Abigail Adams was wife of the 3rd president of the United States. She and John Adams fell deeply in love and were married in 1764. Their marriage was not just the union of a husband and wife. They were close companions, the best of friends. They counseled each other. They were lovers in the truest since of the word. Abigail was the daughter of a Congregational minister and professed to be a Christ-follower in 1759. She was not so unusual except for one major thing; she was a radical feminist in her time.
The wife of President Adams was continually stepping out where few women were brave enough to tread. John was proud of the fact his wife could run the farm more efficiently than he when he was off on a diplomatic mission. She openly questioned the southern patriots who clamored for liberty when they so blatantly denied liberty to their fellow man. Abigail endured great criticism when she enrolled a black boy in a local evening school.
Abigail Adams fought for the rights of women by declaring they should not simply be attractive ornaments hanging on their husband’s arm. They should be educated. They should be involved in the education of others. She insisted that women should have a voice in their government. She continually reminded her husband that women deserved better, "I cannot say that I think you are very generous to the ladies; for, whilst you are proclaiming peace and good-will to men, emancipating all nations, you insist upon retaining an absolute power over wives.” (New Viewpoints in American History, Arthur Meier Schlesinger, p.109)
John and Abigail were happily married for 54 years. Abigail’s love for her husband was never questioned. They had many children together. One would ascend to the Presidency of the United States as did his father. Abigail was ever conscience of the need in the hearts of men for the grace of God. She wrote of her assurance “that those who fear God and work righteousness shall be accepted of him..." (Dictionary of U & U Biography, Abigail Adams)
Now let us fast-forward 240 years and look at where feminism has come. This is not your mother’s feminism. It is not the feminism of Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. It is the feminism of Gloria Steinem, Betty Freidan and Andrea Dworkin.
Does Sandra Fluke represent the feminist movement in 2012? Ms. Fluke recently testified before Congress demanding her ‘right’ to free birth control from Catholic Georgetown Law School. (No laughing please, I know she is coughing up $43,750 to pay tuition at Georgetown University Law Center, top-law-schools.com.) Ms. Fluke had no qualms about violating the religious rights of those who oppose such a thing in order to selfishly protect herself from the consequences of her own sexual immorality. (Assuming her desire for free birth control is not for medical purposes.) Abigail Adams would have had a few words of advice for a radical feminist who insisted that her birth control be subsidized by those whose conscience it violated.
Does this mark the death of feminism? Can anyone really take the movement seriously? For hundreds of years the movement was admired because they fought for things that were honorable; education, women’s suffrage, equal rights and equal pay. Abigail Adams and her ilk fought to correct injustices and eliminate atrocities aimed at women. Now, the radical feminists are fighting for the right to have tax payers buy their contraceptives so they can participate in illicit, promiscuous sex? Why are these women not trying to emancipate sex slaves throughout the world? Why are they not trying to eliminate the detrimental institution of polygamy? Why are they not committed to the rescue of innocent female children who are being sexually assaulted? Why are they not fighting the spread of pornography and its destructive depiction of women as simple sex objects created for the sexual pleasure of men? There are so many noble causes to rally around but instead they choose to create a battle that involves forcing others to pay for their sexual pleasures?
Abigail Adams was all about how she and her husband could help each other. She was not divisive, she was not hateful. She loved him deeply and patiently worked with him to make him understand. She embraced the Judeo-Christian concept taught in Genesis 2:24 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” The feminism of Abigail Adams was about loving her man, not despising him.
Is this the death of feminism? Can anyone really give credence to a radical movement that is so hate-driven? No one can take seriously the ideas of the Ku Klux Klan because they are blinded by their hatred of blacks. Who could give the Jew-hating Nazis any serious consideration? When Iranian leader Ahmadinejad spouts his hatred for Israel at the U.N. few take him seriously. When radical feminism is no longer about improving the lives of the oppressed, when it is only about hating men, who can take them seriously?
It seems a good movement has been hijacked by those consumed and blinded by their own misandry. Here are but a few examples of man-hatred:
· “All sex, even consensual sex between a married couple, is an act of violence perpetrated against a women,” – Catherine MacKinnon, Professing Feminism: Cautionary Tales from the Strange World of Women’s Studies.
· “Only when manhood is dead--and it will perish when ravaged femininity no longer sustains it--only then will we know what it is to be free.” Andrea Dworkin, Our Blood: Prophecies And Discourses On Sexual Politics - The Root Cause.
· “I feel that ‘man-hating’ is an honorable and viable political act, that the oppressed have a right to class-hatred against the class that is oppressing them.” – Robin Morgan, editor of MS magazine.
The radical feminist movement has lost its way. They are eaten up with hatred, not just hatred for men but also self-hatred. The movement desperately needs to be rescued by women of integrity who know how to love instead of hate. It was a movement that fought for decency, chastity and rightness. Has it now become a movement that is fighting for indecency and immodesty? Sandra Fluke is fighting for the right to have sex anytime, anywhere with anyone and insists that others pay for it. Is this what the feminist movement has come to, demanding the right to be mere sex-objects? Is the totality of a woman’s nobility now simply to have earned the right to free birth control in order to fornicate without consequences?
Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.