Feminism and the church

By Roman Auriti

We can look back with nostalgia to only a few decades ago when gender equity was a growing ideal. The proliferation of gender equality was a great success during the ’80s. In an age of technological advances, why not also advance social statuses as well?

According to the U.S. Department of Labour, approximately 70 per cent of women worked in the year 2000. This seems to be a very nice number, but further study reveals that there remains a lot of work to be done to finish the gender equality movement. In 2006, women made 78.7 cents per dollar that a man would make doing the same work. This is a decline from 79.4 cents in 2005.

This sounds like a step backwards for gender equality. The information that women’s wages have been decreasing forces the question: when is society going to wake up and see how we’ve been treating women?

A variety of answers become apparent after the question is asked and many of them only open doors to more questions.

How could this happen? Humans are driven creatures and should already have solved this problem. Perhaps the difficulty is that some aspects of humanity don’t want change.

Recently, the Vatican has decided to excommunicate a priest, who had been “faithful” for 36 years in the United States, because he chose to ordain a woman as a priest. Pope John Paul II stated in an apostolic letter in 1994 that because Jesus chose only male apostles, “the church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women.”

Let me point out how hypocritical the Roman Catholic Church is when advocating for equity while remaining anti-feminist. This obvious contradiction may be rooted in the problem that it has been entrenched in ancient ideals for over 2,000 years. This isn’t enough to excuse such sexist actions, though. It would be similar to saying that I won’t vote a black man into office because when I was young I was taught he has no place in such a position.

The strongest steps that must be taken to ensure equality among the genders would be to start with the traditions, like Catholicism, that have influenced our beliefs. Obviously, this would not be an easy accomplishment, but the mere idea of a woman priest would send waves throughout our society and, eventually, every aspect would follow suit.

Hopefully some day humanity will be able to wake up in the morning and not believe that, somehow, a women’s work is worth less than a man’s. Living in a world that depends on the two sexes co-operating, but where one sex subordinates the other, isn’t very appealing.

So consider this to be a gender revolution. Change isn’t going to come fast, but something has to give in order to set women equal to men.

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