Young, Catholic, and fledgling: the chronicle of a young Catholic woman

This was an article that didn’t make it in 2010.

It’s Lent already and “40 Days for Life” has already started. Also I recently seen a RV with anti-abortion posters all around it and some anti-abortion and birth control literature handed out at my college campus earlier this month. Obviously I need to type this now: about how I’ve grown from a naive young girl who’ve placed a lot of faith in the doctrine of the Catholic Church to a more cynical and increasingly liberal young and shaky woman. Why this? I have a story to tell and so do all you who are aware of the obstacles on women’s reproductive rights and their own lives. Why a picture of Macie Lightfoot? Because haven’t we all felt unsure of ourselves and feisty at the same time? Haven’t we all admired more upfront and outspoken women from the sidelines, while we didn’t want to rock the boat ourselves? Didn’t we all feel nervous and anxious about female sexuality like she did in Gym Class Confidential? Okay time for a long ass story of how I’ve came to this place.

1990-1999: I was born in the first year of the 1990’s and several things were happening back then: Rugrats premiered in ’91, Papa Bush was in office, Mom took my cousins to the hopefully innocent The Witches, and in the same year that Clinton was running for president what anti-abortion activists refer to as “The Summer of Mercy” went on in the American Midwest.  Obviously this wasn’t the first or last time a virulent battle over women’s reproductive health would be waged.  Throughout this time, I’ve been growing up in the Catholic Church: attending catechism during mass, learing the Sign of the Cross, and learning that no, Baby Jesus wasn’t and isn’t a girl. I was vaguely learning how the Church viewed abortion: it’s killing babies is what I was told oh-so vaguely. Luckily, I’ve gleaned some lessons from strong and substantial women in life and in pop culture.

The Bush II Administration has already started and already it seems that we’ve went from Eliza Thornberry to Paris Hilton and/or a Miss USA that vows to stay abstinent until marriage. I’ve been absorbing some anti-choice philosophy as a tender ‘tween and paradoxically becoming a feminist. But my thoughts on women’s sexuality didn’t truly blossom until about the murder of Dr. George Tiller, what also helped that he was a rare doctor that actually made his patients comfortable. But before, it started looking to me that the anti-choice leaders reminded me of Denzel Crocker. I mean look at him:

Yeah so even before Dr. Tiller’s savage murder, the anti-choice movement was starting to look one-track minded, insane, and completely unhinged. In this decade I started seeing clearly that I wasn’t straight: I would always remember pretty girls in classes, Emma Watson in the Harry Potter films, Hilary Duff in her Lizzie McGuire stage, and Sora from Digimon have all captured my girlish imagination. At the same time, I was learning that this wasn’t normal or healthy in the eyes of the church. Not a good place for an anxious young woman growing up  and discovering her own sensuality. I tried to repress it all as a teen, which still crept into my artwork of female beauty.  Oddly, I’ve started reading Ms. as a 14 year old and felt spirited as I heard that Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the House in 2007.  Helping in the development to a slightly comfort with my sexual self was my friend, who now lives in Texas, we didn’t do anything together if that’s what you were thinking, no, we’ve just talked about sex and giggled over “doing someone.” So not exactly super-progressive, but it’s quite consciousness raising for us as we discussed the female-friendly benefits and brilliance of Digimon over Pokemon, and also declaring that all brunettes are awesome and sexy (we’re both brunettes).

2010’s: Well here I am, blogging this and hoping this isn’t so clumsy. I’m unofficially a progressive, but sometimes I fear that I’m not progressive enough or that I would become so anti-mainstream that I wouldn’t see how more moderate people are. Fudge. Anyways, I’ve told my story so far. It’s not stellar as most Feministing-a’s books and essays, but you know you try. Right now I’m trying to impart some measure of progressiveness and some female pride my cousins and bitching about the Tea Party with a precocious cousin. Keep in mind, your stories are very diverse and maybe you all should share your own stories right now. Oh go on and write it!!!!! It’s bound to get people talking!

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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