Skip to comments.Material Girls: How Feminism Betrayed Terri Schiavo
Posted on 04/01/2005 2:54:16 PM PST by Mr. Silverback
On March 31, 2005, thirty years after feminisms hey-day in the 1970s, a woman died from dehydration, on the orders of her adulterous husband, who was supported by the courts in his quest to end his wifes life.
On February 25, 1990, Theresa Schindler Schiavo collapsed in her home and suffered significant brain damage. In 1992, Mrs. Schiavos husband Michael was awarded a $1,050,000 malpractice settlement, of which $300,000 was allocated for Mr. Schiavos loss of consortium and $750,000 for Mrs. Schiavos rehabilitative care. Mr. Schiavo subsequently refused to allow rehabilitative care for his wife.
There are other reasons to doubt Mr. Schiavos good will. According to the affidavit of Carla Iyer, a nurse who cared for Mrs. Schiavo during the mid-1990s, Mr. Schiavo would be visibly excited, thrilled even, hoping that she would die whenever she contracted an illness, such as a cold or urinary tract infection. Im going to be rich! he would exclaim, and talk about all the things he would buy when Terri died, which included a new car, a new boat and a trip to Europe.
On other occasions, according to Ms. Iyer, Mr. Schiavo would ask, When is that b---h going to die? and Cant you do anything to accelerate her death? During this time, Mrs. Schiavo was capable of limited speech, reports Ms. Iyer. One of her most frequent utterances was Help me. Ms. Iyer reports that she would record Mrs. Schiavos words, as well as Mr. Schiavos, in the patients chart, only to find them deleted by her next shift. Ms. Iyers affidavit was dismissed as incredible by Florida Probate Judge George Greer, who allowed the March 18 removal of Mrs. Schiavos feeding tube, which led to her March 31 death.
In 1997, Mr. Schiavo became engaged to another woman, with whom he now has two children.
Since the mid- to late-1990s, Mr. Schiavo sought to have his wifes nutrition and hydration terminated, claiming that she would want to die. The feeding tube was removed and then reinserted twice before the final removal on March 18.
Mrs. Schiavos parents, Mary and Robert Schindler, fought for years to prevent their daughters death, but federal and state courts found over and over in favor of Michael Schiavo. Mr. Schiavo consistently denied the Schindlers access to his wifes medical records and even refused to allow them to be by her bedside at the moment of her death.
That court after court could find in favor of the death desired by a womans cold-hearted, adulterous husband over the life desired by her loving, heart-broken parents shows the corruption of modern culture. Theresa Schiavos death also marks a milestone in modern cultures embrace of feminist values.
Premier among these values is the wholesale rejection of the sanctity of life. Feminisms most significant victory was the 1973 legalization of abortion-on-demand. Alan Guttmacher, then president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, hailed the U.S. Supreme Court's verdict in Roe v. Wade as bringing the nation "a step further toward assuring the birthright of every child to be welcomed by its parents at the time of its birth". This bizarre notion that abortion protects childrens rights is rooted in a materialistic view of life, according to which its value is not absolute but is instead subject to its perceived utility. Over the last three decades, the power of this materialistic view of life has expanded to threaten not only the unborn, but also the old and the disabled, like Terri Schiavo.
At the same time that feminism forged the cultural rejection of the sanctity of life, it has also forged the cultural rejection of the sanctity of marriage. In the 1960s, feminists began to see success in their push for no-fault divorce, which they claimed would make it easier for women to leave abusive husbands. Since then, the divorce rate has skyrocketed, as have cohabitation and out-of-wedlock births. Massachusettshas legalized homosexual marriage. And large numbers of Americans claimed it didnt matter when a married President of the United Statesengaged in sexual activity with an intern in the Oval Office.
Against this cultural backdrop, Michael Schiavo waged a campaign to end his wifes life while conducting a long-term sexual relationship with another woman. The courts ignored the obvious conflict of interest, and talking heads reflect modernitys moral dissonance by insisting that Mr. Schiavo loved his wife and at the same time claiming that theres nothing wrong with his moving on, the euphemism for shacking up with another woman while his wife lay disabled and denied care.
Once life and family have been trashed, the hard work of providing care for them is devalued as well. Caring for a family isnt a real job, the feminist culture tells us. Neither is community work. In her affidavit, Ms. Iyer even describes a fellow nurse who made many comments about Terri being a waste of money, that she should die. When an unusual number of patients seemed to die on this other nurses shift, Ms. Iyer reports, she would say, They are old - let them die.
Replacing the value that used to be placed on life and on marriage and family is the new value of choice, which is really a code word for selfishness. Women facing unplanned pregnancies may choose to terminate them. An Oscar-winning movie glorifies the murder of a young woman whose paralysis ends her boxing career and, with it, the cheers and applause without which she doesnt choose to live. Were even supposed to believe, on the basis of her adulterous husbands word, that Terri Schiavo would have chosen to be dehydrated to death, and, apparently, large numbers of people do. In all these cases, the value of self supercedes the value of life.
Marriages end at the request of one or both parties, because its not working out or were not compatible. Two selves clash, and actually trying to work it out would in some way diminish one or both. Any children involved will understand and be supportive, because theyre better off when their parents are happy.
Fulfillment comes not from building and caring for a family, but from career success and all its material trappingsmoney, power, prestigein other words, from serving ones self instead of ones family.
The irony is that this exaltation of self favors the powerful. The unborn, the old, and the disabled are at the mercy of those on whom they depend. The spouse who makes the most money--usually the man--fares far better after divorce than the one who makes little or nothing, as well as the children for whom she usually retains primary custody.
Its because feminist values favor the powerful that feminists are so often in the awkward position of having to defend men who have harmed women. Leading feminists, like Patricia Ireland of the National Organization for Women, defended Bill Clinton, on the grounds that his affair with an intern was consensualin other words, of her choosing as well as his. NOW even opposed charging Scott Peterson with the murder of his unborn son Conner, on the grounds that the nearly full-term Conner wasnt a person yet.
Michael Schiavo alone was empowered to speak for his powerless wife, and his obvious reasons for wanting her to die were overlooked, while his claim that she would have chosen death is accepted.
The law is supposed to protect the powerless from the powerful. But by ruling against Terri Schiavos parents again and again, the courts have perverted justice to enforce the same might-makes-right ethic that would prevail under anarchy.
And Theresa Marie Schindler Schiavo lies on the feminist altar of self. May she rest in peace.
Leslie Carbone is the author of Slaying Leviathan: The Moral Case for Tax Reform.
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True enough. For starters, there's the 20 million little girls they helped kill in the abortuaries...
"The courts ignored the obvious conflict of interest, and talking heads reflect modernitys moral dissonance by insisting that Mr. Schiavo loved his wife and at the same time claiming that theres nothing wrong with his moving on, the euphemism for shacking up with another woman while his wife lay disabled and denied care."
This brings to mind the way they busted Newt's xxxx's, and he wasn't even trying to kill his cancer-ridden wife!
Terry Shiavo was sacrified on the altar of convenience.....just as is the case in abortion.
The secretary where I work said yesterday that she "wouldn't want to be shown on TV looking like that". That was her only comment on the whole thing. I was just stunned. I still don't know what to say to that. This is someone who voted for Pres. Bush. This whole thing has just really crushed a lot of my faith in humanity. I try to see different points of view about most subjects, but this one just eludes me.
Proving once again, that humanity is not where you should put your faith. ; )
True, very true. It's kind of an old habit though. It dies hard I guess ;-).
"The secretary where I work said yesterday that she "wouldn't want to be shown on TV looking like that". That was her only comment on the whole thing. I was just stunned. I still don't know what to say to that. This is someone who voted for Pres. Bush."
I would have asked her what she meant by the comment.
Perhaps she was simply questioning the way the video clips were used. I think that I understand why the Schindlers made the videotapes -- but I certainly think that the way they were used by the media was EXTREMELY tasteless. It became ghoulish after a while. It was all too obvious that they were being shown over and over -- especially by the cable networks -- in a frantic bid to beat each other in the ratings. Of course the whole Schiavo thing was being used that way, but in the case of those video clips it was at times positively obscene. Luckily it is unlikely Terri Schiavo ever was aware of it -- but I wondered at times why the Schindlers didn't protest.
No, unfortunately, I found out later that she thought Terri should just be allowed to die. I did try to explain that there was a lot more to the story than the MSM was painting, but I'm losing patience with people who get their news from the MSM. It's not that hard to be better informed nowadays.
Accurate and heartbreaking cultural analysis.
// she "wouldn't want to be shown on TV looking like that" //
OUCH! yet another good reason why Terri just had to die. < / sarc >
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Great article, but what's with the keywords?
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