Yes, abortion rights are important, but I feel so sold out by Ellen Malcolm (Emily's List), as well as the leaders of Planned Parenthood, NARAL, etc. I've been deeply offended by Ellen Malcolm now twice, and searched today on the Washington Post website to see if I could find it--her first offensive comment was on this, letting us know that she didn't think competition came naturally to women (please, I can't think of many people more competitive than yours truly and it sure comes naturally to me). Her other offensive comment about women with children was in a brief op-ed she wrote for the NY Times after the 2004 election. Ellen Malcolm is so patronizing to women with children, it's unbelievable. After (or just before the 04 election), she used her bully pulpit to announce that Emily's List was having trouble getting mothers to the polls because, well, women with children just weren't interested in politics. They (we?) might only go to the polls if there were issues on the ballot that affected children. It would be an understatement to say I blew my top.
My first thought was, well, maybe if school wasn't canceled on election day or there was a day care drop off for long lines, that might be helpful. I mean, I've watched my husband and my brothers-in-law work in electoral politics for years, and sometimes volunteered if I was out in the state they were working. I've seen campaigns put in tremendous resources toward getting senior citizens to the polls: door-to-door shuttle services, individual rides, call trees, you name it. But has a campaign ever said, hey, I'll watch your kids for a few minutes so you can go vote? I mean, it's something Emily's List would NEVER think of. No, to Emily's List, mothers are just fluff-brained idiots who can't even name the current president.
I think the big problem with most of the leaders of the various feminist groups is that none of them actually have children. They just don't get it.
And, while I keep saying over and over again that abortion rights are certainly important (just to be clear), the ability to terminate a pregnancy is no longer the revolutionary act it was in 1975. In 1975, if you were unwed and pregnant, you'd be in serious financial straits. Lots of jobs weren't open to you anyway. Social prejudices against unmarried mothers would kill you.
But it isn't 1975 anymore. Women shouldn't have to choose between having a child or having a career. But that's where we are thanks to people like Ellen Malcolm. Everything's got to go into preserving Roe vs. Wade. Abortion will not be illegal in this country if the decision were overturned. It would revert to the states and most states would allow it.
But Emily's List, NARAL, Planned Parenthood have a stranglehold on the feminist dialogue in this country at the highest political levels. And they're basically like John McCain telling everyone that we're going to be in Iraq for 100 years. We're going to be fighting about Roe for 100 years and nothing else: and we can't pour our resources into anything else, like equal pay for equal work or childcare or family leave or anything. Ellen Malcolm is just like George W. Bush or John McCain telling us that if we don't keep putting EVERYTHING into Roe at the expense of EVERYTHING else, the "terrorists" will win.
Where is Elizabeth Cady Stanton when you need her?