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viewpoint

Decriminalize parietals

| Friday, April 1, 2016

Throughout its nearly 200-year history, Notre Dame has stood as a bastion of moral righteousness and consecrated virginity in the face of the degradation of America’s moral fabric. A central pillar to this effort has been the policy of parietals, which rightfully limits the degree of indecent contact between males and females on campus. Despite their status as the last hope for the preservation of chastity at our school, parietals have regretfully been eroded throughout our University’s history. In the face of overwhelming disobedience and continued, unrestrained interaction between the sexes, we admit with utmost sorrow that the time for surrender has arrived: The University of Notre Dame has no further option but to decriminalize the institution of parietals.

While we have the highest respect for Notre Dame’s attempts to restrict male-female interaction to solely “a total living and sharing together of two persons in marriage,” the tide of secular indecency propagated by liberal Hollywood has made this noble stance unrealistic in the contemporary world. In the modern, aggressively godless language of liberal, man-hating, bra-less feminists, contact of any sort between the male and female sexes outside of the sacred institution of marriage is not only allowed, but encouraged. And from this notion spouts an endless stream of apparent “expectations” demanded by our student body: Talking to members of the opposite sex? Entering their dorms? And finally, the darkest of moral violations: Spending a night in the same room as a member of the opposite sex? Maybe even … spooning … without socks?!

As the old saying goes, when you don’t walk your dog with a leash, it will think it can walk you. In a similar manner, women at this school, claiming they are subject to wildly disproportionate parietals enforcement and du Lac sentencing practices, have started demanding equal implementation of parietals. What’s next? Not harassing the LGBTQ community? Treating women like people? What are we, Canada?!

We are frightened, and we are scared. It goes without saying we are disgusted by even speaking of these possibilities, but we live in a “culturally Jewish” (read: secular) dominated nation where we have to consider them.

Unfortunately, in the sexually immoral landscape of modern times, we must take into account the words of leftist interest groups like Trojan Condoms over our own collective moral conscience. In the 2014 Sexual Health Report Card sponsored by Trojan Condoms (America’s #1 Condom Trusted for Over 90 Years), Notre Dame was ranked among the bottom 15 universities. Meanwhile, Catholic colleges that have decriminalized male-female interaction on their campuses, such as Georgetown University and Boston College, ranked significantly higher than Notre Dame. Meanwhile, Providence College, which similarly — and commendably — maintains enforcement of its parietals, joins Notre Dame in the bottom 15. Georgetown has prioritized treatment over incarceration, helping burgeoning females and males interact with each other in a secular capacity. Although Georgetown is a tarnished institution full of unspeakable anti-traditional family debauchery, we humbly ask Notre Dame, in the face of overwhelming pressure that threatens our endurance as a university, to follow suit. We must eliminate the culture of self-victimization in our student body. Ever since the Vagina Monologues defiled this school, our women think they can discuss matters of their own sexuality openly. This culture of disobedience calls for decriminalization of parietals and subsequent rehabilitation — not penal retribution. They need our help. As the Sycamore Trust reminds us, there is hope!

A high-up administration official said (off the record — whoops!), “We are aware there are a plethora of issues that may be deemed of importance, such as decreasing the rates of sexual assault, not treating potheads like hell-bent terrorists and bringing berries to the dining halls — therefore, we have decided to not deal with any of this and focus all of our efforts on enforcing parietals in the female dorms on this campus.”

While we agree ideologically, we are not the pre-Vagina Monologue institution that we once were. As Peter once spoke to the gentiles, so too must we speak to feminists. We can no longer avoid them and must, unfortunately, engage with them — and this can only be done by first decriminalizing parietals. In doing so, we prevent radicals from continuing their claims of victimization and move forward to the promise of moral redemption.  

While we must wave our white flag in the battle of parietals, the war against unsacred gender relations can still be won. It is a sad concession, but we must face the reality of the times — we need to decriminalize parietals to rehabilitate — in the same way we have been forced to accept the cold hard facts of our favorite presidential candidate being the Zodiac Killer. Both are small but necessary setbacks; just as Ted Cruz may still realize his dreams of world domination, so too can Notre Dame restore its Catholic identity — by not giving Joe Biden the Laetare Medal.

Natasha Reifenberg

sophomore

Badin Hall

John Haley

sophomore

St. Edward’s Hall

March 31

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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  • April 1st satire that rings oddly true! Kudos!

  • Charlie Ducey

    This article registers as a bit puerile. It’s rather like reading an undirected satire about why marijuana should be legalized when all one knows about public policy on marijuana is that some people find it objectionable because it might lead to auto accidents. This article, quite simply, does not GET, nor does it even pretend to get, Catholic teaching about sexuality. It just assumes false stereotypes about repression and chastity belts. It is, in a word, sophomoric in its lack of understanding, in its reliance on trite generalizations and inability to consider that, hey, maybe promoting a culture in which casual hookups and alcoholism are accepted is precisely what leads to sexual assaults, not the Catholic Church. One can only hope that a Notre Dame education will tease out some of these weakness in critical thought and uncaught solecisms.

    • João Pedro Santos

      “It’s rather like reading an undirected satire about why marijuana should be legalized when all one knows about public policy on marijuana is that some people find it objectionable because it might lead to auto accidents”
      So let’s criminalize alcohol because drinking leads to car accidents?

      “maybe promoting a culture in which casual hookups and alcoholism are accepted is precisely what leads to sexual assaults”
      How predictable, victim blaming. Rapists are the only cause of sexual assault. Drinking and hooking up are not excuses for that. If you can’t stop when someone tells you to stop, that’s entirely your fault. If you take advantage of a drunk person, that’s entirely your fault. End of story.

      • Charlie Ducey

        Look, the point is, despite any harsh words on my part, the article is intended as a joke, and that’s nice and all, but it doesn’t offer a very helpful criticism of parietals, and it also isn’t really satire, when push comes to shove.

        By the way, the marijuana example’s entire point is that it’s ignorant to think that the only reason people want to keep marijuana bans in place is only because it leads to traffic accidence. It’s more complex than that. Similarly, it’s ignorant to think that people want to keep parietals in place only because “contact of any sort between the male and female sexes outside of the sacred institution of marriage is not only allowed.” It’s more complicated than that.

        Also, you’re really misreading my whole comment on “*a culture* that promotes casual hookups and alcoholism.” That’s not victim blaming. That’s talking about a cultural flaw. Caution: read carefully.

  • MC

    This article falls short in the realm of humor and makes unwarranted and dishonest jabs at the point of view they are poorly attempting to satirize. Not productive or thought-provoking in any way.