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Pope Francis waves as he arrives to lead the general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on March 18, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Max Rossi

Miracle: Pope Francis Calls Out Unequal Pay as Misogyny, Chauvinism

By Kelly Mathews

Last week it would appear nothing short of a miracle happened.

Pope Francis said there must be equal pay for women, to preserve and ensure the stability as well, of equality in marriage and the sanctity of marriage.

The equality enjoyed by the spouses must produce new fruit: equal opportunities in the workplace, a new valuing of motherhood and fatherhood, and a greater appreciation for the openness of families to those most in need,” he was quoted saying in The Latin Times.

He said not only that unequal pay was a “scandal”, but, in Mashable, that “Many people believe that the change that has taken place in recent decades was set in motion by the emancipation of women, but this argument is not valid either. It is an insult, a form of misogyny that seeks to subjugate women.”

Let that sink in for a moment. There is now officially a pope who admits misogyny exists.

He also openly said that unequal pay is “a form of chauvinism used to control women.”

Men’s rights activist groups who try to deny misogyny even exists and who are Catholic, pay attention, your commander in chief has spoken.

National Equal Pay Day was in April, and on that day, figures and statistics were released along with research reports attempting to tackle critics in the past who basically said women deserve less pay because they become mothers.

The research released by National Partnership, on the other hand, argues that precisely if because women become mothers they are getting less pay, this is still discriminatory, and they need to earn equal pay of men.

Traditional factions in and out of the Catholic Church have attacked the idea of women getting equal pay, let alone women working full time, as being destructive of the nuclear family.

Thus, the pope addressing traditional concerns that women working full time destroys the nuclear family, and saying that the opposite is in fact true, is courageous and historical. It is also in line with Pope John Pauls’ 1995 Letter to Women addressing similar concerns.

Is Pope Francis a feminist though?

Yes, he is, as he’s for equal rights for women.

His brand of feminism may not be every feminist’s brand, but he definitely is a feminist.

About Kelly Rae Mathews

Kelly Rae Mathews grew up in culturally and faith diverse San Diego, Calif. during the 70s and 80s before moving to Spokane in 2004. Growing up in a such a diverse environment with amazing people, led Mathews to be very empathetic and open to the insights of many different faiths, she said. She loves science fiction and this also significantly contributed to and influenced her own journey and understanding of faith and values. She agrees with and takes seriously the Vulcan motto, when it comes to faith and life, "Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations." Therefore, it is no surprise she has a degree in anthropology as well as English. She has studied the anthropology of religion and is knowledgeable about many faiths.

She completed an anthropological research project on poets of the Inland Northwest, interviewing over two dozen poets, their audiences, friends, family members, and local business community who supported the poetry performances. Mathews gave a presentation on How Poets Build Community: Reclaiming Intimacy from the Modern World at the Northwest Anthropological Conference, at the Eastern Washington University Creative Symposium, the Eastern Washington University Women's Center and the Literary Lunch Symposium put on by Reference Librarian and Poet Jonathan Potter at the Riverfront Campus.

She was a volunteer minister in San Diego for about 10 years while attending college and working in various editorial positions.

Her articles, poems and short stories have appeared in Fickle Muse, The Kolob Canyon Review, Falling Star Magazine, Acorn, The Coyote Express, The Outpost and Southern Utah University News.

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