Yes, we still need feminism.

Yes, we still need feminism. April 23, 2014

I used to wonder why any 21st-century woman would call herself a feminist.

Feminism has become something utterly toxic. Maybe the word once stood for something useful and good, but feminism today means abortion on demand and without apology; now it means contempt for virginity, contempt for children, contempt for motherhood. Why would any right-thinking woman even want to use that name, when it puts you in such dreadful company?

And anyway, why do we even need feminism anymore?  Aren’t we done?  There once was a real need for the movement. Long ago, women truly had to fight for basic freedoms. But now we can vote, now we can own property, now we have as much as a men do in the way our lives go. We can go to school where we want, work where we want, wear what we want, travel where we want — and if we want to stay home and raise babies, assisted by female doctors and respected by our enlightened husbands, then feminism has won that right for us, too. It’s a golden post-feminist age, if we play our cards right.

In the past, when someone questioned the need for feminism, I would think of my mother, my grandmothers, my great-grandmothers, the way they lived and how they struggled.  My mother tells me of how she was suffering through a difficult labor. The male doctor, irritated, responded by strapping her down and injecting her, without her consent, with a drug that left her pain intact, but made her unable to cry out. “She feels better now,” she heard the doctor say, and she couldn’t argue with him, because she couldn’t form words.

So that’s why we needed feminism. Because unless someone told them otherwise, there would always be men who treated women like vessels, like nuisances, like inferiors, like property — and women, because they are the vessels of life, needed to fight back against this treatment. They needed to demand justice.

But no more, right?  The women’s movement was necessary, but it’s done its work.  Thank you for your efforts, suffragettes. And now we can rest, because we are all set.

Well, think again. I’m 39 years old, and feeling it. I read the blogs and comments of younger women, and I know that they’re living in a different world. Now, when I wonder if there is still a need for feminism, I look to the future of women, not the past.

When I was in college, there were a few cads and perverts on campus. But there was no such thing as nonstop porn — violent porn, available for free, 24 hours a day, on tiny devices that could be carried in your pocket.  There was no such thing as generation of men who thought of themselves as decent guys, and who expected their girlfriends to act out that porn which is normal normal normal.  There was no such things as websites dedicated to teaching guys how to drug their dates into submission, or how to trick their reluctant girlfriends into getting an abortion. There was no such thing as mainstream retailers like Target ads featuring a girl whose entire vulva was Photoshopped away, to make her trendy thigh gap gappier. There was no such thing as feminist who vehemently defended sex-selective abortion. No such thing as women live-blogging their abortions, gleefully posting pictures of their bloody baby’s remains and calling it liberation. No such thing as women selling eggs to get through college — selling their bodies to make it through college. No such thing, at least, as these things happening and progressive people calling it . . . empowering.

This is why we need feminism. Because someone needs to fight back, to tell these people, men and women: STOP. This is not what women are for. This is now how it’s supposed to go. This is not how life gets carried on. This is no life, for women or for men.

And if you think these outrages only exist in the godless secular world, you are sheltered indeed. Men and women in some Catholic circles believe that marital rape is impossible, because the marriage debt means that women never have the right to say “no.” They believe that if men use porn, it’s the woman’s fault for not being compliant or submissive enough. I know a woman whose priest told her that it’s a mortal sin to refuse her husband sex even one time, for any reason.  I know women who’ve gotten an annulment after enduring years of rape and physical and emotional abuse, and the congregation shuns . . . the woman. And her children. Because marriage is sacred.

This is why we need feminism — yes, still. This is why we need it more than we needed it twenty years ago.  Yes, the movement went astray. Yes, some evil people call themselves feminists, and do dreadful things in the name of feminism. So what?  People do dreadful things in the name of democracy, and people do dreadful things in the name of beauty. People do dreadful things in the name of Christ our savior. That doesn’t mean we abandon the name. That means we rescue it, we rectify the misuse.

When I call myself a feminist, I don’t mean that I break out in a cold sweat when McDonald’s asks me if I want a boy toy or a girl toy in my kid’s happy meal. Some people use “feminism” to mean “being upset all the time” or “getting revenge on men” or “stamping out everything that makes women seem feminine.”  So what? I don’t use it that way. Neither did John Paul II.

Yes, we still need feminism. A lot has changed in the world, but there is much more that never will change. Women will always need men in a particular way — just as men will always need women in a particular way. Barbara Valencia said it well in a recent Facebook conversation:

Left to their own devices, human beings will always drift back into oppressing and abusing one another. The strong will dominate the weak, the weak will in turn manipulate the strong. It’s like a bad wheel on a stroller that will always send the thing veering off the sidewalk into traffic if an extra counter force is not applied in the opposite direction. Christianity is supposed to be that counter force, so is feminism. Indeed, the reason why JPII’s theology is so compelling is because it uses feminist ideas and “completes” them.

It’s not about men or women being more important than the other; it’s about learning how to work in harmony. Ever hear a choir practice? Constant tuning, constant correction.

Maybe sometime in the future, we will be able to retire the word “feminism.” Maybe there will no longer be any need to struggle against injustices that men (and women!) perpetrate against the feminine. But that time is not now. That time is not coming soon. We need feminism. Yes, still.

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  • Well said. I especially love “People do dreadful things in the name of Christ our savior. That doesn’t mean we abandon the name. That means we rescue it, we rectify the misuse.”

    • beatrice652

      2My Uncle Jacob got a year 2013 Audi TT RS
      Coupe by working part time online. imp source C­a­s­h­D­u­t­i­e­s­.­ℂ­o­m

  • This needs to be branded as anything other than “feminism” then. That term is burnt.

    • Barbara Fryman

      Once upon a time I agreed with you. Then my daughter was born with Down syndrome. There was once a time when the medical community used the term “mongoloid” which was an inherently racist term derived from the word “Mongolian”. It was used because of the history of British rule in that area of the world and the beleif that “those people” were simple minded and needed the British.

      “Mongoloid” was traded up for “retardation” because it was a more accurate word derived from the Latin “retardare”, which means inhibited or slowed. Now, because middleschool children and ingorant pundits use it as a noun rather than an adjective or diagnosis, there is a campaign to “End the ‘R’ Word”. Now we use terms like “developmentally delayed” and “intellecutally disabled” which are cumbersome terms that will eventually be used by Ann Coulter types who think they are witty ways to insult. So my daughter, who has a hard enough time with language, will have her diagnosis changed over time thanks to the lexicon being determined by jerks. No thank you. I choose acuracy over emotion. I am a feminist.

      • Hate to bring it up, but how can the mother of an intellectually disabled person claim feminism?

        All the feminists I know would have urged you to abort that little girl in the womb- 90% of DS children are aborted- merely because of the possibility of intellectual disability. I know I get comments all the time about “How could you have allowed your son to be born?” at which point I have to explain that cerebral palsy is a stroke *during* birth and his disability couldn’t have been predicted.

        In fact, my conversion to pro-life happened because I read a feminist claim that the solution to autism was to get a pre-natal test for it and abort all the autistics.

        • Barbara Fryman

          Easy, the word means “advocacy of women’s rights”. My daughters have the right to grow up as fully feminine women and be treated with the respect and dignity each person deserves, rather than be dismissed and disregarded as so many women who came before me have been. YOU interpret the word to mean a Gloria Stynem-type, but that is not the definition.

          As for my daughter who has Down syndrome; yes people have suggested she ought to have been aborted, but that has nothing to do with feminism so much as eugenics. Eugenicists love to adopt worthy causes as cover for their true cause. Remember Margaret Sanger? Yeah, the feminists of her day knew she was dangerous and evil.

        • Well, I’m a feminist and I did not abort my son with D.S. Nor did any of my feminist friends tell me I should. my feminist doctors were quite supportive, too.

        • KarenJo12

          I am a pro-choice feminist. It is basic feminist belief that the decision to give birth belongs to the pregnant woman. Ms. Fryman wanted her baby and that’s the end of it. She is owed a society that supports her decision and that will ensure that her daughter grows up and can live with as much autonomy as possible, and that Ms. Fryman has enough money and time to raise her child as she needs. (“She” in that sentence is deliberately ambiguous: both Mom and daughter.). That is the feminist consensus. I’m sure you find writers who claim the title and who advocate horrors. Thomas Aquinas is the most important Catholic theologian and he openly stated that women were defective in reason and always would be stupider than any male. Should I judge your church’s view of women by the words of Aquinas?

          • No need, your screed just proved Aquinas right.

          • I thought I had posted this, had something to add, so I was going to go back and edit it, but I can’t find it:

            No need, your defense of the genocide just proved Aquinas right.

          • Ted, you need to stop this. This was a very uncharitable comment, and an insult to all women, not just those who are pro-choice.

            Moreover, you are making a mistake many pro-lifers make, and that is to assume that people are pro-choice because they hate mothers, or they hate babies, or they hate life, or they are just plain evil. I can assure you this is not true, because I used to be pro-choice myself. Most people who support the legalization of abortion do so because they genuinely, if mistakenly, believe it is the only way to help women in dire circumstances. Insulting them is not only uncharitable, it is unlikely to get them to reconsider.

          • If they genuinely but mistakenly believe that, then that is proof positive that they’re not being rational about it.

            I’m beyond hoping that they’ll reconsider. We’re 56 million into this genocide, and any attempt to stop it is met with ostracization from society. Even the Nevada Republicans have given up. There’s no hope left for the American culture.

  • Here by Detroit there is a night called “Take Back the Night”.
    I know there is a Catholic group of women out there trying to take back the word feminism. As Julie quoted , I agree. Take back the word.

    • $1028912

      Instead of responding to individual “Take back the word” comments, maybe I should just get tee-shirts printed up that say, “Sorry, you can’t have it.”
      Feminism belongs to no one – and therefore, to everyone.

  • Susan Windley-Daoust

    Feminists for Life rock. JP II’s “the new feminism” rocks. Heck, even some third wave feminists rock. All these combat a real sin, and that’s sexism. I don’t know if the word is retreivable from the pro-abortion movement, but I’d like to think so. As the Feminists for Life group says, we had the term first. Susan B Anthony (and many other early feminists) were pro-life.

  • Damien Fisher

    Checking in here for … later.

    • CS

      I can see you shadow-boxing in the corner…

  • MC. D.

    Why not abandon the name “feminism”, victor asks? Because we cannot allow those in the wrong to claim, unopposed, that their cause is the way for the female. Because their arguments are rooted in the argument that they are doing what is best for women, and we need to be clear in our correction of that. Because a name matters, and a name so closely rooted to the very idea of womanhood should never belong to those whose goals ignore and pervert the beauty of the feminine.

    • $1028912

      The name “belongs” to no one. Everyone of us — yes, even those of us who reject traditional womanhood — are feminists.
      Can anyone really claim that ANY cause is “the way for the female?” There is no single way — one size does NOT fit all, and accommodating the differences is part of (what I believe) feminism is about.

      • That scares me more than anything else- because there is One Way, One Truth, and One Life- and nobody, nobody, lives a complete life without Him.

        Multiculturalism is dangerous.

        • $1028912

          Multiculturalism is reality — the world is a very big place. Sure, it’s scary in some places, but it’s pretty wonderful, overall. And it’s our differences that make it so.

          • It is our differences that cause ethnic strife, murder, and war.

          • Lydia

            Not really. There are good differences and bad differences. The problems set in when people look at different and see evil.

          • When I look at women who deny motherhood, and men who ignore fatherhood and neglect the family, I don’t see very much good at all.

            We’ve had 2000 years of research into the one correct way to live. When we ignore that research, we do so at our own peril.

          • Lydia

            Those are evils, but they are not the fruit of the fact that there are lots of cultures in the world. The Church has a tradition of cherry picking the good stuff from different cultures and baptizing them (Easter eggs, anyone?). Cultural differences in themselves are not the problem. There are cultural differences from state to state in the US. The problem arises when one cultural group declares itself to be better and then starts oppressing people who aren’t evil but different. That, actually is one of the things feminism can address in a good way when that tendency is acted upon towards women. Christian women in Pakistan and now also in Syria are routinely subjected to grave humiliation and violation by Muslim men because they can, because the women aren’t Muslim. There is an example of a truly horrendous cultural evil, acted out in a misogynist way, based in looking at a different culture and a different sex and seeing subhuman.

          • Lydia

            It’s important for Catholics (and anyone, really-there are lots of super liberal types who live in a ghetto of the mind) to beware of the ghetto mentality that can creep in. It’s one thing to get fed up with people’s stupidity and to maintain a close circle of people who agree and can build you up, but it’s another entirely to want everything to be the same and sort of Orwellian.

          • We aren’t even allowed to have a close circle of people who agree and can build us up anymore- such groups get attacked constantly by the dictatorship of relativism.

          • Lydia

            Really? I have a set of friends like that. I think most people do. No one has ever got in my way of hanging out with those I want to hang out with.

          • You haven’t had friends escorted out of a school building and fired by the school board for espousing a pro-life view? Been attacked at Church for daring to say that we shouldn’t pay for the genocide of abortion with our taxes?

          • $1028912

            Since free speech is legal and protected, I’m guessing that the problems were less with the messages than the way in which they were delivered.

          • Free speech isn’t legal and protected anymore. Not when you can be arrested for it.

          • Lydia

            Well, sure, actually. I’ve had friends arrested for that. But that doesn’t mean my right to free association has been breached. Free speech, yes, but not association.

          • Bill Diss had his free association removed, as he was escorted off of campus and fired by the school board.

          • ModerateMom17

            That’s pure bullshit.

          • Thanks for proving my point.

          • Which is why Islam is among “The Way of Death”.

          • $1028912

            “One correct way to live?” And what about those of us who don’t want to live this particular way — or those of us who seek out different cultures, different races, and revel in the differences? What you’re saying goes beyond feminism. You can certainly surround yourself with people who are just like you — who look like you, and share all of your values — but not all of us want that. Nor should we.

          • Jesus Christ is The Way, the Truth, and the Life. Ignoring that is The Way of Death. The entire purpose of Catholicism has always been about this.

          • $1028912

            There are countless millions of people who live perfectly dignified, civilized, constructive lives without the benefit of religion. And getting back to feminism — I don’t recall Jesus setting forth any rigid gender roles. Some of his followers were happy to do that later, though.

          • “There are countless millions of people who live perfectly dignified, civilized, constructive lives without the benefit of religion.”

            No, in fact, they don’t. The lack of religion in and of itself is undignified.

            “And getting back to feminism — I don’t recall Jesus setting forth any rigid gender roles.”

            Yeah, and I bet you don’t understand the doctrine of Immaculate Conception either.

            My point is that your version of feminism is uncivilized and undignified – in and of itself. By denying gender, you’ve denied humanity.

          • $1028912

            Well, I do deny gender — I believe in physical differences of the sexes, of course, but I tried to raise my kids as gender-free as I possibly could, free from society’s expectations of what they’re supposed to be like.

            And I wish I could introduce you to some of the dignified, civilized folks I’m privileged to know over here, in my non-Christian country.

            I’m almost afraid to ask, but…..what ever does the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception (which I do in fact understand) have to do with feminism/gender roles?

          • Of course you did. After all, you hate family and heterosexuality, so you have to tear it down and destroy it.

            Christ defined the gender roles in St. Mary’s Yes- completely outside of time. If you actually understood that, you’d understand why gender roles are important, are actually the only thing that is important.

          • $1028912

            Gender roles are “actually the only thing that is important?” Um…

            Why ever would I hate family and heterosexuality? I love my family, and I love having sex with men, so I think you’re barking up the wrong tree there.

            I have no desire to destroy the traditional family — just the notion that ALL families MUST be traditional.


            That’s what the lack of gender roles has created- a constant attack on family and heterosexuality, building up to the destruction of civilization.

            You can’t support “non-standard” families without destroying the heteronormative traditional family. It has taken a while, to be sure, but the current trend towards a homosexual dictatorship was depressingly predictable.

          • $1028912

            Believe it or not, it’s possible — and I’m living proof — that it’s possible support both traditional families (presumably like yours) and “non-standard” families like mine.

          • Not without tearing down the traditional family and the *foundation* of humanity, it isn’t. You can’t preach against procreation without destroying procreation.

          • $1028912

            I’m not sure you understand what I “preach.” I support the right to procreate — or not — according to individual preferences.

          • Not if you support abortion you don’t. From China’s One child policy to the abortion mills of the United States, abortion is about the destruction of the human species. Sometimes through force, sometimes through fraud, but always about war on children.

            Contraception and homosexuality are just the softer side of that same removal of the highest value- procreation of the species, without which nothing else matters at all.

            That’s where your “gender neutrality” and fake tolerance have taken us. I don’t believe for a second you actually support the right to procreate- because you’ve already said you support the genocide of the unwanted.

          • $1028912

            One again: Feminism is not about abortion.
            And you keep insisting I don’t support the right to procreate, when in fact, I’ve willingly done it myself a few times. That would suggest I think procreation is a good thing, wouldn’t it?

          • Not as long as you continue to advocate for the holocaust, no. The whole argument is poisoned by that to the point that the only way out is to convert to pro-life.

          • $1028912

            I was raised pro-life and “converted” the other way. I’m willing to work to prevent abortion by preventing unwanted pregnancies in the first place, but I suppose that’s not good enough for you.
            Seriously — feminism is not about abortion.

          • It’s the bigotry against the unwanted that is the problem. Contraception and abortion are the same issue in that regard.

            The day I see the feminists truly *stop* trying to prevent the unwanted, I might begin to change my mind on that one. But as long as pregnancy is a disease to be prevented, and children are not worth the money to raise, there is a problem with that point of view.

          • $1028912

            If I thought children were “not worth the money to raise,” then why I did freely choose to have a few?

            And if we can’t agree that preventing unwanted pregnancies is a good thing, then we truly don’t have much common ground.

          • Which I knew at the *start* of this conversation- that there is no common ground left. Preventing unwanted children is a sign that a culture values money more than people.

          • $1028912

            Preventing unwanted children from being conceived in the first place is common sense, in any culture.

          • It isn’t in a culture that actually values human life above greed.

          • $1028912

            Many people who don’t want children (or don’t want any more) have reasons that have nothing to do with greed.

          • I don’t see any reasons that don’t come to not wanting to share their world with more people. Generous people don’t begrudge another person life in return for more material wealth.

          • $1028912

            “Material wealth?” How about, I would have been willing to adopt more kids if my partner agreed (which he did not), but I was not willing to go through another pregnancy/c-section/years of breastfeeding. You can still call me selfish for “begrudging” all of those unborn kids from ever existing, but it had nothing at all to do with “material wealth” — it had to do with deciding my body was no longer up to producing any more offspring.

          • You take what you get in life. Control is an illusion. Unless, of course, you’re willing to commit evil to control life, but that only brings more evil. Everything wrong in the world comes from somebody trying to have control over their life.

          • $1028912

            True — we are not fully in control of our fate. But we do what we can, with the limited control we do have.

          • We should not. We should accept our fate instead.

          • $1028912

            You are free to accept your fate. But I will try my best to control whatever I can.

          • Yes you will, as will most Americans. And being human, we’ll all screw up whatever we attempt to control. We’re really bad that way.

          • $1028912

            I don’t know, so far, I’ve managed to stay healthy — I can’t control whether I develop certain disease or get into accidents, but I can do the best with the circumstances I have. I’ve controlled the size of my family. I’ve controlled my own higher education, and that of my kids. An earthquake could strike us all dead tomorrow, but in the meantime, I do my best to stick to my chosen path.

          • I’m talking about the unintended consequences of those decisions, long term. As in centuries.

            The traditional view is built on not what happens to a single individual, but what happens in the aggregate, long term over generations. We Americans are extremely bad at taking the long view. And I see you trying to control the short term at the expense of the long term- at the expense of the rest of society- for what? An illusion. An illusion that you’re in control. But that’s all it is, an illusion.

            Learning to cooperate instead of fight fate, is a huge part of growing up.

          • $1028912

            Then I hope I never “grow up.”
            I’m always going to try hard to do what I think is best.

          • Yep. Most liberals hope to never grow up. Then one day, their lifestyle catches up with them and suddenly they’re old and dependent on the family structures they denied when they were young.

            Abandon the needs of your children, and they will abandon you when you are old.

          • $1028912

            Except that I’m not abandoning the needs of my children.

          • Except when it comes to teaching them rational gender roles and the purpose behind them. But then again, that’s exactly what you want to destroy.

          • $1028912

            No, I don’t seek to destroy traditional gender roles — only the requirement that every individual must follow them.

          • Any orthodoxy that is less than mandatory is soon persecuted.

          • $1028912

            Yes — which is why I don’t think any orthodoxy should be mandatory.

          • Because you believe orthodoxy should be persecuted, yes. I get that quite strongly.

          • $1028912

            In which ways do I believe it should be “persecuted?”

          • Do I really need to spell out the etymology of the word? Sometimes I think a liberal arts education must be worthless, because liberals don’t seem to know how to think.

          • $1028912

            No, I know what it means — I’m asking you to provide examples of how I supposedly think orthodoxy should be persecuted.

          • One way seems to be traditional gender identity.

          • $1028912

            And how exactly would I be “persecuting” that?

          • By denying it to your children and others.

          • $1028912

            Okay, so I’m “persecuting” my children by raising them as gender-free as possible — putting my daughter in karate classes with her brothers and making my sons cook and do laundry. Oh, the horror!
            How exactly am I persecuting “others,” though?

          • One way is by insisting that moral relativism is correct, online and in a CATHOLIC forum.

            Though I must admit to being impressed that you keep responding, when it’s obvious you reject the very thing I stand for- a universal objective morality.

          • $1028912

            Posting blog comments stating a counter opinion counts as “persecution?”

          • When it is a persecution of an idea, the weapons against an idea are ideas.

          • $1028912

            So to oppose an idea is to “persecute” it?
            Are you therefore persecuting me, too, when you oppose mine — or is it just me who’s persecuting you?

          • It goes both ways, especially given the whole “One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church” thing. But I would point out where you are posting.

          • $1028912

            So you’re saying that if I post any opposing views on a Catholic blog, this counts as “persecuting” Catholics?

          • I’m saying that is your only intent and reason for being on a Catholic blog- to attack.

          • $1028912

            Believe it or not, I’m here because I’m a Catholic myself (not devout — obviously!) and because I’m a longtime Simcha fan.

          • Not only not devout, but actively attacking the faith? Why bother?

          • $1028912

            Nah, not really attacking it. But “why bother” is an excellent question, that I often ask myself — so I recently stopped going to mass.

          • What has this conversation been about, if not actively attacking the traditions of the faith?

            If you expect the church to be a democracy, you will be disappointed, for the Kingdom of Christ is a monarchy, not a democracy. I expect you to have stopped going to mass, so many of your liberal friends have when faced with the fact that their modern denial of right and wrong doesn’t fit church teaching. But they were Protestants long before- protesting against Christ, protesting against The Way of Life.

            I find it extremely sad to choose politics over religion- and I say the same to the “useful idiots” of the Republican Party who have had to sit back and watch as the Right to Life takes a back seat to Tax Cuts for the Wealthy.

          • $1028912

            Ha, what has this conversation been about indeed! I was agreeing with Simcha (who is as devout as I am secular) that we still need feminism! She and I don’t see eye to eye on a lot of things, but we agree on that.

            I don’t “expect the church to be a democracy” — it is what it is. Why should it change for me? All I can change is myself.

          • And I disagreed with you both- for I’m both devout and Orthodox, and see no need for “feminism” to change the Church at all. In fact, I blame feminists like Mrs Margaret Slee in this video for much of what has gone wrong since her interview in 1947:


          • $1028912

            She is better known as Margaret Sanger. Her writings on eugenics are weird & creepy, but she was ahead of her time when it came to contraception. Birth control is a blessing for families like mine!

            And I don’t believe feminism should “change the church” — I never said that. Since I’m not devout myself, I focus my time & attention on the secular world.

          • neveraname

            Lisa, I’m sorry but you are terribly misguided.You’ve bought into the big contraceptive LIE. Christ calls us to LOVE. And love everyone, not just the “wanted”. Substitute “girl” or “Jew” instead of “children” in your sentence and what do you get?

            People who think their zygote in the womb is unwanted should walk a mile in my shoes and my born-of-rape son’s. He’s an adult now, and knows he was not exactly born “conceived in love”. But he was never unloved once he was put in my arms.

            And 90% of our “civilized” culture think that trees, or food or water or whatever are the world’s most important resource, but that’s wrong. PEOPLE are the world’s most important resource. And we are slaughtering and “never conceiving” that resource.

            Where the little contraceptive lie goes, evil always follows. Just ask the victims of a WHO vaccine campaign in Mexico and other countries who were found to be sterile. It was eventually revealed that a sterility-inducing drug had been added to the vaccines. So you see, BIG EVIL FOLLOWS little evil. Always has, always will.

          • $1028912

            I think women who bear children conceived in rape are heroes for making a choice that not all of us would make.

            Even though I don’t agree with the pro-life position, I understand and respect it. But as far as I know, it doesn’t apply to babies that were never created because their mothers didn’t want them.

            The unwanted children that I prevented with my contraception over several decades were inherently different from “girls” or “Jews” in that they were never “unloved” – they simply did not exist, because sperm never met egg. What never exists cannot be “unloved.”

          • neveraname

            Ok Lisa, I don’t like to get into long threads so this is (hopefully) my last comment on this subject. There was nothing “heroic” in having my son by rape. A child is a child is a child. Just because you enjoyed sex without responsibility via contraception doesn’t mean that the good Lord had YOUR ideal # of kids in His plan for you. Remember the scripture, I knew you before you were in your mother’s womb. That’s pretty clear. Of the women I have counseled over the years who were pregnant from rape etc. they all kept their babies and not one of them regretted it. Think of it this way. You die, go to the proverbial pearly gates and Christ says, “why did you refuse my gift?” Your answer will be what? the timing wasn’t right, Lord. I was in college Lord. Think of that. A gift is a gift and if NOTHING else, it’s rude to turn down the gift of life.
            My son was only one of two children I was able to have because I got uterine cancer. I wanted as many as possible. If I had vacuumed him away in a nice, legal slaughterhouse, I would have missed the immense joy of having him in my life. He once asked me why didn’t I abort him? I said, “Darling, can you image saying to an adult child, or a two year child, or anywhere in between, “I have no interest IN KNOWING YOU?” The gospel says that “just saying ‘Lord, Lord'” doesn’t get you to heaven.

            To quote St. Thomas More, “we don’t get to heaven on featherbeds.” It ain’t meant to be EASY. So, your “never were” children (and if you were using the pill you aborted many but didn’t notice) might have been important not just to you, or the world, but God too.
            Are you even Catholic????

          • Claire

            Neveraname, I have to agree with Lisa on one thing, and that is that in my eyes, you are a hero. (Well, actually, I have had to agree with her on a few other things thanks to donttouchme and Theodore Seeber. Would you people please stop making me agree with Lisa?!) But seriously, I think you were incredibly courageous to go against the mainstream and do the right thing, and I know that you have been richly rewarded for it by the gift that is your son.

          • neveraname

            wow. I’m floored. That giving birth and raising a child who was conceived without benefit of champagne and Barry White music is considered heroic means the values of the culture at large are truly upside down.
            One woman I met thru a ministry said to the group “what crime did my daughter commit that deserved a death sentence?”
            Let me reveal that my history is much worse than what I’ve mentioned. Barely 18, in my first month at college I was raped orally and thrown to the pavement behind a men’s dorm at my Catholic college. I was a virgin. And was still–technically. This was 1976. Since then, hardly a day goes by that I don’t think of that event. PTSD I guess.

            Then ten years later, I was forced/raped again. I had only recently come back to the Church when it happened. I remembered how my parents (both converts) had taught us that God always brings good from the worst possible adversity and wounds. They had lost all their friends and family when they entered the Church as newlyweds. I was reeling from the event. Unlike the first violent violation, I went to the parish priest the next day. I told him that I had a feeling that due to the timing I was fairly sure I was pregnant. I wasn’t going to give up the baby or abort. I didn’t know it at the time, but the pregnancy was going to be one of the best things that ever happened to me. God let the evil happen to me, but provided me with it’s antidote you see. Since my son was born, I don’t think I’ve thought of his father even five times. I knew him. Knew him well. But when I look at my cutie-pie 20-something I don’t see his horrible father’s features. I see he has my late brother’s sense of humor. My mom’s green eyes. My sister’s blond hair. You see, my healing was signed, sealed, and then delivered (literally) by delivering HIM. I didn’t have any thoughts of that man again. I speak of him, but he’s like a kind of abstraction. He’s not a person in any sense in my life. Through his Evil, God gave me this wonderful person.

            The only people I’ve met who never get over a rape that produces a child are the ones who abort. It’s just a variant of the Big Lie. “Oh we HAVE to have an exception for rape…” is crap. In the various ministries I’ve volunteered in over the 25 years since that night that God gave me my son’s conception, I’ve never met a sad woman who gave birth. The women who never recover were pressured by family, police, doctors, sisters, etc. to “abort that THING that was going to be a constant reminder of the rape.” Eventually she realizes, OMG, I killed my own baby!
            The LIE is just NOT TRUE. That is the lie that has been repeated until it’s accepted as fact. But a lie is a lie.

            And you all think I’m so heroic or unusual in having given birth to a child of rape? Rape is rare, and pregnancies from rape are extremely rare, but there are a lot of us. We don’t go around talking about it. You think it’s heroic?? Well, it’s very paradoxical for many people. They assume the baby will remind them of the rapist. But it just isn’t how it plays out. It just isn’t. Women might think, How would carrying this baby be good? But it is GOOD. And my son doesn’t feel any dumb guilt because his dad was a violent jerk. He’s a happy guy. And why not? He’s been loved all his life. He HAS a life. When he was about 18, he came to me and asked me right out, “mom, were you raped?” Yeah, sweetie I was. His face broke into a wide grin. He said, “Wow! You really love me a lot!” He’s loved more than the adopted child who was “picked out special” because he knows that there must have been people who told me to abort. He grew up from stroller days on, with mom praying the rosary in front of the abortion mill. But he didn’t think anything about it because I was plugged into a whole pro-life network by then. He knew kids who were black, adopted by white families. He knew lots of other Catholic families. It wasn’t unusual in our circle of friends and families to find an old friend out in front of the abortuary on a Saturday morning, or standing in the Life Chain. He knew I did some kind of crisis counseling. It took him to adulthood to think there was something in my past about HIM. But he knew that he was loved more than anything.
            You know the saying “get a life”. Why do women think they have the right to kill their own child??? It boggles my mind. That mothers decide well, “I’m going to kill this baby, but keep the next one” is the ultimate in HORROR. GOSNELL!! Does any woman leave an abortuary HAPPY? If they do, it hits ’em all later. And if it it doesn’t there’s something wrong with them deep down inside. Planned Parenthood has sold this lie so successfully that women brag that they’re glad they aborted. But most women end up thinking of that baby the rest of their lives.

            I met a schizophrenic woman and spoke with her over a period of weeks. Finally she revealed that her symptoms only manifested on the first anniversary of the abortion her husband forced her to have for economic reasons. She felt cornered, without any choice but to kill her own child. It literally made her legally insane…..Watch the movie Sophie’s Choice. When you kill your child, heck–if you miscarry!–you think of that child every day for the rest of your life. You imagine his/her face. You name them. You picture them in heaven…

            That this has to be explained to Lisa and you Claire, saddens me immensely. Let me put it bluntly so maybe you’ll not agree with Lisa. Just because you take a pill to “never conceive an unwanted child” or go to Planned Parenthood and take two pills to abort–just because it is accepted by society–common–it doesn’t make you any different than the Indian women who strangle their daughters because they wanted sons, doesn’t make you better than someone who puts a pillow over her grandma’s face and smothers her, doesn’t make you any different that a person who puts a gun to another person’s head and pulls the trigger. I’m sure you’re all pro-life when it comes to capital punishment. But are you any different than state-as-executioner? NO. YOU’RE WORSE.BECAUSE YOU KILL YOUR OWN FLESH AND BLOOD NO MATTER HOW SMALL. Because evil is banal. It’s commonplace. It seems the “right thing” because evil is ALWAYS the easy way. The Quick Fix. You are worse than a common murderer. Because you throw away your very own children. I’ve seen too much to not be truthful just because it’s polite to look away from evil. You have to stare down evil and call it what it is. Otherwise you are enabling the evil. That should be enough truth for you all to get it. I hope it does make you GET IT. And that’s my last word. Those who have ears, hear.

          • Claire

            Neveraname, I’m sorry that I have offended you. I think you have misunderstood me. I am pro life. I don’t believe that babies who were conceived in rape deserve to die. And I don’t agree with Lisa on much, other than in response to some ridiculous comments made by dontouchme and Theodore Seeber. The only other thing I agree with her on is that you are to be admired. The reason I feel that way is that you went against the grain and rejected the lies of mainstream society.

          • anna lisa

            Lisa,we aren’t just animals reproducing, *we are human beings* . This is something astounding and sacred. Human beings may lose sight of the fact that they are made in the image of God, and *behave* like animals, but that is tragic. I shudder when the conversation reduces human beings to objects at the dog pound.

          • $1028912

            Anna Lisa, I know you love babies and have a big family. Not all of us feel the same way you do about babies and children, and not all of us want the same things out of our lives.

            I did not equate humans with “objects at the dog pound” — you just did, so they’re your words, not mine. I think you just don’t understand how any baby can possibly be “unwanted?” Please try to imagine how others feel, even though you clearly feel very differently yourself. A woman who truly does not want a baby should avoid conceiving one.

          • anna lisa

            Lisa, I don’t walk in your shoes. I don’t know what else to say. I know our hairs are counted and He knows when a sparrow falls.
            You’ve kind of grown on me. I’m a rebel too, but I exult in being a daughter of the Church, It’ s so beautiful to believe in such *madness*, it’s like lowering your nets into the waters knowing that the world says that there should be no fish.

          • $1028912

            Anna Lisa, you’ve grown on me, too, since the days when you used to call me a — what was it, “sociopath,” for supporting abortion? Or “psychopath?” And “troll” — I’m not any of these, but least of all, the last one!

            I am not, nor ever have been, a person of great faith, but I have deep respect for people who are, and for religion in general. It brings meaning to people’s lives, helps them cope with their day-to-day trials, often makes them try to be better human beings — and who knows, perhaps it does prepare them for whatever might come next? I don’t long to join such people, but neither do I look down on them, at all. And I like to think that if there is a God, he created all of us — including irreverent me — for some reason of his own, as part of some grand plan.

          • anna lisa

            Lol, don’t take the sociopath comment too personally. I’m convinced that we all need to battle the interior sociopath. Any of us are *capable* of flossing our teeth while the BBC reports a genocide.
            Lisa, your life will change when your worship of God becomes like a love affair. It will keep you up at night. He will hide from you. He will allow himself to be found. You will question His tactics. You will try to control Him. He will give you room, He won’t give you your space. He is anything but the opiate of the masses. He is so much more. He knows when a sparrow falls, He has your hairs counted. Should your mother forget you, He will not. Eye has not seen, ear has not heard..

            …now look at Him, young and virile, hanging on a cross by choice,– and know what the face of complete, *unadulterated* love looks like .

            The world leaves us tired and bored, teetering on cynicism. We could floss our teeth, or daydream about our grocery list while looking at the crucifix for the eighth millionth time. We are entitled children, taking our doting parent for granted. The opposite of love is not hate, it is *indifference*.

            Which reminds me of JP2–It must be Mercy Sunday already in Japan! Happy feast day! I love Mercy Sunday. God bless you and your family on this doubly beautiful day.

            ps– if you are by chance in Nagasaki, I would love for you to meet my friend Chika, She is such a lovely, elegant, Japanese woman–irreverent me is in awe of her. She’s the real deal. 🙂

          • $1028912

            I’m in Tokyo and rarely get further west than Osaka, but if she ever gets up here, I’d enjoy meeting her.
            One suggestion, about how people of faith ought to approach secular folks: Don’t assume that the reason we don’t share your deep beliefs is that we’re closed to them. Some of us were raised in the fold, and did our best to believe — and even used to torture ourselves internally because we were told, over and over, that only BAD people didn’t believe, and our lack of faith was therefore a personal failing. But would those same people ever fault a blind person, for being born unable to see? God made some of us doubters — for reasons known only to Him.

            And the advice I give to my fellow secular people is this: It’s fine to have no faith, but don’t let your doubts BECOME your faith.

          • anna lisa

            Lisa, there is a reason that God makes us learn a new language. All of us eventually need to cut the cord from our parents and learn His true language on our own.
            My crisis of faith came when I realized my parents were flawed, fallible human beings. I love remembering those days when I was 100 percent sure of everything, because my parents–said so. That was the faith of a child. There is something so lovely and intimate about believing in the dark. The heart is exposed, and the pulse is raised–a different, and self aware trust is being wrought. It is a slow process. I don’t believe He expects it to be otherwise–Billions of years makes for quite a crescendo.
            I understand guilt. some of it stunts us in our growth, and some of it compels us to move from a stale place. God just loves us , pure and simple. Sometimes we won’t embrace that because we don’t believe we deserve it, with all of our flaws and failings. I get that. He performed a miracle when that man said, “I believe, help my unbelief.” — That prayer is a fine and worthy one.
            My confessor told me to read the works of Jacques Phillipe. They have really helped me with driving home the reality the God is not waiting to love *perfect* me. He loves us completely, right now, regardless. If He was patient enough to wait billions of years for a man to incubate, He isn’t impatient for me to overcome my foibles, and you are right, those foibles are allowed for a reason. they may cause pain, and in some cases even murder and mayhem, but He promises to even draw good from the worst of things.

          • $1028912

            Funny, I never remember a time when I had complete faith in my own parents — I remember thinking they were flawed, fallible human beings just like me, even when I was a preschooler — and I loved them anyway. At least I’m consistent!

            And speaking of “anyway,” probably far less intellectual than the author you recommend (whom I will look up), I’ve always liked the Mother Teresa “Anyway” poem ( ). I can add my own verse: “If you lack faith in God and lead a secular life, some people will call you evil. Lead a constructive life, anyway.”

          • $1028912

            No. The way some people act on differences is what causes ethnic strife, murder and war.
            Do you really want to live in a world where everyone is exactly alike?

          • Yes. I do. After seeing what liberals and libertarians have done with liberty, after seeing freedom redefined as the license to treat your neighbor worse than you would treat a dog, I don’t have much hope left for “diversity” being anything more than a code word for “Let me sin in my way and I’ll let you sin in yours”.

          • Erin Evans

            I don’t think you know what diversity is. The Catholic Church is diverse, but holds universal truths at the same time. People live and worship in different ways (do you know how many rites there are that are still in union with Rome) We eat different foods Wear different clothes Speak die tent languages, Colors and symbols mean different things in our cultures, and at the same time there is a Universal truth that connects all.

          • Postmodernists deny the existence of universal truth, and liberty is now nothing more than the license to do whatever one wishes.

          • Anna

            Ted, I forget if it was on The Crescat or on Mark Shea’s blog where you left a comment recently about struggling with despair in the human race. This discussion seems to have brought that struggle to the forefront. No fan of the smoking ruins of civilization I, but Calvinistic despair in the goodness of anything human doesn’t remedy the problem. Nor does pinning all the troubles of humanity on Lisa, though I disagree with her about nearly everything except the value of being able to have a civil discussion with *people* you disagree with.

          • Still struggling with that despair- and yes, liberals of all sorts bring it to the forefront. Especially this week.

          • Michelle

            It’s people like you who make people run screaming from Christians and Christianity. I thought Christians like you were a thing of the past – those Christians who gathered together other Christians to go to distant lands and try to totally change another culture into a carbon copy of the white European, Christian culture. Multiculturalism is beautiful and our differences are something to be celebrated, not squashed and squeezed and molded until we all look, sound, behave and talk the same. God made us all different for a reason and it’s not your job to undo His/Her work.

          • And sadly, I know that feminists like you are the thing of the future- eugenics, death, and war instead of peace, always blaming somebody else for your problems. Multiculturalism, let’s face it, you aren’t multiculturalist when it comes to civilization itself, you want to destroy it- especially if men are running it, then it MUST be squashed, squeezed, destroyed.

            Can’t let us have a community, all believing the same thing- you have an incessant need to destroy that wherever you find it. Can’t let men come together to be men- no, that needs to be destroyed too. Can’t even let boys be boys in school- you need psychotropic drugs like Ritalin to keep them in line.

            God made us all the same- we’re all made in the image of God, both male and female, but you are the one who wants to destroy even that- sterilizing both male and female and making them both neuter with birth control drugs in the water supply.

          • Michelle

            Holy Hell you certainly think you know a lot about me by my one comment. I think you need to get your anger towards women under control if you go off on perfect strangers like this. Wowwww.
            Do you feel better after your little rant? I hope so. If not, please get some help before you go blowing up a Planned Parenthood or something and blaming feminists for your outburst.

          • I return anger with anger. Feminists have killed 56 million people, which is why I am not surprised when their approved politicians let ISIS slide a bit. The whole intent is to exterminate people they hate anyway. The slippery slope is unidirectional, and we can no longer reach the top, you have won. Enjoy the victory, the war against men has been won.

          • Michelle

            Where do you get that feminists have killed 56 million people? You are so full of crap. If you return anger with anger, you’re not much of a “Christian” are you? Is that what you’ve learned from the Bible? There is no war against men, but there certainly is a war against women and people like you are the reason feminism is still needed. Good job keeping feminism going. All of us feminists thank you. SMH

          • “Where do you get that feminists have killed 56 million people? ”

            The death toll from abortion since it became legal in 1973.

            I fully agree I’m not a Christian- at least, not of the left wing go along to get along sort.

            The so-called “war on women” is really an attack against the patriarchy by feminists, not being satisfied with genocidal mania apparently, they want more.

          • Michelle

            Sorry, dude, but not everyone who has an abortion is a feminist AND women were having abortions (and more were dying from them) WAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYY before Roe V. Wade. You can’t blame abortions on feminists no matter how much you want abortions to be their fault. Seriously. It’s laughable.

          • It’s feminists in Planned Parenthood who keep blocking even the most common sense improvements in the situation, such as requiring a surgery to be licensed as gasp, a surgery.

            Nope, don’t believe it. The abortion rate was no place close to as large before 1973, and I no longer believe anything feminists say. I’ve heard far too much of the rhetoric of the “women’s studies” type that always seems to end in the genocide. There is no way left for me to ever believe that feminists are anything other than genocidal maniacs.

          • Michelle

            Seriously? Use common sense, man! The abortion rate wasn’t as large before 1973 because there WEREN’T AS MANY PEOPLE! Come on. Use your head.

          • And advertisement had nothing to do with it, I suppose.

            If that is what passes for common sense among feminists, it is little wonder that the entire movement has been taken over by eugenicists.

        • CS

          Ted, there is a multiculturalism that is imposed/imposable, and then there is a reality of human diversity that cannot be defined by the current word for the same. True “diversity” is that which is described by the Body of Christ: a diversity of person, charism, and unique identity in the eyes of the Creator.

          • WITHIN the body of Christ there has always been a diversity of culture.

            But that isn’t what the postmodernist means by diversity.

          • CS

            “that isn’t what the postmodernist means by diversity.”

            I totally agree. It is a narrow-minded view that dominates curently; one that assesses the data on people and attempts to quantify them thereby. Diversity = qualities a, b, c, d, and e all in the same place.


  • Mimi Trammell

    Thank you so much. I hate when I can’t formulate in non-ragetastic words why we *do* need feminism..Bookmarking this for future references!

  • mithril1971

    Excellent. THANK YOU. I wanted to blog this too..
    And can we PLEASE recognize the middle class white American perspectives of all this fuss? That is to say, women have the vote – yes- here in America. Women can go to school and work – yes- here in America. In much of the world (and in the US) women disproportionately shoulder poverty, 180 girls were kidnapped in Nigeria and no one is helping, baby girls in China are murdered every year in the thousands, in Egypt and the Middle East women are being gang raped every day, and bear the brunt of conflict unlike their male counterparts. Women are created equal but not treated equally or with dignity around the world, and a tiny global perspective is what lets us all share in the opening words of our Catholic pastoral constitution “the hopes and joys, the GRIEFS and ANXIETIES of all who suffer and the hopes and joys, griefs and anxieties of the people of God. We have a responsibility to be feminist, to protect all women and not to turn our heads because the word has been absconded by political groups or makes some men feel less comfortable sitting around feeling more equal and more dignified by ignoring the griefs and anxieties of women all over the world.

    • CS

      Yes, indeed. Privileged women, especially white women, love to talk about what feminism is and whether we need it anymore but we can ONLY do that because of our privilege! When we can take anything for granted — ability to walk the street alone in safety, ability to make any choices about career and marriage, ability to go to school unimpeded by poverty or terrorists — we are enjoying the fruits of feminism and privilege. And we cannot forget that this is not the case for millions of women in the world.

  • Jennifer

    This post is wonderful. I call myself a feminist, even though I am a SAHM who homeschools and spends most of my time barefoot and pregnant. A true feminist knows that you don’t have to be like a man to be accepted into society. A true feminist knows that her body deserves respect. A true feminist knows that God made the genders completely equal… yet different.

  • Suzanna

    BOOM. ::drops the mic::

    But in all seriousness, I used to cringe at the word ‘feminism’, but now use it in a reclaimed context. The examples you give are real. I’ve witnessed many of them. Experienced only a few, thanks be to God.

  • Debbie M.

    I think we thank Matt Walsh for inspiring this article, right? 😉

  • Super_Red

    This sums up my feelings in so many beautiful ways. THANK YOU. I would add that this video is well worth watching:

    I’ve started telling people I’m proud to be a pro-life feminist even though in recent days I would have been quick to shun the phrasing. I do not agree with anything radical feminism stands for. I’m *so* thankful you mentioned the mcdonalds hullaballo because in a world where unborn women are torn to shreds for the crime of being a female, “feminists” hold up McDonalds no longer asking “would you like the girl toy or the boy toy” as some sort of great feminist victory.

    I love the idea of “genderist” (see the video) and I love love love everything you wrote here. THANK YOU.

  • Diana Calliou

    Well done, Simcha! Feminism: It’s not about men or women being more important than the other; it’s
    about learning how to work in harmony.

  • Julie

    I agree with everything you say. But it is so difficult for me to think of those goals as feminism. When you have to qualify your feminism with things like “for life” or “new-wave” you put yourself at an immediate, semantic disadvantage. Taking back the word and changing the conversation means taking on the entire sexual revolution and the preceding sexual oppression with a term that isn’t just loaded, but loaded with ideology that is the exact polar opposite of what you stand for, and goals that actively harm women and enable the worst instincts in men. I can’t think of any other issue that has that hard a hill to climb. I don’t even know where to begin.

    • $1028912

      You don’t have to “take back the word” — nobody owns it. Just concentrate on what we all have in common, rather than what we don’t.

      • Julie

        You’d think the word was owned by how quickly and nastily pro-abortion feminists disown pro-life feminists. Having to make the case that you are indeed a feminist puts you at an immediate disadvantage and muddles the message – even if pro-abortion feminists largely agree with you. And maybe it’s petty, but I don’t want to be associated with people who think porn is liberating and abortion is a necessary good that puts women on equal footing with men. I want another word.

        • $1028912

          I’m a pro-abortion feminist who embraces pro-life feminists, and really, there are many like me out here in the world.

          Ironically, you complain about the other side “quickly and nastily” disowning you, and then in the same breath, you say you don’t want to associate with people like me? You’re proof that your point works both ways!

          • Julie

            I’m tickled that you qualified your feminism with pro-abortion. Also I didn’t complain about pro-abortion feminists dismissing pro-life feminists. While I agree with Simcha on every one of her points as to why women need to fight for their own safety and worth, and for harmony between men and women, I don’t think that makes me a feminist.

            And your anecdotal insistence that there are many feminists like you out there doesn’t convince me. Sorry. When a pro-abortion, secular atheist like Ayaan Hirsi Ali – who’s life is in real danger from real misogynists – has an honorary degree revoked by a school like Brandeis at the behest of multiple women in the Women and Gender Studies class, I am repulsed by feminism and I won’t be part of it even to try to wrestle it into some kind of helpful movement. There is too much actual work that needs to be done to waste time explaining to silly women that tribalism is responsible for rape culture, not boy and girl toys at McDonalds.

          • $1028912

            It sure sounded like you complained about pro-abortion feminists dismissing pro-life feminists when you described “how quickly and nastily pro-abortion feminists disown pro-life feminists.” I made the point that many of us don’t.
            It’s fine to be replused by feminISM, but are you also repulsed by feiminISTS? Do you automatically dismiss every single thing someone says, if they hold a view you oppose?

          • Julie

            Since I don’t call myself a feminist, I’m not complaining. Just stating what I observe. And your word that “many of you don’t” doesn’t ring true for me.

            I’m never repulsed by human beings with the exception of abortionists. I’m not proud of that, because I believe everyone can change and be redeemed, but I am repulsed by what they do and that carries over into how I feel about them as humans.

            I am not repulsed by feminists. But I consider them unserious. I don’t think Western civilization breeds a rape culture, and I don’t think the celebration of gender differences leads to gender inequality and the oppression of women. I also don’t think the solution to mens’ oppression of women is women’s oppression of children. I don’t think anyone has the right to unlimited, consequence free sex, and I don’t think rapists, rape enablers, and sexual predators make good governmental leaders no matter how much they support abortion. I think women like Ayaan Hirsi Ali deserve a voice and if she can be excluded, what hope is there for a religious, pro-life libertarian?

            I feel about feminism the way Simcha feels about the Legionaries of Christ (another topic on which we agree).

          • $1028912

            Guess what? Lots of “unserious” feminists agree with you about giving women like Ayaan Hirsi Ali a voice, about not supporting ” rapists, rape enablers, and sexual predators” in government, about lots of things. So you’re not a feminist — that’s fine. But why would you want to put down those who agree with you on issues you support?

            It’s funny. As soon as certain people find out I’m pro-abortion (pro-“sex without consequence”), then none of my other opinions matter, and I cease to be human to them.

          • Julie

            I’m not going to be part of a women’s movement where there is even an argument about whether Hirsi Ali – a woman – should be allowed to speak at Brandeis. And I didn’t put down anyone who agrees with me. I didn’t even put down people who disagree with me – I disagree with Hirsi Ali on many issues. But feminism is a joke and a failure. It has failed women on so many levels, I don’t think it can be resurrected and reformed into something constructive. Find a new word. Harmonism. Anything. Something that takes the pressure off of women to lock themselves into this petty, bitchy little niche.

          • $1028912

            Some of us don’t think it’s a “petty, bitchy little niche,” nor feel any pressure to be here — nor do we feel compelled to pressure others to join us here.
            Why do you think the people in the “women’s movement” who argued about whether Hirsi Ali should speak — or any other individuals, arguing for anything else — speak for an entire broad concept?
            Feminism isn’t like Catholicism. It doesn’t have a Canon with rules to follow.

          • Julie

            “Some of us don’t think it’s a “petty, bitchy little niche,” nor feel any pressure to be here — ”

            Good for you. Go be a feminist. I don’t actually care.

            “nor do we feel compelled to pressure others to join us here.”

            And yet here you are trying to talk me into being a feminist. 😀

            “Why do you think the people in the “women’s movement” who argued about whether Hirsi Ali should speak — or any other individuals, arguing for anything else — speak for an entire broad concept?”

            Because there were enough of them to pressure a well-respected university to rescind their honorary degree and speaking request. This is a woman who should be celebrated by everyone who has any respect for women – feminists in particular – and yet she is silenced – not by men, BUT WOMEN! It’s beyond insane.

            And feminism most certainly has rules. It’s silly to argue otherwise. But that isn’t the problem. The problem is the puppet masters who are using it to control women into voting a certain way and protecting abortion at all costs. Look at what the so-called feminists did to Sarah Palin. You would have thought she’d raped someone with her unaborted Downs Syndrome baby. Sorry, but fighting the abortion cartel to allow you to speak in the name of feminism doesn’t strike me as the best fight to have.

          • $1028912

            “And yet here you are trying to talk me into being a feminist.” — Nope, you imagined that part. I just wondered why you wanted to disassociate yourself from an entire broad group of people who might agree with you on some issues. I myself probably embody most of what you hate about feminism — but somehow, I doubt Simcha does, or some of the other commenters here who describe themselves as “Catholic feminists,” etc. Why not look for common ground with them (e.g., “I’m not a feminist but….”) instead of trotting out your examples that you believe prove your narrow definition of what feminism really is? I’m just saying that feminism is an enormous tent — you don’t have to come inside, but you have more common ground with some of the people in it than you seem to believe.

          • Julie

            I have been telling you repeatedly why I don’t want to be associated with feminists. It is my belief that if you have to qualify your feminism with an adjective, you are at an immediate disadvantage. Agree with me or not, those are my reasons. I am not anxious to find common ground within a movement where the most vocal activists stand for precisely what hurts women most. If feminists are serious about protecting women, they will begin entertaining thoughts and ideas from all women. I will find common ground with anyone who is truly interested in the welfare and safety of women. But it will be on my terms.

          • $1028912

            Well, isn’t it always up to every individual, to approach everything “on my terms?” And don’t we all have to qualify feminism with adjectives, because it’s so broad?

            I’m just perplexed that you still think of feminists as some unified group, led by their “most vocal activists” who refuse to listen to others, including other women — and it’s particularly ironic because it’s coming in the comments of a blog post written by a devout Catholic who has defined feminism on HER terms.

          • Julie



            You don’t have a problem identifying as a feminist. I do. That is because you feel comfortable with the rules such as they are. I don’t. And don’t bother telling me they don’t exist again. If they didn’t, you would be calling yourself something else.

            I just gave you examples of feminists silencing other women. Ignoring them doesn’t make your point.

            Simcha has defined feminism on her terms. I agree with her, I’m on her side, and I wish her luck against the hostile abortion cartel.

          • $1028912

            You keep referring to “the rules such as they are” — and I keep saying that no such rules exist. If they do, where are they? There is no Canon of Feminism.
            Since I’m somewhat of a free speech fanatic, anyone who silences anyone does not speak for me. But last I heard, it was not a requirement to do this, to still be a feminist.
            It doesn’t bother me that you don’t want to be one, but I’m just trying to understand what makes you appear so hostile yourself.

          • Julie

            If the successful silencing tactics of self-identifying feminists bothered you at all, you wouldn’t be trying to convince me that it doesn’t happen. Pro-life, Catholic feminists don’t have the ability to silence anyone who disagrees with them. They have no power within the movement whatsoever. I will never be put at that kind of disadvantage. I would rather destroy feminism and replace it with something far more inclusive and non-baby-killy.

          • $1028912

            When exactly did I say it “doesn’t happen?”
            And again, you refer to “the movement,” as if feminism were codified just like Catholicism.
            Ironic again, that you seek to “destroy” your straw-feminism, when actual feminism is already inclusive.

          • Julie

            Oh please. Feminism is codified far worse than Catholicism. Catholicism is as diverse as you can possibly get – women of all races, opinions, sins, and virtues. Feminism is a shallow cabal of white, progressive, abortion worshipping females.

            How is denying Hirsi Ali an honorary degree and a chance to speak about the abuse of women within Islam “inclusive?” It’s hilarious that you are arguing with me about it. Where are the feminists demanding that she be allowed to speak? Who are they? Have they petitioned Brandeis to rethink their appalling, woman oppressing decision? Have you? Why haven’t you? Why is it more important to argue with me than to rescue feminism from the clutches of the politically insane?

          • $1028912

            “Feminism is codified far worse than Catholicism” — this proves your tearing down the worst kind of straw-feminism. And as a ” shallow…white, progressive, abortion worshipping female” myself, I believe I’m better situated to look around and see that not all feminists resemble me.

            No, I didn’t petition Brandeis — I think they made a phenomenally bad decision, but I also think that private universities are entitled to make their own bad decisions about things like that.

            Why is it more important to argue with you than to “rescue feminism from the clutches of the politically insane?” Because 1) I enjoy arguing with people in blog comments, and 2) I don’t think feminism needs to be “rescued.” I think it’s doing just fine.

          • Julie

            Oh please. You are not comfortable being a feminist because you are so different and open minded. You are comfortable being a feminist because you are comfortable with the ideology and their solutions to male oppression. I’m not. So I’m not a feminist.

            And Brandeis is certainly entitled to make bad decisions. But you are entitled to let them know it was a bad decision. This seems important when we’re talking about a woman who has put her life on the line to oppose an actual culture of oppression, rape, and honor killing. Feminists didn’t have a problem petitioning them to silence her.

            “Why is it more important to argue with you than to “rescue feminism from the clutches of the politically insane?” Because 1) I enjoy arguing with people in blog comments, and 2) I don’t think feminism needs to be “rescued.” I think it’s doing just fine.”

            1) Obviously. 2) Then don’t expect me to take you seriously. Petitioning a university to silence a woman whose life is in danger because of her opposition to religiously motivated oppression of women is not an indication that feminism is doing just fine. Supporting Hilary Clinton – rape enabler – is not an indication that feminism is doing just fine. It’s a sign that abortion is more important to feminists than women, and it’s a sign that something different is needed.

          • $1028912

            Why are you so fixated on the Brandeis incident? Seriously, why is it your personal litmus test of what a “real” feminist should be?

            You strike me as similar to the people I know, who wonder how I can possibly call myself a Catholic of sorts, because that puts me in the same camp as the pedophiles and those who enabled them.

            You also seem to be an expert on why I’m so “comfortable being a feminist” — which is interesting, since I’m a total stranger you only know from a few blog comments.

            And if you don’t take me seriously, then why bother engaging me at all?

          • Julie

            1) Brandeis is just a really good example of self-proclaimed feminists in action. The feminists who support her don’t have anywhere near that kind of clout. Also, it’s fun to watch you ignore it as you insist that feminism is inclusive.

            2) I’m not an expert at all on why you are so comfortable being a feminist. But you’ve repeatedly said you are a feminist so I think I can safely assume you’re comfortable with it. No expertise needed.

            3) You engaged me, silly. And I also enjoy arguing with people in blog comments.

          • $1028912

            I didn’t ignore it. I said I think they made a phenomenally bad decision. For some reason, though, that wasn’t good enough for you — and somehow, I get the feeling that nothing would have been.

            I’m “comfortable” being a feminist because I believe women and men are of equal worth and dignity, and should have equal opportunities based on individual preferences and abilities, regardless of gender — period, full stop. It’s as simple as that.

          • Julie

            You were talking about Brandeis’ decision to rescind their honorary degree, not the decision of feminists to petition to silence a woman who has dedicated her life to fighting the rape and murder of women. And as a feminist, you refuse to petition Brandeis in defense of Hirsi Ali. Because suddenly it’s not about women, it’s about the right to make a bad decision? Baffling, especially for an inclusive feminist.

            “I’m “comfortable” being a feminist because I believe women and men are of equal worth and dignity, and should have equal opportunities based on individual preferences and abilities, regardless of gender — period, full stop. It’s as simple as that.”

            Sure. Whatever you say.

          • $1028912

            Yes, I absolutely refuse to petition Brandeis — I support their decision. Why is that so hard for you to understand?

          • Julie

            Because you claim to be an inclusive feminist. Silencing a woman who is risking her life to expose a culture of rape, oppression, and murder would be difficult to understand even if you weren’t a feminist. The hypocrisy is hilarious in a very dark kind of way.

          • $1028912

            I don’t see her “silenced” just because a specific private university decided not to give her a platform.

            Similarly, if Notre Dame had done an about-face and decided not to give an honorary degree to Obama after all, I would similarly have supported them in such a decision and their right to make it, even though I happen to personally support many of Obama’s social policies myself.

          • Julie

            She was silenced. And there is a special irony in a woman whose life is literally in grave danger because she rejects a religion and culture that objectifies, abuses, rapes, and kills women, being silenced by feminists.

            It wouldn’t have been the same thing if Notre Dame had rescinded their honorary degree to Obama because he actually supports things that a Catholic University is supposed to oppose. But no one silenced him, so that proves my point that Catholic, pro-life feminists have no clout. Or maybe they’re actually that inclusive.

          • $1028912

            So she was “silenced” — why, because she was denied an honorary degree and platform, for state reasons that had nothing to do with her feminism but rather for her condemnation of Islam (not just radical Islam, but the religion at large)?
            Why are you so hung up on this particular incident, anyway? I admit, I barely even heard about it.

          • $1028912

            Okay, I just took a few minutes to Google the whole Hirsi Ali kerfuffle. Brandeis erred in offered her the honorary degree in the first place without doing their due diligence, and their subsequent withdrawal of it made them look pretty bad indeed.

            But then Brandeis invited her “to join us on campus in the future to engage in a dialogue about these important issues.” And she REFUSED this — as was her right to do, and was perfectly understandable after what they did.

            But so much for her being “silenced!”

          • Julie

            Why did Brandeis “err” in offering her the honorary degree? What had she possibly done to make her unworthy of it? And why did the Women and Gender Studies class petition Brandeis to keep her from getting it?What exactly did they have against her? You don’t seem to want to go there.

            And I’m sorry, but an invitation to a dialogue where you will be lectured for your intolerance of an oppressive religion after you’ve been publicly shamed for it is an insult. So yes. She was silenced. Painting it any other way is untruthful.

          • $1028912

            She wasn’t “silenced” — she refused to go there. BIG DIFFERENCE.

            And I “don’t seem to want to go there” because in fact, I am NOT there — I am thousands of miles away from whatever happened, and all I know about it is whatever I can read online.

          • Julie

            Stop deflecting. She was denied what she was originally offered along with the chance to speak, uninterrupted, before an audience. A “dialogue” is not the same thing and pretending it is insults your intelligence. It was not offered as an honor, but as a cover for Brandeis’ cowardice.

            The fact remains that a group of feminists – women who are supposed to believe in the equal dignity of men and women – petitioned to keep this woman who has put her life on the line to expose cultural savagery towards women from receiving an honor from a prestigious university and to give an uninterrupted speech to an audience. Why did they do that?

          • $1028912

            Not “deflecting” — she wasn’t “silenced” — she turned down an offer to speak! Not that I blame her, as I said, in light of the circumstances, but she very clearly refused. So she wasn’t “silenced.”

            Why did people protest her honorary degree? From what I read, it was because of her comments condemning Islam in general — exactly the way some devout Catholics stopped listening to Sinead O’Connor after she ripped up a picture of the Pope.

          • Julie

            A “dialogue” is not an offer to speak. The original honor was rescinded and the offer of a “dialogue” was an invitation to be harassed by her detractors. And even that insult was a compromise. The feminist petitioners made very clear they did not want her on the campus. So don’t pretend her refusal to be lectured by a bunch of pasty white feminists was anything but her being silenced by them. They got what they wanted.

            And it is nothing like devout Catholics refusing to listen to Sinead O’Connor. The feminist petitioners weren’t Muslims, devout or otherwise, so why would they silence a woman over her condemnation of a religion for ACTIVELY OPPRESSING WOMEN? Even if they disagreed with her condemnation of the religion, surely they agree with her fight to protect women. So what does feminism owe to Islam? When did feminist tolerance for a demonstrably oppressive culture replace feminist fighting for the lives and dignity of women within that culture?

            Something is very wrong within feminism, and I think Catholic women are better off with something less schizophrenic, less politically motivated, and more inclusive of actual women.

          • $1028912

            I thought the definition of a “dialogue” was a conservation between people — sorry, that doesn’t count as “silenced.” She refused to talk, pure and simple.

            And I guess you don’t count “pasty white feminists” as “actual women?” Then what are they — virtual women?
            (And your use of the word “pasty” as a derogatory term sounds pretty racist to me — substitute words like “dark-skinned” or “yellow,” and see how it sounds.)

          • Julie

            “We are going to rescind the honor we were about to confer upon you and publicly call you a hateful bigot, but we’ll allow you to converse with us so the Women and Gender Studies class can have the opportunity to call you a hateful bigot to your face.”

            It was not pure and simple. It was dirty and complicated. Hirsi Ali has never backed down from a dialogue as long as that was what was expected. The feminists wanted her silenced. They were NOT the ones offering a dialogue. The feminists did not want her to speak or converse. Why?

            Stop avoiding the subject and pretending to be offended on behalf of pasty, white feminists. Why did those feminists not want a black woman, known for being a relentless critic of a culture of rape and honor killing, speaking at Brandeis? Since when is tolerating a religion more important to feminists than protecting women?

          • $1028912

            I can’t speak for those at Brandeis who spoke out against her — I can only read about it, and speculate.

            I can only honestly get offended at your words myself — not on anyone else’s behalf — since I happen to be a “pasty, white feminist.”

            And when was it a competition between religious tolerance and speaking out against harm against women? Both are important — which is why, even after Brandeis rescinded their offer, they still invited her for a dialogue.

            In Hirsi Ali’s own words:
            “Brandeis has invited me ‘to join us on campus in the future to engage in a dialogue about these important issues.’ Sadly, in words and deeds, the university has already spoken its piece. I have no wish to “engage” in such one-sided dialogue.”

            This sounds clearly like her own decision to me — no “silencing” involved here.

          • Julie

            The fact that you are personally offended over me calling a bunch of Women and Gender Studies participants “pasty, white feminists” just proves what an unserious person you are. Forget feminism. You’re not offended by Hirsi Ali being treated disgracefully, you are disgusted by the phrase, “pasty, white feminists.” It’s actually funny.

            “And when was it a competition between religious tolerance and speaking out against harm against women?”

            That’s right. Silence the black woman who had her clitoris removed by a bunch of religious nuts. Because of the Tolerance!

            Hirsi Ali made her point very well in her quote. She called in “one-sided dialogue.” She’s right. That’s not an invitation to speak. And the question remains, why did the feminists want to silence her? Go ahead and speculate. It doesn’t seem logical, does it? What logic is there for feminists – a movement that supposedly exists to demand dignity and respect for women – to tolerate a religion and culture that codifies women as the property of men? They don’t give the same tolerance to Catholics and Catholics just don’t like abortion. What has Islam done to earn their tolerance?

          • $1028912

            Okay, I’ll go ahead and speculate: Hirsi Ali said some pretty horrible things about Islam in general, which I also found when I Googled her. In light of all the harm done to her in the name of that particular religion, I can understand where she might have been coming from — the way I understand when a pedophile victim lashes out at the Catholic Church.

            If you were to substitute “Judaism” or “Catholicism” or any other religion in place of Islam in what she said, her statements would still be offensive, and now I better understand why Brandeis decided they didn’t want to honor her. It was phenomenally stupid for them to have invited her in the first place, without a little more research into her more controversial statements.

            I’m really wondering, though, why you are fixating on this particular case.

            I’m also wondering if perhaps I’m arguing with a child, or a young teen, because you seem to believe that if someone has something valuable to say (as Hirsi Ali certainly does), that automatically gives that person carte blanche to make controversial statements without any consequences — very similar to the way you think you’re justified in using offensive racist language, because you think you’re so right that you’re entitled to do this.

          • Julie

            Feminists have never petitioned to have victims of sexual abuse silenced because of their criticism of Catholicism. And they say some pretty horrible things about the religion. Ayaan Hirsi Ali hasn’t said anything about Islam that other abuse victims haven’t said about Catholicism, so that argument is nonsensical. And given what routinely happens to women in the name of Islam, you’d think they’d be a little more forgiving. You know, because of the clitorises.

            And not that it’s entirely relevant, but since when does a university like Brandies suddenly decide to avoid controversy? They’ve honored many controversial figures. What hold does Islam have over supposedly free thinkers and advocates for the rights and dignity of women?

            I am not fixated on this particular case. We can talk about why feminists supported rapist and sexual predator, Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky affair. And why they support rape enabler and victim shamer Hilary Clinton for President. That could be interesting.

            And it’s nice to see that you’re so offended by “pasty, white, feminists.” That’s a good sign. Maybe one day you can redirect your righteous anger toward actual rapists and woman killers.

            “…because you seem to believe that if someone has something valuable to say (as Hirsi Ali certainly does), that automatically gives that person carte blanche to make controversial statements without any consequences”

            Not true at all. I’m just on her side against cultural and religious rape and abuse of women. I thought feminists were too. It’s confusing to me that they would try to silence her over controversial statements about a religion that insisted she have her clitoris forcibly removed so that she wouldn’t want to ever have sex.

          • $1028912

            I hadn’t followed the Hirsi Ali case very carefully, but just a cursory Google search of some of her statements has convinced me that her views go far beyond criticizing radical Islam.

            She’s free to spout her messages of hate, of course, but a private university has a right to decide not to honor someone who calls for defeating an entire religion, by force if necessary. And no, I am not “forgiving” just because she herself is a victim — while this certainly makes her views more understandable, it doesn’t entitle her to any honors or special treatment, or validate her calls for destruction.

            Frankly, I’m not surprised that racists like you, who think it’s perfectly fine to insult the color of people’s skin, are among the supporters of her extremist views.

            (For the record, not all feminists defended Bill Clinton’s sexual behavior — I sure didn’t, but I doubt you’d believe me.)

          • Julie

            Oh please. You’re the racist. Can’t have a black woman voicing a different opinion than the white women. People might hear her. Check your privilege.

            And message of hate? An abuse victim insisting that Islam needs a reformation (not defeat) because of widespread atrocities, including rape, genital mutilation, and murder, committed against women and children is a hate messenger? She’s not advocating violence, she’s warning that violence will be needed if women and children are to be protected from these men. What’s your plan? Throw some gender neutral McDonald’s toys at them? Wave a burning bra?

            And it doesn’t matter whether you defended Bill Clinton’s behavior. He didn’t pay any price with feminists for his predatory acts, and now they are gearing up to elect his rape enabling wife. You feminists are all irrational talk.

          • $1028912

            Hirsi Ali’s own words, in this 2007 interview (particularly on page three) made it very clear to me that she’s not calling for a reformation of Islam, but for its “defeat.”

          • Julie

            You didn’t read it at all. She’s calling for the defeat of political Islam. Political. The movement that makes RAPING WOMEN AND GIRLS AS YOUNG AS 9 LEGAL. In other words, the separation of Church and State. How controversial and hateful! And look at you, defending the feminists against that hateful black woman who doesn’t want women to be treated like cattle by a government of religious psychopaths.

            Why don’t you read what she would have said at Brandeis. Maybe you’ll get a clearer picture.


          • $1028912

            In this speech, she calls for a Muslim Reformation, but in the past interview I linked above — which I read in its entirety — she calls for the “defeat” of the entire religion, and makes it very clear she doesn’t mean only the extremists. Not just “political” Islam — all of it.

            While I stand with Hirsi Ali on opposing harm done to women and girls in the name of anything, cultural or religious, I do not support her calls to destroy an entire world religion by any means necessary. I would feel the same if she wanted to destroy Christianity (despite its noxious inherent patriarchy), Judaism, Shintoism, etc.

            But what do I know — I’m one of those “pasty white feminists.”

          • $1028912

            An aside to my other reply below — your incoherent ranting prompted me to Google the origins of the phrase, “Check your privilege,” and I stumbled across this great essay:


          • Julie

            I don’t care about your essay, you racist. You’re justifying the silencing of a black woman who is trying to protect other women from systemic degradation and then you have the nerve to think you shouldn’t be called out for your white privilege? Now you can add illiterate to all the other adjectives that have offended you.

            That Reason article was brilliant. I’ve read it many times. Hirsi Ali is a brilliant, rational woman who understands and articulates very well what women in the the Islamic world are up against, which is systemic, codified degradation, justified by an oppressive, tribal, unenlightened religion. And she’s the hater for wanting it defeated? I strenuously reiterate that feminists are petty, shallow and unserious. They have no plans, they have no ideas, and they can’t even articulate the problem. But, you know, GENDER EQUALITY!!!

          • $1028912

            I don’t support the view of seeking the “defeat” of a religion. I’m sorry you do.
            I’m also sorry you think it’s acceptable to put down people’s skin color.

          • Julie

            I’m sure the rapists and murderers appreciate your tolerance. And I’m sorry you think it’s acceptable to bully and silence black women who disagree with you.

          • $1028912

            I do no such thing of which you accuse me — I silence no one, nor do I do think it’s acceptable. To oppose someone’s ideas isn’t to “silence” them.
            Hirsi Ali wasn’t “silenced” just because Brandeis decided not to give her an honorary degree. In fact, there was just a showing of “Honor Diaries” on its campus.
            If you define expressing opposing views as a form of “silencing,” then it’s your definition that shuts down discourse.

          • Julie

            Hirsi Ali was silenced by feminists, not Brandeis. The first member of the faculty to draw up and sign that petition was a Women and Gender Studies professor and it was signed by many others in that department. They did not suggest that Brandeis offer her the opportunity to “dialogue” and they did not suggest that they show her films. They wanted her silenced and said that Brandeis should not be associated with her.

            Brandeis caved to their bizarre, bullying demands, and is now trying to rectify their abject cowardice by showing her film and offering a “dialogue.” They know they’ve done the wrong thing, but they are intimidated by the white, progressive, abortion cartel. They know Hirsi Ali is a serious person with a valid position, a unique voice, and a brilliant intellect. They know rescinding their invitation is a black mark on their reputation as an institution that respects free speech and debate. They’ve honored controversial figures before and not been intimidated. Yet the abortion cartel is so powerful it forced them rescind an honor to a black woman who was the victim of a violent, oppressive religion, who has never harmed a living soul and works diligently to protect women from the same abuses she suffered.

            And your insistence that feminism is inclusive while defending the feminist petitioners in this debacle is . . . I’ll be nice and call it peculiar.

          • $1028912

            I’m not “defending” the feminist petitioners in this case —
            I’m agreeing with them (if this is, in fact, the petition you mean: I read Hirsi Ali’s “Reason” interview in its entirety, and I, too, found it objectionable. What’s “peculiar” about that? Or are you trying to say I have no right to MY opinion?

            Hey, since I’m a significant donor to Planned Parenthood, I guess you would lump me together with the ” white, progressive, abortion cartel.”

            Sure, whatever.

          • Julie

            Why, yes. You are a member of the white, progressive abortion cartel. Why shouldn’t I lump you together with them? I would have given you the benefit of the doubt, but you’ve just defended and/or agreed with every example of their bigotry, intolerance, and bullying I’ve given an example of.

            You find it objectionable that the victim of a violent, oppressive, intolerant religious government that makes it legal for women and girls to be raped and mutilated and killed wants it to be defeated? Really? Because THAT IS PECULIAR FOR A FEMINIST. Do you really understand that she is active in fighting for the rights of women and girls within Muslim culture? Do you understand that the feminists who want her silenced aren’t? Do you understand that nearly every massive abuse of human rights only ends through force? Is it possible for you to grasp that? You don’t have to agree entirely with her, but to find it so objectionable that you agree with the feminists who petitioned to have her silenced?

            You have the right to whatever opinion you want. I have never once said you didn’t, so don’t try to pretend you’re some kind of victim. But it doesn’t change what you are, which is hypocritical and unserious.

          • $1028912

            Oh, there’s nothing “hypocritical and unserious” about me. I’m brutally honest and deadly earnest — and believe me, I’m no victim.

            I disagree that “nearly every massive abuse of human rights only ends through force,” and I also disagree that Hirsi Ali opposes just the “intolerant religious government” — because it seems perfectly clear to me, after reading her own words in context, that she opposes the religion itself.

            And even if you don’t agree with me, then why would you think my beliefs are “peculiar for a feminist?” You seem to define “feminist” in a very narrow, hateful way, and it therefore seems odd to me that you would expect anything but a contemptible opinion from a self-described feminist — and a “pasty white” one, at that! So what exactly is “peculiar” here? You seem to fit me perfectly into the “feminist” slot of your tiny world view.

          • Julie

            You aren’t brutal or honest. You don’t seem to know where you stand on Ayaan Hirsi Ali, but you keep writing declarative statements. It’s pretty entertaining.

            You disagree that nearly every massive human rights abuse only ends through force. Fine. Find me a situation where mass atrocity was ended with the sudden enlightenment of the oppressors. Because it doesn’t happen. Ever.

            She does oppose the religion itself – BECAUSE IT IS INTOLERANT AND CODIFIES THE ABUSE, DEGRADATION, AND MURDER OF WOMEN AND GIRLS. And she would know because she was a Muslim, learned to think this way, and believed it at one point in her life. She does not call for the extermination of all devout Muslims. She calls for an ideological defeat of the religion and the defeat of political Islam which will require force. She says it is justified because their beliefs are incompatible with the ideals of peace and tolerance and individual rights. You really think she’s wrong?

            Feminism, as defined in is:
            1) the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.
            2) (sometimes initial capital letter ) an organized movement for the attainment of such rights for women.

            Based on that definition, your views are peculiar because they lend at the very least, passive support to an ideology that codifies the abuse of women. If your belief is “We think sharia law is bad for women, but we don’t support anyone who won’t tolerate it” then they have nothing to fear from you. Think about that. Those evil men who have raped women and then hanged/stoned them for adultery have literally nothing to fear from supposed feminists. Nothing. To call it peculiar is kind because in reality it’s hypocritical, nauseating, and possibly insane.

            And I don’t have to fit you into anything. You are what you are. I am perfectly willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, but so far you embody everything I detest about feminism.

          • $1028912

            So you, too, oppose “the religion itself?” Not just the extremists calling for sharia law — but Islam itself? Really?!?

            Just wondering, do you actually know any actual Muslims? If so, do they know you want “ideological defeat” of their religion?

            Also —- a situation where mass atrocity was ended with the sudden enlightenment of the oppressors? Try Googling “Mahatma Gandhi.” Or look into the American civil rights movement. I’m not saying that force is never necessary, just that you’re wrong that injustice “only ends through force.”

            “Insane?” You’re the one saying things like, “Those evil men who have raped women and then hanged/stoned them for adultery have literally nothing to fear from supposed feminists.”

            I’m not a “supposed” feminist. I’m an actual one — and if you don’t stand with me, fine.

            “Those evil men who have raped women and then hanged/stoned them for adultery” have about as much to do with mainstream Islam as those who bomb abortion clinics have to do with mainstream Christianity.

          • Julie

            Sharia law IS Islam. There is no differnence. There are people who live by it and people who don’t. That’s it. You should at least be aware of exactly what you are tolerating. I suppose it’s somewhat redeeming that you view sharia law as extreme. Are you aware that it is spreading rapidly throughout the Middle East and Africa – and not peacefully? Does that bother you at all?

            I hope Hirsi Ali is wrong, but I’m very afraid she is right. And it’s cowardly not to listen to what she has to say and take it seriously.

            “Just wondering, do you actually know any actual Muslims?”

            Yup. I sent my children to a school they ran. They were secular, modern, and the sweetest women I’ve ever met. And they weren’t being raped or honor killed because they live in America where we don’t tolerate sharia law.

            “If so, do they know you want “ideological defeat” of their religion?”

            I didn’t discuss it with them, but there is a reason they came here and don’t live in Jordan anymore – and Jordan is relatively secular.

            I don’t want their religion to become the law in any country they would live. It’s because I like them and I don’t want to see them harmed by a bunch of religious nut jobs. Would you want Catholicism becoming the law of the land? With the rigidly dogmatic in the position to punish you if you don’t conform? Of course not. And they’d never make rape or honor killing legal like Islam does.

            “I’m not a “supposed” feminist. I’m an actual one — and if you don’t stand with me, fine.”

            I’m not going to quibble with you. But your positions don’t make any sense for someone who supports women’s rights.

            “Those evil men who have raped women and then hanged/stoned them for adultery” have about as much to do with mainstream Islam as those who bomb abortion clinics have to do with mainstream Christianity.”

            That’s delusional. It’s illegal in this country to bomb abortion clinics, and Christians don’t actually approve of murder, which is why it is a very rare occurrence. It is not illegal in Islamic countries to rape and kill women under sharia law, AND IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME. Look at those 200 Nigerian girls kidnapped for having the nerve to go to school. And the people who think that way are increasing their positions of power throughout the ME and Africa. Can you see why a victim who lived under it would say it needs to be defeated? Do you still really think she’s the one who is hateful?

          • Claire

            God bless you, Julie. I just wanted you to know that the time and dedication that you have invested on this thread, defending the truth to a troll (who loves to throw out little jabs like “why bother going to Mass” and how she’s a significant Planned Parenthood supporter) has not gone unnoticed or unappreciated.

          • simchafisher

            Claire, although I also appreciate Julie’s persistence (even if I don’t completely agree with her), I don’t think it’s fair to call Lisa T. a troll. I would really hate to have the kind of blog where you can only comment if you agree with the original post or most of the commenters. That makes for some pretty dull reading. A troll is someone who is only here to annoy or offend, and I know that’s not why Lisa is here!

            Lisa, you know you piss me off sometimes (and honestly, I think I’m the one, not Anna Lisa, who used the word “sociopath” a while back), but I am glad that you comment here. It is super easy to assume that people who disagree with you about fundamental things are less than human, but reading your comments, and hearing more about your life, have helped me realize that I can vehemently disagree with someone without assuming that they are monsters.

            Anyway, carry on!

          • Claire

            I hear what you’re saying Simcha, and I didn’t consider her to be a troll (on this thread anyway) until the past 24 hours when she made comments about being a significant Planned Parenthood supporter and how she stopped going to Mass after asking herself “why bother”. My impression of those comments was that they were intended to annoy and insult. But, I trust your judgment on these things more than mine, and if you don’t consider her to be a troll, I won’t call her that anymore.

          • Julie

            Claire, I appreciate that more than you know. But I’m actually dumb enough to enjoy this. 🙂

          • $1028912

            The Five Pillars of Islam (dealing with faith,prayers, fasting, etc.) are indeed all set forth within sharia — but there is a lot more to it, and if you honestly believe that “sharia law IS Islam. There is no difference,” then you are mistaken. It’s like saying religions that believe in what’s written in the Bible therefore believe in all of the Kosher food rules set forth there, and its many other rules about things like divorce, etc.

            It is possible to oppose the imposition of sharia law without calling for the “defeat” of the entire religion.

            It is possible to oppose radical extremists of any religion, who seek to influence secular affairs.

            I already said, I can see why someone like Hirsi Ali would feel the way she does, after what she endured. But I don’t condone calling for the “defeat” of an entire religion.

          • Julie

            Firstly, you are picking and choosing what to believe about Islam. Rational people, including Muslims, do that because if you don’t, you turn into a woman abusing murderer. But sharia law is Islamic law. It is all laid out in the Koran. The reason the devout are gaining political and governmental power is because it is indisputably in the Koran and even rational Muslims can’t argue that it isn’t.

            “It is possible to oppose the imposition of sharia law without calling for the “defeat” of the entire religion.”

            I’m glad you think so. Too bad the Islamist nutjobs don’t think so. Islam isn’t like other religions. There is no leader, or “head of the Church” who can issue a statement saying that this part of the Koran is more important than that part. There is no one to lead a reformation. And because a chance of one is so unlikely, you are seeing this dark age mentality spread.

            Secondly, you are looking at the word “defeat” as slaughtering all Muslims to the last infant. That’s not what it means. It means forcing the separation of religion and state – allowing people to live under Islamic law IF THEY CHOOSE, but for the state to protect their right to leave at any time. Something like this would be a defeat for Islam. And that would be a good thing.

            “It is possible to oppose radical extremists of any religion, who seek to influence secular affairs.”

            Yes, unless the “extremists” are in control of the government. And that is what is happening in Muslim countries as we speak.

            “I already said, I can see why someone like Hirsi Ali would feel the way she does, after what she endured. But I don’t condone calling for the “defeat” of an entire religion.”

            Why? And to the point where you agree with a petition demanding she be silenced? You don’t think she has anything valuable to say on the subject that the feminists here might want to consider? Do you really think you’re getting all relevant information from the insular, white, progressive information system we have here?

          • $1028912

            What petition “demanding she be silenced?” I read the petition — it demanded that she not be honored for her views. You seem to equate this with silencing for some reason.

            And I still think it’s possible to oppose extremism of ANY religion without “defeating” the entire religion. Islam is no different from Christianity, which had its share of holy wars fought against the infidels over the centuries.

            The ” insular, white, progressive information system” — you mean what by this? The Internet? If the latter, yes, I think it gives us all the information we need, at our fingertips, for the finding. Never before in the history of the world has so much information been available to so many people.

          • Julie

            “You seem to equate this with silencing for some reason.”

            Hahahaha! Yes. For some unknown, bizarre reason, I equate petitioning a university to rescind their honorary degree and speaking opportunity to a brave, articulate, intelligent woman, who has fought tirelessly for the dignity and safety of women, “silencing.” That petition was insulting, demeaning, hyperbolic, and embarrassingly unresearched. They did not recommend a dialogue. That was Brandeis trying to save face. Those feminists did not want her voice anywhere near their delicate, precious, insulated white ears whether she was honored or not. They do not want to discuss, they want to accuse. They do not want to listen, they want to silence.

            “Islam is no different from Christianity, which had its share of holy wars fought against the infidels over the centuries.”

            Please spare me the moral equivalence and then set your brain ahead 700 years. Islam does not accept the idea of free will, and Christianity does. That is why even the most devout Christians today are able to accept the separation of church and state and Muslim governments are not. This is kind of a big deal.

            “And I still think it’s possible to oppose extremism of ANY religion without “defeating” the entire religion.”

            Like I said before, good for you. It’s too bad the Islamists don’t agree and are now gaining governmental power throughout the Middle East and Africa.

            “Never before in the history of the world has so much information been available to so many people.”

            I agree. And it’s too bad you won’t take advantage of it. Silencing and refusing to honor women like Hirsi Ali is just one example of the insularity of our information systems, beginning with academia. And the white progressives reserve their most vicious fury for minorities who don’t conform.

          • $1028912

            You’re doing it again — equating “refusing to honor” with “silencing.” Not the same.

            And equating radical Islam (and its adherent governments) with ALL Islam — again, not the same.

            You really see this is a black and white issue, don’t you? You believe Hirsi Ali is GOOD, and Islam is BAD, and the whole world needs to line up neatly behind these descriptions.

            To me, Hirsi Ali is a lot like Margaret Sanger, or Mother Teresa — all three are women I admire for some of their beliefs, to which they are dedicating/dedicated their lives. All three also have/had some beliefs I find objectionable. It’s possible to admire and support an individual’s work toward one cause, and oppose his/her opinions about other causes.

          • Julie

            “You’re doing it again — equating “refusing to honor” with “silencing.” Not the same.”

            You’re making excuses.


            That’s the petition. They cherry picked her quotes, refused to acknowledge the actual work she has done to give a voice to oppressed women, and dismissed her as an authority on the suffering women endure under Islam. And they did NOT suggest she be invited to a “discussion.” They do not want to hear what she has to say and why she thinks as she does.

            This is the most aggravating quote:

            “Please know that, like Ms. Hirsi Ali, we fully recognize the harm of forced marriages; of female genital cutting, which can cause, among other public health problems, increased maternal and infant mortality; and of honor killings. These phenomena are not, however, exclusive to Islam.”

            How dare they? Her suffering and victimization has taken place exclusively under Islam. We have never, EVER demanded that the victims of abuse make a moral equivocation between what has caused their suffering and what has caused someone else’s. EVER. Such a thing would be disgraceful and embarrassingly obtuse. Those morons act as if they know more than she does when they’ve never even come close to her experiences! It’s so stupid and hostile and victim shaming. And from people who make a big deal about knowing better!

            Hirsi Ali was a victim in the Islamic world. She saw abuses we can’t even comprehend. She found safety and dignity in the West, but for her to say that there is no equivalence between Western culture and Islamic culture is intolerable to Western feminists? Such a thing is unimaginable and yet, here we are.

            “You really see this is a black and white issue, don’t you? You believe Hirsi Ali is GOOD, and Islam is BAD, and the whole world needs to line up neatly behind these descriptions.”

            You don’t see sharia law as bad? You see Hirsi Ali as a bad person for wanting it defeated when it is so damaging to women?

            “To me, Hirsi Ali is a lot like Margaret Sanger, or Mother Teresa — all three are women I admire for some of their beliefs, to which they are dedicating/dedicated their lives. All three also have/had some beliefs I find objectionable. It’s possible to admire and support an individual’s work toward one cause, and oppose his/her opinions about other causes.”

            She’s not like either one. Margaret Sanger was a white, privileged racist who thought people of certain ethnicities were “human weeds.” That would include Hirsi Ali. Mother Theresa was one of the human weeds who chose service and poverty and dedicated her life to the dignity and humanity of other “human weeds.”

            Hirsi Ali was born a victim, escaped her circumstances and defends the culture that made it possible.

            Western feminists, including you, from their white, privileged perches, want her to pretend that Western culture is equivalent to Islamic culture in the way they treat women. It’s morally and intellectually dishonest.

          • $1028912

            Your words make absolutely no sense to me whatsoever — I fail to see why the petition was so offensive, for noting that genital mutilation is not unique to Islamic cultures. I truly don’t understand your point there, and fail to see how it can be “victim-shaming” — particularly in the context of the petition.

            Also, I fail to see how I supposedly “want her to pretend that Western culture is equivalent to Islamic culture in the way they treat women.”

            And somehow, you still have to ask me, “You don’t see sharia law as bad?”

            Clearly, therefore, you do think Islam overall is bad, and needs to be “defeated” — or am I misunderstanding you? Do you consider yourself an enemy of Islam? Is that it?

            Who are you, anyway? I usually manage to find at least a shred of common ground when I interact with people in blog comments, but I don’t think I have any at all, with you, whoever you are.

          • Julie

            “I fail to see why the petition was so offensive, for noting that genital mutilation is not unique to Islamic cultures.”

            Hirsi Ali DIDN’T SAY THAT IT WAS UNIQUE TO ISLAMIC CULTURES. She said it is widespread within Islamic culture. And it is. She was a victim. Why would you demand she make some moral equivocation between Islamic culture and other cultures when her knowledge is on Islamic culture?That makes no sense at all.

            “Also, I fail to see how I supposedly “want her to pretend that Western culture is equivalent to Islamic culture in the way they treat women.””

            Why is this suddenly about you? Read the petition. Hirsi Ali talks exclusively about Islamic culture and what she feels is needed to change it, as well as the peace and enlightenment she has found within Western culture. This is perfectly reasonable because it is a subject with which she his intimately familiar. But the feminists don’t want her to talk. Why? Why? Why? What do they owe Islam that they don’t want it to be singled out among religions? Why don’t they want her to say anything good about Western culture and the Enlightenment – both of which have made it possible for them to be at Brandeis and not the concubines of some warlord?

            Let’s tell another story. Maybe it will help. Let’s say there is a country run by Evangelical Protestants. Very white, very devout Evangelical Protestants. They make up the government, the schools, and everyone is required to either be an Evangelical Protestant or pay a fine.

            Now let’s pretend that somewhere in their catechism it says that it’s ok to rape women who wear pants.

            Then let’s say a green eyed, redheaded woman, who has not enjoyed being raped for wearing pants, escapes to Feminist Land. Although she finds it a little odd that no one has a gender anymore, she also finds that she is safe, that people respect her as a fellow human being, and that the next Evangelical Protestant man who tried to rape her for wearing pants ended up in prison because in Feminist Land, the law says you can’t rape anyone for any reason.

            Then one day, she decides to tell people her story about the horrible Evangelical Protestants in the country run by Evangelical Protestants. She says the mentality is so pervasive, that women will not be protected unless the government is no longer run by Evangelical Protestants according to Evangelical Protestant doctrine.

            Then The Feminists, women she has come to respect, start screaming. Loud, violent shrieks of tolerance. They write letters, they protest her events, they try to shout her down when she is talking, etc. “Why?” asks the woman. “I thought you wanted to see women protected from the abuses of men?”

            “Yes,” say The Feminists. “But you didn’t also condemn Chinese culture for aborting infant girls because they aren’t boys. Therefore, you are hateful and intolerant and we must not listen to anything you say.”

            “But I don’t think it’s right for the Chinese to kill their little girls! However, I don’t know anything about that culture and can’t speak with any authority on what makes them do that and what could make them stop.”

            “That’s not important,” say The Feminists. “What’s important is that you tolerate everyone equally and don’t say anything about removing people from positions of power. That is the most important thing of all.”

            “But why am I supposed to tolerate the Evangelical Protestants who raped me?”

            “I KNOW EVANGELICAL PROTESTANTS!!!” screams one of the Feminists.

            “I don’t,” says the woman, slowly backing out of the room. “But I don’t want them in any position of power because they are very oppressive, and I know they won’t give up power peacefully.”

            “HATER!!! scream The Feminists.

            Is this registering at all?

            “Clearly, therefore, you do think Islam overall is bad, and needs to be “defeated” — or am I misunderstanding you?”

            I think any religion that insists on it’s authority to force people to adhere to it WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT is a bad religion. I understand that there are Muslims who don’t feel this way. I also understand that they are in grave danger from those who do. And those who do are gaining power because they are claiming it based on the religion. Those who are less dogmatic don’t have any religious basis to fight them. There is no free will in Islam. This is an extremely dangerous thing, ESPECIALLY FOR WOMEN, and you are a fool if you don’t want it defeated.

            “Who are you, anyway? I usually manage to find at least a shred of common ground when I interact with people in blog comments, but I don’t think I have any at all, with you, whoever you are.”

            Well now we agree. I keep trying to tell you that. 😀

            We just fundamentally disagree on the causes of, and solutions to the oppression of women. Agreeing that women are oppressed isn’t enough for me to join the pack.

          • $1028912

            Okay, I guess I’m a “fool,” because I consider myself a friend of Islam, and respect my many Muslim friends’ rights to worship God in the way they choose, and I don’t believe their entire religion should be “defeated.” The Muslims I know condemn the radical element, and some of them even escaped religious regimes themselves. Excuse me for taking the word of actual believers over that of an anonymous person on the Internet claiming their entire religion is BAD and that I’m a “fool” for not wanting it defeated.

            And I don’t think your long-winded analogy is apt because I don’t think ANYONE here is saying, “What’s important is that you tolerate everyone equally and don’t say anything about removing people from positions of power. That is the most important thing of all.” I’m not in the Brandeis community myself, but it seems to me that what they were saying is that they didn’t want their university to confer an honor on someone who called for the “defeat” of an entire religion.

            Here’s an example for you: Say the women’s liberal arts college from which I graduated wanted to give an honorary degree to Margaret Sanger (if she were still alive) for her work toward liberating women from the tyranny of unwanted pregnancies. I agree her contributions to this area were great, and I think the world is a better place for them. However, if I ever found out that my alma mater were going to give her an award, I would be first in line to start a petition, saying that this is not the kind of person we should be honoring because of her writings on eugenics. She should be invited to speak, and share her views, but not receive honors because some of her core opinions do not embody what our institution stands for.

            And you ask, “Why is this suddenly about you?” after you had just concluded a comment with, “Western feminists, including you, from their white, privileged perches…” It seems that you were the one making sure I knew you meant to include me.

          • Julie

            You seem very confused. What you call radical Islam, and what the radicals simply call Islam, is spreading quickly throughout the Middle East and Africa. Has Boko Haram abducting the schoolgirls in Nigeria escaped your notice? Has sharia law being implemented in Brunei skipped right past your brain? The election of “radicals” in Egypt and Libya? Can you grasp who is in charge in Somalia? Nigeria? Kenya, the Sudan, etc, etc, etc?

            Your exposure to Muslims is in America. The religion doesn’t need to be “defeated” here because it doesn’t have any power. Muslims in America (several honor killings aside) have accepted that their religion will have no power and choose to live in peace with everyone around them.

            This is not the case in the Middle East and Africa. These are the places Hirsi Ali knows and speaks about. She also speaks about the problems for women who have immigrated to Western countries but are still forced to abide by Islamic rules against their will and how the West must do more to protect at least the ones within their borders. She also talks about the dangers of allowing Muslims who hate Western values into our countries. She talks of imams preaching in mosques that it is ok for Muslim men to rape non-Muslim women. Since the mass immigration of Muslims to Sweden, instances of rape increased 300%. Yet the government is frightened of doing anything because they don’t want to be seen as intolerant of the religion. She’s saying it’s a catch 22 the West really doesn’t want.

            When she speaks of a defeat of the religion, she is talking about keeping it from having any state power. She has said repeatedly she doesn’t care what religion people follow as long as they are just choosing it for themselves. But Islam, again, is not like other religions. It rejects the notion of free will. Do you understand that? Just say right now whether you have the mental capacity to grasp that point. If not, I won’t belabor it.

            “However, if I ever found out that my alma mater were going to give her an award, I would be first in line to start a petition, saying that this is not the kind of person we should be honoring because of her writings on eugenics.”

            That’s very noble of you. Did you know that Planned Parenthood has actually named an award after Margaret Sanger? Are you going to petition them to change that with your next donation?

            It’s really a shame you can’t distinguish between Hirsi Ali and Margaret Sanger. I’m glad you are disturbed by Sanger’s eugenics agenda because it is an ongoing disgrace.

            Hirsi Ali is being deliberately misunderstood and falsely maligned as hateful for wanting an oppressive ideology defeated. It is utterly mystifying in the context of feminism. I mean, if feminists can still revere Margaret Sanger – who actually wanted certain ethnicities to be eliminated entirely from the gene pool – you’d think they could maybe not protest an honor being given to a woman who has worked tirelessly on behalf of those ethnic women to be safe in the West and their countries of origin. I’ve never seen anything so outrageously hypocritical.

          • $1028912

            You have me pegged wrong.

            I don’t live in America — I’m a permanent resident of an Asian country, where I’ve spent most of my adult life.

            My impressions of Islam are formed by my interactions with living, breathing faithful people, instead of just what I read on the Internet. My Muslim friends here are mostly from Turkey, Indonesia and Iran. What they condemn as “radical Islam” is what you simply call “Islam.” I’m not saying horrors are not being perpetuated in the name of Islam, only that they don’t reflect the religion at large — and that it’s possible to distinguish between extremists who rape and mutilate in a religion’s name, and moderates who constructively practice it.

            [Fun fact: I Googled and found out that my alma mater actually did give an honorary degree to Margaret Sanger back in the 1940’s. ]

          • Julie

            “I don’t live in America — I’m a permanent resident of an Asian country, where I’ve spent most of my adult life.”

            So what? It’s the same principle. You are from somewhere where Islam has no power and doesn’t need to be defeated. Again, why is this about you? If you lived in an Islamic country, I’d indeed have you pegged wrong, but you don’t.

            “My impressions of Islam are formed by my interactions with living, breathing faithful people, instead of just what I read on the Internet.”

            Oh please, please, please. You do not understand what it is like to live in a Muslim country. You have no concept of it. My parents lived in Iran for three years. We all had to escape right before the Islamic revolution. You really have no clue what Islam is like when it has state power. And you really don’t want to know.

            “I’m not saying horrors are not being perpetuated in the name of Islam, only that they don’t reflect the religion at large –”

            You really don’t know that. You don’t live in that part of the world, and you never have, and you never will. You only know what Islam is like when it has no power.

            “and that it’s possible to distinguish between extremists who rape and mutilate in a religion’s name, and moderates who constructively practice it.”

            You sure can. The Islamists do it all the time. And then they rape and kill them. Why do you think your friends don’t live in those countries anymore? It’s because the “extremists” are ascendent and have become the majority. Anywhere else is looking pretty good to sane people right about now. And the worst part is that sane people who don’t have the means to leave MUST become radicalized or they will be targeted. Don’t you understand what is going on?

            Ayaan Hirsi Ali is telling the truth, but feminists, for whatever reason, are in denial. It’s so awful to watch all the feminist outrage over the Boko Haram kidnappings and insistence that Something Be Done. What do they want to be done? These people have to be killed down to the last man. There is no alternative. If they are bribed, they will kidnap more girls. If they are allowed to live, they will kidnap more girls. The Nigerian government is weak. It cannot control Boko Haram or protect innocents. I don’t even know that they want to. Those girls were Christians and the government is Islamic. Likely as not, they won’t even let us go after Boko Haram to get the girls back because it will anger their predominantly Muslim population.

          • $1028912

            It’s odd, how you keep asking, “Why is this about you?” at the same time you say things like, ” You don’t live in that part of the world, and you never have, and you never will. ” Not only are you getting personal in your argument, but you’re also telling me exactly what my future holds. Neat trick!

            And you revealed something about yourself in your latest comment that made me understand what shaped your views about Islam.

          • Julie

            It’s not odd at all. You keep trying to make it about yourself and I keep pointing out how it’s not, because you really don’t know anything except silly feminist moral relativism. And when someone like Hirsi Ali speaks the truth, you call her hateful from the smug, ignorant safety of your non-Islamic society. And be honest. Your future does not include life in an Islamic country. There is nothing there for a decent, non-Muslim, freedom loving woman.

            “And you revealed something about yourself in your latest comment that made me understand what shaped your views about Islam.”

            It shaped my view of Islam as an ascendant power, not my view of individual Muslims. If I was wary of individual Muslims I would have found a different school for my kids. But like I said, Islam has no power in America. That’s why Islamists targeted us. They want power, they are stopping at nothing to acquire it, and they must be defeated if women are to be safe from their oppression. It’s not that complicated.

          • Julie

            Read Hirsi Ali’s latest. It’s so compelling. How was this woman ever called hateful?


          • $1028912

            I was in full support of every word she said, until I got to her conclusion: “It is also time for Western liberals to wake up. If they choose to regard Boko Haram as an aberration, they do so at their peril.”

            Is she saying that the tragedy unfolding in Nigeria is an example of mainstream Islam, not an “aberration?” So is she saying that we in the west should not tolerate Islam in our midst? I’m not sure exactly what message she wants to send, with this dig at “liberals” who defend the peaceful practice of Islam while condemning Islamist terror groups and jihadism. Does she really think there are “liberals” out there who support Boko Haram, or that allowing mosques to be built in the our western communities is tantamount to supporting terrorists?

            If so, it’s like saying that that the anti-balaka, the Chrisitian militias in the Central African Republic, are not an “aberration,” and represent mainstream Christianity.

            And I love it when you insist that I “keep trying to make it about yourself” in the same breath as you say, “You really don’t know anything except silly feminist moral relativism.” Again, you’re the one who keeps making it about me.

            Also, you insist that my “future does not include life in an Islamic country.” I will say only this: You are likely incorrect, if my future unfolds in the way I hope it does.

            Anyway, I wish you well, whoever you are — but I realize that arguing about my views with you is like arguing about my pro-abortion rights views with a pro-life women who had one and was traumatized by the experience. She is unlikely to hear anything I say objectively, because her own views were shaped by her very real suffering. I have friends who fled Iran, and I know what they went through — I’m sorry if your family had to endure similar trials.

            I just hope that someday, you might understand that not everyone who disagrees with you on a particular point is an enemy.

          • Julie

            “Is she saying that the tragedy unfolding in Nigeria is an example of mainstream Islam, not an “aberration?”

            Yes. Just because you are not aware of it doesn’t mean that it isn’t happening all the time. And it is. She knows. She’s lived there.

            “So is she saying that we in the west should not tolerate Islam in our midst?”

            Yes! You want Boko Haram roaming Muslim neighborhoods? That is what is happening. These “radicals” are immigrating to other countries and bringing their rules with them. And it’s hurting women. If Western governments don’t stop them in the name of “tolerance” people, especially women, are going to be in danger from them.

            “I’m not sure exactly what message she wants to send, with this dig at “liberals” who defend the peaceful practice of Islam while condemning Islamist terror groups and jihadism.”

            She’s trying to warn you that “extremists” are taking advantage of your tolerance and gaining power.

            “Does she really think there are “liberals” out there who support Boko Haram,”

            Not intentionally, perhaps, but in the name of religious tolerance, they are ignoring oppression and allowing it to gain power.

            “or that allowing mosques to be built in the our western communities is tantamount to supporting terrorists?”

            If terrorists/extremists are building or preaching out of those mosques, then yes! That is how they convert peaceful Muslims (and others) to their cause. You think she’s lying?

            “Again, you’re the one who keeps making it about me.”

            Nope. Still just pointing out how it isn’t about you.

            “She is unlikely to hear anything I say objectively, because her own views were shaped by her very real suffering.”

            I hear everything you’re saying objectively. It’s the same thing most feminists say. If I were unread, uncurious, and determined to fixate on gender roles and abortion, I’d probably think the same way. But I’m not. I read other people too, like Ayaan Hirsi Ali. They seem to know a little more and dig a little deeper than the average “tolerant” feminist. So I end up objectively disagreeing.

            “I just hope that someday, you might understand that not everyone who disagrees with you on a particular point is an enemy.”

            I don’t think you’re an enemy. I just think you’re kind of cliched and unserious.

  • $1028912

    I suppose many here would consider me among the “evil people [who] call themselves feminists, and do dreadful things in the name of feminism,” (since I’m pro-contraception/abortion, and honestly not a great believer in traditional marriage), but oddly enough….I think we’re mostly on the same page.

    • Sadie Peterson

      I can’t speak for everyone but I wouldn’t call you evil. I don’t know you. But I would call things like abortion evil. It’s being used to control women, not empower them, it’s being used to hide sexual abuse and their predators. If I had to guess, you and I would probably agree on what needs to change in order to make abortion, for example, a thing of the past. Women need support, love, and respect. But so do men. I don’t know what I’m trying to say. People need to start having real discussions and those don’t happen in the comments section of a blog.

      • $1028912

        Agreed — and I even agree that abortion, in some circumstances, can indeed be used as you say. I also believe it’s possible to be a feminist and not support abortion at all. To me, at least, feminism is about equal opportunities and treatment, based not on sex but on individual preferences and abilities — which is a very broad definition.

        • donttouchme

          Unless you’re a baby under an arbitrarily designated age, in which case you have no rights and your mother has a right to murder you. Rights to equal opportunity and treatment I mean.

          • $1028912

            Right — my choice trumped my babies’ rights to life. But that has nothing to do with feminism — separate issue.

          • donttouchme

            You’re wrong–murder is wrong. The choice to commit murder doesn’t trump the victim’s right to live. This is part of the insanity of feminism.

          • $1028912

            One more time: Feminism isn’t about abortion — there are feminists on both sides of that particular issue.
            And you’re free to believe I’m wrong, of course, but thankfully, you don’t make the rules by which I live my life.

          • donttouchme

            It’s not a matter of opinion. Murder is wrong.

            And it’s intrinsically tied to feminism. That’s another reason Christians shouldn’t call themselves feminists. It gives cover to the hideousness of murdering babies and the hideousness of feeling morally superior about it.

          • $1028912

            It’s not at all “intrinsically tied to feminism.” Go look up Feminists for Life, for a start.

          • donttouchme

            Of course it’s tied to murder. Like I said, women who call themselves “feminists opposed to abortion” are giving moral cover to women who support mass murder. Abortion and feminism are inextricably tied together. It’s folly for a Christian woman to call herself a feminist because she, again, is used as moral cover for murder.

          • KL

            But you haven’t, anywhere, demonstrated why it is that abortion and feminism are inextricably linked. You have simply asserted, over and over, that they are, and that counter-evidence (the existence of pro-life feminists) is irrelevant. How, precisely, does a self-professed Christian feminist provide “moral cover” for murder? I’m frankly at a loss as to why that would be.

          • CS

            “Lisa, of course it you are wrong because I assert it!” Duh!

    • CS

      Personally, having been in conversation with you for all these years, I don’t think it’s odd that “we’re mostly on the same page.” (If I can insert myself into the “we”, in agreement with Simcha on this,)

      We agree on the problems but not necessarily the solutions

      • $1028912

        True — and sometimes, not all of us can even agree on problems.

    • argent

      I’m also probably one of the “evil ones” (LGBTQ-positive, sex-positive). I break from mainstream modern feminism in what I see as their failure to recognize the underprivileged status of children both born and unborn–something that Catholic and Christian feminists often do a better job of addressing.

      When I read articles like this, I tend to think that people like Simcha are doing the same work as I am within a different framework, and that’s something I can tentatively get behind. And even if I totally disagreed with them, there needs to be space for all kinds of non-traditional feminists, if only to destroy the black-and-white thinking that isolates people from one another and allows people to be abused by their ideologies.

      • $1028912

        I think there are plenty of modern mainstream feminists who recognize the underprivileged status of children — and some who are also pro-life.
        And AMEN to your final sentence!

      • Rachel

        Good point! I am tired of the black/white thinking. It does take all kinds and ideologies can be so easily abused.

  • I find it interesting that you describe today’s abuses such as non stop porn and claim that we need “feminism” to combat it, when these behaviors are the fruits of feminism.

    • Renee

      Disagree. Feminism use to be very much against pornography!

      • You can disagree if you like, but the “do what I want with my body” attitude espoused by feminism spawned a whole generation of porn actresses trading their dignity for a fat paycheck. This is summed up by a bumper sticker I once saw which said: “Your body may be a temple, but mine is an amusement park”.

        • KL

          I agree that mainstream porn and feminism rose concomitantly, but correlation does not imply causation, and in fact I think both social shifts can be traced to wider cultural movements, e.g. the sexual revolution (not synonymous with feminism), increased value placed upon bucking tradition and asserting individuality and autonomy, a breakdown of trust in institutions that formerly shaped social mores, and so on. And feminism of yesteryear and today contains communities that abhor pornography precisely for its objectification and exploitation of women.

          • So what is feminism but the rebelling against traditional societal roles?

          • gregcamacho8

            Tony, did you read the post?

          • KL

            Some currents of feminism do emphasize rebellion against traditional gender roles (though not all). My point, however, was that feminism as a widespread movement was made possible by preexisting social shifts, such as the increasing social acceptance of challenging traditional structures and mores, whether sexual/gendered or otherwise.

  • Jeanne Grunert

    We need a new word. The word feminism has too much ugly baggage right now.

    • LiveOaksandSpanishMoss

      Then we also need a new word for Christian, considering all the baggage that name brings. Maybe Germans should get a new word after the association with Hitler.

      Frankly, the problem with the term feminism is that anti-feminists and misogynists have committed a smear campaign against it. People like Rush Limbaugh conceivably knew that feminists are not just pro-abortion fanatics, but they chose to call them “femi-nazis” and other slurs. I’m one of those Millennials Simcha talked about, and we still need feminism. I knew people in college, mostly men, who were very pro-choice and also anti-feminists. You see, real feminism would undercut their “game,” would make it harder for them to trick women into one-night stands by destroying their self-confidence. Feminism does not equal abortion – that’s what misogynists want you to think. Feminism is this crazy idea that women deserve equal opportunity. If you’ve ever accompanied a rape victim to the hospital and heard her interrogated by the police, you’ll get a visceral sense for the need for feminism.

  • CS

    Some still-disorganised thoughts on this:
    Christianity is a more encompassing counter-force, in the sense that it offers a world view that begins with an affirmative (a creed) and goes from there to suggest solutions to problems of existence. Feminism is a critique, primarily, although it is often catchily described as coming from a “creed” that “women and men are equal human beings” and etc.

    As far as the word itself, I think confusion usually comes because some use it to mean that position of interrogation that stands apart from comfortable culture, while others primarily see it as (or believe it to be) a fixed set of ideas about how to solve problems. Disagreeing with the ideas means you “disagree” with “feminism”

  • Faustina Fournier Konkal

    Thank you thank you thank you. As a 36 year old wife, mother, woman who is just starting her university studies and has chosen Women’s and Gender Studies as her major, I whole heartedly agree. I’m not a feminist and studying feminism because I want to ‘be radicalized’ as some of my friends and acquaintances have assumed. I am doing it because I see that women are still not valued as men are. Their experience isn’t given the same credence as mens, nor is their reproductive work valued because no money changes hands. I’m doing it because patriarchy is oppressive to everyone, to all difference and to anyone who is marginalized. I’m doing it because my son was once told he was too beautiful to be a boy, because 200 girls were just kidnapped and are certainly being rape and abused as we speak as a tool of war, and because an 18 year old student at a local Catholic high school who suffered from mental illness just killed his own mother.

    I’m doing it because the legacy of soon to be Saint John Paul the Great, demands nothing less.

  • Mary Schreiner

    Well, you’ve officially made me terrified for my daughters’ futures. 🙁 Maybe I’m having a depressive day. I – recently – made it out of college but through the Grace of God, I cannot imagine what it will be like when they grow up with the pressures they already have on them as children. 🙁

    • CS

      If you just got out of college, I hope that by the time your daughters and sons get there, more people will be on the other swing of the pendulum. Many Catholic parents are teaching their children to be wise and conversant in the ways of the world, and to know how and why they don’t have to buy in to certain ideas to be free; in fact, freedom is NOT found there.

      I don’t have any girls yet but I am teaching my boys to reject ideas that treat people as things, with special awareness of how this happens about gender and sexuality. I am really proud of my 12 yo son who told off another boy at camp for repeating the name of a girl they all knew, over and over in a sing-song and suggestive way. The girl wasn’t even around, just the boy started it at night when they were all in bed and other boys joined in. He told him “That is the same thing bullies do and it doesn’t matter if she’s not around. She doesn’t like that name AND you shouldn’t talk about girls like that.” It gives me hope that telling your children that we must not use people for our own amusement — even when they don’t know we are doing it — will sink in and bear fruit.

  • velvet

    “Yes, we still need feminism.”

    Please, no. I say abandon the word and never speak it again. It’s working definition is “control freak on a power trip”. All the things you mentioned in your piece are of course horrifying, but to make the mistake that women are somehow morally superior and blessed with a heightened sense of anything more than estrogen is a grievous and potentially tragic error. We can – if anecdotes are indeed data – go point for point over the abuses men have suffered at the hands of women, often with the Church looking on in deafening silence. We – humans, male and female alike – are capable of great depravity, and it is historically inaccurate to suggest that complementarianism – which is actually what was engendered by the dread patriarchy – was somehow intrinsically oppressive to women and created all the woes of the world.

    The problem, as I see it, comes when we conflate “feminism” with “common decency”, as if all men are thugs, Rapey McRapsters, and drooling knuckle draggers, but for the superior morality and angelic influence of their better sisters (wives, daughters, girlfriends, mothers, etc). Sorry, that makes me itchy, because it simply isn’t true, and entirely unfair the the majority of men who advocate – by their life’s blood, not just lip service – for the health and well being of women. Just because a boy or man doesn’t play the “girl way or the highway” game, doesn’t mean he’s indecent or harboring violent intentions towards women or a porn freak, it means he’s a male. Different from a female, but no less capable of wrong – or right – than his female counterpart.

    Most women who withhold sex from their husbands do so as their right. Most women who have abortions do so by their own decision as their right. Most women who use porn (and we can go there, about what constitutes porn and how women are huge consumers of it) themselves, do so as their right. I don’t see any moral superiority there, at all, only a surfeit of indecency. That so often occurs when we stand on our “rights”, rather than doing what is right.

    We need Christ. Lots of Christ, if equality, is in fact what we have in mind, Feminism is necessarily a subjugation of the masculine to the feminine, and more important than my run on sentences and personal preferences, I find no legitimate theological argument for such.

    • $1028912

      Where exactly did you form your definition of feminism? I’m genuinely curious because I’m a feminist, and I don’t want to live in the world you just described, nor do I seek in any way to subjugate men.

    • I agree with Lisa. The feminism you describe is nothing like the feminism I know; in fact, what you describe is, in my experience, really a caricature of feminism, a viewpoint that is not held by any normal, sane person I know.

    • Lydia

      I can’t help but think this misses the major point of this post, namely,
      that women are human and deserve to be treated the same under the law,
      given the same opportunities in the world, and not treated like chattel.
      Which, legally speaking, is what has been the case for pretty much
      ever. Historically, in Christian civilizations women could not own
      property, were limited in what they could and could not do depending on
      which class they belonged to and expected to have the good old double
      standard of marital chastity applied to them. Now, this is not the fault
      of Christianity-rather, it is the fault of flawed people. The fact is
      that people are people and do horrible things. We DO need Christ to
      truly change people, but how do we reach people to encourage a better,
      more Christian understanding of women? You need a method and, for lack
      of a better terminology, that method is called feminism. Women’s dignity
      is not just making babies and being nuns and being complementary.
      That’s very simplistic and really only works in a very particular
      Christian subculture where people understand the nature, both
      metaphysical and physical, of women and are living lives of holiness.
      And that is not most of the world. What about the women in poor
      countries who can’t go to school? Or are sterilized because they’re the
      wrong sort? Or can’t earn a living because of cultural restrictions?
      What about the women in Pakistan who are raped and then killed for the
      sin of being raped? Or, heaven help us, the wives of men in our religion
      who look down on their abilities and abuse them? Saying that these
      evils exist does not mean that men suck. It’s stating a reality. Reality
      can be ugly, but it doesn’t mean anyone is ganging up on men. Certainly
      not in this forum.

      • velvet

        And that is not most of the world. What about the women in poor
        countries who can’t go to school? Or are sterilized because they’re the
        wrong sort? Or can’t earn a living because of cultural restrictions?
        What about the women in Pakistan who are raped and then killed for the
        sin of being raped? Or, heaven help us, the wives of men in our religion
        who look down on their abilities and abuse them?

        Yes, what about them? Let’s remember, first of all, that it is largely Western MEN who are assigned or volunteer for the task of implementing our high minded initiatives in the third world, while we continue in our cultural cognitive dissonance and hedonistic “my body, my turn!” mindset, born, ironically, of Feminism. We cannot get to where we want to go by this vehicle. It’s simply not going to happen. Who can take us seriously, after all?

        it doesn’t mean anyone is ganging up on men

        Why is it necessarily ‘feminism” that is required to engender human decency (I realize that term is something of an oxymoron in itself)? My argument isn’t against women being treated with dignity, far from it. My argument is that it’s inaccurate to assign lack of decency as “masculinism”, because that’s what calling everything good and edifying “feminism” amounts to. Decency has no gender. It is that simple. There’s nothing particularly mystical or holy about it.

        • Lydia

          Feminism is, when you get down to it, a term that has been highjacked and corrupted by bad people. I think that is where we get derailed. Sadly, in a fallen world, people respond more to movements than to a basic cry for decency, unless that cry for decency is a part of a movement. And I certainly am not saying that a lack of decency is a masculine trait at all. Bad people come in both sexes. What I’m saying is that it is a reality that women are treated badly all over the world, including in the US, and using the term feminism, is helpful to draw attention to the plight of women.

          Also, I certainly never implied that western men do nothing to help, though many of the “high minded initiatives” sponsored by western governments are not exactly pro-woman (sterilization policies and condoms before vaccines in Africa come to mind). There is absolutely a cognitive dissonance in the west-it is truly messed up. I disagree that it was born of feminism. All those nasty sins were there long before feminism took hold. Abortion, infanticide, the objectification of women, pornography have been a part of reality since the fall. Radicals took those sins and made them a part of feminism. Feminism didn’t invent them.

          Finally, just because you are for basic decency, as we all are, doesn’t mean that it’s bad to focus on one aspect of how that works out in the world. Some people focus on poverty, some on abortion, some on human trafficking, some on women, some on men. It’s helpful to have a term that is descriptive.

      • velvet

        Actually, women have had property rights, have worked, and have enjoyed a good deal of freedom afforded frankly, by the physical protection and sacrifice of men, for a good deal of history. I have a friend who writes quite well on the subject, thoroughly researched and referenced. It’s quite enlightening (talk about a word we need to take back) – I don’t know if disqus (or Mrs. Fisher) allows links, but I’ll try to provide a couple.

        • CS

          There is nothing so indicative of how male-centric (instead of balanced) thought STILL is for some people than the way a discussion with the word feminism becomes about some people who call themselves feminists being man-haters and MEN ARE AWESOME !!!!! And that seems to be all the farther it can go in some minds.

          • velvet

            Funny, I grew up in a feminist household and considered myself a feminist until I realized how chaotic and destructive it is, particularly the second wave variety, and particularly for women. I am for a Christ-centric, Bible driven complementarian operating system, with a lot of Magisterium on hand. I don’t see how that is “male-centric”, so much as well-ordered.

          • CS

            Yep. I knew it was you.

          • CS

            And I am sure you keep LOTS of Magesterium on hand for those ego-heavy sessions.

          • velvet

            Wait, I thought women didn’t have egos? Ohhhh, I see what you did there. Nope, not a man, sorry.

          • CS

            Men aren’t the only gender that engages in ego self-stroking.

          • antigon

            that’s rank sexism CS

          • velvet


        • Lydia

          It would be more accurate to say some women have had these things. Not most. I’m always looking for a good read, though, so link away.

        • Links are allowed, just copy and paste from your browser address bar.

    • Mimi Trammell

      First off…Did you really put saying no to sex within a marriage in the same category as abortion and consumption of pornography? Yeesh.

      I think you may be a bit out of touch of what feminism is about.
      Feminism is less about believing that all men are knuckle dragging Raper McRapester, and more trying to make people aware that women oftentimes have to operate on that belief for their own SAFETY.

      The belief that so many men think feminism means we want men to be subservient is, frankly, bullshit Yes, there are some misandrists out there who *do* operate with that belief. But the majority of feminists truly do not.

      And, while christianity and catholicism *DO* solve these issues in a more complete way than feminism could ever hope to… feminism has an advantage in being approachable even by those people who have been hurt, whether intentionally or no, by the church or people who represent the church.

      If I can say “Yes, I am a feminist….especially because I’m Catholic…” I can only hope that might make someone rethink their perception of the Church as backwards, evil, and oppressive of women.

      • velvet

        Did you really put saying no to sex within a marriage in the same category as abortion and consumption of pornography? Yeesh.

        All day long. And I am just as perplexed at men who withhold from their wives. People aren’t very good at being married.

        • CS


        • Lydia

          Really? Wow. I didn’t realize that it was a mortal sin to say “not tonight, honey.”

          • velvet

            It’s a matter of “one flesh”. No, I don’t think it’s murder, I think it’s among the most counter-intuitive “rights” women exercise on a regular and abusive and manipulative basis – not at all unlike abortion and porn use, in that regard. If women want to be understood, they could do a little understanding of their own. (and I’m talking the average middle class marriage bed here – no extreme examples necessary)

          • $1028912

            Wait, are you really a man? Whose wife refuses to sleep with him? Just a guess……

          • velvet

            No, I’m not a man. Every woman who rejects feminism is not a man. I’m not sure why that’s the feminist default, but it amounts to lazy thinking and lack of a valid argument, in my experience.

          • $1028912

            Actually, that was a joke. But it is usually men, in my experience, who claim they’re not getting enough sex from their spouses.

          • CS

            Please do not give people like this a platform to keep going on and on. Seriously. There is no way to argue with someone who believes that the sacrament of marriage is a magical trick that fuses you into a single flesh without free will and women are the ones who abuse their magical obligations on a regular basis. ALSO everything is abortion-bad.

          • velvet

            People like who? People who base their arguments on the Bible and church teaching rather than personal preference and a void of compassion for even those who they call family? Yeah, okay, that’s working so well for the world.

          • Mimi Trammell

            Yeah…I keep forgetting everything is abortion bad.
            That’ll show me. :p

          • Damien Fisher

            It is for crazy people who hate women.

    • Bucky Inky

      Please, more from Velvet!

  • Stasa

    No but thank you. We don’t need another thousand years of flawed secular movement that resulted in problems you’re listing. Women are free, it’s done. You may not like what being free means to some women but that’s what happens when people come up with grand ideas without God. No movement or law has ever changed human nature, God has. You’re talking about changing people and their morals….telling a man he shouldn’t be abusive, telling a woman she shouldn’t have her half naked picture on a target wall, telling preast not to teach falsehood. …these things can’t be changed by a movement.
    I don’t want to take feminism, I don’t want to rename it, rebrand it, make it my own or attach it to the name of my church. I only need one teacher Jesus the Christ. Everything else will ultimately lead to another evil no matter what it was set out to do originally.

    • Lydia

      I don’t agree, and here’s why. God gave us reason. He expects and wants us to use it by applying our brains to the task of justice and evangelization. The two really ought to go hand in hand. I agree that feminism as popularly understood by Americans is a blight on the philosophical landscape, but really, what it actually means is that women ought to be treated with dignity. It got highjacked by radicals, and maybe that’s what you dislike so much about it. But pretty much anything can be highjacked by radicals, even the name of Christ.

      • Stasa

        Every human being needs to be treated with dignity. She is addressing the issues of sin which by the way are already covered in the bible. Yes God gave me brains to seek Him and follow Him, not to reinvent His teaching, relabel it and call it my own. If you claim that your teaching is not different from what God teaches us then you don’t get to call it anything but God’s teaching. All those women in porn movies and on the wall of target, do it of their own free will, they are fee to do it feminism gave them that. If you want to teach them morals and teach men why they shouldn’t look at pornography. ….for that you need God.
        If God gave you enough brains to discern the issues of morals and dignity on your own, he wouldn’t give you the church too.

        • Lydia

          It’s both/and.

          • Stasa

            No it’s not, it did not start in the church and that’s why it fell short of accomplishing what it meant to accomplish. This is why the new feminism is going to fall short of accomplishing anything. Until the church defines what feminism is I will stay away from the label.
            The whole article is just a set of nice thoughts. How exactly, do you think, this is going to be accomplished.
            Obama care sounds good….health care for everyone. How is it going to work? Did you give it any thought besides feel good article.

          • Lydia

            Actually, feminism as understood by Simcha and others, did start in the Church. You may want to read St. Edith Stein’s On Woman if you have not yet done so. I never pay attention to feel good stories-I’m a cynical person by nature and if something says feel good I’m pretty sure it’s contrived. So, yes I have given it thought. I have read church documents on the subject, and can only leave you with this: “In
            transforming culture so that it supports life, women occupy a place, in
            thought and action, which is unique and decisive. It depends on them to
            promote a “new feminism” which rejects the temptation of imitating
            models of “male domination”, in order to acknowledge and affirm the true
            genius of women in every aspect of the life of society, and overcome
            all discrimination, violence and exploitation.” -Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae 99

          • Stasa

            Again what is your plan of action….you’re going to sit down and read Pope John Paul II to abusive men and women that make millions of dollars taking their clothes off?
            Any of these writings can be taken and interpreted differently by different people. Define exploitation. ….because number of these women don’t feel exploited. They feel rich and empowered. You still need God and his church to fill in the gaps. What does male dominance mean……because many women belive that they dominate men with their sexuality. So what is your actual plan?

          • Lydia

            What’s yours? I never said you don’t need the church. Here is what I do. I remember that each of these people is an individual with a unique life. When I meet someone who has no problem with a fundamentally exploitative lifestyle (and it doesn’t matter whether they FEEL it or not), I talk to them. I try to be kind, to be their friend. Eventually, you get around to talking about big stuff. You treat them like the valuable human beings they are. The only way that works is if you start individually, helping people, by using the resources and brains we have, to convince them they are better than that. I have an acquaintance who is a nice guy and a part time drag queen. We’ve gotten as far as him saying I have a valid point with which he disagrees. It’s the long haul, not a series of catechetical talks. Flowing through all of this has to be the deep and abiding love of Christ, and a lot of prayer. This is what I mean by both/and. We use ALL the resources that are good, salvaging what we can from the mess that has been made of something that started out good, our reason to reason our way to at least a natural understanding of truth and our faith and trust in the mercy of God. So yeah. I guess that’s my plan.

          • Stasa

            I’m not the one that claimed we need a movement. I said we already have God and Church and you don’t get to call it feminism.
            What you are describing as your plan of action is not feminism either. I’m simply saying drop the word feminism. …..or you are going to spend your life time just trying to come to terms what feminism is. You can point to a dictionary definition of feminism til you turn blue……drop the name.
            When you say you are going to tell some woman that she is smarter than that and she doesn’t need to be doing these things…’re probably thinking of a porn star or a 16 year old who is having her picture taken in a bikini. ……I’ll give you something else to think about.
            Angelina Jolie, had her picture taken half naked, was naked in movies, lives munmarried, supports same sex marriage, what would she say if you told her you’re smarter than that…..or do you think that her sins are not as bad…..she is a poster picture of feminism. …..drop the name .
            The world is not going to be fixed by focusing on women.
            We need to evangelize everyone as we come in contact with them by being good witnesses of God, and that is not feminism.

          • Allison Grace

            I do so too “get to call it feminism,” because the advocacy of women’s rights, socially, politically, and economically is in the catechism.

          • Stasa

            If it is in the catechism then it is Catholicism…and every catholic man and woman believes it. When you say Catholic feminist it sounds like you have an extra set of ideas and beliefs on top of Catholicism.
            There’s no need to identify your beliefs any other way but catholic, you’re just confusing everyone and our God is not God of confusion. The realty is….feminism means different thing to different people.

          • Lydia

            Stasa, I’m done here. Isms, while I generally have little use for them, come in handy when dealing with certain kinds of people. The world is going to be fixed by people focusing on individuals, one soul at a time, and sometimes that means using terms that are not perfect. Oh well. Angelina Jolie is a beautiful, talented woman. She’s very smart. She’s also more than the sum of her parts. It is, however, very unlikely I’ll run into her any time soon. If I were to be on friendly terms, though, I certainly wouldn’t preach at her. I’d do the same I would do for anyone else, because that’s what people deserve, whether they pose nude or not. And if you don’t like the word feminism, fine! I for one am not bothered by it, and I have far better things to do with my time than “spend your life time just trying to come to terms what feminism is.”

          • Stacey (the kids’ Aunt Tasty)

            I can’t wait to hear what you learn from the drag queen. I found Jesus in the face of a transgendered friend — I sure wasn’t taught *that* would happen! But then it did.

          • Allison Grace

            So unless a thought, a movement, an ‘ism begins in the Church, it is wrong and doomed to fail?

          • Stasa

            Not just started in the church but approved by the church. Yes it is flawed and doomed to fail even when started for “good” reaons.
            I’m not talking about saving pandas here.

          • Allison Grace

            Like homeschooling, the land movement, (I’m trying to think of things while stirring supper…) ~ the Church doesn’t have to specifically approve every word we use, every decision in our life-building. Some live in community; some in the bush; some public school; some religious school; some use federal healthcare; some would never; some are strict disciplinarians; some are laissez-faire. I l accept the actual definition of feminism (the advocacy of women’s rights) even if I don’t struggle a bit for mine. Simcha’s article shows that many women do struggle mightily and need those social, political, and economic rights. When I say that I’m a Catholic feminist and people question it, I get to explain the Church’s teachings (yay)!

          • Stasa

            Homeschooling is not a movement…..I’m not trying to be difficult here all I’m saying is feminism carries baggage with the name…you and I can agree what it means but realty is something different. You’ll spend much of your time just trying to define feminism. …….not accomplish much…look what it did in two short days…drove a wedge between catholic women. I’m also stirring dinner. God bless

  • What we need is a counterbalancing chivalry. What we need is MOTHERHOOD and FATHERHOOD. What we need is a new respect for a heteronormative society.

    Until we have that, feminism is doomed to go off the rails- precisely because of men acting so badly.

    • $1028912

      Chivalry should not be bound by gender. And civility & responsibility are for everyone.

      • You can’t have civility and responsibility, let alone civilization, without first agreeing on a set of foundation principles. We no longer have that in America at all, we’ve replaced it with a tyrannical attempt at “diversity”, in which we are no longer allowed to have right and wrong, virtue and sin, good and evil.

        Because Chivalry requires belief in absolute good and evil, it is utterly denied by postmodern society.

    • Renee

      We don’t need to utilize hetero-normative terminology, that is playing into gender stereotypes

      How about masculinity and femininity instead, not all individuals are parents and masculinity or femininity can be expressed in many forms?

      • Gender stereotypes exist for a reason, they point to evolved structures in the human brain that are different between the genders.

        It is impossible to be feminist without being misandrist. It is impossible to be masculinist without being misogynist. The denial of parenthood is the cause of all evil.

        • CS

          Oh, Ted. You are sinking into pronouncements again.

          • Those who fail to speak the Truth when challenged are not following Christ.

        • $1028912

          Yeah, well, sorry to tell you, it’s possible to be a feminist and still LOVE men. So much for that.
          What do you mean by “the denial of parenthood?”

          • Divorce, Contraception, Sterilization, Abortion, and Homosexuality is the denial of parenthood. It removes the heteronormative structure of society, removes procreation as a value, and attacks even the few intact families that are left. Denial of gender roles is denial of the right of men to be men and women to be women.

          • $1028912

            Got it — yes, I support all five of those. But how does this “attack even the few intact families that are left?” I see more than “a few” intact families, and I see no one — not even me! — attacking them.

          • By supporting those five objective evils, you destroy the ideal of family. And no, there aren’t a whole lot of intact families out there. My wife runs a daycare- out of her parents, only ONE couple in the past 8 years has been untouched by these sins. I can’t even say my own family is untouched by these sins, my son’s godparents got divorced, I have cousins who claim to be homosexual and accuse the rest of the family of sexual abuse; divorce is rampant among both family and friends, and it is now to the point that they’ve got a gay judge to overturn the constitutional definition of marriage in my state. You can’t run a bakery or a flower shop or be a photographer in Oregon anymore without being forced to support homosexuality. I live in a state where we kill the unborn and the terminally ill and my taxes are confiscated to support the genocidal mania of people like you.

            YES, you are the problem Lisa. You and your dictatorship of diversity cohorts who have attacked and attacked and attacked until there is nothing left of civilization and NO hope for the future outside of martyrdom.

          • $1028912

            Somehow, I think the world has waaaaaay bigger problems than me and my “cohorts.”

          • It all starts with you diversity people though, who start the wars, who refuse to allow peace, and who deny Christ.

          • $1028912

            I don’t know, I can’t point to a single war started by us “diversity people.” We tend to favor peace, and the freedom to follow (or not follow) Christ, or anyone else.

          • Where I can point to a holocaust caused by your side- with 56 million dead and counting in the United States alone.

          • $1028912

            I do happen to be very pro-abortion myself, but there are plenty of feminists — “diversity people” — who aren’t. It’s a separate issue, not part of any neat package.
            As I said in another comment here, look up “Feminists For Life.”

          • That’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s also divorce, contraception, and the continuing hatred of fatherhood that is *rampant* in feminism. In fact, I’d say that the primary cause of abortion, is contraception- the idea that humanity deserves control over procreation, instead of welcoming *every* child as a blessing, no matter how hard the circumstances or what greed, selfishness, and profit we need to give up to support that mother and child.

            And that’s also where a boy becomes a man- when he is offered and accepts the responsibility of fatherhood- including earning enough money to care for his family.

            Even claiming that somehow, the sad situation of a man jailed for wife beating is equal or better than the traditional family, damages that. We’ve had 40 years of experimenting with “non-traditional” families, and the results have been a disaster.

          • $1028912

            The results of my own personal experiment with a “non-traditional” family have been stellar, so I’m inclined to disagree with you.
            And I’m not sure what you’re saying, in your point about jailing a man for wife beating. One doesn’t have to be a feminist to oppose domestic violence.

          • Stellar alright. Divorce is just so grand that everybody should do it, and we should all be raised ignoring the gifts of our gender. Brilliant reasoning.

            As for the man jailed for wife beating- it’s the one case of divorce being just, if not good.

          • $1028912

            I’m not saying that what’s right for me and my family is also right for you — in fact, based on all you’ve said here, it probably isn’t. But you’re saying that what’s right for you is also right for me and my family, and it simply isn’t.

            At least we agree that wife beating is bad!

          • 2000 years of history shows that to be wrong, but then again, what’s history to a liberal? Just something more to ignore and destroy.

          • $1028912

            So it’s okay for women to have no legal rights, and to be the property of men, because this is the way it was for some 2,000 years?
            I agree we should never ignore history, but some precedents are worth destroying.

          • Legal rights aren’t worth a holocaust. Especially when they’re just going to be taken away anyway from “unwanted” baby girls.

          • $1028912

            It’s not an either/or choice: Progress and feminism are about far more than abortion.
            Really, you’d like to go back to the way it was, when women couldn’t vote or own property? You’d like America to be more like parts of Afghanistan?

          • Progress? I don’t call that progress. I call it regression.

            And sorry, abortion makes the rest not worth while. I’d rather America be like America was *before white man came and screwed it all up*.

          • $1028912

            As I said, I left America, but I’ll take the modern world over any of its previous versions, any day.

          • I wouldn’t. I see very little good in technological advancement while abandoning morality entirely.

          • $1028912

            The “good old days” had their share of vice, too. The purity for which you nostalgically pine never existed in the human world. But as I woman, I’m grateful to have been born in an era and country where society doesn’t treat me like a second-class citizen.

          • Yes they did. But in the good old days, people were punished for it.

            The idea that women were ever actually treated as second class citizens, failed to understand the entire purpose of the family.

          • $1028912

            Well, sure, but as a “fornicator,” I can only be glad no one is stoned to death for sex outside of sacramental marriage anymore.
            So I guess you’re saying that it was fine that women were treated as second-class citizens, because that was their assigned role? If a woman freely uses to use her gifts inside her household, that’s one thing, but you really think it’s a great idea to deprive the world of the contribution of female doctors, artists, musicians, lawyers, etc., just because everyone in your world needs to stick close to rigid gender roles that wouldn’t allow such women any role outside the home?

          • “Well, sure, but as a “fornicator,” I can only be glad no one is stoned to death for sex outside of sacramental marriage anymore.”

            I’m sure you are- but you should also acknowledge the problem that sin causes in society, especially in a tribal or clan setting. There is a reason why taboos exist, and ignoring that reason, only makes modern people look like idiots.

            “So I guess you’re saying that it was fine that women were treated as second-class citizens, because that was their assigned role?”

            Worse than that. I’m suggesting that the women were the first class citizens- allowed to stay home find fulfillment within the home- while the men were forced out of the home to labor to support the home. I’m saying that with defined gender roles, women are the *clear winners*, and I don’t see why any woman would crave the harder life of a man.

            “If a woman freely uses to use her gifts inside her household, that’s one thing, but you really think it’s a great idea to deprive the world of the contribution of female doctors, artists, musicians, lawyers, etc., just because everyone in your world needs to stick close to rigid gender roles that wouldn’t allow such women any role outside the home?”

            The work being done inside the home, does not deprive the outside world of the benefits of that work being done inside the home.

          • $1028912

            Okay, first of all….nope, sorry, I don’t acknowledge that sex outside of marriage — sacramental or otherwise – does any kind of damage to society. I think the world is a much better place without that particular taboo. Not that I have anything against marriage — I just would never want to live in any society where it were an obligation, because it’s not for everyone.

            As for why you “don’t see why any woman would crave the harder life of a man,” perhaps you need to use your imagination a bit? If women freely choose this “harder life” (and many of us do), then perhaps it might be because it’s not really “harder” at all, or because it confers benefits that we think make it worth it? There’s nothing wrong with choosing to stay home, if an individual woman (or man) thinks that’s where she can make the greatest contribution, but not all of us belong there.

          • “Okay, first of all….nope, sorry, I don’t acknowledge that sex outside of marriage — sacramental or otherwise – does any kind of damage to society.”

            And that is a tragedy in and of itself, because it means you are biased towards sin and unable to see the wisdom of generations that went before you.

            ” I think the world is a much better place without that particular taboo.”

            Abortion and contraception being the obvious two, less obvious are the utter tragedy of children growing up without their biological mothers and fathers showing the union of a traditional marriage, the artificial economic instability of the single parent home, or now the utter hatred of the opposite gender show in the gay parent home. Nope, your fantasy of “everything’s all right, nothing to see here” is just that, a fantasy.

            “Not that I have anything against marriage — I just would never want to live in any society where it were an obligation, because it’s not for everyone.”

            It isn’t for everyone, that’s why we have the consecrated to celibacy orders. But if you’re going to have sex, marriage is the only way to have it work.

            “As for why you “don’t see why any woman would crave the harder life of a man,” perhaps you need to use your imagination a bit? If women freely choose this “harder life” (and many of us do), then perhaps it might be because it’s not really “harder” at all, or because it confers benefits that we think make it worth it?”

            The benefits do not outweigh the risks. As proven by the fact that women *voluntarily* give up 25% of their compensation for a greater amount of time at home. So no, I’m not buying into your fantasy that liberty is actually worth the damage it has caused.

            “There’s nothing wrong with choosing to stay home, if an individual woman (or man) thinks that’s where she can make the greatest contribution, but not all of us belong there.”

            Actually, all of us, men and women, DO belong there. For the first 1.9 million years of human beings on this planet, all businesses were home based businesses, all human life centered around the home. We were foolish to give it up.

          • $1028912

            Actually, my your “fantasy of ‘everything’s all right, nothing to see here'” is in fact, reality. I’m a single mother at the moment by choice, with three kids at home, and my family isn’t experiencing any “artificial economic instability.” I’m not saying this is the best option for every family, because it surely isn’t, but I’m confident it is for mine. Had I not worked outside the home, I would have had no choice but to stay together with my partner when he moved away, so in my case, my job truly did set me free. I’m also providing a good example for my children, that a woman doesn’t need a man to support her. I don’t want my sons to think they’re obligated to support a woman someday, or my daughter to expect someone to take care of her — she needs to take care of herself. These is the lesson I’m passing on to the next generation.

            And there is nothing stopping you or anyone else from centering your lives around the home, if you see fit. That may indeed be the best choice for some people. But I know in fact that it was NOT the best choice for me, so I don’t mourn some lost utopia in which it was the only choice.

          • Wait, the only reason for your divorce was you didn’t want to move with your husband’s new job and he was unwilling or unable to find a job closer to home?

            Exactly HOW is that not incredibly selfish and putting material wealth before people?

            You also haven’t even given the first thought that a man needs a woman to support him, have you. And that the support in a real traditional marriage goes both ways.

            What a broken world you have chosen to model for your children- people are to be dumped when they become economically inconvenient, intact families aren’t important enough to sacrifice material wealth for (despite the fact that long term, as opposed to short term, economics teaches us that the earning potential of a man supported by a woman at home is double or triple that of a bachelor, and that more children, once again in the long run, means more wealth in the end).

            The blindness is amazing.

          • $1028912

            No “blindness” here — and no divorce, either. No one was “dumped” — my partner accepted an overseas job transfer. The kids and I didn’t want to go with him, and thankfully, we didn’t have to. We could stay in our home, they could stay in their schools, we could visit him, he could visit us — in other words, my willingness to support our household here opened up possibilities for my family.

          • Why would any responsible father accept an overseas job transfer? That seems like a highly irrational thing to do, in and of itself.

          • $1028912

            He serves his country.

          • That’s a noble thing to do- but it brings up a topic I hate almost as much as abortion- war.

            There should be no need for any soldier to serve outside of our borders, ever. The only reason there is a need is because we’ve done a very inadequate job of national security to begin with; our borders are virtually unguarded. Wars of invasion, are always immoral; and while not an invention of the modern world (St. Augustine of Hippo wrote about the injustice of war over 1700 years ago) they are always wrong- especially for what they do to families.

          • $1028912

            To clarify, he’s not a soldier — he works for his country’s government. He finds great meaning in his work, even though it pays less than a private-sector job would.

            You say “wars of invasion are always immoral” — then do you believe that strong nations have a moral obligation to help weaker ones repel such invasions? Sorry, this is off the topic of feminism, but I’m personally very interested in defense issues.

          • I believe that the only moral war, is one fought on your own soil against an invader, and that you should NEVER cross a national border into another country without permission, either as an individual or on the authority of your country’s government.

            Defense means staying at home and defending YOUR borders, not invading other people’s.

            As for weaker nations, sell them whatever they need to do the job themselves, but don’t send them even one of our soldiers to force their battle to be bloodier.

            Oddly enough, I see it as the same topic. Abortion, euthanasia, birth control, the death penalty, war, starvation, poverty, they’re all interconnected- and the common character failing between them is greed.

          • $1028912

            So what would you have done in the case of, say, Hitler? Or Pol Pot?

          • Likely lost. So what. Better to lose morally than to attack immorally. Fighting evil directly just makes more evil.

  • DeirdreMundy

    I’m still not convinced that we need to reclaim the word feminism, BUT I can see the case for it…

    In that, so many of the millennials who are hurting and don’t know why think that, in order to advocate for the equality of women, one must ALSO accept porn, promiscuity, abortion, scanty clothing, etc. So they’re miserable and broken, but if you start the conversation by putting down feminism, they just shut you out.

    So, by reclaiming feminism, I guess we could start some conversations with people who otherwise would just turn away….

    So that they can see that they DON’T have to watch porn with their boyfriend in order to be ’emancipated’– that part of being free and equal is being free to say “no, actually I don’t feel comfortable sleeping with a guy I just met, I want a real relationship,” or “You know, I just really prefer porn-free monogamy, and THAT’S OK.”

    Or even “Maybe women care about other issues besides birth control. Like the tax code. Or international relations. Or the price of gas…”

    • “Maybe women care about other issues besides birth control. Like the tax
      code. Or international relations. Or the price of gas…”

      That’s crazy talk! We only care about the pill. And shoes.

  • Anne Cardozo Costa

    I have been thinking about this for a while now. We need women to understand their true strength, to claim it and champion it in a world that will always depersonalize, dehumanize and otherwise devalue the gifts of the feminine genius. Real empowerment will only come once we embrace the truth of our selves and work toward a radical revision in the hearts and minds of women based on that truth.
    PS: And part of that radicalization is to reclaim the word feminism for a positive ideology that advances a life-affirming political, social cultural, and spiritual agenda that benefits all human persons.

  • donttouchme

    I still find this idea weird. Feminists seem to think that because feminism is “good” for women it’s good for everybody, but I don’t think it is. It’s bad for boys and men, for example. It can only produce three types of men: effeminate, cad, and misogynist. Usually a combination of those. You always hear, “where have all the good men gone?” Or we need REAL men. Well, feminism destroys men. That’s part of the package, use political power to create an “equality” that has never ever existed naturally, and never will exist, by training strong boys to think they are equal to weak girls and that equality is a worthy goal. It’s ridiculous. It leads to effeminate men and cads, some of whom develop into misogynists.

    I think in some senses men are more important than women. The female sex, for example, isn’t capable of building civilization. Can’t happen. There’s a reason history began when it did. In a word, patriarchy.

    Also, women’s suffrage conflicts with most of the stated ideals of conservative women. It leads to bigger, fatter governments and decreases subsidiarity. Studies have been done.

    In short, we don’t need “better” feminism, but, if anything, better patriarchy. Cads fear fathers. Fathers as a group running the show (patriarchy) teach boys not to be effeminate. And despite all the feminist propaganda, men did in fact love their wives prior to 1960. Mass misogyny is a result of feminism. So even if feminism were good for women, which I don’t think is true, it’s bad for the other half of the human race. Christian patriarchy is the answer. Please, nobody say, “Christian patriarchy is BAD, because just look at Afganistan!” People should be trying to figure out what patriarchy is, not feminism.

    • $1028912

      Patriarchy — ick! Not for me, thanks.
      The female sex alone isn’t capable of building civilization — nor is the male sex alone. Working together, with mutual respect and dignity, and, yes, equality = optimal.
      “Studies have been done.”

      • donttouchme

        You’re wrong again. The female sex isn’t at all capable of building civilization. And yes it is the male sex alone that is capable of building civilization and did build it. I’m not surprised a feminist wants to steal credit, however, and make it a “shared” endeavor.

        • donttouchme

          Equality doesn’t exist and never will. You’re living in dream land.

          • $1028912

            I’m fighting the good fight, to make it reality in my lifetime — and in my own home.

          • donttouchme

            It won’t ever exist because it can’t exist, not because people aren’t trying hard enough or something. Working for equality is like working to tame a unicorn. “I’m working hard to tame a unicorn, and make a tame unicorn a reality in my lifetime, in my backyard, with glitter.”

          • $1028912

            Where you see unicorns, I see the real world around me.

          • donttouchme

            No, you don’t. Like I said, you’re living in dreamland. A fantasy realm where men and women are equal and unicorns frolic in the hay.

          • $1028912

            Oh, it’s real. Because they ARE equal — different, but equal.

          • donttouchme

            So before you were working to make equality appear in your lifetime, now you’re saying it’s already here. Mission accomplished! All it took was two blog comments.

          • $1028912

            It’s here in my home, and I do whatever I can to spread it as far and as wide as I can.

          • donttouchme

            No, it isn’t. Unicorns aren’t in your backyard, either. I’m glad your incomprehension of basic logic doesn’t exist in Church doctrine, despite your best efforts to spread it far and wide.

          • $1028912

            There are indeed no unicorns in my backyard, but there is equality of the sexes under my roof — and to some extent, in my community, and in some parts of the world at large. And I’m doing my best — my little part — to spread it as widely as I can.

          • donttouchme

            No, there isn’t. And not in your community, and not in any parts of the world. It doesn’t exist, for the same reason unicorn training doesn’t exist. Of course you can sell your unicorn training program, but that doesn’t change the fact that unicorn training doesn’t exist.

          • $1028912

            Come on over and see! My family and I, and many of our friends, all living in constructive, egalitarian harmony.

            Or go ahead and scoff, at what you refuse to acknowledge — we can happily exist without your recognition, and go about forwarding our agenda without your support.

          • donttouchme

            No, you’re not. You’re living in a hierarchy, like everything else in the universe. I don’t need to look to know there are no unicorns in your backyard. Of course you can keep selling your unicorn training program, like I said. It’s dishonest and ultimately suicidal for civilization, but you can do it. You’re right about that.

          • $1028912

            No hierarchy in our house — my partner and I (when he’s around, since we don’t live together) share power equally, and our sons & daughter are treated exactly the same. I see households like ours multiplying, even in the conservative country we live in. Nothing “suicidal for civilization” — quite the contrary.

          • donttouchme

            Hierarchy is everywhere, like I said. Do you want to dispute that fact? Or would you prefer to keep insisting on unicorns? I’m guessing you’re going to go with unicorns. You’re right that the incomprehension and insistence on unicorns you represent here is increasingly common.

          • donttouchme

            Actually, I’d also have to say that my views are increasingly common. And as the unicorn philosophy turns society into a baby-killing, STD infected, impoverished wasteland, the old-fashioned, sane, openly hierarchical Church is going to look better and better by comparison.

          • $1028912

            I prefer the secular world, thanks. There are lots of us who do. To each her own.

          • donttouchme

            You’re welcome.

          • $1028912

            It was a sarcastic “thanks.” As in, “thanks, but I prefer the modern world I live in to yours.”

          • $1028912

            We all live the way we choose. I suppose you’d prefer to live a society in which women are subjugated and put into their proper place — like this one?


          • donttouchme

            Not at all. I don’t want to live in a society where babies are murdered by the million either.

          • $1028912

            I’d vastly prefer myself to live in a world where those millions of aborted babies were never conceived in the first place. Impossible to kill what isn’t brought into being.

          • donttouchme

            That’s an idea. Since we’re going to die anyway, it’s better never to have even been conceived. You were saying something about a suicidal philosophy.

          • $1028912

            Ah, no, actually, YOU were saying something about a suicidal philosophy, not me. You can’t kill something that doesn’t exist in the first place — if there are no unwanted pregnancies, then there are no abortions. Quite simple, actually. I can’t imagine why anyone would object to that.

          • donttouchme

            Mainly because its another aspect of your unicorn training philosophy. It literally can’t happen. See? But you still believe in it, the way one might believe in training unicorns. “I know, let’s just have no unwanted pregnancies! That way we can avoid killing babies (and if a baby slips through the cracks, well, that one we can kill).

          • $1028912

            Yes, I do believe in it — and in fact, I’m living it.

            I would invite you over to see it, and prove to you that what you insist doesn’t exist really does, but your pseudonym suggests you’re an unfriendly person who wouldn’t like that.
            No, you prefer to have your fun, taunting people in blog comment boxes, hiding behind your unfriendly fake name.

            That’s okay, I’m having fun, too. And it’s all proving Simcha’s original point, that feminism is still necessary exactly because of people like you.

        • $1028912

          Men are nothing without women — and vice versa.

          • donttouchme

            False. Virtually everything women enjoy today as members of civilization originated in patriarchy. I can see why a feminist wants to diminish men by saying they are nothing without women, though. It’s like the old feminist lie that girls can do anything boys can do.

            Incidentally that lie is particularly damaging to boys. And therefore indirectly damaging to girls since women depend on men for so much. Feminism is ba for women.

          • Fr. Denis Lemieux

            Of course men are nothing without women, and women are nothing without men. On a basic biological level, this is so, no? And biology is, in fact, destiny (contra old school Gloria Steinem type feminism). The human race is made to live as man and woman, image of God together. It does not diminish man or woman to speak of how the complementarity of the sexes and their inter-dependence is, besides being a blindingly obvious fact, the plan of God, and hence good and beautiful. And I write this as a happily celibate priest.

          • $1028912

            “Biology is destiny” only to the extent that only one sex can carry a pregnancy — but it still takes both sexes, to get one started. The complementarity of the sexes and their inter-dependence is indeed good and beautiful, and this happily non-celibate secular person agrees with you on that, Father.

          • donttouchme

            In that sense, yes, men and women are nothing without each other, and without a whole lot of other material things, too, such as water and oxygen. That’s not really what we’re talking about though. That’s a subtle misdirection. What we’re talking about diminishes men in the same way that “girls can do anything boys can do” diminishes boys. It diminishes men anthropologically. Of course girls can do anything boys can do. They can run, breathe, play sports, learn, speak, diagram sentences, do math, everything and anything. Of course men are nothing without women. Men are born from women. They evolved as a mating pair. But that’s not what we’re talking about though, like I said.

          • td10

            Then what the heck are you talking about??

        • Sheila C.

          I suppose if you define “civilization” as “only those things created my men,” your argument might hold. And of course most of the developments of civilization have no known inventor. But archeology suggests that women developed technologies such as spinning, weaving, primitive medicine, and possibly even cooking itself. Civilization would not have succeeded without these developments.

    • CS

      You know what I think we need more of? Paternalism. Not mere patriarchy, which is like, soooo behind-the-scenes and quietly-plotting. Just, outright, vocal paternalism that shows women and children how much they are valued for, just let the men take care of it and don’t worry your head, pat pat pat. We need loud, demonstrative training for our young people in how to take their role as White Saviour. Or, one of the other kind. Whichever category. PATERNALISM FTW.

      • LiveOaksandSpanishMoss

        LOL. Unfortunately, I just saw this life insurance commercial in which 2 women were talking about their fears about their husband’s deaths. Not fears about the loss of intimacy, or losing the most important person in their lives. Nope – fear of paying the mortgage. Because we all know that the poor lil women just can’t cope.

  • An unholy spirit has inspired feminism from it’s inception; Woman’s greatest glory is Mary’s “Fiat,” and feminism is predicated on a rejection of that most supreme act of humility, an abandoning of it, for the sin of Satan, “non serviam.”

    • Barbara Fryman

      Mary said yes to God. Often saying yes to God means rejecting the wishes of men.

      • There is no “Fiat” in feminism… no “yes” to God.

        • Joannes

          How is feminism predicated on a rejection of humility? Reasons, please.

  • Claire

    I agree about the need for feminism for all the reasons you mentioned. One I would add would be the use of feminism to promote respect for the value of stay-at-home moms. When feminism rightly promoted the rights of mothers to have careers, a mentality crept in that being “just a mother” isn’t enough. I would love to see feminism challenge this idea, and the notion that a woman needs paid work to be valuable. I would also love to see the feminist movement promote financial equality in marriage situations when one spouse is working and one is home fulltime.

  • ModerateMom17

    I shudder when I hear the same claims about racism, that it’s over with because we don’t have slaves anymore, and because we have a black president. So, just shut up all you people that keep talking about racially motivated injustices, it’s over. Move on.

  • Good food for thought. I have always been uncomfortable using the word “feminist” because of the reasons you listed at the beginning of this article … I agree with you that we need feminism but can we really use that word with all the baggage that comes with it, when it has come to represent the very things we are fighting against? When we have to say “I’m a PROLIFE feminist” or “I’m an ANTI-PORN feminist” or any other modifiers that explain what we “really” mean rather than what the word generally means I think we are not acknowledging the very real way that language works … we cannot simply reclaim a word by saying we’re using it differently than other people … So can we really use the word “feminism”? Do we need another word … or how do we truly reclaim that one when it is so entrenched in crappy stuff?

    • Allison Grace

      I like the eyebrow-raising and questions when I say “Catholic feminist” because then I get to explain!

  • Andy James

    Sounds like we don’t need more labels and movements, just more people living Christian principles. From a Biblical perspective, there is little to support the modern day “feminist” whether she be a bra-burning, baby killing lesbian or a Facebook addicted Catholic mother that spends her whole day in comboxes criticizing other movements.

    • simchafisher

      o hai Andy Nadeau. “Aaron Steele” is cute, but it kinda sounds like a porn name. May I suggest “Righteousman Christendom” or “Manly McHomeschoolerson” next time you want to harass me?

      • Damien Fisher

        Be nice, his first choice, “Biff Superweiner” was taken years ago by Bud McFarland Jr.

        • Damien Fisher

          Let’s remember, this is the same moral midget who would rather send his kids to get raped in the Legion then send them to a “Godless” public school.

      • Damien Fisher

        Maybe he could go with “Carlos Danger.” I don’t think that one’e being used anymore.

      • DeirdreMundy

        Wait, was he talking about you, or about me?

      • Damien Fisher

        “or a Facebook addicted Catholic mother that spends her whole day in comboxes criticizing other movements.”

        Well, you do have a tendency to poo-poo everything, Simmy.

        (I can’t believe I missed that set up!)

    • CS

      I am sad Andy Nadeau did not come back. Unless he did…or is donttouchme just his mentally-conjoined twin?

  • Libby

    I haven’t read all the comments, so maybe I’m being repetitive. I agree with you, Simcha, but I wonder if what we need is “let’s understand what being created gendered beings means”-ism. I think it’s bigger than men being jerks and using women. It’s not understanding what gender means and who we are created to be. The man carrying porn around in his pocket is just as, if not more in need of understanding his dignity and his call as the women he exploits. Or what about men who are routinely patronized by their wives who refer to them as another one of the kids because they complete tasks differently than women do? Hopefully it’s obvious that I don’t support women being abused for their gender. But as a Church, I think we can always take a broader perspective, so we don’t fall into the “us against them” mentality of the “angry at everyone” feminists.

  • Katie Duda

    I am surprised people are getting massively entangled about the word “feminism” and glossing over some of the ideas presented here. I recall de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America and the discussion of women and marriage in America. “Thus American women do not marry until their understandings are exercised and ripened; whereas in other countries most women generally only begin to exercise and to ripen their understandings after marriage.” This is from 1840, so approximately 10-15 years before Susan B Anthony. It seems to me that at least in the US, the women’s movements are an extension of the value that our democratic system places on individual liberties. This fraught not just in terms of specific liberties specific to biology, but to one’s right to own property, express ideas, etc.. Problems like entitlement to birth control or abortion are “female” issues but are tied up in a misunderstanding of individual liberty.
    Fisher’s excellent observation “People do dreadful things in the name of Christ our savior. That doesn’t mean we abandon the name. That means we rescue it, we rectify the misuse,” I think, calls for an examination of what feminism means. It seems to me what is being put forth is feminism is a movement that seeks to establish and protect the truth that women are political individuals- as opposed to politically dependent beings- thereby they have the rights and responsibilities as such. This is a principle, and one that can be misused without discussion as to rights and responsibilities of citizens.
    It seems to be suggested further that men and women exist in community as human beings having the same nature but living as gendered individuals. Some people posit that this is competitive and some people posit this should be complementary. While it is assumed among many that feminists start from competition, I think this ongoing rather than a set assumption and seems worth discussing, since it seems that strains of complementary minded feminists have always existed and continue to exist.

  • Guest

    I remember sitting in my first-ever women’s studies classes twenty-some years ago, listening and absorbing the stories women told of the violence and injustice in their lives. I knew that the Catholic Church had a vision of women to offer that both recognized the injustice and hardship so many women face as women and affirmed women’s dignity and opportunities. More than anything, my faith inspired me to continue with my doctoral work in women’s studies? Why conservative Catholic colleges don’t have *serious* women’s studies programs (or even “Women’s Studies 101” courses) is beyond me. Why have we shunned engaging these questions? I have long thought that popes of my lifetime (John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul II, Benedict, and now Francis) have been pointing us to a deeper conversation on women. It’s hard to read John Paul II’s Letter to Women as anything but a praise of the achievements of feminism (yes, bracketing the third rail of abortion). There are things are matters of simple justice. Does anyone think John Paul II considered his own insightful writings on women as the last word?! Let’s keep talking! And let’s keep sort out carefully and thoughtfully the wheat from the chaff. I was moved by Pope Benedict’s series of weekly addresses on seventeen holy women in the Church, starting with Hildegard of Bingen. He points out that “without the generous contribution of many women, the history of Christianity would have developed very differently.” In short, Christianity without women would not be Christianity. To my knowledge, his attention to women in the church got little attention. Are we paying attention? Many, many women–and men–are increasingly dissatisfied with our social experiences of gender relations, which are in deep and complicated ways tied up with our political and economic lives–and committed Catholics have something profound and transformative to offer the conversation. “It behooves us to remember,” as my teacher, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, once wrote, “that we are our sister’s keeper, not least because in her prospects lie our own.” Brava, Simcha, for reminding us of this important obligation. Blessings.

  • LiveOaksandSpanishMoss

    Let’s set a ground rule shall we? If you’re white, you don’t get to say that racism is over. If you’re male, you don’t get to say sexism is over. If you’re rich, you don’t get to say poverty is over. All clear now? Can those who don’t know what they’re talking about do a little more listening and a lot less chattering?

    • donttouchme

      A corollary: If you’re a woman, you don’t get to pretend you’re equal to men and steal credit for male accomplishments and get shrill about what you think you deserve. You get to say thank you to the nameless masses of men who have given you virtually everything you have because without their work and generosity you would be living in a hole in the ground and dying of old age at 32.

      • $1028912

        And without women, where would all those men be? Both sexes owe a very great debt to the other.

        • donttouchme

          Not this again. Alright one more time. Biologically, men and women are nothing without each other and a bunch of other stuff too. Where would all those men be without water or animals to eat? But I’m not talking about biology–I’m talking about anthropology. Man is primary, woman is secondary. Husband is the head, wife is the helpmate. Eve came from Adam, not Adam from Eve. They aren’t equals. They’re in a hierarchy. That’s the way it is as it pertains to anthropology.

          • $1028912

            Ha ha! I hope your cave is comfy. Seriously, men and women are equal — different, but equal. Always have been, always will be, and thank God, the law now recognizes this.

          • donttouchme

            I already know you support murder, fornication, sexual perversion, and different but equal. You keep repeating your basic dogmas and bragging about them in your life, but you never give any objective evidence or explanation. That fact that someone like you believes so blindly in different but equal should make all Christians reexamine that idea.

          • $1028912

            Interesting — you’re saying that some of my ideas are so abhorrent that therefore, ALL of them are?

            So if I stated my “blind” belief in things like friendship, humility and respect, I guess you would logically think that Christians need to reexamine those ideas, too.

          • donttouchme

            I invite you to provide objective evidence or logic pertaining to the issue at hand and to respond to me without restating your dogma over and over.

          • $1028912

            What’s my “dogma?” It’s just simple reality — I’m equal to my partner, he’s equal to me, my sons are equal to their sister, etc. There’s a hierarchy of age, but none of sex, and our household is peaceful and productive. I see this repeated in most households around me — and in the wider community.

            I go to offices where capable women are sometimes promoted above less capable men, based on ability and not gender. I see female politicians providing examples of leadership, and accomplishing just as much as their male peers. I see female doctors, lawyers, artists and musicians, just as brilliant and capable as the best of their male peers.

            Sure, I still see some corners (and some entire countries!) in which women are shoved into rigid gender roles and never reach their full potential, so I can’t be complacent that my equality is shared by everyone else. But I’m grateful to have been born in a developed country at this point in time, rather than 100 years ago — when women couldn’t even vote in my home country.

            Gratitude……that’s another idea that “Christians need to reexamine,” according to your logic, because a murderous, sex-loving pervert embraces it, too.

          • donttouchme

            Your dogma is different but equal, and you just keep repeating it endlessly, sometimes dressing it up, sometimes saying it plainly, but never actually defending it or explaining it.

          • $1028912

            I guess I’m just unclear on what needs “defending,” since I’m simply describing reality.

          • donttouchme

            You’re not describing reality. Reread my earlier comments in this exchange and your dogmatic responses.

            By that I mean women to this day still depend entirely on men. Precisely because men and women aren’t equal. Which is why there are places where that fundamental inequality is unrestrained. Those places wouldn’t exist if equality existed.

          • $1028912

            Show me my “dogmatic responses.” I described the real world.
            Show me how I “depend entirely on men.” Sorry, I just don’t see this — at all.

          • donttouchme

            All of your responses are the same dogmatic statement. Here’s one: “Seriously, men and women are equal — different, but equal. Always have been, always will be”

            A woman’s freedom in America is just as contingent on men allowing it as a woman’s freedom or lack of freedom in Afghanistan. That’s reality, always was, always will be.

          • $1028912

            Oh, my comment above that begins “Where’s my dogma?” provided plenty of real-life examples that you simply choose to ignore, and repeat your own dogma over and over.
            But now I see what you’re doing. By claiming that women’s freedom is always entirely contingent on men’s permission, you can therefore claim for men all of women’s accomplishments. Neat trick! All the fantastic accomplishments of female artists, doctors, politicians, lawyers, musicians, etc. — they’re really MEN’s accomplishments, because the men sagely ALLOWED certain little ladies out of the house, and into the public sphere. Got it! I’m not reeeeeeally a professional success in my field, earning a paycheck and supporting my family — it’s all just an illusion, because all the men around me (my partner, my male co-workers, etc.) are just indulging my whims. That’s what you’re saying?
            Sure, you can believe whatever you want — as long as the paycheck’s real, that’s really all I care about.

          • donttouchme

            All of the accomplishments you list, in fields developed by men, which you are dressing up your dogma with, really are contingent on men allowing them. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be talking about this. The universal inequality of men and women in history proves that men and women aren’t equal. If they were equal, they would be equal, and history would look very different.

            There’s more at stake than your paycheck and personal freedom. If men actually start treating women as equals and stop giving them special protection and privileges, women will be crushed and enslaved. As they were throughout history until men started giving them special protection and privileges.

          • CS

            Also everything black people have today is because they were allowed to advance from slavery. Don’t forget that, right?

            Non-murder-supporter here. Lisa is not able to deal with you because she thinks offering you examples of people living contrary to your idea of history will convince you. But you and I both know that no matter what anyone says, you will see the historical treatment of women as acceptable …..because “anthropology.”
            (which really means your own particular reading of the Bible).

            Say, I am curious if men did such a great job accomplishing things, why did it take them so long to accomplish letting women vote and stuff?

          • donttouchme

            Do you think the difference between a black and a white is the same as the difference between a man and a woman? Then you must support gay marriage but only if it’s interracial.

            Obviously, men and women are fundamentally different, not like a white man and a black man.

            The whole point is she is not offering any example that is different from the facts of human existence and history. She’s just pretending the facts don’t exist because they contradict her dogma.

            IF men did such a great job accomplishing things? Ungrateful.

          • $1028912

            So I’m “not offering any example that is different from the facts of human existence and history?”

            Actually, I have offered my own life as an example that’s very “different from the facts of human existence and history,” and you refuse to acknowledge it. We’re not talking “dogma” here — we’re talking about my day-to-day, ya know?

          • donttouchme

            Your life isn’t different from the facts of reality. Again, it’s not all about you and your paycheck.

          • $1028912

            Yes, exactly, my life “isn’t different from the facts of reality,” and it is indeed about my paycheck, which proves that I can compete on a level playing field with men. I live in a country where equal employment laws are rarely enforced, so if I weren’t making a real contribution to my company, it would surely show me the door. That’s not “dogma” — it’s money in the bank, that supports me and my family.

          • donttouchme

            We disagree about the facts of reality. If women and men were equal, then they would be equal. We wouldn’t be having this conversation because history would look very different. Tell me you understand this. I understand that you contribute to your company and that they pay you money. This is a contingent fact. What is it contingent on? It is contingent on you being allowed to work and contribute as a woman. Who can prevent that? Men. Can women prevent men from working and contributing? No. Can they force men to work and contribute? No. Can men prevent women from working and contributing? Yes. Can men force women to work and contribute? Yes. I’m sorry I evidently can’t explain this basic logic in a way you can understand. I think this is because your life philosophy is essentially incoherent. It’s the same philosophy that prevents you from understanding that it is impossible to believe in a human right to live and a human right to kill a baby. And yet you do sincerely believe that. Your thoughts are comepletely incoherent and chaotic. I also think you’re more stubborn than me, which is rare, so this is my last comment.

          • $1028912

            Okay — goodbye. I wish you peace.

          • td10

            You have infinite patience!!!!

          • Michelle

            The difference is that most women wouldn’t WANT to prevent men from working and contributing. Most women aren’t so threatened by men that they have to continually reiterate that men are superior and women should thank men for allowing them to leave the house. Men used to be able to prevent women from working and contributing, but not anymore. Even though some men still try as they might, they are no longer able to put women “in their place” and it leaves some men (you, for instance) so angry and bitter that they feel the need to lash out at any and all strong, self-assured, self-sufficient women. That’s just sad.

          • CS

            Never said black/white is the same as male/female. But the logic of “formerly enslaved peoples should be grateful for being given their freedom because without it none of their accomplishments would have happened” is similar.

            And I find it interesting that you insist that woman acknowledge that men have been physically on the front, in many ways, through much of history, FIRST. And then you seem to think that it is 1)definitive, meaning that it is the way God meant it to be, and 2)conclusive, meaning that this is the end of necessary discussion about men and women and how they should relate.

            I am mostly convinced there is no point, but being one of the Easter People I can only hope, so: Have you considered the possibility that your reading of history is wrong? That what you see as men’s accomplishments and women’s dependence is a mixture of creation, biology, AND the fact that women’s achievements have been considered so much less important that they were not often acknowledged at all?

            (For example, Let’s just begin with the achievement of keeping your whole society fed and organized while the strong men were off at war……Or bearing child after child, rearing them, and making communal decisions with your female household members, while your husband has the leisure to lounge in the public square with his fellow philosophers throwing around ideas about democratic society?)

            Listen, I dearly love someone who is similarly obsessed with demanding justice and berating those who do not give it in the way this person thinks it should be given, at the time believed that it should be given.

            Guess what happens? You don’t often get to the acknowledgement of who did what well, and the thanks, because that person, driven by an egotistical need to have the gratitude shown, is treating everyone around them like an object of the mind instead of a human being.

            I could be wrong, but the amount of time you are spending on this tells me that it’s all about your pet hobby-horse, and not about Simcha’s essay OR Lisa’s points about her life. You are worshipping an idol, my friend, and it is your own personal interpretation of human anthropology. Not backed by science & history OR even any authoritative reading of Scripture. If you are one of those who believes in reading the Bible however you want, then you should probably not hang around on Catholic blogs.

          • donttouchme

            That logic isn’t at all similar as women are universally subordinate to men and always have been and are even in America, as I said and Lisa can’t understand–women’s freedom today is dependent on men just as it always was not because they are oppressed like blacks during the slave trade, but because of facts about human existence. Christianity, being a reality-based religion recognizes that and does teach that authoritatively. The Church affirms this to this day and it is apparent in scripture. This isn’t really a political point or something. It’s more like gravity or E=mc2

            It’s not “through much of history,” it is history itself, as written language is an achievement of patriarchy. There is no “history” per se without written language. A society with the complexity and technological capacity to go off to war en masse is also an achievement of patriarchy. The fact the public squares exist and humans have time for leisure discussions of philosophy and religion is a direct result of patriarchy. This isn’t about an over class oppressing an underclass, but about the ontological reality of the sexes.

            15 minutes a day while I’m sitting in a truck in the middle of nowhere waiting for work to start isn’t much time.

            Women bearing children is a point pertaining to biology, and I acknowledged men’s dependence on women in that regard above at the start if this exchange.

            This isn’t about egotism primarily but about reality though egotism probably plays a role. Lisa’s points about her life affirm reality even though she thinks she’s independent and free. She is as dependent on men for freedom as any woman anywhere in the world. This is just a simple, observable fact.

          • $1028912

            Since you use the word “enslaved,” I was going to make the slavery comparison next but I see CS already made it below. You say, “If they were equal, they would be equal, and history would look very different.” — this means that if you believe any modern accomplishments are entirely contingent on those who historically held power “allowing” them, then by extension you must believe in white superiority, too, not just male superiority?

            And I don’t want ANY “special protection and privileges” — I’m doing just fine with the equality that allows me to support my family and contribute to the world.

          • donttouchme

            I also used the word “universal.” The relation of man to woman is qualitatively different than the relation of one race to another.

            The “equality” that allows you to do what you do is a special protection and privilege and isn’t actual equality at all, because that doesn’t exist.

          • $1028912

            “Qualitatively” different? Why, because YOU said so?
            Right, the only reason I can earn a living and support my family is because the menfolk let me out of my cage — sure. Talk about “training unicorns!” 😉

          • donttouchme

            No, because they have completely different objective qualities, which anyone can see. Do you really think men and women are different in the same way that black men and white men are different?

            That is exactly right. And the reason a woman in Afghanistan can’t is the menfolk there won’t let her. The reason you can’t accept that obvious fact is your false dogma.

          • $1028912

            Yes, I honestly think men and women are different in exactly the same way that black men and white men are different. Race, sex….sure, there are some differences, but none that render human beings less equal.

            My “false dogma” seems real enough to me. And since it also seems to be working out very well for me, and for society at large, I’ll do my best to spread it and raise the next generation of people who thinks everyone is equal despite their differences.

          • donttouchme

            Again, it’s not all about you and your paycheck. It’s not working out for society at large. Women overall are worse off today than they were before feminism and in greater danger. That’s what the OP shows. It’s obvious as the grass is green that men and women are different and unequal in ways blacks and whites or whites and Asians or Asians and blacks or any race which has temporarily enslaved members of another race are different.

          • Michelle

            There were amazing matriarchal cultures before men took over (through violence, of course) and MADE women stay at home, have kids, take care of him and not have a say in anything. Men have certainly made contributions to society and I don’t recall anyone here saying they haven’t, but so have women and women would have made more contributions had they been “allowed” to do so. Thankfully things have evolved and women don’t need permission (at least in most cultures) to pursue their dreams and make all sorts of contributions to society.
            As a woman I don’t “pretend” I’m equal to my husband or my sons because I AM equal. We all have different talents and make different contributions to our life(s), but we all recognize each others importance. Man isn’t primary and I’m no one’s helpmate, son. My husband and I SUPPORT one another, as it should be. Do you seriously believe everything in the Bible is to be taken literally? LOL

      • Fiddlesticks

        WTF? Did you ever thank your mother for pushing you out of her butt? The Bible says ‘honour your mother who gave you birth’.

    • Samantha S.

      Stupid. I’m Asian, and I get so sick and tired of hearing about white on black racism. I’m female, and am so sick and tired of hearing about sexism and the “wage gap” and “reproductive rights.”

  • Peter Fournier

    Do we need “feminism” or a movement that is concerned and actively promotes the rights, obligations and genius of women, or perhaps more accurately, the feminine … and the rights, obligations and genius of men, or perhaps more accurately, the masculine.

    If we do indeed need an attitude shift towards “It’s not about men or women being more important than the other; it’s about learning how to work in harmony.” then we do have to stop using the words “feminism” and “feminist” because these terms are inherently exclusionary.

    And, peace be to you who say “My feminism isn’t exclusionary!” The established world view in feminism is that there are many things that are principally or exclusively about women only. We cannot at this late date disentangle what some would characterize as the “bad” in feminism from the “good”.

    I think we need a new word for a new multi-generational movement that is based on male and female complementarity and mutual respect. It would recognize that humans are male and female, mutually necessary to each other, deserving of profound respect, and many other similar concepts.

    Perhaps this new movement, starting afresh with such a new foundation, could be called “humanism”.

    Yes, let’s appropriate “humanism”. This at least has the advantage of avoiding the intellectual mayhem that feminism has become, the fundamental reason that “I’m not that kind of feminist!” is so confusing, and empty of solid meaning.

    As for “Christianity is supposed to be that counter force, so is feminism.” … please! It doesn’t take much contact with feminism to realize that it is indeed a counter force — against Christianity.

    • $1028912

      Wait, what? Feminism is a “counter force — against Christianity?”
      Sssshhhh, better not let the Christian feminists hear you……
      Some of the commenters on this thread are very good examples of why we still need feminism: There are still plenty of people out there who don’t believe that women are equal (meaning, different but not inferior) to men.

  • Stacey (the kids’ Aunt Tasty)

    We still need feminism based on some of the essays on the men’s channel here on Patheos. Seriously.

  • Samantha S.

    yes but it’s noteworthy to add many feminists (modern day definition) support porn, and Hollywood, and sexualized music. (Robin Thicke, really?) Type of feminism on Pinterest. Feminists (and even teen girls in general) nowadays go around dressing and acting like sluts, and they expect to be treated with respect -are you kidding? plus, many feminists (modern definition) are liberals, and we all know liberals are obsessed with the tolerance of Islam – where a man can have multiple wives and beat and rape his wife, and a woman must have 4 male witnesses to prove rape.