This Catholic feminist is definitely Catholic, but is she feminist?

October 17, 2014 at 12:26 am 1 comment

While looking up responses to Emma Watson’s speech I came across a Catholic Cravings, a blog by Laura McCalister- to her apparently Ms. Watson wasn’t man-friendly enough, which I thought was interesting as it was the exact opposite reaction from Mia McKenzie. Anyway, I’m always curious to learn about different feminisms, and most Christian feminists (Catholic or Protestant) I come across tend to be more liberal, I found myself rather on the fence about whether she was still feminist or not.

Here’s her explanation/defense of why she’s a Catholic feminist. She discusses some of the problems she has with mainstream feminism, and what aspects of feminism she thinks can still be reconciled with traditional Roman Catholicism. I accept that you can be significantly more conservative than me about sexuality, marriage et al and still be a feminist, but then I read this post: I’m a Feminist Because I Love Patriarchy. So women should be treated well, within a patriarchal structure. Sorry, by definition that’s not feminist- benevolent “women-friendly” male-led society is not equality of the sexes. Then I read I’m a Feminist Because Being Female is Dangerous, and thought OK, well maybe she’s a feminist, but one with a viewpoint that fits in better in non-Western countries or another century? I’m not meaning to be condescending her, just trying to understand from my view. Maybe for her religious viewpoint she is being progressive, and is doing good to spread that view to people who otherwise might not listen to more conventional feminists?

As much as I try to behave myself when I venture onto conservative Christian blogs, my comments still usually get blocked, so for the record here’s what I posted:

While most Catholic feminists I’ve encountered are more liberal than yourself (less orthodox Catholics admittedly, but that’s not my place to judge) I believe there are many feminisms that arise from our cultural context, place in the kyriarchy (race/class/gender/ability et al) political, secular and religious philosophies. With regards to the abortion issue, I prefer to see myself as “pro-wanted children” and believe that society needs to place family (broadly defined) at the center, rather than the individual, and I would rather see people of different views on that issue work together to reduce the need/”demand” for abortion rather than fight over the legality of it. I know as a disabled feminist, it’s often tricky for me to express my more nuanced views on this, while my sisters defend “the right” to abort people like me, while insisting it’s “nothing personal”. I know that is at least one thing I have in common with Catholics, even if we disagree on many other things. BTW, I would recommend you check out the writings of Black feminists/womanists, many of them express views that differ from liberal white middle-class feminists, especially on issues of the body, sexuality etc. Here’s one:

We’ll see if that goes thru, and if she responds. In the mean time- what do you think? Can you truly be feminist in a patriarchal structure, without really critiquing that structure, and just wanting men to be nicer and more chivalrous?


Entry filed under: Blogjects, Feminism/Gender. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. caelesti  |  October 18, 2014 at 1:15 am

    My comment did go thru, however the post is so old I dunno if she’ll bother replying. Oh well. I found myself rather nauseated after reading thru more of the blog. Yeah, if I’m gonna read Christian blogs I will stick with liberal/progressive ones. Hufflepuffs!


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