My Problem with Feminist Culture

A strong humanity is an inclusive one. Isn’t that what we’re fighting for?

“…felt profoundly alone: abandoned by a feminist movement that didn’t recognize her loss, accused by conventional wisdom of waiting too long to conceive, and deprived by society of the rituals that mark other forms of grief”

“The more I considered it, the more I became convinced that the silence around miscarriage was connected to feminism’s work around abortion. How could I grieve a thing that didn’t exist? If a fetus is not meaningfully alive, if it is just a collection of cells — the cornerstone claim of the pro-choice movement — what does it mean to miscarry one? Admitting my grief meant seeing myself as a bereft mother, and my fetus as a dead child — which meant adopting exactly the language that the [pro-life] movement uses to claim abortion is murder.

Some feminist thinkers have posited a way out of this paradox, by admitting the personhood of the fetus as they champion a woman’s right to abort it. In other words, abortion IS murder, but a justified one.

This didn’t feel quite right to me, either. I began to wonder if the personhood of the prawns we carry is a result of our relationship with our own pregnancies. Unlike the aborted fetus, the miscarried child has been spoken to, fantasized about, maybe even greeted on an ultrasound or named. My precious angel.

I was desperate for someone to tell me that the child I had lost was real and worthy of the usual, public rites of mourning. Communal grief for a common loss…

Mainstream liberal feminism has glorified the good side of nature — pregnancy, menstruation, breastfeeding — while ignoring nature’s darkness: miscarriage, grief, disease, death. Unpregnant and infertile women are not the only ones left out of this equation: Elderly and sick women are ignored by mainstream feminism, too. I found myself fantasizing about what a feminist miscarriage would look like, or, on a larger scale, what a feminist approach would be to grief and death.

To me, being a feminist is being pro-woman — to stand with other women who may look, think, and believe differently than I do. And together we understand one another on the mere basis of being a woman in this man-made world.

This is Brian, he was 6. He was pretty ecstatic to receive pencil crayons and a some hygiene items.
Apparently, I was the only one that fit into the clown dress, so here I am wearing a poodle skirt in 40C /104F weather.

I like the language of being “pro-____”. Just because someone’s not for something doesn’t automatically mean they’re “anti”. It’s just that someone else’s priorities are different than yours. Can we use more generous and empathetic language?

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Anna King

Anna King

Serving charities globally through fundraising consulting. Passionate about charity, simplicity and adventure. Writing about work, life, and random musings.