We have all heard the excuse of “Locker Room Talk” given for some of the most inhuman and degrading commentary on women I have ever heard. More disturbingly, now I am hearing more and more people say “All men do it”. That is a lie; all men do not do it. I will not deny that in our debauched society that many men do it, but not all – not by a long shot.
Let us be clear when I say this. I was a sailor on a US Navy destroyer in a much less politically correct time. Was foul language common? Absolutely. Did anyone ever use that language or any other language, to brag about assaulting a woman? Never did I hear anything like it, not even through shipboard gossip. Such an act would have shamed a man terribly.
Just those few decades ago we knew that some things were just wrong and indefensible. Now we are losing our way. It’s time we set ourselves a course away from the place where men can brag about sexually assaulting a woman and not be immediately put down by the men around him, who then walk away leaving the offender alone to consider his trespass.
This is a behaviour that must never be tolerated by Catholics. You have a duty to not engage in the behaviour and if possible to let the person(s) doing so know that you wonder how they would feel if someone talked like that about their mother, their wife, their sister, or their daughter? I know this works. I’ve done this before. It’s not jocularity at play, but rather Satan creeping into our words. Through our words he creeps into our thoughts, and through our thoughts he affects our actions.
I have a rule of thumb that has worked well. Never speak about women in public or private in words that you would be embarrassed for your wife or daughter to hear. By controlling your words, you will control your mind, and by controlling your mind you will control your actions. This is not a road we should be going down at all, but you have the power to stop it. Asking the offender to examine his conscience (how would he feel it is was a female family member of his) is a form of admonition that is relatively gentle, and admonishing the sinner is a spiritual work of mercy.
Take a moment and think about the way you speak about women in public and in private, and ask yourself if there is room for improvement. Once you start focusing on controlling your words, they way you think will follow. Remember no woman wants a husband that demeans her by demeaning women, so be mindful always of what you say.
Men who will say these things in a locker room, or otherwise amongst themselves, are likely to say it to the ones they love because they failed to filter their thoughts and thereby their words. Don’t risk the respect of your mothers, your wives and your daughters by speaking of women in a way that you would regret them hearing.