The Real Alternative

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What’s your game?

Image via Tumblr

Image via Tumblr



Catholic gender stereotypes rooted in the ancient world?

Image via Wikipedia

Image via Wikipedia

Please don’t get me wrong. I consider myself a Catholic but, at the same time, cannot switch off my critical faculties just because I converted to that faith from a rather limp Anglican practice (limp because I rarely went to Church as a kid and young adult, except for the obligatory weddings and funerals).

I love the Catholic Eucharist and really don’t know if I could survive without its reliably uplifting love. For me the Eucharist literally is bread from heaven. I feel it and live it, and no atheist, materialist or neuroscientist will ever convince me that this experience is qualitatively the same as, say, a beautiful sunset, a Mozart sonata, or falling in love with another person. That’s just dead wrong.

However, some of the cultural and questionable aspects of the Catholic scene didn’t suddenly disappear the moment I was confirmed. It’s almost like I have to shut down my mind whenever I hear something that rings false or hypocritical during the Mass, all the while feeling the tremendous presence and power of the Holy Spirit.

It’s a slightly strange situation. But when was life ever simple or straightforward?

With this preamble complete, I’d like to ask. If women are especially “religiously receptive,” as we see below, why can’t they be ordained as priests?

Image via Tumblr click for larger size

Image via Tumblr – click for large size

I know the standard Catholic answers. Or most of them. The reasoning I’ve heard seems weak—both logically and ethically.

So what do you think? Will Catholicism ever get past its ancient male chauvinism and reach out to one half of the human population in a fair, sensible way?

My guess is it will take at least a hundred years. Maybe more. Right now there is a known shortage of priests. And it seems the Church is mining the so-called “underdeveloped” countries for potential priests because so few in the so-called “developed” world are willing to commit. This global search is a good thing because it makes the Church more international here at home.

But still, the priest situation remains all male. And I find it a bit unsettling that not a few Catholic women and men identify with prefabricated gender stereotypes that the Church continues to legitimize and reproduce.

Source for quote appearing in this article: Printed flyer distributed in Catholic parishes by


‘Reverse’ Sexism Is A Thing – Just Like Hypocrisy (My highlighting of the story. Link to full article is embedded).
Twitter and Zemanta are momentarily down where I am. So instead of fretting away about not being able to post the link through Twitter or get new images, I thought I’d just post the link and an old image here. Not quite as pretty but the same info.

I have to admit that I have seen all kinds of sexism. Men dissing women, women dissing women, men dissing men, and yes, women dissing men.

When I began my PhD there was a woman faculty member who was in a position to significantly help or hinder my success in obtaining the degree (not a few candidates “wash out”). There I was, fresh in a new town, a bit nervous, especially since I had completed my M.A. in the organic splendor and chaos of India. Coming back to Canada and the cold, sterile city of Ottawa was not easy.

So what’s the first thing this person said when she met me?

“Oh… a MAN…” in a derogatory tone.

Gee, that really made me feel confident that we’d have a constructive academic relationship.

I didn’t say anything, of course. Because grad studies is all about power. And she had considerable power over me.

At least two other women were present when this comment was made. And nobody, including myself filed a complaint.

I felt it was better to suck it up and get the PhD rather than risk sticking my neck out at such an early stage of the game.

Turns out this woman did fight pretty hard for me when other political complications arose several years later. There was another person who was so difficult and uneducated that even the aforementioned woman had to take my side. I guess, also, that over the five year period she’d gotten to know me a bit better and realized I was an exceptional student and that I try to be fair with everyone I meet.

So playing the game worked to a degree. But for the record, I did absorb some pretty severe reverse sexism at the outset.

Likewise, on the Canadian TV news I’ve heard women anchors joke about ‘hunks’ and make other really sexist comments about men. But this never flares up. It’s okay for women to objectify men. It’s all just in fun… right?

Perhaps some women and men feel it’s okay for women to broadcast sexual innuendos in the media because women have been oppressed for so long. I understand that argument. Sort of like a pendulum swinging back to the other extreme. But really, isn’t it time things leveled out in a more mature manner?


If someone called me “the most dangerous person” I don’t think I’d like that very much

So why is “nasty woman” getting all the attention? Is this a kind of reverse sexism?


Trump/Clinton vs. Gore/Bush – One standard for men and women and another for men and men?

Trump has been described as bullying, intimidating, misogynist and threatening for standing behind Hillary Clinton during the last debate. But when Al Gore stood much closer to G. W. Bush in a similar debate, he wasn’t branded as some kind of power-hungry psycho.

So what’s going on here? Do women get special treatment, even when there’s obviously no real physical threat present? Is this the kind of gender “equality” we really want? Men are demonized for doing things that in other contexts may be somewhat off, but certainly not pathological?

Seems like a bit of a double standard to me.

I thought Trump just wanted more camera time. Right or wrong, that was my honest interpretation of his behavior.

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In an odd twist of fate, the Scarlet Letter is now “T”

If you haven’t read The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne you probably won’t know what the heck I’m talking about. It’s a classic American novel.

English: Engraving of American author Nathanie...

Engraving of American author Nathaniel Hawthorne. Taken from Brief Biographies: With Steel Portraits by Samuel Smiles. Published by Ticknor and Fields, 1861. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Scarlet Letter (1926 film)

The Scarlet Letter (1926 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Sexism and the impressionable human being

The above tweet points to some obvious cases where men are victims of sexism. But discrimination occurs on many levels, in many different ways. Men can perpetuate sexism against men, just as women can perpetuate sexism against women. Sexism isn’t only about one gender disrespecting and oppressing another. And what about “pretty” people discriminating against the “ugly.” Or that thin against the obese? The tall against the short? The “normal” against the “weird”?

The unfortunate dynamic of discrimination occurs because, well, people are impressionable. So a situation often arises where we are sort of brainwashed, I guess, into believing in things and acting in certain ways that are not based in reality nor good for humanity as a whole.

Another routinely overlooked example of believing in things that may not be good for us, I would suggest, is found in some of the darker corners of psychiatry. Some people abuse psychiatric drugs, or perhaps their doctors are incompetent and abusive in prescribing drugs when they shouldn’t be.

Instead of dealing with all the causes of depression, for example, some take pills because that seems to help. I am not sure how much of that help is due to the well documented placebo effect and how much is actual. But the problem with taking pills that affect your brain is that, over time, the brain will likely try to compensate for whatever is altering its systems.

The brain is not a fixed, metal machine but a living organ. So when strange chemicals enter into its everyday workings, it grows new receptors or makes other changes to try to compensate. Now, down the line, if someone wants to go off their pills, they may find that their brain has actually changed. And whatever those pills were once “fixing” may now be even worse because the brain changes (as a result of taking the pills) have made the brain more sensitive to whatever was contributing to the issue in the first place.

Doctors realize this. So what do they do? Many prescribe a new set of pills to fix the new problem. They do this knowing that over time, even more biochemical issues will likely arise. So it’s sort of playing “patch up” the problem, knowing that in doing so there’s a high probability that they will be contributing to a whole new set of problems. But it’s no game. It’s your brain.

This may seem like a bit of a diversion from the tweet about sexism, but I think it’s a good example where people believe in something that in the long run may not be good for them. I write about scientism a fair amount at earthpages. I guess some think I’m just a nut with my eyes closed to the wonders of science. But in reality, not all science is pure. In fact, much of it is politically, ideologically and economically driven. But that’s a topic for another day!