The paradoxes continue in our modern era, not least of which is that concerning ‘gender’ and feminism, with two stories that come to mind:
First, there is the sad and tragic Emma Watson, the child star of the Harry Potter series, Hermione, now all grown up, flashing her, ahem, bosom in a rather seductive way (what word does one use?) on the front cover of Vanity Fair. Ms. Watson, who last year hung out and went on a scooter ride with the wife of our current Prime Minster, (who with her husband also espouses certain feminist principles) has been derided for selling her body, something that is against the unwritten feminist credo. But is it? Here is Ms.. Watson’s reply:
“Is there a controversy about this?” she asked sarcastically.
“It just always reveals to me of how many misconceptions and misunderstandings there [are] about what feminism is,” the 26-year old told the BBC about the reaction to the Tim Walker photograph. “Feminism is about giving women choice. Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with. It’s about freedom, it’s about liberation, it’s about equality.”
Ah, freedom, liberation, equality, which sounds a lot like the French Revolution slogan, which ended being about anything but. As John Paul II never tired of declaring, freedom and truth go together hand in hand, or perish in misery. Like love and marriage, you can’t have one without the other. Some choices are just objectively bad choices, like objectifying one’s body and sexuality to sell magazines. Of course, the end point of this is the pornography industry, and I am not sure Ms. Watson would go so far as to praise women coerced into such degradation, but in trying to be consistent in her Potter-confused mind, she might.
The thing is, once the truth is abandoned, one ends up inexorably in contradictions of one sort or another, usually many, as we will soon see with Islam and Watson’s and Trudeau’s ‘liberal values’. Freedom’s all well and good until your freedom clashes with someone else’s, like provocative clothing and Sharia law, par example. Or, more objectively, feminist ‘values’, like contraception, abortion-on-demand, consequence-free sex and gender fluidity, and the natural moral law, which always, in the end, even if long term, wins out.
Speaking of which, there is the tale of the female wrestler, at least born such (a female, not a wrestler), who is undergoing ‘gender transitioning’, and therefore now identifies as a ‘male’, receiving unhealthy doses of testosterone to flatten out her natural curves, and develop, to some degree, the musculature of a man. Well, she (I will use her natural pronoun, although the article annoyingly and confusingly refers to her as a he) wanted to wrestle with the boys, but was not permitted, as Texas law (as Texas law would) requires wrestlers to compete according to the sex listed on their birth certificate. How intolerant and, well, truthful of them. So ‘Mack’ Beggs, as the girl-who-would-be-a-boy goes by, won handily, claiming she does not ‘cheat’, and has ‘held back’ on her testosterone injections, presumably to make a more level playing field, or mat, in this case. But ‘Mack’ won handily, flipping down her more testosterone-challenged female competitors.
Alas, when the truth goes, so does sanity, and the confusion and contradictions know no end, like Alice Through the Looking Glass. Not only do words mean whatever we want them to mean, as Humpty would have it, but now reality is whatever we make of it.
While we’re on the topic of truth and sanity, today is the anniversary of the death of the great Saint Thomas Aquinas, one of the most truthful and sane men who ever lived, who went to his eternal reward in a Cistercian monastery in Fossanuova, Italy, on his way to the Second Council of Lyons in 1274. Normally, this would be his feast day, and was until it was moved in the post-Vatican II revisions of the calendar in 1969 to January 28th, the day his relics were transferred to the Dominican convent in Toulouse, so that we could celebrate him outside of Lent.
But we can remember him on this day, as he looks down on us from heaven. I have written much on the Angelic Doctor, and the great praise heaped on him by the Church, as well as the absolute importance of appropriating his thought for any proper and sound philosophical and theological grounding. He is a light shining in the darkness of our current obscurity and darkness. Saint Thomas defined reality as the adequatio rei et intellectus, (ST, I, q.16, a.), the conformity between mind and reality, and once that connection is broken, who knows where we will end up, and who will put Humpty back together again?
For a healthy dose of reality, and true spiritual combat, along with true femininity, peruse today’s Office of Readings for the commemoration of Saints Perpetua and Felicity. The contemporary account of their and their companions’ martyrdom in Carthage at the turn of the third century (203), under the persecution of Septimus Severus, makes for vivid and inspiring reading. There we will find what it means to be a Christian, and giving one’s life for the truth as the final and unanswerable witness.
As the readings concludes:
O fortissimi ac beatissimi martyres! O vere vocati et electi in gloriam Domini nostri Jesu Christi!
Amen to that.
Saints Thomas, Perpetua and Felicity, orate pro nobis!