Maureen Dowd writes:
I thought the struggle for egalitarianism was a cinch, so I could leave it to my earnest sisters in black turtlenecks and Birkenstocks. I figured there was plenty of time for me to get serious later, that America would always be full of passionate and full-throated debate about the big stuff – social issues, sexual equality, civil rights. Little did I realize that the feminist revolution would have the unexpected consequence of intensifying the confusion between the sexes, leaving women in a tangle of dependence and independence as they entered the 21st century.
Well people can debate as to whether this was really an unexpected consequence. She later asks: "So was the feminist movement some sort of cruel hoax?"
The Anchoress nails the reply.
Hey, I think she’s catching on!
Yes, Maureen, the feminist movement, which seemed to be all about “celebrating women” and “slamming (or feminizing) men” was in actuality all about devaluing traditional femininity, completely ignoring the peculiar genius of the feminine, and over-valuing male standards to such a degree that some women have recently begun to declare they needed “wives” to help them run their lives sensibly. It was a giant hoax that compelled you and many of your sisters to believe that sex could be casual and abortions could be, too (I don’t know anyone that served except caddish men and abortionists and psychiatrists) – that children didn’t really need their mothers, and hell, women didn’t really need children, either.
We must learn again and again the human capacity for pottage. The ability to accept something much less than truth and then find ourselves shocked that we are still hungry later. Then-Cardinal Ratzinger previously wrote in Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the collaboration of men and women in the Church and in the world.
Above all, the fact that human beings are persons needs to be underscored: “Man is a person, man and woman equally so, since both were created in the image and likeness of the personal God”.10 Their equal dignity as persons is realized as physical, psychological and ontological complementarity, giving rise to a harmonious relationship of “uni-duality”, which only sin and “the structures of sin” inscribed in culture render potentially conflictual. The biblical vision of the human person suggests that problems related to sexual difference, whether on the public or private level, should be addressed by a relational approach and not by competition or retaliation.
Furthermore, the importance and the meaning of sexual difference, as a reality deeply inscribed in man and woman, needs to be noted. “Sexuality characterizes man and woman not only on the physical level, but also on the psychological and spiritual, making its mark on each of their expressions”.11 It cannot be reduced to a pure and insignificant biological fact, but rather “is a fundamental component of personality, one of its modes of being, of manifestation, of communicating with others, of feeling, of expressing and of living human love”.12 This capacity to love – reflection and image of God who is Love – is disclosed in the spousal character of the body, in which the masculinity or femininity of the person is expressed.
The human dimension of sexuality is inseparable from the theological dimension. The human creature, in its unity of soul and body, is characterized therefore, from the very beginning, by the relationship with the other-beyond-the-self. This relationship is presented as still good and yet, at the same time, changed. It is good from its original goodness, declared by God from the first moment of creation. It has been changed however by the disharmony between God and humanity introduced by sin. This alteration does not correspond to the initial plan of God for man and woman, nor to the truth of the relationship between the sexes. It follows then that the relationship is good, but wounded and in need of healing.