Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Past, The Present, & The Future Of Feminism

A few weeks ago I went to hang out with a friend of mine who's battling cancer. I decided to pick up some movies on the way, so I rented a serious one that looked really good and a stupid, funny one, in case she needed a laugh. At the time I didn't realize how ironic my choices were: I'd grabbed 'Suffragette' and 'Trainwreck.'
Here we had, in just 2 DVD's, feminism of the past and modern day fauxminism.
We went with Trainwreck, which was just that, but later that night I came home and watched 'Suffragette' with my daughters.
The feminism depicted in Suffergette (which desperately needs reclaiming btw) focuses on what women are capable of accomplishing, despite their gender. While Schumer's brand of feminism is all about what women can get away with, BECAUSE of their gender.
It's nothing more than pussy power fauxminism and it's weak.
"Men are pigs! And look, now women can be pigs too, because equality or something! I can screw a new guy each night and still totally love my existence... Oh wait, until I fall for one of them and then I cannot exist without him! Because MENMENMENMENMENMENMEN!!!!"
Whoops, sorry, I guess should've said spoiler alert first since that's basically the entire plot line of Trainwreck. #soempowering
Here's an idea, maybe the feminism of the future shouldn't focus so hard on gender, but rather what we can all do as human beings to just, be better.
Nobody be a pig. Everybody operate at the highest standard, not based on what's between your legs, but just as human beings. And while we're at it, can we please stop saying men are pigs? I have two sons and that's certainly not the way I'm raising them... or my daughters for that matter. No more excuses for bad behavior or double standards because boys are "just" being boys. That's bullshit. My sons are just as capable as my daughters are at controlling their urges and respecting others. And my daughters are just as capable as my sons are at controlling their emotions and using their brains. I expect them all to be upstanding, respectful, powerful members of society and change the freaking world for the better.
So, moral of the story, if your friend is already dealing with Chemo then for the love of gawd don't make them suffer any more by imposing 2 hours of Amy Schumer on 'em. Btw, my friend's a total warrior and she's gonna be just fine... despite what I put her through.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Why abortion is about race...

So I have kick-ass friends. One of them, who out of respect for her will be anonymous, posted the following status update on Facebook. She herself is a woman of color, so when she speaks on this issue, I make sure to listen.

I was happy to see that she listed Planned Parenthood amongst her list of social injustices that black people face. 

I've been a fan of Ta-Nehisi Coats for a few years now, and while he addresses many of the other issues my friend listed, he often neglects to mention how abortion disproportionately impacts his female counterparts.

Out of curiously I decided to read the comments under my friends post. NEVER READ THE COMMENTS, I know, I know...

There always has to be that one guy. I decide to engage him because having just walked in the house from a camping trip with four children, I had nothing but time to argue on the internet. Surely, the filthy, stinky, lake water laden laundry would do itself. Ha.

Anyway, the following conversation took place, and I thought it was worth sharing. I barely noticed what this gentleman was saying until I had stepped away from the conversation for a bit, and then it hit me. See if you can spot it before I did:

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Common Sense Feminism

What is New Wave Feminism? Why use the term “new wave?” Why not just call it “pro-life feminism?”

New Wave Feminism is more than just pro-life feminism. It is an attempt not only to rehabilitate the term “pro-life,” but to rehabilitate feminism.

When people ask us what it means, we usually explain that it is common sense feminism. It’s a middle ground between the wacko Tumblr feminists who seem to be creating – and polluting – the fourth wave, and reactionary anti-feminists, who are – for the most part – responding to the nonsensical extremism of the Tumblr types.

For people who care about basic human rights such as life and liberty, the word “feminist” conjures up images of young female activists in bloody pants screaming about their vaginas and demanding an end to free speech on campus. In one generation, we went from “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me,” to “Your words hurt me. Get off my campus.” 

A good example of this is the Blaze writer and famous gay libertarian Milo Yiannoupoulis, a tall, blonde asshole who hates women and has no use for us. I agree with him on many economic issues, but his unbridled misogyny makes me barf. 

However, the answer to his anti-woman garbage is a thoughtful and compelling response, not censorship.

Milo has been banned from various U.S. campuses, mostly by fauxminist groups and people who have forgotten the phrase I grew up hearing: “I may not agree with what you’re saying, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”

In the Reagan-era America of my childhood, I heard this all the time from adults talking to each other. It inspired me and made me proud to be American.

Now, Americans seem to believe in something called “hate speech.” That phrase I grew up with, the one about believing in everyone’s right to a little something called free speech – I don’t hear it anymore. I hear about how some speech is too harmful to be heard. Our natural-born right to speak our minds, enshrined forever in the Constitution, has to be “gentled down” in case someone is unduly influenced, threatened, marginalized, or has their tiny fee-fees hurt.

We call the Tumblr feminists “fauxminists” because what they espouse is the opposite of feminism. They are polishing up their victimhood, parading it around and calling it feminism. 

We call bullshit. That is the opposite of feminism.

A real feminist hears Milo (or his ilk) speak, and says, “That was pure garbage. Here’s why.” And then has a reasoned, intelligent response.

A fauxminist hears that Milo will be speaking on campus, throws a giant fit to get him censored, and if that fails, demands a “safe space” on campus during his terroristic speech, where she can gather with other fauxminists to whine and cry about it because she feels “harmed.”

That, systers, is not feminism. That is victimhood. That is cowardice. That is a hateful, grotesque parody of womanhood. 

Milo is not the problem. You, fauxminists, are the problem. You are growing his audience for him. You are even sometimes – I hate to say it – proving him right.

How are we supposed to argue with Milo when he says that women are over-emotional, spoiled, irresponsible, irrational, useless creatures when fauxminist behavior is so often the very same?

Stop whining. Stop demanding special treatment. Start being thoughtful, reasonable human beings. Most women are, you know. You’re ruining it for the rest of us.

Allow others to speak. That is the right your feminist foremothers fought for. They went to great lengths to see to it that women were recognized as intelligent people of sound mind who deserved equal rights like property ownership and suffrage, not hysterical, entitled twats.

You are undoing their hard work, fauxminists. You are making a mockery of feminism and turning it into the “f-word.” Because of your antics, modern women – all of whom have benefited from feminism – are now denouncing it. Maybe they’re misguided, but can you blame them when the media illustrates modern feminism with descriptions of your ridiculous, self-serving antics?

Your causes are frivolous: censoring “hate speech” on campus; “freeing the nipple;” “free” abortion on demand without apology; “free” birth control pills, and so on. 

Meanwhile, your sister in the developing world is being beheaded for the onerous wrongdoing of being raped; disfigured for the terrible misdeed of refusing a marriage proposal; forced to cover her entire body for the horrific crime of being born a woman.

That is, of course, if she gets to grow up and be a woman. If she is not killed in the womb or at birth for being female, as so often happens in China; if she does not die in early childhood of neglect in a strong son-preference culture like India; if she is not sex-trafficked in Eastern Europe; if she survives being raped in Johanessburg, South Africa, where the rate is now 50%.

The fauxminist response to this is, of course, sending wealthy, educated white doctors to the third world to give women just exactly what they need: more abortions.

Let’s not champion a healthy economic future in Africa or South America by supporting a free market, the only economic system proven time and again to lift vast populations out of poverty. Let’s do nothing to free women from the captivity of diminished choices. Let’s do nothing to create a third world where women can do something besides give birth to child after child on the dirt floor of a hut, or in a pathetic excuse for a hospital. 

Instead of addressing the actual problem – that women have no options but to toil in poverty and do their husband’s bidding, no say in whether they become mothers – let’s just fly a “doctor” over there to abort her child and send her home. 

Or: let’s really go out on a limb, get out of our comfort zones, and petition Congress to provide more aid to Africa! That’s done so much good so far, hasn’t it? Knowing that all of the “aid” we sent over just depleted their local fledgling industries while making those farmers and workers dependent on our handouts, because no matter how fair they price their locally grown, sewn, or harvest products, they simply cannot compete with “free” American aid. But that’s not important, all that matters is that we’re able to tick the “activist” box for the day, and can sleep soundly on our Tempurpedic, after our $12 glass of wine and a couple Ambien.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., let’s make sure that abortion, free birth control, and freeing the nipple are the cornerstone of feminism, and wonder why we get laughed at.

New Wave Feminism is common sense feminism. We say: women are powerful, capable, intelligent, and rational. We are capable of being mothers, or choosing not to be. We are capable of having incredible careers outside the home, or choosing not to. We are capable of doing whatever we decide to do, and we don’t need to silence or oppress anyone else – whether it’s Milo Yiannopoulis or our own children – to do it. 

We say “no” to the idea that liberation comes at the expense of other people.

New Wave Feminism rejects the enshrined victimhood of fauxminism. We discard the notion that women’s healthcare is synonymous with abortion, and we vehemently deny that we need Planned Parenthood – or any other corporation – to give us free shit or kill our children so that we can achieve our dreams.

Thanks, anyway, but we got this.

New Wave Feminism is the future of feminism. Without a return to sane, reasonable feminism that denies the hysterics of extremism and embraces true women’s advocacy in the third world, feminism is doomed.

Help us reclaim it. Join us. We are the New Wave.


Post by Kristen Walker Hatten

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Pro-Life IS Pro-Woman

On a college campus in Texas, a prolife group put up a display of 2,904 crosses - one for every abortion that occurs each day in the United States. 

The display was vandalized.

The students put it back up.

The next day a video surfaced...

In it, a male pro-choice student expressed outrage that each cross merely represented “an aborted fetus."

He went on to speculate about what else each cross might represent, such as a woman who was able to go on to become a politician or doctor because she wasn’t saddled with the burden of motherhood... 

Perhaps each cross represented a woman who was raped and wasn’t “forced” to bear the “result of her assault?”

As women we found this incredibly condescending. 

So in true New Wave Feminists fashion, we’ve decided to enlighten our "white knight" on what these crosses actually represent...

They represent the 64% of women who attend post-abortion counseling each year and say they felt coerced into abortion by their partner, parent, or abuser.

They represent the women who were lied to and told that they’d be crushed by the financial responsibility of raising another child… when in reality there are so many local outreaches that strive to help women in unplanned pregnancies with:

-Medical bills
-And so many more resources. All for free.

They represent the social justice warriors who convince women that without abortion they won’t be able to become politicians, or doctors, or innovators. Because nothing screams “feminism” like a man telling us what we CAN’T do, right ladies?

They represent a world that tells teenagers their lives will be destroyed if they have a baby at 17, 16, 15… that they can’t let their child live because they aren’t strong enough… instead of creating a culture that tells women THEY CAN….

They can have their child and finish school….

They can keep their baby and still reach their goals….

She can choose life at 16 and her future will hold so much more love and joy than she ever imagined.

Each cross represents a child that had to die because rather than eradicating poverty and hunger; we decided the poor are better off dead.

These crosses represent the women who were raped and then told that they couldn’t carry the “result of their assault” to term and that they must abort. They were the ones that no one bothered to empower with the truth that… This is YOUR CHILD TOO. 

No, because instead of doing that people continue to use “rape arguments,” listen to that, “RAPE ARGUMENTS!” These women's worst nightmare has become nothing more than a talking point to promote your political agenda. 

And so we are seldom able to hear, through all of the rhetoric, about the heroines who CHOSE LIFE ...and PS, they are disgusted by the way you use their stories to promote even more violence rather than celebrating their victory over their victimization.

These crosses represent the unborn men and women who unlike the amazing Rebecca Keissling’s and Ryan Bomberger’s of the world, were not allowed to live since we’re all still horrifyingly comfortable with this patriarchal construct that says because of their father’s transgressions it’s okay to callously refer to these HUMAN BEINGS as “rape babies,” and dispose of them like garbage. Victim blame much?

What if each one of these crosses represented a campus predator, an abusive boyfriend, or a flat out douchebag who knew that abortion was his best friend because it would allow him to use and exploit women for his pleasure without any consequences? Well, at least not for him…. Right?

But someone pays. And we, as females know, it’s always the unborn child and often the woman who has to live her whole life knowing that she bought into a lie that she couldn’t live her dreams without sacrificing her child’s life.

That’s bullshit and we’re not buying it anymore.

Look, we believe in bodily autonomy. We actually believe in it so strongly that we think you should be in control of your own body from the moment it first exists. From the moment your unique DNA is created within your mother’s womb at conception, to the moment your heart starts beating just 18 days later.  

No one can force you to choose life just like no one should be able to force you to have an abortion. We just want you to know that we are here no matter what you decide with the support and resources you need. 

To any students on campus who have had an abortion, this display was not done to hurt you, quite the opposite. We want you to know that we are here if you ever need to talk. You might not regret your abortion, but if you do come talk to us. No one should have to live a life filled with shame and guilt. We’re here to listen and get you help, no judgment.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Leading By Example...

"Today while I was on campus with the ‪#‎WeDontNeedPP‬ Display, I met a student who told me she is scheduled to have an abortion on Saturday. We talked for awhile, and I asked why she decided to have an abortion. She told me she doesn't think she can finish school and be a mother. After sharing with her the myriad of resources available to pregnant and parenting students on campus, I looked her in the eyes and said, "You are strong enough to be a mother and finish your education, don't let anyone tell you that you aren't..." She burst into tears and thanked me for talking with her. I gave her my contact info and told her to let me know if there is anything that she needs." -Lisa Atkins

THAT is pro-life feminism.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Representation Matters

Recently I had a gut-wrenching response to the casting of Zoe Saldana to play Nina Simone. My reaction surprised me and threw me into a state of uncontrollable sadness.
It hit me personally because being a dark-skinned black woman with a wide nose, big lips, and kinky hair is still apparently not good enough. I know, I know, where am I going with this? You see, representation matters.
Instead of getting an actress that best fits the physical description of this incredible woman, they choose someone who looks NOTHING like her, paint her skin, and add a prosthetic nose and wig. These are the lengths they had to go to create this non-fiction character instead of getting someone who naturally fits the mold. For those who don't quite understand, just do some research. Colorism is real and many women are still discriminated against because of the shade of their skin. Many women still struggle with major self-hatred and insecurities because society has built a standard for what true beauty is.
Just Google “beautiful women” or “beautiful hair” and see if you can find anyone who looks remotely like me without scrolling until your finger hurts. Yes, I am not ignorant to the fact that many women of all shapes and sizes will be omitted from this list, but stick with me here. Representation matters in more ways than you or I can count.
And that’s easy to say, but what does that really mean?
Last month I saw a meme that had a little black girl looking up at a black female character from Star Trek that said just that: “Representation Matters.” It then went on to quote Whoopi Goldberg. 

“When I was nine years old, Star Trek came on, I looked at it and I went screaming through the house, ‘Come here, Mom, everybody, come quick, come quick, there’s a black lady on television and she ain’t no maid!’ I knew right then and there I could be anything I wanted to be.”  — Whoopi Goldberg

THIS… All of this.

(In this moment I’m holding my newborn son tightly as tears stream down my face and I whisper to him, “I want a better world for you”.)

When women of color see that they can do something, they can be somebody, it makes a world of difference. We are so much more vulnerable to oppression when we think we we’re not good enough, or we can’t be anything we want to be.

Later that week Destiny tagged me in a post on Facebook that stated, “Black women have almost 40 percent of total U.S. abortions each year, despite Blacks being only 12 percent of the population.”
I already knew this; it hurts my heart every time I read it. Why aren’t people talking about it? Why does the black community treat abortion as though it’s a necessary evil, as though without it black women will never be able to succeed?

Destiny went on to say:
“College groups across the country - made up mostly of white young adults - ARE talking about it, but all that is doing is infuriating people of color. It comes off as a white savior complex. This is something that is impacting the black community so enormously but yet people within that community remain silent. That has to change, and it has to be black men and women leading the charge.”
She is absolutely correct. The question remained… where is the representation? Why the silence? Where are the people of color fighting for these unborn children who are dying at alarming rates?
My heart aches. The deepest part of me is in anguish because we still have a long way to go. Buzz words such as White Privilege, White Savior Complex, Institutional Racism, Infant and Maternal Mortality, Pre-school to Prison Pipeline…Abortion. These words inflame an uncomfortable response in me. A response that - especially when filled with birth hormones – turns me into a weeping mess drenching my infant’s head with tears.
Because all of these words provide a very sad commentary on the value of black life today. We have come a very long way but we still have a ways to go. This is the very reason why in order for anything to change we must first start where life begins and that is within the womb. If we cannot value the least and most innocent of us then it certainly should not matter who plays whom on the cinema screens. By WE, I mean African Americans, Blacks, People of Color, however you like to be recognized. WE must take a stand against injustice and be the change we wish to see. We cannot just sit and watch as others who are not directly affected by our plight take the reins and lead.
Representation Matters.


Post By Cessilye Smith

Friday, March 4, 2016

I didn't have an abortion, and it saved my life...

This week we've been bombarded with stories from celebrities, CEO's, and all around successful women who claim their abortion(s) saved them. They talk about how they wouldn't have been able to be successful and still fulfill their dreams without sacrificing the lives of their children.
I don't know about you, but "I couldn't have" is not a phrase fit for feminism. The beliefs we have as women needs to be build on, "I can" and "I did," because therein lies a message of strength and resilience that all women should hear. They need to know they are capable of facing an unplanned pregnancy and persevering. They need to see that there is a way for them to pursue their dreams without sacrificing such a powerful part of themselves along with the life of their child. They need to know they are not alone.
True feminism surrounds those women with support, encouragement, and resources... not a violent "choice" she might live the rest of her life regretting. 
With that said, I decided to dust of this short essay from our facebook about my own "I can and I did" moment. Because we as women and we are capable of anything. We're done sacrifices either our dreams or our children... when we know we're strong enough to have both.

"The panic is temporary. The fear is temporary. The crisis is temporary. The days when you wake up thinking “how did I make such a huge mistake” are so few in retrospect.

You have nine months for all that, but then it gets good. Still difficult, don’t get me wrong, but so so good…

My “crisis pregnancy” turned 15 today. He’s just a year shy of the age I was when I became pregnant with him (a thought that absolutely terrifies me, trust). However, he’s anything but a mistake.

He’s the other half to all my inside jokes. He’s the best person I’ve ever known. He’s the one who binge watches Doctor Who with me and teaches me about robots and video games. He’s the reason I started New Wave Feminists. He’s the owner of a pure heart, swiper of my favorite CDs, and contributor of copious amounts of laundry. He’s the kid who still has me hanging around skateparks a decade and a half later. He’s often my (much needed) filter, because he’s a stereotypical naturally mature firstborn, and the last one to ever let me down. He’s the kid that I didn’t really raise at all, but instead grew up alongside. He’s my heart and soul.

I didn’t know it at the time, but choosing life for him would give me a life that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

See, you don’t realize how temporary the “crisis” is when it’s consuming your every waking moment, but as soon as you get beyond that… Such beauty can be born from that which we never planned.

Fear is temporary, but the courage you gain facing it lasts forever. Panic subsides, but the strength you find in the midst of the crisis endures. Perhaps the most amazing thing though is how the love you feel for this new life, whether it was intended or not, suddenly turns a “mistake” into a miracle.

I didn’t save my son by “choosing life.”

He saved me."