The frankly annoyingly feminist Sociological Images referred to a recruitment video for the priesthood featured at NYPriest website.
The gender studies academics at S.I. said:
‘Usually, a male-dominated occupation wouldn’t be in need of having its masculinized character stressed so openly. However, the child sex abuse scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church in the U.S. and elsewhere have damaged the image of the priesthood. Not only did many priests sexually abuse children, but many of the abused children where boys. Had the abuse involved primarily girls girls in late childhood or their teens, the public may very well have expressed revulsion and disgust, but we also have cultural narratives available, such as the idea of the sexually precocious Lolita who entices men against their better judgement, that are often used to at least partially justify or explain adult men’s sexual attraction to or abuse of even young girls’
This really got my goat for two key reasons:
1) They are using hypothetical examples of girls being abused saying if it was girls being ‘sexually abused’ by men priests, people would come up with spurious justifications for it. And yet, the main reason this sexual abuse ‘scandal’ in the priesthood has been newsworthy is that the men doing the ‘abuse’ got away with it for years and years. It’s classic oppression olympics with girls and women always winning the gold victim status medal, even when they are made up examples!
2) The feminist analysis of ‘real men’ being used to ‘sell’ the priesthood is reductive and wrong. It ignores how men don’t just compare themselves to women but also to each other, and how the manly ‘real men’ discourse is fraught with tensions around homosexuality (which is a big part of sex in the priesthood) and how machismo is actually very camp.
Oh, and 3) ‘Fishers of Men’? is that what they call it now 😀