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Mary Rice Hasson, a Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. and director of the Catholic Women’s Forum, came to Benedictine College on Monday to talk to Gregorian Fellows about the role of women in the Church in light of the feminist movement. Here are our top 10 quotes from her presentations.
1. “Most women actually do not identify as feminist.” Since the movement’s beginning in the early 20th century, the cause has been taken over by radical feminists to such an extent that the world “feminism” is now equated with the beliefs of these radical members, rather than with its original moderate intention that fought for women’s right to vote and work.
2. “The early radical feminists were in fact Marxists, which had a major influence on their philosophy of feminism. They saw the family only as a tool necessary to build up society.”
3. “Women today are less satisfied than women of earlier generations because they are now held to a higher standard and have been falsely promised that being no different from men means that they will have it all and be completely happy.”
4. “Even with science learning and teaching us the differences between men and women every day and showing how the sexes are complementary, feminists deny it.”
5. It is often said in secular society that women are ignored and every suppressed by the supposed patriarchy that is the Catholic Church. However, “women are highly involved in the Church – more so than in secular organizations. The Church has been an advocate for gender equality since the middle ages – long before secular society decided to pick it up.”
6. “The Church teaches that men and women are complementary: That they are equal, but different.”
7. “John Paul II said, ‘Why should we have women in the workplace and active in society? Because men are focused on productivity and efficiency, and we need women to humanize it all.’”
8. “Pope Francis calls for a capillary presence of women. That means women everywhere.”
9. “There is leadership at different levels. Leadership is not about power or moving up the ladder. The beginning of leadership is vision. The Church’s vision is the Lord’s vision; feminism’s vision is ‘gender neutral’ and ‘power.’”
10. “Think about leadership in terms of vocation.” There are different kinds of leadership and different roles within leadership depending on what each of us is called to do.
The Gregorian Institute is Benedictine College’s initiative to promote Catholic identity in public life by equipping leaders (the Gregorian speech digest), training leaders (the Gregorian Fellows), defending the faith (the Memorare Army for Religious Freedom), and celebrating Catholic identity (the Catholic Hall of Fame).