Throughout the centuries pious Christians have outdone themselves in praising the Holy Virgin with extravagant titles. A look in any collection of the praises of Mary will reveal such titles as: mountain, because Mary's virtue elevates her over all other saints; cloud, because she protects us from the heat of God's wrath; cistern, oyster, and elephant.

The twentieth century, however, may be the first century to claim the distinction of suggesting a pejorative therionimic for the Blessed Virgin, namely, that of goat—a Judas goat, who leads her sisters along the path of slavery to traditional, stereotyped roles for women.

This observation is not offered in a frivolous vein. It is intended to call attention to certain difficulties concerning Mary's relation to modern women that have arisen from the revival of the women's movement in the latter part of the twentieth century, so to speak, in the wake of the second wave of feminism.



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