Feminism In The Stabat Mater

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As Julia Kristeva stated in the Stabat Mater, the maternal image of the Virgin Mary does not provide an adequate model of maternity, therefore with the Virgin as a role model, the maternal body is reduced to silence. Moreover, she apparently implies interrelations between desexualizing and silencing women (Kristeva 145). Thus, the name of the poem doubly attacks the Catholic rules—if women are reduced to be mothers, a homosexual love act is an act of disobedience, and the detailed description if the act with “thighs” and “back” and “your breasts and belly” (Dorcey 1120) emphasizes that the scene in the poem is purely lustful, it is an act of desire and passion, what contradicts the religious model. The line “Blood on our thighs” may have two…show more content…
On the other—it could be supposed that the blood stands for menstruation. If it stands for the period, the homosexual lovemaking act becomes even immoral than before: from the religious point of view, the sexual intercourse during the menstruation is a mortal sin (Delaney 19). The plea to “come quietly” is in such wise the only single act of obedience, the speaker of the poem agrees to be hushed by the society; but not to follow the religious rules and oppress her sexuality. Images from the news present another layer of narration. News report on physical assaults on a woman: and it demonstrates that it is the part of “The necessary, / daily litany” of life in Ireland as the Angelus. A contrast between lesbian love and heterosexual brutality provides a clear statement that in Ireland, the homosexual relationship should take place as secretively as rape and murder: “no one heard her scream” (Quinn 232). These two issues are forced to be equal noiseless, from the cultural and religious norms for the lesbian couple and from a male criminal towards the woman: “mouth bound” (Dorcey…show more content…
. . rapid social change does not necessarily imply marked psychological change. In the case of homosexuality, for example, it is apparent that fear and prejudice is alive and well in Irish psyches and society, despite important legislative changes, the unprecedented inclusion of lesbians and gay men in progressive social agendas, and increasing depiction of lesbians and gay men in art and culture. (431)
With this poem, the author shows that violence, unreal idealized expectations of the woman and prejudice towards the lesbians are related. From the lines “she was always— / no one would have though— / always a quiet girl” (Dorcey 1121) “one infers . . . the indictment of those ideologies that propound the image of the woman as docile, quiet and asexual by making it responsible for violence against women” (González, “Contemporary Women’s Poetry in Galicia and in Ireland: An Introduction” 118).
The cultural and religious image of motherhood and the Virgin Mary “has ‘dissociated the maternal-role function from other aspects of a woman’s identity, in particular her sexual identity’” (Barr et al. 3). Therefore, the poets needed to show and point out the existence and the realness of the female sexuality. Both pubescent and homosexual, sexual desires contradict the religious model of femininity, and by presenting these issues, the poets neither reject, nor accept the image of the Virgin Mary, but alter it.
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