I was going through some of the notes I have posted on Facebook this morning, and I came across one titled "On Being a Woman". It was something I had written before I started this blogging project, and I wanted to share it because thinking about it still gets me fired up and motivated! Thanks to all for reading this page and contributing. Cathofeminism is one of the things I am proudest of accomplishing in 2012, and it is because I enjoy hearing from readers and being able to affirm that I am not alone in my desire to seek out a truer version of feminism.
I recently saw this photo surface on Facebook. The poster was someone I did not know, but the circle of commenters were mostly friends of friends. The circle is what I am assuming to be a Catholic circle, and I also am assuming that most of the posters identify as conservative. I am having trouble identifying myself as anything politically speaking these days, other than I know that I am seeking to uphold the dignity of all people, from conception to natural death. The posts on this story were unsettling. There were a few women mocking some of the points, but there were also women that stated this was something like their ideal place. There were many more comments from men. Their comments falsely credited this time as being one with less domestic violence, that women need only obey their husbands as they should be the one handling finances, etc., that women are not equal because equal means that they are the same... one gentlemen even went as far as to suggest this article is supportive to Ephesians 5:
"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband."
This is my response. I love being a woman. No matter how many times I am told I am less a person, or made to feel that way. I believe in the strength women have. I believe our world separates us and divides us, and that if we all were able to unite it would be powerful. I believe there are people that swing WAY too far to the left, and I believe there are people that swing WAY too far to the right. I do not believe in being lukewarm in your beliefs, but I do believe that being equal does not mean we are the same. I believe, without a doubt that my days are just as important as my husband's. I believe that my children have a better relationship with their father than generations past had the opportunity to have, and that raising children to be seen by their fathers as perfect little adults is damaging. I believe that my choice to raise my children and stay at home with them is as empowering as another woman's choice to work (while I realize that is not always a choice I do also think our world has made it incredibly difficult for households to survive on one income for many reasons and this is disappointing). I believe that our world is better because of the women's rights movement and feminism. The fact that women for so long were told to grin and bare it is an outrage. The fact that the postings I witnessed seemed to condone men ruling women with an iron fist and women simply submitting and obeying is an outrage. The fact that our world is still focused on blaming women who have been victimized by physical and sexual violence is an outrage. The fact that our nation is more combative and focused on what we do to "fix" her after the abuse and not on stopping the abuse to begin with is an outrage.
I love my husband. I love my kids. I love each and every member of my family for being EXACTLY the person that they are. I love my friends the same, and I want to leave this world knowing that I made it better for all, not just some. I know that the people that posted on this photo will not see this. I think they became a little too caught up on the first part of Ephesians when relating it this article, fake or not. The goal of that particular verse as I see it, is to remind us to love our spouses, for better or worse. It is always a nice reminder to me that I am a wife: I am part of a family, and that I am not just out for myself. Some of this might be idealistic, but I don't care. That will not stop me from trying.