Friday, May 23, 2014

A Radical Feminist?

Yesterday, a man I've never met or spoken to before told me that I've advocated for radical feminism before.

Now, between my adamant stances against women's ordination, abortion, and the LWCR nuns, I'm not really sure where this impression came from.  I'm here to clarify a few things.

First of all, I have nothing against a patriarchal structure in our society.  I am a housewife in a traditional family structure.  I make sure my husband is the respected head of our household.  I do not want to be his boss, but rather, his partner.  We are equal in dignity, but not the same.  He excels in a different role than I do.  I trust him enough to defer to him when he feels strongly about a problem we are facing together.  I look to him for his love and protection.  I need him.  I need this man.

Women, however, well, I've always had a hard time trusting women, due to the experiences in my life.  I understand men better, so I have always more easily made friends with men rather than women.  Most of my readers are male, probably because I of this natural ease that I have with the opposite gender.  Anyway, my hesitancy with women is so deep, it affects even my faith; I even have to struggle to form a relationship with Mary.

I by no means think the world would be a better place if women were the ones in charge.  I have no delusions that all the problems of the world are caused by male oppression.  I simply want the unique and complimentary relationship between male and female to be more fully realized.  (Ex: Saying that men cannot control their sexual urges is bad for both sexes and their relationship.)  I also notice that, with the way we present chastity and "purity," we are driving women away from God.  I know from experience the pain of failing to remain a virgin until married and feeling like there was nothing I could do to get my purity or God's love back.  As much as I don't naturally get along with other women, I also don't want well meaning Christians to accidentally turn women away by unintentionally making them feel worthless and dirty.  Left and right, women are being told that we aren't beautiful enough, smart enough, make enough money, thrifty enough, crafty enough, etc...  God is the One Who affirms our dignity.  I want that to be known to all women.  I don't want the message to get lost lost with all of the noise of everything else we don't do right.

There are also many reasons women should be able to be educated and work.  First of all, since there is a vocation to the single life, women need to have the opportunity to support themselves.  Also, we are generally getting married later in life, and sometimes the economy forces us to work even after we are married. Even though I think that a woman staying home with her children is ideal, I don't even for a second presume that I know anything about another mother's situation.  Maybe, for one reason or another, God doesn't think it is ideal for her to stay at home.  Maybe it is not financially or emotionally viable for her.  In any case, I don't presume to know what is actually best for each family in the real world.  Therefore, it is important for women to have the option to have an education and a career.

So, I am no radical feminist.  I actually refused to call myself even remotely close to feminist until very recently.  I've noted a few issues with how the world currently is, and I simply want to bring awareness to these things so that we can better evangelize women.

That's really it.

If Catholic men think that makes me a radical feminist, then maybe we had more problems than I originally thought....

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