Morning Roundup: Rep. Speier Speaks Out


Rep. Speier speaks out on her House speech, South Dakota tables abortion provider murder bill, don’t worry – the government will still fund NASCAR sponsorships, and Hawaii gets civil unions.

  • Rep. Jackie Speier writes firsthand about her need to terminate a wanted pregnancy and the need to “stop playing politics” with women’s lives. “I am saddened and angered by how politicians misuse women’s health. For some, describing a procedure like the one I endured is nothing more than talking points. But for millions of women like me, it’s much more — it’s something that will always be a part of us.” If you missed the powerful videos of her, Rep. Louise Slaughter, and Rep. Gwen More speaking out about the Pence amendment, you can see them here.
  • The South Dakota bill that would have legalized the murder of abortion providers has been temporarily set aside. After the nationwide firestorm about the language in the bill, legislators voted 61-4 to table the measure.
  • From Robin Marty at Care2, please rest assured that even though the House has voted to defund family planning and Planned Parenthood, which will be devastating to low-income families, they have preserved millions of dollars in NASCAR sponsorships!
  • Hawaii governor Neil Abercrombie has signed a civil union bill, allowing same-sex couples all the rights of married couples, without, of course, calling it marriage.

Feb 20

Feb 18

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  • beenthere72

    $7 million dollars for a sticker on a race car.   Talk about wasted tax payer money.   Did you see the threat that Betty McCollum got over that?

     

    http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/documents/2011/02/mccollum-hate-mail.php?page=1

     

    Further proof of the racism and women-hating from the right.   I suspect they’re tea-baggers too.    I hope they figure out who sent that fax and expose them.

  • crowepps

    If we don’t suggest sensible balanced legislation and regulation of abortion, we will be left with far more draconian policies – and, eventually, no choices at all.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/18/AR2011021802434.html

    As I read the present political and social climate, NO MATTER WHAT ProChoice advocates do, no matter how sensible we are or how much we grovel or how carefully we craft compromises, we are STILL going to have to fight against more draconian policies and end up with no choices at all.  

     

    Ms. Kissling just don’t seem to understand that the Church she continues to be an apologist for has joined with the Southern Evangelicals and extremist Islam in declaring war on women.  The whole POINT of the exercise is to stop her and other woman from being able to make any choices at all, for their own good, because women aren’t competent to make choices but should instead be ‘guided by’ and under the control of men.

     

    A viewpoint with which Ms. Kissling apparently agrees as evidenced by her statements that women considering abortions need intervention by “medical or psychiatric specialists” (since the women should  be presumed likely to be lying or crazy), and should be required to submit to “non-directive counseling on all options” since what they already know must not be sufficient and a little pressure and explaining just might motivate them to commit to self-abnegation and get ‘society’ off the hook by taking abortion off the table.

    Society and the state do have a stake in abortion policy. Reproduction is a private matter with public consequences.

    I disagree.  While society and the state may have a compelling interest in people REPRODUCING because their production of children imposes potential costs and obligations on society or the state, I see no equal compelling interest in people who are NOT reproducing.

  • julie-watkins

    It’s probably about recruitment. I’ve stopped watching mass media (TV & Films) to avoid all the “join the military!” ads surrounding the sexist/elitist/materialistic “content”, yuck.

  • beenthere72

     I see no equal compelling interest in people who are NOT reproducing.

     

    Sadly, they’ll pathetically argue that are those babies that aren’t being born could and should be paying for their social security when they’re old enough to work.     

  • julie-watkins

    Frances Kissling wrote in the linked article: The fetus is more visible than ever before, and the abortion-rights movement needs to accept its existence and its value.

    If this is so, it’s because the usual suspects have decided that abortions are bad for the bottom line, becasue they usually result in missed profit opportunities down the line. I hate women & poor people being treated as factory-farm animals, to be prodded & tweated & researched for the best way to harvest our work & resources. I wish Frances wouldn’t play into their hands, as if the ruling class has a right to do this. They don’t own us, even if they want to, even if they think it’s their right.

  • rebellious-grrl

    I heard about the death threat. It’s sickening, especially after the tragedy in Tucson.

    From The MN Independent. McCollum receives death threat over NASCAR bill

    Democratic U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum received a death threat on Wednesday over her amendment to a spending bill to end Pentagon funding for NASCAR, Talking Points Memo reports. McCollum’s amendment would strip $7 million that goes to NASCAR annually to advertise the U.S. Army. McCollum said in tough economic times that money should be spent on veterans.
    http://minnesotaindependent.com/77870/mccollum-receives-death-threat-over-nascar-bill

  • crowepps

     the abortion-rights movement needs to accept its existence and its value

    Aside from her incorrect assumption that people who are ProChoice do NOT accept the existence of the fetus and do NOT feel it has any value, her use of the phrase “abortion-rights movement” seems kind of bizarre.

     

    I’m getting really tired of people who claim they’re ProChoice and claim they’re ProChoice advocates and then talk about how all the OTHER  ProChoice advocates aren’t facing reality and don’t have any moral sense and have to compromise and allow a steady stream of new abortion restrictions because women who make that (immoral) choice are stupid fools and accepting the restrictions is better than no abortion at all.  It is especially annoying when they go on and on and ON about how women should really be using birth control more responsibly.

     

    Seriously, with friends like this –

  • crowepps

    Children who are unwanted are more likely as adults to be sucking up tax dollars to pay for their prison guards than contributing to Social Security.

     

    Doesn’t anybody realize how incredibly selfish it is to demand a total stranger complete a pregnancy when she doesn’t want to so that strangers can use the kid as a cash cow for taxes after he’s grown?  That argument is disgusting.

     

    You might as well argue that women should have be forced to have children because it will be useful to have a big pool of poor children from which to harvest organs if the children of the rich need transplants.  Barf.

  • colleen

    Is Kissling really ProChoice at all?

    I’ve been wondering if she’s working for Third Way.It appears that her devotion to Will Saletan has deepened.


  • beenthere72

    I don’t want to link to a specific video or article on this topic because I don’t want to give anybody any ‘credit’ but I’m becoming more and more convinced that this push to force women to give birth is financially motivated, for sure:

     

    http://www.google.com/#hl=en&sugexp=ldymls&xhr=t&q=abortion+and+social+security&cp=21&pf=p&sclient=psy&aq=0&aqi=&aql=&oq=abortion+and+social+se&pbx=1&bav=on.1,or.&fp=5e2b21bd614e0a97

     

    (the Youtube video is particularly disturbing and misleading)

     

    This link (from 2005), in the search, is worth sharing though:

     

    http://www.brookings.edu/articles/2005/0115saving_rauch.aspx

     

    No, what Bush and the Republicans are focused on is not the economy, stupid. It is conservative social engineering on the grandest possible scale.

    And now they’ve just hit the turbo button on that agenda. 

     

     

  • forced-birth-rape

    If the government is getting something from the use and abuse of our vaginas doesn’t that make the government our pimp? And like pimps they say “put out or drop dead bitch!”

    They are even so RUTHLESS as to capitalize off pregnancy that came by way of rape! I hate republicans. Republicans and American bible thumpers are pro-rape!

  • arekushieru

    Even though there are many on the extreme right-wing, conservative Christian Tea-Party fundamentalist side that would like to do away with social security because “that’s forcing us to pay for other people’s laziness!”.

  • nonsense-nonsense

    Someone here once said me that having an abortion was as innocuos as pulling a weed in of a garden, or something to that effect. When you relegate killing a human being to killing a weed, it’s kind of hard to assert that you’re not purposely devaluing the unborn or treating it as valueless.

     

    Anyway, even though I don’t agree with her views on abortion, she is right about one thing, and it’s something I’ve said before. Very few people care or are even swayed by arguments which center around accusing others of hating women, or being misogynists, or sexists or wanting to advance the patriarchy. When they hear that stuff, most people just quietly roll their eyes and go do something else, as they perceive said accusations to be nothing more than radical feminism run amok.

  • arekushieru

    She was comparing the ACTION of pulling a weed to the ACTION of removing life support from the fetus.  She was NOT comparing a WEED to a FETUS.  It’s obvious, or should be, since it’s been pointed out for your edification, several times, now.

    Here’s some food for thought for ya, just so ya realize that when we talk about misogyny, we’re talking about the truth and the true motives behind it, whether you realize it or not:

    How are you NOT punishing women for an anatomical function (that IS outside of her control), when you attempt to modify behaviour (and you DO see it as behaviour modification if you think making abortion illegal will reduce its rates), such as consensual sex for non-procreative purposes, by imposing a ‘natural’ consequence on it, a ‘natural’ consequence that has no corollary elsewhere?  The fact that I was born with a uterus means everyone can feel free to strip me of either my rights or my sexual freedoms and that they can feel free to deny me medical remedy that is denied to no one else whose organs aren’t functioning the way someone wants them to?  

    Makes me SICK that I was born female and that I have to undergo either 1. Invasive medical surgery (which most doctors won’t perform without serious medical complications, due in LARGE part to attitudes like YOURS), when no one else’s medical privacy is invaded in such a manner or 2.  SRS (which most of you extreme right-wing conservative ProLife Christian fundamentalists don’t even SUPPORT) in order to satisfy the fanatics, such as yourself, that I am not holding any dreams, desires, wishes, hopes or wants beyond fulfilling the role of incubator or baby-making machine.  I KNOW what my mom had to go through before anyone from the medical profession would even consider performing a hysterectomy on her.  I also know that some of the organs held in place by the uterus can fall into the empty space left behind and cause problems with THOSE organs.   And I DEFinitely do not identify as anything other than cisgender. 

     She didn’t ‘wilfully’ allow it, unless you really ARE punishing her for it, unless you really ARE seeking to entrap her in a body she has no escape from, a body with natural processes that occur inside it, whether she likes it or not, and that can only be used against her.  What crime did she commit against you that you think you can use her body as a prison for her? 

    Those people who do just quietly roll their eyes are anti-choicers wilfully unable to see the forest for the tree, because they might realize just how illogical they really are….

     

     

  • nonsense-nonsense

    So you totally missed that point I see. Well, good luck to you then. Let me know how it works out for you.

  • arekushieru

    So, you totally exposed your inability to look up words and their meanings and your utter lack of lateral thinking skills.  Let me know how it works out for you.

  • nonsense-nonsense

    As the saying goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

  • arekushieru

    So, thank you for imitating me.  I clearly said you missed the point and you repeated that back to me.  Whoops…?

  • forced-birth-rape

    “most people just quietly roll their eyes and go do something else,”

    Republicans and Ameican christians definitely roll their eyes at raped women and raped little girls!

    And after hearing a woman or little girl has been raped they just walk off never giving a damn about them.

  • saltyc

    OK, it’s just not. A human being = person and fetus /= person, K? I’m not devaluing anybody because a fetus is nobody, just potential, K? You pro-lifers are the ones wanting to burden everyone with guilt when life could be so much easier and better without it. It really could. You are the one sex more complicated than it needs to be. I explained to my 5-year-old that I had an abortion, she totally understood it. It really doesn’t have to be that big a deal, the big deal is how it affects the woman having the abortion, and you all are the ones making it more of a deal than it has to be. Because, yes you are in fact following a patriarchal agenda, this has been proven many times but you are blind because you are a misogynist male supremacist. Saying that abortion=murder is what gets eyes rolling by people who have better things to worry about like putting food on the table and aren’t looking for fake things to worry about.

  • goatini

    I insist that your flattery royalties be paid to Dr Phil, instead of you crowing like you invented his catch-phrase of the mid-Aughts.

  • forced-birth-rape

    SaltyC is Brilliant!

    They are trying to force women and girls into breeding themselves into submission, their two favorite things for females to be barefoot, pregnant, and submissive to men.

    I grew up with republican-baptist-christians and they are consumed with female submission, and if you are consumed with female submission would you not call all women that do not go along with you feminism run amok?

  • saltyc

    Than whether or not Nonsense thinks that zygotes are people. And the obvious consequence of believing him is the submission of women, every place with “pro-life” laws have lower status for women. It’s as plain as the nose on your face no matter how fast your eyes are rolling.

  • plume-assassine

    I was the one who said that, and you totally missed the point. I was not comparing an embryo/fetus to a weed that must be removed. I was comparing the ACTION of having an abortion to the innocuous action of pulling a weed from a garden. Especially in the earlier stages of pregnancy when most abortions are performed; this analogy works. There is no killing involved and there is no person involved.

    As for ”value”– I ascribe value to an embryo/fetus insofar as the woman carrying it ascribes value to it. That is all that matters. If it is a wanted pregnancy, I value it as much as she does. But I am not going to value an embryo/fetus if it is an unwanted pregnancy because doing so would be valuing the existence of an embryo more than the woman (and her emotional/physical health/life circumstances).

  • plume-assassine

    How does forcing women to give birth NOT devalue women? How does turning something that was supposed to be a gift into a punishment not devalue women? It is a blatantly sexist position to value the existence of an insentient embryo or fetus more than the woman and her pain, suffering, and overall health.  There is no physical punishment like forced birth that could ever affect men, so yes, I am going to continue to believe that the anti-choice position is either overtly or subconsciously misogynist, especially when they continue to attack/blame rape survivors, cut funding for single mothers and low-income pregnant women, and argue that 15-year-old girls are psychologically capable of consenting to sex with older men. There is no coincidence that these circumstances all happen to involve women. It is only due to your privileged position in society that you think women are totally equal to men in America, and feminism has nothing left to do.

  • mechashiva

    Very few people care or are even swayed by arguments which center around accusing others of hating women, or being misogynists, or sexists or wanting to advance the patriarchy. When they hear that stuff, most people just quietly roll their eyes and go do something else, as they perceive said accusations to be nothing more than radical feminism run amok.

     

    I disagree with your views and generally everything you say, however, I agree with you on this point. Radical feminist ideology is the pro-choice analogue to quoting scripture at people. For those who believe in the philosophy/religion, it is all totally relevant, but it is alienating to moderates and those in the opposition. Within our own groups, talking about stuff from an ideology standpoint is fine, but when it comes to debate it is better to stick to more tangible topics.

  • beenthere72

    Excellent point, Mecha.   I did a whole lotta eye rolling at churchmouse. 

  • saltyc

    I think sticking to assertions that can be backed up by evidence is always useful. The fact is, we live in a patriarchy, women have specific life restrictions based on their sex, sexual double-standards exist and pregnancy is a life-threatening condition. Are these things we should leave off the table rather than alienate moderates? I disagree. Dulling the edge won’t make the knife work better.

    Would you call paleontology a science analogue to creationism? If paleontology alienates as many lay people as the fables repeated in some book of fiction called the bible, do we try and find non-scientific language to speak then? I call that dumbing down, and it is usually counter-productive. It’s the number of women who hedge their language and try to sound moderate when they’re really not that does more damage. I say speak the truth, be challenged, be challenging, and say what is important.

    I really don’t believe there is any pro-choice analogue to anti-choice ideology. I say this because in college I had a rommmate who was fervently radical in her feminism, and I couldn’t believe the things she said in debates, she had a lot of nerve. I didn’t call myself a feminist back then. But over the years it was her words that kept coming back and resonating. A quiet, self-conscious voice wouldn’t have had the same effect. I admire her more in retrospect than I did then.

  • colleen

    Radical feminist ideology is the pro-choice analogue to quoting scripture at people.

    I’m pretty sure that pointing out that the ‘pro-life’ movement isn’t about ‘protecting life’ nearly as much as it’s about the subjugation of women  isn’t “radical feminist ideology” nor is feminism a “religion”.

     

    Within our own groups, talking about stuff from an ideology standpoint is fine, but when it comes to debate it is better to stick to more tangible topics.

     

    I’ve been under the impression that this blog was one of “our groups”. That said are you suggesting we should all temper our comments to avoid offending the delicate sensibilities of republicans, the religious right and various representatives of the MRM who post here?

  • mechashiva

    I think the key is in avoiding buzzwords that shut down conversation, and instead simply focusing on evidence that is relevant to the specific problem being addressed. Ideology-based discussions tend to be about the Big Picture. Opponents argue about whose worldview is more correct rather than whose solution to the problem is most effective.

     

    The line can be thin at times, particularly when it comes to reproductive rights since our position is (generally) based on practical concerns while pro-lifers are more concerned with morality. But I think most of us can tell when a debate starts becoming more about feminists vs sexists than our solution vs their solution.

     

    If paleontology alienates as many lay people as the fables repeated in some book of fiction called the bible, do we try and find non-scientific language to speak then?

    Actually, this is exactly what my friend’s science teacher did at an all-girls Catholic high school. The teacher taught about the evidence for and processes of evolution for an entire semester without once using the word “evolution,” “natural selection,” or other phrases that would have incited a “But the Bible says…” argument among students and/or parents and staff. At the end of the class, the teacher revealed to the students that what they had been learning (and agreeing made sense) all year was “Evolution.” There were no complaints.

     

    Yes, it might be dumbing things down. What’s more important than elevating the level of discussion? Getting more people on your side (whatever side that might be). After you’ve already taught people the truth (whatever that might be), then you can introduce the vocabulary of your particular ideology without scaring people off.

  • mechashiva

    I’m pretty sure that pointing out that the ‘pro-life’ movement isn’t about ‘protecting life’ nearly as much as it’s about the subjugation of women  isn’t “radical feminist ideology”

    No, but when conversations go down that road, they tend to start incorporating radfem vocabulary and become more about attempting to get people to agree with radfem ideology than accepting the pro-choice solution to whatever issue was raised.

     

    nor is feminism a “religion”.

    Never said it was. Read better.

     

    I’ve been under the impression that this blog was one of “our groups”. That said are you suggesting we should all temper our comments to avoid offending the delicate sensibilities of republicans, the religious right and various representatives of the MRM who post here?

    Nope. Comment to other pro-choicers about ideology day-and-night because it isn’t problematic. Temper your comments to your opponents if you want to change their minds instead of win debates. Your call. I certainly don’t always choose to do that. Sometimes pounding a person into the ground is a lot more gratifying than dancing about trying to teach them shit without them knowing.

     

    But you can’t really pound a person into the ground as well if they just stop listening to you because you can’t resist saying things that you know will make them stop listening to you, even if those points are right and valid.

  • ack

    Refuting anti-choice ideology with facts is helpful to a point, but the problem come in when the really far right people simply refuse to believe research. I’ll talk with moderates and reasonable people all day long about how making abortion illegal doesn’t stop it, how access to birth control helps reduce abortion rates, and how social services can help women keep wanted pregnancies. We can talk to them about how common abortion is, how varied the reasons for having them, and point them to stories of women who have had abortions.

     

    But when people rant about how “women should just keep their legs closed,” it’s hard for me not to go into ideology about classism, gender roles, and discrimination. It’s just slut-shaming and disdain for those in poverty. Their hostility makes me hostile. Their whole argument seems to rest on a desire to put their religious beliefs into policy, and they don’t believe the truth: their religion is, and always has been, sexist in the extreme. (I’m talking about the far right, religious zealots, like some commenters who have shown up here.) If someone’s solution to abortion rates is “DON’T HAVE SEX YOU BIG DIRTY WHORES!!!!!!11111!!!!!,” then we can’t engage in discussion based in practical applications of laws. They’re unreasonable ostriches making demands on other people’s sexuality that they have no right to make.

  • ahunt

    Mommy, what’s a radical feminist?

  • colleen

    Never said it was. Read better.

    My bad. I thought you were extending your false equivalency between feminism (or, rather, undefined “radical feminism”) and fundamentalist Christianity further than intended. I shall try to “read better” in the future.

     

    But you can’t really pound a person into the ground as well if they just stop listening to you because you can’t resist saying things that you know will make them stop listening to you, even if those points are right and valid.

    I suggest that there are other motivations for posting responses to the right wing trolling that goes on here than “pounding a person in the ground” or changing their minds. Suggesting that they might “just stop listening” presupposes they ever started listening and  really, I’ve seen no evidence of that at all. I see people who, from the comfort of anonymity, are terrified that those of us who are concerned with the lives and basic rights of women might manage to become a viable political force as the (much smaller) GLBT community has managed to do even in the current political climate.

    I’m deeply concerned with the human rights of both groups and am trying to understand why the GLBT community is so much more effective in achieving it’s political aims. I’m pretty sure that wasting time trying to reason with people who hate them and  admire Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich isn’t part of the secret of their success.

  • colleen

    I love the way you cut through bullshit.

  • arekushieru

    Besides, it’s all ideology in the end.  Facts about abortion rates mixed with what is the best kind of health care for women and, thus, the general population tends to have different approaches when coming from different kinds of perspectives.

    After all, how many of us have had ProLifers suggest that abortion causes mental trauma, it harms women, children and society, and on and on…?  And these are all immediate, reactive claims to our presentation of the so-called ‘facts’.

    Their worldview is far different than ours and tends to involve different ideas on health care and, indeed, might suggest why they never even, as colleen said, started listening in the first place.  

  • princess-rot

    As a society we tend to view human worth as transactional, an exchange of “valuable goods” for personal or societal benefit, which is one of my major problems with libertarian free-market theory and meritocracy. This is mainly because they both assume “transactions” of this sort somehow don’t count in that some classes of people are expected by convention to sacrafice more “valuable goods” in exchange for intangible “worth” than others, rules over which the expected-to-sacrafice have little or no control; such as the beauty mandate and certainly reproduction. It’s really commodifying. I’ve had this argument posed to me in a slightly different format: “But who will look after you/support you/pay for your SS when you’re old?” There are so many implicit assumptions in that it is hard to begin unpacking them all. My body is not a debt management service, ffs.

  • crowepps

    I’ve had this argument posed to me in a slightly different format: “But who will look after you/support you/pay for your SS when you’re old?” There are so many implicit assumptions in that it is hard to begin unpacking them all.

    Just unpacking the assumption that the reason one should have children is that the parent will find them USEFUL and be able to IMPOSE on them gives me the creeps.  I guess since it’s illegal to BUY slaves these days, they’re encouraging people to just grow their own.

  • arekushieru

    This kinda supports my theory I think about the well-being and health-care of the general population also arrived at as an ideological conclusion.  What is/isn’t a ‘valuable good’ and what benefits persons and society changes from one person to the next and from one society to the next.  

  • mechashiva

    undefined “radical feminism”

    I don’t need to define “radical feminism,” because it has a definition that I’d expect people in this conversation to know already. Here’s a link if you need it, though:

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

    /snark

    (Seriously, sorry, I’ll cut it out.)

     

    Your other points are well-taken, though. Incidentally, I don’t think that the LGBT movement was advanced through the use of queer theory in debates. The thing that seems to have been most effective is the incorporation of queer characters in popular media. A slow but steady normalization. Abortion definitely hasn’t reached that point, despite the fact that far more women have had abortions than there are gay and bi folks in this country. Maybe we need a medical comedy or reality tv show about the daily operations of a family planning clinic.

  • mechashiva

    Yeah, I don’t always choose to do the shit I think is most effective at winning people over. Some people simply can’t be won over, and sometimes I just don’t feel like trying. In those cases, I just go for the hurt if I bother talking to them at all.

     

    Mean? Yeah. Immature? I’d accept that descriptor. People like that are only fit for cathartic flamewars. Reminds me of the time Sluts4Choice over on Livejournal made this one anti cry by mocking her “womb of doom” (she had lots of miscarriages and made “angel babies” websites for them) whenever she came a-trolling. She was such a classist, anti-sex bitch that I still don’t really feel bad about the whole thing (alright, maybe I’m a tiny bit ashamed). Just for grins, here’s in illustration of “Angelinica Preciouslove Faithchild Smith”:

     

    \./

     

    See her little wings? Bwahaha!

  • rebellious-grrl

    Did you see this last year? A list of the thirty Republican legislators who voted against Senator Al Franken’s anti-rape amendment to the 2010 Defense Appropriations bill.

    Pro-rape republicans, http://www.republicansforrape.org/legislators/

  • arekushieru

    Which doesn’t include the fact that many elderly regret *having* children, when their existing children don’t want to have anything to do with them (either through abuse on the former’s part or apathy on the latter’s).

  • datasnake

    I agree, but I just want to add another point. A lot of the jargon used (i.e. “patriarchy”) is confusing and off-putting to outsiders, myself included. This is probably (I’m not a psychiatrist, so I’m pretty much winging it here) because of the use of such language raises an image of more esoteric forms of feminism, such as Separatist, Gender, or for that matter Radical feminism, all of which seem, at least on first impressions, to be predicated on the notion that ALL men are the oppressor and women the victim (said notion was actually the first thing that came to mind when I saw the word “patriarchy”). While it is undeniably true that SOME men are oppressive and evil, I believe that they are a minority, as I suspect most people here would agree. The problem is that emotional responses don’t necessarily match logical assessment, which brings us to the central theorem of this post (not actually a quote of another post, I just want to highlight it):

    A member of any group X will instinctively interpret the statement “X are Y” not as “some X are Y” but as “all X are Y”, which will in turn be perceived as “YOU are Y”, which, if Y is a negative quality, will put them on the defensive, even if they know intellectually that the statement was meant differently.

    For a concrete example, I subconsciously interpret the statement “men are oppressors” (essentially the definition of “patriarchy”) not as “SOME men are oppressors” (which I doubt anyone would deny), but as “YOU are an oppressor”, which I find off-putting, to say the least. It was only after I had taken a step back and examined what was actually said that I noticed the discrepancy, prompting the bout of introspection that led to this (probably overly verbose) post. The thing to remember is, I agree with pretty much every article I’ve read here, and I was STILL mildly alienated by the talk of a “patriarchal system”.

    Connotations matter more that logically-minded people (myself admittedly one of them) usually think. Consider the following two hypothetical sentences (apologies for the insensitive language, it’s the easiest way to get my point across):

    1. “Hey, you’re from Mexico, can you tell me what <Spanish phrase> means?”

    vs.

    2. “Hey, you’re a wetback, can you tell me what <Spanish phrase> means?”

    In both cases, the definition (“a person from Mexico”) is the same, but the first way of putting it is FAR more likely to get positive results, because it is less likely to alienate the other person. 

  • arekushieru

    I get your point, DataSnake, but, when we refer to the patriarchy, we’re referring to systems not individual men.  All of us, including women, are part of the patriarchy.  True, many (but which often, actually, seems like most) men don’t *support* it, but they are all privileged in that respect.

  • ldan

    Exactly, it’s the institutionalized system at play Patriarchy actually does not refer to only men as oppressers, for example. Plenty of women buy into the system for various reasons. Both men and women can benefit from this system, both have to hand over some trade-offs to do so; but it concentrates real power to only one gender.

     

    Likewise, mainstream feminism (or at least my exposure to what I assume is mainstream) is very emphatic on the point that the patriarchy hurts men too, just in very different ways than it hurts women. Men are part of, and benefit from, this structure, whether or not they are willing to admit to those benefits.

     

    I suppose to those without much exposure, and/or an upbringing that demonizes feminism, ‘patriarchy’ can easily have been presented as jargon used by those man-hating feminazis, etc. I imagine it gets about as knee-jerk a response as ‘keep your legs together’ is going to get from me. (Quite possibly a literal knee-jerk response if delivered in-person. I can’t punch for crap, but I kick like a mule.)

  • ldan

    The parallel (or rather non-parallel) with the LGBT movement is an interesting point. And it’s notable that the ‘T’ in the acronym hasn’t come nearly as far as the rest.

     

    I think one of the strong points beyond greater visibility in media has been the wllingness of more and more LGBT folks to be ‘out,’ and make it clear that they’re right there next to everyone else. It’s harder to demonize a group when you’re on the PTA with members of that group and like them, when they live next door and lend you their lawnmower, etc. Because of the stigma, I think there are still a lot of folks unable to realize that with 1/3 of women having abortions, it’s impossible that they don’t know any on exactly that level.

  • mechashiva

    I think it is harder for women to be “out” about having an abortion because it is an incidental thing rather than something that is an integral part of their identities. So, unless the subject of abortion comes up, there’s not much reason for women to talk about their experiences.

  • crowepps

    Certainly abortions which resulted from problems with pregnancies or which followed up miscarriages or were done reluctantly because they were necessary for economic reasons may be felt to be subjects that are intensely personal and emotional.  While some people seem to have no problem at all sharing every intimacy of their lives with others, some women are very private about their feelings and may be very uncomfortable talking about traumatic events in her own life and inviting public discussion of them.

     

    That is particularly true on the internet, where such sharing invariably seems to unlease a flood of vulgar, stupid posts full of condemnation, shaming, second guessing, mansplaining and other stupidities.  We’ve certainly seen that hostility here in the comments on breastfeeding, caesarians, midwives, circumcisions, birth control and every other personal decision any poster has been willing to discuss.