Unformatted text preview: hem to their roles, is deeply tainted by hostility to their humanity. This touches on all their most intimate relations, to mother and father, ministers and teachers, husband, male and female children. An entire social and symbolic universe crumbles within and outside them. They recognize in the familiar the deeply alien. The very grammar they have been taught to use to express themselves, the symbols they use to praise God and locate themselves in relation to God become bitter-tasting in their mouths as they come to recognize these words and symbols as tools of a vast and ancient system of negation of their own humanity. Few women have the courage to advance more than a few steps on this journey of recognition of sexism as evil, so vast and convoluted are the layers of enchantment, delusion, and seduction. Sexism as sin centers on distorted relationality. The objectification of woman as bearer of repressed and negative parts of the male psyche involves the distortion of the being of both males and females. Men fail to integrate into their own identity those repressed capacities which they project onto women. Women, in turn, are denied those capacities for autonomous selfhood, decision-making, and critical intelligence monopolized by males. This distortion of relationality into masculine- feminine complementarity, far from representing ideal relationship as male ideology would have it, in fact destroys authentic I-Thou relationship between men and women. There can be no I-Thou relationship where there is no authentic self that is allowed to stand over against and respond to another. What is called "relationship" is really an interdependence of masks and roles that is fundamentally pathological. Each side of the gender dualism depends on the other for what it lacks in itself. The man regresses to childhood dependence in those areas in which he depends on the woman to serve him. The woman is helpless in the public realm to which she is denied access and for which she lacks the skills of survival. Her dependence is much mor...
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- Fall '13