The saga continues. Yesterday, once I had completed and published my rage blog, I felt a sense of relief. It was good to get so much off my chest in one go, yet there was still a small nagging sensation fed by the knowledge I had essentially written an open letter to Mr. Alleman, and the chances were slim he would ever read it.
I believe everyone has a right to be presented with all sides of an argument, and be aware when someone so wholeheartedly disagrees with them, and in all honesty I am genuinely curious to how he arrived at these opinions. Via the address he listed on his website, I e-mailed Alleman a quick message along with a link to my post, so he could at least be aware that there are solid arguments against his stance. Also, because sometimes I can just be a little shit.
Note: Everything quoted in this article is directly copied out of my e-mail correspondence with Alleman and the text has not been altered.
I humbly submit my rebuttal to your article posted this past Sunday. Please note my argument did not run out of substance, despite your “logic” used throughout the article.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
I really didn’t expect him to reply, but he did about two hours later.
No time to read the article – just skimmed it. My credential is that I have 7 children and a happy wife. My kids have strong character, good appearance and are all still in the Church.
I was a little miffed he didn’t actually read the post since I waded through his article enough to refute it, but I wasn’t about to let my feminine emotions get the best of me.
I’m very glad to hear you have a happy and healthy family life, and that your children are growing up as good people. I’m sure you and your wife do a fine job parenting and are very proud. However, your personal experiences don’t justify excluding an entire gender from a college education. At the moment, I am still rather curious about three things, and hope you can shed some light for me.
It isn’t often that I have the opportunity to directly communicate with people of the internet I disagree with, so I decided to make the most of the situation.
L: Because women who attend college are 18 years of age or older, they are legal adults, and are by law allowed to make their own decisions. What purpose does advising their parents not to send them to college serve, when legally they cannot affect their daughter’s decision?
A: That’s theoretical. Parent do effect this decision even though the kid could legally. 18-year-olds are still leaning are their parents.
L: It is a shame parents continue to treat their children as children well into adulthood. An 18 year old may not be in the most mature stages of life, and many parents simply want what’s best for their children, but modern parenting often seems to lend itself to dependency and entitlement. It is my opinion that this is more harmful to society than working mothers.
A: Parents should continue to be involved in their young adult children’s lives, but less so when they become completely independent. You asked about 18-year-olds, and almost none are completely independent by then unless they were abandoned.
L: I certainly agree that parents should continue to be part of their children’s lives, but there is quite a difference between being involved and controlling their future.
L: Where is an 18 year old woman with no plans for the future other than to become a good wife and mother supposed to find the man of her dreams to support her?
A: Apparently not at college since you’re college-educated and haven’t found a husband yet.
L: I see what you did there. Well played. True, I am not married. Not every woman who attends college meets her husband there, and as many of the single men who were at my college were probably along the lines of the “wrong type of men” you described, I’m perfectly comfortable that I did not meet my future husband in college, just as I am perfectly comfortable being independent. That being said, of my many friends, classmates, coworkers, and relatives that were married by 22 or 23, every single one of them met their husbands in college. Every single one of their husbands are good, hardworking, Christian men who deeply love their wives.
Therefore, my original question remains: if not at college, where does an 18 year old woman with aspirations of motherhood find her perfect husband? I am genuinely curious.
A: Could be anywhere. Trust in God. Church is a good place, but I’ve seen the best with brothers and sisters be introduced to friends. I’m not saying to become a hermit. People just find a way to eventually meet up. Before so many women went to college couples found a way to meet up and wouldn’t you know, now we’re all here!
L: You seem to support a passive approach to finding a future spouse. I’m not sure many people would agree with your sentiment that people just “meet up.” In my experience, I find that relationships thrive best from working at them, not waiting for them.
L: Finally, as a single, college educated professional woman, I have no immediate plans for marriage or children because I have no immediate prospects. I do not, nor have I ever, have any plans for joining a convent, and my career is my top priority. Is this, as your article suggests, “the evil work of Satan”? If so, what would you suggest I do to better my current situation?
A: I may have not been clear on this point, but let me try again. Stay single if your job is your top priority or any priority. Be ready to quit immediately and permanently once you meet the man you want to marry.
L: I mentioned before that I’m comfortable being independent, so it’s good to hear that staying single is acceptable while my job is a priority. However, assuming my job becomes less of a priority in the event that I do get married in the future, why would I be expected to quit my job immediately? I could possibly understand if it was once I became pregnant, but my future husband and I may not begin to have children immediately. If we wait several years before trying to start a family, what would be the negative effects of being employed? Keep in mind I currently work full time, cook, clean, complete yard work, care for a dog, and have a social life, so time would not be an issue.
A: Unless you and/or your husband were to have some fertility biological issues, you should accept children as soon as your married. A married couple should not just want “until they are ready.” By definition, getting married means you are ready to accept children.
L: Our opinions greatly differ on this issue. I believe that a couple waiting until they are ready – whether that’s emotionally, psychologically, or financially – is responsible and probably the most beneficial for child rearing, and would be the best environment to bring a child into because of the added stability.
Alleman had no more to say, so I thanked him for his time and attempted to politely bring the conversation to a close, recognizing we would never agree with each other:
For all of these opinions, I don’t expect either of us to convince the other, nor is that my intention. I am genuinely interested in hearing what you have to say because I completely and utterly disagree with it, and I struggle to understand your reasoning so I can at least try to respect your point of view even if I don’t agree. I hope this approach is mutual.
He was not so generous:
Actually not, I am her to instruct those who are interested in living an ordered peaceful and joyous ways of family life as opposed to the rat race many don’t know that has an alternative. I can help those who are close-minded and insist on manipulating the Church’s teachings to fit the decisions they refuse to recover from. The sad thing is that those who have no choice are the ones that suffer – children.
I can’t help but see the irony in a man tirading against people who are close-minded while advocating that people of the female variety should not receive a college education, but I digress.
I’m sorry we were unable to come to any sort of mutual understanding. I believe both the Catholic Social Teaching of Solidarity, as well as Matthew 22:39 advocate loving thy neighbor. I don’t remember seeing an asterisk next to those teachings with a note at the bottom instructing us to only love thy neighbor if they believe exactly as you do, and if they don’t forcibly educate them until they do. Though, I suppose it is possible that I missed that since I’m so busy with the rat race.
Even though I don’t agree with you, I wish you and your family the best of luck and that you all continue to lead happy and healthy lives.
Like I said, I wasn’t intending or expecting to change Alleman’s mind about anything, I just legitimately wanted to understand how he has the opinions he does. I still don’t get it, but I’m sure he and his family are praying that I will.
Spoiler: It’s not going to happen.
In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy my life as a college educated, independent, professional woman who makes her own choices and can hold her own opinions.