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Illinois Federation

For Right to Life

Daily News

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Motherhood is "the Most Rewarding Experience of My Life" says Feminist Icon's Daughter


Aborted her first child. Believes now that children need both a mother and a father.


It was the love of her little son and her joy at being a mother that rescued Rebecca Walker from the unhappiness of life as the neglected daughter of a feminist icon. Rebecca is the 38-year-old daughter of American feminist author and activist Alice Walker and she has written that, despite the feminist dogmas that guide her mother's life, being a mother has "opened my world."


The Daily Mail quotes her saying, "Having a child has been the most rewarding experience of my life." Last year, Rebecca Walker published a book, "Baby Love: Choosing Motherhood After a Lifetime of Ambivalence" in which she discusses her changing attitude toward marriage, motherhood and feminism.


Rebecca, herself a leading feminist thinker, writes that she nearly missed out on being a mother "thanks to being brought up by a rabid feminist who thought motherhood was about the worst thing that could happen to a woman."


"You see, my mum taught me that children enslave women. I grew up believing that children are millstones around your neck, and the idea that motherhood can make you blissfully happy is a complete fairytale."


Alice Walker is regarded as an "icon" of the American feminist movement and is the author of the acclaimed novel "The Color Purple," for which she won the Pulitzer Prize. "The Color Purple" was made into a successful film by Steven Spielberg.


Rebecca, whose parents divorced when she was eight and whose godmother is Gloria Steinem, wrote that during her pregnancy, her mother sent a brief e-mail "resigning" from "the job" of being her mother. Rebecca's mother told her that their relationship had been "inconsequential" for years.


Rebecca, who considers herself bisexual, is a writer and magazine editor and is regarded as a founder of the "third-wave feminism" movement. She was a contributing editor to Ms. Magazine for many years. Motherhood transformed her ideas, she wrote, and she believes now that children need both a mother and a father. Rebecca lives in Hawaii with her four year-old son Tenzin and his father Glen.


Ultimately, Rebecca overcame her mother's regular abandonment - to attend feminist writers' workshops - but by age 14 was already pregnant and had experimented with drugs. In May, she told the Times, "When I was pregnant at 14, I think it was because I was so lonely that I was reaching out through my sexuality." She aborted her first child.


"My mother's a crusader for daughters around the world, but couldn't see that her own daughter was having a difficult time. It was me having to psycho-emotionally tiptoe around her, rather than her taking care of me."


The foundation of feminist thought is the rejection of family life, and specifically motherhood. Much of feminist ideas, including the insistence that women go into the workforce, was first developed by communist founding father Friedrich Engels, based on the ideas of his communist collaborator, Karl Marx.


Engels wrote in his 1884 book "The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State," that human freedom would not be achieved until the traditional Judeo-Christian family was destroyed. This was to be accomplished by separating women from their children and sending them out to work. Engels identified the family as a form of tyranny over women and monogamous marriage as a type of slavery. 


Contact: Hilary White


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The IFRL is the largest grassroots pro-life organization in Illinois. A non-profit organization, that serves as the state coordinating body for local pro-life chapters representing thousands of Illinois citizens working to restore respect for all human life in our society. The IFRL is composed of people of different political persuasions, various faiths and diverse economic, social and ethnic backgrounds. Since 1973 the Illinois Federation for Right to Life has been working to end abortion and restore legal protection to those members of the human family who are threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. Diverse though we are, we hold one common belief - that every human being has an inalienable right to life that is precious and must be protected. IFRL is dedicated to restoring the right to life to the unborn, and protection for the disabled and the elderly.   Click here to learn more about the IFRL.