The ugly truth is that the women’s movement has morphed into a giant abortion-rights lobby, demanding abortion far beyond the Roe v. Wade trimester construct. For someone like me, who has done a lot of soul-searching over the years, ultimately coming to believe that life begins at conception, I’m no longer welcome in the women’s movement. Women who oppose abortion are deemed contrary to the very idea of equality. Being a feminist in 2017 equals zero tolerance for anti-abortion views.
Is there a “women’s movement” in 2017? What is it? Who is it?
I became involved with the women’s movement in the early 1970s, when, as a junior at the University of Oklahoma, I was one of five founders of the Oklahoma Women’s Political Caucus. For over a decade, I traveled the state working for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. Later, as an Oklahoma state legislator, I was a champion of women’s rights, including supporting abortion rights within the Roe v. Wade framework.
In the 1970s, we fought for legal equality and eradication of the laws, based on English common law, that put women in the same legal category as children and insane persons. We wanted access to the Ivy League schools, the professions, the clubs — everything. Wherever men could go and become successful, we wanted to be there, too.
And we got it all. Big time. The antiquated statutes were repealed. Women got into the professions and the C-suites and the schools and the TV news anchor desks. We got there. We ARE there.
So why, pray tell, were those women and girls wearing those ridiculous hats at the purposeless “women’s marches” in January? Why do they perpetuate the Freudian question, “What do women want?”
The women’s movement has ebbed because it succeeded. Yet the suffragist Susan B. Anthony’s mantra “Failure is impossible” has been so hijacked by post-millennium feminism that declaring victory is unforgivable.
All that a “movement” could responsibly achieve, has been achieved. My 32-year-old daughter doesn’t know the meaning of “girls not allowed.” Now, it is up to individual women to lean in, step up or walk through the doors opened by and for us over the last 40 years.
Our fight was ostensibly about respecting women’s choices, whatever they may be.
But the women’s movement doesn’t live up to that idea. If women choose to be chief executives and officeholders and columnists and doctors and partners in law firms, great! If they choose, however, to be moms and wives and attend Bible study or bake cookies, they are “bitter clingers” and “deplorable.” And if they happen to be conservative professional women, they are invisible.