When I was invited to be a part of a Common Ground gathering some years ago, I was struck by something very interesting which has made me think ever since. I was there to help support Mary Ann Glendon before an array of aging feminists and other radical Church reformers. In conversation with them I noticed that the figure of the Blessed Virgin Mary was never touched on or discussed in any way.
I could even detect a kind of subtle hatred smoldering underneath whenever I mentioned her name. Doubtless these feminists simply considered her as the epitome of the suppressed woman. But after several years I think there is something else to their total avoidance of Mary.
Mary is the ideal woman who fulfills everything a woman is meant to be: mother, daughter, sister, virgin and spouse. She sums up all possible vocations for woman. And she is feminine. This in itself has a great power that cannot be denied. Mary is the perfect woman who embodies everything all feminists want to be, and they cannot stand admitting that. She is absolutely free (she freely accepted to become the Mother of God) and she is absolutely loved in return by her Creator.
A question could arise as to whether feminists want to be worshipped or loved, but in the final analysis every human being wants to be loved, especially women. After years and years of aping masculine characteristics, women today need to embrace their femininity again, to be feminine and not feminist.
Dawn Eden, in her article ‘Eve of Deconstruction,’ has argued that the term ‘feminism’ is not worth saving because of it springs from evil roots. The only alternative, then, is femininity. It is obvious that this femininity cannot be a return to lace, skirts and the color pink. Modesty is a related issue, but this return to femininity has to go way beyond the externals. It has to do with the real genius of women, which is their knowledge of the human heart.
Are women afraid to be feminine? There is still the persistent, overwhelming pressure of our sex-saturated society for women to become real victims of men and of their own passions. But if women were less afraid to be truly feminine, there would be less tensions between men and women. What can we expect from men when women constantly deny them the opportunities for chivalry, or just good manners? The very identity of man and woman is being confused and redefined by the gender-warping radicals who want to throw out all concepts of marriage and family. But these concepts are based on nature itself. There is something about woman that is meant to civilize and to nurture.
The more women deny these natural tendencies they have, the more unhappy and frustrated they will be. But the more they realize that they are meant to love and be loved, the more fulfilled they will be. Women are able to intuit the needs and feelings of others and respond immediately. Mary is the woman who said ‘yes’ to Love itself, and shows us that love in all its dimensions, physical and spiritual, is a sacred reality. If women really take on their mission, it will be the genius of women which will incarnate love in the world.
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