Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Big Feminist Lie

In this day and age it’s impossible to imagine that anyone would dare lie to women. It’s inconceivable that anyone would systematically give women bad advice in order to deceive them. OK, maybe some male scoundrels and sociopaths might try.... 

Today’s women are smarter, better educated and more conscious of all matters sexual. No one could possibly get away with lying to them.

And yet, when Tanya Selvaratnam tried to get pregnant in her late 30s she discovered that she had been lied to. To her chagrin she learned that the stories about how science had made it easier for women in their late 30s and early 40s to get pregnant were untrue. They were all a pack of lies.

Tricia Romano sums up Selvaratnam’s experience:

So imagine Tanya Selvaratnam’s surprise when she had her first miscarriage at 37, and then another, when she was 38, and yet a third when she was 40. Like a lot of women, Selvaratnam, a film and theatre producer, actress and activist based out of New York City, thought that 40 was the new 30 and that she could have a baby whenever she wanted. And if she couldn’t, well, there was IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) for that. Her new book, The Big Lie: Motherhood, Feminism, and the Reality of the Biological Clock, chronicles her own personal journey through three miscarriages, her trials with IVF, her shocking cancer diagnosis, and her own personal tribulations with her marriage. But it also delves into the deeper issues surrounding infertility in America, namely that women’s pursuit of career first, family second, may come back to haunt them. 

Who was it who told women to put career first and family second? Take a guess:

In The Big Lie she [Selvaratnam] writes: “I have found myself wondering lately about the connection between feminism and my generation’s decision to delay motherhood. Did feminism devalue motherhood? Did it lure us to impossible expectations? Did it lull us into complacency? Or did it create a world full of new possibilities that enticed us to wait until it was too late?”

If this is true, feminism has a lot to answer for. It seems to have tricked large numbers of women out of having children in order to enlist them in an ideological crusade.

If you think that feminists are pro-women, think again. Feminism is an ideology. It is pro-feminism, no more and no less.

What’s surprising here is that any of this is surprising. Many people, including yours truly on this blog, have been writing about this for years.

As might be expected, Selvaratnam manages to exculpate feminism. Not for nothing is she an activist. Romano explains:

Though, said Selvaratnam, it’s not necessarily feminism’s fault. “I don’t blame anyone for this situation. Advances in reproductive science dovetailed perfectly with the liberating messages of feminism and made women feel they could do things on their own timetables…. Our biologies do not bend to feminist principles, and science can’t work miracles,” she said. “It is very feminist to arm women with knowledge so that they can make better decisions about their futures.”

Naturally, she does not want to be judgmental. But still, how about some honesty? Feminism has actively promoted the life plan that has led many women to this impasse. It has shamed women who did not follow it.

Feminists might not have wanted to cheat women out of their children, but childlessness is the direct and foreseeable consequence of the life plan that they have been selling to young women.

Just watch what happens when someone, some day comes out, yet again, with the idea that women do better to marry young and to have children young. The shrieks and howls from the sisterhood will drown out the message.

Need I mention that feminism spends far more time railing about how best to prevent conception and gestation than it ever has about the joys of motherhood. In the feminist playbook motherhood is the new “curse.”

How common is this problem? Romano answers:

What’s striking about Selvaratnam’s story is not how unusual it is, but how common it is. She talks to dozens of women who went through one miscarriage after another or who tried for years to get pregnant using IVF. But one of the biggest ways women are failed is by their own doctors, many of whom do not advise women correctly or early enough.

Naturally, good progressives will shift the blame to the media. But, ask yourself, who is running the media? Who is crafting and editing the message that is being communicated to young women? Do you think it’s the Tea Party or feminists?

Romano writes:

“One of the things that women really do believe, because of the media and because they want to,” said Whelan, “is that IVF is what you do when you can’t get pregnant. You’re 42 and IVF will get you pregnant. And that unfortunately is very far from truth,” she said citing a success rate between 1 percent and five percent for women over 40. “That’s the ballpark,” she said. “It’s not a good ballpark.”


Leo G said...

Let just say that IVF and other methods has become fool-proof, and women in their forties/fifties could have the children they waited for.

Umm hate to say it girls, but raising a child takes the energy of a twenty something or very in shape 30 something. Large families were different, as the older children helped in raising the younger.

What a web we weave......

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

40 is the new 30 for career development. Human biology, whether natural or artificially enhanced, has not materially changed.

Leo G, good point. Not only does there remain a biological deficit during conception, gestation, and birth; but, also during the development of children in their formative years. Not to mention the increased likelihood of genetic and developmental defects.

The web they weave is structurally unsound. It will not survive even a modest perturbation. Presumably this is the motivation to accelerate immigration, in order to continue the charade.

Welcome the Dodo Dynasty.

Make life, not abortion!

Anonymous said...

"It seems to have tricked large numbers of women out of having children in order to enlist them in an ideological crusade."

I disagree with you on this one, Stuart. And Selvaratnam says as much in her comments about not blaming anyone and seeing the discipline of nature in this regard. People are responsible for their choices, whether influenced by biology or otherwise. How many times have you heard people say "I couldn't help myself" and shouted "Give me a break!" at the TV? I admire Selvaratnum's honesty. She's not passing the buck at all. She's cautioning people who may be believing the same lie she did… before it's too late. And what is that lie? You can have it all! It's "free"!!! In the age of the undo button, anything is possible!

Once again, what Selvaratnum was up against isn't the biological "push" women get to have children. Nay, this is about denying it. It's about the consequences of following the self-loathing, materialistic philosophical foundation of feminism, which is inextricably tied to Leftism: EQUALITY, whether real or imagined. Feminists imagine a lot of things. After all, "truth" is relative. And what I want to do with my body is my choice, right? Don't push your "truth" on my "truth." Relativism is the gateway to all this nonsense.

When the core dogma of high feminist ideology is that woman alone has the choice to kill the gestating human life within her, on demand, we are talking about absolutism, not relativism. And that's the rub, right? We're not talking about control over one's life, we're talking about intentional, arbitrary control over life itself. That is enormous power! And we halt any real debate about it because people become "uncomfortable." Of course they do! Today's women have unfettered rights to control potential life, whether in terms of bringing life into the world or ending it. That's not equality, that's absolute power favoring one sex. Yes, I get that woman bears sole responsibility for bringing a life into the world, and the overwhelming responsibility for child-rearing, but let's be serious… most of that is biology. This extraordinary power of woman is exclusive. Men ain't got it. When that gift is viewed as an inconvenience or, worse, a problem, we are talking about something much larger than woman's greatest power. We're attacking it. Feminist dogma is hostile to themselves and each other. It doesn't protect the sisterhood, it prevents more sisters from becoming part of it. People like Selvaratnam are waking up to this reality later and later, and now… too late.

We forget at our peril that women are normative. Selvaratnam also admits to being a demographic shoe-in for enrolling in the (normative) feminist cause: "a film and theatre producer, actress and activist based out of New York City…" She found a sense of belonging in this culture, and bought into its values and memes. There's nothing wrong with it, and I admire Selvaratnam for taking responsibility for her choices. What she's saying is: ideology has consequences. It follows character. It trumps rationality. After all, she's really saying "Look what happened to me: I put career first, family second, and now I don't have one of my own. And I'm very unhappy about it. I gave up a part of my life to something that can't ever love me back."

(Cont'd below)

Anonymous said...

(Cont'd from above)

These women chose to be "tricked." They got something in return, namely a sense of connection with a group, regardless of whether its beliefs aligned with their long-term plans. Human beings who think about long-term are the exception, not the norm. I'm sure she had a great time in her late teens, 20s and early-30s. 20 years later, real life showed up… what some might call "being an adult." And paybacks are something else...

And you are certainly right on one thing, Stuart: it's the media's fault. We are slaves to the glowing box and the women's magazines at the checkout counter. We can't help but read them and follow their cues. We're victims. And those Tea Party people, whoa. What I marvel at is how feminists viciously attack women like Selvaratnam for her heresy. I can't imagine social events with her NYC cadre will ever be the same again. More loneliness. Well, I hope her testimony can support more women in seeing that the ability to bear a child is a finite gift.

A career woman needs a child, like a fish needs a… never mind.


Anonymous said...

I didn't buy the lie, but wasn't able to get married before 40. So no children for us. In talking to many of my peers, I think the "lie" also spread to married couples who used birth control until they thought they were "ready" - but now even IVF can't help them.

Linda Fox said...

In retrospect, I was just lucky - I was apparently hyper-fertile, and had 3 kids in 4 years (in my mid-to late-20s). It meant that I put off finishing college until my mid-30s. Now, as I reach my 60s, I don't have the large retirement income that other women, who established themselves earlier, do.

I don't regret it. No amount of money or professional success could compensate me for the joys of having a family.

That said, EVERY choice a person makes:
- jobs
- marriage, or not
- children? Early? Late? Never?

has consequences. To choose one thing may well eliminate other choices. That is the nature of life.

I don't believe that the doctors are as much to blame. They also tended to believe the hype of the fertility specialists. Likewise, media hype about the wonders of late-motherhood was based on hope and not much science.

Dr. Phil had a recent show about this issue. Woman after woman stood up, talked about how fit they were, and how young they looked. They just didn't seem to "get" that their internal biological clock wasn't affected by diet, exercise, or other age-delayers. Their eggs were old, their uterus was aged, and they were quite unlikely to get pregnant.

Those who DO get pregnant in mid-life are generally women of PROVEN fertility - those who had children earlier.