Sheila Briggs’ article “Separate and Unequal” brilliantly lays bare the fact that talk of complementarity of the sexes is simply another way of insisting on inequality of the sexes. She makes the telling comparison with slavery, where until comparatively recently, some people were talking of servants being divinely ordained to obey their masters because they were essentially different from their superiors. “The supposedly racially inferior slaves should obey their white masters whose guidance they needed. Slaves were viewed as necessarily dependent on their masters in ways similar to that of wives on husbands,” she writes.
I am reminded of the experience of Patricia Fresen, one of the first modern-day Roman Catholic women bishops. She told me that the scales fell from her eyes when she saw the parallel between the treatment of black people in her native South Africa by the white population and the treatment of women by the Catholic hierarchy.
In order to maintain false teachings about human sexuality, the magisterium refuses “to acknowledge the gender inequality that is intrinsic to the gender hierarchy implied by the Augustinian and Thomistic frameworks.” Briggs’ essay is a compelling exposé of this dishonest argumentation in the Catholic hierarchy.
Manager, City Estates