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abbess

Maybe it’s because I’m ethnically Jewish and religiously atheist, but I honestly had no idea what abbess meant until I, as a part of this project, got to it on the first page of the dictionary. When I saw the word, before I looked at the definition, I assumed it was a smallish abscess. (We aren’t going to get to abscesses until page four of the dictionary, so if you don’t know what they are, please be a little patient. Of course, if it’s a major, serious abscess, maybe you’ll be a patient before then. Good luck with that.) Apparently, I’m wrong about that.

An abbess is a superior of a convent of nuns. More than that, according to the dictionary, it’s specifically a female superior. Um, pardon my ignorance, but is the word “female” necessary here? Aren’t all nuns female, give or take some sexuality?

I know that many religions are more than a little male chauvinist, but shouldn’t the superior of a nunnery always be female? Wouldn’t that be fair seeing as though women are forbidden to hold any of the highest ecclesiastical positions in many of the more old-fashioned, mainstream religions? Come on. If you’re not going to give women equality, at least throw them some crumbs.

Besides, is it really a good idea to put a man in amongst a bunch of, sometimes young, women who don’t have much access to any other men and who would probably be too afraid of getting caught to try sneaking dildos into the convent? If men do hold these positions there’s one thing I want to know: Do you actually have to believe in a god to get these jobs, because I want to apply. I’m single and lonely. It sounds like a great job.

No, in the interest of fairness, I’m hoping that the word “female” is redundant in the definition of abbess.

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