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Are men and women different? The Pope says so.

 
 
Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Jul, 2004 03:53 pm
choices
Foxfyre wrote:
Do you think women sell out if they choose the traditional role?


Some women don't have the "luxury" of a choice. For most of my adult life, I never had a choice between staying home or going to work. I had to work, plain and simple. I did, however, choose to have only one child and to provide him with the best life that I could afford (e.g., a nice home, reliable transportation, sports equipment, braces, a good education, etc.)

Of course, if I had popped out babies one right after another in order to please the Pope, my options would have been even more limited than they were.

At this point in my life, I do have more choices. Of course, I'm no longer raising a family or paying for the orthodonist. I don't think I'm selling out by doing my man's laundry and fixing his dinner. One time my man complained to my sister because he had to iron his own shirt before going to work--my sister and I laughed our behinds off about his dilemma.

For my failure to iron my man's shirt, I hope the Pope doesn't brand me as a woman without values....
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Jul, 2004 04:05 pm
I'm not sure what the pope might put into a bull addressing wrinkled shirts. Smile

We all have power to determine our destiny I think by our choices of how seriously we take our education, what career choices we make, how we order discipline in our lives, who we marry, and as Debra pointed out, when and how many children we have.

I was a working mom too and my children graciously advise they did not suffer because of it. If I had it to do over again, I would choose to be a stay at home mom except when they were in school.

When my husband advises he has a wrinkled shirt, he is instructed to pitch it back in the dryer for a few minutes. I chose a long time ago to have no clothing in the house that couldn't be ironed that way. Smile
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the reincarnation of suzy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Jul, 2004 04:10 pm
Remember that the pope has very limited and biased education in sociology, psychology and family dynamics, and he never even had a woman and probably has had little interaction with them. Take what he says with a grain of salt. He's no expert!
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Jul, 2004 04:17 pm
Actually, you should better refer to Cardinal Ratzinger's views on women :wink:

Interesting letter by the conservative German Catholic Women Organisations to Cardinal Ratzinger, written more than two years ago.
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Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Jul, 2004 04:24 pm
a female's limited intellectual capacity
Foxfyre wrote:
Sometimes it is simply recognizing one's limitations and being realistic however. I could want to be the world's most accomplished mathematician and work toward that end until I was blue in the face and would fail. My brain just doesn't work that way. I think most women's brains don't work that way.


So true, Foxfyre. Women must recognize their limitations due to their inferior brain-power and physical strength and must be more realistic concerning their opportunities within the "proper structure of things."

The world would be a much better place (past, present, and future) if women, e.g., Madam Curie (1867-1934) and others like her, would just keep their pea brains out of science and stay at home where they belong.

Madam Curie wasted her life studying physics, mathematics, and radiation. She would have contributed much more to the world if she had stayed at home and gave birth to a dozen or more babies. Her determination to expand her limited intellectual capacity was pure selfishness. Our society should not condone this type of selfishness that makes a woman depart from traditional gender roles.
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Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Jul, 2004 04:33 pm
OMG
OMG! Look at the time! My man will be home from work soon and I haven't accomplished much around the house. Plus, I disobeyed him earlier today and gave a bath to a stray (but smelly) kitten despite his stern head-of-household command: No stray cats in the house.

I have to quick get the dishes done, pull out the ironing board, pop something in the microwave to defrost, and make it "look good" for when he arrives home.....
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Jul, 2004 04:39 pm
I can see few of the folks on this thread have read, or at least understood, The Letter itself. It will come as a total surprise to some that The Letter sets forth no new concepts, but merely reafirms doctrines and teachings which have been central to The Church for centuries, even millenia. The only folks who possibly might be surprised by The Letter would be folks who are vague on the concept and history of The Church.
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Jul, 2004 05:36 pm
It wasn't the content of the letter itself that intrigued me, but the whole concept of equally important but the concept different biological/spiritual roles for men and women.

Now considering how badly Debra interpreted what I said, we can put her down as one of those 'evil' feminists the Pope (or Cardinal) was warning us about. Smile

It's always interesting to me, however, to see if people can deal with the content or intent of a message and separate that from the messenger.
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Jul, 2004 06:06 pm
Yeah the message/messenger separation thing is a real challenge for some folks. Another is a propensity to project one's own preconceptions over the actual content, infering what one might prefer to believe was said as opposed to comprehending what actually was said, or, to my mind even worse, ignoring what actually was said but assessing the message and forming opinions of it based on what others have said about the message. As far as I'm concerned, the original, complete and in context, trumps any synopsis, interpolation, or outside analysis or commentary. Not that such are not valuable ... in many if not most cases they well can be, and perhaps may be even invaluable, enabling fuller comprehension and understanding ... just that they have little if any value if one is unfamiliar with the original message in and of itself.
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najmelliw
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Jul, 2004 06:08 pm
It's too late for me to start reading 30 some pages letters from anyone to anyone, so I'll give an uninformed opinion here.

I'm curious however, what a Nihil Obstat is? timberlandko referred to this as being part of an official papal document.

First of, I'm not overly fond of the catholic church and the role it played in West european society and, even worse, other societies in the world. But I cannot deny the fact that there are millions of people alive today who look for guidance to this same institution. As such, it has an important role to fulfill.
as far as the pope is concerned, I'm always curious how far his influence still goes. Is he a ruler, an institution or only a figurehead? I'll stick to the institution, which means I believe there are other people working behind him in his name.

I don't agree with the man, if said letter is indeed from the pope himself. I'm aware, however, that the church has always held a biased attitude towards women. That is hardly a curious thing since it's lead by supposedly celibate men.
The times, they are a changing and as always, mother church has trouble keeping up.

Neither pope nor feminists are correct I feel. Getting more children seems to be a problem. I'd say that this is merely a sign of the times.
Do we really need more children on an already overcrowded world? anyways, if this could become a problem in a family of newlyweds, both should try to define the most likely problems that can occur when a child is born, and try to work towards a solution in whihc both parties take as much responsibility as possbile for raising said child.
It shouldn;t autmotaically fall in the female's lap, nor should it be said that it is all to blame on the men.

Since I haven;t said anything worthwile yet in this ongoing post so far, and I'm getting really tired (on account of itbeing 2 amhere), I sign of.

Naj
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Jul, 2004 06:21 pm
najmelliw wrote:
... I'm curious however, what a Nihil Obstat is? ...


Here ya go: "Imprimi Potest," "Nihil Obstat," and "Imprimatur"

For the rest, read The Letter (the body of which really would be no more than a very few standard typed pages), and determine for yourself whether, and if so in what manner and particular, your opinion may or may not have been uninformed or otherwise illfounded.


Oh, and just to clarify something for some of the newer members, or those unfamiliar with my philosophical bent, I am neither a practicing Catholic nor an apologist for that or any other faith; I happen to have a generally unfavorable opinion of both religion and religionists. I am pretty big on getting facts and details right, though ... even if my opinion of same may differ in some specific or particular from that espoused by others.

And this post has been edited a couple times due to the facts I'm a lousy typist and rarely bother to take advantage of "Preview" or "Spellcheck", frequently thereby bringing on myself some embarrassment and inconvenience. Embarrassed

A buncha folks already know that, too Mr. Green
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Jul, 2004 06:31 pm
The Pope could support/put out a document saying Rice Krispies go snap, crackle, pop - and I'd find a way to disagree.
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Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Jul, 2004 06:44 pm
what exactly is the message?
Foxfyre wrote:
It wasn't the content of the letter itself that intrigued me, but the whole concept of equally important but the concept different biological/spiritual roles for men and women.

Now considering how badly Debra interpreted what I said, we can put her down as one of those 'evil' feminists the Pope (or Cardinal) was warning us about. Smile

It's always interesting to me, however, to see if people can deal with the content or intent of a message and separate that from the messenger.


What exactly is the message? Is the message that women and men are biologically different? I accept that not simply as a "message" but as an irrefutable fact.

What is the message? Is the message that the biological differences between men and women require them to live their lives within the confines of "traditional" gender roles and in accordance with the "proper structure of things?" (Who, by the way, determines the "proper structure of things?")

What is the message? Is the message that women are less intelligent and physically weaker than men, so women should stay home and have babies and leave the intricacies of the world in the more capable hands of men?

What exactly is the message?

And what are you suggesting when you chastise and ridicule a person's inability to separate the message from the messenger? Is that along the same lines of, "don't look at me, I'm just the messenger?"

Frankly, you're the one who presented the Pope as the "messenger." But the Pope is NOT a mere messenger. He is not a simple delivery boy riding his bike along neighborhood streets and throwing newspapers upon people's doorsteps without any responsibility for the content of those newspapers. Again, the Pope is not a mere messenger.

According to the article you presented, the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church want to get tough on gender issues. The Pope wants women to stay at home, have babies, and remained chained to traditional gender roles. The Pope and the Church have announced that couples who do not focus on "creating life" are selfish. Damn those women who "choose" to work in order to provide their existing families with a better life--they should be home having babies (regardless of their ability to support them).

The Pope is not a mere messenger. He creates the policy of the Church, advocates that policy, and expects his Roman Catholic flock to blindly adhere to that policy regardless of how out-dated or unreasonable it might be in these modern times.
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Jul, 2004 06:53 pm
Have you bothered to read the letter itself, Debra_Law, or are you basing your assessments and objections on what you assume or have been led to believe is "The Message"? Apart from what it says re homosexuality, abortion, general irresponsible/unethical/immoral behavior, and the ordination of women to the priesthood, much of it reads like a feminist manifesto. BTW, nowhere does it consign women to the role of broodsows or imply women are any less than the equal of men; quite the contrary, really.
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Jul, 2004 08:17 pm
I gleaned the following from the letter. It seems to support everything Timber has said about it and shoots quite a few holes in Debra's perception of what it probably says:
Quote:
In this regard, it cannot be forgotten that the interrelationship between these two activities - family and work - has, for women, characteristics different from those in the case of men. The harmonization of the organization of work and laws governing work with the demands stemming from the mission of women within the family is a challenge. The question is not only legal, economic and organizational; it is above all a question of mentality, culture, and respect. Indeed, a just valuing of the work of women within the family is required. In this way, women who freely desire will be able to devote the totality of their time to the work of the household without being stigmatized by society or penalized financially, while those who wish also to engage in other work may be able to do so with an appropriate work-schedule, and not have to choose between relinquishing their family life or enduring continual stress, with negative consequences for one's own equilibrium and the harmony of the family. As John Paul II has written, "it will redound to the credit of society to make it possible for a mother - without inhibiting her freedom, without psychological or practical discrimination and without penalizing her as compared with other women - to devote herself to taking care of her children and educating them in accordance with their needs, which vary with age".21

14. It is appropriate however to recall that the feminine values mentioned here are above all human values: the human condition of man and woman created in the image of God is one and indivisible. It is only because women are more immediately attuned to these values that they are the reminder and the privileged sign of such values. But, in the final analysis, every human being, man or woman, is destined to be "for the other". In this perspective, that which is called "femininity" is more than simply an attribute of the female sex. The word designates indeed the fundamental human capacity to live for the other and because of the other.

Therefore, the promotion of women within society must be understood and desired as a humanization accomplished through those values, rediscovered thanks to women. Every outlook which presents itself as a conflict between the sexes is only an illusion and a danger: it would end in segregation and competition between men and women, and would promote a solipsism nourished by a false conception of freedom.

Without prejudice to the advancement of women's rights in society and the family, these observations seek to correct the perspective which views men as enemies to be overcome. The proper condition of the male-female relationship cannot be a kind of mistrustful and defensive opposition. Their relationship needs to be lived in peace and in the happiness of shared love.

On a more concrete level, if social policies - in the areas of education, work, family, access to services and civic participation - must combat all unjust sexual discrimination, they must also listen to the aspirations and identify the needs of all. The defence and promotion of equal dignity and common personal values must be harmonized with attentive recognition of the difference and reciprocity between the sexes where this is relevant to the realization of one's humanity, whether male or female.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2004 01:15 am
Actually, there's really nothing new in this letter.


And that's one of the great diappointments.

This pope, and the main figures in the actual curia, are very, very conservative, despite what happened by and after the 2nd Vatican concile.
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najmelliw
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2004 02:55 am
Walter,

I love your signature! Sorry, had to say it. I don;t think I feel up to the task of deciphering the kind of english that foxyfire quoted, not feeling to well today. the pope will have to wait.

naj
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2004 06:50 am
naj

Long not seen! :wink:
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2004 07:08 am
Not being a Catholic and therefore giving no authority to edicts from Catholic authority--in fact most American Catholics don't give a whole lot of importance to a lot of Catholic authority these days--I was nevertheless intrigued by detail of attention given to the discussion on men and women. I disagree with Walter that there is really nothing new here. I see the tone as much different from the pre-Vatican II Church that seemed to be more of a 'wives subjected to their husbands' mentality.
The new tone is one of mutual appreciation and value. However, the theology of that would be better suited for the Religion and Spirituality Forum.

My own interest is whether the militant feminist mindset is gradually finally breaking down so that the wisdom that can be found in the Pope/Cardinals opinion can be appreciated?
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2004 07:13 am
Well, foxfyre, I barely remember the pre-council times, so you might be correct.
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