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July 27, 2004

Comments

susurra

Visiting by way of surfing, I am puzzled by something, after reading several of your posts.
It seems that you are a huge Lance Armstrong fan! I am too, but it puzzles me in context of the stand you appear to take regarding men's responsibilities to their kids. He seems to be someone (and I admit I don't know his personal life well) who has let his kids down in both time, and commitment, if you feel that marriage and a two parent household matter so much. Any elaboration there?

Jennifer

I'm a big Lance Armstrong fan also. I read his second book "Every Second Counts" and in it he does speak very generally of his marriage difficulties. Seeing him on the podium in Paris with Basso and Kloden was great, but I did wonder as I saw (now was that Basso or Kloden with his baby) whoever that was, with his baby, why Lance's children weren't there to celebrate with him. But, I remind myself that celebrity's personal lives are none of my business, because I don't know what's going on. I don't mean that I am not my brother's keeper, and yes as Christians we should be open to expressing our marriage difficulties with those in our church who could provide support and keep us accountable. But Lance isn't in my church, and though he's not a Christian (he says as much in his book, and that his ex-wife is Catholic and his children are being raised Catholic) I hope there are people in his life to support him and hold him accountable to his children.

JM

I know there's a big difference between "living close" and "being there", but I read (unfortunately don't remember where) that Lance and his ex-wife live really, really close to each other, in Austin, something like on the same block, or at least within walking distance/no scary big streets to cross. While divorce is terribly difficult for children, by all accounts the Armstrongs are focused on maintaining a healthy relationship with each other, specifically for the kids. Hope it works.

annika

Regarding this post, Hugo, it just might be the best you've written to date. Thanks.

d-rod

The "abortion" t-shirt sucks, but I have to admit seeing a babe in a black tight-fitting "I slept with your girlfriend" t-shirt sometimes turns me on a little bit.

candace

bravo, hugo. i'm with annika. rock. star.

Lauren

I don't particularly like the t-shirts either.

While I understand your link between those and the other "girl power" ala Spice Girls corporate tripe, I see them as more of a reactionary effort to combat the "I feel guilty about my abortion" pro-life groups.

I have a feeling PPFA was trying to begin a reactionary movement as opposed to jumping on the false-girl power bandwagon, which is too bad, in my opinion. PPFA has enough support without this kind of promotion.

amarettiXL

A part of me thinks "what were they thinking?" when I read about this, but the other part of me knows what they were thinking.

It's not just the shame factor....there is this idea that women who have abortions are somehow different from women who don't. And that's not true. If every woman who had a abortion actually wore one of those t-shirts, you'd get a view of a huge cross-section of the American female public. One of the maddening things about the pro-lifers to me, is that they push a certain image of the woman who has an abortion (of course, they also push a certain image of those of us who "choose life", if we're not married...one of those "damned if you do, damned if you don't" moments all women are familiar with).

But there is no "type" of woman who has an abortion. If they were to all wear the shirts, some of the smug set would be forced to face the fact that, "gosh, she looks like one of us."...and that's because she is.

Planned Parenthood has always mentioned the fact that women who have abortions are our mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, cousins and friends, but few listen to that...it's uncomfortable to hear. This t-shirt is just a more provocative way of bringing that out. Before legal abortion, those were the women who were sterilized, maimed or killed by illegal abortion. Not just "those seedy women" or "bad women". Mothers. Daughters. Aunts. Friends. Neighbors. All our sisters.

But I doubt you'll see any of the shirts anywhere but the website.

Michelle

Amaretti has a good point. Older women are not likely to wear these shirts, and conservatives who have had an abortion because the unthinkable actually happened to them will not wear it.

I think the people who will wear it are people who are spoiling for a fight. When I was younger, I would have been delighted to wear this shirt even though I had not had an abortion, simply because I enjoyed challenging people's views and prejudices. (I grew up in East Texas--I had my own form of "backlash".)

I don't at all equate this shirt with the others such as "I slept with your boyfriend". No one would take that particular t-shirt seriously.

BTW, I recently heard "juicy" as a term for "fat". I like it. I now describe myself as "juicy". I wonder if those t-shirts only come in XL? Of course, I'm not so naive that I can't figure out an alternate meaning..

Joy

I am doing research for a college cultural sociology class and would like to know if anyone could point me to some more articles about this topic of the proliferation of message T-shirts and their cultural implications.

I have noticed on my college campus that many guys wear T-shirts like this as well. I'd like to hear anyone's comments about this.

Also, does anyone know if A&F and Urban Outfitters were the first to market these kinds of T-shirts?

Carey

"And when, some day soon, I see a woman on the street with the new Planned Parenthood t-shirt, I will be absolutely certain down to the core of my being that she too, regardless of her age, is looking for validation that her choice was okay. But that validation is not mine to give."

I wear the "I had an abortion" t-shirt because I often have the experience of being in a discussion about abortion and folks forget to remember in their dialogue that perhaps someone in the discussion might have had an abortion. Wearing the t-shirt brings a real live woman to the way people think about abortion - they can't just theorize. It is also a great discussion opener - I live in a really conservative state and I have opened up many minds about how abortion actually can play out in a woman's life. The shirt makes abortion more real. I definitely don't wear it to be affirmed. I wear it to educate folks -- to let them know that abortion is close to their community -- that women they know and care about and respect have abortions, etc,..Your conclusion is based on an assumption and it is really demeaning. How can you compare young college students to all women who would wear this very political shirt? How is it that you know where all women are coming from who wear this shirt? Perhaps young women look for affirmation from men because men like you write like you have us all figured out!

Hugo

Carey, one of the great things about being in the blogosphere long enough is that one's former declarations come back to haunt one. I still remain profoundly ambivalent about abortion, though from a policy standpoint, have chosen a kind of studied neutrality over my earlier days of first pro-choice (and then pro-life) activism.

I still don't like "message" t-shirts for the reasons I gave here -- but I withdraw my own words about being "absolutely certain" of the motives of any given woman who would wear the "I Had An Abortion" shirt. Sometimes my rhetoric trumps my humility, and it certainly did in this post.

bmmg39

"Only a bold, strong, brave young woman who doesn't care about conforming to stereotypes would wear a shirt like this. Thus if you wear this shirt, you bear witness to your fiery, indominatable, wild grrl soul."

Yes. Or...she shops at Hot Topic a lot.

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