If you’ve heard that being a feminist is anti-Catholic, think again.
In today’s world, being a Catholic can be controversial. Especially when it comes to women’s rights.
Feminism has a history of advocating for things that the Catholic Church contends with, whether it be outright support of abortion, or just the connotation that mothering isn’t valuable work.
So it’s not uncommon for a Catholic to cringe at the word “feminist.”
But in 1995, St. Pope John Paul II actually issued a call for women to rise up in the name of feminism – a call for a “new feminism.”
And if feminism is good enough for a Pope who’s also now a canonized saint, well, it’s good enough for me.
Here’s three good reasons Catholics should be proud to sport the (new) feminist label:
When I first read the “anti-diversity” memo from a (now former) Google employee, I just tweeted a little and wanted to move on. However, as a female in a STEM field, I’ve been feeling pulled to talk about it.
I was actually ⅔ of the way done writing a defense of the memo (while acknowledging some of the flaws), but it just didn’t feel like the right direction. There are plenty of arguments on both sides – either claiming it is a hugely sexist piece, or people praising him as a martyr for conservative thought – neither of which is really an accurate analysis.
I don’t want to talk about the pros and cons of his memo in this post (although we can certainly discuss it if you’d like). Instead, I want to discuss an aspect of the memo that triggered a lot of outrage: the idea that men and women are different.
Fertility Awareness isn’t just about pregnancy and women’s health; it’s about equality.
It’s Natural Family Planning Awareness week – which means you may see a lot of women promoting NFP because “my body isn’t broken,” “children are a gift,” and “cycles are part of being a woman.”
Maybe you agree with those things. Maybe you don’t.
If you’re a feminist, maybe it doesn’t matter; because those arguments are all missing the point.
I started this blog to help women like myself.
Women who may not have always felt like they fit within the Church, or fit the image of a “good Catholic woman.”
Women who have been attracted to feminism, but who want to know how to reconcile it with their Catholic faith.
Women who have a sense that the strength, power, and influence of women is untapped — both in the Church and in the world.
Are you bored of Catholic resources talking about the feminine genius
… but only in terms of women getting pregnant?
Are you frustrated with hearing people talk about chastity and NFP
…as if it’s blissful and full of frolicking fun?
Most people probably wouldn’t get so worked up over water bottles. But as a young feminist, when my grandma told me to let my younger brother carry the heavy case of Aquafina, I was livid. “Seriously?!” I thought, “why does she think I’m so dainty and weak?!”
Feminism was in my blood from the beginning, it seems. In Kindergarten when a boy tried to chase me around the playground, I ran for a bit and then stopped, paused, and confronted him. “Why are you chasing me?”
“Uh, I dunno…” he muttered.
“Well, I’M going to chase YOU then.”
I was never one to be mistaken for meek and mild.
1. The Catholic Feminist podcast
Hosted by millennial Claire Swinarski, this weekly podcast features strong Catholic women on topics ranging from refugees, to eating disorders, to women’s rights. It’s like having a coffee date with your new best friend who has all the best connections and insights. (She’s even interviewed Audrey Assad!) Be “inspired, informed, and intentional” and definitely hit ‘Subscribe’ on this one.
Don’t miss these episodes:
- How Women Can and Should Utilize Leadership Skills
- How To Talk About Politics On Social Media Without Losing Your Friends Or Your Soul
- How Catholics Should Respond to the Refugee Crisis
Find The Catholic Feminist Podcast on the website or iTunes.