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The media seemed genuinely surprised by the raw, visceral hatred spewing from the mouths of the self-proclaimed defenders of women’s rights toward Sarah Palin. This can only mean that they haven’t been listening to what the radical end of the feminist movement has been saying for decades.
I for one was not the least bit surprised. In the late 1980s I had a number of confrontations with radical feminists and had found them surprisingly unsympathetic to the concerns of real women. I had done some writing on the negative emotional and physical effects of abortion on women and was surprised at how many women regretted their decision. Many mourned and grieved over the loss of their babies. Many felt they had been deserted in their hour of need by the father of their baby and by their family. Many felt unduly pressured into the decision by clinic workers.
At the time, I foolishly thought that “feminists” wanted to defend the interests of women and once they understood the negative consequences of abortion for women, they would come over to our side. I was shocked to discover that they knew about the negative consequences because they knew women who had had abortions, but they didn’t care.
The radical feminists’ goals went way beyond equal opportunity and equal education. They wanted a total social, sex class revolution in which all societal recognition of the differences between men and women would be eradicated. According to them, women needed to be liberated from babies, from marriage, from the demands of their families, from their own biology. The radical feminists were particularly upset about the fact that only women get pregnant. They insisted that an absolute right to abortion on demand was the only way to level the playing field. Abortion would make women the same as men -- not pregnant. So what if some women suffered emotionally and physically, so what if millions of babies died, what mattered to them was their revolution. Had the media done a little research they would have discovered the dark radical heart of the movement, but they continued to pretend that these radicals spoke for all women.
In 1995, I attended the United Nations’ Conference on Women in Beijing, China. Women from all over the world had come together to work on the real problems facing real women. Unfortunately, the conference was controlled by radical feminists from the developed world, who were determined not to let the real women get a word in edgewise.
These radical feminists put forward a document that had not one positive word to say about motherhood or marriage. They tried to force acceptance of abortion on demand and same-sex marriage as human rights on the entire world. Fortunately, delegates from the developing world knew that they couldn’t go home with such an extreme agenda. The radical feminists and their supporters lost. They were furious. They were not through, however. Over the years, they have continued to try to force their extreme agenda on developing countries through the United Nations and by using aid programs to pressure poor countries.
The media have allowed these radical feminists, who hate everything that makes a woman a woman, to claim to be the spokeswomen for women. The radical feminist agenda has been presented as the political position of women, when in fact the world’s women are overwhelmingly pro-life, pro-family, pro-marriage and pro-real womanhood.
Sarah Palin is the radical feminists’ worst nightmare. Here is a woman who has everything that the radical feminists told women they didn’t want, didn’t need and couldn’t get. If Sarah Palin can rise to the position of governor or perhaps even higher without sacrificing her womanhood, then the radical feminists have been wrong. Many of them threw away their chances for real happiness, for the love of a good man, for family, for babies. They are now middle-aged and they see young women rejecting the radical dream of revolution, because young women see it for what it is: a nightmare that takes and doesn’t give.
Real women stand with Sarah Palin, as she cradles her Down syndrome baby, supports her pregnant daughter.
Dale O’Leary is an internationally recognized lecturer and author of “The Gender Agenda: Redefining Equality.”