That plastic surgery can be a form of aggression against women is just one of many interesting subjects to be discussed at next week’s plenary assembly on women, led by the Pontifical Council for Culture.
The assembly, which will take place Feb. 4-7 in Rome, is entitled, “Women’s Cultures: Equality and Difference”. Led by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, access is limited to members and consultors of the Pontifical Council, but women from around the world will be invited to participate through social media with #lifeofwomen.
The Plenary will consider a variety of issues pertaining to women such as function, role, dignity, equality, identity, liberty, violence, economy, politics, power and autonomy to name a few.
One of the more interesting discussions will be about how plastic surgery must be counted as one of the “many manipulations of the body” which is the result of stress imposed upon women by the exploitation of the female body so prevalent in our culture. Other than for medico-therapeutic uses, plastic surgery “can be aggressive toward the feminine identity, showing a refusal of the body” which can lead to other pathologies such as eating disorders and depression.
“If the body is the place of truth of the feminine self, in the indispensable mixture of culture and biology, it is also the place of the ‘betrayal’ of this truth.”
It goes on to blame the “indiscriminate and undifferentiated use” of the media and communications industry to allude to, and then debase, the sexuality of women.
“No political or social battle has been able to do without a mechanism so profoundly rooted as that of the exploitation of the female body for commercial benefit,” the paper states.
But the Plenary won’t stop there. They will tackle the deeply disturbing issues “feminicide” which is the killing of women as women as well as selective abortion, infanticide, genital mutilation, crimes of honor, forced marriages, trafficking of women, sexual molestation and rape “which in some parts of the world are inflicted on a massive level and along ethnic lines.” These offenses are “some of the deepest injuries inflicted daily on the soul of the world, on the bodies of women and of girls, who become silence and invisible victims.”
The Plenary will also review women’s role in the Church, deliberately ignoring the issue of women priests because, according to statistics, it “is not something women want.”
“ . . . (F)eminine voices of good sense are not thinking or wanting to tear away the jobs and positions from men, turning on its head the relation of power between the sexes, nor do they wish to wear a purple berretta, forgetting the recognition of women with the femininity that is theirs.”
Instead, a more realistic objective will be sought that will open the doors of the church to women so that they can offer their contribution in terms of “skills, sensitivity, intuition, passion, dedication, in full collaboration and integration with the male component.”
A press conference will be held on Monday to reveal further details.
Click here to read the working document.
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