What makes a feminist in 2020?
We asked feminists all over the world to share their views on what we think are some of the crucial questions that we should be debating right now. The feminist movement is broad, diverse and sometimes divided. Is that a good or a bad thing? Please, share your opinion with us and your fellow feminists.
CAN YOU BE A FEMINIST AND BE AGAINST ABORTION?
No, I don’t see how you can be a feminist and at the same time be against a woman’s right to her own body.
Yes, if you only apply that principle to yourself and as long as you’re not taking the choice away from other people to have abortions (e.g. through passing laws). I also wouldn’t see trying to talk people out of aborting in a way that doesn’t shame them for their choice as something going against feminism.
To put it as bluntly as I can: people forget that they are just animals; rather than viewing themselves as a body that has functions, they attach symbolism and sentiment to everything. They can’t view anything practically, like that a woman may not have the finances to care for a child. They would rather attach more importance to the life of an unborn being rather than think about the individual woman who has her life that she has developed or about the homeless person they just passed on the street. Saying you are against abortion is an easy way out to feel morally high for people who are unable or too lazy to actually consider and do something about the suffering and societal injustice that happens in front of them every day.
No. Nobody has the right to police another person’s body. A pillar of feminism is the right to choose: in dress, work, religion, and absolutely in sex and reproduction. Being anti-abortion is demanding that pregnant folks give up their bodily autonomy, a right that remains with us after death. It’s saying if you’re pregnant, you have less ownership of your body than a corpse.
Yes. There are all sorts of complicated reasons why people might be against abortion and I do not consider myself, or others, in a position to police that. However, what is certainly not feminist is curtailing the actual legal and material rights for people with wombs to choose whether they will have an abortion or not. I’m 100% pro-choice but I respect that some people would not have an abortion because it goes against their beliefs, religious or otherwise. In that sense, it is possible to be a feminist and be against abortion. But, for me, what is not possible is to be a feminist and be against abortion rights for people with wombs.
Illustration by Svenja Heutelbeck
Watercolor art by Naya Katsi