G.K. Chesterton wasn’t called the “apostle of common sense” for nothing. Among his many illuminating essays and observations, one of the most insightful is his perspective on women and the colossal importance of their role inside the home:
Babies need not to be taught a trade, but to be introduced to a world. To put the matter shortly, woman is generally shut up in a house with a human being at the time when he asks all the questions that there are, and some that there aren’t. It would be odd if she retained any of the narrowness of a specialist. Now if anyone says that this duty of general enlightenment (even when freed from modern rules and hours, and exercised more spontaneously by a more protected person) is in itself too exacting and oppressive, I can understand the view. I can only answer that our race has thought it worth while to cast this burden on women in order to keep common-sense in the world. But when people begin to talk about this domestic duty as not merely difficult but trivial and dreary, I simply give up the question. For I cannot with the utmost energy of imagination conceive what they mean.
When domesticity, for instance, is called drudgery, all the difficulty arises from a double meaning in the word. If drudgery only means dreadfully hard work, I admit the woman drudges in the home, as a man might drudge at the Cathedral of Amiens or drudge behind a gun at Trafalgar. But if it means that the hard work is more heavy because it is trifling, colorless and of small import to the soul, then as I say, I give it up; I do not know what the words mean. To be Queen Elizabeth within a definite area, deciding sales, banquets, labors and holidays; to be Whiteley within a certain area, providing toys, boots, sheets, cakes. and books, to be Aristotle within a certain area, teaching morals, manners, theology, and hygiene; I can understand how this might exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it. How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness.
– “The Emancipation of Domesticity”; as cited in Brave New Family: G.K. Chesterton on Men & Women, Children, Sex, Divorce, Marriage & the Family – pp. 112-113. (Ignatius Press)
Common sense, however, is not so common among the apostles of today. Which is perhaps why a thing like this was produced by no less than the very chief apostle himself:
Yes, there’s a token mention of women’s role in the family. But all the remaining issues and graphics deal with careers, work, and social justice and gender ideology themes. There is not one image in the entire video of a traditional, nuclear family with multiple children. We see women chemists, doctors, teachers, and those who perform menial labor. We see an apparently single mother (with conspicuous lack of wedding ring) packing lunches for her children with a world-weary look on her face, before she brightens as the words appear, “I DO MY JOB AS WELL AS A MAN.” We see what looks like a nun, but she is in a classroom, apparently studying, not engaged in apostolate. For that matter, there is not a single image of a woman at Mass, or engaged in prayer. Not a church. Not a crucifix. Not a rosary.
You will also note that there is not a single mention in this video of the woman par excellence, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Nor will you find in this video (or any others this pope has yet produced) any spiritual guidance that helps souls attain heaven. It is all materialism and immanentism — the latter something Father Louis Bouyer, defined as: “A tendency to understand the immanence of God or of His action in us in such a way that it would, in fact, exclude the reality of His transcendence” — all the time.
If the semiotics of the video are anything to go by, it appears that as long as the words like “NO GENDER VIOLENCE” appear in big enough letters while actors stare meaningfully into the camera, we’re supposed to forget all that.
For a pope who has condemned gender ideology on multiple occasions, Francis is terrible at following his own advice.
Steve Skojec is the Founding Publisher of OnePeterFive.com. He received his BA in Communications and Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2001. His commentary has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Crisis Magazine, EWTN, Huffington Post Live, The Fox News Channel, Foreign Policy, and the BBC. Steve and his wife Jamie have eight children. You can find more of his writing at his Substack, The Skojec File.