*Disclaimer: This is me. Nothing more. Nothing less. I have no one person or no group of persons in mind so before some of my readers think that I am being all passive aggressive, let me say that I am above that and quit reading too much into things.*
Maybe it’s the fact that I am dealing with a nasty chest cold that is doing something horrible to my attitude. Maybe it’s all the crap that is going on in this country. Maybe it’s just hormones but I need to get on my fancy soapbox.
*steps onto nice fancy soapbox, pours self a glass of room temperature Pellegrino, and pops a pseudo-ephedrine to avoid stuffed-up nose voice*
Women are their own worst enemy.
Now before you dismiss me as some self-loathing woman-hater, let me just say that for every bitchy, passive-aggressive, insecurity-projecting “woman” I have had the penance of knowing or living with, I know about twenty women who are delightful, witty, genuine, intelligent, and faithful (without being saccharine or sanctimonious).
Nonetheless, women can be their own worst enemy. I encountered it in college (campus-style feminism makes my soul and JPII cry). I encounter/ed it in my various work experiences. And I encountered it in the convent. Oh did I ever. Luckily, the vast majority (like 98 percent-ish) of the sisters I met were not in this category but the ones who were always made my skin crawl and my intellect BSOD in its attempt to come up with the logic behind their actions.
In my brief 24 years of life I have met many kinds of women: the witty intellectual woman, the feisty independent woman, the “traditional” “docile” woman (some are floor mats, others have a free will), the proud feminist (pro-life or pro-abort), the sarcastic theologian (the orthodox ones tend to be funnier), and the loud and proud woman who will share her opinion whether you want it or not, etc.. One of my favorite kind of woman is the quiet one who though she may be a girl of few words, will stand up for what she believes in or who she loves if it is ever endangered. One of my closest friends is one of these but she also has a razor-sharp intellect and wit which makes banter with her hilarious (her dry sarcasm makes it even more fun).
One thing that never ceased to annoy me in the recent past in my encounters with women has been their cattiness. Oh Lord. Why must women be so damn catty? So passive aggressive? In my experiences, I have found that the women who act like this don’t even realize it because they are subconsciously projecting some great or small feeling of inadequacy they feel on others to make themselves feel better. Talk about petty.
Another thing, I met some (very few) persons while I was in formation who seemed to view an educated, independent woman as contrary to what God wanted woman to be. I was told by some that in order to become the woman God wanted me to be I had to give up all my ambitions and do what I was told, even if it did not make sense. Plant a tree root ball up though I knew the tree would die. That was the analogy I was given. To me, not only did that not make any sense (literally or figuratively) but it was self-destructive. I also think there may have been some personal beef with my being an orthodox theologian-in-formation (who also knows a healthy amount of canon law for someone my age) who had a penchant for more traditional practices that may not have been their personal penchant.
I was told that being intelligent was something bad. Being an intelligent woman who is independent and wants to hold onto some independence was bad. That I was going against what it really meant to be a woman. What it took to be a real woman religious. A real faithful woman of God.
That never ceased to tick me off. It still does. It makes me want to spit on an inclusive language “translation” of what used to be Scripture (it ceases to be the Word of God when an agenda is added. Inclusive language is nothing but a political invention created to push a loony agenda).
I do not see anything wrong with a woman wanting to be authentically educated and independent. I do not think that having a brain between my ears and a desire to be properly independent detracts or keeps me altogether from serving and dedicating my life to God and His Holy Church. Having a will is not a bad thing. Having an intellect is not a bad thing.
Whenever I would encounter this (in and out of the convent), I would just think, “And feminists think that MEN are putting us down. Hell, we are our own worst enemy.”
And people wonder why I like to hang out with guys. It’s not because I am man-crazy (that’s the last thing my friends would call me). It’s not because deep in the recesses of my subconscious I want to be a man. It’s not so I can break the “glass ceiling” or break into the “old boy’s club.” It’s because with the vast majority of guys (the ones I know, at least) are not like some of the women I know. Men don’t get their underwear all in a bunch over petty things that in the end mean NOTHING. Guys don’t hold grudges over stupid little things that are not worth the energy used. Guys don’t tend to be as passive aggressive like women can be. Guys don’t get jealous.
I know I am speaking with a lot of generalizations here but I just want to make a point because I have experienced it. I am not saying this as some woman-hating rant. I am saying all of this because women can do better than be petty, passive-aggressive, and cruel to other women. I am sick of the jealousy. I am sick of the backwards thinking. I am sick to death of the cutthroat attitudes. Sick. To. Death. Some women are their own worst enemy.
If it is such a sin to be independent and intelligent what can we say to such amazing Catholic women as Dr. Janet Smith (who just became a consecrated virgin) or other such women who somehow are intelligent, independent, and steadfast daughters of the Church? Are they just misguided women? Are they just putting on an act? I think not. Those women are wonderful role models for today’s young woman that tells them that it is wonderful/just fine to be intelligent and independent. That those two things do not nix her ability to be a faithful daughter of God and the Church.
A woman’s faithfulness to the Church and love of God is not contingent solely on giving up one’s will even in the smallest things to someone else (that can become brain-washing really), doing what one is told merely because one is told to do so (the whole tree analogy illustrates that well here), and gives up all her personal ambitions and dreams.
There is nothing wrong with a young woman (like me) wanting to maintain her independence (if a will is not a good thing, God would not have given it to us at all, the Fall or not), be intelligent (God gave us an intellect to be fostered and shared not spurned and discarded in the name of “holy obedience” or something like that), and be in the world (but that’s a whole other post for a later time).
Also, before you go, I want to say this: This may to some have seemed like a rant in one way or another against one or another vocation. I have no ill-will for any one vocation. Never could have those feelings. And those negative experiences I had in formation were few and far between and some of them were more glaring but GRATIAS AGO TIBI, DOMINE that the vast majority of my dear former sisters in community were the exact opposite of the vitriolic catty women of which I spoke. I have many sister-friends still and while I may not be in contact with them like I used to be, I still love them and I still love the Congregation. It just was not for me. And my few negative experiences with a couple immature and passive aggressive women did not drive me to leave. God called me out.
Feel free to comment. I really want to know what you think. My rant was anything but politically-correct but I think political-correctness is one of the great intellectual sins of this culture (besides postmodernity, modern liberalism, nihilism, and quasi-intellectualism).
Have a wonderful evening!