Nebraska Abortion Laws Reveal Mental Health Misogyny


There was a lot of wry joking in the feminist blogosphere this week about the fact that the Nebraska legislature passed a law restricting abortion on mental health grounds (based in a complete disregard for science) and another law restricting abortion so that women who need it for mental health reasons can’t  have it.  This contradiction was rightfully taken as evidence that anti-choicers don’t care about women’s mental health, unless they can use it as a pick to chip away at women’s rights.  But I’d like to argue that the two laws do actually show an intellectual consistency in the anti-choice worldview, one that is fundamentally misogynist.

Feminism is often referred to as the belief that women are human beings.  What we mean when we say this is that our society centers men as the standard issue human beings, and casts women as something other than that.  But what exactly?  Does a patriarchal society cast women as animals?  Demons?  Plants?  At various times in history, you’ll get different answers, but I’d say the modern sexist conception of women is as high-functioning robots that dispense sex, housework, ego-soothing, and offspring for men. Sometimes this model gets disturbingly explicit. (Note the emphasis on shutting up any “output” that might come from a woman’s unnecessary intellectual capacities, i.e. opinions formed in her brain and issued from her mouth.)  Different kinds of sexists put emphasis on different “functions” of the bots we call women—some are more interested in their sexual functions, some in how efficiently they run a household—but this is the common denominator.  Women’s internal lives, hopes, dreams, and well-being are considered secondary to their functions, if relevant at all.

In the anti-choice flavor of sexism, women are cast as baby-making machines.  It would be interesting to analyze how anti-choicers see themselves in a pitched battle over possession of female bodies with men who see women as sex dispensers, but that’s a topic for another post.  The important thing is that if you see women as baby machines, then protecting a woman’s right not to have a baby makes about as much sense to you as protecting a car’s right not to drive or protecting a refrigerator’s right not to chill your food.

Under this model of understanding, “mental health” is related strictly to how well the operating system in the brain handles the task of keeping the uterine functions working.  A brain that says it doesn’t want a baby is broken by definition, and a brain that wants babies is healthy by definition.  You don’t worry about whether your car is depressed or suicidal, after all.  You just worry about whether or not it drives.  Under this model, assuming all women who want abortions are mentally ill (or will be) is perfectly consistent with believing that there’s no reason to allow a woman with mental health issues to have an abortion for her own good.

In case the misogyny underlying this viewpoint isn’t obvious enough, consider then how suicide fits in to all this.  Many women who need abortions for mental health reasons are threatening suicide, which of course is linked in the real world to actually attempting suicide.  But the Nebraska law explicitly excludes potential suicide as a reason for an abortion.  Under the belief that women are human beings, this seems like a cruel disregard for human life.  Under the belief that women are baby machines, though, this makes perfect sense.  If your car was threatening to crash itself so that it had to be totaled so that it didn’t have to drive anymore, in your view it’s about the same thing.  Either way, car’s not driving, so the car is worthless.  I suppose a totaled car can at least be taken to the dump and gotten out of your hair. 

Jessica Valenti discovered a great example of this kind of thinking.  Jessica earlier blogged about a bit of sign protest against the “Abortion Changes You” ads on subways.  The prankster changed an anti-choice sign to read, “Now I can go to college & fulfill my dreams”.  Anti-choice blogger Lori Ziganto completely lost it at the suggestion that a woman might have a good reason to go to college and get an education, dropping the sexually charged word “co-ed” and hinting that college was just about having fun.  Sexy, sexy fun.  Ziganto seems to imagine that there isn’t much to women besides that which happens in or around their uteruses, so if they aren’t baby-making, then they’re sleeping around.    Hey, Penthouse portrays “co-eds” as air-headed bimbos with their legs permanently spread, and Penthouse would never lie, would they? 

It’s mind-boggling to think of how grim a person you must be to come so unhinged at the idea of college kids having some fun, but more than that, it was startling how naked Ziganto’s contempt for women’s education was.  Most anti-choicers know better than to just lay it out there like that.  Most of them, you have to judge by their actions.  But even by that measure, it’s easy to see this belief that women’s minds and well-being are irrelevant is built in to anti-choice policy ideals.  If there’s ever a conflict between the baby-making functions and a woman’s hopes, dreams, responsibilities, or well-being, the former will always win with anti-choicers. 

In the feminist worldview, one where women are human beings, it’s appalling to reduce women to their baby-making functions.  Pro-choicers believe that having children can be a wonderful, powerful thing when desired, but we would never reduce women to a function, whether it’s reproductive, sexual, or chore-based.  We imagine women as full human beings just like men, and that they share the same full rights to self-determination and the pursuit of happiness.  Because of this, we think the stuff that happens above the neck is important in and of itself, more important even than what happens in the uterus.

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  • sschoice

    Hate exists. The concept of mysogyny is useful. But “mysogyny”, like “theocracy” alone doesn’t explain “fundamentally” the rationale behind Nebraska’s so-called Women’s Health Protection Act.
    .
    Many people have who probably don’t consider themselves (and probably don’t appear to be) mysogynist or theocratic are fearful of relatively poor, young women making reproductive choices for themselves would likely be equally fearful of their male peers making the decision for them. They don’t necessairly want men or someone subscribing to a dogmatic religious worldview to be making the decisions for these women, and they just as much fear those women making decisions primary with their boyfriends, or spouses as they do them making it on their own — and they’d probably fear as much those boyfriends or spouses primarly making the decision for the woman. Rather, people who take those arguably anti-choice positions want authority figures to make those decisions, primaily legal authority figures, but secondarily medical and psychatric authority figures.
    .
    If that’s the case, one could hardly say their rationale is fundamentally mysogynist any more than it is fundamentally theocratic. It doesn’t matter if the authority figure hates women or loves women (some women, anyway). The authority figures could be women as well as men, and athiest as well as in any sense religious.
    .
    Laws like the “Women’s Health Protection Act” are more about the use and misuse of authority and state control of people considered to unusually vulnerable, if not defective, with respect to ther mental health. It has more to do with concepts similar to the old-school concept of eugenics which was more about discouraging through various methods people — and of course the controls were more effectively applied to women — who were considered physically, mentally, legally (as in having a history of criminal convictions), morally, or otherwise “defective” from having children.
    .
    “Eugenics” wasn’t predominately about what happened in Nazi Germany where it was eventually used to rationalize genocide, it was about supposedly improving society. It was embraced by many and perhaps most legitimate bodies of medicine, social science, and law prior to WWII and in name only was discredited after WWII when it became obvious of the tragidies of the Holocaust. But the concept of eugenics began in America with American scientists and mainstream support. After WWII the word “eugenics” fell into disfavor, but not the concept. Similar arguements surface occasionally in other domains like welfare reform, and may help explain why we don’t hear more debate or support for social welfare programs that might encourage poor people to have children.
    .
    Yes, there are programs in place to help make sure that poor women who get pregnant are healthy while they carry their pregnency to term, and provide basic medical care for children who are born to poor parents, but there are fewer and fewer programs that might seem intended to encourage poor people overall to have children, to live in affordable, inexpensive subsidized housing, and more pressure than ever for relatively poor women who do have children to surrender them for adoption. All of these concepts have mainstream support today as they did 40+ years ago, and are supported by women and female authorities as well as men. It might be interesting to see if more male than female doctors, psychatrists, lawyers, etc, support these concepts than female ones do, but it will probably be the case that the difference isn’t much more significant than it is on many other issues involving a different perspective between men and women, and there will maybe be as much variance between anti-choice state and regions like Mississippi and Alabama, for example, and New York state and Massachusettes.
    .
    Arguing that laws like this one in Nebraska are less about hating women (or hatred of women) than the abuse of state and professional authority does not mean it’s wrong for Amanda to believe and assert that it is, but it’s a matter of perspective, and without trying to argue feminist theory too much it’s possible for a feminist to critique the bill without arguing that it’s fundamentally anti-woman more than it is anti-humanist.
    .
    If one is looking for an “anti-” concept to explain laws like the Nebraska one, one would be more accurate to call them “anti-humanist” because there’s so much in common between valid psychological theory and humanism, and as well a lot in common with people who opposed coercive tactics used to impliment eugenic policy or otherwise support authoritarian control of the lives of relatively poor people, people with physical disabilites and mental illnesses, and others who were subject to those coercive laws and policies.
    .
    But if in the meantime anyone
    else
    wants to riff on how the anti-choice
    movement is fundamentally mysogynist or theocratic, riff on,
    we’ve got a humanistic act which we’ll consider having you as the opening band for.
    .
    –southern students for choice, athens

  • prochoiceferret

    Many people have who probably don’t consider themselves (and probably don’t appear to be) mysogynist or theocratic are fearful of relatively poor, young women making reproductive choices for themselves would likely be equally fearful of their male peers making the decision for them.

    Perhaps, but I don’t think they would be so fearful in the first place if the reproductive choices being made had to do with male bodies.

     

    I think the case for equal-opportunity disenfranchisement would be more convincing if and when legislatures start requiring mental-health evaluations for, say, men looking to get vasectomies.

  • crowepps

     But the concept of eugenics began in America with American scientists and mainstream support.

    Even though scientist Charles Davenport promoted the idea and established the international organization which promoted it worldwide, the concept of ‘eugenics’ did not begin in America, but instead were formulted by Englishman Sir Francis Galton around 1865.

     

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenics

     

    Ironically, the foundation of eugenics is the belief that for the good of society reproduction by individuals should be supervised and controlled by the State, which is precisely what the various ProLife organizations propose.

  • elyzabeth

    Amanda’s description of the Nebraska legislature’s mindset was probably accurate; however, sschoice brought up a good point about them being anti-humanist in general.

     

    Some people operate with the belief that “escaping consequences” is the worst crime imaginable.  The worst criminals in America are the lazy bums collecting unemployment–how dare they escape the consequence of being too lazy to get a job (because laziness is the only conceivable reason that a person wouldn’t have a job)!   

     

    Single mothers living like queens off of foodstamps and welfare payments are destroying America more than terrorists!  How dare they mooch off of us productive citizens!  Illegal immigrants are stealing our healthcare and education without taxes!  How dare they seek medical attention on our dime when greviously injured!

     

    Affirmative action is the worst thing ever because people don’t get to compete fairly, since everyone knows that background in no way disadvantages people!

     

    I’m being hyperbolic, but not by very much.  Actually, given footage I’ve seen from Tea Party rallies, I’m not exaggerating at all.  Abortion is “escaping the consequences” of having sex.  That’s why it’s allowed in case of rape and incest, since the woman isn’t “guilty of sex.” 

     

    These are the same people who think that rape survivors who dressed slutty were “asking for it,” and aren’t as deserving of sympathy as more modestly-dressed, less-deserving victimes.

     

    These same people would probably love to see the fathers of the children hunted down and forced to pay child support with the same enthusiasm the police use to hunt down serial killers.  However, it is easier to focus on the mothers since they are more visible–so it may be de facto misogyny. 

  • sschoice

    Right, crowepps, like with social darwinism there were more ties to English scientists and various state-recognized authorities in the latter 19th century than there were in the USA. But most of the names of the supporters of eugenic social policies on that Wikipedia eugenics page are American.

    .

    The USA grew to be a world superpower in the latter 19th and early 20th century.  Economic growth and political power drove scientific research and justifications for economic and political policies.  That helped make American scientists’ and other authorities’ support of coercive eugenic policies more politically significant than those in any other country — and it was primarily Americans who were cited as academic references and used as justification for policies that led to genocide in Nazi Germany.

    .

    As the saying went, some might say “it can’t happen here”, but it could have, there is evidence that in some ways it was arguably going that way, and it’s generally accepted as historical fact that the science and government policies that led to what happened in Germany during WWII was developed “here”.

    .

    You made a good point with this:

     

    Ironically, the foundation of eugenics is the belief that for the good of society reproduction by individuals should be supervised and controlled by the State, which is precisely what the various ProLife organizations propose.

    .

    …but it’s maybe less ironic than what some might think.  The intent of anti-choice law, pseudoscience, and ideology is basically the same as that of coercive eugenic law, pseudoscience, and ideology.  If coercive eugenics as a dominant factor determing some state laws and policies predates anti-choice law and policies as we’ve known them for a few decades now, anti-choice policies and laws are maybe better understood as being fundamentally about coercive eugenic policy and law than about more modern concepts like mysogyny as described by second-wave feminists.

    .

    –southern students for choice, athens

  • sschoice

    ProChoiceFerret “dooked”:

    I think the case for equal-opportunity disenfranchisement would be more convincing if and when legislatures start requiring mental-health evaluations for, say, men looking to get vasectomies.

    .
    Well, there probably are some doctors (or maybe there used to be anyway) who would be more reluctant to reccomend that a man get a vasectomy than a woman to get a tubal ligation, or at least they’d maybe show more concern or ask more psychological questions showing concern for men than women.
    .
    And something sort of like that used to be the case in the USA and some other countries where vasectomies were in some cases performed on men considered somehow defective under policies of very questionable informed consent, if not outright coercion, as the Winston-Salem Journal article describes in some interesting perspectives on that time. It was less effective of course, it’s easier in many ways to convince or trick women into allowing surgery to correct some “female condition” than it is to convince a guy to allow a knife to come near their testicles.
    .
    Women are more vulnerable for social and biological (or sociobiological) reasons to these policies than men are, but the basic intent is to control people who are labled defective as described above or maybe just simply poor and unwanted by their families. It’s not always about hate, but it’s always about authoritarian control.
    .
    A similar arguement could be made that eugenics-influenced policies primarly targed black people, especially in the deep South in the 50s and 60s, and that’s true because poor black people were became even more politically disenfranchised in the deep South between WWII and the civil rights movement of the latter part of that timeframe than poor white people were. But again look at the Winston-Salem article and North Carolina statistics as a example of how those laws and policies possibly were not as targeted on black people as common knowledge today assumes, as prior to the end of WWII there were many more sterilizations done of people in North Carolina described as white than black.
    .
    Maybe that was the case in North Carolina, at least, because relatively poor white people (or people with mental illnesses or severe physical disabilities) might have been considered more of a threat to the white power structure than poor black people were. It’s hard to say because records as detailed as North Carolina’s often just don’t exist to look at the racial breakdown over decades and the personal, confidential histories of the people sterilized (and their families who often in many cases knowingly cooperated with state authorities for them to be cared for in institutions and/or sterilized), but it should be evidence to say that the intent of sterilization programs like North Carolina’s was not necessairly intended, at least not for a significant part of the early 20th century, to target people of color.
    .
    Throughout the history of coercive sterilization — like unethical human experimentation and medical research — the common thread has been factors best explained by policies biased by design against poor people and people with mental or physical disabilities, and arguably not fundamentally against women or people of color.
    .
    The majority of people affected have been women and people of color, but the scientific and political fundamentals that are being misused against them are as blind to sex as they are to color or faith.
    .
    –southern students for choice, athens

  • crowepps

    Throughout the history of coercive sterilization — like unethical human experimentation and medical research — the common thread has been factors best explained by policies biased by design against poor people and people with mental or physical disabilities, and arguably not fundamentally against women or people of color.

    In my reading, the common thread has always been stamping out the existence of people who might COST MONEY by needing support or services because it was believed massively unfair to tax the ‘productive’ to support the ‘unproductive’ (such as widows, orphans, the disabled, the ill, the old, etc.), an argument which is still quite popular among those who think bad things will never happen to them.

  • crowepps

    If coercive eugenics as a dominant factor determing some state laws and policies predates anti-choice law and policies as we’ve known them for a few decades now, anti-choice policies and laws are maybe better understood as being fundamentally about coercive eugenic policy and law than about more modern concepts like mysogyny as described by second-wave feminists.

    I think both anti-choice policies and eugenics are outgrowths of the same mind-set: people exist to serve ‘the State’ or ‘society’ and ‘the State’ has the right to judge whether they are productive in a way the State values and to eliminate them if they are not.

     

    If you’re a reader, you might find the book “The Great Wave” by David Hackett Fischer interesting, particularly as it discusses the interaction between economics, ‘government’ and people.  I found the petty squabbles between various small jurisdictions trying to secretly export their own ‘needy’ to the next town over and at the same prevent the ‘needy’ of other jurisdictions from sneaking in and being a ‘drain on the public purse’ pretty congruent with the current themes of ’Tea Party’ thinking.

     

    The thing that to me is just amazing is that these are the SAME DISCUSSIONS societies have been having ever since the written record began.  Plato, for instance, was a fan of ‘eugenics’ although he didn’t call it that, and there was a lot of bumpf written in Rome about how ‘women of the best families’ weren’t doing their duty and producing sufficient upper class babies for ‘society’.

     

    We humans seem to have been arguing about this stuff pretty much since we climbed down out of the trees, and trying various solutions and actually writing down the results, and so it kind of boggles the mind that people are asserting that “it’s intolerable that we haven’t found a solution to this problem and my Great Idea for a Simple Solution Reflecting Universal Truth ought to be mandated by legislation at once”.

     

    A cursory reading of history shows that their idea has always been tried before, some of those Great Ideas were law within actual living memory, and they did  NOT make ‘the problem’ disappear.

  • crowepps

    These same people would probably love to see the fathers of the children hunted down and forced to pay child support with the same enthusiasm the police use to hunt down serial killers.  However, it is easier to focus on the mothers since they are more visible–so it may be de facto misogyny. 

    The thing is that the men aren’t ‘as guilty’ because it is the woman’s responsibility to be ‘modest’ and ‘guard her chastity’, all men being naturally promiscuous and unable to control themselves when they are ‘tempted’ by women who ‘act slutty’.

     

    When somebody comes up with a nasty, demeaning name for men who feel entitled to screw around without bothering about birth control, then I’ll believe there’s no sexism involved.

  • mjm9352

    Not all feminists think alike I’m a feminist and thank God for the good that feminists have done. But more than that I thank God for showing me a path that makes my life a lot easier. No one uses me and I don’t have to kill any of my babies. No doubt someone will tear this apart so one more try and then I will go where I am welcomed. You are a woman if he’s not man enough to love and cherish you then alas he’s not man enough. If he expects you to abort your babies at the altar of his ego and selfishness don’t that’s your baby.  Be Blessed. And be careful of the pits you dig for others because you will fall into that same pit. Another scripture say not to mess with anothers heldge or a serpent will bite you.  The children of America have a right to hear all of the truth and they also have a right to life. Be Blessed.

    • wendy-banks

      Speaking of pits, you are digging yourself a deep one with all the ultra-right religious prattle– It’s really not welcome here and you are gonna get nuked for it, so LAY OFF.

  • crowepps

    Another scripture say not to mess with anothers heldge or a serpent will bite you.

    I am so glad I live in Alaska where there aren’t any reptiles, because I don’t have a CLUE what a heldge is so it’ll be tough for me to avoid messing with him/her/it?

    The children of America have a right to hear all of the truth

    I agree, but unfortunately so far your posts haven’t actually contained any.

  • mjm9352

    And how sad is it when a couple have been married forever, one spouse passes away and the remaining spouse doesn’t collect social security from what the deceased spouse payed into the system. Have you noticed how this primarily affects women. And another injustice did you know if two people are collecting their social security and are single if they decide to get married they actually lose money. How sad is that. I seen a lot of what you commented on some people are unable to see the value that all individuals have. I live in Louisiana it’s my home state and have been really blessed my son is disabled but God and community always make a way. Our state  for the most part takes good care of their more vulnerable citizens. Theres rotten apples but theres rotten apples everywhere.

  • ahunt

    You are mistaken, but I cannot take the shot…

     

    MJM, my roots are in Louisiana…Mom fled rather than marry and raise her children there…but let us not go there.

     

    Instead…you mention that your son is disabled, and that “community” provides. Would that community still provide if you were, say…an unrepentant sinner?

  • mjm9352

    I read and heard on the radio that Margaret Sanger when founding Planned Parenthood that her objective was to control the population of Catholics, Jews and I think she included minorities but am not completely certain on minorities. And are you aware that their are individuals who have no qualms in aborting a child with Downs. This is before my son was born but it kind of got me on the pro-life path. I think this happened when Reagan was President. I child with Downs was born to parents the child needed a simple operation so that he could eat. Children with Downs have an increased risk of having eye, heart, and gastointestinal issues. So the baby needs a simple surgery mom and dad decide they’d rather not let baby boy get his surgery doctor agrees and baby boy is left to die. The Reagan admininistration tries to intervene they can’t change the situation. Baby Boy dies while in a hospital. Once when my own son was in a hospital they left him constipated for seven days, he was crying they couldn’t find it in there heart to give him a laxative. So the scripture says that we need to work in the day because the night cometh when no man can work. If we don’t teach our children that they are capable of self control at sometime in their lives, what happens when they become entrusted with the lives of others. Give an example of pro-lifers promoting eugenics in accordance with the definition you gave. I’ve given two examples above of the consequences of pro-abortion speech. I’m 46 so you’ve seen a little more than I have. Can you even imagine before Roe V. Wade a child being left to die in a hospital.  In our state after Katrina a Doctor gave elderly patients a little something to help them along their way. Were there consequences? None that she could see.

  • ahunt

    MJM…this is not your forum. You are about to be hammered…and best guess is that an ass-kicking is in no one’s best interests. This is not where you need to be, no matter how compelling your story.

     

  • amanda-marcotte

    would likely be equally fearful of their male peers making the decision for them.

     

    I don’t really think so.  In the anti-choice imagination, men know what they’re doing and women don’t.  You never hear them wringing their hands about men’s supposed mental illnesses.  Even men who want abortion in some circumstances are characterized as fully capable, intelligent people.  They’re just assumed to be dogs.  Misogyny leads to negative stereotypes of men, but if you refuse to call it what it is, then you will never understand it.  The “I’m not a feminist, I’m a humanist” dodge is an age-old attempt to dismiss the way that gender matters.

    • captcourageous

      “In the anti-choice imagination, men know what they’re doing and women don’t.”

       

      Professor Marcotte – I would counter that the pro-choice imagination is considered to be reality, de facto, by a certain group of women.

       

      “Even men who want abortion in some circumstances are characterized as fully capable, intelligent people.  They’re just assumed to be dogs.”

       

      Professor Marcotte – I would counter that your statements are misandrist.

  • amanda-marcotte

    Because if so, I have a bridge to sell you, and have you considered investing in gold?

  • crowepps

    I read and heard on the radio that Margaret Sanger

    Please, please, do not trust ‘facts’ which have been gathered for you and interpreted by a biased source. If you really want to understand what motivated Margaret Sanger, please, read her actual words in her autobiography, read one of her books on her positions, read a biography of the entire movement like Women Of Valor.

     

    Making a judgment about Margaret Sanger based on what you “heard on the radio” is like making up your mind about Sally down the street after hearing her described by her boyfriend’s ex-wife and her new mother-in-law.

    I child with Downs was born to parents the child needed a simple operation so that he could eat.

    The reason some children born with Downs can’t eat is that their body has not developed correctly and so when they are born they are discovered to have esophageal atresia and tracheoesophageal fistula. Cutting them open and fixing these defects is NOT a ‘simple operation’ but instead an invasive and painful one. In addition, children born with these problems sometimes have at the same time OTHER problems including heart problems, kidney problems, stomach and bowel problems, or muscle and bone problems.

    Can you even imagine before Roe V. Wade a child being left to die in a hospital.

    Yes, certainly. Before Roe v Wade, most infants born with Downs Syndrome were ‘institutionalized’, sent away to ‘homes’ where the death rate was pretty horrendous.

  • elyzabeth

    I thought I saw someone comment on another thread that men who father children out of wedlock should be thrown in prison or forced to marry the woman they impregnated.  Then again, I’m normally inebriated, so I could be making that up.

     

    The criticism I’ve heard (mostly from my white elderly family members) is that specifically all the African American men who father children need to be rounded up and be forced to pay their child support so single black moms can stop being such a drain on society.  Yeah, my family is awful and doesn’t understand economics, or understand the art of “being decent people”….

     

    My point is that while sexism is involved, there’s also classism and racism, and mostly libertarianism, since these people want to ensure that everybody “gets what’s coming to them.”  Babies as punishment and whatnot.

  • jayn

    I suspect I know who you’re talking about Ely–I’ve seen similar arguments put forward here in the past.  There’s more things wrong with that idea than I care to articulate, both in practice and principle.

  • crowepps

    I thought I saw someone comment on another thread that men who father children out of wedlock should be thrown in prison or forced to marry the woman they impregnated. Then again, I’m normally inebriated, so I could be making that up.

    He really did say that, but take it for what it’s worth when you realize that poster believes all sex should be criminalized unless it’s for the purpose of having children.

     

    Anybody who wants to throw most of the population into prison in order to lower taxes has a logic train that has jumped the tracks.

  • faultroy

       I really have to take issue with your comments.   Take for example your comment: …” that our society centers men as the standard issue human beings, and casts women as something other than…”  I’m not sure where you live, but if you look at almost all laws, they are designed to protect both women and children.  Take for example welfare laws.  Women are given aid, but are not ever required to pay it back. However with respect to child support, a man must pay and if he does not, he either goes to jail, and his arrears are heavily penalized with large interest payments  under the law, loosing your job is no excuse. Furthermore he is saddled with these debts for the rest of his life. Very few women to date has ever been charged for falsely claiming either rape or even lying about paternity.  Women are consistently given a free ride. Men have always been conscripted into the armed services and must pay with their lives, but at no time in the history of the USA has a woman ever been required to serve in the Armed Services–I’d say that is a pretty significant double standard–wouldn’t you????? If a woman is under the influence, she cannot give consent, but if a man is also under the influence, and he has sex with her, he is responsible not she–I’d say that is a pretty significant double standard wouldn’t you??? If a woman is incapable of giving mindful consent why isn’t the same standard applied to men? Today, under Federal legislation, a man can be discriminated against because of his gender, but women–who are the majority–are considered a minority.  And, she gets full minority advantages.  So in essence, under this twisted thinking, the majority is actually the minority when it encompasses a vagina–yeah, that really sounds like a man’s world!  In respect to abortion, a woman is allowed to choose, but a man is only allowed to “donate sperm.”  He currently has no rights nor any choice.  His only choice is whether or not to have sex.  As a matter of fact, his legal marriage to his wife does not allow him the right to make a choice whether she can or cannot have a child and if she decides to have a child, he has nothing to say about it–he must pay for any and all children that SHE decides to have!!! Also, even though he is legally married, he can be charged with Rape!!!  If she does not feel like giving consent, technically, he is commiting rape–yeah, some equal standard that is.  Under current law, a woman can obtain a restraining order at whim.  She does not even have to prove it is necessary–remember the nutjob getting a restraining order on David Letterman while he was in NYC and she was in Arizona?  She got a judge to get a restraining order against Letterman because “he was harassing her thru the television airwaves.”  Yeah, there’s no gender discrimination there. And remember the nut that went after Kenau Reeves accusing him of fathering her children and demanding alimony and child support payments?  In case you have forgotten, that went on for years–Reeves had never even ever met the woman–yet she was able to drag him into court, cost him thousands of dollars and finally he had to submit to a DNA test–the punchline? She was married and divorced, and her former husband was listed as the father of all her children and of course this was finally proven thru DNA tests–but the courts immediately believed her and never even bothered to check. She submitted no evidence and no documentation that she ever even met Reeves.  And what about Crystal Magnum, of the infamous Duke  Lacrosse team:  tens of millions of dollars were spent  based on the lie of Magnum–she was never arrested for false charges, as a matter of fact, she got off scott free. Last I read, she was arrested for spousal abuse–she attempted to kill her then husband.  The fact that she was a known hooker apparently did not phase the prosecution one bit.  Oh, and let’s not talk about the double standard with health care.  Compare the dollars spent on breast cancer with dollars spent for male testicular cancer–the numbers are about 10,000 to one.  And what about the fact that women outlive men by an average of ten years: average current life span for men is 76 and for women 86.  All scientists agree that this is as a result of stress–based on the stressful careers that men have which causes a reduction of life.  We don’t see men marching in unison and burning their jock straps in protest that “govment,” is not doing enough to combat this outrageous gender biased research inequity–gee I wonder why? These women that outlive men by at least a decade feed off the social security of their dead mates–but based on your analysis perhaps we should cut them off financially and just let them die since afterall, “society only considers women marginally.”  And what about the Violence Against Women’s Act, which actively demarcates a double standard for women?  Our government spends billions in earmarks to reduce violence against–not MEN and WOMEN–but WOMEN ONLY. Last time I looked, the US Constitution says that men and women are created equal under the eyes of the law, but you could not tell by Congress’ bigoted one sided handling of crime and this law in particular.  According to them, if you hurt a woman, you are in much bigger trouble than if you hurt a man.  And what about spousal abuse?  Last year’s California Apellate Court Ruling found that the California State Domestic Violence Centers unilaterally discriminated against men by deny men with children access to services–in direct violation of the state Constitution and the will of the State Legislature–30% of domestic violence is comitted against men–yeah, women are sooo marginalized.  I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture. To those fans of yours reading this, let me make a prediction…  If you keep listening to the unsupported and dishonest whine and advantage-in sound bites of Women’s Rights Professors, there will be major repercussions.  By constantly bringing these supposed injustices into the public’s eye, legislators have no choice but to rule against women. The next major battle will be over womens conscription into the military. As men become more effeminized, and as gays of both sexes make judicial inroads,  for equal treatment under the law, the rulings in these cases will have devastating implications for women.  Women will ultimately be required to be drafted into the military.  Once the door is opened, there is no turning back.  You can’t have it both ways.  You can’t demand equal rights and then complain when the courts ENFORCE equal rights.  Furthermore, when women are drafted; with gays in the military; they will demand equal treatment which means that women will have to go into highly dangerous combat zones in numbers equal to men.  As women encroach more into traditional male roles, they will be required by the courts–and the Constituition of the USA–for full and equal treatment under the law.  Now if you fancy yourself a gun toting female terminator, well then good for you, but having been in war I can tell you that even the toughest are scared sh**less.  There are no heroes when bullets fly–just little boys trying to stay alive.  Be careful for what you demand–it may come with a lot more surprises than you ever dreamed. 

  • ahunt

    I’m not sure where you live, but if you look at almost all laws, they are designed to protect both women and children.  Take for example welfare laws.  Women are given aid, but are not ever required to pay it back.

     

    As it happens…men without means who are responsible for children are also eligible for public aid.

     

    However with respect to child support, a man must pay and if he does not, he either goes to jail, and his arrears are heavily penalized with large interest payments  under the law, loosing your job is no excuse.

     

    The same laws apply to women who owe child support.

     

    Very few women to date has ever been charged for falsely claiming either rape or even lying about paternity.  Women are consistently given a free ride.

     

    Conversely, very few men who rape are ever brought to trial.

     

    Men have always been conscripted into the armed services and must pay with their lives, but at no time in the history of the USA has a woman ever been required to serve in the Armed Services–I’d say that is a pretty significant double standard–wouldn’t you?????

     

    Well, as it happens, historically, societies recognized that sending able-bodied women off to war would significantly decrease the ability to replace disabled or dead soldiers.

     

    If a woman is under the influence, she cannot give consent, but if a man is also under the influence, and he has sex with her, he is responsible not she–I’d say that is a pretty significant double standard wouldn’t you???

     

    I hear this one a lot, and the fact that men, drunk or not, feel entitled to have sex with women absent explicit consent is sociopathic.

     

    More later.

     

     

  • crowepps

     Women will ultimately be required to be drafted into the military. 

    Given a choice between being drafted into the military and having to continue a pregnancy when I don’t want to and then go through labor, I’ll take the draft any day.  When you’re in the military they not only provide all your physical needs, but you even get paid for risking your life.

     

    You do realize that there hasn’t been a draft for YEARS, don’t you?  Nobody has been drafted since 1973.

     

    And that there are already lots and lots of gays serving, and dying for their country, in the military?

  • ahunt

    Plus, military service looks good on a resume.

  • wendy-banks

    I wanted to join the Army (My Dad was in Korea) I always though it would be cool to travel, serve my country, yadda, yadda, but because of my asthma I’m pretty much 4-F.  (No, really, I’ll catch up *wheeze*)  

  • prochoiceferret

    Professor Marcotte – I would counter that the pro-choice imagination is considered to be reality, de facto, by a certain group of women.

    Yes, specifically the ones who are in touch with the realities of womens’ lives. Men too, of course. It’s only a shame that we can’t imagine away things like lack of access to reproductive health care.

    Professor Marcotte – I would counter that your statements are misandrist.

    Correction: the anti-choicers’ statements are misandrist. (Ms. Marcotte simply made reference to them here.) They’re the ones who are claiming that abortion only allows men to “use” women without consequence. I don’t think that’s a very nice thing for them to say about men, don’t you?

  • princess-rot

    That also assumes that sex is something men “do” to women, as in the famous sarcastic phrase: “Man fucks woman. Subject verb object.” On top of that nice little stereotype, it is assumed women have all the responsibility for the men’s actions as well as their own, which really doesn’t go beyond being a passive object of seduction onto which men’s thoughts, desires and actions can be projected onto. Children factor into the equation as tools of punishment: to remind women of their place in the hierarchy of pain. Awesomely misogynist, I’d say. I wouldn’t complain about the lesser evil of possibly being called a horndog, as opposed to all that shit.

  • captcourageous

    Thank you for proving, by example, my point about the pro-choice imagination being considered de facto reality, by a certain group of women; hereinafter defined as those who are so one-eyed they think they can interject egocentric opinions about men surreptitiously and use them as effective counterpoint rebuttals. 

  • crowepps

    Wow, Princess Rot, you have morphed into the status of “group of women” all by yourself! Maybe you’ll be able to take two exemptions on your taxes.

    &nbsp

    Although apparently you weren’t ‘surreptious’ enough, since the Captain (and everybody else) had no trouble at all finding and reading your post.

  • princess-rot

    Apparently it’s egocentric to discuss the basic gender stereotypes of rape culture, though I don’t understand why exactly it is egomaniacal since they effect all of us to some degree. Huh. Next time I will sneak my opinions in by stealth, like a ninja, lest they offend delicate sensibilities by pointing out the harmful tropes contained in the popular perception of heterosexuality. No word on possible tax evasion, though.

  • captcourageous

    Though your penchant for confusing the subject with the object and the personal with the general does make for some highly amusing gaffs on your part.

     

     

  • captcourageous

    My comments were directed to a post written by ProChoiceFerret,