Catholicism, Gender Roles, and Assumptions about Leadership

A few weeks ago, my parish was giving out free copies of the Catholic Digest. Since I rarely turn down free reading material, I picked it up. I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it took on real-life issues from a Catholic perspective and went beyond pro-life rhetoric and snide remarks about President Obama (**cough coughmylocaldiocesannewspapercough**).

But then there was Chet Raymo’s article, “My Dad’s Workbench.” On the surface, it seems like a harmless enough memoir-type piece about how Chet’s father’s workbench became an important component in Chet’s memories of him. But the equation of the workbench with masculinity in the article grated on me, particularly the line that read, “A pouty wife might lock herself in the bathroom; a sulking husband needed a more manly retreat.”

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