As a participant in high school forensics, I recall being involved in debate regarding women’s rights, and the equal rights amendment. My opponent, who was female, brought up a quote that I’ve not been able to erase from my mind. She quoted Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who with Susan B. Anthony, founded and was the first president of the National Woman Suffrage Association. Mrs. Stanton exclaimed the following; “The Bible and the Church have been the greatest stumbling blocks in the way of woman’s emancipation.” I wonder if Mrs. Stanton would be pleased with the freedom, or the illusion of such, that their great-great-granddaughters enjoy some five and one-half generations later?
If we simply observe our culture today, and examine the sad statistics, can anyone really tell me that it is a such a bad quality to raise our sons to believe that in the hearts of our daughters, resides the heart of honor; that it is the duty of men to cherish and protect that honor? That they should never mistreat or malign a woman, nor allow anyone else to do so? How much sadness and tragedy could and would be avoided if we were to stop inferring to our young men, that our sisters, daughters, mothers and wives are simply to be regarded as portable pounds of pleasant plumbing, to be abused and discarded after use, both physically and emotionally?
I am willing to bet that Paula Jean Chandler, Kelly Dove and Katie Worsky would have wished that their assailants had some knowledge of the Bible and had the opportunity to be exposed to the timeless truths found while sitting in a church pew. William Beebe’s apology for his rape of Liz Seccuro two decades ago would also be unnecessary, if he had been exposed to those qualities and characteristics considered by some as a “stumbling block.” How much better it would have been for Morgan Harrington, if just one young man with whom she had crossed paths with the night of her disappearance, would have possessed the anachronistic notion of chivalry and honor. Sometimes the most noble thing a man can do is assist a woman in protecting herself, even when she may not have the mindset at present to do so herself.
Our society can and should take the actions required to return to tried and true ways. We need to start raising patriarchs again and cease in the creation of predators. We need young men who have the moral fiber to make honorable and disciplined decisions for themselves, and for those times when a woman may not be making the best decision for herself. At those crucial moments in life, we need young men who can think like knights and not self-serving opportunists seeking to make the most of a vulnerable situation. That’s real manhood.