I couldn't believe it when I saw a story in the Styles section of the New York Times this morning (Teenage Girls Stand By Their Man) that said that teenage girls, when asked about recent news of pop star domestic violence, basically came down on the side of the antiquated and horribly misguided: She was asking for it. In case you don't keep up with pop-star news, singer Chris Brown, 19, allegedly beat his girlfriend, Rihanna, 21, also a wildly pop singer, so badly that her face -- which can often be spotted in make-up and fashion ads -- was left bruised and bloodied.
According to a Boston Public Health Commission survey of 200 teenagers, 46 percent said Rihanna was responsible for what happened, and 52 percent said they were both responsible. So that leaves, what? Only 2 percent were willing to consider that perhaps the one who allegedly did the beating was also the one responsible. I looked at those figures and at comments like this one -- "She probably made him mad for him to react like that. You know, like, bring it on?" -- and wondered what I should be doing right now to ensure that my daughters, and my son for that matter, never reach a point where they think it is ever OK to beat a woman for any reason whatsoever.
It's too bad that the radical feminists in this country have spent so much time promoting contraception and abortion as the road to equality for women when what they should have been promoting is self-respect and dignity. Once again, I hate to point out that the Catholic Church, which is often criticized by those same radical feminists for its alleged oppression of women because of the all-male priesthood, is actually quite cutting edge when it comes to women and their full and equal rights as human beings.
Here's just one small sample from Mulieris Dignitatem (On the Dignity and Vocation of Women) from Pope John Paul II:
"The personal resources of femininity are certainly no less than the resources of masculinity: they are merely different. Hence a woman, as well as a man, must understand her 'fulfillment' as a person, her dignity and vocation, on the basis of these resources, according to the richness of the femininity which she received on the day of creation and which she inherits as an expression of the 'image and likeness of God' that is specifically hers. The inheritance of sin suggested by the words of the Bible - 'Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you" - can be conquered only by following this path. The overcoming of this evil inheritance is, generation after generation, the task of every human being, whether woman or man. For whenever man is responsible for offending a woman's personal dignity and vocation, he acts contrary to his own personal dignity and his own vocation."
We need to be on guard, to warn our young girls that no one has a right to affront their dignity. We need to remind them that they, too, are made in the image and likeness of God and, as such, deserve love and respect and not the backhand of some boyfriend's wrath.