Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Are women tools?

Free Photo: Rosie The Riveter Flexing Her Arm Muscles, We Can Do It!

Of course not, you say.

Women are created in the image and likeness of God and as Catholics, we believe that women are co-heirs to the eternal kingdom through baptism.  No, we're not tools.  We're royalty! And as such we have a dignity that should be respected and cherished, not used and abused.

But more and more, I see women taking a hit to their station.  Instead of being cherished and upheld.  Instead of being respected for who they are and their unique talents and and gifts, women are being used as pawns in a game of power.  The root of it is sex and pleasure without sacrifice.  Feminists throughout the last 50 years have made claims that the sexual revolution is women taking back control of their own bodies.  But this is just bunk.

Feminists maintain that women should be able to enjoy their sexuality without having to worry about "the consequences", just like men.  But really, there is no such thing as consequence-free sex.  In the sex act, women make a gift of their trust to a man and he makes a gift of himself to her.  It's just how we're designed.  Because of that giving and uniting, sex is anything BUT consequence-free.  Even in a no-strings, one night stand, you take the worries home with you (Did I please him?  I hope he wasn't lying about being disease free. Did she really take her pill?  I hope the condom didn't break.) And if you have any conscience at all, you take the guilt home as a lovely parting gift, too.

Yet women are encouraged to get out there and enjoy their sexuality. The HBO show "Sex and the City" was all about this strange dichotomy women experience with consequence-free sex having a huge impact on their entire lives.

As I stand in line at the grocery store and look at the headlines on women's magazines I am confronted with the evidence that women are being used more than ever before.  My teenage daughter and her best friend have a game that they call "Count the Sex References on the Cover".  Magazines like Cosmopolitan and Redbook, that tout themselves as "women's magazines", have the highest ratio of sex references on the cover.  One recent issue of Cosmo had more than 14 references to sex out of 20 headlines.  All of them seem to be aimed at one thing: pleasing a man in bed.  Even housekeeping magazines run articles about "how to put the spice back in your marriage."

What? That's the end all and be all of women's existence?  Sex?  Really, ladies? I don't know about you, but there's a lot more to my life.

It's truly a paradox.  As women have "gained more freedom", they have simultaneously allowed themselves to be used.  This is all a part of original sin, of course.  The serpent used Eve to get back at God by destroying the perfection of His creation through disobedience.  It's an ancient problem and one that obviously plagues us still today.

Look at the way a woman is treated in the public arena:

- A woman's voice only counts if she is a pro-"choice" woman.  Any woman that is pro-life is considered a crack-pot.

- A woman's amazing ability to carry and sustain new life and bring it into the world is considered "dangerous to society" (because of overpopulation) and a disease to be prevented and suppressed.

- A woman's health issues (which, for the purposes of policy making, are limited to reproduction) are used as a political flail in a "war on women".

- A woman's freedom to choose to be a stay-at-home-mom is attacked by people who say she should be "doing her fair share of the work" and that stay-at-home-moms have "never worked a day in their lives".

-Stay-at-home-moms who are among the poor or even the lower middle-class are considered to be "irresponsible" because they aren't working outside the home.  Never mind that child care costs would take every cent the woman earned.

Who does all this benefit?  Not women.

Ladies, are we tools? We are still being used and we are allowing, and even giving benediction to, the use of our bodies, our hearts and our talents to further the agendas of someone other than ourselves and our Creator.  The only being that should be using you as a tool is God.

Take back your dignity and your birthright!

No matter what happens this November, remember this:

Psalm 118: 8-9
It is better to take refuge in the Lord, than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord, than to trust in princes.


  1. Wonderful post, by I have to disagree. Being a feminist isn't about sex, or being pro-choice. Being a feminist is about equality. Period. A true feminist would applaud a woman's decision to stay hone, if she so chooses. Susan B. Anthony was a feminist. She wanted women to have the right to vote without telling them who to vote for. People have taking the word feminist and made it something ugly and wrong. So-called feminist got mad when 'Momma Gloria' got married, but that's what feminism is about, get married if you want, or don't. Wife, while a noble profession, isn't the only profession available to us anymore. That's what feminism is about. All the rest is just hogwash.

  2. Actually, I agree with you, sort of. That's why I narrowed my scope of feminism down to those feminists of the last 50 years who specifically pushed the sexual revolution. There is a great three part series on Feminism and Catholicism over on Catholic Sistas that addresses what you are talking about and explains that Catholics are more feminist than secular society.

    My main objection to your point is that the secular feminist agenda of the 60's and 70's is indeed what put us here. And though I would also consider myself a feminist in the classic Susan B. Anthony model, ( I do vote, after all,) I cannot help but think that by labeling myself "feminist" I take some of the dignity of my individual personhood away and replace it with something less authentic. I prefer Christian to Feminist if I want to lump myself in with a group like that.

    In breaking down the word "feminist", one gets the root Fem-: female and -ism: being in favor of one position or thing over another position or thing- in this case being in favor of women. But the question is: over what? If we are in favor of women over men, then what are we left with? It becomes a slippery slope of inequality. By labeling myself as a "feminist" I drive a wedge between myself and my brothers in Christ.

    Here's the link to part one of that blog I referenced above: http://www.catholicsistas.com/2012/04/26/catholic-and-feminist-can-you-be-both-part-1/ Be sure to read all three parts. It's a great series.

    Thanks for your comment.