Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Feminism and the prolife movement

By Natalie Collins, RLM Education & Events Coordinator

As a way to promote human rights, a group of women came up with the idea of a Women’s March on Washington. This is supposed to be a walk that represents all women, while promoting feminism. However, the march has turned into something different.

Over the weekend there was clamoring because one of the sponsors of the event was prolife. According to the organizers of the march, their group is based on "intersectional feminism" and they were going to also be protesting for women’s health care and abortion access. This prolife group, New Wave Feminists, did not align with their message and organizers effectively ended their sponsorship.

While claiming to include everyone, they are willing to exclude prolifers.

If you don't know what intersectional feminism is, a simple search tells you that intersectional feminism comes from a type of sociological study to look at the different types of relationships among different dimensions. The term is further supposed to represent women who are feeling oppression to varying degrees.

Well, a lot of women might be feeling oppressed because they are told that they can’t go to the Women’s March because they are prolife. That's kind of ironic because that organization is claiming to stand up for the rights of all women. In reality they are ignoring statistically half of all women.

Maybe people would be more upset if the march organizers said that all people with brown hair can’t come to the march because they don’t want them representing their organization. People with brown hair account for a lot of women. So why is excluding someone because they are prolife any different?

You could go even further and make the argument that they are oppressing the rights of unborn women. It seems like this Women’s March might not actually represent all women.

Contrary to popular opinion, you can be a feminist and prolife. According to Merriam-Webster, a feminist is someone who supports the political, economic and social equality of the sexes; it doesn’t say anything about having to promote abortion. So according to that definition, if you want to stand up for women’s empowerment and promote legislation that helps make men and women equal, you are a feminist.

Unfortunately though, in real life the minute you step out and say that you are also prolife, other feminists will tell you that you can’t be a feminist. This being said, the main question still remains: why can’t a women be prolife and a feminist? We are supposed to be living in a society that is more inclusive. In reality, we are living in a time when it is okay to ban people from attending a free speech march because they want to defend the lives of the unborn; a march where it is okay to discriminate against someone because of their level of development.

The annual March for Life in Washington, DC will be taking place on January 27th. If you are unable to attend the march in Washington, find events in your area where you can make your voice heard. Coming together for equality and the empowerment of all women, born or unborn, is something we can all walk towards.