Resistance is Futile: the Politics of Adam and Eve

Resistance is Futile: the Politics of Adam and Eve

The story of Adam and Eve is not just a simple bible story. It’s the foundation of the Catholic church’s history of misogyny and persecution of women. Because the Catholic belief system forms the underlayment for Western civilization’s beliefs about women, everything would be different for women in at least half the world if this one single story were different.

So why isn’t it? Given that the older myths from which the Adam and Eve myth was constructed do not present woman as the source of sin, why head off in this new direction? Why build a belief system around the concepts that, as Joseph Campbell noted in The Power of Myth, woman is the cause of sin, and woman is responsible for humanity’s fall from paradise?

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The Deepest Root of Catholic Misogyny: The Poisonous Story of Adam and Eve

The Deepest Root of Catholic Misogyny: The Poisonous Story of Adam and Eve

How is it that even today, in this era of rights for women, little girls all over the world are still taught a belief system designed to limit their development as full human beings? How is it that in this time of Wonder Woman and Hilary Clinton and women astronauts and women CEOs, little girls are still taught beliefs specifically designed to limit their thinking and teach them that they aren’t built to be superheroes and presidents and astronauts and CEOs?

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Our Catholic Legacy: We Were Raised Not To Question

Our Catholic Legacy: We Were Raised Not To Question

My purpose in writing this blog is to work out how and why I became the person I am, instead of the person I wanted to be and was born to be. My purpose is also to share this journey with you, because as a woman raised Catholic, it’s your story too.

Every once in a while, I come across a piece of information that causes part of our story to snap into focus. Reading Arlie Russell Hochschild’s book Strangers in Their Own Land, I came across information that caused just such a snap.

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How the Catholic Church Sabotages Women Leaders

How the Catholic Church Sabotages Women Leaders

There is a very good argument that the world is such a mess, and in such danger, because women have been excluded from the world’s biggest decisions, like Should we go to war? Should we spend more on weapons, and less on help for the needy? Should we change our fuel source from fossil fuels to renewable energy? Should we limit our population? All big decisions across the world are made only by men, who bring only their viewpoints and their priorities - and their representation of just one half of humanity.

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How Being Raised Catholic is a Setup for Sexual Harassment and Sexual Abuse

How Being Raised Catholic is a Setup for Sexual Harassment and Sexual Abuse

It started with stories in the New York Times and the New Yorker about Harvey Weinstein and women he'd sexually harassed and assaulted.

Those two stories triggered something we’ve never seen before: a torrent of women coming forward with their own stories about being harassed and assaulted by famous men. Almost every day there’s a new story in the media, and all over the world, women are coming forward and telling their stories of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Millions of women are saying to the world “It happened to me too.”

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What's Wrong with Feminine Genius?

What's Wrong with Feminine Genius?

As women raised Catholic, we were taught about differences between men and women, of personality and preference: men are more systems-thinking, more leadership-oriented, while women are more nurturing, more emotional. This is a fundamental part of the Catholic belief system, and it’s what we were taught about ourselves: because we are women, we are not leadership-oriented. We are nurturing and emotional. Pope John Paul II coined the term ‘feminine genius’ to describe these female characteristics, and to convince us that as women, we’re innately special.

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Wish I’d Had a Bat Mitzvah, Bet You Do Too

Wish I’d Had a Bat Mitzvah, Bet You Do Too

Several years ago, when we moved from Ohio to Massachusetts, we became friends with the Jewish family who lived across the street, and they invited us to their daughter Hilary’s bat mitzvah. I had never been to a Jewish ceremony, and was looking forward to seeing how they worked in general, and in particular, how Jews celebrate their children’s coming of age as adults.

My neighbor explained that her daughter had been taking Hebrew classes for a couple of years to prepare, because part of the ceremony required her to speak. Somehow, I didn’t absorb what my neighbor was telling me. I assumed Jewish rituals worked like Catholic rituals, and I thought the temple would be full of teenagers getting their bat mitzvahs and bar mitzvahs the way Catholic teenagers got group-confirmed when I was a kid.

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