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    Modern Catholic Women

    Being a feminist is being the woman God made you to be

    BEING A FEMINIST IS BEING THE WOMAN GOD MADE YOU TO BE - FemCatholic.com

    Type “feminist” into Google Images. Who do you see? My search resulted in a lot of pants-wearing, short-haired, women flexing their muscles or wearing a t-shirt with some feminist slogan on it and looking tough.

    What is most striking about this woman? She is not what society would consider “feminine”—she is not gentle, she does not have shiny hair blowing in the breeze, and she is definitely not wearing a sundress.

    Why is the representation of feminist so…specific?

    It’s fair to say that a lot of women who are attracted to the feminist movement are attracted exactly because they are tired of society’s definition of “feminine.” They aren’t satisfied staying at home with their kids, they would rather be out playing football than cooking the Thanksgiving dinner, and they find men more relatable than many women.

    But, what about the women who genuinely enjoy baking? Or like taking that time in the morning to curl their hair? Or would much rather stay at home with their children than work a nine to five? And what about all those women (most of us, I imagine) who fall somewhere in between? Where do we fit in the feminist movement?

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    When Women Have Power: A Spotlight on Fast Fashion (cont.)

    When Women have Power: A Spotlight on Fast Fashion (cont.) -- FemCatholic.com

    But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth.” -1 John 3:17-18

    In my last post, I shared my thoughts on my role as a consumer, especially in regards to my choices in clothing and in view of the human rights abuses in the fashion industry.

    We as women hold enormous purchasing power and influence amongst our families and friends.  Who does most of the shopping for clothes, shoes, and accessories?  We do!  We outfit ourselves, our children, and sometimes even our significant others.

    We can use this collective influence to do manifold good for the oft-destitute women who make our clothing.

    We can use this collective influence to do manifold good.

    But how?  

    The global fashion industry is vast, and the players are many.

    I will briefly outline a few of the complexities, but I offer the caveat that I claim no expertise here.  I’m just a concerned Catholic on a mission to figure out how to shop for my family without supporting an industry that exploits other families.  

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    Modern Catholic Women

    Surviving the Waiting Season: 6 Stories that will help

    Surviving the Waiting Season: 6 Stories by Catholic Women that will help -- FemCatholic.com

    1) Waiting on a job change

    My season of waiting started at the beginning of this year. My company was struggling financially. We started seeing some changes: cuts in benefits, attrition, spending freezes.

    I began praying to God asking what I should do. He told me to wait until the fall.

    At first, it was easy to wait: I enjoy my job, love my company, and have a fantastic manager. As the year progressed and worse announcements were made, doubt grew and I started looking for new jobs.

    Though logically, seeking a new job seemed like the right choice, I felt uneasy. It went beyond dissatisfaction with the available jobs or frustration when I was outright rejected for jobs I was qualified for; something was unsettling me.

    After (finally) really listening to God, I realized I just needed to trust Him and wait. I stopped applying for jobs and turned down interviews. The logical part of me was panicking, but I knew this was the right thing to do.

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    Mary

    How a Feminist Poem Changed the Way I Understand Advent

    How a Feminist Poem Changed the way I understand Advent -- FemCatholic.com

    This is a post about Advent, about Mary, and about how the beauty of language can change what we think we know.

    But before I get into it, there are few things you need to know about me:

    1) I’m an English professor, and for most of my college and professional life, I kept that pretty separate from my faith life. It’s not that I thought my career and my faith were inconsistent with each other – just that there didn’t seem to be much overlap. I remember a conversation I had with a friend who is a theology professor in which I expressed jealousy that his work with students could potentially aid in their salvation. I feared that there was a lack of significance in my own work.

    As I grew more in both my faith and my career, however, I started to see overlap. I began to notice how great literature, even literature that is not explicitly religious, almost always contains aspects of truth, beauty, and goodness, and I started to notice the prevalence of stories of redemption and grace, even in the work of authors who seemed anti-religious in their work. I started to think about how the beauty of art can’t help but lead us to God.

    the beauty of art can’t help but lead us to God.

     I’ve had a less-than-enthusiastic relationship with Mary for most of my faith life. For a long, long time, I just couldn’t get into the passive, meek, mild woman I understood her to be. I couldn’t get excited about the rosary and couldn’t get past my sense that only old, conservative, traditional Catholics could connect with her.

    3) I’m kind of an Advent junkie. Whenever people ask me what my favorite season or holiday is, I say something nice and expected, like Autumn or Easter or Thanksgiving. But, secretly, it’s Advent all the way. I love the quiet expectation, the stepping back, the way the dimmer lights and quieter music reflect the shorter days and hibernation of winter. I love the wreath and the candles and “O come, O come, Emmanuel.”

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    Books, Modern Catholic Women

    7 Boss Catholic Women Biographies That Will Inspire You

    7 Boss Catholic Women Biographies that will Inspire You -- FemCatholic.com

    1. Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader’s Eye-Opening Journey across the Life Line

    If you’ve already heard of her, Abby Johnson’s story can sound almost like a fairy-tale conversion: Pro-choice  Abortion clinic worker becomes a Catholic Pro-Life Leader. Classic. But that story didn’t happen overnight; it unfolded moment by moment, in Abby’s very real, very human life. Unplanned takes you along for the ride, through the tension, the uncertainty, and the encounters that in hindsight, form a cohesive story, much like many of our own lives.

    If you’re Pro-Life, a Feminist, or both – this book is one you need to read.

    You can get the book here.

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    Modern Catholic Women

    The Surprisingly Catholic Feminism of Wonder Woman

    The Surprisingly Catholic Feminism of Wonder Woman -- FemCatholic.com

    Warning: Some Wonder Woman movie spoilers below.

    I know I’m a bit late to the game. A lot of the hype around Wonder Woman seems to have died down. But the mark of a good story is that it endures. It’s not just fun and new, but it’s also compelling because it speaks truths to us. It draws you back again and again, and it’s always relevant.

    Just a little background and recap before I dive right in: Diana, princess and warrior of the Amazon women, has been training (and dreaming) for the day when she would fight Ares, the god of war. Ares has made it his mission to corrupt mankind, sowing discord and hatred. One day, an American soldier named Steve Trevor essentially crashlands off the coast of her home, bringing news of the Great War (World War I) that has been raging for the past several years. Diana realizes that this Great War must be the work of Ares, and she sets off with Steve, intent on defeating Ares once and for all.

    Now, Diana has been raised by women her whole life. Not only that, she had never even met a man until Steve shows up. So when he brings her to London, to the war, it’s quite a culture shock for her – and not just because the clothing is different, or because she’s never tried ice cream before, or because people don’t carry swords. She is thrown into a society that is dominated by men. Dominated politically, yes, but in so many other subtle ways that even the most self-aware feminists are still trying to discern.

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    Mary

    The feminine strength of Mary, Mother of God

    Hail Mary, Badass Woman -- FemCatholic.comHail Mary, Badass Woman -- FemCatholic.com

    Confession time: Marian devotion has never come especially easy for me. I fall asleep during the Rosary and get the feast days mixed up.  It’s not that I don’t love our sweet Mama. I just find it hard to relate to her. None of the women in my family really reflect the meek and mild Marian ideal of popular devotions, hymns and literature. Instead, I come from a long line of farmers and teachers: Holy women, no doubt, but less “gentle Mother, peaceful dove” and more “mother butchering chickens in the yard.” We drive tractors, play softball, drink beer, read books, and rule over countless classrooms and tiny houses full of wild children. Of one of my pioneer ancestors, it was said: “She rode a horse well, could yoke and handle a double team of oxen … and could swing a two-bitted axe with telling effect … she is said to have helped her dogs drag down a deer.”

    Even so, this past October, the Month of the Holy Rosary, I resolved to pray the Rosary more often. Daily, if I could manage it. I wasn’t even looking forward to it. It’s just something I was convicted to do for my own good, like eating more vegetables or going to bed at a decent time. But it took only three days of reciting Mysteries before I was smacked over the head with a whopping dose of grace and an important spiritual insight.

    The Blessed Mother was tough.

    Meek, but mighty.

    Feminine and formidable.

    In short, a badass.

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