Posts Tagged 'gender'

More Reblogging

Yep, two more reblogs that have to do with girls and consumer culture.  Plus expectations we have for girls and women.

The first deals with Disney and how those shows are influencing girls to be cruel, bullies, and buy into a sexist, demeaning stereotype that girls only want to be seen as pretty and that success relies on physical beauty. 

For me, growing up, Disney was mostly movies.  They didn’t have TV shows and a channel until I was in high school.  And it was largely repeats (nothing really original) and showing their movies constantly.  But then I grew up mainly watching crime shows and 70s and 80s comedies, such as Bob Newhart and M*A*S*H and The Commish.  Really dating,myself, I know.  Disney was still Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck plus Aladdin and Lion King.  Like I said, movies.

The only kid shows I remember were Wallace and Ladmo which was specific to Phoenix and really awesome and of course Sesame Street.  I also remember watching Nickelodeon with such shows as Hey Dude!, You Can’t Do That On Television, and Salute Your Shorts.  I remember cartoons such as Garfield and Friends, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, G.I.Joe, and others I can’t remember.  But I knew they were fake and not real.

Even if I did want to be the female version of MacGyver.  Yes, watched that show too, especially since brains and duct tape rules the day instead of guns. 

I remember from about second grade onward wanting to be known for being smart.  All, at least most of, my classmates wanted to be smart.  While unfortunately by third grade most of those girls thought boys had cooties (I never did; my friends were all boys at this point), they didn’t give up wanting to be smart.  They didn’t need boys to figure out if they were smart or not.  That was something they could figure out on their own.

I never lost that desire to be considered smart, genius even, though it was challenged and squashed more and more as I grew older and didn’t perform to my mother’s excessively unreasonable expectations.  But I didn’t pick this up from watching TV. 

So now we have a generation of programming that says girls shouldn’t be smart or kind or helpful.  Girls are to be vapid, vain, cruel, and mean.  They should wait around to be rescued, not rescue themselves.  And girls are picking this up and reinforcing it in their sisters and friends through shaming and through social media.

When I was kid and even in my teen years, computers were around, I grew up with them but they weren’t the center of my life.  They were in one room and largely used to type up essays and maybe a little research on the Web.  But that was it.  TV was limited as well but more through lack of channels and variety than anything else.  And I watched a lot of TV growing up.  I mainly watched crime shows and sci-fi with the occasional cartoon (yes, I watched Pokemon and Digimon in high school but mainly because it was cute and cheesy).  Cell phones were big and expensive.  Kids still played outside, for the most part.

To put this in perspective, I graduated high school in 2000 and had my first college degree in 2004.  While I used email and the Web, I sill did a lot of communicating in person.  Social media like Facebook and Twitter didn’t exist.  MySpace was lame and blogging was just taking off.  Most often interactions and those of my peers were face to face.  If we needed to call about being late or wanting to know something, we used a landline or left a note.  Texting didn’t kick off until I was back from Belfast and that was 2003. 

So communication and how and means have changed.  Cyber bullying is on the rise which isn’t monitored as much and is not as well understood as, what I call, in person bullying.  Girls learn bad behavior from TV because they see it, the actresses they admire “are doing it”, and the line between fantasy and reality is so blurred with all the social media they are bombarded with that they bully in person and then go online and bully more.  They also are able to shame someone with a larger effect.  Calling a girl a name in person, then going on Facebook and Twitter and posting about that girl you just name called, other girls read those posts, engage in name calling, and the vicious cycle grows.  It doesn’t help that put downs and verbal abuse have become de riguer, especially with Simon Cowell popularizing it on American Idol. 

Basically, being rude is considered acceptable behavior.   And that talent and ability don’t really matter as long as a girl is pretty and popular.  So Disney and other shows and networks are sending damaging messages to out girls and getting away with it because it’s “entertainment.”

I thankfully.don’t have to watch their garbage because for one, I don’t have a working TV, and two, it’s on cable which I won’t pay for.  So I live without TV.  Besides, I’ve had the serious misfortune of having to sit through episodes of Hannah Montana and other shores while babysitting.  I would label them cruel and unusual punishment and should be banned under the Eighth Amendment.  There was little acting and definitely no talent.

The second reblog is about the lack of diversity in female protagonists in Young Adult fiction, especially in dystopian literature.  Heck, I never read much YA fiction growing up.  I found adult fiction much better. 

Female protagonists in fiction overall, I think are lacking.  Sci-fi and fantasy tend to do better, largely I think because they are about pushing boundaries and they take place in worlds and universes that are not Earth.  So there’s more freedom there.  While there are more women, stereotypes are still at play.

Hair color, as mentioned in the post, plays a huge role, as does skin color.  White girls with brown hair are the heroine of choice.  Red heads are considered too hotheaded and blondes are too pretty.  And we all know white is superior to any other ethnicity.  And these are all stupid stereotypes that hurt girls.

Then you get publishers who whitewash their covers to make characters, well, white.  Because, unfortunately, white sells and it’s that stupid ideology of white being superior.  Though considering publishers are in it for the money, this isn’t surprising. 

And yet, thankfully, women and girls are protagonists in stories where they get to save the world.  Instead of just standing around and waiting to be rescued. Or waiting till some good looking guy shows up and she can finally get married (cause that’s girls are good for: being a trophy spouse) because romantic relationships solve everything. *rolls eyes* So there is hope but there is also much, much room for improvement. 

Who Run the [Dystopian] World? [White] Girls

Be Young & Shut Up

Sharyl Sandberg was right, y’all. In the future, we’re all gonna lean in, and when the world goes to shit, it’s the white ladies that come out on top. A study that shows boys’ numbers lagging behind girls’ in reading might explain the reason for women having to constantly take up the mantle around all these inept future-dudes. But it might better explain the new demographic for the YA (young adult) dystopian novel, which is popularly read by girls and young women. This is neat, considering the sci-fi canon is often thought to belong to male authors and narratives about men, but YA has cornered its niche market by creating tons of female characters for young readers to see themselves reflected in. And even though it’ll take a miracle to get YA to be taken seriously, it’s still a step in the right direction.

But not so fast, have you…

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Disney is Ruining My Kid.

IndeedIAm

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Disney has been ruining my kid…. a job I can do quite well on my own, thank you.

 I know, it sounds drastic.  Don’t worry, I am not going to launch into a ridiculous diatribe about how Frozen has a hidden gay agenda (huge eye roll) or is turning my girls in to glittery, sparkly princesses who need a prince to save them, (we are over that stage, thank god) or that Miley Cyrus grew up and dared to climb out of her Hannah Montana box.

In the interest of being a pretty laid back mom,  who fights against my extremely conservative upbringing, I have tried to adopt a more moderate view of the world and it’s evils.  With my girls, I am trying a more balanced approach, believing that they should not be sheltered constantly from American culture, taught to fear and judge and overreact to everything they see…

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First Time

Reblogging that is.  My previous post on girls and the color pink is so apropos and so illustrative of the changes and the overwhelming influence consumer culture has on the development of boys and girls.  The US is the only country that permits unlimited advertising to children.  Children are bombarded will consumerist materialism and are flat out told that not buying into, celebrating, worshipping in that culture makes them not, well human.  And, no, I’m not being facetious or over the top.

Consumerist materialism invades everything from private choices to religious belief.  And yet there are no real choices.  It’s buy what is marketed to you or else.  Girls can only have girl products and boys can only have not products, the advertisers declare and there should be no sharing or touching or playing with that which is not for you.  Girls must stay confined to their arbitrated roles that have been set in stone by producers and any deviation must be shamed out of the girl.

Marketers say girls must only think about their physical appearance and wait to be rescued.  No intelligence allowed especially not in math or science.  Girls must worry about what others think and how they look, not on how to cure cancer or solve world hunger or spread the Gospel.

Yet, as much as advertisers and companies win they also lose.  So you have a girl for a few years but then she finds waiting around to be rescued boring so she’s off to save the galaxy herself from those stupid boys.  And black works so much better than pink in hiding from bad guys while waiting to go ninja all over them. 

But then girls become preteens and then teens and peer pressure tears its ugly head, all backed and egged on by advertisers and producers.  And now, the stakes are much higher. And the losses greater.  If you let it be.

As a self-confessed need, I never fit in and never cared much about fashion or advertising.  And, at least for most of the 90s, I had pressure to go into math and science especially if I wanted to be considered successful.  And I bought into the need to be successful.  I was in Math Counts in junior high even though Math is not my strong suit.  And I was in honors math and science classes all four years of high school because I was expected to be and because interest in non-science meant you were stupid and probably shouldn’t go to college.  I was a C student in math in high school and largely averaged a B in science.  But I was neither a mathematician nor a scientist.

In college, I flunked (well, I dropped the class before I flunked) physics.  I got a B in my only math class I was required to take.  For awhile I was going to minor in math, but after two days into the spring semester of my freshman year I dropped that math class and never took a math or science class again. 

It took me a year to figure out I wanted to be an anthropologist.  Even then I still felt I was a failure even though anthropology is not an easy field.  I had planned on becoming an electrical engineer like my dad and B’Elanna Torres on Star Trek: Voyager.  And then maybe be an astronaut.  Yeah, that didn’t happen after I realized in my college physics class I was just too stupid for math and science.

So anthropology it was.  Don’t ask me what I was supposed to do with it but it was easier than trying to force myself to excel in a field I sucked at.  Then graduation was upon me (which almost didn’t happen because I wasn’t told I had to register for graduation until my German professor made an off hand comment to me) and I had no clue what I was supposed to do.

I had no job prospects, no place to live, no real friends.  I had spent 22 years of my life doing what other people wanted me to do.  It was easier to make people happy than to think for myself.  Having dreams was stupid because they never panned out and I wasn’t meant to have dreams.

This has turned into more than I intended.  I wanted to write about consumer materialism and how that is affecting kids plus our definition and view of sex and gender.  But mostly about how stuff gets in the way, how it becomes everything.  And how pressure and unrealistic expectations hurt rather than help.
I spent a lot of years being a disappointment.  Still am to many, even myself.  I hadn’t intended to turn this into a rant and painful, bitter sharing.  I just wanted to point out how materialism and consumerism is affecting and influencing people today.

I’ve never really towed the advertising line but I have towed other peoples’ expectations and demands line.  I’ve lived a lot of my life trying to make people happy and failing miserably.  I know making myself happy and allowing myself to be happy and to have dreams is a big no-no.  Definitely not allowed.

So I probably should shut up now.  You probably really don’t want to read my pathetic, bitter, angry, pitiful words.

And Then…?

Well, not much really.  I had planned on going to the library again today to work on sending out cover letters and resumes but then my digestive system decided to revolt.  At least this time I managed to knock out the pain with the heating pad. I didn’t want to spend an hour and a half in the bathroom in pain at the level I had last time my digestive system revolted.  This time no pain and more reading on beginning programming.

Yes, I read in the bathroom.  It’s easy to focus and I needed something to do besides the stuff you do in a bathroom.  So I read.  I read the only Westerns that I’ll read in the bathroom.  Read through other fiction.  This is the first time reading non-fiction.  But good reading.  Even if the book was written in 1998.  Yes. 1998.

I’m not just learning, I’m laughing.  Windows 98 had just come out when this book was written and while the book mentions it, it largely refers to Windows 95.  Yes.  That prehistoric dinosaur.  At least he hasn’t mentioned Windows 3.1 which was the predececer (sp?) to 95.  I so need to write a post on Windows and it’s iterations mostly in its matter of failyness.  And I know that’s not a word but Windows had several fails.  Some of them spectacular.  And yes, I do like Windows and can still mock it.

I also baked scones today.  I did it from a mix so it was very easy. 

I also have an idea for a series of posts on marriage, the evangelical fundamentalist gender gospel preach about (a whole lot that isn’t in the Bible at all and is made up by certain evangelical preachers and Neo-Cal preachers to push their own agenda and hurting people in the process all in the name of Jesus, who also rarely, if ever gets mentioned) and how more and more are buying this bill of goods (even Catholics) all to be “good Christians.” 

It’s interesting to read through the Catechism because I find no sign of these false beliefs that women must only be wives and mothers and stay at home and never work and always be subservient and under the authority of a man. 

Complementerianism is this false ideology that women are inferior and must be kept this way due to their gender.  Women, who are infantilized in this suppressive culture, must learn only to keep house, have lots of babies, must not be well educated, must not work, must always obey men especially fathers and husbands, and must not recognize or even consider that they have value and worth, especially not outside of being married to a man. 

Women and their existence are defined in their relationship to men.  If they aren’t married, then they don’t exist. Men define womens’ existence and they only exist if they say so.  Women aren’t really human to these nuts.  They’re just breeders and maids and prostitutes and cooks and manual labor. 

This false ideology has become pervasive in evangelical culture so much so that many women are marginalized and even shamed if they don’t follow this heresy.  Some are falsely accused, put under “church discipline”, excommunicated, and then
forced to leave and lose church, family, and friends who still adhere and even believe to this heresy.  Just read the Wartburg Watch, a blog dedicated to exposing this kind of garbage and the damage it has done to people.

I haven’t even gotten into how these heresies feed into child sexual abuse and how it puts all the blame on the victim and how the proprietors cover up and excuse this abuse all to protect their little fiefdoms and beliefs and ideologies.

What’s worse is that there are many women who buy this garbage and then force it on other women.  And if these women don’t swallow this garbage then the “true believers” do everything to get these women to submit and obey even going to the point to humiliate and shame them into conforming.  And if they still don’t swallow, swallowed but are now vomiting it back up into the toilet where it belongs then the “true believers” will spread lies and even convince the church to “discipline” if not out and out kick people out. 

It’s conform or die.  Actually, it’s more conform and you WILL die a very slow and painful death.  Don’t conform or confirm these heresies and you’ll be much better off.

And honestly, let’s get terms straight people.  Gender refers to language and is used when denoting forms, i.e. masculine and feminine in Spanish.  Sex refers to make and female, man and women and are biological in nature.  There are only two sexes.  Gender has two forms, sometimes there depending on the language (German) or even almost none (English mostly has none).

I just hate people hurting other people and using God to do it.  That’s why I call this garbage heresy because it’s false beliefs and they are deliberately used to hurt people in the name of God.

Early yet 10 More

I called the phone number on the notice about the notice for a hearing.  It takes 10 weeks before the hearing notice goes out!  At least I still have seven more weeks at this point and I can find a job by then.  And I still need to call the lawyer.

I did get up before 1 this afternoon surprisingly but still had to take a nap.  I also ended up with possible food poisoning but it also could have been my lactose intolerance acting up.  Oh well.

Right now I’m waiting on parts of my dinner to defrost: salmon with potato and onion pierogies. 

I do know that when I go back to school to get my masters that I want to focus on gender and perceived gender roles in fundamentalist Christianity along with rape and purity culture largely because all of those have become so pervasive in our American culture today.  You can’t talk about women or being a woman without bringing gender roles, perceived value of those roles, sexuality, and physical bodies into the discussion.  Plus God and His supposed rules (usually defined by abusive human males and enforced by human males and females as works that “please” God as they define Him).

Unfortunately, too many women have been falsely manipulated into believing and buying into a bill of goods that denies them a voice in the discussion.  Their voices need to be heard not silenced.  My voice needs to be heard.  I don’t have to shout or do outrageous things to be heard and seen.  I have to be me and keep speaking persistently even when I’m being told to shut up. 

I understand a lot of women find this intimidating and frightening.  I know I do because of my abuse but I also know that that fear is hurting me and others.  I can speak out here and can do so in a way that is respectful and beneficial to not just me but to others as well. 

But the culture and the society around us be it secular or Christian or Catholic all bombard women with so many expectations and rules and judgments that we get confused or hurt or oppressed and abused or just drop out all together.  We all want to be individual women without having to concern ourselves with other peoples’ opinions.  How each of us do that is going to be unique to each individual woman. Other peoples opinions do not define us.

There’s Something About Mary (with some help from a Fransiscan Brother)

Until a few days ago and a few post by Brother JR on CAF, I did not have a good outlook or view of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Now, I didn’t have a problem with her being the mother of Jesus or being ever virgin or conceived without sin.  I understand and accept all the Church’s teachings on Mary.

I did have a problem with people who claimed the Rosary was a “magic cure-all” and that just praying it once would fix all the problems in your life and you would be so holy and perfect afterwards.  I am not a big fan of the Rosary and it is nice that it is a private devotion that is not demanded of us.

As I have posted before, my  mother abused me while I was growing up so I have a problem with mothers and yes, the Blessed Virgin Mary is included in that.  She’s someone else’s mom.  NOT mine.  Yet, I would read and hear about people who supposedly had problems with their mother (I love the ones that compared her having a fight with her mother to the severe emotional, physical, and sexual abuse another poster mentioned and said that after praying to Mary once her relationship with her mother fixed and everything was better and that the abuse victim just needed to pray the Rosary and ask Mary to be her mother and her real life mother would be healed and they would become best friends) (gag me with a spoon) saying that they went to Mary and their own relationships with their mother was fixed or they took on Mary as their mother.  Abuse is hard and it takes an extreme toll on its victims.  We are not healed magically by saying a prayer and asking someone we have no interest or connection to to be our mother and heal all the damage that was done to us by someone who was supposed to love and care for us.  So when people told me that I could have the Blessed Virgin Mary as my mother, all I could think, was no, she’s somebody else’s mother and I’m without a mother who will love me.  People just don’t understand what that means.  It’s not like I can snap my fingers and everything will be fixed and healed and there will no longer be abuse in the world.  It doesn’t work that way.  I want my own mother but I’ll never have one because the one I had didn’t want me and didn’t love me and there is nothing that will change those facts.

Then there is the whole idea that Mary did nothing beyond give birth to Jesus and then led a quite life hidden in the background and was a two-dimensional background character.  Many Catholics, especially traditionalist Catholics, see Mary as someone who was practically invisible and the only model for women. They say that women need to be Mary-like and to them that means: quiet, servile (not in the loving service to others but more like a slave), inferior to men, baby-factory, stay-at-home mother, no emotions, no personal opinions, no education, passive, no personality, does everything that a man tells her to do, basically not even a real person but a robot.

Then there are the posts by Br. JR, a Fransiscan Brother of Life that tell the truth about Mary (and about women in general).  I’ll let his words speak for themselves.

First:

In fact, the Catholic Church was probably the most liberal institution when it came to women. Long before there was a women’s movement, Catholic women were very independent and powerful. It’s just not that noticeable in light of today’s culture. However, if you look at it in light of the world prior to Vatican II, Catholic women rather liberal compared to their Protestant counterparts.

We have a long history of women founders of religious congregations, monasteries and even some orders. Men did not govern these communities. In women’s monasteries, the Abbess ruled and no man ruled over her. In a religious congregation the Mother Superior ruled. In Catholic schools, hospitals, orphanages and other Catholic institutions the sisters ruled.

These women ran their own institutions, managed their own property, had money and budgets, made laws that governed them, traveled around the world without permission and supervision from men. Some abbesses ran dioceses. A few wonderful examples are: Teresa of Avila, Mother Teresa, Frances Xavier Cabrini, Katherine Drexel, and Elizabeth Ann Seton. These women were missionaries, pioneers in their fields of ministry and leaders in the Church. Mother Teresa was the most recent of these powerful women and she began her work in the world circa 1946, during the WW II era, but long before Vatican II.

No one dared to contradict them, not even the bishops. They were a force to be reckoned with. Teresa of Avila had a wit that could outshine any bishop or Jesuit. Mother Teresa made Pope Pius XII and Pope John Paul II nervous, though they loved her.

Elizabeth Ann Seton gave Archbishop Carroll a run for his money. When he gave her the statutes that St. Vincent de Paul had written for the Daughters of Charity so that she could model her congregation on St. Louise de Marillac, Elizabeth gave them back to the Archbishop and said that she would not lead the new congregation because there was no place for a mother in the statutes. Elizabeth simply told Archbishop Carroll, “I’m a mother first.” Archbishop Carroll had to add to the statutes that those sisters who were mothers could keep their children and raise them. As I understand it, there were two widows with children in the original group.

About Mary:

I’m not sure if I agree with the image that some people paint of being like Mary, because I would never say that Teresa of Avila or Mother Teresa were unlike Mary. I believe the opposite. They were very much like Mary. Like Mary, they conformed to Christ in all things.

If we look at Mary, she was a very strong figure, not a retiring figure at all. We know that she lived in different cities, that she followed the Church as it grew. She did not spend her life in retirement in Nazareth. We see her in Jerusalem when Jesus is crucified. Jerusalem was more than two days away from Nazareth in those days. Why was she there? She did not live there. The only conclusion is that she followed her son and his disciples to Jerusalem. We hear from the Church Fathers that she was in Ephasus after the Ascension. Why? She was with the Church, probably with John, according to Polycarp. Luke tells us that she went to the Hill Country to visit Elizabeth. Scholars believe that this may be the area that we call the Golan Heights, which is quite a distance from Nazareth. Regardless of Elizabeth’s physical address, she did not live in the same city. Mary goes out to her. Back then, women did not travel without their husbands. But tradition does not mention Joseph being present in Elizabeth’s home or at John’s birth. However, it tells us that Mary was present and probably three months pregnant when she returned home and rejoined Joseph.

We also see Mary in Cana. From the wording of the story, one can extrapolate that Jesus was with her, not the other way around. She was the invited guest and Jesus and his friends went with her to the wedding. This is inferred in the familiarity between Mary and the servants. No one approaches Jesus with the concern about the wine, as would have been the proper thing to do. Mary speaks to the servants with authority, “Do whatever he tells you.” It is probable that she died in Ephesus, which is a long way from Nazareth, if not in Jerusalem.

We tend to paint Christian women, especially Mary, as more demure and retiring than is historically true. I’ve often wondered if it may be a cultural influence, more than a Catholic influence. The Orthodox have the same stories about Mary, independent of the Western Church. They also have ancient legends that portray a more dynamic Mary and their nuns are also very independent and very influential in their Churches.

My answer to your question is that this absence of women in the forefront has nothing to do with the Extraordinary Form of the Mass or even with being Catholic. It’s really the culture or preference of a community. If you begin to tell women that they cannot do things that are not prohibited, that’s when you fall into gender discrimination. If women want to assume a more retiring role, of their own free will, there’s no rule that says they cannot do so.

And then there’s:

To understand how St. Therese understood Mary, you may want to read what I wrote in Post 33. St. Therese is identifying with Mary the contemplative, which is very true. She is not implying that Mary lived a hidden life or an inactive life. That is contrary to Carmelite Tradition. Carmelite tradition teaches us the opposite . . . Mary was very involved in the life and ministry of her son and the early Church. At the same time, she was also the contemplative. If we could blend Bl. Mother Teresa, St. Teresa of Avila and St. Therese into one person, we would have a more complete picture of the historical Mary.

We have created an image of Mary that is more consistent with out imagination than with history. Our image of Mary is the quiet woman who is in the background and who is demure, says and does very little because she is humble.

Mary is humble. However, humble means honest. She is certainly that when she says that all generations shall call her Blessed. That’s not a demure woman speaking. That’s a woman who is very confident about herself and her role in Salvation History. She is very active in Jesus ministry. She’s present at many events, times and places outside of Nazareth. History tells us that she did not remain in Nazareth, but traveled with the Church as far as Ephesus. We’re not sure whether her last day on earth was at Ephesus or in Jerusalem, but we know one thing for sure. It was not in Nazareth in the quiet of her home. We also know that the Apostles refered to her as Mother. St. Polycarp gets this from St. John. The early Eastern Christians, who would later become the Eastern Catholics and Eastern Orthodox have a long oral tradition of Mary as an active participant in the life of the Church during Apostolic times.

We can see a woman who is very much a contemplative, a woman of intense prayer, silence and dedication to the Lord, but also a woman who was a missionary, an intercessor, and even a source of consolatioin for the early Christians. In other words, she was not hidden as we use that word.

Hidden, as St. Therese uses the word is more like her spiritual mother, St Teresa of Avila who did what she had to do and at the same time tried to do it without calling too much attention to herself. The truth is that she attracted a lot of attention, but Teresa tried very hard not to do so. The same is true for Bl. Mother Teresa and St. Therese. That’s the true meaning of hidden in Christian Mystical Theology.

Plus:

This is Mystical Theology speaking, not history. The Mystical Theologian focusses on the activityof grace on the soul. What was kept hidden from her contemporaries was the nature and scope of the activity of grace on her soul and the anatomy of her soul. God works on Mary in the secret and silence of her soul. Mary does not share that with the world. We can only assume and extrapolate from the bits of information that we have through Christian Tradition. There is the silence of Mary found in the writings of St. Louie and St. Therese.

St. Therese does this very well, because she’s a cloistered nun; therefore, she understands the whole concept of a hidden life, without being in obscurity. I think that many very traditional Catholics believe that being like Mary means being almost anonymous. That is not Mary. That is not the Mary of St. Therese nor St. Louie. Catholics to the other extreme, I hate to call them liberal, because in my book liberal has a very positive meaning, these other folks to the left, believe that Mary was a passive figure who did not do much. That’s not Mary either.

That’s why I said above, if we could blend the three Teresas: Teresa of Avila, Therese of Liseux and Teresa of Calcutta, that’s the real Mary.

Notice, that she’s such a complex person and there is so much richness to her soul that it would take three of our giants to give us a glimpse into the historical Mary. As far as the anatomy of Mary’s soul, you can forget that. Everything that God did there will remain hidden to us until God wishes for us to know it and only as much as he wishes for us to know.

There is a wonderful book about her by a Capuchin Franciscan Friar The Silence of Mary by Ignacio Larañaga. This book and the writings of St. Louie changed my life.

These posts were really helpful in giving me the first, real picture of Mary and what women mean to the Church.  NOT the burqa covered robots that some Catholics want and agitate for.  Mary was and is a real human woman and this is the first time I saw her this way rather than a lofty figure that was unreachable.  I am grateful of Br. JR’s words.

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