Jesus' Mother Wasn't a Bitch

August 15, 2019

The Anti-Mary Exposed: Rescuing The Culture From Toxic Femininity
Carrie Gress
Tan Books, Charlotte, NC, 2019, 199 pp.

In the cultures of my Polish and Irish ancestors, some saw the Holy Family as a model for families. The father was to imitate Joseph. The mother was to be in persona Mariae. They were to raise Christlike children.

Google-searching "Mary as a model for women," one can find that concept expressed, but in sources i.e., EWTN and Catholic websites, that are obscure and unknown to the vast majority of Catholics. Just as most Catholics have never heard of EWTN, most Catholics never hear about the Holy Family model from their priests or hierarchy. No wonder the author of The Anti-Mary Exposed reports that "over and over again" she has heard from women, "I just don't feel a connection with Mary."

While, as Christ promises, the gates of Hell will not prevail against the church, the church is at the moment running out of Catholics.

And who needs Mary, a mere woman, anyway, if women are goddesses? Who needs Mary if the current pope declares "Look. Women are better than men."? (1) Who needs Mary when even a much smarter and sainted Polish pontiff of a couple decades ago emitted that women "enrich the world's understanding and help to make human relations more honest and authentic."(2)

St. John Paul II, I believe, continues to save the church from heaven, but that sounds like the goddess talk that Dr. Gress describes on p. 30:

Under the leadership of women, so the story goes, the world was peaceful, creative, beautiful, living in perfect harmony.(3)

"The church has lost the majority of women," Gress writes after describing how Mass attendance has become perfunctory for Catholic distaff, "Even many women who populate the pews are not living, thinking, praying, and loving with the church."

That women are in the church bodily, but not thinking with the authentic church does not mean that they are not throwing their weight around. The church has been feminizing for centuries as Dr. Leon Podles described in his must-read 1999 book, The Church Impotent: The Feminization of Christianity. In Podles' words that should be famous: the men have the priesthood, the women have everything else.(4)

Women are, with cooperative male clergy who help them maintain an alliance of priests and women against the men, hardening the feminization of a church.

Two 2019 events highlight the feminization. One is the Pew Research study about the belief of Catholics in Transubstantiation (5) which showed only 31% of Catholics believe that the bread and wine offered at Mass become the body and blood of Christ.

When it comes to Christ giving Himself constantly as nourishment until the end of time (the most important thing that happens in the church, indeed in the world) the Catholic most likely to believe in it is an older white male who attends Mass weekly and has a college degree.

After the Holy Sacrifice of The Mass, the next important thing in the church is education. The other 2019 event is Duncepope Francis' manipulators' gutting of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute For Studies on Marriage And Family.(6)

Half, perhaps most of this important worldwide institute's wonderful graduates are women. I have been privileged to know several. However among women who are aware of St. John Paul II's important educational foundation, its destruction doesn't seem to faze them.

Toxic Femininity and Feminization

A church that is already feminized offers welcome accommodation to toxic femininity. The manhating that both encourage is, as it is in the rest of civilization, driving down marriage and birth rates among Catholics.(7)

While, as Christ promises, the gates of Hell will not prevail against the church, the church is at the moment running out of Catholics.

In one of his brilliant essays, Professor Anthony Esolen wrote of the young men and women at the decaying Catholic college he taught at: "It's not that they don't love one another. They don't even like one another."(8)

How sad! Finding a mate must, for most people, happen in young adulthood. That such meetings are happening less means fewer Catholics, fewer vocations to religious life, fewer souls saved.

Professor Esolen is the basso profundo in a little choir, lately joined by The Anti-Mary Exposed author Carrie Gress, singing about toxic femininity and feminization. Also among Esolen's many worth-reading works concerning the war on males is "How to Kill Vocations in Your Diocese" (9) wherein he declares, in sarcasm fortissimo, "Never suggest that the Church needs men for anything. Make 'man' into an obscenity."

Rachel Lu has written about this perversion's effects on men.(10) I have written about being a Catholic bachelor in a church where the single, practicing Catholic, pro-life women, the ones who actually look to Mary as a model, still prefer pets and girlfriends to guys.(11) The virgin part interests them; the Joseph part does not.

The church must remasculineize to fulfill its mission, yet many priests, instead of thinking like fathers, think like mothers. This is no surprise when priests tend to play with the girls and act as "priest-boyfriends" moreso than they relate to men. What is very much lacking in the feminized church is male discipline. We are living with the results.

A church wherein male discipline does not reign, a church that is feminine in its thinking, cannot deal with problems such as punishing sexual abusers, nor can it boldly preach moral truths. Dr. Gress describes feminine thinking by adopting psychologist Erich Neumann's characterization of women as having a natural disposition to "mother," to "contain" others.(12)

Leon Podles writes that women have an inclination toward union(13) and that girls define themselves as continuous with others.(14) Men, like the masculine God and His Son Jesus exist in a state of alienation, better described as separateness. Men operate by dividing, classifying, rule-making, sorting out.

By whatever terms one describes the results of the feminine tendency toward union and mothering, the proclivity, when untempered, puts RELATIONSHIPS before RULES, STANDARDS, COMMANDMENTS.

The mother sees people as her children no matter what. She worries that if she talks about sin or sets expectations for the children or demands that they dress properly for the wedding feast, the children will stomp away from the table and out of the house. Keeping the children in the house is preferable and prior even if they tear the house apart.

Feminization and toxic femininity are the best explicators of the church's current mess, but the fashionable narrative now is that the mess was made by Communist infiltrators and same-sex-attracted predators. There has long been a tendency to blame modern society's rejection of Christian life on ideologies and individual thinkers such as Marx and Nietszche. It's easy to reduce causes to individual villains, especially when masses of people are to blame.

In pages that seem like a Ph.D. thesis, pages that could have been put to better use, Dr. Gress takes a buckboard on this bandwagon. While infiltrators and SSA predators were certainly active in recent decades, while it is interesting and necessary to study anew the influences Marxism/Communism had on Western society and the church in the 20th century (Spoiler alert! The Commies won.), ideology follows fallen Man.

Everyone is born a Marxist. Everyone is born naturally self-centered, envious, lazy, particularly when it comes to thinking. Everyone is born an atheist and a savage. Everyone is born wanting to do whatever his appetites bid and wanting not only everyone else to let him get away with it but also to pay for it. It is the task of church, family and formal and informal education to raise up people who through their morals and behavior are ordered to the final cause of all human beings, God their Maker.

Carrie Gress The Anti-Mary Exposed

"Mary herself had to learn and know the Jewish faith to raise Jesus. Education was a part of Mary's life, a part of her."

From long before Marx, Nietszche, Frieden and Steinem were gleams in their dysfunctional parents' eyes, human history has seen periodic flareups of the chaos we experience today. I disagree with Dr. Gress's statement in a column derived from the Anti-Mary book that we are "living in a time unlike any other."(15) I think that there have been many times like ours throughout history. Hints of them can be found in ancient records.

The Old and New Testaments contain many verses that imply disorder and record the responses thereto.(16) One could say that Mary's preoccupied sister Martha of Luke 10:38-42 is an ancient version of "not living, thinking, praying, and loving."

I suspect that the veneration of virginity and the practice of male celibacy, neither of Christian origin, began during times of havoc. If women are obnoxious or "not interested," one dreams of ideals, one adopts a discipline to cope.

When Karl Marx was just getting started, Orestes Brownson testified to the spinoff of American secular liberalism from Calvinism in his 1855 novel The Spirit Rapper (lately republished as Like a Roaring Lion). Therein the narrator writes of a young lady who tells him that "the world cannot be reformed without the destruction of the male" and "the elevation of woman to her proper sphere and the infusion into government and management of public affairs of [sugar and spice BS] from the woman's heart." The Spirit Rapper/Like a Roaring Lion will make its reader laugh that he thought feminism and liberalism started in the 1960s.

Less history; more listicles

I'll explain why at the conclusion, but The Anti-Mary Exposed could have been written featuring less history and more "listicles" i.e., "X Characteristics of the Anti-Mary," "X Signs of the Anti-Mary in Our Times," "X Qualities of Mary" along the lines of the final chapter, "Six Ways To Combat The Anti-Mary."

There are also some important observations that the author leaves undeveloped or unmentioned. In the chapter "Understanding Mary's Beauty" she writes about women seeking, "hollowed-out" and "superficial" beauty, beauty without seeking God, the usual vain stuff. What I think are more interesting and notable these days are the women who seek ugliness, who deliberately make themselves look hideous. Some have suggested that this is a sign of inner ugliness.

In the chapter "The True Mother," Gress writes of Mary fighting against the powers of darkness through, among other things, "order, discipline, education...." Yes, but much more could have been said. Order, discipline and education are masculine pursuits. Women are accused of futilely wanting to be like men. Ironically, to imitate Mary, they actually must be like men in some respects. Helping God build His Kingdom is work, prayer, study, order, discipline. There are no different sets of commandments or norms for Christian behavior and manners for women. As sinners we must all fight the battle against our sinfulness. If it is in a woman's nature to "want more" -- which is the real reason most divorces are initiated by wives, not to mention the restlessness among so many women -- one should keep an eye on that proclivity and pray for the grace to keep it from working against purpose and obligations.

Also by Neal J. Conway:

Manhating Catholic Style

Speaking of study, unless I missed it, I could not find any word about imitating Mary by education. Gress expresses frustration at the "educated" women who cheered on the 2018 Justice Brett Kavanaugh search-and-destroy mission without much concern about the timing of accusations, the lack of fairness and the pursuit of dirt that extended even to Kavanaugh's elementary-school classmates. Indeed it is very difficult to find a woman who does not think that Kavanaugh, the teen who kept a Daytimers calendar, could not keep his pants zipped.

So much for making human relations more honest and authentic.

This year I saw Jacopo Tintoretto's paintings of The Virgin Mary Reading which I found moving. The "Education of Mary" is actually a common theme in old art where Mary is depicted with her parents Joachim and Anne, either or both of whom are shown holding a scroll or a book. The reading materials are symbolic of learning. The presumption behind the theme is that Mary herself had to learn and know the Jewish faith to raise Jesus. Education was a part of Mary's life, a part of her.

Of every capable adherent the Catholic faith requires knowledge of what God reveals through Revelation, Creation and His Church. The more the better.

My favorite two pages included Gress's observation, "Songs have not been written for nagging, angry, self-absorbed women," (17) pages about how "truthful, kind, loyal, soulful" women have inspired men to create great literature etc. Here it should be noted that in men's eyes, truthfulness, kindness, loyalty can more than make up for what is lacking in beauty. One of the things that women neither understand nor appreciate about men is the happiness men feel when they are in love. Never mind Shakespeare or Byron. Read the joy that John Betjeman exuded in A Subaltern's Love Song.

The problem with having a conversation about feminization and toxic femininity is that the people who must start, maintain and broaden that conversation -- priests and women -- don't see what the problem is. So starting the conversation is like trying to start a diesel engine in sub-zero weather. Will The Anti-Mary Exposed be hot enough to cause combustion? I certainly hope so, but I fear that it may be too intellectual for most Catholics, those who are not Carrie Gresses.


(1) NBC News, Pope: Workers Have 'Human Right' to Refuse Same-Sex Marriage Licenses, Sept. 28, 2015.

(2) Pope St. John Paul II, Letter to Women, 1995.

(3) Gress, The Anti-Mary Exposed etc., p. 30.

(4) Podles, Leon J., The Church Impotent: The Feminization of Christianity, Spence Publishing Company, Dallas, Texas, 1999, 286 pp.

(5) Smith, Gregory A., "Just one-third of U.S. Catholics agree with their church that Eucharist is body, blood of Christ,", Aug. 5, 2019.

(6) Weigel, George, "The Vandals sack Rome...again, Catholic World Report, July 29, 2019.

(7) See Conway, Neal J., Manhating Catholic Style,, Jan. 1, 2019, for a summary of Pew and CARA research studies tracking the decline of marriage and childbearing among Catholics.

(8) Esolen, Anthony, The Primitive Cruelty of Modern 'Love'",, April 30, 2013.

(9) Esolen, Anthony, "How to Kill Vocations in Your Diocese,", Jan. 20, 2015.

(10) Lu, Rachel, ""Women Should Appreciate Masculine Virtues,", Aug. 18, 2016.

(11) See Conway, Neal J., Manhating Catholic Style and Pornography, Pets, Girlfriends: A Different Catholic Perspective on What's Killing Marriage,, June 1, 2016.

(12) Gress, The Anti-Mary Exposed etc., pp. 59-61.

(13) Podles, The Church Impotent etc., p. xvii.

(14) Id. p. 40.

(15) Gress, Ph.D., Carrie, The Subtle Lie: Women must be powerful, but not fruitful,, July 7. 2019.

(16) These include Exodus 22:17; Deut. 22:5; Sirach 25:16; 32:13-14; 47:19; Esther 1:17; Acts 13:50; 1 Cor. 14:34; 1 Tim 2:14; 5:13-16.

(17) Gress, The Anti-Mary Exposed etc., pp. 156-157.

For Further Reading

The Church Impotent: 2019

Pornography, Pets, Girlfriends: A Different Catholic Perspective on What's Killing Marriage

About Neal J. Conway