The Anti-Mary Exposed
Rescuing the Culture From Toxic Femininity
By Carrie Gress, Ph.D.
TAN Books, 2019
228 pages, $27.95
To order: ewtnrc.com or (800) 854-6316
The title of Carrie Gress’ new book is intriguing.
What is the “anti-Mary” agenda? It is a demonic spiritual movement antithetical to everything the Blessed Mother epitomizes and Christendom upholds and reveres, specifically targeting women and their unique gifts. “If there is, indeed, an anti-Marian spirit,” Gress writes, “what would it look like? Well, a woman in its grip would not value children. She would be bawdy, vulgar and angry. She would rage against the idea of anything resembling humble obedience or self-sacrifice for others. She would be petulant, shallow, catty and overly sensuous. She would also be self-absorbed, manipulative, gossipy, anxious and self-servingly ambitious. In short, she would be everything that Mary is not.”
Gress goes on: “Women have always desired equality and respect, but our current culture isn’t seeking it through the grace of Mary; rather, the culture seeks this equality and respect through the vices of Machiavelli: rage, intimidation, tantrums, bullying, raw emotion, and absence of logic.”
The author pins the origin of this modern anti-Mary mentality and the rise of toxic femininity on the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s and ’70s — that much is obvious — but what is not always obvious is radical feminism’s Marxist roots. Marxism and all the systems of government and economics that arise from it depend upon the belief that human nature can be changed, by force if necessary:
“The end goal of the feminist revolution must be … not just the elimination of male privilege but of the sex distinction itself: Genital differences between human beings would no longer matter culturally” (emphasis in the original), as quoted from Shulamith Firestone’s book The Dialectic of Sex, first published in 1970.
With the help of Firestone, whom she quotes in her book, Gress does more than shock the reader into wakefulness. She offers practical action items for combating the anti-Mary agenda, as well as an appendix containing beautiful prayers, especially the powerful Lorica prayer traditionally attributed to St. Patrick. The book contains some unfortunate editorial gaffes, such as referring to the “tenants” of the faith (rather than “tenets”) and using the word “bobble” for a shiny decorative item (instead of “bauble”). Nevertheless, Gress’ excellent combination of historical study, incisive analysis, timely urgency and practical solutions make it a must-read.
The best way for our broken culture to combat the anti-Mary is to embrace what the anti-Mary rejects, especially motherhood. Gress asserts: “Mothers (both spiritual and biological) are a natural icon of Mary. A mother helps others know who Mary is by her generosity, kindness, patience, compassion, peace, intuition, and ability to nurture souls.
“Mary’s love (and the love of mothers) offers one of the best images of what God’s love is like — unconditional, healing, safe, and deeply personal.”
Clare Walker writes from