Catholic Weddings

How Society Views Women

It is troubling to me sometimes to see how society views women.  First there's the obvious peddling of various products that have nothing to do with sex or women, yet somehow all the advertising is blantantly sexualizing women.  Then there's this constant pounding in of the idea that women need to be on BC -- not just for contraception, though, but because periods and just the regular functions of our bodies are bad.  But the one that REALLY gets me is the reaction of so many people to breastfeeding.

I just don't understand why people are SO grossed out/offended by it.  Why is it SO awkward for a man to be in a room where a women is discreetly feeding her infant, yet that same man loves checking out the barely-dressed cheerleaders at an NFL game? It's just crazy that apparently a woman isn't supposed to allow her body to function in a natural way.

 

Re: How Society Views Women

  • I agree. It drives me up the wall how people treat and view women these days. Especially how women view themselves.
    Don't get me wrong, I used to be one of thsoe women who thought sex was the only way to find happiness/long term commitment or to feel loved/happy.  But I am SO much more happy and fulfilled now in a real relationship not only with a man who loves and respects me, but also in a relationship with God and with myself.  I wish other women could feel what I do now rather than feeling like babies/their fertility are disesases, while sexuality is the cure (which is soooo backwards)
  • Absolutely. I think that many people, even well-meaning ones, just feel uncomfortable around a woman breastfeeding. The thing that really makes me mad, is when people complain about it in church. When I was working in a church office, a lady emailed the pastor and complained that someone was breastfeeding during church. He told me he had NEVER seen anything that was innappropriate. I wish I could have pointed out to that lady how, as the Catholic Church, we are supposed to be all about babies and helping mothers with their babies...  How do we teach that having babies is a GOOD thing, but then turn around and tell them to take their babies elsewhere when doing a normal, healthy activity? We should be totally supportive of mothers who need to nurse their infants! But everyone is like, "just not in front of me or where it makes me uncomfortable..."
  • That's terrible!  What, are mothers of infants not supposed to go to Mass?  That's just crazy!

     

  • Oh yes - another one of my soapbox issues so I'll try to keep this short  :) I never was anti-breastfeeding-in-public, but I think once I had to do it, it opened my eyes even more to the issue. I'm so self-conscious whenever I have to do it (and I will tell you, I try not to as much as possible but it's really inevitable) so it's not the "exhibitionist thrill" that some people would have you believe. In fact, most breastfeeding in public happens very discreetly without anyone even noticing which means someone has to be looking awfully closely to notice and then be offended by it. It's awkward enough to have to try to nurse in pubic without having to worry about if some dude (or lady) is going to be trying to look at you and find a reason to be offended.

    It's totally an American viewpoint too and I've heard that most other countries have no issues whatsoever with breastfeeding. I think it also discourages women from breastfeeding both because of the backlash against women nursing in public which makes it harder to maintain nursing and because I think "breasts = sexual only" is so ingrained in our culture that it makes women uncomfortable to think about them as anything else.

  • That drives me nutty too.

    It really bothers FI, but I'm hoping he gets over it when we have a baby because I will have no problems breastfeeding wherever I need to.

    Some people just have this weird "ick" factor... I just don't get it.

    I also hate the whole "slave to our uterus" mentality.  When I argue with people about that, and they say that BC helps free us from slavery to our uterus, I always ask them if they believe that women are just born with inferior bodies?  Like, men don't complain of being slaves to their bodies, so why do women?  Either women are the inferior sex because they have a body that enslaves them, or women aren't really slaves and need to embrace their bodies as they are.

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  • I definitely think it discourages women from breastfeeding.  I also think the fact that so many get only 6 weeks of maternity leave makes it incredibly challenging to breastfeed.  In many other countries, women get full pay for 6 months after giving birth.  Once a baby is at 6 months, I would imagine there'd be a bit more ease and routine in BF, as opposed to 6 weeks.

     

  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_how-society-views-women?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:4eacd322-c9bc-432f-9648-a754bc5dd271Post:5a3d9415-f870-4f02-ae85-07d42931002e">Re: How Society Views Women</a>:
    [QUOTE] It's totally an American viewpoint too and I've heard that most other countries have no issues whatsoever with breastfeeding. I think it also discourages women from breastfeeding both because of the backlash against women nursing in public which makes it harder to maintain nursing and because I think "breasts = sexual only" is so ingrained in our culture that it makes women uncomfortable to think about them as anything else.
    Posted by TeaForMe[/QUOTE]

    Agreed. We have friends who were missionaries in Costa Rica and they said women would routinely get up to lector at Mass with the baby attached and nobody thought anything of it.
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  • Monkey,

    That bugs me too - apparently being equal to men means we must, in essence, become men by "taming" our uteri, implying that the female body and, heck, everything feminine is inferior. Riiiight... sounds super pro-woman to me. ::eye roll::
  • I completely agree. It's just so..... odd.  I mentioned that I'm doing NFP to my sister (stepsister technically) and how your body tells you once you've ovulated.  Her response was "I don't believe in that whole temperature thing.  Seems hokey to me."   I used to be a huge "pill" supporter, but the more I really learn about my body and about the side effects of the pill (especially since both my mom and grandma are cancer survivors), I am now on the side of wondering why it's so dang popular.

    Hmmm... Which would I rather do.  Spend a few hours learning a completely natural method of understanding my body and fertility, or take a class 1 carcinogen daily....

    And the whole breast thing gets to me too.  So much of our society seems to see them as purely sexual.  I'm sorry.  They're modified sweat glands surrounded by fat.  They have a purpose - feeding babies.  Yes, they're more attractive than cow's udders, but the purpose is pretty much the same.  Get over it!

    /end rant
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  • Riss91Riss91 member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    Our country obsesses about breasts as sexual objects and that is why it's so distracting/taboo for a woman to have her breast out in public. It's something we need to become more comfortable with as a society.

    Generally, I think people have made femininity and "women's work" to be equivalent to weakness, oppression, submission. I think it is great that we acknowledge that women are capable of doing all of these things that were considered "men's responsibilities", however I think it is awful that we've somehow turned mothering and caring for a house into "lesser" work. It isn't lesser work. Caring for one's family and one's home is the most important work. Also, I think it is a shame that the ONE THING that women can do that men will NEVER be able to do (carry and give birth to a child) is treated as a diseased condition or something that makes them a "lesser citizen". How convoluted is that? This is a power that men will never have! Oh wait - it's a BURDEN, right. My mistake.
  • I think this is somewhat relevant to this discussion. I enjoy the website Jew In The City - an orthodox Jewish woman who kind of explains in interesting/humorous ways a lot of the misconceptions of Orthodox Judaism. (I feel we need the Catholic version of this!!)

    One of the questions she addresses is "Are Orthodox Jews Sexist?" because women (generally, but not always) focus on raising their family rather than on careers and women do not have roles in the synagogue. The part I loved about her answer was that women are capable of two things, biologically, that give them a closer connection to God as it is - carrying and sustaining life. So men have to find different ways to be closer to God by seeking leadership roles in the synagogue. I know this doesn't exactly relate to Catholic teaching on why only men may be priests, but really it makes more sense to me when I think about it that way - women already have a closer connecton to God as life-givers and sustainers.

  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_how-society-views-women?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:4eacd322-c9bc-432f-9648-a754bc5dd271Post:4be8c26c-4019-40f3-8194-b1888c66381b">Re: How Society Views Women</a>:
    [QUOTE]I think this is somewhat relevant to this discussion. I enjoy the website Jew In The City - an orthodox Jewish woman who kind of explains in interesting/humorous ways a lot of the misconceptions of Orthodox Judaism. (I feel we need the Catholic version of this!!) One of the questions she addresses is "Are Orthodox Jews Sexist?" because women (generally, but not always) focus on raising their family rather than on careers and women do not have roles in the synagogue. The part I loved about her answer was that women are capable of two things, biologically, that give them a closer connection to God as it is - carrying and sustaining life. So men have to find different ways to be closer to God by seeking leadership roles in the synagogue. I know this doesn't exactly relate to Catholic teaching on why only men may be priests, but really it makes more sense to me when I think about it that way - women already have a closer connecton to God as life-givers and sustainers.
    Posted by TeaForMe[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>The worldly perception of womanhood is so upside down.This is one of the ways I explain the understanding of men-only priesthood. (I may have already talked about this - can't remember) Think of an upside down triangle... The pope is at the bottom in service to the rest of the church with the weight of the world's souls on him. Above him, are the cardinals, in service to the church, then priests, then lay men, with women as the crown of creation. The vocation of priesthood, in a certain sense, a "lowering" of oneself in service to others. Men are called to be the "guardian of the recirpocity of the gift" (love and responsibility).---they are accountable. It's so beautiful because it "hails" women as the crown... and for them to be priests would be below their dignity. </div><div>
    </div><div>I think this crosses over to homemaking, bearing children, etc. The domestic church is the home, and for wives/moms to be in charge of running the day to day is the most important part! 

    </div>
  • Carrie, that's beautiful! And reminded me of the other part the woman said about the Orthodox Jewish view of women - in the Jewish faith, the synagogue isn't really a central part of the faith - the home is. And, she said, we all know who's in charge of the home ;)
  • Oh, I like that! As I posted elsewhere, I came to peace about women not being priests with the verses about all parts of the body being critical to the whole - i.e., that the whole body can't be a foot or an arm; you need all parts to make a body and all parts are important. 

    It's sad to see our society seeing such natural feminine things as periods and breastfeeding as something abnormal that has to be controlled or hidden. Really sad...and it seems like it's just getting worse, not better...

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  • I have struggled as a Catholic with the BC issue that's mentioned by a few posters above me. The thing is...what my body naturally goes through each month puts me through hell. Depression, anxiety, mood swings, cramps so bad I can't move, migraines so painful I can't work. I've been through counseling for the emotional issues, taken pain killers, but it still doesn't work. So for people like me, BC is an option to hopefully lead a more normal life. It's the one thing that works.

    I know what the church says about BC. But, it's also important to know that judging others doesn't really get us as women any further away from the negativity/societal issues we battle on a daily basis.

    There is little we can do in our everyday lives to control the actions or thoughts of others. The best we can do is work with what we can control - how we react. Be the positive influence we know people need - I try the best I can to be the best example I can. That's the best way to combat all the negativity women experience from society on a daily basis. Well, at least it's a start.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_how-society-views-women?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:4eacd322-c9bc-432f-9648-a754bc5dd271Post:02cc3b4a-bfa8-48b1-bb06-58a33c2951fa">Re: How Society Views Women</a>:
    [QUOTE]I have struggled as a Catholic with the BC issue that's mentioned by a few posters above me. The thing is...what my body naturally goes through each month puts me through hell. Depression, anxiety, mood swings, cramps so bad I can't move, migraines so painful I can't work. I've been through counseling for the emotional issues, taken pain killers, but it still doesn't work. So for people like me, BC is an option to hopefully lead a more normal life. It's the one thing that works. I know what the church says about BC. But, it's also important to know that judging others doesn't really get us as women any further away from the negativity/societal issues we battle on a daily basis. There is little we can do in our everyday lives to control the actions or thoughts of others. The best we can do is work with what we can control - how we react. Be the positive influence we know people need - I try the best I can to be the best example I can. That's the best way to combat all the negativity women experience from society on a daily basis. Well, at least it's a start.
    Posted by caradi[/QUOTE]

    <div>What you are talking about is not birth control. It is medicine. There is nothing immoral about taking a medicine to treat something, even though it has unwanted/unintended side effects. They are 2 completely separate things.</div><div>
    </div><div>That said, as many threads talk about here....artificial hormones only masks symptoms. It does not treat the problem. It's a carcinogen. (Just like prescribing cigarretes for stress). I've had several issues that would normally been "taken care of" with the pill, but instead through napro technology have been cured or treated, gotten to the root of the problem. </div><div>
    </div>
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_how-society-views-women?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural Wedding BoardsForum:615Discussion:4eacd322-c9bc-432f-9648-a754bc5dd271Post:02cc3b4a-bfa8-48b1-bb06-58a33c2951fa">Re: How Society Views Women</a>:
    [QUOTE]I have struggled as a Catholic with the BC issue that's mentioned by a few posters above me. The thing is...what my body naturally goes through each month puts me through hell. Depression, anxiety, mood swings, cramps so bad I can't move, migraines so painful I can't work. I've been through counseling for the emotional issues, taken pain killers, but it still doesn't work. So for people like me, BC is an option to hopefully lead a more normal life. It's the one thing that works. I know what the church says about BC. But, it's also important to know that judging others doesn't really get us as women any further away from the negativity/societal issues we battle on a daily basis. There is little we can do in our everyday lives to control the actions or thoughts of others. The best we can do is work with what we can control - how we react. Be the positive influence we know people need - I try the best I can to be the best example I can. That's the best way to combat all the negativity women experience from society on a daily basis. Well, at least it's a start.
    Posted by caradi[/QUOTE]


    No one will judge you for using BCP if your doctor had prescribed them for a medical problem.  My DD had severe PCOS that was treated for  over 5 years before she got relief.  haha, the relief was pregnancy!

    But that was only after two years on metformin, preceeded by a year of the BCP.  Then clomid worked on the second dose.  Fortunately. she and her H had wanted to wait for a couple years of married life alone before they even tried. They have a 3 year old and an almost 2 year old now.
  • I understand what you are saying, carrie. I haven't found anything that works. The most success I've had is with counseling for depression/anxiety, but there's still a lot that I can't control with changed behaviors.  And for the rest of it...not sure I have the will/tolerance to find the "root of the problem." It's been a rough road already.

    Sometimes I feel like women are our own worst enemy - calling each other names, competition to be the skinniest/prettiest/sexiest...and getting down on others so easily. I've had horrible experiences with other women professionally and personally, sometimes I wonder if the world would be better off if we were all nicer to eachother. Is that too simple? lol
  • agapecarrieagapecarrie member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited May 2012
    just taking a quick look, it says you are in ohio? I don't know if any of these towns are near you, but there are MANY MANY NFP-only docs in ohio. (I know ohio is a big state, but there are so many that maybe there are some near you). 

    I highly recommend giving it a shot... 

  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_how-society-views-women?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:4eacd322-c9bc-432f-9648-a754bc5dd271Post:0c12e2c4-232d-4a17-acee-5a662431b3b5">Re: How Society Views Women</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: How Society Views Women : The worldly perception of womanhood is so upside down.This is one of the ways I explain the understanding of men-only priesthood. (I may have already talked about this - can't remember) Think of an upside down triangle... The pope is at the bottom in service to the rest of the church with the weight of the world's souls on him. Above him, are the cardinals, in service to the church, then priests, then lay men, with women as the crown of creation. The vocation of priesthood, in a certain sense, a "lowering" of oneself in service to others. Men are called to be the "guardian of the recirpocity of the gift" (love and responsibility).---they are accountable. It's so beautiful because it "hails" women as the crown... and for them to be priests would be below their dignity.  I think this crosses over to homemaking, bearing children, etc. The domestic church is the home, and for wives/moms to be in charge of running the day to day is the most important part! 
    Posted by agapecarrie[/QUOTE]

    <div>This is the best explanation I have ever come across for the male priesthood.  As a woman, I feel more dignified just reading it.  Thank you so much!</div>
    "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!" (Isaiah 43:1)
  • I'm developing this thought some more... my extrovertedness here...

    -Woman is the "micro manager" of the "church stuff". The atom, the domestic church. 

    Man is the "macro- manager". ...the wider institutional church...

    Seems so obvious when thinking of stereotypes of skills and tendencies. 

    (this is of course in general, and isn't complete, doesn't mean they can't function in other ways on the other side)

    So, when "instituted acolytes" and "instituted lectors" are men (usually on their way to being a deacon/priest)...this is a service that they take on, so women don't have to. It's honoring women when the church calls for these roles to be preferred by the instituted minister. almost a chivalry in a way....

    just some meandering thoughts. If only people knew that the church honored women's dignity more than any other



  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_how-society-views-women?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural Wedding BoardsForum:615Discussion:4eacd322-c9bc-432f-9648-a754bc5dd271Post:7f221865-3a86-497f-8d31-90ba411d9ca3">Re: How Society Views Women</a>:
    [QUOTE]just taking a quick look, it says you are in ohio? I don't know if any of these towns are near you, but there are MANY MANY NFP-only docs in ohio. (I know ohio is a big state, but there are so many that maybe there are some near you).  I highly recommend giving it a shot...  <a href="http://www.omsoul.com" rel="nofollow">www.omsoul.com</a>
    Posted by agapecarrie[/QUOTE]


    Thank you! I will look into this!
  • I also think that it is increadibly ironic that most of the people who have an extreme eversion to the whole breastfeeding in public seem to be from the oversexualized left. The ones who embrace breastfeeding tend to be the most conservative of the group, both ideologically and when it comes to dressing modestly. (At least this seems to be the case with most of my friends)
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