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Being a gentleman in the 21st century. - or how to avoid getting your name in a sex scandal.

Calvin Leckrone Sr. Formal portrait

Waking up to the news of Matt Lauer's termination was a little surprising - especially since I remember this interview so clearly. 

Mr. Lauer had a successful, long-running career and by many standards could be considered an accomplished 21st-century man. Like all of the other powerful and successful men getting caught up in this latest sex-abuse scandal, he was someone young men could look up to and try to emulate. But Lauer apparently got caught up in the new norm of sexual immorality - where important men do what they want with little to no consequence.

However, as I blogged a few weeks ago, the "norm" of our sexual moral culture isn't working anymore. It started deteriorating five decades ago and has only gotten worse with a "general lowering or moral standards." (Pope Paul VI Humanae Vitae).

As a Catholic Mom I know there are some practical lessons and rules that we should pass on to our young men. This used to be called being a gentleman. It's something our grandfathers knew because it was expected from them by their family, friends, church, community, and culture.  We've lost that.

In a nutshell, here are the basics of what guys need to know to get back to the manly art of being a gentleman in the 21st century.


1. Other than shaking hands with someone you've just met, do not touch a woman anywhere. Stay particularly away from those areas that would be covered by a very generous bathing suit! When in doubt, just don't!! Keep your hands to yourself.

2.  Watch your language! Don't drop F-bombs, stay away from vulgarities, and don't tell dirty jokes in mixed company. If this means you don't have anything to say, or if this reduces your ability to converse by 80%, then maybe it's best to just be the strong silent type. Keep quiet!

3.  Avert eyes. I get it. Young women haven't a clue about how to dress around young men. They don't now how to dress for work either. They sure didn't learn how at school. But that doesn't give you the excuse to ogle. Look them in the eye, or slightly over their heads, or make your excuses and leave. Wandering eyes can distract you. Don't let that happen.

4.  Don't be alone with a member of the opposite sex. Mike Pence could be your role model for this. Every week he is looking more and more like a genius. 

5.  Along those lines, don't drink or otherwise become inebriated around women. Keep yourself under control.

6. There's a reason the church has always taught that sexual intercourse only rightfully belongs in marriage. Anytime sex happens outside of the marriage bond it can be easily misconstrued to be something it was not. And with the rules for consent become more restrictive, is it really worth it to risk everything for a quick hookup?  Probably not.

7.  Discourage other guys from all of the above. Encourage other guys to treat women and each other with respect and dignity.

These are kind of commonsensical, but if most of these accused men had followed them, they wouldn't be involved in scandal today.

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