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Biene Vallée

MANY years before your time, the fashion industry tried to accessorize men with purses. I notice they are still carrying their keys and wallets in their pants. Well, the majority, anyway. :)


How sad and true the words of our Lord about us being sheep...needing guidance, love, and truth--but, following in desperation those who promise the green pastures longed for but cannot provide! Merciful Love we need you! Thanks for a great post!

Catholic feminist

Hi! I'm putting below a comment I had about your article in The Anchor from 8/14.

I'm sorry to say this, because I agreed with many of your ideas and points, but your article grossly misrepresented feminism (by indirectly equating it with the "pro-choice movement" and directly characterizing feminists as angry people who simply "despise ... patriarchy" and have "wrested control of their lives fro men.")

Of course, there are many branches of feminism (a nuance which your brief article did not have time to address), and your article certainly describes SOME feminists (but not ALL feminists, as it claims).

Feminism is, as one might see on dictionary.reference.com, "the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men."

Feminism is the belief that all women (unborn girls, nuns, elderly women, college-age women, mothers) should be the EQUAL of men. Women should be allowed to vote! Women should be able to become doctors or engineers! Wives and husbands should be co-parents, who work together in harmony to raise their children! For many feminists (such as myself), these three statements are what largely define feminism.

It is possible to be Catholic and feminist! Indeed, how can one be Catholic and not believe that women should have "rights equal to those of men"?


You are so right, CF. There are many marvelous Catholic women who promote the version of feminism that you describe. I've discussed the topic with them for years, and respect their use of language. There are so many versions of feminism, though (which could fill a book), that I personally have chosen not to use the word. It simply requires too much [precious] time to define in any given conversation.

If feminism meant what you describe, then we could appropriate the word with few problems. Unfortunately, not only is it "in the mind of the beholder," but it is so laden with political and pejorative overtones that I prefer "authentic femininity." It's the motherhood element that otherwise goes missing (physical and spiritual) and that's a key component that the secular world cannot comprehend.

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    • From Benedict XVI
      “People have realized that the complete removal of the feminine element from the Christian message is a shortcoming from an anthropological viewpoint. It is theologically and anthropologically important for woman to be at the center of Christianity."
    • Anger and Patrimony (from Donna)
      This is just another of the unintended consequences of the cultural acceptance of contraception and abortion! Men's sexuality has been robbed of its creative essence. It is now viewed as something that imposes a burden on women (when conception happens to occur), something used to control women or something that is purely recreational. Why would men bother?? In taking away their responsibility, we've also robbed them of their significance! In the big picture of humanity, men have been made into nothing more than a nuisance women have to figure out how to control in order to bring about the next generation. Men don't see it as their task to protect the vulnerable because they see themselves as the vulnerable ones. A few well preserved vials of sperm would make men entirely obsolete in the world's ethos today!!
    • Excellent, Dom! (from Teresa)
      That is astounding Robin, and good for you for standing up. At the heart of that matter, I think, is even worse than a gender mixing message. There is an increased sharper and sharper focus on the "self." Solid Catholic teaching returns our focus away from ourselves to Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The original sin, Eve denied her womanhood when she desired to be like "gods." Since the only god she knew was the Father. Where was Adam? He stood impotent... in other words, they were divorced. There's a young girl at Robin's son's high school who was just told that she is the center of the universe and it's a tragic disservice to her.
    • Find the logic (from "me")
      Ditto what Mary said! A lot of high schools have very poor math and science depts, for boys and girls. I also am educated as a chemical engineer, but chose to teach the two years before we had children because its hours were more suited to spending time with children. (I was looking ahead). When it came time and I was pregnant with our first, I realized that I did not want to leave him with someone else, and was able to stay home full time. I am not sure it would have been that easy if we were used to another engineering income and not just a private school teacher income. Also some of my first job offers were out on oil rigs - I had no interest in that at all even though I enjoyed my engineering classes and did well in them. No one discouraged me from an engineering job, on the contrary I got a lot of flack for my decision not to pursue an engineering career.
    • Find the logic (from Mary)
      I've been lurking, but this is one that irritates me. Beats the heck out of me what these "barriers" are. I was educated as a chemical engineer, where 1/3 of our class was women. However, in electrical engineering, only 1 or 2 out of 30 were women. Is it possible that women are Just Not Interested in some areas? Nah, it must be The Man keeping us down so we must legislate (and, I agree -- when they say "legistlate", I hear "quota"). And actually, I have a friend that was also a chemical engineer. When she lost her job, she decided not to go back into engineering and started working from home so she could spend more time with her 3 kids. Also, if nothing else, there are all kinds of incentives for women to enter science and engineering -- scholarships not available to men, guaranteed housing on campuses that do not guarantee housing to the general population, etc. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that schools in general are not preparing students for the hard sciences. It is truly a sad state of affairs, the lack of science education these days.

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