What does it say about twenty-first-century society that a celebrity woman enunciating the obvious — speaking favorably about having babies, raising them responsibly and loving them — should stiffen the hackles of others? That not hating the reproduction and preservation of the species should elicit sniping from some who are biologically equipped to do the same but loathe the notion?
Beach Volleyball world champion, three-time gold-medaller and current Summer Olympics competitor Kerry Walsh Jennings has stirred the pot with recent remarks about how much she cherishes being a mommy:
Before I had more kids, I was like, [Beach Volleyball] feels trivial … I’d been playing for so long, and I was like I need balance … [I]t’s very self-centered and self-focused. They gave me that perspective and balance I thought I was missing … I am hugely indebted to my children.
From a June 2014 NBC interview: “My priorities are my faith, my family and my career.” Volleyball cited third? After hubby and crumb-crunchers? Why, this is blasphemy against the contemporary “I Am Woman Hear Me Roar” narrative. And that reference to religion!
The life the thirty-seven-year-old Californian envisions for herself had she never attained global-level superstardom? “I would be a mommy … chasing a gold medal in some other way … My children have taught me so much. I want to be better because I’m their mommy.”
A gold medal in motherhood? What a sublimely lovely image — but not to everyone, apparently. One twitter respondent, doubtless reflecting bunches among her baby-dissing sisterhood, carped, “Did you just see the piece about Kerri Walsh Jennings? … What is @nbc doing to us?!… Is Donald Trump running the network now? Get it together.”
There’s something impossibly sacred, inescapably bottom-line, stop-the-presses elemental about women and childbirth. Absent it, none of us would be here. Duhhh. Do we really need to point that out in 2016? The act produces not just a brand new physical being, but a connection between two people that is hard to disown; and which usually results in a love unique among all others: mother and child. Where would untold multitudes over the ages have ended up if not for mom’s devotion?
God approved of the dad/mom/child model from the beginning; it was his idea, in fact, woven inextricably into the paradigmatic structure of humanity: “The two shall become one flesh … Be fruitful and multiply, bring forth abundantly”.
Sure, there’ve been hideous mothers; maternal monsters. Granted, there are cases aplenty of offspring growing to despise the one whose womb carried them. That said, even in our day, normal folks wince at such, instinctively recognizing: Mom abusing kids? Kids despising mom? Antipathy between mama and offspring? Never the way it’s supposed to be.
Nonetheless, because of all the faddish, elitist dynamics which militate against the motherhood privilege — abortion-mania, career-uber-alles propaganda, crusading lesbianism, feminist-fueled man-hating – any cheerleading of old-fashioned motherhood must routinely be stomped into goo; sneered at, snickered at, snarked at. If an ambitious lady wants to latch a cooing bundle of joy to her curriculum vitae as an appendage, a plaything to help fulfill her? Okay, trendy culture can dig that — or at least put up with it. But make a child central to one’s existence, a focus of life’s meaning, perhaps exclusive to all/most else? Eeee-eeeeek!
What about female equality? The “Glass Ceiling”? What about misogyny? Unrestrained sexual pleasure? Me First? Not a few XX-chromosome types — and their obsequious, aren’t-we-enlightened XY-chromosome counterparts — regard babies as weapons-grade threats to their pro-women hang-ups.
They’re completely misguided, of course. Conceiving and birthing doesn’t have to spell doom for a richly developed, gratifying existence. Actually, the universal human experience — and Biology 101 — affirm the ability to incubate and propagate another life is a uniquely feminine capacity; it makes the distaff side truly special. But anti-male, anti-family, anti-childbirth indoctrination — with a dash of Malthusian overpopulation mythology thrown in for fear-mongering measure — has persuasively done its work: For multitudes of moderns, one of humanity’s most glorious realities has been transmogrified into a distasteful, even repugnant one.
(I’m reminded of the cultural donnybrook another beach-volleyballer ignited a few years back when Gabrielle Reece volunteered some hair-curlingly politically incorrect notions about the proper behavior of a good wife:
[T]o truly be feminine means being soft, receptive, and … submissive … I think the idea of living with a partner is “How can I make their life better?” … I choose to serve my family and my husband … [H]e is then in fact acting more like a man and masculine and treating me the way I want to be treated.
For the hearth-n-home haters, it gets even worse: Following her departure from the volleyball circuit, Reece actually sacrificed a budding professional golf dream in order to raise her children (!). In 2009 she explained, “… [W]ith young children, I simply didn’t have the time for such a demanding game.” Not a few Gloria-Steinem clones must have grabbed the defibrillator when they heard that news.
A successful woman had the crust to own sentiments like those — unapologetically — in this day and age? It still makes my head swoon and heart go a-flutter. Reece’s searing unfashionableness almost makes Walsh-Jennnigs look like a go-along-to-get-along piker.
What is it about these beautiful, athletic amazons that inspires them to beard feminism’s inviolable orthodoxy? Maybe the same defiant spirit that renders them such formidable competitors when thumping that ball in the sand? Whatever the explanation, it’s exhilarating in this era of culture-war eunuchs and accomodationists.
Anyway … )
Plainly, this isn’t endorsing the barefoot-n-pregnant parody against which feminists and their abettors hiss. There are lots of possibilities and choices which can contribute to a satisfied and worthwhile life for a woman. Marriage and offspring aren’t always in the picture. Again, the Creator, Who wired most uterus-possessers to desire that more traditional route, foresaw and commended others who wouldn’t take it (Matthew 19:12).
But when did giving birth, treasuring one’s progeny, molding them into responsible, well-adjusted adults become a lesser option? That attitude is civilization-shriveling, future-poisoning twaddle; and Kerry Walsh Jennings has spiked it: “I feel like I was born to have babies and play volleyball.”
And regarding her aspirations for Rio de Janiero and elsewhere she adds, “I wanna win a fourth gold medal; I would love to have a fourth baby.”
Evidently, the lady really is more than one kind of champion.
Steve Pauwels is Pastor of Church of The King Londonderry NH and an editor at Clash Daily. For more information about Steve Pauwels, visit http://clashdaily.com/author/stevepauwels/