Self-Centeredness Isn't Narcissism's Central Problem

Self-Centeredness Isn't Narcissism's Central Problem

The narrative of Orual’s journey from facelessness to identity—having a face that she can expose to the god—profoundly speaks to those of us living in a culture of narcissism. The eventual shedding of her entire false face—symbolized, ironically, by the veil that hides rather than reveals—within the merciful embrace of divine love is both a deep diagnostic as well as a signpost to the way out.

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The Starved Body: Anorexia and the Fracture within the Self

The Starved Body: Anorexia and the Fracture within the Self

The man seems light and liquid, the woman heavy and tied down. Likewise, the anorexic strives for the light and airy. She escapes the gravity not only of her body but also of need. Ultimately, both sexual revolution and eating disorders rebel against the given, against what is inescapable. Sex creates babies. Bodies require food. But who says? The rules don’t apply to me. Modernity valorizes the independent, self-sufficient man, as he strides rationally and freely into the well-managed future of his own creation. But the cheerleaders of secularism do not seem to have reckoned with the innately destructive quality of the self that has been unleashed from any transcendent orientation.

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Is There an Escape from the Evils of a Contracepting Society?

Is There an Escape from the Evils of a Contracepting Society?

The reigning ideology tells us that the unkempt contours of female fertility must be scoured away by a masculine, mechanizing ideology in order to fit into the smooth cogs of the sexual revolution. But is the only paradigm that applies to female fertility one of technological “control”? 

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Humanae Vitae in Light of the War Against Female Fertility

Humanae Vitae in Light of the War Against Female Fertility

The contraceptive mindset cannot avoid scapegoating women’s bodies as the cause of both personal and societal problems. By contrast, the Church, with critical and prophetic clarity, points out that it is selfish desire, not the female body, that is the source of our problems.

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#MeToo shows the dangers of ‘end-less’ sex. ‘Humanae Vitae’ shows the way forward.

In our astonishing cultural moment, people—and not just those in gender studies departments—are engaged in serious conversations about sex and power. One interpretation of the #MeToo phenomenon is that sexual harassment is not about sex at all but only power. There is truth in this view. The power dynamics in film producer Harvey Weinstein’s room, for example, clearly made all the difference in determining how women responded to his unwanted advances.

Interestingly, the view that sexual harassment is not primarily about sex is put forward more often by women than by men. Male commentators, such as the New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, often see things differently. In a conversation with Rebecca Traister of New York magazine, he paraphrases Tony Montana from “Scarface”: “First you get the money, then you get the power, then you get the women.” As Mr. Douthat puts it, a certain kind of “male sexual brain understands power” to be “a means to sex.” And if the behavior of men like Mr. Weinstein is about sex as well as power—and it certainly seems to be—we will not get out of this mess without asking some hard questions about contemporary sexual desire.

Published online at America magazine on 4/17/2018. Read the rest of the article here: https://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2018/04/17/metoo-shows-dangers-end-less-sex-humanae-vitae-shows-way-forward

Women, Sex, and the Church

See my chapter on contraception in this terrific resource.

"This book takes on both the thorniest dilemmas and the best kept secrets of the Catholic Church's teachings concerning women, with thoroughness, intelligence, and honesty." 
Helen Alvaré, J.D., Associate Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law