One way is to discover the old feminism of the 19th century. The women were promoters of peace and defenders of life, like Susan B. Anthony. They were social reformers driven by deeply moral and religious conviction. They opposed abortion, prostitution, established juvenile courts, and supported educational rights...
Pope John Paul II encouraged us to follow the path of the women who went before us--leaders of the early women's movement. Women involved in national and international peace movements.
The core of the new feminism has arisen out of the pro-life movement--defending and promoting life.
John Paul's call for the new feminism includes:
- protecting life
- promoting peace
- assuming new roles of leadership in service for women
- one that rejects models of male domination
- overcoming all discrimination, violence, and exploitation not simply against ourselves, but against the weakest and most vulnerable--the ones our society deems as unworthy and unwanted
- working to reconcile people with life
Before the 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, John Paul II met with the Holy See's delegation who would be attending the conference. He made an appeal to women of the church today to assume new forms of leadership in service. He appealed to all institutions of the church to welcome this contribution of women.
Pope John Paul II said to a woman in charge of the delegation, "How's the new feminism coming?"
She looked at him and said, "We're waiting for you to say more."
And John Paul said, "That's your job."
It is our job to live the new feminism and to discover more about it. We need to strive in our own way to protect and promote life and peace--first in our own families, with our children.
We need to commit ourselves more deeply to transform this culture from one of death to a culture of life.
Grace & peace,
p.s. this is the third post on Genius of Women on this blog site. You might be interested in the other two: