Okay, its been a while. When Sister Allie gets churns out a blog post quicker than I do, that means I’ve REALLY neglected my blog.I’ve all but abandoned my “Catholic Culture Of The Month”. You know, because its not like Catholics are diverse or anything. Has nothing at all to do with being busy.
I have 11 months to go until I get married. 11!!! The closer it gets to the date, the more that Mr. Serrano and I struggle with chastity. Sometimes we fall into sin (get your mind out of your judgemental gutter, I’m still virgin.) One of the issues we are having is due to perception. Mr. Serrano is very new as a Catholic, and for most of his life has been able to enjoy the company of people who respect him. I never thought I would say this, but thank God for my abusive, condescending, belittling family, especially when so much of the abuse centers around my religion. Why do I say thank you? Because overcoming that horrid obstacle has made me realize that yes, indeed, I will be hated just for being a real, practicing, breathing Catholic. Mr. Serrano, on the other hand, doesn’t have that benefit.
Whereas I have scars, callouses, and scabs, Mr. Serrano has fresh, pink, baby skin when it comes to Catholicism. It hurts, a lot, when people not only do not understand what you believe, but they refuse to allow you to believe it. Everyone has freedom of choice- until you become a Catholic. Everyone will be tolerant of you- until you become a Catholic. That goes double, even triple if you are honestly working out your salvation and attempting to align yourself to Christ. I’m used to and resigned to the fact that any time I mention I’m Catholic, or bring up a Catholic issue, that it will be an excuse to allow a barrage of trashy, abusive, and snarky insults to be thrown right into my face. Mr. Serrano is only just starting to realize that. Part of me wants to protect him, the other part knows that he must go through this.
Why else did I go through Confirmation? Why else will he go through Confirmation?
The problem we are having now is this annoying as heck thing they call Machismo. Its like the Hispanic version of Chauvinism. Sometimes its good (man is the head of the household, man will provide, man will not be emasculated because of some shrill feminist psycho woman who looks like a man, man will be polite and courteous and not act like a whiny little hipster) and sometimes its an improvement on Chauvinism (man will take care to not look like a slob). But then it takes a perfectly good thing and makes it into a nasty little shadow of what it should be. This is especially true with modern chauvinism/machismo.
Now, more than ever, women are nothing more than sexual play toys that can sometimes think cute things. Thanks, liberal feminism! Now that we’re all sexually liberated, we’re no longer as seen as possible mothers, builders of society (yeah, that was another idea that got thrown out by liberal feminism) or anything all that special. We’re bodies, and we have to at all times remain F***able. I imagine that is why pregnant women are once again being shoved away from the public eye, as if they were shameful.
Machismo has adopted the idea of “women = bigger, wetter sex toy even more than it had already done so in the past. So Mr. Serrano has to deal with all manner of dirty jokes and winks and nods about what we’re (not) doing in the bedroom.
I understand. I feel it. But at the same time, I want to scream.
He has been going along with it. Rather than come out and say “Actually, its none of your business what we do” (actually, he does say that part) or, even better “You know, I respect my future wife and future mother of my children to wait until our marriage day before I touch her, because that is what REAL MEN are supposed to do” he plays along. He neither says yes, or no, but he still plays along, and this hurts me a lot. Come on Mr. Serrano, protect us!
I’d like to have a male perspective on this. I know that pressure and competition with guys is very strong and very powerful. However, I’m left sitting, wondering why my opinion seems to matter less or is only equal to that of his friends and other men. It makes me feel ashamed, like I’m somehow less of a woman for not acting in the way society would have me do, and exposing him to ridicule. Am I just looking at this from a skewed way?
It makes me so incredibly sad, because I really want to find those ignorant fools and yell at them “You idiots! LOOK at how you treat your girlfriend, your live-in girlfriend, or your wife, or your main screw of the moment. LOOK! Is that taking care of your woman? Are you going to take care of her entirely when she is pregnant, or will you leave just like your father, or your uncle, or your grandfather? Is that honoring her? How can you honor yourself when you cannot honor a fellow sister in Christ? LOOK at Mr. Serrano! LOOK at him! I respect him, love him, and honor him. All other men that I know are nothing compared to him. I think he’s a hero! LOOK at how much he is sacrificing to be with me! How dare you belittle him! A real man knows when to keep it in his pants, rather than disrespecting himself and laying with whatever pair of legs seems most compliant. Mr. Serrano is a REAL MAN!”
Yes, I’m disappointed in Mr. Serrano that it doesn’t look like he’s standing up to the criticism, and yes I feel like I’m not being protected at this moment…but still, I’m so damn proud of him, especially when this sort of stuff doesn’t come easily. He wasn’t raised to be Catholic.
Many people say that Catholicism has odd hang-ups about sexuality. That we are obsessed with sex. I think that’s wrong. We accept sex as a fact of life (duh) and we are concerned about it, but we’re not the ones constantly preening ourselves to look “sexier”. We accept death just as we accept life, and aging is considered beautifully difficult. I believe our views on sex are the exact reason why we can look at any person, regardless of age or ability, and consider them beautiful- we haven’t made sex the be-all, end-all of existence.
I have never met a practicing Catholic who has straight up asked if I were virgin, or has inquired about my favorite sexual positions, nor has ever tried to evaluate me based on how “fu***able” I am. But I have met people who are “with the times” who do nothing but that, then imply that since I haven’t had sex I can’t possibly be in love. That Mr. Serrano can’t possibly just be with me, and not with a couple of other girls. I’ve never had a Catholic tell me “he’s going to leave you as soon as he find a real woman, not just a girl”.
Three things: I wasn’t aware that love = trying a penis on for size, I’m confident that Mr. Serrano is not a monkey, and won’t just stick his sex organ into whatever black hole that pops up, and for Feminism’s sake, I thought we were supposed to get rid of the idea that women can’t be women unless they’ve had their hymen removed by some male!!!!!!!!!
Misconceptions aside, I think a big part of the reason that we as Catholics have so many martyrs is because of our ideas on chastity. The world would have us limit our bodies, our sexes, and our procreation to nothing more than a disgusting shadow of what love is. The world’s version of love is like that Alejandro song by Lady Gaga- super catchy, very sexy, and absolutely full of mind-numbing garbage. God, on the other hand, is calling us to lift ourselves up. Jesus was right- the world hated Him before it hated us, and its only going to hate us more. As the world falls deeper into sin, the people who cling to God (whether Catholic, or Protestant, or whatever) are going to be attacked more and more.
I’m not trying to take on a crown I know is too big for my head, but Mr. Serrano and I, and other engaged couples living by Church teaching, as well as anyone who defends marriage even by just existing, are about to become martyrs, in our own little ways.
Especially when stuff like this happens:
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