Cecilia Richards, President of Planned Parenthood, made waves again this week when she suggested that what women need for Valentine’s Day is abortion, more abortion, and more birth control. So, on this day of love forget romance, chocolate, and whispering sweet nothings, Richards says all women need is more mutilation of their femininity.
There was quite a response – women everywhere were giving their own take on what women need. It was beautiful. There were all kinds of answers to the question “What do women need?” Here are a few: “reclaim the power and beauty of true femininity” “real, committed love” “more help folding laundry, nothing says ‘I love you’ like tackling the basket cheerfully” “God’s love” “A Body all her own, Green – Love – Natural!” “better maternity care and better access to jobs without being seen as a risk” “an abortion-free future” “to be treated with respect and to respect all life” “to hear that babies are blessings, not punishments” “to be alive!” “a culture that calls fathers to a high standard” “true love that is not disposable nor casual” “to not be objectified” “respect for their bodies and hearts” “loving support from the men in their lives” “to speak up for our freedom, faith, and families” “education and support for how their body naturally works”
To the astonishment of the everyday woman, some of these “old” feminists really still believe that suppressing a woman’s fertility, and surgically terminating and removing any life that is “accidentally” created when the suppression fails is the end all and be all of a woman’s existence. This is the idea that sexual freedom equals true freedom. As we have seen before on this blog this false notion of sexual freedom and unlimited sexual expression actually results in sexual addictions, depression, and turning women into objects to be used rather than persons to be loved.
What women really need for Valentine’s Day and beyond is a New Feminism. They need a Feminism that elevates and respects the dignity of their femininity not one that looks to eliminate it. They need a New Feminism that understands how a woman’s body works and gives her quality healthcare that works with her natural cycles. They need a New Feminism that does not seek to eliminate the “pregnancy” in Crisis Pregnancy but eliminates the “crisis” as Jess Schneider most beautifully explained.
They need a New Feminism that celebrates woman! They need a New Feminism that rejoices in a woman’s choices in her career, family, and life no matter what they are! Women are complicated and complex. It takes effort to care for all the intricacies of a woman. It is easier to flatline those hormones and rid her of the pregnancy rather than seek to understand her and help her be strong as a woman and in her motherhood. It’s even easier when you can make a buck (or millions) on simplifying her and making her less messy to deal with. New Feminism encourages society to accept and give dignity to woman as a woman, to embrace her in all her complexity, and to give women places like Guiding Star centers to truly support women!
Richards didn’t anticipate though, that her statement brought (and is still bringing) women who embrace a New Feminism together! In the last few days, I have been contacted through social media by more women calling themselves “new feminists” than ever before. We are much stronger than we realize. So, Happy Valentine’s Day! Share your thoughts on #WhatWomenNeed (in every social network) and see the thousands share theirs, and rejoice in knowing that you will soon get what you are asking for – because a New Feminism is rising!
Do you remember your middle school or high school reproductive health class? When I think back to my education about periods and “How babies are made” my memories are brief. I can remember short parts of videos or awkward condom demonstrations and disgusting pictures of STDs. Does this sound familiar to you?