New Sherwood

The Art of Resisting Feminism

I had planned to write a post about “resisting modern ideologies”, which was meant to be inclusive of liberalism, egalitarianism, individualism, scientism, naturalism, multiculturalism, utilitarianism, and feminism – among other devilish plagues afflicting the modern world. But now I think such an essay is far too ambitious for me. I have too little time and even less talent. So I’m going to start with the ideology that strikes me as the most pernicious and pervasive, the ideology which poses the most immediate threat to the Catholic family, the ideology which has had the most devastating impact on the modern Catholic personality, that of feminism.

What is feminism? The answer will vary from feminist to feminist. Nevertheless, the common thread seems to be an ideological commitment to eradicating social differences between the sexes – especially with respect to what feminists perceive as male-imposed limitations on female autonomy. Here on the ground, feminism has the effect of encouraging female resentment against men in politics, the workplace, and ultimately in the realm of marriage and family. While the earlier feminist movement focused on politics and economics, beginning with securing the right to vote and moving to “equal pay for equal work”, the modern feminist movement is obsessed with “liberating” female sexuality and therefore concentrates on things like abortion rights and homosexual activism. Female sexuality is powerful, and the goal of feminism is to eliminate anything (or anyone, in the case of abortion) that prevents women from exercising this power freely. Feminism is nourished, of course, by the doctrines of egalitarianism and individualism, the idea being that everyone should possess complete individual autonomy in equal measure. The practical effect is that most women today view men as competitors and threats to their sexual independence. Needless to say, this is an attitude that poisons relationships and destroys marriages. Feminism has all the destructive power of Marxism applied to the sexes.

Most people today are feminists. Rush Limbaugh is a feminist. Ann Coulter is a feminist. Most stay-at-home moms are feminists. They have accepted, with very few qualifications, that women should be able to live exactly as men live if they so choose. Conservative pundits show themselves to be feminists when they say things like “women should be free to choose between working and staying home with the kids”. What nonsense! Women should be free to pursue lives of virtue according to the priorities of their sex: that’s the only freedom that matters. Certainly this could mean working outside the home, as in the case of St. Gianna Molla, whose professional life was an expression of her deep maternal instincts, and whose career as a physician did no violence to her femininity or her domestic priorities. Serving God in this way was a privilege for her, not a right to be demanded, not a “choice” owed to her by society. While feminism is all about making women autonomous and maximizing choices, Catholicism is about making saints and maximizing the Good. If there is any overlap with the goals of feminism it is purely coincidental.

I believe that Catholics need to become experts at the art of resisting feminism. I call it an “art” because it requires some creativity. There are many ways to do this. In the first place, we must watch our language. Feminism permeates the language nowadays: this is a very big problem. Think of how Protestantism so thoroughly infuses the English language as to make it hard for an English-speaker to even think like a Catholic. Feminism has now infiltrated the language in a similar way: to speak contemporary English is to think like a feminist. Feminism has all but succeeded in emasculating the English language in our generation. The most salient victory has been the disappearance of the masculine pronoun. Modern English-speakers would rather use the plural “they”, “their” or “them” than the singular “he,” his” or “him” when the antecedent noun is singular and the sex is unknown. Similarly, when modern writers feel compelled to use a singular pronoun out of respect for pronoun consistency, they will insist upon “he or she”, or they will alternate between “he” and “she” throughout a text, or they will use the abominable “s/he” device. Anything to avoid the default masculine pronoun!

Other feminist influences include the dropping of sex identification for ships, nations, and other venerable places or things: i.e., you can’t say “she’s a grand old flag” anymore. And then there’s the obligatory substitution of “humankind” for “mankind”, “humanity” for “man”, and “people” for “men”. Finally, for us Christians, there has been the obnoxious rewriting of hymns along feminist lines, so that “Good Christian men rejoice!” becomes “Good Christians all rejoice!” and so forth.

Ladies and gentleman, it is our job to save the English language from feminism. The English language is patriarchal because the human race is patriarchal. Man, as in Adam, is the symbolic head of the human race: for that reason the male pronoun can either be gender-specific or inclusive of all humanity. It is important not only to oppose the feminist emasculation of the language, but also to positively uphold the idea of Christian patriarchy that is contained therein. An important truth is at stake in the matter. At the same time we should not be too heavy-handed about it. This should be done in a natural way, without repudiating the practicality of non-ideological “inclusive” language at times. We need not set about looking for opportunities, resulting in an awkward and affected overuse: opportunities will present themselves naturally in the language as it is today.

The art of resisting feminism extends far beyond language, of course. Many have commented on the importance of men practicing chivalry (as it has come to be known) towards women. Observing time-honored courtesies – aside from simply being the right thing to do – can go a long way towards undermining support for feminist goals. Men should also be extra-careful in the way they speak in the presence of women, avoiding profanity and off-color jokes – even if, as is often the case nowadays, the women themselves use filthy language. You might be surprised at how many women behave like ladies when in the presence of a gentleman.

Resisting feminism also involves relations with men. For example, when working with married couples in business, you ought to assume the husband is the decision maker until there is information to the contrary. That does not mean that you should ignore the wife or discount the importance of her opinions. There’s a right way and a wrong way to do this, and running roughshod over a woman’s legitimate concerns is the wrong way. Her husband won’t appreciate it either. But you will be surprised at how some couples react to your subtle assumption of male headship. Very often the husband, who is perhaps used to deferring to his strong-willed wife in everything, steps up to the plate and actually takes the lead. And in a surprising number of cases, the wife, rather than opposing him, ends up encouraging him. Whether this is for the sake of appearances I do not know, but it is still a positive thing and a gentle step in the right direction. Practice makes perfect.

Perhaps the most important thing you can do is to simply get out from under the feminist jackboot. To some extent men are already doing this. Men have largely abandoned higher education due to the feminist domination of universities. When women take over a profession, men tend to seek other kinds of work. There are exceptions in high-paid specialties, such as nursing, but in general men want to work with men and for men. Even women, it turns out, prefer to work for men. The result of this male flight from feminism is that women now outearn men in over 80 professions. Freedom from feminism does have a price. However, the current upside-down situation is temporary and will correct itself once feminism – with your help! – runs out of steam.

A final note: modern children’s literature, movies, music, cartoons, toys, games, and school books are shot through with feminism. The feminists are very good at this. They routinely cast girls in masculine roles and boys in feminine roles. Many characters are purposely androgynous. Deep masculine voices are always sinister, female or effeminate voices are always on the side of the angels. Not even old movies are safe. The flip side is that non-feminist toys and games are often hyper-masculine in the worst pagan sense. And that is the choice modern children are presented with: feminism, or barbarian masculinity?

How do you fight this? It’s not as tough as you might think. Children are better off without 90% of the toys and games and movies that the world has to offer anyway. With respect to books and music, I don’t trust anything produced after 1965, and I’m skeptical about anything produced in the 20th century. Even if Harry Potter seems OK – I honestly don’t know – there are dozens of classics your kids should be reading before Harry Potter even enters their vocabulary. Vigilance!

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May 22, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized

75 Comments »

  1. Excellent post, Jeff and I linked to it. I totally agree with you. We have let the feminist movement totally desconstruct our culture. The ravages are worse than Marxism, in some ways. I do want to mention that, in spite of the suffragette songs in Disney’s “Mary Poppins,” it does show how feminism causes a mother to neglect her children. Mrs Banks is so busy chasing women’s rights that her small children are running wild, uncared for, a sign of things to come. At the end, however, she turns her suffragette sash into a tail for the kite for the children, a symbol of putting her family first. Still, you are right, how so many of those ideologies were creeping into society and are present in many of the old films.

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    Comment by elena maria vidal | May 22, 2007 | Reply

  2. Thank you, Elena-Maria. I appreciate the link. With respect to Mary Poppins, it has been a while since I saw the film and perhaps you are right. But I wonder if the non-feminist interpretation relies somewhat upon the viewer’s presuppositions?

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    Comment by Jeff Culbreath | May 22, 2007 | Reply

  3. As a former university student/ feminist and now an extremely happy mother and homemaker, I couldn’t agree more. My feminist friends had one big thing in common – ANGER. They have bullied their way into our homes, churches, and minds. Just try to disagree with them. They will simply accuse you of being a male chauvenist pig! Thank God my feminist friends abandoned me when my first baby was born and I decided to STAY HOME and raise him. Thanks for being a brave man and speaking out on this in this frightfully politically-correct world.

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    Comment by Faith | May 22, 2007 | Reply

  4. Thank you for the comment, Faith. Sounds like things worked out very well for you. When confronted with babies, feminists either lose their minds or lose their feminism. For a controversialist like me it doesn’t take much bravery to write these things, but I do appreciate you reading them!

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    Comment by Jeff Culbreath | May 22, 2007 | Reply

  5. […] 22nd, 2007 by Steve Jeff Culbreath has a great post this morning entitled The Art of Resisting Feminism. I work in an industry dominated by women – over 70 percent – and I can feel it triggering the […]

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    Pingback by Resisting Feminism « Uncovering Orthodoxy | May 22, 2007 | Reply

  6. […] Morning Roundup This morning, Jeff has a great post entitled The Art of Resisting Feminism, which I follow up on at my […]

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    Pingback by Tuesday Morning Roundup « Catholic Restorationists | May 22, 2007 | Reply

  7. +JMJ+

    Jeff, I have to ask about the English language having become a Protestant medium. I’ve sensed it for a while in English and American literature, but not so much in the language itself. Please elaborate. Thank you. :)

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    Comment by Enbrethiliel | May 22, 2007 | Reply

  8. I must confess to having watched “Mary Poppins” a lot lately since a certain small girl enjoys watching the chimney sweeps dancing on the roof and she also likes the tea party on the ceiling. I don’t know, Jeff, you would have to see it again for yourself. Although I find it a charming film, I trust your opinion and if you think it is a bad movie, I will throw it in the trash.

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    Comment by elena maria vidal | May 23, 2007 | Reply

  9. Enbrethiliel: Wow, that would be a huge topic. I’ll see if I can dig up what someone else has said about it!

    Elena Maria: Please don’t throw it in the trash on my account! We haven’t even thrown ours in the trash. Perhaps my opinion was too hastily formed: the film obviously has some redeeming value and I’ll let the kids see it again someday. I like the chimney-sweep song myself. The point was not to single out one old movie, but to show the extent to which feminism has influenced even the kind of culture many of us consider “safe”.

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    Comment by Jeff Culbreath | May 23, 2007 | Reply

  10. I understand exactly the point you are making, Jeff. And I agree. (I am only teasing you about “Mary Poppins.”) I am SO glad to see that so many intelligent people have opened their eyes.

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    Comment by elena maria vidal | May 23, 2007 | Reply

  11. Mary Poppins is not a feminist movie!

    Sorry to shout, but I won’t stand for that kind of slander. Mary Poppins might better have been named “The Redemption of George W. Banks.” The movie is really about how Mr. Banks goes from being enslaved to a false idea of masculinity to being a real man, husband and father. Note that Mr. Banks does not lose his authority in his home. He does not, at the end of the movie, buy in to his wife’s suffragette protests. Instead, he get a promotion and plays with his children. That’s the climax of the movie.

    Mrs. Banks, the one feminist character in the film, is hardly a role model for the modern feminist. She’s vapid, intellectually vacant, and one gets the feeling that she’s a suffragette because she likes the action and attention, the feeling of rebellion, not from any actual conviction.

    Mary Poppins herself is about as far from a feminist as can be. She always defers to Mr. & Mrs. Banks. She reprimands the children when they want to disobey their parents. She works quietly within her own sphere to make the childrens’ lives better, by getting their father to interact with them.

    There’s no consciousness-raising, no camouflaged activism. No messages delivered but “Fathers, play with your children, they want to love you.”

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    Comment by Danby | May 23, 2007 | Reply

  12. time to close the italics

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    Comment by Danby | May 23, 2007 | Reply

  13. Danby: Slander is a pretty strong word. Here’s another reviewer who sees feminism in the message of Mary Poppins.

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    Comment by Jeff Culbreath | May 23, 2007 | Reply

  14. Yes, you are right, slander is a strong word and not what I really meant. Perhaps I should have said “I won’t stand by while that wonderful movie disrespected in such an offhand manner.”

    I read the essay you link to and don’t read it the same way you seem to. I see no mention of or reference to feminism at all. He does discus at great length the similarities and differences of both Mary Poppins and Maria VonTrapp, and how Julie Andrews played the characters, but I don’t see what you seem to see.

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    Comment by intolerantcatholic | May 23, 2007 | Reply

  15. I particularly enjoy shocking “conservative” Catholics with my traditionalist Catholic notions on the role of women. You see how many shades of purple you can turn them and tick off each item on the list of things ‘everyone agrees’ about. And wait till you hear them start about mantillas and wearing trousers. The fun part is learning all the feminist rubbish that they take for granted without even thinking about it. Just watch what happens at a meeting of “good conservative pro-lifers” all of whom are Catholic women, when you say stuff like, “so, who’s home with your kids?” Hoo! It’s fun. (But I guess I can only get away with it because I’m a woman.)

    Writing for a living offers so many opportunities to buck the trends. I get quite a bang, for example, out of deliberately using “spokesman” when the person doing the speaking is a woman. And the masculine pronoun in the singular is a must.

    It’s not an art, Jeff, it’s a sport.

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    Comment by Hilary | May 23, 2007 | Reply

  16. […] The Art of Resisting Feminism Ladies and gentleman, it is our job to save the English language from feminism. The English language is patriarchal because the human race is patriarchal. Man, as in Adam, is the symbolic head of the human race: for that reason the male pronoun can either […]

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    Pingback by links for 2007-05-23 at Brakar.com | May 23, 2007 | Reply

  17. What’s the chook with the chicken neck doing in the picture you posted? Apart from looking like a fool?

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    Comment by Julian | May 23, 2007 | Reply

  18. Just watch what happens at a meeting of “good conservative pro-lifers” all of whom are Catholic women, when you say stuff like, “so, who’s home with your kids?”

    So you’re saying Catholic women cannot ever leave their children with their fathers so that they can do other good things like pro-life work?
    this just makes you sound ridiculous.

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    Comment by e n | May 23, 2007 | Reply

  19. An excellent anti-feminist movie is Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Femininity is idealized and the theme is that children need a mother and it is selfish bitter women who do not love children (the Baroness).

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    Comment by mlalexand99 | May 24, 2007 | Reply

  20. Danby: “Perhaps I should have said ‘I won’t stand by while that wonderful movie disrespected in such an offhand manner.'”

    Alright, alright, fine, fine. I’m a reasonable man. If I have got Mary Poppins wrong, well, it wouldn’t be the first time I got something wrong. Thanks for your vigilance. My apologies to Robert Stevenson. Even bigger apologies to Julie Andrews. Biggest, sincerest apologies to all the Mary Poppins fans who have read this essay. It is probably too late for some drive-by readers who (heaven forbid) trusted my judgment and will from henceforth always look askance at Mary Poppins. That’s time in purgatory for me, no doubt. I’ll watch the movie again. In the meantime I’ve deleted the reference.

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    Comment by Jeff Culbreath | May 24, 2007 | Reply

  21. That’s time in purgatory for me, no doubt. I’ll watch the movie again.

    Don’t watch it now – what do you think your purgatory is going be?

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    Comment by c matt | May 25, 2007 | Reply

  22. Jeff, I am awarding you the thinking blogger award. You have managed to write one of the most sophist arguments I have read in a long time. Thanks.
    On another note, I wonder how you can explain the relationship between patriarchal families and the high incidence of depression seen in Asian American women?

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    Comment by Kathy | May 25, 2007 | Reply

  23. […] was somewhat amused by a recent post on The Art of Resisting Feminism at Stony Creek Digest Most people today are feminists. Rush Limbaugh is a feminist. Ann Coulter is […]

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    Pingback by SurlyEdition » Blog Archive » The Silliness of the Art of Resisting Feminism | May 25, 2007 | Reply

  24. […] 24th, 2007 by Daniel A. Yet another post of mine inspired by something over at Jeff Culbreath’s Stony Creek Digest.  His post is a lengthy discussion of how one […]

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    Pingback by Barbarian Masculinity « Ride of the Rohirrim | May 25, 2007 | Reply

  25. Actually, “Mary Poppins” is a horrible movie. Not because it’s feminist, which I think, as a former feminist (hanging my head in shame) it is not, but because it entirely missed the point of the original story.

    It wasn’t about dancing chimney sweeps. (Ugh.)

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    Comment by Trish | May 25, 2007 | Reply

  26. I dont mean to be rude but I have to say this. Why do many of these ‘feminists’ look so ugly and mean at their rallies. Ashley Judd is a very pretty woman but the pic at the rally shows her downright plain!

    If these women think they are SO right then WHY the rage?

    Especially as when you see a group of Nuns they look so JOYful their expressions beams. And when at prayer there is nothing more beautiful than a nun who is praying to our Lord.

    Just my thoughts on it:)

    Marie

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    Comment by marie | May 25, 2007 | Reply

  27. This post is exceptional. A breath of fresh air. I would like to carry the argument further, to link feminism to abortion and why we are in the immigration fight today. To explain, I believe in the concept of a living God who is in charge, right down to the merest detail. Granting a woman a “right” to abortion has resulted in about forty million deaths (abortions) in the US since Roe vs Wade was enshrined in our federal statutes. Suddenly, we are faced with accmodating (over the next 20 years) up to fifty million illegal aliens. To me this is telling us something. The message is: If you don’t want native born Americans, fine, you get illegals. Think about this!!

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    Comment by AR Munnerlyn | May 25, 2007 | Reply

  28. Hi Jeff,
    I generally agree with your post and am constantly annoyed by the lengths to which my English grad school colleagues go in order to be gender-sensitive in their writing. Furthermore, I think the feminists have sold a big lie to women in telling them that they can send their infants off to day care and still end up free of guilt with happy, well adjusted adults who want to be Mom’s best friend.
    I do think, however, that you’re a little off the mark in your encouragement that husbands should always be treated as decision makers (particularly since you encourage this as a subtle way to shift the balance of power in other families). My husband and I are fairly conservative, and I’m very happy staying home most of the time with our infant, but we generally think of ourselves as best friends who make decisions together. When we disagree, I defer to his judgment, and the rare times this has happened his decision has proven to be the correct one. Nevertheless, I resent it when strangers (who do not understand the dynamic of our relationship) go out of their way (even subtly or kindly) to treat my husband as the “head of the hierarchy.” Technically, he *is*, and we both know it, but it’s just rare that he ever needs to act in that way– it simply is the case that I know more about some things (buying our house or shopping for groceries) and that he knows more about others (buying our cars or training our dog), and it’s not possible for strangers to know who the resident “expert” is on any given topic. I think that this mentality is supported by the Bible (for example, Prov. 31– the woman just buys the vineyards, she doesn’t stand by while her husband signs the papers– and NT verses on equality under grace), and it works well for us.

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    Comment by Bethany | May 25, 2007 | Reply

  29. Seems I left the bold character on. Let’s try this.

    Also, in the comment above, the link defending feminism is in the very first word. Click on ‘feminism’ for best results.

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    Comment by TSO | May 25, 2007 | Reply

  30. A few brief replies …

    Tish: So good to see you here. I had better be on my best behavior now!

    Bethany: Thanks for your comments, but I’m only advocating what should be done anyway. It just so happens that treating the head of the family as, well, the head of the family also helps to resist feminism in the culture. I bring this up because I think a lot people are afraid to do this for fear of offending feminist wives.

    TSO: I haven’t read the link, but I’m not sure feminism is redeemable. I’ll get back to you on that …

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    Comment by Jeff Culbreath | May 26, 2007 | Reply

  31. Jeff,

    I strongly suspect the redeemablity of “feminism” depends on what one means by the word “feminism”.

    There’s a semi-popular bumper sticker around here — “Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.” Well, if that’s what it really meant, there’d be no quarrel — Catholicism upholds the dignity of the human person, female humans included, right? If that’s feminism, we can be for it.

    I think that GKC had it right that feminism is, at root, a surrender to masculinity — and to your “barbarian masculinity” at that. And then, to be “fair”, turns the women into barbarians too. That can’t be redeemed.

    peace,
    Zach

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    Comment by Zach Frey | May 26, 2007 | Reply

  32. +JMJ+

    The woman in the picture is Ashley Judd??? :O

    I had to pick myself up off the floor after reading your comment, Marie!

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    Comment by Enbrethiliel | May 26, 2007 | Reply

  33. Is that Ashley Judd????? If so, feminism desn’t look so great on her.

    The definition of modern feminism is this: Do what pleases you, tell the men and children (especially the unborn ones) to get the hell out of the way. Play the victim – it’s a good excuse for utter hedonism.

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    Comment by Rachee | May 26, 2007 | Reply

  34. Jeff and all:

    I have been on both sides of this equation. An over-bearing mother/weak father only seemed to confirm my early perceptions. These perceptions had nothing whatsoever to do with the equality of the sexes, no indeed! I have never met a single feminist who wished to be equal to her male counterpart. It is superiority, the desire to be the “head” – that is the ultimate goal of the true feminist. To settle for equality is to simply put oneself in the same realm as “barbarian masculinity”. Praise God the reality of this false doctrine is slowly being revealed to our young men and women. It took many years of digging out before I could fully reclaim my femininity and the beautiful freedom that comes with that choice. This new generation of “feminazis” is spinning it’s wheels…stuck in the mire of a dying ideology. They spend so much time yelling, screaming, complaining and insulting; I imagine the only people they are truly trying to convince are themselves…

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    Comment by Kimberly Wasson | May 26, 2007 | Reply

  35. Who’s Ashley Judd? I just found this in my search for feminist photos.

    Kimberly wrote: “It is superiority, the desire to be the ‘head’ – that is the ultimate goal of the true feminist.”

    Very, very perceptive. That’s always how crusades for “equality” end up, from the French Revolution to Soviet Russia to modern feminism. Funny how it works out that way. There is something in human nature that prevents people from even knowing how to measure equality. Equality is a measure in search of a standard: equality by one standard means inequality by another.

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    Comment by Jeff Culbreath | May 27, 2007 | Reply

  36. I’ve thought about the reasons why feminism, as described in Jeff’s post, arose primarily in this age–almost to the exclusion of any other age and society. Perhaps it has a lot to do with physical work abilities vs. mental abilities.

    In past ages, the physically strongest persons were usually the most valuable to society because they could fell the trees, deal with large animals, construct buildings, forge iron, etc. To illustrate, a farm family in the 1700s without a man was severely handicapped because a man’s labor was almost impossible to replace with that of a woman. Even my widowed Grandma had to have a ‘hired man’ to work the farm when her husband died in the 20s.

    In the past 70 years (my lifetime), common tools CAN replace the labor of a man–a car and electrical tools are examples. Add to that, money is more available to buy the services usually performed by men. Moreover, many current jobs are associated with the information age or do not require physical strength. This kind of job almost invites women to work for pay–because women are naturally good at reading and writing, key talents for many well-paying jobs in this information age.

    Regardless of the above discussion, the woman’s primary role in society continues to be associated with her family–her husband, her children, and other members of society who need her help. May God bless all women who understand their primary roles have the most valuable and longest lasting effects on society.

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    Comment by Dust I Am | May 27, 2007 | Reply

  37. “It is superiority, the desire to be the ‘head’ – that is the ultimate goal of the true feminist.”

    It’s amusing for non-feminists to suggest what the goals of “true” feminists are.

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    Comment by RJ | May 27, 2007 | Reply

  38. +JMJ+

    Jeff,

    Ashley Judd is a very pretty Hollywood actress. The photo you found must be the most unflattering one of her that exists in the entire universe. I’m still having trouble believing that it’s a photo of her.

    Also, wasn’t it Goethe who said that we can’t have equality and freedom at the same time–or something like that?

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    Comment by Enbrethiliel | May 27, 2007 | Reply

  39. Wow. I’ve never been around people with the above kinds of opinions.

    In my case, I’m am a better financial provider than my husband. We both agree that I make better decisions than he does. In essence, I am what the above posters hate. I’m left wondering why the hate? And, why do you care what my husband and I decide, between ourselves?

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    Comment by thrice | May 28, 2007 | Reply

  40. I am very familiar with that photograph: it was taken at a massive pro-abortion march held in D.C. in late April 2004 which, when I was blogging, I dubbed “the march for women’s lies.” Ms. Judd was one of those at the vanguard of the marching column that day.

    Well, that feminist had literally a different look and sound to her today. Her husband won the rain-shortened Indianapolis 500 race a couple hours ago, and she was attractively adorned in a long, flowing summer dress, made even more attractive as she was getting soaked wet, and she talked about her husband’s victory like an anything-but-feministic supportive wife.

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    Comment by Somerset '76 | May 28, 2007 | Reply

  41. P.S. Apropos to my comment on today’s post regarding the SSPX, I will note that everything said here would fit right in the pages of The Angelus, or the sermons of Bishop Williamson and other leading Society clerics. While there are individual clerics in the approved congregations who hold similar views (Fr. Ripperger of the FSSP, whom I have met twice, comes immediately to mind), their internal culture is nowhere near as congruent with positions like those stated here as you’ll find with the SSPX.

    This is one indication that the question of “who’s right” isn’t as cut-and-dried as the partisans of either side of the SSPX-Ecclesia Dei divide want to think.

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    Comment by Somerset '76 | May 28, 2007 | Reply

  42. [Clarification: “everything said here,” i.e., in this post regarding feminism. I wish comments could be edited.]

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    Comment by Somerset '76 | May 28, 2007 | Reply

  43. “Deep masculine voices are always sinister, female or effeminate voices are always on the side of the angels.”

    Actually, I was pleasantly surprised to find exactly the opposite when I recently watched the first season of “24”. A (male) presidential candidate has a very masculine voice and appearance, and he is depicted as a most morally upstanding person. His wife, while being very feminine in voice and appearance, is sly and conniving. That’s not to say it’s a great show, but anything bucking the trend is nice.

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    Comment by St. Gimp | May 29, 2007 | Reply

  44. “That’s not to say it’s a great show, but anything bucking the trend is nice.”

    St. Gimp, eh? Is that you TSO?

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    Comment by Jeff Culbreath | May 29, 2007 | Reply

  45. Whomever TSO might be, he ain’t me.

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    Comment by St. Gimp | May 29, 2007 | Reply

  46. I stumbled in here. Wow, I call myself a feminist and am neither angry, baby hating, or dominating over my husband, etc. I also know I am not ugly! These are all very bad stereotypes of feminists.

    I am Catholic- was married in the Church last year, plan to raise my children Catholic, and don’t see feminism as in opposition to my faith. There are all different kinds of feminists, just like there are all different kinds of Catholics. There’s a spectrum. I was instilled with feminist values when I went to an all girls Catholic school! We were taught that we should be leaders, we should have careers outside the home if we want, we should insist upon equality in our intimate relationships. Where in Catholic dogma does it say women shouldn’t do these things? And I’m not talking about the priesthood- thats a moot point. I mean in our lives as lay people?? I don’t get the feminist bashing! “Feminism” means women are equal to men in human dignity and spirit and that should be reflected in every day life.

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    Comment by SC | June 1, 2007 | Reply

  47. SC

    I’m so truly sorry you feel “bashed” and I appreciate your candor in revealing your thoughts. I’d like to share a few additional observations. Here is the definition of feminism:

    feminism

    1. A social theory or political movement supporting the equality of women with men in all aspects of public and private life.

    Now…the reality of a theory or a movement is quite often far removed from it’s definition. I’m speaking as a former feminist. Within my marriage and my Church, I feel no sense of inferiority due to my “feminine” status. The lie of “inequality” was force-fed on many of my generation…and has had devastating repercussions. If the “movement” is so successful, why all the continued angst? This has far less to do with paychecks and chore division than it does a struggle for “headship”. No body can exist without a head…there must be leadership, whether it is corporate, church or family; and as scripture has quite decidedly put it “for the head of every woman is her husband”(I Cor 11:2)pretty much decides the familial aspect. This is not about authoritarianism or inequality, but a proper order to relationships. We know that scripture also tells us the “in Christ there is no male, no female, no free, no slave…” Equality and human dignity are beautiful realities, existent whether you “feel” equal or not. I’m not denying the existence of discrimination…it is an ugly, ugly thing and has no place within the realm of Christianity. Leadership happens in many places. That I would have to leave my children to the care of others, to exercise my desire to “lead”, would be a desperate act, indeed. It is my hope that my daughters and sons (I have nine children) will each recognize the dignity and differences of their sex. That my sons will embrace manhood with confidence, gentility and leadership. That my daughters will feel their beauty and worth no matter what their vocation.

    Like

    Comment by Kimberly Wasson | June 1, 2007 | Reply

  48. I’ve been reading the comments here with great interest. It’s given me so much to think about.

    One of my great fears about women not being in leadership roles is what happens, say, if her husband passes away. The woman may find herself in a position where she suddenly has to lead the household and make all the decisions. She has to learn to go out and work. How will she know how to do these things unless she’s had some experience in the past. I remember women of my mother’s day having great trouble with this.

    Kimberly – In reading your last few lines, I realize that I’m not sure I even know anymore that manhood or womanhood is. Roles are so confused, that I don’t even think I know what traditional roles are. I think I was raised in a traditional home. I know certain things feel inherently right to me as a woman and certain things feel inherently wrong. I find myself sometimes having to explain my instincts to people….why I’m happier being married, why I don’t go out at night without my husband, why I took my husband’s name and so on. I think I’m probably hard wired to be a “woman” and to follow a “woman’s roles” but that gets so lost sometimes.

    Like

    Comment by m | June 2, 2007 | Reply

  49. “One of my great fears about women not being in leadership roles is what happens, say, if her husband passes away. The woman may find herself in a position where she suddenly has to lead the household and make all the decisions.”

    An understandable concern. I think it is good for women to have marketable skills in case of economic necessity: I certainly want that for my daughters. Part of the problem is that women today are no longer taught the domestic arts (sewing, cooking, etc.) which also happen to be marketable skills. Running a household requires a tremendous amount of skill and leadership – even if that leadership does not extend directly over one’s husband. And women have always been involved in religious and social activities that require leadership.

    From a Catholic perspective I don’t think femininity and masculinity are as much about roles as they are about priorities. My wife works outside the home, and I change diapers – as necessity dictates. But her priorities are domestic, and my priorities are securing a place for my family in the world. There may be overlap in certain activities, but there is a feminine and masculine orientation that is unique to the wife and husband respectively.

    Like

    Comment by Jeff Culbreath | June 3, 2007 | Reply

  50. Jeff:

    Thank you so much for reiterating that a woman working outside the home does not equate feminism. Keeping our focus, with the ever changing demands placed upon both men and women, can be quite challenging. Remaining humble, treating one another with deference is what our faith demands.

    Like

    Comment by Kimberly Wasson | June 4, 2007 | Reply

  51. http://fructusventris.stblogs.org/archives/2003/01/inclusive_langu.html
    http://fructusventris.stblogs.org/archives/2003/11/inclusive_langu_1.html

    what I have had to say on the language aspect, at least.

    Historically, women have worked outside the home as well as within the home. Proverbs has wonderful examples, I can think of all the historical midwives (my profession) who were also mothers and often grandmothers and I am sure that there are other examples. But it has to do, as Jeff said, with priorities and a mentality. I was at a conference recently where the topic all day was international perspectives on normal birth. We talked about lots of stuff, but one thing that struck me was that one of the things we have lost to feminism is normal birth. That seems to be incongruous, but a false autonomy has replaced the protections that women used to have – the freedom to be able to leave the workplace, for example. Women are having induced labors and scheduled deliveries (cesareans et al) not for medical necessity but in order to plan their baby around their work schedule and preserve their health insurance (which is tied to employment – and now not even to the employment of the man of the house but of each individual worker). We have become in so many ways like an anthill, and the family structure is being continually eroded.
    I used to refer to myself as a Susan B Anthony feminist – a woman who worked to have feminity respected as being just as valuable as masculinity. The neo-feminists of the last generation or so are actually faux masculinists – they have bought into the lie that the only way to be respected is to be imitation men. faugh!

    Like

    Comment by alicia | June 4, 2007 | Reply

  52. There is no doubt that feminism is one of the most destructive ideologies of the twentieth century. But there are a few points you should consider. You speak rightly when you say that mankind is a patriarchical species. But you have not realized the full implications of that fact. The patriarchal ordering of mankind is NOT subject to change. What this means is that feminism is a male dominated ideology. Feminism is properly understood as the male attempt to shirk responsibilities and indulge lusts. The simple fact is that the female feminists in our midst could be silenced if their fathers and husbands took charge. Think of what feminism has given men: Women pay the bills, women clean the house, women make the plans for the future, women raise the children, women drive the car, women work fulltime, Christian women try and pass on the faith, and the men get to masturbate to internet porn and drool over high-definition TV. The most significant manifestation of feminism in our society is not the appearance of women executives, but a porn industry that makes more money every year than all the pro-sports leagues combined. I completely disagree with your read of the lack of men in higher education. There are more women in law school and medical school than men, not because men are fleeing feminism, but because men are lazy and have no ambition. I am working on my doctorate in Medieval History and I am convinced men are not representing in higher education because they are playing video games and smoking pot, not as some kind of civil disobedience. The same can be said for the feminization of the Church– men have the lost the moral courage to be Christian, and so the women have tried to the best of their abilities to step up to the plate. Given the differences that you understand between men and women, how is it reasonable to hold women accountable for our current social situation? Isn’t it the men who are by nature the one’s who are specially equipped to run the show, and so doesn’t the responsibility for society rest squarely on the shoulders of men? Matriarchies are only apparent and they are a symptom of moral decay among men. Our society is no different and it will die unless men stop complained to each other about their strong-willed wives, and try actually taking charge of their families, until men stop complaining about gender-study claptrap in the universities, and get up the guts to dismantle it. Our grandfathers and great-grandfathers had the power when they gave women the vote, and we have the power now; we’ve always had the power, and we always will. Anyway, forgive the rant. This topic gets my blood boiling. I appreciate the work you do.
    God Bless

    Like

    Comment by Andrew Jones | June 5, 2007 | Reply

  53. I was wondering if you have ever read any feminist literature, and if not, what can you base this opinion on? I’m in a class entitled Introduction to Feminist Studies, and its not at all like what you have depicted in your blog. I understand that in the past feminist issues have only been considered to be women’s issues and rights, but today, in what is called the “third wave” of feminism, people all over the world (not just women) are working for the rights and equality of more than just the female population and are labeling themselves and their causes as feminist. We fight against racism, ageism, sexism, classism, and all other forms of discrimination. We fight for the environment, we fight for better working conditions in overseas factories, we fight for everyone. Feminists everywhere are fighting for causes that are so important. How can you be against that?

    Like

    Comment by Kinsey | November 15, 2007 | Reply

  54. Kinsey,

    If what you say about “third wave” feminism is true, then the word “feminism” is officially useless. Other than as a club to beat one’s enemies with.

    “Logic!” said the Professor half to himself. “Why don’t they teach logic at these schools?”

    I count at least 3 logic errors in your paragraph:

    1. Equivocation: You’re using “feminist” in a different sense than Jeff is — something you admit at the start, but then insist on reading his essay using your definition, not his.

    2. Red Herring: That’s quite a laundry list of causes you’ve got there — but quite off the point of whether it’s a good or a bad idea to erase the social distinctions between the sexes.

    3. Loaded Question: “How can you be against that?” Your “that” implies that Jeff is against your entire laundry list — something that clearly falls into the same category as “have you stopped beating your wife?”

    If that’s all the better they’re teaching you, you might want to ask for a refund of the course fee. :)

    peace,

    Like

    Comment by Zach Frey | November 15, 2007 | Reply

  55. Just been reading your article about resisting feminism, i have been doing this in FEMINAZI Hereford for over four years.I cannot understand why so many Herefordians have given in to these females, i don’t need them in my life, and i certainly will not put up with there attitudes towards me.Their is no chivalry in me, if females want respect from me, they have to ern it, i don’t care who they are!!
    Just recently i confronted a neighbor who is a femme guy,along with his feminist wife, the man has been maligning
    my character, i asked him to stop putting gossip around about me, this was intended as a man to man talk, not as he put it” is your mum and dad in, how pathetic can he get, considering i’m a middle aged man.
    Just goes to show how BRAIN WASHED men are in FEMINAZI HEREFORD.
    Allthough i have lost four jobs, due these feminazi’s, my spirit is upbeat thanks to my article on Men’s Aid, Hereford a “Feminist Dictatorship” great response.

    Fathers For Justice are doing a great job” i was a former member, i now see my daughter”, keep up the good work.

    Like

    Comment by Peter Danby | December 1, 2007 | Reply

  56. You are wrong in saying that feminists perceive MALES as the source of female oppression. Males, and white males in particular, don’t need to consciously try to oppress women, people of other ethnic or cultural identities, members of the queer community, the disabled, or any other “category” or marginalized peoples. Rather, an ideology that females or other groups should be submissive dominates our culture.

    The pervasiveness of sexism, racism, classism, and other prejudice is made clear by advertisements or other media, slang, and basically all discourse. Even if oppression (for lack of better words) is not our conscious intention, dominant ideologies clearly still bleed into our everyday interactions. It is the IDEA that certain groups should be submissive or fill any other similar role, along with the idea that men, particulary upper-middle class white men, are meant to be violent and dominant, and are somehow entitled to this subservience, that feminists try to combat. Feminists fight for the freedom of all people, males included.

    Like

    Comment by Caitlin | January 16, 2008 | Reply

  57. My Catholic father taught me to never believe anyone who told me, my only value lied in the kitchen barefoot and pregnant. He told me my brains were a gift from God that I should never let go to waste.

    I love my father – because of him, I have never had the self esteem issues that plague so many young girls. And also because of him, I was determined to find a man that truly deserved the honor of being my spouse.

    My Husband is very much a man this feminist can admire and look up to. He’s smart, hardworking and never asserts his masculinity by asking for my submissiveness. Instead he asserts it by being a man – opening a door for me, carrying in the groceries, letting me know and feel that I am under his protection. He’ll fix guests a drink while I serve the food. Maleness permeates every atom of his being. And he accomplishes this without ever needing to be imposing.

    When I was contemplating becoming a surgeon – I was assaulted with the usual chides of that being a bad option for a woman. I opened the subject with him expecting the response I’d already gotten from everyone else in my family(minus Dad). He responded that children had both a father and a mother for a reason, that as a couple we were up to the task and he’d be very proud of a surgeon wife. I can’t help but think how lucky I am – how a lesser man would have demanded a lesser wife and a lesser family.

    The Igbo tribe has a proverb that translates: The true measure of a man is his wife, because anyone dominate a weakling but only a real man can harness the rewards of powerful woman.

    Women who think they don’t men are stupid – They aren’t feminists. They are angry, bitter and miserable human beings. For all my ability to be a success in my own right – I am most at peace in the protective warmth of my husband’s arms. I draw my strength from him, I exist only because of him, and he will argue the reverse is true – so that the only real truth is that we are two halves reunited. There is no head and neck but rather the extension of the mystery of the holy trinity – two as one. No decision maker because his will, is my will – it’s OUR will.

    He usually laughs that he needs me to make good decision, and the same is valid for me – two brilliant minds brainstorming usually gives the best results. I would not be lost without his insight – I am very capable on my own – I am simply better with him and vice versa. He is a great man who I hope is an even better man with me by his side.

    That’s the true story of Feminism. It can only be instilled by a father, it demands greatness of the men that surround themselves with it, and it’s a humble acceptance of one’s own greatness, as a person, as a mother and yes, as a woman.

    Even reading your essay debunking feminism I find hints of a feminist – I see your great respect for women and cognizance of their importance and value.

    I read your essay not as an objection to the equality women aspire to, but as a call for the recognition of the value of masculinity and in that sense I completely agree with you. We need to teach Men how to be Men again. And that it’s good to be a Man, It’s honorable to be a man. Somehow everything manly has become synonym to evil, oppression and malice, which is far from true. The case has to be made for men too, society needs them. Only perhaps it need not be either or – we can have powerful good men without putting women down, or defining their place to be the kitchen and bedroom.

    Instead of erasing feminism from the face of the earth maybe another modern idea movement is needed: Man-ism?

    Like

    Comment by Alice | February 11, 2008 | Reply

  58. +JMJ+

    Am I the only one who finds something slightly heretical about the line “humble acceptance of one’s own greatness”? =S

    I think that anyone who really knows what the Church teaches about women–and indeed, what the Church has done and keeps doing for women–understands that women need feminism the way a fish needs a bicycle.

    Like

    Comment by Enbrethiliel | February 21, 2008 | Reply

  59. Wow, excellent read sir – I too have seen the subtle, and not so subtle, feminization of America and the English language in school, the media, and society. In the end, feminism promises lies and delivers unhappiness for both sexes.

    Like

    Comment by Machiavellian | July 15, 2008 | Reply

  60. One small point about this topic (and I don’t disagree with anything Jeff has said)when we encourage our daughters to learn cooking and sewing and housekeeping, I cringe when I hear about 3 and 4 year homeschool curriculum programs on homemaking. UGH!!!!! Being the oldest of 9 I knew plenty about housekeeping, nothing about cooking but could sew very well. Once I was married I caught on to what I needed to know and no one has died of starvation yet. If we shove this stuff down our daughters’ throats they will want no part of it. I sure didn’t and really enjoyed my college years studying English Literature and Political Science. And now, I am about as domesticated as you could get. Happily home with 8 children and do most things homemade- cooking, baking, gardening, canning, sewing but at 16- now way baby!

    Teaching this through any artificial construct will never work and may have the opposite effect.

    Like

    Comment by Mary Alexander | August 5, 2008 | Reply

  61. I only just now saw Mary’s comment and haven’t time to read the post and comments, but here’s a question: What do you do with a physically awkward daughter on the matter of cooking and cleaning? I’m trying to teach one daughter who ought to be just about the right age just very basic things. Very easy cooking and cleaning. No “course,” just life skills. And it’s incredibly painful. This is partly my own problem. I’m an excellent teacher, if I say so myself, of all intellectual topics. But I’m a terrible teacher of physical skills. I don’t know how to explain things so people know how to do them. But there seems to be extra trouble with this particular daughter, because she has no physical “sense.” Between the two of us, we are having trouble teaching and learning how to sweep a floor. Brilliant suggestions or even sensible suggestions appreciated.

    Like

    Comment by Lydia | August 5, 2008 | Reply

  62. Mary: A homeschool curriculum for homemaking, etc., would be redundant in my family. My wife includes the girls in her cooking, sewing, and other domestic chores. That’s why I laughed at the FDA requirement that no children be present in an approved commercial kitchen when food is processed: my kids would be in on making the jam! But such a curriculum might be helpful in other families … who knows?

    Like

    Comment by Jeff Culbreath | August 5, 2008 | Reply

  63. Lydia:

    FWIW, I’ll attempt an answer. You can’t teach skills, really. Skills are either natural or they are acquired by continual practice and repetition. I would bet that if your daughter doesn’t have these natural skills, then she’ll slowly acquire them by doing things provided she gets enough practice. Be patient with her. I was one of those awkward, clumsy, physically un-coordinated kids myself, and I have a son who is the same way. Such people take longer than most at learning how to do some things, but time and experience works wonders.

    Also, sometimes the “physical sense” comes later, especially with kids who have had a big growth spurt. Those growth spurts tend to throw off the body.

    Like

    Comment by Jeff Culbreath | August 5, 2008 | Reply

  64. Thanks, Jeff. My eldest daughter and husband keep calming me down by telling me, “She’ll get it eventually. She won’t always be like this.” But being a hyper-worriesome person, I worry: “What do you do with a nearly-ten-year-old girl who can hardly stir a brownie mix and cannot clip her own fingernails without help? How will she ever grow into an independent adult? It’s my responsibility! I’m failing!” And her whole life since the age of four seems to be one long growth spurt. It never stops. She’s going to be a giant. (Compared to everyone in the family but her dad, anyway.)

    Like

    Comment by Lydia | August 5, 2008 | Reply

  65. […] or as part of the “democratic process”. I touched on the importance of language in my essay on feminism some time ago. For the cultural vandals and barbarians among us, language is a mighty barrier to […]

    Like

    Pingback by Language matters « Stony Creek Digest | December 31, 2008 | Reply

  66. Lydia, you wrote:

    My eldest daughter and husband keep calming me down by telling me, “She’ll get it eventually. She won’t always be like this.”

    But, dear Lydia, she indeed might always “be like this”. And that is perfectly OK. Try to spare her the difficulties, if you can, but don’t worry at all if she just happens to have some congential problems with certain things. That’s part of being human.

    Like

    Comment by Jeff Culbreath | January 8, 2009 | Reply

  67. Quite right, Jeff. And I suppose I shd. be glad we live in such an “advanced” society, for there are more places in independent life for people who have trouble with purely physical skills. In the days when all women had to be capable of cooking over an open fire and making their own clothes, the problems would have more acute practical implications.

    Like

    Comment by Lydia | January 9, 2009 | Reply

  68. Err…is this a joke? If not, you do one hell of a job of essentializing feminism into something it’s not.

    Maybe you should do actually do some research before you attempt to deconstruct an approach you clearly have no grasp of.

    Like

    Comment by J | February 20, 2009 | Reply

  69. J,

    On the hopes that this isn’t a drive-by comment — please help enlighten, then. If the essence of feminism isn’t “an ideological commitment to eradicating social differences between the sexes”, what is it?

    Please be specific. Vague “do some research” dismissals will be dismissed as the petty namecalling that they are.

    peace,
    Zach

    Like

    Comment by Zach Frey | February 20, 2009 | Reply

  70. It’s essays like that show desperately we still need feminism and must always be on the lookout for fanatics like you who would take away our right to be human.

    Like

    Comment by Alex | March 11, 2009 | Reply

  71. I have not read all the comments but as some of you like ‘sport’ I hope you wont be offended by this. I am writing from a european country. Frankly just reading some of the posts I have a question. Why are so many Americans and Catholics so obsessed with films and television? To take your cue on rather important and subtle matters from Mary Poppins is rather strange, to say the least. I just have one comment – the Catholic Church has never advocated feminism – ever. However the Church has properly understood the woman’s role very well and all facets of her being have been represented by her members throughout the ages: wives, mothers, doctors, teachers, university professors etc. Please forgive me because I genuinely dont mean to sound insulting but rather than obsess about your visually saturated culture and its mores why not look at Church history and real life catholic people some of whom have achieved sainthood and look at how the Church explains why some women take public roles and do work traditionally done by men. I think you would learn something – an intelligent priest once said to me that it is easier to go to the extremes than to think in a balanced way. Thinking in a balanced way demands a more of us intellectually – it demands that we keep in mind principles and at the same time understand that these can be applied in different yet correct ways in practice.

    Like

    Comment by Marie | May 17, 2009 | Reply

  72. Jeff: There are lots of different types of feminists in the U.S. The vast majority (such as the lovely Ashley Judd who’s picture you posted) simply believe in gender equality – NOT that women should rule the world and that men should be their slaves. You seem to mistakenly think that all feminists are feminazis.

    As a guy living in New York city, I have many feminist friends. Most are simply gals (and guys) that are sick & tired of the fact that women are still earning $0.77 for every $1.00 a man makes while doing the same job in the exact same way. That’s only fair. In fact, one of my guy friends complains about this all the time. He says his wife works her butt off and still makes less than her male co-worker.

    And many of these feminists LOVE chivalrous men! LOL! So your argument that being chivalrous is going to throw off feminists or hurt the feminist movement made me laugh out loud.

    There’s nothing wrong with gender equality. So long as both genders are respected. You make it sound like women wanting equal rights are demonic or evil. I think you have a very bizarre and exaggerated view of gender equality.

    Like

    Comment by John in NYC | February 17, 2011 | Reply

  73. I am so incredibly disappointed to share a religious tradition with someone who is so clearly a chauvinistic pig. True feminists only want equality, not to overthrow men. It is totally fine that you have your own opinions on women’s health issues; unfortunately, you are not a woman and should have no authority on the decisions of legalizing things such as abortion or contraceptives. Chivalry is acceptable to a point. When it begins to assume that we as women are weak or inferior, I choose to reject it.

    Like

    Comment by Madison | May 21, 2015 | Reply

    • “I am so incredibly disappointed to share a religious tradition with someone who is so clearly a chauvinistic pig”

      No, you don’t share. As your words show, your true religion is liberalism/feminism no matter how much you fool yourself thinking you are a Christian. The fact of using insults (pig), liberal shibboleths (chauvinistic) confirms that. The fact that you use your personal feelings (disappointment) as if they were valid arguments show a deep narcissism.

      So go to Jezebel and see your disappointment disappear, when you are among your fellow correligionists. And let Chistians alone.

      Like

      Comment by imnobody00 | September 12, 2015 | Reply


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