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Christian feminity: Living like Our Lady in modern times Print
Guest column
Thursday, Dec. 23, 2010 -- 1:00 AM

With Christmas festivities underway and family gatherings abounding, Christ’s birth is any Christian’s central focus.

Surely this focus has brought about some thought on the Blessed Virgin’s important role in the Christ Child’s life.

The simple, yet difficult role she held in His time can hardly be paralleled with such a fast-paced culture as ours is today, can it?

With the role of women in society changing rapidly, it’s easy to lose sight of where women should stand. Involvement of a woman in society today is different from that of Jesus’ time, but still centers around the same characteristic: primary focus of service to the family.

A large influence

“At this moment, when the human race is undergoing so deep a transformation, women imbued with a spirit of the Gospel can do so much to help humanity not to fall.” Pope John Paul II said this years ago, but it as just as true today.

When a part of society begins to crumble, it starts by corrupting women. As scanty clothing, abortion, promiscuity, and other immoral practices broaden over the sphere of influence, the society starts to fall apart.

Thus, women have an important part in stopping these things by fulfilling their role as the protector of life, speaking out against abortion, and helping women around them to rise above the low temptations of promiscuity.

The whole population

It’s important to say that your involvement in society does not change regardless of your marital status. A stay-at-home mother can have just as much, if not more, societal influence if she keeps informed of the world around her.

Levels of involvement in social issues, however, will depend on the woman’s availability. With three children under five at home, it may not be the best time to pursue a time-consuming career.

In the same token, it may be easier to pursue a career in a family with fewer demands. However, being at home requires a strong effort to keep informed on world issues and being able to defend the faith at any cost with eloquence and accuracy. Obviously, those in the working world need to be able to defend their faith as well.

A feminine touch

In any case, the female sphere of influence is still limited by the multitude of men in high powered professional positions. I must emphasize here the need for women to stay educated to improve this ratio. Women with more availability for these positions because of their family situation and/or intellectual gifts can and absolutely should take advantage of this quality to its highest degree.

In any position, but these positions especially, it is important for women to not ask for respect, but demand it by their pure speech, feminine dress, and positive outlook. This way of embracing femininity is what will bring success in this endeavor.

Not letting the objectification of women enter the workplace is crucial, particularly in key industries whose messages reach many people, like the media. Women should act with just as much professional prestige as would any man.

Help from Christian brothers

Women are not alone in this undertaking. Many men feel the negative pressures of women’s objectivity and while they want a change, do not know exactly how to go about it.

A feminine, dignified example of a woman will empower them to help embrace a new, positive culture.

Men as protectors

As men are often thought to be the protectors and providers of any family, they too have a duty to empower culture by the way they treat women, with dignity and kindness. While this is totally countercultural, I must stress its importance for our society to improve as a whole.

To finish, women must defend their faith, strive to work hard in their respective environments, and live feminine respect for all those they encounter. This is the way to live Our Lady’s beautiful example in our modern world.


Olivia Knier is a senior at Waunakee High School and hopes to attend the University of Notre Dame next fall. She enjoys running, singing, writing for her high school newspaper, The Purple Sage, spending time with her family, and learning about her Catholic faith.