This tragedy is just the latest turn in a spiral downward. Too many men see women as fair game. Around the world women are harassed in the streets as they go about their business. In Seven Sacraments for Everyone there is a section on the indignities and dangers women face in Mexico, Japan, France, Egypt, India… where are they safe?
In a state of nature, men simply took women at will. Later, daughters were property, their bodies exchanged for improved relations with other tribes or neighbors. Those primitive forces are still at work. In the military, on college campuses, and in high schools males are looking for mates, but failing that, they are simply looking TO mate, however that can happen. The dangers to women and girls have never been clearer than after this shooting.
What is the answer? Mothers and fathers, teach your sons that the desire for sexual union is not an appetite to be sated, but an avenue to our higher selves, our most generous selves. It is a sacrament. Teach your daughters that sexual union is a Mystery, a private thing, and the intimacies that go with it are not to be taken lightly. Teach your children to respect this Mystery by refraining from crude sexual humor and crass comments. We must all work to change this culture that degrades women.