The headline of todays post is a question. I don’t normally do that because, for some bizarre reason, posts of the Socratic variety tend to go unread. Mind you, I’m not complaining. Far better for me NOT to have to enter into long drawn out arguments in the comments section with some among the nameless masses, who hide behind aliases in order to troll the internet looking for an argument just for the sake of one.
This morning an article, written by Emily Belz for WORLD, on the Abortion drug RU486 entitled ”Chemical Attack” [click here] popped up on my news feed. The blurb captured my attention and with the usual caffeine induced speed and precision, I clicked open-in-new-tab to read the report.
However, before I get to that I first need to make a necessary digression. Julia Gillard, Australia’s first female Labor PM did not finish her term because she was involuntarily removed from office by her cabinet. Who in a vote chose to reinstate back bencher, Kevin Rudd. Whom Gillard had similarly replaced back in 2009/10 and whom Rudd had tried to topple once before, only succeeding in round two because of poor polling. (And to add, although some disagree, Ms Gillard’s contempt for the Australian people, the protocols of the Australian Commonwealth and the office of Prime Minister itself).
If this sounds like an ideological soap opera, you’re probably catching on to the state of Australian politics since around 2009.
To add to this, Australia’s first Labor female Prime Minister decided to verbally accuse, in Parliament, the Liberal (conservative) opposition leader, Tony Abbott (who after a long election campaign is now Prime Minister) for being a misogynist.
This act raised all sorts of questions about the agenda behind men questioning women and people voicing disagreement or dissent in general. It seems, that because our PM at the time was a woman, her outburst and unfounded personal accusation against Tony Abbott was “virally” applauded via the internet. For a while there, things did seem to align themselves with the notion that all disagreement is disloyalty, disrespect, misogyny and intolerant bigotry. That is of course unless you’re the one in power with whom everyone must apparently agree.
Enter the identity politics. Ms. Gillard is part of the Australian chapter of feminists signed on to what is called ‘Emily’s List’ and appears to be a strong advocate this movements ideology. It was recently reported that Gillard had denied engaging in a gender war – or trying to fuel one. Although, as implied in the above, the evidence against her own polemic is substantial.
Ms. Gillard had three years to prove her merit and had little success, this is despite being buttressed by a significant minor party, and independents whose policies agreed with her ideological leanings.
Crediting Ms. Gillard outside the National Disability Insurance Scheme and some education reforms is difficult to do. For example: applauding her stand on maintaining a traditional view of marriage is full of caveats because, so it seems, she is indifferent i.e.: doesn’t see the point of marriage . Understandable, since this is in line with an observed shift towards a new philosophy of marriage. One which only requires a financial commitment between two people who ”love each other” and a bank loan (mortgage), rather than between a woman and a man in love, committed to each other before God and community.
Enter the drug RU486. Earlier this year in Australia the then Prime Minister, Julia Gillard advocated that the RU486 drug be placed on the Government’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS for short). This meant that the RU486 drug would be available for “just $12 for concession card holders from August 1. Women not eligible for concessions will pay around $70 under the PBS” (DT, June 2013)
Here it is hard not to observe the dark irony in Ms. Gillard making an abortion drug readily available and then herself being, removed (aborted) from office by her cabinet.
This is of course overlooking the quagmire of questions surrounding a feminist accepting the term ”Prime Minister” in the first place. Simply because it means “first servant” and the word servant is itself a term disdained by some quarters of the feminist community as oppressive patriarchal lag. (see Zaragoza, 1999:36, ‘No longer servants but friends’).
Rhetorically speaking, does this perhaps explain Ms. Gillard’s struggle in office possibly more than the alleged misogyny, which is certainly present to some degree, but probably not as rampant as has been implied? I suggest that conclusions drawn from any in-depth analysis under a heading such as ‘Gillard: What went so wrong?‘, would have to include a large section investigating the negative role feminist ideology played in her perceived downfall.
Perhaps if Julia presented herself as a lady of people, for the people instead of seemingly trying to play the illusionary ”man’s game” from a feminist play book, her time in office might have been extended by the people.
In conclusion, as a father, I have come to understand the value of limiting choice.
Sometimes saying “no” is itself a loving act which will almost ensure that the probable “no” of future generations is not as harsh as it could have been. For example: gay marriage and abortion.
The quest for so-called equality here is, in my view, destined to only produce inequality. Such as the creation of two extremes, one being androgyny; blind uniformity of the sexes with mother being the preferred term for both parents (something Jean Elshtain highlights in her critique of, established and accepted, extreme-feminist blueprints for society), and the other being a ghetto-like segregation of people based on gender (legalizing misandry and misogyny). 
The possibility of the “no” which could come from future generations may be more harsh than any loving “no” Western society may give today. In short, the instant gratification of the now must consider the impact on the then. This echoes Paul of Tarsus’ admonishment to the Galatian Church that they consider consequences because they cannot be detached from choice: what they now sow, they shall also reap (Gal.6:7, ESV).
By limiting the hedonist-utilitarian influence on public policy, we see employed a form of communal self-discipline. One that will feed into a spiritual discipline which has a healthy potential to impact our psychological, emotional, physical and relational well-being for the better.
Back in 2000 before any of our children were born, my wife experienced a miscarriage. The words her gynaecologist chose to use were unforgettable: ”Well, it was most certainly a spontaneous abortion”. Nor have I forgotten the sad gravity and anxiety of sitting in the hospital room with my wife. It is something we both feel the effects of today.
In regards to the abortion drug RU486, I wonder what the long-term psychological and emotional effects this “medicinal” convenience of choice is going to have on the current generation and the generations to come.
From the evidence it certainly appears to be ”miscarry on demand”. Which simply industrialises abortion, impersonalizing it, along with women’s rights, and consigning them both to being just another article of commerce in a marketplace of choice.
Sources (not otherwise linked):
Elshtain, J.B 1981 Public man, Private woman: Women in social and political thought Princeton University press
Morton, R. 2013 ‘Julia Gillard jokes of murderous rage at bloggers’ The Australian, 1st October
Nathanson, P. & Young, K.K 2006 Legalizing Misandry: from public shame to systematic discrimination against men, Kindle for PC Ed. McGill-Queen’s University Press
Westerkamp, M.J Gendering Christianity in Porterfield, A. 2010 Modern Christianity to 1900 Augsburg Fortress
Zaragoza, E.C 1996 No longer servants, but friends: a theology of ordained ministry Abingdon Press
 “She grew up as a feminist watching weddings and thinking: “Why on earth would I do that?” http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/julia-gillard-jokes-of-murderous-rage-at-bloggers/story-fn59niix-1226730316233#sthash.9NmFic00.dpuf
 This raises an interesting question: does the health of the couples in this situation mean that the health of the finances determine the health of their commitment to one another, because their bond becomes transactional rather than relational.
 Gay marriage could be viewed as legalized misandry and misogyny. In other words this is an issue that has the potential to legally enforce the separation of genders. Something which, any student of history, politics and ideology can tell you, may very well be violently rejected by future generations, because it was irrationally and unfairly imposed upon them.