59

Can it possibly be? A return to virtue at Boston College…

 

Consider the following statistics describing today’s undergraduates:

  • 60-80% of college students have had some sort of hookup experience.
  • 63% of college-age men and 83% of college-age women would prefer a traditional relationship to an uncommitted sexual one.

No doubt about it, college is the place to be if one is interested in engaging in sex.

Yet, an associate professor in psychology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Richard McAnulty, notes: “The vast majority of young adults hope to be in a romantic relationship characterized by mutual love and commitment.”

If the latter statistics and McAnulty’s research are accurate, then would it not seem sensible for that every administrator at every one of the nation’s Catholic universities and colleges to work assiduously to provide undergraduates a culture wherein they can fulfill their hope?

Yes, it is sensible. But, try convincing those administrators of their moral obligation to reverse the hook up culture. “How?” they ask.  When told “Provide students a culture that not only raises their hopes but also assists them to translate those hopes into actual behavior,” they oftentimes opine something learned…about hopelessness…like Sisyphus.

Forget those administrators. They’re more interested in producing slick advertising campaigns and travelling all over Timbuktu to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for their institutions than they are about their primary moral obligations to form their students in wisdom and grace before God and man.

But, according to the Boston Globe, hope is alive…at Boston College.

There, the associate director of the Lonergan Institute, Kerry Cronin, is showing those feckless administrators how to build that culture. How? She’s teaching her students the lost art of dating…that is, how to date. The idea came to Cronin years back when she was delivering a lecture about the hookup culture. A student asked, “How would you ask someone on a date?…Like the actual words.”

Cronin believes most of today’s undergraduates don’t know how to date or, even, how to ask for a date. Why? This generation has grown up with relatively low expectations in the realm of “happily every after.” She notes:

  • In their world, most embrace group activities that are punctuated with the periodic hookup.
  • They communicate in digital bursts of 140-250 characters instead of in person.

Cronin’s pedagogical remedy? A class assignment that helps students reclaim the “lost social script” of dating. Not knowing where to begin or what to say, the assignment defines the boundaries so that students know exactly what to expect:

  • The date has to be 45 to 90 minutes in length with a person of legitimate romantic interest.
  • The student has to pay and has to make the invitation not by text or e-mail but in person.
  • The date cannot involve alcohol, kissing, or sex.

Cronin tells her students that dating requires the courage to be vulnerable to another person. As a freshman, Frank DiMartino said about the assignment:

It’s easy to hook up with someone you’ve just met in a dark room after having a few drinks. But asking someone out on a date in broad daylight, and when you actually have to know their name, can be really scary.

Cronin’s assignment directly confronts the culture that emphasizes uncommitted sex when it’s committed love that their hearts desire. She says:

  • Students use friendships and groups to satisfy social and emotional needs and see hookups as purely physical. As a result, students don’t have a relationship that allows them to address the confusions or expectations that can arise out of hookups.
  • Relying on groups prevents students from learning to interact one-on-one.  Getting to know another person through a group dynamic is very different from getting to know another person in an interpersonal dynamic.
  • Social media, especially texting, is another way one-on-one conversations are mediated. It provides access to a constructed “virtual self.” Students may feel connected but it builds habits of “ADD-quality connections” rather than face-to-face relationships.

Cronin’s alternative builds on her students’ hope yet challenges them to risk failure. She said:

When you ask somebody, you risk failing, and nobody likes to fail or be vulnerable to rejection….[Undergraduates] like to push themselves out of their comfort zone only if the energy and effort will equal success. But when asking someone out, nothing can ensure the person is going to say yes.

Cronin believes the hookup culture “creates a part of life that is unnecessarily chaotic and lonely.”

Yes, indeed. Leading undergraduates from the darkness of sin into the light of faith, hope, and love. Cronin might not think of her assignment in this way, but she’s evangelizing young people about the Gospel of Life!

Kudos to Kerry Cronin! She’s treading in and casting her net into the deep waters that most Catholic university and college administrators fear will engulf, sink, and drown them and their careers.

 

 

To read the Boston Globe article, click on the following link:
http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/2014/05/16/boston-college-professor-assigns-students-dates/jHXENWsdmp7cFlRPPwf0UJ/story.html

To read The Motley Monk’s daily blog, Omnibus, click on the following link:
http://www.richard-jacobs-blog.com/omnibus.html

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The Motley Monk

The Motley Monk is Fr. Richard Jacobs, O.S.A., a Professor of Public Administration at Villanova University. His academic specialities include: organizational theory; leadership ethics; Catholic educational leadership; and, U.S. Catholic educational history. Check out Fr. Jacobs' daily blog at http://www.richard-jacobs-blog.com/omnibus.html.

59 Comments

  1. “It’s easy to hook up with someone you’ve just met in a dark room after having a few drinks. But asking someone out on a date in broad daylight, and when you actually have to know their name, can be really scary.”

    I like the dark. I do not find it to be scary. I like looking at the stars at night. I like being in a chapel before the Blessed Sacrament with only a few candles lit. But I find the idea of a drunken hookup to be scary, dark or not. Lines like this are what convince me that Satan is real, because they show a total inversion of reality. Yes, it is scary to be rejected in public when asking someone on a date, but the rejection of all good things in an anonymous drunken hookup is truly far, far more frightening.

  2. I blame these girls’ mothers.

    When I was at Oxford, the Heads of Houses were positively bombarded with requests by coteries of mothers, beating the covers for suitable (marriageable) young men, to attend the dances they had arranged in London for their daughters. These events were irreverently known as “mantraps.” Quite a few men were lured by the prospect of invitations to Epsom, Wimbledon, Ascot, Lords and Goodwood at someone else’s expense. No doubt, the investment often enough paid off, or parents would not have continued to make it.
    The same thing went on, on a smaller scale, in the provinces. The Scots, thriftier and more selective, favoured dinner-dances to introduce young people to a suitable partner. Country dancing is a great ice-breaker and the Gay Gordons gets everyone on the floor. To invite a girl to the Hunt Ball was considered virtually a declaration. And I am talking of the ‘Sixties.

  3. Mike Hurcum

    The great advantage of country dancing is that, if one has, say, three couples, dancing in four-couple sets for eight repetitions, couples are always standing out, to watch and (hopefully) chat.

    Also, it does not require a great deal of space. I have seen it done in our entrance hall: 36 feet by 18.

  4. Entrance Hall? Hey, whatever happened to your invitation to us all, over in the Crisis combox, to visit you this summer? “My Father’s house has many rooms…”

  5. I suspect that the near demise of dating is attributable to the omnipresent use of the computer (mobile and otherwise) which has transfixed the young (and not so young) into the isolation of virtual reality in lieu of personal interaction in actual reality.
    .
    Long phone chats are now texts; mall shopping for apparel and cosmetics is a routine and boring google search with a future postal delivery; and internet exchanges are the lukewarm substitutes for proms and socials.
    .
    The exhilaration of a personal introduction and the occasional rejection are laid bare of any real emotion by the impersonalism and anonymity of cyberspace communication.
    .
    Kudos to the brave Boston College prepsters for resurrecting the dying art of courting, the sweetness of a first personal introduction, the bumbling fumbles of a first kiss, and the heartbeak of a first break-up; all milestones necessary to personal growth. What’s old is new again!

  6. The idea came to Cronin years back… A student asked, “How would you ask someone on a date?…Like the actual words.”

     
    Quite possibly Ms. Cronin had never herself asked anyone out on a date. Females typically expect men to do all the risking of social rejection and the paying of all the bills.
     

    I blame these girls’ mothers.
    –Michael Paterson-Seymour

     
    So do I.
     
    They should be asked if they reject Feminism and all its works.

  7. I blame these girls’ mothers.

    No goals, no cultural script. System works great for certain character types: the one’s who exploit and injure others and are generally useless for building societies where well-being is to be expected. The mother’s have their own lives to justify, and these lives are commonly unedifying.

  8. Micha Elyi writes, “…Females typically expect men to do all the risking of social rejection and the paying of all the bills…”
    .
    I have discussed this issue in some detail with women friends of various ages. The unalterable and timeless rules of dating from their collective perspective are “never ask a man on a date; he must ask”; “let the man lead”; and “a man should pay for dinners and other date activities”.
    .
    In their view (and few differed), breaking these rules would impair a man’s ego and/or diminish his sense of his own masculinity. If a man requested that a woman pay on a date, this would suggest that he would not be a good provider as a husband and would disqualify him for a second date.
    .
    My friends universally took exception when I acknowledged having offered to pay on a date. I had reasoned that a well compensated female executive should step up. This earned a universal thumbs down and was proclaimed as verboten in the courtship ritual. I don’t think the rules which were applicable back in the 90s have changed much today.
    .
    If you wish to ask a woman to reject Feminism…first define the word. Its meaning is just not that clear to many women.
    .
    Most of my friends would define a woman’s paying for dinner on a date as the act of a feminist.

  9. I must be missing something big here. This whole thing strikes me as sappy.
    Mommies will you do this for your poor befuddled teens, they can’t figure out how to ask someone for a date or to grow a relationship. Talk about helicoptering!

    Teacher, it’s nice to give these kids a recipe or a pattern to follow, but better to teach them how to think. Thinking is what is being lost in this mass media techno-socialization age.
    People emote and feel, intellectual deduction and planning are right out.- perception, attention, learning, memory, concept formation, reasoning, judgment and decision-making, problem solving, language processing– all parts of human cognition.
    Who can’t figure out to set a goal of dating and how to make that happen? Talk about Method! Put one thought after another in a linear way you can come to a conclusion.

  10. Anzlyne

    “Mommies will you do this for your poor befuddled teens, they can’t figure out how to ask someone for a date or to grow a relationship. Talk about helicoptering!”
    In the not so very distant past, mothers ensured that their daughters had a suitable pool of potential dates on which to draw. A bit like beating the covers and driving game, really. Then again, all the beaters and loaders in the world will not make one a good shot.

  11. Then again, all the beaters and loaders in the world will not make one a good shot” 🙂
    I appreciate your good humor Michael. Thank you. I do not intend to be harsh: I do see that a whole generation ( or 2 or 3 ) has been tickled and teased and led away. We don’t want another generation to grow up feckless! 😉

  12. I’ve read this blog quite a lot over the past year but have never posted. Greetings all!

    Speaking as a young single man, I don’t think that most Catholics understand just how much damage has been done to society by feminism. I and many of my friends would very much like to get married or even merely have a serious relationship. This is not possible. Nearly all of the women of our generation are whores, harlots, and strumpets. Those words tend to offend, but they need to come back. Words have meanings. I’m something of a logician. When we say a word like “bachelor”, we know that term is defined as “unmarried male”. The definition and the term are interchangeable. All bachelors are unmarried males is an analytic proposition. So it is with those terms I mentioned. They’re “hurtful” or “judgmental” but that’s exactly the point, and further, those terms refer to those with dubious moral character in matters of sexuality. The negativity serves a useful social purpose. It dissuades young women from becoming libertines due to social stigma (a stigma which should be binding on both sexes; I was raised to always respect ladies). For a young single Catholic man to find a virtuous young woman, say a practicing Catholic with her virginity intact (much as many of us Catholic men), is like the proverbial needle in the haystack, except the haystack is now basically the size of an aircraft hangar. Good luck. (Just an aside, I’m of the opinion that you should have to earn that white wedding dress. If you want that, you should have the purity it symbolizes.)

    Topping this all off is the near suicidal foolishness of marriage for men in the west. Many people I know are too afraid to date because, as much as they want a marriage, fear being trapped or victimized. Induction in invalid. You don’t know the person you are really getting until after the vows are exchanged, and then it too late. I’ve seen plenty of horror stories there. On top of that, no fault divorce is one of the most insane things ever contrived in western civilization (falling behind abortion and the acceptance of homosexuality, though these are all related). A marriage can just end whenever one spouse (usually the wife) becomes bored or dissatisfied and the other has no say at all. However, these situations nearly always favor the woman. She can use you, and then take your house, your children, half of all of your possession, and half of all the possessions you are ever going to have, sometimes more. Who was crazy enough to think that was a good idea?

    What have been been teaching our young girls in the wake of feminism? Pregnancy is a disease? To be equal to men you must discard your wombs? To be equal to men you must act like the most irresponsible men? Its no wonder that the evils or abortion and homosexuality are so prevalent since we’ve sterilized sex, and reduced to to a mere means for pleasure, while also utterly obliterating the family and any form of shame. Shame is a gift from the Holy Spirit. It informs us when we have chosen to be less than we are.

    I don’t want to go into rant territory, but I probably already have. For those of you blaming the parents, they are limited in their power. We’ve created a completely toxic atmosphere. Our culture is corrosive. The media and schools indoctrinate our young 24/7 and political correctness makes it impossible to criticize anything.

  13. Proslogion

    I suppose people viewed marriage rather differently in the past.

    I knew an old country solicitor, who was a testamentary guardian and trustee of a girl, whose father had been killed in WWII. He told me that, when she was about 18, she consulted him about certain funds she was to receive on marriage. It transpired there was an understanding between her and a young man.

    “Marriage, my dear, is a very serious matters,” said my friend, intending, no doubt, a little homily.

    “Oh! But not getting married is much more serious,” interrupted the girl.

    That would have been in the late ’50s or early ’60s. Even then, the expectation that one would marry (coupled with a fear that one might not) was pretty generally shared by both men and women.

    A neighbouring couple have just celebrated their golden wedding. The wife, at 69 is my exact contemporary. Very edifying, but it makes me feel positively antediluvian.

  14. Proslogion: wow. Wished I said that. But I would certainly be fired from the institution I worked for and ostracized from the Catholic organizations I volunteer for. That is the status quo now. Catacombs, anyone?

  15. Gentlemen,
    .
    You are lawyers, philosophers, economists, priests, and members of academia… and you all seem to despise “Feminism”…which is OK with me.
    .
    But please, may I have a working definition (with particularity) of Feminism so that I might avoid stepping in it when I encounter it?

  16. “Nearly all of the women of our generation are whores, harlots, and strumpets.”
    Since you are a logican, who are these women’s partners in sin?

  17. Time for comment threading. Motley, Don, Tito, if you are reading this, what is the TAC policy? You may have good reasons for not having threading; please share here or direct me to past explanations. Thanks!

  18. I don’t think that the insanity is as widespread as we’ve been lead to believe. Its just that political correctness intimidates people. The lack of courage among the faithful today is shameful, and that applies to me as well. We all can do better. I only got my courage back after losing a childhood friend to these evils, and even then could still stand to improve. We are of the faith where many have been martyred, and we’re afraid of being called names. Oh no! Somebody called me a “bigot” or “sexist” or “homophobe”, I’d better quit! Would that we had the courage of St. Thomas More or those countless other souls who died in emulation of Christ. We slander them when we give in the forces arrayed against us and then call ourselves Christian.

    What’s most bizarre about the contemporary world is that it seems to be devoid of logic. Words have meanings and those words still offend, but their meanings don’t, which is a strange sort of double think. If there is nothing wrong with being promiscuous, and that is “liberating,” then why is “whore” still an offensive word? If there is nothing wrong with having children out of wedlock, why is “bastard” offensive or insulting?

    Apart from the doublethink, the lines keep getting redrawn. It will not stop. I said there is no logic in the contemporary world, but that’s not quite correct. They do seem to understand in their depravity that once sex has been divorced from procreation, there isn’t really anything holding back just about any form of perversion. Homosexuality is quaint and passe. Nowadays we have to deal with polyamory, bestiality (the polite word is “zoophilia”, though the enthusiasts like “furries” call it “yiffing”), and all manner of other evil. Its coming. Its already been the topic of serious discussion and political debate in Europe. If sex is no longer for procreation why get tied down? Fornication results. If it can be shared as a mere means of pleasure, why not contracept? Uh oh, the contraception failed, better murder …er abort the child… er fetus. These folks over in the dark corner like nonprocreative sex too, they just like “nontraditional” forms of it. Nothing is off the table. Its coming. I resent that I often have to waste time arguing against things which are so obviously wrong that its positively astonishing that anybody could view even the mere hypothetical notion as anything less than absurd.

    Slainte, I do not know how I could concisely respond to your request. What is it in particular that you are looking for? There many forms of feminism, and its historical development is something which would require much explanation. Contemporary feminism is where you get the gender theorist nutcases like Judith Butler among among other things. A major problem is the “smokescreen” often employed. Most people seem to think that feminism is the position that men and women are equal. When its presented that way, who could possibly argue with it? However, when you see what that “equality” entails the trouble starts. The devil is in the details. To say that men and women are equal is not to say that they are the same. Further, the “men” with whom the equality is sought are generally those who shame all men with their conduct. Modern feminism tends to lean towards the position that gender is an arbitrary construct. Much of it is self-refuting as well, but again, it would be hard to explain simply or concisely. If you have any particular questions I’d be willing to discuss them.

    Analyze, I expected to receive a response like yours. There are many cases where their partners pressure them. This is common and inexcusable. Most men my age disgust me. You are correct in saying it takes “two to tango” so to speak. I won’t dispute that. However, not all women are angels. You’d be surprised how aggressive feminized women can be. I and many of my friends have had girlfriends who have broken up with us because we would not sleep with them. This culture is toxic to both sexes. The hookup culture is a part of that. This is a lost generation. It has come to be that according to popular sentiment you don’t really “love” someone unless you are willing to sin against purity. Those of us, men and women, who reject that get left out. I was pleased to see that there is a backlash against that and that people are starting to see that “free love” has a cost and that people want more. I just worry that by the time people come to their senses it will be too late. Most of the time to even raise the possibility of criticism is enough to get you attacked.

  19. “Nearly all of the women of our generation are whores, harlots, and strumpets. ”

    No, I do not believe that, any more than I believe that nearly all men of the rising generation are sex crazed lay abouts who spend time when they are not having sex playing video games in their mom’s basement. I do think that many young men and women have had poor examples of morality to look at when they were growing from entertainment and often, sadly, from their parents. I also think that most young men and women today want what most young men and women throughout history have wanted: a stable family life and children with a spouse they respect and love. Show people a better way of life in traditional morality and faith in Christ and it is amazing how many will respond positively.

  20. Proslogian,
    .
    If a phenomenon like Feminism cannot be defined, it cannot be avoided.
    .
    As a woman, am I guilty of being a Feminist if I join a profession, or compete with a man for an available position, or take the initiative in paying a bill? To some men, any or all of these endeavors qualify a woman as a Feminist.
    .
    Recognize that many women do not want to be tarred with the term, yet remain unclear how to avoid it. I’m one of them.
    .
    By example, when I first began practicing law in the late 80s, women were barred from wearing trousers to work. We were obliged by the managing partner, who was male, to wear skirt suits or dresses. This was a large law firm in Manhattan.
    .
    While times have changed, the term Feminist continues to bring opprobrium upon women, many of whom really don’t want the label but cannot seem to avoid it. Hence my request for a definition.

  21. By example, when I first began practicing law in the late 80s, women were barred from wearing trousers to work. We were obliged by the managing partner, who was male, to wear skirt suits or dresses. This was a large law firm in Manhattan.

    Of course he did. Pantsuits are ugly. Look at Hillary Clinton.

  22. Hence my request for a definition.

    Try this, from Helen Smith: the habit of looking at the world with the assumption that “women have options; and men have obligations”.

  23. I agree that ” This culture is toxic to both sexes.” And to all age groups, and to any demographic we can think of. That is why I say it is important to Think Teaching teens to date may be great, but we have really spun away from basic understanding.
    I agree we need virtue- strength for the Good.

  24. Art Deco,
    .
    Re: “women have options; and men have obligations”.
    .
    Men sue women for Alimony too …especially when the woman is a rain maker.
    .
    Your quote is thus not universally operable; and it has never been applicable to me.
    .
    I have voluntarily assumed obligations (because I was raised to do so) and I have never asked a man (other than my father) for a single cent.
    .
    Am I still a Feminist?

  25. Art Deco: “…Of course he did. Pantsuits are ugly”..
    .
    Maybe so…but try running from one Court in Nassau County in the morning, then to another Court in Manhattan in the early afternoon, then to a closing at another destination later in day…all in a skirt and heels.
    .
    Not unlike Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire…she did everything he did but backwards and in heels.

  26. “Not unlike Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire…she did everything he did but backwards and in heels.”

    Leading isn’t a ball of cotton candy either. In regard to the court room attire of my sistren of the bar I never give advice. I am merely thankful that each business day I put on my black coat, black pants, black tie, black socks, black shoes and white shirt without any hard wardrobe choices awaiting me!

  27. In regard to contemporary, as opposed to 19th century and early 20th century feminism when there were many legitimate grievances, feminism, I think it can be summed up in this phrase: “Only women count, and I count more than any other woman.” It is a creed of self centeredness in a wrapper of self serving bloviation. More than a few men live by a mirror image creed.

  28. Men sue women for Alimony too …especially when the woman is a rain maker.

    1. Given that only 4% of divorce decrees include an award of alimony, I tend to doubt this is much of a social problem.

    2. A grand total of 0.7% of the workforce have law licenses. The share who work for firms with designated rainmakers is modest. The number of rainmakers is smaller still. The number of lady rainmakers smaller still.

    Flannery O’Connor said that literature deals in the possible, not the probable. Literature is not sociology.

    all in a skirt and heels.

    He banned flat shoes too? Inneresting…

  29. I think it can be summed up in this phrase: “Only women count, and I count more than any other woman.

    I’m recalling one of the lady professors so incensed at Lawrence Summers’ remarks about women in the sciences. I gather she doesn’t give a rat’s patoot about the demographics of special education classes.

  30. Mr. McClarey writes, “Only women count, and I count more than any other woman.”
    .
    Your definition of Feminism is a destructive form of narcissism. It’s fundamentally at odds with a woman’s instinctive nature to engage humility, charity, self sacrifice, generosity, and nurturing. It’s corrosive of her humanity and that of her husband and family. I reject it.
    .
    Regarding pantsuits….even when it was deemed permissible to wear trousers at work most of my friends who were litigators would not wear them to Court…we were never quite sure whether it might cause prejudice to our client before a more traditional judge.
    .
    So the skirts and heels lasted well for a very long time…not sure when Hilary Clinton made the switch. : )

  31. Art Deco wrote:
    .
    “….2. A grand total of 0.7% of the workforce have law licenses. The share who work for firms with designated rainmakers is modest. The number of rainmakers is smaller still. The number of lady rainmakers smaller still.”
    .
    Then you are exchanging with a very rare lady rainmaker….me. I would suggest you recalibrate your stats for Manhattan professionals. Methinks Flannery O’Connor hailed from the South…Georgia maybe…not quite the same.
    .
    “…all in a skirt and heels. – He banned flat shoes too? Inneresting…”
    .
    I never asked him about flats; the dress code was in writing. I wore what every other female attorney wore at the firm…usually pinstripe blazers, narrow matching skirts to mid-calf, white silk blouses, white or beige tights, and heels. Makeup was toned down and hair worn shoulder length. Eventually women began wearing white ankle socks over their tights and sneakers to and from the subway. Times have changed.

  32. Art Deco..on More feminism:

    http://www.mindingthecampus.com/originals/2014/05/more_on_vassars_rigged_sex_hea.html
    .
    The proceeding and its findings should be appealed from given what appears to be a number of procedural errors in excluding exculpatory evidence which, if admitted, might have exonerated Mr. Yu.
    .
    None of us were present at the hearing; we don’t know the parties, the facts, or the circumstances of the matter other than as reported in the article you attach. Reserve judgment; don’t assume the worse.

  33. I take it you did not read the article. Every aspect of the proceeding was bollocks and salient exculpatory evidence ignored. These Star Chamber scandals are banal and Dr. Johnson has been writing about them for years. You have two problems: academics lack the skill set to do this sort of work; and they and not conscientious. I used to work in that setting. You would not believe the crap seemingly sane people on faculties subscribe to, but less the manifest head cases.

  34. So much of this is due to collapse of social mores specific to nationalities, the break between generations, and American cultural dominance. I cannot be the only person here whose ancestors, in living memory, did not speak English as a first language; lived in (sometimes) self-imposed ghettos and worked often with others with similar immigrations. Marriage seems to start declining right around the time the old “Italian neighborhoods” and “Irish neighborhoods” and “black neighborhoods” start disappearing and the children cannot meaningfully speak to, or of, their grandparents or any generation that came before them. My own experience is that it is extremely hard to integrate oneself into another culture for the sake of marriage- even one that in theory is very similar to my own, it’s very easy to see the unspoken customs that held marriage in high esteem washed away in such confusions.

  35. Interesting to think what precipitated feminism and what made it take the turns it has. There is anger on the part of both sexes, and sometimes that anger is really a personal problem- the way a man or woman has experienced the other sex in his or her own individual life.
    To bring this back a bit to the dating template given students mentioned in this post, I see that what the teacher is trying to basically communicate to young novice daters is respect. R E S P E C T.

  36. Marriage seems to start declining right around the time the old “Italian neighborhoods” and “Irish neighborhoods” and “black neighborhoods”

    No shortage of black neighborhoods in this country.

  37. Art Deco writes, “….I take it you did not read the article”…
    .
    I promise I read the article in its entirety before responding to you. I also noted that the findings resulted in a purported “black mark” on Mr. Yu’s record. I think Mr. Yu should consult with counsel who will probably advise (and maybe prepare) him for the internal appeal process by Vassar, including establishing an appropriate paper trail, to pave the path for a civil action for damages against the university and, if applicable, his accuser for willful and/or negligent conduct which may have caused material damage to Mr. Yu’s personal and professional reputation.
    .
    We do not know enough about the accuser or her mental state to definitively dispose of her claims. Nor do we know enough about Mr. Yu’s to sustain his objections.
    .
    Presumably the author of the newspaper/blog profits from his work. The greater notoriety a story provides, the more profits it churns. While the author may be a perfectly credible individual, he also may have missed some relevant information which did not make it into his report. For these reasons, I recomment caution in drawing adverse conclusions.
    .
    If the girl did act viciously or irresponsibly, she is a jerk and should be punished. I am not siding with her because she is a woman.

  38. “I’m of the opinion that you should have to earn that white wedding dress. If you want that, you should have the purity it symbolizes. ”

    Just for the record, the white wedding dress became popular in the mid-19th century English-speaking world primarily because Queen Victoria got married in one and as a means to show off, not the bride’s purity, but her family’s wealth. From Wikipedia:

    “Royal brides before Victoria did not typically wear white, instead choosing heavy brocaded gowns embroidered with white and silver thread, with red being a particularly popular colour in Western Europe more generally. European and American brides had been wearing a plethora of colours, including blue, yellow, and practical colours like black, brown, or gray.

    “As accounts of Victoria’s wedding spread across the Atlantic and throughout Europe, elites followed her lead. Because of the limitations of laundering techniques, white dresses provided an opportunity for conspicuous consumption. They were favored primarily as a way to show the world that the bride’s family was so wealthy and so firmly part of the leisure class that the bride would choose an elaborate dress that could be ruined by any sort of work or spill. The colour white was also the colour girls were required to wear at the time when they were presented to the court.

    “Etiquette books then began to turn the practice into a tradition and the white gown soon became a popular symbol of status that also carried “a connotation of innocence and sexual purity…. By the end of the 19th century the white dress was the garment of choice for elite brides on both sides of the Atlantic. However, middle-class British and American brides did not adopt the trend fully until after World War II. ”

    Now you may be wondering, so what? The issue being discussed in this thread isn’t the color of wedding gowns, but the loss of mutual respect and regard for the virtue of chastity among young single men and women. Well, I think these issues might be somewhat related. You see, the white wedding dress is not, ultimately, a symbol of chastity; it is a symbol of middle/upper class respectability. Virtue and respectability are not the same; though they do often go together, they should never be mistaken for one another. Note that hardly anyone, even in the Victorian Era, seemed to care about whether the groom was a virgin prior to marriage because that was not essential to respectability for a man (he could fool around prior to marriage and even to some extent afterward so long as he was discreet about it and confined his wanderings to, say, an occasional visit to a brothel).

    Which brings me to my next point. Chastity and virginity are NOT always the same thing either. As one of my favorite speakers on the subject, Mary Beth Bonacci, liked to say in her talks, “Virginity is about your past; chastity is about your present and future.” Someone who is not a virgin due to having led a sinful life in the past, or having made one or a few lapses in judgment, or having been raped or molested through no fault of her own, can be leading a chaste life here and now. Perhaps she might appreciate the virtue of chastity even more, having learned from bitter experience that it is not enslaving but liberating. I see no reason to exclude such a person from consideration as a future spouse.

  39. Slainté wrote, “[T]ry running from one Court in Nassau County in the morning, then to another Court in Manhattan in the early afternoon, then to a closing at another destination later in day…all in a skirt and heels.”

    That is why, in both Scotland and France, we have robbing rooms.

    Donald M McClarey
    French avocats can wear pretty well anything under their robes
    http://www.ponsard-dumas.com/images/stories/Produits/avocat.jpg

    Alas! In Scotland, ours are open at the front
    http://www.advocates.org.uk/images/advocatewalking.jpg

    Our judges’ robes are more all-enveloping
    http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02347/nimmo_2347588b.jpg
    (the one on the right, with the ermine, is the Lord Justice-General)

    Specially for Slainté, I can’t resist posting this girl wearing the “pricked” robe of the Lord Justice Clerk on school visit
    http://photos1.blogger.com/img/46/1979/1024/TZRobeshandsfolded.jpg

    Boys were not left out
    http://photos1.blogger.com/img/46/1979/1024/RomeRobesPortrait1.jpg

  40. Elaine Krewer
    There are countless depictions of pre-19th century depictions of weddings in paintings and illuminated mss and you are right, there is no uniformity of colour at all. Even the wedding veil cannot be clearly identified. Brides seem to have worn whatever was the customary female headdress of the period. Some Breton brides still wear national costume, including those delightful confections once worn by the Sisters of Charity (which was the ordinary peasant costume at the time of their foundation – They were not supposed to look like nuns)
    Now, Roman brides wore a full-length veil, known as the flammeum or, more commonly by the plural form, flammea. It means flame-coloured and may have been orange, although both Pliny and Lucan (Plin. Nat. 21.46; Lucan 2.361 ) call it leutea or saffron. Of course, Greek and Latin names for colours are notoriously difficult to translate. The Romans, for example, saw red and brown as two shades of the same colour and the Greeks called gloss and matt by different names.
    As for respectability and chastity, one recalls Miss Anscombe’s laconic, “In one word: Christianity taught that men ought to be as chaste as pagans thought honest women ought to be; the contraceptive morality teaches that women need to be as little chaste as pagans thought men need be. “

  41. MPS, forgive the rudeness but:
    .
    i. With what frequency are the robes laundered?
    .
    ii. Does each robe belong exclusively to one attorney or is it worn by others?
    .
    iii. what are those ratty wigs made of? Horse hair? Are they optional?
    .
    I think perhaps I may have been too quick to complain about skirts and heels. 🙂
    .
    By the way, it was not lost on me that you completely dodged the definition of Feminism.

  42. Slainté asked:

    i. With what frequency are the robes laundered? – Seldom, if ever, in some cases. Slightly shabby makes the wearer look experienced.
    .
    ii. Does each robe belong exclusively to one attorney or is it worn by others? – They are frequently handed down by retiring advocates or those taking silk (appointed QC) to favoured juniors. So are judicial robes.
    .
    iii. what are those ratty wigs made of? Horse hair? Are they optional? – Originally, they were made of human hair, but in 1822, Humphrey Ravenscroft developed one of horse hair, that did not require “frizzing, curling, perfuming or powdering.” Messrs Ede & Ravenscroft are still the leading forensic Perruquiers. They mellow in colour with age and, again, are often passed on. I believe some are made from synthetic material.and others contain a mohair mix.

    When ladies were first admitted to the Faculty of Advocates, there was a proposal that they be allowed to wear the biretta, like French avocats. It is the continental version of the mortar-board, but nothing came of it.

  43. Slainté
    Feminism I find rather confusing. In the UK (and, I believe, the US) feminists demand gender-neutral job titles; in France, they demand feminised ones – hence, the government directive, « Femme, j’écris ton nom » [Woman, I write your name] The Academy, however, insists that gender is a quality of words and sex is a quality of things; thus, « le juge, » « le professeur » are masculine nouns and « la personne, » « la recrue, » [the recruit] « la vigie, » or « la sentinelle » [both = the sentry] are feminine nouns, regardless of the sex of the individual referred to.
    By the by, my French law agent’s wife was a junior minister in the Jospin government that produced the guide and she was perfectly happy with « Mme le ministre » Indeed, when I was due to meet the Dean of Faculty (le Bâtonnier) of the Paris Bar, she actually reminded me to call her, « Mme LE Bâtonnier »
    I am still not quite sure how to respond, when a female avocat (avocate?) begins a letter to me, « Mon cher confrère »

  44. @Elaine, precisely. Perhaps she might appreciate the virtue of chastity even more, having learned from bitter experience that it is not enslaving but liberating. I see no reason to exclude such a person from consideration as a future spouse.

    What appeals about Cronin’s class at BC is the criterion that a date cannot involve alcohol, kissing, or sex.

    @Proslogion, “when you’re going through hell, keep going.” Keep asking likely young women out on dates, regardless of their real or imagined past. The ones who respond positively to a date built around a daytime activity that ends chastely, are the ones you are looking for, aren’t they? And, it sounds like the ones who are waiting to be looked for may be the same ones you are looking for.

  45. MPS responds to my urgent inquiry, “…With what frequency are the robes laundered? – Seldom, if ever…”
    .
    Oh yikes…methinks I will play the ugly American and shrug off the robe, or alternatively, just bring my own freshly laundered one. It works well for me to look crisp and clean and not so experienced; I could also supplement with horn rimmed spectacles. In fact, most women attorneys I know would opt for the “not so experienced look”. : ) 
    .
    MPS opines on all things horsey, including ratty wigs, to wit: “…in 1822, Humphrey Ravenscroft developed one of horse hair, that did not require “frizzing, curling, perfuming or powdering.”
    .
    I know that this will come as a shock to your sensibilities MPS but frizzing and curling collectively constitute a “bad hair day” for most women attorneys and is a condition to be avoided at all costs. Hence, the horsey hair solution was a stroke of genius by Mr. Humphrey Ravenscroft who surely and presciently anticipated the admission of women to the bar. Notwithstanding, there is no way that I am wearing a horsey wig that has crowned the head of so many other unknown avocats who, God forbid, may have suffered from dandruff, or worse, from modernist liberalism!
    .
    As a practical alternative, I recommend my niece’s dancing wig; an undeniably viable and hygienic solution…what say you MPS? http://www.pinterest.com/pin/44191640063685275/
    .
    As for “perfuming or powdering”….in charity, and to avoid being viewed as an absolute and total whiner, I support perfuming subject to the perfumer’s use of Chanel No. 5 or Christian Dior’s “Miss Dior”, and the powder, of course, must be by Nina Ricci. Of course, male attorneys, upon returning home in the evening, may face some inquisitorial questioning by their wives as to why they smell so….well…pretty.
    .
    All things considered, and after this long excursion into international lawyer apparel courtesy of MPS, I now appreciate my old employer’s skirt and heels mandate. No more complaints from me.

  46. MPS:
    .
    In New York, male and female attorneys are addressed as, Mary Smith, Esq. or John Smith, Esq. One addresses correspondence to another attorney, not of one’s acquaintance, as Dear Ms. Smith or Dear Mr. Smith. Judges in state supreme or federal courts are referred to as “Your Honor” or “Judge Smith”.
    .
    I have corresponded with judges using the following form of address:
    .
    The Honorable Justice Mary Smith
    Judge of the New York State Supreme Court
    New York State Supreme Court
    60 Centre Street, 9th Floor
    New York, New York 10007

    Re: ACS Corp. v. COD Corp.
    Index No. 12345/2014

    Dear Judge Smith:
    .
    In Connecticut, male and female attorneys address each other as “Attorney Smith” notwithstanding the person’s sex, and this form of address is apparently used for all purposes within the Connecticut Court system as well as in correspondence between attorneys. As I don’t practice in Connecticut, I find it strange when a Connecticut practicioner addresses me as Attorney _____.
    .
    Thanks for your feedback on the issue of Feminism. The issue generated so much vitriol over at Crisis that o two occassions I just conceded my points and slowly retreated. I don’t think many women view themselves as feminists, while their male counterparts certainly do. It saddens me that men are profoundly hurt by its effects.
    .
    I am grateful to those who have provided feedback on this issue and will make every effort to become more sensitive to my male colleagues and friends so as to not give offense.
    .
    As I don’t speak French, MPS, I have no words of wisdom for you Mon cher confrère. : )

  47. MPS, Thanks to your insightful comments, I shall replay all my Rumpole of the Bailey, and some Morse and Lewis DVDs and impress my husband with this new knowledge regarding grooming and courtroom dress of barristers, soliciters, and judges.
    -Cynthia

  48. Slainté

    Thank you for the charming photo of your niece’s wig. In the 17th century, men would have worn something not dissimilar and forensic wigs were originally simply the ordinary dress of the period.

    The advantage of legal costume, like, say, hunting pink, is that it spares one the labour of puzzling over what to wear. Just look at Royal Ascot; the poor ladies must have devoted hours and days to selecting their frocks and hats, whilst their male counterparts just get out their morning suits and grey toppers. Worse, they have to repeat the exercise year after year. Perhaps, the feminists should insist on attending balls in white tie and tails, whilst the couturiers of Paris besiege the Hôtel de Ville [town hall] demanding bread.

    CAM

    The excellent programmes you mention depict English legal costume, which is subtly different. Their judges, in particular are quite drab, compared to ours (and their wigs, unlike barristers, do not have curls – perhaps, they are seen as to frivolous)

  49. MPS writes, “…Perhaps, the feminists should insist on attending balls in white tie and tails, whilst the couturiers of Paris besiege the Hôtel de Ville [town hall] demanding bread…”
    .
    The feminists wouldn’t dare!….I stand resolutely in support of the couturiers of Paris who, through their creative genius and innovative dress design, bring forth a woman’s beauty precisely by causing her to radiate her own unique femininity.
    .
    Was there a time when barristers in Scotland wore the kilt to practice before the Courts of law?

  50. Slainté asked, “Was there a time when barristers in Scotland wore the kilt to practice before the Courts of law?”
    Good Heavens, No! Until Queen Victoria’s time, they would have seen the kilt as the badge of a cattle thief.
    The kilt or philibeg (Gaelic fēileadh beag) acquired it romantic image as a result of Sir Walter Scott’s novels and as the dress of the Highland Regiments.

  51. MPS writes: “…Good Heavens, No! Until Queen Victoria’s time, they would have seen the kilt as the badge of a cattle thief. The kilt or philibeg (Gaelic fēileadh beag) acquired it romantic image as a result of Sir Walter Scott’s novels and as the dress of the Highland Regiments…”
    .
    Well, MPS, when and if you Scots ever get around to finally reclaiming your popular heritage independent of the kingdom to your south, you, sir, might wish to consider sponsoring legislation which would restore Scots Gaelic as your official language and the kilt as de rigeur for all barristers practicing law before the Courts of Scotland.
    .
    I am not convinced the character Dick the butcher envisioned much difference between lawyers everywhere and cattle thieves when Shakespeare caused him to say, “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” Henry The Sixth, Part 2 Act 4, scene 2, 71–78
    .
    Kilts are a symbol of a dignified and honorable Scots Highland heritage and should be treated with the level of respect due its owners who were eschewed for being who they were, Catholic Gaels.
    .
    Hopefully we’ve moved on from those times. At least this proud daughter of Irish Gaels hopes so. I would gladly wear the kilt… even with heels. : )

  52. The root problem is not a matter of gender or feminism, but a loss of knowledge of the fundamentals of our faith. What constitutes mortal sin and what its consequences are is rarely mentioned in church or even in Catholic schools. The need for sacramental confession is not stressed. Fear of hell will stop a lot of bad behavior, but few are taught what actions can cost them entrance into heaven.

    The first mortal sin many people commit is missing Sunday mass intentionally. Once the sanctifying grace is gone, that person becomes extremely vulnerable to further serious sins and to being deceived by the devil. Our country is suffering from such loss of wisdom on a massive scale.

    The solution is to revive teaching the fundamentals: regular confession, ASAP if mortal sin committed; mass every Sunday (or vigil) and holy day of obligation; avoid all mortal sin like the plague it is. Pray the rosary daily for strength. Catholics don’t know these things any more.

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