I am a woman, proudly so. I believe women are as smart as men, as capable as men, and ought not be satisfied if considered otherwise. I am one of those who would love to see that last and greatest of glass ceilings broken.
I think there are a lot of smart women, and I want to hear what they think. I want to think about what I hear. I want the liberty, as men have, to consider things out loud. I want women to be free to think for themselves.
So, the question is this: who is oppressing me? Who is keeping me from all this thinking? Well, frankly, I have had a good go of it. I am well educated; I vote; and I felt free to choose whatever job I wanted. Sure, there has been this or that incident which has made me feel like some individual has a less than perfect grasp of the notion that a female is of the same human mettle as is a male, but I have also always had the confidence that this was a problematic individual, a buffoon, and his (or sometimes her) attitudes and behavior are the exception, not the rule.
As all of good will would acknowledge, any movement that attempts to restore the proper dignity to a maligned group of people, whatsoever their difference may be, embarks on a noble endeavor. But what happens when that goal is misunderstood or even highjacked? What happens when what begins with the dreamscape of betterment, equality, and advancement becomes enslavement not to a master, but rather to a mistress?
Why can’t women who want what is best for women talk about abortion? About whether reproductive rights ought to be absolute?
In public discussions, men have permission to disagree. Yet, in this era which was ushered in by feminists and is secured by the same, women are not allowed to disagree. If you do not buy into Women’s Rights as defined by the self -proclaimed authorities, you are an anathema, a betrayer of women, and shameful to women everywhere. You are not worth the effort civil discourse takes.
I don’t think I should be called a woman hater just because I want to think for myself; nor should I be defined out of the group that claims to “secure the social, legal and political equality of women” because I dare to do so. The claim that our current oppressor is the same as it was in yesteryear rings hollow. Feminism, or at least what feminism has become, is the suffocating factor. Today, what passes for feminism is de rigueur. So being, it has that all-enveloping, smothering effect that only the socially acceptable is able to achieve.
I hope, while the press is in a particularly introspective mode, it considers this question: are our current champions of women’s rights right for women?
Sometimes I wonder if my brothers and sisters of color have the same feelings: that somehow someone else has started to determine what is good for them rather than their being able to make their own choices, that their rights as individuals have been hijacked, and those very persons who claim to be the path to freedom are those who hold them captive.
Eileen is a graduate of Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, Calif. She has done graduate work in Theology and holds a Certification in Bioethics from the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia, Penn. Currently she is a member of the English faculty at Saint Agnes School in Saint Paul, Minn.
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