Ada Fisher: Women’s lib in the age of conservatism
Defining the role of women in an ever-evolving world where the division of labor is not so clear and women are being reared to be whatever they want, runs smack dab in the face of reality where many still want to define women based on their gender and reproductive capacity not their minds.
This is not just a sexist issue but one for conservatives to ponder. For though we support marriage between one man and one woman at one time, there arenít enough men for everyone who might like one. And me, I donít believe in sharing in this regard.
The pro-life segment is depicted as binding women to their uterine roles and desiring to control all expressions of female sexuality. This flies in the face of women who want the right to act like men, ědress like the opposite sexî or loosen the ties that bind. Mama Grizzlies speak with forked tongues as do the Soccer Moms and others who try to convince women they can have it all. That may be true; but in the process each woman loses a bit of herself in putting others first and neglecting her own needs. These groups also put blame and responsibility mainly on women with little accountability of men for the children they helped produced.
The single-parent dramas mainly involve young women who do not have the glamorous resources they see on reality television or the money of the single stars who are flaunting their pregnancy and their wealth. Women who chose or are forced to parent alone are more likely to live in poverty, be subjected to limited educational opportunities, become victimized by violence ó likely at the hands of those who purport to love them ó and see this pattern repeated in their offspring.
A shocking recent Pew Research Center study, reported on NPR, found that single parent females were felt the most undesirable group to raise children, placing them below gay parents in general acceptability. Women are being blamed, usurped and held solely accountable for the fruit of their wombs.
Professional women are usually described in non-glowing terms by the mainstream media. Women in politics such as a Sarah Palin, Hilary Clinton and Meg Whitman find the focus of scrutiny on their family and appearance, which male candidates donít face. The harsh questions hurled at women often imply that something must be wrong with them to run or, no matter their credentials, they may not be as good as a man. Housewives are idealized while the legions of them turning to the bottle or pills to drown their pain remain hidden.
Doctors, lawyers and others who are women with partners find at the end of their day there are still children to take care of, food to prepare and minimum relief from womenís traditional roles. It is almost as if women are penalized for having a brain and a functioning uterus and daring to use them.
The rise of the religious right, Sharia Law in Islam and other movements are perceived as a threat to womenís rights. Maybe it is the unchecked ability of men to control women and treat them as chattel property, not an equal, which needs to be examined. ěGod created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.î (Genesis 1:27 King James Bible) In His image, so why the disparate treatment?
So what do we tell our daughters? Abraham Lincoln said ěThe hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.î
First find something greater than yourself to believe in. Second, develop your mind and the opportunities should follow. Third, you have a right to be whatever you want to be. Fourth, give back. And lastly, what type of world we have will depend on you, for the hand that rocks the cradle truly shapes and rules the world.
Dr. Ada M. Fisher is a physician, former school board member and N.C. Republican National Committeewoman. Contact her at P.O. Box 777, Salisbury, N.C. 28145 or DRADAMFISHER.ORG.