A new website for women “from the men who love them” encourages women to “demand their dignity” and attacks the “incessant, often conflicting” messages and “lies” about women’s worth.
The site Demand Your Dignity says “enough is enough” to messages that depict women as a “collection of body parts.”
“Demand that men rise up and BE MEN! Demand to be treated as the whole person YOU ARE!” the site tells women.
The site says it was made by men “who want to love women, not use them.” Demand Your Dignity characterizes itself as a “plea” to women not to believe the “lies” the world says about them and not to give up hope.
“You aren’t alone anymore. We are fighting with you.”
Kelsey Doherty, a creator of Demand Your Dignity, spoke about the site in a Friday e-mail interview with CNA.
Doherty, who works in digital media design, told CNA that his “passion” is his youth group and spreading “the truth of Christ’s love.” The idea for the site arose out of what he called an “overwhelming need” for the message of chastity.
“The sexualization of popular culture and media is destroying entire generations of young people,” he said, explaining he meant not only abortion but also the “more subtle damage” men and women face because of pressure to fit “sexualized gender molds.”
He charged that pornography has enabled men “to seek only their own needs,” and that women are worse off because of the idealization of “a certain body type and sexual attitude.”
Doherty said he was aware of the problem but didn’t take action until such issues affected a friend.
“No girl should ever hate themselves and think they are not good enough because the cover of a Cosmo magazine tells them so,” he explained. “The sexual revolution let the cat out of the bag. Any fantasy you can think of is not only available, but condoned.”
The answer to the “pain” some women are in is “Christ-like, selfless men,” Doherty claimed. If men can deny temptation, he said, “the whole mechanism will come to a crashing halt.”
The site was made for those who “desperately yearn for true love” but have a “skewed view of chastity” and wouldn’t dare go to a “crazy” church or Chastity.com, the website of Catholic Answers’ chastity outreach program.
“Demandyourdignity.com is an effort to reach out specifically to those people,” he said.
The site presents existing resources in “a more flashy, engaging way,” he added. There are essays by Crystalina Evert, Wendy Shalit and Stasi Eldredge and videos such as the Dove Corporation’s “Onslaught,” in which the transformation of an ordinary woman into a digitally-altered supermodel is documented at high speed.
Other videos include presentations by chastity speaker Jason Evert and media analyst Jean Kilbourne.
“Jason Evert and Wendy Shalit have both been in contact with me and really appreciate demandyourdignity.com and what the site is doing,” Doherty reported.
CNA noted that the site says it is “made by real men” and asked Doherty who those “real men” are.
He said they are “tons of men” passionate about the issue of chastity and positive images of women.
“We are college students, high school students, middle school students, post-grads, husbands, fathers, and priests. What sets us apart is that we won't stand for this any longer, and we have a lot to say,” he explained. “And that’s the beauty of it. Just by making our presence known we can have a huge effect on women.”
Doherty reported that he had encouraged men to write letters of encouragement to women and was “so surprised” by the response.
“These men poured their hearts. They weren't writing to specific women, but any women. And the response from the women was even more remarkable,” he said.
The “Letters to Women” project spawned a Facebook group named “We will not stand by while women are treated like objects ITS [sic] TIME TO FIGHT.”
“What I hope to do is just provide these men with a means to express themselves loudly and give them the tools to fight back,” Doherty told CNA.
The Demand Your Dignity website is at http://demandyourdignity.com.