Molly Brigid McGrath

Written by Molly Brigid McGrath

Molly Flynn is an Associate Editor of VoegelinView and an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Assumption College in Massachusetts. She is co-editor, with Robert Anderson and Scott Lee, of Who Are We? Old, New, and Timeless Answers from Core Texts (UPA, 2011).

HomeArticles Posted by Molly Brigid McGrath

Some of my best friends are men, so no offense. But Wonder Woman has me asking, what’s the point? What good are they?
In the blockbuster Wonder Woman, our heroine (played by the magnificent Gal Gadot) is a rewritten version of Artemis/Diana, from Greek and Roman myth. The Wonder Woman story makes Diana also a princess of the Amazons, the tribe…

We should be grateful that, through some combination of human nature, civilization, and choice, most people act decently most of the time. But the reports of sexual exploitation in the news lately remind us that within the soul live forces of nature — some quite dark — not always contained by civilization or choice. Naïveté about the drives within us…

Godless is not great, but it’s good. Netflix’s new television series enjoys every cliché of the Western genre: a train robbery, mustachioed marshal, prostitute with a heart of gold. Its recapitulation of the tradition manages to be quite contemporary because it touches on racial, feminist, and homosexual themes. Those with overactive PC-fighting antibodies might get hives, but fear not—the series…


Are you being true to yourself? Should you? Better question: What in the world is a true self, anyway? In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Polonius counsels his son:
This above all: to thine ownself be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
But that’s mostly wrong. It turns out that being fulfilled, just, and…

When I was growing up, there were two films the pater of my familias forbade his brood from seeing until we reached the age of 35: A Clockwork Orange (1971) and Bambi (1942). With a smirk and some curiosity, we obeyed.
This loyal filia no longer wonders why Bambi—instead she wonders why not Beauty and the Beast?
Politicized critiques abound, but they…

It’s probably a drag being a liberal, always boycotting things. A Progressive friend who was surprised by my politics once asked me how I could like Radiohead so much, considering its front man Thom Yorke is such a leftist. It seemed a logical error (the “moralistic boycotter’s fallacy”?). I don’t judge songs by the artist’s favorite color, either. The fact…

Did you ever catch yourself dreaming, adrift in la-la land—only to wake up to your own, personal so-so city? A consoling (but sophistic) thought: The number of possible worlds is infinite, so there’s some possible you out there for whom your daydreamt world is actual. Isn’t it nice to know a parallel possible you get to really enjoy it? You…

In war, sitting out protects one’s bodily safety. Sitting out of the morally messy struggles typical of adult human life protects one’s sense of superiority and innocence. Doing the good sometimes requires an odd courage: accepting the risk of getting the soul’s hands dirty. But how and how much to dirty one’s hands are difficult to discern.
Mel Gibson’s good but…

Every person undergoes traumatic experiences. Their quantity and quality vary, but once suffered, these experiences are incorporated into the person, usually invisibly to the rest of us. When they are not hidden enough, we may wish a person would just get over it already. Yet we marvel, when a person calmly reveals some past trauma, at the human ability seemingly…


Cultures show their substance by what they make easier and what they make more difficult. A true, illustrative story:
Me: “Hey, Siri, find me a Catholic Mass to go to.”
My phone: “I don’t know how to respond to that.”
Me: “Okay then, take me to a strip club.”
My phone: “Which strip club? Tap the one you want.”
Not for nothing are they called…