What is “feminism?” For some people it is a credo that embraces equality between the sexes: equality of opportunity as well as equality of intersocial conduct. This brand of feminism might best be categorized as “treat everyone the same and be nice to them.”
Then there is the now-dominant strain of feminism, the one practiced by tenured academic scholars and media stars like Lena Dunham and self-effacing “male feminists” who are always apologizing on behalf of other men. This brand of feminism is persecutory, frequently delusional, vindictive, spiteful, obsessed with pronouns and “microagressions” and menstruation blood and other silly things. This particular ethos might be styled “modern feminism” or, even better, “totalitarian feminism,” though “paranoid persecution complex” might work just as well, I don’t know.
Modern feminism is also really, really, really obsessed with abortion: for today’s feminists it is almost a sacrament, and at the very least it is a sacramental. Witness, for example, the backlash over the guest list of the “Women’s March on Washington:”
The Women’s March on Washington faced backlash Monday after reports circulated that anti-abortion group New Wave Feminists had been granted partnership status.
Now organizers of the march are saying that the group was added as a partner in error and are making it very clear that the march will stay in line with the values stated in its policy platform. That platform includes a call for “open access to safe, legal, affordable abortion and birth control for all people, regardless of income, location or education…”
The Women’s March on Washington released a statement Monday evening on Twitter and Facebook: “The Women’s March platform is pro-choice and that has been our stance from day one.” The statement also said that “the anti-choice organization in question is not a partner of the Women’s March on Washington.”
Whoops. Well, so much for the sisterhood: it turns out pan-gender solidarity is predicated on a remarkably narrow set of political and philosophical beliefs. One of the principal practical effects of totalitarianism, after all, is a ruthless, uncompromising conformity of thought. As Amanda Marcotte puts it, “you cannot be [pro-life] and feminist.” Sorry, honey.
Modern feminism being inordinately preoccupied with the killing of innocent human beings, it is not, all things considered, all that surprising that this particular demonstration would kick a bunch of women to the curb for daring to believe that, you know, we shouldn’t murder defenseless humans out of convenience. Still, it is somewhat shocking. Even this late in the game, with so many bodies piled up behind us, we still sometimes have reason to be shocked. Abortion, after all, is murder: it kills a living human being, unjustly and with premeditation. Nobody who is remotely knowledgeable about the basic, ground-level facts of human biology can possibly argue otherwise. And so it is with no small amount of nausea that we witness an activist organization excluded from polite society simply because they believe that the murder of innocents is unjust.
I suppose there are two possibilities that will come of this: either (1) our descendants will look back on our behavior with horror, or (2) we will continue to allow the most innocent and defenseless among us to be killed.
My money is on #1, but you should not, under any circumstances, rule out the possibility of #2; it will do us no good to underestimate feminism’s passionate, single-minded devotion to legal abortion, as exemplified by Cecile Richards, who recently wrote that
the ability to decide when or whether to have children is key to women’s opportunity to be financially secure and pursue their dreams.
Richards is of course speaking about “opportunity” in the context of abortion. But it is odd that pro-choicers never seem to consider any other option when it comes to women “deciding when or whether to have children:” they could, say, not have sex—or have sex only when the potential outcome of sexual activity is more affordable and appropriate. But modern feminism is almost literally incapable of imbuing women with this type of agency; as an ideology it cannot really imagine a woman exercising any real measure of practical chastity or sexual decorum. For people like Cecile Richads, women are apparently mindless sex-bots who cannot help but stumble into sexual intercourse without any agency whatsoever. I guess when you’re determined to infantilize women to such a degree, it will only be natural to demand something like legalized abortion in order to compensate: if we can’t expect women to exercise any judicious restraint regarding their sexuality, after all, then I suppose we can’t possibly expect of them to carry a pregnancy to term.