Give Obama a Break on Hiring Women!


So, here is the NY Times raising a confused eyebrow at the dearth of female hires in the Obama White House:...Mr. Obama’s recent nominations raised concern that women were being underrepresented at the highest level of government and would be passed over for top positions. [...] “It’s not so much about checking a box, like on a census form,” said Tracy Sefl, a Democratic political consultant in Washington. “It’s about the qualitative properties that the candidate takes to the position. In th … [Read more...]

Les Mis: Just Men, Minimized Women and Immodesty?

Correggio-madonna del latte

Two very different women, coming from very different perspectives, are unhappy with Les Miserable. Their unhappiness reminds us that though we polish and burnish our preferred lenses, we obscure our own capacity to see.Feminist author Stacy Wolf takes to the pages of the WaPo to report that as a feminist, all she could see was the bad men and victim women who populate her daily thoughts; width and breadth are just words:. . .in “Les Miz,” female characters are there only for the men to sa … [Read more...]

Does Church Suppress God’s Will? That’s Wicked, Right?


Like Mark Shea, I too thought the National Catholic Reporter had endorsed female ordination years ago. I actually had no intention of writing about it for my First Things column, today.Yet somehow -- and though I had intended to write more about Calah Alexander and the idea of a Ministry of Succor to young mothers, I ended up at female ordination, asking a few questions about NCR's stand:The overbearing men of Rome, most particularly Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, are depicted as … [Read more...]

Tales of Women, Sex and Salvation

shutterstock_2799678 human traffic

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.comTwo Patheos bloggers are talking seriously about women and sex today, both from very different perspectives, both worth reading.At Rebecca Hamilton's blog Public Catholic, she has turned her space over to a guest blogger willing to share a harrowing story of the realities of human trafficking:I moved to New Orleans in 1980 and lived there for several years. I managed a restaurant and hotel on the outskirts of the French Quarter, and continued the … [Read more...]

A Wee and Angry Word of Thanks to the Bishops? UPDATED

In my column at First Things today, I recount a bit of personal family history:My mother—let’s call her Alice—was born during the Depression to a couple who could neither hear nor speak, and were rather famous around Coney Island for their ability to initiate spontaneous parties and sustain them for whole weekends.They were the polar opposite of today’s “helicopter parents.” For them, parenting was not half as interesting as playing the ponies, their factory-shift work, or partying with t … [Read more...]

Mothers of the Church

mothers of the chruch

In the mail comes, Mothers of the Church: The Witness of Early Christian Women, by Mike Aquilina and Christopher Bailey. It's the follow-up to Aquilina's hugely popular book, The Fathers of the Church.A book of martyrs, mothers, abbesses, desert solitaries and (believe it or not) entrepreneurs who "left their mark on sacred history by responding to God's call. Included are some of my favorite women: Saints Perpetua and Felicity, Saint Thecla, Saint Agnes of Rome, Saint Monica, Saint Macrina, … [Read more...]

Having it all: Liz Lemon Can’t Do It Either – UPDATE


"Sandwich Day" is one of my favorite episodes of 30 Rock. On the set of The Girlie Show, "sandwich day" is "the most magical day of the year," says the slovenly writer, Frank. It's the day when the Teamsters treat the staff to sandwiches purchased from a Brooklyn deli whose location is kept a strict secret. When the greedy staff eats Liz Lemon's sandwich, she flips out:The writers beat the Teamsters in a drinking contest, get a new sandwich for Liz, and she tries to bring it past TSA … [Read more...]

Nuns and Bishops and Popes, Oh My! – UPDATES


The sisters are all Joan of Arc and the Bishops are all Don Giovanni!Allow me to clear my tabbar of these numerous links touching on the Sr. Margaret Farley story, the LCWR leadership meeting with Rome story and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad menfolk -- offering "the contorted thinking of celibate men" -- who just don't appreciate the linear and perfect thinking of the celibate women.I guess female celibacy is superior to male celibacy and therefore confers credibility on … [Read more...]

Heather King’s Poor Baby


You have to be a pretty interesting person to be able to write three short, funny and spiritually wise biographies before you're terribly old. Heather King is onesuch. She describes herself as "an ex-lawyer, ex-drunk Catholic convert" and upon reading her book Redeemed, I promptly fell in love with her work.Then I actually began to correspond with Heather, (and corralled her into sharing some great stuff with Patheos) and came to love her person.Barbara Nicolosi has called her a … [Read more...]

Style, Sex, Substance:Frank Talk from Catholic Women – UPDATED


The first time I head the title of Hallie Lord's new book, I was intrigued:Then I saw the list of formidable female writers Hallie had assembled to write ten frank, strong, funny, thoughtful and wrenching essays on the challenges of living an authentically Catholic life in a world where women are expected to take their cues from Kim Kardashian and Reality Wives (no thinking required) or Hillarys-Clinton-or-Rosen (the thinking is settled). I was hooked.What writers? Besides Hallie … [Read more...]