Being men of virtue

As men, many of us have heard people ask where are all the good guys in the world. For a long time, I always thought that there must be good guys out there somewhere. I even counted myself amongst this ambiguous group of “good guys”. However, it was not until later in life that I found out what it really means to be a man of virtue. Men have a distinct role to play in affirming the dignity of women. Put simply, men can affirm the dignity of women by virtuously protecting and providing for them.

One phrase that I have heard many of my friends that are women say is, “I am looking for my knight in shining armor”. At first, I thought that meant he must be good at polishing his armor, but I realized a more important point exists. That women desire men who will boldly defend their honor. Women desire men who they can trust to go into the dark forest, defeat the serpent, polish their armor, come back alive, and hold their hand as they walk through the forest together. Not because they are incapable, but because they want a man willing to take risks to protect their dignity. Men can affirm women’s dignity by protecting that which is beautiful and honorable – woman.

For men to be truly loving in their affirmation of the dignity of women, they must be willing to invest more deeply into what it means to provide. Men can provide a firm foundation for women to be all that they are meant to be. When men are open to receiving women for all that they are and accepting all that they aren’t they can provide an important sense of security and love. Women should not be left questioning whether they are worthy. Men striving to affirm the dignity of women should be intentional in all things. Even the way men look at women can affirm their dignity. Every woman deserves a loving gaze that says you are worthy of great love and sacrifice. With courage, men can blaze a trail in uncharted territory to love and affirm a women’s worth. This trail can be traveled by many more men who are not simply looking to be “good guys” in our culture but men of virtue. By men’s love, women can remember that they are worth more than the culture says they are. They are worth our time, energy, and most importantly our sacrifices.

Here are three practical steps that men can take to affirm the dignity of women:

  • Be intentional. Do not leave the women in your life in the dark. Always strive to say what you mean. Being a constant and consistent presence goes a long way in affirming women. Your presence will let them know that they are worthy. Tell the women in your life that you are intentionally there and that there is no other way you would spend your time than getting to know the depths of their hearts. Every human person is unique and unrepeatable. Clarity and sincerity is key in affirming the dignity of women.
  • Be Bold. In the aftermath of the recent Las Vegas shootings, there were many news accounts of boyfriends and husbands literally using their bodies as human shields to protect their loved ones. It takes a lot of boldness and courage to be able to protect that which is precious. Women have a dignity and beauty that is unmatched in the world. As men, we have a distinct opportunity to boldly defend women’s dignity.
  • Fight. Pornography distorts reality. It teaches men to merely view women as objects for use. Recent studies have shown that consuming pornography leads to increased violent behavior. There is nothing affirming in telling women that they are only worth self-seeking pleasure and abuse. Rather as men, we have a distinct opportunity to affirm women in love and set things right. It is time to get up and fight for love.


Peter Santiago
Peter Santiago
Peter Santiago is a 2017 graduate of Saint Vincent College with a BA in Politics and Theology. He grew up in Elizabeth NJ. During his time at Saint Vincent College, Peter Santiago met a member of The Culture Project's staff. Peter began to ask him questions about the virtue of chastity, Theology of the Body, and the Culture Project. Peter Santiago was mystified by the message of Theology of the Body because it was unique and attractive. A few years later, Peter answered God's call to serve others as a Culture Project missionary. "We tend to forget that real love requires sacrifice. I believe that beauty originates in self-sacrificial love. I hope that during my time as a Culture Project missionary I can communicate that in word and deed."