September 08, 2015

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Well, I was raised by nuns from what used to be called “€œnursery school”€ through (now-defunct) grade 13, then worked with them as an adult during peak “€œliberation theology.”€ They all had Ph.D.s in this stuff. We all owned “€œPope Joan”€ T-shirts and Hildegard of Bingen CDs”€”and a thick pink line runs from all that, through a lot of New Agey, Wicca (also lately debunked) hooey, the culturally corrosive Da Vinci Code, and the less sinister yet still socially influential Game of Thrones (with its “€œkick-ass”€ females), leading, finally, to women’s ordination and other patent real-world nonsense.

Some of these women taught your children, or taught their teachers. The likes of radical Catholic theologian Mary “€œno male students in my classroom”€ Daly turned campuses into the sick-making dystopias they are today. (Note that The New York Times promptly phoned “€œknown irritant”€ Robin Morgan for comment when Daly died.)

Now, some premodern women did indeed accomplish astonishing things; Teresa of Avila’s autobiography is a jewel of Spanish literature. Catherine of Siena traveled widely and bossed around the pope.

But champions of women can”€™t seem to control that irrational impulse to make stuff up”€”to, as it were, gild the filly.

If Findlen’s finding are sound, this compulsion is even older than we ever knew.

It looks like, for once, the feminists were right. This time, a dead white male really is to blame:

While people later recognized that Macchiavelli was a forger, it was true that he brought critical attention to women’s lives.

“€œRaising awareness”€: It’s older than you think.


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