Don’t talk about it. It’s not polite.
But make sure you know what you think about it. And be prepared to fight for it, even if you are really not talking about it because it’s not polite.
Try not to judge people for their views (that they’re not talking about because they’re too polite), but whisper about their views and about them… and judge them privately in your own sphere, even though it’s kind of impolite. It’s okay, because it’s a moral thing.
Forget religion and politics. For women, breastfeeding and abortion are the topics that align, define and alienate us. They have become moral panics. They are black and white… and conditional.
“She got raped. She’s not married. She’s too poor. She hasn’t got a good supply. She needs to go back to work. She’s happily married. She’s a stay at home mom. She should be “better educated.” The baby would have been healthy. She’s selfish. She’s sacrificing herself. There’s really no excuse. She doesn’t need an excuse.”
You’re a nazi if you breastfeed. You’re a babykiller if you have an abortion. If you formula feed you’re stupid. If you are pro-life you take away women’s control of their bodies.
No wonder the arguments are so passionate. It’s confusing.
Worse, you can’t be a feminist if you do anything that could be considered by either side as “anti-female.” Boobs out or boobs in. Womb used or unused. Feminists are so divided that no matter what, by some reckoning you’re out of the “club.”
The reason why feminism has fallen apart is because women have become judgmental of each other. We are fragmented. We are fighting.
I fear that because of the ferocity of second wave feminism as well as the 30-year-old Susan Faludi Backlash folklore, we don’t want to understand each other. We are fearful our views and will be harshly judged by the very same women we desperately want to be connected to.
We don’t like to talk about it because it’s impolite. And when we do, we tear each other apart instead of trying to really understand the other point of view. We know we won’t agree. But now we won’t listen either. There is no “live and let live” because it’s become a moral panic.
Second wave feminism believed the bottle and formula were key to being released from the home and getting into the boardroom. Over time, the practice of breastfeeding is being reclaimed as a powerful feministic province. Today, feminism and breastfeeding are aligned. But the stigma and bruises of the battle are still tender.
I’m hearing that you can’t be pro-life and be a feminist. To many, pro-life is equal to anti-woman. I think it’s a shame.
Feminism has achieved so much, but we have lost a lot along the way. The battles of feminism and those of abortion and breastfeeding are tainted with women trying to validate and define their own identities and worth. In the 21st Century, can we not find some level ground of respect? Wouldn’t treating other women with respect, who hold opposite viewpoints, demonstrate an accomplishment for feminism?