In early January, women took to the streets of America to protest American democracy and caterwaul for rights they already have, and have had for some time.
Pro-abortion activists dressed as characters from Margaret Atwood’s brilliant polemic, The Handmaid’s Tale, and complained that women should have the right to choose parenthood by providing the unborn child with healthcare known as abortion.
Women, of course, have had this particular right since Roe vs Wade in 1973.
Early feminists were willing to debate whether men should also have the right to choose parenthood, but abandoned the principle of gender equality when it became clear that freeing men from gender roles would require women to behave outside proscribed gender roles as well, and provide materially for children they could freely choose to have.
According to The Atlantic, feminist activist and lawyer Karen de Crow “raised eyebrows in 1981 when she served as defense counsel to Frank Serpico, the former New York detective and whistleblower [on police corruption], in a paternity suit. Serpico claimed the plaintiff used him as a ‘sperm bank’ and lied about being on the pill while knowingly trying to conceive, and asserted that he had a constitutional right not to become a parent against his will.”
The judge ruled in Serpico’s favor, agreeing that men deserve the same right to choose parenthood that women enjoy. But the judge’s decision was overruled, possibly the result of an oppressive patriarchy hellbent on restricting gender equality even when argued by a female lawyer and ruled on by a female judge.
Modern feminists have lost interest in this early impetus to create a world of gender equality, in which both men and women would be free to choose the course of their own lives, arguing now that consent to sex constitutes consent to parenthood, but only for men.
Any effort to impose parenthood, by restricting abortion, on unwilling women is the grossest attack on women’s autonomy, rights and dignity. No effort exists to restrict women’s right to surrender unwanted children for adoption or to abandon them under Safe Haven laws. These remain avenues to avoid parenting children, but only for women. Men may not surrender unwanted children for adoption or abandon them under Safe Haven laws without the mother’s consent.
Some women marching demanded the right to bodily autonomy for women, from birth. While it remains legal to pierce the ears of infant girls without their consent, all other forms of cosmetic alteration, including the modification and/or mutilation of genitals, is prohibited by law. But genital mutilation, based on parental religious, aesthetic or any other principle is legal provided the infant is male. It is illegal to perform any variation of Islamic circumcision on female infants, but male mutilation is not prohibited in any jurisdiction. Once again, glaring gender inequality privileges women and harms men.
There were no women marching to demand the legal right to be drafted into combat positions, equal to men. Women have traditionally been exempt from draft registration requirements on the grounds that the draft is explicitly intended to fill combat positions, and since women were prohibited from combat positions, even as volunteers, they could not be required to register for the draft.
Congress recently lifted the prohibition on women from combat positions, but feminists were surprisingly reluctant to don camo pussy hats to demand their right to die defending the very liberty that allows them to protest the outcome of a democratic election and to demand rights they already have.
There is no word on when men will march to demand the legal rights women take for granted.
Janet Bloomfield is a shield maiden in the culture wars. Her book FeminISN’T is available on Amazon.