will I leave anything to the imagination? Only someone who looks upon me as an object would allocate me as visually mysterious or not. I do not dress for these disgusting and perverted men. I dress for me, for my dignity, as an example for my daughters, and knowing that I am equal to men (See the Catechism), in intellect and value.

What will I wear? Whatever the *#$% I damn well please, and if it doesn’t trip your trigger, I will be one happy woman.


So, you don’t like Pope Francis?




So, the Sovereign Pontiff isn’t really your flavor of Pope? I know, I know! Before you interject, “This is about Truth!” let me speak. I, too, am not always a fan of his relationship with the media, particularly the American media. Often, what he has said will be twisted beyond the point of recognition. When we say he is misleading less knowledgable Catholics, we have to consider a few things: it is not solely him that is giving the wrong impression, these Catholics have a moral obligation to rightly form their consciences, and even when we do not feel we must respect the man holding the office, we must always respect the chair of Peter.

It scarcely will be a week between episodes of the media proclaiming that Pope Francis has overturned another Catholic doctrine or Dogma. About half of the time, he has been misquoted or badly translated, and about half the time, he is speaking freely and colloquially, in casual conversation – hardly infallible. What we need to consider is, while no other Pope has spoken to the media as much as Francis, no other Pope lived in the world he lives in, right now. Pope Paul VI didn’t have Instagram. He did not have people reporting his every fall, literally, in photo, tweet, and post. For this, we must consider, that perhaps even the most favorable Pope could have said something unclear from time to time, just no one recorded it.

I do not at all mean to say that he should not be more aware of the power of his words and interactions. That he should, but he is fully aware that he will bear the weight of the sin which he leads others to, as their shepherd. So, too, will those involved in misinterpreting his messages and misguiding his flock. This is a sobering thought, but at the same time, it is comforting that justice will always be served. We mustn’t concern ourselves with being the judge of the Vicar of Christ. We must pray for him. Consider this, the next time you wish to speak uncharitably and harshly toward him, physically harming the pope is one of a very short list of actions which invoke immediate excommunication. Do you imagine that verbal abuse or assault is likely to sit well with God, either? If you feel you must speak out against misguidance, do so with the utmost respect and charity.

Many well meaning and devout Catholics, myself included, worry about the effect these misguidances will have on the general public and dissident Catholics, but I think we are missing a greater picture. The type of person who is getting their Catholic information from the Huffpost is not someone who is probably living the faith, anyhow. Pope Francis has a way or charism if you will, of drawing the public eye to the church. Do we want these people who haven’t considered or been in communion with the church for years or decades, to look at the church and see a diverse range of people all living for God and loving one another, or do we want them to see a juvenile, MMA style, cage-fight between the “rad trads” and the “heretics?”

Trust in the Lord! If He brought me in, He can bring anyone into the church. Sometimes all the Lord needs to soften our hearts, is for us to take a second look at the church. Francis does a good job of interesting people who would otherwise not even glance at it. Acceptance of the fullness of truth comes with time. We must allow people on different journeys, the space to mature, grow, and develop in their faith. We will not attain perfection here, not even you!

Finally, we must always respect the chair of Peter. Christ gave Saint Peter the keys to the Kingdom, and He gave the keys to a mere fisherman who had denied him THREE TIMES, despite personally knowing Him and seeing miracles. Getting it right or being moral 100% of the time, is not a prerequisite of the papacy. The Borgias and many other’s have shown us this. We must marvel at the great wonder that is the survival of the church! Man has certainly tried to run her into the ground, corrupt her, scatter her, and still, she goes onward, bringing Jesus Christ to every man or woman who would have Him. Rest easy O, disgruntled one! The Church survived the Borgias, and she will survive Francis, too. #CardinalSarah4Pope

Pax Vobiscum, and don’t forget to check out the Podcast, This Catholic Life, on iTunes and Stitcher!

No one told me: What I wish I had known about sex before marriage

Anonymous Guest Post

No one told me: What I wish I had known about sex before marriage

 Of course, I was told to wait for marriage and I considered it, at first.  People in my life were telling me to wait. The reality remains that undetectably and over time, the culture, my friends and even, the adults that I knew, did not really expect me to wait. The movies I saw didn’t show waiting, and many of the people in my life as caregivers or relatives had or were cohabitating.

I had babysitters in my life who told me how I could get contraception, secretly. I had friends tell me about how they got free birth control from Planned Parenthood. The pills they gave me never warned me about the pain that they would cause. I knew that the prevailing wisdom was to wait, but that was it. No one ever told me why. Without the why, the what is useless.

Of course, today I know the why. I can tell you with 100% certainty, if I had known the why, I would have waited. No question. This is the pain that I live with, and the choice that lead me to great dysfunction in my life, for a time. I would have waited had I known. I wish people had believed in me. I wish I had known WHY waiting is wonderful.

As a young adult, after I had already given away what rightfully belonged to my husband, my mind was always pondering, “What can I do next to keep him interested? What level of depravity can I jump to so that I will seem alluring and captivating?”

I often wore next to nothing. I was so numb and dead inside from making myself vulnerable and being left by people who said they loved me. Immodest dress ensured constant attention. I didn’t care where it came from, so long as it came. The stress of constantly needing to be exciting because that’s what Cosmo says, was so demeaning and depressing long-term.

I had to become very masculine in my behavior because I had no excuse for not wanting to be together, when I was on contraception. Some freedom….

The culture told me that there was something fundamentally wrong with my natural, healthy body. I was broken, and I needed to be fixed with contraception. If I didn’t think so, I was at best naive, and at worst, reckless and irresponsible. What no one ever told me was what sex was supposed to be. No one ever told me it was the physical renewal of marital vows, which would only be a lie, if I were not married.

No one told me the emotional connection that would be formed as the result of a powerful chemical, oxytocin, released in the body during these encounters. This chemical has been shown to cause women to overlook the bad in their partners – even abusers. It’s the same hormone that is released when women nurse their newborn babies, to help them only see the wonderful in the baby during those first trying weeks. That is the kind of power you fight against when you misuse the greatest gift given to mankind. No one told me that. Yes, I should have waited for marriage. Why? No one told me. No one had answers.

These answers, I would blessedly find later in life.

There is so much comfort and safety knowing that you aren’t being compared to anyone else in your martial relationship. That is what you can have if you wait. Your spouse won’t have to imagine you embracing another in a way only meant for them, if you wait. Anyone worth being with, in this way, is someone who will wait with you.

It is so beautiful to share something exclusively with your spouse. It is so wonderful to be able to not stay in a bad relationship because of a powerful physical bond. For both parties to respect and understand the natural design of the human body and to take responsibility together, is so unitive and lovely. This means waiting, yes.

For both of us to know that an openness to life is the expectation always and that there is no pressure to try “freaky @&$#” anymore, has given me so much self-worth. I know a true embrace wherein my fertility, my flaws, and all that I am is accepted by another. Some people never know this, today.

I am no longer an object. I do not need to give a man anything to become worthy. I am a woman with a great potential to bear children, and I do not need to alter myself because children aren’t a bad thing. I do not need to neuter myself to become like a man. I don’t wonder if my husband is bored. I feel satisfied with the experience, like I never was before I accepted the teachings.

The “rules” are not there to hate on your fun. The “rules” are not unlike a user manual. When you get a car, you get a manual which tells you the kind of gas to put in the car. If you don’t listen, things aren’t going to run well, and so it is with humans. If you step outside the great plan, things don’t run well.

I wish to close with the following statement:

I wish I had waited. I wish I had never experienced being a “freed feminist” on contraception who could do whatever, whenever. I became nothing more than an object and my partner, an object of gratification for me. I’ve spent the greater part of my life trying to overcome this sadness and damage that has left scars.

If you cannot decide whether or not you want to wait, for me, for countless women who wish that they had, for yourself, and for your future spouse, please consider waiting. Anyone worth giving yourself to will wait with you.

When you finally share that embrace with your spouse one day, knowing it is something only YOU TWO share, you will not regret it. I’m glad I told you, because no one told me.

Recommended reading. Books that would have changed my mind about waiting:




The Abortion Debate: How BOTH sides are getting it wrong

March 10, 2016

When it comes to controversy, there is no topic quite like abortion. Best friends can fast become sworn enemies, exchanging hateful rhetoric and stinging venom in a debate that has been around as long as mankind. Christians, as a group, took a stance on contraception and abortion in a document known as the ‘Didache’, around 48AD. That is not in dispute in this post, nor is that the topic of discussion.


I am not writing to hammer and drill the same tired speech, proclaiming how abortion is wrong. Shouting accusations and judgements has done next to nothing to endear either side of this movement to the public. It has smothered dialogue, leaving nothing more than polarized enemies. In the interest of moving this legal and social discussion forward, I will outline the biggest mistakes that I believe each side is making. It is my hope, regardless of your political or religious affiliation, that these critiques will resonate with you, as a reader. I am not debating the moral status of abortion. That is not in question in this post.

Without further ado, the greatest mistakes in the abortion debate:


Graphic Posters: The reality of abortion needs to be recognized, especially by those considering it; however, it does not need to be seen by the general public, who may or may not be very young, be very sensitive to death, have experienced a miscarriage, or may be unable to handle these images. I cannot tell you how many times, in college, I saw the devastating images of dismembered fetal humans. It did nothing to change my mind, and it seemed a strange tactic. Why weren’t there pictures of starving children or any other type of victim being paraded through my college quad? I will tell you why. This is not an appropriate way to get your message disseminated.  People do not parade posters bearing the pictures of the dead body of Gerri Santoro (cautiously view these images), trying to raise awareness about what happens when women try to perform their own abortions. This is just in bad taste, and it does NOT facilitate dialogue.

Vilifying the women in crisis: As a sex, women have struggled for every legal right and faced opposition in the workplace. We face prejudice and rape culture, objectification and slut-shaming. We have been seen as lesser in almost every major civilization, save a few brilliant tribal areas which elevated women. We bear the brunt of the responsibility when it comes to bearing and rearing children. When a pregnancy occurs, a man can walk away, but a woman must grow the child in her body. Ideally, she will go on to nourish the baby with her body (I’m shooting daggers at my pump right now!). Men’s contribution to reproduction is pitiful, frankly (love you, Hubby 🙂 )! With all of this, we do nothing by saying that the women who choose abortion are murderers and monsters. It divides us, when we need to stand together.  We need to be there for one another and empathize with each other in a way that half of the population cannot. Instead of vilifying another woman, look at her as a human being, the same way you want her to look at her unborn child, and see what brought her to this choice. This is the way to meaningful dialogue.

Legal restrictions: Restricting abortion through legal means hurts the poorest of the poor. Rich women will always be able to obtain whatever it is that they wish, be it the latest Hermes bag or an abortion. Make no mistake. It only hurts the most vulnerable women. I have had the experience of speaking with a few women who procured both legal and illegal abortions. The legality had no bearing on whether or not they obtained them. It only effected the quality of the procedure and their later outcomes. One woman explained that she procured an illegal abortion from an unlicensed physician and was later found to be infertile, as a result of an infection. Legal restrictions did not stop her.


Assuming Religious Motivation: As an atheist and a pro-choice woman, I assumed that all pro-life women were these sad, subjugated, little women who were brainwashed into believing in an awful woman-hating God. The fact is, there is a significant sect of the pro-life movement that is atheist. Many are motivated purely by science. Nothing physically changes within a baby, at birth. Nothing special happens, at any point during a pregnancy, demarcating the designation of humanity upon the unborn. Acknowledging this does not make you religious; it makes you objective and scientific. In juxtaposition, at conception, a unique, irrepeatable, genetically distinct genome is present. Essentially, everything that person is and ever will be is present, at that moment. That is the science that drives many on the pro-life side. It does nothing to imagine them as scientifically illiterate morons. This isn’t how you create dialogue.

Lowering standards: The conditions and legal protections surrounding abortion care are abysmal. We are not helping women, by allowing them to be treated in dirty or unregulated facilities. We aren’t helping women by not informing them of the risks or by allowing these procedures to occur in a place one wouldn’t even consider getting a mani-pedi. Lying to women about scientific facts surrounding the procedure is something that would result in serious legal repercussions in ANY other healthcare setting. I personally know two women who were lied to about fetal development at the time of their procedures. Who exactly are you helping when you lie? What motivates that? This does not create an environment of trust, and it does not facilitate dialogue. Lying is not ethical. Abortion may be one of the safest procedures for a woman to have, but we MUST recognize that many complaints are never filed because of embarrassment and stigma surrounding the procedure, and statistics are not reliable when doctors are politically or monetarily motivated to generate pleasing results.

Money: One of the saddest realities of this whole situation, is that someone is profiting off of these women’s crises. Monetarily profiting off of an abortion should be illegal. I know this sounds crazy and radical (maybe best proposed by Bernie Sanders?), but the number of former abortion workers (see Abby Johnson) who claim that they are pressured to boost “sales” and are taught to “sell abortions” is not small. Some facilities have been caught giving bonuses for making sales goals. We need to recognize that money can corrupt any situation, and maybe, this is one area we need to remove this incentive. If money wasn’t so enmeshed in this decision and the political conversation, a more meaningful dialogue could be achieved, and women would be better for it.


In closing, I would leave you with the challenge of not demonizing the other side. It is easy to hate your opposition; it is much harder to try to understand them. Humans are unique because of our ability to extensively communicate and reason. Let us act as humans. Do not demonize the people who should be your ally. BOTH sides want what is best for women. Recognizing this may go farther than we could ever dream.



I welcome meaningful dialogue in the comments. Hateful, vulgar, or derogatory comments will not be permitted.