I was watching an episode of the T.V. series, Mad Men with my daughter this weekend. My Mom loves the show for its 1960’s nostalgia and has fond memories of the styles and fashions. Her memories of gender roles of the time are not so fond. She wasn’t surprised when contemporary male viewers began to yearn for these “good-old days” when men ruled and women met their needs as help-mate and play-mate, at work and at home.
Many find comfort in clearly defined roles, especially if these roles benefit them. I wonder how many priests and bishops yearn for the good old days when they could expand their diocesan empires by building catholic schools and hospitals with the free labour of religious orders- mostly women. How many yearn for the days when women had the time to volunteer countless of hours to the parish? How many yearn for the days before feminists began challenging the inequality of gender roles in society and in the church? How many yearn for the days when priesthood garnered similar executive prestige and power as the Mad Men of days gone by?