The statement, written by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, argues that recent approaches to women’s issues are marked by a tendency “to emphasize strongly conditions of subordination in order to give rise to antagonism: women, in order to be themselves, must make themselves the adversaries of men.”
I wish I knew about these "recent appraoches." All I see are women lying down and letting the system run over them. Democratic women, for example, are content--once again--to allow two white males to represent them on a presidential ticket. They are content to let the Democratic Party machine not even address equal rights on a serious level. They permit the media and the advertising business to treat them in an insulting way that wasn't permitted as late as the 70's.
But hey, here's a news flash for the Vatican: When you emphasize "conditions of subordination," you do tend to give rise to antagonism. At least I hope you do. The problem isn't the emphasis on subordination--the problem is subordination. And if the antagonism isn't to be directed toward men, who in the hell is it to be directed toward?
In fairness, I should add that some antagonism needs to be directed toward women, who have accepted the gains they received from the Second Wave, while ignoring the rampant sexism that still exists in the culture. Of course, I am talking about the American culture, which obviously has less sexism than say, our close friends in Saudi Arabia.
My favorite line from the report about the vatican is "The document also took issue with a 'certain type of feminist rhetoric that 'makes demands for ourselves.'" Oh, no! People who are treated like garbage by the culture at large are making demands for themselves. How could they?! Why don't they shut up? Okay--they are raped, sexually assaulted (it can't be that bad; the governor of California does it), beaten up, paid less than men, kept out of venues where important financial decisions are made, denied child care, insulted for having traits that--in men--are considered virtues, and talked about in terms of their bodies and clothes, no matter what they are saying or contributing.
And that's just in America. In other cultures, they are stoned and beaten if they show their faces, talk to men who are not their husbands, or are raped. They are also denied voting rights, control over their own bodies, and education (it was just a few decades ago that this was true in America), and denied medical care.
But really, according to the Vatican, women need to get over it. How women (and men of conscience) can remain in the Catholic Church is a mystery to me, and not a holy one.