Sunday, May 5, 2013

Equal is not sameness


Pope John Paul II writes:

3. As most women themselves point out, equality of dignity does not mean "sameness with men". This would only impoverish women and all of society, by deforming or losing the unique richness and the inherent value of femininity. In the Church’s outlook, women and men have been called by the Creator to live in profound communion with one another, with reciprocal knowledge and giving of self, acting together for the common good with the complementary characteristics of that which is feminine and masculine.

The above quote is taken from the written message he referred to in the first paragraph of the Letter to all women.  I wondered what this written message was, so I followed the link. This paragraph made me ask myself, "what do I do to show my daughters the dignity they have and not compare them to boys?" Do I convey in my home the equality of dignity? Or do I compare them to what boys can do? How do I encourage them in dress? In what activities they do? Do I tell them they can do anything boys can? Or do I say they can do what they put t heir minds to with God's help?

I recall growing up in the 80s and dressing like boys. It was a fade. I loved shopping at the Gap...all styles created nearly equal. Then I think of some current issues where girls want to be on the guys wrestling or football teams. If equality was sameness it would be okay, but equality is not sameness. My husband told me when he was in high school, a girl wrestled on another school's team. He said he was relieved that he did not have to wrestle her and that the guys that did were uncomfortable. In my opinion this is the fight for equality gone way too far. For in this situation it sets the boy up to go against his interior instincts. Boys are given a natural instinct to be gentle with a girl. In this case it causes them to go against that. You may laugh and say that guys do not have that, but I beg to differ. If they do not, it has been either trained out of them or never fostered. But getting back to my point:

The question is though, how do I support the dignity and uniqueness of my daughters and son? Or don't I? In what ways to I give into society and treat them less than dignified?

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