By: Modesto P. Sa-onoy
LET’S continue with last Saturday’s review of Dr. Carrie Gress’ book, The Anti-Mary Exposed: Rescuing the Culture from Toxic Femininity by Andrea Picciotti Bayer and published by the Catholic News Agency.
The citations last week presented Dr. Gress’ view that although “anti-Marian spirit” is “unattractive”, it has become “something of a spirit of the age for far too many women today. The result is a fit of prevailing anger. And a prevailing discontent.”
Listen to the railings of the LGBT and feminist community and you are not far off from Dr. Gress’ description. The LGBT groups are quick to take offense on everything they hear to be uncomfortable for them. It is what we call in our language “sentimos” or being overly sensitive to what they think affects their gender.
Where did this mentality come from? According to Bayer, “Gress finds the roots of the anti-Marian spirit in the early feminist movement of the 1960s. She recounts the movement’s founding and the dramatic influence it has had on how women think about themselves today. Her history lesson is not glamorous. It is not chic. It is downright ugly and reveals how ‘feminism’ from its infancy indulged in the vice of envy.
“Today, proponents of unfettered abortion have taken up the baton once carried by early radical feminists. They peddle the idea that a woman’s developing child is a threat to her advancement, success, and happiness. Adherents of toxic feminism do not ‘embrace the goodness that men have to offer society but view it as an evil that must be eliminated.’”
How true that many women today see childbearing as a hindrance to their desire to live a full and free social life, if not a cause of their body changes. The child is an obstacle so that conception must not only be prevented, but when it occurs, the unborn must be destroyed. All in the name of human rights or free choice. Indeed, it is the freedom to kill without responsibility.
Bayer further argues that “this anti-Marian spirit has rebranded and exalted as role models the ‘woman of folly,’ Jezebel, and Lilith – characters referred to in cautionary tales found in Scripture and literature. Women under the spirit’s grip embrace the Marxist idea that divorces motherhood from the reality of being a woman. While rejecting the general idea of ‘goodness,’ slaves of the anti-Marian spirit are encouraged to ‘find the goddess within.’
“Fortunately, Gress’ The Anti-Mary Exposed is not a mere commentary on our ailing culture. Rather, it is a self-help book for rescuing womanhood. So, what can a modern woman do? How can we pull ourselves away from the ‘anti-Marian spirit’ before being completely consumed?
“The antidote Dr. Gress prescribes is Mary – our perfect model of Christian femininity. In Mary, we find a woman, not a goddess. She is sinless and perfect. She is not enslaved by vice. Her power is in her complete surrender to God. Mary’s meekness does not make her a doormat. As Saint Pope John Paul II observed, Mary ‘participated maternally in the tough fight against the powers of darkness that unfold during the whole of human history.’
“In short, she fights like a mom.
“The desires of women’s hearts, Gress observes, ‘are to be beautiful, to be fruitful, to have their dignity respected, and most essentially, to be known and loved.’ Imitating Mary – the perfect model of one who is ‘loved by God and who has an authentic relationship with Him’ – will satisfy these desires.”
This book, The Anti-Mary Exposed: Rescuing the Culture from Toxic Femininity, according to Bayer “is a powerful read. Gress cogently explores how radical feminism has unleashed a malicious ‘anti-Marian spirit,’ but leaves women and our culture a way out. Our embrace and imitation of Mary can rescue our culture, our womanhood. As Gress makes clear in this gem of a book, “[Mary] offers us the key to unlock the confusion about what it means to be women and what we need to do to find the true happiness that our souls crave.”
As I noted earlier, the anti-Mary movement is not new, it only took a more insidious turn by attacking the woman in her most sensitive character – pride and desire to remain beautiful physically in the model of Hollywood and fashion.
The anti-Mary movement will continue, the latest in San Francisco depicts her as lesbian.