Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A is For…The New Scarlet Letter


Have you visited the new website twisting Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter for another women’s reproductive rights campaign?  http://www.aisfor.org/our-ribbon/

From their site: 
The scarlet letter “A” is an instantly recognizable symbol of excoriation and shame.  A is For is a campaign challenging the traditional meaning of the scarlet letter by encouraging women, and the men who support them, to wear the A proudly. We are taking back the A by re-appropriating its meaning to one of dignity, defiance, and autonomy.We take our inspiration from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s fictional heroine of 17th century Puritan Boston, Hester Prynne, a woman branded by her fellows for daring to live a life according to her own conscience. We are refusing to be shamed into silence.
Every woman, and every man who has ever loved one, must wear the A at some point in their lives: Whether you’re a mother who’s decided she doesn’t want more kids, or a student waiting to start a family until the right time, or a teenager who needs access to Plan B, or a boyfriend who isn’t ready to be a dad, or a husband who supports his wife’s desire to remain childless, or a father who wants his daughter to be able to realize her own dreams before becoming a mom, we all wear the A. And we are standing up for our right to be heard without being shamed. We are taking back our A’s. The A is for Autonomy. It’s for Allegiance. It’s for Action.  What does your “A” mean to you?
My Response:  

Shame is a natural, God-given trigger that tells us our behavior is corrupt.  Our conscience is designed to inform us that we need to change our actions.  Sometimes it may be too late before consequences occur.  Or sometime we feel arrogant; we rather live with the consequences than change our ways.  We tend to want to protect or justify our sin.   

I think some would like the new scarlet letter A to do just that for this generation, but it is certainly Arrogant.  They expect to change the way people understand and look at sin.  If we, as a culture, reject the stigma of certain behaviors or consequences of behavior, maybe we can remove shame altogether.  If we can file it under a constitutional right or label it liberty, maybe that scarlet letter A will mean something entirely opposite.  

But I think God gave us shame to protect ourselves, and it will not be so easy to eradicate.  And while public shame, as in Hester Prynne's case, may be unwarranted or unfairly applied, private shame is a very necessary emotion that should not be neglected.

What do you think about the New Scarlet Letter “A”?

2 comments:

  1. I'm speechless. Turning the "A" into a positive thing? Did any of them read The Scarlet Letter? They certainly focused in on the end of the book where the "A" had more of a meaning of "Able".

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    1. I wonder. And for them, if they did read it, Able would mean "Able to do whatever I want at any cost without regard for anyone else." Abortion is just a sore spot for me, and that's all they care about.

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