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FEMINISM: Vulnerable deserve protection

Letter by Ann I. Murphy, Federal Way on June 30, 2010 at 2:23 pm with 11 Comments »
July 1, 2010 9:14 am

Re: “Abortion action, not opinion, is the issue” (letter, 6-27).

The writer pitted the rights of fetuses against the rights of women and insisted that those who elevate the former over the latter are not “pro-women” and therefore not feminists.

However, attempting to circumscribe feminism to those who are pro-abortion is not only problematic, but historically inaccurate. Most notably, Susan B. Anthony called abortion “child murder.”

Because feminism has come to refer to both the philosophical idea of justice based on the equality of the sexes as well as to several waves of particular political movements, the term encompasses a fairly broad range of specific beliefs which are often contested within the general tradition.

Unfortunately, what gets lost in all the talk about whose rights are most important is the idea most fundamental to feminism – the elimination of injustice towards those who are oppressed and disadvantaged by those in dominate positions of power.

At the heart of the issue remains the question, “What type of society do we want to be?” Do we want to be the kind of society that devalues and oppresses the vulnerable and marginalized? Or do we want to be the type of society that works to remove exploitive structures?

I would suggest that extending respect and justice to the unborn would be congruent with the feminist ideal. Pitting mother against child is not.

Leave a comment Comments → 11
  1. Beautifully said Ms. Murphy, but I am afraid that young, indoctrinated “feminists” still fail to see what the original women were about.

    Thanks for your letter.

  2. The writer assumes that a fetus is a person. It an assumption that cannot be proved true and by definition is false. The rest of her argument becomes nonsense as a result.

  3. I remain utterly amazed at some folk’s refusal to acknowledge the presence of mystery in this life, the ineffable unknown.

    How is that you can speak with such certitude about whether or not a fetus is a person? To whom do you look as authority on the matter?

    Certitude is the mark of an earthbound intellect with a limited capacity for expansion. Ironically, it’s people like you pub who no doubt argued that the earth was flat.

  4. “sozo says:
    June 30, 2010 at 6:15 pm
    I remain utterly amazed at some folk’s refusal to acknowledge the presence of mystery in this life, the ineffable unknown.

    How is that you can speak with such certitude about whether or not a fetus is a person? To whom do you look as authority on the matter?

    Certitude is the mark of an earthbound intellect with a limited capacity for expansion. Ironically, it’s people like you pub who no doubt argued that the earth was flat.”
    You may be amazed, but that is your shortcoming. Example only: when was the last time a fetus took a breath like a person would? There are more in case you have doubts.

  5. Murigen says:

    Being pro-choice or anti-choice is not putting mother against child…it’s putting woman against woman. Something patriarchal society has been doing quite well for eons.

  6. I saw a great bumper sticker the other day, it read: “Condoms are easier to change than diapers.” Too bad we don’t hear as much about how to prevent unwanted pregnancies as we do this constant battle between the prochoice and antiabortion people. If people were more educated about prevention methods and those methods were more readily available so pregnancies could be prevented in the first place there would be very little need for abortions. I guess fighting each other is more fun than getting together to do something about the problem.

  7. I recall once many years ago when a young woman was attempting to convince me of the need for abortion rights. Once we had discussed the truly difficult cases…rape, incest, etc. I asked her (she was in her 20’s) if she knew anyone who had used abortion as “birth control” and she said yes but it had been their only choice. Really? I asked. How about the old tried and true choice to abstain from sex?

    You’d have thought I suggested that she and her friends drink anti-freeze. Surely I didn’t expect anyone to exercise restraint or self-denial. Heaven forbid!

    In my personal opinion, and it’s my personal opinion, this culture, saturated with messages of self-gratification and hedonism, gives teens the message that sex is pure recreation, the funnest thing ever! — and one needn’t worry about the unwanted consequence of pregnancy because there are legal ways to “take care of it” — IT being the unwanted baby, of course.

    Mind you, there’s part of me that’s glad babies are not born into these lives, but a bigger part of me says that’s not my call to make, but God’s alone. For those of you who don’t believe in God, or have concocted your own God to fit your value system, this will have no meaning, so you needn’t bother reacting to it.

    For many however, life is actually more than ME in pursuit of MY happiness.

  8. murphtall says:

    i just wish breeders would take care of their own. Why do they get tax breaks when they use more resources? shouldn’t the person or couple without a child, using less public resources, be getting the tax break?

  9. Well said, jwm.

    But, some people just like to argue.

  10. “more educated about prevention methods and those methods were more readily available” ???

    How much more education and prevention methods do you need? Good grief.
    How about free sterilization?

  11. Exactly mijmai, the notion that increased education in this area is going to change anything at this point is about as realistic as thinking that educating kids about drugs prevents them from using them or educating folks about arterial plaque is going to make them change their eating habits.

    Some folks yeah, mabye, but let’s actually be realistic about the fact that education is only one tiny part of making a dent in these problems.

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