If you spend any amount of time reading about social justice issues on or offline, I would be willing to bet cold hard cash that you’ve encountered the term “intersectionality.” People calling for more of it, calling for none of it, debating its existence, flopping around while shouting “BUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN??”
Maybe I’m alone on that last part?
The short answer is, intersectionality is “the oppression and discrimination resulting from the overlap of an individual’s various social identities:”
Before we dive in I want to make an important caveat. I am approaching this discussion from my own privilege as a middle-class American white woman. I am primarily speaking to other white women. Women of color don’t need me to explain intersectionality to them, they live it every day. I’m not an expert. I just firmly believe that it’s our responsibility to educate ourselves and not place that burden on our sisters of color, so I’m sharing the love.
Back in November, #thxbirthcontrol was trending all over social media. There were many stories about how birth control has treated women with health problems or helped them in other ways, and birth control was celebrated as a key factor for achieving gender equality.
As both a Catholic and feminist, I think it is unwise how much we praise birth control. First consider that NFP may actually be more effective at helping to achieve gender equality. Secondly, with regards to women’s health, birth control is often prescribed in place of providing better care to uncover the true source of health issues specific to women (and there are medical doctors who agree).
I liked being in control of my cycle.
I used birth control for about three and a half years. I started it because I didn’t want to get my period while I was on a huge backpacking trip where I would have very limited access to running water. I kept using it even though I wasn’t sexually active because I liked being in control of my cycle. Right after I got diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, I learned about some of the risks of birth control and stopped using it. Interestingly enough, my depression improved and my formerly low thyroid values became normal by my next check-up. That year, I started learning how to chart my fertility cycle as part of my marriage prep. Though NFP has been challenging at times, I am also incredibly grateful for this tool. Like those women who are thanking birth control, I want to share why NFP is important to me.
My mother booked an Airbnb for the 100th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun in Fatima, on October 13th, 2017, two years in advance. No matter where we would be, or what our circumstances might be like then, it was certain that we would be in Fatima to celebrate. When I say we, I mean that my mom called me to inform me that I’d be going with her.
I’m not sure what lies at the heart of my mother’s fondness for Fatima, except that she is a superfan of every Marian apparition and Mary herself. I was her first child, and when I was born she gave me the name Mary and, carrying me out of St. Mary’s hospital at a few days old, dedicated and entrusted me to Our Lady in front of a mural of her in the lobby. Growing up, she would take my brother and I to meet what seemed like everyone within driving distance who claimed to see visions of the Virgin Mary, from small apartments in Indianapolis to farms in Kentucky and supernatural light shows in Cincinnati. She helped arrange speaking engagements for visionaries and carted us to day-long conferences about apparitions. As a child, I was jealous of the visionaries, and always tried to pray, be a good girl, and squint hard at the sky, and always felt disappointed that I wasn’t chosen to see Our Lady.
Read the original question here.
Dear Starving But Wanting to Stay,
I have been there, too, and I hear you! Oh, have I been there.
We are a military family, and we move quite often. One of my biggest worries with each move is what our next parish will be like. We have lived in those tiny Southern towns with one Catholic parish, overseas with maybe one or two options in English, and — currently — in a diocese where questionable things going on in the liturgy is more commonplace than not.
So, let me share with you a few things that I have learned along the way.
Every homicide justified by self-defense has one thing in common: fear.
“I was alone.”
“I feared for my life.”
“I was afraid they would hurt my family.”
The person who shoots in self-defense — oftentimes, a police officer — warrants his actions by describing a genuine experience of fear, even when additional information reveals an unarmed victim, sometimes without criminal history or criminal intent. An innocent victim.
Far too many of us have been there.
You are walking in a park, or perhaps huffing and puffing and sweating while on a run, when someone crudely comments on your body or hits on you. Classic catcall.
Your may respond like:
Or if, like me, your feisty side takes over, you may be like
Campaigns against street harassment aren’t new. The scope of this global issue is such that Marlène Schiappa, the French junior minister for gender equality, recently spoke of a new law that, if passed, would impose fines for catcalling. A trendy topic among feminists, women and men are speaking out against catcalls and proposing different ways for how women can respond in the moment.
Which makes me wonder – as Catholic women, what might be our response?
On a scale of 1 to 10—with 1 being totally passive and 10 being absolutely active—where would you rank Mary’s performance in the Annunciation narrative? On the one hand, the angel takes the initiative, does most of the talking, and seems to decide when the encounter begins and ends. Mary didn’t come up with this plan, she doesn’t negotiate any of the terms, and something is done to her. Sure seems like sheer passivity. On the other hand, she does say “yes”, so maybe there’s some traces of activity here, though perhaps not as much as one would like.
In truth, no matter where you’d place Mary between 1 and 10, you’d be wrong. You’d be wrong because the light of Christian discipleship does not bend to that spectrum and Mary herself is the revelation of a Christian disciple in all her brilliance.
Is there passivity? Yes, and it’s total. Is there activity? Yes, and it’s total, too. Mary is a paradox because she embodies what we might call “willed-passivity” or “active-obedience”, which disposes her to harmony with divine freedom rather than what we otherwise want to see, which is something like “freedom” as autonomy, maybe even rebellion. But especially in the Gospel of Luke, the explicit definition of a disciple is the one “who hears the word of God and acts on it” (Luke 8:21; 11:28), and before Luke ever writes these words, he paints a portrait of the complete disciple in Jesus’s mother. Later he shows how the transformation into discipleship follows the pattern first established in her.
Mary is a paradox because she embodies what we might call “willed-passivity” or “active-obedience”, which disposes her to harmony with divine freedom rather than what we otherwise want to see, which is something like “freedom” as autonomy, maybe even rebellion.
How do we learn what true freedom is in Mary, the paradigmatic Christian disciple? By paying attention to how she listened and how she acted, focusing mostly on the Annunciation narrative.