Women Chasing Men out of the Church


#1

I think that most/many women have such a poor understanding of men that they chase them away from the Church through their interactions on boards like this and in real life.

Here are my thoughts on what women may be doing wrong.

  1. Not understanding the emotional needs and instinctual motivations of men. Thinking that they are merely women with extra muscle mass and should therefore have a similar way of thinking and similar motivations.

  2. Belittling the needs and desires of men as inferior to those of women. One example is sex vs emotional intimacy. Inappropriate emotional intimacy has led to as many extra-marital affairs as sexy and flirtatious behavior has and yet the need/desire for sex is consistently considered a sign of immaturity while emotional intimacy is considered more mature and valid of a need.

  3. Denying them authority. If God has designed men to lead then leading is how they reach their full potential for holiness. However, leading requires opportunity and this is where many women fall short in helping men fulfill their responsibility. Allowing oneself to be led even though one considers themselves capable of leading is laudable act of self-denial.

  4. "Should-ing" and shaming. Men and women are prone to different vices. For example- Gossiping is sometimes considered a sin women are more prone to, since women are often more talkative. Many women treat the vices typical of women as being less sinful or harmful than the vices attributed to men. Many women act as though they are more victimized by a mans insensitivity than a man is victimized by shaming.

  5. Traditional Catholic parishes have more male participants than typical N.O. parishes. It seems as though Vatican II changes had the unintended consequence of chasing men out of the Church. Perhaps some of the distinctions such as women veiling in Church had a beneficial psychological impact?

  6. Some women like to deny their impact by saying that a "real man" wouldn't be bothered by their doing x. y. z. negative behaviors. Imagine if that situation were reversed and a man said to a woman that if she were a "real woman" she wouldn't be offended by being called "fat". Most of her women friends would rally around her with pitch forks (as well they should).

  7. Women tend to forget that mans competitive urge puts him at a disadvantage when it comes to accepting Church Authority. Women are evolved to be cooperative- it is how we have nurtured and sheltered our children since the stone age. Religion is very natural to women (assuming she hasn't had many feminist influences). Man has evolved to protect and compete, so they have been required to be cynical and suspicious of a person or institution that try's to limit their freedom. This is good in the world, though a disadvantage Spiritually. Many women consider this quality in men to be a sign of innate inferiority.

  8. There are several instances in the Bible where women are cautioned to carefully guard their tongues. St Paul tells women to keep quiet in Church...Could this be because of some of the reasons listed above?

  9. Entitlement: I have heard many Priests complain that they are constantly being nagged and criticized by women in the church and if their desires are not pandered to they will often spread vicious gossip. I.E. demanding that the Priest institute a strict dress code or demanding that they chastise another parishioner, as though Priests should double as magic genies. Given that Priesthood has become an increasingly thankless profession the shortage of Priests makes sense.

  10. Should we consider whether there is anything women can do to help our brothers in Christ become better men and better Christians?


#2

I’m no feminazi but even though what SOME of what you said has merit other bits sound like female bashing.

I can’t stand nagging, controlling women either but sometimes like number 7 specifically has kept me from becoming Catholic since my husband WHO ACTUALLY DOES have a problem with authority and quite frankly I think it’s his ego who was stroked and manipulated by another anti-Catholic guy that won’t submit to authority either.

I don’t think it’s just part of how he’s wired. I think it’s sinful pride.

This may be true (your list) on many grounds but making snap judgments on women is no better than them doing it to men.


#3

Judgment is necessary for change. If we don’t fearlessly consider what is going wrong we can’t fix it.


#4

[quote="violet81, post:1, topic:224910"]
I think that most/many women have such a poor understanding of men that they chase them away from the Church through their interactions on boards like this and IRL.

[/quote]

I think you over-estimate the power of internet forums.

Peace

Tim


#5

These boards are where a lot of people come to learn about the faith.


#6

Women tend to forget that mans competitive urge puts him at a disadvantage when it comes to accepting Church Authority.”

I’ve been in the Church since birth, a very long time, and in parishes both very traditional and very liberal. I can say with confidence that women can go toe-to-toe with men when it comes to both competition and disobedience. This was true even before Vatican II. You ask some old priest about the old days. Faithful parishioners of both genders were quite capable of giving the pastor headaches. It even seems as if the more faithful we think we are, the bigger the headache we can be tempted to give ourselves the room to be. I am guessing, but I will bet this has been true since the Paul first wrote Timothy. As I heard one priest sigh once: “Parish life would be great, if it weren’t for the parishioners.”

I think that it is true, though, that we women are particularly adept (and I don’t care to argue whether this is nature or nurture) when it comes to indirect competition and passive disobedience, the very kinds of competition and disobedience that are best suited to community life where one must be at least nominally cooperative with and compliant to the needs of the group. This becomes very clear if one reads works about the social perils in adolescent girlhood, such as “Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and the New Realities of Girl World” and “Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls”. IOW, I’m not an anti-female curmugeon, making this stuff up. Experts in women’s studies would have to agree that females in our society often learn to be extremely adept at keeping our aggression and competitive manueverings well-concealed under a veneer of sweetness. If nothing else, we learn to look for and navigate in the world of unspoken intrigues. These skills, once learned, poses a very serious temptation in the setting of Christian community, where open aggression, self-advancement, and pursuit of external validation is obviously discouraged, even among males. In that setting, the sins of pride can easily operate at full strength, securely underground. If it is very bad, then yes: Men who do not care to be part of a social circle that operates according to the rules needed to survive in a court of French nobility may well decide to opt out.

Having said that, I think that other than cultivating the virtues and avoiding the vices that you mentioned–which would be in order even in a cloistered community made up entirely of women–molding men’s place in the Church is the work of the men. The priests and bishops in particular are in a position to take leadership in this area. If the heirarchy doesn’t make this issue a priority, don’t look for the very women who intent on getting a piece of the heirarchy’s power to do it for them. In this day and age, that is a work that requires considerable diplomacy. Women’s place in the Church has changed, and that genie ain’t goin’ back into the bottle.

I also have to disagree with your asssessment of the religiousity of men. One only has to consider the amount of ritual, symbolism, and religious imagery embraced by all-male societies such as the Free Masons to see that men are indeed very religious and very given to religious rituals, even when left to their own devices. I think that religion is hard-wired into the human heart, and I don’t think there is a gender bias to our natures in that regard.

Pray for our priests and bishops. Their work of evangelization and spiritual leadership has never been more important, nor more complicated, than it is now.


#7

Perhaps, but they are still anonymous interactions with people that one doesn’t know personally. I doubt that many if any people leave the faith because of anything on an internet forum.

Peace

Tim


#8

[quote="Orogeny, post:7, topic:224910"]
Perhaps, but they are still anonymous interactions with people that one doesn't know personally. I doubt that many if any people leave the faith because of anything on an internet forum.

Peace

Tim

[/quote]

They don't. It's the internet. Not alot of people are on it, much less do they take things seriously.

I'd guess less than 10 percent of Catholics population in the world is on this site.


#9

[quote="violet81, post:1, topic:224910"]
I think that most/many women have such a poor understanding of men that they chase them away from the Church through their interactions on boards like this and in real life.

Here are my thoughts on what women may be doing wrong.
?

[/quote]

without quoting all your points, only a couple have much to do with how women vs. women participate in church life, most have to do with individual marriage or family relationships.

You would have a better chance of making your case, ie that women as a whole, or women individually, are responsible for men leaving the Church, if you stuck to points that relate to the practice of religion. As far as I can see you have given no evidence for your claims. Have you any statistics?

This argument has been made here before, on the traditional forum for one, so there may be some supporting evidence in some of those discussions. Although I beg leave to doubt it.

I find it interesting that the same people who blame what they perceive to be the current state of affairs, namely women having too much influence in the Church itself, or too much influence over men and presumably boys in faith formation, conveniently forget that for centuries before the current age, faith formation and catechesis of the young has been the province of women, that is, religious sisters.


#10

Interesting post. I think that in an effort to enhance female participation in typically male roles, some women (maybe even quite a few) have lost sight of the importance of supporting the man in their life.

Men have pretty much acquiesced to the "new world order". I am not saying equality is a bad thing, I'm just proposing that the assumptions and expectations that the feminist movement has imposed on society may have caused women to abandon the strategies and practices that make for happy marriages.

Now, ladies, before you get your socks in a bunch, the same can and should be said of men. When agendas take precedence over love, something is very wrong and inevitably there will be consequences.


#11

[quote="cargau, post:10, topic:224910"]
Interesting post. I think that in an effort to enhance female participation in typically male roles, some women (maybe even quite a few) have lost sight of the importance of supporting the man in their life.

Men have pretty much acquiesced to the "new world order". I am not saying equality is a bad thing, I'm just proposing that the assumptions and expectations that the feminist movement has imposed on society may have caused women to abandon the strategies and practices that make for happy marriages.

Now, ladies, before you get your socks in a bunch, the same can and should be said of men. When agendas take precedence over love, something is very wrong and inevitably there will be consequences.

[/quote]

This is all going to make for good reading.

Kudos to the OP!
:popcorn:


#12

Hi Violet (OP),

Tks for your understanding.

Often Much Maligned Male

:shamrock2:


#13

[quote="violet81, post:1, topic:224910"]
I think that most/many women have such a poor understanding of men that they chase them away from the Church through their interactions on boards like this and in real life.

*Here are my thoughts on what women may be doing wrong... *

[/quote]

I kept your thoughts in black
And here are my thoughts in pink:

  1. Not understanding the emotional needs and instinctual motivations of men. .... Agreed. I believe many people (both women and men) misunderstand the opposite sex.
  2. Belittling the needs and desires of men as inferior to those of women. One example is sex vs emotional intimacy. ...the need/desire for sex is consistently considered a sign of immaturity while emotional intimacy is considered more mature and valid of a need. Hmm, I don't agree with your assessment here. I'd relate this back to my comment on the first point that many people misunderstand the opposite sex. Neither the desire for emotional intimacy nor the desire for sexual intimacy in marriage should be belittled, yet both often are.

  3. Denying them authority. ... The Church still has (and will continue to have--as it should) the all male priesthood. I don't see too many regular female poster here on this board questioning male authority. As to spiritual authority within the family, I believe many women desire that their husbands truly be the spiritual leader. We see fairly often here on this board when a wife returns to her faith (or grows in her faith) while the husband doesn't practice, in many of those women express concern over the situation.

Leading requires opportunity, but it also takes some leadership skills. Jesus showed His Apostles how to lead when He washed their feet. Shall I take off my socks and shoes now? ;)
4. "Should-ing" and shaming. ... Many women act as though they are more victimized by a mans insensitivity than a man is victimized by shaming. Neither insensitivity nor shaming are "okay."

  1. Traditional Catholic parishes have more male participants than typical N.O. parishes. ...Perhaps some of the distinctions such as women veiling in Church had a beneficial psychological impact? I attend the N.O. Mass and there are plenty of men involved in our parish. I like both lace veils and hats, and I'm not opposed to them, but wearing one at Mass would most likely have the "psychological impact" at my parish of drawing unwanted attention to myself. I suspect that there may be some other distinction between the parishes where men are active vs. parish where men are inactive besides head coverings.

  2. Some women like to deny their impact by saying that a "real man" wouldn't be bothered by their doing x. y. z. negative behaviors....Men may be bothered by women doing x,y,z negative behaviors. Negative behaviors are indeed negative, and they are often used by sinful people to try and get their way. However, being bothered by negative behaviors should not prevent men from doing what they are called to do as men. I'm a mom, not a man, so I will relate to this with a parenting analogy. My child's tantrums should not stop me from doing the right thing as a mother. I might be bothered by the tantrum, I might re-assess my parenting to make sure that I am indeed doing the right thing, it might cause me to take the child's needs and wants into consideration, but if I am doing the right thing then I will do it regardless of a tantrum. And if I am doing the wrong thing, then a tantrum is an embarrassing reminder that I messed up.

  3. Women tend to forget that mans competitive urge puts him at a disadvantage when it comes to accepting Church Authority. ... You have a high opinion of female spirituality here that doesn't seem to match up with some of the other things you've written about women. I don't know what to think about this assessment of male sprirituality. There were plenty of male saints, and plenty of men who hold positions of authority in the Church. I don't know why male instincts to protect and compete can't be put to very good use within the Church. But I'm not a guy.

  4. Entitlement: I have heard many Priests complain that they are constantly being nagged and criticized by women in the church and if their desires are not pandered to they will often spread vicious gossip. .... Our culture has a lot of problems with people thinking they are entitled to getting their way. Some people use nagging and criticism to try to get their way. I have similarly seen and heard some people who are *not *women criticize priests and try to get their way.

  5. Should we consider whether there is anything women can do to help our brothers in Christ become better men and better Christians? Yes, women can become saints. If we were better Christians, the people around us would be better Christians. If we were better followers, our leaders would be better leaders. If were were holier, the people around us might be holier. Ladies first? or does that offend you because you think the men aught to lead? ;)


#14

I think we ALL have a responsibility to help each other be better Christians and people.

However, nobody can chase anyone else OUT of the Church. We choose to come in or go out. Whether or not someone’s action makes us feel uncomfortable in the end it is our choice alone that takes us out that door.

I’m not even going to comment on the rest of your post, I just thought I’d tackle your title.

I wonder how many women were chased out of the Church by men? :shrug:

(PS: Clearly I don’t believe anyone can be chased out - just making the point that your statement could easily be turned around)


#15

Violet81,

These observations are absolutely brilliant!!

Perhaps in the future you could consider how men can actually get themselves out of their whipping-boy husband roles and get better Chirstian behavior from their wives by stepping up their own involvement in the Church.

Thanks again!:thumbsup:


#16

While some points have merit, I’m left with a feeling that men are being let off the hook WAAAYYY too easily here.

Ladies, it just plain isn’t YOUR fault if men in our society today are primarily interested in the sports page, making money and viewing women as objects instead of finding their identity in Christ and becoming servant leaders.

I appreciate the willingness to look to self first in the way of, “well, how can I help this situation” but the fact is that cowardly, narcicisstic men will be that way regardless of whether you are Mary or Jezebel.

If you want better men in this world, you do better to work on your sons than your self! Give them responsibilities, hold them to them, expect initiative (and reward it), inspire competitiveness (and not ONLY with sports) and make sure they play outside as much as possible.


#17

[quote="violet81, post:1, topic:224910"]
I think that most/many women have such a poor understanding of men that they chase them away from the Church through their interactions on boards like this and in real life.

Here are my thoughts on what women may be doing wrong.

  1. Not understanding the emotional needs and instinctual motivations of men. Thinking that they are merely women with extra muscle mass and should therefore have a similar way of thinking and similar motivations.

[/quote]

Yes, this is true. On the flip side, if a man and a woman are married, they should each be willing to empathize with the other person to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings. A marital relationship is very different than just being friends with the opposite sex.

[quote="violet81, post:1, topic:224910"]
2. Belittling the needs and desires of men as inferior to those of women. One example is sex vs emotional intimacy. Inappropriate emotional intimacy has led to as many extra-marital affairs as sexy and flirtatious behavior has and yet the need/desire for sex is consistently considered a sign of immaturity while emotional intimacy is considered more mature and valid of a need.

[/quote]

Are we talking specifically about marital relationships, or relationships between men and women in general? I don't think that some of these intimacy issues would be appropriate or relevant if it's not a marriage.

[quote="violet81, post:1, topic:224910"]
3. Denying them authority. If God has designed men to lead then leading is how they reach their full potential for holiness. However, leading requires opportunity and this is where many women fall short in helping men fulfill their responsibility. Allowing oneself to be led even though one considers themselves capable of leading is laudable act of self-denial.

[/quote]

I agree with you here. Men are supposed to be the spiritual leaders, but it begs the question of whether or not most men truly understand this role, and if women know what it means to submit to this role.

[quote="violet81, post:1, topic:224910"]
4. "Should-ing" and shaming. Men and women are prone to different vices. For example- Gossiping is sometimes considered a sin women are more prone to, since women are often more talkative. Many women treat the vices typical of women as being less sinful or harmful than the vices attributed to men. Many women act as though they are more victimized by a mans insensitivity than a man is victimized by shaming.{/quote]

Yes, this is true. It can be double standard.

I'd need more examples about these negative behaviors:confused:

[quote="violet81, post:1, topic:224910"]
7. Women tend to forget that mans competitive urge puts him at a disadvantage when it comes to accepting Church Authority. Women are evolved to be cooperative- it is how we have nurtured and sheltered our children since the stone age. Religion is very natural to women (assuming she hasn't had many feminist influences). Man has evolved to protect and compete, so they have been required to be cynical and suspicious of a person or institution that try's to limit their freedom. This is good in the world, though a disadvantage Spiritually. Many women consider this quality in men to be a sign of innate inferiority.

[/quote]

Could it be possible that when it comes to Church Authority, the authority is not executed properly, and this causes the disconnect with men?

[quote="violet81, post:1, topic:224910"]
8. There are several instances in the Bible where women are cautioned to carefully guard their tongues. St Paul tells women to keep quiet in Church...Could this be because of some of the reasons listed above?

[/quote]

We're not supposed to preach within the Church...

[quote="violet81, post:1, topic:224910"]
9. Entitlement: I have heard many Priests complain that they are constantly being nagged and criticized by women in the church and if their desires are not pandered to they will often spread vicious gossip. I.E. demanding that the Priest institute a strict dress code or demanding that they chastise another parishioner, as though Priests should double as magic genies. Given that Priesthood has become an increasingly thankless profession the shortage of Priests makes sense.

[/quote]

I personally have no experience with this, but it seems like it would be a no-win, no-win situation.

[quote="violet81, post:1, topic:224910"]
10. Should we consider whether there is anything women can do to help our brothers in Christ become better men and better Christians?

[/quote]

I personally think women should encourage more male-only things in Church. Such as , male-only classes, retreats, events, workshops, etc. And these things should be male-headed as well. I think a lot of the men would have gotten more out of marriage preparation if that was male-headed rather than female-headed.
[/quote]


#18

[quote="spunjalebi, post:17, topic:224910"]

I personally think women should encourage more male-only things in Church. Such as , male-only classes, retreats, events, workshops, etc. And these things should be male-headed as well. I think a lot of the men would have gotten more out of marriage preparation if that was male-headed rather than female-headed.

[/quote]

I always thought marriage preparation was supposed to be led by priests and assisted by married couples?

However, if the priest has no time and is asking for volunteers, the responders are more likely to be women, simply because women have more free time than men do, normally.

Even in our progressive age, there are still a lot more women staying home or having part time jobs than men. Men still see their time as worth so much per hour, whereas women are more used to working for free, which means women are a lot more likely to do volunteer work than men are.


#19

I would have to agree that the "touchy-feeling" aspect various programs, ministries, and groups has had a negative impact on men, and it isn't just in the Catholic Church.

I've spoken to a lot of my male friends that are religious and we are just plain worn out by watered down truth, it's okay, tell us your story, it's all about how YOU feel, and so forth.

We are men, we wanted to be treated like me, don't coddle us - let us know when we have slipped up - give us the Truth - please.

Some orthodox instruction wouldn't hurt us either - men aren't known for wishing to communicate all their inner feelings. Not that having emotions is a bad thing - it's just that - yes.. men and women are different - period. We think differently, we respond differently, and those differences have to be taken into account - there needs to be some balance, or at least some awareness.

Okay.... I'll get off my soap box....

Peace in Christ,
Joel :harp:


#20

[quote="jmcrae, post:18, topic:224910"]
I always thought marriage preparation was supposed to be led by priests and assisted by married couples?

However, if the priest has no time and is asking for volunteers, the responders are more likely to be women, simply because women have more free time than men do, normally.

Even in our progressive age, there are still a lot more women staying home or having part time jobs than men. Men still see their time as worth so much per hour, whereas women are more used to working for free, which means women are a lot more likely to do volunteer work than men are.

[/quote]

My experience had married couples assisting, but most of it was lead by women, and for other things such as liturgical preparation, was headed by a woman. I personally would think it would be great if priests who were formerly married headed marriage prep, but that seems to be rather rare (I have come across priests who were married previously).

I think with volunteering, men are discouraged whereas women are encouraged. Men are given messages that they need to be doing paid work, whereas women are told that if they aren't volunteering and essentially working for free, there's something wrong. My husband gets that message all the time, and he volunteers.


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