Sunday, March 13, 2011

Hannah Mudge's Faith and feminism: my manifesto


Every year I am just one of thousands of women who descend on London for the Million Women Rise march, which protests violence against women worldwide. Photo from here.


Like many of you, I had a lot of strong feelings about Courtney's post on feminism earlier last year. I was one of the women who was straight in there, hammering out my concerns into that comment box and worrying about the implications that someone saying they don't believe in equality could have. When Courtney wrote 'equality has never done any good for me' I have to admit my heart sank. I thought about it for pretty much the rest of the day. I blogged about the problematic nature of the privileged saying that they don't believe in equality. I ended up clicking back to that blog post over and over to check how the comment thread was progressing, what my fellow C Jane readers were discussing.
I am a Christian woman and I believe in gender equality. I use the word 'feminist' to define myself and it's a word that is incredibly important to me. We all know that it's a word which has many negative connotations associated with it - connotations often promoted by the very people and systems of power that feminists have fought for an end to. And it's a complicated word, not just for those who are anti-feminist, but also for those who believe in equality but claim identities such as 'womanist' instead. Or for those who see the varying factions of the women's movement and worry that they can't work together for the common good. Just this year, for example, the 'conservative feminism' of Sarah Palin and her 'mama grizzlies' has hit a raw nerve with many a blogger, journalist and activist. The numerous articles speak for themselves.

Since that post I've actually really enjoyed Courtney's other writings on the subject. I loved what she had to say about the power and potential of women, the importance of sisterhood and the diversity of femininity in what was effectively her follow-up post (because femininity for every woman is not makeup and shoes and cupcakes and this is important). And I enjoyed her more recent post of musings on Mormon women and feminism because I really do agree that conversations on gender issues are something that is so vital - and I affirm what she said about gender roles at home. So much so, in fact, that she asked me if I'd like to write a guest post about religious women and feminism - and why the movement means a lot to some of us.

Now I only speak for myself in this post, but I know a fair few religious feminists of varying faiths. We blend our politics and our belief systems even though a lot of people don't like it. Part of the backlash against feminism and the way society sees the movement means that my fellow Christians are often more than slightly uncomfortable with my political views. Very often they think of all the old stereotypes of 'man haters' and 'women who want to destroy the family' and 'women who want to rule over men'. It's telling that 'women who want to dominate men' is such a worry, yet men receiving preferential treatment is so ingrained that many people don't care about it, even though both are quite clearly described in Genesis as a negative effect of the Fall, which skewed God's plan for men and women.

It sometimes comes as a surprise to the religious people I know when I talk to them about the fact that the majority of feminists have nothing against men and children. I don't know any feminists who look down on stay-at-home mothers or women who have large families. I don't know any who want to make men subservient and obsolete. Where's the equality in that? Again, it's a case of unpleasant old stereotypes maintaining a hold on peoples' perceptions. It's much closer to the truth to say that we simply want women to be able to exercise choice over these sorts of decisions about their lives and that women should not have to look a certain way, dress a certain way or lead a certain sort of life in order to feel validated as a female. Freedom to have a job, or not. To have five children - or no children. To do whatever they want with gender roles in their relationships and their household. All with support and respect. Many of the old stereotypes came out of the feminism of the 1960s and 70s and it's important to remember here just why the activists back then were so angry - often, they did not have those choices and the impact it had on their wellbeing was devastating. The movement has always had its flaws, but I hold the women who have gone before me and made a difference to my life today in such high esteem.

I've been blogging for two years now and have written numerous posts about my faith and my feminism and how the two come together. For me, part of this is about dispelling the myths for many of my acquaintances who exist on one side or the other; the feminists and the Christians, existing separately and suspiciously. When I started out trying to reconcile my faith with my feminism, I hit some difficult times along the way, because I knew how I felt about equality and the rights of women but I worried that my religion didn't support this. Everywhere I looked I saw conservative religious anti-feminist blogs and books about submitting to my husband's headship and arguments about whether women could take on leadership positions in the church (more often than not, the answer was "no"). I struggled for a long time because I loved God but at the same time my heart ached for women the world over who are treated as lesser beings because of their gender and denied respect, rights and fairness. I didn't feel called to lead a church or start a ministry but I wanted those women who do to have their gifts accepted as amazing and God-given rather than a sign of a 'rebellious spirit'.

So what changed? Well, I heard some life-changing talks by some amazing women at a conference I attended. I joined a church which takes an egalitarian approach to gender. I completed a theology course about men and women in the Bible, learning a great deal along the way. I had a lot of talks with my husband and I came away feeling more affirmed, more at peace, more secure. I'd once felt that I had to fit into a restrictive little box in order to be a Christian woman, one which didn't have room for my gifts and my personality. This was no longer the case. A couple of months ago I presented a short talk on a favourite Bible verse to a group of young adults at my church - and that verse was one which affirms the equality of all in the eyes of God - no matter what their background, race and gender.

But despite this, I still feel there is great need for feminism - and the work done by feminists - in our world. I know that at the heart of God's plan in creation and the message of Jesus, men and women are equal partners and all able to exercise their gifts. But Jesus's teachings were first put into practice in a patriarchal society and patriarchal societies have twisted God's truths for centuries in order to maintain the rule of men. We see this in teachings of the early church which blamed women for all sin and branded them disgusting and unholy. We see this today when some religious groups teach that women should not attend college or have a job, or can only hear God through their father or husband.

Both inside and outside church communities we see the effect that misogyny has on society. Domestic violence, sexual abuse, workplace discrimination, lack of access to education, female infanticide, rape as a weapon of war, women bearing the brunt of poverty. It's easy for some to exist inside their middle-class, privileged bubbles and think "Things are good here. My husband loves and respects me; I got an education, I have a decent job. Feminism's achieved its aims. What more do we need?"

Except it hasn't achieved its aims and it hasn't gone far enough. We're only really somewhere near the beginning. Aims achieved for those who were already fortunate, while everyone else has a long way to go - and yes, this applies to women in the church. I am not just a blogger but also an activist and this has really brought it home. I see this when I attend Reclaim the Night marches, which demonstrate against rape and assault and unsafe streets. I see this when I attend the annual Million Women Rise march in London, which raises awareness of worldwide violence against women. I see it when I attend conferences and listen to the horrendous experiences of my sisters who have yet to experience what equality is. They're not content with the hand life has dealt them so far and neither am I because I believe God is full of anger for injustice, for abuse and for the broken. He loves His children but this does not excuse the acts of abuse, control and violence perpetrated by men of God - against women and children of God.

As a woman of faith feminism is also important to me because it affirms that women are created very differently, with different strengths, interests and outlooks on life. I do feel that some religious teachings can make women feel as if they're in a very restricted little box, one where there's only room for women who look and act a certain way. Those who don't 'fit the mold' are sometimes subject to condemnation, particularly by more conservative or extremist groups. And it's not just women who fall victim to this. Restrictive teachings on gender roles hurt men too - and every time I think about this I'm reminded of the well-known poem by Nancy R Smith, entitled 'For Every Woman'. It ends:

"For every woman who takes a step toward her own liberation, there is a man who finds the way to freedom has been made a little easier."

For me this is a really important part of my feminism and I know it is for many other religious women - men and women able to live just as God has made them, not having to adhere to certain gender stereotypes and perform certain 'roles' in life in order to live out God's plan for them. Feminism serves an important purpose in showing that the man who wants to be a stay-at-home dad, the woman who is happy to be single and the girl who loves sports and spaceships over pink and princesses should be free to be the person they were created to be. Courtney has touched on this in a few posts, if I remember rightly, both through talking about her own life and about life in general.

That's why it's important to me and to many other women who call themselves feminists, that conversations and activism surrounding gender issues have a place in religion. To me it's okay if not every woman wants to be an activist or read the books or lobby politicians. But it is important for all of us to build each other up rather than bring each other down, support diversity rather than fear it and believe that being on an equal footing - socially, spiritually, politically and economically - is our right. Jesus believed in equality but sadly, His followers don't always follow His example. His heart was for the last, the least and the lost - and to me that includes women who are still, over two thousand years later, being treated as lesser beings because they were born female.



Hannah Mudge is a 26-year-old woman living in the east of England. She is a practising Christian, a blogger and an activist passionate about feminism, left-wing politics and critiquing the media. Hannah trained as a newspaper journalist and worked as a reporter for a while but now works in publishing. She has been married to Luke, who is actually her high school boyfriend, since 2007. In what little spare time she has, she enjoys reading, cooking, running, learning new things, travel and procrastinating online. You can read her blog, We Mixed Our Drinks or follow her as @boudledidge on Twitter.

89 comments:

Amy said...

I think this was beautifully written and a nice insight into an obviously misunderstood branch of thought.

However, you did not touch on the one thing that I feel leaves many Christian woman from jumping on board, and that is abortion. I feel like I only hear "feminism" when it comes to the efforts made by feminists to support a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy.

And no matter how much I may agree with much of what feminists want, I can't help but see feminism as a dirty word because of the way I associate it with the death of millions of unborn babies.

And I can't help but feel that maybe you glossed over this on purpose since it is such a hot button issue. Or maybe I just missed the reference as I was reading.

And I am aware that there are many Christian woman (including LDS woman) who have support legalized abortion. But this, I believe, is the divide. And perhaps one too big to be bridged. No matter the remaining good intentions of feminists as a whole.

Lisa B. said...

C.Jane, this is why I think you are great: because you made space for this voice on your blog.

Hannah: right on. Very well said!

virtual.jess said...

Thank you, Hannah. It's nice to know I'm not alone here.
(And thanks Cjane for letting her share!)

lookitsbrooke said...

Bravo. :)

Samantha said...

Cjane - I admire your strong faith and enjoy reading about your dedication to your church and family, which is why I am disappointed to see a post from someone who does not uphold her Christian beliefs when it comes to "reproductive rights." The Christian faith is fundamentally built upon the inherent dignity and value of every human life, and supporting abortion could not be more contradictory to the Christian faith. A quick glance through the archives of Ms. Mudge's blog reveals little respect for the unborn - an issue that I would expect to be treated with much more sanctity on your blog. I admire anyone who believes in the advancement of women around the world - but women deserve BETTER than abortion!

UK Yankee said...

I am one of the privileged, I guess - I have a college education, my husband loves and respects me, and we have always been free to make the right choices for our family.

I will always support the rights and freedoms of those who are mistreated, abused, and discriminated against, regardless of gender.

I'm going to be honest, I don't call myself a 'feminist' because of the negative connotations associated with that term. It's unfortunate, because I think feminists have done so much good in the past to achieve real results in equality and justice. It just seems that today, feminism means anti-men, and I'm afraid that's still the impression I come away with no matter how many blogs and articles I read about new feminism and gender equality.

I know that deep down we're all working towards a common cause. I hope one day in the future we can unite in our efforts to spread our Savior's love for all his children.

Sarah Jane said...

Speak it, sister! That's how I would've responded if I were half as good of writer. Thank you!

Deborah said...

Feminism has in many ways done good but in many ways has destroyed the family. We (women) work, raise kids, keep house, run around and we are TIRED!!!!!

It's not ALL what they say it is or would BE! Our kids are suffering in many ways...I see it more and more as I get older!

I am not against what you wrote but I am starting to see it differently!

Shelly said...

Thank you for the post. I found it refreshing and affirming, a great way to start a Sunday.

Barb @ getupandplay said...

Hannah, this resonated with me in many ways. I am a faithful member of my church (LDS) yet also call myself a feminist. You should see some of the looks I get, particularly from women a few generations older than I am. The label of "feminist" has definitely been tarnished by some until it has a negative connotation.

I also was so touched by your reminder that as a woman of privilege (it feels weird to write that, even though I know it's true in a world wide perspective) it's easy for me to forget how far the world still needs to go in treating women with respect and equality (or sadly, in some parts of the world, even humanely).

Thanks for a wonderful guest post, Hannah, and for an interesting forum, C. Jane.

perkiwindy said...

I liked it... I liked the following paragraph...:

"Freedom to have a job, or not. To have five children - or no children. To do whatever they want with gender roles in their relationships and their household. All with support and respect. Many of the old stereotypes came out of the feminism of the 1960s and 70s and it's important to remember here just why the activists back then were so angry - often, they did not have those choices and the impact it had on their wellbeing was devastating. The movement has always had its flaws, but I hold the women who have gone before me and made a difference to my life today in such high esteem."

It is also easy to forget about women in other countries (sometimes our own), who live every day in fear or without control of their own bodies simply because they are female. To me THAT is what feminism should fight for. Thanks for the great post.

Shantel said...

I do agree with the need for women to lift each other. Women have so much power when bound together in purpose. However, I dont look to the world's idea of what freedom is for a woman. I look to God for that. He has designated and ordained the role a woman has, and it is only through obediance to that role that she achives her most powerful influence on generations of people. That role is individual and is hammered out in your personal relationship with the Savior. We have recieved revelation on this from a living Prophet of God. This can help guide us as we search for that meaning in our lives personally that will allow us to become our most powerful selves. Freedom is not about having choice, freedom is about living your true potential and becoming who you were meant to be.

rachelshoots said...

Outstanding essay, Hannah. I really enjoyed it. I, too, was bothered when Courtney wrote "Equality hasn't done anything for me." I felt she didn't see the forest for the trees.

LisaFisa said...

One of the worst examples I think of regarding this topic is Afganistan under Taliban rule. in the name of God/Allah, that small group of fundamentalist extremists have stripped a whole country of women of basic rights to exist not only as women, but as humans. So heart-wrenchingly sad.

My *faaaaaaaaavorite* person who tirelessly and intelligently works for educating and lifting women and girls up is Greg Mortenson (Three Cups of Tea/Stones to Schools). His work in both Afganistan and Pakistan in building schools for girls is finally giving them choice and hope in their lives.

I recall President Obama saying that the true indicator of a healthy society can be determined by how it treats its girls and women.

Thank you, great post!

Elizabeth Dean said...

Hannah- I loved your piece. I'm working on a PhD in gender history and whenever I hear people argue about the naturalness of gender division and hierarchy I just ask them if it is so natural why does it change throughout history? If it was natural wouldn't it be unchanging?

One thing I find that when people, especially women, want to argue that they are not feminists I see that as much as they disdain the label they enjoy the priviledges feminists fought for. Have your own credit card? Thank a feminist. Want to get a loan without your husband or father's permission? Thanks a femininst for that too. Most American women don't hesitate to exercise their right to vote but few recognize that this right is less than 100 years old and thousands of women had to demand it during a World War in order to get the message across.

Vesuvius At Home said...

I am so happy for this post! I so agree with you. If we can't see the need for feminism in our own lives, perhaps we can see it in the lives of women in Afghanistan and Iraq, all over the world, who can't go to school or own property or who might be killed for failing to please their fathers and brothers.

This is what a feminist looks like. I am a mother of two, a writer, a woman who loves science-fiction tv shows and occasionally reads romance novels. For five years I was a stay-at-home mother. Now I work from home. I have an amazing husband. I am a child of God and I am what a feminist looks like!

Lee said...

When men & women realize that we can not succeed without the benefits of the other is when equality will take place. Why are we looking at a mans role as greater then a women's. That is a fault of our own. When we can realize our role is of significance and quit questioning if it is significant to a mans is when equality can take place on our part. Men our strong, women are strong and beautiful. :)

Sara K.S. Hanks said...

This is tremendous. Thank you so much for writing this, Hannah, and thanks also for posting it, C. Jane. This encapsulates an amazing number of things that I believe as a feminist women of faith. As cheesy as it sounds, I really did need to read this today. It's helping me contextualize some disappointing church experiences. Lo and behold, I might actually WANT to go to church today. Thank you both, again.

dalene said...

I love this.

As long as I continue to read about little girls in Cleveland being gang raped, women and girls disappearing by the hundreds in Juarez and oh so many other injustices against young girls and women all over the world, I will continue to add my voice to yours: there is a need for feminism and for feminist voices.

Thank you for sharing yours.

arajane said...

Love.

Anonymous said...

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
~George Santayana

Too many people spend too little time researching the histories of the feminist and labor movements. They are so focused on the here and now that they forget the freedoms that those two movements have given both men and women. If religious people would spend as much time studying those subjects as they spend in church, I truly believe they'd demonstrate more support for ideologies that benefit them each and every day, in ways they may have never considered. Equality is not a four-letter word.

I am a feminist and I am proud to be one.

JennyX said...

I am a Mormon and a feminist. Thank you for putting into words so much of what I believe on this issue. I declared myself a Mormon feminist in college and sixteen years later, I still call myself this. And yes, I am married, active in my church, and have 5 wonderful children. I like your point that many wonderful things have happened for women over the past several decades, but there is still so much violence and negativity put on women because of their sex.

emily said...

i am really happy to see this post. i am currently getting my master's degree in women's studies and like c.jane, i am mormon. since the beginning of my degree, i have felt marginalized because i am a feminist and mormon and also because i am mormon and a feminist.
something that is really important to me through all this is that feminism is very different for everyone. it's up to one's own interpretation and also functions differently for people. this i had to swallow really hard when sarah palin and her grizzlies were building their brand of feminism.
i do agree that it's important for everyone-anyone to look beyond what is the "norm" and realize that gender roles don't have to remain the same. there is nothing wrong with stay-at-home-dads like you said or women who want to be single or having a huge family. or women who want to be a stay-at-home-mother and love it. everyone is different. and that's what i hope people remember- they need to do what works for them and not necessarily what society expects of them as a "woman" or a "man"

p.s. when i first started my degree, a mormon guy asked me if in my classes we just sit around and "man bash." i was glad to clear it up for him that we did nothing of the sort- but more and more people need to realize that...
thanks again.

lori said...

I so loved this post. Thank you CJane for offering up a variety of points of view and opening doors to discussion. This is a fantastic post. I get so disheartened when I read comments from young women actually blaming feminism for society's woes. My friend who is in the Canadian military said of our presence in Afghanistan: "we are there to keep women safe - so that young girls can walk to school without getting acid thrown on them." While we Western women fare better than our sisters in other parts of the world, there is still much work to be done of gender equality. Thanks again Cjane and Hannah for this thought provoking discussion of faith and feminism.

VRH said...

Thank you so much for a genuinely lovely post. These are the reasons I am a feminist, and they are also some of the reasons I am Mormon. Because of my feminism, I have hope for a world and a church that allow men and women to reach their full potential. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

it is bothersome that women choose not to call themsleves feminists because of the negative connotations...like, would you not call yourself a christian? you might have to take time explaining what kind of christian you are, sometimes, but to shun the word completely is more than avoiding a connotation. It is about not engaging in the discussion that needs to be had. As women we can be our own worst enemies, we need to pull together and not buckle under the idea of negative connotations - take time to figure out what you care about, what is worth talking about, what is worth being strong about.

Hannah Mudge said...

Amy - to be honest, including discussion about abortion didn't really cross my mind when I was writing the post! It is a major issue as far as I'm concerned but it wasn't my intention to discuss it as part of this, nor did I intentionally gloss over it. I know it's such a sensitive issue and I most definitely believe that a woman should have the right to terminate a pregnancy in a safe and legal way.

For me, the problems caused by backstreet abortion, various other implications of being forced to continue a pregnancy and the many thousands of women who die each year because of unsafe attempts at terminating pregnancy mean that I will always be pro-choice. I think it is a major barrier to many women identifying with feminists and much more so in the US than here in the UK, where abortion is not such a sensitive issue. But it's such a huge issue that it would need a post of its own!

Clare said...

I try to discipline myself not just to read to reinforce my own opinions, but to read to see what the "other side" has to say.
I read your well written blog post, and then I clicked on your blog, and then I clicked the Abortion Rights website on your blog roll. And I read the "One girls Chilce article." And it illustrates EXACTLY why women as feminists pushing for abortion rights is hypocritical.

The "girl" in the story talks about how in the country she was volunteering in, she couldn't get adequete birth control, but seh really still felt like having sex (how are we gaining ground if we can't even make educated choices?), and so she did, with a condom and it broke and she got pregnant.
She got some over the counter meds a few weeks later (and if you have to have one, having one early on, I suppose would be the best way to go, but in our counrty you can hem and haw until 6 months along) and had an abortion. And she FEELS pretty good about her choice, even though she didn't enjoy it, just like she FELT like having sex, even though she wasn't prepared to deal with the biological consequence of having sex.
And all of her FEELINGS didn't add up to enough compassion to a life depending on her, a life, through her own actions, she created, that she wouldn't FEEL enough for him/her not to kill them.

Abortion should be there, safely and reliably for emergencies, rape, incest, health of the mother (including mental health), a baby that will not survive once born.
But in this country it is used as back up birth control. And no matter what the Abortion Rights people say, it is taken lightly, or people, like even Sherri Shephard (announced publicaly) on the View, would not have MULTIPLE abortions.
Maybe I am a feminist, as half of those babies are females. Maybe i am a feminist, as especially in my country, women, for the most part, can CHOOSE whether or not to have sex, and are smart enough to use readily available FREE birth control.
But since half of those babies are little boys, I think I'll call myself a Humanist-and tell you Miss Mudge, that if you want to make a REAL difference our there, support both sides of the aisle,men and women, and even the voiceless, helpless, dependant unborn, and don't just join the screeching call for woment to kill their unborn baby's whenever they FEEL like it.

trashera said...

"It's easy for some to exist inside their middle-class, privileged bubbles and think "Things are good here. My husband loves and respects me; I got an education, I have a decent job. Feminism's achieved its aims. What more do we need?""

i thought that was an excellent point. i'm glad that religion and politics mesh in a healthy, sensible way for you, and that you can speak from this vantage point.

it's so important that diverse women reclaim the word "feminist" so the world can see what a diverse, activist community exists. although i am not a christian, i very much enjoy this post because you are able to speak of your beliefs without shoving them down people's throats. that's refreshing.

right on, right on.

Caroline of Salsa Pie said...

I think what we all need to remember here is that some women in parts of this world do not have the luxury of being able to intellectualize this issue. They wish for equal rights and they fight for equal rights not only because they do not have them, but because they are brutally oppressed. THAT is what is at stake here and why so many of us feel so passionate about this issue.

Thank you Cjane for allowing voices to be heard here and thank you Hannah for a well thought out post.

Juli said...

I think it was Madeleine Albright who said "there is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women."

Rynell said...

I believe feminism is vital. Thank you for this post.

kasey said...

This is an excellent post! It really disappoints me to hear the first comment refering to abortion and dismissing being a feminist because of abortion.

I personally don't think I could ever terminate a pregnancy, but I've never been in the situation. So while I'm not "for" abortion, I am most definitely fearful of men making laws telling women what is best for us, and making rules for us. It should be up to the woman whether she chooses to or not - that is what feminism is about. Some feminists may be completely opposed to abortion and some may support it. Either way, the point is that we as women should be able to decide what is best for us in our situation.

melinda said...

Well said, the effort to emphasize the commonality of righteous desire and need is especially appreciated.

I ache for all women who feel any constraint on living who they are and limit upon who they can be, especially those victim to the horror of all spectrums of abuse. Being a 'middle-class American', I humbly recognize the blessings and privilege of my birth and upbringing, including growing up in a society that generally (if in varying ways) supports equality between men and women.

I admire Hannah's (and all others who faithfully join such a cause) passion and activism on behalf of women, especially abused and inferiorly treated, including those living in societies which degrade women. It is an important and necessary work. Thank you and keep it up!!

In our American society, though, there is a subtle, but pervasive plague which works to distort and destroy the precious equality so many, feminist and otherwise, have deeply sacrificed to establish…

The plague of pornography daily infects the heart of society with a vilely distorted and degrading attitude towards women… and men-- and their relationship with one another. The social acceptance of the casual, blatant, and pervasive display of and accessibility to pornography edges personal attitudes toward women (humanity, really) with a distressing devaluing perspective. The addiction to pornography is often the instigator of degrading abuse, neglect, and broken families. It is a great anti-feminist movement—anti-anything virtuous or good… a fight against this plague is also a worthy cause for faith-based feminism and society as a whole.

Thanks to all—Hannah, C.Jane, and so many amazing others- who fight for goodness and truth! You are an inspiration.

Bri!!! said...

I agree with a lot of what you shared, and I also think there are many different types of feminists. I do not call myself a feminist, I am a strong woman with many opinions and believe that women are powerful and certain rights are definitely worth fighting for. I do have to say I have felt judged by feminists because I believe being a mother is my greatest calling and I CHOOSE that over career etc. Here is a wonderful article that resonated with me. I completely agree with most of it and am saddened that a feminist mother destroyed her relationship with her daughter.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1021293/How-mothers-fanatical-feminist-views-tore-apart-daughter-The-Color-Purple-author.html

Ms.Carson said...

Well-written and important. C Jane thank you for sharing this other point of view.

Joishierose said...

Loved this article and how eloquently written it is.

Feminism is letting women have a choice in how they live their lives- so many women today all over the world, and even in this country, are not given a voice and a choice.

Education, freedom, skills, and health are all essential ways that women can choose. In being able to access these, women reap the benefits of feminists that have come before us.

Kristin said...

great post. I hope it doesn't devolve into an abortion argument.

Thanks to Courtney for bringing in guests who push the envelope and make us all think.

Kristin
feminist, mom, doctor, Christian

Anonymous said...

Meh. I don't care for feminism. I like my legs shaved. I like baking and cooking. I like staying home with my babies. I do what I want, and I choose do do those things. I'll bet my Heavenly Mother wasn't a feminist. Otherwise most of us wouldn't be here.

Ali said...

Lovely, lovely, lovely. Thank you Hahhah & CJane.

Andrea said...

Awesome. Amen.

Anonymous said...

As a woman, I just want to be paid the same for equal work as my male counterpart.

Shouldn't I get paid the same for the same work?

That is the reason I'm a feminist.

It makes me terribly, terribly sad that others have tarnished that word.

I just don't understand.

Anonymous said...

From Yankee UK: "I'm going to be honest, I don't call myself a 'feminist' because of the negative connotations associated with that term. It's unfortunate, because I think feminists have done so much good in the past to achieve real results in equality and justice."

What ARE the negative connotations?

Why NOT support our fellow sister? Why shouldn't I have the same rights as my husband, as my brother, as my father?

I celebrate the fact that Courtney of CJane is the main bread winner! And she is a mother of two, with one on the way!

It is thanks to women fighting for our rights before us, that Courtney is not looked down upon as a "working mom" and is doesn't have to ask for permission to work.

Celebrate how phenomenal it is to be me, a Mother, a wife, a woman.

I have dealt with my share of male bosses leering at me, and the days where women were only allowed to wear skirts in the office. I have been perceived as a threat by male counterparts for running the largest campaign and for just doing my work.

I am not a pirhana, a pariah, a bitch. I wish for the support to know that I don't have to carry this perception. I am a feminist. I want the same rights as my male counterparts.

I am simply a smart woman who likes to work hard and contribute. And I can. But like the famous quote from Ginger Rogers, that she did everything Fred did, but backward and in high heels.

Why not support fellow women.

Camille said...

Hannah,
Thanks for the few minutes of introspection I was able to have today while reading your post. I also read an interesting thought about the women in the life of Jesus Christ today. Particularly the story of Mary and Martha. It talked about how often the story is interpreted to come down hard on Martha for not being more like Mary and sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to him. Instead the point of the article was that Jesus had in his ministry used men to teach and lead his church but now he had issued an invitation to Mary to join him in these efforts, and was during the specific story of Mary and Martha issuing that same invitation to Martha that he had previously issued to Mary. I loved that thought. I love how Jesus loved and respected women and how the first person he came to when he was resurrected was a woman.
Thank you for your point of view, it made me more thankful for my chance to have the important choices you talked about and make me want to help others have them too.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting to me that people will say they are speaking out and standing up on behalf of abused women and children and at the same time support abortion- the ultimate disregard for human life.

Yes, Jesus taught love. He taught respect. He taught equality. Unborn babies included! (Women, the choice is to conceive or not to conceive. And don't try and tell me you support abortion because of rape because we all know that 95% of abortions are done for the "convenience" of the mother and not because of rape). And I am a survivor of rape, so if anyone knows about violence against women, I know first hand. Yes, it is ugly. But I don't buy the feminist rationale.

Francine said...

Well written, Hannah Mudge!

I'm not going to lie, I had to take a break from this blog after *that* post last year because I was SO upset by it. I really admire CJane for including this post on her blog.

It's a mistake to believe that we feminists think women have to be the same as men in order to be equal. We aren't equal because we're like men, we're equal because we're human beings. I love how you made this point.

And as a side note, I recently read a blog comment by someone who described herself as "anti-abortion, but pro-choice," which sums up the combination of my Christian(LDS) and Feminist sensibilities (and which is probably unsatisfactory to those who fully embrace either of those positions).

Thank you, Hannah! Thanks, CJane! I loved this one!

minta said...

I am LDS. I like a lot of what Hannah says. There is one thing I feel that is missing, though. Having children is something ONLY WOMEN CAN DO. It is also the greatest privilege, I believe, given to man or woman. So, to choose NOT to have children for any reason other than your health and safety is an outright dishonor to womanhood and God's plan. That is the greatest thing we can do in this life- raise children! I will respect others' opinions but won't back down that God meant for his daughters to be mothers. This isn't the only thing He meant for us to do, but it's the most important thing... Don't miss out!

Thanks for sharing!

Cristi said...

It's interesting that it is so important to some that they make certain that the title "feminist" is attached to them. I don't feel that way, although I do believe in equality of the sexes. But my ideas of equality have everything to do with my beliefs in a living prophet and inspired leaders who have a good understanding of the mind of God on the matter.

I like the titles "Daughter of God" and "Follower of Christ" much more than the title "feminist." It's unfortunate that in saying they don't identify with the title "feminist", women are attacked by other women, of all people! We'll get a lot further in enjoying equality when we work together rather than fussing and fighting, don't you think?

Hannah Mudge said...

Anon who talked about liking babies and cooking - it's a shame that you feel these things stop you from identifying with feminists and what we believe in, because I don't think they have to. Stereotyping like that does no good to anyone.

Anonymous said...

I have many thoughts that I would love to write, and maybe will tomorrow, but I only have a minute here so I have to keep it short.

I want to express my appreciation for everything Hannah has written. In my very secular community (20-something, mostly childless, university educated, liberal-identifying Vancouverites), many arguments that get put forward (about a whole range of topics) are simply dismissed if they come from a religious point of view. This is particularly obvious in the abortion debate. I am agnostic, but I do feel that abortion is taken too lightly by some people. A person does not have to be religious to value life. That being said, I am pro-choice to my core (because the state can not control a woman's body), but I also think that some women who have abortions are not aware of what the process actually entails. However, if I was to express my opinion that women perhaps need to be better educated on the procedure and on what a fetus actually is at different stages of development, so that they can make better-informed choices, my predominantly atheist friends would slam me for letting the religious right brainwash me. There needs to be more open-mindedness on both sides - fewer outrageous comparisons between women who terminate pregnancies and Hitler (like the Genocide Awareness Project does) and a willingness on the pro-choice side to consider things such as that many women regret abortions after the fact, and the helplessness of fathers who frequently have zero say in the matter, in addition to just what a fetus really is.

I didn't originally intend to bring abortion in to this, so I will leave it at that. I just wanted to use it as an example of a situation where there can be a major disconnect between the secular members of Western society and the religious members of that same society. I know that many of my friends would argue that religion oppresses women. Religious institutions certainly have and do oppress women throughout history and around the world, but as many of the Christians (Mormon and otherwise) that I have listened to in the comments on this blog would testify to, faith does not have to be oppressive at all, and clearly many women find it empowering.

So what I am trying to say is thank you to Hannah for speaking up and being a loud voice that explains that faith and feminism can and do work together.

(If that was my short response, I can only imagine what my long response would have been...)

Rachel in Vancouver

Demanding Democracy in Tahrir said...

Thank you. As a Mormon feminist I was troubled by the C. Jane's initial post also--not just that day but for days thereafter. It felt like a kick in the stomach. This was not because I don't embrace her right to perceive gender this way. But it was a reminder to me that my views on feminism are not embraced by most people who share my faith, and took me back to a painful time in university when I wondered if there was any room for me in this church, my church. Seeing this manifesto this morning is like a healing hug. Thank you very much Hannah and C. Jane.

Stephanie said...

Love this. Thank you to both CJane & Hannah.

Stephanie, a Christian feminist attorney who hopes to one day be mother to adopted babies

Anonymous said...

Hannah although I believe you come from a good place I'm just not sure you have enough experience and wisdom to convince me you even fully understand what it is your trying to preach. A lot of what you articulated sounded like canned commentary heard over the soapbox pulpit of a university classroom. As a Christian I absolutely believe that Satan perverts the ways of the Lord. And while the feminist movement has done a lot for equality in the US and other developed nations I know it has been used to do a great deal of damage to women and the sanctity of marriage and families. As children of God we are created in his image and have a divine nature and destiny. We absolutely need to fight to protect Gods children around the world so they can fulfill the measure of their creation but I'm afraid the feminists are not the ones to follow in accomplishing this.

Anonymous said...

I just feel sad that any woman today still struggles with feeling equal. I am 41 year old and have never felt unequal and can't comprehend the struggle. It's weird to me. And surely men abuse woman and that is terrible, but no less terrible and how women often treat each other. It's a human rights thing for me. Woman or man, let's treat each other better!

Lisa said...

Thanks. This will give me a day's worth of good thoughts.

Jenn said...

Amen. Love.

mamagale said...

This was enlightening and offered helpful insight. I grew up in the 70's and watched the feminists of that era highjack the cause and turn it into man-hating, baby-killing ugliness. I come from a long line of strong women who made their own way--and did it without throwing the baby out with the bathwater-- so I didn't feel the need to attach myself to a group that went against everything I held dear. I took a lot of ridicule from women when I chose to have a family and stay at home to raise them. I found it odd that they were all about women having choices but deemed my choice invalid. My home was also filled with latch-key children who were abandoned by their moms so they could have a career. It was obvious to me that we really can't "have it all"; we actually have to set aside our pride and selfishness and make tough choices that might involve sacrifice. That has been done by good women AND men from the beginning of time.

Hannah Mudge said...

Anon who questioned my 'experience and wisdom'...fair enough, that's your opinion. But as for enabling God's children to fulfil the measure of their creation - I think you'll find that's something which is very important to us.

Thank you to everyone for your kind and supportive responses, though. Very much appreciated :)

Fresh Hell, Texas said...

Fantastic. Thank you for sharing.

Kacy said...

Right on, Hannah Mudge.

The O'Briens said...

Hannah, very well said! I myself am a Christian woman (of the Mormon faith) who whole heartedly proclaims myself to be a feminist. For those of you who appreciated Hannah's comments on the negative connotations that accompany the word "feminist" and the reasons behind this problem, you must read the book "Who Stole Feminism?: How Women Have Betrayed Women" By: Christina Hoff-Sommers

Cassie S. said...

This post was wonderful, thank you. Thanks for giving a voice to a modern, moderate form of feminism, the kind people can stop being so afraid of.

Jen said...

Bravo for this spot on assessment. I have had this same conversation with women who are old and younger than myself (I'm mid 30's). The work is not done. Is it strange that I can agree with both Hannah and cjane? I don't think so. I've made peace with the my faith and the feminism in my own life. When I was going though my church's pre-marriage classes we had the whole discussion of the use of the word obey in vows. I initially chafed at that word. But I came to understand that I have a part (to obey) and my husband has a part (to honor) according to how we spoke the vows. There is nothing unequal if we are both doing our best for each other. I can give many other examples. However, outside my life or my experience, there are plenty of examples of no equality. Even where I work, there are people who would try to backtrack if there were not legal implications. The company has very good policies and practices but there are always individual people who will build themselves up by tearing someone else down. I think we still need feminism and human rights in general to counteract these issues.

Miss A said...

Courtney,

I started reading your blog because I enjoyed hearing spunky accounts of your own life. Lately, I've been a little bored with the new style (Best Vlog Week Ever and some of the other gimmicks). The guest posts are sometimes interesting, but don't take the place of substantive blogging from *you*.

As one might say at the end of a relationship, I feel we've been growing apart for some time and we have little in common anymore.

Regardless of whether or not I agree with the point of this article, I think featuring Hannah was a mistake. It's one thing to tackle controversial topics - I loved the (Gay) Mormon Guy who sticks to his beliefs despite the personal difficulty - but it's another to feature and thereby indirectly endorse someone who is pro-abortion. I get enough of liberal Christianity in my own life (I'm from California) - I don't need to hear the political thoughts from another person who feels that Christ does not abhor the murder of innocent children and the scarring of so many women's souls.

When you choose to feature a writer, you should know that you're also featuring their political agenda (especially by linking to their blog). I would hope you wouldn't want to legitimize the support of abortion in the church, but it sure seems like that's what's going on, whether you meant it or not.

UK Yankee said...

Anonymous March 13:

As I said in my original comment, "I will always support the rights and freedoms of those who are mistreated, abused, and discriminated against, regardless of gender."

I celebrate women who are able to make their own choices for the benefit of themselves and their families. I celebrate C. Jane's ability to work, as well as yours, and the progress made by feminists in the past that bless my life so richly.

I will always champion those who do not have a say, who are forced into situations they do not want to be in, or otherwise mistreated.

I will always champion women to be compensated equally to men for the same work.

I did not call you any of those names. I said, rather, that there were negative connotations to being called a feminist that I didn't wish to share.

What are they? Well, that feminists are anti-men, anti-family, and pro-individual regardless of the cost to others.

I've looked for a long time for a suitable definition for the word 'feminist', and near as I can tell, there are just as many definitions as there are women who chose to define themselves that way. (If I had found a definition that matched my beliefs on this I would have taken that label happily.)

You seemed to accuse me of not supporting women, when you couldn't be more wrong. But I choose (and I have that choice, as you said) not to associate myself with the word feminist. Rather, I choose to champion women and people who are oppressed and abused in my own way, and hope that my example leads to change.

Feminism is, it seems, a fragmented label attached to different women for different reasons. Until we're united as women to stand for right and against evil, I'll keep my own counsel and live my life according my own conscience.

dmarie said...

i enjoyed your post, hannah...and i agree with many of your views. i think there are many different definitions of "feminism", depending on where you live, your experience, etc. i feel fortunate because i am a woman who lives the life i choose...not one that has been thrust upon me. i appreciate the passion you bring to your activism...to bring that choice to all women. thank you, cjane...for sharing hannah's voice.

Lulea said...

Thank you for this blog post. I am thankful that as a single LDS woman in her mid-30, who got only a 5% on clerical aptitude, that I was able to go to engineering school instead of a more typical female occupation. Science and math suited my talents best. Back in the day that would not be possible and even now, at times, I received initial skepticism due to my sex. I am thankful that while I am still looking for my partner in life to raise a family with, I can do work that stretches me.

One last thing. Although I believe God in general thinks men and women work best together in specific family roles, I also believe in personal revelation that helps that family determine what is best for them as a family unit. And no one should question their path customized by God.

Anonymous said...

Why not support equal rights for women?

It doesn't matter if you're a stay at home mom or not. Why not want women who are working to earn the same pay as their male counterparts?

And why can't you be a Mom and a feminist?

I'm a feminist and a Mom. I want my two daughters to have the same rights as my son. Why not?

February Jill said...

Hannah,
I was right there with you until you said that we have the "right" to equal economic footing.
There are many types of equality that I agree people the world over deserve, but economic equality is not a right and societies that have attempted to redistribute wealth never work, and as a side note, rarely allow political equality either.

Not all things can be equal across the board. Sometimes, like in Jesus' teachings, the truth is priveleged, and that does lead to some inequalities. Even if it makes people uncomfortable to have such a hard line spiritually, there is a way that leads to salvation and there is another way that leads to death. It seems unfair, but it's still true.

The only way that all people are equal spiritually is in that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. But Jesus taught that there is only ONE way to the Father and that is through Him, Jesus. It is very exclusive, but true nonetheless.

The Feminist & The Physician said...

For quite some time now I have been an avid reader of this blog. I would like to use this post as an entry point for my first-ever comment.

I have a Master's degree in Women's Studies. I took my first Women's Studies class six years ago as an undergraduate. It was such an eye opening experience that I kept taking classes in the department and eventually declared myself a Women's Studies and English double major. The feminist movement (or movements, if you will) really resonated with me. I committed myself to finding ways to ensure equality and justice for all (women AND men).

I enjoyed reading Hannah's post. I found it to be a diplomatic response to a contentious (and personal) subject. I wish that I could speak so eloquently to the folks who routinely challenge me about my feminist status.

And Courtney, I find your blog so amazing and refreshing. It is one of the first things I read in the morning (after NPR and the BBC). Blogging may be hard, but you make it look easy.

Mimi and Tilly said...

Thank you for this post.

I've found it very interesting to read readers' responses to it.

The fact that we as women are discussing feminism, sharing views and supporting each other is very inspiring. This is what feminism is about I believe. The ability for each woman to express herself freely, with respect, and to choose what she believes in and how she wants to express those beliefs in her life, through her life-choices.

Feminism is not about "man-hating" it is about "woman-loving", which is an entirely different thing.

I believe it is very lazy thinking to dismiss feminism as man-hating, and to align all women who believe in feminism with pro-abortionists. Feminism is about valuing, loving and respecting women.

Jennifer said...

I'm genuinely curious to understand why a post about feminism devolves into equating feminism with supporting abortion. I'm not sure why a focus on human rights for women, everywhere in the world, becomes a code word for abortion.

It seems to me that many Christian denominations including Mormonism are interested in spreading the word of God and Christ across the planet. What I found inspiring about Hannah's post was a reminder, to those of us who live a life style almost unimaginable in other parts of the world, that not every woman in this world, has the freedom to make all kinds of choices and decisions in her life.

It bothers me to think that someone would dismiss the value of human rights for women because of a focus on abortion. We have become so polarized in this country and so angry at the idea that "other people" are "telling us" what to do or how to live our lives that we forget sometimes what a luxury it is to be even able to have the freedom to have these discussions.

I appreciate that Cjane introduced Hannah to her readers. My personal beliefs and faith are in the minority of many of the people who post comments on her blog. But I come here, at times, to learn more about those who hold beliefs that are so different than mine.

I will continue to read this blog and be grateful that Cjane is willing to invite other authors and to allow comments. Opening one's mind to other perspectives is an opportunity and I feel that she is providing her readers with a wonderful chance to learn something new about themselves and others.

Anonymous said...

How does someone call themselves a Christian and yet believes in the right to kill a child. It goes against the very word of God. People have to stop picking the bits and pieces of God's work that they like and ignoring things that they don't. God's word is eternal. You cannot force it to fit your views. People do have freedom and choices. God gives us that right, but sin is still sin and unrepentant sin comes with a consequence.
I am all for women being treated with honor, dignity and respect. I am for equal treatment and don't believe that women were ever meant as a "lesser" creation.
However, I do believe that it is the very feminist rhetoric that has lead to the breakdown of family and has brought this country to its current demise.

Hannah Mudge said...

Thank you, Jennifer, for pointing this out. It kind of saddens me that after I wrote a post about global issues affecting women, people have chosen to castigate me about an issue I did not even mention. To let one issue colour your opinion of those who have fought and still fight for gender equality and for a better life for women and girls is a mistake, whatever your opinion on abortion itself.

Anon following Jennifer: sin is sin, and something we all do. Furthermore, as a Christian (and yes I am one, sorry if that's not acceptable to you), I'm happy with my beliefs. God will judge me one day and I'm okay with that. People talk about picking and choosing bits of God's word but let's be honest, I think that applies to the majority of Christians.

Janet said...

So well said. The word "feminist" is totally misunderstood, I have even had my own struggles with using the word because of an ancient connotation.

Anonymous said...

Minta,

I am sick to my stomach about your comment that God meant for women to be mothers. It implies that the childless women aren't making a valid contribution to this world because we didn't choose to have children. Really?

Is every woman really cut out to be a mother? Are you kidding me? Have you ever walked through an inner city neighborhood? Have you seen what kinds of "mothers" some of these children have (addicted to drugs, abusive, in prison, etc.)? And what about the women who just aren't maternal and who have kids but then work 80 hours a week while someone else raises them? Should they have had children?

Our society would be a much better place if more women actually chose NOT to have kids. It's a huge and serious responsibility, and too many people don't take it seriously enough.

God may have meant for YOU to be a mom, but He didn't give ME a husband, so I guess I'll just keep carrying on with my insignificant little childless life.

michelle manning said...

I loved and appreciated this post. One of my female professors in college told us once, "if you want to spread feminism on the earth, spread the gospel of Jesus Christ." so true. If all of our sisters around the world KNEW that they are a literal daughter of God, AND were treated as such - then I feel the empowerment of women to love & value themselves as well as to have the power to choose the best life path for themselves could be accomplished.

Ru said...

You know, it must be kind of easy to have a mindset where feminist = abortionist. Because you know the flip side of that is non-feminist = rapist/sex trafficker. After all, you very rarely find feminist rapists or sex traffickers.

Oh wait - judging an entire group or movement based on one factor would be absurd. Never mind.

seeker said...

All I can say, is Amen, Hannah.

But like Amy, although I am a feminist in every other way you discussed, including believing that this is a CRITICAL discussion within religious circles, I cannot support abortion. And certainly not our culture of calling abortion a right, or dehumanizing the unborn with scientific labels.

That being said, I sometimes lose hope as I see the religious world -- be it Christian, Jewish, Muslim or whatever -- taking great strides backwards, moving away from full inclusion of women even in ways that were formerly the norm.

When I see women being cloistered behind walls, or behind veils and headcovering or behind walls, I cry. And when I see men who would never question having a female boss turning a blind eye to the discrimination against women in religion...I wonder if it will ever, ever, ever get better.

Anonymous said...

mamagale - love what you said. I don't feel the need to label myself as a "feminist" (and personally, wouldn't or wouldn't want to) to know that I have choices, power and worth. I don't think many women of yesterday who fought for our rights to be recognized as equals of men would agree with where the "feminists" of today have led their plight. "Feminists" can justify their "plight" all they like but to me it always sounds like selfishness these days. Sad that to be a "feminist" these days means to trample on the rights of others who were created carelessly. I personally don't know how any women can have a child, look at their child: a little person yet not recognize a life in a womb as the same. This is why label of "feminism" cannot be taken up by so many of us who equate it with utter disregard for human life and the consequences of their own actions.

Anonymous said...

hmmm. I wonder how many of the anti-choice commenters here actively support early sex education, including contraception information in our schools? How many want to make birth control affordable and accessible? How many want to make sure that the morning after pill is available throughout the country, not just in cities? {Because, contrary to what you may think, it is not an abortion pill}
And finally, how many children are you signing up to adopt when we outlaw abortion? Can I see a show of hands?

Jane AZ said...

I believe that almost every problem and downfall in our society can be traced back to the home and the lack of parental involvement, guidance and love in the home. Our prophet and apostles in the LDS church sent out a proclamation on the family to the world that states:
"We warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets."

For me that really puts into perspective the importance of families in our society - no matter what religion you are.

I appreciate those who faught for the rights that I enjoy as a woman today. But not all people can be lumped into one group with the same ideas, beliefs and intentions. Although "feminism" can (obviously from this dialogue alone) be defined in many ways let us not try to push our views on others, all in the name of feminism. I appreciate the opportunity to learn more about this subject. I don't appreciate those that try to make me feel bad for not wanting to be labeled as a feminist. Does that mean I want to live back in the time that women could not own property or vote? Of course not, but I do believe that women have an important role in society - the role of mother. That does not mean that all women everywhere should be mothers. I would not dare make such a general statement, just as I would not say that all women everywhere should be feminists. But I do think that while people are promoting divorce, college degrees, abortions and careers. There are children that need their mothers (and fathers - in the home). This can be done with a career or not. But too many children are forgotten and left along the sidelines as a casualty of war as the priority of time is given to other causes such as fighting for the rights of women.

My kids are my greatest masterpiece in life. They are my contribution to society. Loving them, teaching them, nurturing them and spending time with them is my way of giving back to the world. Studies have shown that most criminals /prisoners, came from broken homes.

LisaFisa said: "I recall President Obama saying that the true indicator of a healthy society can be determined by how it treats its girls and women."

Sadly, we should also be saying, the true indicator of a healthy society can be determined by how it treats children.

Someone posted this article below. And I have to say thank you, it was outstanding! It is from the perspective of the daughter of a popular feminist -who disagreed with the ideas that she had been taught by her mother her entire life that children will enslave you and women do not need men. As a result of growing up in this environment, she now believes that children deserve to have both parents in the home and has discovered the joys of motherhood. This resulted in her mother wishing to longer have any part in her life. Really?... For disagreeing! If this is what the current movement and cause of feminism is about, than I want nothing to do with it!

She says it best herself:

"Feminism has betrayed an entire generation of women into childlessness. It is devastating.
But far from taking responsibility for any of this, the leaders of the women's movement close ranks against anyone who dares to question them - as I have learned to my cost. I don't want to hurt my mother, but I cannot stay silent. I believe feminism is an experiment, and all experiments need to be assessed on their results. Then, when you see huge mistakes have been paid, you need to make alterations.
I hope that my mother and I will be reconciled one day. Tenzin deserves to have a grandmother. But I am just so relieved that my viewpoint is no longer so utterly coloured by my mother's.
I am my own woman and I have discovered what really matters - a happy family."

Read more here:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1021293/How-mothers-fanatical-feminist-views-tore-apart-daughter-The-Color-Purple-author.html

Anonymous said...

By early sex-ed, what exactly do you mean??? Pretty sure my grade school children are doing just fine without sex-ed, seeing as they haven't even hit puberty. If it were something that the children could opt out of and had to have parental permission to attend then I am all for it in Junior High/High School. I for one, have and will continue to teach my children on my own. But, I realize that not all children are fortunate enough to have a loving parent that realizes the importance of teaching them.
Although I'm fairly certain that those who get pregnant and choose to have an abortion, weren't planning to get pregnant-- they certainly are well aware of how babies are made. AND-- many teenagers who get pregnant admit to not using condoms because they don't like them. It's not like they don't know what could happen to them and how to prevent it. They just don't think it will happen to them.

So what you are saying is that because we don't have sex- ed early enough and birth control pills can be difficult for some to get... killing an innocent baby is perfectly acceptable?????????? But, if birth control were more accessible and we taught kids about sex earlier, it wouldn't be OK to kill a baby?

Great idea, how about our government stops contributing money towards paying for abortions and spends that money on birth control. I for one will teach my children abstinence and if one of them makes a mistake and gets pregnant I will advice them to give it up for adoption. When did killing become an option? And when did women become so hardened that we proclaim it is our "chose" to kill or not to kill a baby. What about the baby's chose. Who is speaking for the baby??

How can any women tolerate the killing of an innocent child?

I for one cannot understand how?? while the baby is in the womb it is legal to tear the baby apart limb by limb or give the mother medication that causes the baby to burn from the inside out and therefore be born dead. But if that same baby were to be born alive at that same gestation it would be considered murder. How can you reconcile that? Furthermore, it would be considered a double homicide if a pregnant women were to be murdered. So, only the mother herself can legally choose to murder her child????????????

And you think these young girls who choose abortion are not left feeling completely empty and guilty. WRONG? Many spend years in therapy. Some never forgive themselves. WHY? Because many of them allow themselves to be pressured into aborting the baby from parents, doctors, planned parenthood and they don't think about what will happen afterward. They think their lives will go back to normal, but often they do not. Choosing to murder an innocent baby leaves many young teens scarred for life.

I'm certain that there are a number of people who are on adoption waiting lists that would be more than happy to adopt someone's baby, rather than have them abort it.

And since you asked, I have four children already, but I would happily take more if it meant someone would give life to a child, rather than kill it. Newborns are snatched up. It's older children that we have a harder time placing.

Anonymous said...

If someone has a claim to a right to live, they better have some sort of independent life of their own. A fetus is only able to live because it is attached to the womb of the mother; therefore, any claim to a “right” to live must necessarily be at the expense of the woman. The same isn’t true of anyone else — at most, a person’s claim might entail support and help from the community at large. It would not, however, entail being hooked up to the circulatory system of another human.

Anonymous said...

"So what you are saying is that because we don't have sex- ed early enough and birth control pills can be difficult for some to get... killing an innocent baby is perfectly acceptable?????????? But, if birth control were more accessible and we taught kids about sex earlier, it wouldn't be OK to kill a baby?"

Uh, no. My point was this : if you are against abortion, I hope that you are actively supporting ways to reduce the likelihood of women and girls having unwanted pregnancies. { birth control, education, yadda, yadda.} Reduce that number and you will reduce the number of abortions performed in this country.

This isn't an issue in a vacuum - as much as you may be against abortion, if the practice ceased to be legal today we would still have just as many girls and women with unwanted pregnancies. That is what we need to address and this can be a common goal for all of us, regardless of stance.

Often times, the 'pro-life' politician is supportive of measures that would reduce the availability of birth control and family planning education, or outlaw emergency contraception. I would love to see more activism towards ways to reduce the number of abortions.

By early sex ed, I mean age appropriate health information. While I applaud that you are "all for it" in Jr High/High School, if we wait that long, it is already too late. We cannot teach abstinence only sex education.

And, I don't remember my initial comment having anything about
"these young girls who choose abortion" "not left feeling completely empty and guilty".

Anonymous said...

"Meh. I don't care for feminism. I like my legs shaved. I like baking and cooking. I like staying home with my babies. I do what I want, and I choose do do those things. I'll bet my Heavenly Mother wasn't a feminist. Otherwise most of us wouldn't be here."

I think thanks for feminists of the last generations are in order as
- you are actually allowed to marry who you want
- no husband can force you to work outside the home and
- if there is no husband to support you, you are able to get decent work at decent wages to buy the ingredients for your cooking & baking.

Great, right?

Victoria said...

Making a piece about feminism into an argument about abortion? That's what's called a straw man argument. Let's be better than that!

Anonymous said...

yes, let's make it into an argument about shaving your legs and man-hating.

Barbara said...

Anyone, especially a feminist, who at the same time declares her love for "enabling God's children to fulfil the measure of their creation" while declaring that it should be legal and ethical to murder innocent life is quite simply the dictionary definition of a hypocrite. As a rational human woman, the first steps toward equality with my fellow men is to call things what they are... Not what I feel, or wish, or fantasize them to be. Unless your definition of equality includes everyone, its a self-serving sham.