#NotMyMarch: Elitism, Abortion and the March for (Some) Women
As we try to hear above the noise, it can be difficult to distinguish the exact grievances that the Women’s Marches over the weekend sought to remedy. They appeared to be a conglomeration of anyone who was angry about anything — ranging from abortion and birth-contro, to race and social justice to guns and Trump. The women who marched all across the country (and the world) seemed to hold one thing in common: a feeling of disenfranchisement and under-representation fueled by anger.
Yet, many of the non-participating women felt, in turn, misrepresented and disenfranchised by a march that claimed to be for women but in reality only represented the women who agreed with them. This one was #NotMyMarch.
The biggest issue for many non-marching women was not the metaphorical patriarchy that oppresses women but rather the very real matriarchy that frames every woman who isn’t pro-abortion as a “traitor to the cause of women.”
While the media claims that the Women’s March protests were about health care and reproductive rights, let us be clear about what that means: abortion. “Access to health care” means access to abortion, and “reproductive rights” ironically means the right to kill what might have been your own reproduction. Let us also be clear about one other thing: Abortion is NOT health care. It never has been. It never will be.
Underneath all of the yelling, pink hats and vulgar signs, a clear stream of thought echoed through the speeches: the right to abortion. Carefully clouding the issue by calling it “health care” and “women’s rights,” the marches sought once again to re-brand abortion to make it cute and attractive, indeed revolutionary and radical for young people. Yet recent polling from Marist reveals that among Millennials, 54% would limit abortion to most cases of rape, incest or life of the mother, 66% oppose taxpayer funding, 62% want a ban after 20 weeks gestation, and 75% say laws can protect both mother and unborn child. Scrambling for support amidst a changing tide of public opinion, the Planned Parenthood and NARAL lobby have attempted to expand their tent by mixing abortion in with pink hats, celebrity guest appearances and how rotten Donald Trump is.
One of the key speakers, Gloria Steinem, the 1960’s feminist leader, spoke of a “woman-led, inclusive march.” Yet the Women’s March shunned pro-life women and organizations. This action highlights the implicit elitism and exclusivity of the Left. What Ms. Steinem meant to say was that the March for Women was a woman-led, exclusively pro-abortion march. The Left believes in “unity,” but only if it means that everyone is united within the narrow confines of their ideology. They believe in “equality,” but only if it means that their opinion remains superior to any dissenting voice. As Carly Fiorina commented in a recent interview, “Apparently they don’t believe in a right [for a woman] to choose what she is going to believe.”
Gloria Steinem also spoke of a “sisterhood.” What sisterhood? Can she honestly call a movement a “sisterhood” that both excludes and mocks women who have a different opinion? Can she honestly call a movement a “sisterhood” when she believes that the sisters outside of the womb are the only ones worth fighting for?
The Marches for (Some) Women also misinformed and misled women about what a Trump presidency could potentially do in regards to abortion. If Trump appoints pro-life justices to the Supreme Court and a case comes up in which Roe v. Wade is overturned, guess what happens? The decision goes back to the states and each state legislature gets to decide its own abortion policies. What could be more democratic? What could be more equitable and fair? Let the people and the people’s state representation decide.
In reality, the Left doesn’t want all the people to have power. It does not want democracy. It wants a world in which it gets to dictate what women — all women — believe about “reproductive rights.” It calls this “respect.” Yet, it is not an earned respect but rather a forced, demanded and in some cases coerced respect.
Ironically, if these women demand respect, marching around with vulgar pictures of genitalia might not be the most effective way to gain it. If we are trying to get beyond being judged for our body, the vulgarity of the Women’s March does us a huge disservice. We should be able to define ourselves in the terms that extol us for our intellect and our contributions to society.
Susan B. Anthony, the abolitionist and suffragist instrumental in establishing the 19th Amendment that granted women the right to vote, sought respect and equal opportunity for women. The Women’s Marches, in contrast, disrespected women and gave them an “equal opportunity” to be vulgar, base and offensive. They misrepresented millions of intelligent, self-respecting women while turning a blind eye to the real issues affecting our gender across the globe: forced abortion and gendercide in India and China, female genital mutilation in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and the global epidemic of human trafficking.
In a twist of irony, the March for Women sought to march for the disenfranchised, but in its elitist exclusivity it shunned and disenfranchised millions of pro-life women — born and yet to be. For these reasons and for many others, the 2017 March for (Some) Women will remain #NotMyMarch.