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Jewish World Review Oct. 20, 1999 /10 Mar-Cheshvan, 5760

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Women mustn't discount wonder of motherhood -- SINCE THE END OF JULY, I've been holding on to a commentary published in USA Today by a college student and journalism intern. I've been aching to write a commentary in response, but have needed time to think through my reaction. I'm ready.

The writer, clearly a young, "liberated" female, is outraged that fertility clinics don't treat donors of sperm and donors of eggs equally. She laments that a deeper psychological profile is done for women than men, even after briefly detailing the risky, arduous medical procedure to get the eggs, and hinting at the possible difference in "attachment" between a woman and the product of her eggs and a man and his sperm.

Just on the surface, it seems clear this young woman is still time-warped in the 1960s ridiculous notion that there are no significant or valuable differences between men and women. And, even if there are, they should be ignored in the interests of true equality! Bunk.

I may appear cavalier in a summary dismissal of this point of view, but I deeply believe that this attitude has been one of the most destructive mentalities in the history of human relationships, family and civilization. Am I being overly dramatic? I don't think so.

When women are made to see their contribution to reproduction, mothering, marriage and family as less significant and less magnificent than it truly is, the result is in the downward spiral of civilization. I see this woman's perspective as yet another attack on the unique and profound contribution of women to humanity. Because radical feminists seem only to measure the value of a woman by her financial and political power, they have conspired to destroy what is sacred and beautiful about femininity, womanhood and motherhood.

Having women become egg factories for donation or sale demeans and diminishes the profound and holy connection women have to the reproductive function of their bodies. The women's sexual revolution distilled this marvelous capability down to the arid Promised Land of promiscuity and payment-free prostitution with sexual "shack-ups," where any accidental side effects (e.g., a baby) could be easily remedied by an abortion. Truth be told, I've never talked to a woman on my radio program who lived by these principles of "freedom" who didn't admit to later feeling like something was taken from her life and her heart.

Having women focused so intently on money, power and independence from those pesky males who drain women's energy and potential has resulted in the removal of stigma and shame from having a number of babies with a number of men without benefit of marriage, and the so-called blessing of no-fault marriage, which permitted both men and women to simply walk away, not just from destructive marriages, but any time they didn't "feel happy." Of course, these women are saved from guilt by psycho-babble propaganda, which preaches that divorce is not a problem for children, nor is Mom's new live-in honey or string of dates, nor visiting back and forth between two parental homes while actually living in none.

Having women focused so intently on money, power and independence from those pesky children who need so much of women's time has resulted in an industry that has women believing that the day-care institution can be more meaningful and valuable to children than they are. This has resulted in children whose sense of intimacy and connection is to peers, and not to love, nurturance and bonding with Mommy and Daddy. I talk to these kids. I am here to tell you they are without moral and emotional anchors. They are without a sense of meaning and purpose other than acquisition and indulgence. They are not happy.

It will be yet another sad day in the universe when women surrender those eggs from which, with the blessing of G-d, life comes, WITHOUT the aching and yearning for motherhood. Believing that indifference to this miracle is better because it is equivalent to the more dispassionate reaction of men toward their sperm is absurd. Women are systematically erasing their unique place in the human race by ignorant notions of equality and the value of womanhood.

Well, folks, I am more moved when my son casually tosses a "I love ya, Mom," over his shoulder than when my check arrives for doing this column. I am more grateful that I didn't lose the opportunity to join with my husband and G-d in the creation of a new life, than I am for getting a new contract for another book. Don't get me wrong. I value my hard work-won successes, but they are not the aspects of my life that make me feel blessed.

Yes, Virginia, there is a difference between men and women. Neither is better. Both are special -- in their difference. And together we build humanity.

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©1999, Universal Press Syndicate