Today! On Oprah! Sex! Geishas! who are not sex workers! And nuns! Who don't have sex! And live in hidden worlds! And no sex! Ever! Sex!
Did we mention sex?
Nobody -- nobody -- but Mother Assumpta Long and the Ann Arbor Dominicans could have gotten me to watch Oprah. Some random notes and impressions from the sisters' segment:
- "Not everybody who hits a crisis point in their life... is called to be a nun. Especially if they're men!" --Sister Mary Judith
- Oprah: But what about sex???
- I am amused by Oprah agreeing that our culture bombards us with messages of materialism and sex.
- "[Christ]" is a hard husband to be married to because if something goes wrong in the relationship I know that it's me!" -- Sister Mary Judith, rocking the audience.
- The sisters are completely rocking the show: they're ready for the awkward, salacious questions (what about sex? what about breaking the vows?!) and are turning them around to focus on the joy and dignity of their vocations.
- "Every women is called to be a mother." --Mother Assumpta Long
- "[The sisters' lives] are actually very liberating." -- Oprah's correspondent Lisa Ling
- I wonder what the discussion boards on Oprah's website are going to be like?
- Has Oprah always been this... coarse? Not just in terms of titillating subject material (did we mention sex?) but just her tone of voice and her manner? Or have I been watching too many Jane Austen movies lately?
- "After the Show" footage of the Sisters of Mary
I'm glad I was able to stifle my impatience long enough to watch the show. And there's fuel for reflection on the compare-and-contrast between the life of geisha and the life of religious. There are the superficial similarities -- the dedication, the life apart, the apprenticeship, the special clothes -- but where the life of the geisha turns the feminine genius into a commodity, the life of the vowed religious turns it toward profound relationship and the utter gift of self.