The Subtle Lie: Women must be powerful, but not fruitful

Satan knows, just as he did when he targeted Eve, that if he gets the woman, he gets everyone.

Detail from "The Temptation and Fall of Eve (1808) by William Blake [WikiArt.org]

A couple of years ago, I read about three women at an online magazine. These women were all very successful, secular career women, but each expressed a deep discontentment with her life. One said she wanted to just go bake bread, another said she wanted to plant a garden, and the third said she wanted to leave everything behind and just go raise a mess of children. What was going on with these women and how is it that they were pulled so strongly by these desires despite appearing to “have it all,” as judged by the world?

The idea for my book The Anti-Mary Exposed: Rescuing the Culture from Toxic Femininity (TAN, 2019) first started when I looked at the elite women of our culture and compared them to Our Lady. The Virgin Mother is the woman who has rightfully been called “the most powerful woman in the world,” even by National Geographic. And yet the elite women who hold so much sway over our culture have very little in common with Mary. These elite women – whom I’ve come to call the matriarchy – control much of the way women in America think today. Their influence saturates journalism, academia, Hollywood, politics, and the fashion industry.

How is it that these women came to control so much?

A deadly combination

The answer, I found in several years of research, was the deadly combination of Marxism and the Occult that was baked into the cake of second-wave feminism and disseminated rapidly through the new media of television. This combination shouldn’t surprise us: we know what a strong influence Marxism has had since the beginning of second-wave of feminism. We can see the fingerprints of Machiavellian ideas of power at any cost, and Nietzsche’s “will to power.” Mimicking the rhetorical trends in Soviet Russia, western women have been taught that men are our adversaries (even though we strive to be like them), and children are our enemy, sabotaging our futures.

What was surprising to me is the significant role the Occult played in radical feminism. I was struck by it because the Occult seems irrational – how could smart, educated women fall prey to such drivel? And yet, they did. But, truly, I shouldn’t have been surprised. Once I started thinking about it more deeply, it is clear that paganism and idol worship always make their way into ideologies whenever Judaism and Christianity are weak – the Israelites fell prey to it as they raised idols to worship in the desert in their search for Cana, as has every culture since that doesn’t understand the one true God. Humans make gods out of our own image and likeness in a grasp for security and control in a chaotic world.

We can see Marxism and the Occult on display in the lives of twelve women (not an insignificant number), including Kate Millett—who was raised a Catholic and was the mastermind behind women’s studies programs in our universities—as they recited a shocking “litany” in the early 1970s in a New York apartment, which proclaimed their desire to destroy the family and monogamy by “promoting promiscuity, eroticism, prostitution, abortion and homosexuality”.

These women – these anti-apostles – achieved all of these things, normalizing all of them. They have also normalized Wicca – which now has more practitioners then Presbyterianism – goddess worship, and the idolization of women (“believe all women”).

Phyllis Chesler, one of the grandmothers of radical feminism, makes it clear in her latest book, titled Politically Incorrect Feminism, that all of the major players in the movement were broken women with troubled childhoods, particularly with significant issues with their mothers. These broken relationships led them to a common bond. Chesler refers to them as the “Lost Girls.” These lost girls, who rode the wave of feminism’s meteoric rise through television and books, overwhelmingly influenced the culture in ways that are difficult to wrap our minds around because it was so surprising and happened so quickly.

Despite all the differences among them, the one thing these “lost girls” could all agree on was abortion. Whether it was the Kate Millett-types who were deeply intellectual and brooding, or the Helen Gurley Brown-types who believed that “good girls go to heaven, while bad girls go everywhere,” abortion was the glue that held the movement together. More than anything, these women convinced generations of women – millions and millions of women – that the most precious and natural bond on earth, that of mother and child, was no longer important, and in fact was actually an impediment to a woman’s happiness.

Category change

How is it that this lie could spread so quickly and so resoundingly?

Yes, of course there is a demonic aspect to it, but what is at the heart of it is category change in the minds of everyday women that took hold and that we haven’t let go of since. This category change was to make women think about their lives in terms of power. Radical feminism convinced women that their happiness, their goal in life, was to be powerful. The new goal was to be able to control our lives, our men, our careers, and our fertility, to liberate us do whatever we want and to have it all. We can see crumbs of it dotting our own cultural landscape in how women speak and encourage other women today. We have grown used to phrases like “girl power,” “strong is the new pretty,” “be fierce,” and “empowerment.” Today the highest praise we can laud upon a woman is “badass”.

While these sound innocuous enough to us, what they reveal is the goal of power and of strength. A quick look at popular feminist books includes titles such as “Nasty Women,” “Full Frontal Feminism,” “Witches, Sluts, Feminists,” “Bad Girls Throughout History,” “Bad Feminist,” and “Feminist Fight Club.” The overriding message sent to women is that we must be tough and powerful. This is new. That a woman was “tough as a whore” was never meant to be a compliment, as it denoted a woman who had been hardened by the world, broken by it so that she developed a thick skin to hide her vulnerabilities, while simultaneously using her sexuality to control others.

But again, this is basically what we praise in women today, even if we don’t use that phrase to describe them. We applaud them for their toughness while neglecting the sad things that made them tough. We look at the exterior trappings while ignoring the interior wounds.

This new shiny idol of power promoted by radical feminism spread like wildfire. Power was something men had and women didn’t, so women needed to get it in equal drafts. The shift was subtle, seductive, emboldening, and energizing. But this new striving for power, rather than satisfying their broken hungry souls, wounded them all the more: these women got drunk off of it, they reveled in it, quite literally to the point of drug-fueled orgies. What was targeted by feminism was something unique;  it was the fruitfulness of womanhood – both in virginity and motherhood.

Satan knows, just as he did when he targeted Eve, that if he gets the woman, he gets everyone. And if he can destroy women’s source of fruitfulness, then he has succeeded, because our greatest gift isn’t in power; it is in being fruitful. The idea of power supplanted the notion of fruitfulness. Coupled with the arrival of the Pill, sterility was the means through which women could become powerful and in control of their lives. Tossed aside was the idea of the family and the work necessary to cultivate and nurture souls and society. Women quickly forgot the very essential role they have in forming children into healthy and mature adults – the very building blocks of any healthy civilization.

Fruitfulness and spiritual motherhood

Female fruitfulness it isn’t just about raising children, but includes the notion of spiritual motherhood as well. Fruitfulness is that spark or desire planted in the body and heart of every woman.

What then, does fruitfulness look like? It is hard for us to grasp this concept of fruitfulness because it doesn’t always come with a paycheck, it isn’t always clear that it is happening – especially on the spiritual level – and there aren’t always pats on the back and public affirmation of fruitful efforts. In fact, mothers of large families can tell you that quite the opposite happens.

One of the richest sources of research for my book was Erich von Neumann seemingly exhaustive work The Great Mother. In it a pattern emerged that was deeply insightful about what fruitfulness is. Drawing from millennia of mythology about women, von Neumann describes a common characteristic of women as vessels – as ships, soil, ovens, even the ocean. We see this in the romance languages that use the feminine form for all of these concepts. The Church expresses this pattern when it is called “she.” As a structure, the main part of the church is the nave, which comes from the Latin word for ship, like navy.

Women’s souls are meant to hold and transform those whom we love. As St. Edith Stein wrote, “The woman’s soul is fashioned as a shelter in which other souls may unfold.” Our Lady clearly fits into this model of being a container. She has been called “the soil” by St. Irenaeus. In a litany to her she is called: a spiritual vessel, a vessel of honor, a singular vessel of devotion, the House of Gold, the Ark of the Covenant, the refuge of sinners, and the Seat of Wisdom. All clear references to holding and containing.

In Western culture today, we have the mistaken notion that women can be mothers or not; motherhood isn’t an essential part of our being, but is merely accidental. This idea that our human nature can change and that we can exist outside of motherhood (again, spiritual motherhood, too) is, historically thinking, a preposterous idea. We can’t simply step out of it and deny it. Even the infertile or post-menopausal woman still has body that says “you are made to be a mother” – the way her arms fold, her hips, breasts, and so on express the concepts of holding and nourishing. This notion disconnecting women from motherhood is a modern fiction, spread widely in Soviet Russia, and now widely believed here.

What von Neuman also makes clear is that because we cannot step out of maternity, women can be defined by the way we act as mothers. There are basically two ways in which we can be bad mothers: we can neglect our children, or we can hold them too tightly. If we use Aristotle’s model of two extreme vices and the virtue residing in the middle, we can see that the healthy mother/the good woman is the one right in the middle, who understands the balance of tending to and letting go of her children. Through her years of care, this mother basically works herself out of a job. On the extremes, the neglecting mother rejects her motherhood, while the smothering mother makes the child all about her, stunting and contorting its personality.

It is easy to see how abortion, while giving the impression that we can step out of motherhood, doesn’t actually do that. The child exists. Abortion is the personification of what von Neumann calls the awful mother – the woman who doesn’t just neglect her child, but actively kills her child. Curiously, with the smothering mother, although the etymology suggests otherwise, there is something striking about the fact that smothering is so close to the word “mothering”.

Our fruitfulness isn’t just contained in our physical bodies, but mimics what happens to women on a spiritual level. The physical act of having a biological child is similar to the spiritual fruitfulness we witness in the lives of the saints and holy women, particularly cloistered religious. In these cases, a tiny seed is planted. Initially, the woman is the only one aware of the new life within her. Time, great care, love, and sacrifice eventually bring a child to life, a child who will eventually have a life of his own, no longer needing the mother for his life to continue. We understand this clearly with biological children, but it is more hidden in the spiritual life. It can be witnessed in the lives of women such as St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, or St. Faustina. St. Teresa of Calcutta had a seed planted in Ireland to move to India to serve the poorest of the poor; today, we know this little seed has grown into something far beyond her imagining, and lives on without her. She worked herself out of a job.

Soil, seed, surrender

At its core, fruitfulness requires receptivity. It cannot be done alone. Without actively receiving the seed, there will be no fruit. Fruitfulness requires a kind of surrender and trust that must exist between the soil and the seed-sower, be it a husband physically, or the Trinity, spiritually. Women are the soil into which the seed of life, but also spiritual seeds, are planted.

When targeting this particular aspect of women, Satan has whispered convincingly to so many women of our age: “Don’t let a seed take on life in you. Pleasure is your right and babies have nothing to do with sex.” And if you do get pregnant, “You don’t need to have a child. That child will ruin your life.” Contraception and abortion are the direct means Satan uses to destroy our fruitfulness. Without fruitfulness, we cannot understand our bodies, our souls, our mission, or our relationships. Without understanding women’s relationship to it, all of these become murky, disjointed, and compartmentalized.

Without fruitfulness, we also cannot see the value or virtues of Christianity’s greatest model: the Virgin Mother. She only makes sense within a context of fruitfulness, despite still being the most powerful woman in the world.

The desire to nurture others is deep in the heart of every woman – even women who don’t know what it is or how it works in their lives, as we saw above with the successful secular women. Women were made to nurture something. We can see this in the current popularity of pets. Women are trying to fill the void that has been made by the absence of children and grandchild.

This desire is not going away, but will only find new avenues for expression. We are made to be fruitful.

Gertrude von le Fort made it clear in her writings that the problem with women isn’t that we are weak. It is that we are powerful. We are living in a time unlike any other when we can see the chaotic power of women on display, like the violent destruction of a tempest, or the hidden power of a deadly riptide. Women are powerful. The key for us is to surrender what can be destructive power and live in the will of God. And the solution for that is already with us, it is a return to the Woman, the Star of the Sea, whom St. Bernard promises us will never abandon us, but will ever guide us safely to shore.

Our Lady, no matter how out of vogue she may be today, in light of the context of fruitfulness, remains the perfect model of femininity.


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About Carrie Gress, Ph.D. 51 Articles
Carrie Gress has a doctorate in philosophy from the Catholic University of America. She is the editor at the Catholic Women's online magazine Theology of Home. She is the author of several books including The Anti-Mary Exposed and the forthcoming Theology of Home.

69 Comments

  1. The real problem is sin, not females as in feminism, and we have to confront its reality in the present moment. The church needs to teach love of God and of neighbor, now today, in our brokenness, to both male and female.

    “And God said to the woman “and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over you “

    Power (Rule over) without Love/Truth corrupts and womankind has suffered under the jackboot of man since the ‘Fall’ We see this misogyny in

    Woman is a temple built over a sewer.–Tertullian, “the father of Latin Christianity” (c160-225)

    Woman was merely man’s helpmate, a function which pertains to her alone. She is not the image of God but as far as man is concerned, he is by himself the image of God. –Saint Augustine, Bishop of Hippo Regius (354-430

    As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active force in the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex; while the production of woman comes from a defect in the active force or from some material indisposition, or even from some external influence. –Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church, 13th century

    The word and works of God is quite clear, that women were made either to be wives or prostitutes. –Martin Luther, Reformer (1483-1546)

    These examples of cruel and misogynistic remarks/attitudes go on and on throughout the ages and are unchristian, as headship was, in fact, used to justify domestic violence and tyrannical dominance. To articulate, loud, clear, in concise truth against these ingrained attitudes, of many males within the church, now and throughout the ages, is to be in harmony with these words

    Gal 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus”

    As in the natural order of things, it is natural to rebel against injustice and if the conflict is not re-solved, in time, can lead (Push) one into anger, wrath, malice, manipulation etc.
    Hence we have the Sibyls of this world, and mankind fears her power.

    With the ‘Fall’, equality (love, true sharing, and companionship) was lost.
    Jesus teaches (desires) a healing equality in all things, from those who love Him and this equality is manifest in Unity of Purpose (to act as one).

    “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.”

    The crowd thirsts for life, the living Word of God, Jesus will not permit favouritism (Preferentiality), before our Father in heaven, and demonstrates this to us, in a most convincing manner, those who worship in Spirit and Truth (hear Gods Will and do it) are all equal and cannot be divided by any human (Worldly) standards, based either on GENDER or family ties.

    “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”

    Our spiritual Fraternity cries out to equality, for acceptance (To act) in Unity of Purpose (Not to be ruled over).

    Those who dwell on the Tree of Life (True vine), are sustained by the sap of Love/Truth (Holy Spirit) and bear fruit, in Unity of Purpose, the Will of God is singular and gender conveys no privilege.
    The branches, flowers (those who worship in Spirit and Truth) send forth their scent (Holy Spirit) from their essence, the sacrificial image of Christ and bear fruit.

    I see one (branch) in my mind’s eye, bearing much fruit, called #Kapiolani, I look at her, I blush, a warrior, no man in her land could match valor; Hercules would have been subdued by her. She walked into the darkness with an inner light. She slew the demons, broke the idols, exposed the lies of the sages, broke their taboo’s, she held her senses with a heart of love. She freed her friends, her people, she would not be a slave, she through the ‘sacred berries’ into the lava lake. She beckons with outstretched hand, we are kin.

    # Kapiolani was a great chieftainess who lived in the Sandwich Islands at the beginning of the twen-thy century. She won the cause for Christianity by openly defying the priests, of the terrible Goddess Peele. In spite of threats of vengeance she ascended the volcano Mauuna-Loa than clambered down over a bank of cinders over 400 hundred feet high to the great lake of fire (nine miles round) Kilauea the home and haunt of the goddess, and flung into the boiling lava the consecrated berries which it was a ‘sacrilege for a woman to handle’ #

    See poem by Tennyson. .Kapiolani.
    Her name, Kapiʻolani meaning Rainbow or Arch of Heaven.
    The Priests of the Goddess Peele are male, as are 99% of all world religions and womankind has suffered great injustice under many of them.

    For us Christian’s the continuity of gender (Male Authority/dominance) is nullified, as the sacrificial image of Christ is genderless, as it is reflected in both male and female, this Truth gives Christianity the authority over all other religions to heal the divide between the sexes.

    Jesus teaches (desires) a healing equality in all things, from those who love Him, and this equality is manifest in Unity of Purpose (to act as one).

    At this moment in time, we have what could be described as an opportunity of a timeless moment, that is one of a new spiritual awakening (The true Divine Mercy Image an image of Broken Man, given by our Lord Himself to His Church) within the Church, so

    Is an act of humility too much to ask?

    If this act of humility were to happen, a new splendor would occur within the Church at this moment in time, as it would create a culture of honesty/humility, giving the Church the opportunity to reassess many of her on-going difficulties and also heal so many who have suffered injustice at her hands.

    See my post in the link
    http://www.catholicethos.net/catholic-teaching-assault-amoris-laetitia/#comment-192

    Can you imagine the effect upon mankind as a whole, if the Church truly embraced females in true equality?

    The onward transformation of the human heart is an emptying (Death) of the selfhood, as in the sacrificial image of Jesus Christ, a state, as “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven”

    I have a picture on my mantelpiece of St. Mother Teresa, when I look at her in my mind’s eye I see a vailed image of Christ, walking amongst the poor and broken, reflecting an image that is ‘neither male nor female’, to say that she is not a shepherd/ess, is surly an affront to God.

    We’ll meet under the apple tree again
    Wash away our shame
    Bath in the freshness of love anew
    The Serpent will be there too
    But he has no heart, like me and you
    His design is to divide and malign
    In envy, he would devour
    But he will have to flee
    He cannot hold water (Love/Truth) like you and me
    Once more, we would be free
    There’d be tenderness between you and me

    The apple blossom will bloom again
    As we walk without shame
    Looking with wonder, with eyes anew
    As your heart reflects mine and mine you
    Man is for woman as woman is for man
    This is our Fathers’ plan

    Father! With tongue and flame, give us unity again

    kevin your brother
    In Christ

    • Your post addressed nothing in the article, but just cherry-picked quotes out of context* to support your little screed. Your call for humility is also apparently one-sided; are only men to show it? If this is your attempt to come riding to the rescue of the fairer sex, I found it highly insulting. Perhaps you should go back and slowly re-read the article. There are some excellent insights in it that you evidently missed.

      (*Example: Just after the quote by Aquinas, he wrote: “On the other hand, as regards human nature in general, woman is not misbegotten, but is included in nature’s intention as directed to the work of generation. Now the general intention of nature depends on God, Who is the universal Author of nature. Therefore, in producing nature, God formed not only the male but also the female.” For his full answer, please read the entire section from his Summa Theologica. Also, bear in mind that Aquinas was a theologian, not a bishop, and so his teachings are not necessarily entirely binding. Only those parts the Magisterium made use of are.)

      http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1092.htm

      • Thank you for Patricia for your comment “Your post addressed nothing in the article” I disagree, as I believe it confronts the root cause of aggressive feminism which is injustice, as manifest in misogyny. Yes there are some excellent points within the article.

        My intention was not to cherry pick quotes nor were they aimed at one individual but rather to demonstrate undeniable misogynistic ‘attitudes’ within Christendom throughout the ages, which still continues today, in the real world. This reality needs to be addressed within the Church, although I have to acknowledge that the Church is slowly changing, but these changes sadly are driven by outside forces rather than from within.

        As an example
        St. Paul in chapter five of Ephesians says (v. 22 – 24) “Let wives be subject to their husbands as to the Lord: because a husband is head of the wife, just as Christ is head of the Church, being ...
        And down through the ages this was translated as “wives must obey their husbands” a distortion but nevertheless reinforced by Ephesians 6:5, CSB: One of the favourite passages of slave-owning Christians “Slaves, obey your human masters with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as you would Christ.”

        Both statements suited the ruling classes down through the ages, while the ‘Fathers’ of the Church reinforced their actions. Actions that assisted in the subjugated so many women and enslaved peoples to injustice, manifest as violence, control, cruelty, intimidation and other forms of abuse.

        Thankfully the suffragette movement confront this obnoxious realty (Not the Church) As an aside, to emphasis male dominance, women were not given the vote in Frances until 1946 and in Mexico until 1958.

        This reality is now reflected in the now approved Catholic wedding vows ‘Obey’ or be ‘submissive’ has become and is stated by both the bride and groom I will love you and ‘honor’ you all the days of my life.

        Wedding vows presently said by both the bride and groom
        (name), take you, (name), to be my wife/husband. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health.
        I will love you and honor you all the days of my life

        In these words we see equality and mutual respect, which is what I am advocating in my long Post.

        kevin your brother
        In Christ

        • I venture that you have been demonically “inspired” to post this and the previous comment. While article itself is not (as a whole) that good, it is a defense of (traditional) femininity and it is certainly anti-feminist.

          As I consider free speech to be anti-Catholic (i.e. liberal) and as I believe them to be evil, I would certainly not have approved your comments.

          The idea that requiring wifely obedience is “misogyny” is a satanic invention. Women are not and never will be equal to men in the matter of ranking. While there may be some doubt about the idea that men in general are superior to women in general, there can be no doubt that as far as marriage is concerned there is no equality in the relations between husband and wife. This is of faith, and to claim otherwise is to contradict papal teaching.

          “74. The same false teachers who try to dim the luster of conjugal faith and purity do not scruple to do away with the honorable and trusting obedience which the woman owes to the man. Many of them even go further and assert that such a subjection of one party to the other is unworthy of human dignity, that the rights of husband and wife are equal; wherefore, they boldly proclaim the emancipation of women has been or ought to be effected. This emancipation in their ideas must be threefold, in the ruling of the domestic society, in the administration of family affairs and in the rearing of the children. It must be social, economic, physiological: — physiological, that is to say, the woman is to be freed at her own good pleasure from the burdensome duties properly belonging to a wife as companion and mother (We have already said that this is not an emancipation but a crime); social, inasmuch as the wife being freed from the cares of children and family, should, to the neglect of these, be able to follow her own bent and devote herself to business and even public affairs; finally economic, whereby the woman even without the knowledge and against the wish of her husband may be at liberty to conduct and administer her own affairs, giving her attention chiefly to these rather than to children, husband and family.

          75. This, however, is not the true emancipation of woman, nor that rational and exalted liberty which belongs to the noble office of a Christian woman and wife; it is rather the debasing of the womanly character and the dignity of motherhood, and indeed of the whole family, as a result of which the husband suffers the loss of his wife, the children of their mother, and the home and the whole family of an ever watchful guardian. More than this, this false liberty and unnatural equality with the husband is to the detriment of the woman herself, for if the woman descends from her truly regal throne to which she has been raised within the walls of the home by means of the Gospel, she will soon be reduced to the old state of slavery (if not in appearance, certainly in reality) and become as amongst the pagans the mere instrument of man.”

          Casti Connubii
          On Christian Marriage
          Pope Pius XI – 1930

          • Please tell me how a man can be the leader of his home without beating his wife? If she is obligated to obey, then he has the right to enforce that obligation by any means necessary. Thus, Casta Conubii and the Catholic Church implicitly endorse wife-beating.

          • @ Karen

            Verbal punishment (aka disagreement) is an (effective) alternative. Unfortunately, there are technically unjust “laws” (which I will not point out) which attempt to preclude even this (Satan’s “great” idea).

            There is nothing morally wrong with corporal punishment (provided that it is not cruel). I am not certain that laws against wife-beating are unjust, but I am strongly inclined to believe them to be (your comment as presumably a woman make me more inclined to believe them to be unjust). At a minimum, the husband must have the power under the law to bodily restrain his wife and the power to subdue her should she fight his restraint.

            “Marital rape” “laws” are definitely unjust.

            @ Carl E. Olson

            The logical fallacy of ad hominem is typically employed when someone doesn’t have an argument. My supposedly bad mental state or the supposed bad ulterior motives I have for posting the comment has nothing to do with the truth or falsity of my statements.

      • Thank you, Patricia.

        And bear in mind also that the science of reproductive biology was extremely primitive.

        And ironically as I’m typing this they’re praising the “fierce” and “empowered” US women’s soccer team and showing little girls wanting to be just like that. Yechhhh.

      • What God creates is perfect in its essence since what God intends is perfect. What Aquinas perceived as deficit in accord with logical sequence does not contain the reality of the divine will. For example if his observation was absolute then women would no longer be women in heaven since all deficit will be removed in that glorified state. In fact the feminine is a divinely instituted perfection that is retained and enhanced in heaven. Women remain women inclusive of feminine characteristics as is seen the most perfect of his creatures the Blessed Virgin Mary.

    • At the risk of sounding rude, what exactly is the purpose of these unnecessarily long and often tangential posts in response to the various articles on this site? And what is your motivation in doing so on a regular basis? Your efforts seem more focused on drawing attention to yourself than contributing to an intelligent discussion that moves the conversation forward, and that is really not appropriate for this context. I would encourage you to do some reflecting on this and to adjust the frequency, length, and content of your posts accordingly.

      • Thank you for your comment Athanasius we are all condition to some degree by the circumstances of our life experiences, especially the difficult ones. I believe that I have something to say that is relative to the state of the Church today, in that the present Divine Mercy Image is blasphemous, as the elite within the Church continue to collude with the on-going breaking of the Second Commandment

        “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain”
        See my statement via the link
        http://www.catholicethos.net/errors-amoris-laetitia/#comment-230

        No one confronts my statement which gives conclusive information on the breaking of this Commandment while none agree with it, why ?

        Possibly may long posts relate to the frustration induced by the avoidance of this unanswered question. I am uneducated leaving school at fifteen unable to read or write, to day I possibly would be classed as dyslexic. Without the spell /grammar/ check and paste facility on the computer I would not be able to participate on any Sites. I would agree that my posts can be convoluted possible stemming from insecurity, in that I am not been understood.

        If you have read all my posts on the site over the last six weeks you will be aware that I have been isolated (As in been an outsider) and suffered induced tortured silence, for over thirty five years. See my post on this Site under the article via the link: Kevin Walters JUNE 2, 2019 AT 6:26 AM
        https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2019/05/31/infiltration-innuendo-and-the-longing-for-certainty/

        To some degree, this isolation has caused my thoughts to become introverted which are possibly reflected in my posts as been “focused on drawing attention to” myself.

        That been said perhaps you would be kind enough read my comment above made to Patricia Sheffield within the overall context of my and her post(s) and then convey to me why my post does not contribute “to an intelligent discussion that moves the conversation forward” Which I believe also confronts your statement “and that is really not appropriate for this context”

        From my prospective your comment is not rude but I have to ask myself are you attacking the singer rather than the song as comments that do not challenge can be seen as self-serving (Ingratiating). Perhaps in Christian charity you could challenge my assertions in regards to misogyny and its influence in creating ‘radical feminism’ emanating from injustice and cruelty and in doing so give me the opportunity to defend them.

        kevin your brother
        In Christ

          • Thank you William for your comment, perhaps you could give me your motive for making your suggestion, so that I may make a suitable response.

            kevin your brother
            In Christ

  2. A servant of God has given a fascinating, watershed, aha; mighty truth that sets free. It is also a rarely encountered illumination of spiritual motherhood, which holds up a mirror to society to show how widespread the silent illiteracy has become. The enemy is all about the “head” and “ideas”. But wisdom is in the body, already, always there, waiting… Writing like this sets the stage for what can only be a permanent recovery of humanity, the coming of the kingdom, because if these perfect truths are all grasped and accepted at human atomic levels, the enemy is done. “And Mary pondered all these things…>>> in her heart”

  3. I’ve read that the last two obstacles standing in the way of an all-powerful, secular state are the Church & the family. Hence the attacks upon them.

  4. If Kate Millet is the enemy of Woman and the family she has an eminent ally in the USCCB, “A supporter of the Lepanto Institute contacted the USCCB to ask why the CCHD is providing three-quarters of a million dollars to an organization so steeped in the promotion of grave sin and depravity. Alexandra Carroll, the USCCB’s Communications Manager for Social Mission, responded by claiming that ISN had not violated Catholic teaching, and in fact asserted that ISN’s pro-LGBT conferences to high school children and young adults conformed with the Catechism’s admonition that ‘every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided'” Catechism 2358 (LifeSite M Hitchborn July 5). This is an example of the morally bankrupt thought infecting many of our bishops. A compromise between good and evil that under the guise of social justice promotes evil. It parallel’s what emanates from the Vatican on premises found in Amoris Laetitia and Laudato Si. It’s a reflection of the perverse logic that proclaims “Migrants are people not a social issue” reversing the immorality of promoting
    a disordered emigration policy of Marxist social justice while condemning nations struggling to maintain social economic existence. If we identify discrimination with opposition to the advancement of sexually abominable behavior we in fact promote sexually abominable behavior. The few outspoken orthodox bishops must address this travesty, oppose it and counter Vatican appointed Cardinals Cupich, Farrell, Tobin who enforce a destructive policy of moral duplicity.

  5. Kevin, so many false ideas and falsehoods, how can this be??

    One example, Christ is not genderless in any aspect of His Mystery of Being True God and True, the Trinity Lamb of God – you falsify the Truth and meaning of ‘there is neither is there male or female, jew or greek, etc’ for the heresy that Christ, male, is without gender – He dies for all, whether male or female, jew or greek, etc….reconciling us with the Father to be one as God is one – this Sacred Scripture is speaking of our Unity in Christ, it is not denying or removing the reality of gender, race….

    Please just be faithful to what the Holy Spirit Teaches – the Sacred Scriptures and Catechism witness to Christ’s gender and ours, for He has created and redeemed us, “male and female, He created and redeemed us’. Blessings

    For us Christian’s the continuity of gender (Male Authority/dominance) is nullified, as the sacrificial image of Christ is genderless, as it is reflected in both male and female, this Truth gives Christianity the authority over all other religions to heal the divide between the sexes.

  6. Kevin, Christ is the ‘sacrificial male lamb, innocent and without blemish, whose bones were not broken’…..He is genderless as True God in His Divinity but male gender as True Man….blessings

    • Thank you for your comment padregf I never inferred ‘Jesus’ Christ was genderless I said that His Sacrificial Image is genderless and can and is reflected in both male and females, while inferring that gender conveys no privilege on the spiritual plane and this Truth, on the earthly plane, conferrers true equality between the sexes
      kevin your brother
      In Christ

      • Kevin, How do you explain the crucifix? There is a man nailed to it. And that is the sacrificial image. Christ as a human has a sex: male. He is not sexless.

        • Thank you Bruce for your comment
          Our Father gave of Himself in sending His Son and this giving continues with the loving response of His Son, in His humanity and in in the Spirit to the Father and for us. And this loving ‘sacrifice’ becomes a reality within ‘us’ when we also via the power of the Holy Spirit respond with love (Total self-giving) in a living relationship with God.

          kevin your brother
          In Christ

  7. If you want to be dirt, please go ahead. I, and other women, refuse. Your opinion of women makes into stupid, weak, passive, cowards, helplessly waiting for men to do things to us. Your kind of woman never creates, never acts, never thinks. You are nothing but a means for men to create other men and take all the credit for creation away from the women — the people who do all the work.

    • Karen, you might want to consider why you are so filled with spite and hate and venom. You’re pretty much proving Carrie Gress’ point.

      • Because this women is advocating that women are literal dirt. She says women are dirt and somehow I’m filed with hate.

        • “She says women are dirt and somehow I’m filed with hate.”

          Exact quotes, please, where Gregg says, “Women are dirt and Karen is filled with hate.”

          Standing by.

        • “this woman is advocating that women are literal dirt”

          Quite apart from your many other issues, you appear not to recognize the difference between “literal” and “figurative.”

          You contempt of “dirt” leads me to assume that you will never, ever eat or use anything that is the product of fertile soil because it’s just so icky. Soil is the basis of much of life; why do you think it is an insult to be compared to it?

          • Genesis 2:7: “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

            So, I guess men are “dirt” also. If it’s good enough for Adam it’s good enough for me.
            🙂

          • But that is not what the author said; you’ve changed the words, and chosen to make them pejorative. “Women are the soil into which the seed of life, but also spiritual seeds, are planted” is what Gress said. Soil isn’t “soiled;” it is soil, that is its nature.

            With your antipathy to soil, you might claim to be clean. Then you’ll be perfectly happy if I say you’re sterile and infertile, barren and fruitless, right? Both physically and spiritually, as Gress speaks of physical and spiritual fruitfulness?

            If someone said to me that I am the soil, or even the dirt, from which something good has grown, I’d be very happy.

    • Karen,
      I may be misunderstanding your comments but it’s really more about the freedom to be authentically a woman rather than just a compliant consumer & an exchangeable cog in the workforce.

      • Apparently being ‘authentically a woman’ means being the flattest, greyest, dullest doormat imaginable. Seriously WHERE in this description is there a place for a woman to be active and creative? Where is she allowed to make any decision more important that grocery shopping, and even then I”ll bet the author expects that the husband will tell his wife what to cook and how to clean. Who finds being an idiot or living with an idiot appealing?

        • “… I”ll bet the author expects that the husband will tell his wife what to cook and how to clean.”

          Even if I hadn’t known the author for twenty years, as I have, I think a third-grader could read her bio and see the following:

          • She has a doctorate in philosophy.
          • Which means, of course, that she also has undergraduate degrees.
          • She’s the editor of an online magazine.
          • She writes for CWR, obviously, and has written for many other publications and sites.
          • She has written several books.

          That is, dare I say, quite active and quite creative.

          You, however, write angry, bitter comments attacking this wonderful, talented, active, and creative woman. How sad.

          • Then she’s even worse that a hypocrite because she’s trying to deny to other women the advantages she has. She’s like Phyllis Schlafly, who had a long and profitable public career telling other women to stay home and be passive, helpless, weak servants to men.

            If you need me to spell it out for you, there is not enough time in the day for a mother to be entirely responsible for every single minute of care for children plus cooking and cleaning AND do anything that requires the use of her mind. In CatholicWorld, wives are the slaves of their husbands and therefore cannot have any time to themselves whatsoever. This woman either has no family or is rich enough to afford to buy another woman to do all domestic work for her while she writes books arguing that all women need to stay home and be completely powerless and poor.

          • “… because she’s trying to deny to other women the advantages she has.”

            How so? You keep saying “stuff,” but provide no date, quotes, logic, or arguments.

            “… telling other women to stay home…”

            I don’t see where Gress has ever said, “Women must stay at home.” Quote, please.

            “If you need me to spell it out for you…”

            Condescending and deflecting, but not convincing. No, you don’t need to spell it out to me; you need to demonstrate your argument holds water.

            “In CatholicWorld…”

            You seem to know something about this fictitious world. Meanwhile, we are learning far too much about KarenWorld.

            “… she writes books arguing that all women need to stay home and be completely powerless and poor.”

            I doubt you’ve even seen one of her books, let alone read it. And while you may have read her essay here, you clearly haven’t understood it.

          • “there is not enough time in the day for a mother to be entirely responsible for every single minute of care for children plus cooking and cleaning AND do anything that requires the use of her mind.”

            Oh? And yet I’m sure you think that women, in order to be “creative” and “productive” and not “powerless and poor” need to be out of the house having careers. So: your solution is to have two people working full-time outside the home. Who is to take care of the children, to cook, to clean, to shop, to do all the many things that are necessary for the health and wellbeing of the family members (which you have just said are more than a full-time job)? *Someone* has to do those things. Or is your solution, “No, nobody has to look after the children or make the family clean, comfortable, well-fed; children don’t matter, family doesn’t matter.”

            If you have any children, they have my deepest sympathy, poor things.

            I know of nobody so contemptuous of women’s traditional roles as strident “feminists,” who deny that women have used their minds and their creativity both as part of homemaking and separate from it always. Leaving aside the organizational skills, budgeting, and other talents required to run a house, look at the beautifully creative needlework that we can still admire, in quilts, in clothing, even in things as everyday as aprons and kitchen towels. Look at the many married women who have written poetry, or books. Look at how women’s groups have improved communities, have raised funds for their churches, for hospitals, for so much more.

            From the article: “This category change was to make women think about their lives in terms of power. Radical feminism convinced women that their happiness, their goal in life, was to be powerful. The new goal was to be able to control our lives, our men, our careers, and our fertility, to liberate us do whatever we want and to have it all.”

            It sounds as if you’ve bought into all of that. Are you happy? You certainly don’t seem to be.

        • Karen,
          I think we all can labor under certain assumptions, but where in this article do you see women not encouraged to be active & creative?
          I would think motherhood, delivering a new human life into the world, would be the most creative act of all & one unique to women.

          • Creativity is entirely a product of the mind; pregnancy and lactation are actually detrimental to using the mind.

        • My husband doesn’t tell me to “cook” or “clean” for him. But I do both out of both love/affection, and as my portion of the division of family duties. Duty and responsibilities, how you Karen, must hate a women that uses those words. We ALL have duties, and we all have responsibilities. That is what being a mature adult human being is all about, doing our duties and fulfilling our responsibilities.

          Adults BUILT-UP and over obstacles, children destroy in frustration. Adults can hear the word “No” without having a temper tantrum or throwing a hissy fit like a toddler. In my youth I did “flirt” with wiccan-based feminism, the radical side, the real radical side of it in the 1980s; it wasn’t for me. I have found MORE strength in trying to emulate our Blessed Mother, and the Holy women saints, than to follow the harpies and furies of Brown, Steinem and the rest. I have more “peace” and contentment in being a wife, mother and grandmother than I ever did being a Senior NCO in the military.

    • How creative is it to abort? How creative is a one night stand? How creative to break ones marriage vows? How creative is it to not create children? How creative is a narcissist? Feminism is all about power and I tell you the most powerful people are usually the least creative. Powerful people are dull, uncreative. Most wonderful women I know are feminine in the truest sense and highly creative, or fruitful to use the author’s words. The women that are our society praises are just copies of the worst kind of men.

    • Wow! Dirt? Come on! Why do we have to wanna be dirt if we agree? Your reaction to this article is so extreme and unbalanced it practically renders your opinion an emotional hyperventilation rather than a thoughtful critique.

    • Which is why African-American women, who worked as maids and nannies and did all the cradle-rocking, were the most powerful people in the Jim Crow South. Except, oh wait, they were completely and utterly powerless!!

      • Actually, black women had quite a bit of influence on the children & families they served. Not in a social status way perhaps, but in cultural ways.
        Back in the day, folks visiting from Northern states were often shocked to see women of color holding positions of trust like that.

        • If you think African American woman had any power, you are entirely ignorant of history. Also, they were perfectly happy to trade the kind of worthless and imaginary influence* you ascribe to them and obtain real, measurable power.

          The possessor of power can act on her own; ‘influence’ requires persuading someone else, who can decide to accept or not. The power lies entirely with the other person.

          • To save you some time, Karen, just type “Non serviam,” copy it, and paste it over and over again.

          • Karen,
            My great grandmother was a domestic servant. It’s a perfectly respectful occupation.
            Perhaps you are confusing service with servitude?

  8. Agreed – a great article. Very profound thinking. I will buy her book.
    Karen’s comment shows that she lacks any perception of the spirituality described in the article, of the shallowness of the equality claims and indeed of the spirituality each of us is by nature as created by God.

    • You are quite correct; I think the ‘spirituality’ discussed in the article doesn’t exist. You delude women into thinking that giving up their minds is a fair trade for being ‘taken care of’ in exchange for allowing men to use their bodies until the women’s bodies wear out. Men get to spend their lives constantly reminding their wives what a favor he’s done by marrying something as foul, disgusting, and boring as a woman and she has to thank him and endure him.

      • “I think the ‘spirituality’ discussed in the article doesn’t exist.”

        And we think you’re wrong. What you actually mean is that you don’t have, or want, that spirituality, which is a different thing entirely.

        “You delude women into thinking that giving up their minds is a fair trade for being ‘taken care of’ in exchange for allowing men to use their bodies until the women’s bodies wear out.”

        That’s not what a marriage is, and I see nothing in Gress’ article that indicates that she believes that it is. Is that what happened to you? If so, I am sorry, but wallowing in bitterness and anger is not going to help you.

        “Men get to spend their lives constantly reminding their wives what a favor he’s done by marrying something as foul, disgusting, and boring as a woman and she has to thank him and endure him.”

        My dear woman, you are delusional; or else you were unfortunate enough to have a very bad husband as a father; or else you personally selected the world’s worst husband, and are now bitter about all men and marriage because of your experience.

        • My wife left a tedious lower level job to stay at home and raise our first child and then two children more followed and sadly four miscarriages after that. When it was time to retturn to the work force she did so but yet it was as though she had the training of a CEO. I think few people realize that a stay at home mother developes variety of skill sets in areas of Leadership, communication, negotiation, finance, organization, management, coaching, etc. The idea of a supermom is a myth as no human can be in two places at once. The real question might be how many areas of development did a woman miss by being in the workplace.

          • William,
            Many thanks for your comments. That’s absolutely true. After my husband passed away I found employment partly based on my having previously raised & homeschooled 8 children & run a farm.
            That was seen as an acquired set of skills & assets to bring to the workplace, not an obstacle to employment.

  9. Responses reveal the ongoing Battle of the Sexes suggesting 19th century Scandinavians Ibsen and Strindberg had it right. The never ending male female antagonism since the Fall in the Garden. And a Church Father faulted Eve and reasoned she deserved retribution and fealty to her Man seemingly providing theological rationale. Norwegian Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll House: Nora accuses her husband, and her father before him, of having used her as a doll, and declares herself unfit to be a wife or mother until she has learned to be herself. Ibsen’s final stage direction of the door closing behind her is one of the most famous ever written. Swede August Strindberg’s rebuttal The Father: The theme of the play is a woman’s driving her husband to insanity by making him doubt that he is the father of their child. Laura tells him Now you have fulfilled your function as an unfortunately necessary father and breadwinner. You are not needed any longer and you must go. “Yes, of course there is a demonic aspect to it, but what is at the heart of it is category change in the minds of everyday women that took hold and that we haven’t let go of since”. Carrie Gress speaks of a category change that was to make women think about their lives in terms of power. She cites the beautiful vision of Edith Stein that a woman nurtures unfolds life within herself. Where did we go wrong if not collapse of the inherent dynamic between Man the leader provider and Woman the bearer of life and nurturer. Power as Ms Gress rightly argues is the mistake. And I would add even if suggested that Woman reconciled to bearer of life is a form of power. Love alone divinely inspired reveals the significance of Masculine Father Feminine Mother that unites goodness and warmth, strength and tenderness the elements of Life and Humanness.

  10. Excellent article. But I would call the reign of sterile women a feminarchy rather than a matriarchy.

    Even that is a stretch since they don’t conform even to feminine standards. I will not say hag-archy lest the censor takes offense. But still, I feel cheated that abortion got imposed through the process of so called sisterhood consciousness raising.

  11. I hope every woman reads not just this article but Carrie’s book. That litany–holy cow–feels like fiction, yet it is the reality. In Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI described the accurate effects of contraception. He was certainly guided by the Holy Spirit. For the vast majority of women, myself included, the consequences of sexual liberation were a hard lesson. I had no idea that they were premeditated. It shows how smart these elite women were. What a pity they used it to destroy instead to create. I can now truly say that they were guided by the devil himself.

    Carrie, thank you for writing a most important book, helping us to be more like Mary. God bless you.

  12. Hi Karen – You say that the spirituality described by Dr Gress does not exist. We say it does exist. We experience it. But as you do not apparently experience it, you believe that your strongly expressed views are robust.
    I cannot win any debate with you on this – I cannot logically prove you wrong. I can only say that if you re-orientate your whole thinking towards the primacy of the other person over yourself, you might eventually come to re-think your position.

  13. Karen, you are a wounded, confused, secular feminist that is lashing out at a Catholic author and you’re not making a coherent argument.

  14. Remarkably we see playing out in our comments a parallel to what Ibsen and counterpart Strindberg initiated. The psychological drama play breaking with tradition that arguably initiated an accelerated worldwide reevaluation of a woman’s marital role, her self perceived value in relation to man. “It is Nora as an individual cheated of her true rights that the dramatist depicts, for her marriage, as she discovers in the crisis, has been merely material and not that spiritual tie Ibsen insists upon as the only happy one in this relation. So she goes away to find herself, and her going was the signal for almost a social war in Europe. That slammed door reverberated across the roof of the world” (Huneker, 1905). Matthews 1907 remarked that “character is never made over in the twinkling of an eye; and this is why the end of the ‘A doll’s house’ seems unconvincing. Nora the morally irresponsible, is suddenly endowed with clearness of vision and directness of speech. The squirrel who munches macaroons, the song-bird who is happy in her cage, all at once becomes a raging lioness (Wikibooks). Matthews point touches on required motivation now provided by the Feminist movement. How many self liberated women are presently unhappy lionesses how many will retrieve emotional sanity if only by finding their epiphany in Christ?

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