Three 20-something women trying to figure out what it means to be lay, Catholic, and modern all at once.

April 4, 2009

A Response to Bra-Burning....

Thanks for your thoughtful, post, Edith!  May I just begin by saying how much I'm grateful for bras! :) 

I think your suspicion about the third wave of feminism's unintended contribution to the hook-up culture and our society's obsession with bodily perfection is dead-on.  Somehow our sex worked to "remove the shackles" of the home, of sexuality's natural consequences and its natural meaning (a move to "free us" from an outdated idea of womanhood) to a hyper-sexualization of women in which there is a new, limited idea of what a woman is (a sexual object).  [As a sidenote, I find the "short skirt" argument (that a woman should have the ability to wear short skirt and walk down the street without being subjected to whistles and stares) as pretty ridiculous.  If we reason things out, a short skirt reveals more legs, which are seen by men, and men are sexually excited by sight (whereas women are by touch).  It seriously boggles my mind...] 

I think there are three responses to this hyper-sexualization of women: 1) women from the third-wave who realize that we are now again enslaved to men's desires but somehow tricked into thinking that they are their desires for themselves; 2) the women who believe that they desire this physical perfection and sexual license; and 3) women like us who see the larger picture of how neither response is solving the very real problem of helping women to flourish in the face of adversity (which feminism is all about). 

I stand by my conviction that true freedom is freedom from within:  we need to strive to build a culture and a civilization in which each woman is free to choose what she recognizes her vocation to be, since Christian freedom is freedom to choose what we ought/what God desires for us, whether as stay-at-home mother, a professional, an academic, or a volunteer.  We have not succeeded in building this civilization, as evidenced by 1) the global subjugation of women and 2) the new enslavement to hyper-sexualization which prevents women from fulfilling their individual vocation and the universal vocation to humanize the world through our shared feminine genius.  

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