David Thompson
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April 12, 2011

Comments

Min

Yay, "reproductive justice" for everyone.

Except the foetus and the father.

JuliaM

"We learn, shockingly, that sex change surgery from female to male typically entails the patient losing the ability to bear children. "

Well, bear them naturally, I assume? Surely egg-harvesting and surrogacy (prior to the 'chop') are still available options?

Anna

An intriguing challenge for any ambitious surgeon.

It's got the makings of a David Cronenberg film.

Trimegistus

Men have no rights . . . unless they become women.

Jonathan

Looks like that page won't load for me. I'm rather glad actually - I'm not sure I could handle it. Better just to look at your selection of quotes; that's quite enough.

David

To be clear, I’ve no particular ill-feeling towards transgendered people or people who feel alienated from their physiology. Broadly speaking, a person’s genital arrangements and sexual self-image are none of my business. I do, though, think it’s… interesting that a person with two X chromosomes, breasts and a uterus could find themselves pregnant and in stirrups, undergoing an abortion, and still object emphatically to any assumptions of femaleness or female pronouns. Given the irregularity and surrealism of the situation, the person undergoing the procedure might allow that they are, to say the least, in an area of some dispute. Likewise, those who claim that the self-inflicted inability to bear children is an affront to “reproductive justice” - despite their choosing to have the necessary organs removed in order to be more like the gender that doesn’t bear children – may find cries of public sympathy less deafening than expected.

fche

I don't worry. In another couple of decades, the Roe Effect will take care of this evolutionary dead end of an ideology.

Jonathan

Loaded now. Fruit-loops to a man..... I mean woman, sorry.
And what are we to make of (in comments):

"I’m a man. If I found out today that I am pregnant, I would get an abortion."

Jonathan

I actually feel a bit funny now. It's like doing a tour of a ward for the irremediably insane.

Squid Vicious

The comment section for that piece is a riot of navel gazing, competitive political correctness, and circular firing squads. I just wouldn't know how to get through the day being so sensitive all the time. So sensitive and yet so angry that is.

Patrick Brown

This just that scene from Life of Brian, isn't it? Except that instead of fighting the oppressors for Stan/Loretta's right to have babies, they're fighting for his/her right to conceive and then abort them.

"It is symbolic of our stuggle against oppression!"

"Symbolic of his struggle against reality."

David

Squid,

“…competitive political correctness and circular firing squads…”

You could easily get the impression that the endless labels, subcategories and redefinitions are a pretext to scold those who aren’t up to speed on The Views One Ought To Have. Maybe the scolding is the reward for all that piety.

Fred

Peel off the thin veneer of hyper-radical "sensitivity" and the core of unadulterated venom and hatred ejaculates out

David

The bitter, holier-than-thou dynamic – a signature of Feministing - can be quite amusing. One poor soul asks, rather timidly, whether some assumptions in the article are “entirely productive.” She’s immediately shot down for her wickedness and told that she’s “an idiot” and an oppressor:

“You are not a trans ally, stop kidding yourself. People like YOU actively reinforce cissexual privilege… And what do you mean ‘transpersons’? it’s trans persons. With a space. Do you say blackman? Disabilityman? Fatman? Deafman?”

It’s one of those websites where the party never stops.

rabbit

"It’s in that assumption that gender lives in our crotches, that we end up erasing the reality that men can have abortions, men can get pregnant and give birth."

This is the very reductio ad absurdum of postmodernism.

WTP

I’m a man. If I found out today that I am pregnant, I would get a second opinion.

AC1

I would get another doctor.

dicentra

to be more like the gender that doesn’t bear children

Well there's your problem: whose idea was it to withhold childbearing from half the population, I wonder? And whose idea was it to slap labels on those who can and those who can't and to construct entire species on this false dichotomy? Why do we even need to make distinctions based on our nether regions, the configuration of which was done quite without our consent?

Will the oppression never end?

Jason Bontrager

I wonder if we could convince these...persons...that the assumption that a large vehicle bearing down on them is just a tool of oppression of the Patriarchy, and thus to affirm their independence they should stand up to (and in front of) any and all such "vehicles" that they encounter. Preferably fast moving ones (speed being a masculine fetish and thus intrinsically oppressive). Fight the Power!

On a different note, given their support for self-mutilation as a means of personal expression, I wonder how open they'd be to the suggestion that someone with extreme gender dysphoria undertake a course in brainwashing rather than surgery. If the problem is disagreement between self-perceived "gender" and physical sex, wouldn't getting "reprogrammed" be just as legitimate a coping mechanism as having one's naughty bits excised?

svh

Presumably a woman who feels male and wishes to undergo extreme surgery to gain some semblance of physical maleness should also retain a functional uterus and associated organs, perhaps cleverly connected to a decorative penis. An intriguing challenge for any ambitious surgeon.

Mindbleach time.

rabbit

These people obviously consider reality to be yet another form of imperialistic heteronormative oppression.

Which it may be, but I'm damned if I know what we should do about it.

Gloria

People who hate themselves so much that they have themselves mutilated for a sex change or an abortion cannot be expected to have any love for anybody else either. They hate themselves and they are merely turning that internal self-hatred onto an external target--other people.

The error our society has made is that we no longer recognize the self-haters' expressions of hatred as pathological, but rather accept their expressions of hatred and call our acceptance "tolerance." When these self-haters mutilate their own bodies or kill their unborn babies, we refuse to judge their deeds as bad or evil.

mojo

REG: Furthermore, it is the birthright of every man--

STAN: Or woman.

REG: Why don't you shut up about women, Stan. You're putting us off.

STAN: Women have a perfect right to play a part in our movement, Reg.

FRANCIS: Why are you always on about women, Stan?

STAN: I want to be one.

REG: What?

STAN: I want to be a woman. From now on, I want you all to call me 'Loretta'.

REG: What?!

LORETTA: It's my right as a man.

JUDITH: Well, why do you want to be Loretta, Stan?

LORETTA: I want to have babies.

REG: You want to have babies?!

LORETTA: It's every man's right to have babies if he wants them.

REG: But... you can't have babies.

LORETTA: Don't you oppress me.

REG: I'm not oppressing you, Stan. You haven't got a womb! Where's the foetus going to gestate?! You going to keep it in a box?!

LORETTA: crying

Q30

David, there's something I've always been amazed by, and that is the apparently limitless feminist capacity for doublethink and compartmentalizing contradicting ideas.

To wit: in order to qualify as a Feministing-approved 'feminist', one must accept the idea that there are no inherent differences between male and female brains (gender is a social construct, a notion which has roughly ZERO empirical support). And yet, to accept transgenderism as a biological phenomenon as the Feministing denizens do, one must also accept that there IS such a thing as a male or female brain. So which is it? Is there a such a thing as a female brain or isn't there?

I've never gotten a straight answer about this. Radical feminists, of course, accept the idea of hard-wired brain differences between the sexes, with the female brain being, you know, BETTER. (Substantiating this essentialist line of thought, the Michigan Wymyn's Music Festival banned transgendered females for years.) But the moderate feminists you find at Feministing simply side-step the issue entirely. Or maybe they'll give some ad hoc theorizing about how gender itself is socially-constructed but that accepting one's gender is biologically-rooted.

Comments?

Rich Rostrom

Jason Bontrager: I wonder how open they'd be to the suggestion that someone with extreme gender dysphoria undertake a course in brainwashing rather than surgery. If the problem is disagreement between self-perceived "gender" and physical sex, wouldn't getting "reprogrammed" be just as legitimate a coping mechanism as having one's naughty bits excised?

I've actually discussed this with an MTF transsexual that I knew. The response was

1) We don't know how to do such reprogramming, but we do know how to change the body, at least superficially.

2) The idea "feels wrong". There is a sense that the mental self is the real person, and the corporeal self is subordinate.

Both I and that transsexual were science-fiction fans. The idea of "mind transfer" has been around SF for a while, and it takes "mind = self" as an assumption.

And people get very itchy about the idea of deliberately modifying their essential selves.

Of course, my friend was a rational person, not a sexual ideologue.

The position of the Feministing ilk is, AIUI, that an individual's perception of his gender must be accepted, regardless of his original or modified physiology. If the person chooses surgical modification, that's cool. If the person just adopts the clothing and a name of the opposite sex, that's cool too, and the person must be allowed to use all the gender-specific facilities of his choice.

This is a radical change from earlier feminist attitudes towards the transgendered. At one time it was the rule that any gender attribute other than the absolutely physical was culturally constructed. Therefore, an individual who adopted such attributes as a part of gender identity was surrendering to the false gender definition of the culture. This animus was particularly directed at MTF transsexuals who wanted to look and dress like conventionally pretty women.

But MTFs who adopted hard feminist norms (separatism, lesbianism) were also rejected, especially those who asserted leadership roles. One scholar even claimed that MTF transsexuals were a modern version of the medieval eunuch - castrated males sent into women's spaces to control them.

The Michigan Festival excluded transsexuals not because they had inferior male brains, but because they were not genuine women.

David

Q30,

“So which is it?”

Quite. The politicised denial of biology is generally inconsistent and seems to hinge on which Designated Victim Group is being discussed. One of the standard rhetorical positions goes something like this: “A woman acting like a woman is bourgeois, conformist and a social construct, especially if she feels a (non-existent, socially constructed) inclination to bear children; but a woman acting like a man (even in cartoonish or stereotypical ways) is radical, edgy and biologically preordained.”

But dogmatism and rhetorical evasion are standard features of Feministing threads. One commenter says, “Abortion rights… are everyone’s issue.” Though the word “everyone” is somewhat misleading as the father-to-have-been doesn’t figure anywhere in the moral calculation. And as we’ve seen, even mentioning his existence in a mildly positive way can lead to heated indignation. The commenter goes on, “I also went to a conference this weekend that encouraged us to think of the right to abortion as a human right.” For some, this choice of words may not be an entirely happy one.

The people I’ve spoken with who feel profound unease about abortion do so not because they’re misogynists or, as one commenter puts it, because they want to “attack women’s bodies.” They dislike abortion because they fear it entails the destruction of a nascent human being. Now one might debate this position and question the point at which a person ‘starts’ in the womb; but it helps to debate the subject in good faith, which means acknowledging the actual concern, as opposed to one that’s simply assumed, flatters one’s own position and is frequently misleading.


Rich,

The saga of the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival was discussed here. The rhetorical dynamics are quite interesting.

Fred

Rabbit,

These people obviously consider reality to be yet another form of imperialistic heteronormative oppression.

a while back a Dutch Labour party politician said in public, "facts are right-wing".

In both these cases, the bien pensent feminist/left-winger is left with only one possible, and politically acceptable, conclusion: it is the facts that are at fault.

Fred

On the general topic of identity politics, it is fascinating to watch people who don't believe in individuals as individuals wrestle with defining themselves and others in terms of the intersections of approved minority/victim groups into which they are considered to fall. Their worldview of society is that of a warped, N-dimensional Venn diagram, with the winner the one with the most intersections.

There's no group for "white heterosexual (or conservative homosexual) male" though. We are the oppressors. That's just self-evident, right? That's the theological initial condition, which is not to be questioned. Everything else flows from there.

Mr L

Why stop with just the one post? Dig her interview with Ben Pivot: http://feministing.com/2011/04/09/the-feministing-five-ben-privot/

"Ben Privot has made it his personal mission to, in his own words, “present consent as extremely sexy”. And he’s off to a fantastic start. His brand new initiative, The Consensual Project (TCP), was founded in mid January of this year to promote consent between partners as a method for making sexual interaction healthier, safer, sexier."

Choice quote: "I’ll spare you the details, but I can’t even compare my sex life before and after consent – it is just that dramatic of a difference." Yeah, sex sure was a lot different without consent!

www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1036085884

This is going to be a bit long... but please bear with me.

I do, though, think it’s… interesting that a person with two X chromosomes, breasts and a uterus could find themselves pregnant and in stirrups, undergoing an abortion, and still object emphatically to any assumptions of femaleness or female pronouns.

Here's an example.

When I was in second grade, I was sat at a table with other little kids. We were 'special' because we all had gender neutral names. We really didn't understand that... Our table was all boys, but we were the smallest boys in the entire second grade. One of my table mates had micro penis and undescended testicles. All of the bigger boys picked on him incessantly about it. He always played with the girls. All of the bigger boys picked on him for that too. For the entire year his life was hell and he was the most unhappiest boy you ever saw.
That summer we were supposed to both get a minor operation to drag out testicles down and tie them off. I was side tracked by other events, so I wasn't there.
They opened the boy up, only to find a full set of female reproductive organs. The child was lucky, the doctor sewed everything up and had the child involved in what was to happen. That was 1969, it was unheard of back then to let a child be involved with that kind of decision.

1973 came.

His family had moved to our street around 1970. He was terribly shy around us kids who were always hanging out at the house next door but eventually he warmed up to us. In the summer we always got on our bikes to go to the Y nearly every day. He never would go with us, but he did loosen up and became friends with us. One day, we saw him limping around his yard mowing the grass with a bandage on his leg. We asked him about it. They had taken skin from his butt cheek. He showed us what was under the bandage and we saw a real nasty scar. We were kids and kids think scars are cool and ask the most embarrassing questions. Soon we were showing off our scars, but his were just so much more... disturbing. Over the next few weeks we found out that they had taken the skin to make a scrotum for him and that his other scars were to make him more of a boy. We were there when the skin became necrotic and was removed only to have more skin removed from the other butt cheek and stitched in place. We did manage to get him to go to the Y with us. We had great times. Those endless idealism summers were the afternoon is forever. There's always enough grape Kool-Aid for everyone. Gilligan's Island is always on...

The end started in August of 1973. On one of those endless afternoons my family moved away....

My friend went in for that one last surgery. Just that last one. There were no CAT or MRI scans. Most of what's known today wasn't know back then. Just a simple surgery for a guy that wanted to grow up to be the first Catholic Priest who pitched for the Oakland A's. Who wanted to be the first one among his friends to touch a girls boob or even kiss her.
In other words, a guy.

He only had one more surgery, out of nearly a dozen. He was so used to surgery, it was nothing to him. Just another scar among many to show off on a Saturday.

The doctor cut in to him, looked around for the two shy testicles... only to find a complete female reproductive system lying in wait. The doctor did what any doctor of that time would do. He removed the faux scrotum that covered sealed tissues that were in fact fused labia. He removed the phallus that needed 4 or 5 surgeries and 7 years of aggressive testosterone treatments to make it grow proud. Another surgery to move a vein from his leg so he could pee standing up...
The doctor removed it all and tossed it in the trash because he did what felt right to him. To him, the person lying there was biologically female and shouldn't have anything male about them. So he cut it all away.
My friend went in, laid down thinking that this was the last painful surgery and he would be a full man. Only to wake up to a true nightmare. Because losing his hard fought for manhood was only the start.
But, losing his manhood was a massive blow.
They took him off of testosterone immediately. His body was so used to it, and it also leveled his mood.
Another blow.
He was forbidden from seeing any of his friends, or going to school, or playing with anything boy like.
He couldn't wear pants, only dresses. His close cropped hair, they refused to let it be cut.
Without testosterone, the body responded like any 13 year old girl's body does. Breasts started to bud, a menstrual cycle began.
The blows to his psyche didn't stop.
He couldn't play little league. He couldn't be an altar boy any more.
He was an innocent 13 year old boy who went in to surgery to become a man...
Only to wake up in a nightmare that wouldn't stop.
After all of that, it still didn't stop.
It didn't stop with a rape.
It didn't stop with a pregnancy.
It stopped with suicide.

That's the reality. That happens to Intersexed people, some of them. Surgically Created Transsexual.

Biological sex is easy to determine, except when it's not. With some people, the issue is fraught. Example - transsexuality. Now I really, really over-simplify here, but "boy brain in girl body" or the reverse captures the essence of it.

From Sexual Hormones and the Brain: An Essential Alliance for Sexual Identity and Sexual Orientation Garcia-Falgueras A, Swaab DF Endocr Dev. 2010;17:22-35

The fetal brain develops during the intrauterine period in the male direction through a direct action of testosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hormone surge. In this way, our gender identity (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and sexual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. However, since sexual differentiation of the genitals takes place in the first two months of pregnancy and sexual differentiation of the brain starts in the second half of pregnancy, these two processes can be influenced independently, which may result in extreme cases in trans-sexuality. This also means that in the event of ambiguous sex at birth, the degree of masculinization of the genitals may not reflect the degree of masculinization of the brain. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender identity or sexual orientation.

Hence results like this:

White matter microstructure in female to male transsexuals before cross-sex hormonal treatment. A diffusion tensor imaging study. - Rametti et al, J Psychiatr Res. 2010 Jun 8.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that the white matter microstructure pattern in untreated FtM transsexuals is closer to the pattern of subjects who share their gender identity (males) than those who share their biological sex (females). Our results provide evidence for an inherent difference in the brain structure of FtM transsexuals.


Now where it gets *really* interesting is (hold on to your hat) 5-alpha-reductase-2 deficiency, 17-beta-hydroxysteroid-degydrogenase-3 deficiency, and partial 3-beta-hydroxysteroid-degydrogenase deficiency. The first two can cause a natural sex change from F to M, the last one from M to F. This will either cause or cure transsexuality.

See http://home.vicnet.net.au/%7Eaissg/2010_FamCA_237.pdf

rjmadden

it’s not just women that have abortions.

So that's why Lori Adelman's parents forked out $200,000 for a Social Studies degree.

David

www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1036085884,

“Our results provide evidence for an inherent difference in the brain structure of FtM transsexuals.”

Thanks very much for the information. I had assumed that some detectable biological factor would be in play in gender dysphoria, at least in some cases, but the details are intriguing. Incidentally, the pdf you link is password protected.

www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1036085884

Just in case you think that these are all one in a million events... 1 in 300 men don't have the usual 46XY chromosomes. Most don't know it, there are no obvious symptoms in many cases. 1 in 60 people don't quite match the norm of 100% F or 100% M, but again, most don't know it. Unless they play competitive sport and fail a "sex test", or go to a fertility clinic to see why they don't seem to be able to get pregnant - or get their partner pregnant. Sometimes not even then, it can take a whole bank of lab tests to detect some conditions.

But for about 1 in 1-2000.. it's obvious. Call it 200,000 people in the USA. Enough to cause some interesting legal problems. You see, back in the 1950's, with miscegenation laws in force, in some places "a single drop of African blood" made you black. In others, you had to be at least 1/64 African-American to be considered a Negro.

So someone could be Black (and forbidden from marrying a White) in one state, and White (and forbidden from marrying a Black) in another. To that extent, Race, though based on biological realities, was a social construct, much as I hate that phrase because it usually signifies 100% BS.

As regards legal sex, the situation is similar today. From the case Littleton vs Prange:
“Taking this situation to its logical conclusion, Mrs. Littleton, while in San Antonio, Texas, is a male and has a void marriage; as she travels to Houston, Texas, and enters federal property, she is female and a widow; upon traveling to Kentucky she is female and a widow; but, upon entering Ohio, she is once again male and prohibited from marriage; entering Connecticut, she is again female and may marry; if her travel takes her north to Vermont, she is male and may marry a female; if instead she travels south to New Jersey, she may marry a male.”

Sounds pretty much like a "social construct based on biological reality" to me.

David

www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1036085884,

“Enough to cause some interesting legal problems.”

Indeed, among others. I wonder, then, exactly how many people with no genital ambiguity or signs of intersex are undergoing abortions while regarding themselves as male. As opposed to people with less differentiated physiology, who presumably tend to have difficulty bearing children. And how might others, not least abortion providers, respond to this atypical situation? Should they, and the law, refer to the pregnant, apparently female patient as male?

It’s one thing to ask friends and workmates to refer to oneself as whatever gender feels more subjectively correct, even if the physical mismatch is quite pronounced. It’s something I’d probably oblige, just on the level of basic civility. It is, perhaps, something else to expect similar accommodation from those being employed to destroy the foetus in one’s womb, where presumably (in most cases) the patient’s body is by all appearance female. I suppose it’s a question of whether to keep the dissonance to oneself or share it with - impose it on? - others.

[ Edited for clarity. ]

David

www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1036085884,

Further to the above…

I’m sure the experience of abortion is a stark reminder of one’s biological nature and will therefore jar with a self-image at odds with that fact. I’m just wondering to what extent one might expect others to share in that dissonance willingly. That is, to continually ‘correct’ their own, perhaps rather vivid, perceptions. To what extent should others comply – or be made to comply - with a person’s unusual self-image? [Added: What happens in the abortion scenario when there’s no physical corroboration of the “male” identity? Whose perspective gets to prevail?]

To return to my earlier workplace example, I’d probably be accommodating and refer to the person as whichever gender they felt happier with, because – despite rumours to the contrary – I’m basically a decent guy. But depending on the particulars I might not be so indulgent in private conversations and I wouldn’t expect third parties to be obliging out of earshot. I wouldn’t wish to encourage meanness or mistreatment, but I don’t feel it’s up to me to govern how others perceive things.

Trimegistus

Here is a shocking story.
You can tell it's shocking because every sentence is a paragraph.
And in italics.

The story ends in suicide.
That makes it a sad story.

Because of this sad story, everything you think is wrong.

WTP

Trimegistus, but did you read this part:

Now where it gets *really* interesting is (hold on to your hat) 5-alpha-reductase-2 deficiency, 17-beta-hydroxysteroid-degydrogenase-3 deficiency, and partial 3-beta-hydroxysteroid-degydrogenase deficiency. The first two can cause a natural sex change from F to M, the last one from M to F. This will either cause or cure transsexuality.

? Do you know what that even means? How can you criticise? Has anyone seen my hat?

David

The Feministing piece and subsequent comments are chiefly concerned with subjective self-image rather than physical intersex anomalies - hence the standard spiel about gender being “constructed out of the way we hold our hands, the length of our hair and what we wear.” And hence the problem. If we’re talking about someone, ostensibly female, experiencing a psychological mismatch (even one that may have a genetic cause) but without unusual male physical attributes, then I’d expect much more resistance to the idea that “men can get pregnant and give birth.” Whatever that person might like, it’s difficult to call what is apparently a pregnant woman - a man.

Q30

If I identify as a lesbian trapped inside a man's body, who on earth can tell me I'm wrong?

Certainly not you, HATER!

David

Q30,

“If I identify as a lesbian trapped inside a man’s body, who on earth can tell me I'm wrong?”

Well, I suppose that sort of gets to the point. How far and under what circumstances can a ‘pregnant-man-trapped-in-a woman’s-body’ expect their self-definition to be accepted and affirmed by others?

The Feministing article doesn’t mention any instances of extreme anatomical ambiguity. In fact it disdains physical clues – gender doesn’t “live in our crotches,” etc. The whole piece and subsequent comments are premised on a person’s subjective preference as sufficient, indeed absolute. In some social situations this may be workable, if slightly surreal. But what happens in the abortion scenario, which is the main point of the article? In cases where there’s no obvious anatomical anomaly, no hermaphrodite features, those performing the abortion may feel they’re quite right to regard the patient as a woman rather than a pregnant man. Or are we asking people to rescind their own first-hand observations in favour of someone else’s disputed or unverifiable - almost metaphysical - claims?

AC1

David,

Don't knock that. My Business is "all women" on forms for "free" stuff organised by the state.

If they're going to discriminate against men while saying Gender is a choice, then I can play games too.

Rich Rostrom

Q30:

a lesbian trapped inside a man's body...

I knew two of those: one who told me that, another who never said so, but took up with a woman (though it was before any surgery, so I'm not sure how that qualifies as "lesbian").

There was another TS whose babblings appeared in an SF fanzine, who claimed to be a lesbian.

Also, there is a category of MTF TSs defined by Dr. Ray Blanchard: the "autogynephiliac" who are sexually aroused by the idea of himself as a woman. This often extends to fantasies about becoming a lesbian.

Lesbianism is pornographically arousing to many men. Lesbian-theme porn depicts the action as exquisitely pleasurable, and some men want to participate. Hetero porn often focuses on the intensity of female pleasure; a male fantasizing about becoming a lesbian is fantasizing about having female pleasure without having to imagine intimacy with males - which would be "gay".

sk60

which means acknowledging the actual concern, as opposed to one that’s simply assumed, flatters one’s own position and is frequently misleading.

Such blasphemy, David! They won't put up with that kind of talk over at Feministing. They know THE TRUTH:

"The fact that these people would like to see abortions available with some sort of restrictions placed on them confirms that their opinion is being swayed by a dislike (if not hatred) of female sexuality…The anti-choice movement is fueled by misogyny, but also by racism, transphobia, homophobia, ableism, and lookism."

Pellegri

The people I’ve spoken with who feel profound unease about abortion do so not because they’re misogynists or, as one commenter puts it, because they want to “attack women’s bodies.” They dislike abortion because they fear it entails the destruction of a nascent human being.

This is very belated, but this nails it.

I want to be able to have a discussion with people who are pro-choice that starts with "if scientists discover that a fetus is able to feel pain and fear--in short, is capable of cognition--does that still make abortion okay?"

So much of the rhetoric is based in how horrible life is when choice is denied to women that the whole "obligate death of a living thing" is totally glossed over.

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