Well, at least the Catholics will just come out and say it

Plenty of religions are misogynist, but like to play it off as being in the best interest of the women (Burkas? Clitoridectomies? Forced childbirth? Totally for your own good, honey). But you have to give it to the Catholic Church for being honest:

“Three Catholic women’s communities in Washington state are being investigated by the Vatican. They were chosen for review as part of an extensive investigation into American nuns. The Vatican says it’s following up on complaints of feminism and activism.”

You know, I have a t-shirt that says “Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.” I think that is honestly the simplest definition for feminism – equality for women.

Splendid to know the Vatican is against that.

Instead of raging, I think I’ll let Tim Minchin take it away:

(Via Pandagon)


  1. says

    Don’t forget, the Catholic Church is also against these nuns because their “activism” involves helping people instead of bring in money for the Vatican. Their misogyny is a vital part of their evil, but nowhere near the only part.

  2. Matt says

    The Catholic Church is one of the original He-Man Woman-Haters Clubs. They can’t tolerate equality between the sexes, because that would mean that sex/gender is a part of life, and that would very likely lead to power-sharing if mean and women were considered equal, divestiture of authority from the totally male-dominated culture that makes up the hierarchy of the Church. Sad, sad, sad.

  3. jimjenal says

    Actually, the Vatican is looking into pretty much every order of Nuns in the country. The activism in question consists of such things as breaking with the hierarchy and supporting the HCR bill just before passage. There are some very brave feminist women in the ranks of Nuns these days. In case you missed it, there was a great Op-Ed in the NYT a couple of weeks ago. Here’s the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04…Check it out!

  4. says

    Are they doing it on purpose? How does the Catholic church manage to constantly aim for the worst dick move and unerringly steer toward the greatest PR disaster?

  5. says

    To be fair, it must be hard to run the world for 1600 years and then turn around one day and find yourself being constantly marginalized and all your dirty little secrets aired for the entire population of the earth.

  6. says

    That video got popular fast. I saw it about an 2 hours after it had been uploaded and it already had 4,000 views.I always love irreverent humor.

  7. says

    Well, it was Eve’s fault that she ate the apple in the first place. Of course, it wasn’t God’s fault for creating the talking snake, creating the apple tree, planting it in the middle of the garden, and then having the fruit with in reach of Eve. It was a perfect plan, except for the part about the only thing that could destroy paradise being with in easy reach. Nor was it Adam’s fault, because it is a well known fact that a man will do anything if a naked woman asks him to do it.Although in this case, I think this has less to do with religious doctrine, as it does with jealousy. The pope is simply jealous of woman’s choices in shoes, dress and hats. His shoes and dress are so tenth century. And his hat… would anyone who owns a mirror and has a scrap of self respect wear that? I bet you he gets boo’ed every time he goes to the movie theater.

  8. JenniferJuniper says

    I posted that song on my blog too. I can NOT get enough of it. Simply brilliant.

  9. says

    I just watched that video on YouTube and it’s at almost 240,000 views. Hilarious. Also, wicked t-shirt quote. I’ll be borrowing that…

  10. Pablo says

    A lot of people use the sex abuse scandal as a reason to criticize the catholic church for its policy of unmarried priests. While I have no patience for child abusing priests and the assholes that cover for them, I actually can understand the restriction against priests getting married. Priests are supposed to be “married to the church” so to speak, and “Jesus” is supposed to be their spouse.On the other hand, people rarely ever bring up the restriction against female priests, and for that there is NO justification aside from out-and-out sexism. Even if we buy the whole “the 12 apostles were all males” crap, that was absolutely a function of the sexist attitude of the time, and, besides, Jesus DID hang out with women, including prostitutes. That the bible doesn’t put them in the same class as the apostles is just more sexism of the time.Among the peripheral problems caused by the sex abuse scandals is that it has deflected attention away from the institutionalized sexism of the catholic church. The church could get their sex abuse shit in order next week, and they would STILL have massive issues.

  11. mcbender says

    I have had that Tim Minchin song stuck in my head since it was posted… and I’ve been trying to spread it around to as many people as possible. “Fucking” brilliant if you ask me.

  12. says

    That video is amazing, and so fucking clever. :DI saw a small part of your scrimmage with a Catholic on Twitter… and wanted to facepalm. Where do these people come from, honestly? O_o

  13. Akela52 says

    If priests are supposed to be “married to the church” so to speak, and “Jesus” is supposed to be their spouse, isn’t that a gay marriage? So why are religious people in general and catholics in particular so uppity about same sex marriages then? Funny. :)And that t-shirt quote is FTW.

  14. littlehilyro says

    Um, they are investigating “complaints” of feminism, but when it comes to pedophilia they tell people to shut up. I see…

  15. says

    I picked up on the video when it had just 3000 on the clock, and I’ve been watching it go ballistic, it will soon hit the 1/4 mill.I’m addicted to it, apart from listening to a great catchy song, I’m loving the catholic apologist trying to defend the pope and the church, and getting ripped apart by everyone anyone with any sanity.

  16. A-M says

    I have lots of nuns in my family – one (my cousin) is only 29! During family gatherings I tend to keep my atheism to myself to avoid confrontation. The older nuns are the hardest to deal with. They have become so used to the idea that men know what’s best for women that they not only accept it – they defend it. I was discussing the possibility of having children (I’m married so they didn’t recoil in disgust) and saying my husband might stay home so I can work, it depends who is earning more. That got a bad reaction; my children will grow up barbaric and unloved and I will be a selfish mother. Never mind the insult to my husband, assuming he wouldn’t be an excellent care provider, way to guilt trip a woman into giving up her rights of the 21st century! And that’s from the nuns themselves, I wonder what the Vatican is like?For the record, my cousin nun is far more progressive. She knows I’m an atheist and we get on fine. She is a genuinely lovely person, I just can’t for the life of me understand why such an intelligent woman would be a nun (she’s an accountant as well as a nun, they don’t just sit about praying you know!).

  17. says

    It was a perfect plan, except for the part about the only thing that could destroy paradise being with in easy reach.Reminds me of the big red destruct button in the Villain’s lair.

  18. says

    I couldn’t understand it either. It’s obviously based on South Park’s Canadian thing, which didn’t ring my bells either. Give me “Let Not A Sperm Be Wasted” instead.

  19. says

    Point of information, I remember a UK Catholic pundit saying that he thought we would see female priests before we saw married priests. The apparent agreement between the Catholics and the house-church movement was an illusion; the bug up the Catholic arse is the representation of the male Christ in the Mass, whereas the bug up the extreme Protestant arse is women having authority over men. Rome doesn’t have the vapours over that, he said: there is Catholic precedent for women holding authority over men in the church — an abbess carries ring and crozier, and out-ranks a bishop on her own turf. So, he said, all those misogynist High Anglicans who defected from the CoE to get away from the wimmin may one day get a nasty shock. The real “women are scary” brigade is the large African contingent in the CoR and the CoE, and above all the American born-agains.

  20. says

    I do so love your posts. If the world reaches an ending that annihilates more than half the world’s population, I’m following you to the better world…screw the rest of those yahoos.

  21. says

    “”Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.” I think that is honestly the simplest definition for feminism – equality for women.Yes, that is EXACTLY it. I got into a discussion on another blog a few months back on this very premise.Where can I get that tee-shirt?

  22. mybabysweetness says

    I feel pretty similarly about the celibacy of the priesthood and women priests (maybe not so violently! :)). You might really enjoy the recent Newsweek issue that talked about a lot of this (I think it was all under the heading “what would Mary do.”)

  23. says

    You atheists are a laff riot.You really do have a hard time with distinctions. And equal has never meant same. And good one Hugo!The Church has investigated male Liberation Theology advocates (priests) and removed them from office. But I guess women who violate their vows, are to be treated differently, with special favour, kid’s gloves. You know like in the court system, especially family court, where they are never held accountable for their actions.Atheists and their ignorance…absolutely, appalling.

  24. says

    In Letters from the Earth Mark Twain points out the most hypocritical part of the Adam & Eve myth. When The Boss put the magic tree off-limits he told them that if they ate of its fruit they would die. And after they ate it, death came into the world. Think about that last sentence. It means that no organism anywhere had ever died before they sinned. So A&E literally did not know what death was, therefore the threat of death was totally meaningless as a deterrent and there’s no way a rational person could blame them for disobeying a meaningless command.

  25. Twin-Skies says

    Funny, because the guy who taught Liberation Theology in college was a priest; Lib theo was also part of our core curriculum, so it wasn’t just this guy teaching it to our batch – it was required reading.You, my friend, are the laugh riot for your ignorance ;)

  26. Eric Dutton says

    That would make feminism and anti-feminism neatly compatible. Feminism is deeply aware of the fallibility of women. One of the big topics is how women often participate in their own marginalization. There is no feminism that believes or assumes women are infallible.

  27. says

    Maybe no official -ism, but plenty of individual human beings who deploy pseudo-intellectual mind games to maintain an unjustified self-esteem based on attribution of all possible faults to the baleful influence of the plumbing that they don’t have. If you’ve never met any, lucky you. But I think we might agree that there is no philosophical idea that cannot be abused in the service of egotism and fuckwittery.

  28. Eric Dutton says

    I would agree with that, but when you define anti-feminism as “the radical notion that women are just people and hence not infallible,” you are talking about the general principles of a movement, in this case anti-feminism. If this is true of anti-feminism, then anti-feminism is a movement based on a fundamental misunderstanding of feminism. If you want to start a movement that opposes the failings of a number of people within another movement, that’s fine, but you need to make sure that your name doesn’t miss the target. For example, I could start a movement that opposes the tea-party movement and that would be fine, but if it’s only the tea-party I oppose, I shouldn’t call it anti-Repbulican-ism, anti-American-ism, or anti-human-ism. That’s what’s happening if you have a movement that is opposed only to the people who think that male=evil but that insists on calling itself anti-feminism.Worse, it doesn’t look like a mistake, even if it is. It looks like a deliberate attempt to stain an entire, necessary movement with the sins of a few of their fools.It’s a mistake to point at Michael Savage and say “that’s conservatism.” No, that’s crazy conservatism. If I want to take on conservatism, I need to take on the best of conservatism, not the worst. And if I find that the best of it is pretty good but worst of it very popular, I should HELP promote the best of it as I attempt to disarm the worst.Plenty of feminists hate the kind of “feminism” you’re talking about. They would be happy to join you in your fight against them, but not if they think you can’t tell the difference.

  29. Eric Dutton says

    Let me just say that I understand your definition was a bit of a joke. I assume it’s a joke with roots in something you believe, though. I can take a joke, even if the jokes on me and what I believe, but I think that the circumstances are important. If you feel like the opinion behind the joke is one that the joke-teller believe and that it’s both wrong AND pervasive, then you often feel the need to defend your belief. Not so much when the joking is in-house or when the opinion is such a minority that it seems kind of silly, e.g. “blame Canada.” I also saw that your definition was in response to the definition of feminism offered before, “the radical notion that women are people,” which, for the record, I find to be equally as snarky as your offering.

  30. says

    He did say anti-femiSTALINism… I am familiar with the type of people Hugo calls famistalinists, they really can’t be confused with real feminists, but they do call themselves feminists. The most vocal members of FemSoc at Lancaster often include several who fall into this category; the insanities exhibited are many and varied.

  31. Eric Dutton says

    FemiSTALINism! *blushes*Oops. That’s was a lot of typing based on a misreading.*sigh*

  32. Eric Dutton says

    That makes my big “can’t tell the difference” finish kind of ironic, doesn’t it? Sorry, Hugo.Tell me, though. Is femistalinism a term you use for the kinds of people you described in your first response to me or is like Femi-nazi, a taunting way to describe feminism?

  33. Eric Dutton says

    I was just informed that I misread your comment. I’m still getting used to the Disqus comment system and I saw that it emails people when they receive a response so I wanted to let you know that I mentioned my error in response to Sam’s comment.Sorry about the sloppy commenting.

  34. says

    To err is human, to apologise is… the local equivalent of divine :-) The Disqus thing never e-mailed me, actually, I think that’s an option I never checked. Answer is absolutely the former. I prefer it to feminazi as a term for this particular subset of feminism (and BTW would never use either as a taunting way to describe feminism per se), for reasons I have explained in a recent post somewhere. The executive summary is that (a) it avoids Godwin and (b) it’s more accurate historically.

  35. Collin says

    I like this video a lot.I’ve read about a ton of these charges, but I haven’t found anything saying they’ve resulted in convictions. Anyone know if these charges consistently stick, or are most of the trials still on progress?

  36. MissAnnThropy says

    It’s a bit after the fact now, but if Minchin’s Australian accent is a bit difficult for an American ear to decipher, here’s the transcript:Fuck the motherfucker, fuck the motherfuckerFuck the motherfucker, he’s a fucking motherfuckerFuck the motherfucker, fuck the fucking fuckerFuck the motherfucker, he’s a total fucking fuckerFuck the motherfucker, fuck the motherfuckerFuck the motherfucker, fucking fuck the motherfuckerFuck the motherfucker, fuck the motherfucking PopeFuck the motherfucker, and fuck you, motherfuckerIf you think that motherfucker is sacredIf you cover for another motherfucker who’s a kiddie fuckerFuck you, you’re no better than the motherfucking rapistAnd if you don’t like the swearing that this motherfucker forced from meAnd reckon it shows moral or intellectual paucityThen fuck you, motherfucker, this is language one employsWhen one is fucking cross about fuckers fucking boysNow I don’t give a fuck if calling the pope a motherfuckerMeans you unthinkingly brand me an unthinking apostateThis has nowt to do with other fucking godly motherfuckersI’m not interested right now in fucking scriptural debateThere are other fucking songs and there are other fucking waysI’ll be a religious apologist on other fucking daysBut the fact remains, if you protect a single kiddie fuckerThen Pope or prince or plumber, you’re a fucking motherfuckerYou see, I don’t give a fuck what any other motherfuckerBelieves about Jesus and his motherfucking motherI’ve no problem with the spiritual beliefs of all these fuckersWhile those beliefs don’t impact on the happiness of othersBut if you build your church on claims of fucking moral authorityAnd with threats of Hell impose it on others in societyThen you, you motherfuckers, can expect some fucking wrathWhen it turns out you’ve been fucking us in our motherfucking assesSo fuck the motherfucker, and fuck you, motherfuckerIf you’re still a motherfucking papistIf he covered for a single motherfucker who’s a kiddie fuckerFuck the motherfucker, he’s as evil as the rapistAnd if you look into your motherfucking heart and tell me trueIf this motherfucking stupid fucking song offended youWith its filthy fucking language and its fucking disrespectIf it made you feel angry, go ahead and write a letterBut if you find me more offensive than the fucking possibilityThe Pope protected priests while they getting fucking fiddlyThen listen to me, motherfucker, this here is a factYou are just as morally misguided as that motherfuckingPower-hungry self-aggrandized bigot in the stupid fucking hat

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