Why I don’t want a woman on a dollar bill

Like many of my fellow human beings, I strongly believe in the equal value of men and women. But I don’t think a woman should be put on a dollar bill just because she’s a woman.

Why I don't want a woman on a dollar bill

There’s nothing wrong with a woman being on a bill. There’s nothing wrong with men being on bills. It makes sense that the historical figures presently on bills are the major figures of their day (ie. men). It would be neat, of course, to recognize the contributions women have made to our history by putting them on a dollar bill, but here’s why I wouldn’t want it to happen by taking men off bills:

I don’t want any sort of benefit given to me just because I’m a woman. And I don’t think any woman deserves special treatment for the sole reason of her being female.

Now don’t get me wrong. My beliefs about the roles of men and women are quite traditional. In fact, I appreciate when guys open the door and act like gentlemen. I’ve come to expect that of guys, because I expect guys to be decent. Please guys, don’t stop that!

What I’m saying is that the motivation matters. If you open the door because you think I am a delicate flower incapable of opening it myself, you’ve got another thing coming. However, if you open it out of respect for another human being in a gentlemen-ly way, thank you. That is awesome, and I congratulate you on being a considerate guy. I consider any guy who opens a door to be a gentlemen until or unless proven otherwise. And I would expect nothing less than a polite response from my fellow ladies. It’s how we return a kind gesture in a considerate way.

Many people think it’s considerate and awesome to replace a guy with a woman on a dollar bill. I think it’s dumb to put a woman there just because she’s a woman. If she did something awesome and deserves recognition, great. If not, there’s no reason to hand the spot to her solely because she’s a woman.

Many people think women are underrepresented in high-profile careers. I think it’s dumb to say a woman should have a certain job just because she’s a woman. If she’s a good candidate who meets the job requirements, great. If not, there’s no reason to hand the job to her solely because she’s a woman.

Many people lament how we need more women serving our country in the military. I think it’s dumb that standards would be lessened to allow more women to serve who are not at the same level as other members of the military. If  she is capable of the physical feats of her fellow soldiers, great. If not, there’s no reason to hand her that position solely because she’s a woman.

I wouldn’t want just a woman put on a dollar bill. Go ahead, put a historical figure, a person who made a contribution to our country. But don’t degrade women by just sticking someone on there for the heck of it because golly gee, we need someone who’s female!

Fulton Sheen said “equality is wrong when it reduces the woman to a poor imitation of a man.”

Women are not poor imitations of men. We are not the next best thing. We are freaking awesome, unique, creatures with complementary but not identical characteristics to men.

You may think we need women in certain positions in the world or on dollar bills, but consider this: do you think women need to be in those places just to prove they can do the same things as men? Or could we just step back and recognize that women don’t have to do the same things as men for us to recognize that we have equal value?

Think about it.

To Life,

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P.P.S. Good to see other people are thinking similarly!

No, Sam. I won’t stay with you.

The problem with many pop songs is that we listen to and sing them without thinking about what we’re saying. Let’s elaborate with a little story.

“Stay with me” (by Sam Smith” is a song that’s been on a LOT lately, and I have most certainly enjoyed singing it. Some of my favorite parts of the weeks I was still working were belting like crazy on the way home. Windows down, hair down, sunshine, and music blasting . . . much of the time it was country music, but I do listen to pop music. Except for the kind that makes me have a heart attack or is super graphic or gross.

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Via

We were singing this song or talking about it at home here, and my brother was like “Um, did you know that song is about a one night stand?”

WHAT?

No.

I have been singing this song for weeks. How could I not know that?!?!?!

But it’s true. Apparently I never listened real well to the beginning of the song, because here’s what he says:

 

Guess it’s true, I’m not good at a one-night stand
But I still need love ’cause I’m just a man
These nights never seem to go to plan
I don’t want you to leave, will you hold my hand?

[Chorus:]
Oh, won’t you stay with me?
‘Cause you’re all I need
This ain’t love, it’s clear to see
But darling, stay with me

[Verse 2:]
Why am I so emotional?
No, it’s not a good look, gain some self-control
And deep down I know this never works
But you can lay with me so it doesn’t hurt

So basically he’s “just a man” which justifies the one night stand because he “still needs love”. He knows he needs self control, but we all know that never works, so why won’t the girl do him a darned favor and stay with him?

Let me tell you why:

Because smart women who value themselves don’t stay with losers who lack self control.

Of course, smart women shouldn’t get into that kind of a relationship in the first place. Nothing good comes out of one night stands, so it’s honestly quite pointless. We’re made for love, yes. We do need love. And one could argue that love is all we need.

But one night stands are not love. They are, much of the time, the result of drugs or alcohol and other things which inhibit our sense of good judgement.

So, Sam. You do need love. We all do. I would just suggest you start looking for it in other places.

And folks, I would suggest that you take a peek at the lyrics of some of your favorite songs before you start belting them. Just a warning before you start belting awkward lyrics at a stop light 🙂

To Life,

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NAS: Favorite Saints!

This week’s topic is favorite saints! But not just any saints . . . some related to purity, chastity, etc. Here goes!

Mother Teresa is probably my favorite saint EVAH (and she’s not even technically a saint yet). St. Joan of Arc was quite a boss. I’ve also learned more about JPII recently and love, love, love him. The Catholic church has so many beautiful people for us to look to as role models.

Buuut I’m supposed to be writing about saints related to purity, chastity, etc. 🙂

There’s the obvious St. Maria Goretti who refused to give in to an attacker and then forgave him (yes, that’s rather vague, someone remind me of the story!). She’s one that many people look to as a beautiful example of purity. But for me? I stick to St. Michael and St. Raphael, two of the archangels.

St. Michael is pretty much always pictured defeating Satan. I’ve grown to love (and know by heart!) his prayer which is a beautiful plea to be protected against evil. It’s appropriate in many ways, and definitely for asking for his intercession for the courage and grace to beat Satan to a pulp when he tries to temp us into straying from the straight and narrow.

Here is his prayer:

“St. Michael, the archangel, defend us in battle. Be our safeguard  against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do thou, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil creatures who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.”

St. Raphael, I’ve learned, is the patron saint of happy meetings (among other things). There’s a beautiful story derived from the Book of Tobit about how he healed Sarah who was grieving and influenced Tobias and after stuff they got together and yay! It’s deeper than that, though. Read about it!

Here’s a prayer I found asking for his intercession (which I think is really beautiful):

“St. Raphael, loving patron of those seeking a marriage partner, help me in this supreme decision of my life. Find for me as a helpmate in life the person whose character may reflect some of the traits of Jesus and Mary. May he (she) be upright, loyal, pure, sincere and noble, so that with united efforts and with chaste and unselfish love we both may strive to perfect ourselves in soul and body, as well as the children it may please God to entrust to our care.

St. Raphael, angel of chaste courtship, bless our friendship and our love that sin may have no part in it. May our mutual love bind us so closely that our future home may ever be most like the home of the Holy Family of Nazareth. Offer your prayers to God for the both of us and obtain the blessing of God upon our marriage, as you were the herald of blessing for the marriage of Tobiah and Sarah.

St. Raphael, friend of the young, be my friend, for I shall always be yours. I desire ever to invoke you in my needs.

To your special care I entrust the decision I am to make as to my future husband (wife). Direct me to the person with whom I can best cooperate in doing God’s Holy Will, with whom I can live in peace, love and harmony in this life, and attain to eternal joy in the next. Amen.”

And that’s that.

Head over to Jen and Morgan‘s for more on this topic!

NAS: Marriage

I have somewhat neglected participating in this series because it feels strange publishing things on topics I only talk about with family and girlfriends and such. But I figure it doesn’t hurt. Maybe someone I know will read something good and benefit from it, and if not . . . what’s the big deal? Not much. So! This weeks topic is: Marriage.

I don’t even like this movie that much, but this part is hilarious.

Most of us here feel called to the vocation of marriage…but what is it exactly that you’re attracted to? What have you seen in others’ marriages that you’ve learned from or would do differently? 

Well.

I’ve always loved playing with kids. I babysat and watched my siblings and led things  for kids in high school. It only seemed natural to assume I would get married.

But then I went to a seriously Catholic college.

Shoot.

I actually have to do this whole discerning thing.

How does that work? What the heck was I supposed to do? I don’t want to be a nun! What does this mean? Holy cow I’m going to die, I’m so not sure now! Somebody tell me for crying out loud!

That lasted a couple minutes.

Then I put my big girl panties on (it’s a metaphor, people!) and found out that to discern you really have to look at what the options require, look at your talents and abilities and characteristics and see what matches the most.

Boom bam!

It became very clear to me that I would die am not suited for religious life. It’s hard to describe why or how I knew/know. I just know.

It’s not like I expect to find Prince Charming and run off into the sunset. I know marriage isn’t easy. And I think that’s kind of why it’s appealing to me, strangely. I like a challenge. Promising to love a person through the good and bad until you die is a pretty big deal. You’re vowing to live for the good of this person until you DIE. Whoa. But at the same time, the other person vows to love you in return. And if you put God at the root of your relationship, you’re a cord of three strands (which it says somewhere in the Bible is not easily broken). How awesome is that?

I never, ever, want to live alone in my entire life. I want to share my life with another person, and I hope to someday bring kids into the world if that’s the plan (eh, God?). Marriage requires that you give love unconditionally, and your mutual love create this trinity-mirroring sacred kind of love that God grants to people through the awesome sacrament of marriage. And your spouse vows to love you unconditionally in return.

If I though about it more, there are probably deeper reasons, but that’s it for now. I am thankful to have beautiful examples of people who have made marriage work (both sets of grandparents for almost 54 years, parents for 25). If it’s what God has in store, then I’ll pray for the grace to accept all the challenges and beauty it gives. And until then? I’ll keep on praying for the grace to live my current vocation gracefully.

Bikinis, bras, and panty-lines, oh my!

It’s not easy trying to dress modestly in the 21st century. With the “anything goes” attitude toward clothing nowadays, it can be rather difficult to go against the tide and find clothes that fit, are beautiful, and not reminiscent of cotton sacks grain used to come in. Too often now, I see beautiful, respectable girls dressing immodestly. I know dressing modestly does take a little extra effort, but it’s worth it. You owe it to yourself and the world around you to dress nicely.

You

Modesty has to begin within yourself. Dressing modestly tells the world that you are beautiful, and you know it. You know that beauty is much deeper than body parts. You want people to see you for more than your body, so you draw attention to what you want people to see: your character, your sense of humor, your generosity, your passion in life, and so much more. Dressing modestly comes from a desire to show the world what you are more than what the world tells you you are. You are so much more than a body. This is a message that the world needs to hear more and more; this is what we do by dressing modestly.

The World

You’ve heard it before: guys are tempted by immodest girls, so we should obviously not dress like that. It’s something that annoyed me at first, because should we really be dressing for other people? Well, partially. Modesty has to come from a personal desire to show the world you are more than a body. After you come to terms with that, yes, you do have to realize that how you dress will affect people around you. I don’t know about you, but I would never want to purposefully present myself as an occasion of sin for another person. This is why we try to keep others in mind while dressing. Dressing modestly invites the world to get to know you as a person, not a body to be used or sought after for no more than physical reasons.

But what does it mean to be modest?

Modesty is much more than how you dress. It’s how you carry yourself. It’s how you talk. A big part of it, though, is how you dress. That’s what I’m talking about right now. I’m talking about keeping things covered that should be covered, and allowing the world to see only the parts of us that they should be seeing. Here are issues (in no particular order) our culture has with modesty (especially geared toward summer clothing), and how to solve them.

Denim underwear: the problem

“What?!?!” you say? Who wears denim underwear? That’s just the thing. They’re not underwear, but that’s how they’re worn. Also known as daisy dukes, or short-shorts, these are short pants which basically cover not much more than underwear. Sometimes they are so short, the pockets hang below the hem. These are inappropriate for a modest girl’s closet because they are tight and hug the bottom closely. Instead of seeing a girl for more than her body, these draw attention to an area which should remain private.

Denim underwear: the solution

A variety of short pants are available which cover more than short-shorts.

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These are casual shorts which could be worn every day during summertime. They’re not skin-tight, nor do they draw too much attention to the area. Shorts like this are available through Landsend, and most retail stores. Also avalable are fashions such as Bermuda shorts, which go a little longer.

Camisoles worn as shirts: the problem

Cami’s were not meant to be worn as shirts. They were meant to be worn under other shirts as layering. This is not appropriate for a modest girl because camis do not cover as much as a shirt does. They reveal bra straps as well as bumps and lumps that show too much of the body. Though this can be tempting to do during hot weather, there are other options.

Camisoles worn as shirts: the solution

When it’s extremely hot outside, a tank top can be worn just as easily as a cami. When shopping, make sure to find tank tops that are comfortable, not too tight, and a breathable material that won’t make you sweat buckets.

Laura Scott Women's Ribbed Tank Top at Sears.com       Grisbi Women's Lace-Front Tank Top at Sears.com       Miss Erika Women's Tank Top - Tie-Dye at Sears.com     Kardashian Kollection Women's Georgette Tank Top - Confetti Print at Sears.com

Miniskirts: the problem

Miniskirts are inappropriate for the same reason as denim underwear. They’re too short, and show too much of that region. And while on the topic, I’m not really sure how a girl could be comfortable in one anyway. Toss these out! To test if your skirt is too short, bend over and see if anything shows that shouldn’t.

Miniskirts: the solution

Longer skirts are beautiful, respectful of a woman’s beauty, and even more feminine. I do not suggest wearing floor length skirts unless it is sub-freezing temperatures outside, but ones longer than miniskirts are preferable. Some of my favorite skirts of ones that cut me just above the knee (pictured below). Old Navy has excellent ones like the one below, but they do tend to be a little more expensive than I prefer.

Women's Embroidered Sateen Skirts

Bikinis: the problem

The problem with bikinis is that most of them cover less than underwear. Just because something is made out of swim suit material does not make it appropriate. Bikinis also draw obvious attention to places that should be kept private. Over-revealing bikinis do not honor a woman’s true beauty. I will never wear a bikini because I’m not comfortable showing that much skin. Though I can’t say all bikinis are inappropriate, I have never seen one I thought was modest.

Bikinis: the solution

Can you say tankinis?!?! Tankinis rock. They have the convenience of being a two piece, while still covering enough. While purchasing a tankini, be careful that the bottom is not super high-cut, and the top will stay put and not slip down. Experiment with a swim skirt too!

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Necklines: the problem

Plunging necklines are too revealing. No one needs to see a mile of cleavage. This draws too much attention to the chest area, and takes the onlooker’s gaze away from a woman’s face.

Necklines: the solution

This is where camisoles are a great solution! Camis can be layered with shirts that are too short and too low. You can even purchase patterned ones, ones with lace, or just plain ones to accent any outfit.

Bra straps: the problem

Shirts that show bra straps are cut in such a way that the straps can’t just be showed away. This happens often with tank tops that have racer backs (shown below), shirts that fall off the shoulder, and single-sleeved shirts. This is inappropriate because underwear should remain private. Seeing straps invites the mind to go places it shouldn’t – where the dignity of a woman is not honored. To prevent that from happening, straps should be covered.

Bra straps: the solution

Buy shirts that cover the entire shoulder area to be sure to keep straps tucked away. You can also buy one of those as see on on TV hooks that connects the two straps, or just buy a racer back bra.

Panty lines: the problem

Clothes that show panty lines are often too tight, or are those cotton-type knit dresses that can be clingy. This is inappropriate because we shouldn’t want the public thinking about our underwear. It invites others to think about us in a way that does not honor womanly dignity.

Panty lines: the solution

When it comes down to it, know that if you have to ask if something is appropriate, it probably isn’t. Honor your inner beauty by showing the outer world that you are more than body parts. Women are intricately beautiful creatures: something we must reflect in the way we dress.

If I didn’t cover an aspect of modesty you’d like me to include in a future post, lease leave the idea for me in the comment section or send it to me.

Carry on, beautiful ladies!

Squashing Manliness in America

Okay, ladies: Imagine you’re walking through Manhattan. [Guys, hear me out. Your part is coming up.] Cars are whizzing by, people rush in every direction, and you’re in your own little world as you walk down the street. You’re now standing on a corner, and turn to look down the road to see if a car is coming before you finish crossing the street. You suddenly hear the sound of a car coming closer and closer behind you. A guy (who happens to be an attractive movie star) appears out of nowhere, and pushes you to the side as a taxi screams past you, just narrowly being saved from a nasty accident. You’re a bit bruised, but alive. Whew!

Now answer this: How would you react?

A) Shrug it off and walk away with a quick “thanks”

B) Get mad at the guy for making you look like a damsel in distress

C) Profusely thank the guy for saving you from a messy accident

Easy, right? A guy saves you from being hit by a car. The least you could do is thank him! But that’s not the case for a woman named Laurie Penny who was recently saved from a car hit by actor Ryan Gosling in Manhattan. She says:

“I really do object to being framed as the ditzy damsel in distress in this story,” she wrote. “I do not mean any disrespect to Ryan Gosling, who is an excellent actor and, by all accounts, a personable and decent chap. . . . But as a feminist, a writer, and a gentlewoman of fortune, I refuse to be cast in any sort of boring supporting female role.”

A guy saves you from a potentially life-threatening situation, and you get mad at him for making you look like a “ditzy damsel in distress” and giving you a “boring supporting female role”? Wow. I wonder what she’d say if he just walked on by as watched her get hit…..
Sadly, though, this is not a new concept. In the last 100 years or so, women have gone from stay-at-home moms vacuuming in pantyhose to belly-button-bearing women on contraception who can’t bear the thought of a males taking away their right to do what she wants when she wants.
Many women find it insulting when a man takes it upon himself to actually do something manly [ie. slay the dragon, save from car accident, open door, carry heavy box]. Why? Because women think it means men are better than women. They’d rather men impress them by walking around shirtless showing off their six-packs than actually rolling up their sleeves and performing some manly act of valor.
Now, what does this do to you guys? It makes you step back. You don’t take opportunities to do manly things because women aren’t thankful. Lift a heavy box? “I CAN DO THAT MYSELF, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!” Open a door for a girl? She just walks right through and ignores you.
But let me tell you this: some people do still care. Women with at least an ounce of class would thank you for opening a door or lifting a box, not to mention if you save us from being hit by a car.
Do not stop being a gentleman just because society tells you it’s not cool. The right girls will appreciate it when you open the door for them! Men were made to fight for and protect ladies and children. Never give up because some wacko thinks you’re degrading her by helping her. You were made for more than watching football and letting women take over the world. Stand up for your dignity as a man, and don’t let women take that away from you.
Ladies: Let guys be guys. Seriously. If a guy opens a door for you, say “Thank You”. If he offers to lift a box or do something else nice, let him do it. Stop trying to squash his manliness. Letting guys do these things does NOT mean you are a damsel in distress, or that you are not equal to men. It means you care enough to let guys be themselves. They were made to love and protect you, and YOU need to respect that. Stop trying to take over the world, and let guys take the lead….sometimes 🙂
Never, ever, stop standing up for your dignity as a man or as a woman. We’re equal, but have different roles in society. Accept it, and own it. Men, be gentlemen, and ladies: performing various acts of chivalry is WAY more impressive than any six-pack. Keep that in mind next time some movie star saves you from a speeding taxi in NYC.
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