The Future is Marian
“The more the Holy Ghost finds Mary, His dear and inseparable spouse, in any soul, the more active and mighty He becomes in producing Jesus Christ in that soul, and that soul in Jesus Christ.” -St Louis De Montfort
Feminism. It is a broad, multi-faceted topic that we often hear about today. What is it? How did it evolve? What are its origins in western society? What issues has it ultimately tried to address? Is there only one type of feminism? This article is intended to bring light to these questions, and to help one understand how the mother of Christ brings a solution.
4 Types of Feminism in Western Society
Feminism can be broken down into four basic categories, and may be viewed differently by each individual-the topic can very quickly become subjective in nature. There are four “waves” (Soken-Huberty, 2020) dating back to the 1700’s that include these four categories. Some argue that we are now in the fourth “wave,” as many are now fighting for transgender rights.
Liberal or mainstream feminism is the first category that evolved in western society. It has focused on addressing equality issues in the legal and political realms. It can be traced back to Mary Wollstonecraft in the 1700’s, who advocated for voting rights for women. Today, liberal feminists strive for reproductive rights, equal pay in the workforce, eradication of sexual harassment, and so on (Better Left Unsaid, 2017). It is more “traditional” in nature and typically does not call for radical societal change; many liberal feminists are satisfied with political and legal accomplishments for women’s rights.
Socialist or Marxist feminism sees women as laborers producing children, childcare and household services for free. The children ultimately become laborers for the system and contribute to the production of goods in society as a whole. It views women as valuable tools for production that do much more work than they are given credit for; women are therefore oppressed by this “unfair” patriarchal structure. This type of feminism ultimately seeks to reshape society into a communist system. BLM, Inc. has been a huge advocate for Marxist feminism, as their leaders have openly professed that they are trained Marxists with a definite ideology for the movement.
Transnational feminism is a global, “post-colonial” approach to feminist theories and ideologies. It draws its ideology from liberal feminism. It emerged in the 1970’s in response to the realization that feminism was a global movement (Yalley, 2019). The traditional patriarchal structure of the home is viewed as oppressive to women’s rights, as in socialist feminism. Like the other branches of feminism, it strives for gender equality. Transnational feminists believe strongly that women need to obtain an education to break free from the oppressive system.
Radical feminism, which this article will heavily focus on, evolved during the sexual revolution of the 1960’s. This branch of feminism seeks to eradicate sexism and oppression through female empowerment. It was ultimately given birth by twelve upper class women in the 1970’s. This was their mantra, as noted in Carrie Gress’s book The Anti-Mary Exposed:
“”Why are we here today?” the chairwoman asked. “To make revolution,” they answered. “What kind of revolution?” they replied. “The Cultural Revolution,” they chanted. “And how do we make the Cultural Revolution?” she demanded. “By destroying the American family!” they answered. “How do we destroy the family?” she came back. “By destroying the American Patriarch,” they cried exuberantly. “And how do we destroy the American Patriarch?” she probed. “By taking away his power!” “How do we do that?” “By promoting promiscuity, eroticism, prostitution, abortion and homosexuality!” they resounded.” (Millett, 2014)
Interestingly, feminists of the time did not necessarily agree with this radical ideology. Exploiting women was not accepted by traditional feminists. The one topic ultimately unifying second-wave feminists was abortion.
Unfortunately, we see the fruits of radical feminism in the over-sexualization and objectification of women as tools for pleasure. Many celebrities, mainstream magazines like Cosmopolitan, and movies overly sexualize women. The pornography and prostitution industries are booming, and many feminists actually advocate for legal prostitution. Being a mother or practicing celibacy is seen as archaic and “uncool.” Abortion and eroticism are considered female empowerment. Tragically, abortion takes 3,000 lives daily in the U.S. alone. It is the leading cause of death worldwide, ending over 60 million innocent lives (Gress, 2019). Radical feminists have sought to help victims of sexual assault and abuse, and they orignally helped women obtain illegal abortions.
The result of radical feminism has been destructive to society at large. Staggering divorce rates resulting in broken families have left children feeling lost and broken. There are countless research articles and meta-analyses of statistics that support the evidence that fatherlessness contributes to high crime rates, destructive behaviors in children and adolescents, and drug abuse. “Among married two-parent families, whether white or black, the crime rate was very low. The capacity and determination to maintain stable married relationships, not race, was cited as the pivotal factor. Chaotic, broken communities resulted from chaotic, broken families (Fagan 1995).” A stable, loving union between a husband and a wife is essential to bringing stability into society at large. It all begins in the home, with the nurturing love and support of parents. Children psychologically depend on mothers to love and nurture them, and women are fulfilled when they love and nurture.
There is no coincidence that the Holy Family, composed of St. Joseph, Mary, and Jesus is considered to be the model we are to follow. Their lives were simple and peaceful, filled with love and joy. To think God’s only-begotten son was subject to a man and a woman for 30 years of His earthly life? This speaks volumes.
We often hear the term “toxic masculinity,” which can be drawn from feminist ideology. Men are seen as abusive, dominating creatures. Women who willfully stay home to take care of their children and husbands instead of pursuing a career are seen as submissive, weak leeches that contribute to toxic male dominance. Women who desire to have more than two or three children or who do not practice contraception are mocked and considered to be crazy. Carrying life-the most sacred and beautiful thing a woman can experience-has become a burden to a woman's financial success and personal aspirations. A woman’s capacity to love is drowned in the material desires and sensuality of the world. True love is lost and replaced with self-idolatry.
Sadly, the women responsible for the birth of the radical feminist movement were psychologically disturbed and had deeply rooted issues with their mothers. Some even suffered from schizophrenia. Many of the founders saw lesbianism as the ideal and participated in occult goddess worship (Gress, 2019). A society dominated by females was the ultimate goal.
Each category of feminism mentioned here strives to solve societal and cultural issues that women face. No woman wants to feel objectified or disrespected. Women should have voting rights, access to employment that matches their skill sets and abilities accordingly, and they shouldn’t need to be afraid to walk down the street without being sexually exploited or physically assaulted. Women have a unique, deep capacity for compassion, which is what has sparked many of these feminist ideologies at large.
Strong, dignified women can ensure their rights are fought for and preserved. However, when it comes to contraception, abortion, and the abolishment of the patriarchial structure, that is where the discord is found. Often the leading argument for many pro-choice advocates are cases involving rape, although rape accounts for less than 1% of abortions, and only adds to the trauma that resulted from the event. Life is sacred and scientifically proven to begin at conception. Support is gravely needed for women who have had abortions, and also for women who have chosen not to abort despite facing a challenging situation. There is hope for every situation through compassion and love, which is what women happen to have a special capability and grace for.
To Nurture is a Woman’s Nature
Women have a fundamental desire to help and to nurture. When a woman fully resigns to the will of her Creator, her beauty radiates and penetrates into the lives of all those around her. Her dignity shines; her heart is full of love and compassion. She is able to accomplish the simplest of tasks with greatness, and the greatest of tasks with simplicity, because her power comes not from herself, but from infinite power, which is God.
The true beauty of a woman lies within the purity of her soul; her body will then reflect that purity with dignity. “Our souls animate our bodies, as the two are intimately connected...When we respect the body, the soul is better ordered; when we build up the soul, the body is likewise ennobled...Our physical fruitfulness is an outward reflection of our inward fruitfulness (Gress, 2019).” This helps to explain why the use of contraception is not accepted by Catholics. In fact, until the 1930’s, contraception was not accepted in other branches of Christianity either. Many Protestant reformers even referred to contraception as “murder.”
To expand on the topic of contraception, it is important to understand the marital act of sex as part of the covenant with God between husband and wife. The sexual act is what consummates the marriage, therefore making it a sacred act, an act under the oath of marriage. (The word “sacrament” is Latin for “oath”.) Sex was not made solely for pleasure; it was made so human beings could participate in God’s bringing about new life. “Sex, according to Catholic faith, should be an oath in action, a complete gift of self, an embrace in which a man and a woman hold nothing back from one another...For contraception couples do hold something back...contraception renders that communication untrue (Hahn, 2004).” Women’s innate desires to nurture and hold compassion for those around them is elevated and perfected when they respect their own fertility. Spiritual fertility and physical fertility go hand in hand, for the body houses the soul. Women will ultimately nurture something-good or evil.
Marian Virtue to Counteract Modern Vice
The spirit of embracing modern materialism and sensuality has brought destruction and discord to society at large. As described earlier, broken families result in broken communities. Over sexualization of women has allowed men to lose respect for a woman’s dignity and true inner beauty. Many younger girls are beginning to see this; they are recognizing that they should not starve themselves to look like America’s next beauty queen. We need strong leadership, and it all starts with women. When we treat ourselves with respect, we will be treated with respect in return. When we stop glorifying the objectification of women’s bodies and begin to embrace our inner beauty, we empower men to reflect on our dignity, not our outward physical appearance.
So what is Marian virtue? What modern vices do they contradict, and when practiced, ultimately eradicate? The Marian virtues are perfected in the mother of Christ. According to St. Louis De Montfort, “...true devotion to our Lady is holy, that is, it leads us to avoid sin and to imitate the virtues of Mary. Her ten principal virtues are: deep humility, lively faith, blind obedience, unceasing prayer, constant self-denial, surpassing purity, ardent love, heroic patience, angelic kindness, and heavenly wisdom (De Montfort, 1985).” Almighty God gives us the graces necessary, and He gave us His holy mother, the most beautiful and magnificent creature in all eternity, as our own spiritual mother, despite our sinful nature. What mercy is shown from our God! To think this mother loves us more tenderly than we can love our own children; a mother who stood at the foot of the cross and watched her most beloved son crucified for the sins we committed. What pain she suffered, yet she loves us more than we can comprehend. She is truly a gift to humanity.
The spirit of the world that motivates many feminists is anti-Mary; it is at its roots demonic and deceptive. Women are deceived into believing they are doing good, when in reality they are sowing discord. Anger, pride, lust, envy, self-idolatry, impulsiveness, materialism, and jealousy often plague women like a disease. The soul is darkened and becomes sick, weak, and hopeless, chasing after the next material possession or instant gratification. This vice spreads, like a virus, and destroys the natural harmony of society. It seems as though women are unaware of their power, blaming the problems they face on the external rather than seeking to fix themselves internally, so they can justify the discord within their own hearts. But what if they realized that power can be brought to do good? That the most powerful women in history are the world’s greatest saints, who accomplished what was seemingly impossible centuries ago? Love would return to society as a whole, radiating through empowered women-but not the materially empowered, for the material has its end-but the spiritually empowered, gaining unfailing strength from the Creator of the universe.
God created both men and women for a specific purpose, and each soul has an innate longing for a higher love; a seemingly unattainable good in the material sense. Our souls are in pain when they are separated by sin from a spiritual union with their Creator. When we find the courage to deny our material desires and seek union with infinite perfection, which is God, we find inner peace.
Femininity, in accordance with the Creator, gives a woman all the tools necessary for her sanctity. Femininity has been elevated and dignified by God in the most perfect creature He created-Mary. She is more perfect than angels; there is no creature Christ Himself loves more. She reflects His love and mercy like the full moon reflects the sun’s radiance. To imitate her is to truly imitate perfection. Mary brings people to her son and intercedes in their weakness and trials by embracing them in her motherly love. She is truly the mother of all; the new Eve who brought forth the savior by her “yes” and perfect submission to the divine will.
To love is to sacrifice. Love of something greater than ourselves is the most fulfilling part of being human. A mother struggling through the pains of childbirth knows the end is worth the pain, for she sacrifices her comfort for the rewarding joy of seeing her sweet, innocent newborn asleep in her arms. A doctor or nurse making it through her 14 hour shift, exhausted from the chaos of the day, is rewarded when she sees the relief she brings to her suffering patient by doing something as simple as holding their hand in their agony. Fulfillment is truly met through sacrifice and love of another. This is what God wants for us.
“We all love something more than we love...That ideal love we see beyond all creature-love, to which we instinctively turn when flesh-love fails, is the same ideal that God had in His Heart from all eternity-the Lady whom He calls “Mother”. She is the one whom every man loves when he loves a woman-whether he knows it or not. She is what every woman wants to be when she looks at herself...she is the way every woman wants to command respect and love because of the beauty of her goodness of body and soul. And this blueprint love, whom God loved before the world was made, this Dream Woman before women were, is the one of whom every heart can say in its depth of depths: “She is the woman I love!”” (Sheen, 1952)
1. Types of Feminism: The Four Waves, https://www.humanrightscareers.com/issues/types-of-feminism-the-four-waves/
2. Four Types of Feminism, https://betterleftunsaid2017.wordpress.com/2017/04/05/four-types-of-feminism/
3. Feminists across Borders: Transnational Feminism, Knowledge Production and University Education in Nigeria, Molatokunbo Seunfunmi Olutayo, Ph.D, Abena Asefuaba Yalley, Ph.D; International Journal of Humanities and Social Science.
4. Mallory Millett, “Marxist Feminism’s Ruined Lives,” Front Page, September 1, 2014, http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/240037/marxist-feminisms-ruined-lives-mallory-millett
5. Carrie Gress, The Anti-Mary Exposed, Tan Books 2019.
6. Patrick Fagan, “The Real Root Causes of Violent Crime: The Breakdown of Marriage, Family, and Community,” The Heritage Foundation, Backgrounder #1026, March 1995.
7. Carrie Gress, The Anti-Mary Exposed. Tan Books 2019.
8. Carrie Gress, The Anti-Mary Exposed, Tan Books 2019
9. Scott Hahn, Swear to God, The Promise and Power of the Sacraments, Doubleday 2004.
10. St. Louis De Montfort, True Devotion to Mary, Tan Books 1985.
11. Fulton J. Sheen, The World’s First Love, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1952.