The behaviour of AWARE in recent years has caused me rethink my position on feminism. When I was younger, I naïvely thought all feminist groups were filled with courageous women (and men!) who were willing to stand up for the rights of women to ensure they were given equal rights and opportunities, for example, equal civil rights to own property and vote, and equal access to higher education. They lobbied the government to protect the interest of women, children and the family, and they spoke out whenever government policies were harmful or discriminatory.
However, groups like AWARE, seem to be modelled on a different kind of feminism. From their recent headlines in the newspaper, they seem to care more about promoting a liberal, comprehensive sex education in schools and eradicating any kind of talk on abortion time limits than they caring for women in our community.
On the contrary, a liberal, facts-based sex education would only encourage promiscuity among youth leading to higher rates of sexually transmitted infections, harmful sexual experimentation, and teenage pregnancies.
Without a strong values-based anchor, young men and women would not learn about the consequences that come with sexual intercourse – a special act of love and commitment that should take place with marriage, and instead be encouraged to view it as an fun activity with no strings attached.
Furthermore, a liberal sex education would serve to reinforce negative attitudes towards the value of women (and of life!) and by normalising emergency contraception (morning-after pill) and abortion (a crime against humanity).
Likewise, AWARE’s attempt to stamp out all discussions on abortion time limits does not, in any way, help to advance the feminist cause. In fact, they are only helping to advance the scourge that is male chauvinism (Ben Sherman and #BroChoice anyone?) because, after all, men’s sex lives would be disrupted if abortion wasn’t readily available. A national catastrophe indeed!
There is such a thing as a pro-life feminist. Those two terms are not incompatible. In fact, it has a 200 year old history. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, forerunners of the feminist movement in the USA, saw abortion as a violation of basic feminist principles. Mary Wollstonecraft, acclaimed author of A Vindication of the Rights of Women, also was anti-abortion.
They were against abortion because they believed would result in the oppression of women. They were against abortion because it was sign there was something wrong with society. They were against abortion because women deserve better.
If AWARE truly believes in the rights of women to make responsible choices, they should be the at the front lines educating women and men about the terrible physical and mental health consequences of abortion, and how they can prevent abortions, which disproportionately targets baby girls, from taking place.
They should be rallying the government, communities, and public and private institutions to move towards creating a safe, nurturing environment for all women so that expectant mothers would not feel trapped and have no other choice than to kill the baby in their womb.
If one of AWARE’s values is to ‘respect the individual and the choices she makes in life, and support her when needed’, I demand that AWARE speak up for me! A woman who believes abortion no matter what the circumstances is murder of an innocent child, a woman who believes my freedom of choice ends when another life is conceived in my womb, a woman who believes society should be pro-life because, frankly, women everywhere deserve better.
- ANNE NUSSE: Women deserve better than abortion (lacrossetribune.com)
- The Rediscovery of Mary Wollstonecraft (womenshistory.answers.com)
- Value-Based Sex Education (singaporeldw.wordpress.com)
- Men pining for the feminism of yesteryear is ironic and unnecessary (telegraph.co.uk)