Carrie Gress has a doctorate from the Catholic University of America and is a philosophy professor at Pontifex University. She is the author of Nudging Conversions: A Practical Guide to Bringing Those You Love Back to the Church, and Ultimate Makeover: The Transforming Power of Motherhood. Carrie is the co-author with George Weigel of City of Saints: A Pilgrims Guide to John Paul II’s Krakow. A homeschooling mother of four, she and her family live in Virginia. Visit her blog at www.carriegress.com.
Several months ago, I raised the question as to whether our age is marked by an antimary movement seen in progressive feminism. If there is such a thing as an antimary, what would it look like, I asked:
Well, these women would not value children. They would be bawdy, vulgar, and angry. They would rage against the idea of anything resembling humble obedience or self-sacrifice for others. They would be petulant, shallow, catty, and overly sensuous. They would also be self-absorbed, manipulative, gossipy, anxious, and ambitious. In short, it would be everything that Mary is not.
In case we needed further evidence of how entrenched the antimary is, the recent news cycle features Planned Parenthood abortionists laughing about dismembering babies while Glamour Magazine gives instructions for DIY abortion pills that pair nicely with Chardonnay. (Okay, they didn’t add the wine, but it isn’t a stretch). Truly our zeitgeist is captivated (or captured) with distinctive antimary markings. This unprecedented movement of destruction, where a culture is led by female vice, not male brute force, has bled into every area of our culture — with no man, women, child (or fetus) left untouched.
One of the more curious and revealing taboos seen in radical feminists, however, is their silence on women in Islam — female genital mutilation, headscarves and burkas, polygamy, child marriage, 24-hour “marriages” to justify rape, and limited career opportunities all get a pass by this easily outraged group. Why? The answer seems to lie in the fact that radical Islam is guided by a similar spirit — the spirit of an antichrist. Beheadings, rape, torture — performed like sport — while targeting Christians, Jews, and the innocent, are their calling card. The antimary and this new antichristian movement are opposite sides of the same demonic coin. The two came together with Kathy Griffin's beheading stunt this week.
They share a common mission: to eliminate all that is good, true, beautiful, and holy.
There is a catch, however. While these two are working in tandem now, like all unions with the devil, there will be a bloody divorce. The first stirrings of it are now surfacing in Europe, as we saw with the Manchester massacre.
While the New York Times still can’t figure out what could have possibly motivated the suicide bomber, killing 22, Mark Steyn, spells out the issue in a fittingly titled article, “Dangerous Woman Meets Dangerous Man”. He writes:
Conversely, most other western citizens believe that, to invert Trotsky, if you're not interested in Islam, Islam won't be interested in you. Ariana Grande was eight at the time of 9/11, and most of her fans even younger. They have passed their entire sentient lives in the age of Islamic terror, yet somehow assume it's something compartmentalized and sealed off from them. "Dangerous Woman" is meant to be an attitude, nothing more - an edgy pose in a pop culture that lost any edge long ago; a great T-shirt, like the ones last night scavenged from the merchandising stands and used to bandage the wounded. It must come as a shock to realize there are those who take your ersatz provocations as the real thing, and are genuinely provoked by them.
As Steyn makes clear, women have been playing tough, but there is a chasm between their words and their actions. All the antimary tactics that have worked in the west to keep men in check — tantrums, destroying reputations with inflated rhetoric, illogic — are not going to be effective against this sort of antichrist.
Among the contributing factors to this antimarian rise are a libertine spirit, declining respect for the rule of law, and our never-seen-before financial wealth. No longer does poverty demand that we live together to scratch out a living with a division of labor suited to male and female gifts. Women simply haven’t needed men for their safety or material needs. But this too is changing, as women no longer feel free in Europe to go where they want, when they want, how they want. Trains are starting to offer “female only” cars, pools have “women only” hours, and blonds are dying their hair black to avoid harassment. Something as commonplace as going to the theatre at night has women (and men) thinking twice about their safety.
Until we start to view the problem of Islamic Terrorism as a spiritual one — and one that requires that we change — there will be more of the same. We will continue to endure wholesale destruction of all that is good, true, and holy either until these two battle it out, with one clear winner. (Good money is on the side that has no fear of spilling blood, and not the side that remains willfully blind.)
There is a third alternative, however, that offers hope and a future. Christians must return to their faith and to the spiritual elements that we know destroy Christ’s enemy. As I wrote in The Marian Option: God’s Solution to a Civilization in Crisis, after 2000 years, we know what these are: Mass, Eucharistic adoration, the Rosary, confession, Marian consecration. We know these things work. And there is more than enough evidence that Mary has been behind the vanquishing of Christian enemies for centuries. It is time we call upon her again to conquer all that is opposed to her and to her Son.