Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I got hit with a meme for my "top five obsessions"... BUT I still have not done the meme of "five things I am grateful to Feminism for." I have a hard time doing a new meme when a longer standing tag weighs so heavily on my mind. Does a little dose of OCD count as an obsession?

Trust me... it is not for lack of obsessing about the latter meme that it has gone unwritten. I have notes written out on the back of an envelope, midnight thoughts that I did not want to lose in regards to what I have to say about feminism... or Feminism. I have lost sleep and angsted.

First let it be said that I was unable to quantify five separate items, think as I might. I believe that women are different than men... but there is no
better or smarter or more capable to the equation. If a woman does the same work? She better &%$#! well be paid the same amount. If a woman is more qualified? She ought to get the job.

We have come closer to the ideal today. But reality is still not caught up to the big "oughts" that feminism fights for. This makes me very sad. Because this fight has created some serious collateral damage.

I question the fight altogether, my friends.

It has been said by some newer-minder feminists that the term "feminism" mean "pro-woman," and how can you be a woman and not "pro-woman"? So if you are a woman with a brain and not overtly masochist... you must be a feminist?


First, let's think about this. In order to be pro-woman you begin to place the agenda and needs of women above those of "non-women." You may think... well, females are approximately half the population of humanity. So, good for women pretty much equals good for humanity. Obviously there has historically been horrifying abuses of men's power wielded against females. I don't want to take down, or take back the advances that have been made there... I just want to say that perhaps these advances have been won at too high a cost. I want to gently suggest that women are NOT half the population of humanity. There are men and there are women. There are also boys, girls, babies and dare I say it? The unborn.

I don't pretend to know all the incarnations of modern feminism, but everything that I DO know suggests that I can pretty safely say that Feminism with a capital "Eff," and those who use the term with no caveat in regards to themselves: has securely hitched it's wagon to that of legalized abortion. It is my fear that this "pro-woman" movement has pitched itself squarely against the interests of humanity and society in the form of violence against innocents.

You think I am a hypocrite for enjoying the greater vision and voice that I have as a result of battles won by Feminism? Perhaps.

You think that I am condemning my sisters for aborting their babies? Am I calling them murderers? Do I spit and hiss?

No. My heart is as broken for my sisters who have been caught up in the machine and mentality of death, as for the lives lost from their wombs. The damage has tainted men, women and the relationships between them.

I believe that it is not mine to condemn or judge... but it is mine, especially as a woman to urge with my voice and actions that we reconsider some of the things that have been swallowed whole from the meal that is "Feminism."

I am not looking to start a fight, and if you look around this bloggity at all, you will see that I am an innocuous mommy-blogger just trying to document her babies lives and a few stray thoughts. I am no great thinker, but my heart is full of belief and love.. and I truly hope that I have not hurt or offended anyone. But I will not back away from my anti-abortion stance.

I leave you with my favorite quote from Mother Theresa
"It is poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish."

*edited to add- I stand all kinds of educated and corrected!
but then again... there is that caveat: Feminists "For Life," and "First Wave" Feminists.


sarah k. said...

I have to come back to comment on this (baby crying, etc.) but comment I will.

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...


Thanks for coming back to this one - trust you to have a very well thought out and empathetic response.

I love what you've put out here. I love that you are able to express your belief so eloquently and non-judgementally. I can sense that you have strength and security.

I (respectfully, of course) disagree in that I don't believe that pro-women, pro-men and pro-humanity are mutually exclusive terms. I can be all 3.

I also don't believe that feminism and anti-abortion are mutually exclusive either, though I understand your point. It ain't just about the money.

From my point of view, I'm not hurt, offended, or even in disagreement.

bon said...


Sounds like you read what I TRIED to write! While I agree with your point that they (the various pro-whatevers)are not mutually exclusive... I did not express well that I feel that many devotees of feminism DO take it to that plane of conflicting interests. Plus my reading of feminism cannot fully be extricated from the era whence the term feminism gained it power. An era of strident voices and aggressive methods that I feel do not represent OR draw on a women actual power... that of endurance and love.

bon said...

erm.. cannot seem to make up mind.. is that "a woman's" or "womens" power?

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

After listening to Gloria Steinem go on about it, I have taken great pains to disconnect the term "feminism" from the advertised bag of goods that popular media has tried to sell me.

I have decided it's OK for me to define feminism on my own terms. I've decided that feminism means whatever I decide I want it to mean.

For me, the meat of the meme was about defining both of these things. As in, what does it mean to me, and what am I personally thankful for.

Also, did I mention that the sky is pink on my planet?

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

...you can kick me if you feel I'm being obstreperous.

bon said...

obstreperous? I think not... and trust me, I had to look that twelve dollar word UP!

Yeah... I am not an etymological purist, but I do like to stay within generally accepted definitions, even though I think that pink skies are mighty purty. Then again, however... I am hardly a feminism es'pert.

elizasmom said...

If I had nodded any harder my head would've fallen off — I agree with you on so many levels.

I think that Feminism has brought us many, many things that are right, and just, and I laud those women who fought the fight for that. I also worry, though, that it's gotten off track in two ways.

The first is the one you mention, this yoking together of feminism and choice. I'll keep my counsel about my own feelings beyond the fact that it does make me profoundly uneasy. More generally, however, it's obvious to me that there are a lot of people, male and female, who agree with things like equal work for equal pay and the like but who cannot be in the pro-choice camp. It does frustrate me when politicians take an anti-abortion stance but then won't offer any alternatives beyond abstinence education. Birth control? Child care subsidies? Real family leave, anyone?

The other problem is that Feminism's been so focused on getting women entry into the men's world/workplace that it has completely neglected the other half of the equation, which is to fight to get our society to give equal respect to those domains that were traditionally ours. The endpoint of this thinking is that we now have people like our buddy, Linda Hirshman, arguing essentially that women are wasting their lives if they follow that traditional path.

I call myself a femininist, small f, when pressed, but I think there has to be a better, more fitting label, for those of us who are not looking for one gender to score over the other, but just for everyone to be respected whether they play in their own domain or choose to step into the other's. Which is to say that male nurses and female nurses, boy CEO's and girl CEO's, househusbands and housewives — can we just agree that all are worthy pursuits for different reasons and let everyone do what best suits their abilities and be equally supported in those pursuits by our society?

Mama D said...

Woah. Heavy. I'd like to impress you with my comment but I'm afraid I'm too tired to come up with anything good.

I agree. I don't really like to call myself a feminist because of what it seems to imply yet I'm definitely all about women being seen equally.

I also am anti-abortion and the way you put that particular part of your post was so great.

I hope nobody tags me with this one. I'm just not up for it.

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

obstreperous is one of those words we use with regard to (and in front of) the children. it's not a bad word, they don't *quite* get it, but they understand the context.

twelve dollar words is a nice side effect from marrying a foreigner. I would never have found that in my own vernacular.

Interestingly, my beloved spouse is part of the reason I have developed my views on feminism as I have. Europeans have an entirely different view than we grew up with. He knows more than I do on the subject (unlike me, he's actually read my copy of Susan Faludi's "Backlash"). I love that I married a man who is a feminist - and he's about as manly as they get. I love that my girls will get a very broad view from both of us on this. They really can do whatever they want to do.

We're more humanist than feminist, truth be told.

I told e the other day I would hug the obstreperousness right out of her. And she said, "no you're not!"

I'm still giggling...