Without a doubt, the greatest hypocrisy of The Da Vinci Code is author Dan Brown’s abuse of women in the name of feminism. I mean that precisely. A fundamental agenda of his book is his effort to exalt “the divine feminine” and make his readers think that he is the knight in shining armor riding back into history to liberate women from the nasty patriarchal Church.
A closer look reveals quite the opposite: Brown is just another male slave master.
In his book there is only one main female character and two others who are totally peripheral to the story. Contrast that to the many well-developed male characters, both good and evil, against which the leading lady, Sophie, has to vie for attention in the book. Needless to say, she loses. All the male figures get Brown’s best literary efforts: her grandfather, the curator of the Louvre, the professor, the New Age guru and his butler, the police captain and his lieutenant, the evil albino, the Opus Dei bishop, even the Swiss Bank president. Poor little Sophie is clearly a second-class citizen in Brown’s make-believe male-dominated world.
Sophie makes her debut in the book with a grand entry into the crime scene at the Louvre. She is young and attractive, looking like a million bucks strolling down the long corridors and exercising her superior intelligence to engineer a brilliant escape from the cops. After that, however, Sophie’s brain becomes mush. She spends the final 350 pages expressing profound thoughts like, “Really? I didn’t know that!” and “Gee, I guess I had it all wrong.” This is Brown’s way of saying that women have nothing intellectually to contribute to his worldview and must just shut up, sit down and listen to their masculine overlords who will tell them how to think and act.
Another female in this book is a mysterious grandmother figure who functions alternatively as the curator of a Masonic shrine and as a cult prostitute. She is so important to Brown’s plot that we don’t even learn her name until the last, chapter! The third woman is the liberal nun who gets about four pages of text before she is brutally murdered in a church by a crazed albino.
Then, to add insult to injury, the main male character, Langdon, is always having conversations with his male students that inevitably devolve into pornographic jokes about women. The silly girls sitting in the same class just gush submissively on cue when he mentions the “sacred feminine” and look the other way at the trashing of their dignity. These are college-educated feminists, right? The point of the matter is that Brown just can’t bring himself to respect women in a book that supposedly divinizes them.
This underscores the message that the pro-life movement has been asserting about the culture of death for decades: Pagan ideologies and politicized notions of women’s dignity always trample on the authentic good of women and even end up destroying them with their cooperation. From this perspective, Dan Brown is the perfect anti-feminist: all feign, no gain. In contrast, women are honored, respected and dignified as women by pro-life and pro-family Christianity as nowhere else in history.
Out of respect for women, let’s boycott the May 19th debut of the Da Vinci movie and take our culture back from these devils.
Editor’s note: Catholic Exchange recommends the strategy of the othercott. For information click here.
Fr. Tom Euteneuer is president of Human Life International.