Why Women Weep....

At first, I was just going to publish one article that I saw this morning, but in looking at the one article, there were several linked to it that all had to do with the same thing- how we as women are destroying ourselves.

Many times we blame men for our problems, and yes, there is a deep woundedness between men and women because of original sin. Even John Paul II mentioned that women suffer in a more particularly acute way, the imbalance between men and women.

However, we as women often lead the way in the destruction of ourselves and our fellow women. I would like to point out three articles that appeared just this morning-

#1) an article about MTV that states that on most of the shows that feature violence against women, women are the ones perpetuating the violence against each other. Obviously MTV is near the bottom of the barrel when it comes to morals, but some of their shows garner a huge audience in the area of "reality" (which is anything but) TV. How is it that we as women have sunk to the level of acting like wild animals for the sake of "fame" and TV ratings? It's indeed heart breaking and cringe worthy.

#2) The clothing store H&M has been busted for using fake computer generated bodies in their lingerie and swimsuit ads. The editors simply put a different model's head on the fake body and change the skin tone of the fake body to match the model's head. It's the exact same body used in every picture, just with a different head attached.

I feel like I am writing a science fiction article, but it's not. See the story and pics here (please note that the story features women in lingerie and so if that is a source of struggle for you, don't go there, I will describe the horror here).
Here is what I find particularly disturbing about this practice:

First, that the body is totally fake and does not exist in reality.

Second, the body looks like that of a 15 year old girl, it's not a grown woman's body-- grown women do not look like that.

Third- it treats women and these models, as interchangable parts and not as real people.

And last, but certainly not least, is the quote from the representative of H&M who said, "This illustrates very well the sky-high aesthetic demands placed on the female body,” the rep said. “The demands are so great that H&M, among the poor photo models, cannot find someone with both body and face that can sell their bikinis.

God help us all.

#3) Actress Katherine Heigl speaks about the reality of women and one-night stands. I am certainly not promoting Ms. Heigl's movies or anything like that, but I think she speaks the truth in this magazine article when she says, "“I don’t like them (one-night stands), I’ve never met a single woman who has ever walked away from a one-night stand and been like ‘That was awesome! Oh, my god! Best ever!’”

The beautiful Ms. Heigl (at right, who is looking fabulously photoshopped on the cover) also talks about the potential of forgiveness of infidelity, learning to accept her body as it is in skinny Hollywood and about being a mother. It was interesting. I am glad she, as popular actor, spoke the words so many women know in their hearts but are not allowed to say.

Because of shows like "Sex and the City" and "Desperate Housewives" and a false feminism, women are encouraged to behave like animals and then pretend that it doesn't hurt or they don't feel empty because they are "liberated." We deserve better.

Women, how will we stem this tide? by giving in to the demands and false illusions of the world? or by running in the other direction and rejecting our femininity and becoming doormats? Neither option is the answer, for those options are just opposite sides of the drastic pendulum swim.

The answer lies in integration and holiness. The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines the meaning of chastity as "the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being." (#2337)

No, it doesn't mean being "barefoot and pregnant" as some "feminists" would claim that the Church teaches. Nor does it mean embracing hedonism and nihilism. It doesn't mean becoming like men or turning to sterilization and abortion, treating fertility and womanhood as a curse.

It means allowing Jesus to come and reveal us to ourselves. It means embracing the strong rock of Life and standing firm. It means learning and growing ever more deeply into what it really means to be a woman. It means casting aside the lies that are in our hearts and living in the truth. It means transformation and discipleship. Ultimately, chastity is the journey of true and authentic love. Learning who we really are so we can make a complete and full gift of ourselves.

We as women must unite and learn and grow. Start a women's bible study or women's group in your area. Read the letters of John Paul II to women, read and study Theology of the Body. There are so many women out there, women like Kimberly Hahn and Johnette Benkovic who have beautiful women's study groups available in book form and DVD.

If you have something like this in your area, maybe you could write and leave a comment here and give other women hope and encouragement.

And tomorrow, on the beautiful solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, may our Mother, The Woman, bless us, her daughters, and bring us healing, peace and courage.

As a woman and a Bride of Christ, I am praying for you all.


Mikki said…
Thank you Sr. MJ for this article! I am so much more content in life when I accept the real beauty God has created in me. 30 something and two kids later I feel more beautiful than ever knowing that I am God's creation and doing His will. Thank you for all you have taught me about myself!
Melissa said…
Hear hear, Sister! The true wholeness and strength that awaits women through the Bride of Christ is a hidden treasure waiting to be shared with the world.

Happy Feast of the Immaculate Conception!

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