(quote) CatherineRose-996317 said: David,
Thank you for bringing up a topic that can be quite controversial. It's interesting that more women responded; I would be very interested to see more comments from men, simply because it's easy for me to imagine a woman's response, on either side of the fence. But men will always be a mystery to us, as we are to them, and I say that's a blessing God planned. We must always be searching to understand an experience outside of ourselves.
I have two questions I'd like to present:
One, how does a husband-wife/father-mother role truly differ? This is a question I've been pursuing for several weeks now. Men can nurture, women can have successful careers-the 'old' definitions may not be so clear-cut anymore. I've asked many; most cannot articulate their feelings ('There's just something different about being with your dad, than mom...'), but have heard two clear positions.
One is that fathers will push their sons out to fix it-conquer it-meet it-beat it-master it, and protect their daughters at all costs, and mothers will gather all in the home to grow in love. The second is that fathers can teach their sons how to understand women from a man's point of view, and women teach their daughters how to understand men from a woman's point of view. This second one I thought to be pretty potent.
I'd bet you have some interesting insights that, if you're willing to share, I'd love to ponder.
The second question involves your reference to Ayn Rand. She's one of my favorite authors, but frankly, I'm surprised to see her name on this sight. Her atheism offends many, and she is unapologetic on any of her viewpoints, which also can put people off. I'm lucky enough to not let those issues stop me from appreciating her work. Did you reference her, thinking about her portrayal of the Marxist state, or perhaps, that she didn't believe in traditional limits in gender-but believed that the most feminine thing a woman can do is desire a man? Or something else?
Again, thanks for introducing a subject that seems to bring out the many varied extremes in people. I love to see all the different opinions, and often learn much in the process.
Hi Catherine Ro!
Thank you for writing. I am sure there is a boatload of wiser CMers that can discuss your questions from the behavioral sciences, common sense, personal experience and pop culture (music, movies, etc...which can be fun and insightful too!) My interest is to attain additional insight in the light of our Faith according to Divine Revelation. I am partial to the female mystics and doctors of the Church, even though John Paul II has written eloquently on womanhood.
I would just find it odd, external, second hand at best, if one or a group of women started telling me what and who I am as a man. Our shared humanity does not necessarily get at the endless mystery of our differences. The old joke is the book found in stores entitled, "Everything Men know About Women". Open it up and there are blank pages.
However, most every post on CM is a self disclosure of gender differences.
With respect to your question on various gender roles I can offer only my own view: Whatever it takes to foster greater union in love and raise holy, healthy children. Unconditional Love, it seems to me, leads us toward imaging God's humble, merciful love and transcending gender stereotypes. The Theological and cardinal virtues are not reducible to either the masculine or feminine. Jesus, Mary, most all the saints evidence the full range of virtues. Jesus washed feet and cried. While pregnant, Mary traveled to serve Elizabeth. Nonetheless, I am still fascinated by any incommunicable and "non-convertible" differences of the genders. Women mystics seem to have a natural superiority toward Rachamim
, womb-like love, redemptive suffering, and a contemplative interior life. It appears, like the "Chicken and Pig Story" that men are commanded in Ephesians 5 to not just "donate their eggs" but sacrifice their very lives for their wives, if called upon to do so.
Please do not give too much scope to any of my references to Ayn Rand. It sounds like you know more about her thought and life. I simply view her philosophy of Objectivism, which I understand she credits Aristotle (correct me if I am wrong), as a moderate metaphysical and epistemological realism. Her metaphysics holds that forms inhere in matter (not German Idealism, Nominalism) and epistemology is that the truth and goodness are objectively external to our minds (not relativism or social constructivism which undergirds so many modern ideologies) are invaluable insights. However, I find her political philosophy, in light of the Beatitudes, Works of Mercy, "Communio" (Catholic Trinitarian Incarnational Ecclesiology) and Catholic Social Teaching, especially the principles of solidarity, common good, and universal destination of goods to be highly problematic. Don't I sound all stuffy and scholarly?
That pretty much exhausts my reflection on Ayn Rand other than reading Atlas Shrugged in college and still wanting to catch part II on Netflix.
Would she even have a clue why Jesus hung on the Cross and Mary obediently complied with His sacrifice? The Paschal Mystery makes little sense in a purely objectivistic system. Or, so it appears on face value.