The Raving Theist

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Pro-Choice, Pro-Rape

February 23, 2009 | 65 Comments

“Anti-choice sentiment is part of the rape culture, of course, because like rape apologists, anti-choicers view women as subhuman and our bodies as eligible for being commandeered for others to their own ends,” says Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon. In this case, the occasion of her outrage against pro-lifers is director Roman Polanski, who drugged and raped a 13-year old girl in 1977 and is now trying to return to the U.S. after three decades as a fugitive. The post prattles on almost endlessly, but the upshot is that Marcotte is angry that “Polanski’s defenders,” presumably pro-life, “clearly romanticize him as a masculine rebel.”

Marcotte doesn’t name any of these “defenders.” But I think it’s a stretch to conclude that they’re all pro-life. A really big stretch. To begin with, Polanski’s primary defender is himself, and Marcotte herself acknowleges that his Rosemary’s Baby is one of the most “feminist” (i.e. pro-choice) films she’s seen — “it reads like a tale where the patriarchy is literally Satanic.”

Furthermore, Polanski was a part of Hollywood culture, not a particularly pro-life culture. While he was in exile for child rape, Hollywood bestowed upon him its highest honor, an Academy Award. The award was accepted on his behalf by his good friend, Harrison Ford. Now, I can’t say for certain that Ford isn’t pro-life, but he’s identified his religion as “Democrat,” contributed heavily to Barack Obama, and is engaged to Calista Flockhardt, an official celebrity endorser of Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood hasn’t issued an offical statement about Polanski. I don’t know if they romanticize him as a masculine rebel, but one thing is clear. They’re one of the world’s biggest defenders of child rapists.

Comments

65 Responses to “Pro-Choice, Pro-Rape”

  1. Lily
    February 23rd, 2009 @ 8:45 am

    I see Amanda, whom I have not read in years, is still angry and lashing out at one of her favorite targets.

    Anti-choice sentiment is part of the rape culture, of course, because like rape apologists, anti-choicers view women as subhuman and our bodies as eligible for being commandeered for others to their own ends.

    This doesn’t even rise to the level of a cheap shot. It is *really* irrational. The fact that she thinks we would have made an exception for her mother is one of those remarks that makes me wonder if anger hasn’ long since pushed her over the edge.

    Having said all that, I must say that I am basically in agreement with what she wrote about Polanski. It is infuriating that people write off the crimes of celebrities. It is infuriating that anyone would find excuses for rape much less child rape.

    But it is equally infuriating and irrational to equate prolifers with rape defenders.

  2. Catholic Cat
    February 23rd, 2009 @ 8:59 am

    “This doesn’t even rise to the level of a cheap shot. It is *really* irrational. The fact that she thinks we would have made an exception for her mother is one of those remarks that makes me wonder if anger hasn’ long since pushed her over the edge.”

    What has Amanda said that hasn’t edged on irrational?
    In any other world, any pre-internet world, she would be labeled for what she is: autistic.
    In this world she has an outlet to go on and on with all of the crazy thoughts that fill her head: the internet.
    And to make matters worse; in this world where those who suffer from mental illness should receive the support and help they need, instead they are applauded and cheered on. Providing positive feedback for their socially disconnected behavior.

  3. Andy
    February 23rd, 2009 @ 11:04 am

    Ah, so now pro-life = pro-rape?

    Pop quiz:

    Which of the following is more likely to drive to PP to procure an abortion for his lover?

    A. A man who raped an underage girl.

    B. A man who hasn’t raped an underage girl.

    Really, now.

  4. Christina
    February 23rd, 2009 @ 11:46 am

    Funny, I read “Pro-choice sentiment is part of the rape culture, of course, because like rape apologists, pro-choicers view women as subhuman and our bodies as eligible for being commandeered for others to their own ends.”

    My first thought was, “That’s a good way to describe a view that thinks women should poison & break their bodies so men can use them whenever they wish.” It made the rest of your post very confusing…

  5. Christina
    February 23rd, 2009 @ 11:57 am

    …and upon further reflection I realize that I read “pro-contraception”. Although breaking one’s body (by ending a natural event early) and poisoning one’s soul still works.

    Perhaps a bit over the top to compare them to rape apologists though, since most have not considered the true implications of their beliefs.

  6. Skeptimal
    February 23rd, 2009 @ 12:42 pm

    The anti-choice, pro-rape thing is definitely a bizarre leap. The most common driver for being anti-abortion is religion, and to my knowledge, most religious people (even Muslims) don’t favor rape.

    Unfortunately, RA/RT’s leap to say pro-choice = pro-rape is equally bizarre. This is not the reasoning of a skeptic; even an angry one. I’m aware that Planned Parenthood has been found in some circumstances to put privacy over the protection of abused girls, and there’s no excuse for that. But that doesn’t equate to being pro-rape.

  7. Lily
    February 23rd, 2009 @ 1:05 pm

    It doesn’t take a leap to say that pro-choice=pro-rape. That is the inevitable conclusion to be drawn from Marcotte’s remark that “anti-choice sentiment is part of the rape culture”.

  8. Lily
    February 23rd, 2009 @ 1:05 pm

    Sorry! Gah! That should have been:

    It doesn’t take a leap to say that pro-life = pro-rape.

  9. Melissa
    February 23rd, 2009 @ 1:16 pm

    On the few occasions in which I have read her posts, all I can say is that she seems filled with rage, bitterness, and misery. Obviously, one cannot expect anything other than that considering that she hates and blasphemies the Spirit from which better fruit comes. When I read her words, I pray for her and ask for healing. I don’t know what she’s been through, but no one with that much rage has had a very happy life. She has a lot of pain inside, and it brings tears to my eyes to see how miserable she is. She is certainly the kind of person I would love to befriend and talk to/listen to because in so many ways, she is just screaming for someone to hear her and begging for someone to care about her pain inside. But, her hatred pushes everyone away and she definitely won’t let anyone come close to her. Prayer is the only thing that can break down those walls – and we all should offer up some prayers on her behalf.

  10. Pansy Moss
    February 23rd, 2009 @ 2:37 pm

    What the heck is a “rape apologist”? There are “pro-rape” people out there?

    Anyone I know personally, most people who happen to be pro-life can very rarely say the name “Roman Polanski” without following it with an “eeewwwww” in the same sentence.

    Most of Amanda Marcotte’s posts make me think she’s insane.

  11. frustrated(mk)
    February 23rd, 2009 @ 4:54 pm

    Melissa,

    I have the same reaction when I read her blog. She’s a very “sad” woman. I have prayed for her too. I didn’t know there were that many unhappy, angry people out there in the world, until I went to her site.

    With God, all things are possible. Who knows, maybe one day our prays will be answered and those walls will come tumbling down. I’d like to get stock in Kleenex when that happens, as I imagine the tear down will be followed by buckets of tears. If she only knew and believed that she was lovable.

    As for Roman Polanski…ewwwwwwwww…

  12. Christina
    February 23rd, 2009 @ 10:41 pm

    Actually, pro-choice=pro-rape isn’t a stretch — the whole pro-choice mantra is that there is no such thing as objective right or wrong, that morality is totally relative. If killing is okay as long as you’re personally okay with doing the killing, then raping should be okay as long as you’re personally okay with the raping. There’s no more need to ask the woman about to be raped if she consents than there is to ask a fetus if he consents to be aborted.

  13. Lily
    February 24th, 2009 @ 2:36 am

    That is quite a stretch, Christina. I am not sure that pro-choicers believe that there is no objective right or wrong. Some of them may, of course, since some people do believe that. However, most of the pro-choicers deny that they are killing a human in any meaningful sense of the word and certainly not at a stage where it has claims to any sort of rights that the woman doesn’t grant. Rape by its nature is a “right” that is never granted by its victims.

  14. Daniel M
    February 24th, 2009 @ 10:33 am

    bad form, bad form indeed. I have nothing good to say about this rant as it has no redeeming features, and most of the replies are similarly bereft of common sense and courtesy.

    Almost nothing it says is true, bar the fact that Polanski admitted raping a 13 year old child and is on the run from it – a fact which nobody in their right mind thinks is a good thing – and received an award for his work on a movie, which the academy picked up on his behalf.

    It attempts to twist outrage from pro-choice people into saying that pro-choice is pro-rape through the magic of handwavium.

    Bad form.

  15. Christina
    February 25th, 2009 @ 1:54 am

    Lily, criminals dehumanize their victims just the same way prochoicers dehumanize fetuses. If it’s okay to dehumanize a fetus so you can kill it, how can it somehow NOT be okay to dehumanize a woman before you rape or kill HER?

    You can’t say that “In Context A, it’s okay to decide if for yourself if what you’re doing is killing a person”, and then say that this ISN’T okay in other contexts. Either there is an objective measure of who’s human, or there’s not. Prochoicers try to have it both ways, to say that ONLY THEY are entitled to determine who’s human and who’s just trash, and ONLY in the circumstances THEY choose, but want to deny other people the right to dehumanize the people THEY want to kill.

    Either people are people and it’s wrong to kill them, or everybody gets to decide on their own who’s human and when they get to kill. Pick one and stick with it and quit trying to carve out an exemption for your own pet crime.

  16. JoAnna
    February 25th, 2009 @ 4:59 pm

    Christina, the difference is that most pro-choicers don’t think that they are dehumanizing a fetus. They usually say that a fetus is a “prospective human,” not an actual human, or language of that sort — or they say that while fetuses are technically human beings, they aren’t yet entitled to the rights of a human being. Or they say that while a baby is in the womb, the mother’s rights trump the fetus’ rights.

    Now, I don’t agree with any of the above. However, one thing that both the pro-choice and pro-life camps can agree on is that an already-born human being has rights, and one of those is the right to give or withold consent to sexual activity (and that humans under a certain age automatically withold consent).

  17. Prochoicer
    February 25th, 2009 @ 5:46 pm

    It would certainly be irrational to assert that Polanski’s defenders are “presumably pro-life.” But that’s not what Amanda said. Nor did she say that all rape apologists are pro-life or that all pro-lifers are rape apologists.

    What she says is that the attitudes of rape apologists and anti-choicers “stem from the same misogynist place.” THAT is the point that Raving Theist should have responded to, instead of reading ridiculous things into Amanda’s post and implying that she said them.

    I agree with Amanda, by the way. Anti-choicers and people who wink at rape have things in common. They do not respect women’s sovereignty over their own bodies. They do not value a woman’s consent regarding what happens to her body. They believe that it is okay for women’s bodies to be (in Amanda’s words) “commandeered for others to their own ends.”

  18. Prochoicer
    February 25th, 2009 @ 6:24 pm

    Speaking of irrational conclusions, it is crazy for some of the commenters on this thread (Melissa and Frustrated) to presume they have any knowledge of Amanda’s internal emotional state. You have no idea how she feels on the inside and it is none of your business.

    I also don’t believe for a minute that Melissa actually tears up over Amanda’s supposed inner pain. Such comments are a disingenuous way of trying to discredit her without actually engaging her ideas.

  19. frustrated(mk)
    February 25th, 2009 @ 6:29 pm

    Prochoicer,

    You mean the way pro choice woman think it is okay to “commandeer their child’s body for their own ends?”

    So who exactly is it that thinks we can “comandeer another person’s body”? I didn’t get these women pregnant. They did that all on their own. But the new life that is created, is not culpable for the irresponsibility of their mothers. Yet you feel it is okay to excuse the mother’s choice to get pregnant, and “commandeer the body” of the unborn child to suit the means of the irresponsible mother?

    Okay, I think I’ve got it now. Commandeering is okay for irresponsible woman, but not okay for rapists and not okay if one is trying to protect the life of an unborn child.

    Funny logic you have there, but what are you gonna do?

  20. Prochoicer
    February 25th, 2009 @ 7:04 pm

    Frustrated(mk)

    So who exactly is it that thinks we can “comandeer another person’s body”?

    People who want to force a woman to endure pregnancy and childbirth against her will.

    I didn’t get these women pregnant. They did that all on their own.

    Heh. This part made me smile. :)

    But the new life that is created, is not culpable for the irresponsibility of their mothers.

    I don’t assume that a woman who gets pregnant unintentionally is irresponsible. More importantly, I also don’t think culpability of either the woman or the fetus is the issue.

    Yet you feel it is okay to excuse the mother’s choice to get pregnant, and “commandeer the body” of the unborn child to suit the means of the irresponsible mother?

    I don’t think women have abortions are “commandeering” the zygote, nor have most of them made a “choice” to get pregnant, nor do I think it is my place to “excuse” the woman or not.

    Funny logic you have there, but what are you gonna do?

    I’m going to go home and have a beer!

  21. frustrated(mk)
    February 25th, 2009 @ 7:05 pm

    Prochoice,

    I also don’t believe for a minute that Melissa actually tears up over Amanda’s supposed inner pain. Such comments are a disingenuous way of trying to discredit her without actually engaging her ideas.

    that is so funny…you said this, right after you said this:

    it is crazy for some of the commenters on this thread (Melissa and Frustrated) to presume they have any knowledge of Amanda’s internal emotional state. You have no idea how she feels on the inside and it is none of your business.

    Priceless.

    So you can presume to have knowledge of Melissa and my internal emotional state from one comment, but we have no right to do the same for someone that posts hateful post after hateful post for years, in the public eye, there for everyone to see? I’d say she made it our business.

    Again, your reasoning is definitely unique.

  22. frustrated(mk)
    February 25th, 2009 @ 7:09 pm

    More importantly, I also don’t think culpability of either the woman or the fetus is the issue.

    Of course you don’t. That was the point.

    I don’t think women have abortions are “commandeering” the zygote, nor have most of them made a “choice” to get pregnant, nor do I think it is my place to “excuse” the woman or not.

    Which is exactly why I question your reasoning abilities.

    You DO think that it is your place to allow one human being to take the life of another. You DO ignore the fact that 99.9% of women get pregnant by their own actions and choices. But you DON’T think it is your place to excuse the woman’s irresponsibility…this made me smile :)

  23. frustrated(mk)
    February 25th, 2009 @ 7:14 pm

    I don’t think women have abortions are “commandeering” the zygote, nor have most of them made a “choice” to get pregnant, nor do I think it is my place to “excuse” the woman or not.

    And I don’t think requiring a woman to take responsibility for the life she helped to create is “commandeering her body” either. She didn’t get pregnant by choice? Oh, are we only talking about rape scenarios? So you’re against abortion except in the case of rape? Because in all other sceanrios the sex was consensual, the resulting pregnancy was natural consequence.

    Do you also see no connection between people who choose to drink and alcoholism, people that overeat and become obese?

    Maybe Christina is onto to something. If people aren’t responsible for the consequences of their actions, then why isn’t rape okay? I mean the guy can say “I didn’t choose to rape her. I only chose to have sex with her against her will. If she wants to claim I am responsible for the emotional trauma she has suffered, she’s wrong. I had nothing to do with that. All I did was force her to have sex with me. I didn’t force her to feel bad or cry…”

  24. Christina
    February 25th, 2009 @ 7:42 pm

    “Anti-choicers and people who wink at rape have things in common. They do not respect women’s sovereignty over their own bodies.”

    But abortion is, by definition DOING SOMETHING FATAL TO SOMEBODY ELSE. What part of that can’t you understand?

  25. Christina
    February 25th, 2009 @ 7:45 pm

    Frustrated, you are missing the mark just a tad. If the prochoice idea is that the right to decide what to do with your own body is absolute, to the point where you can inflict that choice on somebody else’s body (in this case the fetus) then they are being inconsistent when they say that the rapist does not have the same absolute sovereignty over HIS body as well. If the woman’s right to “bodily sovereignty” includes the right to have somebody else’s body reduced to a bloody puree, then they can’t have a double standard and say that a man’s right to “bodily sovereignty” can’t include the right to have his choices impact somebody else’s body as well.

  26. Prochoicer
    February 25th, 2009 @ 8:32 pm

    Frustrated at #21 —

    I was wondering if anyone was going to pick up on that “discrepancy” and didn’t think anyone would. Props to you.

    But I don’t agree that my statement about Melissa’s specific claim to have teared up is comparable to her assumption that Amanda has a wounded inner psyche. It is fair to comment on the credibility of a specific claim or comment on its own merits. I think it is ridiculous to presume knowledge of someone’s inner emotional world based on her political writing.

  27. Prochoicer
    February 25th, 2009 @ 9:04 pm

    Frustrated,

    And I don’t think requiring a woman to take responsibility for the life she helped to create is “commandeering her body” either. She didn’t get pregnant by choice? Oh, are we only talking about rape scenarios? So you’re against abortion except in the case of rape? Because in all other sceanrios the sex was consensual, the resulting pregnancy was natural consequence.

    So any time a woman has consensual sex, she is “culpable” and therefore should be prepared to give her body over for nine months of pregnancy followed by childbirth followed by the emotional, financial, and time-consuming responsility to care for or arrange for the care of a child? It is “irresponsible to have sex”
    at any point in one’s life except on those occasions when you want to conceive? I should tell my husband to forget intimacy for the next 10-15 years until I hit menopause?

    Now in fairness to you, you might be associating “irresponsible” women with those who have sex without using adequate birth control — though you haven’t actually said this and I don’t know if you even approve of contraception. But if you do, I suppose you could call me “responsible” since I have managed to avoid unwanted pregnancy during the roughly 20 years I have been sexually active. But I have all sorts of advantages that millions of women around the world don’t have, advantages that allow me to be “responsible”: (1) Knowledge regarding the most reliable means of contraception: Many women and girls don’t have this knowledge or are deliberately kept in ignorance regarding this subject; (2) Money to spend on reliable contraception which can get really pricey, especially on a monthly basis; (3) Access to reliable contraception via a doctor’s office or pharmacy; (4) Assertiveness. Many girls and women in our own country and elsewhere are conditioned to be people-pleasing and deferential, especially to men. One important to tool to prevent unwanted pregnancy is the assertiveness to say no to someone who is pressuring you or begging you for sex when you don’t want it or the assertiveness to insist on waiting until you are on the pill and to insist on condom use.

    Then, even if you have all of those advantages I have, there is still the possibility of messing up. The condom breaks. You have final exams, and forget to take your birth control pills. Your birth control simply fails for whatever reason. But under your world view, there are no “excuses” because the fertilized egg trumps the woman’s control over her own body. And women must resign themselves to lives ruled by the vagaries of chance or else remain lifelong virgins.

  28. Lily
    February 25th, 2009 @ 10:18 pm

    I realize that you asked mk but perhaps I can chime in. You wrote:

    So any time a woman has consensual sex, she is “culpable” and therefore should be prepared to give her body over for nine months of pregnancy followed by childbirth followed by the emotional, financial, and time-consuming responsility to care for or arrange for the care of a child? It is “irresponsible to have sex”
    at any point in one’s life except on those occasions when you want to conceive?

    No, it is irresponsible to have sex, if you are not willing and prepared to have a baby which is the natural outcome of that act. Not every sexual act will result in a pregnancy, of course. But, since the biological purpose of sexual intercourse is procreation, one should not be surprised to find oneself pregnant.

    This is where we think that you and so many others have gone off the rail. You assume that it is right and natural to sever sex and procreation. It isn’t. I don’t know if you are old enough to remember the days before Roe v Wade but I am. I have seen women in this country reduced to mere objects by the so-called sexual revolution. Since I work in academia, I have been watching for decades as young women accept that one night stands and quick, meaningless hook-ups are the way things are. They assume that their sense of alienation– their sense of loss is a reflection of something wrong with them. It isn’t.

    Our degradation was complete when men actually turned women against their own flesh and blood. It is no accident that the E. Stanton Cady generation of feminists thought abortion the single greatest crime men perpetrate against women. It is unnatural for a mother to kill her own young. Who profits from abortion? Why are men between 18-44 the most fervent supporters of unfettered abortion?

    So we fill our bodies with all sorts of hormones and try to avoid the natural end of sex. The sheer number of baby boomer women writing books and articles bemoaning their “choices” because they thought they could have it all would be funny, if it weren’t so tragic. If you don’t get the big things right, like the purpose of sex, marriage and family, you aren’t likely to get much of anything else right.

  29. Kelly Clark
    February 25th, 2009 @ 11:33 pm

    However, one thing that both the pro-choice and pro-life camps can agree on is that an already-born human being has rights…

    Really. Then why is it necessary to fight for “Born Alive” laws to protect the life (that would be a “right”) of children who have survived abortion? “Already-born” children in your words (as, I presume, opposed to unborn children.)

    Pro-choicers do NOT seem to believe that “already born” human beings have rights.

  30. Prochoicer
    February 25th, 2009 @ 11:35 pm

    Lily,

    Thanks for the interesting response.

    Your response seems to confirm my assumption about the views of pro-lifers on this site — that women need to choose between life-long virginity or having their lives and health constantly disrupted by pregnancy. In order to be “responsible,” I would have kick my husband out of bed until about 2020, scein I am not willing or prepared to have a child.

    I don’t agree with you that sexual freedom causes the degradation of women. Rather, cultural attitudes of contempt for women, attitudes that existed long before the sexual revolution, have inevitably expressed themselves in the new sexual context of the modern age. In other words: sex isn’t the problem, contempt for women is the problem. The solution is cultural — the propagation among young men and women of the notion that women are full human beings with a capacity for sexual agency that must be respected. By sexual agency, I mean sexual choices women make out of an ethic of self-respect as well as respect for others; this can include a range of behaviors from casual hook-ups to abstinence.

    There is nothing about unmarried sex or casual sex that is inherently degrading or hurtful to women. I have been sexually active since my unmarried teen years and have never once felt my dignity suffer for it. To automatically assume that I, or others like me, have been “used” by men is profoundly insulting because it is denying our capacity for sexual decision-making free of coercion; it denies our nature as sexual beings.

    Women can and do decide to have sex for their own pleasure and their own purposes; similarly, women can and do decide to seek abortions. I strongly disagree with the idea expressed in your second to last paragraph that men are somehow pulling the strings in perpetrating abortion on women. I don’t buy that for a second. Go to a pro-choice rally some time and you will see hundreds of WOMEN passionately expressing their desire for the right to choose. You may disagree with us, but we are not idiotic dupes who are unable to comprehend our own best interests.

    As for the cottage industry of women bemoaning their “choices” in not getting married, not having kids, etc. — sorry, I have no patience it. These women inevitably cast blame on “feminism” because they made choices they wish they hadn’t. To these women, I say the feminist movement gave you the freedom to do all sorts of things and make all sorts of decisions you wouldn’t have been able to make a generation before. One of the risks of freedom is the risk of making choices you’ll regret. If you regret your choices, I feel bad for you — but don’t preach to me, don’t assume I am anything like you, and don’t blame your regrets on a social justice movement that reaped unprecedented opportunities for you and me and millions of other women.

    And on that note, good night! I do appreciate your comment, because I think it helps flesh out some of the attitudes and assumptions on both sides of this discussion.

  31. Prochoicer
    February 25th, 2009 @ 11:36 pm

    Kelly,

    Already born children are protected by murder statutes.

  32. JoAnna
    February 25th, 2009 @ 11:51 pm

    Kelly — you’re right. I should have said, “Already-born humans who haven’t survived an abortion attempt,” because Pres. Obama & co. definitely seem to think that babies who HAVE survived an abortion attempt have the right to die.

  33. frustrated(mk)
    February 26th, 2009 @ 6:28 am

    Prochoicer,

    So any time a woman has consensual sex, she is “culpable” and therefore should be prepared to give her body over for nine months of pregnancy

    Yes.

    followed by childbirth followed by the emotional, financial, and time-consuming responsility to care for

    No.

    or arrange for the care of a child?

    Yes.

    It is “irresponsible to have sex”
    at any point in one’s life except on those occasions when you want to conceive?

    No.
    Not “want” to conceive. But be aware that you might. That it is a NATURAL consequence. It is then your responsibility to “deal” with the consequence IN A RESPONSIBLE manner. Which does not mean kill the child.
    That is irresponsible.

    I should tell my husband to forget intimacy for the next 10-15 years until I hit menopause?

    No. You should tell your husband that if you become pregnant in spite of taking precautions, you need to know what he wants to do. Keep the child or place it for adoption.

    Now in fairness to you, you might be associating “irresponsible” women with those who have sex without using adequate birth control

    We’re not talking about taking responsibility before the fact, but rather after the fact. Whether you use birth control or not doesn’t really change the fact that a new human being has come into existence. We are talking about responsibility for the CONSEQUENCE of your sexual act, whether or not it was with contraception. Since you have all of those advantages, you also have the advantage of knowing that contraception doesn’t always work. If you consent to having sex in spite of this knowledge, then you are consenting to the consequences of said act.

    But under your world view, there are no “excuses” because the fertilized egg trumps the woman’s control over her own body. And women must resign themselves to lives ruled by the vagaries of chance or else remain lifelong virgins.

    By jove, I think you’ve got it!

    Sh*t happens. Deal with it. From the minute you say “yes” to sex, you are accepting the responsibility for all and any consequences that might occur. If you aren’t willing to do that, then you should forgo the action.

    If you drive a car, you are accepting any and all consequences that might occur. If you don’t, then you shouldn’t drive a car.

    No one plans on getting into a car accident. If you do, do you have the right to eliminate the other driver, so that you do not have to pay damages? Or by getting behind the wheel, do you agree to take responsibility for any thing that happens?

    Basically, having sex, is akin to hitting that little button on your screen that says “I have read and agree to all terms”…

  34. Prochoicer
    February 26th, 2009 @ 7:19 am

    Frustrated(mk) —

    Wow. Just — wow.

    In your view, a woman really does have only a choice between slavery or life-long virginity. If my birth control fails or I slip up, that’s it. My body for the next nine months must be given over to the service of a fertilized egg which, at the point of conception, has no brain, no thoughts, no consciousness, no ability to feel pain, and no past. In your view, a fertilized egg is more important than my autonomy and my healh.

    It took me a long-time to understand why feminists call the “pro-life” viewpoint misogynistic, since I have certainly known pro-lifers who don’t appear to have a subjective feelings of hatred toward women. But I think it is fair — even if you don’t feel that you hate women – to say that your beliefs constitute a fundamental contempt for our sex (though I assume you are yourself a woman). This idea that, “Too bad, so sad, this egg gets to leech off your body for almost a year against your will because you engaged in the almost universal human activity of sex” tells me that you don’t think I or my daughters or any other women are very important — certainly not as important as my egg once the sperm hits it.

    I think this idea of culpable life vs. “innocent” life is a smokescreen. Having sex is something almost everyone does. The most die-hard “abstinence only” advocates believe that most women SHOULD marry and have sexually intimate married lives. Yet when our interests are set on a collision course with the development of a zygote, you would cast even a married woman like me as the “culpable” party. The truth is that when the interests of the woman and the interests of the zygote conflict, you think the woman should surrender her self-interest because she’s a woman. You think that by nature I should be resigned to the pain and risk of pregnancy and childbirth because that is my lot in life.

  35. Lily
    February 26th, 2009 @ 8:37 am

    Pro choicer, In an odd sort of way, you have nailed it, even though I think you were striving to set the matter out in its starkest terms! You wrote:

    You think that by nature I should be resigned to the pain and risk of pregnancy and childbirth because that is my lot in life.

    Well, biologically we are designed (err, we evolved) to bear children. The way children come into being is through sexual intercourse. If we have intercourse, babies will eventually *happen*. That is the nature of reality. Our only real choice in the matter is whether or not to have sex. Even contracepted sex will not usually work 100% of the time over the years.

    Obviously, if one only has sex once or twice a year, it is likely that one will achieve perfection in the avoidance of pregnancy! So that aside, every one who has sex needs to be prepared to deal with the outcome. One can kill one’s baby or one can allow it to develop naturally and either welcome it or allow someone who will welcome it to raise it.

    As luck would have it, I sat next to a young mother at mass last night. She had two daughters and a baby, around 7 months old with her. The baby laughed and bounced on her knee throughout the entire service. His sisters kept kissing him or patting him which made him throw back his head and crow with delight. Honestly, it was as perfect a commercial for Gerber, or a pro-life commercial, as one could hope. It made everyone around them smile all evening long.

    I couldn’t help thinking– laughing baby, delighting one and all? Or, bag of medical waste? (a thought prompted by a story last week of a baby who survived abortion at a clinic only to be placed in a plastic bag by the “nurse” and thrown out in the trash to die)? Obviously, not all babies are happy or welcome. But there is always someone ready to love them, if we just give them a chance.

    Have you ever read Humanae Vitae (www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae_en.html) which was published in 1968 and stated the Catholic Church’s utter rejection of birth control? It is pretty short and perfectly clear. I had never read it until last year and it amazed me. Every prediction Pope Paul VI made about the harm artificial birth control would do, particularly to women, has come true. (section 17 lays it out) Poor Pope Paul took a beating, even within the Church, for his stance but time has proved him right.

  36. frustrated(mk)
    February 26th, 2009 @ 9:22 am

    PRO,

    I think this idea of culpable life vs. “innocent” life is a smokescreen.

    And I think this idea of bodily autonomy and women’s “Health” is a smokescreen. Exactly what is unhealthy about carrying a child? Exactly where is it written that you can do what you want at the expense of another human beings life?

    The truth is that when the interests of the woman and the interests of the zygote conflict, you think the woman should surrender her self-interest because she’s a woman. You think that by nature I should be resigned to the pain and risk of pregnancy and childbirth because that is my lot in life.

    You act like I’m denying this. The truth is that when the life of one human being can be snuffed out on the whim of another, society does and should step in. I think that by nature you should be intelligent enough to know that pregnancy is the natural outcome of sexual intercourse. Period.

    You tell me that it is not your job to excuse a woman for her sexual choices and then go on to make a list of excuses for her right to kill her child.

    You tell me that it is ludicrous for a person to take responsibility for their actions. You tell me that we are not culpable for the consequences of our behavior.

    The truth is that this type of reasoning is typical of a 6 year old. Not an adult. Children try to rationalize bad behavior to get what they want. Adults recognize that their actions have repurcussions and choose accordingly.

    If my 9 year old insists on playing ball in the house and ends up breaking Grandmas vase, does he claim that he didn’t CHOOSE to break her vase, and shouldn’t be grounded because it wasn’t his fault? Should he off grandma so that he can say no one cares that her vase is broken?

    If my 7 year old refuses to feed the dog for a week and the dog dies as a result, does he have the right to say that he didn’t intend to kill the dog, he only intended not to feed it?

    If I cheat on my husband, and he finds out and leaves me, do I get to say that I never intended for him to get hurt and leave, therefore HE is wrong? My intent was only to screw the neighbor and have a good time? Am I not responsible for my husbands leaving?

    In what other area of life, do we pretend that the consequences of our choices are NOT our responsibility?

    Only in the area of sex. Because we worship sex. We treat sex as something that it is not. It is not a toy. It is not a weapon. It is not a pastime. It is a way for man and woman to create new life. That is it’s intended purpose…everything else is just gravy. The sooner women get that idea clear in their minds, the better off the entire world will be.

    You call it misogynistic? I say, using our bodies as objects is misogynistic. I say handing them over and not respecting that they work in a certain way, being a slave to pleasure and ignoring the reality behind the purpose of our bodies, is misogynistic. Treating ourselves as cattle, as animals…now that is misogynistic.

  37. Prochoicer
    February 26th, 2009 @ 11:18 am

    Lily,

    Yikes. We are definitely going to have to agree to disagree on the issue of birth control. The idea of birth control being bad for women is topsy-turvey. Birth control has allowed women to shape their lives in the ways that suit their needs and the needs of their communities and families.

    I read section 17 of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical as you suggested. He blatantly says that fear of unwanted pregnancy is an appropriate “incentive” to keep people from violating the Church’s rules regarding sexual morality! Basically, he is saying that people who violate the rules should be punished with unwanted babies. Yet, Obama is the one taking the flak for equating babies with “punishment;” but Obama was clearly saying that babies should never be a punishment.

    He also worries about men reducing women to mere instruments for the satisfaction of their desires — which seems like the strangest kind of doublespeak. The notion that women may have desires, including the desire to control their fertility, isn’t even addressed.

  38. Prochoicer
    February 26th, 2009 @ 11:19 am

    Oops, to clarify, this sentence in my last comment refers to Pope Paul VI: He also worries about men reducing women to mere instruments for the satisfaction of their desires — which seems like the strangest kind of doublespeak.

  39. Rape: A Pro-Choice Crime? : The Raving Theist
    February 26th, 2009 @ 11:39 am

    […] 26, 2009 Commenter Pro-choicer chides me for misreading Amanda Marcotte: It would certainly be irrational to assert that [child-rapist […]

  40. Prochoicer
    February 26th, 2009 @ 11:41 am

    Frustrated(mk),

    I never argued that people shouldn’t be responsible for their actions. But it doesn’t follow that people should suffer all the “natural” outcomes of their actions if there is a way to fix the problem. I will grant you that this is more true if another person isn’t made to suffer as a result. So if I develop lung cancer because I smoked all my life, I should get treatment even though I caused the cancer by my own choices. Now, of course, the difference is whether I am harming another person. I don’t see any reason to equate a fertilized egg with a person.

    I say, using our bodies as objects is misogynistic. I say handing them over and not respecting that they work in a certain way, being a slave to pleasure and ignoring the reality behind the purpose of our bodies, is misogynistic. Treating ourselves as cattle, as animals…now that is misogynistic.

    As an athlete and a sexually active person on birth control, I take pleasure in my body and I respect, even revel, in the way my body works. I don’t think that means I am a “slave” to pleasure. I call the shots. I make informed decisions about what I will or won’t do athletically, sexually, and reproductively based on what gives me pleasure and what enhances my life and my marriage. This doesn’t seem like any misogyny I have ever heard of.

  41. frustrated(mk)
    February 26th, 2009 @ 12:36 pm

    Any time a woman is willing to kill the child that is growing in her womb in order to fulfill her own needs first, I would define as hating the very thing that makes a woman a woman. The ability to give life.

    We are men AND women. Something makes us women and not men. We are different from each other. The main difference being our sexual parts. We were created to carry life. When we kill that life, we are disrespecting our bodies, our child and the very thing that makes us women. That, to me, is misogyny. Hatred of women and what makes them women.

    I don’t see any reason to equate a fertilized egg with a person. .

    And this is why I originally said that your reasoning is faulty. If it is not a person, then what is it? You don’t want it to be a person, because then you would have to rethink your entire argument. But I’ll save you the trouble. Even if you were to concede that this fertilized egg is a human being at it’s very earliest stages, you would move onto the sentience argument, and from there to the rights of the mother versus the rights of the child…until, basically, you will admit that you are killing a human being, but that your wants, your needs, and your desires matter more.

    We have science on our side. A fertilized egg is a human being. Period. You can call it a zygote or an embryo but that does not tell me “what” it is. Dogs carry embryos. Rabbits carry embryos. What KIND of embryo? A HUMAN embryo…a very young human being.

  42. (yet another) Christina
    February 26th, 2009 @ 12:40 pm

    So any time a woman has consensual sex, she is “culpable” and therefore should be prepared to give her body over for nine months of pregnancy followed by childbirth followed by the emotional, financial, and time-consuming responsility to care for or arrange for the care of a child? It is “irresponsible to have sex”
    at any point in one’s life except on those occasions when you want to conceive?

    So any time a woman wants to eat, she is “culpable” and therefore should be prepared to give her body over to digesting nutrients and potentially gaining weight? It is “irresponsible to eat” at any point in one’s life except on those occasions when you’re hungry?

    Shouldn’t a woman be able to eat whenever she wants and as much as she wants without that pesky problem of gaining weight? That’s why, as a responsible woman, I practice bulimia. But some women don’t have the access to a toilet, or maybe they find throwing up distasteful. So what will I do when my bulimia regime fails and that box of girl scout cookies goes quickly to my thighs? Easy, there is a surgical operation for $200 that removes excess fat so I can continue gorging with no effects!

    Who wouldn’t say that this person needs to learn “responsible eating habits?” Who wouldn’t look at that person like they were crazy and needed help? Why do we recognize unhealthy behavior in one (bulimia) but see it as normal in another (contraception)?

    Yes, if you are not prepared to care for a child, then you shouldn’t have sex. PERIOD. Just as if you’re not prepared to add more nutrients to your body you shouldn’t eat! The proper time to eat is when the nutrients can be used properly and not turned to fat (when you’re hungry). The proper time to have sex is when the children can be raised in a loving environment (marriage).

  43. Prochoicer
    February 26th, 2009 @ 12:58 pm

    Hi Frustrated(mk)–

    Any time a woman is willing to kill the child that is growing in her womb in order to fulfill her own needs first, I would define as hating the very thing that makes a woman a woman. The ability to give life.

    I am not my womb. A woman may indeed hate the fact that she is pregnant at a particular time. But that is not the same thing as hating herself.

    Even if you were to concede that this fertilized egg is a human being at it’s very earliest stages, you would move onto the sentience argument, and from there to the rights of the mother versus the rights of the child…until, basically, you will admit that you are killing a human being, but that your wants, your needs, and your desires matter more.

    Yes, I DO think that the woman’s right to bodily sovereignty matters more even if you were to somehow establish the personhood of the fetus. However, I also do not believe and do not admit that a fertilized egg has any moral claim on us as a “person” until it is far more developed than it is at the early stages of pregnancy.

    We have science on our side. A fertilized egg is a human being. Period. You can call it a zygote or an embryo but that does not tell me “what” it is.

    Who said a fertilized egg isn’t human? It has human DNA and no one is denying that. Of course, what science can’t establish is that a fertilized egg is a person who should be given full legal rights equal to (and actually greater than) the rights of any other human.** This is a value judgment.

    ** (Under your view, fertilized eggs should have greater rights than the rest of us since we don’t have the right to use other people’s organs to sustain ourselves without consent.)

    See, this is exactly why people say anti-choicers are misogynist. It is your tendency to define and value woman solely for our reproductive capacities — as opposed to our brains, our hearts, our work, our values, and the things that make us individuals rather than just bodies.

  44. Prochoicer
    February 26th, 2009 @ 1:05 pm

    (Yet another) Christina,

    Obviously, we are all constricted by biology. I can’t smoke three packs a day and expect my lungs to stay healthy. But if there is a pill that would allow me to smoke three packs a day and maintain the health of my lungs, then a sensible person might choose to take that pill if smoking is an important part of her life.

    Now such a pill might have risks or side effects. Reasonable people can look at those risks and side effects versus the pleasure she takes in smoking versus the risk of lung cancer, and determine whether she would prefer (a)to take the pill and continue smoking; (b) continue smoking without the pill; or (c) give up smoking. There is no one correct answer: it depends on the individual and her priorities.

    Of course, this isn’t a perfect analogy because sex is a much stronger drive than the drive to smoke, and is an important part of marriage, which is often the most important relationship people have in their lives.

  45. frustrated(mk)
    February 26th, 2009 @ 1:09 pm

    ** (Under your view, fertilized eggs should have greater rights than the rest of us since we don’t have the right to use other people’s organs to sustain ourselves without consent.)

    Yes we do. On conjoined twin cannot kill another.

  46. (yet another) Christina
    February 26th, 2009 @ 1:12 pm

    Of course, what science can’t establish is that a fertilized egg is a person who should be given full legal rights equal to (and actually greater than) the rights of any other human.** This is a value judgment.

    Yes, science cannot establish that anyone is a person, let alone a fetus. It’s, as you said, a value judgment. Who makes the judgment? Can I judge you to not be a person if you are in need of a nurse to sustain yourself (say you’re ill)? It would be so much easier than taking care of an ill person for the length of time it would take to find a willing nurse.

    How would you prove that you are a person?

  47. frustrated(mk)
    February 26th, 2009 @ 1:12 pm

    See, this is exactly why people say anti-choicers are misogynist. It is your tendency to define and value woman solely for our reproductive capacities — as opposed to our brains, our hearts, our work, our values, and the things that make us individuals rather than just bodies.

    All of those things make us human. Not woman. Human. I can appreciate a persons brains, hearts, work and values just as easily in a man, as in a woman. What I CANNOT appreciate in a man is his ability to carry a child.

    The thing that makes us DIFFERENT from men, is the thing that makes us WOMAN. Everything else you mentioned can be said of both sexes. So if we focus on what makes women, women, we come up with the ability to conceive and carry a child to birth. It is a gift that is UNIQUE to woman. To hate that gift, is to hate the very thing that makes us DIFFERENT from men.

    Appreciating someones brains does not mean that you appreciate their womanhood. NOT appreciating their brains does not mean disrespecting their womanhood.

  48. frustrated(mk)
    February 26th, 2009 @ 1:14 pm

    PRO,

    At any rate, you’ve proved my point. Strip away all the red herrings and you have the fact that regardless of whether or not the unborn child is a person or a human being or a zygote, you STILL believe that your rights are greater. That is the height of arrogance.

  49. Prochoicer
    February 26th, 2009 @ 2:41 pm

    Strip away all the red herrings and you have the fact that regardless of whether or not the unborn child is a person or a human being or a zygote, you STILL believe that your rights are greater.

    I think I have been very honest about my point of view: (1) A zygote is not a person. (2) Even if a zygote were a person, a woman should still have the right to choose.

  50. Prochoicer
    February 26th, 2009 @ 2:57 pm

    Yes we do. On conjoined twin cannot kill another.

    But conjoined twins can obtain surgery so that they are no longer joined.

    Who makes the judgment?

    There is no social consensus on this issue relative to the embryo or fetus, so it is up to the individual woman. Certainly, in our history and our laws we have never treated a fetus as a person. I would argue that personhood relates to having developed a consciousness.

    I am happy to acknowledge that the issue of determining the precises starting point of personhood is something about which reasonable can disagree and to which there are no easy answers. But I don’t think that justifies drawing a line at conception and consigning women to the consequences of our desire for an easy black-and-white answer to this issue.

  51. frustrated(mk)
    February 26th, 2009 @ 3:00 pm

    PRO,

    I agree. You have been very upfront. So have I.

    No person has the right to kill another person for convenience, or so that their life will be easier or more enjoyable.

    (2) Even if a zygote were a person, a woman should still have the right to choose

    In other words (If we include what the “choice” is) A person should have the right to end the life of another person if they so choose, simply because of where that person is located.

    I call that the ultimate selfishness. It borders on sociopathological thinking.

  52. frustrated(mk)
    February 26th, 2009 @ 3:02 pm

    so⋅ci⋅o⋅path
       /ˈsoʊsiəˌpæθ, ˈsoʊʃi-/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [soh-see-uh-path, soh-shee-] Show IPA
    –noun Psychiatry.
    a person, as a psychopathic personality, whose behavior is antisocial and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.

  53. Prochoicer
    February 26th, 2009 @ 3:04 pm

    Frustrated (mk) at 47:

    Just because I have the capacity to build a baby with my body doesn’t mean that I hate myself or hate my uterus if I decide not to use it. It just means that I as an individual, a human being, have other vocations or needs.

    It is the very essence of misogyny, or at least sexism, to believe that the workings of my uterus should take precedence over my heart, my soul, and my brain.

  54. Prochoicer
    February 26th, 2009 @ 3:04 pm

    Or a shorter of saying what I just said: I am a human being first and a woman second.

  55. frustrated(mk)
    February 26th, 2009 @ 3:16 pm

    Pro,
    It is the very essence of misogyny, or at least sexism, to believe that the workings of my uterus should take precedence over my heart, my soul, and my brain.

    I never said that it should. What I said is that there are people, and we all share some things in common. That which makes us different, is our sexuality. To disregard that difference, is to me, what misogyny is all about.

    Personally, I don’t separate my female identity from my human identity. Both, define who I am. To disregard one in favor of the other is to deny my very being.

    I believe the slogan was “I am WOMAN, hear me roar” Not I am HUMAN, hear me roar. If you cannot celebrate the fact that you are a woman, then how do you call yourself a feminist.

    Part of what is wrong with our society, in my view, is that we want the differences between the sexes to go away. We want our boys to become more feminine, our women to become more masculine, marriage to take place between the same sex…until the lines are so blurred that you will get your wish. We will all become human, and lose that which makes us “special”.

    Perfect example? The woman that became a man that gave birth…Huh?

    Be careful what you wish for.

    I cherish the fact that I am a woman. I cherish everything about being a woman that makes me different from a man. I do not desire to become a non-sexual being. I do not desire to fulfill my body’s pleasure zones at the cost of denying my very essence.

    I am woman. And I am proud to be one. I do not wish to be a man, or a “non” or unisex. I do not wish to be homogenized. I prefer to retain my title, of woman.

  56. Prochoicer
    February 26th, 2009 @ 3:32 pm

    It seems though that your define as misogynist any act that halts the natural progression of a specifically female bodily function — even if this occurs at the express desire and volition of the woman herself. This seems like a pretty idiosyncratic definition. The problem I have with it is that it ignores the woman’s opinion completely! And it ignores the fact that the woman’s best interest may conflict with the natural progression of her bodily functions. (And yes, I think it is up to the woman to define her own best interest.)

    I am quite happy in my female body, thank you very much. But I own my body. My body doesn’t own me.

  57. Lily
    February 26th, 2009 @ 3:46 pm

    Prochoicer:

    We are all human beings but with different roles. You cannot not be a woman nor can you separate yourself from that. Only damage can result from trying to create such a division.

    I am surprised that mk hasn’t pointed out that personhood does not exist as a legal category or concept. You would be hard put, as I think she noted above, to define it. I must say that it doesn’t seem useful to me as a category because almost everything we could come up with would apply to others who have already been born, e.g. consciousness. Well, what about a person in a coma? Can we kill him? You can think of other examples.

    You wrote: It is the very essence of misogyny, or at least sexism, to believe that the workings of my uterus should take precedence over my heart, my soul, and my brain.

    I sympathize with the view you hold in that I once held it myself. However, neither misogyny nor sexism is at the root of what we are saying, I don’t think. I know that others can articulate this better than I but, essentially, we and you are disagreeing over the conception (pun not intended!) of what it means to be human.

    You hold a position that entails a view of a radically autonomous individual with no necessary constraints on his/her being that limit individual freedom. The logical outcome of this (whether you personally hold this view or not) is that nobody has any claims on you– not family and certainly not the community.

    It is not hard to see where this leads. This ego centered society we have created has wreaked havoc in the lives of children. I am not happily married? Well, we know what to do about that! Yet, by every measure of child well-being ever devised, the children of divorce do poorly compared to children in intact families. The children of single mothers do equally poorly. We have been trained to sneer at “staying together for the sake of the children”, yet the evidence is overwhelming that that is best for children.

    However, I have My rights to MY happiness and no one has a right to prevent me from achieving MY goals– not even my child. If it is already born, well, he will just have to adapt to the breakup of his world. If he is unborn, there is a scalpel with his name on it. This just isn’t a healthy state of affairs.

    In the end, it comes down to those age old questions– Who am I? What does it mean to be human? What does a life well-lived consist of? Our Constitution guarantees you the right to pursue happiness but … what is happiness? If you guess, wrong and spend your life pursuing that, where does that leave you?

  58. frustrated(mk)
    February 26th, 2009 @ 3:47 pm

    Well, I gave you my opinion, and you called me misogynistic, so apparently you too, believe that a woman can be anti woman.

    I am a woman. I have an opinion. You seem to be ignoring that. I happen to believe that a womans best interest is to treat her body as something holy, something sacred, not something to be used as a toy. I call that abuse.

    You don’t sound happy to be in your female body. You sound quite happy ignoring that your body is indeed female, as you attempt tho thwart it’s very definition at every turn… I usually find that people who are happy with things, take advantage of them, not take measures to eliminate them…

  59. Lily
    February 26th, 2009 @ 3:51 pm

    Oops, I see that while I was waxing poetically about the nature of humanity, y’all have gone on. Prochoicer, your last sentence (@56) is interesting:

    I am quite happy in my female body, thank you very much. But I own my body. My body doesn’t own me.

    I don’t think this holds. You don’t own your body. If you doubt it, try selling yourself into slavery. Our Constitution forbids that and our justice system would stop you– or, at least, 20 years ago it would have. Who knows– in today’s world where the magic words “I want” trump every other consideration, maybe you would be allowed to do so!

  60. Prochoicer
    February 26th, 2009 @ 4:59 pm

    Frustrated,

    Well, I gave you my opinion, and you called me misogynistic, so apparently you too, believe that a woman can be anti woman.

    As a minor clarification, I see a difference between saying YOU are misogynist and saying your view on this issue is misogynist. I am not trying to engage in name-calling, but rather trying to engage with you in parsing out whether there is contempt for women inherent in our views.

    Of course, I absolutely agree with you that a woman can be anti-woman and can hold anti-female views. I never meant to imply otherwise.

    I am a woman. I have an opinion. You seem to be ignoring that. I happen to believe that a womans best interest is to treat her body as something holy, something sacred, not something to be used as a toy. I call that abuse.

    But who is being abused exactly? At the risk of TMI, I will use myself as an example: I have chosent to have sex throughout my late teens and adult life while using contraception. I have never used my body sexually in a way that made me uncomfortable or that felt degraded. I have never been pressured or coerced into sleeping with someone I didn’t want to sleep with. For most of my adult life, I have been happily married. You might call this abuse, but my experience is that sex has enhanced my life, and my relationships. Am I just deluding myself and I am secretly unhappy? If I don’t know I am unhappy am I really unhappy?

    You don’t sound happy to be in your female body. You sound quite happy ignoring that your body is indeed female, as you attempt tho thwart it’s very definition at every turn… I usually find that people who are happy with things, take advantage of them, not take measures to eliminate them…

    I am not sure why this matters but …

    I do take advantage of my female body sexually and athletically. I suppose you can define “choosing not to have children” as “unhappy with your female body.” But that means nuns and confirmed spinsters are unhappy with their female bodies too. That also ignores the fact that I have been pleased to have the option to become pregnant if and when and I choose; I do appreciate this option even though I have not taken advantage of it and may not do so.

  61. Prochoicer
    February 26th, 2009 @ 5:13 pm

    Lily,

    Yes, we are going deep, aren’t we?

    I don’t have time to respond in depth at the moment but do appreciate the comments. I definitely am an individualist, but that doesn’t mean having no obligations to others.

    I think we all have moral obligation to do what we can to make the world a better place, to make moral choices that maximize human happiness, to prevent unnecessary suffering, and to keep commitments we make to others. We simply disagree on how all that works in practice!

    I will respond quickly to this:

    I don’t think this holds. You don’t own your body. If you doubt it, try selling yourself into slavery. Our Constitution forbids that and our justice system would stop you– or, at least, 20 years ago it would have. Who knows– in today’s world where the magic words “I want” trump every other consideration, maybe you would be allowed to do so!

    But that example would mean that I don’t own your body any more; I am not sure ownership of one’s body includes the right to stop owning it. On the other hand, I suppose you are right that there are other escenarios that would test my libertarian principles in this regard. Should people be allowed to amputate their own limbs for plasure (yes, people do this!) or kill themselves? I am tempted to answer yes, especially on the latter, but you are correct that those example give one pause.

  62. Prochoicer
    February 26th, 2009 @ 5:15 pm

    Gaah — typing to fast. The beginning of that last paragraph should say: “But that example would mean that I don’t own MY body any more . . .”

  63. frustrated(mk)
    February 26th, 2009 @ 5:22 pm

    Pro,

    As a minor clarification, I see a difference between saying YOU are misogynist and saying your view on this issue is misogynist. I am not trying to engage in name-calling, but rather trying to engage with you in parsing out whether there is contempt for women inherent in our views.

    Fair enough.

    I do take advantage of my female body sexually and athletically. I suppose you can define “choosing not to have children” as “unhappy with your female body.” But that means nuns and confirmed spinsters are unhappy with their female bodies too. That also ignores the fact that I have been pleased to have the option to become pregnant if and when and I choose; I do appreciate this option even though I have not taken advantage of it and may not do so.</i.

    Nuns forgo sex. This does not mean that they don’t view their bodies as female. You have sex. This is no guarantee that you DO view your body as female.

    You view sex as something separate from procreation while I view it as something that is inherently procreative. I don’t separate the two. Sex is meant to be unitive, and procreative. The fact that it feels good is a bonus. But using it just to feel good, while dismissing the unitive and procreative aspects, is a misuse. An abuse.

    I am speaking of sex if it is viewed as it was in the “beginning”…before the fall of man. From the moment that we fell from grace, we have been trying to get back to that state. This is most definitely a religious view of things, and I realize that you will not agree. But dismissing something that might contain truth, simply because it comes from a religious standpoint, is akin to throwing out the baby with the bath water.

    If your way is so “good” then why are there STD’s, unwanted pregnancies, abortion, adultery, rape…all of these things are perversions of how it was “meant to be”.

    If you were to view it as I do and live accordingly, we would see that STD’s would disappear, there would be no need for abortion, or divorce, or rape, or adultery.

    Your ideal view, freedom to have sex with whom and when you please, does not bear good fruit.

    My ideal does.

  64. Prochoicer
    February 27th, 2009 @ 10:52 am

    Hi Frustrated,

    I thank you for this discussion.

    I would like to assure you that I have never dismissed anything “just” because it comes from a religious standpoint. I believe there is both wisdom and foolishness in most religious traditions, so I would never dimiss any ideas out of hand because of the source.

    I have never advocated totally free sex sex. I think that we are constrained by biology and our obligations to others and to ourselves. I believe that people who have sex SHOULD (a) take steps, such as condom use and regular visits to the doctor, to prevent the spread of STDs (and as a society, we should strive to make these resources available to everyone); (b) diligently prevent unwanted pregnancy by use of the most effective available birth control; (c) never coerce or pressure another person, and treat one’s partners with respect; (d) do not ever violate a promise of fidelity to another person whethr in marriage or otherwise, and (e) never do something you are not comfortable with just to please someone else, whether in marriage or otherwise. While I do not mean to suggest that teenagers should all become sexually active as I did, or that there is anything wrong with abstinence before marriage, these simple rules have served me well.

    I would also note that STDs, rape, unwanted pregnancy, and adultery existed in spades throughout human history and long before the sexual revolution. And women who follow the ideal of abstinence outside of marriage have never been immune from these problems.

  65. Private
    July 13th, 2009 @ 12:32 am

    “”Frustrated, you are missing the mark just a tad. If the prochoice idea is that the right to decide what to do with your own body is absolute, to the point where you can inflict that choice on somebody else’s body (in this case the fetus) then they are being inconsistent when they say that the rapist does not have the same absolute sovereignty over HIS body as well. If the woman’s right to “bodily sovereignty” includes the right to have somebody else’s body reduced to a bloody puree, then they can’t have a double standard and say that a man’s right to “bodily sovereignty” can’t include the right to have his choices impact somebody else’s body as well.””

    Wow. Comparing terminating the development of a potential human being(that needs to leech off another to survive)to raping actual people.
    May you be raped so you can make a fair comparison

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