The culture that has absorbed the poisonous misogyny of the Catholic Church

Well Vincent Browne is blunt.

Tonight the (almost) all-male parliament will vote to imprison a woman, for up to 14 years, who refuses to give her body to the sustenance of another human being, irrespective of almost all circumstances.

It is irrespective of whether the pregnancy would do serious and irreversible harm to her health for the rest of her life.

It is irrespective of the circumstances whereby she became pregnant, for example, if she had been gang-raped and was distraught at the prospect of bringing to full term the child of one of her rapists.

It is irrespective of whether the woman would be able to cope physically, emotionally and psychologically with having, say, a 10th child. It’s irrespective of the woman’s will.

That was Wednesday, before the vote happened.

This intrusion on the autonomy of women is founded on the virulent misogyny that pervades our culture. The culture that demeaned women by disbarring them from employment for centuries; that excluded them from the institutions and positions of power; that made them the property of their husbands; that still often portrays them as the mere sex toys of men; that has so infiltrated the consciousness of millions of women that even they believe their role is the mere “helper” of men (see Genesis chapter 2, verse 18). The culture that has absorbed the poisonous misogyny of the Catholic Church. Aside from an acknowledgement of a women’s right to life, there has been hardly a mention of any other entitlement on the part of the mother by any of the anti-abortion advocates, including the Catholic bishops (whose effrontery in engaging in any debate to do with morals is itself astonishing). It is as though they regard women as mere incubators.

Yes, it is.


  1. says

    I’ve never thought about it this way, but the whole of Christianity is sort of based on a pregnancy from rape. I guess Mary could have consented to the intimate encounter with the Holy Ghost, but I wonder if she had much actual choice in the matter. What if Mary didn’t want to get pregnant and have a baby? There are good reasons to not have children today and those reasons were orders of magnitude worse back then (human desire for children aside). If I woke up pregnant one day in 1BC after a lucid dream about being chosen to bear God’s child, the last thing I’d be is happy and content.

    Oh, I forgot, it’s was God’s baby and what better use for a woman/womb than to be the incubator for God’s son. It doesn’t really matter if Mary wanted it, she had to do it.

  2. HFM says

    @ changerofbits: IIRC, it’s worse than that. Mary was chosen at conception for a “get out of original sin free” card, so that she would be worthy to have god’s baby. Why get consent when baby-making is literally what she was made for?

  3. Scr... Archivist says

    Changerofbits @3 and HFM @4,

    It’s even worse than that! This method of incarnation was chosen by the all-powerful Supreme Being, who could have done it any other way he wanted, including miraculous ways that would have jump-started the process of spreading the holy reputation.

    Jesus could have been born of a man. That would have been novel, and avoided the geneological problems caused by him not “really” being the son of Joseph. Alternatively, he could have been manifested corporeally from nothing in a major city square and in view of thousands of people. Or he could have been chanted into existence by an army of walking, talking newborn babes carrying megaphones. Even a chameleon arch could have been used to turn the already-existing Caesar Augustus into a new man/god. And any Old Testament predictions about him could have been made to always have been accurate.

    But no, he had to do it that other way. Good thing it’s fictional.

    And that’s not even looking at the problems with the story of Eve and Original Sin, and just the basic idea of Yahweh having to sacrifice himself to himself to convince himself to forgive an arbitrary and disproportionate punishment against the flawed products of his perfection.

  4. says

    @6. Anybody else think that Richard Dawkins is lurking in the YouTube comments, waiting to “Dear Muslima”-splain anybody who has the audacity to mention “Guys, don’t do that”?

  5. jmb says

    @changerofbits Yeah I saw that there, like we can’t walk and chew gum, or protest sexism and bad healthcare — hey, wait, wasn’t that what that session was about, even, both those things combined into one social problem? Synchronicity!

  6. Tom Anderson says

    the devil is always at work in the world. God is still resting up from having made Eire and Texas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *