Diana Ronald-Szabo's Letters to the Editor
Note from LoveMatters.com: As this letter shows, today’s attacks on decency have deep roots in past years; and now as then, the remedy is for us to take action.
Brooklyn Tablet, NY, Saturday, April 18, 1957
Says 'Degradation of Womanhood' Needs Action
Your March 2l editorial entitled "Degradation of Womanhood" was so excellent that it is difficult to stifle the compulsion to praise it to the skies. It is encouraging to know that there are some people who are righteously angered by this state of affairs.
You state that women [today seem to] "have no innate sense of modesty." In this era of sophistication when it is considered "smart" to print and discuss details of an intimate nature, is it so surprising that the virtue of modesty is becoming rarer?
Certain intimate realities of life are matters of the strictest privacy and ought not be exploited under the guise of "education." Frankness in this field helps to break down reserve and eventually helps to destroy modesty. When modesty is destroyed, familiarity creeps in, and as we all know, familiarity breeds contempt -- in this case, contempt for good old-fashioned standards and for those who seek to preserve them.
It is difficult to describe the embarrassment experienced at the underclothing commercials, the suggestive remarks and scenes in the movies and on television, the immodest dress of our women, the familiarity of conversations in mixed company, the watered-down standards even of some of our Catholics. It is enough to make decent women weep. It is enough to shake some of us out of our apathetic attitudes.
However, what is the majority of our women doing about this problem? Exactly nothing! What must be done to awaken our women from the lethargic state into which they have fallen? Must we stand idly by and await another Sodom? Just what are the women's organizations accomplishing? A lot of talk? No battle was ever won by sitting around at silly tea parties. There is no time more ripe than the present to do battle for the cause of decency!
A letter received by this correspondent in 1955 from Bishop Vincent S. Waters of Raleigh, N.C., stated as follows:
Give up the activities and start with action! Activities are a lot of fringe action around the perimeter. Real action hits the bull's eye. There are a lot of people playing around with Catholic activities but what is needed is a united drive to really make Catholic action effective in teaching the pagans the only way that pagans can be taught, and that is financially; then, I am sure that we would really be getting somewhere.
That was the import of Bishop Waters’ words to the Catholic Daughters of America in reference to boycotting indecent movies.
Let us, therefore, endeavor to bring some semblance of order to this morally deficient world and to those responsible for indecency by refusing to purchase offensively advertised brands, by keeping away from indecent movies, by refusing to purchase some of the "respectable" magazines and newspapers which feature salacious material, and by encouraging those who stand up for decency by letting them know we are backing them up.
If we belong to an organization let us set aside a few meetings for letter-writing so that procrastination will be discouraged. Let us bombard Hollywood, television and radio with our letters of protest!
Mrs. Diana Ronald-Szabo, Pound Ridge, N.Y.
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