In South Dakota feminism has taken quite a new form, according to a NOW program on PBS. For one thing, feminism is all about denying women any reproductive choice. This is from the transcript. Hinojosa is the interviewer:
MEET LESLEE UNRUH...SHE FOUNDED THE ALPHA CENTER IN 1984 BUT MOST PEOPLE NOW KNOW HER AS ONE OF THE MOST POTENT PRO-LIFE ACTIVISTS IN THE STATE...
UNRUH IS THRILLED THAT SOUTH DAKOTA JUST PASSED THE MOST RESTRICTIVE BAN ON ABORTION IN THE COUNTRY. IT OUTLAWS ABORTION FOR EVERY WOMAN IN SOUTH DAKOTA, UNLESS SHE'S DYING. A DOCTOR CAUGHT PERFORMING ONE COULD GO TO PRISON FOR FIVE YEARS.
UNRUH HAD AN ABORTION HERSELF IN THE 1970'S. AND WHILE SOME MIGHT THINK THAT BANNING ABORTION IS AN ATTACK ON WOMEN'S FREEDOM, UNRUH SAYS SHE WANTS TO BAN ABORTION PRECISELY TO PROTECT WOMEN'S FREEDOM.
This freedom, sexual freedom is costing women and their lives. Where's the sexual freedom? There is none. Because those of us who have suffered through the abortion, we're not gonna be silent anymore. We're gonna speak up and we're gonna tell the truth. Because abortion hurts women. Silent no more.
I've been that woman. There is no freedom after an abortion. You carry an empty crib in your heart forever. There's no freedom.
And so, when you hear people saying, "Someone like Leslie is trying to actually take away women's rights and taking away their freedoms--"
I'm giving women freedom. We are giving back the women what they really want. This is true feminism.
And Unruh is the person who knows what women really want. Women want what she wants, given her obvious PTSD after an abortion she didn't really want. Is that clear?
Unruh is not just working on banning abortions. She is also a ball organizer, and the balls she organizes celebrate female abstinence in a form which sounds a little sick to me:
LAST FRIDAY NIGHT, YOUNG GIRLS FROM AROUND SOUTH DAKOTA CAME TO SIOUX FALLS FOR A SPRING BALL. THIS ONE IS CALLED "THE PURITY BALL" IT'S A YEARLY EVENT RUN BY LESLEE UNRUH'S ABSTINENCE CLEARINGHOUSE.
THE IDEA IS THAT THESE YOUNG WOMEN COME WITH THEIR FATHERS. TO CELEBRATE THEIR SEXUAL PURITY.
We think that its imp for fathers to the be the first ones to look into their daughters eyes and To tell her that her purity is special, and its ok to wait until marriage.
IT MIGHT HAVE ALL THE TRAPPINGS OF A REGULAR PROM... BUT THIS ONE ENDS A LITTLE DIFFERENTLY.
GIRLS RECITING PLEDGE:
"I make a promise this day to God...
THE YOUNG WOMEN HERE ALL MAKE A PROMISE TO THEIR FATHERS THAT THEY WONT' HAVE SEX UNTIL THE DAY THEY GET MARRIED.
GIRLS RECITING PLEDGE:
...to remain sexually pure...until the day I give myself as a wedding gift to my husband. ... I know that God requires this of me.. that he loves me. and that he will reward me for my faithfulness.
According to their view of the world, if women just remained chaste, if they remain virgins until marriage and then if they had sex only with their husbands and they did so only when they wanted to have children, they wouldn't have this problem to begin with. So, it's their fault. Abstinence is the answer in their view. From their point of view, it's all about abstinence all the time.
Daughters are basketballs, to be passed on from dad to husband without a single scratch on them. Digby has the actual words of the abstinence vow the daughters are taking and the response the fathers give them:
I can understand why the little girls would want to do this. It's a chance to dress up and spend time with their father. If it were for another purpose, it might be sweet. But this is what that little girl is reading to her father from that card:
I pledge to remain sexually pure...until the day I give myself as a wedding gift to my husband. ... I know that God requires this of me.. that he loves me. and that he will reward me for my faithfulness.
And this is what Daddy says in turn:
I, (daughter's name)'s father, choose before God to cover my daughter as her authority and protection in the area of purity. I will be pure in my own life as a man, husband and father. I will be a man of integrity and accountability as I lead, guide and pray over my daughter and as the high priest in my home. This covering will be used by God to influence generations to come.
He's the "high priest" in his home. Are we getting the picture?
This smells like Promise Keepers to me. They also assign every married man the role of the high priest in the home and tell that women are not meant to lead or do nothing much but obey.
So the daughters are in good hands. God and daddy both demand purity from them and all they have to do is agree and then they'll be "covered" by their daddy. No independence needed or desired. All this sounds nasty to me, too, but then I'm not a nice Christian goddess.