“Now, we are becoming the men we wanted to marry. Once, women were trained to marry a doctor, not be one.” Gloria Steinem, Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions
“Suddenly, I began to wonder: If one in three or four American women had an abortion at some time in her life–a common statistical estimate, even in those days of illegality– then why, WHY should this single surgical procedure be deemed a criminal act? Gloria Steinem, The Choices We Made: Twenty-Five Women and Men Speak Out About Abortion.
First of all, one in every three or four American women has NOT had an abortion. This is how statistics can be skewed. Many women who have had abortions have had more than one. In addition, it has also been shown that the statistics used were not reliable. (False! 1 in 3 Women Will NOT Have an Abortion in Her Lifetime, LifeNews.com, August 14, 2014.) So any attempt to portray abortion as a mundane, normal event in which one out of every three women has partaken is inaccurate.
Second, the idea that women must be have unfettered access to birth control in order to truly be successful has been a mantra for the traditional feminist movement since the 1960’s. “ [It is well settled that] women’s ability to provide for themselves and their health depends on maintaining maximum access to birth control.” (How important are women’s reproductive rights as a political issue for female voters in the US? Quora.com, July 7, 2014.)
According to “traditional” feminist thought (not to be confused with those wonderful pro-life feminists who are now filling our blogosphere), in order for a woman to be able to work and provide for herself, she must be able to use chemical or obstructive contraceptives and have unlimited access to abortion. In short, she must be able to make herself infertile and be able to walk away from her offspring. Hmmm. So, women must deny, they must suppress, they must incapacitate that uniquely female part of themselves in order truly to be a successful . . . female. Something seems amiss here. It sounds sort of manly.
A liberated woman, of course, should be free to choose when she wants to have sex. No patriarchal system of morals should be used to suppress a woman’s natural desires. Again, a quote from Ms. Steinem says it succinctly: “A liberated woman is one who has sex before marriage and a job after.” (Gloria Steinem quotes, Goodreads.com) So she should be free to sow….er, be free to allow a man to sow his wild oats with her (speaking heterosexually here) before marriage, and then work at a job outside the home afterwards. Sounds even more like a man, and sort of a sexist man at that.
When sex is freed from child-bearing, then sexual satisfaction becomes the focus. And with chemical or obstructive contraceptives, unprotected sex increases. It is no surprise, therefore, that the Center for Disease Control, in their most recent study, reports that the rate of increase only from 2012 to 2013 was as follows: Chlamydia-1.5% increase (1, 401, 906 cases reported in 2013), Syphilis (primary and secondary) – 10% increase (congenital) -4% increase; Gonorrhea remained stable (only 333,004 cases reported in 2013). What is most frightful, however, is that the CDC study for 2013 showed women were more severely impacted by the increase in STD’s. “[Y]oung women face the most serious long-term health consequences. It is estimated that undiagnosed STDs cause 24,000 women to become infertile each year.”
Interestingly, most “traditional” feminists don’t want to talk about studies which show the dangers of the most popular contraceptives, i.e. the Pill, to women. In addition to the 72 independent studies which show that the long term administration of hormonal contraceptives increases the risk of breast cancer, and additional studies which demonstrate the increased risks for stroke, blood clots, and many other life-threatening health incidents (See, e.g., ThePillKills.org), there are new studies which indicate that oral contraceptives reduce and/or alter portions of a women’s brain and how it functions. In short, those studies show that portions of a women’s brain become more “masculinized” in thickness, size, and operation. In short, women’s brains become more “manly” in many ways. (Pletzer, B., and Kerschbaum, H., 50 Years of Hormonal Contraception—time to find out, what it does to our brain, Front Neurosci, v.8, 2014.) Many more in-depth studies have been called for because the implications for alterations in a woman’s brain could be catastrophic. “As the number of women using oral contraceptives constantly increases, while the age of first contraceptive use constantly decreases down to sensitive neuroplastic periods during puberty, the associated changes in personality and social behavior imply significant consequences for society.” (Id. See also here.)
But perhaps this has been the intent all along: to make women more like men so that they can be truly free. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, once wrote:
“No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her own body. What effect will birth control have upon women’s moral development? It will break her bonds. It will free her to understand the cravings and the soul needs of herself and other women. It will enable her to develop her love-nature separate from and independent of her maternal nature. Through sex, mankind may attain the great spiritual illumination which will transform the world, and which will light up the only path to earthly paradise.” (Sanger, M., Women and the New Race, 179-180. Emphasis added.)
As we can see, what has really happened was the denigration of women (and men) into mere objects to be used for others’ sexual pleasure. Their identity as whole women (and men) is fragmented. Compare that to the following writing by Pope Benedict.
“Eros, reduced to pure “sex”, has become a commodity, a mere thing to be bought or sold, or rather, [woman and] man [themselves] become a commodity . . . Here we are actually dealing with the debasement of the human body: no longer is it integrated into our overall existential freedom, no longer is it a vital expression of our whole being, but it is more or less relegated to the purely biological sphere.” (#5)
St. Pope John Paul II makes the further point that if we see ourselves as purely fulfilling biological needs separate from the unitive and creative nature of love, then we are no better than animals who only have instinct, and must necessarily view other humans as utilitarian objects which we can use to fulfill those needs. “If I accept the utilitarian premise, I must see myself as a subject desirous of as many experiences with a positive affective charge as possible, and at the same time, as an object which may be called upon to provide such experiences to others.” (Love and Responsibility). In short, women and men only value one another for the pleasure or “use” derived from them. This is precisely what Margaret Sanger proudly and perversely describes in her quote. Sex becomes nothing more than a form of recreation and entertainment which uses one or another body as a “tool” for pleasure.
This leads me to ask: Women, what have we done to ourselves? We thought we had become “liberated” but instead, we have “been screwed” (both physically and metaphorically) by society’s concept of liberation. We didn’t need any misogynist, chauvinistic man to do it: We did it to ourselves! Society has convinced us that we should take these chemical cocktails in order to be our true selves, to be the free woman, the total woman that we were meant to be. But look at us! 1 in 8 of us will get breast cancer. The number of us who will get STD’s is rapidly growing. Our divorce rate has increased. And the permanent damage done to our fertility, our bodies, and our psyche has sky-rocketed. We have basically been sold the lie that by denying our womanhood, we will become more like the woman we ought to be, and we are paying with our lives.