Creepy. Weird. Irrational. Unsustainable. Suspect. Backward. They’re just a few of the words that immediately spring to mind when I think of the Pope’s address to the latest round of consecrated virgins. A total gift for Christ? It’s like stockpiling Christmas presents for dead people. Kind of strange.
Look, if women don’t want to give it up for the men of this world, I say hang on to it, girls, it’s yours to keep. Dress up that hymen in glitter and sequins and take it touring for all I care. Men are kind of stinky, after all, and they’re never satisfied, so if you think losing your virginity to one is your duty done to mankind, then guess again, sweetheart. You don’t know the half of it. So whatever, keep your legs closed and your trap shut if the whole thing makes you sick. But this is something else. This is saying ‘No, no, I couldn’t possibly. I’m married to Christ.’
Pity Christ isn’t around to comment on all these vows ostensibly being undertaken on his behalf. Last time I checked, both parties need to agree to a marriage. And with a couple of thousand of these consecrated virgins, doesn’t that make Christ a sort of unwilling theosophical polygamist? Hmmm. Interesting.
There’s a really base level of illogic at work here, and what’s at the root of it? Is it more Catholic Church misogyny? More abject suspicion of the treacherous female body and everything it is so abundantly and naturally capable of, like, say, the survival of the species? Because let’s be clear about the nature of the sacrifice these women are making. If women stop having sex and stop giving birth to children, then no god will save us, not even theirs.
What I think is bizarre – sorry, let me rephrase that: one of the many things I find bizarre about just what people are prepared to believe is that (leaving aside that neat-o claim to being the Virgin Mary) no one disputes the idea that Mary actually gave birth to Jesus Christ. Unlike Superman, no one’s saying this baby, this Son of God, was found out in a Kansas field (was it Kansas?). Nope, a woman still had to deliver him into the world. Why bother? I mean, if you’re God, and you’re king of world just like James Cameron, wouldn’t you have your only son ride into town man style? Why bother with such mere trifles as a full term and natural childbirth? And even if we say okay, God wanted Jesus to be one of us, then we’re still talking women getting pregnant (immaculately, or perhaps a little less than if the manger in question is actually an outback Bachelors & Spinsters Ball) and having babies. Women getting pregnant and having babies. That’s how this whole cycle of life thing goes down. So exactly what kind of gift is it for these women to save themselves for a guy who’s been dead for a couple of thousand years? Hmmm?