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.
I’ve been MIA (not the rapper, I wish I was that cool) all weekend and even today. I guess that’s what the end of a semester and seeing your boo for the first time in weeks will do to you. That and Fallout 3, BUT that’s beside the point. Despite my impending finals, it’s back to bloggy business tonight.
want to make have made a bumper sticker with the catchphrase I ❤ Being Insufferable. With the holiday season here specifically, I'm finding it harder and harder to maintain my commitment to Insufferability. I'm used to being called a cunt, feminazi, or bitch on the internet. Man-hater. Frigid. The gamut, we all know what it entails. I'm always the person who ruins everybody's Facebook kumbayah sessions with gender analysis, or the gal who posts feminist articles that mansplainers just have to comment on (you know how that goes, when women force you to do things just by existing). That, to me, is entertainment. It doesn’t phase me in the least. All right, sometimes I rage at the mansplainers, but in general, it’s fun.
Now, it’s when I’m with the familyfolk that being Insufferable gets to be a sticky issue. I often find that I’m asking myself whether my commitment to Insufferability is worth it when it has caused some disputes. I wonder if compromise is in order, if not speaking up just this once would really be that bad. It’s happened a couple times, somebody flips on Fox News and I start to rage. The fight over those welfare recipients with Escalades and The War on Christmas inevitably ensues, and because I had the audacity to say that Fox News is a political organizing machine with no semblance of journalism left in it, I get pegged as the asshole who starts family fights over the holidays. So, there are times when I haven’t said anything. I’ve put in my headphones and turned Rachel Maddow up to ear splitting levels and kept to myself. But I still can’t help but wonder if it’s not worth the fight.
The conclusion I’ve come to? Yeah, it would be that bad. I think not holding family members accountable for things they say and do does them a disservice. I think the notion of “But we’re family” is weak justification and simply a means of silencing someone that you’d rather not hear from. So if they get mad? Tell them to get over it. You have every right to question them just as they had every right to say what they said in the first place. I have to learn to stop giving a crap if I’m blamed for being Insufferable or ruining shit, and I think the democratic party could take a note on that, too.
I’m tired of seeing people shamed by their families for their Insufferability. I’m tired of being shamed for my Insufferability. The fact of the matter is that it’s a commitment to inquiry that drives progression. That should never be snuffed out or rubbed away by the yammering of those not willing to be inconvenienced. So, for everyone who’s a thorn in the side, an instigator, The Insufferable One, fuck yeah to you. You’re awesome. Keep on being Insufferable. Love it. Use your abilities to inquire and to point out inconsistencies, and use it often. Keep on trolling, and don’t bar any holds. I ❤ being Insufferable, and you know what? You should, too.
And now, because I mentioned her and now would like to listen to "Paper Planes", I present you with a music video by MIA: