An Ephiphany About Feminism and the Church


#1

So I was reading another thread a while back where a woman asked if she felt oppressed as a woman because she was Catholic. So I thought of a logical argument for the neo-feminist movement and it goes like this:

  1. God created man in his own image and He was pleased. He noticed that Adam was lonely and took a rib from Adam and formed Eve to keep Adam company. Adam, who was formed in God’s image as a member of God’s chosen being to have dominion over Earth, found Eve pleasing enough to be his wife.

  2. So if that which was fashioned in God’s own image finds woman pleasing enough to take for a wife - how much more of a pedestal do you want?

  3. In Neo-Feminism leading us to “free” our bodies and release ourselves from this “bondage” of marriage we are simply stepping down from the pedestal on which God put us for the physical one in which we think we want.

  4. Any step down only leads us to Satan.

Just thought I would share- as I think we have become a highly permissive society. Granted I am not saying we should not make the same wage for the same job, etc - I am talking about neofeminism- the one that takes our identity as women.


#2

Feminists only feel oppressed by the Church because they confuse equality and sameness. Just because I am equal to a man does not mean I am the same as a man. We are made by God with different strengths and weaknesses for a reason, to fulfill the purpose He has for us. There is no shame in playing to our strengths. What makes women beautiful is not that we can do what men can do, its that we can do what men can’t.

I agree that men and women are equal in dignity and equal pay for equal work and such. However, there are just some things that limit both men and women. Men will never be able to take part in the creation of a new life the way a woman can. A man will never feel the joy of having a child grow inside them. Is this unfair or just part of the way creation was intended to be? I, as a woman, cannot become a priest. That is not unfair, a priest’s role is better played by a man in the same way that a mother’s role is better played by a woman. Is this injustice? No. This is simply playing to our strengths.


#3

And this is where I wish CAF had the little Facebook “Like This” button to push.


#4

[quote="joandarc2008, post:1, topic:181163"]

Just thought I would share- as I think we have become a highly permissive society. Granted I am not saying we should not make the same wage for the same job, etc - I am talking about neofeminism- the one that takes our identity as women.

[/quote]

What exactly is "neofeminism" and what does it have to say about our identity as women?

The only kind of feminism I ever came in contact with (and I consider myself a feminist) is a way of thinking that does away with cultural norms for what men and women are supposed to be (i.e. as a feminist I don't think that say being a police officer is a man's job while being a nurse is a woman's job).

And like it or not, there is a lot of sexist material in the Bible because it was written by people raised in a very sexist culture. Thankfully Catholics do not read the Bible literally, so women aren't expected to be silent and ask their husbands at home. :shrug:


#5

[quote="flyingfish, post:4, topic:181163"]
What exactly is "neofeminism" and what does it have to say about our identity as women?

The only kind of feminism I ever came in contact with (and I consider myself a feminist) is a way of thinking that does away with cultural norms for what men and women are supposed to be (i.e. as a feminist I don't think that say being a police officer is a man's job while being a nurse is a woman's job).

And like it or not, there is a lot of sexist material in the Bible because it was written by people raised in a very sexist culture. Thankfully Catholics do not read the Bible literally, so women aren't expected to be silent and ask their husbands at home. :shrug:

[/quote]

I would consider neofeminism as it was discussed in another thread some of the newer (like 1920's or so) ideas that women had to use birth control, burn their bras, not be married, be promiscuous, etc in order to be free. Yes, there is sexist stuff if you read the Bible literally, but we read it contextually. I do believe my dh is supposed ot be the SPIRITUAL head of the household not the HEAD of the household. All that being said - feminism should not lead to an anti-death culture when the very essence of woman is to bring life to the world. It was Mary that said - "So let it be done to me."


#6

Feminist: "What's the difference between man and woman anyway?"
Wise man: "I can't conceive."

There was also a prominent lady (a feminist* by some standards, no doubt), who said that equality was a step down for a lady and I agree with her (in keeping with the context in which she said that).

As for your arguments from the OP, well, there are two descriptions of creation and, "God created them in His image, man and woman," is still there. Plus, being created later may have some special meaning.

  • Let's not confuse the fight for voting rights and legal equality with the fight for freedom from morality.

[quote="joandarc2008, post:5, topic:181163"]
I do believe my dh is supposed ot be the SPIRITUAL head of the household not the HEAD of the household.

[/quote]

I'm not sure I can see the difference. ;) I simply can't imagine the split itself on a theoretical level.


#7

[quote="joandarc2008, post:1, topic:181163"]
So I was reading another thread a while back where a woman asked if she felt oppressed as a woman because she was Catholic. So I thought of a logical argument for the neo-feminist movement and it goes like this:

1) God created man in his own image and He was pleased. He noticed that Adam was lonely and took a rib from Adam and formed Eve to keep Adam company. Adam, who was formed in God's image as a member of God's chosen being to have dominion over Earth, found Eve pleasing enough to be his wife.

2) So if that which was fashioned in God's own image finds woman pleasing enough to take for a wife - how much more of a pedestal do you want?

[/quote]

If you read Genesis 1 you get a different creation story than in Genesis 2. In Genesis 1 God created both sexes together:

God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them.

"Man", meaning male, wasn't formed in the divine image; rather "man", meaning human beings, both male and female, were formed in the divine image. Is God male? Or is God the Creator the Supreme combination of all, including both male and female?

Your way of thinking makes the female subordinate to the male and worse, subservient. She must be "pleasing enough to him" to be of value. That just perpetuates the kind of thinking that keeps half of the human race in a position of servile inferiority.


#8

I am guessing you meant 1970’s or 80’s?

Personally I’ve yet to meet a feminist who things she needs to be single and promiscuous in order to be free. I think this portrayal of feminism is a strawman (and I am not accusing you of inventing it, because this is the picture pushed on us by some conservatives in society).

There are certainly some outliers with crazy ideas, but feminism is about not boxing girls into roles traditionally assigned to women in our culture. (For example girls being told from childhood that they can’t be good at math and science, and that they should choose fields appropriate for women.) It’s about the way women are portrayed in the media, body image. It’s also about the way *men *are raised, and about acceptance of men who choose to pursue traditionally women’s things if that is what they want to do.

Birth control, abortions and so on are important issues for many feminists, but it’s perfectly consistent to be a pro-life, pro-NFP feminist. You might not find many who oppose birth control becuase the vast majority of people, including Catholics, do use birth control. Most people also support some kind of access to abortion.


#9

From what I have always understood and been taught "Feminism" covers a very large body of theories, politics and concepts. Personally I believe we have to be very careful and not fall into stereotyping when discussing "feminism". It's like any large umbrella term that can be misused and misunderstood. Maybe it might be more helpful to talk about specific issues as they pertain to women and the church.

I consider myself a Feminist because I believe all men and women to be equal before God. I believe that women should have the right to vote and be elected (a concept that was considered radical and could get you thrown in jail in my country 100 years ago). Maybe Joandarc 2008 you agree with these political ideas? If so perhaps you could discuss the specific issues and/or theorists you are thinking about. When you say Neo-Feminist which thinkers/theorists are you referring to?

Some of the things you mention could fall under many categories such as an increase in secularism, individualism, industrialization, materialism, modernism etc. Technology such as the car and the washing machine gave women more freedom that was unrelated to feminist politics for example.


#10

I have met dozens.
Have you ever seen the show Sex and the City? Sadly, a majority of my friends and other young adults in my age group try and model their lives after that show, chasing some sort of “liberation” - sadly I have only seen it lead to heartache a few abortions :frowning:
As far as conservatives pushing this stereotype, I hardly think any conservatives are on the writing staff of SATC.


#11

I love Sex and the City. I don’t try to act like them, but the writers hit on how lonely it is to be single. :frowning: And how society “punishes” single women.
Even as “liberated” as society becomes, it will never be okay to be a single woman. :mad:


#12

[quote="MercyMia, post:10, topic:181163"]
I have met dozens.
Have you ever seen the show Sex and the City? Sadly, a majority of my friends and other young adults in my age group try and model their lives after that show, chasing some sort of "liberation" - sadly I have only seen it lead to heartache a few abortions :(
As far as conservatives pushing this stereotype, I hardly think any conservatives are on the writing staff of SATC.

[/quote]

I've never seen the show so I can't comment.

As Kindness rightly pointed out, feminism is an umbrella term, and you can't reduce it to the promotion of promiscuity and singleness.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminism

The term feminism can be used to describe a political, cultural or economic movement aimed at establishing equal rights and legal protection for women. Feminism involves political and sociological theories and philosophies concerned with issues of gender difference, as well as a movement that advocates gender equality for women and campaigns for women's rights and interests.

...

Feminism has altered predominant perspectives in a wide range of areas within Western society, ranging from culture to law. Feminist activists have campaigned for women's legal rights (rights of contract, property rights, voting rights); for women's right to bodily integrity and autonomy, for abortion rights, and for reproductive rights (including access to contraception and quality prenatal care); for protection of women and girls from domestic violence, sexual harassment and rape;[1][10][11] for workplace rights, including maternity leave and equal pay; against misogyny; and against other forms of gender-specific discrimination against women.[12][13][14]


#13

My dearest sister in Jesus Christ, AdriannaJean,

You are exactly right! Why are so many women complaining & wanting to be men? Being a man is a gift, but as i prayed to Our Most Blessed Mother Mary for Her Motherly advice as to how i could serve God more fully, i realized it is us men who have lied to ourselves.

Sure, men can be a President or a pilot or an astronaut or a CEO (but any woman can also be these things!) in this decaying & deceiving world,** but we can never fully cooperate in the most important event in history, the creation of a new life! Only you precious ladies can!!**

**We can never conceive & carry a baby inside our bodies for 9 months. We can never feel the babies movement, the kicks, the perfect connection to a new life. We can never feel the pain & joy of childbirth, we are just bystanders.
**
We men are the ones who have been duped, yet the world run by greedy, self serving men, lies to women & even tells them to murder their most precious & innocent babies through abortion, because that “empowers” them (& makes billions of $$$ for these immoral & sickening men)???

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus!

mark


#14

Wow, just a couple points that got brought up for the sake of discussion:

  1. Thank you all for participating - this is awesome IMHO

  2. I personally agree with fair wage laws, right to vote, that kind of stuff but not the right to be immoral - I don’t think that is true feminism - I believe true feminism are ideals that make us stronger not weaker - anytime something makes us immoral (i.e.- promiscuity, birth control, abortion) it kills the spirit and only makes weaker as an individual, a gender, and a society.

  3. When I talk of neo-feminism I am speaking of those feminists that support so-called reproductive rights to the point of the immoral. I am not talking about people that advocate teaching NFP to poor women or abstinence in high schools. I am speaking of organizations such as Planned Parenthood. I mentioned the early 20th century because making reference to Margaret Sanger. While I am unclear as to what method of birth control she was teaching she is the one that opened the door to all of this.

  4. I notice some of the men on here giving great reverence to women due to their ability to carry a child. Is an infertile woman like myself less than? Have I been devalued? Can’t I still do everything any other woman can do if I am given the opportunity to raise a family through adoption?


#15

[quote="joandarc2008, post:14, topic:181163"]

3) When I talk of neo-feminism I am speaking of those feminists that support so-called reproductive rights to the point of the immoral. I am not talking about people that advocate teaching NFP to poor women or abstinence in high schools. I am speaking of organizations such as Planned Parenthood. I mentioned the early 20th century because making reference to Margaret Sanger. While I am unclear as to what method of birth control she was teaching she is the one that opened the door to all of this.

[/quote]

From the perspective of feminism I don't think birth control and NFP differ. Both allow women to have fewer children and to focus on work outside the home.

You could even use NFP in order to make it easy to be promiscuous. I don't think you can blame the particular method of limiting births on promiscuity and immorality.

4) I notice some of the men on here giving great reverence to women due to their ability to carry a child. Is an infertile woman like myself less than? Have I been devalued? Can't I still do everything any other woman can do if I am given the opportunity to raise a family through adoption?

I wouldn't read too much into this. I think it's men trying to be nice to women and build them up.


#16

[quote="joandarc2008, post:14, topic:181163"]
4) I notice some of the men on here giving great reverence to women due to their ability to carry a child. Is an infertile woman like myself less than?

[/quote]

Short answer: Not at all.


#17

Thank you - You are very sweet.


#18

[quote="chaunceygardner, post:7, topic:181163"]
If you read Genesis 1 you get a different creation story than in Genesis 2. In Genesis 1 God created both sexes together:

"Man", meaning male, wasn't formed in the divine image; rather "man", meaning human beings, both male and female, were formed in the divine image. Is God male? Or is God the Creator the Supreme combination of all, including both male and female?

Your way of thinking makes the female subordinate to the male and worse, subservient. She must be "pleasing enough to him" to be of value. That just perpetuates the kind of thinking that keeps half of the human race in a position of servile inferiority.

[/quote]

Well put chauncygardner. Both men and women are created in God's image. This has been conveniently ignored at different times in current history and is conveniently ignored by some today.

Brenda V.


#19

See, I once caught an episode where all but one of the main characters spoke about having abortions in pregnancies that resulted from flings/one night stands; they discussed it no less casually than getting a manicure. I think that type of portrayal is very harmful to women, so easy breezy and casual when we know the true emotional horror of abortion. Nothing liberating about that. The lead, Carrie, justified as the right thing to do because she was young and her one night stand was merely a waiter. It made me sad. When I was engaged and still had not slept with my now husband, some of my friends actually quoted sex and the city to me to show me how crazy I was for not having sex yet :rolleyes:

You make a valid point about single women in the media. I would love it if there was a show that portrayed strong, single women that did not focus on their sex lives.


#20

My favorite quote from the show is “I spent over $2000 on celebrating her life choices (wedding, babies, etc), and what do I get? Nada. This isn’t about the gifts, this is about my choices. There is no flatware for when you leave Mr. Wrong, there is no party for taking vacation alone. After graduation, there is no celebration of singles.” This is not a direct quote, but the gist is there.
I’ve spent tons of time and money celebrating my friends and their lives, and if I end up alone, what do I get? Pity. I could have married my abusive ex-boyfriend and gotten a toaster. rolls eyes

I do agree, we need more strong single females in the media. “Sex and the City” is about as good as it gets. Maybe that is one of the reasons is was so popular. :shrug:


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