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There may be much to complain about the Catholic Church, and also the Pope, but can people please stop using phrases like "men who wear dresses" or "a man who wears a dress" in their ridicule of the clergy?

What is the point of such an insult? To emasculate the clerics? To laugh at men who do not wear 'male' clothing? I find such ridicule to be rather offensive, not because I have any particular care for clerics, but because the ridicule is misogynistic. It does nothing but perpetuate the idea that women are less than men, and that men who wear dresses are not real men.

Such ideas are nonsense.

What I find particularly odd about this specific means of ridicule is that persons employing such an insult would decry the use of such an insult if it were directed at transgender persons, transvestites, and drag queens.

And it's not even a dress the clergy are wearing; it is a cassock. Calling it a dress just makes the person making such a statement look stupid. And stupidity irritates me as much as misogyny offends me.

Cross-posted on my blog, Holocene Hominoid.

Views: 32

Tags: Catholic Church, Pope, misogyny


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Comment by Secular Sue on May 17, 2010 at 2:11am
Okay, but what about the hat? The mitre is so yester-year.
Comment by Stephen Moore on May 16, 2010 at 11:56pm
Yes, "imbecile speech" is an apt phrase.
Comment by Jenny Donati on May 16, 2010 at 2:25pm
It's true, they're not dresses. They're really more like gowns.

Do you suppose they choose gowns for easy access when raping children?
Comment by Little Name Atheist on May 16, 2010 at 12:18pm
It does nothing but perpetuate the idea that women are less than men, and that men who wear dresses are not real men.

I agree. I wish you well with this, Stephen.

Johnsky: What we ought to ridicule them for is wearing children.

Just as atheists should be ridiculed for eating them.

Bearcat: Although since gender specific roles are quite rigidly defended and touted by the catholics, especially the clergy their hypocrisy in that regard probably seems at least tangential to people and therefore an understandably tempting target for their ridicule.

Good point. It would be lovely if people who do this have thought this far.
Comment by Prog Rock Girl on May 16, 2010 at 12:08pm
The Sneetches! That was a great book.

I still think "Ordain women...or stop dressing like them" is a pretty good slogan.
Comment by Stephen Moore on May 16, 2010 at 11:07am
Felch, what prompted this is having read so many bloggers dismiss Catholic Clergy and the Church's claim to moral authority with off hand references to 'men wearing dresses', as though the immorality of the Church hierarchy in their covering up of sexual assault of children and moving the clergy responsible for such assaults on to other parishes is not reason enough to dismiss the claim to moral authority: their lack of moral authority stems also from the fact that the clergy 'wear dresses'. It's stupidity to make that connection for that reason and the reasons I expressed in the OP.

And at no point have I made a claim of a right to not be offended, for I agree that I have no such right. But that does not negate that I am able to be offended and, further, to express my offence. I have seen something I dislike, and have expressed my dislike. It is as simple as that.
Comment by Prog Rock Girl on May 16, 2010 at 10:35am
Felch, I don't refer to Saudi women as penguins (I've heard nuns be called penguins more than Saudis) but I do call burqa-clad women "mailboxes".

Maybe it's insulting to think that women or drag queens would wear such a silly outfit. I mean we have standards.
Comment by Stephen Moore on May 16, 2010 at 10:35am
John, you have my blessing to mock the Pope for wearing a big pointy hat. I have also waved my hand in some sort of mystical and esoteric manner, so you're additionally sanctioned for Pope-mocking.
Comment by Jaume on May 16, 2010 at 10:33am
Not OK. People wear pointy hats or heels for a good reason. Mocking this proclivity is demeaning to short people.
Comment by Loren Miller on May 16, 2010 at 10:26am
If you want a big pointy hat for Joe the Schmoe, I got one, and I think it's reasonably gender-neutral:

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