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Sometimes it seems there’s a kind of cosmic mind-meld going on in the world. This past week was one of those times. It started with Andrew Klavan’s final thoughts on episode 790 of his podcast and ended in the Amazon (synod) in the Church, after passing through a contentious debate about feminism between a Catholic apologist and a Catholic professor of philosophy and theology. You can’t make this stuff up.
But, while we’d like to think the society that hates women is some foreign nation of macho-men where women are covered in black baggies from head to toe (and utterly dehumanized) and aren’t permitted to drive or even leave the house without a male member of the family as escort, I’m talking about our society. Right here, in the good ole US of A, and the West more broadly.
It’s so important, I’ve transcribed Klavan’s soliloquy in its entirety:
A lot of horror movies are based on a horror of women and the changes their bodies go through. The Exorcist is about a young girl coming of age. It’s really about a girl becoming a woman and it’s kind of a horrifying thing that she becomes sexualized. The Omen is about having a baby. Rosemary’s Baby is about pregnancy. Women and the changes their bodies go through provide a certain amount of horror. And not just in the minds of men, but I think in the minds of everybody, there’s something about that can be turned to horror.
That horror — I think we’re going through a moment of sexual psychopathy. This idea that somehow it’s alright to butcher a child, to give a child hormone blockers, and basically chemically castrate little boys and things like this. Where is the science on this? Where are the longitudinal studies saying that a child who says something at nine, or ten, or fifteen is going to think the same things when he or she is twenty-five? Where is the science? How can we possibly do this? And underlying it is a terror of women. A horror of women.
You know, this idea that men… there’s a new ad company putting out ads for men’s underwear that suggests that men can have periods, so that, like, women don’t even exist. In Britain they ban ads that show women raising children because they think that somehow degrades them, that women raise children, that women make homes for things. It used to be, you know, we had this idea that women were doing something higher than men were doing. It was higher even than the pay that men got. And, yeah, there were men who took advantage of that and men who took advantage of the sacrificial nature of motherhood and the sacrificial nature of homemaking… there were men who mistreated women for that. But, the idea that it is somehow degrading to be a woman has seeped into our society. And that’s what all of this is about. It’s not about freedom, it’s not about, oh, taking care of transgender people. I have no animosity toward them whatsoever.
It’s not about any of that. It’s about a horror of women and not allowing women to be women. If you’re a man, you’re allowed to go and compete, as long as you wear a dress, man, you can go in and compete with them in sports so they have no chance of winning. Oh, yeah, women don’t — not just women have periods, not just women have babies, men do these things too! It is basically an erasure of women. An idea that the things women naturally do and the things that women naturally turn to are somehow degrading. And I just think it is absolutely psychopathological. It’s a kind of sickness that we’re going through. A kind of sexual sickness that is a side effect of the sexual liberation of people, which is not liberating at all.
While I agree with most of that, I think even Klavan gets some things wrong about how women are viewed. More on that later.
Meanwhile, our erstwhile Catholic brothers, Trent Horn and Tim Gordon, were so opposed to the ideas of feminism, you’d have thought they’d start another war of religion! Tim Gordon is writing a book (No Christian Feminism) in which his research has shown that even first-wave feminism was really about getting women out of the home and into the workplace and encouraging sexual promiscuity in both women and men. It was ultimately about the destruction of the family, which explains the Marxist/socialist vibe in feminism today. “Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.” — Mussolini
But, I think the nub of the argument they failed to fully articulate is the opposition to, even disgust with, the nature of women. Women want provisions and protection from a good man, to be cherished for their unique vulnerability as women. I’m generalizing, of course, but I’m also speaking from experience, having reached adulthood in the post-sexual revolution era and having once bought into the lies of feminism. Namely, that women only reach their full potential by acting more like men.
All of this eventually gets Biblical. Doesn’t everything? After all, we’re discussing created beings and, as such, the purpose, or nature of things. The nature of men and women is revealed in the punishments for Original Sin in Genesis, Chapter 3:
To the woman he said:
I will intensify your toil in childbearing;
in pain* you shall bring forth children.
Yet your urge shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.
To the man he said: Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, You shall not eat from it,
Cursed is the ground* because of you!
In toil you shall eat its yield
all the days of your life.h
Thorns and thistles it shall bear for you,
and you shall eat the grass of the field.
By the sweat of your brow
you shall eat bread,
Until you return to the ground,
from which you were taken;
For you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.i
What is God telling us about the nature of men and women here? That women desire to be wives and mothers, despite the suffering and sacrifice entailed. That is their end as women. And that men desire to provide and protect their families by the sweat of their brows; by labor outside the home, despite the suffering and sacrifice it involves. This is the division of labor provided in the nature of the sexes, and we’ve discovered what happens when society messes with nature: everyone is immiserated. “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” isn’t just a pithy aphorism. It’s a deep-seated truth!
Now, I have libertarian sympathies like most conservatives, so I’m not advocating women be banned from the workplace. I believe people should be permitted to make choices (other than killing innocents to solve their problems) even if they’re bad ones. I’m just advocating for a recognition of the damage our societal choices have done and are doing. Despite our history-making prosperity and previously unimagined opportunities for women, women are increasingly unhappy. And it’s no wonder. Unless they’re behaving like men by competing in the workplace and receiving recognition for their achievements, they’re disdained by society. They better not be staying home and baking cookies, as Hillary Clinton once sneered. What a waste of life!
Which brings me back to where Andrew Klavan is wrong about how women are viewed — particularly in the Catholic teaching of the Virgin Mary. Klavan disagrees with Catholic teaching about the perpetual virginity of Mary because (paraphrased) “denying her sexuality is a poor model for a good wife.” Well, now, it depends on whose spouse you believe she is, I would say. She conceived in an act of spiritual intimacy with the Holy Spirit. She is the daughter of the Father, the Mother of the Son, and the Spouse of the Holy Spirit. Joseph was her earthly husband-figure and is revered for the sacrifices he made on behalf of the Holy Family, including his own chastity. Klavan’s position implies that it isn’t enough for Mary to be the Mother of God and the Spouse of the Spirit, just like it isn’t enough for women generally to be mother and wife, to form the next generation and make a welcoming home for her husband. That’s precisely the message women have been getting since the widespread acceptance of contraception and abortion. It’s the lie of sexual liberation and the misunderstanding of the potential for chastity within marriage (whether Josephite or not) provided by the sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit.
This is playing out in the Catholic Church under the papacy of Francis, too. In the recently concluded Amazon Synod (really a cover for heterodox German Catholics to taint Church teachings with progressivism), there was widespread agreement among the hand-picked progressive participants that what the Amazon region really needs is deaconesses (and married priests… another whole story). Message received; it’s not enough for women to lead faithful lives as wives and mothers, or to dedicate themselves to the Church as religious women. We won’t realize our full potential until we achieve the status previously reserved for men by receiving Holy Orders. Be more like men, ladies! That’s where it’s at! Up next? Priestesses. Bank on it.
None of this begins to address what has happened to men in the new normal of sexual psychopathology. Just note the lack of bass voices among young men you hear in the media. Or the disrespect manly men receive as “toxic” masculine. Or the ongoing fight for men’s right to their own children after divorce.
I don’t have much hope for a return to sexual sanity anytime soon. I just hold on to the reminder from our Catholic friend, Mate De: Jesus is in the boat. The storm may rage around us, but we just have to hold fast and keep praying for him to wake up and save us from ourselves.Published in