Abortion Poetry: More Look-At-Meism

Several years ago, I had a personal tragedy. I lost a baby. She was a child I desperately wanted, a baby I could already picture even though she was no bigger than a tadpole. I blamed myself: I had been too active or too lazy or ate the wrong thing or somehow had failed. In my soul, I knew I deserved the month or so of pain I endured, first with her eviction from my body and then with the recuperation and the heavy blood loss. It has taken me years to forgive myself, and even now when I look at her two little sisters sometimes I can see her too.

I knew that child. I knew she was a girl, knew she was blonde, knew she’d be smart like her daddy and feisty like her mama. The only thing I didn’t know at that point was her name; her daddy and I had not yet discovered it.

She was just as real as any post-birth clump of cells (these clumps are also known as “newborns”). When the doctor came to give me the bad news, I referred to my baby as a “she.” The poor man made the mistake of telling me, “But we don’t know what sex the baby was.”

I remember looking at him calmly. “That’s okay. She can be whatever sex I wanted her to be now.”

That’s why Leyla Josephine’s poem about her abortion tore my heart out. Not because it was sensitive and soul-searching, a repudiation of an industry that slaughters babies, but rather because it was the opposite – and yet I could see my own post-miscarriage self in it. Josephine tells us she would have raised her daughter to believe in abortion as part of women’s freedom.

Josephine, just like me, assigned a sex to her baby. She wanted that child to be a daughter, so a daughter she was. And she wanted her daughter to be a pro-abortion feminist, so she was.

Problem is, these assignations are just fancies. They are ways we humans can deal with the great tragedies of our lives. We make up stories that help us live through dreadful things, like losing a child, even when we have chosen to lose that child ourselves. Or, let’s face it, to murder that child. When you are at the point of assigning a child a sex and have decided how you would have raised it – the child is real, no matter what you choose to do to make your life more convenient. Worse, the child is real to you personally, in a way that does not allow you to deny that you are committing murder when you abort it.

We all like to think our children will do just as we teach them. Sadly, the reality is that they usually don’t. That is why we don’t hold the parents of a child legally accountable when that child goes terribly wrong and becomes a mass-murderer or a politician. Ms. Josephine, in her poem, fancies that her daughter (also a fancy) would have been all for Josephine’s aborting of her – because Josephine would have died for the daughter’s right to choose, too.

I would have made sure I was a good mother to look up to. But I would have supported her right to choose. To choose a life for herself, a path for herself. I would have died for that right, just like she died for mine. I’m sorry, but you came at the wrong time.

What Josephine does not seem to understand is that when a woman aborts a daughter, only one woman gets the right to choose. The other one dies.

The Boysenberry Effect

One thing that mystifies conservatives is the utter rage with which pundits and ordinary followers alike attack conservative women and minorities. We were not prepared, none of us, for the daily Two-Minute Hate that greeted Sarah Palin when she became our vice presidential candidate.

Apparently, she was supposed to be a pretty, empty-headed Republican Stepford wife. Instead, she was charming and snarky, beautifully feminine but stronger and more fit than most men, a successful businesswoman and politician who also had raised four children and was starting on a fifth with special needs. She did not fit the box within which liberals prefer women to be confined.

Oh, you hadn’t noticed the box? Strange thing I’ve noticed about liberals: they categorize people within rigid boxes. There’s the Republican Rich Guy box, which includes all wealthy and some nonwealthy Republicans. There’s the Crazy Libertarian box, with the guy smoking pot but also wearing a tinfoil hat. There’s the Gun Nut box, the Welfare Mother box, the Generous Liberal Philanthropist box, etc. There are hundreds of boxes, and for liberals to be comfortable you must be made to fit in one.

For example, an ultraliberal friend of mine expressed delight but also utter astonishment when my current husband proposed to me. You see, this friend had a particular viewpoint of him that did not allow for change or deviation. "I’ll have to construct another box to put him in!" he told me. He had put Clark in a rigid "selfish gamer dude" box that did not allow for him actually committing to marriage. Funny – after the box was broken, we didn’t see much of that friend anymore.

Liberals often don’t handle it well when people don’t fit their cardboard stereotypes. Women are supposed to be perpetual Mary Tyler Moores or Murphy Browns, Aunt Bees or struggling welfare moms. Women who "have it all" are not really part of the liberal paradigm, no matter how they might deny it. (Show me a strong wife, mom, and professional woman, and I’ll show you a woman conservatives, not liberals, admire.)

You see, deep down inside they don’t believe the things they say about women. They really don’t believe women are capable of having it all; often they don’t seem to believe women are capable of taking care of themselves. How else to explain the "Life of Julia" woman, spiritually married to Big Daddy Uncle Sam? Or the insistence of Democrats that a refusal to pay for birth control equates to a denial of birth control?

SOME women can handle it, of course – but most women? They shouldn’t bother their pretty heads about it – let Uncle Sam make those mean old men share what they have. After all, they didn’t build that. As for the women who CAN have it all or who give up part of what it means to be a woman in order to Advance The Cause: they should be our honored leaders.

We have two major boxes for women, according to liberals: we have the Strong Independent Woman box, where smart women capable of having it all reside. And we have the Poor Little Thing box for Julias, the women who just can’t quite do it, bless their hearts. But there’s one requirement for both boxes: they must believe in redistribution as the answer. The SIW must acknowledge the benefits of socialism as the key to her position, and she must proselytize "paying it forward" to other women – but in the form of other people’s money, not, you know, starting up a charity or something. The PLT woman must gratefully accept the handouts the SIW and her allies provide – by confiscating money and opportunities from others.

The patriarchy – men – must be made to pay. Not just with money, either.

Apparently, these days women aren’t supposed to make it on our own, as Mary Tyler Moore did. Instead, we require others to step aside so we can take their positions. Men, the reasoning goes, have had control of everything for too long. Hence, it is time for women to take their turns.

Well, that’s just silly. It works just fine in a classroom, where children are participating in a learning process that necessitates each having an opportunity to practice what they are learning. It also works fine in play, where children sharing facilities should all have a roughly equal chance to use them. But we’re talking about real life. In real life, if you share and step aside, you do not enhance excellence. Instead, you hinder advancement – progress, if you will. You are not moving things forward, but rather stagnating society.

Analogy warning.

Let’s say you are making a berry pie. You have several types of berry to choose from: strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, boysenberry. Of course you’re going to choose, not the berry you haven’t used as much, but the berry that looks best to you when you’re shopping for pie ingredients.

Now let’s say the store has decided boysenberry has been ignored for too long. They tell you either you must use an equal mix of berries or you must use boysenberries exclusively. Your pie’s probably not going to be as good, is it?

That’s what happens when you decide ONLY WOMEN should be considered, or women should have preferential treatment, or you must have a roughly equal ratio of men to women in your organization. Your talent pool shrinks. Now sometimes your boysenberries will be in season and excellent – but other times? Not so much.

In addition, when it goes on for a long time, boysenberry farmers find out they don’t have to put out the best berries they grow to sell them. They can, instead, put out Incredibly Average Berries. Or they can dump their worst berries on the market, or skimp on fertilizer to save money, or whatever. It doesn’t matter – they will sell those berries.

Same thing happens when you "level the playing field." No matter who you’re leveling it for, that group discovers they don’t have to work as hard to be hired. Businesses are harmed in the long run, because it makes them less efficient, and efficiency is profit. And since they’re less profitable, they pass more costs on to consumers, who are ultimately the ones who pay.

Now back to those boxes. When a woman breaks out of the box, like Sarah Palin did, she’s essentially spitting in the face of the system. She has told them hey, I don’t have to do it your way. I can do it MY way and do even better. Palin built a profitable family business and raised five children, had a very successful political career, and looked gorgeous while doing it. Conservative women from Nikki Haley to closeted-conservative novelists are doing the same thing.

How? They are breaking all the progressive rules: they are working hard, getting married and having children while married, eschewing most or all government support, becoming entrepreneurs. They don’t have abortions. They don’t sleep around. They don’t complain about patriarchy. They don’t ask for a handout.

They are not dependent on the feminist system.

In short, they’re just like successful women BEFORE feminism. It is true, unfortunately, that women for a very long time were held in second place by the government – restricted to varying degrees from voting, owning property, and inheritances. Despite these barriers, there are thousands of stories about widows and single women making their own lives and their own fortunes.

  • Louisa May Alcott supported her family by writing and selling books that became beloved classics.
  • Clara Barton pioneered nursing and hygienic medicine, then founded the Red Cross.
  • Elizabeth Blackwell became the first female doctor in America, then founded her own college to train women doctors.
  • Mary Baker Eddy founded Christian Science.
  • Harriet Tubman, born a SLAVE, led over three hundred blacks to freedom, was a spy and high-level military adviser in the Civil War, and spent her life helping freed slaves improve their own lives.

Not one of these women could ever vote legally in a federal election. All these women had to deal with a prejudiced society, a government that treated them as lesser, a workplace that wasn’t fair. And every single one of them changed our world, shaped our country.

Now today, I’m seeing a lot of female politicians and journalists and entertainers – but I’m not seeing a whole lot of female excellence in the vein of these historical ladies. I propose this is due to the Boysenberry Effect: women who are propped up and cared for by a sugar-daddy government and a coddling women’s rights movement never have to push that envelope. Women who COULD excel learn not only that they don’t have to, but also that if they do excel on their own, they are pulled down by the other crabs in the bucket. Sarah Palin – she was an escaping crab. Hence, she had to be destroyed. Other women watched and learned, whether they were the pullers or the pullees: independent success must be destroyed.

This is killing female excellence. We are all poorer for it.

Flash! Academics Discover Single-Parent Families Are Not Healthy for Children or Other Living Things

Conservatives of all stripes have been saying this for decades, but at last it seems that sociologists throughout academia can no longer ignore the evidence: children from single-parent homes, whether through divorced, deceased, or never-married parents, have worse overall outcomes than children from dual-parent homes – even dual-parent homes in which the parents do not get along. From an article in the Wall Street Journal by Robert Maranto and Michael Crouch:

Suppose a scientific conference on cancer prevention never addressed smoking, on the grounds that in a free society you can’t change private behavior, and anyway, maybe the statistical relationships between smoking and cancer are really caused by some other third variable. Wouldn’t some suspect that the scientists who raised these claims were driven by something—ideology, tobacco money—other than science?

Yet in the current discussions about increased inequality, few researchers, fewer reporters, and no one in the executive branch of government directly addresses what seems to be the strongest statistical correlate of inequality in the United States: the rise of single-parent families during the past half century.

Why do they use the smoking/cancer analogy? From the same article:

Abuse, behavioral problems and psychological issues of all kinds, such as developmental behavior problems or concentration issues, are less common for children of married couples than for cohabiting or single parents, according to a 2003 Centers for Disease Control study of children’s health. The causal pathways are about as clear as those from smoking to cancer.

The implication is stunning. Over a decade ago, the CDC cited single parenting – not the quality of the parent, but the fact of having only one parent present OR parents who cohabit rather than marry – as a clear and direct cause of serious behavioral and psychological problems in children, problems that are likely to affect the child for the rest of his life. Yet politicians, community spokespeople, and activists of all stripes have ignored this causative correlation to instead ask for handouts to treat the symptoms rather than looking at ways to eliminate the cause – symptoms like juvenile delinquency, poor academic outcomes, disruptive behavior in school that affects other children, and even early sexuality that leads to disease and pregnancy. Wouldn’t it be more sensible to look inward at ways to slow or stop the problem of single parenting, ways to encourage marriage and involved parents?

But then, that sensible suggestion assumes that the welfare of children is indeed the objective. Evidence suggests that secondary effects of the requested panaceas include more government jobs, large paychecks for activists, and increasingly safe jobs for teachers. Besides, politicians don’t like to tell anyone they are doing a Bad Thing for being irresponsible with their child’s welfare. It’s easier and safer to tell them that no, society failed them, Big Brother should care for them financially, and that women with children don’t need husbands.

That is complete bunk. I’ve been a single mom, and I’ve been a married mom. As a single mother, I struggled to finish college. I lost multiple excellent job opportunities that I know of because I had children – I don’t blame the employer, but rather praise them for understanding that my self-inflicted lifestyle would have made it impossible to do the job they needed done. I lost multiple jobs because I had to retrieve my children – one of whom is autistic – when they misbehaved in daycare or school. When I was home with my children, I was tired – but had no option but to wrangle multiple children by myself. When I cohabited, even with the father of my children, I saw little relief; for whatever reason, my partner was not interested in taking on much of the serious work around the house, including sharing bills, cleaning, and caring for children. While this is my story, I suspect it is not an uncommon one.

Contrast this with my life today. My husband embraced the role of father, even to my three boys who are not his biological children. He is a full partner in parenting as well as in my professional career, and we share responsibilities.  Just his presence and example turned my troublemakers around, transforming them from hard-to-control children with behavioral issues into the strong, moral young men they are becoming today. Our girls, who have never known a life without two parents, have no behavior problems at all.

I have to wonder what would change if only one percent of today’s single mothers were to marry. In today’s atmosphere, this is unlikely to happen. Maranto and Crouch give three reasons: first, that politics is less about what you’re for than what you’re against. Since conservatives have (naturally) embraced promotion of marriage as a solution for many societal problems, it’s unlikely that liberals want to be seen embracing the same common-sense answer, preferring instead to continue pursuing the same failed policies. Second, that because single parenting is disproportionately a problem within minority communities, politicians and academics fear being attacked as racist. And third, that promoting marriage is hard, requiring influential members of entertainment, political, and educational industries to work together in seeking ways to turn around the current tide.

Despite the seeming futility, promoting marriage is a goal worthy of pursuing. Every child deserves a mother and a father. Welfare is nothing more than a Band-Aid, trying to cover up a problem rooted deeply in the societal structure we’ve developed over two generations. Each year, it costs us more and does less. It is time to seek out a real solution, no matter how much it hurts or how long it takes. This is, after all, a problem that has developed over decades. There is no quick fix.

The Rule of Least Harm

A few days ago, I had a very good conversation with friends and strangers on Facebook. We had been debating – politely – whether or not abortion is wrong. I used a rationale I called the Rule of Least Harm: when faced with an uncertain situation, weigh the potential bad outcomes, and choose the one that does the least harm. In the case of a pregnancy, the two potential bad outcomes are harm or, rarely, death to a woman, and the death of a human being. It is clear that a woman’s desire to avoid nine months of discomfort (at whatever level) and the baby’s outright death are in no way equal. When the woman’s life is on the line, the equation changes, but overwhelmingly this is not the case.

This line of reasoning, I just recently learned, is commonly used in ethical vegetarianism as well – in most cases, the argument goes, your desire to eat an animal or wear its skin are outweighed by the animal’s need for its flesh and skin. (I wondered, after reading this, why so many ethical vegetarians are pro-choice; it’s as if they don’t really understand their own arguments. But whatever.)

Pro-choice people have gotten around this obvious argument by treating the baby (or potential human being, if you insist that it’s a fetus) as if it’s not a real human being but only a parasite. I will ignore the ethical-vegetarian counterargument that killing a parasite put there by your through your own choices is even worse than killing a pig for its bacon. Instead, I’ll go to a different point: by arguing that the “parasite” should simply be eliminated, pro-choice advocates are able to pretend that, once a woman has an abortion, it’s as if the baby – I’m sorry, developing human being – had never been.

But “as if” is simply a lie. It WAS there, and you chose to evict it, possibly in a most grotesque manner far less humane than the most primitive of animal slaughter techniques. Women have a real gift for identifying truth. It’s the source of so-called women’s intuition, a real-life built-in bullshit detector. And we know that, even if it is not now, a baby that rested in our wombs at any given point WAS.

I never understood the abortion issue until I had a miscarriage in July 2006. She* was a baby I wanted terribly – the daughter I wanted to cherish with my husband – and when I found I was pregnant I was ecstatic. When I was three months along, my husband was sent to a training program for new Navy technology; he’d be gone a month. Only a few days later, I started spotting and cramping. Within hours, I had lost the baby. It took me weeks to recover physically; I had lost a lot of blood.

I will never recover emotionally. I loved that baby as much as if I’d held her in my arms. Today, when I watch my two daughters born after I lost her, I can “see” the echo of the little girl who could never be playing with them, brushing their hair, singing and playing games. Women who have abortions know, just as I did, that the baby was real – even when they bury the truth, hide it from themselves. They will always regret the baby they never had, and some will regret it mightily.

And so I wrote Biscuit Boy, the tale of a little boy who would never be but who would always be, the child his mother aborted but who would live within her always – just as every baby, born and unborn, does with every mother. No matter how she denies it.

* I am certain someone will point out that at three months, you don’t know what the sex of your baby is. I have five children, and I knew the sex of every single one before the doctor did, and usually knew within a day that I was pregnant. Besides, as I told the gynecologist who foolishly pointed out there was no way to know if it had been a girl, “She can be anything I want now.”

A Man’s Right to Choose?

Fifty-five MILLION babies have been aborted in the United States since Roe v. Wade became the law of the land. Fifty-five MILLION human beings, a large percentage of whom were already moving and living, albeit in the womb. That means fifty-five million times, a woman decided to end what most Americans agree was a human life.

In each of these fifty-five million deaths, the baby did not have a choice about whether he or she should live or die.

But there is another forgotten voice in these deaths; whether he agreed or not with the mother’s decision, fifty-five million MEN were denied the right to choose to be a father. That means one person, in every single case, was given the right to make a choice that affected THREE people profoundly.

Here’s the truth: in most of these cases, the mother and the father both decided to have sex, often unprotected sex, which led to a natural, normal, and entirely predictable consequence: a human life was created. In every case where a human life is created, both the mother and the father also have an equal responsibility to nurture and care for that human life, and a financial responsibility to ensure the child is materially cared for. This is well-established in case law.

But the father is denied the right the mother has been given by law: the right to choose whether or not to bring that life into the world. Even if the man offers to take full responsibility for that child, allowing her to sign over all legal rights and responsibilities toward it, he still has absolutely no say in whether or not to abort that child. While she may take his feelings into consideration, she has the full right to make a decision that affects not just her life but his.

In cases where the mother’s life is not threatened, she was not impregnated through rape, and the father is willing to shoulder the entire responsibility of caring and providing for the child, why should she not be required to continue that pregnancy for the remaining months? There is no longer any shame attached to childbirth out of wedlock; today more than half of American children are already born to parents who are not married. Over seventy percent of black babies are born to unmarried mothers. Far from being shameful, it has become the norm.

So the mother should have say over her own body, argues Roe v. Wade. Should not the father likewise have say over HIS own body? Mother and father both made the same error in judgment that led to a baby’s conception. Up to this point, they are equally responsible. But if the mother chooses to bear the child to term – another choice the father can NOT make – he becomes financially responsible for that child until it reaches maturity. Eighteen years of child support surely matches, in hours, the amount of time a woman is required to carry the child under her heart until he is born.

Does it not make sense that the man should have an equal say in the effective enslavement of HIS labor that a woman has in hers?

If a woman has the right to choose not to be a mother, the man should have the right to choose not to be a father.

This is, of course, nonsensical, though it is logically consistent with the arguments in favor of unilateral abortion (that is, abortion where the mother alone has the right to choose). When a child is conceived, a mother and a father are also created. Both should live up to their respective responsibilities instead of shirking them. It is by taking responsibility for one’s errors that one becomes an adult. And it is by having a committed mother and father that emotionally and psychologically healthy children are created. When the dodging of these responsibilities becomes acceptable in a culture, it becomes a cancer on that society’s collective soul.

Feminism and Happiness

“. . . no one seems particularly interested in discussing whether or why women’s happiness might be declining. Rather, they appear to merely make sure that everyone knows that ‘feminism’ is not to blame and that McInnes is a Bad Person for criticizing it.”

This is from the very well-resourced Umlaut article “Is Feminism Making Women Less Happy?” which stands on its own. It’s worth taking the couple hours to follow up on all the links! In a nutshell, the author asserts that yes, the evidence indicates it might be, and that refusing to even recognize the question exists ensures the problem will persist, harming both feminism and women.

The reason for the unhappiness is both more simple and more complex than any of the links in the article argue. Women aren’t the same as men, not physiologically nor mentally. Different things make men and women happy. Even if that wasn’t true, men aren’t “happy” with soul-sucking cubicle jobs all the time either.

But men have a special secret weapon: they aren’t nurturers, they are providers. Men are, for the most part, best made happy when they are materially taking care of their responsibilities. That’s why men with the means prefer to pay for their dates instead of going dutch – it makes them feel “right.” And that’s why men have suffered through the most hellish, soul-sucking, dangerous jobs imaginable: it’s not their dream job playing in a rock band or play-testing top video games, but it feeds the family, even if it’s incredibly menial and meaningless.

The original women’s rights leaders, at least from the more modern wave of the 1960s, were not going to work in those cubicles or dishing out hash browns at the local diner, like most women who have jobs. They were, rather, scholars and activists, student lawyers and professionals. They had jobs that were not putting one screw on one bolt, or processing the hundred and fiftieth insurance policy application of the day. Their jobs meant something. And they were right: it’s stupid to lock talented people out just because they have a womb instead of a penis.

But to achieve their goal of being treated equally, they insisted that ALL women should take on the same desire: that all women should be able to work just like all men. And they apparently did not understand that most jobs are not those scholarly positions, but rather the dishing-out-hash-browns positions.

Now here’s the problem: women DO have wombs, and they DO have differently wired brains. They are physiologically and mentally primed to take care of social groups physically and emotionally – that’s why even single women with no families yet tend to have strong social groups with deep emotional connections. Guys love their friends, but they do not nurture their friends.

More, women need to exercise those strong nurturing desires, and not just for a few hours after work. Women working in those soul-sucking cubicle jobs yearn for their children, worry about their friends, and look for companionship, any companionship. That’s not a problem in some occupations: teaching, the medical professions, social work, and certain segments of legal, for instance, all provide ample opportunity on the job for women to nurture and care for others. Not surprisingly, those are the occupations with high concentrations of women.

But CEOs don’t nurture. Insurance claims adjusters often can’t have hearts. Accountants deal mostly with numbers, not people. Programmers work with code, not children. There are happy, fulfilled women in all those positions, of course – but they are not the norm. Each of these fields and positions is dominated by men, who are motivated primarily by material provision for the family.

Yet today’s women’s rights leaders push for women to be equally represented in these fields too. THAT IS DUMB. In order for women to be well-represented in these less-nurturing fields, one of two things must happen: you must allow every woman into those positions, regardless of her qualifications for them. That locks out men who are better qualified, disadvantaging any business or organization who hires all-female-comers. That means women in those positions achieve less overall than the men – and low achievement reflects poorly on all women in that field, reinforcing prejudices rather than deconstructing them.

The other way to have equal representation in these fields is to require women to go into them. That is self-evidently a bad idea.

The solution here is simple (and complex): first, stop bean counting! It doesn’t matter what sex your accountant is, as long as the work is done properly. And second, let our daughters and bright young women know they have the right to pursue happiness, in whatever shape it takes. Too many feminists condemn stay-at-home moms, and too many men STILL think women can’t be good engineers. They are both wrong. But you can’t force long-standing attitudes to change overnight, even with legislation. Instead, we need to teach our children to love others and judge them for their true qualities, not prejudices either feminism or tradition has saddled them with. It’s a long fight, but a good and worthy one.

 

Pro-Choice Feminist Men Don’t Speak For Me

Thanks, pro-choice dudes, for speaking for me. I don’t need you. I don’t want you. If you folks reject conservative men who speak up in pro-life causes just because they’re men, I categorically reject pro-choice men who speak up for feminism.

Men, even liberal, “sensitive” men, aren’t women. They don’t have female experiences, and they don’t know how women feel, any more than we understand the Instaboner or why your eyes always stray to cleavage.

So, yeah. It’s nice that you can hold a woman’s hand while she’s going through the trauma of abortion, and it’s just so chivalrous that you even pony up the cash to pay for it. You generous fellow, you.

But you know what? It’s just as likely that your “support” of her abortion is rapey. Yep, just as women can be pressured into sex and you men don’t even realize it, women can be pressured into abortion without you realizing it. Your love and generosity in her moment of crisis – that’s selfishness. That baby in her belly? It’s half yours. Try talking like maybe you wouldn’t mind being a dad, and I bet you her attitude will change fast.

But you don’t want that, do you? No, you’d rather be “feminist” and support her right to choose. Your carefully-couched neutrality on the subject, guaranteed to put no pressure on her either way – that’s interpreted correctly as your reluctance to man up and be a dad. Your immediate offer to pay for it – she correctly read that as you saying, “Oh, crap, that’s a PLUS?”

If she makes the decision to have an abortion, pal, that means you are morally absolved. You don’t have to take on the guilt of murdering your baby. Nope, she does that for you. She also takes the physical pain of the actual abortion, and she gets all the psychological aftermath. What, you didn’t think there’d be a psychological issue, that you could just terminate a child and not feel guilt or mourn its loss? Wrong! And you show me one abortion clinic that refers women out to grief counselors after she’s had a “procedure.” You won’t find a single one. See, it’s not in their best interests, either, to admit that women suffer mentally when they have abortions. Nope, they have to treat every woman as cookie-cutter alike, as if they’re removing the conscience and the mothering instinct as well as the baby.

So if you find yourself in the position of holding a woman’s hand while she weeps upon finding she’s pregnant with your baby, try thinking again about your reaction. It’s not giving or kind to offer to pay for the abortion. Instead, consider telling her that this is your problem too, and that if she has the child you’ll do everything you can to be as much of a dad to him or her as you can.

That, my lad, is being a man.

Better yet, keep it zipped until you’re with a woman you love enough to raise the baby with. If you can’t look at her and think, yeah, she’d be a great mom to my children too, then maybe you’re not ready to have sex with her. THAT is a pro-woman attitude I can respect.

Housework is work. Why don’t we value it?

For millenia, labor division was sex-based and crystal clear. Men mostly worked to create things or for wages: farming, blacksmithing, soldiering, trades. Women, once they were married, raised children and worked in the home, cooking and cleaning. It was the sensible division, since women prior to reliable prophylactics were very often limited by pregnancy or infant care in what they could do. Men, without the responsibility of direct care for babies, were more free to range away from the home.

There were women who produced things, clothing or household goods, medical products, and foods, or who took over their husbands’ work when he died or was disabled. But most women did work that was crucial for keeping the family fed and clothed and healthy. Why, though, is this work so undervalued? Why does the women’s rights movement seek primarily to free women from “drudgery,” instead of empowering them to take pride in this unpaid but oh-so-important role?

The answer is simple: labor economics.

Historical Background

Without technology, humans are limited in the amount of work they can do. A man can only plow so much field in the course of a day, and a woman can only plant so many vegetables. Even when the family’s children were pressed into service, there was a limit to how much they could do. The first solution for alleviating this limitation was slavery. A man could nearly double his plowable field area if he employed a slave to do more labor for him. A woman could get more housework done if she had a slave, too.

But the difference was in scalability. A man with a thousand slaves could run an immense estate efficiently, producing resources well in excess of what he could use. With this excess, he created wealth, which gave him power; through largess or trade, his excess wealth allowed him to lead groups or cities or countries. The wealthiest men often became kings.

A woman with a thousand slaves to help with her work, on the other hand, would have been hindered. While housework is hard work, it is not scalable. There is a limit to how much can be done, and when you have “help” beyond that limit, the help gets in the way and becomes a hindrance that consumes resources. Women, therefore, could measure their slaves in tens or less, and often found that daughters or daughters-in-law provided more than enough extra labor to run the home effectively. Only in household tasks that resulted in a product – dairy work, for instance – was extra labor efficiently scalable.

This set a historical pattern: men who controlled more men had power and continued working. Women who controlled more women had a limited amount of power, and were often able to become idle or to support their husbands’ powerbuilding in social or material ways. We see this today among the wealthy, where husbands work for high levels of resources while wives entertain or network, their seeming idleness often adding real value to their spouses’ work – but, as so often happens with women’s work, invisibly.

Today

Because of this pattern, women’s work has been historically devalued. Domestic workers are paid minimally for physically demanding tasks, and those we entrust with the care of our children often earn minimum wage. Part of this is due to the economic necessity of valuing labor in terms of money – resources generated. Jobs that generate more resources are generally more valued. Women’s work rarely generates resources, and therefore it’s devalued. Part, however, is just social habit.

The result, in terms of feminism, has been the wholesale rejection of traditional female values and work in favor of men’s values and work. For a couple of decades, women who chose to stay home and care for their families felt shamed by the women’s rights movement, as if they were failures as women. Even today, there are women’s rights activists who sneer at women who choose this path. Instead, women are encouraged to take on male roles, working for resources and building power in traditionally masculine ways.

This has a multitude of effects, not all of which can be seen yet. First, by devaluing women’s work, we are discouraging men from taking on those roles as women move into masculine roles. Women, as a result, have a few choices: do both their own traditional work AND work in a resource-generating career; hire help; do less domestic work and instead outsource some tasks, like cooking, to modern resources like restaurants or frozen prepared dinners; stay single; or take on the even-more-thankless-today position of traditional housewife.

Like dominos, these choices lead to more results. Women who work essentially double roles are less able to do either. Child-rearing suffers, and women are at a disadvantage compared to men in their professional positions. This is one of the main reasons, I think, that women often make less than men – because they are less able to take advantage of opportunities or work later, they are less likely to advance or earn collegiate respect. Add that to time taken off for childbearing or child care, and women are at distinct professional disadvantages not of anyone’s making.

Women who outsource cooking often eat less healthy; since the family generally eat what Mom brings in, the whole family tends to be less healthy. Women who outsource child-rearing are less involved in their children and more likely to have weaker maternal bonds – and I don’t care what studies say, this is an obvious truth. Women who outsource home cleaning have to spend resources they’ve earned to pay wages, and because of generally lower statuses at work, the resources they must spend are often a relatively high percentage of their incomes.  Women who stay single do not give us that next generation we depend on to carry our civilization forward and care for our elderly.

In short, by devaluing women’s work and encouraging women to be more like men, we’ve short-circuited our entire civilization. Many of the things that are breaking down today are due to the mismanagement of the women’s movement by people who did not think ahead.

I’m not saying women who work outside the home are bad; I was one of those women for years, and today much of my work in-home takes just as much time away from my domestic responsibilities as work outside the home would. What I am saying is that we need to reassess what we’re doing here. Women’s traditional work is much more valuable to all of us than we have been led to believe. We need to find ways to value it more as a society and as individuals.

The Democrats’ War on Women

The Democrats, in this election cycle, are claiming that the Republicans are waging a war on women. This is projection – the Democrats are in fact waging a war to enslave women to their own purposes and needs. Ideally, the Democrats want women to feel trapped into voting for them. In order to do this, they are using a number of very, very old tactics – the sorts of tactics that historically have always been used to entrap women.

Fear

The first and most obvious tactic is fear. Women are told to be afraid because government under the Republicans won’t be able to take care of them. They are told to not trust the men in their lives; men will fail them. The Republicans, they are told, will not protect them from violence; special legislation must be passed to ensure women are safe. Special legislation must be passed to ensure women are treated fairly and equitably in the workplace.  If we don’t legislate everything concerning women, this line of argument goes, women will be cheated by those lousy, stinking Republican men. Even women’s health, they are told, is something Republicans don’t care about.

Infantilization

The Democrats, in most of their arguments using fear, are also infantilizing women; that is, they are treating them as if they have to be cared for like children. Because women can’t control themselves sexually or protect themselves from situations where they might be sexually victimized, they must be provided with free contraceptives – so they won’t be “punished” with a baby. Because women don’t have a voice for themselves at work, they must have Daddy Government legislating equal pay. Obama’s Life of Julia is a perfect example of cradle-to-grave women’s infantilization – at every stage of her life, a female viewer is told, she must be protected and supported by government.

Notice there is no equivalent presentation to the Life of Julia designed for men. Why? Because men don’t need the kind of protection women do? Because men owe it to women to pay for their government services? I’m not sure, but the lack of a Life of John is certainly uncomfortable. Sorry, but I don’t need government services more than a guy does. Just because I have a uterus does not make me less capable.

Anyway.

Flattery

Men have used flattery on women to get what they want since words were invented. The Democrats have taken up that tactic and expanded on it. This is perhaps easier to illustrate than to describe. Here’s an example:

In an article for CNN, Jack Schlossberg makes the following statements: “[Lilly] Ledbetter, the face of the fight for women’s equality, reminded us all just how far we have come in the last four years. . . . my sisters would scoff if my work was ever called equal to theirs. . . .  Michelle Obama reminded Americans that her most important title is still ‘Mom in Chief.'” In her groundbreaking book The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan lambasted men putting women on a pedestal and adored by men. It led, she said, to women being viewed as something other than human. Schlossberg does precisely what she said not to do: flattered women for working harder than men, set “mom” above and beyond men, included men in the fight for women’s equality as if that feminine glory would rub off on them. It was naked flattery, and women should find it offensive rather than attractive.

Lies

Lies are the simplest form of manipulation. The Democrats tell women that the government will always be there for them, if they just ensure the Democrats always win. Sensible people look at the debt and our budget deficit and our downward-spiraling economy and say “Oh, really?” For some reason, however, women who plan to vote Democrat are not doing that. They are not questioning clearly-fallacious statements. They are instead blindly, faithfully following.

Love

Love was a surprisingly common word at the Democrat National Convention this year. Over and over, the speakers told women, “We love you!” True or not, it always has an emotional impact on women, and we are susceptible to manipulation when that word is used.

Sex

Perhaps the most stunning thing I saw at the party conventions this year was the spectacle of a dozen or so people, male and female, dressed up as giant pink vaginas at the RNC. I’m sure it was done to shock. I hope it was not a tacit admission that this is the only way Democrats see women – as walking, talking vaginas. Be that as it may:

This year’s Democrat National Convention was absolutely saturated with sex, even though it never was explicit about it. Women’s health has been reduced to whether or not they can get their hands on chemical birth control medications. Never mind that women are more likely to be obese and diabetic, that we are more susceptible to having brittle bones, we are more likely to have certain mental health issues like depression and eating disorders. No, apparently this year the Democrats decided that women’s health was all about sex.

But that’s because sex makes a fantastic argument tool. It is visceral and real. Everyone has an opinion about it, generally that it’s a good thing and we should have more of it without fear. It is closely associated with love and bonding. And it is a strong human drive, perhaps the strongest outside of fear.

God

At one point, women were the guardians of religious freedom. While ministers were mostly men, everyone understood that the church centered around women. Women organized fund-raisers. Women provided the volunteer labor that was critical to the church’s functioning, women made up the social networks, women motivated their families to attend church, and women determined whether a new church survived or failed.

No more. The Democrats have chosen to reject God, as was clearly evidenced by their vote against the inclusion of “God” in their platform (and yes, the moderator stated that the ayes had it – anyone with a half a brain could easily tell that the ayes did NOT have it.) Moreover, in the “fight” to ensure women’s contraception is paid for by their workplace insurance companies, the Democrats are telling women that they are more important than religion, and quite possibly that they are more important than God – if of course there is a God, which they by no means admit.

That goes right back to flattery and putting women on a pedestal. It’s the sort of argument women should never pay attention to.

***

Republicans, of course, are not innocent of using these tactics against women. Perhaps the most common argument used this year at the Republican National Convention was the glorification of women as mothers. Yet the Republicans treated women as sensible adults, and gave them a fair and equal voice at the convention. They did not assume women were incapable of caring for themselves, or of making appropriate decisions about budgeting for birth control. They did not put women on a pedestal for the most part (again, with the “mom” exception.) They did not use different arguments for women than they did for men, or for any other classification of people. Instead, they spoke to women as Americans, intelligent people capable of making a clear decision.

I didn’t see a single thing to make me think Republicans are waging a war against women.

What Is Conservative Feminism?

Feminism purports to speak for all women. Well, as it’s practiced today, it does not speak for me, nor does it speak for millions of strong conservative women. This blog is an attempt to bring some definition to the unique philosophy of strong conservative women. There are a number of topics I want to discuss here, and have others talk about. We have a great deal of unexplored ground to cover.

Let’s start with the following topics:

Feminist roots. Conservative feminism looks to the late Victorian feminists like Susan B. Anthony for our guidance, rather than to post-1960s feminists like Betty Friedan or Gloria Steinem. This blog will investigate some of that lost history and forgotten philosophy.

Family-centric rather than individual-centric. Conservative feminists acknowledge and embrace the importance of being a wife and mother, and expect men to likewise embrace their values of husband and father.

Dedicated to women having free choices in their futures. Whether a woman wants to be a housewife or POTUS, she should feel free to pursue that dream.

Acknowledgement that women cannot “do it all”. Women are not superbeings. When they try to have everything all at once, especially without a plan, some aspect or aspects of their lives will necessarily suffer. When we fail at “doing it all,” we should never feel like failures.

Self-limitation of our sexuality. Women have been told our sexuality is just like a man’s. It isn’t. Our sex is wrapped much more tightly to a sense of security, and we are uniquely vulnerable to being controlled through sex even while we think we are in charge. This is perhaps the most critical and most delicate issue conservative feminism needs to address, and I will be doing a lot of addressing and studying of it.

Rejection of the concept of abortion as a simple choice. It is not. Having an abortion may have serious mental health consequences, partly because it is a rejection and betrayal of our self-value as protector of children. Not having one may be equally destructive, as it takes away a portion of our freedom to be autonomous. The best choice lies in learning to appropriately take charge of our sexuality in a post-birth control society.

Recognition that men are different — and vive le difference!! They communicate differently, they bond differently, and they think differently. Conservative feminists love men for their masculinity and do not seek to transform them into girly-men. Embracing our role as the ultimate protectors of our children. We bear them and rear them, children of both sexes. It is part of our subconscious self-image that we are the mothers and nurturers.

Sisterhood. Women around the world need help. Western conservative women are uniquely qualified to provide them solidarity.

Recognizing and taking control of our power — as consumers, as sexual beings, as the family’s core. Men, businesses, and governments should never be able to hijack our personal power.

All these topics are valid issues we as women, and as conservatives, should be discussing frankly and openly. We are not, except for a few exceptional women. Let’s sit down, have some coffee, and chat among ourselves. Let’s also keep it positive and look for solutions, not gripe about problems.

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