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Web letter by Dorothy E. Helmeczi: Religion, government are the true enslavers of women

On March 3 the Journal Gazette printed an article by the Rev. Mark Gurtner. He proposes, in concordance with teachings by Pope John Paul II, that women have become enslaved by the events of the sexual revolution (i.e., birth control and abortion). As a result, women have become objects and no longer have the fulfillment of sex with the end view of procreation. He states that contraception divorces sex from love.

My immediate response was probably unprintable, but Gurtner is no doubt entitled to his opinion as much as I am entitled to mine. Gurtner, due to his career choice, has no idea what the prospect of 2 a.m. feedings of a newborn in less than a year can do to inhibit the sexual impulses in a woman. Women will be enslaved by their biology as long as 1.) they remain smaller and less powerful physically than men; 2.) the laws dictate that they have less status and fewer rights than men; 3.) the laws to protect women are ignored and overlooked; and 4.) men in positions of power continue to contrive new and more explicit ways to control women and their biology.

Gurtner has been steeped in the teachings and dogma of a religion that chooses to keep women imprisoned (enslaved) in medieval bondage. Women, for centuries on end, have been esteemed for their ability to procreate – and produce male heirs, preferably. Anne Boleyn (Henry 8th?s wife) quite literally lost her head because of her inability to produce male offspring. Women were, putting it bluntly, ?baby factories.?

Speaking of baby factories, I thought of the Duggars and the TV program ?19 and Counting.? Jim Bob Duggar has carved out a career, and apparently a reasonably lucrative one, by keeping his wife pregnant. (At least she?s not barefoot!) Pregnancy No. 20 ended in a miscarriage. During an interview, Michelle Duggar related that they had never used contraception. My, what a surprise! One really must wonder how many men envy Jim Bob Duggar?s career choice.

The article by Gurtner was on Page 9A. On Page 13A was an article by Petula Dvorak (Washington Post columnist) reporting events from the World Conference of Women?s Shelters at Maryland?s National Harbor. Women from around the world were reporting abuse by spouses and intimate partners, of being forced into sex and beatings and other forms of abuse, of having their earnings taken from them. Also, reports from the U.S. on how even with divorce life can remain a living hell for women by means of all the current technology that can be applied to running them down and trapping them. Also, it was reiterated how little the law can (or will) do to prevent all of the ways and means of offenses against women. It was noted that in one day (Sept. 15, 2011) 67,399 women and children reported domestic violence. How much happened that went unreported?

We live in an ?enlightened country.? Women?s rights are respected – or are they really? There is always some legislative group that is ready and anxious to send women back to the Dark Ages.

Since I have managed to get all of the above out of my system and off my mind, let me also pay tribute to all of the unsung heroes, the men who cherish their wives as equals and give them respect and consideration as partners in long-term relationships. There are many millions of partners who share the burdens of home, children, joy and sorrow on an equal and loving basis.

Hopefully, there will come a time when religion and government keep their noses out of the bedrooms and let partners cohabit and conjugate in peace.

DOROTHY E. HELMECZI

Fort Wayne

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