So I've been slacking with this blogging thing, and there's really no way I could possibly make up for a week's lost news/blogging opportunities, so I'm just going to pick up and go.
In my daily (compulsive) perusing of feministing's latest posts, I came across this post by Hannah, discussing the stance of Supreme Court nominee John Roberts' wife as ex-board member of Feminists for Life, and broaches the difficult concept of pro-lifers and their inclusion/exclusion in the feminist movement.
This is something that's been bothering me since my good friend's assertion in my History of American Feminism class last fall ('04) that she could very much be a feminist and pro-life. I respect this woman immensely, so I didn't argue with that assumption, and it was also obvious that she'd been hurt in the past by people denouncing her claim to feminism because of her pro-life stance, and I didn't want to be another one of those people. So I remained silent. But I've been turning it over and over in my head ever since.
Obviously, I'm pro-choice. And obviously, I'm a feminist. A feminist who is very adamant about the diversification of feminism so that we don't repeat the mistakes of the 2nd wave by excluding everyone who wasn't a white, middle- to upper-class. heterosexual, biological female.
However, I'm very torn on the inclusion of "feminists" who are anti-choice in this developing canon of feminism.
On the one hand, who are we, as pro-choice feminists, to say that someone who identifies as a feminist cannot identify as such because ze doesn't believe that abortion is morally correct? It seems anti-feminist to exclude someone because of their moral creed, and antithetical to the movement to alienate those who may stand with us on other issues.
On the other hand, I don't really understand their definition of feminism if they are ok with the controlling and curtailing of other women's reproductive rights. At least most of these feminists, including Feminists For Life are (from what I understand at least) pro-contraception (well, maybe not FFL particularly, but most pro-life feminists I know), (real) sex education, and, for the most part, pro-equal rights and whatnot. In every other aspect, really, these feminists "fit." But I'd say that a woman's right to choose is a pretty damn important part of feminism.
And maybe abortion shouldn't have to happen, but the changes that need to occur in order for abortion to not be necessarily legal - real sex education, access to contraception, etc. - sure as hell won't happen under Bushie's "culture of life."
(Note: I'm not going to get into whether or not I agree with Feminists For Life's position or campaigns or anything, because I don't really have time to write a 10-page paper on the topic. Perhaps for a women's studies class later...)
This isn't really as coherent as I'd like, but I can only make it as clear as it is in my head, which, unfortunately, is rather blurry.
Now, I'm the last person who would tell a person that ze couldn't identify as a feminist because of hir "morals" or "values," no matter how much I disagreed with them.
But I still doubt the viability and validity of a connection between feminism and pro-life. For some reason, "Feminists for Life" still strikes me as a glaring oxymoron, and these women who rally behind the banner of feminism but question the morality of a woman's choice still rub me the wrong way.