This is What a Feminist Looks Like?
Well, maybe — if you’re looking at certain selected members of the women’s rights movement (some of whom didn’t call themselves feminists because the term hadn’t been coined yet). You see, Governor Palin belongs to an organization called Feminists for Life, which lists prominent women’s rights activists who were “overwhelmingly pro-life.” This is factually correct — see the classic work on this by Linda Gordon, who also described how some early women’s rights supporters opposed birth control because they believed it would lead to the sexual exploitation of women by removing the risk of pregnancy, the one way to make men accountable for their behavior. Yet, a lot has changed since Susan B. Anthony’s day — women have demanded and received the same constitutional rights as men, including the right to vote and the right to privacy which legalized not only abortion but artificial contraception as well. Katha Pollitt has described the inconsistencies in the FFL position, arguing that exposing the constraints on women’s choices is only part of what feminism does — it should also recognize women’s rights as moral agents to make decisions about what is best for themselves. I would add the FFL position violates women’s rights under the constitution — Loretta Ross has a great bit about how forcing a woman to carry a pregnancy to term is a form of involuntary servitude, i.e. slavery, something that is all too familiar to women of color fighting for reproductive justice.