Protesting Womanhood

The Modern Model of Feminism is Too Exclusive

Thousands of women in cities across the United States marched last Saturday in the 2020 “Women’s March,” reported the Voice of America and other news outlets. The point of the protests this year was narrowly specific—to vote President Donald Trump out of office, and to protest the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Ideological narrow-mindedness has been a hallmark of the Women’s March since its inception in 2017, when it was first organized to protest the election of President Trump. And yet, according to the mission statement of the Women’s March, it exists “to harness the political power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social change.” The March claims to be committed to “intersectional education on a diverse range of issues,” and “dismantling systems of oppression through nonviolent resistance and building inclusive structures guided by self-determination, dignity and respect.”

Counter to organizers’ claims of wanting “nonviolent resistance” and respectful inclusion, pro-life protestors present at the March this year were, once again, targeted for abuse. LifeSiteNews reports that Women’s March protestors “threw water, sprayed paint, hurled verbal abuse, and physically attacked the Students for Life.” Said a participating student, “We have seen vandalism, abuse: I was pushed, I was hit, I had my phone ripped out of my hand, I got spray painted.” A pregnant woman protesting the march was told to abort her daughter.

In fact, contrary to its mission statement, the women of the “Women’s March” in no way seek to represent all women. If they did, they would celebrate the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett—one of five women and two mothers ever nominated to the Supreme Court (the other mother was Ruth Bader Ginsburg).  If radical feminist ideology really cared about all women, its proponents would rejoice at the idea of a mother on the Supreme Court. After all, contrary to the best efforts of our pro-death culture, the vast majority of women still become mothers. But instead of celebrating, feminists protest, violently, in the streets, because if Barrett is nominated, a conservative Supreme Court majority would be at least capable of overturning Roe—something even Barrett herself has said is unlikely.

There are other women that feminism leaves out, of course, perhaps most obviously the women killed by abortion. Sex-selective abortion is a huge global problem. One analysis estimates that approximately 23 million women have been killed before ever seeing the light of day, particularly in China and India, countries which now face severe female shortages. Who knows what these women may have achieved? Yet, the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute claims that banning both sex-selective and race-selective abortions shouldn’t be made illegal, because such policies don’t allow women to make the decision that is best for them—even if such decisions may be motivated by an explicit anti-female bias, or cultural pressure from other relatives.

This radical strand of feminism also omits the women who can—and do—achieve vast amounts with children. It may seem counterintuitive, but research is starting to demonstrate the ways in which children actually enhance a woman’s productivity and creativity. Barrett herself is a stunning example of this, the idea that women can have incredible careers and also devote themselves unflinchingly to serving their families. But the radical feminist narrative can’t include these women, because it would allow for a certain intellectual flexibility which might start saying that no, you don’t have to kill your child to succeed at life, or that there are other markers to “success” besides career ones.

To be sure, bias exists, and should be confronted. But what if a woman’s ambition is to be a mom, and to stay home with her children? What if her ambition is to work part-time at something she truly loves, but remain in the home? (Both Pew and Gallup polls continue to show that fewer women are preferring full-time to part-time work, when circumstances allow; recent studies also demonstrate that female doctors and lawyers, particularly those with dependent children, want to work part-time.) Is there room in modern feminism for what women actually want?

In her book Irreversible Damage, Abigail Shrier writes in the closing chapter, “We must stop pathologizing girlhood,” something she believes is leading teenage girls to identify as “transgender” in staggering percentages. Modern feminism pathologizes womanhood, by insisting on one, pro-death approach to femaleness. A “woman” is pro-choice, pro-Biden, pro-“reproductive rights” (whatever that term means), and wants to climb the corporate ladder at whatever cost necessary. Women who try to be “feminist” in any other way—including embracing the capacity for pregnancy and childbirth—don’t have a place at the so-called Women’s March.

is the managing editor of The Natural Family, the quarterly publication of the International Organization for the Family.

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