Tag: feminism

The Trans Movement – Another Form of Patriarchy

Over at Crux, I have a new piece exploring the patriarchal effects of the trans movement. Until lately, if someone had mentioned patriarchy in the developed world, I would’ve thought…

Image from Bing images. Licensed for public domain.

Image from Bing images. Licensed for public domain.

Over at Crux, I have a new piece exploring the patriarchal effects of the trans movement.

Until lately, if someone had mentioned patriarchy in the developed world, I would’ve thought we were about to embark on a somewhat archaic conversation. But recent events, crystallized by Target’s decision to open its sex-differentiated bathrooms and fitting rooms to the personal narrative of its customers, have me thinking that patriarchy is alive and well.

Hear me out.

Throughout history, women have been denigrated and oppressed by men. While I don’t always agree with some feminist activists, I certainly acknowledge that I would not have had the opportunities that I have without feminist efforts to right so many wrongs.

Despite these advances, today’s “trans movement” (particularly the transwoman sector) inadvertently takes us back to a time when women were valued based on their appearance, and whether they fit someone else’s preconceived notion of femininity. In essence, all it takes to be a woman today are [fake] breasts and good hair.

Read more here.

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4 Things You Should Know About International Women’s Day

In Rome, International Women’s Day is celebrated with small bouquets of mimosa flowers. The guys that typically sell you umbrellas and odd gimmicks come armed with these bouquets only for…

mimosaIn Rome, International Women’s Day is celebrated with small bouquets of mimosa flowers. The guys that typically sell you umbrellas and odd gimmicks come armed with these bouquets only for today, a lovely gesture.

But my time in Rome taught me that International Women’s Day wasn’t as innocuous a celebration as it might sound. What I learned in Rome was word of mouth from those who grew up in communist or socialist countries, but there’s a current opinion piece by Antony Davies and James Harrigan in the Wall Street Journal that confirms the same. The article may require subscription access, but here are a few highlights –

  1. “[F]ew, if any, will note International Women’s Day’s origins in American socialism and Eastern European communism.”
  2. “The day was first declared by the American Socialist Party in 1909 and, in 1917, it set into motion a sequence of events that would become Russia’s February Revolution. Female workers went on strike that day to achieve “bread and peace” in the face of World War I.”
  3. “Leon Trotsky later concluded that this event inaugurated the revolution.”

Now, Davies and Harrigan go on to argue the merits of capitalism and conclude that the free markets are the best alternative to remedy any type of socio-economic inequity, including gender.

But I’d like to add a fourth point to their consideration of the origins of today’s commemoration.

4. Proposing International Women’s Day took the focus off of the celebration of women as mothers.

The name suggests that women are being celebrated in their entirety, whatever their role may be. But the celebrations instead focus exclusively on women’s participation in the labor/economics/government and do not include stay at home moms nor women as women. Mothers are included insofar are programs are required to support them working outside of the home. All women, similarly, are measured solely in terms of what they produce in an economy, not for who they are.

In no way do I wish to suggest that women should not be involved in every aspect of society. They certainly should.

But motherhood is an essential aspect of life for most women. While it may have challenges, it is also greatly desired. Consider the multi-billion dollar global industry that seizes on this desire for couples who struggle with infertility or the reactions of joy that many women express when they learn that they are expecting, not to mention the joys of countless experiences in family life well beyond childhood. Unfortunately, we’ve been taught that motherhood is just one aspect of multi-tasking, that it ought not to be the center of a woman’s (or a husband’s or a family’s) life. Celebrations like today reinforce the idea that women ought not to identify too closely with motherhood, that it is something which should be subjugated to other types of achievements.

In his Encyclical on work Laborem Exercens, St. John Paul II wrote:

[I]t will redound to the credit of society to make it possible for a mother – without inhibiting her freedom, without psychological or practical discrimination and without penalizing her as compared with other women – to devote herself to taking care of her children and educating them in accordance with their needs, which vary with age.

Sadly, today’s commemoration fails to represent and honor the women who willingly and freely choose to make their vocation as a mother a primary part of their identity, even at the cost of career achievements.

 

 

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Why the Hobby Lobby Decision Brings Out the Feminist in Me

The more I think about it, the more the Supreme Court’s decision on the Hobby Lobby case bothers me. I don’t disagree with the decision, but I don’t like what…

The more I think about it, the more the Supreme Court’s decision on the Hobby Lobby case bothers me.

I don’t disagree with the decision, but I don’t like what it reveals about our culture. Case in point, Deroy Murdock listed all the contraceptives that were covered by Hobby Lobby before the decision and that would be covered after the decision.

Here you go –

  1. Male condoms
  2. Female condoms
  3. Diaphragms with spermicide
  4. Sponges with spermicide
  5. Cervical caps with spermicide
  6. Spermicide alone
  7. Birth-control pills with estrogen and progestin (“Combined Pill)
  8. Birth-control pills with progestin alone (“The Mini Pill)
  9. Birth control pills (extended/continuous use)
  10. Contraceptive patches
  11. Contraceptive rings
  12. Progestin injections
  13. Implantable rods
  14. Vasectomies
  15. Female sterilization surgeries
  16. Female sterilization implants

Sixteen. And only two of them are used by men. The other fourteen are a woman’s “responsibility.” [The Supreme Court decision simply backed Hobby Lobby’s decision to not fund the other four included in the HHS mandate which can work as an abortifacient by causing the embryo to not attach to the wall of the uterus, thereby causing this unique human organism – that’s science, not religion – to die.]

If we’re supposed to be dealing in a world of equality, shouldn’t there be a few more types of contraception that apply to men? After all, they’re the ones who are fertile all or most of the time.

Some of the hormonal contraceptives have had fatal effects on women. (Google it.) Makes it seem like women are sort of … disposable.

Every once in a while, a news story will surface about a pill for men. And then it disappears. I think it’s Prof. Janet Smith in her “Contraception, Why Not?”  talk who referenced early attempts to create a pill for men, but some of the men in the study suffered…”shrinkage.”

Death v. “shrinkage.” I’ll just leave it at that.

But there is news of a remote controlled birth control computer chip that could be implanted in a woman for up to sixteen years. A remote control could be used to turn it on and off.

Wow. Just wow.

Can we not see the potential for abuse? Does it take a Law & Order SVU episode to see how a woman’s fertility could be controlled by a man – an abusive husband, boyfriend, pimp, trafficker. And so on.

As it was, I didn’t think that contraception empowered women. This list just reminds me of how much women can be burdened with contraception, particularly the responsibility for any child that might be conceived. Maybe the dad can be forced to pay child support, but that’s it.

And, by and large, we as a culture are ok with that.

This is exactly the result of some forms of feminism that concentrate  on a woman’s pelvic region.

So much for progress.

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Ready to Rumble: Discussing a Theology of Woman.

I’ll be on the Drew Mariani Show, hosted by Wendy Wiese at 4.30 ET today to discuss the theology of women.  A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece prompted by…

I’ll be on the Drew Mariani Show, hosted by Wendy Wiese at 4.30 ET today to discuss the theology of women. 

A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece prompted by Pope Francis’ implicit call for a theology of woman. Generated a variety of responses. Check them out and guess which is my favorite…

Simcha Fisher offered some much appreciated support, too.

As did Elizabeth Scalia on Facebook. I’ll just post her comment here. She cites Simcha’s article:

Look, Catholic women are in a very peculiar position in the 21st century. Many of us have, like de Solenni, rejected the radical feminism that the secular world offers. We are horrified that the feminist movement devolved into a parody of itself, and almost instantly turned from its sorely needed goal of promoting respect and justice for women, and became ugly and strident, rejecting fertility, scorning self-sacrifice, devaluing men and damaging women and children.

But most of the Catholic women I know are just as disgusted with the sissifcation of the Church. We have no desire to replace the sacraments with weaving classes and yoga. This is stupid stuff. This doesn’t tell you what woman can offer, any more than a stroll down the porn and firearms aisle of your local porn and firearms store tells you what men have to offer.

I do not want to be a man, and I do not want to be like a man. I also do not want to turn the Church into a hand-holding, feelings-sharing warm bath of emotion. That’s a parody of womanhood, and it’s just as offensive to women of faith as it is to men of faith.

This is precisely why we need a theology of women: because we’re tired of the parodies, the clownish extremes that purport to represent womanhood.

Brava, Somechop Fisher and Pia de Solenni. These extremes are killing us.

 

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