Savage speaks on the complementarity of the sexes


A leading expert on Christian feminism and the teaching of Pope St. John Paul II spoke at Franciscan University on the relationship between males and females.

Dr. Deborah Savage of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN, gave her talk, “Male and Female He Created Them: Complementarity as Mission” in the Gentile Gallery on Tuesday, September 13.

Photo by Iniguez
Photo by Ulises Iniguez

“Why God made us male and female is the question of our era,” Savage said.  “Research shows that children begin showing male and female personality traits as soon as they are born.”

She argued that men and women are intrinsically different, citing studies where it was observed that female infants are fascinated by faces, while their male counterparts are more intrigued by objects.

Savage also conducted an analysis of John Paul II’s writings on gender and sex, especially his “Letter to Women.” While agreeing with many of his points, Savage felt he had left out one major point.

“The feminine genius,” she said, “cannot be understood apart from the genius of man.”

Savage held the Virgin Mary up as the archetype of the feminine genius and her earthly husband, St. Joseph, as the archetype of the masculine genius.

Savage concluded with insight into the first two chapters of Genesis. She said that while many read Eve’s being created from and after Adam as belittling women, Eve’s being the last thing created marks her as “finer stuff.”

The presentation was the second lecture in the Symposium on Human Sexuality, which is sponsored by the Office of Evangelization and Student Life.