Gender Equality and the “Hook-up Culture”

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Source, Elizabeth Schiltz, Mirror of Justice.

Two feminist legal theorists for whom I have great respect have recently written pieces on achieving equality between the genders that emphasize the need to take on the ‘hook up-culture.’ This kind of convergence is all the more remarkable because these two women come from very different perspectives.

Erika Bachiochi bravely jumped into the fray as what looks to me like the only pro-life voice of 10 people contributing to a “Roe at 40″ series of blog essays by Notre Dame’s Center for the Study of Social Movements.  Among the arguments she makes in her essay 10 Years Later: Let’s Get Honest about Abortion, Roe, and Women’s Equality is the following:

By equating equality with abortion access, we have capitulated to the misogynist view that equality requires women to become more like men, i.e., not pregnant. This is not to say in a biologically determinist fashion that because women’s bodies have the capacity to gestate fetal life, women are assumed by nature to be designed only, or even primarily, to be wives and mothers.  It is to say that a culture that relies on abortion to achieve equality between the sexes takes male—wombless—physiology as the norm, and in so doing perpetuates the cultural devaluation of motherhood, and of parenting generally, and the social conditions that are often inhospitable to childrearing. Abortion leaves every societal and familial injustice just as it is, and expects nothing more or different of men.

In her response to another contributor’s criticism of her essay, Erika lauds :

the effort to call men and women to a renewed sense of integrity and dignity with regard to their sexual lives. I, for one, think women ought to be at the forefront of such a movement, since we are the ones who deal disproportionately with the consequences of all-too-casual sexual encounters and failed contraception. It’s astonishing to me with so much heartbreak and so much unintended pregnancy—still, 50 years after the Pill—that mainstream feminists wouldn’t take a hard look at the way in which the sexual ethic on college campuses and post-college social scenes tends toward male prerogatives for low commitment sex.

 Katharine Baker is one of the ‘mainstream feminists’ who has recently taken careful look at this issue, and arrived at much the same conclusion as Erika (though she does not share Erika’s pro-life commitment.)  She recently posted an essay entitled Sex and Equality, soon too be published in Boston University L. Rev as part of a symposium on Hanna Rosin’s book, The End of Men.  Baker’s essay is sharp and punchy, and I think very effectively

challenges Rosin’s suggestion that contemporary sexual norms on college campuses serve women’s interests well. Unpacking the same data that Rosin uses to defend hook-up culture on women’s behalf, the essay argues that hook-up norms facilitate rape and may help explain the high rate of sexual assault on college campuses. Hook-up norms also perpetuate the sexual double standard, disproportionately hurt lower income women who cannot compete in hook-up status games, and valorize boorish, selfish male sexual behavior. In doing so, hook-up norms likely hurt young women’s ability to secure what they say they eventually want, which is sexual relationships rooted in equality.

 

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At Least Someone Had A Good Year

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(Source: Mirror of Justice): Planned Parenthood: A Record Year

Requests for contraceptive services apparently are in decline at Planned Parenthood.  And Planned Parenthood has decreased its cancer screening services by nearly a third. But public funding for Planned Parenthood continues to go up.  As do abortions.

While Planned Parenthood set a record for the last fiscal year in pulling in half-a-billion dollars from the taxpayers — amounting to nearly half of its funding — it has been downsizing services other than termination of pregnancies (here).  During the past three years alone, the nation’s largest abortion provider has snuffed out the lives of a million unborn babies.

The Pro-Life movement may be winning hearts and minds (here).  And praise God for His mercy in drawing the young people to Him.

In the meantime, we must not forget the grim reality that daily “terminates” innocent lives in abortion clinics around this country — nearly a thousand little ones destroyed each day in Planned Parenthood clinics, as that organization draws in hundreds of millions in taxpayer funds with the support of its primary patron in the White House.  The Obama years are proving to be the most lucrative for the abortion industry.

Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.

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Liturgy and Elections

Earlier today, I read Fr Patrick Henry Reardon’s pastoral letter “This Year’s Election” (you can download the pdf here). Like Fr Patrick, if it is at all possible I avoid discussions on partisan politics. The only exception is on those issues  where the Church has clearly spoke. I think Father has identified three of these areas.

First, the origin of human rights. These, since they come directly from the hand of God, are determined by the moral law. That is to say, no political institution can give citizens a right to do something wrong—not the Constitution, not the Congress, not the Supreme Court.

Second, the unborn child in the womb has an absolute right to be born. This right, which comes from God, is subject to no qualifying circumstances, including the conditions of the child’s conception and the health of the mother. One may not murder an unborn baby. A baby in the womb has the same right to life as its mother and her doctor.

Third, marriage is the union of a man and woman. This principle, rooted in God’s creating act, can be altered by no decision of any institution or agency of government. No one can be given a right to do a wrong. Whatever name is conferred upon it, state-sponsored sodomy is an abomination to the created order. It is a radical offense against the divine Logos.

Unfortunately, this puts the Church in a more critical posture toward the Democratic Party. We shouldn’t however assume from this that the Republican Party is somehow the “Orthodox” choice or that its policies are exempt from criticism. Much less can we assume that one party and not the other has received the Church’s blessing. In fact,

About policies—most questions of political concern—we may expect some legitimate disagreements among Christians. Among these we should include questions about the application of civil punishments, the funding of public education, the tax code, the authority of federal agencies, this or that social program, and so forth. These matters, properly governed by prudence, leave much room for legitimate disagreements among Christians.

But, there are “matters on which there can be no legitimate disagreement among Christians.” And this places Orthodox Christians I think in a difficult position. Continue reading

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Offered without comment…

From LifeNews:

[...] In 2010, they pressed ObamaCare—a top-down, healthcare system takeover—on the American people, and earlier this year, they followed with their abortion pill mandate: a conscience-trampling decree forcing all employers to pay for insurance to cover abortion pills for employees who want them.

Then, on May 31, with the possibility of the passage of legislation in the House of Representatives that would have banned gender selection as a determining factor in abortions, the White House opposed the bill on grounds that it would have “intruded in medical decisions or private family matters.”

In other words, the Obama administration was arguing that the bill would allegedly intrude into decisions best left to individuals. Or, dare I say, it would intrude upon matters of conscience? [...]

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Should Libertarians Be Conservatives?: The Tough Cases of Abortion and Marriage

Does personal virtue secure liberty and If so, what does this mean for the role of government? Jay W Richards, Director of the Center on Wealth, Poverty, and Morality at the Discovery Institute, provides the beginning of an answer. He writes:

Over fifty years ago, National Review’s Frank Meyer made the case for “fusionism,” which joined traditional morality with a defense of liberty and free markets. Meyer and others knew that fiscal conservatism needs social conservatism, and vice versa. A free market allows us to exercise creativity and virtue, for instance, but it also needs a reasonably virtuous citizenry. A population of thieves would create anarchy, not freedom. Unfortunately, the very name fusionism implied that that these were separate concerns that needed to be, well, fused

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Read the rest http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2012/04/5259 .

In Christ,

+Fr Gregory

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President Carter Encourages Democrats to Limit Access to Abortion

(Daily Caller).  Appearing on “The Laura Ingraham Show” Thursday to promote his book “NIV Lessons from Life Bible: Personal Reflections with Jimmy Carter,” former President Jimmy Carter addressed the ever-hot topic of abortion — encouraging fellow Democrats to tone down their focus on the issue.

“I never have believed that Jesus Christ would approve of abortions and that was one of the problems I had when I was president having to uphold Roe v. Wade and I did everything I could to minimize the need for abortions,” he said, explaining his attempts to streamline adoption and provide aid to poor women through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.

Carter, who does not believe abortions should be outlawed, told Ingraham that he is calling on Democrats to de-emphasize abortion in the party platform.

“I’ve signed a public letter calling for the Democratic Party at the next convention to espouse my position on abortion which is to minimize the need, requirement for abortion and limit it only to women whose life are in danger or who are pregnant as a result of rape or incest,” he said.

According to Carter, reducing the focus on abortion, and advocating for its increasing rarity, would attract more voters to the Democratic Party.

“I think if the Democratic Party would adopt that policy that would be acceptable to a lot of people who are now estranged from our party because of the abortion issue,” he said

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Defending Infanticide

Well, not me, but there are people doing just that. Let me explain.

When a college classmate was in med school in the early 80’s, she was horrified to hear a lecture advocating what he called “extra-uterial abortions.”  For those playing at home, that’s infanticide.

Telling me about the lecture, she said that there were two speakers at the front of the lecture hall. The ob/gyn who was describing the procedure and an attorney who clarified for these future doctors what was and was not currently legal.

What brought this to mind is an essay by Michael Scaperlanda at the law blog site, Mirror of Justice (It is not surprising that Peter Singer is no longer alone in advocating infanticide). He writes on a “peer reviewed article advocating legalization of infanticide.” According to the abstract from the article “what we [the authors] call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.” Continue reading

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