I recently read in a book by Douglas Wilson a quote that I thought reasonable, but for which I couldn’t think of a specific example in real life by which to remember it:
Feminists demand that women receive equal treatment with the men, and nobody is ever more surprised than feminists whenever it happens. Feminists don’t need to be told that they despise men. They generally know that, and even when they don’t, they’ve certainly heard it before. What they haven’t heard very much is how much they despise women.
This seems provocative, sure. It’s meant to be. But, this week, I’ve found that you do not have to look far for an example of this very thing:
– “That’s right—–no going back to COAT HANGERS.”
– “The most absurd part about outlawing abortion is it WILL NOT stop women from getting rid of unwanted pregnancies — they will simply go back to having these done illegally, so cue the mob and let them know there is a new business opportunity.”
– “The laws they concoct to prohibit women from getting birth control and health care are disgusting. Forced sonograms, personhood amendments, all this non-science mumbo-jumbo. They are ignorant women haters. Case closed.”
(all three of these posts were taken from comments on the article, “America Still Wants To Fund Planned Parenthood After Sting Videos,” by Huffington Post writer Laura Bassett. Emphasis of each post was preserved.)
Here are a couple of things I would like to address:
Look, I get it. When the American public, regardless of political affiliation, gets on a roll about evident injustices, the natural response is to KILL IT WITH FIRE and pat ourselves on the back as we walk away not thinking about a constructive substitution for the smoldering pile left behind. I even agree with you to a degree. IF Planned Parenthood does half of the list of helpful things that it says it does other than abortions, the GOP and first-time activist band-wagoners everywhere should not be trying to burn the whole thing down. However, that means the central issue should be, as it ultimately is, abortion. So, lets shift the view for a moment and look at the proposals being made regarding abortion by PP supporters like the ones listed above.
- False Dichotomies: “Look, it’s either this or coat hangers. Are you suggesting women resort to coat hangers!? SKREEE!” Well, actually, no. Those aren’t the only options, and you’re not engaging the true point. You don’t want to face the discussion we should actually be having. If abortions are the unethical killings of small humans (i.e. the discussion we should actually be having), then your argument is essentially, “well, it would be one step too far if we didn’t provide a safe supportive environment for this horrible act, instead of leaving such things to a setting more fitting to the deed, like, say, hypothetical back alleys.” Just what makes these back alley abortions illegal anyway? It certainly isn’t the termination of the “fetus.” Is it illegal because it risks the woman’s life and health? Because, I was under the impression that you were okay with a woman doing whatever she wants with her body.
- If you really want to get into “fetus” v. “baby” discussions, why don’t we begin by establishing clear, non-arbitrary boundaries about where those distinctions begin and end? Is it not a human baby if it’s dependent on the support of something else in order to live? Does that dependence make it the property of the thing to which it is dependent, even though it will eventually develop an ability to live independently? Okay, fine. Then please allow me to personally organize a hospital tour for all of those interested in such distinctions, so that they may spread this proper definition to the struggling families of patients on ventilators, dialysis, and nasogastric feeders (etc.). Are their loved ones now the property of the state because of their dependence on its services? Or will the Federal government want a share of those rights? The suspense is killing me, and, given the possibilities, I am considering serving my own DNR order.
- If I concede that the videos might be deceptively edited to say and imply things that were not so, does this agreement of ours make the videos useless and unworthy of our consideration? No, it doesn’t. I’m not so sure that the videos are feeding false information to our hair-trigger, flame-throwing public. There is supposed to be a series of these videos, releasing more and more pertinent information every week. There’s a case yet to be built, so it seems a little hasty to dismiss the whole thing as irrelevant at the outset. Disregarding this developing situation entirely, what have the videos taught us so far, regardless of whether they are deceptive? For the past three weeks we have learned that a very large percentage of Americans express more than just a little distaste at the idea of a small, potential human (whether it’s referred to as a “tissue,” “specimen,” “fetus,” etc.) being “crunched,” “crushed,” or sitting in pieces in a petri dish. Now, many things could be concluded from this phenomenon. One is that, perhaps, our public and liberal arts educations are not doing a thorough enough job of convincing young minds of what is and is not a human. Another, is that we seem to not understand the positives that are coming from this; but, then again, are we sure that the people benefiting from these “specimens” are absolutely cognizant of that with which they are being treated? Or, perhaps, we could conclude that there is a deep seated belief in all of us along the lines of what the late Christopher Hitchens said: “I do, as a humanist, believe that the concept ‘unborn child’ is a real one….And I say this as someone who has no supernatural belief.”
- I am starting to think that Doug Wilson’s quote on feminism is right, and that you guys aren’t really as into empowering women as you say you are. Suggesting that abortion is some kind of fundamental right of women actually suggest a number of things that I don’t think you actually agree with. We have rights for things that are essential to our being and that we can’t help being true. Are you suggesting that women (and therefore men) are incapable of controlling themselves and their sexual urges because they’re natural desires are just too strong? Are you suggesting that they are then, having proven themselves unreasonable enough by nature, unable to help themselves from resorting to the use of coat hangers to terminate pregnancies. If women are really this unreasonable, then you’re offering them abortive options is not an ofference of empowerment, it’s offering them a straight jacket in the hopes they won’t hurt themselves any further before you send them right back into the exercise of their sexual liberties/reflexes.
Bottom Line: There are unhelpful plays being run on both sides of the field. And, in my opinion, the people in the right of this situation are not making very well thought out decisions.
Could anti-abortion activists do even more positive good by putting feet to their convictions and adopting the children they do not want to see aborted?
Would this be an amazing solution that still fails to pin the tail on the elephant in the room.
Even if we all set to adopting children as fast as the system will let us, there are an estimated 80 abortions per minute, with approx. 30% of those abortions being black children (but I’ll try to reserve that injustice for a different rant). Why? We have raised a culture that believes in the right of sexual expression (whatever that means) over the obligation of personal responsibilities. We continue the generational cycle of fatherless men who perpetuate this mindset by further creating fatherless children, and so on and so forth. So much so that we declare homosexual love heroic by this vague “love wins” code of ethics, if for no reason more than that they are at least incapable of having “fatherless” children and because they are necessarily disposed to being the first to adopt. Is it still a slippery slope fallacy if it turns out to be true in the rear-view mirror?
So, are bad things happening, and half-solutions being proposed? Yes. But lets stop this whole nonsense of loving and empowering women if you insist on holding such contrary social philosophies.