Hidden Traumas of Catholic Womanhood

1. Being asked how you feel about the oppressive male hierarchy in the Church.


Seriously, have you ever seen a priest’s schedule? Pretty sure I’m not the suffering servant here…

2. Attempting to convince your doctor that it is actually possible to practice chastity over the age of 14. And no, you don’t take contraceptives. Yes, you’re serious. This is going to take a while, isn’t it?


Forget it. I’d rather pass a kidney stone unmedicated than have this argument again.

3. Completely losing it in the confessional.

I'm in a Glass Case of Emotion

Father, why aren’t you freaking out? OMG are you smiling? (Note: The fact that only men are required to witness these meltdowns totally proves item #1).

4. Being asked to bring up the gifts on the one day you decided to wear stilettos to Mass.

Struggling to Walk on the Runway

Is it time for the bow yet? Because this will NOT be pretty.

5. “Hey, why don’t you try going one week without wearing a cardigan?”

I don't know what I expected.

I’m 100% serious when I say I don’t know how clothes work without them.

6. Anyone who claims you are inherently graceful clearly has not seen you at 12:01 a.m. after a fast day.

Get in my belly!

This is it. This is the Holy Saturday I finally learn to unhinge my jaw.

7. Watching your fiancé’s face crumple in horror as NFP class murders any remaining shreds of feminine mystery.

Jennifer Lawrence Gross

Sorry, but charting is nowhere near as cute as it sounds. At least there are fun stickers!

8. Having an emotional night and eating all of the chocolate out of your Advent calendar.

Lucy Eating Chocolate

Relax, roommate–I’m getting you to Heaven so fast!

9. People assuming you’re servile, oppressed, and weird because you love Christ and His Church.

Dancing in Mom Jeans

To be fair, the mom jeans thing is 100% accurate. (Too autobiographical?)

10. Attempting to stay afloat on a leather kneeler while wearing nylons.

Help me please

“Ok, grab with the elbows, dig your toes into the carpet, don’t scrunch your face—come on, feminine genius, you’ve got this!”

11. People going postal over one little convent visit.

Sister Thumbs Up


12. The guilty pleasure of shopping for an Easter dress during Lent.

Dress Shopping

It’s for a liturgy!

13. Everyone telling you not to worry about your vocation…Constantly. Every day. All the time. Without ceasing.

Mia Thermopolis - Shut Up

I actually wasn’t worried before, but now I see your overly concerned faces every time I shut my eyes…

14. Friends WAY overreacting to a fraternal correction.

I'm a Monster

What?? You just have something in your teeth!

15. Attempting to “actively participate” in Mass while sitting behind an NFP family and their swarm of aggressively adorable children.

Children Dancing

OMG how are your cheeks so fat and cute?!? Wait, why is everybody kneeling?

16. Getting super excited about a new saint, only to discover they said a lot of really….interesting stuff about women.

Socks as a Gift

Really, St. Ignatius??? Discernment of Spirits Rule #12??? You bet my “wrath, revenge, and ferocity” are without bounds!! Here comes cannonball number two! (It’s my fist).

17. Attempting to grow in virtue whilst dealing with crazy hormones.

Holy Workout

And now I want to confess gluttony and uncharity, but can I bring the pretzel with me to the confessional?

18. Feeling slightly disrespectful because every time you see Pope Francis, you react as though you just saw a baby panda in a party hat.

Female Singer Flattered

AWWWWWW!!! Look at the little Vicar of Christ to whom I owe filial obedience!

19. Catching yourself analyzing other women’s outfits moments after receiving the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.

Woman Making the Sign of the Cross

Would those shoes go with all the graces I should be thanking Him for right now?

20. Using all your willpower to stop yourself from asking a parish where they got their delicious, delicious wine.

Toasting Men

Because this is church, that was Jesus, and you are a lady.

21. Trying not to seat dance when they play your favorite hymn, even though it’s OBVIOUSLY a love note straight to you from Jesus.

Baby Dancing on the Floor

Pump the bass!!! I mean….and with your spirit.

22. The panic attack during the Sign of Peace when you don’t know if you should just shake hands or go for a hug with the woman next to you.

Why are you squeezing me with your body?

Sorry! I thought we were there!

23. Being bored out of your freaking mind during most “women’s talks”.

Woman Sleeping in a Chair

Be like Mary…life giving properties…delicate flowers….zzzzzzzz.

24. People assuming you’re going to become a nun because you like to pray.

That's not supposed to happen

Good call. I mean, holiness is just for priests and religious, amiright?

25. Male friends learning how much we think about marriage.


Yes, I’ve tried on your last name. No, I’m not attracted to you. Why is this confusing?

Luckily, the perks outweigh the traumas.

1. Like being surrounded by awesome women who will always have your back.

Excited Golden Girls

And aren’t afraid to act out the best scenes in Sister Act with you while wearing a pillimple (pillowcase + wimple).

2. Knowing that you really are a beautiful, wonderfully made daughter of God, who requires no alteration, and you belong to a Church that will nourish you in this.

Princess Child

It’s to be beautiful and happy and holy!

3. The incredible hope and joy that comes from belonging something that is so much bigger than you, but that you can see and touch and taste. Something painfully human, but also beautifully divine.

Opening Curtains

Darn right it is!

4. And, most importantly, the beauty of completely, utterly, and irrevocably belonging to Him.

Surprised Girl

Kindle my heart, Jesus!

Melissa Keating
Melissa Keating
Melissa is a missionary with the Digital Campus. She was born and raised in St. Louis (aka the best city on Earth), but went to school at Benedictine College in Atchison, KS (aka a city on Earth). She graduated in 2012 with degrees in Mass Communications and Foreign Languages, and minors in International Studies and Theology. Yes, she was that girl. She currently lives in Denver. Like most twenty somethings, she enjoys reading, writing, hanging with friends, linguistic hagiography, and follicular Church history. Please help slake her insatiable need for attention by following her on twitter. Twitter: @mkeats42

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