Marx Sisters

Marx Sisters by Elizabeth at Startling the Day
The “Bright Maidens” were originally three from the oft-mentioned, widely-speculated upon demographic of young, twenty-something Catholic women. Now, we all take up the cross to dispel the myths and misconceptions. Welcome!

I have the typical, boring opinion on the question of “Should moms stay at home or work outside of the home?” Just like some women are called to a single vocation, some are called to the religious life, and some are called to married life, I believe we are called to contribute to our families in different ways.

Of course, I still believe we are biologically better-equipped for some duties within a marital household, namely those related to bearing and raising children, but men have a great importance in that area as well.

La dee dah, see? Boring and very politically correct.

So let’s talk about Marxist Feminist theory instead.

Bigger, more skirt, please.

I’ve watched six episodes of “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” in the last two weeks. These people fascinate me and before I write you a dissertation about them, I’ll to focus on their strict adherence to traditional family roles. Women marry quite young, some as young as sixteen, and enter a life similar to every “traveller” wife: one centered on taking care of the husband, cooking, child-rearing, and extensive cleaning.

Seriously, these women put sponge to every surface of their homes, everyday. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Their husbands earn the money, have a lot of fun at pubs, and, in their words, “own” their wives. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and anthropologically point out that we do not have a full understanding of their culture in order to call this regressive or stunted. It’s vital we also point out how extremely rare divorce is in their culture.

Marxist Feminist theory feels responsible for sticking up for women after centuries of what its troubadours believe to be wrongful oppression based on societal structure (rather than any relation to biology). This theory holds that a patriarchal, capitalist society demeans women because it enslaves them in the home to perform duties for free that men would otherwise have to hire employees to complete.

Old-timey headache

Marxist Feminists believe women are not properly compensated for the traditional roles they hold, so its supporters believe that as many inequalities between men and women should be flattened out as possible. In other words, it seems these theorists would be at least partially happy to see women receive salaries from their husbands, appropriate for the work they do in the home.

Call me crazy, but that sounds like capitalism more than Marxism.

Here, Marxists try to explain, in capitalist vocabulary, their belief that a lower value is placed on a woman’s day than a man’s and the translation is muddled.

The lasting issue with this theory is that it discourages women from entering a lifestyle Marxist Feminists define as the poorly-valued role, a stay at home mother. Marxist Feminist theory states that, no, it was the  patriarchal, capitalist society that shaped the role to be lower.

However, because the Marxist theory presents no alternative, they shame women away from being stay at home mothers, lest these women accept a shameful label of settling for a regressive lifestyle.

If a card-carrying Marxist Feminist could get their hands on one of these gypsy girls before walking down the aisle in her teens, he or she would try to convince the bride that her life can have more meaning in the eyes of the men of this world. If she could just NOT perform the slave duties thrust upon her as a wife and stay at home, cleaning, cooking mother, she could be much happier and more highly-valued.

Apart from the point that some of these women really do want to live their vocation in the traditional way, perhaps the young bride would have sense enough to point out the unspoken enslavement of the crazed person trying to shake her into the 21st century.

If you’re doing something to spite someone else or to be seen as more valuable in the eyes of a society, who’s the real slave?

OMG[osh], What did she say?!

The Bright Maidens are back and this time we’re talking about … SEX. We discuss sex, virginity, recycled virginity, women, the value of sexuality the value of being a child of God and a brother and sister in Christ, and TOB in terms of respecting life and pro-life issues.

I haven’t listened to this week’s Among Women podcast all the way through yet, so I’m a little nervous about what Pat Gohn edited in and out. Our conversation for Part 2 was about an hour long, but it’s much shorter in the podcast version.

I’m more than a little nervous.

UPDATE: “It’s really hard out there. It’s really hard. To be a virgin in the 21st century takes heroic courage. It takes the grace of a saint to live the life that we’re talking about here.” –Pat Gohn

Let me know what you think!! LISTEN HERE. Our part of the interview is about one-third of the way through the podcast.

Easy Bake Love Story

Emotional Chastity
Elizabeth at Startling the Day

The “Bright Maidens” were originally three from the oft-mentioned, widely-speculated upon demographic of young, twenty-something Catholic women. Now, we all take up the cross to dispel the myths and misconceptions. Welcome!

My parents have the most intimidating Love story.

They knew each other when they were in elementary school, my dad took my mom out on her first date (refusing to kiss her at the end of the night), they did not date each other throughout high school or college, he drove her from their mutual college alma mater back home several times (refusing to give rides to other friends so he could have her company to himself), and met up again at a party several years later. They married a year to the date of that party.

It’s the kind of story that makes little girls swoon, hope for, and expect for their lives. They make plastic chicken in their miniature kitchens, tend to sick babydolls, and imagine writing and illustrating the World’s Greatest Storybook, while their fictitious husbands wait in the ethos.

At least, that’s the way I handled it. It has only been in the last year that I realized this was the bar I had set for my life, many years ago.


“But that is an adorable story. One with adolescence, romance, Love, and destiny.”

Yes, thank you, mom and dad, for telling it so many times that I may know where I began and that a romantic Love can overtake you like a wave.

However, like when I added two packets of Easy Bake Oven cake mix to the three diameter pan, sometimes too much of a good thing makes a cake bubble around a light bulb. Too much of a good thing digs a path labeled “Means to an End.”

Since the beginning of our Bright Maidens journey, we’ve spent considerable time discussing the clothes we put on our bodies, the way we carry our bodies, and why and why not to keep them to ourselves instead of sharing the intimate details with others. Theology of the Body, in fact, is a misleading term.

We choose to respect the profound importance of our bodies because we learned the deep appreciation and respect for who we are and what we have to give. So why do we have so many good young women falling victim to the wrong side of emotional, intellectual challenges?

Because we desire Love. We were created for it and we yearn for it. We just need to flip the patience switch.

Kids started “going out” in fourth grade at my elementary school, so the yearning started before the boys were even tall enough to be in my line of vision. Even as a kid who walked around with scrapes on her knees from playing soccer at recess, I felt like something must be wrong with me that no ten-year-old boy wanted to sit awkwardly next to me and share my glue stick.

They got to the serious stuff in middle school, where relationships lasted up to three months and consisted of hand-holding (creating that wide V between the tweens avoiding any contact other than sweaty palms). No “boyfriend” for me, though my parents’ story lingered in my mind.

High school, I thought, that is when I will recognize my clandestine future.

By the time high school rolled around, the girls became women, the boys became … grown up boys, and the relationships speckled the gossip mill. The weeks rotated between Valentine’s Day or VJ Day, depending, as the young women in my all-girls school taped pictures of their boyfriends on the inside of their lockers.

My self-preservation tactic was to print out pictures of my favorite celebrities for my binder covers and to add MiracleGro to an absurd number of crushes. He hadn’t arrived yet, so every guy within a preset age range might be him. I needed to stay on high-alert, I thought.

Rather than spending my formative teen years getting to know people as friends who could teach me about life and deepening my faith in God, I took matters into my own emotional hands. It was like I was auctioning off my capacity for Love by investing it in the celebrity photos, in the fantasies featuring my crushes, and in the hope that the guy across the room might be “the one.”

I won’t volunteer anyone with similar emotional chastity issues to step forward, but I know I’m not the only one who pretended a Love life for a chunk of time.

Who can blame us? We are capable of an unfathomable amount of Love and it’s exciting to think we might one day share it with someone else in a day culminating that emotion.

The problem is we expose our hearts to the elements. These are the same hearts we’re so eager to give to someone else. If we can’t keep a handle on our minds to protect these hearts, we run the risk of having one that looks like it got in a tussle with steel wool to offer to the one for whom we wait.

Female Kryptonite

I have to write my examples in past tense because I don’t want to admit to which acute degree I still struggle with this topic, but know that is still on my “to fix” list.

What I have learned is that my increase in happiness is directly correlated to a decrease in romantic presumption. Other people’s Love stories do not add to, nor do they take away from yours, so don’t speed up the process.

At no point are we “safe” from our over-thinking or romantic projecting. Our defense is a good offense: keep trust in God and that He has a plan rather than forcing a romantic Love story or fantasizing too far beyond reality.

It doesn’t get more Easy Bake than letting the Big Guy do the work for you. We just have to be open to it.