So yesterday I had an interesting experience. I was watching the news in the morning about the Pope resigning. I decided to some research about likely successors. It was interesting. Yada yada.
On a whim I posted on Facebook that I was researching successors, and added that my only disappointment was that they were all men. When I was researching I hadn’t even thought about it, it was just something that came into my head when I posted. And really, it isn’t that I don’t believe that women should be priests or popes, I just wasn’t being thoughtful when I made that post. Still, it was a harmless status update. Or so I thought.
Later in the day I had a few minutes to spare and checked my blog reader. I found a post by someone who is supposed to be my friend (although after reading the post I think I am more along the lines of a person who is friends with people I am friends with – friend by association?) We went to college together (a catholic, women’s college founded by some of the strongest women I know).
The post that I read was a response to my facebook post. It did not address me in particular, but it was posted 30 minutes after my post and although I might not have been the only person who caused this person to be so angry, I was definitely included in it.
It went on to say that women who are supposed to be catholic and well-educated should grow up. That I obviously wanted a penis because I believed women should be able to hold roles of leadership in the church. It said that women who want equality should just shut up because it will never happen. It said that women and men are not equal. It said that I must be teaching my daughter that femininity is wrong and that she should want to be a man. (Please know these things did not have my particular name associated with them, but were obvious statements about me and all of her other crazy feminist friends.)
This is crazy talk, I know. This is attacking another person for their beliefs. If someone has a different opinion than you it is perfectly OK to share your opinion and why you believe it. But to respond with attacks about that person that are so stupid and unfounded is ridiculous. It is not Christ-like. It is ignorant, mean, and uncaring. I am very certain most people associated with the catholic church would not want their name attached to the statements that this person made, even if they do support the church’s reasoning for women not allowed to be part of the clergy.
And to actually believe that a woman who supports a greater level of equality in the patriarchy of the catholic church must want a penis. Really? You can’t recognize that a woman can be a great leader and strong while still being feminine? It is 2013. I work full-time, raise two kids, keep a household, go to school, and still give time to my church and family. I am a strong woman. I love being a woman. I would never want anything else. I don’t need other people dragging me down because of their fears or ignorance.
And I do not take back what I said about women in the church. I believe if the catholic church wants to grow in the future that it needs to change. I might be a voice crying out in the darkness and changes might scare people. No worthy change was ever made without struggle and sacrifice.
As a first round of response I messaged the person directly and explained how I felt she should respond directly rather than writing disparaging things about people on her blog. Her response was that it was her blog and she could write whatever she wanted on it. I then responded that of course she can, but that not responding directly but posting on a venue separate was cowardice. And that attacking people because they believed different than you is not Christ-like.
OK – I shared my point of view, now on to the million things I need to do today.