Even conservative feminists getting sick of GOP anti-choice agenda

28 Apr

Over at the blog Red State Feminists, some conservative feminists are getting kind of angry that the GOP men are focusing on abortion to the exclusion of other issues. Yeah, that’s annoying, right?

[Red State Feminists] believe that abortion is one of the most important issues of the day. RSFs also believe, heretically, that the pro-life position can be completely consonant with feminism–because no woman wants an abortion.

But it is with a great deal of frustration that we find that the first issue pushed in new Republican-controlled state legislatures, are further constraints on abortion. Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing. There are some reasonable constraints that might make sense. Standards for equipment and facilities, safety inspections, parental notification, and so forth may be seen by abortion proponents as harassment, but can also be argued to be important advances.

I won’t agree wholesale, but these are fairly sane voices in the conservative lady wilderness. The gloss over the debate about “equipment and facilities” aside, since sometimes those standards are falsely used as masks to shut down safe abortion clinics (and sometimes those standards should legitimately be raised), we can pretty much all agree that we’re frustrated by the myopic obsession with abortion currently floating around the GOP. Why? Because it addresses none of the underlying problems. We can get that far together.

Sadly, it is here that our hand-in-hand frolic through the feminist forest ends. I would have started a rant about lack of social services for women and families struggling to care for unplanned children and lack of resources to help women avoid becoming pregnant, things that all fit under the “helping to avoid the need for abortion” umbrella. It’s probably asking a conservative to walk a little too far into the woods with you when you want them to support social services.

The post then goes on to quote (at length) the much-respected feminist writer Hugo Schwyzer’s recent article about the perceptions of low self-worth among young women when it comes to the young men. RSFs sum it up like this:

So what our young men are communicating to our young women is that they will not treat them with respect unless they look like Meghan Fox. If you look like a real human female, then you cannot expect any respect, any boundaries, any real emotional connection to a young man. The young man will be more interested in World of Warcraft or Call of Duty, online porn or poker, getting drunk or stoned with one’s male buddies. Women who don’t look like Meghan Fox are good for blowjobs, but not for relationships.

Conservative men, do you want a social cause that really cuts at the real problems in our society? THIS IS IT.

Right. Kind of gobbledygook because it works on the Hymowitz refrain that all single men are debased morons who will just leave you there to die in a pool of your own blood and tears if there’s a multi-player round starting (though, to be fair, that is sort of the picture that the Schwyzer article paints). The RSF analysis places the blame on men for not stepping up to correct this problem in young women. The problem isn’t with boyfriends, the problem is the way that society teaches young women to value themselves. You fix that, boyfriends will readjust accordingly.

BUT HEY, we can at least all read Schwyzer together and acknowledge that young women really do need help with the whole self-worth thing because yes, it screws up young heteros (good luck getting the RSFs to address the gays). Considering I usually wake up and check my Google Reader every morning wondering what kind of heinous labyrinthine argument social conservatives will advance today in favor of the suffering of people who can’t afford medical care in the name of Jesus, I’ll call this a victory.

Hear that, GOP? Everybody is fucking sick of your obsession with abortion legislation.


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