By Deborah Wallace Ruddy

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In giving themselves to others, they tend to lose themselves and are more inclined to sin by neglecting their own development as persons. Due to nature and cultural conditioning, women adopt other-centered, chameleon-like tendencies and merge their own individual identity into the identity of others. Saiving writes: For the temptations of woman as woman are not the same as the temptations of man as man. " They are better suggested by such items as triviality, distractability. 93 Women. then. should be encouraged toward virtues that foster greater autonomy and selfdefinition.

And 116 Ibid. • 248-9. 118 Karen Jo Torjesen. When Women Were Priests. 7. 41 perhaps. 119 However. by the third century. under the influence of GrecoRoman society. the church gradually transformed its house churches into institutionalized. political churches and male leaders discredited women's leadership roles. Torjesen explains: As Christianity entered the public sphere. male leaders began to demand the same subjugation of women in the churches as prevailed in Greco-Roman society at large.. How could they remain virtuous women.

In contrast. women's honor derived from virtues cultivated in the private sphere. Women were honored for their shame manifested in timidity, meekness, modesty. • 37. • 38. 121 Ibid.. 121. • 115· 42 exclusivity, distance from public life, and subordination in social relations. l23 Torjesen explains: The cultural value of shame prescribed the feminine personality as discreet, shy, restrained, and timid, those qualities deemed necessary to 'protect' female sexuality . . Shame, the defining quality of womanhood, was indicated by passivity.

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