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Middle-Class Women Catholics

At the Middle-Class Women’s Workshop, I led a table for Catholic women.

I spoke about what I see in Catholic material that colludes with middle-class material, specifically in regard to making mistakes. When we make a mistake, common feelings are shame and fear of blame. At times we don’t want anyone to know about our mistakes, precisely because of those two feelings. I asked the group, “What would happen if we went over our mistakes in sessions, if we proudly stated our biggest errors?” There was a lot of laughter.

We also talked about our oppressor material. One way of working on it is to observe it without justifying it and then go to the early memories of acting oppressively and change our decision to act that way. I said that we had often experienced a type of power when we had acted out our oppressor material, and that we have to go back and discharge the feelings so we can think better and not take the incorrect position of acting oppressively in the future.

We then did a go-around about this, and I observed that many times we justified acting oppressively. Almost all of the memories we shared were early ones, with our brothers and sisters. Many of us felt in the sharing like we were going to confession. But showing our struggles and “confessing” among women was a big contradiction to how we had felt alone with the feelings of shame.

Dulce Cisneros
Mexico D.F., Mexico
Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list for leaders of Catholics


1 A workshop held in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, in February 2015
2 "Material" means distress
3 "Went over means talked about.
4 Contradiction to distress

 


Last modified: 2019-05-02 14:41:35+00