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Being Pl Ain't Just For the Housewife (Page 1)

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Another Feminist For Life:

The Lessons of Roe
Thirty years of learning.

By Frederica Mathewes-Green



I was what the sociologists call an "early adopter" of feminism. Soon after arriving at college, in 1970, I knew that it was the religion for me. I had discarded the religion I grew up with, Christianity, as an insultingly simpleminded thing, but feminism filled the gap. Like a religion it offered a complete philosophical worldview, one that displayed me as victim in the center, a feature with immeasurable appeal to a female teenager. Feminism had its own gnostic analysis of reality, by which everything in existence was decoded to be about the oppression of women; it had sacred books, a secret vocabulary, and congregational gatherings for the purpose of consciousness-raising. It even had a habit and tonsure, in a sense; we didn't don wimples, but we cast off oppressive undergarments and shunned the razor.


I was the first in my dorm to become a feminist, which caused my friends some worry. I printed up posters, yelled chants at marches, and arranged to bring Ti-Grace Atkinson to campus as a speaker, one of the more interesting disasters of my life. But the real cause, of course, was abortion. Laws varied across the land; in my home state it was illegal, but friends could travel to New York or California to end a pregnancy. Unfair! We wanted all abortion laws everywhere repealed, because otherwise women were slaves. The bumper sticker on my car read, "Don't labor under a misconception. Legalize abortion."

When the Roe v. Wade decision came down, in January 1973, I was doing an independent semester in film studies and working in Washington, D.C. I volunteered at the flagship underground feminist newspaper, "off our backs," and was proud when the first issue I worked on included my review of a French movie. That same issue carried a long editorial about Roe. Mostly, we felt it was OK. However, the Roe decision says that a woman must have a medical reason to have an abortion at the end of pregnancy. That struck us as meddling. What do nine men in black robes know? Why can't a woman decide for herself whether to end a pregnancy, even in the ninth month?

Thirty years later, there are many things I regret about those years — don't get me started! — but chief among them is how shortsighted I was about the impact of Roe. What can I say, except that I just didn't know. I thought that women would only have abortions in the most-dire circumstances. I thought that the numbers of abortions would be small. I thought every child would be a wanted child. I thought the unborn was nothing but a glob of tissue. I thought abortion would liberate women. I was wrong.

Roe has taught us many lessons which now govern our lives in ways we can barely perceive. Instead of being one small tool for women's advancement, abortion opened a chasm, and a lot of unexpected things fell in. It turned out to be an irresistible force, because abortion makes things so much easier for everyone around the pregnant woman. Before Roe, unplanned pregnancy created many problems for many people — the woman's lover, her parents, her siblings, her boss, her landlord, her dean. Abortion changes the picture instantly: Just go get it taken care of, dear, and it will be as if it never happened. Women were expected to do the sensible thing and save everyone else a lot of fuss and bother. Overnight, unplanned pregnancy became her private problem, a burden for her to bear alone. Abortion-rights rhetoric compounded this effect with terms emphasizing her isolation: My body, my rights, my life, my choice. The flip side of all that first-person assertiveness is abandonment. The network of support that once existed had been shattered.

To continue a pregnancy came to look like an insane choice, one that placed an unfair burden on others. Having a baby in less-than-perfect circumstances came to look like a crazy and even selfish whim. A woman in an unplanned pregnancy was not just permitted to have an abortion — she was expected to. And that has made all the difference.

There were a number of beliefs I held back then, things that I thought Roe would prove true. One by one I have seen them fall over these 30 years.


complete story
http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comm ...green012203.asp


"No one wants an abortion as she wants an ice cream cone or a Porsche. She wants an abortion as an animal, caught in a trap, wants to gnaw off its own leg." --Frederica Mathewes-Green
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replied October 7th, 2007
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the link doesn't work trina..
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replied October 7th, 2007
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nightangel73 wrote:
the link doesn't work trina..


try moving the p closer to the htt
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replied October 7th, 2007
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Again, I have to ask, what kind of Utopian answer is there? Women are oppressed if they are forced to give birth against their will; women are oppressed if they are forced to abort against their will...
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replied October 7th, 2007
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Birch wrote:
Again, I have to ask, what kind of Utopian answer is there? Women are oppressed if they are forced to give birth against their will; women are oppressed if they are forced to abort against their will...


There is no Utopian answer here....merely a different perscpective on the subject. Women are trying to claim their own bodies....and yet through abortion....they are not only allowing an invasive and in some cases dangerous surgery to be done on them....but they are also paying for the "pleasure" to have it done. This is not progress...it is merely the same opression...only we tell ourselves it is "our" choice. Poo wrapped up in a pretty package....is still.....poo.
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replied October 7th, 2007
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That's a VERY good article, but I just don't understand how the author ISN'T pro-choice! She's not pro-every-abortion, but that's now what being pro-choice is about.
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replied October 7th, 2007
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Eiri wrote:
That's a VERY good article, but I just don't understand how the author ISN'T pro-choice! She's not pro-every-abortion, but that's now what being pro-choice is about.


She is pro-woman....all women. She sees abortion as a way for society to make a buck off women at a time when most are scared, confused, and upset.
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replied October 7th, 2007
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trina1 wrote:
Birch wrote:
Again, I have to ask, what kind of Utopian answer is there? Women are oppressed if they are forced to give birth against their will; women are oppressed if they are forced to abort against their will...


There is no Utopian answer here....merely a different perscpective on the subject. Women are trying to claim their own bodies....and yet through abortion....they are not only allowing an invasive and in some cases dangerous surgery to be done on them....but they are also paying for the "pleasure" to have it done. This is not progress...it is merely the same opression...only we tell ourselves it is "our" choice. Poo wrapped up in a pretty package....is still.....poo.


I get this perspective, I really do, but I think taking away the choice to gestate or not is more oppressive.

If you don't even have the choice to make, how can you be free?
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replied October 8th, 2007
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Birch wrote:
I get this perspective, I really do, but I think taking away the choice to gestate or not is more oppressive.

If you don't even have the choice to make, how can you be free?


You don't legally have the choice to do away with your mother even though she is border line psychotic, smothering, and habitually in your business. Does that make you feel unfree too? Wink
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replied October 8th, 2007
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trina1 wrote:
Eiri wrote:
That's a VERY good article, but I just don't understand how the author ISN'T pro-choice! She's not pro-every-abortion, but that's now what being pro-choice is about.


She is pro-woman....all women. She sees abortion as a way for society to make a buck off women at a time when most are scared, confused, and upset.


Where does the article say that?
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replied October 8th, 2007
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futureshock wrote:
trina1 wrote:
Eiri wrote:
That's a VERY good article, but I just don't understand how the author ISN'T pro-choice! She's not pro-every-abortion, but that's now what being pro-choice is about.


She is pro-woman....all women. She sees abortion as a way for society to make a buck off women at a time when most are scared, confused, and upset.


Where does the article say that?


It doesn't in this article I don't believe (at least not in those words) but I have read several articles by her....and I believe in one she did use those exact words. I will do some research and see if I can find the exact article. I have been doing so much research of late.....that my mind is a little fuzzy. Laughing
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replied October 8th, 2007
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Thanks.
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replied October 8th, 2007
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trina1 wrote:
Birch wrote:
I get this perspective, I really do, but I think taking away the choice to gestate or not is more oppressive.

If you don't even have the choice to make, how can you be free?


You don't legally have the choice to do away with your mother even though she is border line psychotic, smothering, and habitually in your business. Does that make you feel unfree too? Wink


You have asked the right person this question.

You can "do away" with your mother by ceasing contact with her. It is very effective and quite legal.

Unfortunately, geography in pregnancy complicates this issue.

If you don't have a choice to make, if it's not even there, you are trapped.

I think nightangel's perspective is a good prolife one to have: she wants to change people's minds-not make abortion illegal, but make it so people don't want abortions.

I like this, but I think that there is more to it than that; like the feminist articles espouse, you have to change society to change this.

Women should be solely free to make a decision about their pregnancies- devoid of societal barriers, they will be able to do this.
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replied October 9th, 2007
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"I think nightangel's perspective is a good prolife one to have: she wants to change people's minds-not make abortion illegal, but make it so people don't want abortions. "

That would make her technically pro-choice. Smile
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replied October 9th, 2007
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Eiri wrote:
That's a VERY good article, but I just don't understand how the author ISN'T pro-choice! She's not pro-every-abortion, but that's now what being pro-choice is about.


I see it the same way you do, Eiri.
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replied October 9th, 2007
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futureshock wrote:
"I think nightangel's perspective is a good prolife one to have: she wants to change people's minds-not make abortion illegal, but make it so people don't want abortions. "

That would make her technically pro-choice. Smile


I agree, but for debate purposes, she fits into the pro-life category (most of the time)
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replied October 9th, 2007
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I think that just shows that prochoice and prolife have one particular ideology in common.
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replied October 9th, 2007
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Wait a minute, what's wrong or anti-feminist about being a housewife??

:::::::pouty face::::::::
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replied October 9th, 2007
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Georgia59 wrote:
Wait a minute, what's wrong or anti-feminist about being a housewife??

:::::::pouty face::::::::


Absolutely nothing in my opinion....but many feminist and others for that matter....think women who are housewives.....are "just" housewives.

I have fought that misconception in my life for a long time. Just because I "only" work outside the home part-time, I volunteer, take care of a special needs child, take care of my other kids, cook, clean, do everybody's laundry, take care of the yard, and taxi people around...I somehow am not as "evolved" a woman as I was when I worked full-time. How does doing more make you less?
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replied October 9th, 2007
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Honestly I'd rather face a full scale prison riot then a room full of kindegartens..
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