Do men and women no longer admire and trust each other?

Do men and women no longer admire and trust each other?
Homiletic and Pastoral Review, December 2016
[A public lecture given at Strathmore University, Nairobi: Oct. 2015]
As it is posed, the question is too absolute. And I would not give any absolute answer to it. However, it does imply something; and yes, I think there is less admiration and trust between the two sexes than before. Nevertheless, there remains a strong natural attraction between the two. That makes for a more complex and perhaps more unstable relationship; and there I wish to offer some reflections.
Sexual attraction can be noble; then it inspires respect, and can be a preface to sexual love that is truly generous. But it can also degenerate into a mean desire that just wants to use sexuality in a self-centered way. In the case of men, the self-satisfaction sought can often be one of simple lust; in the case of women, it may just as much be one of vanity.

Masculinity & Femininity: The Enchantment of Complementarity

Masculinity & Femininity: The Enchantment of Complementarity [1]
(Position Papers, Dublin, no. 470. June-July 2013, pp. 22-27)
A disenchanted world
What are we to make of the world we live in? A world dominated by science, overawed by technology - and disenchanted with humanity. We have no wonder left for our own life, no sense that the big mysteries around us are those which touch us in the depths of our most personal existence: love, friendship, sexuality, marriage, family life, freedom, commitment...
One of the main things gone is romance. We live in a cynical world, bereft of ideals, where good and noble dreams are only for kids, and no longer even for them. It is indeed a disenchanted world.


[This article was published some forty years ago, in a social context different to that obtaining today. Hence some ideas presented may seem dated. Yet I feel that the appeal to the nobler side of young people, coupled with the conviction that such an appeal may work, still has validity. So, in case it may be of use today to some young people, especially girls, I republish it.]
Love stories
Many of our ideas about life come from fiction. A case in point is boy-girl relations. The way many boys and girls relate to one another is largely based on what they read in books or see on TV or internet. So?...
Long ago, but not too long to remember - when I was a teenager - , most boy-girl stories and movies were just plain romance: pretty corny in fact. No deep ideas about love: just everything leading nicely and easily up to a married "happy-ever-after" ending. Sex, in today's sense, practically didn't enter.

Sexual identity in marriage and family life (The Linacre Quarterly, vol. 61/3 (1994), pp. 75-86)

           "Why can't a woman be more like a man?", complained Henry Higgins in "My Fair Lady". Today he wouldn't be let get away with the remark without some people (not necessarily feminists) retorting: "and why can't a man be more like a woman?" Others might not only reject both complaints, but even question the importance of a man having to be like a man or a woman having to be like a woman. Indeed, if asked, they might be hard put to say what being a man or being a woman properly means, apart from elementary bodily differences.

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