Sarah Palin’s Great Feminist Magic Trick


Sarah Palin is the latest in a string of conservative women and equally conservative advocacy organizations (“Feminists for Life”) to wrap themselves in the amazing technicolor coat of feminism. In a Washington Post article on Palin’s feminism grab, the writer notes:

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin told a group of women who oppose abortion rights that they are responsible for an “emerging, conservative, feminist identity” and have the power to shape politics and elections around the issue.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing underneath the flashy coat Palin and her fellow “emerging, conservative feminists” are wearing (unfortunately, at least, for the majority of women and girls in this country who are counting on real change in the form of equality. If the idea of Palin baring all under a multi-colored robe excites you, I can offer you nothing more at this point than a farewell). And though the co-opting of “feminism” as a movement is worthy of analysis, why should we be surprised? Sarah Palin is nothing if not a savvy strategist and she’s keyed into a brilliant strategy: her base of supporters is her “Sisterhood” and she’s ready to rally them. As Jessica Valenti writes in her satisfyingly on-point Washington Post article entitled “The fake feminism of Sarah Palin”,

It’s not a realization of the importance of women’s rights that’s inspired the change. It’s strategy. Palin’s sisterly speechifying is part of a larger conservative move to woo women by appropriating feminist language. Just as consumer culture tries to sell “Girls Gone Wild”-style sexism as “empowerment,” conservatives are trying to sell anti-women policies shrouded in pro-women rhetoric.

There is nothing new about Sarah Palin as a feminist. Not only is it likely that most people see Sarah Palin as a feminist already, she was rockin’ the feminism boat while she campaigned for Vice President. Sure, she’s anti-choice, and has done nothing noteworthy related to actual grassroots or political advocacy for women’s equality and in fact has actively worked to limit women’s choices. But Palin is a strong, independent, extremely successful woman who balances career and family – the world is her oyster and the women’s movement would want this for any and all women.

Obviously, conservative, Republican and independent women can be – and are –  feminists in some senses of the word. Many are successful professionals or are firmly seeded in the outside-the-home working world as the breadwinners in the family, some take advantage of maternity or paternity leave so that they can be both professional and parent, most have access to – and use – contraception that allows them to make choices about their reproductive lives, maybe they even run for Vice President of the United States having walked the path forged by the feminists who came before them.

But here’s where I get tripped up with the “feminism” Sarah Palin and her ilk are peddling. Women in the United States, on the whole, are looking for change in the form of equality and justice, says the National Women’s Law Center:

When women volunteer the most important issues facing American women today, they are most likely to cite: health care issues (including women’s health issues); pay for women and the issue of equal pay; opportunities for women in the work place; education; child care issues; and women’s rights in general.

Regardless of age, income, and education, more than half of women (55%) feel that the government should do more to solve problems and help meet people’s needs.

But how does Palin’s idea of “feminism” address answers to these obvious problems? Feminism, for Palin and her sisterhood, isn’t related to the long line of veteran women who came before them who broke barriers in the workplace, in the military, on the home-front. It isn’t about healthcare for undocumented immigrant women. It isn’t about the women (and men) who work every day to ensure access to the safe contraceptive methods that allow them to plan for their families. It isn’t about the feminists who have (and continue to) work towards pay equity for all women so our hundreds and thousands of women in the workforce, especially those single mothers, are paid fairly for the work they do. It’s not about recognizing how hard the women’s movement has worked to raise awareness of issues around sexual assault, domestic violence and rape. It’s not about the work of women’s rights advocates on behalf of women globally who are dying during pregnancy and childbirth. And, of course, it most certainly is not related to the feminists who have and do work daily to ensure access to safe, legal abortion care. As Valenti writes,

It isn’t a structural analysis of patriarchal norms, power dynamics or systemic inequities. It’s an empty rallying call to women who are disdainful of or apathetic to women’s rights, who want to make abortion and emergency contraception illegal, who would cut funding to the Violence Against Women Act and who fight same-sex marriage rights. As Kate Harding wrote on Jezebel.com: “What comes next? ‘Phyllis Schlafly feminism?’ ‘Patriarchal feminism?’ ‘He-Man Woman Hater Feminism?’ “

No. This is the feminism of conservatives – it’s akin to the, “I raised myself up by my own bootstraps and so can you.” The “I didn’t get any help from (chose one): welfare, affirmative action, government funded health care” and so therefore neither should you. It’s the “I decided not to have an abortion when I find out I was carrying a baby with Down’s Syndrome and so you shouldn’t be allowed to have the freedom to make the decision that’s best for you” type of feminism (never mind that Palin had the free choice to decide her fate and the fate of her child- without government interference and with much greater than average resources at her disposal.)

Somehow the statistics that provide us evidence (One in four girls drops out of high school. More than 14 million women live in poverty, and more than 17 million women have no health insurance. Women still earn only 77 cents for every dollar paid to men) that women and girls are in desperate need of an immense overhaul of societal and governmental structures, bypass conservative feminists completely.

What’s more, when the problems are allowed to make it into their line of vision, conservatives blame them squarely on the traditional feminist movement:

Palin, whose teenage daughter Bristol is also a mother, criticized abortion rights advocates for delivering the message to young women that they don’t have the strength to go through with pregnancy and motherhood.

“Our prominent woman sisterhood is telling these young women that they are strong enough to deal with this,” Palin said.

“They can give their child life, in addition to pursuing career and education and avocations. Society wants to tell these young women otherwise. These feminist groups want to tell these women that, ‘No, you’re not capable of doing both.’ . . . It’s very hypocritical.”

With a few well-worded phrases, Palin simply wipes away decades of sweat, toil and hard work and instead reworks feminism as a movement that limits women’s choices instead of expanding them.

Sarah Palin and her supporters choose to ignore, then, the millions of young, teen mothers who have no access to quality prenatal care, no access to quality childbirth services, limited financial resources, limited or no access to public schooling, and limited or no access to a job that would allow them the paid or unpaid maternity leave to care for their babies. But, again, this is a conservatism that falls back on an astounding lack of empathy, believing that the options, choices and opportunities available to oneself are automatically available to others – and if they aren’t, it’s only through the fault of those who do not have them.

Perhaps the most amazing part of Sarah Palin’s feminist rallying cry is related to abortion access. Palin was particularly passionate about her “feminism” at a gathering for the Susan B. Anthony List – a group that works to elect anti-choice politicians. They are so named because some believe that Anthony’s stance on abortion was akin to the anti-choice movement’s political stance today.  It is an unbelievably courageous and arrogant co-opting of one of the most admired women’s rights advocates in U.S. history. Anthony hardly was an anti-abortion advocate and there is, in fact, what amounts to zero evidence that she would be opposed to safe, legal abortion today. Not only is there no evidence to support Anthony’s opposition to legal abortion, there is no evidence to support Anthony’s opposition to abortion, period, in this day and age.

So, then, Sarah Palin’s faux-feminism is what cubic zirconia is to diamonds. It’s cheaply produced, low-quality counterpart. For women who want a feminism peddled by Palin, any sort of concrete advocacy or legislative action eludes them. Will Palin’s feminism translate into support for and action on behalf of the Global MOMS Act to improve maternal health? The International Violence Against Women Act? Action to eliminate environmental hazards for pregnant women and children? Will Sarah Palin and her feminist “sisters” work to ensure expanded access to contraception and high-quality, affordable childcare? Prenatal care for all women? Will they advocate for legislation that would help pull women and their families out of poverty? Will they step up and speak out when the Vatican launches an “investigation into the proliferation of feminism and activism” amongst Nuns? Will Sarah Palin and her conservative, feminist sisterhood respond to Pat Robertson’s claims that “feminism…encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians?” Or is this not quite the type of feminism they were hoping for?

There are some for whom the word feminist means very little – though women of every economic and social strata, ethnicity and race, religion and age align themselves with the idea that (and desperately want to see) women have the right to equity, equality and justice. There is a hesitancy, at times, to embrace the feminist label completely. There are also many who do not see their priorities adequately represented by the more mainstream feminist organizations. What would be most refreshing, then, would be to see Palin’s grab for “feminism” provide the spark to feminists to evaluate just how the women’s movement can become that much more enticing and relevant to the women and men of this country who fall firmly on the side of equity and justice for all– not just those women and girls conservative, Republican women believe “deserve” them. Sarah Palin’s brand of feminism is just that – a branded ploy, behind which there is nothing more than a wink and a smile.

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

To schedule an interview with contact director of communications Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.

  • bei1052

    You can’t be a feminist unless you’re pro-choice, for welfare, affirmative action and government funded health care, among other things? Never mind the last three things, the first assertion itself is the funniest. If that’s the case, then you instantly bar about half of women from carrying the feminist label. Not that they really want to. But even if they did, you wouldn’t let them, which means that feminism is nothing more then the support for abortion.

     

    …And yet some people wonder why few people take feminism seriously.

  • amie-newman

    or you are so committed to your own perspective that you’ll just take what you want and leave.

    Nowhere did I write that support for abortion rights was the only way to be a feminist.

     

    As for being “for welfare, government funded health care, etc.” – what i wrote was this (because, clearly, you didn’t read it):

    This is the feminism of conservatives – it’s akin to the, “I raised myself up by my own bootstraps and so can you.” The “I didn’t get any help from (chose one): welfare, affirmative action, government funded health care” and so therefore neither should you. It’s the “I decided not to have an abortion when I find out I was carrying a baby with Down’s Syndrome and so you shouldn’t be allowed to have the freedom to make the decision that’s best for you” type of feminism (never mind that Palin had the free choice to decide her fate and the fate of her child- without government interference and with much greater than average resources at her disposal.)

    As for being pro-choice, well, again, please read the piece. What I oppose is the absurd coopting of Susan B. Anthony and other suffragists/women’s rights activists to prop up an anti-legal and safe abortion access position:

    Perhaps the most amazing part of Sarah Palin’s feminist rallying cry is related to abortion access. Palin was particularly passionate about her “feminism” at a gathering for the Susan B. Anthony List – a group that works to elect anti-choice politicians. They are so named because some believe that Anthony’s stance on abortion was akin to the anti-choice movement’s political stance today.  It is an unbelievably courageous and arrogant co-opting of one of the most admired women’s rights advocates in U.S. history. Anthony hardly was an anti-abortion advocate and there is, in fact, what amounts to zero evidence that she would be opposed to safe, legal abortion today. Not only is there no evidence to support Anthony’s opposition to legal abortion, there is no evidence to support Anthony’s opposition to abortion, period, in this day and age.

    I find it telling, though, that you referenced none of what Palin and her conservative supporters actually do on behalf of women’s equity, equality and justice. Maybe an oversight? What is it they do, on a grassroots and legislative level, to further girl’s and women’s rights?

  • laurie-larson

    Being a woman who is an active feminist and the “first” woman in many situations, I’ve often thought over the last year or so, what happened?  In some respects it’s as if all the battles that occurred over the past umpteen years have been for naught. 

    I appreciate your having written such a cogent piece on the hijacking of feminism by Pallin, et al.  It really has been disheartening to see her continue to be covered by the mainstream media when she is clearly only about enriching herself financially.

  • catseye71352

    So tell us where you get this position that half of all women are anti-abortion-rights. I suspect that you pulled it out of a random orifice.

  • bei1052

    You know… Either you seriously don’t remember the things you type out, you didn’t bother to actually read any of the things you linked to, or a combinations of the two. No matter, really. I’ve got time, though before I begin I do have one to say.

     

    I’d love for you to show me where I said that the support for abortion rights was the only way to be a feminist. How you’re going lambaste someone for not reading what you wrote out while somehow putting words in their proverbial mouths that they clearly did not say, thus meaning you didn’t read what they wrote out, is beyond me. But I digress.

     

    First of all, on one hand, you (and Jessica Valenti) call Palin and her ilk faux feminists because they, in general, oppose the “right to choose”, welfare, AA, government run healthcare, gay marriage and all that other stuff you consider important, yet on the other hand you claim that you’re not asserting that those issues are important to being able to carry the feminist label (or, I should say, the “true” feminist label)? So you just decided to list that stuff for the fun of it? I highly doubt it.

     

    In her peice which you somehow believe was “satisfyingly on-point”, Valenti correctly states that there’s no grand arbitrator of the feminist label. Unfortunately, she then forgets what she writes out and claims herself to be grand arbitrator of all things feminist– sort of what you’re doing now by claiming that to be a feminist you have to believe or advocate for positions X, Y, Z. But it’s a waste pointing this out, because the irony is lost upon you.

     

    Second of all, I’ll bite at the whole Susan B. Anthony thing. I can find quotations where SBA talks ill of abortion. You, on the other hand, cannot find any quotes in which she speaks favorably of it. Your argument against this, then, will be “Yeah, but that’s because abortion was dangerous in her time period! There’s no evidence that she’d be opposed to a safe, legal, abortion today!” which, is not only an argument from ignorance, but asinine, since you’d have to explain to me how “safe and legal” stops abortion from being the murder of a child or infanticide. What’s “absurd” is how mainstream feminism is content to rewrite history.

     

    I find it telling, though, that you referenced none of what Palin and her conservative supporters actually do on behalf of women’s equity, equality and justice. Maybe an oversight? What is it they do, on a grassroots and legislative level, to further girl’s and women’s rights?

     

    It wasn’t an oversight. I have no idea, mainly because I don’t keep up with that stuff, nor do I feel so inclined to go look as much up, because this isn’t a contest of “who’s done more to fit the mould of what you consider to be a feminist?”.

     

    At any rate, mainstream feminism is out-of-touch with reality. It speaks for a lot less of the female population then some think it does. It turns a blind eye to those who advocate for its causes (Bill Clinton anyone?), has become so overly infatuated with upholding the “right to choose”, that it’s basically the entire platform of the movement and has become overly hypocritical in how it wants rights prescribed. That’s why very few people take it seriously anymore. But I forgot. I hate women. So ignore me.

  • bei1052

    But it doesn’t matter, anyway. Here’s that random orifice. You want the biennal trend by gender at the bottom of the page.

     

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/128036/new-normal-abortion-americans-pro-life.aspx#2

  • ahunt
  • colleen

    The GOP and conservatism don’t do well with women voters for good reason. I believe Sarah Palin is the conservative movement’s outreach to women voters in much the same way that Michael Steele is to blacks. How sad that conservative ‘feminism’ is as shallow and mindlessly hostile to women and girls as republican social policy has increasingly been for the past 40 years.

  • amie-newman

    I appreciate your thoughtul words. And, I agree, it is disheartening on a certain level. But the great thing about the women’s rights movement is that these sorts of things only cement why we’re doing the work we’re doing – to ensure that all women have access to the opportunities and choices that women like Sarah Palin do.

    Bei1052, let me get this straight. You argue tooth and nail with my premise that feminism needs to stand for SOMETHING – and in my estimation it should stand for actively – ACTIVELY – pursing equality, equity and justice for all women and girls through the many ways in which I outlined – legislation that addresses maternal health, access to contraception, challenging the institutional structures that perpetuate pay inequity for women, expanding access to quality childcare, raising awareness of sexual violence through laws like I-VAWA. And then you turn around and state that you have NO IDEA what Sarah Palin and her “emerging, conservative feminism” does stand for? What exactly are you arguing for, then?  I have absolutely no idea what, specifically, you advocate for as a way to work towards greater equity and justice for women and girls. You write:

    I have no idea, mainly because I don’t keep up with that stuff, nor do I feel so inclined to go look as much up, because this isn’t a contest of “who’s done more to fit the mould of what you consider to be a feminist?”.

    Then what is it?! It’s an argument about exactly that! It’s an argument about what gives one the right to coopt the term “feminist” when one has done exactly zero to further womens’ rights! You could care less, clearly, about “this stuff.” You’d prefer to come here and comment angrily on Sarah Palin’s “right” to use the word feminist to raise money and draw attention to her staunch lack of understanding about what it truly means to advocate for women’s rights.  Again you write,

    sort of what you’re doing now by claiming that to be a feminist you have to believe or advocate for positions X, Y, Z.

    So, in order to call yourself a feminist and to actively advocate for women’s rights, you don’t have to “advocate or believe” in anything concrete? Please, point me towards anything Palin has done in this realm, and we can talk. But the absurdity of stating that you don’t have to believe in the full range of what I’ve specifically laid out in my post while offering not one shred of an alternative is extremely telling about why this sort of “feminism” is empty. Secondly, please PLEASE point me towards specific quotes where Susan B. Anthony argues against legal, safe abortion. I’d love it. Again, you throw these ideas out with not a shred of evidence or information to back them up:

    I can find quotations where SBA talks ill of abortion. You, on the other hand, cannot find any quotes in which she speaks favorably of it. Your argument against this, then, will be “Yeah, but that’s because abortion was dangerous in her time period! There’s no evidence that she’d be opposed to a safe, legal, abortion today!” which, is not only an argument from ignorance, but asinine, since you’d have to explain to me how “safe and legal” stops abortion from being the murder of a child or infanticide.

    First of all, Anthony barely – barely – spoke of abortion at all. So, I have no need to find quotes where she speaks “favorably” about it. Mainstream, contemporary women’s organizations aren’t using Anthony as a symbol of reproductive rights. And Susan B. Anthony “talking ill of abortion” (even if you can find quotes attributed directly to her) is a huge leap to using her name to actively advocate for overturning laws in this country that ensure that the rights of women and fetuses are adequately represented. Susan B. Anthony believed that women did not have near the full range of rights or equality in society, at that time, to make a fully informed decison about abortion. This is, again, an unbelievable leap that anti-choice organizations like “Feminists for Life” take by using Anthony to prop up their desire to remove basic freedoms for women and their famiiies. And, again, to believe personally that one wouldn’t chose abortion is one thing but to actively legislate this for every woman and family in this country is another. For you to call the 61% of women who are already mothers in this country, who have abortions every year, murderers is not only extreme it’s entirely wrong.

    Thanks for reading the piece but we’ll have to agree to disagree on virtually everything. One thing I will say, though, is that I think it’s encouraging that we are arguing over who can be/is more of a feminist. Maybe this will push everyone to work even harder to raise the status of women and girls in this country and globally.

  • amie-newman

    I agree. I think this is a GOP/conservative strategy. It’s so frustrating because this has nothing to do with true empowerment for any oppressed group. It’s all about capturing voters and tricking them into voting for empty promises that do nothing to promote true equality and justice – now that the Republicans see they need women – of color and white, men of color, etc. they’re hopping on the bandwagon and there’s not much in that wagon but rhetoric.

  • invalid-0

    I agree that it is important to raise the status of women and girls in this country and globally.  Generally speaking, equality is the ultimate goal of the movement.  What we disagree on, Amie, is the definition of equality.  The article largely condemns the notion that one cannot be a feminist without supporting the right to kill the fetus inside of you – a notion that I agree with Bei is patently absurd.

     

    The very idea that women require access to an elective medical procedure in order to be equal in status to men is in and of itself a step backwards for those promoting the unique values and abilities that women bring to society.  If there is indeed a battle of the sexes, you handicap women from the start by telling them that they will lose if they don’t have hormonal contraceptives and an abortionist at the ready.  Women don’t need an abortionist to finally achieve the full spectrum of their due rights – what they need is respect and dignity they have already earned by virtue of who they are.

     

    Look, I’ll agree to disagree if that’s what you wish (I note the last portion of your comment), but the word ‘feminist’ does not belong to you, any more than it does to Sarah Palin.  Both promote the value of women in society, and both disagree on how to do so – thinking the other is working in the opposite direction.  Can’t we all agree that women deserve equal pay, respect and dignity where we can?

  • amie-newman

    I completely agree and would love to stand together on issues related to pay equity, respect and dignity, arex. Absolutely. And, again, I never did say that you can’t be a feminist and be opposed to legal abortion. But here’s the thing – it’s not the progressive feminist women who are making this an all or nothing situation. Feminism has traditionally been a movement encompassing women’s reproductive and sexual health and rights issues – I do not recall nor do I have evidence of a history of a feminism that opposes legal abortion. Where are all of those anti-legal abortion feminists who have actively worked to raise the status of women and girls in this country and globally? In addition, I have asked on numerous occasions for evidence of ANYTHING that Sarah Palin and her conservative supporters have done that does reflect concrete action on issues related to pay equity, respect and dignity for women and girls? I’m not talking about rhetoric or opposition to legislation that they don’t like. I”m talking about pro-active, forward thinking action that challenges the status-quo for women and girls.

    I would love to stand together with all women who support ridding the world of oppression and inequity and injustice. And there are most certainly women who are opposed to abortion with whom I share many other feminist values. But I do not believe that Sarah Palin and her supporters are feminists simply because they want to be; simply because they’ve suddenly, now, decided to use the term.

    Finally, I do strongly believe that when unsafe abortion kills hundreds of thousands of women each year, and when access to safe abortion is an evidence-based fact put forth by the World Health Organization as one necessary tool to reduce maternal mortality the world over, and knowing that the government has no place interfering in the personal and private decisions of women and their famiiies, I cannot see women attaining full equity without this. As the mother of two, knowing that the majority of women who have abortions are already mothers, having worked for years at a womens’ health center that provided abortion, I do believe strongly that access to safe, legal abortion care must be a medical service available to all women.

  • crowepps

    Can’t we all agree that women deserve equal pay, respect and dignity where we can?

    I think we can agree to that.  What we cannot agree to, apparently, is that women have a right to not want to be pregnant and to use effective contraceptive methods to prevent it before it occurs.

     

    Just how possible do you think it is to demand equal pay when repeated pregnancies and being responsible for the majority of the care of your large family interferes with your work?

     

    How much respect is available when disastrous complications of even wanted pregnancies become a death sentence because women’s value is held to be less than that of a fetus known to be doomed because there is no possible medical intervention that can save it?

     

    How is it possible to honor women’s dignity while ranking them according to the state of their reproductive systems ?

  • bei1052

    Bei1052, let me get this straight. You argue tooth and nail with my premise that feminism needs to stand for SOMETHING – and in my estimation it should stand for actively – ACTIVELY – pursing equality, equity and justice for all women and girls through the many ways in which I outlined – legislation that addresses maternal health, access to contraception, challenging the institutional structures that perpetuate pay inequity for women, expanding access to quality childcare, raising awareness of sexual violence through laws like I-VAWA.

     

    No. I’m arguing with your premise that unless you support certain positions (i.e., abortion) that you’re not a feminist.

     

    And then you turn around and state that you have NO IDEA what Sarah Palin and her “emerging, conservative feminism” does stand for? What exactly are you arguing for, then?  I have absolutely no idea what, specifically, you advocate for as a way to work towards greater equity and justice for women and girls.

     

    No. What I said was I don’t know what they *do*, not what they *stand for*, as what one *does* has no bearing on what was *is* or what they *believe*.

     

    Then what is it?! It’s an argument about exactly that! It’s an argument about what gives one the right to coopt the term “feminist” when one has done exactly zero to further womens’ rights! You could care less, clearly, about “this stuff.” You’d prefer to come here and comment angrily on Sarah Palin’s “right” to use the word feminist to raise money and draw attention to her staunch lack of understanding about what it truly means to advocate for women’s rights.

     

    Well, first of all, you can’t “coopt” something that no one owns, and neither you nor Jessica Valenti nor any of the other self-proclaimed “real” feminists own the word feminism. Second of all, and most importantly, your argument rests on the faulty premise that most of the things you outlined have anything to do with women’s rights, but you haven’t explained what they have to do with “women’s rights”, but you haven’t even explained why they are a matter of women’s rights. You’ve just thrown out a bunch of issues you feel are indicative of being a feminist, with anyone not supporting them not being a true feminist, and are treating them as self-evident. That doesn’t work, and it’s skirting dangerously close to the whole “No True Scotsman” fallacy.

     

    So, in order to call yourself a feminist and to actively advocate for women’s rights, you don’t have to “advocate or believe” in anything concrete? Please, point me towards anything Palin has done in this realm, and we can talk. But the absurdity of stating that you don’t have to believe in the full range of what I’ve specifically laid out in my post while offering not one shred of an alternative is extremely telling about why this sort of “feminism” is empty.

     

    I have no idea where you got the bold from but, no, that’s not what I said. You’ve yet to explain what any of the things you listed has to do with feminism, or why you have to believe them as true to be a feminist. As it is, you’ve just thrown out an unsupported assertion in order to claim that you have some kind of stranglehold on the feminism label. You don’t. At it’s core, feminism is basically the belief that men and women should be treated as equal. Two people can believe that, but your version of what constitutes equality doesn’t somehow make the other person’s version false.

     

    Secondly, please PLEASE point me towards specific quotes where Susan B. Anthony argues against legal, safe abortion. I’d love it. Again, you throw these ideas out with not a shred of evidence or information to back them up.

     

    SBA did not make a distinction between “safe and legal”, “unsafe and illegal”, “safe and illegal” or “unsafe and legal”. These are all distinctions you draw. No, SBA referred to abortion as either “child murder” or “infanticide”. Therefore, the onus is on you to prove that SBA would support abortion today, and that when she used the latter two terms she only did so when refferring to “unsafe and illegal” abortions, rather then the “safe and legal”.

     

    First of all, Anthony barely – barely – spoke of abortion at all. So, I have no need to find quotes where she speaks “favorably” about it.

     

    Yes, you do. Either that or something which supports the notion that she wouldn’t have been opposed to abortion today. Because, as it stands, you don’t have anything. You’re merely lambasting a group for using SBA’s name to advance the anti-abortion cause when SBA spoke out against abortion. Which, for the record, doesn’t make much sense. You’d have a point if SBA was an advocate for abortion, but she wasn’t.

     

    Mainstream, contemporary women’s organizations aren’t using Anthony as a symbol of reproductive rights.

     

    Because they can’t, unless they’re suddenly going to change their stance from pro-choice to pro-life.

     

    And Susan B. Anthony “talking ill of abortion” (even if you can find quotes attributed directly to her) is a huge leap to using her name to actively advocate for overturning laws in this country that ensure that the rights of women and fetuses are adequately represented.

     

    How is it a “huge leap”? She advocated for laws which treated all humans as equal. There’s no form of equality involved in legalized abortion, for it allows women to treat their unborn children as property (irony), to be disposed of and killed off at the whim of the mother. And what rights does the unborn child have? It doesn’t have any. That’s the problem.

     

    Susan B. Anthony believed that women did not have near the full range of rights or equality in society, at that time, to make a fully informed decison about abortion.

     

    [citation needed]

     

    And, quite honestly, I want that citation. Because the above is revisionist history at its best. Or should I say worst?

     

    This is, again, an unbelievable leap that anti-choice organizations like “Feminists for Life” take by using Anthony to prop up their desire to remove basic freedoms for women and their famiiies.

     

    The ability to kill another human being at one’s discretion is a “basic freedom”? I disagree wholeheartedly.

     

    And, again, to believe personally that one wouldn’t chose abortion is one thing but to actively legislate this for every woman and family in this country is another.

     

    I’m sorry, but do you live in the United States? For it’s hard to imagine that you do. There are, quite literally, thousands of laws on the books which “actively legislate” what you can and cannot do that you do not take offense with. For example, I cannot kill you just because I feel like it nor can I rob you blind solely because I feel like it. Explain to me how laws against me killing you at my leisure or robbing you blind are any less instances of someone else actively legislating things for me then would be restrictions on abortion? The answer is that they wouldn’t be. It’s nothing short of intellectual dishonesty to somehow treat abortion as different from everything else, deserving it’s own rules and considerations.

     

    For you to call the 61% of women who are already mothers in this country, who have abortions every year, murderers is not only extreme it’s entirely wrong.

     

    If I were find someone who didn’t know what abortion was, and ask them what they would call it when one human purposely ends the life of another for no other reason then they can, I guarantee you that 9/10, if not more, of them would respond murder. Because that’s precisely what abortion is. Sure, that doesn’t sound nice, but it is what it is.

  • ahunt

    Bei…this approaches bizarre. I suggest you actually read up on “feminism,” because right now…you are babbling.

     

    Smart editing, BTW!

  • colleen

    Bei…this approaches bizarre.

    We passed ‘bizarre’ about a 50 miles ago and are firmly into ‘crazy with hatred’ territory.

    Mrs Palin tends to bring that out in her base.

  • emma

    If there is indeed a battle of the sexes, you handicap women from the start by telling them that they will lose if they don’t have hormonal contraceptives and an abortionist at the ready.

    What is your problem with hormonal contraception? Quite aside from anything else – not least the fact that whether anyone uses hormonal or other contraception is none of your business – hormonal contraception like the pill and Mirena IUD are used to treat medical conditions like endometriosis, which can cause severe pain, suffering and disability. Women in that situation in particular would most certainly lose without hormonal contraception.

  • walt

    Bei – apparently you would advocate the imprisonment, and possible execution, of any woman who has or seeks an abortion. What if that woman was your sister, or your daughter? Would you turn her in? And please – no logical pretzels, a simple “yes” or “no” would suffice.

  • bj-survivor

    Nowhere did Amie Newman claim that feminists could not be proponents of forced gestation, so what is your point? Additionally, it is not Amie Newman revising Susan B. Anthony’s history. Rather, it is and has been forced-gestation “feminists” doing so. You might want to take a look at the links Amie provided and perhaps actually do some reading yourself.

     

    If I were find someone who didn’t know what abortion was, and ask them what they would call it when one human purposely ends the life of another for no other reason then they can, I guarantee you that 9/10, if not more, of them would respond murder. Because that’s precisely what abortion is. Sure, that doesn’t sound nice, but it is what it is.

     

    Nope, abortion is the premature ending of a pregnancy. Sometimes it is induced, but far more often it happens spontaneously. Additionally, stopping a process, which is what pregnancy is, is not the same as shooting, garrotting, or stabbing someone to death. Or electrocuting, poisoning, or bombing someone or many someones to death.

  • bj-survivor

     

    So I take it you are against the Iraq War, the death penalty, and killing to defend one’s property? These are all homicides done at the discretion of individuals and states, done for no reason other than that they can.

     

    The ability to kill another human being at one’s discretion is a “basic freedom”? I disagree wholeheartedly.

     

    No, the ability to decide what happens to one’s body is most certainly a basic freedom, which includes the ability to decide whether or not to remain pregnant. Forced-birthers seem to believe that pregnancy is a trivial thing, that it even tickles, but that is absolutely not the case. Pregnancy always results in varying degrees of permanent damage, disfigurement, always ends with excruciating pain, and it sometimes results in disability and even death. No born human being has any sort of right to commandeer another person’s bodily resources, not even blood or bone marrow, the extraction of which carry far less risk of morbidity and mortality than pregnancy. This holds true even for corpses, who are no longer even capable of experiencing any deleterious effects from such extraction. But to the forced-birther, women must be held to a different standard than anyone else. This is why I claim that one cannot be a feminist and also be a proponent of forced gestation. Feminists do not advocate for the subjection of and discrimination against women. Feminists do not seek to grant special rights to the unborn that no born human has. Feminists do not seek to treat women’s bodies as community property. Period. Full stop.

  • invalid-0

    … lets not forget that stabbing, scraping, suctioning, chemical burning and skull crushing are some of the methods used to cause death in the case at hand (abortion).  How LUDICROUS for anyone to consider that murder!

  • invalid-0

    Nowhere did Amie Newman claim that feminists could not be proponents of forced gestation, so what is your point?

    She claims that certain people may share some traits of feminists, but they may not claim the term of feminist for themselves.  Read her response to my above comment if you need further clarification.

  • invalid-0

    But again, your simply claiming title to the term ‘feminist’ without establishing said title.  I don’t recall a history of feminism that SUPPORTS legal abortion.  Those two movements have always been separate in my mind.  One is one the entire country can get behind, the other is one that has deeply divided the country (including the women) for decades.

    Ultimately, let’s admit we’re fighting a propaganda war here.  To lose sole claim to the title of ‘feminist’ hurts the pro-choice cause immensely, because “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” – and who would want to oppose women’s suffrage?  (apparently those anti-feminist pro-lifers!!)  “Feminist” has a way better connotation to the average Joe/Jane than “Pro-abortion”, so I can understand why you want it.

    - the government has no place interfering in the personal and private decisions of women and their famiiies

    - reduce maternal mortality the world over

    - women attaining full equ[al]ity

    I know/hope it doesn’t surprise the pro-choice community, but we’re not against any of these things.  We would like to stand right behind you in assisting.  In fact, I do believe women should have complete control over their bodies without government interference.  

    You and I (or Sarah Palin or any pro-lifer) ONLY disagree on what dies during an abortion – a living human being or a body part belonging to the woman.  Certainly, we can agree that it is not a “pro-woman” issue to support her right to kill her born children?  We ONLY disagree on when she may no longer do so.  I say conception, you (presumably) say birth.  I simply can’t agree that this distinction equates to the distinction between feminist or non-feminist.

  • ahunt

    Yeah, what is your problem with hormonal contraception? Once again, I loved my time on “the pill.” Two-three day day light flow, crampless periods (down from six-seven day flow, five heavy, with annoying cramping for about two days.) The sheer physical liberation allowed me to go where I pleased, when I pleased, w/o having to be certain of “facilities.” Why would you want to restrict my physical freedom and full participation in public life?

     

    Chemical BC is not for everybody…but it is an excellent option for many!

  • crowepps

    Back in the late 60’s, the Pill actually assisted me in GETTING pregnant, because using it for a few years tamed my endometriosis for long enough so that I was able to conceive. The problem with seeing the Pill only as the source of the “contraceptive mentality”, and ignoring the fact that there were less effective contraceptive methods for hundreds of years before that, is that it ignores the fact that the Pill can be used for many other medical purposes.

     

    There has been a longstanding meme among conservatives that the use of medical science to overcome nature in all other instances is wonderful, somehow pregnancy and child birth alone are supposed to continue to be “natural”, witness the vehement Church objections to women being able to access pain relief through anesthesia in childbirth. Why is it only the WOMAN’S reproductive system that’s supposed to function without interference?

  • crowepps

     I don’t recall a history of feminism that SUPPORTS legal abortion.

    I can’t recall any feminism historically which did NOT include the right to contraception and the right to choose family size.  I can understand your argument that opinions one way or the other on abortion should not define feminism since the opinions of those in the early movement was mixed.  Support for voluntary contraception has a much clearer record, however, with universal support among early feminism, and in my opinion to ban contraception is to exclude oneself from being able to claim the label feminist.

  • amie-newman

    I just cannot continue to dialogue with Bei1052 – it has fallen way past “bizarre” into the realm of pointless. How many times have I asked for this person to provide one shred of evidence that Palin and her supporters have actually done anything feminist – under which umbrella I’ve listed many things ones can actually do (which I won’t list again as they are in my original post, and my two follow up comments) to be considered a supporter of women’s rights – and especially a LEADER.

    Bei1052’s assertions about legal abortion is no different than any other anti-legal abortion supporter’s assertions and go no farther than screaming murder without actually taking the next step which would be – we’d better start building more jails for all of the mothers who have had abortions. Taking them from their families, prosecuting them, jailing them.  A mother must have the right to decide whether the life growing inside her will continue to live or die; and Roe v. Wade provides for this until the fetus can live outside the mother’s body or unless the continuation of the pregnancy threatens the mother’s health or life. Unsafe abortion kills millions of women and the most well-respected global health organizations in the world – ALL of the health organizations from the AMA to the WHO to ACOG – support legal abortion. Regardless of anti-choice supporters decision that the lives of millions of women (who already have children, who would go on to have more children) are expendable and their children’s lives (those post-born children) are expendable, women/mothers, families, health experts understand that safe, legal abortion is a life-saver in so many circumstances.

    Thank you all for your insightful comments. I do think it’s so important that we continue to explore what exactly feminism means – and how we can best frame the discussion to allow for a broad-base of women’s voices and experiences.

  • amie-newman

    is what I’m talking about. Why is this so difficult for anti-choice supporters who scream “murder” to answer? Especially when states like Utah are criminalizing miscarriage at this point, we’re already on the path to imprisoning mothers. I’ll wait to hear what Bei has to say.

  • amie-newman

    When I talk to individual women who support reducing maternal mortality globally – and not just support but are actually doing something to help ensure more skilled birth attendants, educate about and provide access to contraception and family planning; women who support pay equity; raising awareness of and challenging the patriarchal system that allows for unacceptable rates of sexual assault and rape in this society and the world over – I do not, of course, ask first whether they support legal abortion access or not. And I agree that we can definitely find unity on these issues.

    But.

    Sarah Palin does NOT do any of these things. And as far as I can tell, while an organization like “Feminist for Life” works to support college women who find themselves pregnant and want to keep the baby, their main goal as “feminists” IS to fight legal abortion access. So, no, I don’t feel I can align myself with women who call themselves feminists but either: don’t actually DO anything meaningful on behalf of justice and equity for the world’s women and girls or who solely exist to fight legal abortion access.

    Ultimately, I think if you and I met we’d probably find we have more in common than not. However, this is the difference between individual women bonding over the word “feminist” and people like Sarah Palin using the word ‘feminist’ as another sort of power-grab.

    And, finally I’d say I honestly do not know of many well-known women’s rights leaders or women’s rights organizations, historically, who call themselves – publicly – FEMINIST but who are conservative in nature  – other than this recent development with Palin and Feminists for Life…In fact, “feminism” is DEMONIZED by most well-known, conservative female advocacy orgs:

    http://www.iwf.org/campus/show/18948.html

    http://www.cwfa.org/articles/1033/CWA/family/index.htm

    But, arex, believe me when I say if we can find common ground on issues around maternal mortality/health, pay equity, access to quality childcare, paid maternity leave, and more, I’m with you.

  • amie-newman

    about why reproductive freedom is so necessary to women’s equity and equality. Exactly.

  • bei1052

    Nowhere did Amie Newman claim that feminists could not be proponents of forced gestation, so what is your point?

     

    Oh, forced gestation. I like that. I really do. But, anyway, yes, she did. How are you going to tell someone to garner some reading comprehension when you obviously lack as much yourself? Amie set up some criteria by which she believes one is a feminist, and one of those criteria was being pro-choice, going on to argue that people who do not meet those criteria are faux feminists.

     

    …Of course, if you acknowledge the fact that everyone is for forced gestation after some point in time in pregnancy, I suppose you could say her post was factual.

     

    Additionally, it is not Amie Newman revising Susan B. Anthony’s history. Rather, it is and has been forced-gestation “feminists” doing so. You might want to take a look at the links Amie provided and perhaps actually do some reading yourself.

     

    Oh, yes, she is. She made a statement and I’m still waiting for her to qualify it. Arguments from ignorance are not valid arguments. They’re fallacies. You’re quite welcome to answer the question for her, but I doubt you’ll be able to do.

     

    Nope, abortion is the premature ending of a pregnancy. Sometimes it is induced, but far more often it happens spontaneously. Additionally, stopping a process, which is what pregnancy is, is not the same as shooting, garrotting, or stabbing someone to death. Or electrocuting, poisoning, or bombing someone or many someones to death.

     

    You cannot, as much as you try, divorce the fact that obtaining an abortion involves ending the life of another human being. Furthermore, you cannot equate someone dying naturally to artificially inducing their deaths. Is me killing someone equal to letting that person die of old age? No, it’s not. I’ve never quite understood people’s propensity to engage in red herrings.

     

  • bei1052

    Bei – apparently you would advocate the imprisonment, and possible execution, of any woman who has or seeks an abortion. What if that woman was your sister, or your daughter? Would you turn her in? And please – no logical pretzels, a simple “yes” or “no” would suffice.

     

    I would? Well, gee, that’s news to me.

  • bei1052

    So I take it you are against the Iraq War, the death penalty, and killing to defend one’s property? These are all homicides done at the discretion of individuals and states, done for no reason other than that they can.

     

    Nope. There are strict laws governing all of these actions. You cannot kill non-enemy combatants in war, nor can you kill civilians, nor can you kill surrendering enemies, nor can you use, say, mustard gas against your enemies, etc. etc. etc.; the death penalty is reserved for those given due process under the law; and you merely can’t kill to defend your property. There has to be a threat to your life or well-being. Not so in the case of abortion. A woman can kill her unborn child for no other reason then the pickle jar lined up in perfect unison with the moon and Jupiter.

     

    No, the ability to decide what happens to one’s body is most certainly a basic freedom, which includes the ability to decide whether or not to remain pregnant.

     

    Oh, it is, is it? That’s funny. I’m pretty sure that prostitution is illegal. So is illicit drug use. In some jurisdictions, minors can’t get a tattoo or piercings without parental conesent. Suicide is looked down upon, with it being a punishable offense in some jurisdictions, and physician assisted suicide is flatly illegal in most jurisdictions. Etc. etc. etc. and so on and so forth. It seems to me that the “basic freedom” you think is a basic freedom, isn’t. So explain to me again how you rationalize abortion under the guise of “being allowed to decide what happens to one’s body”, when this rationalization falls flat is many, many, many areas under the law? Inquiring minds, mine mainly, want to know.

     

    Forced-birthers seem to believe that pregnancy is a trivial thing, that it even tickles, but that is absolutely not the case. Pregnancy always results in varying degrees of permanent damage, disfigurement, always ends with excruciating pain, and it sometimes results in disability and even death.

     

    Oh, come on. Who are you kidding? The majority of pregnancies pose no permanent risks to the women (Unless you’re talking about something cosmetic, like stretch marks). The majority of abortions are done not because of a health risk. The majority of abortions are carried out for a reason completely unrelated to the fact that it’s the woman’s body (mainly because she doesn’t want to be a mother, she can’t afford a child, she wants to finish her schooling, she’s having relationship problems, etc. etc. etc.). Constantly trying to paint abortion as an issue of maternal health is nothing short of dishonest, as about ony 4% of all abortions fall into that category. What about the other 96% of abortions???

     

    …And, just because I like pointing this out, more women are for “forced birth” then are women who are pro-choice ;)

     

    No born human being has any sort of right to commandeer another person’s bodily resources, not even blood or bone marrow, the extraction of which carry far less risk of morbidity and mortality than pregnancy.

     

    I see. So you draw distinctions between the born and unborn when it suits you to do so, but never when it doesn’t? How does that work? It really doesn’t.

     

    Anyway, I grew tired of this argument when PCF used it, and I’m just as tired of it now. You’re under no obligation to give someone anything. You cannot, however, take away from that individual, thus causing him or her to die.

     

    This holds true even for corpses, who are no longer even capable of experiencing any deleterious effects from such extraction.

     

    What about pregnant women who are, for all intent’s and purpose’s, brain dead? Do we just let the fetus die?

     

    But to the forced-birther, women must be held to a different standard than anyone else. This is why I claim that one cannot be a feminist and also be a proponent of forced gestation.

     

    Yeah, no. That’s false. Well, it’s false unless you want to assume your straw man as true, then it’d be true.

     

    Feminists do not advocate for the subjection of and discrimination against women.

     

    Oh, I see. Telling someone what they cannot do to another is advocating subjection and discrimination against women. …Only in the mind of a pro-choicer. Anyway, how does your assertion square with the fact that more women proclaim to be pro-life then pro-choice? I’m actually interested, and am wondering how you’ll rationalize this.

     

    Feminists do not seek to grant special rights to the unborn that no born human has.

     

    You do realize the corollary to the above argument is that feminists shouldn’t seek to grant special rights to the born that no unborn human has, correct, which would mean that all humans should have the right to life, and not just those you think should have it. I’m glad you agree.

     

    Feminists do not seek to treat women’s bodies as community property. Period. Full stop.

     

    Unless they’re willing to allow a woman to have an abortion whenever she wants at any point in pregnancy, yes, they are, as they’d be no different then the pro-lifers they try to lambaste. After all, the difference, then, between them and pro-lifers would be at what point it’s okay for the “state to commandeer the woman’s body”, rather then arguing whether or not the state should commandeer the woman’s body at all.

  • ahunt

    You’re under no obligation to give someone anything. You cannot, however, take away from that individual, thus causing him or her to die.

     

    I can most certainly take MY body away from anyone who is cannibalizing it.

  • julie-watkins

    Back on May 5th, you wrote:

    Bei: (And I’m going to ignore the rest of what you wrote out, being it’s the same old baseless “women being treated as second-class citizenry” rhetoric that’s quite laughable, at best.)

    and I gave links to a series of good essays supporting why my I thought my complaints weren’t “baseless”. Do you have time now? Here’s the comment & links you apparently “didn’t have time” to comment on:

    Julie: Are flour, eggs and sugar a cake?

    There have been several discussions here about how the example of nature is that the important things are good outcomes, good genes, good timing. Nature is very wasteful of conceptions. The reason why women (including me) want/wanted abortions due to economic reasons is that the process of pregnancy is a large physical burden. If it was as small a deal as you’re making it, the economic and job-saving motivations wouldn’t be such large motivations.

    .

    Here’s a good series about systemic sexism, by Echidne of the snakes:

    1. The Right To Go Out
    http://echidneofthesnakes.blogspot.com/2008_10_12_archive.html#4019843672375903459

    2. The Planet of the Guys.
    http://echidneofthesnakes.blogspot.com/2008_10_19_archive.html#1951879770820286862
    3. Our Father Who Art in Heaven
    http://echidneofthesnakes.blogspot.com/2008_10_19_archive.html#6322610709905409695
    4. The Invisible Women
    http://echidneofthesnakes.blogspot.com/2008_10_26_archive.html#3214342914773503803
    5. The Female Body As Property
    http://echidneofthesnakes.blogspot.com/2008_10_26_archive.html#5115390657997319368
    6. The Longest Revolution
    http://echidneofthesnakes.blogspot.com/2008_10_26_archive.html#7464888925027823317
    7. Penis Envy
    http://echidneofthesnakes.blogspot.com/2008_12_14_archive.html#7791664395205610106

  • ahunt

    Not following.

    Get me from A) “Feminists do not seek to grant special rights to the unborn that no born human has”….to:

    B)”You do realize the corollary to the above argument is that feminists shouldn’t seek to grant special rights to the born that no unborn human has, correct, which would mean that all humans should have the right to life, and not just those you think should have it.”

  • crowepps

    Apparently after people are born, they continue to have the right to use their mothers up to provide their sustenance until Mom finally dies of exhaustion. This rationale may explain the phenomena of all those 20 and 30 year olds still living at home with only part-time employment who spend their wages exclusively on themselves and declare their ‘right’ to be supported. After all, once the ‘life’ is present, women are OBLIGATED to use themselves up to keep it going.

     

    Fathers, of course, aren’t even obligated to send a regular check, because obviously reproducing is something in which only women are involved.

     

    Did I miss it, or has Bei STILL failed to answer the question about the basis of his objection to hormonal contraception? Aside from his being Catholic, of course, and knowing that God only made women as a living appliance through which men could reproduce themselves. After all, God didn’t ASK Mary if it was okay to use HER to create Jesus, he just sent an angel to tell her God demanded she do so. Why would there be any reason to ask any OTHER woman whether or not SHE wants to be pregnant.

  • ahunt

    Did I miss it, or has Bei STILL failed to answer the question about the basis of his objection to hormonal contraception?

     

    I think that is arex, not bei, crowepps…did I miss it?

  • crowepps

    You’re right, it was Arex.  I posted too quickly.

     

    I am getting really burned out on trying to discuss these issues with people who come in and say of COURSE contraception is bad because of COURSE women should want and are obligated to have children and of COURSE there are numerous disadvantages when they do so but their suffering or death is totally irrelevant because that is GOD’S PLAN for women.  It’s enough to make me become an athiest.

  • ahunt

    Take heart, crowepps…those people who know GOD’S PLAN for everyone else tend to isolate themselves into increasingly irrational sects/cults.. limiting their determination to torment others to people like themselves.

  • jrm83

    Bei1052, did you actually just make the argument that “just because a woman is brain dead doesn’t mean she can’t be used as a baby machine”?  So if a woman is brain dead and three weeks pregnant, you are saying that the only moral thing to do would be to keep her body alive because that pregnancy could potentially be carried full term?  What if the woman wouldn’t have wanted to be kept alive by machines just so she could be a human incubator?  What if her family can’t afford to pay for her to be on life support for that long?  What if the fetus has a condition that is incompatible with life?  Would you still support keeping her body alive under those conditions?

  • crowepps

    By his lights, it’s totally irrelevant what the woman would have ‘wanted’ since that’s just a frivolous emotional thing as compared to the REAL IMPORTANCE of affirming the right to life of a biological BEGINNING that might possibly someday become a real (male) person.

     

    After all, the whole point of insisting that women are SUPPOSED TO BE biologically inclined to be emotional and value relationships (unlike men who instead value ‘the life of the mind’ and think lofty thoughts) is so that men can then reject female emotionalism and female ‘over investment’ in their relationships to their existing children as ‘not valid reasons’ to justify/excuse female behavior.  The only valid ways to choose behavior are the NONfemale ones like logic and ethics that women are just too emotional and girly and ‘caring’ to cope with.

     

    Saw something on Pharangula related to this:

    One of the most cunning tools of the patriarchy is the assignment of woo as a feminine virtue. Women are supposed to be intuitive, nurturing, accepting, and trusting, unlike those harsh and suspicious men. It’s a double-trap; women are brought up indoctrinated into believing that being smart and skeptical is unladylike and unattractive, and at the same time, anyone who dares to suggest that intuition and soothing, supportive words are often unproductive can be slammed for being anti-woman, because, obviously, to suggest that a human being might want to do more with their life than changing diapers and baking cookies is a direct assault on womanhood.

    This naive imposition of unscientific modes of thought on women specifically leads to the state we have now. Assume a fundamental difference in attitude: women feel, while men think. Now declare an obvious truth: science requires rigorous thought. The conclusion follows that women will not be taking advantage of their strengths (that woo stuff) if they are trying to do science, therefore they will not be as good at science as men, and they will also be harming their femininity if they try to shoehorn their tender and passionate minds into the restrictive constraints of manly critical thinking.

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/index.php?page=2

  • emma

    …Of course, if you acknowledge the fact that everyone is for forced gestation after some point in time in pregnancy, I suppose you could say her post was factual.

    This is not actually true. I do not support restrictions on abortion at any stage of pregnancy. I do not share your belief that, without legal restrictions, women at 38 weeks’ gestation would be stampeding abortion clinic doors between pedicure and dentist appointments. I am hardly the only one.

     

    I am not going to ‘acknowledge’ that ‘everyone’ believes or supports something when it is not the case.

  • ahunt

    C’mon Emma…Bei is referring to the vast and clearly documented percentage of women who seek late term abortions so they can fit into bikini/clubwear/wedding dress.

     

    Shallow bitches!

  • colleen

    I just cannot continue to dialogue with Bei1052 – it has fallen way past “bizarre” into the realm of pointless.

    The conservative strategy appears to be:

    1. insist that Sarah Palin is a ‘feminist’

    2. the only reason actual feminists object to seeing feminism redefined into something as shallow and moronic as Sarah Palin is because we’re all shallow baby killing bitches.

    3. Whatever you do, don’t discuss substantive issues and never, ever admit to the fact that the modern day conservative movement is offended to their core by actual feminists. the attempts to ‘redefine’ feminism are more like attempts to silence feminists.

    Over the decades these guys have put a lot of money into impossibly shallow and substance-less attempts at outreach to women voters and, because the ‘centrist’ wing of the Democratic party is almost as bad and because the GOP did so badly last election despite Mrs Palin, the rest of the year should be sheer torture on political blogs.

    The thing I’m watching most closely is Obama’s deficit reduction commission headed up by Bruce Reed. My concern is that Obama’s administration will do to social security and Medicare/medicaid what Clinton’s did to welfare deformation.

    I do think it’s so important that we continue to explore what exactly feminism means – and how we can best frame the discussion to allow for a broad-base of women’s voices and experiences.

    I’m all for such discussions. But, more important, IMHO, would be to become as formidable and effective politically as the GLBT community in advocating for basic rights and by this I do not mean furthering Mrs Palin’s career. I believe that Mrs Palin and her ‘feminism’ are distractions. I believe that the so-called common ground efforts have been divisive and ineffectual. Indeed I would hold up the recent HCR as an example of the inevitable fruit of ‘common ground’ efforts.

  • emma

    Nope. There are strict laws governing all of these actions. You cannot kill non-enemy combatants in war, nor can you kill civilians, nor can you kill surrendering enemies, nor can you use, say, mustard gas against your enemies, etc. etc. etc.

    The legal basis for the war on Iraq is and always was dubious, and yeah, in fact, some states can and do carry out all of the above-mentioned crimes against international law, with no repercussions. Your own country is amongst the worst offenders in terms of starting unjustified wars just because it can and because no other country has the military power to stop you.

     

    ‘Enemy combatants’ is a bullshit term invented by your previous government with the explicit purpose of denying the rights of POWs under the Geneva Conventions. Your government has been engaged in plenty of torture of detainees, which is illegal according to your own domestic law as well as international law. Some of those detainees were under 15 years of age (Mohammed Jawad was somewhere between 12 and 15 at the time of his capture – he was/is illiterate and didn’t know his own date of birth. He signed his ‘confession’ – which was in English; he couldn’t read or write even in Pashtun, let alone English – with a thumb-print, as he couldn’t write his own name. After ~7 years, he was ordered to be released because of lack of any evidence against him).

     

    So please, please do spare us all the rubbish about your wars being governed by law, not being able to kill civilians or ‘enemy combatants’ and so on and so forth. Like most conservative Americans, you are, it would appear, supportive of illegal, murderous and sadistic governmental action. You’ll have to forgive me for being unable to take you seriously when you rabbit on about the taking of innocent life and blah blah blah, when you are in fact in favour of taking innocent life.

     

    What about the Iraqi and Afghan foetuses? Where’s your concern for them? Or were they ‘enemy combatants’, too? (Heh, now I’m picturing foetuses running around with machine guns and hand grenades.)

     

    Hypocrisy, thy name is Bei1502.

     

    (Are you sure you aren’t BornIn1984? You use some of the same rather peculiar expressions; have a similar conviction that unsafe abortion is not, in fact, unsafe; and are similarly inclined toward snide, smug unpleasantness.)

  • emma

    C’mon Emma…Bei is referring to the vast and clearly documented percentage of women who seek late term abortions so they can fit into bikini/clubwear/wedding dress. Shallow bitches!

     

    Slutty McSlutSluts!

     

    In fact, I often like to get pregnant just so I can have an abortion at 39 weeks. Just ’cause it’s fun, y’know? Plus, I hate it when my thigh-high boots don’t fit. :(

  • invalid-0

    Missed the question – I apologize.  My objections to hormonal contraception are social/spiritual.  Go nuts, have sex and enjoy it – just don’t kill anyone.  That’s all I care about here.

     

    That being said, I don’t think that access to the Pill has anything to do with “liberating” women.  I believe women have more than enough ability, dignity and worth to deserve/have/claim all the same rights and respect as men – probably more, God bless them – without the technical advances in contraception of the 20th and 21st centuries.  Men should be so lucky as to have you as part of their lives!

  • crowepps

    My objections to hormonal contraception are social/spiritual.  Go nuts, have sex and enjoy it – just don’t kill anyone.

    I have no idea what you mean by ‘social’ objections.  Could you clarify?

     

    Your spiritual objections, of course, are an excellent guide to ruling your own behavior but don’t and shouldn’t have any bearing on what those of other faith traditions choose to do.

     

    Hormonal contraception works by preventing conception.  It does not cause abortions.  It does not prevent implantation.  Missing one pill can result in pregnancy.  If hormonal contraception caused “changes in the lining of the uterus” then missing one pill would NOT result in pregnancy.  The myth that hormonal contraception causes abortion is based on the theoretical speculation of a non-medical, non-scientific ProLife activist and the fact that science cannot prove it ISN’T true even though there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that it does actually happen.

  • ahunt

    That being said, I don’t think that access to the Pill has anything to do with “liberating” women.  I believe women have more than enough ability, dignity and worth to deserve/have/claim all the same rights and respect as men – probably more, God bless them – without the technical advances in contraception of the 20th and 21st centuries.

     

    Well hey…if you need to believe that heavy, crampy, week-long periods are NOT restrictive and limiting…and that reduction in pain and duration is not tremendously liberating…that’s your perogative.

     

    Male privilege much?

  • crowepps

    The insistence that women who have sex should be REQUIRED to have children whether they want them or not, the protests that women who are pregnant must tolerate having their activities monitored and limited ‘for the good of the fetus’, the belief that women who are DYING have to just go ahead and die because ‘respect’ for the life of the doomed fetus is paramount, NONE of that ever has any impact on their lives or abilities because the thousands of years of history showing that where women are valued first by their reproductive capacities, they are shuffled off to second-class status, is all just feminist hysteria.

     

    Women are stronger than they think they are, so insisting that they ‘produce citizens for the fatherland and souls for God’ is GOOD for them and helps them understand just how terrific they are because of the level of suffering they can tolerate.

     

    Ban abortion, watch the suicide rate climb.

    Ban birth control, watch the suicide rate climb.

    Trap women at home under the economic control of men while producing baby after baby after baby and watch the suicide rate climb.

     

    I’m glad these guys hold women in such high esteem that they are sure women can easily bear all those burdens.  The evidence seems to show that all too many women instead prefer death to life in slavery.

  • bei1052

    This holds true even for corpses, who are no longer even capable of experiencing any deleterious effects from such extraction.

     

    +

     

    What about pregnant women who are, for all intent’s and purpose’s, brain dead? Do we just let the fetus die?

     

    =/=

     

    Bei1052, did you actually just make the argument that “just because a woman is brain dead doesn’t mean she can’t be used as a baby machine”?  So if a woman is brain dead and three weeks pregnant, you are saying that the only moral thing to do would be to keep her body alive because that pregnancy could potentially be carried full term?  What if the woman wouldn’t have wanted to be kept alive by machines just so she could be a human incubator?  What if her family can’t afford to pay for her to be on life support for that long?  What if the fetus has a condition that is incompatible with life?  Would you still support keeping her body alive under those conditions?

     

    ~~~

     

    Once in a while, I’ll entertain strawmen, but I’m not in the mood today. At any rate, I’m still waiting for an answer to my question.

     

    You see, what’s funny is that the person I was responding to seemingly doesn’t realize that various jurisdictions have ruled that a brain-dead woman can be kept alive until the point that the fetus is viable if the state feels it has a compelling interest to do so, even if it’s against the mother’s will. People who constantly go on about this corpse thing don’t know what they’re talking about, or have bothered to do any real research.

     

    But that’s not really important or anything.

  • ahunt

    I was responding to seemingly doesn’t realize that various jurisdictions have ruled that a brain-dead woman can be kept alive until the point that the fetus is viable if the state feels it has a compelling interest to do so, even if it’s against the mother’s will.

     

    All ears. Links?

  • bei1052

    The legal basis for the war on Iraq is and always was dubious, and yeah, in fact, some states can and do carry out all of the above-mentioned crimes against international law, with no repercussions.

     

    Which makes what I said false, how…? Oh, that’s right. It doesn’t. The fact that people break the law doesn’t mean those laws don’t exist. That’s akin to saying that because people frequently murder other people, and sometimes get away with it, that laws against murder don’t exist (or even that they’re pointless). It’s ridiculous.

     

    Your own country is amongst the worst offenders in terms of starting unjustified wars just because it can and because no other country has the military power to stop you.

     

    Not really. The U.S. has started, what, one “unjust” war? Unless, of course, you want to go back to the 18th and 19th centuries.

     

    ‘Enemy combatants’ is a bullshit term invented by your previous government with the explicit purpose of denying the rights of POWs under the Geneva Conventions.

     

    No, actually, the term has been around for an excess of 60 years, just so you know.

     

    Your government has been engaged in plenty of torture of detainees, which is illegal according to your own domestic law as well as international law. Some of those detainees were under 15 years of age (Mohammed Jawad was somewhere between 12 and 15 at the time of his capture – he was/is illiterate and didn’t know his own date of birth. He signed his ‘confession’ – which was in English; he couldn’t read or write even in Pashtun, let alone English – with a thumb-print, as he couldn’t write his own name. After ~7 years, he was ordered to be released because of lack of any evidence against him).

     

    And how does that make my original assertion false? Yet again, it doesn’t. But please continue to grasp at straws in order to try to “prove” that what I wrote out was, indeed, false.

     

    So please, please do spare us all the rubbish about your wars being governed by law, not being able to kill civilians or ‘enemy combatants’ and so on and so forth. Like most conservative Americans, you are, it would appear, supportive of illegal, murderous and sadistic governmental action. You’ll have to forgive me for being unable to take you seriously when you rabbit on about the taking of innocent life and blah blah blah, when you are in fact in favour of taking innocent life.

     

    Ah, yes. Because saying “war is sometimes justified” is the same thing as saying “killing innocents in war is sometimes justified”. Saying that “war is sometimes justified” means that one supports every atrocity which could be committed during that war. Yup yup yup.

     

    …Errr, no, wait. It’s not. Straw men are funny like that. What I really want to know is how, in one breath, you admit that war is governed by law, but then in a manner of seconds (Well, maybe minutes), you somehow forget what you write out and state that war isn’t governed by law? So which one is it? You can’t mention the Geneva Conventions and then turn around and assert that they don’t exist.

     

    What about the Iraqi and Afghan foetuses? Where’s your concern for them? Or were they ‘enemy combatants’, too? (Heh, now I’m picturing foetuses running around with machine guns and hand grenades.)

     

    I do believe they’d be non-enemy combatants, which means they’re off-limits, so to speak. Now, with that being said, care to explain to me how you figured out I “don’t care” about any innocents killed in war? ‘Cuz I want to know, as I’m fairly sure you just imagined such a thing up in order to try to prove some point. So, go ahead, humor me. I’ve got time.

     

    Hypocrisy, thy name is Bei1502.

     

    If you’re going to use a word, at least use it in the right context, and if you’re going to call someone a hypocrite, at least make sure they are a hypocrite instead of just labeling them as much, okay? Otherwise, it’s just humorous.

     

    (Are you sure you aren’t BornIn1984? You use some of the same rather peculiar expressions; have a similar conviction that unsafe abortion is not, in fact, unsafe; and are similarly inclined toward snide, smug unpleasantness.)

     

    I’m pretty sure. This is the only name I ever use. Unless it’s taken, which has only happened once ever.

  • bei1052

    All ears. Links?

     

    I almost have a mind to give you the whole “do some research” line, but that’s an intellectual cop-out, so I’ll oblige you as I usually do.

     

    http://estate.findlaw.com/estate-planning/living-wills/estate-planning-law-state-living-wills.html

     

    You’ll find that numerous states void living wills if you’re pregnant. If the state feels it has enough interest in protecting fetal life, it can petition the courts to keep you alive until the point in which the fetus becomes viable. Generally, there’s a bit of debate as to how long that is, but it’s usually around 100 or so day, give or take.

     

    There are actually a few court cases dealing with this (That I’m too lazy to go dig up at the moment.)

  • ahunt

    Ever happen? Cuz I’m searchin’ and coming up nada.

  • bei1052

    A quick Google searched produced University Health Services, Inc. v. Piazzi (1986). I’m sure you could find more. I cba atm, though, ‘cuz I’m going out.

     

     

  • ahunt

    Found references, but no description of the case. And what I have found in cursory searches is not state interference, but rather, family conflict.

  • bei1052
  • ahunt

     

    Enjoy your evening, Bei.

     

    Interesting link…

  • crowepps

    Not really. The U.S. has started, what, one “unjust” war? Unless, of course, you want to go back to the 18th and 19th centuries.

    The Mexican American War – 1846 – An unjust war of conquest

    Upon first examination, it appears that President Polk, with his aggressive promises and desire to gain California at all costs, caused the war. However, if one looks back one term to the previous President, one can see the foretelling of the Mexican-American War. Realizing his unpopularity with both major political parties, President Tyler saw the annexation of Texas as a ticket to a second term. If he could make the American people identify the name Tyler with American expansion, maybe he could overcome the disdain of both the Democrats and the Whigs (Combs 88). Unfortunately for Tyler, Polk won the election. Wanting to finish what he started, and perhaps to make a name for himself among America’s Presidents, Tyler made use of joint resolution of Congress for the annexation rather than a treaty, which would have required a two-thirds majority that Tyler did not have (Combs 89). Finally, on the last day of his term, Tyler sent messengers to Texas for the purpose of immediate annexation. Mexico was not pleased.

    http://www.mexica.net/war/Mexican-American-War.html

    The Spanish American War – 1898 – An unjust war of conquest

     As it took office, the new administration confronted the popular Cuban revolution against Spanish rule, which had broken out in 1895. This rebellion disrupted trade and threatened American investments (and even lives) in Cuba. It was a problem and an opportunity. McKinley and his advisors wanted to settle the Cuban problem so as to get on with state-supported trade expansion. At the same time, a successful war with Spain could lead to cession by Spain to the United States of key properties in the Pacific Ocean, especially the Philippine Islands, which would make ideal jumping-off points—coaling stations and military outposts—to the markets of East Asia. This possibility was not lost on the administration.
    http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1344

    Philippine Insurrection – 1899 – An unjust war of conquest

    Following Admiral Dewey’s defeat of the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay, the United States occupied the Philippines. Spain ceded the islands to the United States under the terms of the Treaty of Paris (December 10, 1898), which ended the war.

    A war of resistance against U.S. rule, led by Revolutionary President Aguinaldo, broke out in 1899. Although Americans have traditionally used the term “the Philippine Insurrection,” Filipinos refer to these hostilities as the Philippine-American War (1899-1902). In 1901, Aguinaldo was captured and swore allegiance to the United States, which ultimately crushed the resistance.

    http://www.worldrover.com/history/philippines_history.html

    Mark Twain’s essay “To the Person Sitting in Darkness” is instructive there:

    http://www.logosjournal.com/issue_4.3/twain.htm

    And of course the longest running and most deadly conflict was the series stretched well over a century of “Indian Wars” which were not only wars of conquest but an outright attempt at genocide, often successful.  Seen any Mohicans lately?

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/indian.htm

  • crowepps

    In the Piazza case the “family conflict” was that the hospital and the father of the fetus wished to keep her on life support, and her family and husband did not.

     

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I had no idea so many states invalidated an advance directive if the signer was pregnant at the time. I count 27 that think dead women can be used as incubators. There is a list at:

     

    http://estate.findlaw.com/estate-planning/living-wills/estate-planning-law-state-living-wills.html

     

    Actually, this doesn’t bother me much. After all, she’s DEAD. What does she care?

  • ahunt

    Pretty much, crowepps. It is not the State, as Bei claims, inserting itself into the situation. The three cases I was able to get the most cursory info on refelect familial conflict.

     

    Here’s the thing…we can agree there are profound distinctions between 13 weeks and 33 weeks. In two overseas cases, efforts to sustain the cadaver containing a 13-14 week old fetus failed, with the fetus dying within two weeks. There have been cases of advanced pregnancies surviving the death of the mother…via life supoport.

  • colleen

    Actually, this doesn’t bother me much. After all, she’s DEAD. What does she care?

    It’s deeply creepy to discover that the one thing the religious right value women for is something we can do after we’re brain dead. It does help to explain their enthusiasm for Sarah Palin.

  • ahunt

    Naughty Colleen…bad girl! Go to your room and post some more!

     

    Seriously…the policy to maintain life support on behalf of the fetus of a brain dead corpse 33 weeks pregnant is comprehensible. The same efforts at 13-14 weeks in? Un peu bizarre!

     

    the religious right value women for is something we can do after we’re brain dead.

     

    Way back when…crowepps was making precisely this point, noting pregnancy and childbirth as the ‘one’ thing women can do that the boys cannot. In the eyes of the religious right, it is therefore the only thing women should be doing.

  • emma

    Someone said to you ‘I guess you oppose the Iraq war [plus the death penalty and killing to defend one’s property], then’ and you said nope, you don’t oppose those, because they’re actions governed by law. I took the ‘nope’, you didn’t oppose any of them because they were governed by the laws of war, to mean that you supported them presumably because you considered them lawful under the laws of war. Perhaps you think the Iraq war, in particular, is unlawful, but support it anyway.

     

    I don’t get why you’d say ‘nope’ in response to ‘I guess you oppose it’, along with a whole spiel about how those actions were governed by law, unless you supported it on the basis that you considered it lawful under the laws of war, which it wasn’t. I didn’t say laws of war don’t exist; I said that the Iraq war, and your government’s actions in the context of that war, were not lawful under the laws of war, and I was saying that because of my interpretation of what you’d written earlier. If I misinterpreted, I apologise. Besides which, abortion is also governed by law, so why do you oppose it?

     

    I also took your comments about how you can’t kill civilians and enemy combatants and so on and so forth under the laws of war to mean that the US gov’t had not, in fact, done those things, on the basis that you said you supported the Iraq war because it was governed by war. Again, I don’t get why you said you didn’t oppose it because it was governed by law if you think it violated those laws. I would in fact suggest that my apparent misinterpretation of what you wrote was because you expressed yourself badly, but I get the distinct impression you’re of the ‘I’m always right and everyone else is stupid’ school of thought.

     

    In terms of unjust wars – I think it’s fair to suggest that every overt and covert war you’ve fought since WWII has been unjust. Certainly, you’re only nominally governed by the laws of war, since there’s no one to stop you when you violate them, particularly since you’ve removed yourselves from the jurisdiction of the ICC.

     

    The part about Mohammed Jawad and torture was a tangent. You’re familiar with those?

     

    You’re right about enemy combatants. Not sure why I wrote that, tbh.

     

    And you know, I’m going to attack you personally here and point out that you’re a smug, snide asshole – or you behave like one here, at any rate. I’m sure you’ll bitch about my stooping to personal attacks, and you’d be right, because it is low. However, you’ve shown up here just to argue, and have been condescending and snide to everyone here, including those who started out treating you with more courtesy than you deserve (I am not amongst them). It’s insulting and it’s fucking low, and seems to be something the vast majority of pro-foetus men have in common.

     

    I’ve said this before, to others just like you, but you guys show up here and inform us all that we should be stripped of the right to decide what goes on in our bodies because blah fucking blah, the precious innocent unborn, you love them and want to snuggle with them and you have a little foetus-altar in your home. And of course, you don’t ever, ever acknowledge that you’re talking about policing what goes on in our bodies, because foetuses are precious and sweet and innocent and defenceless and have separate, unique, special snowflake DNA. And then you get all snippy because shock! horror! the womenfolk – the ones who are actually affected by abortion bans and restrictions – dare to get offended by that which you’re saying, and we come up with all sorts of silliness about feminism and women’s bodily autonomy, which is naturally completely irrelevant because hey, you’re a guy, and it’s not like it affects you or anything, and feminists are just icky baby-killers anyway, and ‘but but what about the precious, innocent unborn?!!!’, and so on and so forth.

     

    And of course, there are assholes like Jim Grant, pro-lifer, and arex, who whimper about contraception and why won’t you sluts all die for the precious, sweet, innocent, defenceless unborn, and you don’t ever, ever state disagreement with them, because you’re busy condescending to the stupid feminist sluts.

     

    I wish to fucking christ you’d all fuck off and talk amongst yourself with other anti-abortion men. I don’t show up at conservative anti-abortion websites and start shoving my beliefs down people’s metaphorical throats (partly because I despise the lot of you and don’t want to inflict you on myself), and it would be nice if you’d show us the same courtesy.

     

    I’m probably going to regret writing while angry, but I am so fed up with all of this shit. Can you not go and do something useful, like donate an organ or some bone marrow, or something? Perhaps lobby for compulsory organ donation by all fathers of unwanted foetuses? If we’re required to give up our bodies, it would be fair for you to give something up in return.

  • emma

    Crowepps, ahunt and I have just explained why the pill has been essential in our own lives. Hormonal contraception, such as the pill and Mirena IUD, are used in medical conditions like endometriosis, which can can severe and debilitating pain. Both the pill and Mirena can result in lighter, shorter and less painful periods; Mirena can stop them entirely, and the pill can be used without breaks to stop them entirely. Why is it socially or spiritually objectionable for women to stop ourselves from ovulating? What social problems are being caused by my taking the pill?

  • princess-rot

    Only women “should” be “natural” while men live as far away from that “ideal” as they can. One could view it as hogging resources – if women’s time is taken up by excessive childbearing/raising and they don’t get adequate healthcare because it is considered “natural” for us to suffer – more resources go to the more “important” ones in society.

    I find purists patently absurd, particularly anti-contraception ones, because since humanity started practicing agriculture we have all lived as far away from “natural” as is possible. Unless you live like a wild ape, you cannot decide what is “natural” and what is not.

  • princess-rot

    If I were find someone who didn’t know what abortion was, and ask them what they would call it when one human purposely ends the life of another for no other reason then they can, I guarantee you that 9/10, if not more, of them would respond murder.

     

    Ask a loaded question – get the answer you want to hear. How unsurprising. Why not throw in a line about some socialite stereotype getting her abortion between her manicure and bikini wax appointments and giggling with her girlfriends over martinis about how super-fun it is to kill babies?

  • crowepps

    It’s deeply creepy to discover that the one thing the religious right value women for is something we can do after we’re brain dead.

    Consider how suggestive this is when you consider the religious right’s enthusiasm for televangelists and FOX news.  It isn’t just the WOMEN they prefer to have brain dead.

  • rebecca123

    I consider Palin my feminist hero.

    She has more political power than most men, she makes more money than most men, she excelled in sports, she is educated and speaks her own mind.

    I don’t think a women should be allowed to kill her baby before she is born because she doesn’t want to be pregnant.  I also don’t think a father or mother should be allowed to kill a baby after she is born because the parent doesn’t want to provide and care for the baby.  I know children infringe upon the freedoms of their parents, before and after birth, that doesn’t mean a parent should be able to kill his or her children.

    A side note- when abortion was illegal only abortionists were arrested, never the mothers who were getting abortions.  Even more so today, abortionists would be the ones arrested if we ever did make it illegal to kill babies before they are born.

    There was a sarcastic comment earlier about why women get late term abortions.  One reason is that some of them didn’t want abortions, and were trying to hide their pregnancies.  Once they couldn’t hide it anymore, their boyfriends or husbands or parents pressured them into getting abortions.

    Sarah Palin has helped pregnancy crises centers that help provide for women in a crisis pregnancy who wants to give birth to her baby.

  • rebecca123

    I consider Palin my feminist hero.

    She has more political power than most men, she makes more money than most men, she excelled in sports, she is educated and speaks her own mind.

    I don’t think a women should be allowed to kill her baby before she is born because she doesn’t want to be pregnant.  I also don’t think a father or mother should be allowed to kill a baby after she is born because the parent doesn’t want to provide and care for the baby.  I know children infringe upon the freedoms of their parents, before and after birth, that doesn’t mean a parent should be able to kill his or her children.

    A side note- when abortion was illegal only abortionists were arrested, never the mothers who were getting abortions.  Even more so today, abortionists would be the ones arrested if we ever did make it illegal to kill babies before they are born.

    There was a sarcastic comment earlier about why women get late term abortions.  One reason is that some of them didn’t want abortions, and were trying to hide their pregnancies.  Once they couldn’t hide it anymore, their boyfriends or husbands or parents pressured them into getting abortions.

    Sarah Palin has helped pregnancy crises centers that help provide for women in a crisis pregnancy who wants to give birth to her baby.

  • bj-survivor

    I, OTOH, Have Very Little Free Time

    But I finally have some, and simply can’t let your willful ignorance, hypocrisy and misogyny slide.

    You cannot kill non-enemy combatants in war, nor can you kill civilians, nor can you kill surrendering enemies, nor can you use, say, mustard gas against your enemies, etc. etc. etc.;

    I was specifically referring to the Iraq War. You know, the one that was started on the fabricated pretext that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. I thought you “pro-lifers” were concerned with stopping the slaughter of innocent human lives? No? Apparently, the only lives that matter to you are the insensate clusters of barely differentiated tissue being created by women’s bodies. My bad.

    Wow, so the bombs and machine gun fire our military has rained down onto Iraq and other countries with whom we’ve been at war somehow, miraculously spare civilians? I would laugh at such a puerile assertion, but I don’t find the slaughter of fully-formed, thinking, breathing, suffering children, women, and men to be comical in the slightest. And…yeah, those rules regarding not killing civilians during war work out really well, n’est pas?

    the death penalty is reserved for those given due process under the law;

    To be honest, I don’t lose sleep over the state-sanctioned executions of those guilty of horrifically violent crimes, but the thought that even one innocent person may be executed certainly gives me pause. Dozens of death row prisoners have been exonerated of their crimes, so it stands to reason that at least one or more innocent person has been put to death. Further, study after study after study has found that the death penalty is arbitrarily applied, racially biased, and poor defendants too often receive substandard defense. Again, I would think that someone who claims to be “pro-life” might be a little concerned about an innocent person being murdered by the state.

    and you merely can’t kill to defend your property. There has to be a threat to your life or well-being. Not so in the case of abortion. A woman can kill her unborn child for no other reason then the pickle jar lined up in perfect unison with the moon and Jupiter.

    I can if I live in Texas and I don’t even need to be in my house and the perp can even be running away from me with my stuff. And even in uber bleeding-heart-liberal California (my home state), I can kill someone who breaks into my home, as long as they are fully inside my house, it is justifiable homicide. My uterus, my body are 100% my DNA and fully belong to me. I absolutely have a moral right to expel anything or anyone who is intruding upon it. And you’ve just made my argument for me, since pregnancy is absolutely a threat to a woman’s health, life, and well-being.

    Oh, it is, is it? That’s funny. I’m pretty sure that prostitution is illegal. So is illicit drug use. In some jurisdictions, minors can’t get a tattoo or piercings without parental conesent. Suicide is looked down upon, with it being a punishable offense in some jurisdictions, and physician assisted suicide is flatly illegal in most jurisdictions. Etc. etc. etc. and so on and so forth. It seems to me that the “basic freedom” you think is a basic freedom, isn’t. So explain to me again how you rationalize abortion under the guise of “being allowed to decide what happens to one’s body”, when this rationalization falls flat is many, many, many areas under the law? Inquiring minds, mine mainly, want to know.

    Prostitution is legal in Nevada. Medical marijuana use is legal in several states, trending toward decriminalization. Physician-assisted suicide is legal in Oregon and Washington. Suicide, while illegal in many states, is rarely prosecuted these days. In any event, these are all instances where the state has decided that persons cannot cause/allow harm to themselves. Legal abortion, which is 11 to 16 times safer than pregnancy, is an entirely different animal to the examples you provided. Denying women the option to safely, legally terminate their pregnancies results in increased death and injury to women, except in small countries (Ireland, Poland) that are surrounded by easily accessible countries that allow safe, legal abortions. So, please, humor me and provide just one example where one person is forced to give up his body organs, blood, or bone marrow, or even life in order to preserve the life of another.

    Oh, come on. Who are you kidding? The majority of pregnancies pose no permanent risks to the women (Unless you’re talking about something cosmetic, like stretch marks). The majority of abortions are done not because of a health risk. The majority of abortions are carried out for a reason completely unrelated to the fact that it’s the woman’s body (mainly because she doesn’t want to be a mother, she can’t afford a child, she wants to finish her schooling, she’s having relationship problems, etc. etc. etc.). Constantly trying to paint abortion as an issue of maternal health is nothing short of dishonest, as about ony 4% of all abortions fall into that category. What about the other 96% of abortions???

    Again, you are woefully ignorant of both the process of pregnancy and its effects upon women’s bodies. All pregnancies result in permanent damage to a woman’s body. All of them. Much of this damage isn’t apparent right away; it often takes years to fully manifest. These include cystocele, rectocele, uterine prolapse, recto-vaginal fistula. Permanent weakening of bladder muscles that results in permanent urinary incontinence is a common and prevalent effect of pregnancy, many cases appearing directly after delivery and others manifesting years later. In every hospital I’ve worked at (I am a telemetry and medical-surgical registered nurse), I’ve taken care of multiple women each week who are in for hysterectomies and repair procedures that attempt to ameliorate these conditions.

    You are certainly free to castigate women for having abortions for what you consider “frivolous” reasons, just as I am free to castigate you for your ignorance, misogyny and hypocrisy, First Amendment rights to free speech and all. What you do not get to do is dictate to me or to any other woman how much damage we should be forced to endure to satisfy your absurd fetus fetish. You do not get to make my or anyone else’s most private life and medical decisions. Neither you, nor the government, nor the church is an authority over my or any woman’s body.

    …And, just because I like pointing this out, more women are for “forced birth” then are women who are pro-choice ;)

    So? Anti-abortion women get abortions, too, and for the same reasons that pro-choice women do. Human rights are not contingent upon majority rule. Else slavery would never have been outlawed, nor voting rights granted to women, nor Jim Crow and segregation laws banned, nor interracial marriage allowed, et cetera, ad nauseum.

    I see. So you draw distinctions between the born and unborn when it suits you to do so, but never when it doesn’t? How does that work? It really doesn’t.

    I draw no distinction between the born and the unborn. Neither a born nor an unborn human has any right to commandeer my or anyone’s body against my or that person’s will. You and your forced-birther compatriots, on the other hand, seek to grant special rights to the unborn to which no born person is privy. I would like you to provide just one Western example, besides pregnancy, where one person has been forced to donate their body organs, tissues, or blood in order to preserve the life of another. Just one. It shouldn’t be that hard, should it? Yet not a single one of you has done so.

    Anyway, I grew tired of this argument when PCF used it, and I’m just as tired of it now. You’re under no obligation to give someone anything. You cannot, however, take away from that individual, thus causing him or her to die.

    And I’ve long since grown tired of forced-birthers’ claiming that fertile women and only fertile women have no right to bodily autonomy, a right that even death row inmates, brain dead lumps of human meat, and corpses inviolably have. And I’m more than tired of forced-birther assertions that pregnancy and childrearing are no big deal. Furthermore, you and the vast majority of “pro-lifers” are vociferous proponents of war, capital punishment, and vigilante execution of abortion providers, which all take from individuals and cause them to die.

    What about pregnant women who are, for all intent’s and purpose’s, brain dead? Do we just let the fetus die?

    What does this have to do with the availability and choice of safe, legal abortion?

    In any event, at least as far as the U.S. is concerned, the brain-dead women’s bodies are kept alive if and only if their families have enough money to pay the exorbitant costs of the intensive medical and nursing care required to keep a brain-dead lump of human meat alive long enough to gestate the pregnancy to appropriate viability. It is not clear whether those in other Western countries, which all have universal health care, are kept alive regardless of their or their families’ will.

    Oh, I see. Telling someone what they cannot do to another is advocating subjection and discrimination against women. …Only in the mind of a pro-choicer.

    No, telling women and only women that their right to their very own bodies is negated due to the presence of an insensate cluster of barely differentiated tissue is present is absolutely discrimination against women, since there is no other circumstance where one person may use another’s body against that person’s will. In fact, this applies to death row inmates, brain-dead lumps of meat, and even corpses.

    Anyway, how does your assertion square with the fact that more women proclaim to be pro-life then pro-choice? I’m actually interested, and am wondering how you’ll rationalize this.

    Again, human rights are not predicated upon the consensus of the majority. See my reply above.

    You do realize the corollary to the above argument is that feminists shouldn’t seek to grant special rights to the born that no unborn human has, correct, which would mean that all humans should have the right to life, and not just those you think should have it. I’m glad you agree.

    I see that you continue in your hypocrisy, not that I’m surprised. Again, no born person has any sort of right to life that includes commandeering the organs or body tissues of others against those others’ will. Furthermore, you have no objection to either war, including the completely unjustified Iraq War, the death penalty, or blanket abortion bans and neither do you propose mandatory blood, bone marrow, tissue or organ donation either from living persons or corpses, so even you do not believe every human being is equal in his or her (especially her) right to life.

    Unless they’re willing to allow a woman to have an abortion whenever she wants at any point in pregnancy, yes, they are, as they’d be no different then the pro-lifers they try to lambaste. After all, the difference, then, between them and pro-lifers would be at what point it’s okay for the “state to commandeer the woman’s body”, rather then arguing whether or not the state should commandeer the woman’s body at all.

    I would be more than happy for there to be no laws regarding at what point in gestation and for what reason a woman may obtain an abortion, because I do not believe such laws are necessary. Contrary to forced-birther aspersions, no woman in her right mind deliberately waits until 8.5 months of pregnancy and only then decides she no longer wants to be pregnant and then gets an abortion to fit into her bikini or prom dress. Even if she did, the abortion procedure at that point would be induction of labor, which would result in a live infant. But this scenario begs the question: Why on earth would it be beneficial for such a capricious twit to be inflicted on a child? How exactly does it bode well for the resulting children to force unwilling women to create them? Personally, I’d rather that Susan Smith, Casey Anthony, and Andrea Yates had terminated their pregnancies rather than create children only to abuse and murder them.

    The only regulations that should be in place are medical standards for abortion procedures, not access restrictions. But one has to choose one’s battles and it would be pointless to seek a repeal of all restrictions on abortion, since third-trimester elective abortions are a red herring anyway.