Senior in high school has adopted feminism, together with the “gender ideology” as essentially her new religion.
Any recommendations for books or other resources that I could give her concerning authentic Catholic feminism? I am looking for something that provides an affirming explanation the authentically Catholic view of the dignity and role of women. It needs to be something “current” and something that she a) won’t reject out of hand because she feels condemned or judged; and b) gently leads her back in the right direction.
B) Even though she’s adopted these two philosophies, is it just something she tells anyone who is interested or is she part of a group?
I’m not saying you should violate her privacy but if you know about the external reasons or a group, that should help you. Also, if she seems confrontational or feels the Church doesn’t understand, you may ask her why the Church is not in a position to explain its views to her.
One possible problem with Schlafly is that this girl has already heard of her. I think we spent about a quarter of my Intro to Women’s Studies class hearing about what an awful person she was, and I had little idea of her actual work for many years.
Her grandfather died when she was 13. She has stated that this was a watershed event in her life that caused her to begin “thinking for herself” and not simply accepting what her parents had taught her from birth.
She attends an all-girls Catholic prep school where feminist ideas are promoted. Not necessarily in the hard-core secular feminist vein, but in the vein that women are and have been oppressed throughout history. In many of the English and history classes everything is examined through the prism of gender and race.
Boyfriend enters the picture. He attends an all-boys Catholic high school. He too is questioning his faith, feels like it has been crammed down his throught by his parents, is rebelling, and encouraging her feminist ideas.
She is active in theater at the boyfriend’s high school. There is a high concentration of homosexual boys - and even allegedly a transgender - in the regular theater group. She sees how these boys feel rejected by their parents and (in her perception) by the Church. So, she has opted to take up their cause as her own.
She has, as far as can be seen externally, replaced Catholicism with feminism & gender theory as her predominant worldview. She wants to focus on these things in college.
You’re welcome. I hear some version of the phrase “think for yourself” on a regular basis. The thing is, everyone gets a worldview from somewhere. I’ve been hearing about religion being “shoved down my throat” since the 1970s. I think the best approach is to understand what you’re rejecting before you accept something else. Sometimes, people don’t fully understand what they are advocating on an intellectual level or that their new worldview may be more about emotion than really thinking it through.
If a person accepts ideas, they should be examined. Women have been oppressed in the past, but what will she do or change about herself within this feminist worldview? Some Homosexual and Transgender persons feel rejected by the Church, but we are all called to chastity. That’s difficult for a lot of people.
Offer advice when you can and pray for her and her boyfriend.
Well, you may have to trod into some territory that’s uncomfortable for you and separate the wheat from the chaff. The misandry of the more radical feminists movements and the reaction in various mens counter-feminism movements. A lot of bitter angry people involved, with a lot of emotion and venom- so hard to find the calm fact-based folks amongst the noise…
Look for stuff from Camille Paglia and Milo Yiannopoulos. Both are homosexual, but Camille Paglia talks a lot about the ‘rape culture’ myth and the lack of responsibility/accountability the modern feminists advocate. Former Catholic now atheist but a second wave feminist who a lot of the third wave feminists hate-- since she talks responsibility vice victimhood and female privilege. But she can certainly put the women’s movement in a historical context. Milo is at the front, oddly enough, of men’s rights and pointing out the myths of feminism.
You’ll need to research and present to your daughter information debunking a lot of the modern feminist myths. Myths like- rape culture in the west, particularly on college campuses i.e. the oft quoted 1 in 5 myth, pay gap, education gap, etc.
BTW-- try not to worry too much. My daughter leaned towards the feminist line based on being fed myths in high school. She read and learned a bit more than encountered the more radical feminists at college. Just listening to them rant pushed her into the conservative (i.e. traditional Catholic) direction.
ETA: Paglia interview. She comments that this gender identity focus is probably a sign that our culture/nation is on it’s way out…typical of civilizations just before the fail.
The word “feminism” isn’t anti-Catholic, it’s just been commandeered by anti-Catholics to identify anti-Catholic things. I think we ought to reclaim it.
From St. John Paul II: “In transforming culture so that it supports life, women occupy a place, in thought and action, which is unique and decisive. It depends on them to promote a ‘new feminism’ which rejects the temptation of imitating models of “male domination”, in order to acknowledge and affirm the true genius of women in every aspect of the life of society, and overcome all discrimination, violence and exploitation.” source
“true genius of women” is used by some feminists, but is not a correct view. Women have as much to offer as men but women aren’t men. Men and women are complimentary, not antagonists in some battle for superiority.
Phyllis Shlalfly is a nightmare as far as I am concerned. I wouldn’t tell anyone to read her stuff. In fact, if all you are concerned about doing is pushing the Catholic party line, I say don’t do it. The young woman is at a time in her life where she is questioning things and that is a good thing. She will have to decide for herself. So, why don’t you dialog with her and find out what exactly she means when she talks about feminism. This word doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone.
I’m not sure what to think of Phyllis Schlafly. I think I don’t know enough about her. Do you know any points she has made that are objectionable? She is pretty vocal about her Catholic faith, which is a good thing, but she has such a poor public image because she opposed the equal rights amendment. On the other hand, several of her books have titles that would probably appeal to feminists, such as The Power of the Christian Woman and The Power of the Positive Woman. Perhaps I should read one of her books in order to form a more educated opinion about her.
The young woman is at a time in her life where she is questioning things and that is a good thing. She will have to decide for herself. So, why don’t you dialog with her and find out what exactly she means when she talks about feminism. This word doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone.
Dialoging with her sounds like a good idea. Dialog is good for everyone because everyone is at a time in their life where they are questioning things.
Her public image is, with enough people, poor enough to make it politically incorrect to admire her. To me, if someone is an ardent follower of feminist theories, they are currently in the hands of the secular culture, and are likely following political correctness.
I’m not saying Phyllis Schlafly is therefore a bad choice, I honestly know too little about her. If Sunbreak has more info, I’d love to know anything objectionable Phyllis Schlafley has said or done, but if it’s all coming from the fact that she is politically incorrect, that’s not enough to make me dislike her.