ST. LOUIS: Theologian Alice von Hildebrand reflects on the lie of feminism in a letter addressed to Credo.
Proverbs embody peasants’ wisdom. A Spanish one that I treasure is the following: LA MENTIRA Y LA TORTA, GORDA. Both “lie and cake” should be big. History confirms the truth of this claim: gigantic lies have every chance of being swallowed. Hitler drew thunder of applause when he once declared that on the way to National Socialism, NOT A DROP OF BLOOD HAS BEEN SHED.
This popular wisdom applies perfectly to the feminist movement which, not surprisingly , started in Protestant countries that had abandoned devotion to the Holy Virgin, called God’s Lily. Alas, it has now spread to Catholic countries. The lie is that from the very beginning, the Catholic Church has viewed women are inferior. This claim has been swallowed by some numbskull women, impressed by the flamboyant rhetoric of a handful of female Esaus who, like this foolish son of Isaac, sold their birth-right for…a mess of pottage, and worse! Their claim is that the Church, founded by a male, has given all authority and all power in the hands of the “strong” sex, relegating women to the “Church’s kitchen” where they belong. A woman‘s duty is to serve and to obey: mulier tacet in Ecclesia (1 Corinthians 14:34). She is ostracized from whatever is great and noble.
Thanks to literary works such as Ibsen’s A Doll House, and the work of women such as Margaret Sanger, this view has spread like wild fire. Women have now declared clearly and loudly that they reject a Church that has fallen into Capital Sin number 8 (maybe it should be listed as number 1): SEXISM. They now proudly declare that the days of humiliating slavery are over. The most “advanced” even claim that God is a female.
One of their key arguments is the very different role assigned to a father and a mother in procreation. For the former, it is a brief moment of ecstasy; for the mother to be, it is radically different. For nine months she will carry the newly conceived baby in her womb. These months are often linked to nausea, discomfort and pain. The end is usually the excruciating process of giving birth. It is not by accident that when referring to agonizing pains, the Bible mentions “a woman in labor”. How many, through the centuries, have lost their life to bring a child into the world? It is indeed a shocking case of “metaphysical discrimination”, that must be not only corrected but abolished. From now on women have a right to decide whether or not they wish to be mothers – an onerous task that usually excludes them from devoting their time to the “great things in life” which, according to Simone de Beauvoir, refer to making some contribution to human “progress“.
Feminism wages war on a woman’s title of glory: Maternity. This aristocratic title was given to her by Adam who called her the mother of the living (Genesis 3:20). No comparable dignity was given to the male sex. Moreover, magnificent and awesome as are the accomplishments of great men (a minority in the male sex), all their visible feats will one day be destroyed by fire, as announced by St. Peter (2 Peter 3:10). Nothing will remain but ashes; whereas every single child conceived in a woman’s womb, is given the mark of immortality.
I said above that the feminine revolution started in Protestant countries. This is no accident, by rejecting devotion to the Theotokos, they simultaneously trampled on the gems that God, in His divine plan, had given to the female sex. For indeed, (as I tried to express in my book, The Privilege of being a Woman), femininity has been granted several unique privileges which are all gloriously incarnated in Mary, the Mother of the Redeemer. She is the most perfect of all creatures,
Even though she is not a pure spirit, she is placed above Angels, for she is their Queen. She is the creature most loved by God and according to St. Bernard, most feared by the Devil. She is the only one in whom the fearful chasm that original sin has created between man and God, is bridged: her fiat made her to be the mother of the Savior, the God-man, who is both God and man in one person. In Mary, body and soul, at war since original sin, are perfectly harmonized, and sing the same Magnificat. In her, the ugly “divorce” which took place between Adam and Eve after their Fall – for sin separates the sinners – (a a divorce which today has taken such tragic proportions and is the cancer of our society, and has led to the sex war going on today), is through her joyfully healed through the ardent, pure and reciprocal love between her and Joseph. Meditating on this glorious truth, is a clarion call for women to re discover the dignity and preciousness of their sex. They should be awed to have a body that has the same identical structure as the blessed one, so mysterious that it calls for VEILING. Like her, they should feel that their womb is a tabernacle of LIFE, for Mary gave birth to the one who said; I AM THE LIFE. Whatever is sacred should be veiled by the whiteness of purity.