Thursday, August 7, 2008

Enemy Number One: Supermum

The 20th anniversary of Pope John Paul II's letter to women, Mulieres Dignitatem, is this month. I found this article via one of my favorite man-blogs, Quaffs and Quibbles:

The first writer is very hostile toward stay-at-home mothers, blaming them for working women's failures in their career ladder climbing efforts and even going as far to blame them for the demise of greater society.

The second, a career woman turned stay-at-home mother, defends her choice to sacrifice career, salary and prowess in the workplace to be with her children.

While I am tempted to write very scathing remarks in response to Ms. Hirshman's opinions and assertions, I'll refrain and leave you with this: Extremism, in regard to women in the workplace or women in the home, is not healthy for anyone. Passing judgement on a woman for her choice to stay home with children or go to work only reveals ignorance and prejudice. We all have a responsibility to assess our lives and make decisions about what is possible and what is most important, and no self-proclaimed philosopher has the right to judge, no matter what she may say. I hope and pray that every woman and every man will take the time to form their consciences and consider what is most loving and wise in regard to their family.

In the name of liberation from male "domination", women must not appropriate to themselves male characteristics contrary to their own feminine "originality". There is a well-founded fear that if they take this path, women will not "reach fulfilment", but instead will deform and lose what constitutes their essential richness. It is indeed an enormous richness. In the biblical description, the words of the first man at the sight of the woman who had been created are words of admiration and enchantment, words which fill the whole history of man on earth.

--"Mulieres Dignitatem, On the Dignity and Vocation of Women," John Paull II

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