… 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.