Have you ever seen one of those bumper stickers? You know, the ones that read “Well behaved women seldom make history.” What is that supposed to mean? Well behaved men rarely make history either.
Throughout history men, especially American men, have bought into the lie of self-centeredness and vanity, thinking that real success and power come from financial gain and social status. And that lie sort of works within the context of American capitalism. So women began wanting it too.
Real power, though, comes by way of a person’s ability to love deeply. In other words, uniting oneself to God, Who is Love, is real freedom. Knowing oneself humbly in the context of one’s own contingency – that sort of awakedness and awareness places you outside the prison of the carrot and the stick of worldly power.
The small amount of wisdom that I have from my religious background tells me that woman is the crown of all of creation (Genesis 2). God saved the best for last. I also know that Jesus treated women with more dignity than was usual for his time and place. Even still, all of his 12 apostles were men. Some women think the Catholic Church is misogynistic because it doesn’t place women in roles of power. That is is a misunderstanding because real power comes from love, not any one particular vocation. It is very clear that many women in the faith have this power of love in abundance.
It is important to remember, because we are so seldom reminded, that freedom in the West is based on Judeo-Christian ethics and philosophy of human dignity. When there is love, true sacrificial love like the kind that is taught by Christ, then and only then is there real power. Being concerned about who makes history is only a distraction.