Feminism: The Good, Bad, the Lie.

Radical Feminism is a cancer of the modern church…and one that has gone largely undiagnosed (and is even championed) in today’s society. It is at least partially to blame for many of the moral crises society faces and is a perversion of truth. So what is it about feminism that makes it so dangerous yet appealing? Is there anything good about feminism in general?

The Good

Like cancer feminism grows from a cluster of normally life-giving cells and mutates, perverts, and grows them into something damaging and contagious to the larger organism.

The radical feminism we have today has grown from something beautiful and life-giving to the church–Feminine Sexuality and Dignity. Without this sexuality the church would literally be lifeless, as women would not have as many children. Without this feminine spirituality families and households in the church would start to degrade. Sound familiar?

Women and femininity are of essential importance to the survival of the Church, and so to think that the church doesn’t value or treat women well is mostly a misconception. Granted, the church has made mistakes in the past about how it communicates the role of women, and an authentic “feminist theology” has yet to be adequately developed–this we must admit if we are going to get anywhere–but the importance of women in the church, from the time of Mary and continuing through to the parousia, cannot be under-stressed, especially by a hierarchy that is necessarily and permanently patristic.

The Bad

What are some of the assumptions that modern feminism asserts and how are they damaging? Sometimes these assumptions are stated explicitly, but most often they’re implicit. Some radical feminists may even deny believing these assumptions even though they essential to upholding their other beliefs.

(Note: my intent in discussing these are not to condemn feminists, I don’t even realistically expect to change their mind.  Rather, I merely aim to raise awareness, both among feminists, those who are apathetic about it, and those who are uninformed about it, as an attempt to help them engage in introspection and examination of their beliefs which often times people don’t adequately practice today.)

Women are the Same as Men— Modern Radical Feminists don’t just want to be equal to men, in many ways they want to be the same as them. They want to lead in the same way, parent in the same way, even love in the same way. For some reason they don’t realize that they can be equal without being the same. The unfortunate side effect of this position is that, not only women are completely destroying what makes them unique (and thus special), but they are ironical affirming that the masculine lifestyle is the best. Instead if reclaiming the strength if the truly feminine, they are simultaneously criticizing and grasping for what they see to be the only strength–masculinity.

All Men oppress women–Most feminist women will also inherently believe that men oppress women. The first effect of this is that even the good acts of men (ie. chivalry) become seen as tools of oppression, thereby removing any chance men have to redeem themselves. Furthermore, this leads to the common belief among women that all men are pigs, leading them to preemptively be on the defense. In a sense, feminist women are looking for a fight from men, perhaps as an attempt to validate their own preconceptions.

(If you disagree with me about these feminist preconceptions, please comment so we can dialogue)

The Lie

There exists inside most many women, to varying degrees, two disparate and opposing desires. The first is the desire of the world, to be powerful and respected in the same fashion as men. The second is the desire of the spirit, to be loved, powerful, and respected as a woman. The first is the desire to control–to dominate, emasculate,and be served– the second to be more fully “self”–to be beautiful, romanced, and alluring. The reason why these two desires compete is because Feminism is a lie.
We’ve addressed up above two of the lies that Radical Feminists believe, but there are some practices that are more insipid lies than those above, and women are only hurting themselves by believing them.

The primary and most damaging lie (yes even more so than abortion) of “women’s rights” is birth control. It is most ironic because while women believe it gives them the “freedom” to be unburdened by children and allows for “sex without consequences”, not in the last 100 years has there been a tool more efficient for male domination of women. If women can have sex with no emotional attachment or commitment involved, then so can men, and women become only a sexual object for men to use and discard. You want to explain the rise in divorce, infidelity, premarital sex, infertility, breast cancer, and teenage pregnancy? BC is the primary cause. Just take a look at everything your doctor doesn’t tell you about BC, check and see if your motives for taking it aren’t actually selfish, and then, make an informed decision about whether or not to use it. The good news is the Natural Family Planning method has become more effective than condoms (99% when done correctly), has been shown to promote a .2% divorce rate among users, leads to more satisfying sex, and takes only training and some will-power.

Feminism, while based on the truth that women are deserving of dignity, equality, and posses a special and valuable uniqueness, has damaged church and society. We need both women and men to examine their beliefs and practices to ensure that they are not participating in a worldview that, while attractive, will leave the Church lacking in authentic feminine spirituality.  We need to reclaim true feminist theology for the Christian Church, uphold the glory and dignity of women (especially in their uniqueness from men), and develop and increase their role in the Church without compromising the necessary traditions. We can do it together, not divided.

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One comment on “Feminism: The Good, Bad, the Lie.

  1. Radical feminism may be a cancer, but radical patriarchy is even worse. It does injustice to Christ by no allowing him to call women to ordained ministries.

    The church is a family, but our patriarchal church hierarchy is becoming stale in today’s world. We need both fathers and mothers ordained to act in the Person of Christ.

    No dogma precludes ordaining women to the priesthood and the episcopate. However, our sacramental theology must be clarified to separate patriarchal ideology from revealed truth.

    John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body” is a solid foundation and covers unity in diversity (“original unity of man and woman”), individuality in community (“communion of persons”), and equality in mutuality (“spousal meaning of the body”). The “complementarity” of man and woman is for reciprocity and mutual enrichment, not mutual exclusion.

    Jesus never identified himself as a patriarch. The Holy Family was a not a patriarchy. The Trinity is not a patriarchy. Jesus Christ is head of the church because he is a divine Person and our Redeemer, not because he is a human male.

    To act “in persona Christi capitis” means to act in place of a divine Person. Any baptized human person, male or female, can be ordained to act in the Person of Christ.

    The exclusively male priesthood is a choice, not a dogma (CIC 1024, CCC 1598). By the power of the keys given to Peter, the Pope does have the authority to change this patriarchal choice.

    Many nuns have the “signs of the priesthood” and could be ordained. That would be the most sensible way to alleviate the shortage of priests throughout the church.

    Let us pray that the church can discern the difference between patriarchal ideology and revealed truth, and act accordingly.

    Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us.

    Luis

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