Paging the Clean-Up Crew

[Image is the cover of this week's issue of Newsweek, with a picture of the Virgin Mary accompanied by the text: "What Would Mary Do? How Women Can Save the Catholic Church From Its Sins. By Lisa Miller."]

Shaker MJ emails that the question which emerges from "the depths of my escaped-Catholic brain [is]: Women haven't been good enough to be considered anything but second class in the Catholic world since Mary gave birth—and now we should fix your mess?!"


The cover story itself, in fairness, is not so much about "how women can save the Catholic Church" as much as it is about how shaking up the insular, hermetically-sealed, all-male leadership can allegedly save the Catholic Church.

Also in fairness, the article is shit, riddled with tiresome stereotypes, strawmen, and the laughably trite invocation of Lynndie England as a Requisite Sober Reminder that "women in power can be as ruthless and self-serving as men." Margaret Thatcher is positively livid that she's gone out of fashion as Exhibit A in any respectable Requisite Sober Reminder, and the female equivalent of Pol Pot paces anxiously as she waits to be born into her long-overdue existence.

I'm no apologist for England or her condemnable actions, but in an article detailing the inherent corruption in insular, hermetically-sealed, male-dominated institutions, picking as evidence that women are Just As Bad a woman on the ass-bottom rung of an insular, hermetically-sealed, male-dominated institution who served as a scapegoat for her male leadership is just bad goddamn writing, apart from anything else.

As is this: "The problem is not, as so many progressives claim, the fact of their celibacy. Nor is it their costumes—the miters and capes—though these vanities do serve as reminders of the great distance between the men with power and the people without." Uh-huh. When was the last time you heard a progressive (or anyone) claim the genesis of institutional sex abuse was the robes? I'm gonna go with...never.

It's too bad, really, because the thesis of the story isn't wrong—institutions in which power is exclusively concentrated in the hands of a highly privileged class are generally rife with corruption and abuse. That is one of the primary arguments in support of diversity and multiculturalism.

But the execution was not awesome. And the cover is in a class of FAIL all its own.

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