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Are men and women different? The Pope says so.

 
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2004 07:22 am
Just a young-un are ye Walter? Smile

It isn't just pre-council so much as a new wind that seems to be blowing through Catholicism these days. Even 20 years ago, I think this current discussion would not be happening among the
Catholcis.

The most scathing objections non-Catholics (and some Catholics) have had to the Catholic Church has been their rigid views on contraception, abortion, and the role of women. Considering the influence the Catholic Church has in so many countries around the world, a rethinking of these issues can be nothing other than a good thing.

So far nobody has taken up my question. Were men and women happier when more traditional roles were the norm? Or is it better now so far as satisfaction with the way things are goes?
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2004 07:27 am
Foxfyre wrote:

So far nobody has taken up my question. Were men and women happier when more traditional roles were the norm? Or is it better now so far as satisfaction with the way things are goes?


Talked a lot about this recently with some aunts (one, being 91, died recently).

All of them are very much engaged in the church, live in strong conservative regions (and are mostly very conservative).

All of them think that the situation now is much, much better (church related as well as the situation of women generally).
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2004 08:04 am
Interesting. I wonder if your elder relatives favor women being admitted to the diaconate and priesthood in the Catholic church? Or if they are Protestant, do they favor women clergy?

I came of age during a time when the glass ceiling for women was quite low and quite prevalent. And I became executive director of a women's organization that was quite militantly feminist during the height of the militant feminist movement including the phase in which dress, hairstyles, etc. became so merged that it was virtually impossible just by looking to tell if some people were male or female.

Now, my generation of women with a blend of traditional and emancipation are pretty satisfied with their lot in life. The generation older than mine seems to think the world is pretty screwed up and people are less happy as testified by the increase in domestic violence, an out-of-control divorce rate, etc. The younger generation can't imagine it being any different other than their view of traditional roles in previous generations is that these were just awful.

The ones who got the short end of the stick, however, I think are the children. I wonder how much we have harmed them?
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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2004 08:31 am
(They are all catholic)

I doubt that many of them would favour a priest to be female (my aunt, who just, did!).

Since women are preaching in a lot of catholic churches ["illegally"], spend the communion etc ["legally"], we are used to see women in church life.

[I mean, our neighbours daughter today starts as a co-pilot with Lufthansa: female ! ... and just 21 years old! A female pilot ts, ts.]

:wink:
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2004 08:38 am
Your signature line says a lot Walter Smile

This is one of those areas in which people are ambivalent about male/female roles I think. I wonder how many people, if they are 100% honest, prefer their pilot to be male?
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Debra Law
 
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Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2004 08:55 am
Re: Are men and women different? The Pope says so.
I was referring to the alleged "message" that Foxfyre presented concerning the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church in her opening post and her later accusation that people cannot separate the "message" from the "messenger." Here is a clip from Foxfyre's original post:

Foxfyre wrote:
What the Pope is specifically addressing here is the whole concept of gender and that there are biological differences between the sexes with resulting equally valuable but differing roles in the proper structure of things....

Agree or disagree? Are men and women different? While of course there will be exceptions, overall are men and women biologically gifted for differing roles?

Pope warns feminists
Bishops told to take hard line on issue of gender


John Hooper in Rome and Tania Branigan
Saturday July 31, 2004
The Guardian

The Pope will call on leaders of the Roman Catholic church today to attack feminist ideologies which assert that men and women are fundamentally the same.

The Vatican is concerned that this belief is eroding what it regards as women's maternal vocation. But a paper on the subject which is due to be published today - the Vatican's third major pronouncement on women's role in the quarter century of John Paul's papacy - has drawn scornful criticism from feminists and academics.

According to a leaked extract, the document accuses feminists of "blurring the biological difference between man and woman".

. . . Recent decades have seen a plunge in birth and fertility rates, particularly in the Roman Catholic heartland of southern Europe, as women struggle to combine jobs with their traditional roles as mothers, homemakers and carers.

Church representatives have argued that this is symptomatic of a breakdown in values, and particularly a greater selfishness among young couples more interested in consumer goods than creating life. . . .


Again: What exactly is the "message" that Foxfyre wanted us to glean from this article and why is Foxfyre insisting that the Pope is a mere messenger who must be separated from the message?
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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2004 09:15 am
[Honestly, I don't mind the gender of pilots. More looking at the ticket's price :wink:

I don't like those neighbours very much, but I admire, what this girl did in such a rather time.]
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Foxfyre
 
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Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2004 09:52 am
Debra, in this case it is the Pope or his chief cardinal speaking for the Pope who presented the idea. The messenger was not intended to be the focus of the thread.

The idea itself is provocative and worthy of discussion even if you are an anti-Catholic person. The 'messenger' naturally led to an observation that the Catholic Church has much improved in its acknowledgment and appreciation of women's ability and contribution to the social fabric, but the whole thesis has to do with significant differences between the genders and how these differences best suit them for certain roles.

This isn't my Forum and I can't (and don't want) to control the thread in any way, but I personally hoped the debate would be about biological differences between men and women and whether these in fact best suit them for specific roles.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2004 10:02 am
Quickly -- I just found this and my jaw dropped several times, but won't take on each jaw-dropping point right now -- what most bothers me is that the emphasis is on allowing women to mother, rather than on allowing parents to parent.

I have spoken about this before, that one of the best stay-at-home parents I know is a man. Breastfeeding aside, there is no reason why men can't be just as nurturing as women once the baby has left the womb. (And this family worked breastfeeding into the equation, too; the mom breastfed when she was available and pumped for when she wasn't.) My friend is nurturing, patient, kind, all sorts of good things. A great parent. I see him as the future; in other words, that the answer lies in greater fluidity of gender roles, not greater rigidity.
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timberlandko
 
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Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2004 10:27 am
Lets see if I can help ya with some of that, Debra. A Vatican pronouncement establishing, defining or reafirming matters of doctrine or dogma, issued in the Pontiff's name and with full Papal authority, bears the full weight and authority of The Church in its capacity as the conduit of God's will toward and teachings to humankind. Any such pronouncement will have been thoroughly vetted and completely endorsed by The Congregation For The Doctrine Of The Faith as being entirely consistent with the purported Divinely revealed teachings of The Church. As such, the Papal personage is wholly irrelevant; it is The Church, speaking to all Humankind, and in special particular to The Faithful, for God, which makes the pronouncement. While such a pronouncement may and often does express the will and thinking of the authorizing Pope, and have been set in motion at the direction of that Pope, such need not be and occasionally has not happened to have been be the case. Indeed, by Catholic doctrine, the Pope in such instance is merely the messenger, a teacher following a curriculum established by a higher authority, the channel by which the Message of God is conveyed to the peoples of the earth and to their descendants.
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JLNobody
 
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Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2004 10:42 am
Obviously, there are some physiological differences between men and women. Our species could not have prevailed without them. The problem is twofold: How important are these differences, aside from the obvious matter of procreation, and how much of the differences we perceive are cultural invention. A broad cross-cultural look at the "spins" different societies attach to gender show the extent of the artificiality of the actual differences.
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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2004 10:42 am
Yes, that's correct timber - thanks!
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Foxfyre
 
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Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2004 10:50 am
It has been what, 5-10 years since Time Magazine ran results of a study affirming very distinct differences between the sexes much more far reaching than issues of vagina and penis. For instance, the large majority of women are left brained while men tend to be more right brained. Is this due to cultural conditioning or is in inate? The article says we are born with it.

I have a little side avocation dealing with Jungian type analysis of human temperament; ie those different quirks and traits we are born with. These are not disputed by anybody that I know of. The question remains, are they affected in any way by gender?
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sozobe
 
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Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2004 03:19 pm
I think the larger question is, even if they are (and that's very arguable), and? How does this translate to actions and policy?

As Debra and others have indicated, when the Pope speaks, people listen. It's not an idle philosophical question.

Giving institutional support to women who want to raise children (better and more affordable flex time, etc.) = good. Giving institutional support to any parent who wants to raise children, male or female = better. Why is this specifically framed in terms of women?
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2004 03:24 pm
I think we have to go back to a previous question. Are men genetically engineered to be predisposed to go out and hunt giraffes? (i.e. to be the hunters and gatherers?) and are women genetically engineered to be nest builders?

Nobody with a brain disputes that either can do the job of the other. But which is the way it is supposed to be and therefore generates the greatest amount of peace, contentment, happiness?
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najmelliw
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2004 03:28 pm
I guess millitant feminism will break down when women in general are accepted more or less as equals of their male counterparts.
There will always be people who agree/disagree with certain opinions. Now that I have read it, I'm surprised by the pope. In a good way. I always believed he had the attitude of 'women as caretakers. He seems to be more open for change then I gave him credit for. Encouraging. I hope the same will come true for some of the more radical feminists out there.

Naj.

PS. It's been a long while walter Very Happy But like the wayward sheep I seem to have returned to the flock. Wink
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2004 03:34 pm
Frankly I was suprised to read the Church's opinion that supports so much of the feminist 'platform'. It is far more fluid and liberal than I had imagined it would be.
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sozobe
 
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Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2004 03:35 pm
Foxfyre, in this context, it still comes back to and...?[/i]. Say that we agree that women are [holding nose] "supposed to" be the caretakers. That on average, even though there are exceptions, they do a better job than men.

Then what? What actions or policies are taken based on that assumption?
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2004 04:12 pm
Foxfyre wrote:
I think we have to go back to a previous question. Are men genetically engineered to be predisposed to go out and hunt giraffes? (i.e. to be the hunters and gatherers?) and are women genetically engineered to be nest builders?

Well I'd rather be building a nest than going out hunting - figuratively speaking too, i mean - i get a lot more "peace and contentment" out of nurturing my coupla plants on the balcony than out of scoring some point at my work.

I guess every single person is just hard-wired in a different way. After so many decades in which social order tried to container all men into one way of life and all women into another, I guess there'll be many more men and women who turn out to be hard-wired differently than the cookie-cutter stereotype.

All the more reason for the state and religious authorities to butt out of it, and refrain from labelling some jobs, rights and arrangements only for women and others for men. Make all options available for both genders and people will figger it out for themselves.
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2004 04:16 pm
I don't know Sozobe, and I may be too vague here. I don't see the policy issue as being any big deal now. It is pretty uniform across the country that in most thing that when women compete equitably with men (without expecting special consideration because they are women) they have achieved parity in both occupation and wages. So, if a woman has both the ability and the ambition, she can make it. Apparently our actions and policies in that regard are okay.

My real question I think is (for example) whether the female excecutive who makes it all the way to the top is as personally satisfied with that as is a man likely to be? I'm wondering about the happiness/satisfaction/sense of belonging quotient here.
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