Are Men and Women Different?
There is quite a strong current in feminism to homogenize men and women. For some, the equality of value of the sexes implies an equality of roles. This misunderstands the nature of the masculine and feminine aspects of humanity. Our bodies are whole, and so our gender is woven into that wholeness.
What do our bodies tell us about the purpose of our gender? First, gender isn’t important in the workplace. Most jobs aren’t physically demanding enough that only the strongest of men can handle it, and women are better educated than men so if a workplace requires education, we would be wise to hire women first.
Rather than work, our gender difference tells us that men and women both have a nobler role than simply “breadwinner”. Quite frankly, men are expendable. After providing a wife with a child, a man isn’t necessary physically or economically. A man’s relation to life is as servant. This matches what Jesus says, that the one who wants to be great should become the least. It is noble and honorable to serve those around us. As men are more expendable, they can serve in a greater number of ways. In the house around toxic chemicals to clean to allow the wife access to the work force, or to act as a wage slave if she would rather be in the home. His body makes him versatile.
Please bear with me as I get to the point. Sometimes people think of the Catholic hierarchy as people who are above the laity.
The Pope is the servant of the servants of God, he’s there to help mediate disputes by his infallible pronouncements, to guide my journey of faith by teaching me the truth, to make it so I don’t have to go to seven years of school just to begin to get a grasp of how to live out the faith. Priests do a lot of the heavy spiritual lifting for us, so we can live our lives without undue spiritual burden and go out to love one another.
Most obviously this service is seen in the sacrifice of the Mass. It is the priest or deacon who lays out the table, who prays for the consecration, who then even serves each of us coming for communion. He is our servant, and when we recline to reflect after the meal he’s still up cleaning the sacred vessels.
This is not to say a woman can’t be a servant in some ways, but is to say that femininity is more geared to caring. A mom is meant to love, a dad is meant to give, even to the point of imaging Jesus and sacrificing himself for his family. He can do this because biologically he’s more expendable and less necessary. It’s not coincidental that as the understanding of the priesthood developed, so too did priestly celibacy. Priests sacrifice family to better serve. No one wants to be dying and not be able to have Last Rights because their priest is busy watching a t-ball game with the family. Their masculine sacrifice helps them serve better.
There is much overlap between feminine and masculine. Service and love aren’t mutually exclusive. However, it is in our natures as male and female to have unique strong points. Only some women can care by giving birth, and no men. Only some men can become servants in the priesthood, and no women.
The woman in the article for today is not, as the title suggests, bending rules. She’s breaking them so severely that her actions amount to play acting, like this boy pretending to say Mass:
Or this one pretending to breast feed:
Both by nature are unable to do what they are pretending to, just as by nature the woman is unable to consecrate the Eucharist. It doesn’t make her less valuable as a person that she cannot consecrate it, but it is a misunderstanding of the priesthood and what that priesthood is for, as well as a misunderstanding of why she is a female.