How Feminists Continue to Make Women Look Bad…

… If I could go back in time and meet twenty year old riot grrrl me, I’d look something like this.

Grrr. I’m angry. Some patriarchal man in Washington wants to control my vagina.”

OK. Maybe not to that extreme. Even in my hardest hard core days of feminazism I never took the stance that abortion on demand and at any gestational stage was a good and noble thing. I did; however, buy completely into the rhetoric my Feminist Theory and Women Studies teachers fed my young impressionable mind – that it was a women’s right to do whatever the hell she pleased with her own body, not matter how harmful. How liberating. Even still, I can kind of understand where the woman in the photo is coming from.

If you had been able to read the original post before it was published you would have read a post oozing with condensing sarcasm and mockery. At who’s expense? Some angry woman who happens to be grossly misguided; a carbon copy of myself ten years prior. No, that won’t do.

One of the things they tell you when you attend a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat is that you have to learn to forgive yourself. Quit condemning your Past Self with the hindsight knowledge you have today. Since I’ve walked in pro-choice shoes and lived as an angry feminist it’s a little difficult for me to be too hard on them. It feels a bit like beating up twenty year old me. I know if I went back in time and met Twenty Something Kat and talked to her the way I write about people here no progress would get made. Past Self would wonder who invited the old lady with her antiquated views to the party. Then Present Me would have to drink her under the table to show her who’s boss. No, no. Indeed that won’t do. I think the best approach, when talking with feminists, is to invite them to rethink what they consider legitimate concerns of American women.

The lady in the above photo is an activist named Sunsara Taylor. Recently she was here in Charlotte verbally attacking an 11 year old girl named Zoe Griffin to the point of tears. If I were to address her, and women like her, I would try and help them realize how misogynistic their ideologies truly are. A true feminists rallies behind all women, regardless of whether their politics and religious views match her own. If women are to be free to publicly express their views than “feminists” must extend those freedoms to all female voices – even the pro-life ones. And if they believe women are equal in dignity than they must also extend that dignity equally.

I also wish they would stop misrepresenting us. It is not our sole desire to get free pills and condoms and abort our babies at 8 months gestation. I don’t equate equality, liberation, or femininity with consequence free promiscuity. The sum of my gender is not my sexual activity and my concerns extend beyond my anatomical make up. All this harping on abortion and birth control makes women advocates look a tad sex obsessed and, well, slutty. It doesn’t make sense to scream in the streets that women are not to be objectified yet use objectifying propaganda.

Here’s what I propose, take that passion and redirect it towards issues that truly effect our gender; like unfair maternity leave laws and unequal pay. Fight legislature that is anti-family and pits a woman against her child. A woman should never have to choose between getting an education and killing her child. Encourage all women in everything they do. Stop demonizing women who choose to stay at home and raise their children. If you are going to be pro-choice that be positively pro for all choices, not just the choices you’d only choose for yourself.

And lastly, meet women. Go beyond your social circle of college campuses and coffee houses and take the time to actually talk to women. Old women. Young women. School girls. Married and Single. Multiple kids or one. Working at home or out the home. Religious or not. Find out what they really want. Ask them what they feel are the important issues, and try not to treat them with contempt when you find out what you thought they wanted is drastically different from what they really need. Then work towards helping them accomplish those goals. Then, and only then, will you earn the right to legitimately call yourself an advocate for women.

Oh. One more thing; children are not the enemy to be aborted away into silence. They are the future, the ones who will carry on your legacy. Trust me when I say no little girl is going to look at you as a role model … especially if you keep making them cry.

About Katrina Fernandez

Mackerel Snapping Papist

  • http://www.facebook.com/calah.alexander Calah Michelle Alexander

    I love this, especially the part about unfair maternity leave laws and unequal pay. That would be something that women really could unite around.

    • Jane

      Be careful as that too has been overstated. I suggest you check out some of Christina Hoff Sommers’ work on equity feminism.

    • TheodoreSeeber

      I would add to it, that if we had living wages for 10 year old boys, AND a stronger link between sex and parenthood, then there would be *NOTHING* wrong with teenage pregnancy and marriage.

      Biologically, that’s when people should start having children and when their bodies are most prepared to become parents.

  • Ironic Catholic

    I applaud you, Kat. This is one of the best posts you’ve ever written.

  • Molly

    Literally had a professor of American Literature (was an English major, class was plain old American Lit from 1850 – present) who made us study Riot Grrrl “literature”. Seriously. Emerson, Thorea, Hemmingway, Twain, Steinbeck — they’ve got nothing on the Kathleen Hanna. (That’s sarcasm, if you didn’t catch it). I should sue the school for my tuition. Or at least for the cost of the tutoring I needed to pass the GRE subject test when applying for grad schools because I hadn’t had any college education in real American literature.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    I understand male pro-choicers; they are mainly rapists who don’t want to be tied down to a woman because of a child. I know because I was one.

    What I don’t get is angry feminist pro-choicers who are enabling the rapists.

    • http://www.facebook.com/BrandyMMiller1975 Brandy Miller

      They don’t see it. It’s that simple.

    • NotARapist

      I’m sorry. What? I’m a male ‘pro-choicer’ because I want the women in my life to have control of their own bodies. I don’t have decisions have decisions about whether they want birth control, or an abortion, or anything, made for them by me, you, or the government. How does that make me a rapist. By the way, I also classify myself as a feminist, and believe all the other things mentioned in this article should be an issue too, but in parallel with a woman having the right to make choices about her own body

      • TheodoreSeeber

        If you truly loved them, you’d counsel them to remain whole and not poison their bodies with so-called “birth control”, or become murderers by abortion.

        Lies are not choice, no matter how much pro-choicers want them to be.

        And the only reason to ever encourage contraception and abortion for a teenager is to cover up incest and statutory rape by erasing evidence.

        Good parents support life- even when that life comes from bad decisions.

  • Angela Pea

    *applause* – Well said.

  • InfinteGrace

    Here here! Well done.

  • Homesick

    I am a feminist, but I’m not Sunsara Taylor — not by a long shot.
    I want contraception/abortion access, but they’re not my “sole desire.”
    I wholeheatedly agree that “a true feminists rallies behind all women, regardless of whether their politics and religious views match her own.”
    Do you? Or do you only rally behind women who aren’t “slutty?”

    (From the commenter formerly known as “L.”)

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      No. However I am not a feminist.

      • Homesick

        There is no need to be a feminist. I know many deeply Christian women who believe that men are spiritual leaders in their households and society, and that women’s essential nature is to serve, not lead. If believing this makes people feel closer to God, then fine — I only have a problem with it if these people favor laws that interfere with the different way I choose to live my life.
        But not all feminists are alike — are you familiar with this group? http://www.feministsforlife.org/

    • http://www.facebook.com/BrandyMMiller1975 Brandy Miller

      I rally behind women of all types, and I am friends with many who do not see things my way. I agonize with them when their one night stands rip their hearts to pieces because they were hoping it would turn into more than a one night stand. I cry with them when their live-in lovers of 8 years up and leave them suddenly, and they are left with no legal recourse whatsoever. I ache with them when they tell me about the abortion that they thought would be so painless takes a piece of their heart and soul and rips it out. I try to encourage them to make better choices, to stop doing the things that keep on hurting them, to stop allowing themselves to be used and abused – but I love them even when they don’t listen. After all, I was in their shoes once, too broken to see how everything I was doing was only going to hurt me more and was doing nothing to help me find the happiness I was so desperate to find. I’m not perfect, but I’m a lot better at loving people now than I ever was then.So, yes, I rally behind women who are “slutty” because I know that what they want isn’t sex but love, and I rally behind women who are contracepting because I know that they don’t really want the contraception, they want to be free and they just don’t understand that they won’t find their freedom in the bedroom or the pill. I rally behind women of all ages and stages, of all beliefs and none.

  • 1Christopher_Lake9

    At 16-19 years of age, I literally was in Sunsara Taylor’s (the woman in the above photo) radical “camp.” I was an angry and misguided young man– so misguided that I actually supported the political organization to which Sunsara belongs, the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. I wanted to see the violent overthrow of the U.S government. I supported “abortion on demand and without apology.” Reading Sunsara’s blog posts now is a surreal experience for me, akin to reading my old Marxist rantings in a high school notebook, except for the fact that *these* rantings are coming from an older person who, seemingly, should know better– but then, I must remember, there but for the grace of God go I.

    I, too, once thought that a fetus was only a blob of protoplasm, and I spoke, and voted, as such. If I had ever gotten a woman pregnant in those years, I shudder to think of how we would have reacted. Again, there but for the grace of God go I. Only the grace of God.

    No one can ever tell me that God does not do miracles. The fact I’m now a practicing, orthodox Catholic (albeit very imperfect) is, itself, a miracle, especially when I think of who I once was. Pray for Sunsara Taylor. Please, God, may she, too, be converted! (It can happen!)

    • Bill M.

      It can happen — you’re absolutely right. And that’s why I’m glad Sunsara hasn’t been demonized here.

  • tz

    I wish I had a reason to believe women would not do ANYTHING, no matter how disgusting, degrading, or obscene. But they willdoanything Janet Napolitano and the TSA commands them in the name of fighting terrorism. I wouldn’t worry about the patriarchial man and your privates, but the woman who sexually assualts you as a precondition to travel.

    Freedom is already lost – even the pagans say “to thunderous applause”..

    It would also help if you would correctly use “affect” v. “effect”.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      I am permitted a typo. Grammar Nazis; however, are not.

  • John B

    Nicely stated

  • http://www.facebook.com/Gloccboi357 Christopher Fox

    blah blah fucking blah…..YOU SHOULD NOT BE ABLE TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER! Fucking bitches need to learn you not ready for a baby then take every measure to prevent it! Simple as that. And for those who gonna come back with the rape thing…there is adoption!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      While I appreciate your, um, enthusiasm, I do ask you find a more intelligible way to express it. In place of expletives, I find a thesaurus a much useful tool. Therefore I am removing your comment.

  • Proteios

    That is the message coming out right now. That the pro women movement by feminists is pro women who do these core things. So once again, someone is telling women what to do. You are correct in stating that women should be respected for their choice to stay home or work or whatever.
    As a man, I have seen how paternity leave is mocked…when it isn’t totally ignored. When staying at home isn’t ridiculed, because people are so speechless I just see a confused look. I realize such complaints as these fall on deaf ears or get the boohoo! But feminism should have spent a bit more time engaging men, and they may have before my time. To get some social changes that integrate men and women into family work harmony. You need as job and most want a family of some type. There needs to be harmony as posed to sacrificing family for work.
    Instead we have men doing two things. Ignoring it all as stupid or bending over backwards to indulge every whim for female equality. And women…your right, self objectification is called empowerment.
    Even today, with men dwindling at our university. A majority of females in the college of sciences, we have a seminar on how to get women in science. Seems to me we’ve know how and are successful. What we aren’t getting are men. They’re too busy playing video games, drinking and waiting to score. Maybe they want their “Mr. Degree.” (college women will appreciate that joke)

  • mdozer

    I don’t come here very often, but I just want to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the potpourri of popery and other amusing annotations on the right side of your blog! I actually enjoyed reading the comboxes! Thank you Jesus!

  • newenglandsun

    How many feminists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

    A 1. They can’t change anything!

    A 2. “F*** YOU!”

    A 3. That’s exceptionally offensive.

    A 4. “That’s not funny.” “Now it is!”

    A 5. [my favorite by the way]
    12.
    One to screw it in,
    one to excoriate men for creating the need for illumination,
    one to blame men for inventing such a faulty means of illumination,
    one to suggest the whole “screwing” bit to be too “rape-like”,
    one to deconstruct the lightbulb itself as being phallic,
    one to blame men for not changing the bulb,
    one to blame men for trying to change the bulb instead of letting a woman do it,
    one to blame men for creating a society that discourages women from changing light bulbs,
    one to blame men for creating a society where women change too many light bulbs,
    one to advocate that lightbulb changers should have wage parity with electricians,
    one to alert the media that women are now “out-lightbulbing” men,
    and one to just sit there taking pictures for her blog for photo-evidence that men are unnecessary.

  • Nellie

    Wow, excellent article! I really agree here. Perfect. Couldn’t have said it better myself.


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