Thursday, July 21, 2011

Pro-life hatred and feminist groupthink

“Just a few days ago, our highly effective pro-life site,, was hacked by a gang of pro-abortion activists,” says Kristan Hawkins, the executive director for Students for Life. “As a result, we lost critical data, petition sign-ups, graphics, and social network communications. This breach of security was intentional — and it was very malicious.”

So begins the story in posted today by Steve Ertelt (H/T to Lisa Graas). This episode doesn’t stand alone, either; Ertelt has also posted stories of vandalism against a crisis pregnancy center in Fredericton, New Brunswick, tire-slashing of a car owned by Operation Rescue interns in New Mexico, and other acts of hate-fueled wanton destruction.

As I read it, I was reminded of a story reported in May 2010 of various insults a group of priests in Rockford, Ill., have had to endure while maintaining a prayer vigil outside a local abortion mill. Now, mind you, these priests aren’t sidewalk counselors or carrying protest signs … all they do is pray. At one point, one priest’s minivan was egged; another found a sign taped to his car which said “I RAPE CHILDREN”.

I don't own the rights.

The other day, when Stacy Trasancos and I were debating with a pro-choice person on Facebook, one thing that puzzled me is when she explained her rudeness by saying that she was angry about “misogynists” who were attempting to take her freedom away and reduce women back to second-class status. As I read it, I thought, You’re putting me on! You can’t seriously believe that SDS retread bushwah!?

Oh, yes she can. Kimberly Manning, a former self-described “gender feminist”, recently republished her conversion story in Little Catholic Bubble. In it, she describes a sort of slow immersion in a world of subjective truths, pantheism and tolerance in college combined with work in a domestic violence shelter staffed, it appears, largely by radical feminists, some of whom were lesbians.

The evidence mounted in my mind: Men were simply evil, and governments and organized religion – specifically Christianity in America – were their weapons. And then one day it happened.  I had my “click” experience.  I later read that Ms. Magazine had coined this phrase to describe the exact moment of coming into full consciousness of one’s oppression. I was sitting across from a co-worker in the shelter one evening and, like a light going on, it suddenly hit me that the cultural reality of my childhood did not exist. I realized in my moment of “enlightenment” that all men were perpetrators and all women were victims. “Where have I been all these years?” I asked my friend. “I feel like I’ve been living under a rock and for the first time now I can see clearly. There’s a world of male oppression against women out there and we’ve got to fight back.” My friend smiled warmly and said, “Now you’re getting it. I had the same experience. Now you see the truth.”

The “click experience” can serve equally to describe the moment when a re-education camp inmate, separated from his family and his support network, finally surrenders his mind to political indoctrination. “Mind control” may be too strong a word to use here; a better one perhaps would be “groupthink”. As William H. Whyte, who originally coined the term, explained it: “What we are talking about is a rationalized conformity – an open, articulate philosophy which holds that group values are not only expedient but right and good as well.”

This is how Manning describes the feminist meta-narrative:

Consider the following scenario: There was a time in human history when all was well. People lived in harmony with the planet, all resources were shared equally, and there was no violence. This was the great time of matriarchal cultures when women held the positions of power in their societies and wielded that power with wisdom.
Then it all came to a halt when men rose up and began to use force, rooted in misogyny, to bring women under their control. This was not some series of isolated uprisings, but a systematic reversal of world power and a subjugation of women which has left my gender devastated. Rape was the first method used to subdue women, followed by the development of the institution of marriage; however, as time went on, more sophisticated mechanisms were employed to rob women of their power, both earthly and spiritual.
The coup de grace in this destruction of matriarchal utopia was the development of Christianity. … The greatest blow was the Inquisition, in which millions of pagan women, many high priestesses, were burned at the stake, as the Catholic Church made its massive attempt finally to eradicate female power. Then came the witch hunts in the New World, while today such constructs as gender roles continue the assaults against feminine energy on the planet.

Manning sarcastically — but rightly — labels this twisted pile of mishegoss “revisionist history at its finest”. The fact that women who have bought into the feminist meta-narrative have helped lead the charge towards authentic advances in women’s rights gives it no greater reason or need to exist. It is, in fact, an ideology of hatred and misdirected, coddled anger no less vile or ignorant than anti-Semitism or racial hatred.

Now, I’m not going to tell you that all the pro-abort activists have swallowed this overwrought, woman-is-the-n*****-of-the-world hype. But the ones who slash tires, hack pro-life websites and egg priests’ cars most likely have.

Part of me wonders what the pro-life movement is doing to counter this pernicious, hate-filled ideology. While it’s helpful that many of the movement’s heroes and leaders are women (and professionals at that), it appears to me that the angry radicals are the heart and soul of the pro-abort forces, that it’s their hatred of motherhood and cult of victimhood that insists on maintaining the status quo when other less driven forces are showing signs of impending collapse.

Do you think I’m right? If so, how do we blast the groupthink apart?

Addendum — same day:
Guess I should thank Lisa Graas for pointing me to another story about the Obama Administration's persecution of pro-life activists. The article reminded me that of the FBI seminar that had been produced in partnership with pro-abortion groups, characterizing such common First Amendment-protected activities like praying, providing abortion alternatives information and picketing as "violence against reproductive health care providers".

Given the subjectivist viewpoint Kimberly Manning describes, I suppose it figures: An action is violent if the "victim" says it's violent, regardless of what witnesses think.