xoJane.com is where women go when they are being selfish, and where their selfishness is applauded.
You know we’re in for a treat when a website advertises its character flaws right in its own slogan. Today’s example of praiseworthy narcissism is Natasia Langfelder’s harrowing tale of being “a bridesmaid at a wedding that became an anti-abortion PSA”:
I knew I was going to stand up for my cousin in a traditional Catholic ceremony, thereby embracing the values therein. But I didn’t expect to be bombarded with anti-abortion rhetoric the entire time.
After a three hour plane trip and three hours of driving on the longest, flattest expanse of land I’ve ever seen in my life, the bridal party and Duke’s and Diamond’s families all met at the church for the wedding rehearsal.
“Look,” my nine-year-old cousin exclaimed, “there are babies on the wall!” She pointed to a wall covered in multiple four foot high posters showing fetuses at several stages of development. Matching pamphlets were fanned out on a low coffee table in the center of the room.
Yes, you read that right: when you set foot in a church, you might see—gasp—material on things the church is concerned about! Somebody call Amnesty International!
But the horror doesn’t end there. She next recounts meeting another bridesmaid, Maria, who was soon to become a nun. Even worse, she had the nerve to wear a shirt that says “remember the unborn.”
I nodded and debated whether or not to tell her that her T-shirt made me uncomfortable.
So you’re disturbed by seeing the most mild expression possible of compassion for unborn babies, but they’re the weirdos? I hate to break this to you, but the world doesn’t revolve around your views.
“You know,” she continued wistfully, “this is going to be the last time I wear makeup.” I felt a flare of blind rage. I wanted to tell her that no one is making her give up makeup, it’s her choice. Meanwhile if she had her way, she would take away the right of other women to make much, much more important choices about their futures.
Uh, did Maria say someone was making her do it? Not according to Langfelder’s own write-up. And if we’re going to play the “who loses more choices” game, the baby who loses all choice before even getting the chance to make one trumps the “other woman,” hands down.
During the service, Maria read the speech Duke wrote for her, it was about praying for the unborn and how Our Heavenly Father created them and it was an abomination that we were destroying God’s gifts. I fidgeted from my place by the altar. According to the “1 in 3” campaign, one in three women will have an abortion during her lifetime. I looked out at the wedding guests who sat facing the dias and wondered how many of them felt singled out and shamed right now.
Answer: almost certainly fewer than the number of guests who would understand that a statistic about women overall doesn’t automatically apply to any given subset of women, especially when that subset is comprised of at least part of a family so passionately opposed to the procedure that they address it during a wedding.
The anti-abortion rhetoric wasn’t left in the church. It followed us to the reception where the groom made a speech that ended with him yelling into the mic, “When does life begin? At conception. When does life begin?” He turned the mic out to his guests, “At conception!” he prompted. To my relief, audience participation was weak. One of my cousins turned to me and said, “Just so you know, my church isn’t like this.”
What a coincidence; we were just talking about churches that don’t take seriously the slaughter of God’s children.
I’ll give the author this much: it does seem odd to emphasize a contentious societal issue at a personal family event, particularly when the joyous tenor of the average wedding contrasts so sharply with something as foul as abortion (personally, I’m content to inflict my unsolicited political musings on friends and relatives on Facebook).
But considering that we live in an era where private citizens face legal punishment if they decline to participate in weddings that are too liberal for their liking, I have a hard time sympathizing with someone who frets that one she chose to attend was too conservative. Besides, Langfelder unwittingly stumbles upon the link between holy matrimony and the sanctity of life:
Weddings are a celebration of love, of the entwining of two lives, of the exciting possibility of creating even more lives from this union. I didn’t expect to have to endorse a “pro-life” stance.
A “celebration” of the “possibility of creating even more lives from this union.” It’s remarkable what details go over your head when you’re busy “being selfish” and “applauding selfishness.”