WOMEN who promote unhealthy forms of feminism are further damaging women’s rights, Verbum Dei Missionary Sister Frances Drum said.
“Unfortunately, some of the modern understandings and applications of feminism disturb me,” Sr Drum said.
“I see that they are far from what Christ wants for His beloved women, or men for that matter.
“Christ seeks for us women to be the appropriate helpers in His garden by taking care of His creation alongside men, not to be dominant or oppressive or hostile towards men.”
Sr Drum said “unhealthy forms” of feminism had subjugated the rights of women.
“I believe that women who promote unhealthy forms of feminism such as affirming that we have a right to abort an unborn baby, or that there is nothing wrong with pornography or sexual promiscuity, or following immodest forms of dress, are contributing to further damage of women’s rights,” she said.
“They are actually preventing women from progressing in living out their true femininity because they are not helping us to know and develop our deepest dignity as nurturers of God’s life and love.”
Equality for women has been at the forefront of modern social and political rhetoric in Western culture, however, Sr Drum said the ideal had always been visible in the Gospel.
“Christ makes it very clear that women are equal to men although we are different and have unique, yet complementary, roles in our world,” she said.
“In my own life journey, I have encountered a great variety of women, many who have experienced all kinds of crippling complexes which led them to think that they were either inferior to men or, in certain circles, above men which can be even more crippling.
“We see Christ’s equal treatment of women and men when, after His resurrection, He entrusts His mission not only to His male disciples but specifically to Mary Magdalene who He sent to His brothers to tell them that He was ascending to His Father and their Father, to His God and their God (John 20:17).
“He gives women’s participation in His mission great transcendence which, as a woman, I have experienced leads us to develop all our feminine capacities to the full as we seek to be faithful to carrying out His work of proclaiming His truth and love to all creation.
“I have never been jealous of the priesthood like some modern women seem to be, because I have always sought to invest my entire self simply in the task that Christ has entrusted me with, i.e., to make Him known to as many people as possible; to be a sister to all, and a spiritual mother to the many children that He places in my path.
“For me, this is a full-time job that leaves me no time or energy to wish for a clerical life or any other way of living out my femininity.”
Sr Drum said, sadly, some women had only experienced relationships that esteemed women according to “external beauty and sex appeal”, rather than their “inner goodness and deeds of kindness”.
“The danger of women being lured into the worship of their bodies and developing the vice of lust is that it gradually destroys their dignity,” she said.
“It can break them so profoundly that the process of being healed and rebuilt again is much harder and much longer.
“Our mission in Verbum Dei includes trying to reach people, among which are young women, before they fall into living for superficial values that often leads to their disintegration on many levels; to give women their true identity and dignity by helping them to enter into a personal relationship with God before they are tempted or throw themselves into the fire.”
That was the challenge, Sr Drum said.
“That age is getting younger and younger in Australia and worldwide because the media now has a huge influence on women through our access to the Internet, which can be very negatively geared,” she said.
“If a woman is only exposed to the mainstream media she might easily become convinced that her value is in pleasing men on a sensual level, rather than in being a sacred temple that can lead others to glorify God.
“For this reason, I see that it is vital that women are at least given the opportunity to come to know and taste the pure love of Christ which is greater than every other love that one can experience.
“It is a love that allows a woman to discover that she is deeply respected as a sacred being in her femininity, that she has a purpose to nurture the life of God within her and to freely bring forth His life into every relationship entrusted to her.
“An authentic relationship with Christ has the power to restore and make whole every woman, no matter how broken, because of the quality of His faithful love that patiently, and with great detail, forms us on every level – spiritually, emotionally, psychologically and physically.”
Author’s twitter: @catholicjourn