That's where I'm skinnydipping after reading Jedediah Bila's recent column, "We Are More Than the Sum of Our Parts," at AMAC. It caused my brain to go off in so many different directions that I was sure I had suddenly become even more ADD-riddled than I was to begin with.
What prompted her essay is Gloria Steinem's (I guess she's still alive—who knew?) remark that "reproductive freedom is a fundamental human right."
That led Bila to list the unalienable rights in the Declaration—which include the right to life, something lost on the media still not covering the trial of a PA physician whose medical practice, if you can call it that, included inducing labor in women seeking late-term abortions (the sort that Governor Cuomo would like to encourage so that NYS can benefit from abortion tourism) leading to women delivering viable babies into toilets who then try to swim to escape.
So I was with her thus far.
She then said that Steinem "called reproductive freedom the 'key to equalizing males and females..."'
And this is where Bila runs off the rails.
...In my book, women’s equality didn’t come about because of reproductive freedom; it came about due to strong, intelligent, motivated women who used their intellect and passion to fight for recognition of their potential.
It would have been nice if she explicitly said that Steinem is off her rocker if she thinks that men and women aren't substantially equal when it comes to such commonly cited metrics as pay. And it would have been nice if she had listed even a couple of the "strong, intelligent, motivated" women she mentions in passing. One that comes to my mind is Susan B. Anthony, who was both a driving force in the women's suffrage movement and is the eponymous inspiration of the SBA List, the pro-life PAC which works to dispel the myth that women need abortion in order to flourish.
My power in this world is not derived from my ability to abort; it is derived from my ability to succeed.
Hmmmm....I'll get back to that in a moment.
The notion of “equalizing males and females” also reminds me of a quote by Timothy Leary often attributed to Marilyn Monroe: “Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.” I always liked that quote.
Despite what she says next, either she misunderstands the Leary quote or she's being disingenuous. That quote is an insult to men. So she really lost me there.
You see, I don’t aim to be “equal with men” because I don’t see the world divided by gender, where all men are on one side and all women on another. It’s not realistic; things just aren’t that black and white. Instead, I aim to be the best woman I can be....
...We’re not a world divided between men and women; we’re a world made up of individuals with different skills, goals, and potential.
It just doesn’t all come down to gender...
Yes, men and women are designed to be complementary, not envious of and in competition with each other. But I could have done without the self-congratulatory platitudes.
My power is not born from my reproductive parts. It is born from my mind, my ambition, my passion, and my uniqueness as the one and only “me” in this world....
Hark! I hear Helen Reddy now...."I am woman, hear me roar...."
The column ends up with Jedediah's bio, which is nearly as long as the column itself. You can read it here.
On the other hand, here's my bio:
tvm is spouse, mom of 3, stepmom of 4, blogger, and all-around PITA. She hasn't published any books—or much of anything else—but she has worked for a newspaper, been a mom, delivered newspapers, worked in a bank, been a mom, worked in a big box discount store and a department store, been a mom, did innumerable years of volunteer work in diverse leadership positions, been a mom, and worked in the local ivory tower. And oh yeah, is a mom—did I mention that? tvm graduated summa cum laude from and as co-valedictorian of her alma mater. She has taught at the nursery school and college levels—wait, I just repeated myself.
Back to her comment above, "My power in this world is not derived from my ability to abort; it is derived from my ability to succeed"...I think she actually has a pretty myopic definition of success.
Granted, Jedediah is only
34 (the new 17, I guess), but there isn't any mention of family, as in spouse and children, in her bio. She may want to read Pundette's recent post, 'There's a "war on children" and we're all losing
," which links to writing with a lot more substance than is found in Bila's column.
Finally, you may want to read "Rodney"'s comment on Bila's post...apparently, all is not well in AMAC-land and some members are not happy with AMAC touting itself as the conservative alternative to AARP. I've wondered about that for a while and Bila's post made me wonder about it some more.
But enough for now.