Men in charge…of themselves

April 28, 2008 at 12:30 am (Words of wisdom)

In some cultures, women are considered to be creatures that inflame men’s passions which carries them (the men) to do inappropriate things. In order to prevent this, women are shrouded and secluded as not to tempt men. In other words, women are responsible for sexual transgressions while men are helpless to control themselves.

But Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, believes differently. He writes:

I have heard all my life that it is the young woman who has to assume the responsibility for controlling the limits of intimacy in courtship because a young man cannot. Seldom have I heard any point made about this subject that makes me more disappointed than that. What kind of man is he, what priesthood or power or strength or self-control does this man have, that lets him develop in society, grow to the age of a mature accountability, perhaps even pursue a university education and prepare to affect the future of colleagues and kingdoms and the course of the world, yet he does not have the mental capacity or the moral will to say, “I will not do that thing”?

(Jeffrey R. Holland. Of Souls, Symbols, and Sacraments. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2001, p. 23.)

He also writes (emphasis added):

To say that a young woman in such a relationship has to bear her responsibility and that of the young man too is one of the most inappropriate suggestions I can imagine. In most instances if there is sexual transgression, I lay the burden squarely on the shoulders of the young man…and that’s where I believe God intended responsibility to be. In saying that, I do not excuse young women who exercise no restraint and have not the character or conviction to demand intimacy only in its rightful role. Unfortunately, I have had enough experience in Church callings to know that women as well as men can be predatory, a phenomenon more and more evident (and more and more tragic) in modern times. But I also refuse to accept the feigned innocence of some young man who wants to sin and calls it psychology.

(Ibid., pp. 23-24.)

It annoys me to no end when men blame women for sexual transgression. Men have the power and capacity to control their urges and acts, and should do so. Blaming women is unacceptable and, if anything, a sign of weakness (because they’re admitting they cannot control themselves) or deceptive sophistry.

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