Thursday, January 17, 2008

Egalitarianism and abortion

First of all, I feel I must make a little disclaimer here: I don't think all feminists are a pro-abortion, anti-family, zero population growth crowd. However, in my eyes, the link between egalitarianism and increased rate of abortions is unavoidable.

For many years, we have been told that women are not only as good as men (a statement which was never contradicted by God, the Bible, or truly godly people), but that there is absolutely no difference between men and women. Women and men, we were assured, feel, think and act alike in identical circumstances, and anyone who tells you anything different is a biased chauvinist!

I think this is an absolutely preposterous claim, but have it if you please. You can tell us that if it weren't for a suffocating cultural regime of the past, women wouldn't mind sleeping around and cursing like drunken sailors; that boys would love to change diapers of baby dolls, demonstrating their soft and nurturing nature; that all differences of mind, emotion, spirit and conduct between men and women were man-made and culturally induced.

But there is one thing you cannot fight. The woman's body, not the man's, was designed to carry babies, give birth, and nurture the little ones with mother's milk. You can despise motherhood, but there's one little fact standing in your way: without it, none of us would be here now!

Pregnancy. The most blatant step of nature over feminism. The most obvious evidence of unfairness and inequality towards women. You cannot allow it to take control!

So what would you do? Obviously, eliminating motherhood entirely isn't an option – but minimizing it is possible. Provide women with birth control. And, as an ultimate form of "reproductive choices" (gotta love this term!), comes abortion.

27 comments:

USAincognito said...

Come read my post for today. I think you might find it interesting and it correlates to this topic, as well.

Rebekah S. said...

Anna, you are so so right! I kept saying "Amen" over and over as I read this post! :)

Blessings,
Rebekah

closettherapist said...

Anna, What can I say? I love you for opening a forum for this topic. I have just recently married and am trying to find my place in this new world. Homemaking wasn't taught to me and I realize just how much I've been "trained" against it. I gave up my job before the wedding and now have been trying to find my "value" in other things. I've just started training to be a volunteer counseler at our local pregnancy help center. God has definitely answered my prayer with bringing me to this center to volunteer. So far by the training my heart is being healed from a past that didn't honor God. Isn't it always the case that when you give you end up being blessed.

Your website was very important to me in introducing me to all these thoughts that were contrary to the ones in my head. I welcome the new old-fashioned ways!

God bless you and thank you!

Terry said...

Amen!

Andrea said...

Anna,

yet another thought-provoking post. The nature vs. nurture debate when it comes to what we're born with vs. what we're brought up to be seems to only be growing in furor, and you're right, there are some biological differences that can never be explained away!

I would argue that some little boys (as well as many little girls) do naturally gravitate toward more nurturing tasks such as tending dolls/stuffed animals, while some little girls simply don't care for dolls at all (my sister, for example, preferred puzzles, and games that required full-body participation like hide and seek, dress up, etc.) Parents, however, can certainly squash tendencies they don't agree with by reacting with horror at behaviour that doesn't suit their preferences and by forcing their own inclinations on children (both boys and girls) even though the children themselves may not naturally incline to them.

That said, yes I agree that we often place a bit too much emphasis on nurture over nature! Certain chemical hormones like estrogen and testosterone do affect, to varying degrees, the way we react to different situations and issues, and I think that for many people the real sticking point is to WHAT extent these affect how we behave. Objective, imperical data relevant to this is so difficult to come by because it seems everybody approaches experiments of this nature with their own preconceived notions etched in their minds, and too often they prefer results that fit their own way of thinking, giving each "side" of the debate conflicting evidence that really ends up cancelling each other out! Very frustrating for people who just want some straight answers :P

What bothers me even more, though, is how we sometimes come up with statements that suit our cultural preferences at the time, and parade these around until they are accepted as fact. You brought up some good ones yourself, actually; for example, one thing that infuriates me about the "sexual revolution" is that rather than exhorting men to rise to the same standards of chastity and purity that had previously only been imposed on women, women were instead encouraged to sink to the same level as men, who have for millenia been excused their promiscuous excesses based on a biological "need" that was always mysteriously explained away as "different" from the sexual needs of women. I do agree with radical feminists(!) that a cursory examination of history will show how cultural influences always enforced the chastity of women while excusing the sexual escapades of men, but I think they have their "solution" to this problem completely backwards.

I also think that the influence of thought like this has led to ALL women, both working women and stay-at-home wives and mothers, feeling a need to get a little "defensive" about their calling to work or to stay at home; we tend to think that the "other side" is viewing us with derision, when in fact I think much of the derision that is expressed comes from a ruthlessly concealed longing for something we feel has been denied to us. The women who are truly secure and happy with their choices and situation are the ones who don't feel the need to scorn, mock or pity others who are happy, too.

tales_from_the_crib said...

people discount nature because it would admit that not only are we not all the same (or in their minds equally worthy) but that maybe we aren't supposed to be the same (again in others lingo-worthy).
still one of the saddest things ever is the quick and easy infiltration of abortion into the mainstream of culture.

Allison said...

Amen! Thank God for the biblical insight He's revealed to you about so many various issues.

Sue said...

One of the things that saddens me the most is that if you walked into almost any theologically conversative church or synagogue (not necessarily the Conservative branch of Judaism) in the Western world, there have to be a lot of men and women in the pews who have been touched be abortion. Women (and teenage girls) who have had abortions, men who put great pressure on girlfriends or wives to have them -- and both groups now regret it deeply. Not to mention the effect on their live children, their friends, their extended families. Sure they made very unwise choices in most cases -- in fact, most of us would say that they had sinned. But they face the consequences of their actions every day. This is probably a group who largely suffers in silence.

I know there are some ministries that try to assist them, but I think they operate largely outside houses of worship (although I can't say I really for sure). Do churches and synagogues who would welcome recovering alcoholics or gamblers do the same for someone who admitted that she had had an abortion or a man who said that he paid for his girl's abortion?

Rebekah S. said...

Good point, Sue!

I couldn't agree more, Allison!

Madeleine said...

There are so many different meanings of "feminism" so in the end it is not more than a slogan for those who approve thing associated with this term and those who want to run it down.

I think it is dummy target thesis to say that feminists say that women and men are alike in all aspects. There is no question there are differences! If you oppose against racism you do not say there are no empirical differences between blacks and whites: blacks have a different color that whites, often they are more muscular etc.

But the point is: equality does not mean being equal in every aspect. Human beings are not equal in empirical aspects: some are stupid, some are intelligent, some are rude, etc. But it is important to stress that their interests should be given consideration in an equal way. If a woman does not want a family and become a truck driver instead - so this interest should be considered as well as if a man has this wish.

And the woman should have the opportunity to become a single and truck driver without the judgement of the society: This is not her biological role, she is doing wrong because truck driving is devastating her feminity.

The choice how to design the own life is a high value in its own and it is a degeneration of an open society to reduce this right.

The choice if a baby in a woman´s body should live or die is certainly not sign of an open society because you deal with a life that is not your own.

Meddling these issues leads to difficulties and sometimes distorts the topics of discussion.

Melusine (aka Mermade) said...

"First of all, I feel I must make a little disclaimer here: I don't think all feminists are a pro-abortion, anti-family, zero population growth crowd..."

What a refreshing statement that is! I consider myself a feminist because I am thankful for the rights won by women who lived before me, such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton helping women achieve the right to vote. I, personally, am a more socially conservative feminist than most. I am pro-life and desire to get married and have kids someday. I am glad that you recognize that now all feminists are one in the same. :-)

By the way, I check your blog everyday -- but I only comment once in awhile. I truly enjoy it. I think that you add a very unique perspective into the blogsphere, and I learn a lot from you. Thanks!

Mrs. G said...

Well said. Great post!

Gothelittle Rose said...

"Do churches and synagogues who would welcome recovering alcoholics or gamblers do the same for someone who admitted that she had had an abortion or a man who said that he paid for his girl's abortion?"

Yes, a thousand times yes! At least, I can say so from my part of the world, for the area Christian churches. My church is also one of the supporters for a ministry that both tries to encourage young women not to abort and comforts those who have done so. Our yearly special drive is going to happen for that group pretty soon.

Sammybunny said...

I am in Psychology of Women right now, which is code fore "Feminism 101, no joke) and our text book is raving about how men and women aren't really all that different...pah. Foolishness if you ask me. Just plain and simple. The people won't listen to sound reasoning (or God).

Michelle said...

This post is very insightful! I agree. I actually wrote an article on birth control you might be interested to read
http://michelleshomestead.blogspot.com/2008/01/continuing-thoughts-on-birth-control.html

Anonymous said...

I know that there are many ministries here in West Michigan, USA where I live. They are supported by area churches, as well as individual donors. They offer post-abortion counseling and support groups. As for ministries within the church or synagogue, I am unsure. If there aren't, there obviously should be. We are God's voice to a fallen world and we must demonstrate His mercy and grace towards those who have fallen victim to lies this world sells them.

Another interesting question...do the institutions that performs these abortions offer services to the women who suffer with regret and shame afterwards? Do they offer counseling? Or would doing so simply undermine their position that abortion is "no big thing"?

Great insights, Anna!

Coffee Catholic said...

"First of all, I feel I must make a little disclaimer here: I don't think all feminists are a pro-abortion, anti-family, zero population growth crowd..."

What I can't understand is...if the pro-abortion mentality is so heavily and powerfully linked to Feminisim *why* would anyone who is *not* a believer in abortion still identify themselves as a Feminist? Part of having the strength to stand firm for what you believe in is also having the strength to make a clean break with anything that identifies you with those things you do *not* believe in. This being a "partial" Feminist is nothing more then a shield to hide behind so no one picks on *you* when the stones start flying. This is not the action of a strong woman.

I know that in the old days Feminism did not uphold abortion or the sexual objectification of women but that was *then* and this is *now* and *now* "Feminism" is powerfully linked to so many of these harmful things that hurt women!

What's worse is, how come so many women get all wishy-washy when they are challenged for their beliefs? How come they fumble the ball and use the old tired line of, "Well, we all have our *own* beliefs and far be it from me to tell anyone what to do..." How come they fail to defend a friend or family member who is also against abortion? What causes this weakness to suddenly strike an otherwise "independent" and "strong" woman?

Whatever happened to holding one another accountable before God?? If you honestly believe that abortion is evil then say so and help change the world!

What I would like to see in society today is an entire population of women who are not afraid to stand firm in their belief that abortion is evil even when they are challenged - instead of getting offended and defensive when anyone speaks up against Feminism. "I don't beileve in abortion but I'm a Feminist and my feelings are hurt because you generalize..."

Hello! Do folk actually pause and wonder *why* this generalization takes place? It is because of what Feminism identifies with! And again: if you do not want to be identified with these things then you should be strong enough to make a clean break from Feminism and walk away. Stop hiding behind "Partial Feminism" so that you remain safe from the stones that are lobbed at those who *refuse* to identify in any way with any ideology that hurts women.

I'm all for strong women - if that strength leads them into true freedom and joy rather then enslavement to Self. "Egalitarianism and Abortion" is just one side of the self-serving coin that today's Feminism so boldly encourages women to grasp. If you are not grasping for that coin what *are* you doing in the Feminist camp??

Anonymous said...

The effects of egalitarianism :

Does Big Government Help Women?

Two words best describe the society that has marginalized its women in this way. Cruel and unjust.

---

Get in, girls, before you flip

A Note From Theresa said...

100% in agreement with you!!! Very good post!!

Kate said...

I've been around a LOT of kids in my past profession, and no matter how much the preschool or daycare center tries to make it equal, you will always find more girls crashing trucks into each other and more girls holding babydolls wrapped in blankets. Always. I have a 15 month old who has been rocking, kissing, and singing to her dolls since she was 1. I never showed her or told her to do it...she just does!

That has to be one of the things that bothers me the most, is that a lot of feminists think you can't be girly and still have worth. I think we should celebrate our differences and just enjoy being women!

Cat's Blog said...

I completely agree with you and your position on abortion, feminism, women's roles, and "choice". By the way, I see you haven't posted in a few days. Are you okay, Anna? I know you were going through some difficulties a few days ago. I hope everything goes well. God bless. :)

EllaJac said...

Don't forget, if birth control "fails" and abortion is decided against, there's always daycare and institutionalized education to act as further efforts against motherhood...

Rebekah S. said...

Amen, Kate!! :)

Pendragon said...

As a feminist, I don't feel the need to prove that men and women are exactly alike in their feelings and behavior. Trying to separate nature versus nurture is extremely difficult, not to mention the fact that men and women are all different as individuals. I think of myself as a pretty typical woman but there are many men out there with more "female" preferences and behaviors than I have.

Being a feminist does not mean trying to prove that you are like a man. It means, however, that I assume the right to the same freedom and dignity men enjoy. For example, I don't want to have sex with as many people as most men probably would. But I value my freedom to choose to have sex AND my freedom to choose not to have sex. That is, I value my rights over my own body, even though I may not choose to use my body in the same way a man might.

I should also note that feminists are suspicious of the idea of femininity because it is so often associated with -- or even synonymous with - weakness, dependence, helplessness, etc. Being suspicious of femininity is not the same thing as denying one's femaleness. I don't really like the idea of being "feminine" but I am quite happy with being female.

Pendraogn said...

It is also very hard to tell what is nature and what is nurture (although I believe that general sex differences across populations are a result of a mixture of both). A lot of parents swear up and down that their little girls "naturally" behave in a girly way, and their little boys "naturally" behave in a boyish way from very young ages. But this ignores the fact that we treat boys and girls very differently from the very moment they are born. Girls are more likely to be cooed over and boys are more likely to be thrown around.

A couple of famous studies confirmed that even liberal parents who prefer gender-neutral child rearing methods unconsciously treat little girl babies very differently from little boy babies.

In one study, liberal parents were placed inside a circle of cushions and their crawling nfant was plaved outside. The parents would lift girl infants over the pillows. However they would encourage boy infants to climb over the pillows without assistance from the parents.

In another study, two groups of parents were shown a picture of the same crying infant. One group was told that the child was a boy, and they assumed the child was "angry." The other group was told that thechild was a girl and they assumed that the child was frightened.

Among less liberal parents the differences in the way children are treated are even more overt. From the time she was born, I have watched adults praise my neice for how "pretty" she looks. My nephew in contrast constantly garners praise for doing things, especially in sports.

It is pretty difficult to tease out "inherent" tendencies that have not been influenced by the social environment.

Melusine said...

Coffee Catholic writes, "Part of having the strength to stand firm for what you believe in is also having the strength to make a clean break with anything that identifies you with those things you do *not* believe in."

I know that I am a little late to responding, but I just wanted to offer some insight on this. I am a feminist because I believe that feminism has done more good than harm. I support early American feminists who fought for the right to vote for women. I am a Christian, too, but I do not support everything that Christians have done "in the name of God." The Salem witchcraft trials of 1692 comes to mind. Yet, I still a Christian, even though I disagree with some Christians on certain things. My point is this: there is no feminist "rule book." There are many different brands of feminism, just as there are different denominations of Christianity. I am not for everything that mainstream feminists stand for, but I support the majority of it. The same goes for Christianity. I am a feminist because I believe that men and women are equal. I am a Christian because I believe in the basics of Christianity.

I should also add that I was a staunch anti-feminist for years, until I realized that I have feminism to thank for the opportunity to attend college, vote, etc.

I don't mean to turn this into a debate, but that's my two cents.

:-)

Catherine R. said...

You are very articulate, Anna. If you haven't already, I'd like to see some writing by you on the subject of birth control.