Pro-choice feminism is oppressing women
By ERIN ROCKENHAUS
Many people in the modern world believe that being a feminist and being pro-choice are synonymous.
To be a feminist, it seems, crucially rests on one's enjoyment of "reproductive freedom" and one's "right to decide what I do with my body." The radical feminists view those who are "anti-choice" as having their minds tragically imprisoned by the patriarchy.
However, when one examines the claims of modern feminism and their view of womanhood, a startling reality emerges — pro-abortion feminism is oppressing women.
Underlying the propaganda of this brand of feminism lies an often-unstated assumption — the idea that women need abortion in order to attain equality with men. What this is really implying is that the design of a woman's body and her reproductive ability must be "corrected" in order for her to "compete with men." She has to conspire to kill another in order for her to succeed and/or prosper according to the standards historically set by men.
In other words, historically, men have valued wealth, power and prestige, and the feminist movement has appropriated these values instead of feminizing the value structure. Because of this, a woman must artificially "correct" her body so that it imitates a man's body. The subtle message is that her body is not good enough in its design! Wait a minute. I thought I was essentially equal to a man. Why do I have to invade and manipulate my body in order to be equal?
Even more, this "correction" is violent. Therefore, a woman must do violence to her body (and another's!) to "succeed." This artificial, violent invasion to "correct the problem" injures her both psychologically and physically. Moreover, the reality of this violence penetrates her mind for years.
Society, with the urging of radical feminists, has abandoned women. Instead of doing what is hard by holding the fathers and the society that abandoned the mother accountable, we force her in both subtle and direct ways to kill her child. This is not uplifting women. Indeed, abortion shrugs off responsibility to the mother and child.
Some pro-choice advocates call abortion a "tragedy" and want to it to be "rare" (Planned Parenthood Federation motto). If abortion is a fundamental human right (according to the National Organization for Women), then why is it a tragedy? It is either a positive good or a negative evil — not both. The cold, hard truth is that no woman wants an abortion. Socio-economic pressures, social stigmas and men force them into it. Modern feminism does nothing about the first cause, exacerbates the second ("Oh, you're one of those `stay-at-home' mothers …") and plays right into the hands of the third.
True feminism would uplift and promote every aspect of womanhood, especially motherhood. In a truly feminist world, mothers would hold the highest places in society and be honored along with doctors, lawyers and businesspeople. Such a society would promote and defend women as they fulfill their vocation as the givers and guardians of life.
Erin Rockenhaus is a sophomore ALPP/ philosophy major. The Right to Life column appears every other Tuesday.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.
All Viewpoint Stories for Tuesday, November 9, 1999