Posted by: minnow | February 9, 2009

Silenced No More

My last post was a fairly forceful tirade against feminists. The problem with railing against feminists is that while in practice feminists seem more concerned with abortion rights than anything else they do give lip service to other important issues such as equal pay, family leave, flexible work hours, and childcare. So, when I decry the feminist movement I seem to be speaking out against issues which are important to other women as well which is definitely NOT the desired effect.

Yet, rather than be silenced those of us, who care about the right to life as one of a myriad of issues impacting our lives, need to find our mutual voice. If the feminists do not want us because we call abortion murder then they do not have to have us. But, they should not be allowed to silence us either! I, for one, am tired of being dismissed simply because I say the progress feminists claim to have made for women is actually harmful, not only to women but to families and to society in general.

As a society, we tell women (especially unmarried younger women and teens) that they have choices. We show them how to use birth control, encourage them to use it as soon as they become sexually active (assuming there is no question but that they will), and assure them that if their birth control fails and they unintentionally become pregnant they need not fear their parents, partners, employers ever finding out. What we fail to tell them is unwanted pregnancies leave them with no happy choices, no easy choices, and no choices they will ever be able to undo or forget.

Before you start to think we have no right to tell secular society what morals to give their children here are a few statistics for you to ponder. In 2007 37.5 percent of women who sought abortions identified themselves as protestant, 31.3 percent as Roman Catholic and 18 percent as born again. 20 percent of those who seek abortions are under the age of eighteen and 47 percent of the abortions performed are done on women who have had previous abortions. The most common reason women give for wanting abortions at 32 percent is immaturity or not being ready for the responsibility. Another 4 percent say pregnancy will interfere with their career or education plans. As Christians, with well over half of the women who seek abortions identifying themselves as Christians, and 52 percent being under the age of 25, we must talk to our children.

The information we have given our children is out of whack. As a society we ought to be telling young girls they are worth the wait, they deserve to be valued and protected! Instead we allow sex education classes, peer pressure, and feminist groups suggest they have nothing to loose if they jump into having sex before their partners are as committed to living with the consequences of their behavior as they must be. We ought to be teaching young boys that men do not run away from their responsibilities or expect others to bare the burden of their selfish desires. Instead we have allowed advertising, television and film, and the “adult” entertainment industry to give them false information about women and encourage them to treat women as objects or possessions for their sensual pleasure. The people who value and care about women ought to expose and speak out against this faulty thinking and all who promote it.

I may get flak for this from both sides of the abortion debate but I believe we have spent far too much time and way too many resources fighting over what I see as the symptoms of a bigger issue. The faulty images we give to and about women are the underlying problem. I believe the fastest way to actually reduce the number of abortions (unwanted pregnancies, and STDs) is to begin to value women and reaffirm families as the essential core of our culture. We must change the message.

Companies that use sex to sell their products and which propagate irresponsible images of women should be among the first to feel the pressure to change. Instead of supporting these companies with our consumer dollars and acting as walking billboards every time we wear their logos, we must stop the proliferation of the lie those irresponsible representations tell–that the primary purpose of women is for the sexual gratification of men. Do not get me wrong. I am not really talking about trying to organize boycotts or push some sort of anti-smut legislation through congress. That would not work and would be much too costly. Besides, advertising is not the only place we see such images. What I am saying is, we ought to wreck havoc with their PR–give them the bad names they deserve(whether we are talking companies, film, music, or…). Women must expose and keep exposing the use of demeaning images of women.

Changing the messages we send to and about women is possible but those of us who care where our culture is heading must step up to the challenge to do so. Business must be held to account for pay inequality and encouraged to think in family friendly ways. Education must take responsibility for teaching the whole truth or not be allowed to teach at all. Parents must take back their role as the protector and nurturer of their children. And, government must be expected to make policy that actually help women and families at risk.

The women who have foisted the right to an abortion on our society do not speak for all women. Yet they have marginalized the voices of those who would oppose them. Feminists do not care more about the issues that impact families than those who call abortion murder. Yet, they have silenced these other voices by painting them as one dimensional, unintelligent, kept women, and religious zealots. In other words, feminists have used demeaning images of certain women to keep them in their place. Those of us who have been silenced must find our voice.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: