The Dignity of Women


It can sometimes happen, in a broken world, that the healing of a wound can seem as painful as the injury itself. The recent case of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, publically accused of harassing and abusing women, has ripped open a scab that was only tenuously covered all along. The reaction, mainly from women and from perhaps too few men, has been immediate and brutally honest. It could be summed up in the two-word hashtag of actress Alyssa Milano: “#MeToo.” Within a day of her original tweet, more than 500,000 women acknowledged the same grim reality on Twitter. It is not a Hollywood problem; it is a cultural one.

Actress Mayim Bialik of “The Big Bang Theory,” highlighted the problem in her October 13 New York Times editorial. Mentioning her practice of “self-protecting” choices and modest dress, she drew a visceral reaction from women, accusing her of victim-shaming. Too many women no longer trust the men in their lives; sadly, that mistrust extends to other women, as well. The reality is not about blame, but about pain, and there is more than enough to go around.

Never before has there been a greater need for the vision of sexuality and complementarity founded on the truth of the human person. Men and women were made to give themselves to the other as gift, in a relationship that is free, respectful, permanent, exclusive and open to the amazing possibility of new life. If that sounds outdated and unrealistic to many, then the onus is on them to come up with something else that works.