The Pope: “So many women forced to sell themselves for a job”

The Pope: “So many women forced to sell themselves for a job”

By Salvatore Cernuzio/

In Santa Marta, Francis thunders against the exploitation of women and the perception of women as “objects of desire”. “ There’s no need to go far away, it also happens in Rome”.

“Discarded”, “used”, “humiliated”, forced to “sell their dignity to get a job” or to undress to advertise products. Many of these women can be seen on TV, in newspapers, but also in offices, at the workplace. And you don’t have to go too far so see it: just turn the corner in Rome to meet “anonymous” women, “gaze-less” women, “slaves of this culture of waste”. In the face of this dramatic scenario Francis expresses anger and pain: “It is a sin against God”, he thunders during today’s Santa Marta’s Mass.

Always attentive to the condition of women, promoter of the sacredness of women and fierce opponent of everything that diminishes it, prostitution in the first place, Bergoglio from the chapel of the Domus Vatican asks all Christians across the world to pray for the “many women despised, marginalized, and cast aside”, as well as for those made “object of desire” for the use and consumption of man.

“In television programs, magazines, newspapers women are seen as an object of desire, like in a “supermarket”, the Pope denounces in his homily reported by Vatican News. Women, used for example to sell a certain quality of “tomatoes”, who are “humiliated” and presented “without wearing clothes”.

Alongside this “public” form of humiliation and exploitation, there is also a more hidden dimension: that of the “offices”, of the “companies” of the workplace which, Bergoglio notes, are full of women “objects of that “use and throw away mentality”, increasingly treated as “waste material” and less and less as “people”.

“There is an anger and resentment against women, a nasty anger. Even without saying it... But how many times do young women have to sell themselves as disposable objects in order to get a job? How many times? “Yes, Father, I heard in that country...”. Here in Rome. There’s no need to go far away. It would be enough to go on a “nocturnal pilgrimage” on certain streets of the Capital to see “many women, many migrants, many non-migrants” exploited “like at the market”. Men approach these women “not to wish them, “Good evening”, but to ask: “How much do you cost”.

It is precisely the contempt and debasement of these people that makes them prostitutes. “You made her a prostitute, as Jesus says: anyone who repudiates exposes her to adultery, so that you do not treat women well, the woman thus often ends, exploited, even a slave” the Pope emphasizes. “It will therefore be good to look at these women and think that, in the face of our freedom, they are “slaves of this “use and throw away” mentality”... We should reflect better. And by doing this or saying this, by entering into this thought we despise the image of God, who made man and woman together in his image and likeness”.

Christ, in fact, “has dignified” - the Pope says- the sinful women encountered along the way. He returned tenderness to them and offered mercy, while stones and insults were flying from others. Above all, Jesus taught a new doctrine on women, pronouncing strong, radical words that “changed history” and modified the perception of women as “second class” human beings, “slaves” who “did not even enjoy full freedom”.

There is a woman before Jesus, and a woman after Jesus. Something has changed since that time, but not too much. In Rome, as I already said, but also in many other cities, there are still too many “anonymous women, women - we can say - “gaze-less” because shame covers the eye, women who do not know how to laugh and many of them do not know the joy of breastfeeding and hearing themselves be called mum”, the Pope complains.

There are still too many victims of “this bad thought of rejecting the woman”, to consider her a “second class” object. The Pontiff therefore invites us to follow the path outlined by Jesus who “dignifies” women and puts them on the same level as men because both are “the image and likeness of God”.

“Both”, the Pope reaffirms, “not the man first and then a little lower the woman, no, both. For a man without the woman beside him - whether as a mother, a sister, a bride, a working companion, a friend - that man alone is not the image of God”.

Nor he is when he exploits, uses or mistreats women. “It is a sin”, Pope Francis insists once again, recalling the words of Matthew’s Gospel: “Anyone who looks at a woman to desire her has already committed adultery”, “anyone who repudiates his wife exposes her to adultery”. “This passage from the Gospel - he concludes - helps us to think about the marketing of women, a trade, yes, trafficking, that exploitation which is visible but also that trade which we can’t see but is taking place out of sight. A woman is trampled underfoot precisely because she is a woman.”

Sat, 06/16/2018 - 22:25
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