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August 03, 2005

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NancyP

At least you've kept your sense of humor!

Lauren

At least you've kept your sense of humor!

Seriously!

Though, Hugo, I'm calling you to task again by saying that this post is essentially absolving you of addressing the concerns I raised in the other comments. Glad you're keeping your sense of humor -- really -- but I'm still very troubled by your justifications. That said, Lynn left this comment at my site and I thought this might be relevant to your stance as a feminist and Christian:

"though the whole tension between autonomy and self-sacrifice interests me a lot as someone who is also a Christian and a feminist, I’m not sure my usual answer (push autonomy a lot at a legal level, and push self-sacrifice for both sexes at a faith level) is adequate as a way of talking about abortion."

I'm far more willing to accept a statement like this, as someone who sees little wrong with the idea of sacrifice as long it isn't reserved for the body of one gender alone. Perhaps you could address this.

Lauren

Pardon. I should say that unlike Lynn, I think her statement is a particularly fine way to discuss abortion. Though it isn't always applicable, I think this is better than saying that in a secular society we should push all citizens to bend to a deity's will.

mythago

The flip side of "it's my blog and I'll navel-gaze if I want to" is that you allow comments. So it's no more appropriate of you to chide those who point out hypocrisy and self-congratulatory behavior than it is for a commenter to note that your blog is self-centered.

Dave

Hugo, I don't like much--make that most--of what you say here. However, don't let these ridiculous feminist girls push you around. You are certainly entitled to your opinions about abortion. You are deeply affected by the issue. Anytime you sire a fetus, you are going to have extremely limited choices in the matter. Remember that when these feminists get all high and mighty and play the victim with you. They will complain about the great inconvenience to their bodies, but they won't give a damn about the servitude to which your body will be subjected as you are compelled to support the product of some woman's gestation. (Of course, that product of gestation is conveniently a "child" to them when it's time to extort money from you, but they'll dismiss it as a "parasite" or "just a clump of cells" if that suits their agenda.)

For heaven's sake, Hugo, stand up to these girls! While I really hope it doesn't happen to you, it's quite possible that one of these days, one or more of these feminists will harm you, perhaps seriously. At that point, the notions of "equality" and all the other bilge the fembots keep pushing at you will seem meaningless, if not outrageously offensive. Remember, very many MRAs started out as feminists until they woke up and realized that feminism is just anti-male crap. Good luck to you.

Tony Vila

Hugo, is you're response "eh, I'm a hypocrite. The point's still valid."? Or is there something I'm missing.

I think this abstract point is something that's caused feminist women a great deal of grief in the "culture wars", particularly in the "slut vs stud" part. Demagogues and surbanites rail about how women need to be less promiscuous, but their own inability to control their urges is simply a personal sin that doesn't affect the debate itself.

Now that hypocrisy doesn't make an argument wrong is one valid worldview, but it's one at great odds with modern feminism I think.

midwestmind

"Must the truth of the message hinge on the integrity of the messenger?"

Well, sure. Why else would Jesus have become fully human, than to demonstrate the point that it *wasn't* enough for him to have a messsage about how humans should live their lives -- he had to live it right alongside us, in a human body as vulnerable as ours.

BritGirlSF

"While I really hope it doesn't happen to you, it's quite possible that one of these days, one or more of these feminists will harm you, perhaps seriously. "
The loonies are really out in force today. What exactly is it that you think we're going to do to Hugo? Send him a virus?
I'm trying to play nice on this board but the level of nastiness and sheer insanity is getting out of hand.

Lauren

Just a girl, eh?

Mr. Bad

BritGirlSF said: "I'm trying to play nice on this board but the level of nastiness and sheer insanity is getting out of hand."

I agree - me too. The female chauvanists and outright feminazis (like NYMOM) have really gone over the top lately.

Do you plan on reigning them in any time soon so that us reasonable people can have a serious conversation?

BritGirlSF

Lauren - if you're trying to be condescending, drop it. I'm entitled to give myself any screen name I want, your approval is not required.
Mr Bad - I've already tried reigning in NYMOM and I'm pretty sure she's beyond my ability to reason with. Also, note that NYMOM is not on my side of the political fence and not likely to care what I have to say. Are you planning to try reigning in the more blatantly hateful MRAs who post here?

BritGirlSF

Also, Mr Bad, using the term "Nazi" to denigrate one's political opponents is an insult to the many Jews who lost their lives under the Nazi regime. It's a cheap shot and you're smart enough to do better.

Lauren

I was responding to this:

For heaven's sake, Hugo, stand up to these girls! And then the immediate accusation that one of us will follow through with physical harm to Hugo. I may be invested in the intellectual argument, but in no way would that turn to hurting an ideological adversary (not that Hugo is even that).

Unfortunately I can't say that about many of the MRAs who comment on my site. Just today, I was told that I'd make a great stripper and that I'd sound better with a dick in my mouth. Rape threats are so charming, no?

Michael

Would an argument about sacrifice and surrendering autonomy have more authority if it came from a working-class woman of color than from me? Perhaps so --

This is all such a red herring. Everyone is allowed an opinion and the right to state it. We also all have the right to reject the opinion of others for whatever reason we choose. It doesn’t lessen the value of your opinion because we disagree. If feminists are so sure about their position, they should have no issues with dissenting opinions. Let in the light, even from the spectators. There is nothing to fear if your position holds water. .

But back to the subject at hand, I want to make sure I’m clear here. . By bodily autonomy we really mean aborting a fetus right? Sometimes when feminists discuss this issue, they don’t seem to want to say the term abortion. Its “relinquishing bodily autonomy or Surrendering the Right to control a woman’s body as if we are trying to put a positive spin on what is a tragic event. We are not having cosmetic surgery, it’s Abortion. It’s the killing of life in the womb. Even when its just a cluster of embryonic cells.

I’ve always been pro-choice, as a civil rights issue. But lately, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve been having qualms about this issue myself. As a civil libertarian I believe in pro-choice. But as a Christian, I know that conception and children are truly a gift from God, and that somehow, killing that gift is a mortal sin.

Much as it chaffs me to hear that because I am a man, my opinion on abortion has no weight, the civil libertarian in me agrees that it is not my right (or the government’s right) to tell a woman or anyone else how to control their body. But Christ’s teachings ( and deep down my own conscience) tell me that abortion is wrong on so many levels. My own children have changed me. My grandchildren changed me even more. They’ve shown me value of children and what is to me one of God’s greatest miracles. Yet I feel torn knowing that abortion is literally a life saver for many woman and young girls. And I am old enough to remember the problems women faced before Roe. It is truly a vexing decision for a lot of people, not just men. There is no right answer for people like me.

Yet as troubled as I am by this issue, I can imagine these feelings are just a taste of what a religious woman, faced with a dangerous or unwanted pregnancy and with whom the decision to abort lies, must feel when faced with the choice to carry a child to term or not. I do not envy a woman’s responsibility in this regard.

Oh and how do I reconcile my own feelings? I cop out. Although I could never again be comfortable with abortion (except in the case of a danger to the mother’s health), I would not presume to try to run your life. I would not try to force responsibility or sacrifice on a women or support efforts for the government to do so. I could not judge you or try to condemn you. God judges all. He doesn’t need my help. Yes.. my plan is full of moral holes, and that really bothers me. But its all I have. Yet I think it is consistent with Jesus’ commitment to love and forgiveness. .

It must be nice to be so morally certain about abortion.

Dave

I was responding to this:

For heaven's sake, Hugo, stand up to these girls! And then the immediate accusation that one of us will follow through with physical harm to Hugo.

Perhaps the "feministe" Lauren could show us where I used the word "physical" in my comment. She can't. Her comment is a typical feminist attempt to put words in another's mouth. No wonder you fembots got your asses kicked so thoroughly over at feministing.com.

BritGirlSF

Hey Lauren, glad to know you weren't aiming at me. I thought someone might be impersonating you for a moment.
About this "Unfortunately I can't say that about many of the MRAs who comment on my site. Just today, I was told that I'd make a great stripper and that I'd sound better with a dick in my mouth. Rape threats are so charming, no?"
This is why I often do not provide links to my blog. I don't feel like being a target for anyone with issues. I am puzzled as to why anyone thinks that threatening bloggers is a way to win friends and influence people. Didn't their parents teach them any manners?

NancyP

Lately the discussion has been devolving to .alt levels - namecalling, etc.

Sally

And frankly, despite those who object to the comparison, feminists and other leftist totalitarian groups share much with the German National Socialists of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, so IMO it's a valid comparison.

Very true. Just last week, I burned the Reichstag and blamed it on the Jews, outlawed homosexuality, stuck myself in a gas chamber, and invaded Poland. Thanks for pointing out the similarities!

Come on, Hugo. This has got to be ban-worthy behavior.

NYMOM

"As for reigning in the more radical MRAs on this site, I'm not the admin here so I don't have the authority to do so. However, if any of them become persistent troublemakers like NYMOM, I will consider overstepping my authority and do so, but for now all I see are a few "hit and run" MRA extremists."

NYMOM said: This is interesting.

I haven't even posted on this thread and had no intention of doing so as the topic doesn't interest me, yet a man who did post on it starts a fight and then has the nerve to claim I'm a persistent troublemaker.

It's interesting.

AND btw, most of the 'hit and run' MRA extremists are encouraged to come over here by you. FEMINAZIHATEMARTYR was banned from here and you encouraged him to come back. I saw your post on SYG about it and other things you shouldn't have posted there about me as well.

So you definitely are an instigator Mr. Bad both here and there.

Sally

I'm not afraid: I'm annoyed that you insult the memory of my grandparents, who survived the Nazis, and their parents, grandparents, siblings, nieces and nephews, most of whom didn't. My dad's first cousins died at Auschwitz at the ages of three, six, and eight. If you really think that's akin to hate crime legislation, I don't think there's any hope for you. And if you think that makes me hysterical, I guess I can live with that.

Antigone

Goodwin.

tekanji

Would an argument about sacrifice and surrendering autonomy have more authority if it came from a working-class woman of color than from me? Perhaps so --

I should hope that no human being, no matter how deeply they are able to understand an issue, would have the authority to dictate what sacrifices I should make, or how much bodily autonomy I have to surrender.

Do you believe that Christians (feminists or not) should have the right to force their beliefs on others?

Personal sacrifice is all well and good, but my beef with so-called "pro-life" feminists (read: people in favour of government enforced childbearing) is that they believe that I should sacrifice myself on the altar of their righteousness. Not only that, but they are often the ones who seek to shame me for wanting to engage in the natural (and healthy) act of sex, the ones who want to limit (if not completely destroy) my access to contraceptives, the ones who would rather spread lies about sex than supply people with safe sex education, the ones who couldn't give two shits about the children that already exist... Need I go on? What in that list is a feminist view? What in that list doesn't conflict with the basic tenets of feminism? Heck, what in that list actually helps reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies (and therefore the number of abortions)?

Bottom line: Feminism is about choice - giving people the rights and opportunities to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness regardless of their gender, race, class, orientation, etc. Using that definition, anyone who says that their morals trump my ability live my own life cannot be a feminist.

NancyP

Does anybody have statistics on the percentage of "pro-life feminists" that are infertile, and perhaps looking to adopt? I only mention this because Jane Roberts, the wife of the Supreme Court of US nominee John Roberts, and vice-president of Feminists for Life, adopted two children. I have heard a lot of resentment from otherwise functionally feminist (working, want equal pay and opportunity, etc) infertile women towards women who abort - their anti-abortion stance not part of a consistent-life-ethic - apparently self-interested desire for easily accessible non-foriegn non-ethnic adoptions. I don't know if this is the case for Jane Roberts, or whether she is a sincere orthodox Catholic who just happens to be infertile, or whether there is some other reason (husband infertile, or "beard" marriage-of-convenience with at least one gay/bisexual partner, etc)

Hugo

Tekanji, as I've written before, FFLA includes many pro-life feminists who oppose abortion but do not oppose changing the laws. One great myth is that all pro-lifers want to make abortion illegal. Plenty of us in the pro-life movement worry that if we do that, we won't actually do much to cut the number of abortions -- we'll simply put women AND babies' lives at risk.

There are also plenty of pro-lifers who are not anti-contraception! Anti post-conception methods of birth control, sure -- but I know lots of pro-life feminists who have no problem with the condom. Please, please, listen carefully when those of us in the consistent life movement distinguish ourselves from the better known right-wing anti-abortion movement in this country!

metamanda

NancyP... you make a point that is both interesting and uncomfortable for me. It seems a bit of a Catch-22: if you're pro-life and don't adopt then you can be painted as a hypocrite who is willing to put kids into a broken foster-care system but not to take any out; but if you're pro-life and *do* adopt, then your self-interested desire for a supply of adoptable babies is what's motivating your political stance. (I've also seen charges of cultural imperialism more-or-less leveled at people who adopt internationally.)

You point is not without merit. It's an interesting question. At the same time, infertility sucks a lot, and adoptive parents take a lot of crap that "normal" parents don't have to deal with (statements about the child's "real" mother, ignorant comments about how "generous" they are or how "lucky" the child is, etc). So, it just seems kind of unfair to hold that against Jane Roberts. I don't agree with her politics, but I do respect the private choices she has made on how to start a family.

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