In my last post, I see that I was toying with the idea of separate spiritualities for men and women. I am certain now that this does not obtain. The existence of men and women saints bears this out, as does the means of their sanctification, which is identical for men and women. I am also certain that there is a place before God where men and women are identical, this is a place spoken of by Paul when he wrote in Galatians that in Christ the distinctions between humans disappear. Nevertheless, I don’t think this place is accessible to most of us most of the time. It is a very holy place, and I don’t think modern Egalitarian Christians are coming from this place when they scold Traditionalist Christians for “oppressing women”.
Protestants don’t as a rule pursue a personal relationship with the Mother of God, and I think this is a big problem for them. It kind of neuters them. It forces relationships between the sexes into an abstract realm of “personhood” rather than manhood and womanhood. Following Fr. Stephen Freeman, if we look to Christ to see perfect humanity revealed, then we look to His mother to see perfect femininity revealed, to see the woman qua woman brought to perfection. It is interesting that the primordial man-woman relationship in Christianity is the mother-son relationship; that between Our Lord and His mother, rather than God allowing Ærself/Ærselves to incarnate as a pair of Divine Siblings like Apollo and Artemis, or as a pair of divine spouses such as Rama and Sita/Osiris and Isis. The power dynamics between a mother and a son are subtle, and I think they are closer to what Paul hints at when he enjoins “mutual submission” than anything attainable by spouses or siblings.
Since this is my own blog, I’ll say what I please. I don’t care for “persons”, and androgynes make me uneasy. There is a full frontal assault in anything that reminds us of our contingency and interrupts our project of self-creation and self-definition. I remember reading on a Christian feminist site that feminism was necessary because without it women would be “dependent on men”, as if that were a bad thing. My life is dependent on a legion of people who have been proxied away from me and hidden from sight; the immigrant women who package my poultry, the man at the wastewater plant who separates me from my excrement, the priest who serves me the Mysteries. The assault on sexual essentialism is to me an assault on the givenness of sex and sexual differences.
I think there is a quote attributed to Margaret Atwood that says “Men are afraid women will laugh at them; women are afraid men will kill them.” Now, that is a pretty big difference. I remember the first time I wandered into a site dedicated to Christian feminism and began to “share” my views. The women invoked violent abuse almost immediately. Some of the women had to excuse themselves, saying that my opinions were “triggering” memories of abuse. Now, I was raised Old School, and was forbidden to raise a hand against a woman in anger. I was taught that it was unmanly, and I still believe that to be true.
A lot of the feminist rhetoric I read centers on the propensity of men towards violence. Like Tommy in Rudyard Kipling’s poem, masculine violence is excoriated until it is necessary. In the emerging monocultural managerial globalist Utopia, violence is outsourced. It is the monopoly of the managing class. Now, soap and antibiotics may have produced a world where most of us survive childhood, and fertilizer may have made it possible for most of us to eat without eliminating our neighbors, but none of us can be certain how long these conditions will obtain. It may not be advisable to breed out or propagandize out male violence just yet. If there is a Biblical character that I think of as being a masculine man, it is the Blessed Forerunner and Baptist John, of whom it is said that there is none greater “born of woman”. I do not think it is a coincidence that he appears at the left hand of the icon of Christ in every Orthodox church on the planet, with Our Lord’s mother on the right hand. In the Forerunner I see male violence redeemed, deified. The Kingdom of Heaven continues to suffer violence and the violent, like John, take it by force.