To be honest, before then I had never even heard of Ms. Paglia (although, to be honest again, for someone who prefers the quiet of contemplation to the noise of the world, such “misses” are to be expected to some degree).
But as I was skimming through the recent entries on the blog formerly known as “What Does The Prayer Really Say?,” one post title caught my attention, mainly because it contained the words “must read” and “feminism.”
On Fr. Z’s blog?
This had to be good.
Yet it was not long until I found myself close to thinking that banging my head into a wall might be a more enjoyable experience than some of the words I was reading.
Although there were points that made sense, and were good to hear, I could see dangerous little lies lurking and peeking their ugly heads out from dark, hidden corners, and it was not a pleasant sight.
A click over to TIME took me to the full article, and there I was able to immerse myself in the vague shadow of everything that is wrong not only with feminism, but with a world gone mad that simply does not get the true value of both men and women.
Does anyone have a brown paper bag?
Where do I even begin?
The article was not even out of the gate so to speak, and the title itself had me ready to launch little alphabet bullets into virtual cyberspace air.
Something about those words just felt so…entirely…intrinsically…wrong.
Simply put, because such words reveal the unstable foundation, the fault-line if you will, upon which feminism, and much of our world’s errors regarding men and women, dangerously lay.
In one statement, Camille Paglia revealed a level of faulty feminist thinking that is based upon an atheistic, materialistic concept of the world – and thus, a very inaccurate one indeed.
But this is going to take some explaining, so hang in there.
Reclaiming the Foundation: Starting With the Basics
First, let’s get something straight: if we are going to wiggle our world out of the mess that feminism has created, we have to understand that it is not, fundamentally, a man’s world, or a woman’s world at that.
It is God’s world.
Yep, you got it.
We have to have faith…in God.
God made this world.
He sustains it, and it belongs to Him.
If feminists cannot come to see this, then they are going to remain stuck, spinning their wheels in faulty ideologies that will take them absolutely nowhere – except deeper into splattering, muddy confusion and two-wheel drive messes.
And FYI on the basics-of-creation mini-course, courtesy of moi: God, who made the earth, also created men and women.
He did this, like the book of Genesis says, to make them in His image: male and female.
This means that God has a masculine as well as a feminine side.
And both are sacred.
Both are holy.
Both are needed, for God is the Alpha and the Omega – the beginning and the end – the masculine and the feminine.
One is simply not better than the other.
So to make a statement like, “it is a man’s world,” is simply to flaunt error and bring ones thinking down to the level of the atheist – and that is a decision more shaky than a rickety wooden rollercoaster at an antique amusement park laden with hungry little termites.
No wonder feminists exist.
They actually believe these things.
Heck, if I believed that it was only a “man’s world,” as opposed to God’s world, I would probably go out and purchase myself a pair of PINK feminist combat boots myself – complete with diamond studded heels!
Ideas like that foster feminism, just like they foster error on every level.
But fortunately, as a Catholic, and a traditional one at that, I have truth to fall back on – which Ms. Paglia and many other feminists (as well as misinformed souls of many kinds) do not.
That truth tells me that since this world is God’s, and it belongs fundamentally and entirely to Him, it also belongs secondarily and through him to both the masculine and the feminine as reflected in His nature, for God contains both within Himself.
Yet that point becomes moot in our feminist authors world, because for her, being an atheist, the world that exists – the only world that “matters” – does not stem from an invisible glory on a higher plane, where it has been created by God with both masculine and feminine sides to His being.
Instead, her world originates from a purely physical, visible, tangible, non-mysterious (remember that for later – you will need it), social creation.
So she dumps the invisible, unseen, spiritual platform that looks beyond what is tangible, and builds her ideas across the visible void that is left, rather than stabilizing them on a deeper truth that could easily guide them – and her – straight out of feminism faster than she can type those 8 nasty little letters.
Talk about heading for trouble.
Building things on vacuums – even visible ones – is always writhe with danger (although it does take some incredible skill, so I will giver her kudos for that).
A Hollow World View
Since the only world that exists to Ms. Paglia is the concrete, social one, and things of a higher nature do not seem to matter, she has inevitably limited herself to a world view where it becomes impossible to see anything else but the obvious physical beings laboring to create the human systems and structures within which we all physically dwell.
- In other words, it makes sense that she can only see the world in term’s of belonging to men, because men are, visibly speaking, throughout history, the most “obviously” active.
Yes, women have made contributions, and great ones at that – but when we look at the most visibly predominant, obvious, in-your-face examples, they almost overwhelmingly tend to be men.
Camille Paglia has therefore trapped herself in her own erroneous foundation – and she will never be able to get out (save for a conversion to truth).
Her only answer, to such a materialistic belief system, is to be a feminist.
After all, it is really the only one that makes any sense.
From such a vantage point, atheist feminists do not really have much of a choice, do they?
In their limited perceptions, they do not live in God’s world, where both the masculine and the feminine inherently have an immensely valuable role, balancing one another and filling in where the other lacks, each in their own spectacularly unique way.
Such atheist feminists live in a purely physical world, where they judge everything based only upon what they can see – and what they see from that very low, stunted look-out tower is that men, being naturally larger and more visible in their roles, have the upper hand.
In other words, they can only see that it is a “man’s world” – and if they don’t choose the feminist path, they will “obviously” just be oppressed by these strong creatures who seem to rule the show.
And not just them, but their children will be oppressed.
And their children’s children will be oppressed…and they will always and forever be struggling against the one “truth” that they simply cannot shake:
- Men are more obviously stronger, men are more obviously powerful, men more clearly shape the world, and women are destined to only be second in this shallow reality if they do not stand up, fight back, and demand to be first.
I guess I feel sorry for such feminists like her in a way.
Because if she could look deeper than to the physical side of the world – if she could only reach to the mysterious side of God (there’s that word again – remember it for later) – she might actually just begin to understand her great dignity and glory as a woman, and see that this life is not all about what a man can visually do.
Fortunately, she is at least smart enough to appreciate men, even though she inevitably strives against them.
Without realizing it, she does have a small kernel of truth which could grow if she could learn to balance this truth with her own feminine one.
Her article makes that clear.
- She writes valiantly about her disdain for feminist women who share her same agenda, yet demonize and criminalize the men who stand in the way of their misguided paths.
- She bravely tips her feminist hat to the back-breaking, strenuous achievements of men throughout history, and even down to today.
That is, in my opinion, the good part – the part that could help to redeem her if she tried – and it is also the part that Fr. Z. liked, because yes, men have clearly done a lot for the world on the more public end of things, and it does not take a disillusioned feminist to see that in such a regard, it is a “man’s world.”
But only in such a regard.
The Feminine Mystique
In her article, Ms. Paglia did mention one phrase that caught me: “the feminine mystique.”
Of course she, like many others, completely does not get what that is, and equates it with feminine sexuality tantalizingly exposed, yet I cannot help but find it interesting that for a woman who has based her entire world view on the physical, and rejected the mysterious (there’s that word!) one of God (and therefore trapped herself into a belief that it is a “man’s world” which she must fight against), she somehow “gets” that there is a “mystery” – a “mystique” – to the feminine.
What else is mystery, but something unseen, hidden, and veiled to the naked eye?
Something beyond the physical, concrete, visible and atheistic world view?
Something bordering on the spiritual, if not becoming apart of the spiritual, if looked at in the correct light?
Now we are in my territory, Ms. Paglia, because this is what I “get.”
I understand it because this is what I am: a woman.
Not a feminist, but a woman.
And “mystique” – that is mine.
But such a mystique exists for a reason, and not a selfish, purely sexual one as many might imagine.
It exists because it has a role to play – a powerful, intrinsically important role that can only be understood if one first begins to truly comprehend the value of the masculine as expressed by God.
Not atheism, or materialism, or physical-only vantage points that look at the world from social viewpoints – but God.
Understanding the Masculine Leads to Understanding the Feminine
When I look across the physical world, I can see that certain elements belong to the masculine side of God (as I mentioned earlier in this post) in a unique way.
I have written extensively on this throughout my site, and so my ideas may only be entirely clear if one has read them in-depth.
But I will try to rephrase what I know, which truly began to take shape when I looked out across the physical universe – not with the lens of a limited, atheistic viewpoint, but that of one who sees through the reality of God.
The great earth, the heavy rocks, the strong planets, the volcanic activity, the infinite galaxies – all of these things, masculine in their primal nature, belong distinctively to that side of Him who Is.
Like men, of which their truth is a partial reflection of the one Highest Truth, these elements are more obvious, more abundant, more massive, more visible.
Their contributions are clear, primal, protective and forceful – nothing is hidden from sight.
It is easy to get stuck at this level, because the masculine so obviously “dominates” across the physical landscape, at many levels, from the raw creation of the universe to man himself.
But my world view does not stop there.
For if we concede that these fundamental, foundational elements belong to the masculine side of God, then we must also concede that they belong to the feminine too, but in a different way.
If the raw materials of the universe are the territory of the masculine, then they become the canvas for the feminine – and ultimately, her masterpiece, through the power of God.
This is the complexity of woman, for she is smaller than the male so that she can rest upon his greatness (just how nature rests upon the earth).
Yet in her state of “rest,” she is ever working, for she takes that great foundation and, like a woman pregnant with child, or nature growing a seed that stems from the basic elements of matter, she raises it and perfects it.
She brings it to fruition.
She therefore, in her littleness, claims not just one level, but two.
She is man, but she is man elevated upon man – for she is woman – and the word itself expresses her complex nature that must handle not only the basics that man provides her for the sake of bringing to fruition, completion, and perfection, but her own as well.
This is why women are often more complex, and more emotional, than a man.
We have to be.
The Noble Role of the Feminine
As I have written time and time again, in post after post after post (too many to link to here, but you can explore my site if you wish), the entire universe can rule and dominate in its strong masculine elements, but throughout billions and trillions of galaxies and planets, masculine in their primal form, only one would be pleasing to call home.
Only one has been graced with the gift, the rare treasure, of the feminine.
Only our simple earth, alone in the vast universe of raw masculinity, has evolved, been brought to fruition, and even lifted to a level of almost physical perfection.
Feminine nature, coloring the canvas of earth with its myriad of beautiful, lush creations, makes our planet the only one capable of sustaining life. (If you are not sure what I am referring to, read this post here.)
This, reflecting at the level of nature how the feminine side of God works, is also what we as women do.
We take the basics that the masculine provides, and like nature, we raise it.
We elevate it.
We perfect it.
We work on not one, but two levels – for we are women.
We turn that raw, forceful, yet sterile masculine canvas that is provided to us, into a masterpiece.
We paint color, life, beauty, inspiration, warmth, tenderness, and love across its strong surface – just as feminine nature graces the raw canvas of the rocky, masculine earth.
The masculine supplies the strong foundation that we lack – and in turn, we supply where it lacks.
And lets face it, neither of us would be much without the other.
The feminine could not get anything done without the masculine, because it would not have a foundation upon which it could stand.
And while the masculine might be able to “exist” without us, it would not be a very glorious existence on its own.
I don’t know anyone who wants to go live on Mars.
Even St. Paul admits that woman is a special gift for man, when he says that woman is the glory of the man.
She raises him higher.
And as a result, all comes to the Omega for the Alpha – the End to the Beginning, the Perfection to the Provided Foundation.
If it is a man’s world, then it is a woman’s masterpiece.
Is this not the highest “mystery” – the true feminine “mystique,” so often easily neglected and passed by?
It is smaller than all the rest, yet in its littleness it raises the grand masculine to a height that it could not do on its own, and vice versa.
Catholic Women versus Feminist Wymyn
And that is where I, Ms. Paglia, and all feminists part, across a great divide that can only be journeyed and traveled by faith.
Because as a Catholic woman, I understand my nature intrinsically.
I get that it was created to rest on the active masculine, but I do not need to fight my foundation, because I know that I am not the less for needing one.
On the contrary – I am able to reach higher because it is grander.
I perfect because it provides.
And most of all, I do this on that level that Ms. Paglia does not correctly understand (and yet recognizes in some faulty way) – the level of the feminine “mystique.”
Not sexually, not immodestly (although, when corrupted, those certainly can be apart of a warped mystique) – but the level of a woman who knows her value and worth.
The level of a child of Mary, who, though less visible, reached out through the heart and veins of the Church, through her “mystique,” and helped perfect it in a way that only a woman can.
On a level beyond the physical, yet contained in the physical all the same.
On a level that can only be understood when one comes to truly understand God, the greatest mystery there is, and knows that when one is weak, then they are strong.
What a mystery is a woman – that in such a form which even feminists fight and rail against, she holds in her hands the key to perfecting all of creation.
Her very being exudes the feminine – no matter how beautiful or plain she may be – and this feminine is precisely that mystique, which influences the world in ways that she is entirely unaware.
Because that is what the feminine was created to do – to not only raise, perfect, and bring to fruition, but to influence by sheer virtue of her “mysterious” nature.
So when I get dressed in the morning in my simple modest skirt, don my little white mantilla, and you see me (or others like me) sitting quietly in church, looking so small and insignificant, you might recoil.
But that is because you cannot see beyond the physical world to that of your own God-given mystery, your own God-given supernatural wonder, your own higher call – your true feminine “mystique” – and you will forever be lost without it, until you finally can.
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