You might be a feminist if you think Our Lady has no will or voice of her own. OSV News photo/Gretchen Crowe

Sr. Burns’ curative for 18 signs of feminism

  • May 9, 2024

We’ve often heard that someone “read their way into the Catholic Church,” but have we ever considered that we can read our way out of something negative? I can attest to the possibility, because I basically read my way out of decades-long radical feminism.

Along with reading books, I benefitted greatly from listening to talks, watching videos, attending a breadth of conferences/courses and undertaking studies and research. But it wasn’t easy, and no isolated volume answered all my questions satisfactorily. It was a long slog, but the truth was definitely out there, elucidated by both women and men.

Recently, a podcaster from Alberta who entering the Catholic Church from Evangelicalism with his wife asked if I had recomended resources for those who have bought into the tenets of radical feminism. His wife was beginning to perceive the dissonance between the Church’s teachings on women and what she imbibed from the culture. I began to create a small list for him, then got carried away, remembering the many videos, Church documents, testimonies, women’s writings, etc., that shed so much light on my own quest. I wound up with a substantial bibliography (with my added, personalized notes).

Just when I thought my work was done, I realized that many may not be aware that radical feminism is their malaise, the source of their disquietude, “the problem that has no name,” to repurpose Betty Friedan’s phrase. I created a list of assumptions, symptoms and signs that will unmask that one has bought into radical feminism, perhaps unwittingly. (The roster applies to both sexes in most of its items.) I came up with approximately 18 beliefs and attitudes that can be ascribed directly to the ideology. To my horror, I discovered that in my radical feminist days I had wholeheartedly given my credence to all but 15 of them.

Much of what “women’s libbers” worked for in the 1960s and ’70s has been achieved, but the women who most embrace these “achievements” today are also the women who report the most depression. There must be a connection.

Therefore, you might be a radical feminist if…

1. You are seething below the surface, believing women have been given a rotten deal or dealt a bad hand. You are not at peace with yourself, with men, with the world, and certainly not with God the Creator.

2.You believe most men are misogynists.

3.You believe Western society, formed by Christianity, was structured to oppress women.

4. You believe men and women are basically identical except for a few reproductive body parts.

5. You don’t believe there are healthy, organic gender roles in harmony with biology, spirituality, sociology.

6. You think Our Lady is unrelatable, a shrinking violet with no will or voice of her own.

7. You think the Catholic Church wants women to be doormats, barefoot and pregnant, to sit down and shut up.

8. You think the Bible is outdated and sexist because it is written solely by men — and is not the timeless, divinely-inspired Word of God.

9. You think that stay-at-home Moms are wasting their education, not living up to their full potential, not contributing to society.

10. You think women’s experience of having sex is basically the same as that of men’s.

11. You think that as long as women freely choose to participate in what would otherwise be their own degradation, it’s actually empowerment (promiscuity, pornography, etc.).

12. You think that if something is different from something else, one must automatically be oppressing the other.

13. You believe that contraception is liberation.

14. You believe that abortion is sometimes the right and even loving thing to do.

15. You believe it’s OK for the woman to be the head of the house in a marriage.

16. You think female biology has nothing to tell women about who they are.

17. You believe it’s unfair that women are the ones who experience monthly cycles, get pregnant, go through the pain and peril of childbirth, nurse and nurture little ones.

18. You think that women should not be humble, gracious and willing to serve others because they will not be taken seriously or valued.

Read the reality at Let us also pray to Jesus and Mary for the healing of our minds, wills, hearts and physiology!

(Sr. Helena Raphael Burns, fsp, is a Daughter of St. Paul. She holds a Masters in Media Literacy Education and studied screenwriting at UCLA.  Twitter: @srhelenaburns #medianuns)

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