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A Reply to Pope Francis' Latest Critique of Gender Theory

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Duluth, Minnesota (OpEdNews) April 15, 2015: In his prepared speech on Wednesday, April 15, 2015, in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis, the charismatic sweet-talker from Latin America, once again lashed out at gender theory in favor of his church's own preferred sexist theory.

Carol Glatz of the Catholic New Service reports what he said in the article "Pope Francis: Gender theory is the problem, not the solution" published online at the website of the National Catholic Reporter. She reports that the pope's talk is the first of two talks he plans to give on gender theory.

Arguably the Roman Catholic Church embodies institutionalized male sexism.

But gender theory challenges male sexism, not only in the church but also in other institutions as well.

Therefore gender theory represents a threat to the institutionalized male sexism of the Roman Catholic Church.

Now, in theory, many things in the Roman Catholic Church could be changed. However, as everybody knows, the bishops are too conservative and too stubborn to make any significant changes.

But the male sexists in the church's hierarchy do not want to change the lifestyle they have grown accustomed to.

As the chief male sexist in the church's hierarchy, the charismatic sweet-talking Pope Francis prefers to resist making any significant changes in the sexist customs of the Roman Catholic Church.

My, oh my, is he ever a sweet-talker!

In the book TOUGH, SWEET, AND STUFFY: AN ESSAY ON MODERN AMERICAN PROSE STYLES (1966), Walker Gibson in English at New York University called our attention to sweet-talkers.

But I'm not a sweet-talker like Pope Francis.

Instead, in Walker Gibson's terminology, I am characteristically a stuffy-talker.

Aristotle long ago pointed out that the civic orator characteristically employs the ways of appealing to the audience: (1) logos, (2) pathos, and (3) ethos.

By virtue of being pope, Pope Francis deploys ethos.

I obviously cannot match his ethos. Despite my handicap in this respect, I want to construct a way to think about the debate he is engaging in.

In Aristotle's terminology, I will rely on logos to construct my argument.

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Thomas James Farrell is professor emeritus of writing studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). He started teaching at UMD in Fall 1987, and he retired from UMD at the end of May 2009. He was born in 1944. He holds three degrees from Saint Louis University (SLU): B.A. in English, 1966; M.A.(T) in English 1968; higher education, 1974. On May 16, 1969, the editors of the SLU student newspaper named him Man of the Year, an honor customarily conferred on an administrator or a faculty member, not on a graduate student -- nor on a woman up to that time. He is the proud author of the book (more...)

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