2 thoughts on “Feminism and Catholicism”

  1. Understanding Pope John Paul II
    I was delighted to see your article at Crisis, as I have also been at your presence at CWR. I hope you will continue to give Catholic laypeople exposure to your thoughts through these venues.

    I had never read the Fox-Genovese article that you linked to at Crisis before now. I found it an expression of “Catholic feminism” that was troubling, and typically so, in its inability to see beyond what is closest to oneself, in this case, one’s own sex. Any movement that insists upon calling itself feminist, no matter how moderate, seems always to have the common thread that women’s lot throughout history has been particularly unjust at the hands of men, and also is characteristically tacit in acknowledging particular grievances faced by the other sex. I truly believe the feminist mode of thinking fosters a blindness that causes one only to be able to appreciate one’s own “misery.” I found myself repeatedly asking the question while reading Fox-Genovese, Can you not conceive that it is also thus with men? Why do you insist on the peculiarity of women in suffering grievances?

    The problem that I have struggled with as a Catholic is that Pope John Paul II’s writings seem to have given Fox-Genovese and other Catholic women the green light to think in this selfish way.

    • Woman troubles
      She was a feminist, and then she became Catholic, and if you look at her picture she looks troubled. It was all a work in process I suppose.

      I agree that anything called feminism has serious problems. At least I can’t think of examples to the contrary. Maybe the basic problem is that feminism means women asserting themselves as separate and independent from men. The problem with that is that women are never separate and independent from anything. Everything is connected to everything else and nothing can ever be disentangled from anything. So they’re not big on the arms’-length mutual respect thing, and that (as F-G notes) is what feminism has to be about.

      As to JP II, he loved grand gestures of outreach. If there’s a Koran he had to kiss it. If there are feminists he had to be 10 times as much on their side as they are themselves. He’s undoubtedly Blessed, but that doesn’t mean he was always completely sober.


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