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Letter: Important Context Was Missing

To the Editor:

I must admit that I was taken in by the headline to Margaret Drye’s Jan. 20 commentary, “Let Us Confront What We’ve Lost.”

I assumed that she would be writing about the ground women have lost to the white male patriarchy since the Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973, and the dozens of pope-friendly restrictions on women’s full-range of health care. But under a surface expression of grief was an essay of grinding resentment by another forced birther.

Drye said nothing about the loss of real, living women who died at nine times the rate while seeking to terminate their pregnancy when it was prohibited by overwhelmingly male legislators. Thirty percent of women seek this service by age 45. (See http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html.)

She said nothing about the history of patriarchal ambivalence toward women in general, viewing them as two-dimensional objects who must either be mothering us all (angels) or selfish sluts — thank you, Rush — who think only of themselves (witches).

And nothing of the history of the forced birth movement itself, whose extreme philosophy was first articulated by take-no-prisoners theologian Rousas Rushdoony (1916-2001), and underwritten by California’s probably most fanatical millionaire, Howard Ahmanson Jr., a financier of right-wing political causes. (See www.democracynow.org/2009/9/4/republican_gomorrah_inside_the_movement_that.)

Finally, we are told nothing of Frances Schaeffer (1912-1984), who 40 years ago convinced Republican leaders that they would get more socially divisive traction by switching from fighting racial integration to fighting women’s health care. The best historical source I have found is Max Blumenthal’s book Republican Gomorrah.

The next time I read “Let Us Confront What We’ve Lost” in the Valley News, I truly hope it provides relevant social context and historically informed content.

Robert Spottswood

Norwich

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Column: Let Us Confront What We’ve Lost

Monday, February 11, 2013

Plainfield The generation that came of age during World War I and shortly thereafter felt acutely the disastrous effects that the “war to end all wars” had on them physically, mentally and psychologically. Many good young men went to war and never came back, or came back wounded, often more than just physically. Ernest Hemingway’s and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novels …