Role of women


#1

Hi. I am a teenager, so please forgive me if my vocabulary and speech isn’t as… advanced as many of you. I have a question about the role of women. I have searched and found a topic similar to this, but I need an answer pertaining to my situation.

Recently, my mom has been reading this book which goes into the detail about the role of women in the Catholic faith. It seemed good for her, but now everything’s a mess. She now believes that she shouldn’t be working, regardless that it IS necessary for her to work in order to help support our family. She makes more money than my dad, and she believes this is wrong. To her, women should not even have the option of working outside of the house. I’ve tried to reason to her, but to no avail. So now, she constantly brings this issue up, and unfortunately it’s been breaking up the family chemistry.

Furthermore, she says the wife is suppose to be completely submissive to the husband, and that man and women are NOT equal. I was always under the impression that man and women were created equal. Also, I thought that the husband and wife are suppose to be in a marriage where they both make decisions, and work, TOGETHER, to achieving the success and support of the family?

I understand that the women’s role as a mother should be acknowledged the most, but is it not now different from the past since time’s have changed? Shouldn’t the mother be able to help support the family outside of the house as well as inside? Or, am I wrong in this thinking, and is my mom who is right in that women should not be working outside of the house WHATSOEVER? honestly, after my mom has brought about this thinking, I’ve been seriously questioning the Catholic faith. so if anyone could help me with any answers, it would be appreciated. BTW, sorry if this just sounds like I’m ranting.


#2

Well I totaly agree with you Times have change and I think man and woman are created eqal.


#3

Harmonious, Something about this book sounds slightly suspicious to me. Are you sure this book was writen by a Catholic author? Note I ask specifically ‘Catholic’ not simply ‘Christian’. I think it’s important to find this out for sure first and foremost. From there I couold better address your question. :slight_smile:


#4

What book was your mom reading? I will do some poking around about the Vatican’s official teaching on this, but I will tell you now what I have been told my entire life, being raised Catholic and now I am an adult raising my family Catholic.

There is one verse in the Bible that always gets on peoples nerves (misguided feminists). It is Ephesians 5:22…
Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord.

The problem is that people aren’t reading the entire text, because it isn’t about women serving men, its about husband and wife being subordinate to each other before God. I highly suggest you read all of Ephesions 5 so that you can see it for yourself…
nccbuscc.org/nab/bible/ephesians/ephesians5.htm

Because this scripture also says for a husband to love his wife as Christ loves his Church. Do you know what Christ did for his Church? He DIED for it, yep, he was crucified for it.

Your mom is misguided in thinking that men are superior to women. God gave us all unique gifts. We are unequal in the specific gifts (my husband has better upper body strength, most men do–women are able to bear children, naturally have a higher tolerance for stress over an extended period of time, for example), but men and women posess the same amount of value in His eyes. We are all able to recieve His salvation.

I will do more research and post again later…–Rebecca


#5

[quote=harmonious] Hi. I am a teenager, so please forgive me if my vocabulary and speech isn’t as… advanced as many of you.
[/quote]

You have expressed yourself quite well here, your speech is just fine.

[quote=harmonious] Recently, my mom has been reading this book which goes into the detail about the role of women in the Catholic faith.
[/quote]

Can you post the name and author? And, also, look inside the book and see if it has the phrases “Imprimatur” and/or “Nihil Obstat” on the title page. And, what year was this book published?

There are two separate issues here: necessity of working and view that work outside the home is never acceptable.

First, “necessary” can mean different things to different people. Is it strictly necessary, as in you could not pay the mortgage and would be homeless and starving, or is it “necessary” in the U.S. consumer society sense of the word? Your mom may not be wrong in thinking it is not necessary for her to work, that you could downsize your lives and be fine on one income. Many people who say “we could never live on one salary” really could if they economized and got off the “keeping up with the Joneses” train. But, that is a personal decision of each family.

However, the terms “regardless” and “ever” are troubling. The Church does not teach that women should never work. The work of raising up godly children should be primary where feasible. But, the Church recognizes that women do have to work-- when single, when two incomes are needed to make ends meet, and even when not strictly necessary.

Also, you are obviously older and not in need of full-time care. I don’t know the age of the youngest child in the house, but if the kids are all junior high and older, working at least part time if not full time poses no conflict with child care and rearing.

This is not Church teaching.

[quote=harmonious] Furthermore, she says the wife is suppose to be completely submissive to the husband, and that man and women are NOT equal. I was always under the impression that man and women were created equal.
[/quote]

This is not church teaching either.

[quote=harmonious] Also, I thought that the husband and wife are suppose to be in a marriage where they both make decisions, and work, TOGETHER, to achieving the success and support of the family?
[/quote]

Men and women are equal in dignity and in grace. They work together, yes. Fathers are called to be the spiritual head of the house as Christ is the head of the Church. This in no way means women are inferior to, or less than, men.

[quote=harmonious] I understand that the women’s role as a mother should be acknowledged the most, but is it not now different from the past since time’s have changed?
[/quote]

Now, here you go astray. God does not change. “Times have changed” does not change God’s plan for man and woman, and the Sacrament of Marriage. The ideal is to have mom at home, especially with young children, and this should not be viewed as “out moded” just because the secular culture preaches something very different-- women climbing the corporate ladder.

[quote=harmonious] Shouldn’t the mother be able to help support the family outside of the house as well as inside? Or, am I wrong in this thinking, and is my mom who is right in that women should not be working outside of the house WHATSOEVER?
[/quote]

You are both partially right. Your mom has it right regarding putting children and family first. She has it wrong that this needs to carry through when the children are older, and also that it is never acceptable for a woman to work. The church does not teach this.

[quote=harmonious] so if anyone could help me with any answers, it would be appreciated. BTW, sorry if this just sounds like I’m ranting.
[/quote]

I can suggest some reading, documents that are authentic Catholic teachings on the subject:

On The Family in the Modern World, by John Paul II
ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2FAMIL.HTM

On The Dignity of Women, by John Paul II
ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2MULIE.HTM

On Cristian Marriage, Pope Pius XI
ewtn.com/library/ENCYC/P11CASTI.HTM


#6

Thanks everyone for the responses. I’ll have to double check on the title of the book, and will be sure to post it here once I’ve found out. I’m positive that the book is Catholic and Cathlolic approved though. I don’t think it’s the book that’s at fault, rather my mom’s misinterpretation/misunderstanding of the context of the book.

Actually, we’re somewhat in debt, so without my mom working outside of the house, it would be difficult to meet the expenses of the taxes and what not, at the least. What also adds to the debt, ironically, is my mom bought several houses thinking she would be able to invest in them. This was also suppose to help provide for me going into college soon. But unfortunately, she’s bought too many, too fast, so the result is as it is now.

I’m seventeen. I’ll be looking for a job once I get the opportunity, probably this summer. As for the other, my brother is not old enough to work yet, and also goes to a private school, so thus my mom works. And from before, even though my dad works full time, his pay alone wouldn’t be enough to keep up with the payments and taxes.

[quote=1ke]Now, here you go astray. God does not change. “Times have changed” does not change God’s plan for man and woman, and the Sacrament of Marriage. The ideal is to have mom at home, especially with young children, and this should not be viewed as “out moded” just because the secular culture preaches something very different-- women climbing the corporate ladder.
[/quote]

Ah, I did not mean to imply that God changed. I was trying to explain that, without changing God’s plan, merely adjusting to the times. In this day in age, with the heightened need, or focus depending on one’s view, for money with everything, it’s difficult for a single person to provide for the whole family.

[quote=1ke]I can suggest some reading, documents that are authentic Catholic teachings on the subject:

On The Family in the Modern World, by John Paul II
ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2FAMIL.HTM

On The Dignity of Women, by John Paul II
ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2MULIE.HTM

On Cristian Marriage, Pope Pius XI
ewtn.com/library/ENCYC/P11CASTI.HTM

I’ll definitely look into these.

I’ll take into account what everyone has said. As soon as I’m able to, I’ll also post the name of the book.
[/quote]


#7

[quote=harmonious] I’m positive that the book is Catholic and Cathlolic approved though. I don’t think it’s the book that’s at fault, rather my mom’s misinterpretation/misunderstanding of the context of the book.
[/quote]

This is quite possible, and the documents I posted will help as will the Catechism-- do you have a copy? And, maybe if your mom won’t listen to you she would listen to your priest??

[quote=harmonious] Actually, we’re somewhat in debt…

What also adds to the debt, ironically, is my mom bought several houses thinking she would be able to invest in them.
[/quote]

That is too bad. But, she helped create the problem and now wants to abdicate responsibilty for it? That is problematic.

[quote=harmonious] Ah, I did not mean to imply that God changed. I was trying to explain that, without changing God’s plan, merely adjusting to the times. In this day in age, with the heightened need, or focus depending on one’s view, for money with everything, it’s difficult for a single person to provide for the whole family.
[/quote]

I disagree that times have “changed” and there is some greater “need” for money than in days gone by. I believe that raising a family in this time beats the Great Depression… or any other time in history… by a mile, when families faced the real possibility of famine, disease, and starvation. Lack of an iPod is not even remotely close. (Yes, note some sarcasm… but take a poll of kids in your high school and see what they think is a “necessity”… likely a cell phone, satellite TV, designer clothes, and their own car will be on the list. These are not necessities.)

I think peoples’ attitude about what is “necessary” has changed. (May I suggest you start out your financial life on the right foot? Start by visiting Dave Ramsey’s website and learn how not to get caught in the debt trap).

I have many friends who stay home with their children, and the one income is more than adequate for the needs of their family. It’s all about the choices we make. Clearly if your mom had not made some poor investment choices the family would be in a different position and able to be fine on one income.


#8

[quote=harmonious]She now believes that she shouldn’t be working, regardless that it IS necessary for her to work in order to help support our family.

She makes more money than my dad, and she believes this is wrong. To her, women should not even have the option of working outside of the house.

Furthermore, she says the wife is suppose to be completely submissive to the husband, and that man and women are NOT equal.
[/quote]

Not a single one of the ideas expressed above is in accordance with Catholic teaching.

For good reading:

Humanae Vitae

Casti Connubii

Laborem Exercens

Also, of course, the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

– Mark L. Chance.


#9

[quote=harmonious]Hi. I am a teenager, so please forgive me if my vocabulary and speech isn’t as… advanced as many of you. I have a question about the role of women. I have searched and found a topic similar to this, but I need an answer pertaining to my situation.

Recently, my mom has been reading this book which goes into the detail about the role of women in the Catholic faith. It seemed good for her, but now everything’s a mess. She now believes that she shouldn’t be working, regardless that it IS necessary for her to work in order to help support our family. She makes more money than my dad, and she believes this is wrong. To her, women should not even have the option of working outside of the house. I’ve tried to reason to her, but to no avail. So now, she constantly brings this issue up, and unfortunately it’s been breaking up the family chemistry.

Furthermore, she says the wife is suppose to be completely submissive to the husband, and that man and women are NOT equal. I was always under the impression that man and women were created equal. Also, I thought that the husband and wife are suppose to be in a marriage where they both make decisions, and work, TOGETHER, to achieving the success and support of the family?.
[/quote]

Contrary to what has been posted elsewhere here, it would appear that the book your mother has read is a good description of the Catholic teaching, but that she may have a misguided interpretation of what it means or perhaps a cloudy idea of how to translate what she has read into your lives. For certainly the Husband is the head of the Family body and is required to be the protector of his family. A body with two heads, i.e. equal partners, is divided and cannot stand. However to be the head does not mean to be despotic and ‘make all the decisions’. The man and the woman are to be complimentary to one another thus completing the body and not competing in it. Each has their spheres of responsibility and need the freedom to act autonomously in that sphere, except and unless where their autonomous behaviour threatens the well being of all. The man is to imitate the example of Jesus, the Head of the Body of Christ. Submissive, loving, encouraging and servant to the needs of his family. Responsible for providing a safe envirnoment for each and every member of his family to develop into the beautiful treasures and creations that God intended them to be. This is done by providing an environment where individual members can make their own decisions and learn from their own mistakes. The man must only insist on his decision being followed when a decision of a member of the family is threatening to the well being of the individual or the family as a whole or when there are multilple choices and no decision is a decison that brings confusion to the family. The man must always remember that he and his family are children of God. His family, in one sense, is not his family but God’s little lambs placed in his charge.

[quote=harmonious]I understand that the women’s role as a mother should be acknowledged the most, but is it not now different from the past since time’s have changed? Shouldn’t the mother be able to help support the family outside of the house as well as inside? Or, am I wrong in this thinking, and is my mom who is right in that women should not be working outside of the house WHATSOEVER? honestly, after my mom has brought about this thinking, I’ve been seriously questioning the Catholic faith. so if anyone could help me with any answers, it would be appreciated. BTW, sorry if this just sounds like I’m ranting.
[/quote]

The role of family members has been under stress and attack since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Under gathering, hunting societies, the members of the social group worked together for the good of all. Each member complimenting and completing the body, which was composed of not only individual family members but also of more than one family as is the Universal Church. Under this type of society neither the husband nor the wife or the individual members were regularly isolated from the other family members for extended periods of time as is regularly done today through the removal of the husband or other wage earners through jobs outside the home and the removal of the children through schooling. This dismantling of the family structure and its isolation through large communities is the reality of today that we must work through. It has caused many stresses, some families do live on one income, and God does provide. Some families home school and this helps in the bonding, structuring and development of all. Some form family businesses to eliminate undue separation. Your family should investigate what your family unit sees as the solution for yourselves and work to discover how God’s will can be best accomplished in your family unit. God Bless.


#10

[quote=John-the-Seeker]Contrary to what has been posted elsewhere here, it would appear that the book your mother has read is a good description of the Catholic teaching, but that she may have a misguided interpretation of what it means or perhaps a cloudy idea of how to translate what she has read into your lives.
[/quote]

Maybe, and maybe not. Clearly what the mother has stated is not Catholic teaching. Whether it is a misinterpretation of what she read, or it accurately represents what she read, we cannot say at this point.


#11

Father John Corapi put it well by stating, “Men and women are equal in dignity but not the same.”

John Paul the Great said, “women should not be compelled to work outside the home.”

All decisions are to be made in the best interest of the family. If there are young children at home the mother is best equipped to tend them. (breastfeeding and nurturing) If the children are older the father might be better equipped to handle them. (strong discipline for teenagers.) It is based on what is best for the family as a whole.

When addressing these issues I differenciate between the roles God gave us vs. the jobs we take on in society. Roles are more important than jobs, but jobs are still necessary.


#12

[quote=harmonious]Hi. I am a teenager, so please forgive me if my vocabulary and speech isn’t as… advanced as many of you. I have a question about the role of women. I have searched and found a topic similar to this, but I need an answer pertaining to my situation.

Recently, my mom has been reading this book which goes into the detail about the role of women in the Catholic faith. It seemed good for her, but now everything’s a mess. She now believes that she shouldn’t be working, regardless that it IS necessary for her to work in order to help support our family. She makes more money than my dad, and she believes this is wrong. To her, women should not even have the option of working outside of the house. I’ve tried to reason to her, but to no avail. So now, she constantly brings this issue up, and unfortunately it’s been breaking up the family chemistry.

Furthermore, she says the wife is suppose to be completely submissive to the husband, and that man and women are NOT equal. I was always under the impression that man and women were created equal. Also, I thought that the husband and wife are suppose to be in a marriage where they both make decisions, and work, TOGETHER, to achieving the success and support of the family?

I understand that the women’s role as a mother should be acknowledged the most, but is it not now different from the past since time’s have changed? Shouldn’t the mother be able to help support the family outside of the house as well as inside? Or, am I wrong in this thinking, and is my mom who is right in that women should not be working outside of the house WHATSOEVER? honestly, after my mom has brought about this thinking, I’ve been seriously questioning the Catholic faith. so if anyone could help me with any answers, it would be appreciated. BTW, sorry if this just sounds like I’m ranting.
[/quote]

What does your mom do as a job? Maybe you could suggest to her that God created different kinds of people, some are best suited to stay at home and focus on raising children, others are given talents that require working outside the home to utilize.

If God wanted women to stay at home, women would not be given great talents in other areas of life. But we are, and since all that exists comes from God, in using those talents we will be doing what we are made for.

lifeissues.net/writers/zim/rb/rb_04radiantbeams5.html Here is something from a conservative Catholic website written by a conservative Catholic priest who has also written several books:

Furthermore, some couples LOVE children - the more the better - and are happy with many and cope well. Their happiness is usually contagious to the fortunate children. Other parents love their one or two or three, but have even keener interests in the area of service to the community, or art, or intense professional work. They may feel that a large family of children would be frustrating to them, and perhaps their frustration would have a feed back to the detriment of the children. As Pius XII said for them too: the limits of what is legitimate are very wide.

Now, this has more to do with legitimate reasons for NFP use, but it shows that men as well as women can be called to professional work, or the arts, or some othe worthy goal that requires women to work outside the home.

I can see why your mother would think that women are inferior, there are passages in scripture that suggest that women are inferior and should submit to men. What does your dad say about this, by the way? You might point out to your mother that this kind of a relationship is very unhealthy, and where there is inferiority there is superiority, where there is submission there is a master, and it doesn’t tend to create a loving, equal relationship that nurtures each other, children, and society.


#13

Both genders are equal. There is nothing in the bible to say otherwise. If each partner does what he/she is supposed to do according to the bible then Christian marriage is wonderfully balanced with neither person getting taking advantage of. The woman is supposed to submitt and the man to honor her. The problem is that some Protestants do go to extremes. In an effort to fight against feminism they go to far in one direction.

Once I read a book entitled Me, Obey Him? The female writer-not a Catholic-advocated obeying your hubby even if he asked you to do something sinful-like getting an abortion. Her reasoning was that if you have enough faith then God will change your hubby’s mind and if not then the sin is on him not the woman.

Had your mom ever read the last chapter in Proverbs. This is supposed to be the description of the ideal wife and goodness is she a very strong female. She is doing what is best for her family. SOme Protestants use the verses in the NT saying that a woman should be keeper of the home to indicate that a woman should never work outside the home, no matter what. I think that being a keeper of the home, means that the wife does what is best for her family and if that means she has to work outside the home then she does.


#14

well, your mom needs to decide if she actually thinks God is calling her to stay at home, or if she somehow has the impression that the church requires it.

Please try to get the title of the book that helped her reach this conclusion. I have one that I think is pretty good but I don’t have the title handy.


#15

Alright, I found out the name of the book. It’s called How to Change Your Husband. The author gives his name as “By a Friend of Medjugorje.” He supposedly made himself anonymous since he did not want to have any credit for writing the book.


#16

Yeah, my mom constantly uses this verse to support her claims that the wife should be totally submissive to the husband. I don’t know how I would explain the true meaning of this verse to her.

My mom would say that this proves that the husband is the head of the household, being willing to die for the family. That much, I know, she has is true. But, she uses the reason that since the man is the head of the household, the wife has no right to be making any decisions with the husband.


#17

How does your dad feel about this? I am an ex fundamentalists and I can say that my hubby was not pleased when I too such an extreme view.

I would pray for your mom and read the scripture, this way you can more intelligently discuss the issue with her.


#18

[quote=harmonious]Alright, I found out the name of the book. It’s called How to Change Your Husband. The author gives his name as “By a Friend of Medjugorje.” He supposedly made himself anonymous since he did not want to have any credit for writing the book.
[/quote]

Thank you for getting back to us with the book title. I am not familar with this book but I have heard that the apparation of Medjugorje is supposed to be considered a false one by the Catholic church. Perhaps you could research Medjugorje, itself or even read the book. This might help you better understand where your mom is coming from and how to help her if she is believing in anything that is incorrect.


#19

[quote=deb1]How does your dad feel about this? I am an ex fundamentalists and I can say that my hubby was not pleased when I too such an extreme view.

I would pray for your mom and read the scripture, this way you can more intelligently discuss the issue with her.
[/quote]

My dad definitely doesn’t agree with these views either. He knows that my mom is taking all of this to a high extreme.


#20

[quote=deb1]Thank you for getting back to us with the book title. I am not familar with this book but I have heard that the apparation of Medjugorje is supposed to be considered a false one by the Catholic church. Perhaps you could research Medjugorje, itself or even read the book. This might help you better understand where your mom is coming from and how to help her if she is believing in anything that is incorrect.
[/quote]

Yeah, I plan to read it so I can at least understand where she’s coming from. The only problem is, no matter how much I’m reading up and learning on this subject, my mom incessantly refuses to listen. It’s somewhat frustrating to work with her like that.


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