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Will the “War on Women” Crowd Please Give It a Rest

Progress Ohio

Susan E. Wills - published on 11/06/14 - updated on 06/08/17

The accusation is getting a bit stale, apart from being a fat lie.

I’m sure I’m not the only person in America who reacts to “War on Women” rhetoric with teeth-gnashing and an occasional snarl in the direction of the TV. The phrase is just so belittling and reductionist and so wrong on the facts.

Curious about where it came from, a Google search sent me to Wikipedia where I learned that the phrase was coined in 1989 by Andrea Dworkin – radical feminist lesbian anarchist who also wrote and lobbied against pornography. I’m not judging her. She was molested at age nine in a movie theater by some adult pervert, later injured by a prison guard performing an internal exam at the New York Women’s House of Detention where she was taken after her 1965 arrest at an anti-Vietnam War protest, and then married a Dutch anarchist she’d met in Amsterdam who routinely beat her severely, burned her with cigarettes and knocked her unconscious. These experiences may explain why she despised men and despised the reproductive capacity of women. One of several examples of her views provided by Wikipedia is the following:

In 1987, Dworkin published Intercourse, in which she extended her analysis from pornography to sexual intercourse itself, and argued that the sort of sexual subordination depicted in pornography was central to men’s and women’s experiences of heterosexual intercourse in a male supremacist society. In the book, she argues that all heterosexual sex in our patriarchal society is coercive and degrading to women, and sexual penetration may by its very nature doom women to inferiority and submission, and "may be immune to reform."

The following year (1988), Pope Saint John Paul II wrote his inspiring apostolic letter Mulieris Dignitatem (On the Dignity and Vocation of Women) in which he discussed, inter alia, “the feminine genius.” I don’t know if Ms. Dworkin ever read this letter and I’m not sure whether it would have changed her views, but it would at least have opened her eyes to a far different reality than the one she lived.

War on Women has always been about denigrating women’s most priceless gift: the ability to co-create with her husband and God a new and eternal human life who will take form and develop within, and from, her own flesh and blood and the nutrients she consumes, a life she will be privileged to nurture to adulthood (which these days may take a lot longer than it used to).

War on Women is one of those Orwellian phrases (like calling the war department “the Ministry of Peace”) that means the exact opposite of what it purports to say: it’s the radical feminists who insist that the only valid model for women  – as our President implied the other day – is the male whose rise to worldly success is unimpeded by a biological and affective capacity to bear and nurture children. It doesn’t speak to all the intellectual, psychosocial and affective gifts women possess; it just reduces them to bearers of reproductive organs.

Eventually, this idea spread beyond the confines of academia and radical feminist literature, thanks to the reproductive rights industry, for which this mantra brings in billions annually from the sale and distribution of contraceptives and the provision of abortion. To help secure young women as a reliable segment of the Democrat base, politicians like Hillary Clinton, Barbara Boxer and Nancy Pelosi (and many more) helped convince a slight majority of women that the GOP, if empowered, would put a halt to the never-ending party that began with The Pill, punish premarital sex by making it impossible to get cheap contraception, and outlaw abortion, the necessary “backup” when contraceptives fail as the U.S. Supreme Court has declared.

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