Some things in life just seem so unfair. For example, if I get pulled over by a cop, because I am pale my big fear is getting an expensive ticket. However, if I looked more like my African ancestors, I would legitimately be afraid of being killed. The other day someone posted a compelling article on social media about how sex is so different for men and women; “bad” sex for men means boring, but for women it often means incredibly painful. The author gave an example of an online poll about why women fake orgasm, and she pointed out that the most common reason, “Because it hurt and I just wanted him to stop,” wasn’t even one of the choices. She also pointed out that there were ten times more medical studies about male erectile dysfunction than female pain during sex. Seriously? You would think pain would be a more persuasive problem than a little performance anxiety.
What really bothers me is that the Catholic Church, which I love, engages in this double standard. If you look at the listing of male saints, they are “bishops” and “martyrs” and “laymen” – nothing implied about their sexual status. However, women saints are either “virgins” or “married women.” As Catzookz once said, “Isn’t there a Ms. Category?” A man once said to another woman and me that he disliked how Mary Magdalene is associated with a prostitute, how that besmirched her name, and we said, “Don’t take her from us! She’s the only example of a fallen woman that we have!” He said, “There are lots of examples of saints who sinned and reformed, like St. Augustine,” and we had to point out the obvious – he’s a MAN. Where are the WOMEN saints who fell and reformed? Some orders don’t even let non-virgins join, but nobody asks a man about his sexual status before he is ordained. Seriously, if God has forgiven your sins, who are these people to continue to hold them against you? And no other sins are; nobody says, “You may be thin now, but you once weighed 400 pounds so you obviously committed the sin of gluttony.” It’s just this one sin that is unforgivable, and only for women. The worst part? A man is stronger than a woman and can take her virginity by force, but only she would be marked by the Church; the man could repent and he would be fine. How fair is that?? Seriously, all the female martyrs seemed to have died not for doctrinal issues but just to protect this one thing that is so important to the Church. Why? Nobody seems to be able to answer this for me.