Women and The Church

The article “Catholics Stop Being So Weird about Women”  is rather popular on my facebook feed these days. I found it wanting:

Always, when you get specific about women’s roles, there will be a good woman somewhere who is serving God with all her heart, soul, mind, and strength, and she will think, “But I’m not like that.”

I sympathize with anyone who tries to write about the role of women. It’s so tempting to just say, “Let’s keep it simple. Wives, obey your husbands. The end.”

I tried that myself, as newlywed – tried obeying the hell out of my poor husband. Later, I realized that what the poor guy really wanted was to live his life with the weird, cranky, specific woman he fell in love with.

He didn’t want The Catholic Wife; he wanted me.

We can talk about women’s roles and men’s roles. We can pin them down to an extent because our natures are different. But we also must acknowledge that  there are always exceptions to the rule.I do not have that classically feminine personality but I acknowledge there is one. Does it make me feel less feminine? Sometimes, but I still have my role as wife and mother despite my personality quirks. The principle “obey your husband” still applies to me. My husband might be considered moodier than the masculine ideal but the principle, “protect and provide for your family” still applies to him.

And yes, I’m also pretty sure my husband wanted me, his quirky Catholic wife not some abstraction of the feminine. I may not be the quintessential woman, my husband may not be the masculine archetype but at least we accept that there are masculine and feminine ideals and they are there to guide us not ostracize us.



  1. …the only time I’ve ever been helpful, loving and bearable to other people – is when I stop fretting about how I’m supposed to behave as a woman…. My comment: thank God she was not my mother, who while quirky struggled to squash it rather than justify it.

    Men will always be tempted to treat women as inferiors; women will always be tempted to turn their backs on motherhood so they will taken seriously. Actually, she’s wrong here, classic feminist trope. Men (in the West) have always been tempted to treat women better than men, to pedestal them, to tolerate any sin. And women (hell, anyone) are always tempted to take advantage of such largess. The coming backlash? Will probably be similar to how Muslims relate to women.

    I’ve noticed modern women always justify their freedom to ditch female roles whenever it suits them personally. But when men do so women are less than impressed. Because when men embrace their “quirky natures”, they suffer. Catholics have many vocations for men and women with quirky natures, but they all involve NOT MARRIAGE. Because children.

    The last 50 years have seen women justifying whatever “quirky” behavior at the expense of the families, culture, and children around them. The next hundred years will likely involve men doing doing the same thing. Party time, guys!

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