Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Medieval Catholic Sexism in the 21st Century

Two particularly annoying stories I came across.

First, the school baseball team that forfeited the championship game because the opposing team had a... a... a g-g-g-GIRL! In a statement, the Arizona Catholic school (Our Lady of Sorrows, which sounds like a fun place for kids, and it's one of those Society of Pius X places, because Vatican II was just WAY too permissive) said that it teaches boys to respect girls by not putting them in competition where "proper boundaries can only be respected with difficulty." Because... baseballs's a full contact sport, or something? Still, I guess I don't really expect an organization who finds the, um, modernism of the Second Vatican Council too free and loose to really have 21st century ideas about gender boundaries. But, seriously, you can't respect proper boundaries? What does that even mean? Because I want to be sure if I'm supposed to be hearing "Girls are too dainty for sports" or "Girls belong in a kitchen" or "You know boys, you can't keep them from groping the females."

Good for Mesa Prep Academy for not making the girl (Paige Sultzbach) sit the game out. You know, I think we've got it backwards. I grew up hearing that we had to respect other peoples' religious beliefs, but really what we need to respect is the right of the individual to hold whatever religious beliefs they want. When those religious beliefs say that a girl has to sit on the bench after she's worked hard to get to the championship game--or, for that matter, that a team of boys can't play the game they've worked hard to get to because there's a girl on the field--then it becomes a matter of imposing your religious will on others. And yes, I get that those boys go to that school and that's some kind of fucked-up school policy that seems to be hellbent on keeping young males away from the unclean, but you know what? I'm just going to say it: it's fucking stupid. It's not the 15th century anymore, no one with a working brain and a capacity for reason should care about whether the genders can mix on a sports field.

Second story: the US Conference of Catholic Bishops is conducting an official investigation into the Girl Scouts. Let's not mince stupidities and rationalizations and poor excuses: this is about abortion. This is about the Catholic Church--which acts as a sponsor of the Girl Scouts in some communities--deciding that they have an in to take more control of the Girl Scouts and steer them towards a more medieval viewpoint, starting with attacking the Girl Scouts on their affiliation with Planned Parenthood. The US Bishops don't care about tolerance, progress, inclusiveness, education, knowledge, or autonomy: they want to come in just before the Girl Scouts have their big centennial celebration and rain their righteous piss all over the proceedings.

Now, again, freedom of religion in this country. You want to be Catholic, go ahead. I don't care. I have no issue with religion of any kind until it begins imposing its will on people who don't choose to follow these beliefs. And once again, here is the Catholic hierarchy, determined to go after an obvious target that is in no way beholden to conform to its misogynistic power grabs. Is there no more charity for the Catholic Church to perform? No more starving children? No more war zones? No more children sexually assaulted by an organization that refuses to address their concerns and in fact covers up and arguably rewards its transgressors by moving them into a fresh victim pool, pardoned by a president who sought to tie church and state closer together and even foolish enough to honor the architect of its child molester protection program with the highest temporal office religion has to offer?

Oh, yes, right.

The Catholic hierarchy has no business telling anyone what to do with their bodies while they keep refusing to address what they themselves have done to the bodies of others. Until then, all of this shit sounds like "Please, stop talking about all of the kids we've touched! Um... touched for God's greater glory!"


Tallulah Morehead said...

Years ago a comedy writer friend of mine, the survivor of a Catholic upbringing, created a ficitonal Catholic Parochial School in his work named the "Our Lady of Eternal Torment Pre-School."

MC said...

I guess they are upset that somehow the warm and accepting Girl Scouts can't be like Mormonized Boy Scouts.