I am a feminist. I am also Pro-Life, and I am Catholic. (Yes, these things do mix). This is such a broad subject, it’s hard to pin down every point, but I’ll just begin somewhere and wander from there.
I believe that men and woman are equal, but not equal in the sense that they are alike in every respect. Men and women are equal in dignity. “Man and woman have been created: on the one hand, in perfect equality as human persons; on the other, in their respective beings as man and woman…Man and woman possess an inalienable dignity which comes immediately from God their Creator.” (The Catechism of the Catholic Church 369) Men and women are meant to be in communion with one another. But, it is not true that one without the other is incomplete, but their masculinity and feminity complement each other. From this beautiful communion comes life itself. Since feminism has so much to do with marriage and the relationships between men and women, it is important to look at each one’s role in the relationship. The man is the head, foundation, and protector, while the woman is the heart and soul of the family. The man must treat his wife with respect and with all the sacrificial love that Christ has for the Church. He must treat her as a companion and helpmate and not as a slave. The woman on the other hand, loves her home and her children, if she has them, and shares struggles and joys with her husband. “Their union has always been threatened by discord, a spirit of domination, infidelity, jealousy, and conflicts that can escalate into hatred and seperation.” (Catechism 1606) The greatest example of what man’s treatment of woman should be is that of Christ’s love for His Church. “The Church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ our Lord…from heaven He came and sought Her to be His holy bride, with His own blood He bought Her and for Her life He died.”(Hymn by Samuel J.Stone.) The husband should be willing to sacrifice everything for the good of his wife, and every man should respect every woman as a holy and beautiful being. Women have a special beauty to them that men don’t, and though this beauty is being misused in today’s society, it should be something that is revered and greatly respected. Though this is based so much in Catholic teaching, I hope that those who are not Christian can take something from it and think about it without dismissing it comletely. There is a lot that I haven’t articulated, and I wish I could just copy and paste the whole Catechism on here, because it is so comprehensive. One really great resource is the Theology of the Body by St. John Paul II…..