Friendly neighboring blog The Debate Link, authored by the young and enterprising David Schraub today posts about “equality” and woman’s rights, Mr Schraub points to a post over by Belle Lettre at Law and Letters which decries a “strong and growning Christian Right anti-conctraceptive movement”. Ms Lettre quotes a New York Times article which declaims in depth and explores this “movement”, which it admits “isn’t centralized; it seems rather to be part of the evolution of the conservative movement”.
I have a few quick questions:
- Neither the article in question nor our two bloggers quoted, who note “the strong and growing” movement cite anything to indicate the real size or strength of this “movement” (which isn’t centralized). Mr Schraub has decried the alarmism on the right in the past, might he not be guilty of the same sin?
- Mr Schraub and Ms Lettre both seem to take as a tacit assumption that contraception is an unalloyed good and a necessity for “equality”. However neither of these two essayists actually examine the core issues at hand but assume that their readers are of like mind. Both assume that taking a position contra-contraception, as it were, is directly contra-women. However they shy away from (or see no need) to confront any reasoning on the opposite side, for example John Paul’s “theology of the body” or for example this post. It seems to me that either the young feminists such as those two either have debated, digested, and set aside as unfit such thinking … but having done so see no means (!?) or reasons to explain or confront those who might disgree, or that the collegial Academy is so non-diverse that the theology of the body and other opposed ideas (complementarianism) just never reach their horizon.
Ms Lettre it seems sets aside any possibllity of confronting any opposing ideas for opposition to contraception is in her words, “And never forget how much all of this “debate” is pure sexual politics, designed to rob you of that autonomy.” Well, that’s a fine way to engage debate, that approach kinda kills discourse, eh? If you don’t have ar ready answer just dismiss your opponent by making unassailable (and often unwarranted) assumptions of his (or her) motives.
Ms Lettre andMr Schraub seems outraged by the thought of arranged marriage, which apparently is an example of the oppression of women? How does that work? After all, arranged marraiges it seems to me bind in marriage a man and a woman … which if an imposition for the parties involved seems not to single out the woman as “oppressed”. I’d certainly concede that, if oppression it is, it equally opresses the young. But with the rise of the 19th century predominance of romantic love as the “genuine” and “only” basis for a “good” marriage has happiness of all involved been dramatically improved? Has the fall of courtship and the uninvolvement of the parents in the marital process smoothed over the relationships between the sexes? How many marraiges do we see in our peers between people that everyone concerned “knows” is doomed to fail. Might we not entertain mechanisms for preventing mishaps like that? Are not parents, two concerned sets of loving people who might be best suited to put such brakes on such unions?
- Finally, I’m the father of two spirited young girls rapidly approaching their teenage and dating years. Unlike Mr Schraub (and perhaps Ms Lettre) I have not taken courses in Feminist thought (or perhaps as of now given much credence to same) . Ms Lettre bemoans her father’s strict rules re’ dating. My “strict” rule so far, is that my young girls will not be dating any young men at all until they complete a careful reading (and discussion) of Kass and Kass excellent book Wing to Wing. I’d be curious as to their thoughts on that approach and how “oppressive” it might be.