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The Dignity and Vocation of Women

By John D. Meehan
September 12th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The reality is that the female being has not been liberated from the world of utility because the start and end points for modern culture are the sexual element of femininity. As a result, a subjective sexual self is considered by too many women to be the totality of the female nature. Of course, this kind of subjective femininity leads nowhere, except to prod women to run around in circles chasing the illusions of power, pleasure, prettiness, or physique.

HOOKSET, NH (Catholic Online) - Women! Women of today! Modern culture tells you WHAT you are. However, you should really get to know WHO you are.

Despite the efforts of the feminist movement and the advances made by women's rights groups and their activist members, modern culture has insisted - relentlessly - on demeaning females. This is true especially in the public media: television, movies, advertising, and on the Internet.

Modern culture starts and ends with presenting the female as a biological entity only. And always, in one way or another, the female body is connected to the sexual as a means of instructing women how to obtain power, how to engage in pleasure, how to secure beauty, or how to preserve their physique.

The reality is that the female being has not been liberated from the world of utility because the start and end points for modern culture are the sexual element of femininity. As a result, a subjective sexual self is considered by too many women to be the totality of the female nature. Of course, this kind of subjective femininity leads nowhere, except to prod women to run around in circles chasing the illusions of power, pleasure, prettiness, or physique.

Despite all the cultural honors bestowed on the ideas of absolute equality, rank individualism, and autonomy for females, there still persists the public portrayal of women in unflattering terms.

So, let us begin with the basics. Every person, especially a woman, loves. No woman does not love. However, since modern culture begins with the WHAT, it cannot settle on an answer to the question "What is love?" It cannot because it does not know the lover: the WHO.

To speak of love, one must start and end with the person, the WHO, who is one with their human nature. To speak of a lover, one must recognize that a person is a unique and unrepeatable entity, WHO grows and develops within the objective order of their human nature - as it really is - an organic whole.

If women are to understand correctly their female nature, human nature must serve as the first reference point for them. In other words, it is necessary for a woman to see herself as a rational, free-willed being, whose dignity rests in the truth that she is a unique and unrepeatable person.

For, just like a man, it is as a person that a woman is set apart and placed above other living things, such as plants and animals.

Notice that plants and animals are referred to as "living things," not "living persons." The language is exact and for a reason. Plants and animals cannot and do not love because they are living things, not persons.

Human beings love because they are persons. Thus, since she is a rational, free-willed being, a woman is called to love and to be loved for no other reason than, by nature, she is a person.
     
That an objective order of human nature does exist means that there is more to human living than the subjective order of personal experience.
   
Women, then, must accept with certainty that they are not isolated gene-beings which develop into alienated individuals without purpose.
   
Women must ignore educators and media pundits who consider it their moral obligation to lead women to "qualified" professionals, such as psychotherapists, so they can explain to women the unrelatedness of human existence and why there is a sense of disconnectedness in the life of a woman.
   
Women must reject biologists and psychologists who perceive women as self-contained and self-sufficient animals.
   
Women must spurn every "expert" who claims that females are nothing other than predetermined, autonomous organisms, particular entities that are isolated and set apart from all that surrounds them.
   
Women must stand up and insist on the reality of a WHO. They are not WHATS! 

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John D. Meehan has been involved in the lay apostolate of the Catholic Church since the close of the Second Vatican Council.  He resides in New Hampshire with his lovely wife Elizabeth. 

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