Mary writes a beautiful post at the Concordian Sisters of Perpetual Parturition titled Why pregnancy is good for me. It is a gripping confession of a young Christian woman rejoicing in her pregnancy.
Æons ago when my own babies were very young, I picked up C. S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy. Apart from whatever else it is, it is the finest treatise on feminism that I’ve read—especially That Hideous Strength. I’d not suggest reading this last volume without having read the first two, but it is in this final work that the previous two come together.
In That Hideous Strength, Jane considers herself locked in the opposite of what she regards marriage to be. Marriage ought to be a source of mutual comfort, but she finds hers to Mark to be a source of solitude. They have mutually consented not to have children. They are a mutual source of small unspoken irritations to each other. The silence between them is the greatest of solitudes.
Jane is confronted, at last, by her decision not to have children. The Director, a sort of Father-figure, reminds her that she is not a Christian wife. And since she chooses not to have children from this married union, she is living as though she were a virgin. She is a neither-nor.
“You mean,” said Jane slowly, “I’ve been repressing something?”
The Director laughed; just that loud assured bachelor laughter which had infuriated her on other lips.
“Yes,” but don’t think I’m talking of Freudian repressions. He knew only half the facts. It isn’t a question of inhibitions—inculcated shame—against natural desire. I’m afraid there’s no place in the world for people who won’t be either Pagan or Christian. Just imagine a man who was too dainty to eat with his fingers and yet wouldn’t use forks!”
Reading this Trilogy was when I began to really understand the insidious grip of feminism on myself. Ask me truly and I will tell you sincerely: the greatest feminist alive today is me. I do not say that for bragging rights. I tell you this because in all my years of trying to combat the feminism within me, I am unable to do so.
There is a simple reason for this that is not so very simple. Although feminism and original sin are not the same, because feminism mocks original sin, it is nearly impossible for anyone now living today to escape the influences of this all-pervasive worldview. First, feminism is a deception. It deceives the hearer to thinking that is an authoritative voice for woman and her needs, as well as society in general. Second, because feminism considers itself to be authoritative, it presents itself as a movement for empowerment. The individual is her own authority. This is the key to the wrongful use of individualism. This is the same thing that the serpent promised our First Mother when he said she would be “like God.”
Eve was deceived into thinking she had to do something in order to be like God, when she was already made in His image. We spend much energy trying to do anything but our vocation—that which God has placed in our hands to do—and trying to take credit for it as if that is what will grant us salvation. This is the core of feminism, and its root is original sin. Mary speaks eloquently of how God has reclaimed her through the repentance of pregnancy.
I can no more free myself of my feminism than I can free myself of my sin. Still my pastor frees me of it, often and much with his word of Absolution in my ear and his hand upon my head. And daily and much my Baptism keeps me free of it, daily and much. In this there is much to rejoice about feminism, as Mary has found—for it brings women back to Christ.