“Nothing can ever overcome that one enormous sex superiority, that even the male child is born closer to his mother than to his father. No one, staring at that frightful female privilege, can quite believe in the equality of the sexes. “G.K. Chesterton – The Higher Anarchy, Whats Wrong with the World
The fight for equality between the sexes was, in Chesterton’s estimation, the modern surrender of woman. I agree with him, but it took a long time for me to see what exactly he meant by this and what exactly was going on in our culture to limit women to such a restrictive goal.
Growing up, I was told that women were “breaking glass ceilings” and finally achieving freedom by rising to positions previously only held by men. I truly believed my liberation would be found by rising up the corporate or academic ladder and fulfilling my potential in the workplace.
Fertility, for a girl born in the 70s, was something to be controlled and even eliminated through chemical sterilization until it was eventually needed. It was an extra, mostly inconvenient, aspect of the female body. A curse, if you will. Something to be dealt with, and definitely an impediment to the higher aims of life – a fulfilling career, financial success, and self fulfillment.
This lie – that female fertility is a disease to be treated – this complete abdication – is at the heart of the crisis of culture we have today. Women have always had the power. We have had this frightful and awesome power to participate in the creation of new life. This power has always been and will always be the most important distinction between the sexes. The ability to bring forth new life is far and away the human function which most closely participates in the divine life. We cooperate with God to bring new eternal souls into the world within our very bodies.
Women are not defective men – we have certainly moved beyond Aristotle in our view on women. Men can have sex without the possibility of becoming pregnant – true. Why would women want to emulate that? The transgender phenomenon strikes at the heart of this hatred of fertility. Women as young as 16 have had their reproductive organs removed to “affirm” their gender. Transgenderism is, at its heart, an attack on the Incarnation. Mary’s “yes” to conceiving Christ in her womb is echoed each time a woman says “yes” to life in her own womb. This continual echoing of incarnational love reflects the beauty of the Incarnation of Christ throughout time.
Women exercise their greatest power when they participate in the creation and nurturing of new souls. While it is not every woman’s call to be a physical mother, it is a very great power. We can and must recognize the importance and value of this preeminent role of women if we are to value their unique contribution to society and ultimately their privileged and elevated status.