Remember back in the old days, when they used to say that a
beautiful woman “could stop traffic”?
Well, it seems that modern-day feminists are reviving the idea,
but with a twist. Apparently women are supposed to actually stop traffic and
not with our beauty.
March 8 has been designated “A Day without a Woman.” On that day
we women are, “in a spirit of love and liberation,” supposed to walk off our
jobs (paid or unpaid — hence incorporating our duties as wives and mothers),
refuse to shop, and wear red “in solidarity.”
And, apparently, stop traffic. Literally. Former Black Panther
and honorary event co-chair Angela Davis co-authored an op-ed piece in which
she said of the day:
“The idea is to mobilize women . . . in an international day of
struggle — a day of striking, marching, blocking roads, bridges, and squares,
abstaining from domestic, care, and sex work . . . .”
Because nothing says “love and liberation” like skipping out on
our duties, wreaking havoc on the streets and keeping emergency vehicles away
Many women I know and respect marched in the first Women’s March.
I am a big fan of authentic women’s rights. And yet I skipped the march for
several reasons. I wasn’t clear on the message; the parts of the message I was
clear on I either disagreed with or found irrelevant; and I failed to see what
role genitalia hats and vulgarity could possibly play in enhancing women’s
It seems to me that our suffragette foremothers worked and
sacrificed so that women would be taken seriously — demonstrating that we were capable in areas
previously reserved for men. And, thankfully, that goal has largely been
attained. We have opportunities women in previous ages didn’t dream of. The
world is our oyster. Women are represented in virtually every area of society.
In fact, several major world powers have been led by women, and a woman just
narrowly missed being elected president of the United States.
So now we’re walking off the job en masse to protest — what? What
message are we delivering to the last, dying vestiges of “the patriarchy”? That
they should pay us more money because we wear offensive hats, or because we
leave our employers and families in the lurch so that we can go out and block
They’ll be lining up to hire us now.
To the extent that these protests are about “women’s issues,”
they further illustrate that modern feminism has bought into the lie of the prefeminist
era: that it is better to be a man, and that we become “equal” to the extent
that we become like men. Or rather — as repeatedly demonstrated in marches
around the world — like the worst stereotypes of men: vulgar, career-driven and
sex-obsessed. “Reproductive rights” ensure our bodies, like men’s bodies, will
not be subject to pregnancy. “Equal pay for equal work” attempts to create a
workplace gender parity that doesn’t reflect the reality of our lives. Studies
consistently show that, when apples are truly compared to apples, women’s wages
keep pace with their male counterparts, as they should. The “wage gap” is not
so much a function of discrimination against women as it is the discrimination
of women themselves, who often opt for shorter hours and less demanding
positions because they are less motivated by career, and instead want to spend
more time at home with the children they birthed.
Call me crazy, but I’ve been a woman my entire life and I have
found little to complain about. I have neither needed nor desired “reproductive
rights,” and I remain appalled that those “rights” come at the expense of the
lives of unborn children. Nor have I ever found my gender to present a barrier
in the workplace. I have found that the workplace sometimes doesn’t know how to
best utilize women’s unique gifts. I may write about that in more detail
someday. But in the meantime, I hardly see how anarchy in the streets is going
to open anyone’s eyes to our interpersonal sensitivity.
We live in a world with two very different visions of women.
There’s the “let’s hit the streets and show them that we can be as aggressive
and vulgar as men” school of thought. And then there is the Christian vision,
championed by our own St. John Paul II, who extolled our “feminine genius” — the uniqueness of women’s giftedness as we
are. He also spoke out against all violence and unjust discrimination against
us, called for our presence and influence in every aspect of society, and said
that women’s dignity is closely connected to the love we receive and give in
return. That’s the Christian kind of love, not the “love and liberation”
variety that stops traffic.
Which vision do you suppose will lead to true respect for women?
I know which one I want to reflect. On March 8 you will find me
in the office, hard at work. And I think I will wear . . . blue.
Bonacci is a syndicated columnist based in Denver and the
author of We’re On a
Mission from God and Real Love.