Monday, March 9, 2009

Ophelia Benson Bait

It's reasonable to wonder if the Vatican has moved past self-parody and gone straight to provoking Ophelia Benson intentionally. Witness:

The Vatican newspaper says that perhaps the washing machine did more to liberate women in the 20th century than the pill or the right to work.

The submission was made in a lengthy article titled "The Washing Machine and the Liberation of Women - Put in the Detergent, Close the Lid and Relax."
In a deeper, truer sense, this insults all of us, not just Ophelia: it insults all of us who understand that advances in clothing care don't measure up to advances in civil and legal equality (in much the same way that the cotton gin, in and of itself, was a meager boon to African Americans in comparison with the 13th Amendment outlawing slavery); all of us who have, well, I'll say qualms about a male-dominated institution presuming to issue yet another declaration about women's priorities ("Oh the odd things that make the ladies tick!" chortles child-rapist Father X); all of us aware that the improved efficiencies of labor-saving devices do not depend on the genitals of the end-user (admittedly, there are exceptions to this general claim); and last, and probably least, all of us who have actually used washing machines and know from experience that more is involved than putting in the detergent, closing the lid, and relaxing.


Ophelia Benson said...

Haha - wouldn't it be flattering if they were doing all this just to tease me?!

Well, the washing machine article anyway. The Brazil thing, no. Bastards.

Dale said...

Ha -- "flattering" would be one word for it! As it turns out, they don't have to make any special effort to tease, outrage, and otherwise insult you. Or all of us. It seems to be what gets them out of bed in the morning.