Catholic and Strong

by Natalie Yuhas


As much as I wish I could say I am constantly on top of my work I have to do, the reality is that I procrastinate more than I should. I would rather look at pictures of cute puppies on the internet than write an analytic paper on the economic policy of South Africa. I invest a lot of time into Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Buzzfeed, but nothing compares to how much of my life I waste on Pinterest. Something about organizing the pictures and links however I want really captivates me. There are hours of my life that I will never get back from scouring the endless pages of fashion, food recipes, crafts, and photography. Although I enjoy a lot of the content on Pinterest, there are some posts that really bother me. One post that bothers me the most is a quote that reads: “It doesn’t matter how you’re doing on your finals as long as your future husband is acing his.” I was stunned by not only the message, but also by how many girls were eagerly re-posting it. It’s sad to think that so many girls agree with this degrading message and think it is funny.

I grew up in a very Catholic house and learned from a young age how important faith is. Years of Catholic school and Mass have formed a large part of who I am. Growing up with older brothers also helped form who I am today. Among the constant teasing, the rough housing, and the inappropriate jokes from them, I formed a layer of tough skin. Not only do I like baseball more than a lot of 20 year old girls and have the ability to out-burp my brothers to shame, but I have also grown up with the confidence that I shouldn’t settle for anything less than what I deserve and work for. I refuse to let another person define who I am and how I feel about myself. I grew up to be Catholic and to be confident.


Many people feel like Christianity is degrading to women and that to believe in God is to restrict yourself as a woman and be completely submissive. This is such a wrong way to look at being a faithful woman. You don’t have to compromise your independence or self worth because of your faith. If anything, having faith should validate it.


There are two creation stories in the book of Genesis. In the first story, “God said, "Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness… So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Gen 1:26-27). God made both man and woman in his image and at the same time. This means that both men and women have the same dignity and importance. In the second creation story, woman is created when “the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.’
… The LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man” (2:18-22). In this account, God made woman out of the ribs of the man to be a partner and a helper, someone who is equal to man, not inferior to man.


What it comes down to is that, as a female, you are just as worthy and qualified as any man. Women deserve the same respect and opportunities as men. I would not be nearly where I am today without my faith, and I know that I can continue to succeed because I am a Catholic woman and I am a strong woman.

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