Sally Jenkins demonstrates how beautiful it is when one liberal feminist takes on another:
I’ll spit this out quick, before the armies of feminism try to gag me and strap electrodes to my forehead: Tim Tebow is one of the better things to happen to young women in some time. I realize this stance won’t endear me to the “Dwindling Organizations of Ladies in Lockstep,” otherwise known as DOLL, but I’ll try to pick up the shards of my shattered feminist credentials and go on.
As statements at Super Bowls go, I prefer the idea of Tebow’s pro-life ad to, say, Jim McMahon dropping his pants, as the former Chicago Bears quarterback once did in response to a question. We’re always harping on athletes to be more responsible and engaged in the issues of their day, and less concerned with just cashing checks. It therefore seems more than a little hypocritical to insist on it only if it means criticizing sneaker companies, and to stifle them when they take a stance that might make us uncomfortable.
I’m pro-choice, and Tebow clearly is not. But based on what I’ve heard in the past week, I’ll take his side against the group-think, elitism and condescension of the “National Organization of Fewer and Fewer Women All The Time.” For one thing, Tebow seems smarter than they do.
Tebow’s 30-second ad hasn’t even run yet, but it already has provoked “The National Organization for Women Who Only Think Like Us” to reveal something important about themselves: They aren’t actually “pro-choice” so much as they are pro-abortion. Pam Tebow has a genuine pro-choice story to tell. She got pregnant in 1987, post-Roe v. Wade, and while on a Christian mission in the Philippines, she contracted a tropical ailment. Doctors advised her the pregnancy could be dangerous, but she exercised her freedom of choice and now, 20-some years later, the outcome of that choice is her beauteous Heisman Trophy winner son, a chaste, proselytizing evangelical.
Pam Tebow and her son feel good enough about that choice to want to tell people about it. Only, NOW says they shouldn’t be allowed to. Apparently NOW feels this commercial is an inappropriate message for America to see for 30 seconds, but women in bikinis selling beer is the right one. I would like to meet the genius at NOW who made that decision. On second thought, no, I wouldn’t.
There’s not enough space in the sports pages for the serious weighing of values that constitutes this debate, but surely everyone in both camps, pro-choice or pro-life, wishes the “need” for abortions wasn’t so great. Which is precisely why NOW is so wrong to take aim at Tebow’s ad.
Here’s what we do need a lot more of: Tebows. Collegians who are selfless enough to choose not to spend summers poolside, but travel to impoverished countries to dispense medical care to children, as Tebow has every summer of his career. Athletes who believe in something other than themselves, and are willing to put their backbone where their mouth is. Celebrities who are self-possessed and self-controlled enough to use their wattage to advertise commitment over decadence.
You know what we really need more of? Famous guys who aren’t embarrassed to practice sexual restraint, and to say it out loud. If we had more of those, women might have fewer abortions. See, the best way to deal with unwanted pregnancy is to not get the sperm in the egg and the egg implanted to begin with, and that is an issue for men, too — and they should step up to that.
“Are you saving yourself for marriage?” Tebow was asked last summer during an SEC media day.
“Yes, I am,” he replied.
So not only can we thank the Tebows for exposing the utter intolerance of the NOW gang, we can also thank them for pitting liberal feminists against each other. How sweet it is
And speaking of liberal feminists, Open Secrets’ Capitol Eye blog today has a write-up on how disgraced former Senator and twice-failed candidate for President John Edwards used to be the darling of feminist groups across the country prior to the revelations about his affair and love child. What I found amusing in the article, however, was this:
Frances Kissling, founding president of the National Abortion Federation and instrumental in the women’s rights movement, is just one of many woman who chose to back Edwards both publicly and in the form of political donations.
“I’m a lifelong feminist activist. In this crucial election, I am supporting John Edwards, whose economic policies I think will best serve women” she stated in an article for Salon.com in January 2008.
Now, she believes his “behavior and lying is so egregious” that she would not support
him for public office.
“The denial of the affair is disturbing. The denial of pregnancy is disturbing,” Kissling told Capital Eye in a phone interview. “[The affair] definitely affects women’s views of him as a person and as someone they could support in politics.”
Kissling remembers how before his run for the presidency, women’s rights activists supported Edwards for his record on women’s issues as a U.S. senator. Now, she says, “I would consider him to have serious flaws in terms of moral behavior and honesty.”
Um, um, but wasn’t that an issue with serial adulterer Bill Clinton, too? Yet liberal feminists across the country continued to support him in spite of his penchant for skirt-chasing and skirt-raising, with one prominent feminist (masquerading as a “journalist”) proclaiming that she would have been happy to um, get on her knees so she could “thank” Bill Clinton personally for his commitment to “pro-choice values.”
The only difference between then and now, the contrasting reactions to Bubba’s philandering vs. Edwards’ (who at one point was considered as a possibility for our first woman President) is that Edwards isn’t President. Believe me, if he was, the same women’s groups denouncing Edwards’ now would be making excuses for him just like they did Bill Clinton because, as we’ve seen time and time again, the “right” to kill the unborn is priority one over honoring your marriage vows and if you’re a Democrat elected office-holder (or one who is seeking office) who strays off the marital path, you are excused for your transgressions – as long as you keep on supporting abortion.
I really do not get these women. Ok, I do – but I don’t.