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Jul 30 2005

Sisters Ordaining It For Themselves

Bertie6

I didn’t have a picture of a beignet, but I just happened to have this snap of Bert.

Revolution: Only A Beignet Away

It is the nature of the spinster aunt — which nature is by definition that of the free-wheelin’ iconoclast — to prefer liberation to namby-pamby equality, to throw out the bath-water regardless of its infant population, to boldly go where no old biddie has gone before. Thus I reveal no secrets when I say that many traditionally whitedude-o-centric institutions are so deeply entrenched in backward patriarchal ideology that the spinster aunt necessarily writhes in ambivalence when she hears of women (or other oppressed groups) who try to bust through venerable dudely barriers to claim a piece of the action.

Which is not to say that I’m not happy as a clam when the downtrodden manage to succeed and thereby stick it to The Man. But nevertheless it would be nice if these oppressed classes would sit down with a beignet and a cup of coffee and reflect. Ideally, the beignet would have been made by a competent beignetier, and would, as do all well-composed lumps of deep-fried dough, promote in the beignetees a spasm of clarity. Whereupon it would be possible for them to grasp that patriarchy is a flawed system, and that the can’t-beatem-joinem gambit, though perhaps initially beneficial to those previously excluded from savoring society’s daintier bonbons, is actually tantamount to an endorsement of organized oppression.

If the beignet were really top-notch, it might foster a complete repudiation of any social system based on the unequal distribution of power.

Note that in this essay, beignet is code for critical thought.

Take the whole gay marriage dealio. Why the heck is Queerville so eager to invite the state into its relationships? I ask because hetero marriage — a condition for which the spinster aunt can have but little sympathy — is nothing to write home about; historically it has provided the infrastructure for applied misogyny, it continues to be disproportionately advantageous to the male partner, and its tendency is to morph into the Nuclear Family, the primary unit of modern serfdom. Is discrimination and bigotry asinine? Of course. It’s not that I think homos shouldn’t get married; it’s that I think nobody should get married. Of patriarchy’s many cornerstones, marriage is the cornerstoniest. So, c’mon, let’s abolish the whole thing! Who’s with me?

But I digress.

What got me thinking about the heartbreakingly counterproductive tendency of the persecuted to seek fully human status by emulating the ideologies of their oppressors was one of those articles I’m always coming across about oddball women blazing defiantly and inspirationally into traditional Y-chromosome territory. Last week it was Marin Alsop, the first woman in the history of the universe to head a world class symphony orchestra. Today (or maybe it was yesterday) it’s a few hardcore gals who became Catholic priests. They boarded a boat, or maybe it was an ark, and floated out into international waters, where they figured the long arm of the infallible pointy-headed woman-hatin’ pope couldn’t reach’em, and got themselves ordained.

I mean, you go girl and all that, but Jesus Christ, why-o-why? To paraphrase the brilliant René Spencer Saller, a chick priest is like a Log Cabin Republican. Who are they kidding? Why do they think that if they infiltrate the church they won’t absorb its patriarchal toxins, become drunk with power, and turn into gasbag ideologues who get all up in everyone’s shit? That’s what church is for.

The women priests are unlikely to get very far, I suspect. This is because Catholicism — the religion that gave Galileo the boot but wrote love poems to hordes of pedophiles — pretty much has its head up its butt. It thinks women should live quietly and uncomplainingly as dimwitted receptacles for male incontinence, the way God intended. Pope Ratzi has already excommunicated the women priests because he knows Jesus doesn’t like hangin’ with chicks. “Sacrament,” opined one male archbishop, alluding to the theatrical hoodoo-voodoo used for centuries to cow the ignorant peasantry, “is so precious, and they are trivializing it.” With their impertinent vaginas!

Come on, girls, the Roman Catholic church is like some old moth-eaten, syphilis-encrusted mattress the cat peed on. Just throw it out!

37 comments

1 ping

  1. TimT

    … Marin Alsop, the first woman in the history of the universe to head a world class symphony orchestra.

    Simone Young, the darling of Australia’s opera-set, has conducted a couple of world-class orchestras in her time, too. Including the Vienna Philharmonic, traditionally a bastion of male privilege – that was the first time they actually accepted a woman as part of their orchestra.

  2. bitchphd

    I’m with you on throwing out marriage. But in defense of Catholicism–not the Church as institution, mind–it’s the only Christian religion–hell, the only one of the big three monotheistic religions, period–in which goddess worship plays a major role.

  3. Round Rob'n

    Is becoming the music director of an orchestra really in the same catagory as gay marriage or the women priests?
    I can see the argument that marriage and the church are fundamentaly oppressive institutions. But an orchestra seems like it could be different.
    Of course, nothing says “male privilege” like the fact that she is the only woman in this position.

  4. nancy m

    hey! Over here! Keep coming… good, good… now turn left and head down a bit… ok, this is Australia. Witch killing mythology spreading is one thing but ignoring one of the better music directors in the accountable firmament is bordering on neglect. Go and pick on some other patriarchy for a while.

    Simone not only took on one of your more stinky bastions of the music patriarchy, Opera Australia, as its Musical Director but also told them to shove it when they started playing politics with her orchestral numbers.

    And musicdom is indeed the patriarchy made aural. In some few investigations, a selection committee ( and sadly for the story, women choosers are as liable to have the patriarchal bias as the men choosers) will always under-assess a woman musician’s ability when they know her sex than when they can only hear her playing. Thus a blind audition will always yield a much greater number of successful women applicants than one which faces the committee to play.

    I gave up the quest for public musical employment and came over to teaching.
    Which of course I do with my eyes closed.

  5. Twisty

    Australia is the new Canada!

    And while they usually can’t compete in terms of scandals, costumes, or undeserved popularity, symphony orchestras absolutely rival the Catholic church in terms of sheer sexism, and it’s even worse in Europe than it is in the States. I have a French horn player pal, a woman, married to the principal oboe of a major American orchestra, who had to move to Lisbon to get a gig. She was the only woman in the orchestra. At least in the US they let the chicks play violas.

  6. Twisty

    Dr.B, I’m totally down with “love thy neighbor,” if by “love” el Cristo meant “tolerate,” but outside of that you can keep that whole Christian circus. The goddess worshipped by Catholics is the prototype for today’s ideal woman (the pliant, baby-incubatin’ virgin doormat) and the foundation for modern misogyny. For centuries the male-dominated church, having conned the throng into believing in its divine uplink to God, has had the power to define both God and women. They define God as a fully-realized uber-dude. They define women in terms of sexual function.

    Besides, it’s funky to worship any fictitious character at all, regardless of sex.

  7. Steph

    Sometimes it’s tough to look the patriarchy right in the eye and see it for what it is. That goes for married chicks like me (who have their days with the whole “institution”) and Catholic-women-who-ordain-themselves types who will likely be priests with vaginas who don’t really want to change the church much beyond getting ordained and possibly having priests marry.

    It got media coverage because the blah media thought it radical. We likely will never hear about it again.

    To use that icky corporate phrase–these women not thinking outside the box.

  8. jennifer

    Ah, Twisty, for a minute I thought Audre Lorde had taken over your blog. This post is like a 21st century update of The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle The Master’s House. It’s also why feminism is so hard for most people. The realization and acceptance of the fact that patriarchy, in all its forms, must be completely dismantled in order for any system of equality to be able to take hold is almost impossible for so many to come to. As Lorde said over 25 years ago, “They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change. And this fact is only threatening to those women who still define the master’s house as their only source of support.”

  9. alphabitch

    Well, I’m no christian, so it sort of makes my head hurt when I try to follow the arguments of those who want the church to change its rules (or adopt a newer better interpretation of the rules) so that even a heathen pervert like myself could join. I mean, it’s sort of like saying I want to be a Hindu and worship all these really cool gods & goddesses, but the vegetarian thing just isn’t right, I gotta have cheeseburgers, so why don’t youall just change that so I can join up, ok? I love those little forehead dots. So the struggle to ordain women in the RC church, the controversy over women bishops or gay bishops or whatever in the C of E — it all seems kind of silly to me. I accept that some people value their religious institutions and would rather fight than switch, but still, I don’t really get it at all.

    And I don’t want to be married to anyone even though I love some people plenty much, thank you, I just don’t want to take part in that particular institution. I don’t want my relationships regulated or defined or subject to legal obligation. I don’t have any children and don’t intend to do so. The only benefit to me personally that legally-sanctioned same-sex marriage could possibly hold is that I could more meaningfully choose not to marry anyone at all. I have successfully taken a stand against marrying a man by not actually marrying any of them, but my opposition to marrying a woman has gone largely undemonstrated.

    But the orchestra thing, now that’s different. I have played in orchestras before and I could see doing it again maybe, though I’m pretty sure I couldn’t make a living doing such a thing. But in point of fact, it was my fondest wish, back in my foolish youth, to conduct a major symphony orchestra. That or become an architect. No one ever told me I couldn’t (though if they had, perhaps I’d have been more determined), and it wouldn’t have occurred to me to strive to be the first woman to conduct a world-class orchestra; I was never particularly ambitious in that way, and I didn’t think that there would be so many barriers. But I remember talking to my best friend, whose goal was to be the first woman on the Supreme Court, and she despaired that by the time she got old enough and experienced enough, someone else would have beaten her to it. She was certainly right, and had plenty of time to revise her goals after Justice O’Connor got appointed. I guess I’m sort of surprised that the glass ceiling over symphony orchestras proved harder to break through than the one over the Supreme Court. But not that surprised. The patriarchy is wily, and it is everywhere.

    I’m glad at least that puppies are very cute. Puppies do not make my head hurt when I think about them, which is rather more than I think about the church, gay marriage, and symphony orchestras on either side of the equator all put together.

  10. Ron Sullivan

    Puppies make my head hurt, depending on how badly dander is affecting my sinuses when I can’t resist petting said puppies. But I figure that’s my problem, not theirs.

    Damn that’s a cute puppy.

    Religion, though… Dr. B, after 16 years in Catholic school and a devout upbringing (well, no surprise) and devout attitude for most of those years, I come down more on Twisty’s side in this. Goddess, my fat ass. Well, goddess in the sense that she managed to accomplish the impossible, even oxymoronic deed of being a virgin mother, but even that was By The Grace Of God, Be It Done Unto Me and all. And she was supposed to be not only a role model, but a benchmark. If we opted for either official virgin or mere mother, we were still somehow falling short.

    And the Mary-lovinest gangs somehow turned out to be the most misogynist, kind of like how the guy who carries on most about his dear sweet mother makes the worst husband.

    And on that last word: SO and I were shacked up for 19 years before we got around to marrying. I didn’t like the State in my bed either. Still don’t. We got married because I was self-employed, he had a job-type job, we weren’t rich, and I needed health insurance.

    And that’s why I push for both universal marriage-eligibility and universal healthcare.

  11. Winter Woods

    Thanks so much for this Twisty. You’ve managed to say the things I’ve been trying to say to my friends on this ridiculous female catholic priest thing and marriage as well. I’ll just direct them here from now on.

    I would abolish all the rights and privileges that come with marriage. The idea that you get rights for happening to have a sexual partner deemed acceptable to society and then going through some ceremony is plain nutty. Everyone should have the same legal rights – married or not. If you want to demonstrate your love with a ceremony, fine, but you shouldn’t get shit for doing it.

    As to the catholic “priest” thing, I’m speechless. What do they think they’re going to achieve? Why make such an effort to join the hierarchy of patriarchal institution which hates you? Madness I say. Madness. I’m with Audre Lorde on this too.

  12. jenofiniquity

    I’ll be snickering about “impertinent vaginas” all day – it’s right up there with “noodly appendages.”

  13. amelia

    not that i would in any way defend the behavior of the church as an institution, but: what makes women want to get ordained? God does. faith does.

    with faith we can move mountains — even pointy-hatted asshole misogynist mountains. the thing is, God’s not a patriarch (or even a pater), and God has no place for sexism in God’s church, which is a sacred space. if you believed all that, wouldn’t you be trying to save the church too? the fact that that task is [for all practical purposes] impossible doesn’t make it less necessary for those who are are called to do it.

    just sayin.’

  14. ripley

    I’m curious about what you think about Catholicism in the Global South/Third World/whatever term is best..

    not that there isn’t a shit-ton of patriarchy there too, Catholicism or no. But although I have to big up the much-less-hierarchichal Quakers for their work for social justice, it seems like some aspects or representatives of Catholicism in, say, Central America, are some of the few voices out there who are willing to put their bodies on the line as advocates for the poor.

    I guess the hope is that an alternate, non-religious or at least non-cathlic worldview would motivate people to speak out for human lives having a higher purpose than fodder for capitalist or feudal exploitation…

  15. bitchphd

    Oh, indeed the church has long used Marianism as a tool to oppress women, no question there. On the other hand, part of the history of Mary’s deification is that the Church drew on pagan goddess traditions (that guy who wrote the best selling book isn’t the only one who’s made that argument): certainly the idea of limiting women to the virgin / mother role is fucked up, but within the context of religious feelings and spirituality, it certainly makes a lot more sense to worship women than it does to worship some male creator god.

    I think that for a lot of Catholics, there is a distinction between “the church” as institution and a difficult-to-articulate feeling of awe / beauty / reverence. Just as there’s a distinction between worshipping fictional characters, in the sense of *literally* believing that, say, Jesus was the literal baby boy of god, and “worship” in a more metaphorical sense, by which one means, by “god,” an anthropomorphized metaphor for goodness / life / hope / etc. It’s a li’l blasphemous for me to say this, just as it’s blasphemous for feminist Catholics to go get themselves ordained, but believe me: most of the Catholics I know use the church in a far more metaphorical sense than the church itself realizes or admits to.

  16. LeisureGuy

    The realization and acceptance of the fact that patriarchy, in all its forms, must be completely dismantled in order for any system of equality to be able to take hold is almost impossible for so many to come to.

    Jennifer said this above. Is that statement generally accepted as true? That no progress toward equality can take hold until the patriarchy, in all its forms, is dismantled? That seems quite an obstacle, and (on the face of it) untrue: I believe that there has be some progress in some areas toward equality–not enough, but (still) some. But perhaps I’m wrong.

  17. Amanda

    I definitely lean towards anti-marriage arguments, but I suppose I defend the rights of gays and lesbians to marry mostly because I don’t think we’re going to see the end of marriage any time in this millineum. For that reason, I’ll probably end up married myself one day, if only to secure my rights.

  18. emjaybee

    I’d have no problems abolishing marriage in the civil sense, and extending those particular rights to individuals regardless of their partners or lack of same, and hey, think of all that work that would make for the lawyers drawing up inheritance and child support contracts.

    But I think the decision to marry as a personal committment/celebration is a nice thing; it’s a chance for a party and to declare your decision to commit to each other for good, if that’s what floats your boat. It can definitely have meaning to the participants in ways that have nothing to do with shared tax benefits.

    Plus I like the idea of taking an arrangement originally meant as a tool of oppression (mostly) and remaking it into an instrument of celebration and love, open to anyone. I don’t think there has to be anything inheritently patriarchal or oppressive in a marriage.

  19. TimT

    She was the only woman in the orchestra.

    Let’s not get on to the subject of Castrati singers – yet more evidence (if any was needed) of the existence of that sinister organisation, The Matriarchy

  20. nancy m

    Let’s not get on to the subject of Castrati singers – yet more evidence (if any was needed) of the existence of that sinister organisation, The Matriarchy …

    No, let’s not.
    The de-ballers were the patriarchy and the victims were boys, not men.
    And although the sancti-patriarchal Roman Church clung to that practise longer than other parts of musicdom, it went west when women’s voices were allowed to get heard in public. About the time of the Enlightenment if I recall.
    Too confused now?
    Gosh it’s hard looking at things in more than woman v man terms isn’t it?

  21. mmcc

    What good has goddess worship of any sort ever done for actual women? Look at classical Greek religion. Rife with goddesses. Actual women? Fucked. Look at Hindu culture. goddesses all over the place–with big teeth and multiple weapons. Real women? Welcome to purdah, girls, and I do mean girls. Child brides and dowry burnings today, and of course let’s not forget suttee. Give me time and I think I could come up with a few more examples. Oh yeah. Japan. Sun goddess etc. Great place to be a woman. Career as a tea-lady, anyone?

  22. WookieMonster

    I think that the word “wife” has far too many negative connotations to me for me to want to be one. Amanda posted a graphic the other day that said “WIFE: Wash, Iron, Fuck, Etc.” And that really hit the nail on the head to me. And I don’t even think that the whole problem is with how I picture a “wife” in my head. All too many straight men (and for that matter lesbian/bi women) seem to want a wife explicitly FOR the W.I.F.E. take on the role. I want to be a partner, not a wife. I can’t get my current boyfriend to understand this objection to getting married, and thus I think that our relationship is kind of doomed, because he keeps on hounding me to marry him (yeah, I know a problem many women would love to have, but believe me it is a problem to me).

  23. Mandos

    I dunno how you can have a social system based on anything other than an unequal distribution of power along SOME axis if you also want to maintain a technological civilization. I mean, with technology, even the most primitive tool-use, there are things—essential things—that some people will do better than others in some way, and thence the division of labour, and thence unequal power, that will almost certainly accrue over time beyond the division of labour itself.

    And technological civilization, despite all its evils, I guess, has produced things of essential benefit to women, like contraception. I mean, if you abolished the unequal distribution of power, but kept the portions of technology required to make, say, birth control pills, then whoever made them would have a heck of a lot of power, or would be controlled by those who do…

  24. Sarah in Chicago

    Great post twisty! (as per usual)

    However, I am going to say one thing about us queers wanting to get married. Personally I think we should get rid of it too, however …

    There was one of the of the founders of the Daughters of Bilitis (sp?), the name of whom is completely out of my head, that once said that one must have rights first in order to chose not to access them. Annoucing your rejection of marriage when one can’t have one in the first place is a touch pointless politically. It is only when we have the rights that one’s rejection of such rights has an impact.

    Yep, marriage as it currently operates is definitely not the most constructive thing for women in our culture, I certainly agree, but I’d kinda like the choice.

  25. piny

    Hm. I don’t think it’s quite accurate to say that queers want to _get_ married. Queers have been getting married since back when being queer was a capital crime in every country. What queers want is for their existing marriages to be recognized. Those queers whose existing marriages look more like the two people, no substitutions model are more likely to want to expand that franchise to same-sex couples, whereas those queers whose marriages are more polymorphous want the sphere of recognition expanded much more radically.

    I don’t have much interest in status or tax breaks, but I would like the state to recognize that this person (or possibly people) is my best friend and closest ally, and to give him (or her or hir or them) access to my affairs, my household, and my effects in accordance with that status in my life. Thing is, the state is already “in” queer relationships–it affects them by failing to honor them. When major medical decisionmaking is put in the hands of the pro-feeding-tube parents instead of the anti-feeding-tube longtime companion, the state has interfered in a gay marriage. State recognition means state-accorded power and autonomy, as much as it means publicity and obligation.

  26. Twisty

    I cannot understand why the state should honor or know or care about anyone’s feelings toward anybody. If there’s somebody you’d like to designate to make your feeding-tube calls, get a lawyer and write it up. Special breaks accorded to married people are a bunch of crap. If the state really wanted to stabilize society, which it doesn’t, it would allow civil partnerships of any dimension. Me, my brother, and his adopted family of sherpas. You and the Doublemint Twins. Forty whackjob fundamentalists living in a trailer compound in West Texas.

  27. piny

    >>If there’s somebody you’d like to designate to make your feeding-tube calls, get a lawyer and write it up.>>

    Sure. I was using that wad of cash to level my dining-room table, but why not?

    This is precisely the alternative that many same-sex couples–the ones who can afford to hire an attorney–have attempted. It works very well in progressive states like mine. It doesn’t work too well in states that are too homophobic to recognize queer partnerships–which tend to be the places where a challenge to the longtime companion’s rights have the best chances in court. It also doesn’t work in states that have decided to explicitly dishonor queer relationships by excluding gay people from things like hospital visitation rights.

    Plus, all of that documentation–and it’s a pretty elaborate, painstaking set of legal measures, all told–is nothing but a backdoor method of getting the state to agree that this person is your effective spouse. I don’t see why it’s okay for the state to recognize and interfere on those various levels that suck so hard on the receiving end, but not okay for them to just acknowledge the relationship in one fell swoop. Is it somehow less corrupting and assimilationist if the state only accords you crappy, fragile, second-class legal recognition?

  28. Sarah in Chicago

    um, okay Twisty … I was just politely pointing out what our perspective might be, not disagreeing with you …

  29. piny

    >>I cannot understand why the state should honor or know or care about anyone’s feelings toward anybody. If there’s somebody you’d like to designate to make your feeding-tube calls, get a lawyer and write it up.>>

    Those feelings are important because they inform the extent to which your life becomes stuck to theirs. And the solution you’re proposing only covers situations where both people are always in complete agreement as to who deserves what. If I and my partner both want my power of attorney to go to my partner, we have the legal right to make that official. If my partner, legal parent of our child, decides to break up with me and move to New Mexico, I’m fucked.

  30. Mandos

    There’s also the complexity argument. Forty fundy whackjobs in a trailer is difficult to manage because of the 2^39 possible avenues for dispute. A pair-bond is only 2^1 channels for dispute.

  31. ae

    Of course. It’s not that I think homos shouldn’t get married; it’s that I think nobody should get married. Of patriarchy’s many cornerstones, marriage is the cornerstoniest. So, c’mon, let’s abolish the whole thing! Who’s with me?

    I’m with you, Twisty! As a happily, un-state sanctionedly, anti-cornerstoniestly partnered person (of over a decade), I am opposed in every dimension to marriage, not least for its practice of privileging one group over another (men over women, whites over blacks, heteros over homos, box turtles over dogs).

    That said, I keep wanting to propose marriage to you. Please advise.

  32. Ron Sullivan

    I cannot understand why the state should honor or know or care about anyone’s feelings toward anybody.

    There’s the rub. What the people carrying on about Traditional Marriage(tm) seem unwilling to notice is that this business of feeeeeelings is comparatively recent, and/or class-based. The peasantry jumped the broomstick whenever, and made it official when the priest came ’round to visit, if then. The upper classes matched their daughters (and sons) up with whomever would give them some advantage as a family, in some places tricked out as having the right astrological signs and all, and that was that. It was the daughter’s duty to love honor and obey, or fake the other two well enough that Hubby (and/or his mother) didn’t notice anything but the Obey part.

    They might have known that chaos and anarchy would start creeping in when anything so earthly as feeeeelings was allowed to creep into the Sacred Breeding License and Family Business Contract. Now everybody wants in, because everybody has been noticed to have feelings.

  33. The Mad Hathor

    Thank you!! I’ve long believed that the state has no business passing judgment on people’s private relationships. IMO, chuck the concept of “legal” marriage, let churches set their marriage standards as they wish, leave those churches if we don’t like ‘em, and give the whole next generation of lawyers a new career option in helping people draw up agreements designating who they would like to legally consider to be family, next of kin, etc.

    Most people just look at me funny when I get as far as “abolish state-sanctioned marriage”, though.

    As for Catholicism, having been raised Catholic, yeah there’s a certain amount of “goddess” worship to it, but it’s a lot easier to be a feminist goddess worshipper in a modern Pagan tradition…female clergy isn’t even a question, sex is normal and natural, and no one throws you out for being gay.

    Some of us even manage some logic and skepticism and a love for science and progressive politics while “worshipping a fictitious character”. ;-) I don’t really mind if that makes me funky.

  34. Cat Pick

    Cutest Bert picture yet.

    I need you over at the list, Twisty. I feel so alone in my patriarchy-blaming.

  35. PrissyNot

    THE CATHOLIC CHURCH DOES NOT WORSHIP WOMEN – IT KILLS THEM! Through mandatory childbirth (no birth control, no refusal of marital rights, no abortion), simple repression (let’s turn the ones who DON’T want to be mothers or have sex into servants, we’ll call them nuns), more complex oppression (the church knows best, if you’re rich you need to give money and time to do good works, if you’re poor you have to give money and time to do good works) and many other things – ignorance, don’t teach girls about how to say no or how to deal with sexual advances in a grown-up way, don’t teach boys that girls have a right to say no; don’t teach them anything, really, except to nod their heads to anything the church says is right. . . oh, I could go on, but most people don’t reall want me to. I happen to live in a very Catholic state, around people all day long who believe in a churc that used this state as a dumping ground for all those priests who caused “trouble” with little boys . . . send them to the desert! The ignorant natives there won’t complain!

    Please, save us all from the Catholic church, shoot this pope and any more that might step up . . . As for women wanting to be priests, they’re delusional

    Stop

  36. Ruthie

    I think you persuaded me the wrong way with the orchestra detail. I already tend to like religion for its potential to strengthen the resolve of people I think are doing the right thing. I can also be persuaded that it’s the worst thing ever, depending on what evidence people muster.

    When you compared the priests to the orchestra conductor, I thought, “Yeah! Women priests! Great idea!” Because what’s the alternative to the man with a baton? No one with a baton? I like non-hierarchical institutions as well as the next person, but I haven’t heard well-played symphonies from non-hierarchical orchestras yet.

    If making reformist changes to major institutions (classical music, religion, marriage) didn’t have some kind of impact on taking the patriarchy apart, why would people be resisting those changes so hard?

  37. KC

    Convinced Catholicism is all bound up in male jealousy at being unable to create – explains the rabid contraception and abortion stance (if you can’t do it, control it) not to mention why they won’t let the girls play in the priesthood. And really, why would they want to? I agree with PrissyNot, it’s delusional.

    As for gay marriage, I have no problem with it as it’s more of a legal arrangement than a religious one like many heterosexual marriages these days, designed to protect whatever family unit people decide to commit to and respective interests and rights. BUT I loathe and despise the name-changing ‘thing’ with a passion. In my teens and 20s I thought it would have died out by now. I’ve noticed gay couples have started incorporating that twisted throw-back into their marriages, more’s the pity.

  1. Pandagon

    The patriarchy hasn’t been killed but some of his minions threw themselves into battle and lost

    Well, to squeeze a video game analogy for all it’s worth. But it’s true–there’s been some awesome feminist blogging lately, much of which takes potshots at those of us who are a tad too cozy with the patriarchy when it…

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