Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women, has said that the next four years under a Bush administration are going to be “tough” for the feminists and that they are just going to have to be “tougher.” Well, conservative women, who have been marginalized, stereotyped, put-down, and humiliated at every turn over the past couple of decades, have gone through tough and tougher and, now that our time is here, we’re the toughest gals around.
Being called “anti-woman” because we didn’t embrace abortion-on-demand and alternative lifestyles has produced a hardy bunch while the feminists became fat cats dining on preferences and gorging on government and corporate subsidies for their women’s studies programs and other enterprises that promote their radical “politically correct” agenda.
Conservative women came out of their enclaves determined to battle for their daughters’ futures. Women like Beverly LaHaye and Phyllis Schlafly worked tirelessly to break the force of years of liberal momentum when it looked like there was no end in sight. Women like Kathleen Sullivan and Leslee Unruh launched an abstinence movement to combat the notion that adolescents would inevitably become sexually active because it is “normal” and they are simply “at the mercy of their hormones.” Common sense and experience knew better, but liberalism cowed a whole generation of people into silence until conservative women had had enough.
Trends today are proof positive that moral boundaries can be rebuilt and we can reclaim the nation’s traditional Judeo-Christian heritage. Today’s teens are leading the way by responding to the challenge to choose virtue over the fast crowd’s acceptance and approval, to value their innocence and purity; these are the messages that conservative women are working hard to spread.
After peaking in 1994, unwed teen births are down 24 percent. Teens are the reason that the overall out-of-wedlock birthrate has improved; there is no change in the 20-24 age bracket. It would appear that we are making headway in teaching abstinence at the high school level, but sadly we are losing our young people at the universities where the moral relativism of the secular humanists and radical women’s studies programs are still having a devastating impact.
Clearly, current trends are passing the feminists by and they are out-of-step with the concerns and issues that are important to women today. Mothers don’t want federally funded day care; they want the opportunity to nurture their own children without government interference. Women don’t want abortion-on-demand; they want a husband who will cherish them and be committed to wife and children for a lifetime. Girls don’t want a one-night stand; they want a great guy to take them out for a nice dinner, pleasing conversation or good entertainment and not have to worry about fighting off a jerk who treats them like a sex object and won’t be calling the next day. Parents want their daughters to reach their potential; they don’t want them squandering their lives and messing up their emotions.
Parents also want to be informed and involved in their children’s lives even during late adolescence when decisions are made that have life-long impact. When a parent has to sign for their child to take an aspirin, go on a field trip or have ears pierced, it doesn’t make sense that the same child could have an abortion without the parent’s knowledge. By focusing almost exclusively on abortion (euphemistically called “reproductive health” and “choice”), feminist groups have lost sight of real women’s concerns and they are hopelessly out-of-touch on the issues. While feminists have been marching for abortion, young women have been earning law degrees, becoming doctors and getting their PhDs in record numbers, and they have been entering occupations with better training than many of the men they compete against. The “choice” that these women long for is to have honorable men for friends and from which to choose a husband.
The reality is that millions of young women have been deeply wounded by promiscuous sex and cohabitation. Over the past 10 years, college counselors have seen their case loads expand dramatically depression cases have doubled, suicide attempts have tripled and sexual assaults have quadrupled.
In becoming a one-issue organization, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has made itself irrelevant and unattractive to the next generation which was its hope for the future. Today’s young women have seen friends’ ambitions short-circuited by the “sex is no big deal” culture, and they are turning away from the destructive lifestyles. Abortion rates among young women are declining because many of them are realizing that instead of solving problems, abortion can make them worse, like a lifetime of regret or infertility. Young women are growing increasingly knowledgeable about the realities of the sexual revolution’s disastrous consequences for their mothers and grandmothers; they are a lot wiser and much more conservative.
Having grown up while liberalism reigned, this generation possesses more tough young ladies. I’ve enjoyed mentoring a number of them and it’s going to be fun to see them come of age!
Janice Shaw Crouse is senior fellow at the Beverly LaHaye Institute, the think tank for Concerned Women for America.