Anti-semite in shock sexism!

// 28 January 2009

You’ve probably heard by now that the Pope has un-excommunicated four bishops, despite them being Holocaust deniers.

Needless to say, people rarely ascribe to just one particular type of bigotry, so it’s no surprise to see that ringleader of the Holocaust deniers, Richard Williamson, holds a whole range of other vile views as well!

Check out Rhetorically Speaking for some other choice quotes from Bishop Williamson, in which he rails against women wearing trousers, working outside the home and going to university. Further on in this letter, Williamson also attacks sexual harassment laws. He also says:

Of course not all women who wear trousers abort the fruit of their womb, but all help to create the abortive society. Old-fashioned is good, modern is suicidal. You wish to stop abortion? Do it by example. Never wear trousers or shorts.

Comments From You

Kirsty // Posted 28 January 2009 at 5:01 pm

Umm.. no, wait. I still don’t get it. Wearing trousers/shorts makes people choose abortions? I can’t even begin to see his logic there.

George // Posted 28 January 2009 at 5:17 pm

“Of course not all women who wear trousers abort the fruit of their womb”

Um… is it just me, or is that hilarious?

Jess McCabe // Posted 28 January 2009 at 5:21 pm

You’re not imagining it, George. It’s hilarious in a fucked up sort of way!

I

Kez // Posted 28 January 2009 at 5:30 pm

“You wish to stop abortion? Do it by example. Never wear trousers or shorts.”

Classic!

What a comedian.

Kate // Posted 28 January 2009 at 5:39 pm

Oh. My. God.

Laurel Dearing // Posted 28 January 2009 at 5:54 pm

you know, even if i believed that men were to be obeyed by women i wouldnt take well to being told my nature and what i want in life and how i feel by a man who obviously doesnt think he can relate due to such apparent differences

the constant girls/men thing was irritating too. im not sure what he was basing things off or whether it was what catholics should do or what everyone should do but it was just ridiculous.

the rest of that paragraph:

Girls, be mothers, and in order to be mothers, let not wild horses drag you into shorts or trousers. When activities are proposed to you requiring trousers, if it is something your great-grandmother did, then find a way of doing it, like her, in a skirt. And if your great-grandmother did not do it, then forget it! Her generation created your country, your generation is destroying it. Of course not ll women who wear trousers abort the fruit of their womb, but all help to create the abortive society. Old-fashioned is good, modern is suicidal. You wish to stop abortion? Do it by example. Never wear trousers or shorts. Bishop de Castro Mayer was right.

hazel // Posted 28 January 2009 at 5:59 pm

It’s Williamson not Williams.

Still barking however.

Jess McCabe // Posted 28 January 2009 at 6:07 pm

Thanks hazel, post duely edited!

Amy // Posted 28 January 2009 at 6:24 pm

Oh dear. It’s too ludicrously hilarious.

But it really begs the question: where do people get this sort of “logic” from?

Amy // Posted 28 January 2009 at 6:25 pm

Anyroad, wasn’t bifurcation sooo 19th century?!

Anne Onne // Posted 28 January 2009 at 7:04 pm

I can see his (non)logic. Here’s how it goes:

Women used to be more subservient in some sort of golden age where men ruled and dirty sluts who had abortions normally died and all of this was kept under wraps because it was shameful, so people like him never had to deal with it. The breakdown of this ahem, dream world started when women started wearing trousers and asking why some partiarch should tell them how to run their lives, and generally did whatever the hell they wanted. If one is bitter about losing one’s power over other humans, especially the ability to coerce and shame and punish, then they must get pretty pissed off that women are now choosing a more diverse life than that of their great grandmothers, because they have the choice. Naturally, since he can’t take it away, he’s trying to guilt them into it, by pretending that all the evils in the world are somehow connected to women’s transgressions, however minor.

To the Nazi* misogynist priests: My great grandmothers and grandmothers are all ten times the person you are. How dare you assume that these women, and others like them, people who bore the weight of their family and community, who worked hard every day of their lives in spite of the challenges and limitations, lived their lives to fit your narrow ideal of womanhood? It’s people like you who made their lives difficult, who kept them down and shamed them.

I will do everything that my grandmothers and great grandmothers never had the opportunity or social freedom to do, because that is their gift to me. And I will work so that our great granddaughters won’t have to put up with people like you, people who try to keep humanity down instead of helping them.

*does it count as Godwin if someone’s a Holocaust denier?

What a douchebag. I just can’t wait for people who ascribe to the ‘good old days’ philosphy to die. You just can’t reason with people whose mindsets are so incredibly warped, and whilst there’s new incurable bigots formed every day, the hope that they’re getting less virulent and less frequent is one of the few hopes we have.

Anne Onne // Posted 28 January 2009 at 7:10 pm

Also, I just have to add his ‘ideas are not for true girls’ comment on why women shouldn’t go to university. It’s such a stupid comment, so misogynistic and outdated that it would be absolutely hilarious if it was in the Onion, but the fact that he said it in dead earnest is absolutely depressing.

Dude, evidently ideas aren’t for anyone, since the rigid rules of your sect demand that *no one* thinks. So therefore *no one* should go to university, because knowledge is a sin, and everyone should just listen to the Pope and his priests to tell them what to do. How one becomes a Pope or priest with no education or ideas, I don’t know, but apparently, that’s what life is supposed to be based on.

Such self-defeating ideas I can never imagine following.

Princess Rot // Posted 28 January 2009 at 8:01 pm

I’m going to forget that it’s nonsensical for a moment and try to translate it.

K… basically, the argument being made here is against women having any sort of freedom of movement, or freedom to follow activities that would be hampered by fundie skirts. Their role will be strictly related to the home. The referral to “abortive” societies is encoded in an appeal to emotion – rebellious women destroy babies and traditional families (and therefore patriarchy). I am, though, inclined to think that it’s just a smokescreen for something deeper. “Abortive” in this context means “selfishness” and we know that selfishness for women means doing anything that isn’t being domestic servants for men.

maggie // Posted 28 January 2009 at 8:09 pm

But priests, bishops and popes wear dresses!

Jane // Posted 28 January 2009 at 8:55 pm

Are we surprised? Pope Benedict XV1 is behind the notorious 1962 Vatican document Crimen Sollicitationis – Latin for The Crime of Solicitation – which laid down the Vatican’s strict instructions on covering up sexual scandal. The Pope was then Cardinal Ratzinger, but this document clearly and knowingly acknowledged the extent of child abuse by priests but threatened anyone who reported it with excommunication. It was regarded as so secret that it came with instructions that bishops had to keep it locked in a safe at all times and it was written in latin.

Later on Father Tom Doyle, a former Vatican lawyer was reportedly dismissed for criticizing the church for its handling of child abuse allegations said of this document:

“What you have here is an explicit written policy to cover up cases of child sexual abuse by the clergy and to punish those who would call attention to these crimes by the churchmen. When abusive priests are discovered, the response has been not to investigate and prosecute but to move them from one place to another. So there’s total disregard for the victims and for the fact that you are going to have a whole new crop of victims in the next place. This is happening all over the world.”

The current Pope was thus engaged in active protection of child abusers. It was originally even described as ‘a sin against chastity’ (Paedophilia!!!) rather than a crime.

So he un-excommunicates a Holocaust denier but not people who were brave enough to speak out on child abuse in the Catholic Church.

Danielle // Posted 29 January 2009 at 12:13 am

‘Anne Onne –

I will do everything that my grandmothers and great grandmothers never had the opportunity or social freedom to do, because that is their gift to me. And I will work so that our great granddaughters won’t have to put up with people like you, people who try to keep humanity down instead of helping them’

Anne that was really quite touching….

I know what most girls would say to not being able to wear trousers and that they’re not ‘true girls’ because they’re at university.

A true girl is a domestic slave, right??

Aimee // Posted 29 January 2009 at 8:00 am

… .. What a tool. Don’t wear trousers!? Screw you. People like this make me feel violent inside.

Ruth // Posted 29 January 2009 at 8:04 am

Y’know, if I didn’t know better, I’d say this guy was a /b/4chan spoof ¬.¬ It’s so over-the-top offensive.

@ Anne Onne, I don’t think it counts as invoking Godwin if they actually are a Nazi sympathiser.

JenniferRuth // Posted 29 January 2009 at 9:12 am

Does this count as feminist lolz? :)

Maia // Posted 29 January 2009 at 10:53 am

Anne Onne, BRILLIANTLY said!

The Bish is clearly barking, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a team of psychiatrists declared him sane. So couldn’t he then be prosecuted under anti-discrimination laws? I mean, that’s what they’re for, isn’t it…?

Suzannah // Posted 29 January 2009 at 12:14 pm

“That girls should not be in universities flows from the nature of universities and from the nature of girls.”

Indeed. Girls are far to young to be at university and should concentrate on their SATS exams first. Universities should only allow in women and men, girls and boys should stick to school.

Do you think I interpreted him wrongly…? Oh dear. :(

Samantha // Posted 29 January 2009 at 4:25 pm

“To the Nazi* misogynist priests: My great grandmothers and grandmothers are all ten times the person you are. How dare you assume that these women, and others like them, people who bore the weight of their family and community, who worked hard every day of their lives in spite of the challenges and limitations, lived their lives to fit your narrow ideal of womanhood? It’s people like you who made their lives difficult, who kept them down and shamed them.

I will do everything that my grandmothers and great grandmothers never had the opportunity or social freedom to do, because that is their gift to me. And I will work so that our great granddaughters won’t have to put up with people like you, people who try to keep humanity down instead of helping them.”

For want of a better word – Amen!

Sabre // Posted 29 January 2009 at 4:36 pm

The Pope just keeps shooting Christianity in the foot! The Catholic church looks less and less like a 21st Century institution every day.

I hope humans never invent a time machine because I know who’d be the first to use it…

George // Posted 29 January 2009 at 4:52 pm

JenniferRuth, I think this is almost the best feminist lolz evar!

Check this out – “while the mini-skirt is sensual and attacks the senses, the trousers are ideological and attack the mind.” (http://www.sspx.ca/Documents/Bishop-Williamson/September1-1991.htm)

I feel like I should be criticising him on some sensible level, but… Attack of the Ideological Trousers?!!! Too funny.

Shea // Posted 29 January 2009 at 6:21 pm

“To the Nazi* misogynist priests: My great grandmothers and grandmothers are all ten times the person you are. How dare you assume that these women, and others like them, people who bore the weight of their family and community, who worked hard every day of their lives in spite of the challenges and limitations, lived their lives to fit your narrow ideal of womanhood? It’s people like you who made their lives difficult, who kept them down and shamed them.

I will do everything that my grandmothers and great grandmothers never had the opportunity or social freedom to do, because that is their gift to me. And I will work so that our great granddaughters won’t have to put up with people like you, people who try to keep humanity down instead of helping them.”

That’s beautiful and so poignant.

” I just can’t wait for people who ascribe to the ‘good old days’ philosphy to die.”

That’s just hilarious and I share that hope also. Time is against them, and there is nothing they can do. I *love* it!

Shell // Posted 29 January 2009 at 9:13 pm

“Attack of the Ideological Trousers?!!!”

Hahaha

Alex T // Posted 1 February 2009 at 1:49 pm

Oh right, so I should get up to the same sort of stuff as the Pankhursts, Millicent Fawcett, Marie Curie et al.? I mean, I’m not directly descended from them but they’re the generations he mean, yes? Well then, I shall continue to demand equal rights, go on marches and contribute great things to the world. And he can’t complain and we’ll all be happy.

Does he really think there were no feminists or strong women 100 years ago? Idiot.

Saya // Posted 25 February 2009 at 11:27 am

Hi – Did anyone save this letter by any chance – My mum wants to pass it on to her Catholic friends so they can come out against the anti-women element of the church – unfortunately it has now dissappeared from the website – I wonder why?!

Have Your say

To comment, you must be registered with The F-Word. Not a member? Register. Already a member? Use the sign in button below

Sign in to the F-Word

Further Reading

Has The F-Word whet your appetite? Check out our Resources section, for listings of feminist blogs, campaigns, feminist networks in the UK, mailing lists, international and national websites and charities of interest.

Write for us!

Got something to say? Something to review? News to discuss? Well we want to hear from you! Click here for more info

  • The F-Word on Twitter
  • The F-Word on Facebook
  • Our XML Feeds