vrijdag, september 06, 2019

Gender ideology in action!

Those who talk about ‘gender ideology’ are often accused of being paranoid. Here is an example which illustrates that even an area such as Church history has succumbed to this ideology. Note the inability to read sources correctly and the flawed argumentation!

§ 1 “Hence we, the seasoned knights of the imperial Lord, do not turn cowardly; the noble followers of our respected leader, we take courage and are not unhappy to suffer. For if there were no other advantage or good thing in suffering except that we become much more like Christ, our fair shining model, it would be well worth it. One thing seems true to me: if after this life God wanted to reward equally those who had suffered and those who had not, then certainly we should still choose suffering just because it makes us like Christ.” (Source: Frank Tobin, transl., Henry Suso: The Exemplar, with two German Sermons, New York: Paulist Press, 1989, p. 128)

§ 2 “No one can reach the heights of the divinity or unusual sweetness without first being drawn through the bitterness I experienced as a man. […] My humanity is the path one takes; my suffering is the gate through which one must pass who will come to what you are seeking. And so, away with the faint‐heartedness and enter with me the lists of knightly steadfastness. Indulgence is not fitting for the servant when the lord is practicing warlike boldness. I shall clothe you with my armour because all my suffering has to be endured by you as far as you are able.” (Source: Büchlein 2, p. 205 “Es mag nieman komen ze go̊tlicher hocheit noch ze ungewonlicher sůzikkeit, er werde denn vor gezogen dur daz bilde miner menschlichen bitterkeit […] Min menscheit ist der weg, den man gat, min liden ist daz tor, durch daz man gan můz, der zů dem wil komen, daz du da sůchest. Dar umbe tů hin dines herzen klleinheit und tritte zů mir in den ring ritterlicher vestekeit, wan dem kneht gezimt nit wol zartheit, da der herre stat in stritberlicher kůnheit. Ich wil dir minú wafenkleit an legen, wan alles min liden můz von dir nah dinem vermugenne werden gelitten.”

The paragraphs above are extracts from “Paupertatem voluntariam possidete: ‘Possessing Poverty’ and the Development of Devotional Narratives in the Medieval Dominican Order, 1221‐1363”, a dissertation by Anna Milne-Tavendale (Department of History, University of Canterbury, 2018) and available here https://ir.canterbury.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10092/16023/Milne-Tavendale%2C%20Anna_Final%20PhD%20Thesis.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

What would a common sense reading of these passages be? One thing is for sure, it will not be the reading Milne-Tavendale gives.

She introduces § 1 as follows: “Suso employs increasingly masculine language and
imagery to construct ascetic suffering as singularly masculine enterprise:” and concludes paragraph 1 with: “By appropriating ascetic performances usually employed by women in their imitatio Christi and by using masculine images of knighthood and the normative language of political power, Suso effectively attempts to exclude women from an active participation in the imitation of Christ.”

This is followed by § 2, after which she writes: “Thus Suso’s attempts to exclude women is not only with regard to the performance of ascetic acts as a way and a means of conformity and union with Christ, but his use masculinising language encroaches on the spiritual authority required to reach contemplative experience.”

Note the very basic mistake: “through the bitterness I experienced as a man” in § 2 is an incorrect or at least misleading translation of “dur daz bilde miner menschlichen bitterkeit”. Suso is clearly talking about Christ’s humanity and not about Christ’s sex.

Nor is there anything in these passages – and those are meant to corroborate her comments – which indicates that” Suso effectively attempts to exclude women from an active participation in the imitation of Christ.”

Gender ideology is real!

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