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Jeanette, I can understand how to an outsider it would seem that the Catholic church has a skewed perspective on women. Please consider, however, that our faith has long held reverence for women, as visible in our dedication to Mary and many female saints. We don't worship them, but we respect them and look to their lives and works as examples of how to best serve God. Additionally, we were pioneers in the education of women. Catholic schools and universities have long served the demand for women seeking higher knowledge. Many of the Catholic women in my family hold advanced degrees and have dedicated our lives to meaningful careers outside of the home. We recognize that we cannot be priests, but if we feel called to serve the Church in other ways, there are plenty of opportunities available for us to do so. For many Catholic families, household responsibilities are evenly shared between spouses. In fact, I think my husband does twice as much laundry as I do. Raising children is not "women's work," rather than a combined effort between husband, wife, extended family, school and church, where our values, such as love and kindness for our fellow men and women, are passed down from generation to generation. Some women also believe that the Catholic church's teachings on contraception and birth control are misogynistic, but Catholic women share the belief that life begins at conception and that ending that life prematurely is not a viable option. We feel that the right to life bears more sanctity than our "right to choose" whether or not to become a mother to that child. In our eyes, that decision has already been made by God. I hope this helps you to understand our perspective. I'd like to reiterate that many of the points I make in my article about raising children in the rape culture are intended to empower women, and that I plan to raise my all of my children, male and female, to have reverence for their bodies and the bodies of others. Thank you, Robyn

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Happy anniversary to your parents! Blueberry pie is superior to a Sapphire. Make sure to remind your kids about it when the time comes :) That list of closed stores brings back memories. (We still have an old plastic bag with the Caldor logo floating around somewhere.) A family member really misses Bibelot Books. I would love to have Mars music back. Speaking of Mars, I'm sad to hear about their upcoming closing in July. They were the first grocery store I remember going to when I was a child.

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