"There is difference and there is power. And who holds the power decides the meaning of the difference." --June Jordan

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A slippery slope, indeed.

Talk about your oxymorons. Enjoy these juicy tidbits from some seemingly contradictory organizations:

Republican Majority for Choice:
We support the protection of reproductive rights, including the full range of reproductive options. We believe that personal and medical decisions are best made between a woman, her doctor and her family and out of the hands of government. We are deeply concerned with direction of our Party if it continues to endorse a social agenda that is both intrusive and alienating. Our Party is naively discounting its mainstream members for those who represent the extreme right and believe it is their way or no way. These obstinate tactics will ensure one thing - the inevitable erosion of the Republican Party to minority status.

We are working with moderate and conservative members of Congress to promote measures that all Republicans can support, such as positive family planning initiatives, instead of pushing irresponsible laws that actually worsen our social problems. Republicans must demonstrate that they are compassionate problem-solvers, not finger-pointing naysayers.

Democrats for Life:
Democrats For Life of America applauds the Supreme Court for the landmark ruling that up held this ban. The decision closes the book on partial-birth abortions in America and finally puts this deplorable procedure in the history books where it belongs.

The Supreme Court's upholding of this ban is a step in the right direction; however, as indicated by these numbers, much still has to be done to protect the rights of the unborn. Democrats For Life of America renews its commitment to speak for those who can't speak for themselves. The more members we have, the louder our voice becomes. Join DFLA in our fight to ensure that women and their babies are protected!

Catholics for a Free Choice:
CFFC believes in and works toward the following principles:

*The right of individuals and couples to decide on when, whether and how they will form families;
*Women's and men's moral agency, which requires access to the full range of contraceptive choices, safe and legal abortion, pre- and post-natal care and adoption;
*Respect for and recognition of gay, lesbian, bi and
transgendered persons and relationships with all legal rights;
*Support and respect, including treatment, prevention and especially access to condoms, for people living with HIV/AIDS and those at risk;
*Freedom from all forms of intimate violence, including sexual abuse in the family, relationships and the church;
*Social and economic justice that ensures that no one is denied sexual or reproductive health services because they cannot afford them;
*Equality for and non-discrimination against women in government, civil society and all faith groups;
*Scientific and public policies that are determined by evidence-based research, democratic structures and the common good;
*The right of faith groups to participate in public policy formation and the responsibility of legislators to legislate without privileging sectarian religious beliefs.

Feminists for Life:
(excerpted from an Interview with author Frederica Mathewes-Green by FFLA President Rosemary Bottcher)

FMG: The single most important factor in how a woman feels about an unplanned pregnancy is the attitude of the baby's father. If he says, "I love you; I love our baby; I'll do anything to make this work," she is far less likely to choose abortion than if he declares, "I do not want this baby! You must have an abortion!"

RB: How can the former response be encouraged?

FMG: We can affirm and value the male instinct to protect his family. We can respect the man who exhibits character, strength and fidelity by accepting responsibility for the well-being of his mate and his children.

RB Uh-oh. Some feminists aren't going to like hearing talk about male and female instincts, or the need of women to be protected by men.

FMG: Feminist theory sometimes fails to describe reality. Biology has its own logic. Women have a primal bond with their children; were it not so, the human race could not survive. The fact is, human children are born very immature, and they require a great deal of care for a very long time before they are able to survive on their own. Most women want to provide this care, but they need the assistance of their mates, because it is an arduous task.

RB: So you think we need to be nicer to the guys?

FMG: Yes. Male-bashing was a lot of fun, but it's gotten out of hand. Our expectations of men with respect to relationships and responsibilities has plummeted to zero. Men have begun to believe it themselves. They feel powerless, useless and unwelcome. They are denied the pride and self-worth of being a good husband and father, of being noble!

RB: Are you suggesting that women marry the fathers of their children?

FMG: Yes! Children almost always fare better in a two-parent home. If we offer men a parental role that is urgently needed and respected, they may be moved to accept it.


Jeff Pollet said...

I think it would be interesting to trace the differences between thinking that pro-choice Republicans are oxymoronic versus the notion, given in a subsequent post, that there are many different kinds of feminisms.

An oversimplification on my part, but still a possibly relevant question: Perhaps there are many different kinds of republicans/Catholics/etc.?

And, more specifically, why are 'right-to-life feminists' perhaps not able to fit in under the larger umbrella of 'feminisms' discussed in the subsequent post, even if various, seemingly oppositional flavors of feminism (i.e. radical feminism and sex-positive feminism) exist within that umbrella.

My intuition is that "pro-life feminist" is something of an oxymoron, but it also seems to me that some, say, radical feminists would say that 'sex positive feminism' is an oxymoron, too...though I may be off base here.

Tracey said...

jeff: You're completely right about how these two posts compare to each other, although I was sort of meant to comment on how these groups SEEM to be oxymoronic because of the stereotypes surrounding political
and religious groups. I wanted to point out that I think it is neat (especially in the case of the pro-choice Catholic and Republican groups) that people don't necessarily fit into the tidy little boxes we tend to put them into.

I wouldn't go so far as to try to exclude "pro-life feminists" from feminism altogether, although I do have problems with the notion. Many would say it's impossible to be a "pro-life" feminist, but there are others who would say it's impossible to be a feminist without also being a socialist, based on the notion that capitalism is irreconcilable with feminism.

At any rate, thanks for your insightful comment, and for reading in the first place! Sorry it took me so long to notice it was here and to respond.

Jeff Pollet said...

No problem with the timing, Tracey. I understand how one comment can slip through the cracks.

Your subsequent example of no-feminism-without-socialism is a great example of a place where lots of self-identified feminists do want to draw a line, while lots of them don't.

Socialism is a tough row to hoe, though I definitely lean that direction. To illustrate the difficulty with a trite example, I had to buy an edition of the socialist worker that somebody offered up the other day. Y'know, they have to pay the printer and stuff too. Changing a system 'from within' is more complex than I can oftentimes understand...

Ok, I'm babbling.