In March, I had two major speaking engagements, which together showed me the real condition of the women's movement. At the University of Virginia, I debated the state of Women's Studies programs. In Harrisburg, PA, I presented The Smart Sex Workshop to a statewide network of crisis pregnancy center counselors. These contrasting audiences revealed this surprising truth. The self-styled women's advocates housed in Women's Studies are now the Establishment. The new underground, counter-cultural radicals, the really committed advocates for women, are the women of the Pro-Life movement.
At the University of Virginia, I had the curious experience of attacking feminism against opponents who neither defined nor defended feminism. They were not prepared for a serious discussion. The student feminists identified themselves by wearing little pink stickers saying, "This is what a feminist looks like." There were probably 30 self-tagged feminists. Because there was solid phalanx of them, I expected confrontation, or at least some energy. But no. They asked a few lame, almost rote, questions. They had no urgency, no passion, no fire in the belly. They are used to getting what they want without significant opposition. After all, no right-thinking person disagrees with the basic tenants of feminism: 1. Women and men are the same except women are better. 2. Women have been systematically oppressed. 3. Women's Studies compensates for these innumerable and obvious injustices.
Two weeks later, I addressed the Real Alternatives training conference, an audience of abstinence educators and crisis pregnancy counselor from across Pennsylvania. I looked out into the audience of about 100 and saw five men. In an instant, it became real to me that the Pro-life Movement is the New Women's Movement. These are the women out in the community, talking to other women about their hopes and fears for their unborn children. Pro-life women actually walk that nine month walk from conception to birth, with mothers who want to care for their children, but who aren't sure they can.
Abortion advocates never admit that women in crisis face an extremely lopsided "choice." A woman can end her pregnancy at any time. The abortion clinic provides her with an immediate solution to her "problem." She can walk in pregnant, and walk out not pregnant. Abortion counselors, assuming there are any, have no particular incentive to provide for her longer term needs, or to get to know her and her problems.
Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., is the author of Smart Sex: Finding Life-long Love In A Hook-up World. She blogs at jennifer-roback-morse.blogspot.com
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