The Decline of Women in America

women in americaWe are mothers, sisters and daughters. We are multi-taskers, leaders and advocates. We are care-takers, Governors and executives. We are 51% of the population. Yet still, in 2012, women are seeing vicious attacks on basic (some might say “unalienable”) rights. How did this happen? How, in the 21st century, are we having conversations that move the debate further away from equality?

The current generation of young women has often been told that our mothers and grandmothers did the fighting for us. Because of their determination, we have the right to vote, we have access to contraception and abortion is legal. We grew up thinking that the fight was over and that we could live our lives in equality. We believed that after decades of effort and sacrifice by brave women who came before us, that being a woman would no longer be the reason we couldn’t do something. Sadly, in just one day, there were more than enough examples to tell us that our fight is far from over.

On Thursday, February 16, 2012, five middle-aged men in Congress held a hearing about our access to birth control. No women were allowed at the table, and no women who support birth control were allowed to testify. This travesty of misrepresentation ignored the fact that 98% of women in the United States use some form of birth control. Congress was proposing to make decisions about our bodies, but no one thought to ask what we thought.

Meanwhile, just a little to the south, the State Legislature in Virginia passed a law requiring that women receive a trans-vaginal ultrasound, which includes inserting a probe inside of the woman, if they want to get an abortion, even if it is against their will. Put another way: this past week, the Virginia State Legislature approved state-sanctioned rape.

On that same day, a major political donor gave an interview on national television, blaming the fact that we even have to have conversations about birth control on women and offered a an offensive suggestion, saying “Back in my days they used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.” The donor didn’t mention how women are hyper-sexualized in the media and constantly criticized about their appearance. Instead, he simply suggested that women close their legs, and seemed annoyed that women’s health would consume precious hours of the 24-hour news cycle.

issa's panel of contraception experts

Rep. Darrell Issa's panel of contraception experts.

As frustrating and offensive as these past days have been to women across the country, these examples also help to highlight the work that needs to be done. Enough is enough. It is time for a new generation to take action. It is time for a new generation to build on the victories won by of our mothers and grandmothers and to acknowledge that our fight is not over. It is time for a new generation of women to get politically engaged, and there is an obvious place to start — we need to elect more women to office.

While there are many men who stand as feminist allies, the reality is that women and men govern differently. Women and men approach decision-making differently, build consensus differently, and have different experiences that inform their opinions. This is not to argue that one gender’s approach to governing is better than the other’s; it is to point out that, in a democracy, a group that makes up more than half of the population should have its unique approach to governance represented by more than half of the legislators. Unfortunately, we aren’t even close to that level of fairness.

Currently, only 17% of the members of the United States Congress are women — that’s less than 1 in 5. There are only six women serving as governors in the United States — about 1 in 8. If this past week has taught us anything, it should be that we cannot expect equality to exist in either our laws or the national debate surrounding lawmaking, if women are not at the table as legislation is considered. So then, the question confronting a new generation of women is simple: why aren’t women represented equally in government? Why so often do we not have a seat at the table?

One possible answer to this incredibly complex question is that women are not represented equally in government because we don’t have many role models to look to and know that “we can do it.” Political role models and mentors are often the ones who help first-time candidates make the difficult decision to run for office, and without role models, many women never get the urging they need to launch campaigns.

There are a few solutions to this problem. We need to do a better job of asking other women to run for office. We need to remind women that they can run for office, that they have what it takes to be an elected leader and that we will support them if they take that critical step. Women need more mentors. It isn’t enough for women to simply serve in elected office — achieving equality requires foresight and planning. It is incumbent upon all elected women to mentor other women, so there is a pipeline of talented young women who are ready to run when the opportunity presents itself.

nomiki konst for congressWe need to support each other — not just emotionally, but monetarily as well. Women do not give as much money to political candidates as men do. Running for office is an expensive journey to take, and women need to be able to rely on other women for financial support when they run for office.

We need to vote for one another. When women vote, women win. If we are going to achieve gender equality in elected bodies, we need to get out the vote. We need to exercise the right our grandmothers fought so hard for and vote for women who are courageous enough to run for office.

We need to support women candidates in these ways because women face many difficult challenges when running for office. Often, women are still the primary caretakers for their children and elderly parents. Women are criticized for our appearance much more than men. Questions about what we are wearing, how much make-up we have on and how much we weigh are constant and are only questions that we as women have to face. We are asked questions about how we plan to serve in elected office with children and, at the same time, we are criticized if we made the choice not to marry or have a family.

We face many roadblocks. And yet, as women what we know to be true is that we can do anything. We can be full-time mothers and work outside of the home. We can take care of our elderly parents and serve in Congress. We can be single parents and executives. And it’s about time, in 2012, that we can make up 51% of the elected leadership.

nomiki konst

Nomiki Konst

lindsay bubar

Lindsay Bubar

So what can you do to get involved today? There are many organizations working hard to ensure we achieve equal representation in government. Running Start, WUFPAC, Off the Sidelines, National Women’s Political Caucus, The 2012 Project and Emily’s List, just to name a few. Do research. Get involved. Ask a woman to run. Run for office yourself. Talk to your friends about getting involved.

Enough is enough.

It is time for our generation to take action. To build on the success of our mothers and grandmothers, and acknowledge that we have our own war to fight. And there is so much to do.

Lindsay Bubar and Nomiki Konst

Lindsay Bubar is the Campaign Manager for California State Assemblymember Betsy Butler and the President of National Women’s Political Caucus, LA Westside. She is a tireless advocate for environmental reform and equal representation for women in politics. She serves in leadership positions for Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters, LA Running Start, Planned Parenthood and San Fernando Valley Young Democrats.

Nomiki Konst is a Congressional Candidate for Arizona’s 2nd District this fall. She’s the founder and former President of Alliance Hollywood, an organization dedicated to training members of the entertainment industry on how to speak civilly about politics. She’s an advocate for civil discourse, Millennial politics and equal representation.

Republished with the author’s permission from The Huffington Post.

Comments

  1. Ratjaws says

    I must apologize for the incoherent way this board posted my comment. I attempted to format it and instead of doing this it gave me double copies. Unfortunately it would seem there is no way to erase or edit Disquis so my comment remains a mess… if anyone wants a good copy to read I am happy to send one via Email…

    Ratjaws@aol.com

  2. Ratjaws says

    CONTINUED….And it is my fervent point a woman is less woman when she gives into this kind of mentality. She dehumanizes herself by denying an innate power she has as woman. In fact she gives up not only her true feminity which has the awsome power to generate new human life but she also relinquishes her power to control men, in a right way of course, giving it over to drugs that can harm her body and mechanisms that can fail (enter… abortion!). Furthermore she denies within herself free will. I say this because it is a far greater act to say “no I will not engage in…” a particular act than to use a drug to attempt to alter one’s nature, all to separate out what a woman finds undesirable. She is not taking control of a man but allowing them to win by adopting their irresponsible mentality. And note here again that what she is interfering with is her biological function that is not out of order… she disorders it with contraceptive techniques.As for the abortion issue, it is clear even to women who refuse to admit it publically, that a human life ends with every abortion (call it a “product of conception” a fetus or a person it’s still the same being). As time goes on she either admits this to herself and seeks help for forgiveness and reconciliation or she ends up abusing herself with drugs, alcohol or other adictions. Many women indeed cannot continue genuine relationships with men because they cannot get past the thinking that lead them to the act of abortion in the first place. This mindset is precisely that which drives the contraceptive mentality… the idea that some human beings can be not wanted. This implies that human beings are not first in the order of importance and therefore if a woman can deny her children, she can also deny her spouse. If she can deny what she claims love she effectively puts other things, ideas and activities before human life. When she has this mentality she undermines her own desire to have meaningful and lasting relationships. The mentality is broken by switching her worldview… from that of the anti-life to that of the prolife… or in other words from apathy to love. In the words of Pope John Paul II we must move from our “Culture of Death” to inculcate a “Culture of Life!” Now if you elect more women in congress who hold this view, in fact if all persons in congress were women who held this view I would not cry or complain one bit.The point here is that our social and political problems are not a matter of ratios of women to men but rather of perspective. It’s about whose view of the world will win and each view has it’s own set of consequences and responsibilities. You aim to avoid conceiving children, you end up aborting because contraceptives eventually fail. You abort you bear the guilt whether in denial or not, and this affects the relationships you “want.” On the other hand… if you remain open to new life with every sexual encounter you don’t need a backup because children are not “unwanted.” This openness to life translates in reality to loving relationships that last. A couple do not fall for the cultural mentality that I can use you for my selfish pleasure. Instead I seek to take care of you and you love me for it and seek to care for me. The attitude of either view feeds upon itself to produce relations of a like kind. This “choice” of perspective is where our most fundamental choice is and no one can make the best choice without knowledge of the best view.Ratjaws@aol.com

  3. Ratjaws says

    …CONTINUED
    Thus our Declaration of Independence wisely states “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” implying first we can know them, then that they apply to all persons, come from outside us, and that we could not change them if we wanted to! The point being our equality is not something we cause but that is ingrained in our nature and therefore immutable. The only purpose for a body of persons we describe as government is “to secure these rights” as again the Declaration wisely states. So it’s not quite as you suggest “incumbent upon all elected women to mentor other women” so that we can achieve a kind of statistical equaliberium within congress and all areas of our society so that everyone will then be treated the same. On the contrary even if women achieved this proportion across the board there would still be hatred and prejudice, as well as men using women for their selfish pleasure and gain. The only guarantee we have at protecting women from mistreatment is to first make sure all people consider them persons, like men, whether adult or children, “colored” or not… and then to enact laws that reflect this immutable property of mankind in general.incumbent upon all elected women to mentor other women” so that we can achieve a kind of statistical equaliberium within congress and all areas of our society so that everyone will then be treated the same. On the contrary even if women achieved this proportion across the board there would still be hatred and prejudice, as well as men using women for their selfish pleasure and gain. The only guarantee we have at protecting women from mistreatment is to first make sure all people consider them persons, like men, whether adult or children, “colored” or not… and then to enact laws that reflect this immutable property of mankind in general.My second deviation from your worldview revolves around this implied war between men and women in your side’s arguments. I think you more than hint at it when you make statements like “Congress was proposing to make decisions about our bodies,” a group which you rightly point out is composed of only men. If this statement were true then it means there is a disconnect between men and women and the former can never empathize with women. Even deeper you imply men cannot be trusted to determine what is good for women AS IF we are truly at odds with each other. What this manifests for me is a profound difference in worldview where your side mistrusts all men and their motives. I think it is true there are men who cannot and should not be trusted but to make this a general rule is again what I call an ideology. It is a bad idea for the fact that not only are there men who do desire the best for women, but that all men are capable of such sentiment as are all women capable of properly loving men (which they all don’t do either). The difference in my worldview is not that I recognize lack this but that I attribute it to our fallen nature in that while we are all capable of desiring the best for one another we don’t always do so for whatever reason, good or bad, intended or unintended. We at times see clearly, at other times we exhibit selfish motives. My point about our fallen nature means this applies equally to woman as to men. We cannot get around this truth since reality brings it home in every day.In order to flush out the motive of your side’s suggesting that there needs to be a proportional representation of women in congress that mirrors their statistical numbers in the general population I would ask are you willing to apply this rule equally to women who are both for and against contentious reproductive issues? If so then would you have voted for Michelle Bachman or Sarah Palin? I contrast their lesser known and more distorted worldview to that of women like Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton and Barbara Boxer who are adamnantly for contraceptive and abortive “services.” You should now see here that my point is that your side is not as much for this statistical equality as it is for women of your mindset, that which I call the liberal progressive view to take control of congress and steer votes toward policies that support so-called reproductive rights (and note this refers mainly contraception and abortion). As a matter of fact the side you oppose is not against reproductive health in the proper sense, rather we are against radical feminist pretentions that contraception and abortion, as well as a host of other technologies like in vitro and embryonic stemcell experimentation are healthy for women (or any human being). We consider these counterfeit medical techniques… they are not medicine at all but rather a means to alter human nature in a way it cannot be. That they tamper with things they should not they are immoral and should be the subject of negative laws, never society’s approval.Why? Contraception for instance interferes with the natural biological process in order to separate out pleasure from procreative act. When a woman uses any means to prevent conception other than her own will to not commit the act she intends to enjoy the pleasant bodily sensations without the consequence nature imposes on the normal sexual act. This remains behind even the motive of birth control despite claims to the contrary; although the idea of “preventing” children can be legitimate in the sense of NFP where the intent is to space them for serious reason. One can understand what I mean here only by recognizing in the practive of NFP sexual pleasure never comes apart from openness to new life whereas with contraceptive, the generative faculty of the body is disabled per method. A woman therefore seeks to avoid responsibility of having children, an attitude she traditionally condemned men for having… and rightly so! In doing this she is not practicing medicine because nothing has gone wrong with the sexual act prior to contraceptive intervention. It is the introduction of drugs or devices (IUD’s and condoms) that cause a defect in the natural function and this is why the side you oppose condemns it. Therefore to avoid conception apart from avoiding sexual intercourse cannot be classified as medicine or health care by any stretch. In fact children are not a disease to be cured and this is precisely how the anti-life view treats normal biological function when insisting children can be “unwanted.” If a woman does not want a child then all she has to do is not engage in sexual copulation with a male. In fact the same goes for men who run around impregnating women then deny them the necessary support in providing for and raising those new lives. The point here is that modern women have not changed the bad thinking (and immoral acts) of men who from time immemorial have enjoyed sex without consequence, leaving a woman with all the responsibility, guilt and suffering. Instead women have given into this grossly misconceived thinking substituting technology for reality. Radical feminism has effectively infected our society with a culture that is self destructive because one that does not reproduce itself is one that is dying.CONTINUED…
    My second deviation from your worldview revolves around this implied war between men and women in your side’s arguments. I think you more than hint at it when you make statements like “Congress was proposing to make decisions about our bodies,” a group which you rightly point out is composed of only men. If this statement were true then it means there is a disconnect between men and women and the former can never empathize with women. Even deeper you imply men cannot be trusted to determine what is good for women AS IF we are truly at odds with each other. What this manifests for me is a profound difference in worldview where your side mistrusts all men and their motives. I think it is true there are men who cannot and should not be trusted but to make this a general rule is again what I call an ideology. It is a bad idea for the fact that not only are there men who do desire the best for women, but that all men are capable of such sentiment as are all women capable of properly loving men (which they all don’t do either). The difference in my worldview is not that I recognize lack this but that I attribute it to our fallen nature in that while we are all capable of desiring the best for one another we don’t always do so for whatever reason, good or bad, intended or unintended. We at times see clearly, at other times we exhibit selfish motives. My point about our fallen nature means this applies equally to woman as to men. We cannot get around this truth since reality brings it home in every day.In order to flush out the motive of your side’s suggesting that there needs to be a proportional representation of women in congress that mirrors their statistical numbers in the general population I would ask are you willing to apply this rule equally to women who are both for and against contentious reproductive issues? If so then would you have voted for Michelle Bachman or Sarah Palin? I contrast their lesser known and more distorted worldview to that of women like Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton and Barbara Boxer who are adamnantly for contraceptive and abortive “services.” You should now see here that my point is that your side is not as much for this statistical equality as it is for women of your mindset, that which I call the liberal progressive view to take control of congress and steer votes toward policies that support so-called reproductive rights (and note this refers mainly contraception and abortion). As a matter of fact the side you oppose is not against reproductive health in the proper sense, rather we are against radical feminist pretentions that contraception and abortion, as well as a host of other technologies like in vitro and embryonic stemcell experimentation are healthy for women (or any human being). We consider these counterfeit medical techniques… they are not medicine at all but rather a means to alter human nature in a way it cannot be. That they tamper with things they should not they are immoral and should be the subject of negative laws, never society’s approval.Why? Contraception for instance interferes with the natural biological process in order to separate out pleasure from procreative act. When a woman uses any means to prevent conception other than her own will to not commit the act she intends to enjoy the pleasant bodily sensations without the consequence nature imposes on the normal sexual act. This remains behind even the motive of birth control despite claims to the contrary; although the idea of “preventing” children can be legitimate in the sense of NFP where the intent is to space them for serious reason. One can understand what I mean here only by recognizing in the practive of NFP sexual pleasure never comes apart from openness to new life whereas with contraceptive, the generative faculty of the body is disabled per method. A woman therefore seeks to avoid responsibility of having children, an attitude she traditionally condemned men for having… and rightly so! In doing this she is not practicing medicine because nothing has gone wrong with the sexual act prior to contraceptive intervention. It is the introduction of drugs or devices (IUD’s and condoms) that cause a defect in the natural function and this is why the side you oppose condemns it. Therefore to avoid conception apart from avoiding sexual intercourse cannot be classified as medicine or health care by any stretch. In fact children are not a disease to be cured and this is precisely how the anti-life view treats normal biological function when insisting children can be “unwanted.” If a woman does not want a child then all she has to do is not engage in sexual copulation with a male. In fact the same goes for men who run around impregnating women then deny them the necessary support in providing for and raising those new lives. The point here is that modern women have not changed the bad thinking (and immoral acts) of men who from time immemorial have enjoyed sex without consequence, leaving a woman with all the responsibility, guilt and suffering. Instead women have given into this grossly misconceived thinking substituting technology for reality. Radical feminism has effectively infected our society with a culture that is self destructive because one that does not reproduce itself is one that is dying.CONTINUED…

    In order to flush out the motive of your side’s suggesting that there needs to be a proportional representation of women in congress that mirrors their statistical numbers in the general population I would ask are you willing to apply this rule equally to women who are both for and against contentious reproductive issues? If so then would you have voted for Michelle Bachman or Sarah Palin? I contrast their lesser known and more distorted worldview to that of women like Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton and Barbara Boxer who are adamnantly for contraceptive and abortive “services.” You should now see here that my point is that your side is not as much for this statistical equality as it is for women of your mindset, that which I call the liberal progressive view to take control of congress and steer votes toward policies that support so-called reproductive rights (and note this refers mainly contraception and abortion). As a matter of fact the side you oppose is not against reproductive health in the proper sense, rather we are against radical feminist pretentions that contraception and abortion, as well as a host of other technologies like in vitro and embryonic stemcell experimentation are healthy for women (or any human being). We consider these counterfeit medical techniques… they are not medicine at all but rather a means to alter human nature in a way it cannot be. That they tamper with things they should not they are immoral and should be the subject of negative laws, never society’s approval.

    Why? Contraception for instance interferes with the natural biological process in order to separate out pleasure from procreative act. When a woman uses any means to prevent conception other than her own will to not commit the act she intends to enjoy the pleasant bodily sensations without the consequence nature imposes on the normal sexual act. This remains behind even the motive of birth control despite claims to the contrary; although the idea of “preventing” children can be legitimate in the sense of NFP where the intent is to space them for serious reason. One can understand what I mean here only by recognizing in the practive of NFP sexual pleasure never comes apart from openness to new life whereas with contraceptive, the generative faculty of the body is disabled per method. A woman therefore seeks to avoid responsibility of having children, an attitude she traditionally condemned men for having… and rightly so! In doing this she is not practicing medicine because nothing has gone wrong with the sexual act prior to contraceptive intervention. It is the introduction of drugs or devices (IUD’s and condoms) that cause a defect in the natural function and this is why the side you oppose condemns it. Therefore to avoid conception apart from avoiding sexual intercourse cannot be classified as medicine or health care by any stretch. In fact children are not a disease to be cured and this is precisely how the anti-life view treats normal biological function when insisting children can be “unwanted.” If a woman does not want a child then all she has to do is not engage in sexual copulation with a male. In fact the same goes for men who run around impregnating women then deny them the necessary support in providing for and raising those new lives. The point here is that modern women have not changed the bad thinking (and immoral acts) of men who from time immemorial have enjoyed sex without consequence, leaving a woman with all the responsibility, guilt and suffering. Instead women have given into this grossly misconceived thinking substituting technology for reality. Radical feminism has effectively infected our society with a culture that is self destructive because one that does not reproduce itself is one that is dying.

    CONTINUED…

  4. Ratjaws says

    Miss Konst,
    I agree with your encouraging greater involvement of women in voting and government; that “It is incumbent upon all elected women to mentor other women” and “It is time for a new generation to take action.” I disagree with you in two areas concerning definition:1) Statistical versus ontological equality.2) The perceived conflict between men and women.As you should realize these areas of disagreement entail worldviews of which I consider yours to be ideologically based whereas mine is more solidly rooted in reality. By yours and mine I mean more broadly the liberal progressive perspective versus the traditional conservative. The former can be generally found within Democratic circles while the latter is more a Republican leaning. I should add that I distinguish valid ideas from ideological positions by a close scrutiny of reality keeping in mind that truth is conformity of our intellect to reality. Ideological views therefore tend to start with a premise and conform the world around it while truth starts from the real world and informs a person’s mind to whatever it is.Starting with this understanding I disagree with a view of human equality that insists mathematical proportion is it’s basis. From this weltanschauung your group demands “achieving equality” and a “level of fairness” comes when we “ensure we achieve equal representation in government.” Thus your call to ensure women “make up 51% of the elected leadership.” The problem with this view is that it overlooks the more essential level of human nature where true equality resides. This is to say it is our personhood that makes us all equally deserving of Constitutional protections that are constantly alluded to by the liberal progressive mindset. And persons come in only two distinct types: male and female. This means those distinctions are ingrained within nature in a way that not only cannot be changed but is also different from race distinctions that are determined by external characteristics such as skin color; or ethnic distinctions as determined by what family we are born into (where one comes from), also external; and religious distinction as determined by what an individual wills, and as such is a mutable characterist. In contrast our male or femaleness is rooted in our nature and cannot be changed by wishful thinking or surgical technique. Contrary to public opinion when one takes a knife to a person’s genitals all they achieve is mutilation of the body. Masculinity and femininity cannot be taught out of a person (willed differently) because a person’s genetic composition remains the same. In fact I would argue that even if the genetic level could be altered… that because genes do not cause themselves and their power to determine gender within a person is given by something else (an immaterial power often refered to as a soul or spirit)… a person remains male or female despite such transformation. The point is we can deform the material that makes up ones body but we cannot alter the key component that gives matter it’s power to organize, and in particular that of our male or female organs and their specific powers. Even if one rejects this idea that our gender is rooted in one’s nature and is immovable it still cannot destroy the truth that our humanness is common to all persons while our gender is an innate distinction. The conclusion is that we cannot be equal as determined by our gender (whether simply roles or not). We are and must be considered equal via a means of something that is common to our nature… and this is termed our personhood. It could be said we are persons first, male or female second, and all else is insubstantial to these innate essential ingredients of what it means to be human beings. Nor can our equalness reside in our actions precisely because we are all capable of different acts. This is where I have the greatest problem with your side that considers conformity to numbers, that is personal abilities as measured, to be the ultimate gauge in determining fairness. To deny these basic truths is to fall into what I call an ideology because it is clear to everyone who looks upon this world that we all are capable of different acts and these to differing degrees.It is incumbent upon all elected women to mentor other women” and “It is time for a new generation to take action.” I disagree with you in two areas concerning definition:
    1) Statistical versus ontological equality.
    2) The perceived conflict between men and women.

    As you should realize these areas of disagreement entail worldviews of which I consider yours to be ideologically based whereas mine is more solidly rooted in reality. By yours and mine I mean more broadly the liberal progressive perspective versus the traditional conservative. The former can be generally found within Democratic circles while the latter is more a Republican leaning. I should add that I distinguish valid ideas from ideological positions by a close scrutiny of reality keeping in mind that truth is conformity of our intellect to reality. Ideological views therefore tend to start with a premise and conform the world around it while truth starts from the real world and informs a person’s mind to whatever it is.

    Starting with this understanding I disagree with a view of human equality that insists mathematical proportion is it’s basis. From this weltanschauung your group demands “achieving equality” and a “level of fairness” comes when we “ensure we achieve equal representation in government.” Thus your call to ensure women “make up 51% of the elected leadership.” The problem with this view is that it overlooks the more essential level of human nature where true equality resides. This is to say it is our personhood that makes us all equally deserving of Constitutional protections that are constantly alluded to by the liberal progressive mindset. And persons come in only two distinct types: male and female. This means those distinctions are ingrained within nature in a way that not only cannot be changed but is also different from race distinctions that are determined by external characteristics such as skin color; or ethnic distinctions as determined by what family we are born into (where one comes from), also external; and religious distinction as determined by what an individual wills, and as such is a mutable characterist. In contrast our male or femaleness is rooted in our nature and cannot be changed by wishful thinking or surgical technique. Contrary to public opinion when one takes a knife to a person’s genitals all they achieve is mutilation of the body. Masculinity and femininity cannot be taught out of a person (willed differently) because a person’s genetic composition remains the same. In fact I would argue that even if the genetic level could be altered… that because genes do not cause themselves and their power to determine gender within a person is given by something else (an immaterial power often refered to as a soul or spirit)… a person remains male or female despite such transformation. The point is we can deform the material that makes up ones body but we cannot alter the key component that gives matter it’s power to organize, and in particular that of our male or female organs and their specific powers. Even if one rejects this idea that our gender is rooted in one’s nature and is immovable it still cannot destroy the truth that our humanness is common to all persons while our gender is an innate distinction. The conclusion is that we cannot be equal as determined by our gender (whether simply roles or not). We are and must be considered equal via a means of something that is common to our nature… and this is termed our personhood. It could be said we are persons first, male or female second, and all else is insubstantial to these innate essential ingredients of what it means to be human beings. Nor can our equalness reside in our actions precisely because we are all capable of different acts. This is where I have the greatest problem with your side that considers conformity to numbers, that is personal abilities as measured, to be the ultimate gauge in determining fairness. To deny these basic truths is to fall into what I call an ideology because it is clear to everyone who looks upon this world that we all are capable of different acts and these to differing degrees.achieving equality” and a “level of fairness” comes when we “ensure we achieve equal representation in government.” Thus your call to ensure women “make up 51% of the elected leadership.” The problem with this view is that it overlooks the more essential level of human nature where true equality resides. This is to say it is our personhood that makes us all equally deserving of Constitutional protections that are constantly alluded to by the liberal progressive mindset. And persons come in only two distinct types: male and female. This means those distinctions are ingrained within nature in a way that not only cannot be changed but is also different from race distinctions that are determined by external characteristics such as skin color; or ethnic distinctions as determined by what family we are born into (where one comes from), also external; and religious distinction as determined by what an individual wills, and as such is a mutable characterist. In contrast our male or femaleness is rooted in our nature and cannot be changed by wishful thinking or surgical technique. Contrary to public opinion when one takes a knife to a person’s genitals all they achieve is mutilation of the body. Masculinity and femininity cannot be taught out of a person (willed differently) because a person’s genetic composition remains the same. In fact I would argue that even if the genetic level could be altered… that because genes do not cause themselves and their power to determine gender within a person is given by something else (an immaterial power often refered to as a soul or spirit)… a person remains male or female despite such transformation. The point is we can deform the material that makes up ones body but we cannot alter the key component that gives matter it’s power to organize, and in particular that of our male or female organs and their specific powers.
     
    Even if one rejects this idea that our gender is rooted in one’s nature and is immovable it still cannot destroy the truth that our humanness is common to all persons while our gender is an innate distinction. The conclusion is that we cannot be equal as determined by our gender (whether simply roles or not). We are and must be considered equal via a means of something that is common to our nature… and this is termed our personhood. It could be said we are persons first, male or female second, and all else is insubstantial to these innate essential ingredients of what it means to be human beings. Nor can our equalness reside in our actions precisely because we are all capable of different acts. This is where I have the greatest problem with your side that considers conformity to numbers, that is personal abilities as measured, to be the ultimate gauge in determining fairness. To deny these basic truths is to fall into what I call an ideology because it is clear to everyone who looks upon this world that we all are capable of different acts and these to differing degrees.these basic truths is to fall into what I call an ideology because it is clear to everyone who looks upon this world that we all are capable of different acts and these to differing degrees.
    CONTINUED…

  5. says

    Years ago when I worked in NYC, there was a demonstration down 5th Avenue for women’s rights lead by Bella Abzug and Gloria Steinem. The next day, there was a far larger demonstration of women pushing baby carriages in support of a status quo of what, women as second-class citizens?

    When I was in law school at a time where for the first time the dean of our school was a woman and more than half of the class were women, I too anticipated a less testosterone approach to the law- what I found were women trying to outdo the men. I think you make a big mistake to think that women would be more sensitive to women’s issues.

    In a world with over 7 billion people on it, control over reproduction is a human health and survival issue, since global warming is clearly fueled by too many people already living on this finite planet. The idiocy of thinking that our species can continue to multiply on a globe of limited size seems a rather simple concept to get, which involves all of our survival.

    Alas, we still are slave to a way of thinking about reproduction that has its origin at a time in human history when the very survival of human beings was in question because of plague, war, and other phenomena that clearly threatened our survival  It is time for the Catholic Church and other like-minded institutions to realize that uncontrolled reproduction in a limited space with limited resources is not sustainable. This is not per se a woman’s issue, but it seems that women will suffer the brunt of this magical thinking as long as a rational subject about where we stand as a specie in the 21st century is verboten.

    • Ratjaws says

      Leonard,
      First you equate women pushing baby carriages with servitude. Then you use this to equate women who love children and support raising them as their foremost duty with second-class citizenship. I say what was being addressed by the original feminists was not the hatred of this most important responsibility of a woman’s life but the intolerance of other persons around them in thinking that is their ONLY capability! Today, unfortunately, radicals have usurped the women’s movement of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Caddy Stanton poisoning it with ideas that are contrary to human life and the dignity of women, men and children themselves. This poison has the name of women’s reproductive rights which implies not PAP tests, cancer screening and the like but contraceptive and abortive “services.” I agree with you that women like Bella Abzug and Gloria Steinem were representatives of this anti-life ideology. That women can vote and are free to take up any task they are capable of is an unalienable good, but contrary to your implication here the mindset opposite this was not as widely held as this new radical feminist movement would have us believe. As for a “less testosterone approach” to law it is not more sensitivity that we need. Rather we need good intellects (male and female) trained in sound moral teaching, something that must encompass all valid law, as well as an innate recognizion of the inviolable dignity of every human person, male or female, black or white, adult or fetal, etc. Nor will statistical parity solve our very serious social problems. Yet this is the new mindset that seeks to demonize men and pit women against them as well as against their very offspring.
      If the population of the world were to double, triple or even ten-fold I still would not agree with you that it is over-populated. A simple test should suffice to prove whether this is true or not… take a drive away from the city and out in the country. Wherever one lives there is still more land available than that which is populated. In fact I dare you to take a walk across a desert anywhere in this world with no provision! In a city one can do this and find plenty of people to feed them and remain alive, but out in the deep woods or on a desert there are miles and miles of vacant land that can easily swallow one up. If a person is fortunate to come back alive from such a trip they will surely no longer hold to this senseless idea Malthus formulated within his economic theory. In fact even if this were true the answer is not to kill people via abortion, or worse yet, to selfishly prevent people from coming into this world. The correct mindset would be something more like the one proposed in the 1960′s Lost In Space TV series… that was to go out into the vast universe and look for other habitable places for people to live. This way is more in line with our intellectual dignity which seeks to solve problems rather than eliminate people.
      The only idea I think you got correct is that it is virtually only the Catholic Church that sees human reproduction as sacred and not to be messed with. The procreative act is sacred because human persons are sacred and it is through sexual copulation where they come from. This is not “magical thinking” as you so crudely put it nor is it slavery. It is a simple recognition that our nature itself demands we treat persons in a particular way and anything to the contrary is an evil. In fact slavery comes about when people refuse to think rationally about their environment, when they treat the various beings encountered, especially human beings, as something they are not! It’s clear that technology has enabled us to do certain things but it is not as clear that out of all the things we can do there are some we should not. We should not use nuclear technology to build weapons any more than we should use invasive technology to attempt to alter what it means to be human beings. And to interfere with the means or end of human biology, that is to try to alter the procreative act, to prevent it’s goal of producing children or to try to manipulate the human person to obtain “a better person” is foolish and evil. So in the final analysis the more we talk about such things without taking into account the authentic Catholic mindset on this the more we head over a cliff that will end in our demise as a society of intellectual volitional persons.
      Ratjaws@aol.com

  6. says

    women have the right to get birth control pills from several places, health departments, drug stores, and that office that the right wing do not like (planned what ever). Why should someone who does not believe in birh control have to pay for them?  No one has a right to ask me to pay for something they want. I for guns you may be anti-gun. I do not ask you to pay for my guns or my ammo so do not ask me to pay for your blanks. 

    • Tracy says

      I think you make an excellent point wood007… and sadly, an obvious one, which means that the authors of this article, unless they are tremendously dense (which I don’t believe), also understand this…  which means they are being dishonest, and are creating a distorted picture in an “ends justify the means” approach.

      Anyone that says “I have a right to access your wallet for my birth control”, no matter what words they use, are fundamentally corrupt… in their thinking and their integrity.

    • JoeWeinstein says

      Dear wood007.  I don’t believe in most of those wars, but I pay huge taxes for a military, allegedly to defend you.  I don’t believe in starting fires, or in allowing rubbish to accumulate, yet I pay huge bills – almost all because of other people’s arsons and avoidable mistakes – for fire insurance.  I am vegan and I would deem  you needlessly immoral and nasty if you still eat meat or even cheese, so if you ever work for wages for me, don’t expect me to pay you the part that you are going to turn around and spend on meat.  The possibility that anybody (let alone I myself) is paying you for that is a violation of my moral convictions.  And don’t get me started on health insurance.  If you have ever smoked, and then come down with cancer, don’t expect me to pay for your obvious and immoral foolishness. 

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