Monday, August 05, 2002

God created heaven and earth. For each of the first five days of creation, God looked on his work and He judged it. He declared the goodness of His creation. On the sixth day God created Adam. He looked on his creation and He judged it. He said "IT IS NOT GOOD for man to be alone." To mend the problem of man, God separated the androgynous Adam into the masculine Adam and the feminine Eve. Then He judged what He had done and declared it to be good.

There is something essentially 'not good' in androgyny. We have a visceral reaction against people who approach this psychological or rather spiritual state. The too feminine man gives us the willies and the too masculine woman sets our teeth on edge. This isn’t a response to sexual orientation. It is a reaction to androgyny. It is the prissy man, not the poet, who offends; and it is the hard-edged woman rather that the athlete that grates. There is something not good in androgyny.

I mention this because of the ongoing discussion about the feminization of the Church. Some argue that it is a good thing and that we need more of it. Others argue in favor of reversing this trend. I would suggest that it is the wrong argument.

The Church in America is not being feminized. Instead, like our more general society, the Church is being de-gendered. If we want to reverse this tendency, we must advance and defend the masculine elements in the Church. It is within their shadow that femininity finds a will and a reason to flourish. God has arranged things in such a way that the truly masculine calls into being the truly feminine. It makes the truly feminine possible.

For over thirty years, I have argued against the feminists by declaring that it is in the Catholic Church where a woman will find the milieu most supportive of her femininity. It is from within this sanctuary that a women can maintain her fullness and yet still meet the dehumanizing and de-feminizing demands of secular society. It is here, within the masculine structure of the Church, that she can experience the deep-centered-ness that constitutes womanhood.

Catholicism has always served to enhance and glorify her daughters. The vibrancy of women in traditional Catholic cultures can not be denied. Such dangerously empowered women are as much of a stereotype as the Dolce Vita.

Those who presume that they do woman a favor in pursuing a feminist agenda are wrong. They are merely arguing that sexual amputees are more viable - or perhaps safer and more easily managed - than full bodied men and women. They create a brave new world in which wild passionate love becomes outlaw. They will give birth to a society of wanton rage.

[A Note of Clarification:]
It is only in marriage that sexual love achieves true wilderness and passion. Anything less is tame and calculating. In the final analysis, it isn't even love at all...


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