Speaker addresses women’s equality

Women’s equality is a topic that has been spoken about for years. The issue was brought to the forefront again this past Wednesday, Oct. 2 in the Walker Recital Hall.

Catholic moral theologian Lisa Sowle Cahill, Ph. D., gave a lecture to a crowd of Mercyhurst students, faculty, and members of the general public. The title of the lecture was “Aquinas and Natural Law: Resources for Women’s Equality.”

Cahill spoke about a variety of topics during her lecture.

One major aspect of her lecture was St. Thomas Aquinas’ stance on human dignity, justice and the common good. Cahill believes that these three things are good supporters for the topic of women’s equality.

Cahill spoke a bit about Mercyhurst and the Sisters of Mercy in general. She mentioned that a major mission of the Sisters of Mercy is to serve the poor, along with other missions.

“Mercyhurst and the Sisters of Mercy have a proud track record for bettering women,” Cahill said.

During her lecture, Cahill asked if Aquinas had a great advocate for women’s equality. She said that he does and does not at the same time. She said that one has to dig deeper to find the answer to that question.

Cahill went on to say that women and men share common goods in all cultures.

Aquinas’ stance on the story of Adam and Eve was the next topic Cahill spoke about in her lecture. Cahill said that, in the story, the man, Adam, recognizes the woman, Eve, as his partner.

She then mentioned that Aquinas interpreted this as why God made woman in the first place by using one of the man’s ribs. According to Cahill, Aquinas said that male and female are united, and that the rib signifies equality.

Cahill next spoke about certain basic human goods. She said that these include life, animals and to seek the truth about God.

The final topic that Cahill spoke about in her lecture was the topic of sex-trafficking. Cahill said that Aquinas believed sex-trafficking was an injustice to women. Not only that, but he also believed that it is a call for global ethics and it tears apart human good.

After finishing her lecture with the topic of sex-trafficking, Cahill gained a round of applause from the crowd.

A question-and-answer session followed the applause from the crowd.

If you would like to know more about Lisa Sowle Cahill, Ph. D., you may contact Mary Snyder, Ph. D., at msnyder@mercyhurst.edu.