The Pregnancy Police and Citizens’ Arrests of Pregnant and Nursing Women


Most women who’ve been visibly pregnant know that lots of people you don’t know suddenly feel they have a say in your life. Perfect strangers–on the subway, in the elevator, on a street corner–ask when you are due, the sex of your baby, the number of children you currently have. People you don’t know touch your belly without permission, as though you were a ripe cantaloupe awaiting sale, and offer “helpful” and entirely unsolicited advice on what you should or should not eat or do. While such exchanges usually can be shrugged off as the well-intentioned intrusions of strangers, have enough of them and you begin to feel like the pregnant-version of Mrs. Potato Head under surveillance: a walking, bulbous shape with no brain, face, or identity beyond your belly and no identifiers except those projected onto you by other people.

Most of us also are well aware that on the other end of the spectrum, far right lawmakers across the country have become self-anointed pregnancy police, writing laws and policies restricting access to everything from comprehensive sex ed to birth control and abortion; making women pay for rape kits; deciding where and when mothers can breast feed; merrily slashing funds for the services that ensure poor women have access to primary preventive health care, such as breast exams, pap smears, and testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections; and contesting the health reform law that would help alleviate some gaps in access.  Taken together, these actions limit the rights and often threaten the health of women of reproductive age and sexually active women of all ages.  It is pretty much the stated intention of these folks to turn women into Mrs. Potatohead figures…giving us arms and legs and expressions only at a time and for a purpose that suits them best.

Now we have another form of “pregnancy control:” The citizen’s arrest.  The citizen’s arrest is the natural extension of our obsession with controlling women’s sexual and reproductive lives. It is the emboldenment of or “natural conclusion” drawn by people conditioned to see women as Mrs. Potatohead. It may not land you in jail, but it handcuffs you in various ways, circumscribing your actions, limiting the public space in which you can participate, sometimes affecting your livelihood. It takes away the right to move about in the world just like everyone else (read: men). And it goes beyond pregnancy to include breastfeeding, medical care, and any and all other actions the male half of the population takes for granted as their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In recent weeks, a series of seemingly unrelated actions taken by private citizens, business, and corporations has shown just how emboldened private actors have become in deputizing themselves in policing women.

First example: At a bar and restaurant outside of Chicago last week a bouncer took it upon himself to tell a pregnant woman she had to leave. 

Why?

“She might get hurt.” 

The woman, Michelle Lee, is a 29-year-old Chicago native now living in Denver.  She is eight months pregnant.  She came to town for a baby shower thrown for her by her friends, and then went out with them afterward to the Coach House, a bar and restaurant in suburban Roselle, Illinois, to drink some water and have a slice of pizza.

Not allowed. Since Ms. Lee is pregnant she apparently is subject to surveillance. Or at least so thought the bouncer, who approached her and told her she had to leave. 

“He said to me, ‘I have a personal question to ask you, are you pregnant?’ I said yes. Then he said, ‘I’m going to have to ask you to leave,’” Lee told ABC News.

Lee told the Chicago Tribune she was only in the bar for 15 minutes before being asked to leave, and that the bouncer told her Coach House would be liable for her if she got hurt in the bar.

“That is not acceptable behavior,” Terry O’Neill, the president of the National Organization for Women, told ABC News, in a statement I fear should have been so obvious to everyone we would not otherwise be writing about this. But, as she notes, “we live in a country where people feel increasingly empowered to make decisions for pregnant woman.”

Pause here for a second to consider this: “You might get hurt.” Why the pregnant woman? Aren’t the other women in the bar as vulnerable (or not) to getting hurt (by what…not clear)? Isn’t every man that walks into a bar at the same risk of “getting hurt (by whatever it was the bouncer feared)?”  Wasn’t the bar going to be liable for those same people in case the unknown catastrophe came to pass? It wasn’t the woman. It was the fetus she was carrying that was of value; it was her belly. And for some reason the bouncer felt he was justified in policing the vessel.

This is, of course, ripe for a lawsuit.

“There are certain things for which you are not able to discriminate against someone, and one is their gender,” Ed Yohnka, an American Civil Liberties Union spokesman, told the Tribune. “And only women can have babies. You can’t discriminate against a pregnant person.”

Okay, you say, but this is an isolated incident.

I wish it were.

Every day in the United States, citizens are deputizing themselves to police pregnant women. These people feel empowered to make what is in effect a citizen’s arrest of women who are or might be pregnant, or who are trying to avoid pregnancy, on the assumption they know what is best for these and all women.

Take for example the case of the Walgreen’s pharmacist in Nampa, Idaho who refused to fill a prescription for a drug to stop uterine bleeding unless the nurse practitioner revealed whether the patient had had an abortion.

According to Planned Parenthood, as quoted in Jezebel, here’s what happened:

Planned Parenthood officials said the complaint states that the pharmacist inquired if the patient needed the drug for post-abortion care. The nurse refused to answer the question based on confidentiality of health information.

According to Planned Parenthood, the pharmacist then stated that if the nurse practitioner did not disclose that information, she would not fill the prescription. The nurse alleged that the pharmacist hung up when asked for a referral to another pharmacy that would fill the prescription.

First of all, is it the job of pharmacists to diagnose and prescribe? Or is it their job to fill prescriptions for medical care deemed necessary by a medical practitioner licensed to write the prescriptions pharmacists are supposed to fill. What business is it of a pharmacist to actively invade a patient’s privacy by inquiring why she might need a drug prescribed by the medical professional who diagnosed a condition worthy of medication, and who took an oath to protect the health and life of the patient in front of them?

This also is not an isolated incident. In fact, pharmacists are one of the largest groups and in a class of their own among the new pregnancy police. Creeping conscience clauses in law and policy–to which, unfortunately, some progressive groups have capitulated a number of times lobbying for one law or another–have spread like their own cancer throughout our health care system and have empowered fundamentalist Evangelical and Catholic pharmacists to act as unaccountable judge and jury in deciding whether or not women can fill prescriptions for medications approved by the FDA and prescribed by their doctors.  These actions immediately curtail women’s ability to exercise their rights. They are put under “medical arrest,” stripped, variously, of their rights to prevent a pregnancy (when they are denied access to various forms of contraception, including emergency contraception), to terminate an unintended, unwanted or untenable pregnancy, or to protect their health in the case of a pregnancy gone wrong.  Similar types of policing of women’s bodies is increasingly done by Catholic medical hospitals which refuse not only to dispense contraception, or provide emergency contraception to rape victims, but also to provide an abortion even in the case where a pregnant woman would die by continuing the pregnancy. As we’ve recently seen, hospitals that transgress ideological rules and save a mother’s life are themselves policed by the Catholic Church hierarchy, and can be “excommunicated” for saving the lives of pregnant women in distress.

Recently, the pregnancy police have also begun to invade social networks. Faceless employees at Facebook, the world’s largest social networking site and a company notoriously bad for sharing otherwise private user data or limiting the use of the site with little accountability, have taken it upon themselves to police photos of pregnant and nursing women, deeming them to be “obscene.”

In December, for example, Facebook flagged photos posted by a birth and maternity photographer from Iowa as obscene, and disabled her page, adversely affecting her business. 

According to the Associated Press, Laura Eckert’s photography business, New Creation Photography & Design, specializes in pictures of pregnant women and the first moments of a baby’s life. She uses Facebook to communicate with clients and highlight her work and had posted pictures including shots of a friend and her newborn moments after birth that partially showed her friend’s breasts, but not her nipples. She said she was shocked when Facebook told her last month it had removed “inappropriate photos” from her page, saying she had carefully cropped pictures to comply with company policies.

According to AP, Eckert, 33, said when she tried to log on to find out which photos were targeted, she found her account was disabled. She said she sent 30 or more e-mails to Facebook to inquire and try to be reactivated and didn’t get a response until Thursday of that next week…. a day after KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids reported on her plight.

“It’s funny it happened after the media got involved. I sent many polite e-mails asking for information over the course of the last few weeks and got no response. None,” she said in an interview Thursday afternoon at her home in Shueyville, a small town between Iowa City and Cedar Rapids.

Facebook then apologized in an email “for the inconvenience,” and restored her account. Facebook spokesman Simon Axten said the company reviews thousands of pieces of content every day and takes action to ensure Facebook “remains a safe and trusted environment for everyone.” Implying, of course, that pregnant and nursing women are somehow out of control, not to be trusted, lack judgment or are dangerous (I guess to the very children they are carrying or nursing in those photos)?

Supporters of Eckert who formed a group on Facebook to lobby for her reinstatement, charged the that the company was hypocritical for targeting photos they considered beautiful art while routinely allowing pictures of teenage girls dressed provocatively and others they consider obscene.”  In fact, Facebook is so “safe and trusted” you can easily find pages upon pages of Playboy photos there should you so desire. These have not been banned. Perhaps the employees at Facebook have not been able to find them. (For the record, I am not suggesting these or other photos be censored).

Facebook claimed the removal of Eckert’s photos was an example of an occasional mistake; Axten asserted that “[w]hen this happens, and it’s brought to our attention, we work quickly to resolve the issue.” (Sure, as long as a TV station gets involved.)

Having said that, then they turned right around and banned another page.

The Leaky B@@b Facebook page (set up to help convene and support nursing women) was taken down, put back up, taken down and then reinstated again during the first week of January.  A message posted there said:

This time cautious celebrations were expressed on the page along with fear that it would just go back down.  As I write this it has been up for 7 hours, just about as long as it was up yesterday.  Hopefully it will really stay this time.

But participants on the page had their accounts disabled.

Several “Leakies” as we affectionately call those on the Facebook page, had their accounts disabled after receiving warnings for supposed obscene photos.  Just like TLB, they received the non-specific form letter via email informing them that they were deleted for violating the TOS [Terms of Service]. These individuals along with numerous other group and business pages have had their accounts deactivated all because someone decided that their breastfeeding photo or information was vulgar.

Facebook’s actions have affected other businesses dealing with pregnancy and maternity products and prompted users of specific pages to self-censor otherwise normal postings of pregnancy and maternity discussions and products. 

Judy P. Masucci, Ph.D, president and owner of A Mother’s Boutique shares how Facebook deactivating her account last summer impacted her.  Now she tip-toes around her pages on Facebook afraid to say or post anything that may attract unwanted attention.  What is she doing that is so obscene?  Sharing information and photos that support breastfeeding and mothering.  No lewd photos, no hateful content and certainly nothing as revealing as what you can find on the Playboy Facebook page.  (I can’t bring myself to link to the Playboy page but if you’re really curious do a Facebook search, you’ll see what I mean.)

The perpetuation of the citizen’s arrest of pregnant, nursing, and “maybe-pregnant” women” is a silent cooptation of women’s choices, their health, sometimes their livelihoods, and sometimes their very lives by both groups and individuals who feel emboldened to act on their own to ensure women stay “in their place,” and to reinforce, however indirectly, the social norm that the value of a woman is in her womb. They are emboldened by a political environment in which fundamentalist and so-called “pro-life” lawmakers work assiduously to limit women’s rights and “progressive” leaders tell women to shut up when their rights are traded away in the interest of someone’s election aspirations “common ground.”

This year we face what will arguably be the greatest number of attempts in any given session at the state and federal level to pass laws restricting women’s rights to safe sex and choice in childbearing. It is a climate in which the problem of citizen’s arrests of women is likely to get worse before–and if–it gets better.

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  • invalid-0

    “There are certain things for which you are not able to discriminate against someone, and one is their gender,” Ed Yohnka, an American Civil Liberties Union spokesman, told the Tribune. “And only women can have babies. You can’t discriminate against a pregnant person.”

    Actually, you CAN discriminate based on gender in this country.  Is this guy a lawyer?  Has he ever seen a women’s or men’s-only restroom? How about the military draft?  Did I miss something, or does the draft still only apply to men?

    Discrimination based on gender is subject to only intermediate scrutiny, not strict scrutiny, like race-based laws.

    In any event, good luck proving that this bar discriminated based upon her gender, unless other women in the bar have been asked to leave as well.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think the bouncer was stupid and what they did was wrong, but illegal?  I think not.  They’re a private bar – they can let in and deny whomever they want, as long as it’s not based on race.  Heck, if they wanted it to be a men-only bar, they could make it that way.  If the bouncer was letting in 2 times as many girls as guys (as many bars do), they can do that too.  We’re still in a free market society.

  • ireogenouszones

    And we’ve been denied a federal ERA for decades now. Discrimination based on sex is still tacitly codified in our legal system.

  • crowepps

    Considering the Supreme Court decision in Gilbert v General Electric I think you may be right that ‘pregnant women’ are not a protected class and that ‘gender discrimination’ would require that ALL women be excluded from the bar.

    http://supreme.justia.com/us/429/125/case.html

     

    Setting aside for the moment interpretation of law, a subject where I don’t think any of us would claim to be experts, do you think it is good public policy or within the bounds of civility or SENSIBLE for people to be so alarmed/creeped out/revolted by the presence of a pregnant women that they ban them from appearing in public premises?

     

    We may be in a “free market society” but hopefully money isn’t the be-all and end-all of EVERY transaction, yet.  We also have a social contract which entitles all civil citizens to access those free markets equally unless our individually obnoxious behavior gets us barred.  Business people may make reasonable rules (like designating multiple stall restrooms for only one gender) but business people are not allowed to identify groups and discriminate against them in a place of PUBLIC access.

     

    So, no,you can’t open a public bar and set it up as men’s only, just like you can’t open a public restaurant and put up signs that say ‘no disabled’ or a grocery store for ‘white’s only’ or a pizza place for ‘Christians only’.  Those who wish to serve one exclusive group while keeping out ‘them’ need to take some additional legal steps so that they can huddle together fearfully agonizing about their ‘purity’ in what would be considered a private club.

  • crowepps

    If Facebook rules condone and ignore X number of square inches of ‘sexy boob’ then banning the exact same number of square inches of ‘nursing boob’ is really ridiculous.  If women posting photos and having discussions with each other about nursing boob/feeding baby registers as more ‘obscene’ than putting up jack-off inspiration photos of Playboy Bunny/sexy boob, I’d say the people doing the monitoring need their heads adjusted in a major way.  Actually, I’d say with the exception of child pornography, any photo whose distribution is shared only with friends in a group shouldn’t be censored at all.  If nobody else has access to it, on whose behalf is it being censored?

  • arekushieru

    Actually, I disagree with both you and crowepps.  This is a clear cut case of sexism.  It supports nature’s sexism, after all.  Women’s or men’s only restrooms, is not sexism, since BOTH sexes have their gender only restrooms.  Which is different from having open-showered, toileted restrooms in the men’s only restroom as compared to the women’s.  That is sexist, and only upholds the idea of women as underprivileged, men as privileged.

    In the case of the military draft, that is also a clear cut case of sexism, as with the latter restroom example.  And should be taken on by the ACLU.

  • arekushieru

    And that is an EXcellent point, crowepps, as usual!  :)

  • crowepps

    Oh, absolutely it is sexist.  It is not, however, gender discrimination.  It could only be gender discrimination if ALL the women were excluded.

     

    The reflexive focus on restrooms always seems kind of weird to me.  I work in a small office building where there are three public bathrooms: a women’s multiple stalls, a men’s multiple stalls, and a handicapped for one person, EITHER male or female.  I haven’t caught any guy cooties in there.  Our local Safeway has several different single person handicapped with individual doors for use by either men or women. I haven’t caught any guy cooties there either.

     

    I’m beginning to think this whole bathroom meme is just a continuation of the kindergarten ‘girls can’t swing because then boys will look up their skirts’.  For cripes sake, why do women have to be ASHAMED that they have bodies and men might peek at them?  Shouldn’t the men be ashamed of themselves for being so pathetic?  Stop being so cheap, spend a couple bucks and buy a Playboy to help you get off.  In the parts of Japan that are still ‘traditional’, men, women and children all share the same bathrooms and the world hasn’t come to an end.

  • arekushieru

    Grrrrr….  That’s one of the distinctions *I* make between gender discrimination and sexism.  *Facepalm*  Yet, somehow, I missed the distinction, here…???  My apologies to both you and arex.  

    Japan has long held a fascination for me.  It’s a uniquely conformist society, yet has some very, at least outwardly, contradictory cultural distinctions, at the same time.

    Your mention of multiple women’s and men’s bathroom stalls and single person stalls for those who are handicapped raises another interesting point. Is this another case of presenting men and women who are disabled, as inferior, not capable of being sexual beings, iow, the physical matching the sexual?  Although, in most cases, here, the family stalls are combined with those stalls for use by those who are handicapped.  However, the prudish (ie. those who have designed these segregated restroom stalls) probably don’t connect a family (with children) with sexuality, anyways.

  • arekushieru

    Actually, I agree with you, Arex, about everything, but the restroom statement. 

    Again, my apologies.

    Now, I’m going to go o/t for a bit of a rant:

    If someone is marking both crowepps’ and arex’ posts, as 5 and 1, respectively, please stop.  Crowepps stated pretty much the same thing that arex did.  The only difference, that I can see, being that crowepps is a ProChoicer and arex is a ProLifer.  If you’re marking someone based on their stance, why not just forgo marking it, at all?  

    I’m beginning to get a bit suspicious of my own markings, too.  Are my posts being marked on my stance or because they have merit?  I have no idea, now.  I would LIKE to think it’s the latter because that helps to strengthen my own arguments.  If it’s the former, then I only THINK I have a strong argument and I can go into a debate unprepared and totally humiliate myself because of it;

    /End rant. 

     

  • julie-watkins

    Our university library is an old building with stacks additions. In the stacks, the old part of the building has individual restrooms labeled “mens” & “womens” on alternate floors. The individual restrooms in the new part of the building are handicap accessible and just labeled “restroom”, so I’ve been ignoring the gender designations on the old stalls because it’s meaningless (to me, anyway).

    So, several years ago, when I was in the old part of the building tracking down a problem I used one of the restrooms & it flushed & kept flushing — wouldn’t stop. So I called in the problem “east (small) restroom on 6th stacks” & — incredulous — “the Men’s room??” — as if this were incomprehensible. Boggle.

  • crowepps

    Got to admit, I very rarely ‘score’ anybody’s posts, unless they are obviously trolls, or the stuff is offensive, repetitive or spam.  It doesn’t bother me a bit to read an opinion with which I disagree, even disagree vehemently, and I am really uncomfortable with the idea of ‘voting’ that is nothing more than a popularity contest.

     

    If somebody objects to one of my POINTS I would much prefer a post detailing the disagreement than a ’1′ score for which I don’t know the reason, and if someone agrees with one of my POINTS knowing which one they agree with can also be helpful.  It is not at all helpful to know that a particular post was read by four ProChoicers (all 5′s) and three ProLifers (all 1′s) giving reflexive ‘my side’/’not my side’ scorings.  We’re not supposed to be playing pingpong, but instead discussing an important political issue with real life consequences.

  • crowepps

    Is this another case of presenting men and women who are disabled, as inferior, not capable of being sexual beings, iow, the physical matching the sexual?

    Golly, I believe it is based entirely on the practical engineering involved in the fact that having TWO people in wheelchairs attempting to maneuver themselves around and use the facilities with modesty panels set in place would make things unnecessarily difficult so one-person units make more sense, and the expense and gross silliness of putting in TWO identical one-person units so that they can be designated ‘male’ and ‘female’ just to ensure that no gender cooties get exchanged.

     

    Although it would be nice if it was also a recognition that the ordinary and necessary process which happens many times a day of evacuating waste products from the body has ZERO connection with sexuality absent fetishes, and that the majority of people don’t have any ‘purity’ obessions/compulsions about how girl cooties from girly bits/menstration ‘contaminate’ things and men are ‘unclean’ after coming in contact, and that women aren’t harmed by guy cooties and don’t actually break down if they see a urinal.

     

    Maybe even a recognition that the average person in the process of using a restroom isn’t being ‘sexy’ or thinking about sex and that just because there is proximity in that some of the body parts used for the one process are the same as those used for the other process doesn’t necessarily HAVE to inextricably mix the two entirely different processes together in everybody’s minds.  And as often as not label them both ‘filth’.

  • crowepps

    I got similar incredulity when I mentioned to someone that when the women’s bathroom ran out of paper on the weekend, I just snitched some of the surplus from the men’s room.  “You GO INTO the men’s room?”  Totally ignoring the fact that I’m the only one in the building.

  • prochoiceferret

    “You GO INTO the men’s room?”

     

    Hey, maybe this person just had a not so great impression of what men’s rooms are like.

  • arekushieru

    And, it seems I offended someone when I said that.  Either that or it was my agreement with arex.  Because, now, this post is at 3.5, when there really wasn’t anything of substance in it, in the first place.  I would prefer it if someone just didn’t rate any of my posts that are like that and/or when there is nothing that’s really relevant to the topic, in them.

  • arekushieru

    Can’t argue with that.  Seems to me that most businesses don’t let accusations of discrimination get in the way of making money, after all.

  • crowepps

    See, that’s why I usually don’t rate things.  It doesn’t seem appropriate to give a low ranking to a post just because you don’t like the person agreeing with someone — ‘if you’re going to play with Sally you can’t play with me’.  And I don’t see much point in using the scoring system to ‘vote’ on whether the person’s opinion is valid.  The right of people to have opinions that I don’t agree with always has to be respected.

     

    It was my undertanding the idea of the scoring system was to minimize those posts that just take over threads: repetitive junk, personal insults, trollish nonsense, those going on and on and on about their One Big Idea That Will Solve Everything when that wasn’t what the original article was about.  If THAT is the problem we’re trying to cope with, then we shouldn’t be voting on opinions but rather on the civility of the posts.

     

    That said, it’s pretty rare for me to look at the scores on my posts, although since I’ve never had one grey out I assume I’m staying adequately within the guidelines (most of the time - I admit I’m very cranky and impatient sometimes).

  • arekushieru

    (most of the time - I admit I’m very cranky and impatient sometimes).

    Lol.  I don’t think you have anything on me.  I am quite visible in that respect when I reply to posts.

    I think the rating system should only include trolling/spamming ratings, in that case, though.  ><;

  • aligatorhardt

    The rankings do seem incredulous. How can 90% of the posts be #5, when that is described as “Brilliant”. Is everything said brilliant? What do we do with unusually brilliant remarks, go up in numbers with no ceiling? Disagreement does not mean the comment is poorly written, but the low number rating is used for all disagreements.

  • aligatorhardt

    Pharmacists refusing doctor prescribed medicines is inappropriate and unprofessional, and should be illegal. They are not trained as diagnosticians, they have no right to demand personal information from a patient. If they withhold medicine from a patient who is bleeding or in any potentially life threatening condition, they should be charged with homicide or manslaughter.

    We should all boycott Walgreen or Rite Aid or any company that condones religious terrorism like these cases. Boycott Facebook; I have already cancelled my account. They are not the only social networking site. Let them know at your doctor’s office when you see religious terorism by pharmacies so other patients can be warned to go elsewhere. Do not allow this to go unchallenged. If denied, protest loudly so other customers hear what is going on. Report offenders to this site and all others concerned with human rights.

  • crowepps

    How about:

    offensive/disgusting/off topic

    Same old thing/cut&paste

    I disagree

    I agree in part and disagree in part

    I agree

  • puma

    interesting discussion – personally, I prefer using bathrooms that are clean. And I am willing to cross gender lines in order use a clean bathroom. Even at the risk of arrest. Unfortunately, there are times when large groups use one single person room – public transportation,
    ma and pa eateries, small non profit offices. So there is no choice available. Of course, large institutions that have the resources impose legal restrictions on where we go to relieve ourselves. A woman caught in a men only restroom at the irs building is subject to arrest, even though the shared facilities at the BART station are promoted as unisex/single gender evacuation sites. It seems that where we pee is a product of culture and whoever owns the toilet dictates taboos. I remember my children complaining that at their urban hs they never went in the school bathrooms because that is where students were robbed, raped, or stabbed. They used the bathroom at the library. When I lived in the south pacific on a tiny island everyone pood in the same hole dug in the ground and surrounded by corrugated metal siding. The protocol for eating was influenced by toileting: one hand for eating a communal meal and one for wiping ones ass. To eat with both hands was considered disgusting. But of course there were no utensils, let alone indoor plumbing!

    bu

  • arekushieru

    Or, rather than I agree in part and disagree in part, have somewhat disagree and somewhat agree? 

    Btw, that five marking meant I agree.  Just letting ya know in advance, literally and metaphorically.  :D

  • arekushieru

    It seems someone(s) took the comments to heart, though.  So, I just wanted to let whoever did so, know that I really appreciate it!  Thanks!

  • crowepps

    You know, the site owners/moderators set up the grading scale to see how it would work.  If the system needs a little tweaking, it could be done.  Just have to come to an agreement on how.

     

    There have been several people who have commented that they dislike the idea of ‘censorship’ but perhaps they weren’t here when the men’s rights activitists were posting full page columns of cut and paste ‘it’s all the feminists’ fault’ on every article and driving the comment threads to 10 and 15 pages of mostly drek.

     

    At other sites, posts are “removed for low rating” and no longer available at all.  I like the way it works here, where a post ‘collapses’ and is grayed out if it’s devalued but is still available to anybody who wants to click on it.  That just seems more fair to me while still preserving the efficiency of a comment string that can be read without a lot of skipping.

     

    Anybody else have a comments on the ‘designators’ that go with 1 through 5?  cmarie?

  • puma

    back to the original topic – before I read this piece about pregnancy police on truthout I was entirely unaware of the reproductive police. Long time ago I worked as a bartender and while I had my own strongly held opinions about my own pregnancy telling others what to think and do never crossed my mind. I was there to serve drinks to human people not make moral decisions for others. 

    thinking back to my most recent trip to the doctors office, though, I do recall him telling me I was immoral. Of course I fired him immediately and have lodged a complaint with his supervisor. But I thought I was having an individual experience. I thought I just picked a rotten apple. Yes, this md displayed religious insignia prominently on his person. Maybe I should not have been so surprised. But since over the years he did not seem to practice medicine from a pulpit his most recent behavior startled me. And reading the stories of women who have recently had similar experiences I now wonder if there is a connection. Never before has a personal physician of mine ever asserted a moral course of medical treatment. Why now? Because now, in America, as in
    the countries where we kill the human spirit of our enemies and our soldiers, a grown woman is viewed as less of a person than the zygote in her womb. Thank you, RHRC, for bringing me up to speed.

  • arekushieru

    There have been several people who have commented that they dislike the idea of ‘censorship’ but perhaps they weren’t here when the men’s rights activitists were posting full page columns of cut and paste ‘it’s all the feminists’ fault’ on every article and driving the comment threads to 10 and 15 pages of mostly drek.

    Although, from what I’ve noticed, it seems that it’s mostly other MRA’s that are complaining. 

    At other sites, posts are “removed for low rating” and no longer available at all.  I like the way it works here, where a post ‘collapses’ and is grayed out if it’s devalued but is still available to anybody who wants to click on it.  That just seems more fair to me while still preserving the efficiency of a comment string that can be read without a lot of skipping.

    I much prefer it, myself.

    Anybody else have a comments on the ‘designators’ that go with 1 through 5?  cmarie?

    Hint, hint…?