This will come as a huge surprise to anyone who has never seen something I’ve written, but I am not a feminist. There are many things I am, and am not, and feminist is just one of many labels I have decided does not fit right for me. This is largely due to the quality of feminism that I have been exposed to – and that quality can be described only as ‘radical.’ I do not believe in an American patriarchy or a Western rape culture epidemic, and I have yet to have anyone inform me of a single right that American men have that women do not. It is very rare, due to the quality of feminism that I have been exposed to, that I will see a quote from a self-described feminist woman that really resonates with me. Well thank you, Camille Paglia, for changing that for me.
If you have been following any sort of news or social media over the course of the past few weeks, you have undoubtedly heard about the trouble Planned Parenthood has found themselves in. As of the time of this writing, four videos have been released by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) resulting from a 30-month long undercover investigation into Planned Parenthood’s fetal tissue donation procedures. The first four videos show people undercover discussing payment with high ranking Planned Parenthood employees, which Planned Parenthood has stated goes towards the costs associated with the process.
The newest video focuses largely on a meeting with Vice President and Medical Director for Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountain Dr. Savita Ginde. At one point in the video Ginde stresses the importance of all Planned Parenthood affiliates being on the same page regarding the issue, particularly those in states where public opinion largely goes against abortion, saying “if you have someone in a really anti state that’s going to be doing this for you, they’re probably going to get caught.”
Conservative media outlets have covered the controversy extensively, yet very little has been touched on by the liberal media. As a watcher of all the medias, this has troubled me – the idea that speaking about one troubling process by one organization immediately makes you anti-whatever else that place does, resulting in no one talking about it at all. In the interest of clarity, I am pro-choice and anti-selling body parts on the black market. It is very possible to still be of the mindset where you support access to legal procedures without condoning everything the practitioners do.
And apparently, a top feminist agrees with me.
Camille Paglia, feminist author and former Planned Parenthood member, recently participated in a series of interviews with Salon.com. In part two of the interview series Paglia tore the liberal media to shreds in a way that left even me flinching, although still finding very much so agreeing.
“The resistance of liberals in the media to new ideas was enormous. Liberals think of themselves as very open-minded, but that’s simply not true,” Paglia said. “Liberalism has sadly become a knee-jerk ideology, with people barricaded in their comfortable little cells. They think that their views are the only rational ones, and everyone else is not only evil but financed by the Koch brothers. It’s so simplistic!”
Paglia then went on to give her whopper of an example: the Planned Parenthood controversy, and the liberal media silence surrounding the topic. Despite being a supporter of reproductive rights, she was “horrified and disgusted” by the videos, and compared the lack of coverage by liberal media outlets to censorship.
“When the first secret Planned Parenthood video was released in mid-July, anyone who looks only at liberal media was kept totally in the dark about it, even after the second video was released. But the videos were being run nonstop all over conservative talk shows on radio and television. It was a huge and disturbing story, but there was total silence in the liberal media,” she said. “That kind of censorship was shockingly unprofessional. The liberal major media were trying to bury the story by ignoring it. Now I am a former member of Planned Parenthood and a strong supporter of unconstrained reproductive rights. But I was horrified and disgusted by those videos and immediately felt there were serious breaches of medical ethics in the conduct of Planned Parenthood officials.”
“But here’s my point: it is everyone’s obligation, whatever your political views, to look at both liberal and conservative news sources every single day. You need a full range of viewpoints to understand what is going on in the world.”
I could open-mouth kiss this woman right now. I feel, as a moderate, that I very rarely get to see my views represented in any way, but especially not by a figure such as Paglia. The encouragement of exposure to different points of view has been not only stifled, simply engaging in such exposure is seen as a treason against one’s established beliefs.
There are very clear lines drawn in America, and likely in other countries as well. Once you have planted your flag on either liberal or conservative land, your views are pre-determined for you. If you are a liberal, you not only support abortion unwaveringly, you also support any provider, without question, lest you be accused of being anti-women. If you are a conservative and you dare to criticize Donald Trump’s immigration comments, you are probably going to be dubbed a “cuckservative.” It is not enough to simply identify yourself in a certain way, you must now live up to a certain set of standards set for you by others who identify similarly.
Regardless of how you may be registered to vote, you still have the ability to determine your own set of beliefs. You can believe in something and be against something semi-related to it. And you can certainly expose yourself to differing opinions from those you hold, for you may learn some new facts that your “clan” won’t share with you themselves.
So I dare you, liberal media, to actually report on the accusations against Planned Parenthood. The only reason not to is fear that your audience may see something they don’t like.
Liz Finnegan is a soulless ginger with no political leanings. Pun enthusiast. Self-proclaimed “World’s Okayest Person.” Retro gaming contributor for The Escapist.
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