Saturday, February 25, 2006

it's official: women aren't people

echidne, a favorite blogger of mine, has a nice rundown of the anti-abortion law going down in south dakota as well as links to other writers who've been on this story all along.

ECHIDNE OF THE SNAKES

i especially like the analysis at lawyers, guns and money .

this south dakota law is huge. it skirts chipping away at reproductive rights and goes for the whole enchilada - women, no matter the situation or medical context, won't be able to have access to abortion and doctors who perform abortions are criminally responsible - not women, which is an illogical and disingenuous move on their part.

i have to hand it to the opposition - when they decide to move, they really haul ass. i thought we'd have a few years for this fight, but it seems they're emboldened by roberts and alito on the bench. the way things are going (and i've said it before) birth control access is going to be the next reproductive issue to be narrowly defined and then toppled. check out the naral map to see what anti-reproductive freedom bills are wending their stealthy courses through your legislatures.

where are we going to stand, women? if we're okay with one state, or a few states, to put unconstitutional bans on abortion on the books, thus establishing test cases for the supreme court to decide, then what are we NOT okay with?

and how about it, guys in the democratic party? still waffling that reproductive rights is a 'niche' 'womens' issue and not so important as, say, the shrinking middle class or the economy? still feeling this is something that's going to scare the poor wittle moderates? still thinking that winning in 2008 is more important than what strange men are deciding NOW about your girlfriend or wife's uterus? still thinking feminists are shrill and humorless and hysterical about concentrating on reproductive issues and not our silly war on terror?

for many of us, this is terror. it is a war waged on the landscapes of our bodies. and i'm wondering why there's not a whole lot more of us getting angry about it.

24 comments:

E.I. said...

It's not just terror, it's the beginning of good ole' boy American fascism. The day that the U.S. Supreme Court decides that women don't have a right to an abortion is the day that the phrase "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" loses its meaning. I am still stunned by the events in SD. The knuckle-draggers have had their day and it just sickens me. Indeed, why are not more people horrified and up in arms? Where are the Dems in all of this? I've never had the urge to torch old glory, but now I'm rethinking the idea. Seriously.

ding said...

absolutely. i look at history and how nationalism breeds fascism on some level which, in turn, depends on the idea that breeding is for the good of the State. i've read several columns by david brooks that pretty much say that - women should stay home, get married early, put off college and have babies because it's good for the nation. it breeds national character.

that's just not how i visualize my citizenship working out - through my ovaries.

Shavonne said...

It's going to continue to happen. This issue goes much deeper than abortion. All forms of birth control will eventually be made illegal.

I don't understand how doctors alone can be punished for providing a service. Aren't the women that pay the doctors equally responsible for the deaths of their babies.

greg said...

When Alito was confirmed, I posted somewhere (I thought it was your site, but maybe not) that Roe v. Wade would be overturned by the end of March. I'm sticking to that.

Let's face it, the Islamic countries of the world are not the only ones in the midst of a huge reaction against modernism. In the end the species will move forward, as it must, but it's looking like this reaction will be long and painful.

The one bit of silver lining is that nothing ends a reactionary period faster than the success of the reactionaries. Heck, Germany's reaction against democracy only lasted twelve years. Hmmm, not such a comforting thought after all.

ding said...

shavonne,
yes. that's the logical slip i'm sensing in the anti-abortion camp. if they were going to be ideologically pure the women who get abortions would also be criminally responsible. the anti-abortion law in portugal is a perfect example: not only is the woman criminally responsible, so is the doctor and anyone else who helped her get one.

by making only doctors responsible (and i think Lawyers, Guns & Money made this point) they're saying one of two things: they don't think woman are capable of moral decision-making, therefore can't be held responsible for their actions, or they're being cynically politically expedient.

what would happen to their movement if they started throwing women in jail for not wanting to be pregnant?

ding said...

hm, a reaction against modernism. i like that. i wonder if it really comes down to that, though?

i mean, could it really be that they're that afraid of progress?? that's so...unAmerican.

greg said...

Check this out (which I found via the NYT). It seems that not even South Dakotans support the law which is about to be passed there. This gives me even more hope that nothing will do these guys in faster than their own success.

As far as being afraid of progress is concerned, social progress is very different from technological progress. In particular, not everybody agrees on what constitutes social "progress." In this regard I think that we (as a nation) are much less forward-looking than the Europeans.

ManNMotion said...

Interesting post. Let me play the other side of the movie (assuming we can have respectful discussion)...What about the women who are anti abortion? What about the argument for abstinence? I'm not saying whether I'm anti or pro, it's up to each of us to decide on our own. However, I do notice that a lot of people don't want to have consequences for any of their actions and sex certainly has consequences (not just pregnancy). Thus we get extremism in the cases of abortion, gun control, terrorism, immigration, etc.

I agree the law seems a bit extreme for the relatively rare (but not unheard of) cases of rape pregnancy, but in my mind, the lawmakers probably put those clauses in so they have something to "give back" or compromise on to find the middle ground they are really looking for. Which reminds me, there should also be a law against shooting people in the face...even if you're the Vice President.

greg said...

mannmotion - are you seriously suggesting that we should regard pregnancy as a valid punishment for sex? Oh, and if you believe that it's up to each of us to decide on our own., why do you even want to discuss the desirability of a law which makes it illegal for any of us to make that decision? Just asking.

Anyway, the only point that needs to be discussed is the one that most people avoid: at what point does a fetus acquire all of the rights of a human being? The pro-their-choice-should-apply-to-everybody crowd typically put that point at fertilization (the South Dakota law makes this definition explicit). The pro-everybody-ought-to-be-able-to-choose-for-themselves crowd obviously puts that point past whatever time they feel that abortion should be allowed. To generalize further, the first camp tends to believe that there is a clear, sharp line between what constitutes a human life and what does not, whereas the second camp tends to believe that things are much fuzzier, which lots of gradations between "definitely" deserving all of the rights pertaining to humans and "definitely not" deserving those rights. So, if you want to have a respectful discussion, why not weigh in on these two questions? When does a fetus acquire full human rights, and why? Is the line between what deserves human rights and what does not clear and crisp, or are there cases where the answer is not obvious?

ding said...

MiM:
what about abstinence?

there's nothing wrong with not having sex. i didn't have sex for 28 years. yay for me. but there's something wrong with it when you make it law. there. (dusting hands off) that takes care of that.

as for women who don't want an abortion - simple. they shouldn't have one. (dusting hands off again.) and that takes care of that one.

i've said it once and i'll say it again: the old rhetorical fluorish 'well, you should know sex has consequences....' yeah. we know that. that's why we need access to birth control and why a woman who doesn't want to be pregnant shouldn't be forced to give birth.
but, hey, if you wanna argue for that then be my guest.

Pete Bogs said...

I don't think there's any shortage of male Democrats speaking out for a woman's right to choose, but we may be watching different channels...

abortion is one of those issues that brings out the hypocrites big time - they call themselves pro-life and then support a devastating war...

ding said...

i was thinking back to last year when a lot of the male political bloggers (especially on places like Daily Kos) were saying that reproductive rights was only a 'woman's issue' and scared the moderates and was too niche to be successful.

it pissed me and a lot of other women off.

LutheranChik said...

I remember reading, several years ago, a very chilling interview of anti-abortion activist Randall Terry. When the interviewer asked Terry if he'd end his activism if Roe v Wade were overturned, he said no; that restricting access to birth control was next on his agenda.

Fast-forward to now, and what do we have? -- pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions for birth control.

Bottom line: People like Terry hate the idea of women as equal partners in society -- they consider women nothing more than male chattel/baby incubators -- and they're scary as hell.

Anonymous said...

My name is Verlch.

That's alright, men will just stop trying to have sex with women. The divorce rate was at 10% 100 years ago, as well as illegitimate, out of wed lock births were almost unheard of.

Women needed men to survive. Now with all the alimony, child support and no fault divorce, 7 out of 10 blacks are illegitimate. Whites are 2 or 3 out of 10.

52 million babies have been killed.

All this in the last 30 years.

Remember it took woman libers just 52 years from the time they got to vote, until they started the 3,000 a day slaughter of the unborn.

You can't disempower men, while empowering women, the men just will not be productive, and women will have children with several different men. Just look at Hati, you can't get the men to work to support a fly.

Anonymous said...

Hi I'm Verlch,

I think women's role in America is wonderful, that is in the family. Too much time has been spent in a destruction campaign to force women into the workforce. Their plight has not been going to well. Only 25% of women that work, are not at or below the poverty line. That is wages at or around 10 dollars an hour. Is that worth it? Hardly, their children need them in the home, as is evidenced by the fact 85% of criminals are from single mother households, father absent, and forced to raise themselves.

Ladies I know always seek to blame others for their own shortcomings, so before you blame the man, recognize that 85% of the time the women initiates divorce proceedings. Why not, when you are awarded the house, children, child support and alimony!?

Remember what the bible says.

“But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” I Timothy 2:12.

“Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” I Cor. 14:34-35.

Do church women actually read the bible? I'm no saint.

Last but not lest, remember the snake tried to exalt Eve that she would become a god, lets not forget that same Apple is given to women in this day and age. Go against the bible, God and man, create your own wealth and be happy.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Eph 6:12

They did a study of 100,000 men and women over a 30 year study. The men were relatively the same in happiness levels, while the women were 20% less happy in just 30 years!

Don't let feminism sell you a barren life, watching cats, void of children. Don't let those eggs go unfertilized, without a husband to love you perfectly and imperfectly until you are an old lady.

Don't forget what Jesus said in Jerusalem.

“Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 23:29 For behold, the days are coming in which they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ 23:30 Then they will begin to tell the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ and tell the hills, ‘Cover us.’* 23:31 For if they do these things in the green tree, what will be done in the dry?”

ding said...

'unheard of' yet not non-existant.

and thanks for your opinion, verlch. it's just one that has no bearing on reality. my mother was a godly woman and she never spent a day in silence, waiting for her husband (a pastor) to tell her what to do or show her what her place was.

(and i'm pretty sure that the scripture you're talking about is out of context and doesn't talk about this topic at all. rather, it's about what we baptists call the Last Days. but thanks for stopping by!)

Verlch said...

The husband is the leader, wherever he goes his wife will follow. The bible says for a man to love his wife, be good to her, but that she is to be subject to him, and only him all the days of his life.

The head of every man is Christ,and the head of Christ is God.

Repect the chain of command, a lot more gets accomplished when this happens.

The divorce rate wouldn't be at 50% if that happened.

Verlch said...

(and i'm pretty sure that the scripture you're talking about is out of context and doesn't talk about this topic at all. rather, it's about what we baptists call the Last Days. but thanks for stopping by!)


You think because its 2006 that the women is no longer under the command of the husband. Well think again.

Woman sinned first and not man. Woman let Adam to sin, because he didn't want to be away from her. Woman will not be equal with man until we get to heaven.

I Timothy 2:13,14 says, "For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression."

A matriarchy will not survive, look at Hati, the women are in charge of scraping for food. The husbands swat fly's and don't help them do anything. This is what empowering of women does, it weakens the whole nation. Men should be empowered, and women should bear sons, who will be 1000 times more productive than them in the workforce and their daugheters should do the same.

Titus 2:5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of thewoman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. 1 Cor. 3:11

For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. 1 Corinthians 11 7-9

Last but not least this quote...

"I am most anxious to enlist every-one who can speak or write to join in checking this mad, wicked folly of 'Women's Rights,' with all its attendant horrors, on which her poor feeble sex is bent, forgetting every sense of womanly feelings and proprietary. Feminists ought to get a good whipping. Were woman to 'unsex' them-selves by claiming equality with men, they would become the most hateful, heathen and disgusting of beings and would surely perish without male pro-tection."— Queen Victoria, March, 1870

Oh here is another one:

“As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths” (Isa. 3:12)

"If you women continue to demand your choice to work, you will so upset the economy of this country that the time will come when you will not have a choice. You will have to work."~ Helen Andelin of Fascinating Womanhood.

ding said...

but this isn't the way real life works, is it?

though your nostalgia is admirable and understandable, back in the 19th century, women worked. women worked in the 18th, 17th and 16th centuries, too. they were maids, they were dairy girls, they were nannies and governesses; they were teachers and shopgirls. they worked because it was necessitated. capitalism dictates that we all work.

again, we live in an industrialized world. if we don't work, we don't eat.

while your chain of command is...interesting, it treats women like frail children instead of like the strong people that we are. since i'm NOT married, it frankly doesn't apply to me, does it?

(and even if i was married, i'd try not to end up with a husband who thought of my as passive chattel. thanks for stopping by!)

unless you also think that women should live with their parents until they get married; if that's the case then our difference isn't just a different way of looking at scripture but also a wholly different way of looking at gender, culture and western civilization.

haiti's situation is the product of a long history of political and economic deprivation and comparing a third world country (which has never enjoyed the advantages of development) to our first world cultural politics is desperately misguided. the two situations are completely different and, rather than prove your point, show how the quality of life for women improves when we have access to work, economic stability and education.

ding said...

(uh, i mention haiti because you mention it in your other comment.)

Anonymous said...

actually the Bible also has a far less popular and far less quoted verse about the husband and wife submitting to each other...but that rarely is spoken about...

Anonymous said...

and yes that scripture is always interpreted as speaking of the last days...I say always because I've never heard it interpreted in any other way except at the church of Verlch.

Anonymous said...

Mark 13:17, KJB
But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!

Mark 13:17, TNIV
How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!


This is a lament for the suffering women will endure in watching their young ones die from war, starvation and disease...it is not about women not having children in the future...

Delia Christina said...

good thing about comment moderation: i get to delete problematic bullshit.

but to the commenter who just wants to talk smack after the blog has been on hiatus -- thanks for dropping by!