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July 01, 2010

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rjmadden

Excellent post. Just want to juxtapose this

"To identify with the foetus as a nascent human being is “appalling,” a “fantasy,” and not to be “pandered” to"

with this...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/1xtra/tx/gallery/media/science_12_copy.jpg

Says it all, really.

R. Sherman

And it is those of Ms. Marcotte's ilk who prevent there being any discussion of the issue, thereby precluding any hope of a reasonable accommodation between/among the various factions. Their dogmatic stance simply camouflages the fact, that they are incapable of rational thought.

David

“Just want to juxtapose this... with this.”

Well, quite. “Thwarted sperm” doesn’t seem to cover the possibilities being dismissed.

To be clear, though, I’m not so much interested in discussing abortion per se. What caught my eye were the hostile reactions to the *idea* of sympathy for male partners, as if defending abortion must entail sneering at grief and denying basic human feeling based solely on gender. It’s the prevalence of dogmatism, presumption and idiot boilerplate – and a kind of competitive callousness - that’s what’s interesting. And, I think, revealing.

Trimegistus

Denying basic human feeling is what feminism is all about.

Seriously. It's a movement of psychopaths trying to make everyone else as damaged as they are.

Anna

When my sister had her miscarriage I should've told her to get over herself because it was only 'uterine tissue'. Then I'd be a REAL feminist like Amanda.

Ed

David,

“What caught my eye were the hostile reactions to the *idea* of sympathy for male partners, as if defending abortion must entail sneering at grief and denying basic human feeling based solely on gender. It’s the prevalence of dogmatism, presumption and idiot boilerplate – and a kind of competitive callousness - that’s what’s interesting. And, I think, revealing.”

All true.

“Well, here’s a typical foetus at 12 weeks, at which point it could legally be aborted. The foetus measures about 6 centimetres in length and weighs about 20 grams. It can move its arms and legs. It has fingers and a face, though its eyes remain closed. As you can see, this little un-person is just “uterine tissue” - “thwarted sperm” - and, clearly, of no more significance than an omelette or a spleen. Here’s one at 10 weeks.”

I see.

“To be clear, though, I’m not so much interested in discussing abortion per se.”

Well, evidently you are, as you just said a load of anti-abortion stuff. Perhaps you just mean you’re not interested in having what you wrote criticised. Anyway, out of interest, do you consider any being that can “move its arms and legs” and “has fingers and a face” and “eyes [including closed eyes]” to be of notable importance? If not, why did you mention those things?

Paul L.

More brilliance from Amanda Marcotte about Fathers
Men have no right to complain and stop paying child support when they discover that a child is not their biological offspring.
http://scribe.doublex.com/blog/xxfactor/dna-isnt-all-there-reproducing

David

Ed,

“Well, evidently you are, as you just said a load of anti-abortion stuff.”

Perhaps I should point out I’m reluctantly in favour of abortion, though current term limits are an area of concern. To point out what abortion can entail hardly justifies the description “anti-abortion stuff.” Given the sentiments quoted in the piece, which are fairly typical of both linked discussions, it seems important to show what it is that’s being referred to and dismissed.

“Do you consider any being that can ‘move its arms and legs’ and ‘has fingers and a face’ and ‘eyes [including closed eyes]’ to be of notable importance?”

I’d guess that a *human* foetus with those properties is widely regarded as having some special, rather immediate, significance. It seems rather poignant to me, and most likely to others here. Which may explain various reactions to pointing out such things.

“Perhaps you just mean you’re not interested in having what you wrote criticised.”

Yes, of course. That must be it.

Anna

"Perhaps you just mean you're not interested in having what you wrote criticised."

Haha. Oh wait, that wasn't a joke?

David

Once I’ve squeezed into my velour blogging thong and put it out there (as it were), I don’t have much say in whether I’m criticised, fairly or otherwise. And in over 3 years of doing this little pole dance, with over 14,000 readers’ comments, I’ve only banned 4 people from commenting here. One was repeatedly abusive to me and other commenters, two were sub-literate trolls, and the other was simply deranged. I’m told that’s pretty good going, all things considered.

Anna

"Once I've squeezed into my velour blogging thong and put it out there (as it were)"

I'll treasure *that* mental image.

pam402

"you just said a load of anti-abortion stuff."

Why is it "anti-abortion" to show what a foetus looks like early on in pregnancy?

Ed

David,

“Perhaps you just mean you're not interested in having what you wrote criticised”
“Yes, of course. That must be it.”

Just so we’re clear, then, does that mean you *are* interested?

David

Ed,

Depending on my mood, “interested in” is perhaps a shade too strong. “Generally tolerant of” might be more accurate.

JuliaM

"Because if a woman chooses abortion and her male partner isn’t entirely happy at this outcome, even if he agreed with it, he must be a douchebag, a deadbeat or a dick. "

Doesn't Amanda's little coterie consider any man - even a 'new man' desperately trying to score points with them by agreeing with any barmy thing that drops out of their mouths - to exist in that default state anyway? Regardless of their opinion on abortion?

Ed

David,

“Perhaps you just mean you're not interested in having what you wrote criticised”
“Yes, of course. That must be it.”
“Just so we’re clear, then, does that mean you *are* interested?”
“Depending on my mood, “interested in” is perhaps a shade too strong. “Generally tolerant of” might be more accurate.”

It seems you really don’t want to give a straight answer on that one. I’ll leave it there then.

“Do you consider any being that can ‘move its arms and legs’ and ‘has fingers and a face’ and ‘eyes [including closed eyes]’ to be of notable importance?”
“I’d guess that a *human* foetus with those properties is widely regarded as having some special, rather immediate, significance. It seems rather poignant to me, and most likely to others here.”

Perhaps we can come back to the “human” bit another time. So I’ll take it as a given for now. Anyway, a foetus with those properties is “widely regarded as” having special significance and you find those properties poignant – but do *you* regard a foetus with those properties as having special significance?

David

Julia,

“Doesn’t Amanda’s little coterie consider any man... to exist in that default state anyway?”

Well, I suppose in a way that’s my basic point. There’s apparently a common assumption that if a man feels sadness or upset regarding abortion, even one he agreed with and would defend in principal, this *must* be grounded in some urge to control women, or to control one woman at least. This is bizarre and patently untrue. But what it presumes is interesting, as is what follows from it if taken at face value. The idea that a man might love his wife or partner and have no urge whatsoever to exert patriarchal influence appears to be unwelcome, even taboo, at least in certain quarters.

I’d have thought it was fairly easy to comprehend that a man might mourn something other than a supposed loss of dominion over someone else’s organs.

David

Ed,

“...but do *you* regard a foetus with those properties as having special significance?”

An animal foetus? Yes, depending on circumstance and mood. More so than, say, spores or algae. A sheep foetus, though, is much less special to me than a human one, and I suspect to most other human beings. An animal foetus can of course arouse a sense of poignancy, especially if lit well and even if the creature isn’t one of the fluffy ones people tend to like. It’s a question of degree, I suppose. Note my earlier use of the word “un-person,” which seemed to summarise the general consensus of the discussions linked above. Foetal cows and pigs are unlikely to become a person. And isn’t personhood – humanity - at the nub of abortion debates, even when people insist that it can’t be?

I’m sure one might make serious arguments regarding the welfare of foetal cows or pigs and the fuzzy and inconsistent boundaries of human compassion. But that’s a little beyond our scope here – it’s a thread in itself.

Ed

“Perhaps we can come back to the “human” bit another time. So I’ll take it as a given for now. Anyway, a foetus with those properties is “widely regarded as” having special significance and you find those properties poignant – but do *you* regard a foetus with those properties as having special significance?”
“An animal foetus?”

No, a human foetus: I’ll take it as a given we’re talking about human foetuses.

David

Ed,

“No, a human foetus.”

Ah. Sorry, I was distracted by food - and a lame pigeon that’s been squatting rather pathetically on my window ledge. I’ve been feeding it cheese.

So... Do I regard a human foetus with those properties as having special significance? Well, yes, when I pay attention. Don’t you find them significant in some way? Something to do with empathy, wonderment, a sense of recognition...? If there weren’t a common feeling of something along those lines, surely images of foetus development wouldn’t be quite so charged in debates about abortion?

svh

"I'm definitely in the rationalist category of feminism." Amanda Marcotte, 2008.

Just so we know.

dcardno

"The idea that a man might love his wife or partner and have no urge whatsoever to exert patriarchal influence appears to be unwelcome, even taboo, at least in certain quarters."

I think it goes slightly further, David: I would suggest that the end-point of doctrinaire feminism is that there is no such thing as "love" or, at least, that males are not capable of feeling such emotion in regard to females. What you or I might believe is love for a female partner is, in fact, the urge to dominate her and control her organs. There is no explanation for the emotion when felt by women towards women (or men towards men), but when felt by women towards men it is clearly either false consciousness or a variant of the Stockholm Syndrome.

David

dcardno,

“I think it goes slightly further, David...”

Well, taken much further, one arrives at the moral boneyard of Margaret Jamison, an unhappy woman who defines rape as “all penile intercourse,” who delights in her own professed radicalism in the jaws of The Patriarchy, and who ponders the merits of male infanticide. Like many of her peers, Ms Jamison is fond of quasi-Marxist framing and the assumption of generic and competing groups: “Males, as a class… have no compassion.”

http://davidthompson.typepad.com/davidthompson/2009/10/the-masters-tools.html

If a person’s worldview and persona are premised on their heroic opposition and unending victimhood, there’s an obvious incentive to frame every possible situation in those terms, regardless of reality. (One has to remain the heroine of one’s own drama, and it becomes easier to justify one’s choices with reference to some malign all-pervasive counterforce, against which one struggles, heroically of course.)

Thus, men cannot be permitted to have feelings on abortion, except the nefarious ones assigned to them by doctrinaire feminists. The male must be The Oppressor and remain The Oppressor, and everything he does and feels must be framed in terms of His Urge To Oppress. To concede another possibility – that feelings of grief have nothing to do with craving power over women – raises questions that may jar with the role-play.

tehag

Imagine the sort of sick society which produces human beings such as Marcotte. Oh, wait. I don't have to. I need only look out the window.

Pedro

Wait....hold on a second here...you all dive right into the abortion debate, head first, when is it a human, its a blob, etc etc. I do like the "subject" of the post which focuses around the card/ad campaign. What I found fascinating is that in the first example they say, "The grief of losing a CHILD to abortion". Wow. That is interesting is it not? It is identifying the blob as a child. Hmmmm. I don't know whether that is the most diabolical wording I have ever seen or the most honest one.

Mondo

I find it interesting that Amanda Marcotte thinks of herself only as a sperm receptacle; the only question she apparently needs to answer is how long it will be before she cleans herself up.

But, what I really find interesting is that she expects everyone else to have as low an opinion of themselves as she does of herself.

If that ever were to happen, I suspect the competition to write for Pandagon would be ferocious.

parma

....established by the “poke it/own it” law laid down in beer commercial....

This is really backwards. I'm pretty sure the rules goes.......poked=owned, cuz you gave it up. seriously

Chris

Posted by: David | July 01, 2010 at 20:53

Spot-on. That explains Amanda & Co. completely.

Darleen Click

Paul

I read this at your link:

"But for social reasons, most of us are unwilling to take the next step in believing the biological evidence in front of our eyes. We still round up and say that a child is "half" the father, reducing that child to its genetic code.

But the truth is that a baby is made up almost completely of her mother when she is born. The only thing the father contributes is half the code. The rest—the protein, the nutrients, the very fabric of the baby's body, and all the mitochondria—comes from the mother."

Would someone PLEASE explain to me why Ms. Mandy's attempts at writing keep showing up in various Left venues? I mean, don't some Leftists have any sense of shame or embarrassment left?

Wadingacross.wordpress.com

In the discussion on abortion, it boils down to two questions:
1) What is/are the unborn?
2) What is abortion?

Stages in development and/or appearance do not change what you/we are from the moment of conception.

Just because something is legal does not necessarily make it morally right. Laws may be written to define something, but it doesn't make the law necessarily correct.

We are humans, persons, from the moment of conception. Abortion is murder.

Kralizec

I feel brooding malice toward Ms. Marcotte.

Don

Upshot

Abortion is an unpleasant and legal reality.

Some chicks are creepy assholes.

You wanna eliminate abortion? don't get creepy chicks pregnant, and...improve male birth control.
Don't get any chicks preggers
Unless you are sure they will stick with you and be decent wives, oh and by the way this should go with out saying

Don't Donate Sperm

Rafi

Great post, David.

"Except, that is, for the nasty, misogynist, controlling feelings that Amanda and her peers will assign to you, based solely on your gender."

Sexism and prejudice are the most evil things ever. (Except when WE do it.)

jose40

"And note the conspicuous absence of any reference to love – of partner or child-to-be. Coupling and reproduction are reduced to an ideological board game in which rivals vie for power and men only feel hurt when losing their dominion over someone else's organs."

You nailed it. The man is the bad guy whatever he does. If he cares about the fetus it's emotional blackmail from a controlling 'Man-Child'. It's like Marcotte and co *want* to be stereotype screwed up feminists. You read what they say and you wonder if they could ever be happy.

SG

"Why is it "anti-abortion" to show what a foetus looks like early on in pregnancy?"

Posted by: pam402 | July 01, 2010 at 16:55

It isn't, it's just real. But people like Amanda pretend abortion isn't about what's in those pictures.

theresa

Great post!
Amanda is a piece of work..obviously abortion is her god.
Did you see her most recent post on abortion and Domestic Violence?..I addressed it here...
http://reclaimingourchildren.typepad.com/lumina_a_ray_of_light_aft/2010/06/abortion-is-no-solution-for-domestic-violence.html

rjmadden

"But people like Amanda pretend abortion isn't about what's in those pictures."

Posted by: SG | July 02, 2010 at 11:13

An interesting article: Mugged by Ultrasound.

"Abortion rights activists have long preferred to hold themselves at some remove from the practice they promote; rather than naming it, they speak of "choice" and "reproductive freedom." But those who perform abortions have no such luxury. Instead, advances in ultrasound imaging and abortion procedures have forced providers ever closer to the nub of their work. Especially in abortions performed far enough along in gestation that the fetus is recognizably a tiny baby, this intimacy exacts an emotional toll, stirring sentiments for which doctors, nurses, and aides are sometimes unprepared."

http://theweeklystandard.com/articles/mugged-ultrasound

WTP

"We are humans, persons, from the moment of conception. Abortion is murder."

Of course that's only half the story. At the moment of conception a woman who has been raped has conceived a whole and complete human being. She must carry that child to full term and either raise it herself, forcing herself to love that child, half of whose features will surely remind her of the evil SOB and the traumatic event that created this situation, or give it up for adoption. Hmm, would the adoptive parents have a right to be aware of the situation? Well that's a whole other issue, of course.

And shame on those who miscarry a child but do not show them the basic human decency of an eternal resting place. We truly must do more to save the lives of those children who fail to develop properly in the womb. Something like 10-20% of conceptions. They are human too and deserve every bit of medical treatment we can pour at them.

Why it's all just as simple as that.

Kimberly

Meanwhile, where actual misogyny is to be found (http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/view/142452/Muslim-Harry-Potter-actress-death-threats-from-dad-and-bro), "feminists" like Marcotte have nothing to say. It's much more easy to pick on grieving would-be father and feel oh-so-superior to those unenlightened women who think of a fetus as more than a cracked egg.

Funny, isn't it, how these brave "feminists" go after such easy targets?

ojo

"Why is it "anti-abortion" to show what a foetus looks like early on in pregnancy?"

Posted by: pam402 | July 01, 2010 at 16:55

If people think the pictures are 'anti-abortion' does that mean they feel guilty?

Craig Mc

The good news is that Feministing's special brand of stupidity will breed itself out.

Who says conservatives don't believe in evolution?

dcardno

Who says conservatives don't believe in evolution?

Or is that just 'breeding to dumminence?'

Wm T Sherman
carbon based lifeform

Wait. I thought men were supposed to be 'damaged' by *not* expressing their emotions?

Anna

A list of *acceptable* feelings was posted at Feministing. You didn't memorize it?

David

rjmadden,

Thanks for the “Mugged by Ultrasound” link. From which:

“Advances in ultrasound imaging and abortion procedures have forced providers ever closer to the nub of their work... This intimacy exacts an emotional toll, stirring sentiments for which doctors, nurses, and aides are sometimes unprepared.”

I wonder if improvements in, and access to, high resolution real-time scans will change popular opinion on the subject. I recently watched some in utero footage of a 12 week termination and I certainly wasn’t prepared.

Tom

"You don’t legitimise unhealthy entitlement."

Not to go off topic, but I will, I would love to see this on a prominent sign at a tea party with the attribution going to Amanda.

"A foetus is no more a person than the omelette I cook up is a chicken. "

Perhaps that's because great care is taken to ensure that the eggs she buys aren't fertilized. Were she to crack open a fertilized egg I doubt she would continue to use it for making an omelette. Good Lord, could solving the abortion question for Amanda be as simple as sneaking some fertilized eggs into her fridge?

Naaa....

David Gillies

If I got someone up the duff and she wanted an abortion then I would tear a limb off if preventing the death off my offspring by transplanting the foetus into my body were a viable proposition. But it isn't, so the dismal Marcotte's presumption that it is lack of commitment, rather than basic biological fact that stops this from happening is a remarkably illuminating vignette of just how stupid hidebound Leftist ideology can make one.

Has she never seen the look on a father's face when he holds his baby? Has she never spoken to a new father? Of course Marcotte has form here. Her writing is suffused with a grubby, sullen malevolence that is only worsened by her evident stupidity.

Barbara

What comfort does the ideology bring that assumes the enmity and parasitism of most of the human race, even and especially of your intimate partners and your progeny? What nobility is there in a belief system that disdains sacrifice and continence?

I was at a lecture here in Austin, Texas and the speaker pointed Ms. Marcotte out as a friend (he had at one point been a contributor to her blog.) I wondered, especially after having dinner with him and hearing stories of his wonderful (his word) son, who has Down's Syndrome, how he reconciled the vicious anti-life views of his pal with his own experience of courageous life affirmation.

jsallis

"I should point out I'm reluctantly in favour of abortion, though current term limits are an area of concern"

Posted by: David | July 01, 2010 at 15:48

Care to elaborate?

David

jsallis,

“Care to elaborate?”

I don’t have much to add. The issue seems inherently fraught and any practicable position, including my own, is a compromise; a juggling of evils. The idea of the state governing a person’s reproduction is repellent and I’ve no urge to control what people do with their own bodies. But current UK law allows terminations up to 24 weeks, at which point what is being terminated looks very much like a human being with a body of its own. I don’t know exactly where in gestation a person could be said to begin, but at some point in the womb there’s a new person involved – an innocent person. And destroying the innocent is a repellent idea too.

But I’m not advocating a position beyond being mindful of what the procedure can entail. What prompted the post was the apparent belief that sneering, denial and callousness are not only appropriate responses to this dilemma, but almost mandatory. As if ostentatious contempt were a credential of some kind, like a badge of feminist virtue.

That’s what I think is worth noting.

jones

'There’s no authenticity or legitimacy to his feelings'

I'll leave that notion in free-floating contempt.

I find myself wondering what the (hypothetical) views are regarding, say, the selective termination of male foetuses?

Accepting the underlying misogyny with the obverse would it be the case of the above being the 'right' kind of atrocity?

I'm simply exploring the depth of feeling here, it's existence is not in doubt.

Andrew Duffin

"...likely to have behaved like a complete and utter cock before the decision to abort"

If not, perhaps it was a case of immaculate conception.

Amy A

Thanks for this post, David. It's the antithesis of Amanda's sick rant. It's important to remind people these so-called "feminists" don't speak for me or any woman that I know.

CTD

If you've read any amount of Amanda's "writing," one thing really sticks out: she always, always ascribes psychotically (and I mean that in the literal sense) evil motives to her perceived enemies/ideological opponents. I don't think I've EVER seen her acknowledge that anyone with whom (whir?) she has any substantive disagreement might hold the position out of honest principle, however misguided or uninformed. No, it's clearly because they have a formless, pointless, sociopathic desire to harm women/blacks/the poor/whoever.

It's a trait makes her one of the nastiest writers I've ever had the displeasure of encountering.

ryanjessop

A very thoughtful post. Thank you, David.

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