A couple of things have crossed my radar recently that don’t really merit posts of their own, but I want to share them with you, so here we are. It’s an odd combo, I grant you. But there is a common thread here: both of these issues are tied together by religious views of (cis) women.
I’ve always supported abortion rights, but I used to be a lot more conservative about it. I’d got infected by the prevailing American squeamishness, and figured abortion should have some restrictions. I was never one of those life-of-mother-only people, but I thought abortions past, say, about four months into the pregnancy maybe should be restricted to threats to the mother’s health and problems with the fetus and so forth. Then, as I began to learn more about what pregnancy does to a woman, and as abortion foes made inroads on abortion rights, I decided fuck restrictions. I actually got to a point where I figured a pregnant person should be able to have an abortion any damned time they pleased, up to and including right around labor. Until that fetus was actually on its way out, it had no rights to use another person’s body whatsoever. And the formerly conservative part of me sort of cringed at that. I mean, it’s pretty extreme, right?
I don’t care if Planned Parenthood provides nothing BUT abortion services. I don’t care if it’s a million-story abortion superpark with abortion waterslides and an abortion electrical parade. Abortion is legal. ABORTION IS LEGAL. If I read one more “defense” of Planned Parenthood that says “it’s not JUST abortions!” or “only 5% of what they do is abortion! And abortions aren’t federally funded!” I’m going to abort myself. Abortion is legal, culturally necessary, and good for humanity. It has been and will be practiced for millennia. It is essential. It is a fact. By minimizing, denying or apologizing for this fact, you are allowing these venal anti-woman Nazis to frame this debate and continue to chip away at this essential right. Abortion is not tragic. It is not painful. It is a fact. It is a right. Demand it, fight for it, and for the sake of the women who have given their lives to defend it, stop apologizing for it.
And I pretty much completely agree with it, except for the legal part. I don’t think that’s an argument we should be making. Yes, in the United States, it’s legal. It’s not currently legal in many countries. Does that mean abortion is wrong in some countries and right in others? No.
Beth Presswood came across the most asinine anti-abortion article I’ve ever seen. Go and read her post. I’ll have a little something to say about it when you return. It won’t be nice, it contains quite a bit of foul language, and I’m not shielding anyone from my anger, but if you’re a secular forced-birther, you’d better damned sure show me you read, comprehended, and thought carefully about what I said before you dare to open your mouth in my presence. Continue reading “Why Secular Anti-Abortion Arguments Fail”→
A couple of weeks ago, Ophelia Benson hounded an abortion doctor into blocking her because she insisted that using the term “pregnant people” somehow erased women. In the process, Ophelia gleefully erased non binary AFAB folk and trans men. When called on her bullshit, she tried to invoke Black Lives Matter, which went about as well as you would expect.
Ophelia Benson recently harassed an abortion doctor who used inclusive language when advocating for abortion rights on Twitter. It’s pretty rich: a supposed champion for women’s rights decided it was far more important to pester an abortion doctor for using the term “pregnant people” than defend her against the howling anti-choice crowd attacking her for providing pregnant women, trans men, and non-binary people with a functional uterus. You can see the whole sordid exchange here.
As a cis woman with a (probably) functional reproductive system: No, Ophelia. You’re not doing a thing to help me avoid being forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term. Abortion doctors using inclusive language doesn’t set women’s rights back a bit. Having trans rights included with mine doesn’t hurt me – it helps. If we could see trans people as people with full rights to bodily autonomy, it would be easier for everyone to see women as people with those rights, too. So let’s just get that clear right now.
People like Ophelia do more harm than good. Cis women like me aren’t going to get better and shinier rights by shitting all over trans people. We’re not going to better protect abortion rights by denying a place at the table for trans folk who are in need of reproductive services. All it does is further harms a minority that’s already quite harmed enough. Women have a rough time getting the reproductive care they need, true. Trans men and non-binary people with female-assigned reproductive organs run into the same obstacles we do, and then have to deal with even more barriers to care: Continue reading “Yes, Trans People Need to be Included in Abortion Discussions”→
In light of the Tim Hunt saga, now seems to be a good time to rerun this piece. I’m hoping to free up some time to write up some fresh stuff for ye – in the few scattered minutes where I’ve not been obsessing over finding a place to live and how to get rid of a ridiculous number of books, I’ve had Thoughts about privileged people’s responses to both Hunt’s sexist asshattery and the appalling slaughter in Charleston. I hope to share them coherently soon. Right now, I’m just wanting to grab certain people – almost inevitably white men – by the lapels, and shake them and shout at them until some sense penetrates.
One thing I will say is: good. I’m glad they’re whining about witch hunts. I’m glad they’ve been rocked back on their heels by the volume and effectiveness of the response. I’m glad they’re clutching at any excuse to avoid facing the reality that they’re losing. They’re losing their assumed and unquestioned superiority. They are being forced to share, and they can’t stand it. They’re being required to behave, and it’s outraging them. They’re facing actual consequences, and they have no idea why, or how to deal with it. They’re having to confront some damned ugly facts about how society works, and they’re completely horrified. Good. The louder they howl, the more they protest, deny, and try to accuse and redirect, the clearer it becomes we’re getting through to them, and it’s making them more uncomfortable than they’ve ever been in their clueless, privileged little lives.
This is why we raise our voices. This is why it’s essential that we never stop. Not until they’ve finished howling their wretched little lungs out, and are finally ready to listen. Then, only then, we might have a chance to speak without having to shout.
Entitled males love to howl about how penis-bearing people did all the hard work creating civilization. It became so much of a trope that David Futrelle renamed his blog after one of their cries: “We hunted the mammoth for you!” To hear men (especially white European males who haven’t done shit with their own lives) tell it, the only people who did anything noteworthy in the entire history of the world had dangly bits between their legs.
B and I are sitting side-by-side. We are in different worlds.
B’s wishing he’d known women actually like sex back in his raging hormone days. Society had told him that girls just aren’t in to doing the wild thing, and he’d believed that, so he missed a lot of opportunities. He’s not the sort of man who’d ask a woman to do something she didn’t like. It’s why we’re together.
We’re watching UFC fights. B wishes the cage girls were curvier – these are famine years for men attracted to women who jiggle more in the bum than boobs. He’s hoping for an audience shot of Benson Henderson’s wife, because she’s a hottie. I’m busy watching various nearly-naked men in exquisite physical condition grapple and writhe. Some of the wrestling moves look like they could easily be modified for incredible bedroom encounters. And if Benson Henderson and I were unattached and he was interested, I’d love to test that theory with him. But as much as I’m assessing the fighters for potential happy fun sexytimes, I’m also aware that every one of them could turn horrifically violent in a heartbeat, and their strength, speed, and skill mean I wouldn’t stand a chance. So as much as I enjoy admiring the bodies and consider their performance potential, I’m also trying to read their character, aware that misjudging it could get me raped, killed, or both.
I think I may be a bad person for loving this so much. But I have my reasons!
I’ve never given birth, but I’ve experienced pain verging on it. When your menstrual cramps are worse than kidney stones, and your doctor tells you that women who’ve had both babies and kidney stones said the stone were worse than labor, you can be relatively assured you’ve survived something approximating the most painful experience uterus-bearing people typically face. I’m willing to bet that there’s worse things, like maybe being on fire, but childbirth is generally considered to be pretty awful. Yet our culture tells women it’s beautiful, and wonderful, and they shouldn’t ask for pain relief because that will somehow cheapen the experience or something.