Rebecca Bratten Weiss of Suspended In Her Jar just wrote a fantastic post explaining things I wish a large number of otherwise well-intentioned Catholic men of my acquaintance understood. She writes:
“Women who do not conform to societal standards for prettiness or femininity are reviled by those who think women should be objects for male pleasure – even supposedly chaste pleasures, such as enjoying a nice cup of tea with a nice girl who’s pretty in a way that lets you objectify her without sexual guilt. This is, of course, the way women who take possession of their own identity are punished by society: as Naomi Wolf pointed out in The Beauty Myth, the requirement that women be beautiful has intensified, not lessened, even after decades of feminism. It’s a backlash against women who dare to be persons, not objects.”
As well as:
“As long as we hold up the Ugly Feminist stereotype, we can pretend she hasn’t stopped burning bras and killing babies, so we don’t need to take her seriously. Thanks to the Ugly Feminist stereotype, religious persons who oppose feminism can ignore and discount the experience and education of Catholic or Christian feminists, or whole-life feminists, or any feminist who doesn’t fit their very narrow and largely inaccurate caricature.”
Please read and consider the whole thing, especially if you are a male reader.