Kathy Schiffer is a Catholic blogger. In addition to her blog Seasons of Grace, her articles have appeared in the National Catholic Register, Aleteia, Zenit, the Michigan Catholic, Legatus Magazine, and other Catholic publications. She’s worked for Catholic and other Christian ministries since 1988, as radio producer, director of special events and media relations coordinator. Kathy and her husband, Deacon Jerry Schiffer, have three adult children.
Amal Clooney has no love in her heart for President-elect Donald Trump and has recently offered some advice on surviving a Trump presidency. Clooney urged 7,000 attendees at the recent Texas Conference on Women to perform “everyday acts of feminism” and to support one another, in the workplace and beyond.
Clooney, a barrister specializing in international law and human rights, represents well-known clients including WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and the former prime minister of Ukraine. You probably recognize her as the wife of Hollywood star George Clooney. And frankly, she's got a pretty good reputation for being smart but also kind.
But what could she mean by “acts of feminism”? Should women rush out to abort their children? Should they hate men?
Actually, Clooney appears not to be the type of radical feminist whose misandry drives her to push her handsome husband out the door. Instead, she urges women to work together. “The worst thing we can do as women,” she says,
...is not stand up for each other, and this is something we can practice every day, no matter where we are and what we do—women sticking up for other women, choosing to protect and celebrate each other instead of competing or criticizing one another.
She quotes defeated presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who said that “Women's rights are human rights. Holding back women is holding back half of every country in the world.” For the highly successful Amal Clooney, “everyday acts of feminism” seem to be bullets of cooperation in a dog-eat-dog world.
But there remains a prevailing attitude among many gender feminists that sees children as an inconvenience, as obstacles to career success, as interlopers taking over the mother's body against her will. These feminists strike out to defend themselves against their offspring, rejecting motherhood with its joys and struggles, instead expressing their creativity through their work.
But they would be hard pressed to defend themselves in a war of ideas with internationally best-selling author Costanza Miriano. Miriano is a wife and mother of four who works as a journalist for Rai (Italian public television). Her personal blog has generated more than three million readers in only two years, and she has written four books. A Catholic, she has worked with the Pontifical Council for the Laity.
Miriano is successful, yes. Her latest book has sold more than 70,000 copies in Italy, and has been translated into Spanish, French, Portuguese, Polish, Slovenian, and now English. But Miriano approaches the role of women from a different perspective: The controversial and highly entertaining book which has garnered world attention is titled Marry Him and Be Submissive.
Miriano boldly, playfully, and profoundly takes the lives and loves of modern women head on, and shows how true marital happiness is found in submission. And she shows how submission—real, true submission, which is about love, humility, and support—will lead you to salvation. Far from belittling women, it empowers them (and their families) in ways that secular feminism can only dream of.
Miriano frankly admits that the “Good Mother” (a role to which she aspires) faces daily struggles: too little sleep and too little time, a society that hinders rather than helps in her goal of raising children with strong character. “These,” she writes, “are our daily problems. Not the glass ceiling, not that barrier that, according to the feminists, is transparent but impenetrable and that prevents us taking our place at the top table.”
For many people, Miriano says, marriage is something that goes on in the background while they do other things. She warns against “roommate syndrome,” in which the couple grow so familiar that it's commonplace to let their appearances slide, to wear sweatpants and a sweat shirt around the house.
She's a realist, acknowledging that husbands see the world differently. “A man wandering about your house—always the same one, always there in absolute control of the TV remote.... silences that you can't explain; a guy who asks you how you are and then leaves the room when you begin to reply, who for years won't remember your friends' names but will remember that of his favorite actress....” The married women out there are smiling—I can see you!—but then delighting because together, the spouses are stronger and better. “You are his enthusiasm,” Miriano explains; “he is your balance. He is the spring in your step; you are his right arm.”
The advice on the rigors of marriage and parenting that long-married Costanza Miriano shares in Marry Him and Be Submissive is funny and helpful and real. Give me her brand of feminism, that finds fulfillment in bending her own will to meet the needs of the husband and family she loves, any day over that of the power-seekers who would do anything—even kill their progeny—to achieve their goals.