A Catholic feminism
Against the “equality model,” a “Catholic feminism” relies on very different principles.
First, the ideal driving force for human work is service to others. This is supremely important because it means that the powerful positions in the world are not always those that are seen as such, a startling idea for most people.
Second, women are not equal to men apart from the equality of their personhood. They are, as mentioned above, different from men in more ways than simple biology.
Mother and father are not replaceable or interchangeable; they are complementary. This means that the mother’s work with children is of a very special importance, especially when they are small. The father’s complementary position regarding children is also deeply important, but the mother is the key person for the very small child.
In whatever way the spouses divide between them housework and taking care of their children, it remains true that this work is of the utmost importance not only to the children, but to society as well.
The service to others that parents show their children, and which the children in turn learn, is the reason the family comes first in the order of importance. It is why the family is vitally important for the other spheres of life.
It is within the family that one is loved unconditionally, perhaps only there. It is therefore within the family that love is taught. . . .
Contemporary feminist policies are at best tolerant of the existence of the family, at worst they are at war with it.
But no feminist model exists — apart from the Catholic one — in which the family is the fundamental unit of society, coming first in the order of importance, before society and politics.
As I have pointed out, the “balancing” of work life and family life at best puts these two spheres of life on the same level, thereby overlooking the pre-eminent importance of the family.
But if it all depends on the family — good citizens, good employers, the very moral fiber of society and politics — this surely cannot be right.