The recent discussion here about reclaiming words, the blind spot of orthodox feminists who favour all abortions except those conducted because the fetus is female, and why women are less prominent in the pro-life movement than in the pro-choice movement, are things I’ve been mulling over. One of the more powerful compulsory texts from my high school education was Robert Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons, the dramatization of Thomas More’s refusal to endorse Henry VIII’s divorce and marriage, which culminated in More’s execution. At one point More’s son-in-law suggests that More should falsely condemn a man who will contribute to More’s conviction, and More refuses, saying he would let the Devil himself go free if he had broken no laws, even though his son-in-law would rather break laws for the sake of a greater good. More asks him:
And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you – where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s, and if you cut them down — and you’re just the man to do it — do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!”
I believe that the vast majority of abortion advocates think they are on the side of right; they are acting in good faith, even if they are choosing wilfull blindness, as increasingly they must as the age of viability is pushed further and further back. Because they interpret feminism as advancing the cause of women in a zero-sum game, the movement has become increasingly anti-male and anti-child, born and unborn.
Women and men need each other. A culture that demeans and disrespects men is as toxic as one that demeans and disrespects women. And a culture that holds any human life as worthless is capable of holding all human life as worthless.
This is what feminists have done: they have cut down the forests that could be protecting them. They raze the notions that sex ought to be linked to marriage and that both parents have an inviolable responsibility to their children; they deny that sex is intrinsically linked to procreation; they reject the very idea of differences between the sexes. And then they are horrified that abortion is used to cull unwanted daughters.
Abortion isn’t the only example. A welfare recipient in Germany was told last year that if she refused a job as a prostitute in a licensed brothel her benefits would be cut off, just as they would be if she had an offer to work as a waitress or office clerk and chose instead to stay on welfare. You cannot insist that prostitutes are empowered and not victims, that hiring someone to have sex with is no different than hiring someone to cut your hair, that “women and children first” is a nasty bit of patriarchy and not noble, and then be astonished at the idea of women being coerced by the state into prostitution. Taboos and mores about sex and life protect all of us, and when we strip some people of their protection, we end up making all of us more vulnerable.by