Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Abortion is the Only Issue for Some Feminists

There is an article in the Huffington Post titled Planned Parenthood's Almost Demise, Michele Bachmann's Presidential Exploration and Geraldine Ferraro's Death Mark New Chapter in American History, and written by a "women's issues strategist, writer, speaker, organizer," that utterly pisses me off.  I've been thinking about it ever since I read it on the train on my way home tonight.  Views like these are one of the main reasons why the more mainstream feminist movement annoys me, and why in general I try to avoid articles written by self described "women's issues strategists."  Why am I so bothered?  Because articles and statements like this one reduce everything about women to one thing:  how they feel about abortion.  If you are a woman, you must be pro-choice.  If you are pro-life, you are not pro-woman.  How completely absurd. 

She states:
Tragically for the women of this country, in the years since Ferraro's nomination, the nation's view on the requisite qualifications for a woman presidential or vice-presidential candidate has radically shifted.


Now, the prevalent notion is that any woman might well be sufficient to the need (the need for more women to hold high political office), just because she's a woman. No matter her views, on anything.
Tragically!  It's tragic!  What she's really saying is that she would rather see a male President who is pro-choice than a female President who is pro-life, no matter what other views that female might hold on other issues.  (Notice, Hilary Clinton is obviously fine, because she is pro-choice and goes unmentioned in the article.  It's that damn radical right who are bringing down the women.)  I'm admittedly more pro-choice than pro-life, but I can certainly understand why some people might be pro-life.  Although, I don't think the government should have any say on the issue under any circumstances, but that bridge has been crossed years ago, thanks to Justice Blackmunn's ham-fisted "right to privacy".  But that's an issue for another day.
As a consequence of this tragically flawed strategy, the door opened -- wide -- to women politicians of a whole new kind, e.g., Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, who could be perceived, and now have been, as legitimate political leaders of women, despite being opposed to the most fundamental right of women, the right to control their reproductive destiny.
A fundamental right.  Says who?  Where?  (Doesn't it feel like everything is a "right" lately?)  You  have the right to control your reproductive destiny -- the Supreme Court has seen to that.   Any talk of overturning Roe v Wade/Planned Parenthood v Casey is Chicken Little running around like a fool.  It's not going to happen.  Abortion has been legal for over thirty years in this country, yet still it's the top issue on the agenda when it comes to women's rights and women's talking points for the Democrats.  I don't think much about abortion anymore.  I'm more concerned with the deficit, the economy, jobs, and the slow creep of the federal government into issues that aren't any of their business.  I've never based my choice of representative or President on their views about abortion.  I hardly think I'm alone in this.    

It gets better:
Now, all that is left of the Ferraro-era message is the simplistic notion that women can do anything men can do, including running for office -- a message that any woman with political ambitions could appropriate, whether she is for women, or not.
Yes, it's so simplistic that anything men can do, women can also do.  Is she serious with this?  I actually think it's pretty great.  One would think that a so-called feminist might also grudgingly admit that as crazy as Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann may be, it's nice to see women out there.  Obviously if you are not pro-choice, you are against women.  That is quite a leap in logic.  It's akin to the outcry that the Republicans hate women because they wanted to cut 1/3 of Planned Parenthood's funding.  Ignore the deficit crisis, ignore the out of control spending -- just make sure women are getting their free medical care at Planned Parenthood.   
In the 27 years since Geraldine Ferraro was nominated, three generations of women have entered the American political arena, hearing and assimilating this simplistic and useless to the women of America message: just because I'm a woman, you should vote for me.

Was that Sarah Palin's message?  Michelle Bachmann's?  Hilary Clinton's?  Nancy Pelosi's?  I don't know.  It seems to me that is probably only the message the liberals like to latch on to when a conservative woman is running for office.  She makes this statement despite that a 2009 Gallup poll showed that 49% of women identify themselves as pro-life, while 44% identify themselves as pro-choice.  Guess what?  You are in the minority.
And so we come to the prospect of a presidential run by Michele Bachmann: the prospect of a serious presidential run by a woman whose candidacy would have nothing to do with advancing the rights and security of American women. How far we have fallen.

Why does a woman who runs for president have to "advance the rights and security of American women?"  Can't she be president of the entire country, men and women?  Can't she "advance the rights and security of American women" without being pro-choice?  Why is that one, single, issue the end all and be all to women like this writer?  Can't we all just be happy about the leaps and bounds that women have made over the past thirty years and allow those women the right to their opinion? 

2 comments:

  1. I've never been concerned about abortion being legal either. It's the last thing I think about when looking at candidates.
    Over 30 years ago, before it was legal, you could still get them under certain medical requirements. My mom's friend got pregnant and went to the hospital claiming she would go insane and kill herself if she wasn't given one. She got it. Simple as that. She was resourceful.

    Planned Parenthood's abortions only amount to 3% of their business. There are so many other places to get them if you need one so to focus on them for abortion is so stupid to me. There are privately run clinics everywhere, doing just fine. Whatever cut they could've suffered may have effected the fistfuls of free condoms and other superfluous services that you can get for FREE at free clinics all over town.

    When we continue to make sex and race an issue, that's why it's still an issue. Can't people just be candidates and humans?

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  2. And strangely, it's always the candidates and the media who are making sex and race an issue, not necessarily the voters.

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