Thursday, November 24, 2011

I am first, a human being

I am happy to be female. I don't deny that I am made in God's image and I don't mind the way I was designed. However, I hate it when people act like my womanhood comes before my personhood. If even St. Paul (who did not argue against defined gender roles) could say that, in the end, there is no male or female, that is how I will live.

My womanhood does not and should not limit my ability to do things, such as travel. My womanhood should not mean that my desires to both have a career and a family are conflicting. My womanhood should not mean that, despite my hard work and education, I receive less payment than a man, yet still pay more for services such as haircuts, health care and dry cleaning. My womanhood should not mean that I have to constantly look over my shoulder, for fear of rape. My womanhood should not mean that my chances of political representation are five times less than the population of people identifying as female. My womanhood should not mean my dreams for the future are limited to a white dress. My womanhood should not mean that insults against me are so terrible, so obscene, you can't say them on TV.

It's hard being feminist and Catholic because, at times, I feel that the world is against me. No one understands why I fight so hard for equality, something I see so little of, despite how far we've come. At the same time, no one understands why I myself would hold to conservative standards. What they don't realize is that these are equally my choices. The only thing I've asked for my entire life is to be taken seriously and treated like a free agent, wherever I am and by whomever I meet. I ask that because, like everyone else, I am a human being, made in the image and likeness of God, saved by the blood of Christ and deserving of everything that a man deserves simply because St. Paul was right. There is nothing that separates us before God.

So, why does so much separate me from other human beings?

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