As a woman who constantly has to hear this “war on women” nonsense about how the only way “us women” will be truly equal and liberated is to get free birth control and abortions, I think I need to say something.
I am a woman, and I am speaking for myself…this is my story.
When I was 21 and still in college, I had a unplanned pregnancy. Complete horror, fear, and shame took over my life. If you are young and single and pregnant…guess what you should do? Get an abortion.
Because if you have a child before you are completely stable in your life, educated, and with a solid career, how could you ever dream of living a successful, satisfying life? Women who have children young cannot pursue their dreams and cannot be equal to men because the child takes that right away.
At least that’s what I thought. And quite frankly, that’s what society tells us women. In order for a woman to have equal opportunities as men, they need to eliminate the potential for children.
So…how did we get to this point? This point of making women feel like they have to choose between mothering and pursuing education and careers?
Well, I suggest it’s the real war on women.
The real war on women is this:
- Pornography: The real war on women is our culture’s infatuation with porn. This disgusting business has completely objectified women and made sexual promiscuity and sexual pleasure at all costs the cultural norm. Women are objectified and people are actually trained to objectify them. This immediate sexual gratification pushes the idea of “sexual liberation”. Because apparently having as much sex whenever you want without any sort of commitment is what will make you happy. You should be able to do that. Men can do that…why shouldn’t you? Now, if women want to live up to the standards that porn has created…she has to take a birth control pill every single day that pumps fake hormones into her body, makes her gain weight, depressed, and increases her risk for various cancers. Awesome.
So what happens if all this sexual liberation happens and the birth control fails? Well…now we have to fall back on abortions because of these other wars on women:
- Student Mother Support: Never heard of student mother support? Probably because it doesn’t exist…and if it does exist it is very hard to find. When women find themselves young, still in school, and pregnant (like me) we are expected to get an abortion because otherwise we can’t follow our dreams. The society will blame this on the child. I, however, will blame this on the lack of student mother support. Women feel they have to abort because our universities do the WORST job of supporting mothers. Maybe that’s why you never see pregnant women on campus. The university fails to give them equity for what they need. As a pregnant, young student, I remember calling the Student Health office only to hear these exact words, “we don’t like to support pregnancy on campus.”
- Maternity Leave Laws: Another reason women can’t realistically choose to parent their children is because we have the worst maternity leave laws in the entire world. Somehow it is not required to pay maternity leave for women and they only get 3 months guaranteed off. Apparently we don’t believe in investing in good parenting during one of the most crucial times in a person’s development (the 1st year). We must be a really advanced country. Meanwhile in Europe, mother’s are paid for an entire year during their maternity leave.
- Affordable Childcare: Piggy backing off of the previous war on women…now that mother’s aren’t getting paid leave, they need to go back to work and childcare is not affordable. Now we are forcing this woman to choose between a job and basic care for a child. Is this fair?
- Women are paid less: On top of EVERYTHING else, women are paid 77 cents to the dollar of a man.
So don’t anybody tell me that the war on women is that we don’t get free birth control and abortions. The war on women is that we are objectified by the porn addicted culture that has one agenda of “sexual liberation” which is really just an addiction to immediate gratification without any consequences, which then forces women to try to live by that standard, making them take birth control pills that practically destroy their bodies, and when they still end up getting pregnant they opt out of parenting and choose abortion because our society does not value mothers and does not give them equity in a school setting, does not give them paid leave to invest in our future generation’s physical and emotional well-being, does not have affordable childcare to make pursuing a career possible, women do not get paid equal wages to men anyways, and when we argue any of these points it’s tough for society to take us seriously because we have been reduced to sexual objects who are probably complaining because we are on our periods. [end rant]
Now…I was this girl who bought into the sexualized culture and I did get pregnant. Lucky for me, by the grace, and mercy of God, I chose life for my beautiful little girl. This choice was by far the most redeeming, healing, and empowering decision I have ever made. And I want to make it clear that my daughter in NO WAY ever took anything away from my dreams, in fact, she made them real. Even though the real war on women was against me, I am proud to say that I have a gorgeous 1 year old, I work my dream job, and I am currently in graduate school earning my Master’s.
How did I do this?
My religious community has made this possible. The moment I turned to them, they embraced me. Not once did they make me choose between pursuing my education and parenting my daughter. They treated me as a WHOLE person with respect and dignity and encouraged me to follow my dreams.
It is through my religious community that I have been given free childcare.
It is through my religious community that I have been treated with equality and dignity, and it is through my religious community that I have been encouraged in ALL aspects of my life as mother, student, employee, and woman.
If religious freedom is attacked, and the real war on women is not addressed…there is no hope for women to be supported and respected for all that they are in this society.
It is time for women to speak for themselves.
Check out womenspeakforthemselves.com for ways you can participate.