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A WOMAN’S BIOLOGY: Too Much Reality for Feminists?

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  2. A WOMAN’S BIOLOGY: Too Much Reality for Feminists?

“Second-wave feminists … failed to take into account woman’s intricate connection with nature—that is, with procreation.” Camille Paglia

We have a problem at the end of the 20th Century and the beginning of the 21st. Women are being disconnected from their biology and their design. Modern, second-wave feminists put a woman’s career over her biology. Postmodern, third-wave feminists put a woman’s illusions over her biology.

Camille Paglia one of the leading feministsCamille Paglia, one of my favorite and provocative authors discusses this dilemma in her new book, Free Women and Free Men: Sex-Gender-Feminism.

Paglia is truly one of a kind: an unabashed liberal, feminist, libertarian lesbian and free thinker. She writes that second-wave feminists separated women from their basic biology, that is, they are built to be mothers. She begins by answering the question of who would define the new woman of the 20th century:

If I were asked what or whom should be put into a time capsule as a legacy of the twentieth century, I would name three emblematic women: Amelia Earhart, who conquered the world of masculine adventure; Katharine Hepburn, who embodied in life and film an enormous range of authoritative female personae; and Germaine Greer at her debut and high point. These three would symbolize the new twentieth-century woman. [1]

Modern feminism eschews motherhood

Each of these women were strong, courageous, mold breakers who defined powerful, aggressive modern career women. But they had something else in common, none were mothers. They had little idea about what most women know, the maternal and nurturing nature of female. And herein is one of the major problems with modern feminism. Paglia writes:

Second-wave feminist rhetoric placed blame for the female condition entirely on men, or specifically on “patriarchy,” an overused and nebulous term that … should be discarded. The exclusive focus of feminism was on an external social mechanism that had to be smashed or reformed. It failed to take into account women’s intricate connection with nature—that is, with procreation.[2]

Here is a verbal earthquake. Paglia goes to the very heart of what is wrong with modern and postmodern feminism. They begin by blaming their problems on men. Their solutions require destroying men and male, family formation and the maternal and paternal heart as manifest in male and female.

Sexist culture and male domination of women are real. In 50 years of travel around the globe I have personally witnessed these evils. I have spoken and written against them extensively, both at this blog and in book form. Few social struggles have received my energies as has the quest to end the impoverishment and mistreatment of women and promote, instead, the dignity of womanhood.

But second and third-wave feminists have rejected not only the “bath” of sexism. They have thrown out the baby as well. They have demeaned the maternal nature of the woman and promoted abortion on demand. They have ushered in the era of post-family, post-maternal and now post-binary sexuality.

Motherhood is hard wired into the female

God designed the female to conceive, gestate, birth and nurture babies. Women are biologically, hormonally wired to procreate. Modern and postmodern feminists, in their ideological drive for “equality” (read sameness, interchangeability) with men have denied the reality of biology. Paglia writes:

But the real-life consequences of this wholesale exclusion of biology from contemporary social thought continue to multiply. For example, second-wave feminism had been habitually guilty of a callous and to me counterproductive denigration of motherhood … Second-wave feminism glorified the career woman and dismissed the stay-at-home mom as a traitor to the cause.[3]

Not only did second-wave feminists separate women from their biology, they assigned second class status to mothers and motherhood. They were certainly not feminists and were not really human.

But the first-wave feminists of the 19th and early 20th century were maternal feminists. They understood that a woman’s biology meant something, and her act of procreatiAlice Paul one of the early feministsng was the assurance and promotion of the future. Women had dignity as human beings. They were considered equal in value to men. Their role of motherhood was honored and respected in society.

First-wave (maternal) feminists were prolife. They understood that abortion not only destroyed the life of a baby, it negatively impacted the life and well-being of mothers. Alice Paul, a first-wave feminist who authored the original Equal Rights Amendment, called abortion “the ultimate exploitation of women.”

Victoria Woodhull, a first-wave feminist and the first woman to run for president of the United States (1872), stated Victoria Woodhull Alice Paul one of the early feministsunequivocally that “pregnancy is not a disease, but a beautiful office of nature.”

Abortion has won over the maternal

Paglia summarizes: “Feminist ideology has never dealt honestly with the role of the mother in human life.”[4] She goes on to speak of the practical consequences of modern feminist ideology promoting career over motherhood:

The overflow of gender theory into real life can conceal developing problems. For example, what are the long-term consequences of the disruption of biologic patterns in our imposing on young women a male-centered career path that occupies women’s optimal years of fertility with a prolonged sequence of undergraduate and postgraduate education? By the time our most accomplished young women are ready to marry, they may be in their 30s, when pregnancy carries more risks and when their male peers suddenly have an abundant marital choice of fresher, more nubile girls in their 20s.[5]

How can society pragmatically support career over the maternal? Abortion!

As I have argued elsewhere, abortion allows a woman to be most like a man. She can have sex whenever she wants without consequences. To be “equal” to a man is to be unpregnant, thus the “necessity” of abortion on demand. Further, having the government pay for the abortion affirms women’s “equality.” Second-wave feminism linked abortion to feminism. Radical feminism is radical precisely because abortion is its sacrament.

Children are seen as an imposition on a woman’s life, an interruption to her career. Public schools and universities teach girls they are made for careers. Young women are torn away from their natural purpose to bear and nurture children. Second-wave feminists deny a woman’s basic design and function; they reject their actual biology.third-wave feminists reject motherhood

Pro-abortion, not pro-choice

Second-wave feminists speak of “a woman’s right to choose.” But they don’t mean that. They actually insist that women must not be free to choose. A choice includes at least two alternatives, but radical feminists demand only one option: abortion. Pro-choice is a euphemism. Truth to tell, they are pro-abortion. Paglia identifies abortion as their holy “sacrament.”:

[Gloria} Steinem herself can be credited or blamed for having turned abortion into a sacrament, promoted with the same religiosity that she and her colleagues condemn in their devoutly Christian opponents.[6]

Abortion lies at the heart of the culture wars. To my thinking, the culture wars and the passionate political divide in the US is about abortion more than anything else. A war is underway to topple Western Civilization by overthrowing the Judeo-Christian worldview and its founding principles.

Two major paradigms, Judeo-Christian theism and atheism, promote two very different principles: “the right to life” and “the right to choose.” These principles give birth to very different public policies. One side promotes policies to protect even the most fragile human life, from birth to natural death. The other would destroy that life, to guarantee a woman’s right to abortion even if her baby survives the abortion attempt.

A desperate fight for the right to abort

Trump's impeachment trial may have been influenced by feministsIn the United States in 2018 we saw heat, hostility and even hatred in the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. We have just witnessed the same animus in the impeachment trial of President Trump before the United States Senate.

What is the real story in the impeachment trial? Is it possible that both cases have everything to do with abortion? Say what you will about Donald Trump’s tweets, vulgarity, personal morality, etc., sometimes I wonder if the underlying, unstated source of the impeachment effort is his position on abortion. Many have observed that, in terms of his advocacy and policies, he has been the most pro-life president in modern times. If a woman’s equality is determined by her “right to choose” to abort her baby, abortion proponents will fight by any means necessary to maintain that right.

It is time to reconnect women to their bodies. They are designed to conceive, give birth and nurture children. Women and their children are a gift to their families, communities and the world.

I end by quoting from a leader of today’s maternal feminist movement, Maureen Ferguson:

The vision of women’s equality promoted by Roe v. Wade … assumes women need to be more like men. But women bear children, and that gift is not a deficiency; humanity’s very existence depends on our life-giving capacity. Women ought to be valued as they are, and Mom Power embraced. In a culture of true equality and authentic female flourishing, women would not be told to choose between their children and their success.

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[1] Paglia, Camille. Free Women, Free Men (pp. 131-132

[2] Ibid, 131-132.

[3] Ibid, 217.

[4] Ibid, 133

[5] Ibid, 218

[6] Ibid, 279

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Darrow is co-founder of the Disciple Nations Alliance and a featured author and teacher. For over 30 years, Darrow has been a popular conference speaker on topics that include Christianity and culture, apologetics, worldview, poverty, and the dignity of women. From 1981 to 2007 Darrow served with Food for the Hungry International (now FH association), and from 1994 as Vice President. Before joining FH, Darrow spent three years on staff at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland where he was discipled by Francis Schaeffer. He also served as a student pastor at Northern Arizona University and two years as a pastor of Sherman Street Fellowship in urban Denver, CO. In addition to earning his Master’s degree in Adult Education from Arizona State University, Darrow pursued graduate studies in philosophy, theology, Christian apologetics, biblical studies, and missions in the United States, Israel, and Switzerland. Darrow has authored numerous studies, articles, Bible studies and books, including Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Culture (YWAM Publishing, 1998), Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for Building Healthy Cultures (InterVarsity Press, 2008), LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day (YWAM, 2009), Rethinking Social Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion (YWAM, 2015), and more. These resources along with links to free e-books, podcasts, online training programs and more can be found at Disciple Nations Alliance (https://disciplenations.org).

1 Comment

  1. Scott Reph

    February 3, 2020 - 5:40 pm

    It’s interesting how “It Takes A Village” (title of Hillary Clinton’s book, published by Simon & Schuster in 1996) to raise a child, but the village doesn’t have an interest or right in a child in the womb. Even the male sperm donor of this child has no voice, only the woman. I am reluctant to use the term of “mother”. For this new paradigm isolates, divides, even silences any opposition to abortion. Our American society is well aware of the consequences to a growing conservative SCOTUS and judiciary under the present administration. Hence, we are witnessing an insane willingness to burn everything down before accepting defeat of Roe v. Wade. Redefining sexuality, open boarders and judicial tyranny are all symptoms of a growing public rebellion voiced many years ago, “we will not have this man rule over us!”.