I read an article from my favorite magazine last week that really angered me.
After a comment made by Hillary Clinton on The View, the article’s author posed the question: Can women be both feminist and pro-life?
The author’s stated conclusion was yes and no.
But the article’s answer was no. You are one or the other-no inbetween.
However, this is false. So, so false.
The article makes many references to the definition of feminism, anti-feminism, pro-life and pro-choice, yet I never noticed the presence of actual definitions for any of these terms.
Feminism, by definition via Merriam-Webster, stands as”the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.” Dictionary.com defines feminism as “
Pro-life is defined as “
Pro-choice, via Merriam-Webster, is “believing that pregnant women should have the right to choose to have an abortion.” Dictionary.com defines pro-choice as “
A true definition of anti-feminism cannot be found on Dictionary.com no Merriam-Webster, but The Free Dictionary defines it as “characterized by ideas or behavior reflecting a disbelief in the economic, political, and social equality of the sexes.”
The author of the article in question seems to have muddied her definitions of each of these terms. Her assumption is that to be a feminist, one must also be pro-choice. How can you believe in equality for women and men, yet deny women reproductive choices?
But feminism isn’t, by definition, allowing women freedom from consequences of their actions. It isn’t, by definition, giving women free reign to abort at any point throughout their pregnancy.
It is, by definition, ensuring that women and their male coworkers are being paid equally. It is, by definition, seeing to the destruction of the sex slave trade. It is, by definition, desiring to end domestic violence, whether men or women are the victims of each case.
Feminism is not creating a floor of eggshells for men to walk on around women. It is not placing women in a superior light, just as racism is not placing a minority race in a superior light. It is not making the perceived “least” become the most. It is constructing equality.
I believe in equality, and I believe in feminism. I don’t agree with any notion that women are incapable of doing anything men can do. I believe that we, women, are strong and capable of anything we set our minds to. And I believe the same for men. We, as humans, are capable of so much-usually more than we believe of ourselves.
Men and women are created differently; there are biological differences that are undeniable. We are built with different physical, psychological and emotional qualities. These things cannot be denied. Yet, these variants don’t mean we are unequal.
Our differences do not mean we cannot achieve equal successes or that we cannot fail equally. Our differences do not make one sex superior to the other, though for a long time this truth has been lost to many. There can be no validation found in an argument for men over women or vice versa. We are equal.
That being said, we are equal. All of us. From ages measured in days and weeks to the oldest age ever recorded, we are equal.
That is the cry of feminism.
We all deserve the absolute best we can attain in this physical world, and because we have all been created equal, we can make it happen. And for those who are caught in areas of the world where they cannot work their way up and out, we who have the ability to do so must make it our mission to see to their liberation, freedom and equality.
That is the cry of feminism.
Life itself makes us equal, which is where the pro-life argument enters.
How can we argue for equality when we deny life in its earliest stages?
How is it possible that we associate whether a person has a chance to live with a woman’s personal choice?
The most fundamental human right is life itself. How can we believe in equality for all humans-all races, all sexes, all nationalities, all cultures-yet still deny this basic right to those without say?
I understand that mistakes happen. I know that hindsight is 20/20, that we wouldn’t make the same decisions, that we would take more precautions, had we known what the consequences would be. I also understand that some people just aren’t ready to be parents, to be responsible for another human’s life.
But 1) it is part of life to deal with consequences for every decision we make, good or bad; 2) deciding to end a life is taking responsibility for a life.
Disclaimer: I am not condemning anyone who may be reading and has made the decision to abort pregnancy. Not at all. God’s abounding grace is sufficient for you and you are not the mistakes you have made. If he can redeem me, he can redeem you, too.
We have allowed this “feminist” movement, this “equality” movement, to become a way for us to escape responsibility for our actions. We aren’t fighting for equality right now, we’re fighting for carelessness, and it will not stand.
This will anger some “feminists,” but it’s time we man up and realize we are women, and we are strong-strong enough to endure the consequences of our actions. We are strong enough to live out the equality we believe in and fight for. We are strong enough to surpass the ‘option’ of abortion, to bring a child to term, and to do what is most beneficial for all.
I am a feminist. I am pro-life. I am a human rights activist. But not in the sense this world fights for. I am these things by definition. I am these things because life’s most simple truth is human equality, plain and simple.