Pennsylvania legislator attacks pro-life women as “men with breasts”

posted at 5:32 pm on March 26, 2012 by Tina Korbe

This is truly one of the most bizarre, perplexing bits of news I’ve ever encountered. It’s the sort of tidbit that justifies the resurrection of that cliché: “We’re through the looking glass.” Up is down, down is up, an embrace of fertility is somehow a sign of masculinity

Pennsylvania State Rep. Babette Josephs, a Philadelphia Democrat, may have reached a new low in political discourse on the issues of abortion. Upset that pro-life women in the state legislature support a bill allowing women a chance to see an ultrasound of their unborn child before an abortion, she referred to them as “men with breasts.”

As the Patriot-News reports:

“During her remarks, she blasted women lawmakers who co-sponsored the ultrasound bill, asking rhetorically, ‘What are they? Women, or are they men with breasts?’ according to supporters of the bill who watched the rally.

Josephs stood by her words after the rally, arguing that the women lawmakers on the bill – sponsored by Rep. Kathy Rapp of Warren County — are acting like women only in the sense ‘that they will do what the men tell them.’

‘They must believe that they are not capable of making their own health care choices, but they are capable of voting on bills that control all of our behavior,’ Josephs continued. ‘I don’t understand it …

‘I don’t believe they’re really women. … I believe they’re men with breasts.’

She doesn’t understand it? I don’t understand it. By what logic are women who maintain that pregnancy is, in fact, the first stage of motherhood (i.e. that you are a mother from the minute you conceive your child) more manly than women who maintain otherwise? By what logic are women who want other women to realize their own motherhood more manly than women who want otherwise?

Let’s get this straight once and for all: Man and woman are different (as Ms. Josephs implies with her remark) and one of the primary differences between the two is woman’s capacity for motherhood. How is the recognition of that capacity somehow the obviation of femininity? The opposite is true: The negation of fertility is a crude attempt to negate gender difference.

In all the discussion of a “war on women,” hardly anyone has talked about women’s war on women — the now decades-old attempt by feminists to convince their fellow women that what women alone can do is somehow of less value than what both men and women can do. It’s not that men wanted women to become pregnant so they could somehow keep us down; it’s that only women can become pregnant.

Women have a fundamental freedom that men do not: They have the freedom to become or not become a mother.(Correspondingly, men have a freedom to become or not become a father.) Note that that freedom is antecedent to sex. By having sex, a woman essentially says with her body that she’s comfortable with becoming a mother — because pregnancy is always a possibility of sex. Once a woman conceives a child, she is a mother. Her choice then is only as to what kind of mother she will be.

Traditional morality teaches us that, while freedom might be a valid political end, it’s not a valid moral end: We must choose to use our freedom for the good. Motherhood is inherently a good (again, if for no other reason than that it perpetuates humankind!), for which we should at least be open to using our freedom.

Make no mistake: Feminism in its present day iteration does not teach us to use our freedom for something other than motherhood or for something in addition to motherhood. We all know women are capable of bearing fruit in a myriad of ways — not just by having children — and that they should not be denied opportunities to contribute to society in ways other than motherhood.

No, feminism seeks to actually take that freedom from us by obscuring the terms of the debate. A woman who does not know reality has no meaningful freedom to speak of because she has only false choices. A woman, for example, who thinks that she can become pregnant without becoming a mother is unable to make a meaningful choice between non-motherhood and motherhood.

Oh women, please don’t buy the lies! Wake up and claim the freedom that is your due!


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