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.
the power of the church leaders to influence attitudes ought not to be underestimated.
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.
Vatican document angers, amuses women
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.
... the Church is merely giving women one-step up from the cellar ...
If you have read it, and can defend your criticism as quoted above, of its message, I'll be surprised.
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.
... 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".