There, I said it.
And I say it as someone who is BARREN.
Who was unquestionably a SPINSTER, an OLD MAID by almost anybody's measure.
Someone named David Gibson, (a man? one presumes,) took it upon himself to claim, well, to be fair, it may have been a HuffPo or NCR headline writer that made the claim, that the Holy Father has said a few too many things that "make women wince."
I didn't wince reading any of them, or, not any more than I often do at Pope Francis' folksie and careless way of putting things, (not that I can claim to speak for womanhood, either, although I do at least have a complete set of chromosomes, instead of missing a section like those poor XY creatures we live with...)
I remember, while the class was considering, a teacher saying how perfectly, despite being a man, Chamisso, in Frauenliebe und -leben had captured the feminine soul, "just as Flaubert was able to do."
"How do you know," I asked.
"How do you know? You're a man." (I didn't add, "who has never had a relationship with a woman," but I could have.)
He acknowledged that that was true, laughed and we moved on to Schumann's phrasing.
And were this not thirty years ago, I would acknowledge to him that he was correct.
Gibson does quote some women for support of this opinion, but the Notre Dame professor has such an ax to grind about her Church, in general, that she's a kind of Professional Umbrage Taker ("PUT"); and the Washington Post writer, as someone capable of the weasel words "right or wrong, there’s a widespread impression.....", -- a mighty oily way of broadcasting a falsehood, of making a baseless claim that even the claimant knows is likely untrue, while mainting a plausible deniability -- is not someone whose middling dudgeon on behalf of nuns and sisters carries much weight.
But let's examine some of these offenses.
“I am wary of ‘masculinity in a skirt.’“
Masculinity in a skirt?
“Pastors often wind up under the authority of their housekeeper!”
Well, yeah. Does anyone dispute this? And the parish secretary, and the DRE, and his Mother....
Okay, okay, like the Pope, I kid.
The real problem, in some peoples' eyes, seems to be the man's use of the metaphors of fertility, and of motherhood.
Seriously? "Fertile" has long been used to mean creative, and if scripture uses motherhood to describe the care and nurturing not just of the Lord's people's leaders, but of Himself, who are we to deny a call to spiritual motherhood, to reject it as insulting, or insensitive?
Hear me, O house of Jacob,
all the remnant of the house of Israel,
My burden from the womb,
whom I have carried since birth -
Even to your old age I am He,
even when your hair is gray I will carry you;
I have done this, and I will lift you up,
I will carry you to safety.
I am God, there is no other;
I am God, there is none like Me.
No, there is none like You. But we
(Guess what, "blindness" is a good metaphor, too. And when is PETA gonna join forces with the disabled to kvetch about the term "lame duck"? Don't get me started.)