In a letter [“Women’s Marches Lack Mature Focus,” Feb. 1, Xpress] Dr. Carl Mumpower states his opinion that the women recently marching in Asheville, Washington and other cities were not calling attention to unjust treatment but were, to use his word, “pouting.”
These women, he says, are “members of the most blessed batch of liberated women in history.” That may well be true. But statistics show that women are denied the same opportunities as men to find employment in satisfying jobs that match their talents and to receive equal pay for equal work.
Too, these “liberated” women are not safe from the indignity of “pussy-grabbing” by men who feel entitled to give themselves some real live sexy fun at women’s expense. The marchers wearing pussy hats — “vagina headgear,” Dr. Mumpower calls them — were referring to Donald Trump’s boasting on that subject. Dr. Mumpower claims the marching women were “hungry for an opportunity to discredit the president.” It seems to me that Mr. Trump does a great job of discrediting himself.
Let’s think back to the centuries before the advent of “women’s liberation,” centuries when social and religious attitudes led men to believe it was good to subjugate women. Those were the bad old times when a devastatingly high percentage of youngsters died before they were old enough to help carry on the human race. For the survival of our species, it was crucial that women be encouraged, cajoled, shamed, or forced into having a lot of pregnancies. Fecundity, not their personal development, was what was needed from women.
Nowadays, the situation is quite different. Because modern sanitation and modern medicine permit a high percentage of youngsters to live into and beyond their reproductive years, our planet is burdened by more human beings than ever before. More and more of the planet’s resources are needed — in some cases, are burned — to give these people satisfying lives.
For the survival of not only our species but every species, it is crucial that women all over the planet have fewer pregnancies. Social and religious attitudes everywhere should support the use of contraceptives. Women’s ideas and skills rather than their fertility should be praised. The indignity of women’s bodies being used as public sex toys should be universally regarded as shameful, not manly.
Dr. Mumpower writes that women and men should be only “building a future that finds our nation fed, sheltered, employed and free,” not calling attention to injustice by public demonstrations. He thus repudiates many significant moments in American history.
Perhaps Dr. Mumpower is pouting.
— Virginia Ramig