Backpage, #MeToo, & Why Catholics Should Proclaim the Truth About Sex & Marriage

I was perusing Twitter last night and in between Divine Mercy images and the tweets written by witty priests (#CatholicTwitter is VERY entertaining, by the way) I came across one tweet that expressed immense frustration with something recently posted by the @Women’sMarch account.

To recap: the “Women’s March” group is the one that marched on Washington and elsewhere for reasons that still aren’t quite clear but appeared to be a mixture of hate for Trump, demand for birth control and abortion, and the need to wear some really ridiculous hats…

Here’s the tweet:

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Also to recap: Backpage.com was a Craigslist-like site but became heavily visited because of its “personal ads” section. You can probably guess what sort of stuff was posted there, and unsurprisingly it became not only a place for prostitutes (“sex workers”) to find “work” but also for sex traffickers to buy and sell victims. The site was just seized and shut down by the FBI and it’s owner arrested on human trafficking charges.

Let’s hear that again: it was just shut down because it was linked to human trafficking cases and @WomensMarch calls this a “crisis” because it’s not open for “sex workers” to find work anymore.

WAIT. WHAT.

Yeah, that was my reaction. There are two really baffling things about this:

#1: The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reports that Backpage.com was traced to 75% of the cases they received. Women and girls (and probably some boys and men) were bought and sold for sex on this site. You’d think that the group that helped lead the charge of the #MeToo movement would celebrate an end to an avenue that allowed for the vile and disgusting assault, abuse, use, and degradation of girls and women.

But defying all logic everywhere, they’re lamenting the fact that prostitutes won’t be able to use this site to find “clients” anymore because “sex workers rights are women’s rights.”

#2: The fact that @WomensMarch can literally say that “sex workers rights are women’s rights” with a straight face and not see the hypocrisy in that statement.

@WomensMarch, how dare you claim to be supporters and advocates of the rights of women. You have displayed here that you do not care about women; if you did, you wouldn’t encourage women to partake in an industry that by its nature requires that women be used for their bodies. Just because they get paid for it–and perhaps choose to do so–doesn’t make it right. Vile. So vile.

The hypocrisy is baffling. Let’s recap:

  • Women’s March claims to be for “women’s rights.” They’ve helped promote a movement that encourages women to come forward with reports of sexual assault and harassment.
  • Meanwhile, WM thinks this avenue for prostitution should be easily accessible for the sake of women’s livelihoods–thus proving that they care NOTHING for the inherent dignity of women. They DO NOT CARE if women are used and then discarded over and over again by men that probably don’t even know their name.
  • And at the same time, WM doesn’t bat an eye at lamenting that an outlet that has been widely known to be used for sex trafficking–OF GIRLS AND WOMEN–has been shut down because, they say, this will impede the work of “sex workers.”

Kyrie eleison. Lord have mercy.

Probably the most heart breaking part of the whole thing were the tweets in response to WM from women who are self-proclaimed “sex workers” justifying why this is acceptable and why they agree with WM. Will you join me in a Hail Mary for these women and girls to leave this way of life and recognize their inherent dignity, the beauty of chastity, and the love of Jesus Christ?

The Church & Catholics NEED to Proclaim the Truth About Sex & Marriage

This brings me to another point.

Lately I’ve been getting very irritated when people both inside and outside the Catholic Church criticize Catholics–lay and clergy–for talking about Catholic sexual ethics “too much.”

Apparently for some, this is far down the line when it comes to evangelization. Perhaps the thought process is “we shouldn’t scare folks away with the ‘rules,’ we should introduce them to Christ first! We should meet them where they are! We should accompany them! Talking about sex just makes us look like we’re obsessed with rules!”

I sort of have a big problem with this. First of all, Catholic sexual ethics are not a list of do’s and do not’s. The Church’s teachings on sex are what Christ calls us to, and they reflect chastity, the integration of sexuality with the whole person.

Second: in an age when Fifty Shades of Grey is sold at the grocery store (No joke. Jesse and I saw it yesterday while grocery shopping. And I’m happy to say I hid them behind a few magazines. Nobody needs to buy that trash.)… and we have movements like #MeToo exposing rampant sexual assault; when we have young men and women addicted to pornography and states declaring it a public health crisis, and of course sex trafficking and abortion…

…please, someone explain to me why we faithful Catholics shouldn’t be talking about and promoting the healthy and healing truth about what God created sex to be?!

What the Church really teaches about sex and marriage–that sex is a reflection of God’s love for His Church and is to be reserved for the context of a free, total, faithful, and fruitful marriage between a man and woman–not what people wrongly believe her to teach–is liberating; is healing; is beautiful; is freeing. And it is the truth.

Mass media and culture have turned sex into something filthy and carnal; it is seen not as mutual self-giving of spouses but as selfishly taking what one wants, no matter the cost and with absolutely no commitment or concern for the good of the other person. The world is obsessed with sex but pervertedly so. Just about every single TV show out there depicts people cohabitating, sleeping around, and making light of the subject. The culture has made sex a joke and exploitative in every sense.

So I’m tired of hearing that Catholic sexual ethics shouldn’t be part of evangelization. THIS IS A HUGE PART OF EVANGELIZATION. I don’t think we faithful Catholics should EVER be ashamed to speak the truth in love about what the Catechism and documents like Theology of the Body and Humanae Vitae say about sex and marriage.

Enough people are talking about sex in gross, perverse ways that are leading souls astray and only serving to cause destruction. I think it’s well beyond time that we Catholics start talking about what Jesus Christ’s Church teaches about sex, and doing so way more often.

 

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