Worlds Without Women

Maureen Dowd, columnist and author, wrote an article for the The New York Times titled “Worlds Without Women.”  She won the Pulitizer Prize for her columns regarding the Clinton administration’s Monica Lewinsky scandal.  Dowd’s books include Are Men Necessary?: When Sexes Collide and Bushworld: Enter at your own risk.

In “Worlds Without Women” Dowd recalls a moment in Saudi Arabia where she spent time with young, educated and professional women.  She asked them why they weren’t upset about living in a place “…where women’s rights were strangled, an inbred and autocratic state more like an archaic men’s club than a modern nation. They told me, somewhat defensively, that the kingdom was moving at its own pace, glacial as that seemed to outsiders.”

Because of their response, Dowd reflects and finds a similar comparison in her life: the Catholic church.  For example: “I, too, rationalized as men in dresses allowed our religious kingdom to decay and to cling to outdated misogynistic rituals, blind to the benefits of welcoming women’s brains, talents and hearts into their ancient fraternity.”

Dowd: “Negating women is at the heart of the church’s hideous — and criminal — indifference to the welfare of boys and girls in its priests’ care.”  Recently, the scandals have plagued the church and its PR has gone under fire.  Father Stephen Kiesle is an example of a northern California priest who molested children and Pope Ratzinger’s conduct has raised questions.  Also, let’s not forget the case of Rev. Lawrence C. Murphy who is accused of molesting up to 200 deaf boys at a Wisconsin school.

Could Dowd be right that the missing link to religion is the treatment of women?  Equality at all levels can be a dangerous concept.

Here are the links:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/11/opinion/11dowd.html?src=me&ref=homepage

http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/opinion/editorialsandoped/oped/columnists/maureendowd/index.html

http://documents.nytimes.com/the-document-trail-stephen-kiesle

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/25/world/europe/25vatican.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/01/us/01chrono.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/12/us/12abuse.html?fta=y

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