If we believe the social elites, it’s truly a trying time to be a woman in America.
Just last November, millions of us were coerced by our own deeply embedded (very deeply, in my case) loathing of our womanhood to vote against Hillary Clinton. And now, just as we’ve really started getting our voices back — albeit through the trope of silent protests based on a television show not exactly representative of American society — that nefarious squad in the White House has turned the screw and ended the contraception mandate for employers who object on religious or moral grounds.
The contraception mandate, if you will recall, is that tidbit from the Obama administration that forced all employers to provide their employees with access to abortifacients (contraceptive methods that can cause abortions, such as the morning-after pill) through their health-care plans. The administration rejected requests for a religious or conscience-based exemption to the mandate, meaning that employers from Christian colleges to nuns found themselves having to choose whether to violate their deeply held pro-life convictions or to incur ruinous fines that might put them out of business.
After years of court decisions against this coercion and repeated promises from the Trump administration to restore freedom to business owners, the White House has finally moved to scrap the mandate.
To read the news, one would think this is a blow to women everywhere. Feminists are up in arms (when are they not, though?). All women, we hear, must be devastated by this decision. As the contraception-mandate battle heats up again (the ACLU has already sued the Trump administration), we’re destined for a fresh round of rhetoric that wildly overgeneralizes about American women. (See, for example, Michelle Obama’s assertion that all women who did not vote for Hillary “voted against their own voice.”)
Meanwhile, the women who are pleased with the reversal of the mandate — like me — will simply be disregarded.
This is a situation worth investigating: that the groups allegedly most committed to advocating for women have come up with a way to disdain and ignore a huge segment of women. Why?
There are really only a couple of ways for progressives and feminists to deal with the phenomenon of pro-life, anti-contraception women: 1) allow for the possibility that, just like men, women can have different ideas about human flourishing; or 2) conjure up some psycho-babble to demonstrate that women who disagree with progressivism by being pro-life aren’t really pro-life. However freely they think they’ve come to their convictions, they’re really hive-minded morons brainwashed by the oppressive men in their lives. The second approach, unsurprisingly, is highly favored today.
As C. S. Lewis’ marvelous Professor in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe asks, “What do they teach them in these schools?” (Don’t answer that — the answer would bring tears to the old professor’s eyes, probably some of them tears of laughter.) One of the things they do not teach in “these schools” is basic logic. This may be because logic has recently been demonstrated — not logically, don’t worry — to be an instrument of the patriarchy. If they did teach logic, however, perhaps in their young and tender years some of these progressives would have encountered the very simple logical principle of Occam’s Razor. This fine little piece of reasoning says that the simplest explanation is almost always the best. In other words, if there are two possible explanations for a phenomenon (such as the existence of pro-life women), the explanation that requires the fewest assumptions is most likely correct.
If we apply Occam’s Razor, we find that the common progressive explanation for the existence of conservative women is hardly an explanation at all; it is a speculation, a hurried fumbling with categories, a fabulous romp through the unverifiable hinterlands of the subconscious. It is, in other words, a series of utterly fatuous assumptions. It requires at least these assumptions (there are likely more buried in there somewhere):
1) Pro-life women cannot use language the same way as men: i.e., when a woman says, “I am pro-life,” she does not mean it in the same way a man does.
2) Women cannot be relied upon to know their own minds: i.e., when a woman expresses a conviction that goes against progressive orthodoxy, she cannot actually believe it. She must necessarily be following the dictates of male dominance, and she cannot discern this until she has ceased to believe what she believes and has accepted the rival dictates of progressivism.
3) Women cannot be relied upon to evaluate their own experiences and come to rational conclusions: i.e., women must receive conclusions from some other group (almost always made up largely of men, either regressive men or progressive men — don’t forget that the sexual revolution has more fathers than mothers).
4) Women are not rational animals (though, to be fair, progressives probably don’t think men are rational animals either, because they don’t believe in rationality).
Pro-life women exist and are, in fact, pro-life as we commonly understand the word.
The alternative to high-jumping all of these assumptions is, of course, to recognize that pro-life women exist and are, in fact, pro-life as we commonly understand the word.
The application of Occam’s Razor to the situation makes it quite clear which explanation is more likely. But to acknowledge that there is genuine disagreement between women on these matters is to invite unpleasant scrutiny of both abortion and contraception. This would mean accepting that a reasonable person could conclude that by remaining abstinent until marriage, not using contraception, and being open to life (even when that is painful or difficult, such as when a child has a severe birth defect), her life is better. This isn’t a political question; it’s a metaphysical one. Are we happier and more fully human when we seek a life that is completely free from limitations and where choices have no consequences, or are we more fully human when we accept limitations and recognize that our choices have consequences?
Progressives try to minimize and silence pro-life women because our presence is an existential threat. The sexual revolution takes no prisoners. It is absolutely essential to the movement that nobody’s choices have consequences, because if somebody’s do, it’s possible that everybody’s do. As the brutal facts about abortion have become impossible to deny, abortion advocates have to be able to picture themselves as warriors battling on the front lines of a cataclysmic struggle for the good of all womankind. That’s the only way for them to justify the obvious and horrific collateral damage from their crusade.
It is a trying time to be a woman in America, but not for the reasons the media want us to think. We are having to grow up and face reality, and it is not a pretty sight. The reality is that unborn babies feel pain. The reality is that contraception use has dramatically changed our communities and families, and not necessarily for the better. Pro-life women who are slighted, ignored, or put down by mainstream voices should speak up, but we should also remember that when feminists and progressives ignore us, it’s because they can’t bear to consider the possibility that we’re right.