Many years ago, one of my girlfriends called to tell me that a new women's organization was forming in our small Ohio town, and she wondered if I would like to attend the first meeting with her. We both had small children and husbands who occasionally would spring for babysitting duty so that the girls could have a night out. So, off we went to a National Organization for Women organizing meeting. Now remember, this was in the early 1970s, just after Roe v. Wade had been handed down, but we certainly did not know that this meeting was being hosted by some of the most horrific examples of femininity we would ever see.
Needless to say, when the shrill rhetoric started, we made a beeline for the door and decided shopping at Kmart was much better suited to our frame of mind. Well, things have changed quite a bit since then, but they have not changed for the better.
Ever since those early days and the crowing of that era’s feminist leaders, such as Molly Yard and Eleanor Smeal, the nation has been exposed to a side of female thinking that often leaves many confused, dismayed and downright disgusted. But to be honest, a number of women apparently buy into the stuff NOW is selling, and some of it has rubbed off on women in a really discouraging way.
For example, recently I saw a web site called Feministing. On this site, I found an article that was so ridiculous I could not believe my eyes. The article, entitled “Say No To …,” is perhaps the best example of anti-family gobbledygook that I have seen this week. An excerpt from it read as follows:
My understanding of reproduction is that it is the basis of the institutions of marriage and family, and those two provide the moorings to the structure of gender and sexual oppression. Family is the social institution that ensures unpaid reproductive and domestic labor, and is concerned with initiating a new generation into the gendered (as I analyzed here) and classed social set-up. Not only that, families prevent money [sic] the flow of money from the rich to the poor: wealth accumulates in a few hands to be squandered on and bequeathed to the next generation, and that makes families as economic units selfishly pursue their own interests and become especially prone to consumerism.
This writer is apparently put off by the whole idea of procreation, which she has chosen to refer to in the corporate language usually applied to animals and factories. I believe she is using "reproduction" to replace the commonly known term, marital relations. At least that is what I am assuming. Far be it from me, of course, to put words into this female's mouth!
It never occurred to me that anyone would equate marriage and family with gender and sexual oppression, but I guess if you're a disgruntled feminist, then your “feministing” is going to get a little wacky.
The problem, however, is a bit more serious than that, for it occurs to me that when people surf the internet for information about the philosophy underlying the feminist movement, they are going to encounter these writings, and to my mind, that is a pity. It is obvious, from just this short paragraph of a much longer screed, that the woman is so turned off by the idea of marital bliss and happiness, and love and joy, that she cannot imagine anything good about the institution of the family.
I know a whole lot of families in the pro-life movement, most of which are very pleased with their state, but are certainly not selfish, wealthy or oppressors of the needy. In fact, quite the contrary is true, as I am sure you would agree, if you are familiar with happy families where there are lots of children and loads of joy. Happiness abounds there, at least most of time.
On the other hand, negativity has a habit of rubbing off on people, and it makes them unhappy which is part of the problem we have these days in the United States. Why else would we abort so many little children who have done nothing to anyone?
Why else would so many young people be mesmerized by the idea of promiscuous sex while totally disengaged from the art of spelling, completing a math course or graduating with honors?
Why else would parents split up and divorce at a rate fast approaching more than 60 percent?
Something is terribly wrong with any perspective of family so thoroughly imbued with pessimism. I might add, this woman's diatribe is a good example of what is ailing far too many of us.
The author of this opinion piece, who signed herself as "freethinkr," [sic] asserts that those with children and families to take care of are cruel to the poor, the needy and the lonely. I wonder if she ever visited a pro-life pregnancy care center or a home for unwed mothers or a soup kitchen like Martha's Village, manned by retirees in the Palm Springs, California area. I would venture a guess that she has not visited any such place and that if she has, she has been blinded, by her own worldview, to the merciful goodness that is so apparent in these wonderful average American citizens, most of whom have loving families with children and grandchildren.
I feel sorry for this lady, whose views are so twisted and whose own background, if we are to believe her writing, could have been a source of greater happiness, had she not had so many downbeat views toward those who are married and have families.
But I feel greater remorse for those who will read what she writes, agree with her and turn their backs on the most wonderful gifts that are available to the many who cherish family, appreciate what they have and give until it hurts, so that others can experience the joy too.
The world can be overwhelming, but it can also provide so much good if only people would look beyond their own perspective and see the thrilling opportunities that are right there before their very eyes. The next time you meet someone who claims to be disenchanted with family, engage them in a conversation and maybe even give them a hug!
Somebody really needs to give "freethinkr" a hug.