Notification Concerning Men’s Dress Worn by Women

…In the Notification, which is addressed to his clergy, to teaching Sisters, to members of Catholic Action and to “Educators intending truly to follow Christian doctrine”, the cardinal noted that by 1960 many respectable women and mothers in Genoa had stopped wearing dresses and skirts and had taken to wearing “men’s dress (men’s trousers)”. He recognises that trousers might not be thought of as immodest “because they cover more of a woman’s body than do modern women’s skirts” – unless, of course, they are provocatively tight-fitting. His main point, however, is to do with the psychology of women wearing trousers: he believes “Male dress is the visible aid to bringing about a mental attitude of being ‘like a man’” ie it changes the psychology of women.

Cardinal Siri’s argument is that “male dress tends to vitiate relationships between men and women”; when women wear trousers, it flattens out the natural distinction between the sexes and thus helps “to pull down the vital defence-works of the sense of shame”. He believes, in short, that “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.”… (Source)

Death by increments.  The old fuddy-duddy was right, wasn’t he?  I can hear the howls of cynical laughter already…but the reality is that changing a woman’s appearance is the first “benign” step to changing the woman and robbing her of her genuine feminity later on.

In the past, we knew who wore the pants in the family.  Today, of course, women wear the pants and men wear dresses.  But for some reason, no one’s laughing at that.  It’s a hate crime to oppose it.

2 thoughts on “Notification Concerning Men’s Dress Worn by Women

  1. There needs to be some work done towards an appreciation of what exactly femininity is and why it should be valued. Men have a positive ideal to aim for ( to be strong, active, courageous, self-reliant, problem-solvers, providing for the family, etc.) But if women are supposed to be different from men, where does that leave you? Who wants to be wimpy, lazy, cowardly, problem-causers, useless, etc.? There are no corresponding positive images related to what a woman is supposed to be. And there are no models to work from. Even before the asteroid hit with the 1960s sexual and feminist revolution, the feminine was looked down upon in society. Just look at the portrayal of women in movies from the 1950s. They’re all childish bubbleheads or shrews, worried about their looks, petty, gossippy… Marilyn Monroe? Alice Kramden? I have no answers—it’s not something I’ve been able to figure out.

  2. Kathleen, you are right on in your analysis. Catholicism, as I have always said, is by the very definition of our faith neither to the right nor to the left but always in the middle. The world tries to push us to one side or the other and our job is to stay firmly planted in who we are. That’s why JP2 had that famous saying, “Be who you are”. He also had something to say for the “feminine genius”. There is a place completely outside of the ditz and the porn star. I think we can take the biblical models in the Old Testament…no wilting violets were they.

    What has to be valued is women for what they *are* FIRST, not what they do. Once that is first understood and appreciated, then progress, REAL progress, can be made. But no liberation comes by making women other men as a model. It just leads to disaster.

    http://www.catholic-legate.com/?p=1412

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