Aside from being a demonstration of how little research some dudes feel they need to do before becoming experts on issues that primarily affect women, it’s also an example of how the dictionary really shouldn’t be your primary source of proof or thought when it comes to deeply complicated social and moral issues (affirmative action/racism being good examples of other issues in which the dictionary really doesn’t go deep enough). I mean, really, would it be so hard to consult a sociological text?
It’s like these people are so pompous they think that no one has ever thought to look in the dictionary before. So they take a gander, see whatever they want to see, stop thinking, and then lay it down and type QED thinking they’ve just saved humanity and their ego all in one brilliant rhetorical maneuver.
It’s a big ol’ fail.
The comments are even worse. We’ve got the old “But remember when everybody thought slavery was ok?” in the facebook comments section. Unfortunately, this person who is appealing to history didn’t learn it very well, since she forgets to recognize that abortion was illegal before women had to fight to decriminalize it. So, in her metaphor, it’s the folks with HER position that may as well have been proponents of slavery, especially since the pro-life position is geared toward extracting free labors from the bodies of those deemed less worthy of agency.
Anyway, I am going to repost my swift and comprehensive smack-down of this article here, because I think it needs to be seen by more folks than just those who go to my little school newspaper’s measly website. In case you didn’t go to the link and you’re wondering what the creative writing references are, the dude who wrote the original article is listed as a creative writing major. Oh, and yeah, I am a snarky, condescending asshole.
Creative writing, huh? Guess you weren’t kidding.
“Abortion advocates probably wouldn’t say they like the procedure but argue that abortions should be available for extreme cases, like rape, incest or when the life of the child or mother is in serious danger.”
Um, what? Actually, I’m pretty sure I think abortion should be offered on demand and without apology. Women shouldn’t have to skulk in dark corners just because dudes don’t think they deserve the right to bodily autonomy, or just because dudes think that if they’re gracious enough to grant it, it should still be legal but salaciously clandestine. As if enough self flagellation will somehow justify the grasp that patriarchy has had to loosen on women’s wombs.
“Biologically, of course, an unborn child is a living person, but some would argue that the child is a human, but not a person. However, the difference between them is semantic. According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, the two words are synonyms. It is only in the legal sense that an unborn child does not qualify as a person deserving the right to life that we all enjoy.”
Wow, you really got in depth on this issue, huh? All it took was a simple dictionary look-up by some dude who figured folks had never thought of that before and hard-fought battles get wiped away along with any hope women might have for respected rights to bodily autonomy and self determination? Well golly. Alert National Right to Life. It’s like this argument has never been demolished before by the simple assertion that maybe dictionaries don’t define our philosophical discussions. You know, because the dictionary hasn’t caused us to hold funerals for miscarriages, count fetuses in the census, give pregnant women ample use of the carpool lane, or require police investigation of every late period.
Golly, maybe the question is bigger than what you chalk up to semantics.
“It is purely arbitrary to say that humanity, or even life, begins at birth, which is why so many anti-abortion lawmakers continue to push for stricter abortion laws, despite the fixity of a Supreme Court decision, in an effort to stop the very real deaths of more than one million children per year.”
You know, you might be right. But you know what? Saying that life begins at conception is arbitrary, too. Just as arbitrary. Well, maybe not JUST as arbitrary, considering the politics of conception are just as dripping with misogyny as abortion politics. So personhood begins at conception, huh? You know what the implications of that are? That the only action necessary to create human life, more people, is ejaculation – and that’s crap. You know what it actually takes to make a person? The bodily organs, life functions, consumed calories, 9 months incubation time – of a woman. This whole conception battle is extremely reminiscent of when “scientists” decided that the egg waited patiently for sperm to fertilize it. That’s something we all know now to be untrue, but when someone desperately wants women to remain socially defined as passive receptacles, it becomes an issue of contention. The fact of the matter is that the assertion that personhood begins only after ejaculation is almost as misogynistically dismissive of women’s contributions to society as the stifling of that contribution via abortion restrictions themselves.
“Should it make a difference if the child is dismembered first, then delivered, or delivered first, then dismembered?”
This is something you should ask the group of exclusively dudes who stood around Bush as he banned the D&X procedure via the “Partial-birth abortion ban”. D&X procedures are actually safer for women (Who don’t exactly obtain late-term abortions willy-nilly, but what’s a little hydrocephalus along with your forced gestation and birth, huh?), but since women’s safety is hardly tantamount for those who seek to ban abortion procedures at all, it doesn’t surprise anyone that they would still ban the procedure outright even if late-term procedures aren’t banned completely through such legislation.
“Reducing abortion rates should be something everyone can agree upon, regardless of whether one believes it is murder. Legislation can only go so far, so anti-abortion advocates like those marching in Washington should continue fighting to change minds, so human life can be given the value it deserves.”
Hey, you know, if they put half as much of that effort into not lying about the efficacy of condoms and other forms of contraceptives, they might get somewhere. Fetal worship gets the state of women, the adoption process, anti-poverty efforts, or anything that might contribute to a lower abortion rate nowhere. It’s an enactment of extreme callousness and lack of nuance (let alone ability to focus on practicality) to continue this woebegone quest to “inform” people that these anti-abortion folks have a belief just as arbitrary as placing personhood post-vaginal canal.
Abortion foes either can’t see the forest for the trees, or their goals are not as heroic as they try to make them sound. You cannot ban abortion without accepting/asserting that the reproductive subjugation of women is morally sound. Not to mention, even proving fetal personhood doesn’t put you past argument about the merit of bodily autonomy and integrity, so all in the all the conclusion of this article is shaky at best.
Nice try, but it would behoove you to write creatively about another subject, I think.
Here is how this article should have been written:
What do the guys think of your fashion?
Ladies, we’ve all asked ourselves these questions before. Well, we writers at Yahoo! have finally figured out the answer! Are you ready for it? Here goes!
WHO THE FUCK GIVES A DIRTY RAT’S ASS?
So there you have it ladies. Next time you’re wondering whether or not you should wear big sunglasses, just fucking do it if you want to. Stop giving a shit about what men think about you, because it really doesn’t matter! Besides, the guys we would have gotten for this article are undoubtedly big toolbags not worth your time anyway since they seem to think they have stock in what you wear! So, ladies, wear whatever the fuck you want – miniskirts, sweatpants with letters on them, and any kind of obnoxious slogan t-shirt that tickles your fancy- and just stop giving a fuck about the opinions of self-important dudes.
So, this is how it seems dominant groups are prone to work.
If an underrepresented or undervalued group makes any kind of progress, it is an assault. An assault! For some reason, actually being made to face the fact that not everyone follows the same life path, or not everyone makes the same decisions, or not everyone IS the same nor SHOULD they be, dominant groups pretend as if they’ve been slapped in the face.
It happens all the time. When women make gains for equality, we have to wonder things like “Are they out for dominance over men?”, “How equal is too equal?” or even “Will there ever be another male nominated to the Supreme Court?”. When LGBT folks get the basic right to serve in the military, suddenly everyone gets concerned about sexual assaults and harassment. When people of color attain civil rights victories, words like “reverse racism” are conjured and laws are created to make sure those foreign brown people don’t feel welcome in our “melting pot” of a country.
And, of course, when a network that has run shows called “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” happens to air one 30-minute special that takes an unbiased view of abortion at the oh-so-primetime hour of 11:30 PM, Christian anti-choice groups flip their shit.
An assault! An assault, they say! A plague o’er just your house!
I mean, it’s like MTV actually decided to put on responsible programming and to talk to teenagers as if they might have brains, a capacity for understanding and thinking about complex issues, and moral compasses! And they used. . .shudder the thought. . .facts! They must be stopped.
At least, according to the “Youth pro-life leadership” which tilts their hand a bit too much by the end of that post, revealing how much their opposition to abortion is rooted less in caring about the lives and well-being of women and children and more in being incensed that something isn’t in line with their religious dogma. Again, the existence of these women and their story being told in a 30-minute television show is an attack on the rights of pro-forced birthers to make sure you can’t make decisions about your viewing pleasure any more than you can your own uterus.
Really, it’s a shame how much oppression Christian anti-choicers face in a country in which the Speaker of the House is meeting with anti-choice domestic terrorists. Will they ever get to be equally heard? Excuse me while I wipe away John Boehner’s tears.
In other somewhat relevant news, if you would like a good, but disturbing, laugh, read this. I really wish they would make that commercial. . .as a Digital Short on SNL.