January 22, 2022- In the latest episode of the TV series, “Blue Bloods”, the great Stacy Keach’s character, Archbishop Kevin Kearns, is conflicted between his duty as a citizen and his role in enforcing the confidentiality of canon law. Civil authorities opt to breach the latter, so that a killer may be brought to justice. This sets up a short-lived spate of anger and complaint from the archbishop, who ends up feeling mollified when the Commissioner of Police, who is also his friend, basically offers an apology-with the caveat that he’d do the same thing again, if criminal law requires it.
Mature adults can handle “Sorry, not sorry”, if it is clear that the offending person’s dignity is more important than a temporary “sock in a knot”. A key example is that of a woman made to feel like she should apologize for being assertive. I was raised by a woman who never backed down, when she felt the need to speak up, so the idea of a “demure damsel” never came to mind. Society, however, provided plenty of examples of such people, as I grew up and moved about on my own. My reaction has been to make every effort to build up the woman’s or girl’s sense of self- even at the risk of looking like an archaic knight errant, and, yes, even when my own sock ended up in knot.
I know that gender equity has made great strides, over the past five decades, but there remain those men who seek to dominate, and not be questioned. There are still those women who deem it their duty to submit to the patriarch. In my humble opinion, either we are partners across the gap, or we are going to gaze across that chasm, in bewilderment.
No girl should grow up thinking that it’s her duty to apologize for speaking out, when her God-given mind and heart tell her that it’s her right. That goes double for grown women, not to mention men.
Let us all speak our truth, as lovingly as possible-but not retreating into demurral.