On Monday, I had a conversation with a good friend, and a good Catholic, about the Mardi Gras. She was torn. On the one hand, she knows and believes and lives the Church’s teaching on sexual morality, and understands that supporting the Mardi Gras could be seen as condoning sexual sin and even encouraging people to identify with that sin. But on the other hand, she also realises that members of the LGBTI community have suffered discrimination and been treated in a way which does not accord with their human dignity, and so can understand the desire for some type of show of solidarity.
She definitely got me thinking, and it wasn’t really until we got to today – International Women’s Day – that I was able to properly articulate a response to the tension she identified.
For those unfamiliar with its history, International Women’s Day began out of the socialist movement in 1909, and continued to gain traction in communist countries until being adopted by the United Nations in 1977. It was largely a push for voting and employment rights for women; two things which we take for granted in 21st century Australia.
The reasons for the original International Women’s Day, and the feminist movement more generally, were important causes which I would have supported at those times.
Unfortunately, the feminist movement has since been manipulated to such an extent that it culminated in a Women’s March on Washington, at which celebrity after celebrity who earn more in a day than most of the world’s women earn in a lifetime, engaged in sometimes expletive-laden rants about how oppressed they are, and from which women’s groups which take a pro-life stance were excluded.
The feminist movement has now become a feminist ideology, where women are not seeking equality, but a distortion of it which sees the ultimate victory for feminism as its separation with, and rejection of, femininity and specifically, of motherhood. This is so much the case that abortion advocacy appears to be the entry ticket to the modern feminist movement. And it is the reason why women who speak out about feeling pressured into abortion are not supported by modern feminists.
Feminism no longer advocates for women’s rights, rather it fights for the “right” for women to reject their identity as women. And I don’t want to be a part of that.
It is a similar story, I think, with the modern day LGBTI movement. Those who marched at the first Mardi Gras in 1978 were doing so at a time when same-sex sexual activity was a criminal offence, and where a person could get a murder charge reduced to manslaughter if the victim had made a homosexual advance at them. Given that their sexual activity was illegal, there were obviously no rights for a couple when it came to inheritance, property, the making of medical decisions, tax and the like. Those who marched at the inaugural Mardi Gras parade had legitimate complaints about their lack of equality.
But in the same way that the feminist movement has now adopted causes which have nothing to do with equality, modern day LGBTI advocates are not seeking equality in treatment but rather a distortion of equality which requires everyone to agree that there are no differences between male and female, mums and dads, husbands and wives. It is an ideology which wants more than equality, it wants compliance.
Catholics are the first to believe that all people, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, age, nationality or level of ability are equal in dignity and we insist that they must be treated as such. But we cannot, and must not, support ideologies which distort this very good idea in order to push an agenda.
Monica Doumit, catholicTalk contributor