A not-so-happy birthday
I thought my eyes were surely deceiving me as I got into the elevator in the Marvin Center this week. Alas, my glasses were fine and indeed I was seeing an advertisement for a birthday party for Roe v. Wade.
A birthday party.
This charming event is being sponsored by Voices for Choices and Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance. The former group’s support is not surprising, though it is wrong, but the latter group’s is troubling. Richard Cohen, himself pro-choice, writes in October 2005 in The Washington Post, “The very basis of the Roe v. Wade decision – the one that grounds abortion rights in the Constitution – strikes many people now as faintly ridiculous. Whatever abortion may be, it cannot simply be a matter of privacy.”
Roe is still defended by some, however, as if it were given down from a mountaintop. I believe that taking an issue as important as abortion out of the democratic process has hurt the discourse of our country and the claims to justice of the pro-choice cause. If a cause is just, then it will attract popular support. Why don’t those who are pro-choice simply put their position before the people, instead of before men in black robes?
I am surprised at FMLA. The respected group Feminists for Life has documented the opposition of Feminists Foremothers to abortion because it hurts women and does not solve their problems. Alice Paul, one of the authors of an early Equal Rights Amendment draft, stated: “abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women.”
I agree. Why should women settle for this band-aid when they should be demanding the tougher but better solutions to the problems we face? When it is considered that many women feel as if they are coerced into abortion by men or the loss of jobs or housing, this doesn’t seem like a “choice” to be celebrated. Flexible hours and on-campus housing are not exciting themes for parties, but they are what true feminists should be working for.
Colonials for Life is hosting a Pregnancy Resource Forum on April 13 for those who wish to find out what can be done to make GW a place where women really have a “choice.” I would encourage all who are truly concerned about the status of women in our community to get involved. I cannot promise there will be cake, but I think it will be worthwhile just the same.
-Laura Graham, Chair, Colonials for Life
Look at true diversity
Leah Carliner’s article (“University Diversity,” Jan. 25, p. 1) certainly illustrates that GW’s student body is regrettably monochromatic, but it also brings forth just how absurd and unreflective diversity discourse has become.
As the imperative toward multiculturalism became the official apologia for a plethora of institutionally-endorsed mechanisms, higher education gave up on real intellectual pluralism and settled for a diversity constituted principally by a certain statistical distribution of check marks in a demographic survey.
The fruits of progress are displayed prominently in the article: administrators mindlessly aping slogans and students being willfully ignorant to these comments.
President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg is right about one thing, though. If GW wants to diversify its student body, it needs to cast a wider socioeconomic and geographic net by offering, for one thing, better financial assistance (stabilizing tuition and improving the number and quality of full-time faculty wouldn’t hurt either).
If the University were to someday become something more than the premier safety school for the northeast states’ moneyed Judeo-Christians, you’d get the desired demographics for free.
-Dan Foster, Junior