Pro-Life Strategies Leave Pro-Choice Strategies In The Dust

Originally published January 15, 2015.

Republished September 16, 2015 after a web host transfer.

For one seminar in grad school, I had to purchase and read a dissertation of my choice. The dissertation I chose changed my understanding of feminist leaders, the cumulative power of small steps, and the importance of trusting the talents and energy of ordinary people. Marsha Vanderford focused on strategies the leaders of one pro-life organization and the leaders of one pro-choice organization used to motivate their supporters, then showed the results of those strategies. I summarized Vanderford’s findings below.

In-House Rhetoric of Pro-Life and Pro-Choice Special Interest Groups in Minnesota: Motivation and Alienation
Dissertation, University of Minnesota, 1982
Marsha Vanderford Doyle, Ph.D.
(Now Marsha Vanderford)

Dr. Vanderford used research material from the 1970s. Keep that in mind as you read some of the motivational strategies below.

Minnesota Concerned Citizens
for Life

Pro-Life Motivational Situation
Difficulty & Threat

Definition of the Problem

Abortion is murder, genocide, and
dehumanization. Abortion is against
women’s role, American values,
individual rights, and the judicial
system. Abortion advocates are a
powerful, immoral, merciless minority
that wants to protect their own power
and wealth.

Abortion Rights Council
of Minnesota

Pro-Choice Motivational Situation
Threat

Definition of the Problem

Illegal abortion is brutal, filthy, and
dangerous because it is done with
knitting needles, butcher knives, and
coat hangers. The pro-life side is an
underhanded, irrational, hypocritical,
and unreasonable minority that wants
to oppress women, restrict sexuality,
and discriminate against the poor.
The  pro-life side ignores the needs of
women in trouble and in poor health.

Results of the Problem Continuing

Legal abortion would soon lead to
more babies dying, euthanasia,
nuclear war, threats to every individual,
and threats to the entire nation.
(Present dangers)

Results of the Problem Continuing

A return to illegal abortion would mean
putting the government in the hands of
a few religious men to the harm of the
entire country, especially the loss of
individual rights for women.
(Future dangers)

Benefits of Solving the Problem

Protecting motherhood, protecting
society, and protecting America.

Benefits of Solving the Problem

Preserving women’s right to choose,
preserving a medical technique for
relieving mental or physical suffering,
ensuring safety, and keeping a cure for
teen pregnancy.

Justification for Taking Action

God is on our side.

Justification for Taking Action

We are upholding American laws
and American institutions.

Identifying the Problem Solvers

Pro-life leaders told pro-life supporters
to take simple actions in their daily lives.
Individual and small repetitive actions
would add up to powerful results. Pro-life
leaders gave credit for every success to
every pro-life supporter. Winning
depended on the individual actions
of every pro-life supporter.

Identifying the Problem Solvers

Pro-choice legal and medical
professionals gave glory to themselves
for taking action in legislatures and
courts. Pro-choice leaders
occasionally gave credit to  pro-choice
supporters who performed simple
organizational tasks (mailings,
organizing members), staffed
information booths at fairs, sponsored
advertisements, and spoke to interested
groups. Winning depended on the
willingness of pro-choice supporters to
keep sending money to support the
actions of the legal and medical
professionals.

Steps to Success

Small repetitive actions that added
together would lead to success,
including garage sales, sponsored
dances, bake sales, cookbook sales,
Santa Claus breakfasts, collections
of scrap newspaper, card parties,
Christmas boutiques, craft boutiques,
babysitting for people attending pro-life
demonstrations, staffing county fair
booths. Pro-life leaders provided
detailed instructions on what
to write to federal, state, and local
legislators, whom to call for help
before lobbying, what to read to be
informed. All tasks could be performed
in or near the home as part of everyday life.

Steps to Success

Success would come from legal experts
making court challenges to abortion
bans and from lobbying efforts by
medical and legal professionals.
Pro-choice leaders expected supporters
to continually send money to pro-choice
organizations so professionals could
continue their important work.
Supporters should also write lawmakers
when professionals asked them to.

Continual Reminders

Abortion is a danger to norms
and values. Each pro-choice legal
victory is a reminder of a continuing
threat. Pro-life leaders sent out frequent
newsletters with lists of small actions to
take and steps for taking those actions.
Pro-life leaders linked each pro-life
success to individual actions. Pro-life
leaders emphasized past successes.

Continual Reminders

Pro-choice leaders increasingly focused on
pro-life successes. They gave few suggestions
for concrete actions pro-choice supporters
could take in their daily lives, provided little
information for how to take actions, made
no links between individual actions and
success, and made few links between
pro-choice actions and concrete successes.
Pro-choice leaders continually asked for
money. Pro-choice leaders glorified
themselves for sacrificing their lives
and time and for overcoming obstacles.
Pro-choice leaders placed the blame for
pro-life successes on pro-choice followers.

Results of Motivational Strategies

Pro-life supporters felt a measure of
control and personal success. They
also had frequent and continual
opportunities to socialize and have fun
with each other while working for the cause.

Results of Motivational Strategies

Pro-choice supporters felt little control,
little if any personal success, loss of
confidence in pro-choice power because
of increased perceptions about pro-life
power. Pro-choice supporters grew tired
of sending money to professionals who
glorified themselves. Pro-choice supporters
felt isolated from each other except for
occasional pro-choice functions.

Important Considerations

Pro-life leaders had the benefit of a
current threat affecting everyone and
could appeal to religious as well as
patriotic feelings. Pro-life leaders told
individual pro-life supporters that they
were the source of pro-life power and linked
all pro-life successes to individual actions.

Important Considerations

Pro-choice leaders had the disadvantage
of only a future threat that would affect
fewer values and fewer people. Pro-choice
leaders gave individual pro-choice supporters
no personal power and did not link successes
to individual actions. A change in tactics
from lobbying to single issue politics
confused pro-choice supporters.

Dr. Marsha Vanderford identified the glory needs of feminist leaders in the 1970s. My blog posts about feminist leaders prove they are still glory addicts today. Pro-Life leaders elevated pro-life supporters as the the reason for all pro-life success. Pro-choice leaders “relegated” pro-choice supporters to “secondary importance”. The “secondary importance” is evidence that feminist leaders have been creating inequality between women since at least the 1970s.

Pro-life strategy has left pro-choice strategy in the dust. It does not matter that abortion is legal to women who cannot get abortions because of state restrictions put in place through the small, repetitive actions of individual pro-life supporters.

In-House Rhetoric of Pro-Life and Pro-Choice Special Interest Groups in Minnesota: Motivation and Alienation
Dissertation, University of Minnesota, 1982
Marsha Vanderford Doyle, Ph.D.
(Now Marsha Vanderford)
Quoted words on page 350.

“Let’s Get Real about Feminism: The Backlash, the Myths, the Movement.”
hooks, bell, Gloria Steinem, Urvashi Vaid, and Naomi Wolf.
Ms. Magazine.
Vol 4(2) September/October 1993: pages 34-43.

“Multitext Project in Irish History: Movements for Political & Social Reform, 1870-1914”
Eoin Hartnett
University College Cork, Ireland
No date
This project is no longer available online.

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)
Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Standards For Success Posters

Girl Grit

Girl Goodwill

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

For a wide ranging selection of articles on feminism and other topics,
see The Zawadi Nyong’o Daily

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As an American, I have freedom of speech.

As a woman, I have the right to express my opinion about anything the National Organization for Women claims to do for women.

In 2016, I started adding the section below to all of my new Feminist Leader blog posts. I also added it to all posts published before 2016.

The National Organization For Women
Silences Women

National NOW has blocked me on its Facebook page. I wrote comments based on my blog posts. All of my blog posts are based on a wide variety of evidence. Much of the evidence comes from National NOW’s website, emails and posts from NOW presidents, and emails from NOW staff members. I use no hostile language, no slurs, no profanity. I do use the phrase “glory addicts” in reference to NOW leaders. I also use “glory addiction”, “glory fixes”, and “a dedicated network of glory addicts”. Dr. Marsha Vanderford (Doyle) identified the glory needs of pro-choice leaders in her 1982 dissertation.

Feminist leaders have been silencing women for decades. bell hooks, Gloria Steinem, Urvashi Vaid, and Naomi Wolf got together for a conversation that was published in Ms. Magazine in 1993. The discussion included why women choose not ta call themselves feminists. Did these four feminist leaders working for women’s equality ask women who choose not to call themselves feminist to speak for themselves? Of course not! The four feminist leaders silenced millions of women by speaking for them without first requesting permission to speak for them.

Imagine a group of women who choose not to call themselves feminists getting together for a conversation to be published in a magazine about why some women call themselves feminists. Would hooks, Steinem, Vaid, Wolf, or Ms. Magazine agree with nonfeminist women denying them the opportunity to speak for themselves? Of course not! Would hooks, Steinem, Vaid, Wolf, or Ms. Magazine agree that nonfeminist women had the right to speak for feminist women without their permission? Of course not!

My feminist leader blog posts provide evidence that feminist leaders still create glory for themselves while relegating supporters to “secondary importance”. Dr. Vanderford used the words “relegated” and “secondary importance” in her dissertation. Eoin Harnett of University College Cork in Ireland used the same “secondary importance” phrase:

“Throughout the ages, women were frequently characterised
and treated as inferior and of secondary importance to men.”

NOW leaders even relegated two of their supporters to secondary importance. The supporters responded to my last two comments on National NOW’s Facebook page with comments supporting NOW. NOW leaders silenced those supporters by removing their comments along with my comments. Instead of creating equality, NOW leaders treat other women the same way patriarchal men treat women:

NOW leaders silenced at least three women on Facebook while posting claims to be creating equality for women. Secondary importance is the opposite of equality, as women throughout the ages could testify.

In-House Rhetoric of Pro-Life and Pro-Choice Special Interest Groups in Minnesota: Motivation and Alienation
Dissertation, University of Minnesota, 1982
Marsha Vanderford Doyle, Ph.D.
(Now Marsha Vanderford)
Quoted words on page 350.

“Let’s Get Real about Feminism: The Backlash, the Myths, the Movement.”
hooks, bell, Gloria Steinem, Urvashi Vaid, and Naomi Wolf.
Ms. Magazine.
Vol 4(2) September/October 1993: pages 34-43.

“Multitext Project in Irish History: Movements for Political & Social Reform, 1870-1914”
Eoin Hartnett
University College Cork, Ireland
No date
This project is no longer available online.

Updated April 30, 2017.