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A Voice from Fly-Over Country
August 6, 2009

Where Did Women’s Self-Respect Go?
by Robert L. Hale

MINOT, NORTH DAKOTA — I write this at great risk of being accused of disgusting motives, misogynism, living in the dark ages, and things I cannot even imagine. So, with this acknowledgment, let me begin.

At first glance, it appears that today’s women are as attractive or more attractive than ever. However, a second look brings with it an ugliness that is stunning to anyone who is more than 50 years old and whose memory has not been dulled by age.

Where have the grace, elegance, refinement, and inner beauty of women that were so prevalent just a generation ago gone? Why are so many women crude, crass, and unrefined? It seems women, particularly those in their teens and twenties, go out of their way to hide their feminine virtues, if indeed they are even aware of them.

Our culture treats women as if they are objects to be used, abused, and disgraced. What is new, the feminist asks? What is new today is that women have taken the lead in trashing themselves.

What women have willfully done to their female nature is akin to taking a Rembrandt and covering it with graffiti. Moreover, they have not simply defaced the painting with slashes and streaks of paint; instead, they have done so with crudeness, coarseness, and ugliness.

I suppose this is really the outcome of the feminist movement and women seeking to prove they can be just like the most uncouth male. My father told me, “Any woman who wants to think like, be like, act like, and be equal to a man is an underachiever.” He also said, “Remember, it is women who civilize us. They create an environment where we are careful to be respectful, well spoken, and are expected to act like gentlemen. They force us to be better than we otherwise would be.” He has since passed away. How I would hate for him to see and hear today’s bold new woman.

Where is the grace and elegance of the likes of Katherine Hepburn or Grace Kelly? These women displayed the charm, manners, and dress that dignified the natural grace and elegance of the female. They have been replaced, to a great extent, with a new breed of female. The “new female” has proven that women can outdo men — in rudeness, foul language, and disrespect for their own gender.

Women are blessed with a natural abundance of beauty and intuition. However, far too many are completely unaware of the uniqueness of their nature. Rather than use and develop these God-given gifts, they trash them. Instead of following their nature, they emulate the worst of the male nature. Instead of demanding respect, chiding crudeness, and rejecting rudeness and disgusting mannerisms, they take the lead in doing these things. Instead of being repulsed by men who talk and act that way, they encourage these things and have become role models for disrespectful behavior themselves.

It is never appropriate to use foul language, be rude, or disrespectful. While such conduct is inappropriate for anyone, it is particularly disgusting when emanating from a woman. It clashes with the natural beauty, softness, and musical tone of the female appearance and voice. It is uglier than when it comes from a man.

Instead of nurturing civility, manners, grace, and elegance in our society, today’s “modern” woman thinks nothing of smoking (more young women than men smoke), of disfiguring her body with tattoos and piercings, or of engaging in trash talk that would embarrass a drunken sailor of old. Today’s woman, for the most part, is unable to walk with grace and bearing. Instead, she walks and sits like a thug or a football fullback in pain.

I yearn for a return to a more civil society. A society peopled with ladies and gentlemen, a society where women again demand the best in men and refuse to tolerate anything less. I yearn for a society where a woman’s natural beauty and charm are matched by her actions, language, and genuine self-respect. I yearn for the day women gain the confidence to be the best they can be — and demand as much from men.

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A Voice from Fly-Over Country is copyright © 2009 by Robert L. Hale and the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation. All rights reserved.

Robert L. Hale received his J.D. in law from Gonzaga University Law School in Spokane, Washington. He is founder and director of a non-profit public interest law firm. For more than three decades he has been involved in drafting proposed laws and counseling elected officials in ways to remove burdensome and unnecessary rules and regulations.

See a complete biographical sketch.

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