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Scholars Day: April 7, 2010

Feminism and Catholicism: Can a Woman Have It All? The Emergence of the Possibility of Catholic Feminism

Growing up within a strict Roman Catholic household did not always offer the presenter as a woman all the answers to the questions she specifically wondered especially when she wished to pursue the priesthood. Her repeated encounters with sexism and locked doors that only allowed participation to that of a limited clergy, un-respected feminist scholar or a member of the laity with no participation led her to abandon Catholicism and Christianity entirely. This however opened the door to new ways of thinking and trying to understand how other women within the Catholic church had not had the same experiences she had with sexism and oppression. This began her questioning of how modern women that have the majority of freedoms that a man does under the constitution of the United States and as citizens in the land of the free chose to remain under the patriarchal and hegemonic construct that is the Catholic Church. The proposal at hand encompasses women, feminism, and Catholicism within the new and emerging concept of Christian Feminists and whether or not this term can exist or be relevant for women whom belong to the Roman Catholic Church. The proposed research will explore women's roles within the Catholic Church historically and presently and also the possibility and reasons for why women within the United States can be both Catholic and a Feminist.

Presenter: Danielle Reff (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Women and Gender Studies
Location: Barbara Mitrano
Time: 2:30 pm (Session IV)