“Yes. All murals and stained glass windows of white Jesus, and his European mother, and their white friends should also come down. They are a gross form white supremacy. Created as tools of oppression. Racist propaganda. They should all come down.” –Civil Rights activist Shaun King, June 22, 2020.
When Elizabeth Taylor died in 2011, American feminist academic Camille Paglia was the first to call the Hollywood actress with the shop-worn life the ‘anti-Mary’. And in so doing, she brought the term into popular parlance.
The actress died at 79 surrounded by her children and grandchildren. Her peaceful end stood in sharp contrast to a life chronicled in sensational headlines, celebrated film roles, multiple husbands, gay friendships, extravagant jewellery and poor health.
Taylor always fascinated Paglia. Here was a woman of legendary beauty, great fame and glamour who epitomized worldliness and appeared to indulge her every desire with impunity. The details of her life are well known: the seven husbands, the drug and alcohol addictions, the diamond-encrusted lifestyle, the maternal friendships with gay icons, and the series of life-threatening illnesses, often more dramatic than her onscreen performances. All of which produced so much ongoing fascination that her obituary writers struggled to explain the allure of this extraordinary figure who, for some, typified Eve, the temptress, and other femme fatales who drove men to ruin.
Still, it was Paglia, the lapsed Catholic and lesbian, who captured Taylor in a word. “She is Babylonian pagan woman – the goddess Ishtar, the anti-Mary! My sensibility as a culture critic and as a feminist was deeply formed by her. She was truly transcultural … and with an open sexuality in that puritanical period, it was so daring! She picked up one man after another. To me she represented the ultimate power of the sexual woman.”
While Paglia’s claim seems extreme now, Taylor was once a touchstone and mirror of a postwar culture on its way down, a culture that in the 1950s was already anticipating the sexual revolution and the birth control pill that would separate sex from procreation and create a culture ripe for the legalization of abortion to terminate the inconvenient pregnancies that resulted.
What the postwar culture did not anticipate, however, was the destruction of the family and the inevitable explosion of sexual confusion. Yet here again, Taylor’s fame and relevance continued with her devotion to raising money for AIDS research which, at the time, was entirely consistent with contemporary secular morality. And still is.
Yet for Catholics who have witnessed the sexual degeneration of the past sixty years – it has had a single source: Impurity. It’s a word that makes many wince, a word reviled as Puritanical, judgmental and hopelessly out of date.
Yet its truth, meaning and ultimate cost remains. And every human heart and soul knows this instinctively, all public denials notwithstanding. While Taylor’s open sensuality may seem tame today, her screen persona and private life presaged the culture to come, a culture fuelled by a wantonness and unrestrained appetite which in turn led to generalized sexual decadence.
The Eternal Antidote
The antidote for which is and always was the virtue of Purity as exemplified by the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Immaculate Conception and the Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Yet as that virtue has been almost obliterated by a culture now devoted almost exclusively to hedonism and self-absorption, Paglia’s description of the late actress as an ‘anti-Mary’ may have been prescient in 2011.
In the nine years since, the world has raced down the slippery slope to all-out decadence and depravity with the assistance of armies of ‘anti-Marys’, as so compellingly described in Carrie Gress’s very important book The Anti-Mary Exposed: Rescuing the Culture from Toxic Femininity.
Not only does Gress diagnose the current state of feminist misery, she charts the radical feminist movement from the 1960s all the way back to its Marxist roots which continue to feed it to this day. And in doing so, she adds much greater dimension to Our Lady of Fatima’s warnings about how Russia would spread her errors throughout the world since that nation fell to Lenin’s Bolsheviks in 1917. And is still doing so.
Which is also why Gress sees today’s anti-Marianism as rooted not in an individual but in a ‘spirit’ that has been behind all the disastrous cultural shifts resulting directly from the feminist ideology that has plagued the world for more than a century. And which Marxist thought has been incubating and downloading its poison into young minds throughout universities across the West with particular intensity for the past six decades.
But first to the development of today’s feminist which began in the early 1960s with a small group of elite American women who managed to convince an overwhelming majority that downplaying the most fundamental of relationships – that of mother and child – was necessary for them to live happier, more productive lives. This unnatural rupture was to be accomplished, in part, by ‘liberating’ women’s sexual behavior. Read: promoting promiscuity, a psychologically and physically destructive behavior once called ‘sin’ because of the initially imperceptible damage it always causes.
What’s more, this new, unrestrained and ‘liberating’ behavior – widely adopted via a campaign of persuasive books, magazines, talkshow TV and film – was guaranteed to harm the natural mother-child relationship which, in turn, would lead inexorably to the erosion of the entire family. So no surprise that almost overnight, the once pro-life culture of the West morphed into the pro-lifestyle culture of today, legitimizing all sexual impulses and embracing everything that felt good. And woe to those who disagreed!
“Sixty million abortions later, women aren’t showing signs of health, happiness and fulfillment.” Gress observes. “Increased numbers of divorce, depression, anxiety, sexually transmitted disease and drug abuse all point to the reality that women are not happier, just more medicated.”
Her book also delves deeply into this ideology-induced spiritual disease by providing portraits of the elite and savvy women whose timely arrival on the scene filled the vacuum left by the postwar trend towards secularism and the resulting disintegration of true religious faith in the lives of everyday women. Elites such as Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem and Helen Gurley Brown who, glamorized to the hilt, had learned how to advance, control and manipulate the pervasive feminist message rarely questioned today. Such was their success, says Gress that “there is not one major power corridor inhabited by women in the West – from Hollywood, to the fashion industry, to politics, to book publishing – that is not controlled by radical feminist women.”
Radical feminist women who. in turn, were followed by the subsequent generation of radical feminists, most of whom were lesbians who, shrouded in the deceptive clothing of women’s rights that include contraception, abortion, reproductive rights, same-sex marriages and the rising tide of the LGBT movements, continued the drumbeat. These included Kate Millett, Andrea Dworkin, Rivka Haut, Jill Johnston and feminist psychologist Phyllis Chesler who is quoted as saying that most of this crew were mentally ill: “I denied the extent to which many of the most charismatic and original of feminist thinkers were mentally ill. I don’t mean neurotic, difficult, anxious or eccentric. I mean clinically schizophrenic or manic depressive, or suicidal, addicted to drugs or alcohol, or afflicted with a personality disorder.”
Their legacy? “They destroyed the family out of hostility,” Gress concludes. “As Fr.George Rutler says, ‘Hostility to truth is nurtured by a love of lies’ and the lies of the matriarchy sound empowering and liberating. The matriarchy sought to make the world a more comfortable place by unleashing the sensual above the rational and tolerance above principle, but at a terrible cost to everyone.”
Nevertheless, radical feminism continues to promote the lie that human nature can be changed – which it cannot as all life and history confirms always and everywhere. Yet celebrities still proclaim that gender equality is ‘the emergency of our time’. And their breathless exhortations are littered with the same newspeak terminology used in the Soviet Union – all deceitfully concealing the murderous reality of which they speak.
The result? Not only do the errors of Russia now enslave women the world over, our world has become an orphanage, which is what happens when we get rid of the Cross and the Woman who stood by it.
Which brings us back to Elizabeth Taylor whose addictions were always characterized as the result of an early back injury. But isn’t it reasonable to suppose that Taylor’s addictions may have been rooted in a need to soothe an agonized conscience? Add to that another detail rarely mentioned – reports that later in her life, Taylor expressed regrets for the way she had lived, pointing again to the truth that no body or soul is beyond God and the natural law.
But nor have the death-dealing consequences of feminist ideology relented an iota since the actress’s death. Indeed, since then, its focus has shifted from personal to national destruction.
This brings us to the now-ubiquitous phenomenon known as Black Lives Matter which, confoundingly, is supported by many Catholics around the world who have rallied under the BLM banner, believing it’s about racial equality, rather than the Marxist agenda that’s been driving it since its founding in 2013 following the acquittal of George Zimmerman, who’d been charged with the death of Trayvon Martin.
How many Catholics realize that the inspiration behind the movement is Assata Shakur, a radical feminist and Marxist revolutionary who escaped from prison in 1979 while serving a life sentence for the murder of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster? She is currently living in communist Cuba.
The actual founders, meanwhile, are three militant lesbian feminists – Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opel Tometi, with Garza widely recognized as the most influential of the three. In 2014 and 2015, the movement emerged as a national presence by declaring war on America’s law enforcement agencies. The group also created a huge stir at Toronto Pride in 2016 by shutting down the parade at the intersection of Yonge and College streets with a cloud of rainbow smoke.
Since then, BLM activists have fomented riots, burned and looted cities, and incited followers with chants that have ranged from “What do we want? Dead Cops!” to “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot.” And today, the project is a member-led political global network of more than 40 chapters in four countries. As such, the organization is a violent revolutionary group seen most recently in downtown Seattle where their game is not civil disobedience, but a deliberate effort to remove portions of America from the rule of law through anarchy, often with help from the George Soros-funded terrorist group, Antifa. This while statues and other icons of American history are simultaneously being pulled down and destroyed across the country in a Marxist bid to eradicate its history and ignite revolution.
So it’s no accident the area currently called CHAZ/CHOP has been dubbed “the Seattle Soviet”.
“They are cultural Marxists,” opines retired political science professor Dr. Carol Swain. Black Lives Matter is not a legitimate civil-rights movement, she says, but a puppet coalition being opportunistically manipulated by the Democrat Party to win the presidency. “It’s part of the cultural Marxist agenda against America using black people to advance a radical agenda that will be destructive to our nation, that will hurt all of us. And it’s hurting us right now.”
The New Anti-Marys
Bottom line? Where the early radical feminists set out to attack the natural order of the family by destroying life itself through abortion and legalized depravity, having now altered their own sexuality, this latest generation of anti-Marys – with the strong support of white, college-educate millennial women — are seeking to destroy the natural order of civilization itself through anarchy and general lawlessness enabled by the neutering of police forces and all the systems and institutions that have long made neighbourhoods and nations functional, safe and prosperous.
For an example of this, look no further than Seattle Democrat mayor Jenny Durkan, who until June 22 had refused to intervene in her inner city to reverse the violence and return properties to their rightful owners. As yet another deluded and inept politician, her decisions have been perverse, unjust and dysfunctional as she enables the Marxists now threatening to take over her country via revolution. As of June 22, however, she may be having second thoughts, given the avoidable death of a 19-year-old black youth two days earlier. And at this writing, she was making vague noises about bringing police back into the mix.
This while on the same weekend that flames and murder bedevilled downtown Seattle, Chicago suffered its highest murder rate in its modern history. Also reported but still not confirmed were nine Luciferian marches said to be held in large cities across the U.S. at the height of Summer Solstice. What unholy requests were at the heart of that, do you suppose?
The Enduring Relevance of Fatima
When Our Lady warned at Fatima of the cost of failing to consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart, she was speaking a profound truth still unfolding, that of Russia’s errors still emanating, infecting and sickening the entire world as women continue to abort their babies and call it a ‘right’. All the while forsaking homes and failing to give birth to the children the Lord God intended, thereby creating profound frustration and lack of fulfillment in their own lives and their related others while generating misery outwards into the world by forsaking their natural role.
This is the spirit of ‘anti-Mary’ which, like Lilith and Jezebel of Scripture, is the diabolical opposite of Our Lady and her absolute virtue which has, for two thousand years, been there for all of womanhood to emulate. And so deep and fundamental is the womanliness epitomized by Our Lady, Gress notes, that even in lives of perversity, women still can’t change their own true nature, as so eloquently described by Nobel laureate William Golding, author of Lord of the Flies. “I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men, they are far superior and always have been. Whatever you give a woman she will make it greater. If you give her sperm, she’ll give you a baby. If you give her a house, she’ll give you a home. If you give her groceries, she’ll give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she’ll give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her.”
To which Gress adds: “Women are called to ‘contain’ others, not just to hold onto them, but to improve them and let them go again, now healthier, stronger, and better prepared for the journey. The time-honoured symbols of women – vessels and so on – represent containing something, transforming it, bringing people to safety. These are not unimportant things, but truly the elements that help people grow into their full potential.”
How much richer and fuller are these truths when applied to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the ultimate woman after whom women are rightly encouraged to model themselves. And how opposite she is to today’s feminist: “Despite her splendor, Our Lady does not make herself a celebrity, she does not draw attention to herself, but is always saying, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ She is not seeking to be worshipped, but only to bring her spiritual children to her Son.”
The saddest reality about the women’s movement, Gress concludes, particularly for many of its founders, is that Our Lady is the true mother they have always needed: “Instead, they chose terrible counterfeits that could never bring love, affection, healing – the mothering – for which their hearts longed.”
Which is exactly how anyone with eyes to see can recognize that feminism and its life-denying Marxist roots is just one more – albeit very powerful – destructive temptation from the same demon who tempted Our Lord in the desert: that he would give Him the entire world if only He would bow down and worship him, Satan, the perennial, ever-present tempter.
Does this not also give new meaning to the term ‘take a knee’?
How eternal is this story? All pointing to the absolute truth that some things never change. Not fallen human nature, nor the human condition, nor the devil himself who so hates God’s creation that he never ceases trying to destroy it. And what we’re all currently watching – and on quite a grand scale at the moment – is his latest attempt.