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Brave Enough to be Angry No Longer: A Response To Lindy West

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I am officially tired of feminist extremists hijacking the pain of abuse victims to prop up their political agendas. While real abuse survivorsboth men and women – pour out our hearts on social media, some activists are leveraging these #MeToo stories and Hollywood tragedies to promote abortion, justify the degradation of men, and guilt-trip Americans because Hillary didn’t win.

Yes, Hillary. That lawyer who once defended a child molester who pleaded guilty to the Unlawful Fondling of a Child Under the Age of Fourteen, but got off of rape charges thanks in part to Hillary’s assertion that the victim, a 12-year-old little girl, was emotionally unbalanced and untrustworthy.

“Children in early adolescence tend to exaggerate or romanticize sexual experiences,” Clinton wrote in her affidavit, and, “adolescents with disorganized families, such as the complainant’s, are even more prone to such behavior.”

How any true feminist ever thought Hillary – the woman who stood by her sexually deviant husband despite the disturbing accusations of multiple women – would make an inspirational president is beyond me. Just because the creature has estrogen, doesn’t mean she’s a great role model for our daughters or any kind of feminist messiah.

On November 8, Lindy West published a meandering opinion piece titled, Brave Enough to be Angry. In it, she attributes Hurricane Maria recovery efforts (or alleged lack thereof), some gal getting fired for flipping off the Presidential motorcade, Uma Thurman’s justifiable anger over Hollywood abuse scandals, and a handful of incendiary Twitter banters, to sexism against women.

Lindy also asserts that it’s socially unacceptable for women to express anger, stating that, “I struggle to think of women who lost their tempers in public and didn’t face ridicule, temporary ruin, or both.”

Whatever Lindy thinks, getting angry in public will always open you up to ridicule, no matter who you are or what you’re mad about. Just ask Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, Donald Trump, Mel Gibson, or A.J. Green and Jalen Ramsey. Sure, women may be held to a higher standard in this regard than men, but that is possibly due to the fact that women in general tend to be less volatile. We are not expected to lose our tempers, which works in our favor by making it all the more effective when we do. While there are many issues – such as sexual harassment and assault – that warrant apoplectic wrath, if you are emotional in public you will trigger an emotional response.

Uma Thurman was very wise when she said, “I don’t have a tidy soundbite for you. Because I am not a child, I have learned that when I have spoken in anger, I usually regret the way I express myself. So I’ve been waiting to feel less angry. When I’m ready, I’ll say what I have to say.”

Come to think of it, it’s rather ironic that Lindy West chose (but did not quote) Uma’s expression of anger to demonstrate that bloviating in rage is brave or clever. Uma seems to think quite the opposite.

While many of the issues Lindy brings up in her article are valid, one paragraph in particular caught my attention. In it, she sums up the premise for feminist angst in a nutshell. Amid all the seemingly random anecdotes of pain, anger, sexism, and tragedy, this right here is the crux of the matter:

“We are expected to keep quiet about the men who prey upon us, as though their predation was our choice, not theirs. We are expected to sit quietly as men debate whether or not the state should be allowed to forcibly use our bodies as incubators. We are expected to not complain as we are diminished, degraded and discredited.”

Let’s unpack this one assertion at a time:

1. “We are expected to keep quiet about the men who prey upon us, as though their predation was our choice, not theirs.”

I have encountered people who, when you mention abuse, freeze in shock, as if you’ve just pulled a grenade out of your pocket. I’ve also encountered those who look down their noses disapprovingly, and simper, “Let’s not talk about these things.” The general idea seems to be that abuse is a taboo topic, and if we don’t talk about it, it will hopefully go away. Better yet, “Abuse is something that happened to you, dear, but I should not have to be disturbed by it.” Curiously, the people who tried to silence me in such a way were not men, but women. A few were even doctors and therapists.

I’m not sure that’s what Lindy is describing here though. Her description of, “as though their predation was our choice, not theirs,” sounds like something I’ve only encountered in abusive relationships and extremely toxic work environments. Abusers, whether male or female, expect you to keep their secrets and will bully, manipulate, and even beat you into submission. However, this is not the way the normal world works. Do not confuse oblivious men with abusive men. Some men won’t catch on that you’re upset unless you tell them. Most men will take your complaints seriously if you communicate with them. If you find yourself surrounded by people who expect you to keep quiet when they know you’ve been victimized, you may be surrounded by abusers.

2. “We are expected to sit quietly as men debate whether or not the state should be allowed to forcibly use our bodies as incubators.”

Perhaps if Lindy West truly wants to fight sexism against women, she should stop criticizing men and take a closer look at herself. I have never once heard a man refer to motherhood as the state of being an incubator. I’m sure such men exist. However, the only people I’m aware of who seem to think it’s OK to talk about a woman’s body like this are so-called feminists.

When I became a mother it was entirely my choice. My husband wanted children too, but he would never have pushed me into motherhood before I was ready. Also, “the state” had absolutely nothing to do with it. I never needed anyone’s permission to get pregnant. I was never forced or even pressured to get pregnant. My children are my own. No one used my body to create them.

This is not The Handmaid’s Tale.

Babies are not an STD. Children are not a ball and chain. Motherhood is not a dehumanizing curse. Pregnancy is not something to be ashamed of. Nevertheless, this is the attitude perpetuated by “progressive” women such as Lindy. They claim to want equality with men, but they demean the very thing that makes being female so powerful. They claim to be advocates for women everywhere, but they’re disgusted by the very thing that makes so many women proud.

A strong man might be able to bench press 200 lbs and grow hair on his face, but my body can facilitate the miracle of life. Not even genius scientists in state-of-the-art laboratories have figured out how to manage this trick. Nevertheless, if I choose to, I can spark life in a heartbeat. As women, our bodies are like fragments of The Garden of Eden, and through us, God still creates new life. Conception is not something to shame or disdain. A desire to have children is not conceited or base. It is magical. It is precious. Anyone who degrades mothers by calling them “incubators” or “breeders,” is a fool.

3. We are expected to not complain as we are diminished, degraded and discredited.

I’m complaining. Do you think Lindy expected other women to complain about her diminishing, degrading, and discrediting of motherhood? Do you think she expected to be called out by an actual child abuse, domestic violence, and rape survivor for hijacking the suffering of victims to fuel her agenda? I doubt it. If she did expect it, she does not care. Only someone who is completely apathetic and self-absorbed can do these things and still consider themselves on the moral high-ground.

You see, despite what Lindy and her ilk would have us believe, many women are anti-abortion, and many abuse survivors are male. While I’m sure a large number feminists have suffered sexism, abuse, and all manner of woes, Feminism as a movement cannot trademark oppression or patent pain.

Would it be appropriate to use the Holocaust as a marketing tool to promote abortion? Would it be OK to leverage American slavery as an excuse to hate men? No. Feminist extremists should stop using sexual abuse to justify the actions of their Mean Girls clique. They don’t represent all women. They don’t represent abuse survivors. They don’t represent or practice tolerance.

Lindy West is exactly the kind of misanthrope who makes me hesitate to call myself a feminist. As a pro-life, Christian, and stay-at-home-mom, I embody everything she disdains. I am not welcome in her circle. Additionally, I have no desire to associate myself with the kind of people who don vagina-hats and act hysterical, but then cry “Sexism!” when people don’t take them seriously.

The sexual revolution should never have been allowed to hijack Feminism. Today’s intolerant and sexist movement which operates under the banner of Feminism should not be allowed to hijack the anti-abuse movement. As a survivor, I will not be used as a pawn. My abusers did enough of that. My pain is not to be leveraged as a political shtick. It’s been trivialized enough without being used as a marketing stunt.

As Lindy put it, “I do not approve.”

I would also add that anger is not brave. Anger, rather, is the easy part. Like Uma Thurman, I am of the opinion that productive words are most often spoken with a calm and level head. What takes true bravery is overcoming anger, addressing our pain, and confronting and processing our most agonizing fears. A weak person gives in to hysteria, paranoia, and bigotry, and allows their pain to rule their minds and hurt others. A brave person feels plenty of anger and agony, but ultimately uses their experiences to make the world a better place. They are eventually able to discuss their opinions without falling guilty of the same wrongdoings they claim to abhor.

Will I dare to stand up to feminists who take advantage of abuse victims? Absolutely. Will I prove my points out of a bitterness that’s motivated by bigotry and fueled by self-loathing? Absolutely not. If this is how modern feminists plan to operate, then I am not a feminist.

She's a Texan stay-at-home mom of three who listens to heavy metal and likes black licorice. She's baking, piano-playing poet who loves fantasy literature, Star Trek, and will slay you at Scrabble. But even as she's changing diapers, sweeping up Cheerios, and cleaning peanut butter off the cat, Jennifer is thinking about writing. Whether she's crafting her next humorous parenting anecdote, composing a new song, or contemplating a profound theological concept, 87.42% of Jennifer's writing is done in her head.
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