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Are men and women different? The Pope says so.

 
 
fortune
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Aug, 2004 09:34 am
At the time of writing this post I have only read the first two pages of this thread. I intended to read the whole lot before butting in but just couldn't resist (may be just my feminine nature lol).

Alrighty, yes men and women are different biologically. Aside from the differences of reproductive function, men have larger, denser muscles which cause them (mostly) to be better at activities which require physical strength and/or speed. Women seem to be better at multitasking and I read somewhere (can't remember the name of the book but it was a psychology text) that, on average, the speech centre of a human female's brain is larger than a male's.

Someone said that men are better at mathematics, that women just don't seem to be wired for it. I fell for that one too when I was younger. For most of my school career I avoided maths like the plague. Then in my last year I forced myself to take an interest in it just for the sake of a well rounded education. Turns out I should have been a methematician, the lowest score I got on a test was 98%. I coulda' kicked myself for not studying it earlier.

I shall have to go back and read some more before continuing this.
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fortune
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Aug, 2004 09:56 am
Okay, have read page four and would just like to say that while I may joke that I only want men to do what they're told, the truth is I can't stand a man who wont challenge me.

So much for millitant feminism.
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fortune
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Aug, 2004 10:13 am
JLNobody wrote:
Let me expand on my earlier point. It has been indicated by many here that while sex is real, gender (in the sense of sex roles and identities) is artificial. I agree. Only women can bear breast feed infants, but beyond that human kind is very plastic. Roles are cultural inventions, and as anthropologists have observed, so-called male roles can be effectively performed by females and vice versa. It just happens that many societies wish to absolutize roles, defining them as scriptural mandates and/or natural imperatives. Most of that is cultural bullshit. The human animal cannot do without cultures, and throughout mankind's past "traditionalism" has provided societies with a much valued and necessary stability. But today most of us in the western post-industrial world should know better. We have reached a point where most of us can take more control of our lives and reexamine our "traditions", keeping some and replacing others in keeping with new values, new notions of justice and freedom. In this case gender justice and freedom.


Well said.
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fortune
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Aug, 2004 10:37 am
Okay, finished reading.

sozobe, I have to agree with you about the issue of child-rearing. It should be easier for both sexes to be comfortable (in any sense of the word you happen to choose) in the role of stay-at-home parent.

As for whether physical differences make a difference in the type of occupation a person is suited for, if you want to be a labourer then you're probably going to want to be as strong as possible. Further than that I can't think of a situation where gender would make a hell of a lot of difference right now. A long-term career woman looking back on her life may regret not having a family, but then so might a man. Loneliness is loneliness wherever you find it.

Do female hormones cause women to want to nest? Damn straight they do! Any woman who says she's never had a day when she just felt clucky for no apparent reason is probably lacking in eostrogen. Ditto for feeling irritable. Does that make a smidge of difference in a womans suitablility for a career? Not a microbe. Just like men being horny bastards doesn't rule out the possibility of them working alongside women (or comporting themselves with decorum, believe it or not).

No, I haven't read the letter, simply because I'm too damn lazy to read something which isn't going to say anything I haven't heard before. (I also don't think that women should be excluded from the priesthood, but then I don't think that priests should be celebate either)
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bromeliad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Aug, 2004 12:50 pm
Setanta wrote:
the power of the church leaders to influence attitudes ought not to be underestimated.


How much influence does the RC Church have these days in the US? In other parts of the world? My impression was that the RC Church was losing relevance, fast -at least in the US. I'd also heard that protestant denominations had won a lot of converts in Central & South America (How much is 'a lot' I don't know).
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Aug, 2004 12:52 pm
With a billion and a half nominal adherents, even a few percentage points of that number represent tens of millions of people.
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Foxfyre
 
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Reply Mon 2 Aug, 2004 01:04 pm
On the other hand, maybe half my friends and local relatives are Roman Catholic. And I don't know a single one of them that agrees with every dictate of the Church or obeys every dictate.

I honestly think the American Catholic Church will break with Rome during my lifetime.
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fortune
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Aug, 2004 01:36 pm
Not again! It's ridiculous enough as it is!!
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fortune
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Aug, 2004 01:37 pm
Every time someone thinks they have a new (or better) slant on things they go and try to make up a new church. Bah! I say.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Aug, 2004 05:08 pm
The (once-upon-a-time Catholic) newspaper de Volkskrant today had this on the Pope's message (apologies for mistakes in my translation to English):

Quote:
Vatican: Feminism danger for family

Feminism's struggle for power and equality of the sexes undermines the family and creates a climate in which marriages between people of the same sex are seen as acceptable. This is stated in a writing of the Vatican that was published Saturday. The writing has been received by women both with anger and hilarity.

[..] the Vatican submits that women have to be respected and that they must have the same rights as men on the workfloor, but that the differences between the sexes need to be acknowledged and praised. [..]

The R.C. Church fiercely rejects what it sees as the feminist inclination to explain the difference between man and woman mostly historically and culturally and reduce the biological differences to a minimum.

The document repeatedly comes back to the biological specificity of women. The woman "possesses a deeply-rooted intuition that the best in her life consists of devoting oneself to the well-being of the other, to his growth, to his protection. This intuition is connected to her physical capacity to create life'.

Frances Kissling of the American 'Catholics for a Free Choice' for a moment thought to have been transported to the sixties: 'I thought Archie Bunker had become advisor of the Pope' [..]

Former European Commisioner Emma Bonino feels the document could just as easily have been written by a conservative Imam.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Aug, 2004 05:15 pm
I must admit the Kissling and Bonino quotes intrigued me ... here's a Toronto Star article that has both of 'em in an English that wasn't massacred by successive translations ('twas a Reuters item, apparently. Do hope it wasnt already posted.)

Quote:
Vatican document angers, amuses women
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Aug, 2004 08:09 pm
I think Pullella must not have read the letter Nimh. To anyone readin git objectively, there are sections to quarrel with for sure, but the bulk of it reads like a Feminist Manifesto.
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Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Aug, 2004 10:06 pm
I read your excerpt
Foxfyre wrote:
I think Pullella must not have read the letter Nimh. To anyone readin git objectively, there are sections to quarrel with for sure, but the bulk of it reads like a Feminist Manifesto.


Foxfyre: I read the excerpt you provided. I read it objectively. Did you? If you had, you would see that the Church is merely giving women one-step up from the cellar.....but there are at least a thousand steps yet to go. That one-step may be an improvement, but it is not a "Feminist Manifesto." Nice spin, but I'm not biting.
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Aug, 2004 12:26 am
With great personal conviction, Ms. Law wrote:
... the Church is merely giving women one-step up from the cellar ...


Have you read The Letter itself yet, Debra? Even on dialup its a brief download (less than 50 Kb), and the reading of it shouldn't take more than a few minutes ... 5 or 6 minutes at most, I figure; its roughly equivilant in length to a couple pages of a typical A2K thread. If you haven't read it, give it a shot; you might be surprised. If you have read it, and can defend your criticism as quoted above, of its message, I'll be surprised.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Aug, 2004 12:31 am
timberlandko wrote:
If you have read it, and can defend your criticism as quoted above, of its message, I'll be surprised.


I've read it (both, in English and German - it's really the same :wink: ), and join our Catholic women organisations: it's a "worrying step back to a religious fundamentalism".
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Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Aug, 2004 12:57 am
Very generous
timberlandko wrote:
With great personal conviction, Ms. Law wrote:
... the Church is merely giving women one-step up from the cellar ...


Have you read The Letter itself yet, Debra? Even on dialup its a brief download (less than 50 Kb), and the reading of it shouldn't take more than a few minutes ... 5 or 6 minutes at most, I figure; its roughly equivilant in length to a couple pages of a typical A2K thread. If you haven't read it, give it a shot; you might be surprised. If you have read it, and can defend your criticism as quoted above, of its message, I'll be surprised.


I read the excerpts provided by Foxfyre and I'm sure she examined the entire Letter and gleaned the most useful tidbits to support her position that it reads like a "feminist manifesto." Foxfyre posted her gleaning on this thread.

I was being extremely generous when I said the Church was giving women a step up from the cellar. That simply means they applied new gift wrapping to adorn their old rhetoric. I was truly impressed with the Church's position that women who choose to work ought to be provided with "appropriate work schedules" so they won't be stressed in fullfilling their feminine role necessary for family harmony.

I'm surprised that you thought I might be surprised by what the Letter said, but I'm not surprised at all because my reading comprehension is quite sufficient and I'm surprised that you would be surprised if I could interpret the fancy double-talking semantics to defend my criticism much to your surprise. Whatever. Smile

Why don't you surprise me with a paragraph from that letter that proves my criticism is unwarranted. If you can do that, I just might be surprised! Smile
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Aug, 2004 11:54 am
Cool. While I find it amusing you seem to feel it unnescessary to go to the source - telling, really - Here ya go:

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".


Go ahead and take that apart line-by-line and demolish its points.
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Aug, 2004 12:19 pm
Well I can't speak for Debra's point of view, but the most militant sisters of my time would say that it fails as supporting women because it doesn't make men chauvenistic scum and it doesn't relagate full time home making to second class status and failure to live up to one's potential.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Aug, 2004 12:23 pm
timberlandko: Why would anyone want to read the original document when we can all rely on "gleanings" posted by a fellow board member? Really, I think you're asking too much of us.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Aug, 2004 12:34 pm
Although i have no connection whatever with M. de Chauvin, i proudly hail myself as scum, and only wish i could succeed in chaining my Sweetiepie to the stove.

That creates a problem, however, as i cannot enjoy the scurrilous lifestyle i so devoutly desire if Sweetiepie does not go out and earn a paycheck.
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