What a mess-------------and the press is loving it!!! What could be better than watching two prominent women's groups have at it. A fantastic cat fight!!!!
First off, let me say that this week is a red banner week for me. I just finished on Tuesday my 32nd and FINAL chemotherapy treatment in this my second bout with breast cancer. I have had chemo continually for the past 15 months. My hair is starting to come back, my nails have stopped crumbling, and although I don't have the luxurious lashes I was always known for, I have eyelashes and eyebrows again. My energy level is at about 90% of what is was before I started. I have a surgery date scheduled to remove the port that has been threaded into my heart for the past 16 months, and after that, all that will be left is taking a daily estrogen blocker for the next 5--10 years or more. That estrogen blocker makes me feel like an old lady when I get up in the morning. However, once I get going, that feeling subsides, a small price to pay if I am to have any hope of actually growing old.
I'm saying all of this because breast cancer isn't something other people get. I have had it------twice. It is real to me, not something I can theorize about. And watching this media event of Planned Parenthood v Susan Komen for the Cure stirs up a whole hornet's nest of thoughts and feelings for me.
More than anything else, I feel more strongly than ever that by putting all of their eggs in the abortion basket, feminists have sown the seeds of their destruction. There are so many vital issues that really matter to the future of females in this country. So many!!! We have a female president to elect, lots more women to promote to CEO's. We have salaries to equalize, more women to elect at all levels of government and from both parties (lots and lots of them since we're a long way from 50%). We have more research and cures to find for women's diseases. All of that and more. We just have alot of work to do.
I am not minimizing the importance of women being able to control their reproductive destiny. I am actually pro-choice and make no excuses for my stance one way or another. However, we just cannot put all of our feminist eggs into that basket anymore. It is just so very destructive!!!! I have developed respect for the principled views of people who are opposed to abortion. I really get it. I used to buy all of that garbage that the people who are opposed to abortion are people who want to take away women's rights, make us slaves to men, and negate all of the progress that women have made in the past 50 years. I have come to believe that that point of view is naive, stupid even, and a point of view that has made me and many like me easy to manipulate. The reality is that the anti-abortion community is made up of a very very diverse and nuanced collection of people and views. And the view I used to hold of these people was, gulp, (I hate to use this word but I must) hysterical. The abortion wars can and will go on. And for those who are really involved with this cause, put your hearts and souls into and go with it. But it must be uncoupled with where the future of women is headed.
The next thing in my hornet's nest of emotions is my feelings toward Planned Parenthood, an organization that in its day was an almost radical group devoted to bringing to women services that no one was providing, especially in the realm of birth control. Many can remember that back in the late 60's and early 70's birth control was a brand spanking new idea, and Planned Parenthood was the first group devoted to bringing the new birth control methods to the public at large. It was a freeing and liberating time, and Planned Parenthood was the big new thing, the place to go to exercise our new freedoms. we LOVED Planned Parenthood!! Planned Parenthood was absolutely pro-women and pro where we were heading.
Which is why when Planned Parenthood, along with NARAL, in 2008 came out in support of Barack Obama during the Democratic Primary while Hillary Clinton was in contention it was such a stunning moment for me and many others. I have spoken with a number of people today, and we all have had the same reaction-----this controversy between Planned Parenthood and Komen just dredged up all of those feelings of disbelief from 2008. For me and many others, it was this singular act of Planned Parenthood turning its back on the female candidate who was in contention that made most of us decide to leave our political home and become Independents. Not that their endorsement was the reason why we left however. It was just the straw that broke the camel's back. What kind of group devoted to women doesn't support the woman candidate, especially one who has had a stellar record on their issues? It was and is still mind-boggling!!!! What had the women's movement become?
Which brings me to today's brouhaha. OK-----Komen isn't giving PP money. In the scheme of things, it wasn't really so much money. It could be seen as a heinous act of the right wing flexing its muscles. But it is just as plausible, if not more, that Planned Parenthood has become something of a dinosaur. The once radical organization has become so much a part of the establishment that it has had to sell its soul to continue to exist. That includes going against its pristine principles for money. What is more delicious than stirring up its base of supporters to raise more money? And in a presidential election year, an organization that sold its soul out to the Obama campaign for access and money needs to gin things up to get more of the same. What-----you say? It's the Komen group that did the ginning? Well that would be right except for one thing-------------why is Planned Parenthood going so public with this right now? Lots of nonprofits lose funding these days, and the $700,000 that Planned Parenthood is losing is a small part of their budget. They could have handled this loss completely differently instead of how they have handled it, publicly, pulling the chains of those left who are so easily manipulated by the specter of the scare tactics of the left.
Finally, it has been brought to my attention that the breast services offered by Planned Parenthood are handled in abundance in many many other places and are paid for by Medicare and Medicaid. My own local Komen affiliate says that Planned Parenthood of central Ohio hasn't taken any money from Komen in over 8 years. Planned Parenthood, in spite of its good work, has become somewhat redundant. What was once a breath of fresh air and represented the banner of freedom for women, has become a bit obsolete. The people who cling to this vision of feminism like to call themselves progressive. But what they have really become are people who are regressive, addicted to the past and who find change abhorrent. Now isn't that ironic.......