One thing that has troubled me ever since I took a women’s studies class in undergrad school is the way “feminism” has become almost entirely hijacked by radical liberals who have sought to redefine what the worth of womanhood is. They hate women more than men allegedly do. We’ve seen how such radical “feminists” have attacked Sarah Palin and the choices she has made in her life; I’ve read and heard comments about her and her family that are so nasty I can’ t repeat them.
But it’s not only Sarah Palin who has suffered such vicious personal attacks. I have been told more than once in my life that I’m “not a real woman” just because I think abortion is the greatest evil of our time and that the only good form of birth control is complete abstinence. I refuse to subscribe to a worldview where it is acceptable for women to indulge lust (their own and that of men), have irresponsible, consequence-free sex, and then ruthlessly kill any child whose conception has resulted from that behavior. (I am not, of course, saying that every woman who has an abortion fits that pattern–but that is the worldview of these radical “feminists,” and they don’t give a damn how much it actually hurts women!). I was foolish enough to buy into that worldview for a brief time, not long before I reverted to Catholicism. It wasn’t long before I realized how messed up it was. Incidentally, it took the love of a good man to snap me out of it!
I was very pleased when, a couple of years ago, I heard of the organization Feminists for Life. To me, this organization stands for genuine feminism. It champions and supports women as being givers and sustainers and life–not destroyers. It seeks to empower women in practical and dignified ways, not just stale ideological ways. It truly respects choice–if a woman chooses to have a child, or perhaps many children, regardless of who she is and what her circumstances are, she is supported–not criticized.
I was not a bit surprised when I learned that Sarah Palin is a member of Feminists for Life. Here is a nice story about her and the organization (with my emphases):
by Steven Ertelt
August 29, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Most Americans heard the name Sarah Palin for the first time on Friday as Senator John McCain named her as his running mate. They’re getting a glimpse of the fact that the Alaska governor is pro-life on abortion, but what they may not know is she takes a unique approach to her position.Palin is a member of Feminists for Life of America — a venerable but little known pro-life group that focuses on the pro-woman reasons for opposing abortion.
The organization is considered an expert on understand[ing] how abortion hurts women and the complications abortion involves from a medical, physical and mental health standpoint.
Beyond that, Feminists for Life has championed the notion that one of the best ways to reduce abortion is to do the kind of work abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood should, but aren’t doing — namely, providing pregnant women with resources they need.
Feminists for Life has spearheaded efforts to make sure pregnant and parenting college students, who have the highest abortion rates in the nation, get tangible help like medical referrals, child-care and assistance in completing their education.
Palin, a mother of five, recognized the need to do more than say she opposes abortion and joined the organization.
In August 2006, she told the Anchorage Daily News, she recognized the struggle young women face in an unplanned pregnancy saying, “no woman should have to choose between her career, education and her child.”
For Palin, there is no inconsistency between advocating for women and taking a pro-life position.
“I believe in the strength and the power of women, and the potential of every human life,” she said.
Serrin Foster, the president of Feminists for Life, told LifeNews.com “there is a certain excitement” about Palin getting the nod as the second woman on a major party ticket to run for vice president.
She said that, for Palin to join her group, she must recognize the practical ways it is helping women find life-affirming solutions to unexpected pregnancies.
“Feminists for Life is dedicated to systematically eliminating the root causes that drive women to abortion—primarily lack of practical resources and support—through holistic, woman-centered solutions,” she said.
“We recognize that abortion is a reflection that our society has failed to meet the needs of women and that too often women have settled for less. Women deserve better than abortion,” said Foster.
Though Palin’s pro-woman, pro-life agenda makes sense, she has already come under some attack.
Shortly after McCain unveiled his selection of her as his running mate, CNN anchor John Roberts went after Palin’s parenting in a question to conservative commentator Dan Bash.
“She has a child with Down’s Syndrome, and care for children like that can take a lot of time. Is there any concern about the balance of that?” Roberts asked.
Bash retorted: “The McCain camp is probably wondering if she were a man, whether you would be asking the same question.”
For Palin, as a pro-life woman and “feminist” she’d like [to] say she can accomplish both.
I’ve heard many people say that Palin will not win support from feminists. I think it depends on how you define “feminist.” I consider myself a staunch feminist, and I know many other women who do too. And Sarah Palin’s brand of feminism is one that we can identify ourselves with.