Friday, June 22, 2007


An excellent talk at an informal London gathering organised by younger friends, speaker from the Institute for Higher Studies on Women in Rome which is part of the Regina Apostolorum academy. We were a mixed group, not all Catholic,lots of younger people. It was all held at the home of a lovely family, enchanting small children helping to pass round snacks etc. Theme of talk focused on the intrinsic value of each human person - v. interesting to note that it is now definitely OK to affirm differences between men and women, and when in question-time I quoted examples of material from Govt-funded Equal Opportunities Commission which I had been sent in 1970s and 80s as chairman of local schools committee and instructed to ensure schools used in propaganda sessions, there was much hilarity, "Yes, we got all that stuff at school" etc. There is a dislike of ideological femimism and its assumptions. Today's discussions centre on finding identity, coping with different strands in overcrowded life, also massive financial pressures epescially if you want to get any sort of housing in London. It was v. interesting to note differences in age-groups - eg there is no question about men sharing housework, most younger men simply do, so old jokes about men not knowing how washing-machine works, can't change baby's nappy etc simply don't apply...on the other hand the big (and creative) differences between men and women were discussed at great length and with seriousness. Also the religious and spiritual aspects of this, including quotes from John Paul II, Mulieris Dignitatem etc, went down well, no shuffling or "We don't do God" sort of approach, on the contrary much interest. Golly, it made one feel middle-aged.

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