Written Assignment: Article Review
Date: November 20th, 2013
Class: History 202
By: Alyssa Unrau
Laury Oaks article “What are Pro-Life Feminists Doing on Campus?” from 2009, gives us a clear definition of what a “pro-life feminist” is but not why “it is”. Her writing brings light and awareness to a version of feminism. Many do not realize there are a few different types of feminisms out there and surprisingly not all of them are advocates for the pro-choice movements. These contrasting types of feminism all feel strongly about their cause, and will have always have strong argument and stronger counter argument to their cause, but by reading Oaks’ article we can assert that all are fighting to be the “true” feminism. However, this article does lack some persuasive evidence or reasoning as to what led these movements. It’s hard to get an understanding in this article as to why they feel so strongly on these subjects, but perhaps the reason for this is that the writer has a slight bias opinion on the matters at hand. Oaks uses her article to answer the question “What are Pro-Life Feminists Doing on Campus?”. The answer divulged from within the article is that they are there for the purpose to seek out, persuade, and help college women in the United States. Oaks still manages to demonstrate how these groups are attempting to truly help the modern day woman and family structure, and not just demand government intervention and prohibition. The framework for the article can be recognized as a social-gender based movement. The reading focuses attention on the social repercussions that pro-life feminists fear. Pro-life in this case, is fighting for more than just the murder of an unborn baby (like many of us associate as the main pro-life ideal ). Specifically they are worried about the degrading of society in respect to women; with the claim that if something is not done, we are headed back to a male dominated society that dictates abortions are the only option for woman. The main topic at hand is then the legality of abortions and the conflict over feminisms to claim the title as the “true feminism” with a woman’s best interest. Oaks analytical focus is on the FFL Outreach Program in the United States (whom of which are challenging the connection between feminism and abortion). These feminists believe that abortion is an issue that is degrading society’s future social structure. Oaks uses various FFL literature, lectures, and reports from 1990 to 2008 to support her analysis of pro-life feminists (though it is noted these feminists and the FFL are to have been around since the 1970s). She continues to stick to the data at hand and presents the arguments in which at first appears to be a fairly un-biased manor. With then the exceptions being directed to page 183 and the very end where she distinctly argues that these feminists are doing a great deal of good to help pregnant woman (mainly students) but they fail to recognize the reality of woman’s pregnancy views and experiences, and also the constitutional right to not have a child. The historical and contemporary claims of pro-life feminists are explored in the article. Special attention is given to college women; Oaks works at as a professor at a college and therefore has witnessed the pro-life feminists in action. The FFL Outreach Program explored target these college woman as they are seen as potential new voices and most likely to be at risk of the tragedy of abortion (which FFL claims to be influenced by the pro-choice movements). They base their ideals off the fact that they are following traditional 19th century feminism (illegal abortion) and with this notion they claim to be the “real feminism”. The main arguments presented are that an abortion has “devastating physical and psychological effects for women” and is supporting an anti-motherhood society where abortion is expected, signifying a woman’s place and their sense of...
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