Roe v. Wade is More Than a Decision: Life has Recovered its Rights

January 22, 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. All month, we’ll be running posts examining various aspects of this landmark ruling. If you’d like to contribute, let us know!

Abortion has existed for centuries, but the right to choose abortion, and therefore enter motherhood voluntarily, has existed for less than a century. In the United States, this right is protected by Roe v. Wade. But followers of certain religious faiths argue that abortion is murder. Nobody is pro-abortion, certainly not feminists who fight for the right to choose and the dignity of women as human beings. To make a choice, we must be able to act knowingly. Freedom is a blessing which builds when reflection and awareness are used as guides. To make the best possible choice, we need to know as much as possible.

Is teaching creationism, negationism, and climate skepticism, and not teaching biology the best way to prepare youth to grow up in this world, enter the workforce, and start a family? Is any effort to make people believe from an early age that they will never be autonomous to make decisions, but at the same time that they are the only rightful people in the world, the proper way to establish a partnership between God and humanity?

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A Faithful Feminist

Inspired by Merle Hoffman’s new book Intimate Wars, we’re sharing some of our own most memorable pro-choice/social justice personal actions this month. If you’d like to contribute, let us know!

I am a believer. If I had to name my religion, it would be “Judaism-Islam.” As the believers of both religions believe in One God, my heart stays indivisible. It is a paradox. I cannot choose between these two religions, the two principals of my family (in which there are also devout but very tolerant Catholics). In recent months I have attended evangelical churches in France, not to convert myself, but to study the Gospel and Scriptures that I know very little about. I accompany my best friend, who is an evangelist.

Hold a Dialogue With Believers
Thus, in recent months my feminist “action” has taken place with people I meet in evangelical churches. I have learned a lot from them; they are very warm people. I listen and ask them what they think about the low status of women. Women find it normal: “woman is a help for man,” “with gentleness and patience, a woman can get everything from her husband.” But I cannot talk openly about feminism – if I do, my friend may be removed. So I ask questions, I ask them their opinions. And that makes us think together. [Read more...]

Can the Princess Narrative Please Die Already

God's Little Princess Devotional BibleDominant discourse within the institution of religion tends to paint an image of women as docile servants of man and the lord. This is why religion, for the most part, makes me squeamish and uncomfortable. I just can’t get down with the idea that women are a bunch of damsels in distress.

Too bad Sheila Walsh thinks otherwise.

In Sheila’s recent book, Gods Little Princess Devotional Bible, she positions young women as entirely reliant upon the lord to determine their own self worth. Identifying young women as the princess-daughters-of-the-lord plays into age old stereotypes of women as nothing more then an extension of man. Within this conceptual framework, it is impossible for women to manifest their own self worth outside of their relational ties to God. Sheila asks the question, “what girl wouldn’t want to be a princess?” Well Sheila, I can think of quite a few. You know, the one’s that want to be – I don’t know – astronauts, pilots, doctors, lawyers, or maybe even professional feminists. lol. The point being that you can’t wrap young women’s viability as moral actors up in this fantasized narrative about serving God, particularly based on totalizing generalizations about women’s “natural” virtues. Dodai, at Jezebel, highlights exactly how this dominant narrative positions women as subservient. She states, [Read more...]