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Saints Augustine and Saint Thomas Aquinas Vilified Women in Their Writings

You can find other disparaging remarks about women throughout the history of philosophy. Consider what seminal Catholic thinkers like Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas Aquinas had to say about women:

  • “Woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active force in the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex; while the production of woman comes from defect in the active force or from some material indisposition…”
    Source: St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, q. 92 a. 1
  • “Good order would have been wanting in the human family if some were not governed by others wiser than themselves. So by such a kind of subjection woman is naturally subject to man, because in man the discretion of reason predominates.”
    Source: St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, q.92 a.1 reply 2
  • “I don’t see what sort of help woman was created to provide man with, if one excludes the purpose of procreation. If woman was not given to man for help in bearing children, for what help could she be? To till the earth together? If help were needed for that, man would have been a better help for man. The same goes for comfort in solitude. How much more pleasure is it for life and conversation when two friends live together than when a man and a woman cohabitate?”
    Source: St. Augustine, Genesi Ad Litteram, 9, 5-9
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Posted in Faith and Religion

50 Inspirational Quotes for Mothers’ Day

50 Inspirational Quotes for Mothers' Day

  • A Jewish proverb says, “God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers.”
  • John Erskine said, “Woman in the home has not yet lost her dignity, in spite of Mother’s Day, with its offensive implication that our love needs an annual nudging, like our enthusiasm for the battle of Bunker Hill.”
  • Golda Meir said, “At work, you think of the children you have left at home. At home, you think of the work you’ve left unfinished. Such a struggle is unleashed within yourself. Your heart is rent.”
  • Sam Levenson said, “Insanity is hereditary; you get it from your children.”
  • Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis said, “If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do well matters very much.”
  • Abraham Lincoln said, “I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.”
  • Gregory Nunn said, “Anyone who doesn’t miss the past never had a mother.”
  • Tenneva Jordan said, “A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.”
  • James Joyce said, “Whatever else is unsure in this stinking dunghill of a world a mother’s love is not.”
  • Germaine Greer said, “All that remains to the mother in modern consumer society is the role of scapegoat; psychoanalysis uses huge amounts of money and time to persuade analysis and to foist their problems on to the absent mother, who has no opportunity to utter a word in her own defense. Hostility to the mother in our societies is an index of mental health.”
  • Dorothy Canfield Fisher said, “A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary.”
  • Barbara Kingsolver said, “It kills you to see them grow up. But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn’t.”
  • Chinese Proverb says, “There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it.”
  • Peter De Vries said, “A suburban mother’s role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car forever after.”
  • Mildred B. Vermont said, “Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs… since the payment is pure love.”
  • William Feather said, “Setting a good example for your children takes all the fun out of middle age.”
  • Helen Hunt Jackson said, “Motherhood is priced; Of God, at price no man may dare/To lessen or misunderstand.”
  • Aristotle said, “Mothers are fonder than fathers of their children because they are more certain they are their own.”
  • Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to Sophia: “I love everything about you. I love that you want to wear jeans under a bridesmaid dress. I love that you are competitive yet kind. I love that you have friendships that will last a lifetime, and one day I hope you count me as one. Your independence shines through everything. And even though I am biased, I believe you will be a leader. Your life is just getting started. I am so excited to see where you go and what you do. I hope when you read this letter, you don’t turn your nose up and think it’s too sappy. I know I embarrass you all too frequently these days. But know it’s because I am so proud you are my daughter.”
  • Elizabeth Stone said, “Making a decision to have a child–it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
  • Florida Scott-Maxwell said, “No matter how old a mother is, she watches her middle-aged children for signs of improvement.”
  • Henry Ward Beecher said, “We never know the love of the parent until we become parents ourselves.”
  • Lin Yutang said, “Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother.”
  • Rajneesh said, “The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.”
  • Sophia Loren said, “When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.”
  • Ezekiel 16:4 says, “As is the mother, so is her daughter.”
  • James Fenton said, “The lullaby is the spell whereby the mother attempts to transform herself back from an ogre to a saint.”
  • Businesswoman and Philanthropist Ivanka Trump to Arabella, Joseph and Theodore: “Arabella, when I started my company I thought of you. I considered the opportunities available to women in my generation, and I knew that I had a role to play in continuing to push the needle further. … There will be lots of things I’ll teach you in the years to come-some you’ll remember, some you’ll dismiss. But I hope that in my leading by example, you’ll each make your own decisions and chart your own course. Take nothing for granted. Know that in life, the harder you work, the luckier you’ll get.”
  • Ali Wentworth (writer, comedian, and wife of ABC News’George Stephanopoulos) to Elliott and Harper: “You were born with determination, fierceness and the kind of inner strength that moves mountains. Don’t ever let anyone tell you you can’t. People say, “Carpe diem.” But I say, don’t seize only the day, seize the life-“Carpe vitam!”
  • Elaine Heffner said, “Women do not have to sacrifice personhood if they are mothers. They do not have to sacrifice motherhood in order to be persons. Liberation was meant to expand women’s opportunities, not to limit them. The self-esteem that has been found in new pursuits can also be found in mothering.”
  • Oscar Wilde said, “All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.”
  • Actor and film historian Debbie Reynolds to Carrie and Todd: “our life continues to be a terrific adventure. You make me proud on Mother’s Day and every other day. I love you more than words can ever say.”
  • An unknown author said, “All mothers are working mothers.”
  • Anne Morrow Lindbergh said, “By and large, mothers and housewives are the only workers who do not have regular time off. They are the great vacationless class.”
  • Henry Ward Beecher said, “The mother’s heart is the child’s schoolroom.”
  • Lawrence Housman said, “If nature had arranged that husbands and wives should have children alternatively, there would never be more than three in a family.”
  • Henry Bickersteth said, “If the whole world were put into one scale, and my mother in the other, the whole world would kick the beam.”
  • T. DeWitt Talmage said, “Mother – that was the bank where we deposited all our hurts and worries.”
  • Zora Neale Hurston said, “Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to ‘jump at de sun.’ We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground.”
  • Pop singer Britney Spears to Jayden and Preston ‘God always comes to us in tiny whispers. I pray you always find his whisper and follow your inner voice as well.”
  • Retired professional boxer Laila Ali to Sydney and Curtis: “i love you when you win, i love you when you lose.i love you no matter what, because you can’t make mommy stop loving you.”
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Men are what their mothers made them.”
  • Nancy Thayer said, “Who is getting more pleasure from this rocking, the baby or me?”
  • Betty Rollin said, “Biological possibility and desire are not the same as biological need. Women have childbearing equipment. For them to choose not to use the equipment is no more blocking what is instinctive than it is for a man who, muscles or no, chooses not to be a weightlifter.”
  • Jill Bennett said, “Never marry a man who hates his mother, because he’ll end up hating you.”
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe said, “Most mothers are instinctive philosophers.”
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “The real religion of the world comes from women much more than from men – from mothers most of all, who carry the key of our souls in their bosoms.”
  • Spanish Proverb said, “An ounce of mother is worth a ton of priest.”
  • James Russell Lowell said, “That best academy, a mother’s knee.”
  • Honore de Balzac said, “The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.”
  • W. Somerset Maugham said, “Few misfortunes can befall a boy which brings worse consequences than to have a really affectionate mother.”

The Tao of Gratitude to a Mother

'The Taoism Reader' by Thomas Cleary (ISBN 1590309502) Per Thomas Cleary’s handy The Taoism Reader, Lu Yen, more commonly known as Ancestor Lu, who lived during the Tang Dynasty, reminds that one cannot thank one’s mother enough:

A woman carries a child in the womb for ten months, then gives birth in pain. Breast-feeding for three years, she watches over the infant with great care, aware of when it is sick, in pain, uncomfortable, itching. Whatever she does, even when she is not there, she always thinks of the baby. She is happy when she sees it laugh and worries when it cries. Seeing it stand and walk, she is at once anxious and exhilarated. She will go hungry to feed the child, she will freeze to clothe it. She watches, worries, and works, all for the child’s future. How can one ever repay the debt one owes to one’s mother?

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Posted in Philosophy and Wisdom

Modern Feminism Should Stop Selling Out

Modern Feminism Should Stop Selling Out

Recent feminist writers have claimed or implied a special affinity between women and irony, and between feminism and irony on account of their “double” relation to the prevailing order of things: both speak from within this order – indeed, to a greater or lesser extent, are determined by this order – and yet both remain “other” to this order in some way.

In his essay, “Equality” (1943), C. S. Lewis deplores the way that the concept of equality has come to characterize all aspects of the male-female relationship in modern times. In what he calls “a little plain speaking,”

This is the tragi-comedy of the modern woman; taught by Freud to consider the act of love the most important thing in life, and then inhibited by feminism from that internal surrender which alone can make it a complete emotional success. Merely for the sake of her own erotic pleasure, to go no further, some degree of obedience and humility seems to be (normally) necessary on the woman’s part.

Truth to tell, “equal pay for equal work” sometimes seemed the entire content of the moderate agenda, but it managed to gain support for a veritable revolution that in short order reconstituted women as a separate social and political class. It’s possible to imagine that without feminism, things might have turned out better for women and more harmoniously for everyone. There is a great deal we can retrieve and learn from this body of writing. They provide more detailed accounts of the reception of specific playwrights and tendencies from critical voices conscious of their positions on the margins of mainstream culture. The changes in law, policy, habits, customs, and expectations that may have been needed to help women advance into the public sphere would have developed gradually, as a normal part of societal progress, without recourse to a poisonous ideology that separated women’s interests from those of society as a whole, and without rewriting the past as one long history of injustice toward the female sex.

Andi Zeisler, co-founder and creative director of Bitch Media According to Andi Zeisler, co-founder and creative director of Bitch Media, feminism has become a revolution that has become privatized: In her view, feminists today are all about the right to make individual choices—any choices, choices that may be wholly estranged from the original objectives of feminism, which once meant collective action to change whole systems. She recommends the subject matter to which modern dramatists might devote themselves, such as “hundreds of the professions occupied by women” and “women’s friendships with women” which she claims have been “unaccountably neglected” even though “there are before us so many examples of women spending the best years of their lives together, and cooperating sincerely and cordially in so many different activities.”

Zeisler writes in Time Magazine,

'We Were Feminists Once' by Andi Zeisler (ISBN 1610395891) This kind of marketplace feminism … pulls focus from systemic issues and places it on individuals and personalities. It’s easy to see Sandberg, for instance, urging women to lean in, and forget that leaning in puts the onus on women themselves—rather than on the corporate systems and values that shortchange all workers regardless of gender.

But to make the world itself more feminist-safer, saner, more equitable, more sustainable-requires asking more of one another and ourselves than the market can answer. It involves asking difficult, complex and uncomfortable questions about what and whom we value. It requires confronting the reality that the world has not evolved nearly as much as we’ve been led to believe it has. And it needs us to admit that making us feel good about what we buy is not the same as making us feel purposeful about what we do.

Although it is impossible to predict the outcome of any negotiation with irony, I hope that what emerges from my attempt is a narrative of vigilance. The feminist insistence that women behave like men and make as much money as men do may not be the sole reason for women’s rising levels of dissatisfaction with life; a greater incidence of divorce and single motherhood may also contribute to it. Gender equality requires co-operation on all sides. As a humanist, I’d like to see today’s feminists give men a bit more credit – they might just be surprised.

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Posted in Philosophy and Wisdom

Confucius’ Indifference Toward Women

Confucius indifference toward women

Confucius is said to have an indifference toward women. Possibly because the atmosphere around him was distinctly masculine.

Confucius had nothing to say of conduct in matrimony, spoke disparagingly of women, had only contempt for a pair of lovers who committed suicide together, and frequently remarked that nothing is so hard to handle as a woman.

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Posted in Philosophy and Wisdom

Women Firsts at the Oscars

Women Firsts at the Oscars

Did you know of some of the female pioneers who’ve scored big Oscar firsts?

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Posted in Music, Arts, and Culture

Gender Differences in Critical Leadership Behaviors

Gender Differences in Critical Leadership Behaviors

Great leadership begins with being a whole human being. A successful leader needs a combination of intellectual qualities (analytical thinking, strategic thinking, and creative mindset) and emotional qualities (self-awareness, empathy, and humility.)

Women are underrepresented in the majority of businesses, particularly at the senior levels in the organizations. A lot of leaders (both male and female) are completely untrained in all things related to gender in the workplace. Leaders have been brought up to take no notice of gender differences (for instance diverse communication styles, work-life balance, career choices, or career cycles) rather than turn into skills required to manage these differences.

Critical Leadership Behaviors

  1. Individualistic decision-making
  2. Control and corrective action
  3. Efficient communication
  4. Role modeling
  5. Participative decision-making
  6. Intellectual stimulation
  7. Inspiration
  8. People development
  9. Expectations and rewards

Leadership behaviors that women and men apply equally:

  • Efficient communication
  • Intellectual stimulation

Leadership behaviors that women apply more or slightly more:

  • Role modeling
  • Participative decision-making
  • Inspiration
  • People development
  • Expectations and rewards

Leadership behaviors that men apply more:

  • Individualistic decision-making
  • Control and corrective action
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Posted in Management and Leadership