Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Interesting Discussion Here

There is an interesting discussion going on at Blue Milk at her post on why pro-life is anti-feminist. I particularly agreed with the article by Anne Summers in The Age, an Australian publication. Makes me want to do more research on Margaret Thatcher, of whom I shamefully know so little. One day when I have more time (and am getting more sleep) I should add some of my own thoughts and commentary. Until then, I give you links and quotes.

From Anne Summers' article Yes, I know, I'm quoting the same section as Blue Milk. I think this sums up the issue quite well):
So what is a feminist? Can you be a political conservative and a feminist? I would say, Yes. Can you be (that heavily loaded oxymoron) ''pro-life'' and a feminist. I say an emphatic, No.

Let me elaborate. Feminism might be blandly defined as the support for women's political, economic and social equality, and a feminist as someone who advocates such equality, but these general principles need practical elaboration and application. What does economic equality actually mean? How can women in practice achieve social equality? As far as I am concerned, feminism boils down to one fundamental principle and that is women's ability to be independent.

There are two fundamental preconditions to such independence: ability to support oneself financially and the right to control one's fertility. To achieve the first, women need the education and training to be able to undertake work that pays well. To guarantee the second, women need safe and effective contraception and the back-up of safe and affordable abortion.

Feminism has taken on all sorts of issues over the decades, from the need for childcare to criminalising domestic violence to the rights of sex workers. Feminism has undertaken campaigns for everything from equal pay to paid maternity leave to the need for more women in parliament. There have been debates with, for example, some supporting women in the military, others claiming women are inherently pacifist.

But whatever the differences and however the issues have evolved over the years, with new ones (like sexual harassment) emerging as we develop greater understanding of women's experiences as new barriers are broken, the fundamentals have not and will not change.

Check out the discussion in the comments of Blue Milk's post. Some thought-provoking discussion.

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