At the United Nations this week, the troops are assembling; the battle lines are forming. The leaders on both sides have faced each other in numerous skirmishes over the past decade since Beijing days. Each knows the other’s strengths and weaknesses; they have assessed the disposition of each other’s forces. All involved clearly understand that this is a contest of wills.
The two forces hold clear, deeply felt and different worldviews. The Left and feminist groups advocate abortion and quotas as the means for women to achieve power, avoid poverty and maintain careers. These goals take precedence over health and other aspects of well-being. The Right and evangelical groups maintain that there is no freedom or power outside moral strength; we argue that the appropriate role of government is to ensure human rights — including those of the most weak and vulnerable, the unborn — and that government should provide freedom and opportunity for all. These opposing views are up against each other in numerous arenas, but the United Nations is one of the most pivotal because their ramifications extend around the world.
Many of the action items that come out of U.N. deliberations become “customary law” and are treated as binding by member nations who suffer overt and covert “persuasion” (including threats, loss of jobs and sanctions) to gain compliance.
The proponents of abortion, quotas, prostitution and lesbianism cloak their efforts in language designed to conceal their intent and their strategy. Like the Navajo “code talkers” in World War II, whose language was never deciphered by the enemy, the Left has developed a language of its own consisting of noble-sounding words laden with emotion. They combine these terms with hazy generalities and psychobabble.
But we have broken the code; we can understand and interpret the language radical feminists use at the United Nations. Our job is to strip away the cloak behind which they hide. Our goal is to accurately translate their vague messages about “choice” so that the public will see that they advance government control as the means to “liberate” women. Privileged women from decadent Western nations desire to wield this power as a governing elite. Make no mistake, like Lenin who talked idealistically about the Communist state “withering away” while he was ruthlessly consolidating his tyrannical control over the people of Russia, these so-called “advocates for women’s rights” are really about gaining the power to dictate how societies all over the world will organize and rule.
To some, the debates ahead may seem meaningless. They are not.
These debates will frame contemporary struggles over human rights and women’s roles for a generation and beyond. Just as the Lincoln-Douglas debates shaped another era’s central issue, slavery, the U.N. debates will have profound ramifications for today’s central issues and, in many respects, will determine the outcome — not just for the United States, but also for nations around the world. The scope of the feminists’ ambitions is breathtaking.
Abortion and sexual orientation are well-known issues to the American public. Other issues — like religious freedom, national sovereignty, parental rights, quotas — are equally important. Further, there are fundamental problems where an ideology pits women against men and advocates “power” as the ultimate determinant of a woman’s worth. Serious readers will want to review the articles on our Concerned Women for America Web site [www.cwfa.org], which includes analysis of the various agendas, especially the article summarizing the original Beijing conference in 1994.
Two things make the struggle difficult. First: the feminists, many of whom are neo-Marxists, pit an ideal system that sounds flawless and appealing — their vision of a utopian world — against a real-world system, which by definition is imperfect. What the United States has achieved under democracy and free enterprise is not perfect. But the results are superior to anything else the world has ever seen. Our system has to contend with the realities of human nature. It has, however, channeled the pursuit of self-interest for the betterment of the entire society more effectively than any other system. It has kept the exercise of power from becoming tyrannical — not always perfectly, but better than any other system. But because feminists do not find the outcomes up to their standards, they are willing to embrace more government control. They have learned nothing from the disasters of history about the danger inherent in expanding the power of the state.
Everywhere the utopian schemes of socialists or communists have been tried – whether by the early settlers in this country, by the communists in Russia, by the Zionists in the kibbutzim of Israel – they have failed. The proponents of socialism inadequately understand human nature; hence their schemes are inefficient and ineffective. Why? Because the cooperation they assume is never voluntary, but must be coerced through brute government power.
Anger is at the root of the feminist agenda — sometimes with just cause, because many feminists have been abused and victimized. But the answer to their pain is not power, but faith and forgiveness. They are anti-marriage and anti-motherhood because they view a woman’s God-given propensities to love and nurture as obstacles to their goals. The truth of their views must remain hidden since the vast majority of women do not want to be at war with their men. Healthy women — those who have not been wounded by men, and women who have, by the grace and mercy of God, overcome such abuse — want loving relationships with their husbands, not dominance over them. Unlike the feminists, women in general do not want to increase competition between the sexes; they don’t want preferences and quotas that antagonize and create walls. They do not seek a pitched battle for control. Their longing is for harmony with men, not isolation from them.
Feminists rail against male abuse of power, but fail to reckon with the threat to liberty posed by any and all concentrations of power in the hands of government leaders. History teaches clearly that where power becomes concentrated, loss of freedom follows.
It is ironic that the feminist leaders of advanced developed nations wish to spread their culture of abortion to all corners of the world; these privileged elites come from countries that are being so depopulated by low birthrates that they have had to import labor from Third World nations to keep their economies functioning. The new arrivals are refusing to assimilate into the decadent cultures of their host countries. In the end, Western culture, especially in Europe, is being threatened with extinction.
Ultimately, the winner of this critical ideological clash will be the worldview whose proponents have the most determination. Ultimately, those that prevail will present a winsome message that resonates with the public. With current trends being more conservative — pro-life, pro-marriage and pro-family — the Far Left will become aggressive much earlier in the deliberations.
But more than just human strength and strategy are involved in this clash of ideals. There is the issue of strength that comes from faith, the power that flows from truth. This is still the Creator’s world, a beautiful world that — though flawed by the human lust for power — was created for goodness.
Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse is a non-government organization (NGO) representative to the United Nations from Concerned Women for America. Dr. Crouse is Senior Fellow of the Beverly LaHaye Institute.