The female form

If you were to look at a woman with the same intention that you have when looking at art, then you are degrading her. She is not some object for you to “enjoy” staring at even if you think it isn’t sexual. Trust me, many (if not most) women are sick to death of men trying to excuse it by saying, oh it’s just because they are so beautiful, I am just enjoying her God given beauty. Woman are more than their bodies. Ask yourself if you would enjoy looking at her tonsils for the sake of their beauty. Probably not, but why? Isn’t everything God made beautiful? (And I duly note, as the breakdown of our society continues, more and more women are degrading men in the same manner.)

So the difference is she is a real, live, breathing child of God. She is someone’s daughter, possibly mother or wife… or will become someone’s wife. The parts that make her different from man are ONLY for her spouse. Do you like looking at naked men? Unless you have same sex attraction, you will be honest with yourself and realize looking at the female form is more pleasurable because you are enjoying her sexual value. The beauty (and goodness) of the human body gives no excuse to unveil (or unwrap) a gift that does not belong to them. Reading about Fatima, Blessed Jacinta tells Mother Godinho that many people are in hell due to sins of the flesh and that certain women’s fashions would be introduced which would offend our Lady greatly. I will post again, what our Catechism teaches about modesty. There really is no getting around it. You are not to look at naked people of the opposite sex who you are not married to unless the principle of double effect comes into play.

Try to remember this, beauty of the person pertains to body AND soul. When an artist paints or sculpts a very realistic nude, he or she is just exposing the body. Period. This is what the pagans did and it is unfortunate some Catholic artists followed their path. They are not making a statement about the soul, so something is missing. What good comes from such a painting? Nothing. It is just base. The Sistine Chapel though is different. First, the nudity that is shown is actually relevant to the overall message, so it is not gratuitous. Like I said in another thread, the male genitalia is not painted in a realistic way at all, and by doing such, keeps a degree of modesty. He is naked, but you can’t really see his nakedness if that makes sense. To me, his penis looks like a fortune cookie (sorry), and even then the only reason I can say that, is because of digital imagery. Michelangelo knew his painting would be seen from afar providing another layer of modesty. It would be difficult for one to become aroused with the sexual aspect of masculinity being so downplayed.

Think of it like this: most men are sexually aroused by topless women. On one end of the scale let’s say you see a drawing of a stick figure with two circles with dots in the middle. You will immediately know the sex of that figure and that the artist is conveying a woman is topless yet one could hardly be aroused. The representation of the female form is almost symbolic. On the other end of the scale might be a sketch so realistic, your brain could see it as a photograph. This is what St Pope John Paul II refers to when he calls some art problematic in that it violates privacy. I would also note, it is not even just what is realistic, as even some cartoons can be offensive to God by their overt lasciviousness.

Going back to the beauty consisting of body and soul:

True art is an inspiration from Heaven, which elevates the soul to God; profane art, which appeals to the senses only, which presents to the eye nothing but the beauties of
flesh and blood, is but an inspiration of the evil spirit; his works, brilliant though they may be, are not works of art, and the name is falsely attributed to them. They are the
infamous productions of a corrupt imagination.

taken from here:…0Purgatory.pdf

Bolded emphasis mine. From the Catechism of our Holy Catholic Church:

2521 Purity requires modesty, an integral part of temperance. Modesty protects the intimate center of the person. It means refusing to unveil what should remain hidden. It is ordered to chastity to whose sensitivity it bears witness. It guides how one looks at others and behaves toward them in conformity with the dignity of persons and their solidarity.

2522 Modesty protects the mystery of persons and their love. It encourages patience and moderation in loving relationships; it requires that the conditions for the definitive giving and commitment of man and woman to one another be fulfilled. Modesty is decency. It inspires one’s choice of clothing. It keeps silence or reserve where there is evident risk of unhealthy curiosity. It is discreet.

2525 Christian purity requires a purification of the social climate. It requires of the communications media that their presentations show concern for respect and restraint. Purity of heart brings freedom from widespread eroticism and avoids entertainment inclined to voyeurism and illusion.

what makes her beauty something to be ashamed of just because she is a living person as opposed to a painting or a statue? That seems awfully puritan/ muslim- not Catholic. I feel one can admire beauty without resporting to breaking down a person to a mere object. On the contrary, you can acknowledge they may have other attributes that are more beautiful than physical appearance, but why then does that make admiration of physical appearance bad? I think this might be how men and women are different. Men are struck by physical stimulation, rather women are more intricate speaking generally.

You are correct in that we as Catholics are not puritanical or Manichean. We know that the human body is good. We don’t cover our bodies because they are shameful or bad, rather we do so to protect the precious gift we give to our spouse. It is shameful though (due to the fall) to expose that which makes one male or female to someone who is not your spouse. These private areas are to be used, touched, loved, cherished and yes, seen only to a spouse because it is all part of marriage. You can’t separate it and say, well it’s ok for me to see, but not touch. Wrong. Then why not say, it’s ok for me to touch, but not see. Still wrong! It is all part of something Holy. Try to remember we are talking about a Sacrament. It is private and between two people. Someone coming along and unwrapping the most Holy precious gift that belongs to another is sinful. Your eyes are trespassing where they have no right to go. It is a violation. Don’t trespass on Holy ground. If you told a stubborn friend it is sinful for him to watch his married neighbors have sex and he replied, “Well, sex is good, I’m not ashamed of sex. Sex is something beautiful.” How would you respond to that person? Think about your answer.

So then think, do you really have a right to see someone’s wife naked provided you are just “admiring her physical attributes”. Would you want grown men staring at your teenage daughter while she showers so they can simply admire her beauty? Of course not.

Keep your eyes on a woman’s face and converse with her. If you are so struck by a woman’s physical beauty, then try to get to know the totality of her being and see if it might lead to marriage. If you are married, then stop insulting your wife by insinuating the gift and beauty of her body is not enough. And stop hurting Jesus and Mary by violating the rules of modesty. Annnnnnnnnnd, please forgive me if you do none of these things and were just asking a question for the sake of discussion. :smiley:

At any rate, I hope you are not under some illusion that nudism is Christian? It is not. Popes have written about the heinous agenda of secular humanists that not only promote errors outside, but have infiltrated inside our very Holy Church. Do not let these foul ideologies corrupt St Pope John Paul II’s writings on Theology of the Body. Many have introduced grave error into his beautiful work. It is not for me to say if done by weakness or if deliberate, but an error is a lie and lies are not from God. Don’t be fooled and be on guard. Like another CAF member says, I hope this has helped.

This paper is only 4 pages long and might be of interest.

**Clement of Alexandria (150-215 A.D.) **

On no account must a woman be permitted to show to a man any portion of her body naked, for fear lest both fall: the one by gazing eagerly, the other by delighting to attract those eager glances.” 1

True, as long as the principle of double effect comes into play.

In order for an act to be morally acceptable:

  1. The act itself must be good.
  2. The only thing that one can intend is the good act, not the foreseen but unintended bad effect.
  3. The good effect cannot arise from the bad effect; otherwise, one would do evil to achieve good.
  4. The unintended but foreseen bad effect cannot be disproportionate to the good being performed.

Acts that have morally negative effects are permissible only when truly necessary, i.e., when there are no other means by which the good may be obtained.

You might find this book interesting. It’s a quick read and I found it very interesting. His arguments seem gee as it was written in 1848, but it does show how far we have moved towards an irreligious world.

Man-midwifery Exposed and Corrected

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