Friday, February 28, 2014

Skirt-up Lenten Challenge


femgenius12



"This Lent, we invite you to journey with us at Feminine Genius Inc. as we offer up the comforts of wearing pants and choose to wear skirts as an act of reparation for women.  You may choose to participate just one day a week, Fridays, or go all out and this be your sacrifice for all of Lent
We are not saying that wearing pants is bad or un-feminine; it is possible to be modest and feminine in pants. However, we feel that wearing skirts is a way that we can very overtly express,in a world which so harshly rejects authentic femininity, that we are women who love every bit of how God created us.
Throughout Lent, each week, we will offer up our sacrifice for certain women or groups of women who have either rejected their authentic selves and are leading other women astray (think Cecile Richards), women who have been abused, sex-trafficked, in abusive marriages, etc.  We will post the intention of the week every Wednesday here on this page...."

Read more here:
http://femgenius.com/skirt-up-lenten-challenge/

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Dressing with Dignity: An Open Letter to Young Ladies

*The following is a guest post written by a kind friend who sent it to me to be published on The Catholic Lady blog.*
 
 
 
I'm everyone's adopted "auntie" - a childless, fun-loving middle aged Catholic woman who enjoys mothering the daughters of friends.  I've reached the age when those young ladies are starting to become engaged and married. A recent party for a young bride prompted me to write this open letter to young ladies.
 

Dear 20-Somethings,

Congratulations! You've reached the age when your friends - or maybe even you! - are getting married. And with the oohing and aahing over engagement rings and the joyful perusing of bridal magazines, the inevitable arrives: the bridal shower. Whether held at home, in a rented hall or in a restaurant, the bridal shower is traditionally an all-female event celebrating the bride-to-be.

Traditional bridal showers range from the very formal catered party to an informal gathering in someone's living room, but all boast a festive, feminine feel to the event.  Although time has worn the formal edges off of the traditional bridal shower, there remains a spirit of tradition over the event that begs to be honored.

It is in this spirit of honoring tradition that I write to you, my young friends, for I saw something at the last shower I attended that made me sad.

At a recent bridal shower I attended for the daughter of a friend, those wearing appropriate attire - nice pantsuits, dresses, skirts and sweaters - were either above age 40 or below the age of 10. The teens and 20-somethings looked like they didn't know or care about what they wore, and most sported ripped jeans, dirty toes peeking out from thong sandals, and oversized, unisex hoodie sweatshirts.  There were exceptions, of course, but for the most part, the elders dressed to honor the occasion, while the youngster dressed to please themselves.

Were they at their friend's bridal shower or changing the oil on their cars?

It's one thing to feel comfortable in your clothing. I get that you want to be comfortable. I do, too. Clothes that bind, chafe or itch are never appropriate.  But clothes communicate important non-verbal messages. They communicate first and foremost respect, both for yourself and for those around you. 

Do sweat pants, blue jeans, sneakers or flip-flops convey respect for your dear sister or friend, the bride to be, or for the institution of marriage?  Wearing ripped, faded blue jeans, sweat pants, hoodie sweatshirts, sneakers and flip-flops to your friend's wedding shower gave me the impression that you didn't care about your friend, her family, or even about yourself. 

There's a time and a place for everything.  The young bride wouldn't wear her satin and lace dress to scrub the toilets at her daytime job as a housekeeper, nor should she.  Yet her young friends shouldn't have dressed like they were ready to scrub toilets to attend a formal high tea in honor of their friend.

My dear young friends, I exhort you: Dress for the occasion. Give some thought not merely to your own comfort and convenience, but to the message your attire sends to the world.  If you care about your friend and her family, if you wish to honor her happiness, then wear a neat, clean, ladylike outfit. 

I'm not suggesting you wear pearls and satin slippers to mow the lawn, but sitting at a table drinking tea with me seems like the perfect occasion to wear feminine finery.  You will send a message that dressing with dignity dignifies not just the wearer, but the occasion, the honoree and the honored guests.

With much love,
Everyone's Adopted Auntie

An Excellent Article on the Influence of Dress

"It was a cool, crisp morning as I drove down a Pennsylvania back road on the way to my first fox hunt. The sky was clear and blue, and the bright sunshine illuminating the frost-covered field brought an agreeable white freshness to the landscape.

The sights along the way were what one would expect in rural America: small town gas stations, a local post office, and a sign for the local taxidermist. I knew I must be close to my destination, the Rose Tree Fox Hunting Club, the oldest such club in America, having been founded in 1859. There I met my host, Joseph Murtagh, the master of the hounds, known to the other fox hunters as Jody. His tie-pin immediately caught my attention; its golden fox matched the weathervane atop his barn.

My initial impression was that Jody is typically American, very candid and straightforward. “You can ride along in the truck if you wish to follow the hunt,” he said, “and anytime you care to leave, they would bring you back.” After he mounted his horse to leave, I noticed a subtle change: Joseph Murtagh became rather more distinguished, his deportment more elevated, his manners more refined..."
Read more here:
http://www.tfp.org/tfp-home/only-in-america/tallyho.html

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Your Clothes Say it For You


Traditional Bavarian tracht.
I live in Washington County, PA, home of the hunting, pickup truck driving, work boot wearing Redneck.

And women are no exception.

I can't exactly walk around in a Jane Austen or Civil War dress like I know some hopelessly romantic teenagers do.  I have tried it.  And wearing a period costume in public really is quite conspicuous.  It looks either crazy or Amish, which is not what I want to say with my clothes.  As much as I dream of being Elizabeth Bennett or Scarlett O'Hara, I am not.

I have a book called, "Your Clothes Say It For You" by a Protestant woman which discusses the topic of why women should wear dresses and skirts based on the Bible.  This is a good start.  But clothes go beyond showing someone is a woman.  Despite being modest, the denim-skirt-homeschool-mom look does not cover it all.  Dress should be complex and interesting.  It can define where a woman lives and where she comes from, her situation or vocation, and even give a clue as to her temperament.

My husband has German relatives way back and so he likes to wear a trachten jacket to represent his heritage.  He bought me a beautiful dirndl to wear for Christmas one year that I have since worn every Christmas that I am not pregnant.  What does this say about me?  My dirndl tells others that my family is German and we love tradition.  It also tells of modesty and femininity!  All things I am proud to represent.

Ethnic Slovak costumes often include
beautiful (and laborious) embroidery.
I read in one of the Royal Diary books that Eastern European women used to wear skirts to represent their position.  The very wealthy women wore up to ten skirts, one on top of the next, all embroidered and carefully stitched, to represent who they were!  Folk costumes of the past are really quite beautiful and full of identity.  The clothing goes along with customs.  Most of these are based on Christian traditions and principles.

I have attended the Pittsburgh Folk Festival for years.  It is a beautiful display of ethnicity.  People from Pittsburgh are very loyal to their cultural heritage.  My own great-grandparents did not wish my grandparents to marry because one was Slovak and the other Polish.  This was a grave matter in their families and in their parishes.  Even today, the Catholic parishes in Pittsburgh are divided by nationality, built by the immigrants of that country and named after their national saint or devotion.

I know members of a Slovak club and a German club whose groups perform at the folk festival.  Folk dancing is nothing like modern dancing and much more than simple waltzing.  Many traditional dances involve polkas, clapping, marches and circle dancing.  The Germans do many Plattle dances where the men slap themselves to the music while the women twirl with their full bell skirts.  I grew up taking Irish dancing lessons which is different altogether from German or Slovak dancing, but the jigs and reels require one to be very straight and the footwork is incredibly complicated.  The dances represent the people as well as the costumes do.  It is so right to represent ethnicity as well as femininity with dress.

It might seem that most countries today- especially a young one like America- are left with sadly
The hat ladies of Charleston represent the beauty and
warm elegance that distinguishes the South.
unromantic identities.  On the surface many Americans appear like those from Washington County- with their jeans, boots and chewing tobacco.

I am happy to assure you that there is a more civilized America underneath!  It takes less digging than one would expect to find beautifully distinctive places with natural attractions and native industries.  But this is just part of what draws people to certain states.  There is a unique feel that is sometimes represented in dress.  Kentucky Derby hats are a good example!  It is very interesting to read about some of these lovely places in Victoria or Southern Lady magazine or- even better- to visit them!

Civil War reenacting is another place to find something beautiful and American and meet people who are proud to represent their heritage.  I have friends who have incredible stories to tell about the old South over black coffee, fiddles and open fires.

Perhaps a Scarlett O'Hara dress is not as far removed from reality as I thought?

What do your clothes say about you?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Dress the Part

"Even those in contemporary plays need to get a feel for how their characters move by rehearsing in high heels, skirts or other items not found in their personal wardrobe, says Griffith, who usually wears pants or jeans.
That's why she wore a dress for every rehearsal as Ann Deever in “All My Sons” at The Rep last fall. “I never, never wear them. With period pieces, it helps to have practice.”


Read more: http://triblive.com/aande/theaterarts/5527912-74/says-costume-griffith#ixzz2uFqlCOiI

A Weekend In Feminine Dress

A Weekend In Feminine Dress is when I post pictures of myself or a friend in a modest outfit, including where it was purchased in order to encourage other women to take up this important apostolate of feminine dress.  If you are interested in having your picture here please email me at: thecatholiclady@gmail.com!
 
Joanna was kind enough to volunteer again for A Weekend In Feminine Dress!  I love her outfit here and below I have included her message.:
 
 




Good morning!

The snow is still piling down , so hats are still a necessity . Feel free to use my submission! Figured I would counteract my summer photos!

Hat and coat given to me from my aunt!
Skirt my grandmas .
Shirt that you can't see - thrifted

Man next to me? Loaned to me from God


Have a wonderful day!

Pax,

Joanna

Friday, February 21, 2014

Harmful Chemicals Even in Clothes for Children

Do you buy clothes made in China?  This is an important reason to reconsider:


"Hazardous chemicals have been detected in clothes for children made ​​in China and sold by big Western brands such as Disney, Burberry and Adidas.

This is the verdict rendered by the environmental organization Greenpeace after it submitted 82 items of 12 brands for analysis and found harmful chemicals in every one of them, the French newspaper Libération reported.

Among the poisonous clothing items were also products from brands like Nike, American Apparel, C & A and Gap.

“Parents looking to buy clothes for their children without hazardous chemicals are faced with a nightmare,” said Greenpeace’s Chih Lee An..."



Read more here:
http://www.tfp.org/tfp-home/news-commentary/harmful-chemicals-even-in-clothes-for-children.html

Thursday, February 20, 2014

On Low Necklines

 


'Beyond fashion and its demands, there are higher and more pressing laws, principles superior to fashion, and unchangeable, which under no circumstances can be sacrificed to the whim of pleasure or fancy, and before which must bow the fleeting omnipotence of fashion.  These principles have been proclaimed by God, by the Church, by the Saints, by reason, by Christian morality.' -Pope Pius XII 


It is so easy to fall into the temptation of wanting to be popular.  I do it often.

Why is it so tempting to want to be like our friends?  Why do we have this innate desire to conform to those around us?

One of the most dangerous places for me is around popular fashion.  I love fashion!  I love clothes and shoes, hairstyling and hats, jewelry and purses.  I think that many women do.  And of course this is not wrong in itself, but it is dangerous.

For we will be judged by God on our last day on every one of our thoughts, words and actions.  And regarding immodesty in dress, I think most women will be found more than a little guilty.

Low necklines are probably the number one danger for me.  I have gotten used to wearing long skirts so that anything shorter than a little above my ankles makes me feel awkward, but necklines are something I don't notice as much.  My husband often has to point out to me that my shirt is a little bit low.  (God bless him!)

The old rule that I was taught from a child is that, 'A dress cannot be called decent which is cut deeper than two fingers breadth under the pit of the throat; which does not cover the arms at least to the elbows; and scarcely reaches a bit beyond the knees. Furthermore, dresses of transparent materials are improper.'  (The Cardinal Vicar of Pope Pius XI)

Believe me when I say it is difficult to find any shirt whatsoever that is two fingers breadth below the pit of the throat- let alone a dress with a neckline and hemline that both comply!  I really think necklines are getting lower each season.  Formally respectable ladies who I know now appear showing a scandalous amount of cleavage.  Perhaps they cannot help what the stores are selling; but they certainly can help what they are wearing.  After all, the shirts I've seen in the store are deliberately missing the top button, and what is even worse, now it is impossible to pin up the top anymore since the shirts are designed in a v neckline into the collar.  Immodesty is after all a plot.  Perhaps the designer is not the only one behind it, but she is a tool in the hands of the Revolution of immodesty.

Something must be done about low necklines.

The Catholic Lady does not compromise her modesty when it comes to clothes.  She devises ways to combat the immodest fashions.  She will wear a camisole underneath her blouse or pin up a shirt that is missing a button or wear a cardigan over a short sleeve.  I have even seen a friend wear a skirt beneath a dress to lengthen it and it was quite unnoticeable to an untrained eye. :)

I am asking you to join this campaign against low necklines.  It can be done by complaining to retailers, warning others about this danger, and especially by wearing modest necklines oneself!


'It might be said that society speaks through the clothing it wears. Through its clothing it reveals its secret aspirations and uses it, at least in part, to build or destroy its future."  -Pope Pius XII

On Shoes

Shoes have an amazing ability to influence attitude and personality.  For example, tennis shoes usually define an athlete while heels can precipitate elegance.  I know because I have lived in both.

I began with the former.  I played softball and basketball throughout all of my school years, from the age of seven or eight until I graduated from high school.  When I wasn't actually playing in a game I was at practice or sitting on the bench with other girls, strong athletic girls who had never worn a dress or high heels in their life.  Cleats were what we lived in and tennis shoes or Adidas sandals after practice.  I actually remember one of those cute, tomboyish cheers that we used to chant out from the dugout benches saying, "We don't wear no miniskirts, all we wear are socks and shirts"!  Since neither one of these attires are preferable, I am not altogether proud that the tomboy in me as a child won over the sleazy teenager.

It was not until I met an inspirational and elegant girl when I was sixteen that my attitude towards footwear was influenced- and changed dramatically.

I had worn heels before, on Easter or to a wedding, but I did not know how to behave when I had them on.  I had always felt weird, like someone acting a different personality.  I didn't know how to walk.  But seeing how my friend wore her pretty shoes so graciously, it was with a new attitude that I approached them now.

I actually shopped for elegant shoes, something I had never bought in my life.  I wanted shoes that would contribute to my new desire to become a lady, a Catholic lady, a person who wanted to be simply myself, how God had made me!  I actually practiced walking in pretty shoes with a book on my head and tried hard to walk straight and tall, not in the casual attitude that sports had taught me.

This was not easy.  It took time to get used to wearing dresses and pretty, delicate shoes instead of the tennis shoes and oversized tee shirts I was used to.  But it felt good and I finally found out who I was!  I was altogether more comfortable in these "restrictive" shoes than I was in "comfortable" shoes before.


Now when I look around and notice women walking around in UGGs, I cannot help but think how these shoes define those woman as trying to be popular and nothing more.  When I see cute little girls wearing tennis shoes and sports apparel I cringe.  They are on a certain path to despising their own femininity and becoming sad unfeminine creatures.

So, maybe it is not practical to walk around in glass slippers like Cinderella.  I am not saying that a lady has to wear uncomfortable shoes!  But at least think about your footwear; think about what you are telling yourself with your shoes.  Do you want to be a lady or something foreign to your nature?  Which personality will make you happy, which does the world need to function properly, and which does God desire you to be?

The Catholic Lady?

There are very few left who will bear the "uncomfortable" and "unfashionable" qualities of a Catholic Lady's footwear.  Not that they have to be so.  (There are comfortable and elegant shoes out there, even ones that work for running!)

God help us!  Society is intentionally rejecting the simple identity of the shoe.

Where is this leading?


Rachel, Why Do You Cry?

A voice was heard in Rama, lamentation and great mourning;
Rachel bewailing her children, and would not be comforted... Matt 2:18
 
"Watching a pro-life documentary the other day, I was deeply moved as girl after girl, woman after woman, and professional after professional gave heart-wrenching testimonies of the emotional, spiritual and psychological devastation our women, our modern “Rachels,” undergo in this culture of abortion.
How did we get here? Why in the name of freedom, liberation, rights and choice are girls and women so battered?
“It Wasn’t My Choice”
One professional said, “Women are offered abortion in the name of ‘choice,’ yet the overwhelming answer to the question, “Why did you do it?” is, “It wasn’t my choice.”
And another young woman, her face a torrent of tears said, “Everyone pushed me. And, in the end, I killed my child so everyone else could feel free.”
What We Have Lost
As a young girl, Dad took me out to the garden bench one morning. It wasn’t every day that I got to have a private interview with my father, so I fixed my brown eyes on his face, and missed nothing of what he said. He spoke of young womanhood, and of beauty as something proceeding from the soul, rather than from a lot of make-up, clothes and trinkets. He spoke of the Blessed Mother as a model for girls, a woman true to her inner star, contrary to what the world promoted.
Child that I was, I only captured fragments of his meaning, except that I knew that some things in my life were about to go the way of the TV–out the window. But I wasn’t worried. Dad knew best.
As it turned out, my sisters and I were homeschooled. We painted paper dolls, studied art and music, learned cooking and baking, raised a garden, loved the library, read lots of books, put on marionette shows, watched select movies, played with friends, learned our Catholic Faith inside out, and frequented the Sacraments–a life-style the world called “restrictive.”
Meeting the World
And then the time came to start driving and working.
At my first job, I worked with women who wore little, swore plenty, and headed for bars after work. There were the stories of boyfriends, and sex, and cheating, and divorce, and drugs and alcohol, and hangovers.
Then little sister came home one day wide-eyed from nursing school.
“We studied STDs today, and you will not believe the amount of such diseases every single one of those girls have had. I felt like an angel.”..."

Read more here:
https://americaneedsfatima.org/Varied/rachel-why-do-you-cry.html

Monday, February 17, 2014

A Weekend In Feminine Dress

Welcome to A Weekend In Feminine Dress on the Catholic Lady Blog!  If you are interested in volunteering with your own photos, please contact me at: thecatholiclady@gmail.com!  The purpose is to encourage women to consider taking up the important apostolate of feminine dress. 
 
 
Here is what I am wearing today:
 


 
 
 
I'm Wearing:
 
Red Top- White Stag
Black Top- Thrift Store (originally a.n.a.)
Skirt- Thrift Store
Earrings- Claire's
 
 
 
 
Beatrice is Wearing:
 
Top- Sonoma
Dress- Gift (Samara)
Tights- Gift

Monday, February 10, 2014

A Weekend In Feminine Dress

 
Welcome to A Weekend In Feminine Dress on the Catholic Lady Blog!  If you are interested in volunteering with your own photos, please contact me at: thecatholiclady@gmail.com!  The purpose is to encourage women to consider taking up the important apostolate of feminine dress. 
 
        Here is what I wore yesterday:
 

 
 

 

 


 
 
 
I'm Wearing:
 
Top- Susan Lawrence brand
Cardigan- Thrift Store
Skirt- Consignment (Croft and Barrow brand)
Shoes- Consignment
Scarf- Consignment (Aerie brand)
Earrings- Kohl's
 
 
Beatrice is Wearing:
 
Dress: Gift- (Bonnie Baby brand)
Shoe tights- Gift

Monday, February 3, 2014

A Weekend in Feminine Dress

 Welcome to A Weekend In Feminine Dress on the Catholic Lady Blog!  If you are interested in volunteering with your own photos, please contact me at: thecatholiclady@gmail.com!  The purpose is to encourage women to consider taking up the important apostolate of feminine dress.
 
Yesterday was baby Rebecca's Baptism!  Here are the best pictures I have of what I wore:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
I'm Wearing:

Pink Wrap Top- Banana Republic (three years ago)
Black Layering Top- Thrift Store
Black Skirt- Thrift Store (originally White House Black Market)
Bracelet- Claire's
Watch- Consignment
Necklace and Earrings- Kohl's

Notification Concerning Men's Dress Worn By Women

Notification Concerning Men's Dress Worn By Women
by Giuseppe Cardinal Siri
 
Genoa,
June 12, 1960
To the Reverend Clergy,
To all Teaching sisters,
To the beloved sons of Catholic Action,
To Educators intending truly to follow Christian Doctrine.
I
The first signs of our late arriving spring indicate that there is this year a certain increase in the use of men's dress by girls and women, even family mothers.  Up until 1959, in Genoa, such dress usually meant the person was a tourist, but now it seems to be a significant number of girls and women from Genoa itself who are choosing at least on pleasure trips to wear men's dress (men's trousers).
The extension of this behavior obliges us to take serious thought, and we ask those to whom this Notification is addressed to kindly lend to the problem all the attention it deserves from anyone aware of being in any way responsible before God.
We seek above all to give a balanced moral judgment upon the wearing of men's dress by women. In fact Our thoughts can only bear upon the moral question.
Firstly, when it comes to covering of the female body, the wearing of men's trousers by women cannot be said to constitute AS SUCH A GRAVE OFFENSE AGAINST MODESTY, because trousers certainly cover more of woman's body than do modern women's skirts.
Secondly, however, clothes to be modest need not only to cover the body but also not to cling too closely to the body.  Now it is true that much feminine clothing today clings closer than do some trousers, but trousers can be made to cling closer, in fact generally they do, so the tight fit of such clothing gives us not less grounds for concern than does exposure of the body.  So the immodesty of men's trousers on women is an aspect of the problem which is not to be left out of an over-all judgment upon them, even if it is not to be artificially exaggerated either.
II
However, it is a different aspect of women's wearing of men's trousers which seems to us the gravest.
The wearing of men's dress by women affects firstly the woman herself, by changing the feminine psychology proper to women; secondly it affects the woman as wife of her husband, by tending to vitiate relationships between the sexes; thirdly it affects the woman as mother of her children by harming her dignity in her children's eyes.  Each of these points is to be carefully considered in turn:--
A.  MALE DRESS CHANGES THE PSYCHOLOGY OF WOMAN.
In truth, the motive impelling women to wear men's dress is always that of imitating, nay, of competing with, the man who is considered stronger, less tied down, more independent.  This motivation shows clearly that male dress is the visible aid to bringing about a mental attitude of being "like a man."  Secondly, ever since men have been men, the clothing a person wears, demands, imposes and modifies that person's gestures, attitudes and behavior, such that from merely being worn outside, clothing comes to impose a particular frame of mind inside.
Then let us add that woman wearing man's dress always more or less indicates her reacting to her femininity as though it is inferiority when in fact it is only diversity. The perversion of her psychology is clear to be seen.
These reasons, summing up many more, are enough to warn us how wrongly women are made to think by the wearing of men's dress.



B.  MALE DRESS TENDS TO VITIATE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN WOMEN AND MEN.
In truth when relationships between the two sexes unfold with the coming of age, an instinct of mutual attraction is predominant.  The essential basis of this attraction is a diversity between the two sexes which is made possible only by their complementing or completing one another.  If then this "diversity" becomes less obvious because one of its major external signs is eliminated and because the normal psychological structure is weakened, what results is the alteration of a fundamental factor in the relationship.
The problem goes further still.  Mutual attraction between the sexes is preceded both naturally, and in order of time, by that sense of shame which holds the rising instincts in check, imposes respect upon them, and tends to lift to a higher level of mutual esteem and healthy fear everything that those instincts would push onwards to uncontrolled acts.  To change that clothing which by its diversity reveals and upholds nature's limits and defense-works, is to flatten out the distinctions and to help pull down the vital defense-works of the sense of shame.
It is at least to hinder that sense.  And when the sense of shame is hindered from putting on the brakes, then relationships between man and women sink degradingly down to pure sensuality, devoid of all mutual respect or esteem.
Experience is there to tell us that when woman is de-feminised, then defenses are undermined and weakness increases.



C. MALE DRESS HARMS THE DIGNITY OF THE MOTHER IN HER CHILDREN'S EYES.
All children have an instinct for the sense of dignity and decorum of their mother.  Analysis of the first inner crisis of children when they awaken to life around them even before they enter upon adolescence, shows how much the sense of their mother counts.  Children are as sensitive as can be on this point.  Adults have usually left all that behind them and think no more on it.  But we would do well to recall to mind the severe demands that children instinctively make of their own mother, and the deep and even terrible reactions roused in them by observation of their mother's misbehavior.  Many lines of later life are here traced out -- and not for good -- in these early inner dramas of infancy and childhood.
The child may not know the definition of exposure, frivolity or infidelity, but he possesses an instinctive sixth sense to recognize them when they occur, to suffer from them, and be bitterly wounded by them in his soul.
III
Let us think seriously on the import of everything said so far, even if woman's appearing in man's dress does not immediately give rise to all the upset caused by grave immodesty.
The changing of feminine psychology does fundamental and, in the long run, irreparable damage to the family, to conjugal fidelity, to human affections and to human society.  True, the effects of wearing unsuitable dress are not all to be seen within a short time.  But one must think of what is being slowly and insidiously worn down, torn apart, perverted.
Is any satisfying reciprocity between husband and wife imaginable, if feminine psychology be changed?  Or is any true education of children imaginable, which is so delicate in its procedure, so woven of imponderable factors in which the mother's intuition and instinct play the decisive part in those tender years?  What will these women be able to give their children when they will so long have worn trousers that their self-esteem goes more by their competing with the men than by their functioning as women?
Why, we ask, ever since men have been men, or rather since they became civilized -- why have men in all times and places been irresistibly borne to make a differentiated division between the functions of the two sexes?  Do we not have here strict testimony to the recognition by all mankind of a truth and a law above man?
To sum up, wherever women wear men's dress, it is to be considered a factor in the long run tearing apart human order.
IV
The logical consequence of everything presented so far is that anyone in a position of responsibility should be possessed by a SENSE of ALARM in the true and proper meaning of the word, a severe and decisive ALARM.
We address a grave warning to parish priests, to all priests in general and to confessors in particular, to members of every kind of association, to all religious, to all nuns, especially to teaching Sisters.
We invite them to become clearly conscious of the problem so that action will follow.  This consciousness is what matters.  It will suggest the appropriate action in due time.  But let it not counsel us to give way in the face of inevitable change, as though we are confronted by a natural evolution of mankind, and so on!
Men may come and men may go, because God has left plenty of room for the to and fro of their free-will; but the substantial lines of nature and the not less substantial lines of Eternal Law have never changed, are not changing and never will change.  There are bounds beyond which one may stray as far as one sees fit, but to do so ends in death; there are limits which empty philosophical fantasizing may have one mock or not take seriously, but they put together an alliance of hard facts and nature to chastise anybody who steps over them.  And history has sufficiently taught, with frightening proof from the life and death of nations, that the reply to all violators of the outline of "humanity" is always, sooner or later, catastrophe.
From the dialectic of Hegel onwards, we have had dinned in our ears what are nothing but fables, and by dint of hearing them so often, many people end up by getting used to them, if only passively.  But the truth of the matter is that Nature and Truth, and the Law bound up in both, go their imperturbable way, and they cut to pieces the simpletons who upon no grounds whatsoever believe in radical and far-reaching changes in the very structure of man.
The consequences of such violations are not a new outline of man, but disorders, hurtful instability of all kinds, the frightening dryness of human souls, the shattering increase in the number of human castaways, driven long since out of people's sight and mind to live out their decline in boredom, sadness and rejection.  Aligned on the wrecking of the eternal norms are to be found the broken families, lives cut short before their time, hearths and homes gone cold, old people cast to one side, youngsters willfully degenerate and -- at the end of the line -- souls in despair and taking their own lives.  All of which human wreckage gives witness to the fact that the "line of God" does not give way, nor does it admit of any adaption to the delirious dreams of the so-called philosophers!
V
We have said that those to whom the present Notification is addressed are invited to take serious alarm at the problem in hand.  Accordingly they know what they have to say, starting with little girls on their mother's knee.
They know that without exaggerating or turning into fanatics, they will need to strictly limit how far they tolerate women dressing like men, as a general rule.
They know they must never be so weak as to let anyone believe that they turn a blind eye to a custom which is slipping downhill and undermining the moral standing of all institutions.
They, the priests, know that the line they have to take in the confessional, while not holding women dressing like men to be automatically a grave fault, must be sharp and decisive.
Everybody will kindly give thought to the need for a united line of action, reinforced on every side by the cooperation of all men of good will and all enlightened minds, so as to create a true dam to hold back the flood.
Those of you responsible for souls in whatever capacity understand how useful it is to have for allies in this defensive campaign men of the arts, the media and the crafts.  The position taken by fashion design houses, their brilliant designers and the clothing industry, is of crucial importance in this whole question.  Artistic sense, refinement and good taste meeting together can find suitable but dignified solution as to the dress for women to wear when they must use a motorcycle or engage in this or that exercise or work.  What matters is to preserve modesty together with the eternal sense of femininity, that femininity which more than anything else all children will continue to associate with the face of their mother.
We do not deny that modern life sets problems and makes requirements unknown to our grandparents.  But we state that there are values more needing to be protected than fleeting experiences, and that for anybody of intelligence there are always good sense and good taste enough to find acceptable and dignified solutions to problems as they come up.
Out of charity we are fighting against the flattening out of mankind, against the attack upon those differences on which rests the complementarity of man and woman.
When we see a woman in trousers, we should think not so much of her as of all mankind, of what it will be when women will have masculinized themselves for good.  Nobody stands to gain by helping to bring about a future age of vagueness, ambiguity, imperfection and, in a word, monstrosities.
This letter of Ours is not addressed to the public, but to those responsible for souls, for education, for Catholic associations.  Let them do their duty, and let them not be sentries caught asleep at their post while evil crept in.
Giuseppe Cardinal Siri
Archbishop of Genoa









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