Saturday, January 31, 2009

Funding women's healthcare? Pah, you PATRIARCH, it means NOTHING if I don't get a pony!

Man, Twisty Faster is the freakin' queen of hating people who are on her side.

Sure we have the most liberal president in decades or possibly ever, but waaaahhh, he's not liberal enouuuuugh. He only rescinded the Gag Rule, he didn't reverse all of world culture and history in his first two weeks, wahhh.

I get that he didn’t want to stir up a big partisan whoop-dee-doo, but he either believes women are human or he doesn’t. If he does believe women are human, I wouldn’t mind if he called a press conference during drive time and declared it openly.

Uh... I think that actually kinda goes without saying, lady. And calling a press conference to declare this might come off just a teensy bit crazypants?

So it is perpetuated, this national myth that “we” — meaning “we dudes” — “protect” women by meting out little bits of empowerment here and there as we see fit. You know what? Fuck “protection.” And fuck “empowerment,” too.

You know what, Twisty? I'd rather be protected and have power than wail about semantics all day.

Don’t misunderstand me; I’m as super-pro-birth control as the next spinster aunt, but this rhetoric about “reducing unwanted pregnancies” continues to allow the argument — nay, even promotes the argument — that abortion is bad.

Well, it is. Abortion is painful, expensive, is liable to screw with your head emotionally, and no matter what the law says your family and partner may try or succeed in stopping you from getting one or punishing you for having one. None of this means it should be illegal--but it's not good. It's better than having an unwanted child--but much worse than just not getting pregnant in the first place.

The comments are, as usual, right off the deep end.


  1. Now I have to find out if we have an adequate supply of popcorn.

  2. I don't know how anyone could think that abortion isn't bad. Nobody gets an abortion because they want one, they get it because it's the best of a stack of bad options.

    I mean, forget about the fact that there's another (potential) human being involved in this situation; even if you consider it as a purely medical procedure, it's better to prevent an unwanted pregnancy than terminate it. Termination should be an option, of course, but it isn't the optimal one. It's like saying that because heart surgery is an option, no one should bother looking after their cardiovascular health.

    People like Twisty like to be angry. Which is fine when there's a legitimate problem, but when they start fuming over people helping out their side, it makes me think that they're just pissed off because nobody who isn't in their club thinks that they should be in charge. They consider this sexism instead of evidence that the rest of the country isn't fucking insane.

  3. aebhel: What I really love is the logical catch inherent in the way she frames it. If you don't 100% support the right of women to do whatever they want with their own private uterus... then you believe that women are not human. Therefore, if you believe that abortion is bad, then you are catering to the idea that women are not human.

    The potential rights of the fetus, which is definitely going to be another human unless miscarried or aborted, aren't just not considered, they're logically ruled out of the discussion entirely.

  4. Yeah, that always bugs me, because they've essentially framed the whole discussion so that if the potential rights of the fetus matter at all to you, you're anti-abortion and anti-woman.

    I mean, sure, what I do with the contents of my uterus should be my business. But when the contents of my uterus include another human being...well, that complicates things, doesn't it? Twisty and her ilk would rather shut down discussion than try to work out the complexities inherent in the issue.

    For the record, I do think abortion should be an available option. But that doesn't mean that I have to believe--or pretend to believe in public--that it's a good thing. What pisses me off about people like that is that they have this attitude of 'oh, well, you can think what you like but don't say it where anyone can hear or you will hurt The Cause'. Solidarity is only good up to a point.

  5. Jesus Christ. You're all so fucking reasonable.

  6. Dear Holly,

    I love you so much. My only regret is that your awesomeness is on that 'other' coast.


    A straight male NYC feminist who finds radfems frustrating.

  7. I don't know, I definitely think bypass surgery is a good thing. But I still think reducing the need for them is even better. Despite no fetuses involved.

    Just my two cents...

  8. Aebhel - "People like Twisty like to be angry." I've been wondering what all the people who'd spent eight lovely years with things to complain about would do now that their side is in power... now I have an answer. Complain that it's no good to make things better because it's all useless unless they're perfect.

    LabRat - Maybe we should only allow abortions of male fetuses.

    Aebhel - What bothers me is that these people seem utterly unwilling to accept any "good enough" solutions. They can't countenance the idea "abortion sucks, but compared to raising an unwanted child alone and broke it's good enough," so they have to change it into "abortion is the bestest!" before it meets the no-compromises-whatsoever criteria.

    It's the same reason they're hostile to any advance in women's rights other than massive catastrophic revolution.

    Anonymous #2 - No, bypass surgery sucks. It's painful, it's extremely expensive, there's a serious risk of complications or even death, you'll need to take medications for the rest of your life, and your heart will never work quite as well as it did before.

    Bypass surgery is terrible; it's simply better than dying.

  9. Twisty is right, though, that it's unfortunate Barack Obama didn't say in his press release something like, "Abortion is a human right that we have every reason to support." But the fact that he didn't says more about the pro-life members of Congress he'll have to work with than about him.

    Contrary to Twisty, I don't mind that he said rescinding this order would "promote global economic development." There's so much suffering in the world I don't want the government spending money on solving crises unless it's going to help America in some way.

  10. This is one of the things that profoundly disturbs me about abortion. I think that society as an interest in protecting some individuals that cannot protect themselves. Children, the elderly, the sick, the handicapped in some ways--be they that way for some temporary lack of power (kids, sick) or permanent lack thereof.

    Abortion affects more than one person. And there is a big difference, (really big) between a blastocyst and a 9-month gestation fetus. I perceive some people as being abortion absolutists--anything goes until it's born. I've seen enough peri-partum infanticide to be very uncomfortable about that.

  11. William - I think you would be hard up to find those people would would want abortion rights right up to the point of birth. That's really just a myth to paint abortions advocates as radicals.

    I feel the main prerogative for folks who want abortion labeled as a 'right' is to avoid the whole good/bad debate in the first place. Because neither side thinks abortion is 'good', but sometimes its the only option considering the circumstances. And that option needs to be protected and assessable.

    - syd

  12. **sorry
    needs to be accessible

  13. William - I think you would be hard up to find those people would would want abortion rights right up to the point of birth. That's really just a myth to paint abortions advocates as radicals.

    Really? Why don't you go ask Twisty at what point abortions should no longer be legal? And for that matter, ask her about partial-birth abortion, which often involves fetuses that in another context would be considered "preemies" and nursed to health? Do you think she's in favor of a ban on that?

    As long as there AREN'T such limits, then some people are going to have very late-term abortions. If you want to protect abortion as an absolute right, then you have to deal with that, not sweep it aside as a "myth". Likewise, you have to deal with "the whole good/bad" thing, not pretend it's a nonissue.

    I happen to agree with you in terms of ultimate position, but these kinds of arguments don't fool anyone serious on the other side. You don't score debating points by pretending major ethical issues don't exist.

  14. LabRat

    You're right. Right now, one can inflict gross bodily harm on a baby in utero, and the exact same procedure done on a premature infant, is aggravated homicide with a death specification in my state.

    Yes, the ability for women to control their own bodies and reproduction is important. It is also important to protect persons who cannot protect themselves, like children.

    Now, for some folks, the question is "when does the soul enter the body"--these, in my opinion, put too much weight on the blastocyst at the expense of the mother's rights. Personally, I'm not worried about the soul thing. I do feel it is wrong to treat people as means to an end. It's as wrong to make a woman an incubator against her will and it is wrong to consider fetuses disposable.