Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Particular Care and Attention

The women’s movement is complex and multi-faceted, and in many of those spaces, I feel out of place. I do think women should be treated fairly under the law. I do think women should have property rights and voting rights and maternity leave rights. I do think martial rape is a thing. But I don’t hide abortion under the banner of “reproductive rights,” I don’t advocate free love, and I only use the term “blame the patriarchy” when it comes to fashion that denies me pockets and comfortable shoes. 

I don’t think feminism can fit into a single definition or movement. Women are fighting for their voice and rights in various cultures and situations. They all want to be treated like equal human beings, but they have different ideas of what victory looks like. My ideas are based on my cultural background, my experiences, and my faith. But often I’m treated as though I’m too Catholic to be a real feminist or too liberal to be a real Catholic. 

But it is Catholicism that has made me more liberal and made me ponder my role in life, which includes the fact of my womanhood. The faith has exposed me to an understanding of the world beyond modernity. I have to live in the times I am born, but I do not have to be a product solely of my times. Christianity raises up the oppressed and cares for the injured, so if women are oppressed or injured, then Christianity seeks their liberation. 

Because March is National Women’s Month, I thought it would be good to highlight my understanding of some of the issues regarding femininity and women’s roles in the Church and in society. Sometimes I feel trapped between two poles who refuse to see the arguments of the other side. Mostly I just feel left out of the current climate completely. But I am determined to participate anyway, because a feminist fights for the right to make her voice heard and her view acknowledged. 

"If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation." -Abigail Adams

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