Monday, July 19, 2004

And now for something completely different

It all started yesterday. I read the article referenced on Vox's blog about the woman who selectively aborted two of the three boys she was carrying.

And like a California wildfire, it's spread around the blogosphere (see Misha, Michelle Malkin, Allah, and Bill at INDC.. and probably 100 other blogs).

Here's my $2... because everything the Empress has to say is worth more than a couple of pennies...

I met Amy Richards once. Amy wrote the original NYT Magazine article that started the whole uproar in detailing the story of one of her friends. Amy co-wrote a book called "Manifesta." "Manifesta," which I have buried somewhere and have yet to read, is supposedly about a new generation of young women who believe in the ideas of feminism but don't call themselves feminists. They have no problem with Barbie. They like to dress like girls and shave their legs. They want to be successful in their career and have a family eventually.

So Amy and Jennifer came to campus to talk about their book. I just couldn't pass up the chance to listen.. and pounce. They talked about how feminism is for everyone...

My way in...

Another student in the audience questioned them about a group called "Feminists for Life." They stated that you could not call yourself a feminist and be "anti-choice."

My hand shot up for the next question.

"Hi. Thanks for coming. Here's my question. You just said that feminism is for everyone but then said that feminists who are pro-life aren't really feminist. Why am I, as a Christian and a libertarian, not welcome in feminist circles? As a libertarian, I am in favor of equal rights for everyone - and for women to rely on their own strength and not on government assistance as seems to be the driving point behind many contemporary feminist organizations. Their solution is more government involvement. As a Christian, I want to help women out of a call from my faith to serve. Why is it, with the labels, of Christian and libertarian attached to my beliefs, am I shunned?"

Or something like that.

Amy responded that feminism wasn't about politics. (I tried really really hard not to laugh out loud out of respect for the speakers.) That all points of view are welcome but if you are anti-choice...

"But you are taking away their choice to hold their own beliefs! Isn't feminism more than abortion? Isn't it more than a Democratic Party point of view?"

The director of the women's studies program gave me a death stare.. along with the other of dozens of confused and irked students.

To the speakers’ credit, they were polite. They attempted to respond to my question. As I felt the mood in the crowd shift to lynching me from one of the trees, I backed down but felt my point was made. They were intellectually inconsistent. Much like GWB stated shortly after 9/11 - either you were with them or with the terrorists (those that were pro-life.) Out in the lobby, a couple of the students came up to me and said “thank you! I’ve always felt like I was not a feminist because I am a Christian. Thank you for saying that.”

Back to the article, beyond the fact that Peter (the boyfriend) said very little either for or against the choice, here is what troubled me the most:

I cannot have triplets. I was not married; I lived in a five-story walk-up in the East Village; I worked freelance; and I would have to go on bed rest in March. I lecture at colleges, and my biggest months are March and April. I would have to give up my main income for the rest of the year. There was a part of me that was sure I could work around that. But it was a matter of, Do I want to?

Me, I, me I, me, I... me memememememememe. Is your voice warmed up and ready for stage? Because, apparently, it's all about you Ms. Diva. Roses and cheese to go with your w[h]ine will be delivered to your dressing room.

It is just more evidence of exactly how selfish we as a society are. No personal responsibility. It's all about choice - which option is the most personally comfortable so that I can maintain my plush lifestyle. The choice made by a woman who is better educated than most men in the world.. a woman who already had one abortion (in her late teens).. a woman who is independent, intelligent, self-sufficient, and blessed to live in a country where she can make such a choice.

William J. Pellas had this to say on Allah's blog:

Certainly, militant radical feminism is one of the worst and most pernicious evils of our time. It is not, nor has it ever been, about "equality" or "freedom of choice" or any of the other high-minded rhetoric with which their agenda used to be clothed and presented. Rather, it is about the creation of a specially privileged socio-economic class, and about enshrining that class as sacrosanct, never having to face any kind of moral or scholarly scrutiny or accountability. This class depends for its existence, enrichment, and justification on a never-ending, never-resolved series of constantly shifting, bogus "historical" claims and grievances. Said claims and grievances are never abandoned regardless of the objective situation because they are the tools that provide the feminist establishment with its leverage for blackmailing the rest of society. The end result? Pure, unadulatered, cynical, post-modern, nihilist narcissism that sees nothing wrong with slaughtering twin brothers in the womb. This, after the "mother" went willingly off the pill. And the "father" stands meekly by, Ahab in cuckolded submission to Jezebel. God help us all.

But it got me to thinking. Saturday, Elena and I went on our vintage shopping adventure through Berry Hill (a hip part of Nashville that is full of little shops). My nana's house is in Berry Hill and I'm planning on renovating. Pink Kitty will have a little pink house.. and it will be fabulous... I've got it all designed and decorated in my head.

I said to Elena "I want to be like other young professionals. I've given up the last 5 years to care for sick parents and grandparents and a younger brother who just wasn't ready to be on his own yet.” I said some other stuff, too but don’t recall. Point is: it was all about me. Not completely buying the Sex and the City hype/lifestyle but very close. I see the people my age buying the fixer-up homes close to campus or the lofts under construction downtown. I want to be closer to work and to my friends. I want the more professional job that gives the money to buy cool clothes, shoes, gadgets, travel, etc… I want to be able to walk to restaurants or around a neighborhood where I don’t have to worry or have a place to invite my friends over and enjoy their company.

I was cueing up for my solo on the whining stage. The difference between the woman in Amy’s article and myself is that I haven’t had an abortion. But I’m just as selfish.

Believe me, I was just as outraged at this woman as many people are at the idea she eliminated some of the consequences of her decision in a way that we find reprehensible. I was just as ready to build the gallows to hang her high. But her actions are a product of contemporary American society. Can you condemn her and not the source?

More is better. It’s all about you. Manolo Blahniks are the shoes to have. Sex has no consequences. Watch the latest show and read certain magazines to prove that you are in-the-know and with it. Drink such-n-such because it’s the cool drink. Spend, spend, spend – debt is just fine. You’ll pay it off later.

Everything is a commodity – bought and sold. Children are the newest accessories. Why are we so surprised?