Not sure I understand the feminist problem

I would like to share my view, no flaming please.

When I was a child, both my parents worked. (I was born in 1964) They were teachers. My mom did a lot of the caring for us(the kids), and the house. But I remember my dad helped out also. I don’t know how they decided things, but they seemed like a team. Both were equally responsible for the welfare of the family.

So my mom was equal to my dad. She had the right to express an opinion, get medical care, vote, drive, make decisions, you get the drift. I feel that in a marriage things should be worked out together, like finances, how to disciple.

I see this as feminism. Equal pay for equal work, the right for equal education, health care, equal rights under the law. What else is there? And whats wrong with these expectations (on either side of the issue)? Nothing!

Frankly, everyone deserves to be treated respectfully.

As far as the church goes, I really don’t know what to say. Priests are priests and nuns are nuns and both have vital roles. The church I attend is big, 6600 members, that’s good size to me. We have men and women serving communion. Men collect the the offering and help letting us up for communion. The service I attend is packed with men and women. Its wonderful.

So, whats the real problem? Women serving at communion? Why do they have to? because there are not enough men willing? Truly if women should not be serving, step up and fix it!,

Ok so I feel irritated, so I will stop.

Thanks for listening.

The problem with feminism is its underlying assumptions. As a philosophy it is a variation on Marxism, with the class struggle between the bourgeois and proletariat replaced by a struggle between men and women. History is seen through a lens that perceives men as the oppressor class and women as the victim class.

This just isn’t a Catholic way to understand the world. We understand the cruelty and suffering we see in history in reference to original sin - with both women and men as victims and perpetrators. The relationship that God wills for men and women is one of love and cooperation. We are not enemies.

The Catholic understanding of the equal dignity of women and men is derived from our belief in God as Creator who made us, male and female, in His image. Equality is not something to be snatched from oppressors but our basic nature.

This equal dignity does not mean that we are to be alike in roles and functions. These are complementary rather than identical.

Yes, I do see what you mean and I do agree. However, I must work to provide income. After I work, I must come home, make dinner, wash dishes, do laundry, sweep run errands, on and on goes the list. All while the man sits and watches tv or plays on the computer.

If I must help with his job, he should help with mine. Otherwise we are not equal. I am beneath. Would you like to be beneath? Or be a team? Working together is better.

Equality is for everyone.

I do not believe the Catholic Church encourages oppression in any form. On the contrary, Jesus is very freeing. We are free to be good and kind, and to do the right thing! Thats one reason I am here in the Catholic Church.

People in the world have come a long way, but still have some ways to go on how to treat others!

Are you giving a personal example or suggesting that this is typical for most couples? I have noticed that women who feel that their husbands are not doing enough around the house rarely want equality. Usually these women want to be in charge of the house, deciding which jobs should be done, and how, and to what standard. True equality would mean that the husband gets as much say as the wife. If he does not think the floor needs to be washed, why should his wife be able to order him to?

Many people do not realize that the Catholic Church is probably the most “feminist” institution in the world and the oldest. Unfortunately, the concept of feminism has been politicized. If we take an honest look at history, the Catholic Church has promoted and supported the role of women in many areas and many times.

It all begins with Sacred Scripture. Mary of Nazareth proclaims the Incarnation to the world. How else would anyone know, if Mary had not told her story? Mary of Magdala was the first to announce the Resurrection. How would Peter have known, since he was not at the cemetery?

Fast forward to Benedict and his sister, Scholatica. Scholastic organizes monastic women in the Latin Church. She is the first known abbess. In those days, the abbess had a lot more authority than today. They were landlords with great estates and tenant farmers. That’s how the nuns supported their abbeys. They often had jurisdiction over the diocesan priests in the area, if there was no bishop.

Moving right along, there come St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi. Francis hands Clare his rule and tells her to rewrite it to fit her vision. She does exactly that. Francis prohibits the involvement of males in the governance of Clare and her sisters and states to the friars that women should never be subordinate to men; therefore, they must stay away from the affairs of the nuns. To this day, the Poor Clares run themselves.

Move ahead to Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac. Louise does not want to enter a cloister. She wants to serve the poor. Vincent agrees, but how to do this without incurring the wrath of the Holy See. Vincent and Louise come up with the idea of a community of sisters, rather than nuns. But these sisters would be secular, not religious. They founded the Daughters of Charity. They get around the Holy See by not having a canonical novitiate, not having religious superiors and by not having perpetual vows. The Daughters of Charity, make vows annually on March 25. They can leave at any time when the year expires. They self-govern. They have no superior. They have always run their own hospitals and schools. They have managed the money and had total control over their activities without interference from the bishops. Bishops are not allowed to interfere with them.

Move right along to Teresa of Avila who reforms both the female and the male Carmelites in Spain. Let’s move back to Catherine of Siena, who was a lay woman that had personal dealings with bishops and popes and was often their confidant and adviser.

Queen Isabella of Spain governed over the bishops of Spain. No bishop could be appointed without her recognitio. The pope appointed the bishop, but the queen had to accept him in her realm.

Catholic women have done things that no other women have done. They have governed themselves, managed property and assets, started institutions and managed them, reformed religious orders, run Catholic realms, are teachers of the Church (women Doctors), serve as theologians, chancellors, educators, administrators, and worked in diverse areas from highly academic to manual labor.

The oppression of women was always a cultural issue. However, we have to admit that today’s feminist movement over extends itself. It is intrusive and tries to impose its vision for women on institutions and cultures. For example, it has interfered in the Church with it’s claim on a “right” to ordination. It has interfered with Muslim culture claiming that Muslim women are oppressed, when most Muslim women feel quite comfortable with their place in Muslim society. Abuse in Muslim culture is like any other culture. If there is an abusive husband, his wife will be abused. If the husband has moral values, his wife will be treated with respect. It has tried to reform Asian culture. Again, most Asian women do not complain about their customs. They feel protected by those customs and again, an abusive husband is abusive and a respectful one is respectful.

As to women’s place in the workforce, the Church has never objected to that. The Church has always advocated for women’s place in the family. That’s not the same thing as keeping them out of the workforce. The mother’s role in the Catholic family is grounded in Judaism, where the mother is the keeper of the faith. We have always seen that in Catholicism. Just look at Monica and many other married women saints. In most Catholic homes, it has been the mother who was the keeper of the faith. Therefore, the Catholic Church has always advocated for a strong maternal presence in the home. That is not to say that the Church has ever denied a woman’s right to work outside the home and to do other things that men do.

As history show us, Catholic women were liberated long before the word feminism existed. Ask Scholastica, Clare, Teresa, Catherine, Isabella, Mother Teresa and Mother Angelica.


Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

Br. JR,

There were also very very big exceptions to all these things you list.

The issue isn’t women serving God, it’s women serving God in a manner that pushes men out of their typical role.

You’ve done a great treatise on how religious societies have affected themselves and even done a work-around in the case of the annual vow renewals for a “secular” society (call it what ya want, but, sounds like a covert religious society to me. :shrug:)

The modern Mass is nothing but cacophony. It’s a massive hour long distraction.

No amount of historical pointing can answer the issue of what is being addressed.

What is being addressed is current. And currently, the paradigm is that women have taken over the parishes.


Perhaps because the men won’t step up. We would love to have more men in ministry but they don’t want to. In our parish they don’t even want to be ushers so we don’t have any. We have a few male lectors and less male EMHCs. We have maybe 2 men teach CCD. on man works in parish outreach. But they all want to coach CYO. So if we were to depend on men nothing would get done except play basketball.

So when the father/husband decides to just veg out watching sport center, the wife should just become dad?


Excoriate that useless man until he mans up!

Shame, really, is one of the few things that men respond to.

Your priest has let this happen. Laity are like children, no matter the age.

This falls on your priest at the end of the day for HE is in charge of the parish.

None of the roles to which I pointed pushed men out of their traditional roles. They simply opened up to women. For example, it was forbidden for women to be named Doctors of the Church until John Paul II declared that such a an idea was nonsense. Now we have three women doctors. No males have been pushed out.

You’ve done a great treatise on how religious societies have affected themselves and even done a work-around in the case of the annual vow renewals for a “secular” society (call it what ya want, but, sounds like a covert religious society to me. :shrug:)

It’s not covert and it’s canonically approved. Thanks to St. Louise de Marillac, the Church yielded and allowed the foundation of women’s religious congregations, which are not the same as religious orders. These are the sisters who teach, nurse, work in parishes, and more. Without Louise and Vincent’s way of finding a way to get women into the active apostolate, we would not have Mother Teresa. I’m sure you know that she was a nun, who left the order to become a sister. It did happen, that when the Church approved religious congregations of women in simple vows, the Daughters of Charity were so large and so entrenched in their system, that the Church left them as a society of apostolic life, not a religious congregation. They are not the same either in form or in law.

The modern Mass is nothing but cacophony. It’s a massive hour long distraction.

That’s not a gender issue. It’s an American issue. Americans are rude. They talk during movies. Kids tweeter in school. They talk on cell phones while standing on line at the supermarket. They demand rather than ask for what they need. All of this behavior goes where they go. The number of Americans with good manners is quickly dwindling.

You find the same mass in other societies and you find much better behaved people. Trust me, I was a missionary in the Amazon. I could not believe the difference. Those people also smack their kids if they open their mouths at an inappropriate time or if they are rude. We tolerate rudeness from our children and complain when they become adults who do not know how to behave in Church or any other place.

No amount of historical pointing can answer the issue of what is being addressed.

What is being addressed is current. And currently, the paradigm is that women have taken over the parishes.


There were always more women in ministry than men. The difference was that they were women religious. The numbers of women religious were always greater than male religious and diocesan priests put together.

There was also a different paradigm for the parish. Parishes did not have as much to offer as they do today. In most of Europe, there were no such things as a parish as we understand it. The parish was the local church where people went for religious instruction and the sacraments. Not much else happened there. There was no need. They had hundreds of friaries, monasteries and convents to take care of the corporal works of mercy, education and spiritual formation of people.

We never had that luxury in the Americas. We never had the hundreds of religious houses accessible to the average person in need for counseling, education, food, clothing, childcare and religious education. Our parishes evolved differently from those of Europe.

As I said above, there were always more women religious than all priests and brothers combined. There is no surprise that as the parishes expand into different ministries and more is demanded of the parishes as the religious move out of the area, the proportions of male vs female is going to remain the same. Instead of priests & brothers vs sisters and nuns, now you have male vs female. The proportions are pretty much the same.

In fact, in religious life, they still are the same. All the sisters and nuns together, out number the priests and brothers by 5 to 1.

Simply put, there are more faithful Catholic women, than faithful Catholic men. Just look at our roster of saints. Men shy away from the spiritual life. That’s not only among Catholics. Visit a Jewish temple any Saturday morning.


Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

This is horrible advice. Nagging is almost always a bad way to get others to do what one wishes.

This is also a very negative view of men. Men respond to respect, to praise, to reason and to love. It is wrong to manipulate them through shame.

So, basically, America sucks in most aspects. Nay, all aspects.

I’m to the point of selling everything but what I can carry and leaving this stupid country.

My country is dead. With it I have died.

If everything you say is true, I have no option but to rid all debt and start walking. The key, I suppose, is to not look back.

Dear God in Heaven…

This thread confuses me. What is the point being argued. Is the OP thinking that the Church teaches that women should be men’s servants? Anyone ever heard that before? I sure haven’t.

What I think the Church objects to is the “masculinism” movement that arose in the 1960’s that called itself “feminism” but wasn’t. I’m not aware of any problem with the idea that man and wife are equal in dignity and value and behave in a collaborative role within marriage. What I do object to is the fake feminist assertion that a mother who primarily cares for her kids, manages her home, provides a consistently safe and loving environment and transmits the values and culture to her children that she has learned over a lifetime is a “waste of a human being” compared to one who drops her kids off at KinderCare at 7:00am, goes off to her law office, devotes her primary time and energy to making a name for herself and then picks the kids up a 6:00pm and has them in bed by 8:30. IMO that latter role is the one of lesser importance. It results in a culture that is like a magnificent, glittering building on the outside, but nothing at all inside. What’s the point? Yeah, you need the externals of civilization for survival, but without the other side, life has little depth and meaning. It’s surviving without thriving.

60’s feminism denigrated the contributions that women have made throughout history in the name of raising women up. They had a great point in complaining that women hadn’t been valued appropriately. They went horribly wrong by concluding that women had to do different things in order to do anything of value.

Excoriation is not nagging, Floresco.

There’s nothing to respect, praise, or love about laziness and unwillingness to fulfill the obligations of such a sacred vocation as fatherhood.

Most American men need to be shamed. Most of their fathers need to be ashamed, because I know the generation of my dad was not taught this. No, culture, feminist culture actually, has ruined the American male.

As a man, I prefer to be told the truth, not patted on my little head and told I’m a great guy if it ain’t true.

If Asian culture doesn’t degrade or devalue women then why do they keep aborting all their future women (source:
As for Muslim culture, if they respect women so much why are they so willing and eager to kill their own wives, daughters, and other females relatives, for dishonoring the men (often through no fault of the woman’s own) in some way (source:

It’s uncharitable to speak of expecting proper and moral approaches to the common good and actual justice.

Don’t say the truth, that might hurt someone’s feelings.

I did not know that.
It also argues against the idea that the Catholic Church has historically been pro-woman.

In this context, excoriation is effectively nagging. Denouncing a husband as useless and lazy, is not good for the marriage and is not even likely to be effective. Even if it works, it is at the cost of creating resentment and bitterness. This is not the way that spouses should talk to each other.

What frequently gets labelled as laziness is a man not wanting to take orders from his wife about how to clean the house. This is nothing to be ashamed of and is not a failure to fulfill his vocation.

I am disturbed by zombies posting at CAF;)

On a more serious note, for all the modern problems America has, you and I are relatively fortunate that we were born here and not some place like the Soviet Union or Cambodia.

I believed that I may not have made myself clear. Let me try again. The feminist movement is politicized and intrusive. It has not only try to intrude in the Church but in cultures as well. I offered the example of how it has tried to influence the Muslim and Asian cultures.

I never said that they are without fault and errors. However, there is a difference between errors, which we also have in our culture and customs. The current feminist movement does not distinguish between the two. Anything that is not approved by the movement it wrong.

That’s not the way that Catholicism has ever viewed feminism. We have always seen women as competent, intelligent and as mothers. The current feminist mindset draws a line between the mother and wife vs the competent and intelligent woman.


Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

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