Guestbook Follies, or Why Some Feminists Piss Me Off

So I’m checking up on things INS this morning. Ah, new guestbook entry. Let’s see who has what to say. A quote from a “pro-life feminist” bewailing abortion. Nothing too groundshaking. However the next quote from another “pro-life feminist,” someone named Daphne de Jong, had me groaning:

“If women must submit to abortion to preserve their lifestyle or career, their economic social status, they are pandering to a system devised and run by men for male convenience. Of all things which are done to women to fit them into a society dominated by men, abortion is the most violent invasion of their physical and psychic integrity.”

I’m surprised she didn’t spell women as wymyn.

I consider myself a feminist in the sense that I believe women should have equal rights and opportunities. I am not a feminist in the sense that I believe that I should be given preferential treatment or opportunities because I own a vagina. I’m well acquainted with several members of the Richmond chapter of NOW here since they work pretty closely with pro-choice organizations, but I always demur when they ask me to join. For every feminist who is genuinely trying to advance women’s rights and causes, there seems to be five others who seem to think that feminism is running around with unshaven legs and Birkenstocks bleating about how men are evil. In one particular instance at a pro-choice event, I was cornered by a young feminist who proceeded to tell me that I had no credibility as a pro-choice advocate … because I’d taken my husband’s last name when I got married. It took me ten minutes to get my laughter under control.

I have always wondered why the antis seem to have this idea that abortion is compulsory, or that women are forced to make that decision. There have ALWAYS been options. If a woman chooses one option over another, how does that invalidate the other options? Then again, if you read the anti story sites, no woman ever states that it was solely her decision. The abortion was done to please the husband/boyfriend (who usually ended up leaving anyway) or the parents who wouldn’t pay for school or didn’t want a grandchild … “someone ELSE wanted it, not MEEE! I’m a GOOD girl! I WANT to have babies!”

There are many feminists who treat pregnancy as their way of trumping THE MAN. “Look upon me and despair, puny male, for I can bring forth LIFE!” “Pro-life feminists” are a particularly virulent strain. In their reasoning, every woman wants nothing more than to bring forth children, and damn the man who makes her choose otherwise. It doesn’t seem to occur to them that some women don’t want to be pregnant, whether it’s at that particular time or just never in general. They are the ones “pandering to the system.”

And thanks to this, I’ll have Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman” running through my head the rest of the day. Gah.