chapter  Chapter Four
14 Pages

The Female Experience of Sexuality

WithMary Grey

How does one begin to confront the silence as regards the Christian/Catholic tradition on female sexuality? For it cannot be denied that prescriptive understandings of this have been developed and enforced by a male, celibate, clerical élite, within a patriarchal tradition and largely for motives of social control of women and children. As Judith Plaskow wrote in connection with the urgent task for Judaism:

The need for a feminist Judaism begins with hearing silence. It begins with hearing the absences of women’s history as shaping forces within the Jewish tradition.… Women have lived Jewish history and carried its burdens, but women’s perceptions and questions have not given form to Scripture, shaped the direction of Jewish law, or found expression in liturgy. 1