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biblical women

    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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    Proverbs 31: Feminine or Feminist?

    Proverbs 31: Feminine or Feminist? -- FemCatholic.com

    The other day, I started another rant while my husband listened. (It’s ok. He’s used it.) As with most of my rants, this one fell under the broad category of “why can’t everyone live their lives as I think they should.” And, as with most of my rants, he responded to this one with an amused smile.

    This particular rant, however, took me in a direction I didn’t expect.

    It started out as a complaint about the pressure that some Catholic women feel to conform to some sort of imagined “ideal” of domesticity.

    Why do women feel that they must good homemakers to be good wives?

    Why is all of the pressure on women to be the nurturers?

    Doesn’t this ideal overlook the truth that not all women are good at cooking and cleaning? What about men? Shouldn’t they help out with the domestic duties?

    On and on I went until I unveiled my secret weapon: Proverbs 31. (Let’s pause here and agree not to talk about the fact that I used the Bible as a weapon…)

    “I get so frustrated by women who try to become ‘Proverbs 31’ women. I mean, is anyone really like that? This ideal is just setting women up to fail! And what women with jobs? Listen to this!”

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