Sexier in a Pinny or a Pin Up?
By Marisa Micallef
Malta Independent [Malta]
November 18, 2006
It's very odd isn't it, this value the Vatican puts on men, priests to be more precise, being celibate? Sadly, the only time we ever really discuss the sexuality of priests is when one of them is accused or found guilty of fondling little children. Are we expected to believe that priests are either all celibate or men who prey on little boys and sometimes girls? It's just a terrible image of those who are meant to spread the words of Christ and keep his values alive among us, isn't it? Do these two totally contrasting images that both the Church and the media bombard us with reflect reality at all?
If it does it certainly isn't a very good advertisement for recruiting healthy in mind and body men to the priesthood. In fact, the Church is finding it next to impossible to recruit men in the developed world, though trade is still booming in this world, where presumably a priest is relatively well off compared to the terrible poverty around him, so it is still an attractive proposition.
Mind you these Third World priests just get on with it and ignore these silly stuffy rules on celibacy that celibate men insist on. Instead of preying on young boys and girls, or whores, or easily impressionable simple minded parishioners, or whatever hidden sexual gratification they can manage, which is the only sexual activity of priests we hear about in the West, these Third World priests have relationships with real, normal women, and often marry them!
Of course that is why the Church is discussing this issue at all. Simply because there are a staggering 100,000 married priests worldwide, and 25,000 in the US alone, where people like me find it entirely normal that someone who is able to look after his (or why not her) parish is a normal flesh and blood human being, who also wants to love and be loved by a woman, have children and do all the other things that make us normal rounded human beings.
I suppose the priesthood is a good career move if you have an abnormally low sex drive. Many people do apparently, in which case a profession, a calling, a vocation, call it what you will depending on your point of view, where sex is banned is probably ideal for you. But otherwise?
What is likely to happen if you, as an institution, have some ridiculous conditions for priesthood? The first is you must be a man. The second is you must remain celibate The third is you get to work with lots of young kids whose minds you have to nurture to be tomorrows Catholics. It's a really lethal mix isn't it; no wonder there are so many stories of priests who abuse sexually, when all these strange conditions would drive anyone nuts or attract too many nutters.
You don't allow women to be priests so you are already attracting only half the population. You say they must be celibate, which means that heterosexual men with normal sexual urges need not apply, and then you get them to work with little children. Couldn't it just be that this suppressed sexuality either attracts many gays in the first place (not that gays are abusers necessarily I hasten to add, but being gay in a priesthood that forces celibacy on you and then puts you to work with young boys is not a healthy mix now is it?), or just drives otherwise normal men to look for love or sex where they definitely should not, that is young children in their charge. The link is too strong to be utterly coincidental and the Church should be in favour of priests who marry if it wants to have a healthy future.
In the same week we heard the Vatican's take on married priests, we also read that Maltese women are the real Michelin star chefs of Malta. Men don't help much with the cooking, or so screamed the headlines, but when you looked closer it was quite different. Fifty-four per cent of non working mums cook alone at home, but hey that means 46 per cent don't, which means hubbies, boyfriends, partners are there in the kitchen too.
Among mums who work, only 35 per cent do all the cooking, so again it means 75 per cent have a partner who also cooks. Not at all bad actually. Really positive I thought. Perhaps the people who run these gender bender units could lighten up a wee bit and realise that the vast majority of us do not want or need a nanny State telling us how to live our lives. (We have had enough of that already from the Church and pontificating politicians.) We really just want to earn enough to make our own choices, pay those dreadful electricity bills and thankfully soon to be reduced airport taxes, without being labelled one way or the other.
With such a low percentage of women working outside the home, it is hardly surprising, or even wrong, that women do more of the household chores now is it? It is interesting though that while stay at home mums do more housework than working mums, working mums seem to be more protective or try harder to spend extra time with their kids, like spending time ferrying them to extra lessons.
Between a week of the Vatican promoting celibacy again, and the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality' s dire pronouncements on Maltese men, at least we had George Clooney news to enjoy. He was voted the sexist man alive, again, by People Magazine. No candidate for the priesthood obviously; I wonder what the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality makes of him? Do they think he would be sexier in a pinny, or is he a mere pin up? Now there's a survey to squander more of our taxes on?
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