Today is International Women’s Day.

Are women equal to men?  If not, why not?

Of course women are not equal to men in physical strength.  Never will be.  That’s just a fact of life.

But what about brains?   Remember when Larry Summers, then president of Harvard, now a senior economic adviser to President Obama, mused out loud whether in brain power, women were inherently inferior to men when it came to the study of science and mathematics.  He was hounded out of Harvard but was he onto something?

What about public life?  Of course women like Margaret Thatcher and Hillary Clinton and Angela Markel are right at the top.  But is it because they are women or because they act like men?

What about business?  Well, there are more women in top jobs (many of them manly females) but their less fortunate sisters down the totem poll on the assembly line are only making 70 per cent of what their male counterparts are making.

What about politics?  There is not a legislative assembly in the world that has 50 per cent women.  Most have fewer than 25 per cent.  So one half of the population is seriously under-represented.  It should be noted here that Premier Jean Charest, as a matter of  policy has appointed women to 50 per cent of his cabinet.  He deserves plaudits.

What about religion?  One of the biggest offenders here is the  Roman Catholic church.  The church teaches that women are not fit to be priests nor homilists nor distributors of communion – and none of this rampant discrimination is likely to change in the near future.

So are women equal to men?

What do you think?

The Vatican newspaper says one of the things that contributed most to the emancipation of women was the invention of the washing machine.  What do you think of  that?


  1. 1
    SUZANNE Says:

    Women are equal to men.

    That doesn’t mean men and women have to be the same in every way or perform the same function.

    The reason women are not priests in the Catholic Church is the same reason Hollywood does not hire women to play leading men.

    The priest, in his person, represents Christ. You can’t play Christ if you’re not a man.

    How about asking this question instead: are women happy? Are women happy not going into politics, not being at the top of the business world?

    I would submit that there are not large numbers of women crying in their beer about not being at the top of politics and business. The vast majority of women are perfectly happy about their situation. If they’re not, their perceived solution is not a job as a CEO or as a cabinet minister.

  2. 2
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    This is a loaded question and bound to create controversy. I firmly believe that any woman who sets her mind to do so can equal any man in any tasks. I had two rural women cousins who could load a haywagon just as fast and with as big a fork as any of my men cousins. Today you have women truckers, heavy equipment operators and they ask no one to grease the gears.
    I had female colleague managers who were as feminine as any other women.
    Come on Neil snap out of the Jesuit frame and forget Thomas Aquinas.

  3. 3
    Peter LeBlanc Says:

    Suzanne, “The Priest, in his person, represents Christ, you can’t represent Christ if your not a man.” You have just reduced Christ to His testicles.

    Surely God made us all in His image and likeness, male and female He made us.

    The teachings of Christ are far more feminine than they are male. As Chimera, in one of his kind moods quoted Jesus as saying “Suffer the little children to come unto me”

    I don’t know to many of my past drinking buddies who would of said that.

  4. 4
    Barbara Says:

    From the very beginning, I found your question off-putting, Neil. Women equal to men? That’s a Neanderthal question. Who is in competition? The question might better be phrased: have women achieved their potential and, if not, what holds them back?

    I am old enough to remember being told that women should not be doctors/architects/engineers/priests etc. etc. etc. All we needed was the opportunity to achieve our potential in whatever field and to be recognized for our achievement. I ended up with a doctorate in science. Today most med students are women, women are architects, engineers, university presidents and astronauts among other things. What is needed is for mediocre men to step aside and let more qualified candidates (of either gender) in.

    As for the Church’s idea that women, by their nature and lack of resemblance to Jesus, are unsuitable for the priesthood — that is ridiculous. Never mind that I have yet to meet a priest who looks like a Jewish itinerant rabbi! I don’t see Jesus when I look at a priest. I see a man called to lead his community in worship, to heal and to bless. We are all baptized into Christ Jesus. We are all part of the same Mystical Body, in RC theology. Paul in his Epistle makes it clear there are to be no distinctions in Christ. What does that all mean if not that women are not excluded from the priesthood if God calls them to that vocation.

    As Peter so eloquently put it, let’s not reduce Jesus to his testicles.

  5. 5
    jim Says:

    I’ve posed it before and I’ll pose it again, but this time I’d like the Pope to answer this question (fat chance). Jesus Mary and B16 are enjoying a bowl of spaghetti at Big Looies and Mary gets the idea that now that her child- bearing days are over, that maybe she would like to become a priest(ess) with which power she could call the flock together and help the needy. She mentioned it to her son Jesus, Who as we know never refused his mother any request, turns to B16 and giving him the nod looks for compliance with Mary’s request. B16 what will your answer be to your Boss? Gotcha.

  6. 6
    Peter LeBlanc Says:

    Jim, “B16 what will your answer be to your Boss”. Reply, leave me out of it.

  7. 7
    Joe Agnost Says:

    Suzanne and the RCC are misogynist (so’s the taliban!)… it couldn’t be more clear. It isn’t Suzanne’s fault – she can’t take a shit without the pope’s permission, so she’s not likely to form her OWN opinion about women’s role in society. I’m not sure how many suzannes there are out there (blindly following her church) but I suspect they are a minority – however they do exist and need to be reminded that it’s 2009!

    Luckily the rest of the world is starting to realize that women and men are equals and can achieve the same goals. It’s not perfect yet (as the Taliban and the RCC show) but they’re getting there!

  8. 8
    Cornelius T.Zen Says:

    Good morrow, all!
    Exactly whom are we kidding here? Eve bit the apple first, and ever since, men have blamed her for the expulsion from the Garden. If it wasn’t for a woman, men would still be sitting on their asses, watching trash sports, scratching their balls, farting when they felt like it…oh…wait…they do that anyway, don’t they?
    Men (who generally believe the world revolves around them and the sun shines out of their…uh, you get the picture, right) hate women…because men FEAR women. You see, women KNOW things. Like, what colors go together, and what don’t (especially in the wash) They know where the socks are. They know what’s for supper, and how many beers you just had. They know what you did last summer. They’re wives and mothers and sisters and daughters, and they KNOW things. They TALK to each other, and they KNOW stuff about you that even YOU don’t know. They KNOW more. They KNOW better. They KNOW where it hurts. They KNOW where you’re vulnerable. They KNOW the rules. They KNOW things. Men hate that. Men hate women.
    BTW, Suzanne, if you do not see Christ in your sister, then “whatsoever you failed to do for the least of these, my bretheren, you failed to do for Me.” If Christ is not to be seen in all of us, He is to be seen in none of us. So mote it be. CTZen

  9. 9
    Chimera Says:

    “Of course women are not equal to men in physical strength. Never will be. That’s just a fact of life.”

    Um…not quite so fast, if you don’t mind. That’s not exactly true. Women are structured slightly different from men, and their center of balance is lower than men, generally speaking. But they have the same strength of attachments as men and they can develop their muscles the same way men can. I know women who can throw men across a room. And I know men who can’t even pick up a pair of socks and carry them three feet across a room to a laundry basket.

    Physical strength is an individual thing, and each person’s capacity for strength will depend on a wide set of variables, only one of which is available muscle mass.

    “But is it because they are women or because they act like men?”

    Neither. It’s because they knew what they wanted and they went after it. Nothing to do with gender or gender roles.

    “The Vatican newspaper says one of the things that contributed most to the emancipation of women was the invention of the washing machine. What do you think of that?”

    I think I’ll start sending my laundry to the pope. No starch, please and thank you.

  10. 10
    Chimera Says:

    “Hollywood does not hire women to play leading men.”

    Ever hear of Linda Hunt? Mary Martin?

    “You can’t play Christ if you’re not a man.”

    Sez who?

    “You have just reduced Christ to His testicles.”

    ROTFLMAO! 😆 Peter, was that you???

    Ah…Peter….man, you just made my whole month! Thank you!

  11. 11
    Timothy Says:

    >”the church teaches that women are not fit to be priests nor homilists nor distributors of communion – and none of this rampant discrimination is likely to change in the near future.”

    Um, no, the Church does not teach that. The Chuch does teach that it has no authority to ordain women.

    BTW, women may distribute communion in a Latin Rite Catholic Church.

    >”So are women equal to men?”

    Nope. That should be plain to anyone comparing torsos. Male and female God made them, with distinct differences.

    God bless… +Timothy

  12. 12
    Tony Says:

    Are women equal to men? Are cows equal to bulls? Are hens equal to roosters? It`s a tough question but I personally think men and women achieve the most when they are aware of their differences and work as a team. When in a team, we may have to perform totally different tasks in order to obtain the same goal. Equal? Yes. Different? Yes. But are we working in harmony? No.

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