· The editorial ·
Before addressing what today is a new and urgent topic – and that is, what can be the place of women today in society, in the family, in the Church – we must ask ourselves what the specificity of being female consists of. In the two previous issues of our monthly we examined the socially accepted – and not only biological – meanings of motherhood, that is to say as an ability to care for people and a force for reconciliation. With this issue we are wondering what constitutes the female difference, a reality in which we believe and which we defend from ideologies which claim that it is only possible to obtain freedom by denying all differences. An anthropological and cultural difference exists which was created by thousands of years of the marginalization of women in the private sphere but which has honed characteristics that are certainly not to be despised, and on the contrary constitute an important social and spiritual value. Camille Froidevaux-Metterie, a French philosopher, proposes a feminism which does not erase these specific features but, far from it, makes the most of them and renders them desirable and practicable for the male half of humanity too. Thus only think that women must not take the path of equality becoming “men like everyone else”, but that they can enrich their female characteristics with the qualities until now deemed masculine. It is also hoped that the same thing will happen for men, in other words that equality should not be seen as a mutilation but rather as an enrichment. The new and radical interpretation of the Gospels which Maria dell’Orto proposes takes us back to the origins of the women’s revolution, that is, to the attitude which Jesus showed towards them, to the words he addressed to them: an image before the eyes of all, but which for centuries people in strongly patriarchal societies did not want to look at. Such societies, also from the scientific point of view, have always interpreted difference as a confirmation of female inferiority and until very recent times have also thought of medicine and pharmacology only in relation to men. And to think that already in the Old Testament, in the Book of Ruth, a genealogy in the feminine overturned centuries of patriarchal power. (lucetta scaraffia)
St. Peter’s Square
Aug. 18, 2019
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