The Role of Women

I do not mean to offend anyone by acknowledging this, but I am the only male I know who does not consider himself to be a Feminist. That means I do not think women have been subject to discrimination in law or in practice in the United States by and large since the end of the Second World War except in the case of abortion, which is an issue that is fraught with complexities because childbirth is one of those existential issues, one not easily comparable to any other, that just have to be managed somehow, just as is the fact that men live on average seven years less than women do, and I prefer Bill Clinton’s position that abortions should be legal, safe and rare to the view that they are just another form of birth control. I come by this position honestly in that I was told by my mother that she would have aborted me if she had had the courage to do so. There are not many survivors to speak up in the name of those who did not survive. The law and customs against abortions saved my life even as some women lost theirs because of botched kitchen table abortions and other women were saved from having a child by successful kitchen table abortions. (It can hardly be tasteless of me to mention this bit of personal information when so many women have come forward to defend abortion by pointing out that they had undergone abortions in their youth.)

Let us turn to the general issue of discrimination against women who, to make a long story short, got into medical schools and law schools in large number as soon as they requested something more than token representation. There is a more upbeat account of the advancement of the equality of women over the past one hundred years than is usually provided.

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