They may have burned their bras, but that didn't mean that they really wanted to go natural. Natural fibers, yes; natural aging, no. Organic food, yes; organic fertility, no. Shunning the conventions of the traditional family and a God-centered society certainly didn't mean shunning their own conventions once they were established -- and their own included as much sterile sex as possible with whomever they chose. The sexual revolution has hinged on the belief that intimacy need not lead to babies, nor should it be reserved for life-long marriage. Unfortunately, that premise has utterly changed the landscape in our world -- and not for the better.
Gloria Steinem has few regrets:
[She] wishes she’d “fought harder” for things she believed in. One of the choices she doesn’t regret, however, is not having had children.
“I was in Mumbai at a women’s center a few years ago, and they asked whether I regretted that,” says Steinem. “I thought, if I tell them the truth, I’ll lose them. But there was no point in lying, and so I said, ‘No, not for a millisecond’ – and they applauded. Because they don’t have the choice.”
I do commend her for fighting against female genital mutilation and for showing the dark side of Playboy's bunny ranches, but her advocacy for women obviously comes on her own terms, which is based on a zero-sum game. According to gender feminists, women can only succeed at the expense of their motherhood. That undermines both complementarity and healthy families.
Jane Fonda, another icon of empowered women, has made her own beautiful life of cosmetic surgery and artficial hormones -- so that she can still frolic with male friends despite her age:
In one of her most candid interviews, Fonda, 73, happily tells of taking the libido-boosting hormones and advises other women to try what is still a controversial treatment.
"Here's something I haven't said publicly yet: I discovered testosterone about three years ago, which makes a huge difference if you want to remain sexual and your libido has dropped," she says.
"Use testosterone. It comes in a gel, a pill or a patch."
But she adds: "I had to stop because it was giving me acne. It's one thing having plastic surgery, but it is quite another to have adolescence acne. That is going too far.'
Well, one must set some boundaries, I suppose. The trickle-down effect of examples like these is found all around us, in the promiscuity of youth, the broken families, the cohabitation (not only of the young, but with the parents of many children, who endure living with virtual strangers in their own homes). One might be confused by the seeming "good works" of Ms Steinem, who does go beyond herself to work on behalf of so many other women, but if you study the issues, her goal is singular: to free women from the shackles of culture, marriage, and children.
The heart of the difference is whether they advocate for persons or individuals. The former are social creatures integrated in a larger society, while the latter are atoms, floating freely and seeking their own goods. The Catholic message is always to remind us of the personhood of others, and through that prism to promote that which supports human dignity and a strong society. Ultimately, feminists have agitated for abortion, contraception, no-fault divorce, sexual license, micro-loans for women, and [many of them] for legalisation of prostitution. None of these things advance the dignity of the human person, nor do they strengthen relationships between men and women, and often they harm or kill children. But then, feminists don't think about the children, "no, not for a millisecond."
It's not over yet, and there is always time for repentance. God grant these two and their adoring fans the wisdom to see the truth about love, the rewards of selfless generosity, and the beauty of "man, fully alive."