When I tell people I’m an ex-feminist, I get a strange array of responses. Some people look shocked and offended, as if I had declared myself among those who doubt that the world is round. Others get a look of joy upon their faces as if they are thinking, “Oh, how wonderful that someone else feels the same way I do!”
I am certainly not opposed to women going to college, nor do I think women should be prohibited from pursuing their dreams, whether that means motherhood, medicine or meteorology. However, as someone who lived the feminist agenda for many years, I can attest that giving women more access to education and careers is the mere tip of the feminist iceberg. If you dig a bit deeper, you find a soul-numbing array of lies.
The first lie is one that it took me years to see through. Although I’d been raised in a staid Catholic household, during my junior year in college, I abandoned my Catholic faith as well as my moral principles. By the time I was in graduate school in the 1970s, the women’s liberation movement was under way, and one of the rallying cries of the day centered on “free love.” This euphemism, in fact, had nothing to do with the reality of the behavior, which involved engaging in sex with strangers as if it were just another ordinary activity.
As a budding feminist, I bought into the mistaken notion that casual sex caused no harm to men, and thus, it should be perfectly fine for women, as well. After all, feminists were intent on leveling the male-female playing field, and that meant dismantling traditions like marriage and commitment, and, in the process, encouraging women to imitate masculine behavior.
It was painful becoming intimate with men whom I hardly knew and trying to pretend I expected no commitment from them, but I told myself that over time my emotions would change.
Despite the fact that my female friends and I kept getting our hearts broken, we didn’t arrive at the obvious conclusion: Feminism had it all wrong. Women are created by God to connect sex with commitment and love, since we know in the deepest recesses of our hearts that a baby is the obvious purpose of sexual intimacy. Since I was too naive to see through the lie, I concluded that I had to give the new experiment more time, and I would eventually achieve true “liberation.”
I was also caught in the web of the second big lie of feminism, which proceeds directly from the first. Feminists are well aware that casual sex can lead to pregnancy, even when a woman is using contraception. There simply is no device or chemical that can completely guarantee that a pregnancy will not result from sex. Feminists, however, do not see this obvious fact as a good reason to avoid premarital sex. Instead, in their continued attempt to break the God-ordained tie between sex and babies, they propose another “solution,” one that has led to the deaths of millions of innocents since abortion was legalized.
Tragically, I was one of the women who bought into this deception.
I truly thought that a woman’s freedom to pursue education or a career trumped an innocent baby’s right to be born. Thus, when I found myself pregnant but unmarried, I chose what I thought would be a simple solution. In all the feminist articles that I pored over — and there were quite a few — no mention was made of the emotional repercussions that so often result when a woman ends a pregnancy.
I made the appointment at the feminist clinic, walked in, and signed the paperwork. In my mind, what was about to happen was as matter-of-fact as getting a tooth extracted. What I didn’t realize was that I was about to experience the first chink in my feminist armor, because the “procedure,” as I referred to it, was horrifyingly painful, both physically and emotionally. In truth, as I left the clinic that day, I felt a rush of relief because the immediate “problem,” the unwanted pregnancy, was over.
What I did not realize was that I would be facing many years of much more serious problems, as my womanly emotions reacted with horror and regret over what had really happened that day.
I began experiencing flashbacks and nightmares. I would see a baby in a mall and feel tears stinging my eyes. Worst of all, I felt so terribly alone because even my feminist friends, who surely had undergone the same “procedure,” studiously avoided any mention of their own abortions.
As the years passed, I was filled with a bitter, unending regret. No matter what the feminist pundits claimed in the scholarly articles they churned out, the truth of the matter became blatantly clear: I had taken a life, and I would never quite get over it.
It wasn’t until I came back to the Catholic Church that I could finally see through the lies of feminism. I saw that it is impossible to claim to be pro-woman while also being anti-child. I finally realized that in the feminist game plan, children are the big losers. It was only by coming back to Catholicism that I discovered what it means to be pro-woman in a sane and beautiful way.
Looking at a figure of Mary gazing with love at the Christ Child in her arms reveals the truth that can triumph, once and for all, over the lies of feminism: Taking babies away from their mothers leads to devastating results for mother and child.
I found forgiveness for my sin through the sacrament of confession and was finally able to find emotional healing through Path, a post-abortion treatment and healing ministry run by a merciful Catholic woman. But the scars that are left from the feminist lies will never be completely gone. If I could turn back the hands of time, I would let that little baby thrive. Like millions of other women who regret their abortions, I would give anything if I could gaze on the little face of my precious baby, who never saw the light of day.
Lorraine V. Murray is the author of Confessions of an Ex-Feminist (Ignatius Press). She lives in Decatur, Georgia
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