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A Message To Feminists

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To whom it may concern:

I am a male citizen of the United States. As such, I realize that this may immediately disqualify me in the eyes of some from discoursing on modern feminism. However, I would urge any such minds to remain open to what I, as a citizen, son, brother, and human, share here. Please understand that I intend to avoid any reckless generalizations while likewise observing and dissecting visible facts. I am first and foremost a reporter; facts mold opinion, not vice versa.

In light of that, allow me to share some facts about modern-day American feminism. It appears, at least to this mind, that the prominent movement, which was at first concerned with the equal treatment and employment of the female sex, has now evolved into a confusing and self-deprecating left-wing smear machine. A casual listen to the leaders and captains of American feminism reveals a deep misunderstanding of what really benefits women. Worse, there is, in many instances, growing sexism on the side of these activists toward the male gender. In short, what is being revealed on a daily basis is an illogical and completely unsubstantiated vitriol towards all things not deemed “equalizing.”

It is worthy of note that today’s prominent feminist organizations support abortion. While highly political in scope, the abortion debate has more intimate connotations. First of all, let us claim enough intellectual integrity to denounce those who say they support “choice,” not actually abortion. This is a fundamentally contradicted worldview; feminists do not support the right of an employer to choose to pay less to female workers. Nor do they support the right of a male to “choose” to rape a female. They (correctly) believe both are morally wrong and, therefore, must not be tolerated. So if for nothing else but the sake of consistency, let those who identify themselves as “pro-choice” admit they are so because they see nothing wrong with it.

With that established, let us observe more. According to its own statement, the Feminist Majority Foundation seeks to “improve women’s lives.” We can agree that this is a worthy goal. However, one can easily be a little conflicted when trying to reconcile this goal with the group’s aggressive pro-choice rhetoric. I am disturbed after hearing these two statements, and then reading a state-commissioned report on the adverse affects of abortion on many women in South Dakota (which recently banned abortion, a move almost totally panned by the feminist groups). I won’t recite what the report documents because it deserves to be read, not just quoted. Yet the lengthy document has received precious little attention from the FMF. Why? Wouldn’t you agree that what women say hurts them should at least be considered heavily? The fact that no such attempt at consideration has (to the public, at any rate) occurred within feminist groups is more than a little confusing.

But feminist groups across the USA appear to be ignorant of more than one threat to women’s health. There is another slithery anti-woman culprit out there, and he’s on the magazine rack at your local grocery store. And your television set. And your computer screen. Yes, I am referring to smut, or pornography; images that encourage men to view females as valuable only in their sexuality and defeats the spirit of women who don’t look exactly like the paper-thin models. These widely available magazines, shows, movies, sites, and ads accomplish their mission brilliantly. Have we forgotten the admission of Ted Bundy? Porn is not trivial. In fact, we have evidence that it is brutally crucial. I am offended by the stores that tell me women are good for one thing – and whisper to my sisters that if they don’t “have it,” they’re no good. Why aren’t you feminists angered too? Not one link on NOW.com to “Stop Porn NOW!” Instead, what I find is “The Truth About George,” “Equal Marriage,” and “Demand Katrina Aid.” What? This was supposed to be for and about women, not another moveon.org.

The evidence mounts against modern feminism, but it continues on. The champions of women’s rights of old were out to eliminate sexism. But what happens when today’s women’s rightists evolve into the very sexists that their predecessors fought? It’s happening. Some frightening examples are found in a rally at New Hampshire University last year. The author, Shannon O’Neil (I assume a female), documents this stirring speech:

“Hello, my name is Mary Man-Hating-Is-Fun,” one participant said. “I am 23 years old, and I am what a feminist looks like. Ever since I learned to embrace my feminist nature, I found great joy in threatening men’s lives, flicking off frat brothers and plotting the patriarchy’s death. I hate men because they are men, because I see them for what they are: misogynistic, sexist, oppressive and absurdly pathetic beings who only serve to pollute and contaminate this world with war, abuse, oppression and rape.”

It gets even worse across the Atlantic. Stanley Kurtz observes some really hateful feminists in Sweden, where political parties are constructed with one overriding platform: feminism.

..the government’s women’s shelter network had printed excerpts from the “SCUM Manifesto” (Society for Cutting Up Men), penned by a radical feminist in the late 1960s. The SCUM Manifesto urges women to “destroy the male sex” by using modern science to insure that only female children are born. SCUM goes on to say: “To call a man an animal is to flatter him: he’s a machine, a walking dildo.” Asked by the film-maker if she agreed, Von Wachenfeldt said, “Yes, man is an animal. Don’t you think so?”

The Feminist Initiative had become “much worse” than the traditional patriarchal organizations it was meant to replace, said one. In other words, “man tax” advocate and de facto leader, Gudrun Schyman, was in control, purging the “moderates” (themselves quite radical by American standards) and siding with the radicals. The entertainment at the conference further radicalized the party’s image, particularly the rapturous applause for a song that went, “F***ing man, we’re going to chop you to bits.”

And so this is my message to feminists who confuse their priorities: we see you, and we wish you would see yourselves. Many worthy women are awaiting worthy efforts, and not receiving them. Please consider our objections, and act in the way that would best benefit those whom you consider yourselves to be serving.

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About Sam James

  • If you’re not willing to quote to the South Dakota report, why not link to it? From your article, I only get the faintest sense of what it may have to say.

    Also, it might be worth pointing out the context of “Mary” from the original article: “Monologues by members of the FAL poked fun at feminist stereotypes and set the tone of an evening of sarcasm and wit.” Whether you think the stereotype goes deeper than mockery or not, it’s a bit disingenous to quote that passage without indicating that the reporter on the scene saw it as hyperbole.

  • You also might have dug a bit deeper at NOW’s website. You would have found that at the 2005 National NOW Conference, a workshop entitled Sexploitation: Trafficking, Prostitution & Pornography was described thusly in the conference proceedings:

    …Scholars and activists pinpoint pornography and the rising acceptance by the mainstream as a major cause for demand of prostitution and trafficking—especially in wealthy destination countries like the U.S. Mass-media dissemination of pornographic and sexually-explicit materials contribute to a flourishing commercialized sex industry. The violent objectification of the female body perpetuates sexually subservient roles and second-class social status for women. Only by focusing on ways to reduce demand will this destructive trade come to an end.

    There are many, many issues facing women today, and the problems caused by pornography are just one aspect of it. I’d say that the law passed in South Dakota is a graver danger to women’s rights at the moment.

    On the one hand, I find it encouraging that young men agree that equal rights for women are a good thing. On the other, I find your misunderstanding of what modern feminism is about to be depressing. The notion that feminism is equivalent to man-hating is absurd and ill-informed.

  • Yes, here is the link to the report. Sorry for that slip.

    Also, while the context of that speech may have been slightly on the side of satire, it’s worthy to note that the author calls the incident on the campus “Man-hatred.”

    And Lisa, can you explain to me why porn is not listed as a “Major Issue” at NOW’s site, but gay marriage is?

  • Samuel, my understanding of the relationship between pornography and violence is that the research is somewhat divided as to whether there’s a proven link between the two (and if you have reliable sources that indicate otherwise, I would be interested in seeing them). I’d say that violence against women is rather pervasive in our society and likely has many deeply-rooted cultural causes. You will note that Violence Against Women is indeed one of the major issues that NOW is involved with. If you’re trying to suggest that NOW is unconcerned about the issue of violence against women, I’d say you’re wrong. Gay marriage is a civil rights issue that affects lesbians to the same degree that it affects gay men.

  • And why shouldn’t feminists support reproductive independence and freedom for women, Mr. James?

    The pro-choice position is not just about the preservation of safe and legal access to abortion services, that’s just one aspect.

    “Choice” is about all of women’s reproductive rights, which would be severely diminished if the rights of personhood were conferred upon fetuses.

    Not only would women loose the right to choose abortion — a right that, despite the spinning of the statistics, relatively few women have actually exercised over the years — we would also lose our right to not choose abortion.

    The old “we don’t want to return to the days of the coathanger” argument often ignores the flip side of the bad old days when abortions were outlawed.

    Most people tend to picture the tragic fate of “girls in trouble” obtaining black market abortion services and ending up permanently damaged or dead from complications (and those were the only abortions that anybody heard about in those days as most women recovered from illegal abortions without further medical intervention).

    What is often ignored about those times, however, was how husbands, boyfriends and fathers who did not want babies, or to be forced into marriage, or to have shame heaped upon their families could drag their wives, girlfriends and daughters to underground abortionists against their wills.

    These women who had abortions forced upon them by the men in their lives were not in a position to complain to the authorities because their reporting of such crimes was tantamount to a confession to a criminal act.

    This is what feminists are actually afraid of.

    I note from your author bio that you’re not yet old enough to legally view pornography, so how could you possibly know that it’s “a slithery anti-woman culprit?”

    Did you know that, unlike it is with most mainstream films, the women in the cast of pornographic films and videos always get top billing in the credits?

    Did you know that, in adult films (except for those with all-male casts), the women are the “big stars” and receive much higher pay than their male co-stars?

    The assertion that “images that encourage men to view females as valuable only in their sexuality” is a distortion that is demeaning to men because it carries with it the suggestion that men are so weak that their thinking is easily affected by two-dimensional images on a screen or glossy piece of paper.

    The suggestion that pornography “defeats the spirit of women who don’t look exactly like the paper-thin models” is likewise demeaning to women because of the implication that women are fixated primarily upon their looks as indicators of their value as people.

  • there’s somethin’ funny about these opinions coming from a 17 year old.

  • Dawn

    Samuel, I realize that you are 18, so therefore I will cut you huge amounts of slack, because I too was 18 and full of it.

    You make some pretty broad generalizations about feminists and certainly quote the most extreme end of the spectrum.

    Stopping porn and banning abortion, while certainly objectives of the conservative movement, are not one and the same.

    Sure porn sucks and is lame. And I have no doubt that it is dangerous on some level to a certain percentage of the criminally minded, but it is not in the same league as forcing women to bear children who are neither financially or emotionally prepared to do.

    Porn on affects me in the most abstract way, but limiting my access as a female to reproductive choices could affect me on a personal level.

  • Margaret – I don’t need the women to look like the porn stars…just performing like the porn stars is good enough for me. Ain’t it a bitch that those guys don’t make the big bucks or get top billing for the money shot?

    And I just can’t beieve that someone that’s not 18 or 21 would hit yes on one of those buttons that ask if your old enough! Can you?

    Sam – I do like your argument about the word choice…like to hear that one addressed.

    Someone should be along soon to tell you how afraid you are of women. Don’t worry, what we don’t understand scares us all! I live with 3 and I don’t have a clue….

  • Sam, if you are really 17, one could not tell from your writing style. Very good work. Nice to see there are still smart teenagers around. Perhaps there is hope for some of you.

    That said, it was a very well written article, well thought out, eloquent even.

    I myself couldn’t contain my contempt for the radical feminist movement long enough to write such an article. These radicals seem hell bent on removing all the fun that comes with being a man. I’m all for equality on every level. In fact I believe in absolute justice, freedom and equality for all. But I’ve read a good many articles on the feminist movement and it all comes down to one thing. It seems that in their mindset, masculinity is a treatable disease. And this is what irritates me to no end.

    Men and Women balance out the equation of life. If they remove our aggression, our strong will, our thirst for self-empowerment, if they “androgynize” us, the whole of humanity will suffer. It’s those qualities mixed with the feminine qualities that enabled our species to survive this surprisingly long.

    I suspect that the world left to women alone would most likely end up the same way it is now. No better, no worse. The atrocities that men create, can as well be created by women. THe flavor might be different, but it’ll still be an atrocity

  • I’ll address the argument about the word “choice:” I’ll stop calling myself “pro-choice” when abortion opponents stop calling themselves “pro-life.” Both are euphemisms. However, “pro-choice” is technically accurate – we are in favor of women having the right to choose whether to have a baby. “Pro-life” is a more problematic term, because we do not all agree on the definition of life in this context.

  • I thought it was a choice to terminate a pregnancy, women already have the choice to have a baby or not.

  • It’s the same thing. If a woman is pregnant, she either has a choice (to have the baby, or to have an abortion) or she doesn’t have a choice (is prohibited by law from having an abortion).

  • I was mainly addressing those who say (and I have heard several of them) “Abortion is a terrible thing. No one likes it, but we think it should still be legal.”

  • and if she’s not pregnant in the first place she has a choice…to either not get pregnant or get pregnant, so, it’s not the same thing. It’s pro I fucked up and I need another way out of this. Don’t try to argue this point like I’m a pro-lifer or something ’cause I ain’t. But let’s not pretend that it’s something it ain’t.

  • Should I just tell my daughters…Oh, don’t worry about it honey…we’ll just take you down to the clinic and get you an abortion if you want? Or should I tell them to be FUCKING responsible?

  • Well, Andy, if you’re going to strip the issue of all its nuances and just be a grouchy old curmudgeon…
    Seriously, correct me if I’m wrong, but it sounds like you’re leaning towards an abstinence-only argument. That hasn’t worked. Here’s one of the studies that have shown it – maybe not the most recent, but the first I found on a quick search.

  • That’s not what I’m arguing Jon. I agree that abstinence doesn’t work…I went to catholic school and nobody abstained from anything but meat during Lent!

    What I was asking about earlier was just what Samuel was saying in his post…is abortion morally right or do pro-choice folks, just as Samuel said, see nothing wrong with it?

  • zingzing

    back to the topic… why does everything turn into abortion? abort the abortion debate!… i think that “SCUM” is, quite possible, the most incredible acronym ever. society for cutting up men… that is wondrous. fucking fantastic. i would join them, even as a man, just because their name is so great.

  • I quote right out of the post and I’m off topic?

    My bad…

  • “Abortion is a terrible thing. No one likes it, but we think it should still be legal.” is a position that is held by a vast majority of Americans.

    Nobody in his or her right mind thinks that abortion is a Good Thing, but most acknowledge it as a necessary evil and understand that, as much as it is an abomination, outlawing it would only make it even more vile.

    We cannot be a free nation if we get into the habit of outlawing terrible acts that do not actually violate the rights of the people.

    For example, hate speech is a terrible thing that degrades all of society and demeans our progress and our diversity. But censorship is not merely degrading and demeaning, it is tyranny and oppression, the most evil act there is among man’s many inhumanities to man.

  • Andy, I can’t answer for everyone who’s pro-choice, but I will answer for myself, because I think my opinion is not uncommon. Abortion is a moral issue which every woman has the right to determine for herself. The reason that this needs to be the case, at least for me, is that I feel very strongly that women need to be the ultimate authorities when it comes to events which transpire within the confines of their own bodies. While I’m past the age where I would have to make such decisions, I will say this: I’m not sure it’s a choice I would make for myself under ordinary circumstances, but neither do I think it my right to deny that choice to other women.

  • Thank you Margaret and Lisa. I really do believe it’s a womans’ right…but I also believe that if a woman decides to make that choice on her own without input from the person that helped her get that way, then it becomes her responsibility alone. What’s that line from Spiderman? With great power comes great responsibility?

  • zingzing

    this argument can be had on about 95% of all the posts on this site. it’s getting dull. why does everything turn into an abortion debate? can’t we just ignore it? just for once? how about talking about the current state of feminism? or everything about it EXCEPT abortion?

    i’m not going to say that this discussion is totally unwarranted considering the topic. i’m just saying it’s really fucking dull. so much fun could be had here and instead it’s just the same old thing.

    talking about abortion on blogcritics is like talking about the weather with your mother.

  • now you had to go and bring mothers into it???


  • zingzing

    well, that shut y’all up, din it now?

  • The SCUM manifesto was written by a murderous nut. Feminists lose all credibility when they quote from it.

  • Sister Ray, I would agree with that, and would take it one step further – people who would use the words of a very small minority as the basis on which to base anti-feminist arguments lose credibility as well.

  • Dawn

    I don’t advocate cutting up men.

    Anyway, I agree with zingzing, the abortion thing is getting old. I mean, either you agree with the legislative body that begrudgingly allows this somewhat morally ambiguous act to occur or you don’t.

    The key is what Margaret says – does having an abortion violate an individual’s rights. In theory, no. Moderation folks, if we can just find some moderation for our decisions when it comes to these difficult debates that would go a long way to bridging the gap in this country.

    Legal abortion is a sad, sad thing – illegal abortion is a deadly thing for all parties involved.

  • zingzing

    augh! leave it alone! (although i agree.) dammit.

  • Arch Conservative

    “Abortion is a terrible thing. No one likes it, but we think it should still be legal.” is a position that is held by a vast majority of Americans.”

    Then why did Planned Parenthood think it was such a great thing to sell “I had an abortion T-shirts,” Margaret?

  • Vizion

    If women should have the rights to “opt out” of parental responsibilities by having an abortion, should men have the legal rights to “opt out” of parental responsibilities by not paying child support?

    Men don’t have any CHOICE to not be a parent like women do.

  • Planned Parenthood’s “I Had an Abortion” t-shirts are intended as an answer to the tactics of those who carry large pictures of aborted fetuses at demonstrations outside women’s health clinics.

    Personally, Arch Conservative, I think both the t-shirts and the pictures are in very bad taste. But I still feel very blessed to live in a country where people have the right to express their sentiments in such fashions.

    Now, let’s be real here. Both the t-shirts and the graphic images are extreme examples. While such dramatic measures may help to illustrate just how intense this internecine conflict really is, they are not at all indicative of the attitudes of the moderate masses.

    Just about every poll ever taken on this topic has shown the same results, that the vast majority of the American people think abortion is a terrible thing, but that it should still be legal.

  • Dawn

    Vizion, that argument only works if men never, ever suggest a woman “take care of her problem” again.

    I agree with you on your second point though, if a woman chooses against the will of the man who didn’t want children to go ahead and have the child, then the responsibility should be hers alone.

    It may not be right, but it would be fair.

  • Vizion

    Dawn, that’s great that you agree, because most pro-choicers are not for “choice for men”.

  • “Men don’t have any CHOICE to not be a parent like women do.”

    You’re right and it’s wrong, Vizion.

    This issue is getting some attention now and the time will come when men have this right that only women currently enjoy.

    That women can still sue the fathers of their babies for child support, even when said fathers wish to completely disown their children, is part and parcel of the old fashioned notion of women being the “weaker sex” and in need of men to support them — which is only still true, for the most part, because there are still disparities between men’s and women’s wages and women are still grossly underrepresented in government.

  • I am first and foremost a reporter; facts mold opinion, not vice versa.

    You might be a reporter, but you have completely set that principle aside for this editorial/opinion. A reporter presents facts and does not attempt to influence. A pundit does. They are as different as night and day.

    There is no reporting going on here, just commentary, opinion and an attempt to influence. Not reporting at all.

  • Arch Conservative

    Pictures of fetuses while not pretty to look at are intended to save the life of a baby.

    “I had an abortion T-shirts” are intended to gleffully glorify abortion and rub it in the face of all pro-lifers that abortion is legal.

  • Wrong again Archie; pictures of fetuses are meant to bully and intimidate people who want to exercise their rights in a free country.

    “I had an abortion T-shirts” are meant to show there is nothing wrong about doing that. There isn’t.

    If “pro-lifers” are offended, they don’t have to turn up and look.

  • Christopher…is it a sad sad thing as Dawn says, a terrible thing like Mararet says or, as you say, there is nothing wrong with it. Because I’d say, if it’s a sad sad thing and a terrible thing, then something has to be wrong with it.

  • Pro-choice for women. Pro-choice for men.

    “‘I had an abortion T-shirts’ are intended to gleffully glorify abortion and rub it in the face of all pro-lifers that abortion is legal.”

    How do you know? Did you develop the campaign?

    Is this like all the wedding crap we see around town and in media? Is this intended to gleefully glorify heterosexism and rub it in the face of those in favor of marriage equality that anti-GLBT discrimination is legal?

    No, the t-shirts (though I find them in bad taste too), according to PP, were designed to remove the stigma from those who have had abortions in a cheeky way. Many people see nothing wrong with abortion, and they have the right to say so.

    The whole debate (and this young person’s screed) focuses on abortion, but the feminist movement deals with many issues – including helping women reduce the NEED for abortion. Wouldn’t that be a good thing?

  • Andy: it’s sad and terrible but there’s nothing “wrong” with it.

    Ms Davis: yes.

  • I have to wonder how many fetuses have actually been saved by those pictures as compared to gentle and thoughtful discussions of the fact that the fetal heartbeat can be detected via ultrasound at only 5 weeks gestation.

    While they are usually very effective in calling attention to an issue, “shock value” demonstrations seldom change hearts and minds and can even close minds and harden hearts against a cause.

    And the same goes for those “I Had an Abortion” t-shirts.

    Tasteless apparel aside, why would you think that anybody in his or her right mind would want to “rub it in the face of all pro-lifers that abortion is legal?”

    I imagine that pro-lifers have already been rubbed quite raw by the realization that it is extremely unlikely that abortion will ever be outlawed as it was in the days before Roe vs. Wade.

    Even if Roe vs. Wade was overturned, abortion would not be suddenly outlawed, the matter would go to the states, very few of which would be able to legislate a complete ban.

    And why is it such a terrible thing that abortion is legal?

    Authoritarians — regardless of whatever form (liberal, conservative or just plain “out there”) of tyranny and oppression they might be promoting for the supposed good of our “free” nation — seem to labor under the delusion that simply outlawing things will make them stop.

    For example, those poor misguided folks who think that if our Second Amendment is repealed, people won’t shoot each other anymore. Or prohibitionists who think the “war on drugs” will eventually make America into a “drug-free” nation (patience, it’s only been going on for about a century). Or those sincere and caring pro-lifers who think that women won’t get abortions if the practice is made illegal.

    FWIW, I think pro-lifers hearts are in the right place and I believe that most of them truly wish to champion for the unborn.

    However, I simply cannot support their strategy because, as a libertarian (please note the small “l”) I think that all forms of social engineering, be they legislated carrots or sticks, are tyranny and oppression in their most pernicious manifestations.

    If you truly wish to champion for the unborn, forget all about overturning/undermining Roe vs. Wade and work toward making society more compassionate and understanding and less critical and judgmental of young, single mothers. And taking the time to teach young people about contraception couldn’t possibly hurt, either.

  • I like her…Margaret…you’re pretty smart for a girl!

  • Arch Conservative

    How do you know? Did you develop the campaign?

    How do I know?

    Well let’s see.

    HOw about the fact that Planned Parenthood representatives across the nation have been tape recorded lying to underage girls about the law pertaining to abortion in order to get them through the doors and get their money.

    How about the fact that Planned Parenthood will do everything they can to prevent a young girl’s family from finding out that she intends to have an abortion. If they cared about the physical, emotional, and mental well being of a young woman why would they be so adamently opposed to allowing the young woman’s family to be part of the decision making process and the coping process after? PP argues that it is because the family may not approve and it may be harmful if they knew. What horseshit………. PP assumes that every family is disfunctional so we must prohibit all families from having anything to do with thier daughter’s decisions regarding abortion. They are anti-family.


    Planned Parenthood are capitalists just like those on the right who supporters of PP despise. It’s all about generating revenue from abortion while paying lip service to “the rights of women.”

    What about the pregnancy crisis centers that have been established to help women who want to bring thier pregnancy to term but lack the social and financial support system tyo do so? Planned Abortionhood has vehemently attacked these centers and claimed that they should not recieve government funding. So it’s ok for an organization to recieve government funding for the purpose performing abortions but not for the purpose of delivering a baby?

    I don’t need Margaret or Dawn or anyone else to tell me the true motives of Planned Abortionhood. I can decipher these motives through the repeated, actions of this vile organization.

    That’s the bottom line difference between people like Margaret, Dawn, and Christopher and Andy and myself.

    Andy and myself feel that it is not a fetus but an actual person and that killing it because it may cramp the mom’s lifestyle is wrong while people like Dawn, Margaret, and Rose don’t have a problem with it.

  • Now hold on one minute here. I never said if I was pro or anti abortion. I’m the father of 20 and 16 year old girls. I have a problem with the way this thing is presented is all. Because like I said before if it’s a sad sad thing and terrible than it can’t be right.

    I’m sure that MOST women that undergo this procedure do so with a heavy heart, at least I hope that’s the case. I have to wonder though.

    I found out a long time ago that I was conceived out of wedlock…as my mom said at the time I found out…we were engaged…we had good intentions. That was in ’58, when I was conceived. I believe abortion was illegal then…what might have happened if it were as legal and easy to do then as it is now??? I can only think that the fact that my mom was raised as a strict catholic, I’d still be here…but then again, even though she was raised a strict catholic, it didn’t take a marraige license for me to get here…only to get baptized.

    Accidents happen, are you one?

  • Nancy

    LOL – Andy, the only part of your comment that showed up was your statement “I am the father of 20…” so I clicked back on this thread thinking, ‘WHAT?!?!?!?! He’s the father of TWENTY?!?!??! What’s he, some kind of Mormon?!’ Pretty alarming but amusing misread on my part. Guess I need new glasses. 😀

  • Nancy – I can’t be the father of twenty, I still have a full head of hair!

  • Arch Conservative

    I wonder if all the die hard “pro-choicers” with all of the joys of life thatthey have experienced because thier moms decided to give them life, would have been so “pro-choice” toward thier own mother at the time when they themselves wer ein the womb, if they knew that they would never have been given life and been able to have all the experiences that they have………

  • You assume just being alive is cause for celebration? If you’re having joy, great, but don’t assume your experience is universal.

    This pro-choicer’s conception led to her parents’ hasty marriage. True, I’m looking back half a century, but had Mom made a different choice, I’d be more than OK with it. As it was, they saddled themselves with the likes of me, had to delay college, created financial difficulties and marital discord… Over the long run, things worked out for them – we were a fairly “normal” suburban middle-class family of four – but I fully believe that my parents’ lives would have been happier and sooner successful had they made other choices, if they had HAD other alternatives. They would have been better off without me, this I know. And looking at the tangible result of taking the only option open to them: I’m alive, big deal. My life is not so fabulous that I would miss it. I don’t delude myself with thinking that anyone would care if I were not here or had never been. And as I have told my mother, she did me no favors by having me (though she is and dad was the best parent they could be – both are saints in my books, and well aware of my feelings on that point). But most importantly, I would feel a whole lot better if she had HAD more than one option. Mom didn’t, and I will always feel badly about that.

    And by the way, I am a grandma. I CHOSE to have my children long after Roe v. Wade was enacted. My daughter grew up, became pregnant and, after being presented with ALL options, chose to have the baby, a gorgeous boy to whom she and the father are committed and devoted. Choice goes more than one way.

  • I said something like that to my parents too. I think I was ten at the time…I told them as I was running away from home to the woods across the road from my house, how much I appreciated them having me. They still have the note I wrote to them. Evenly spaced letters…lovely handwriting…catholic school…damn!

  • The difference is, Mr. Marsh, was that the statement was said – quite seriously – during a long, adult conversation between a 44-year-old and a 62-year-old. My mother has done an infinite number of favors for me; she has been the source of many blessings. Her giving birth to me, IMO, isn’t one of them. If anything, let’s call it a neutral occurrence of nature, but it is nothing more than that and Nov. 13 is just another step on the road toward death.

  • Well, there is a “culture war” going on (three guesses as to who’s winning — and by a wide margin, too) and everybody knows that the first casualty of any war is the truth.

    Some pregnancy crisis centers do indeed sincerely wish to help women who want to bring their pregnancies to term but lack the social and financial support system to do so, but others engage in practices that are every bit as underhanded and misleading as those of which Arch Conservative accuses Planned Parenthood.

    Modern science has indisputably proven that a fetus is a living thing from its conception. But merely being alive does not make a fetus a person entitled to rights under the U.S. Constitution because a fetus is a living part of a woman’s body, not a separate physical entity.

    Birth is the process by which a living fetus becomes a person entitled to its very own, separate rights.

    Like it or not, this is the way it has to be, for if the rights of personhood were to be conferred upon fetuses, there would be no practical way to fairly and adequately determine whose rights prevail in the event of a conflict, such as when pregnancy is a threat to a woman’s life.

    Yes, I know that the vast majority of abortions are sought for the purpose of “convenience” and that cases in which the mother’s life is in jeopardy are — as is also the case of fetuses conceived via rape or incest — quite rare.

    However, those numbers would not be relevant if fetuses were recognized as persons, entitled to rights under the U.S. Constitution, because all abortions, without exception, would then be murders.

    Suppose that “abortion=murder” came to pass. Now, whose rights prevail when the existence of a fetus, with its right to life fully recognized, is a threat to its mother’s life and right to life?

    Another question about the workability of conferring the rights of personhood upon fetuses is the matter of documenting said fetuses as people, entitled to rights, separate from their mothers.

    Will there be such things as conception certificates? If so, how would the forms be filled out? Would the child tax credit apply to fetuses? If so, what would be the tax ramifications in the event of a miscarriage?

    And speaking of miscarriages, would every single miscarriage need to be investigated so that law enforcement could determine if the miscarriage was the result of nature taking its natural course, an accident, negligence or foul play?

    It is one thing to speak out against the abomination that is abortion, but it is quite another to suggest that a fetus is a person just because it is a living thing.

  • Vizion

    “That women can still sue the fathers of their babies for child support, even when said fathers wish to completely disown their children, is part and parcel of the old fashioned notion of women being the “weaker sex” and in need of men to support them — which is only still true, for the most part, because there are still disparities between men’s and women’s wages and women are still grossly underrepresented in government.”

    They are disparities between men’s and women’s wages because of factors like seniority and job occupation — choices that women make, not because of discrimination if that is what you are implying. The “wage gap” between men and women because of discrimination has been debunked a long time ago many times.

    You actually think if employers can hire women for lower wages and get away with it, they will hire men? Not in this capitalistic society.

  • Just as there are many types of male chauvinists, there are many types of feminists.

    Just as there are many types of religious Christians, there are many types of feminists.

    However, what makes a better news byte is the radical feminist, the radical conservative Christian and the radical Muslim.

    When evaluating feminists, you can’t simply look at one person or one outlet.

    Pornography has been criticized by some feminists, but not all feminists. You’d be surprised at how some things that have been considered pornography in the past (Think Comstock and Margaret Sanger) are not considered pornography now. And what separates pornography from art?

    And for people who have sexual problems, either because they have a fear of their sexuality or their sexuality isn’t considered normal, some things that might be considered pornography are considered educational by others.

    Your message could be just as easily translated to radical Christians and radical Muslims as well as to feminists and chauvinists.

  • Vizion, the point was that, while much has changed over the last 50 years or so, those inequities in wages and representation in government still exist in the 21st century.

    Society does not change overnight, but rather evolves over long periods of time.

    Only a decade ago, the suggestion that men ought to have the right to choose whether or not to financially support their unwanted offspring was almost always met with, “Deadbeat! You just want to worm out of your obligations when you should’ve kept your pants zipped, you scum!”

    Fast-forward to now and the issue of “choice for men” has gained some credibility and some hearts and minds have been changed as a result.

    The time will come when men will have the right to completely — including financially — disown their unwanted children, it just isn’t likely to happen until those continuously narrowing gaps in wages and representation in government become even narrower.

  • Arch Conservative

    WOw NR you don’t even value you own life no wonder why do don’t value those of babies who are being murdered.

    The world is not perfect and there are no garentees for happiness or success for any of us NR. Does this mean we should not allow anyone to be born ever beacuse they may face harship NR?

    Have you asked your parents if looking back now, they are in fact happier than they ever could have been if they had aborted you? Maybe they realize the importance, meaning and value of thier relationship with you and the chance to watch you grow up and the great joy it brought them despite the fact that money may have been tight at times more than you do.

    I guess it’s a matter of priorities and I myself would rather struggle financially and have the oppourtunity to raise my children even though thier lives will not be perfect than murder them. But that’s just me.

    I’m not some lofty idealist who expects everything to be perfect and views everything through that prism. I realzie that there will always be evil and bad elements of society but I’m not going to despair every second of every day because of it.

    Your cycnical attitude toward life is so cold and depressing NR. The thinsg you say make one wonder why you haven’t offed yourself already.

  • My brother found me at the last minute. I haven’t forgiven him to this day. After that experience, I tried to focus on other things and by the time I had kids, I was left with no choice but to stick around for their sakes. One’s grown, one to go! Perhaps you will get your wish relatively soon, Mr. ArchConservative.

    My mom said much of what you said, by the way, and that’s great. It’s been great in the long run. For her.

    You may be surprised to know that I am actually anti-abortion. But yes, pro-choice. My goal is to keep government out of it, period, and to allow people to decide as they will on matters surrounding their own bodies and lives while promoting ways to reduce the need for abortion. I figure that if some supernatural being has a problem with someone’s abortion, that problem will be dealt with on the being’s timetable.

  • Personally, I believe that men should always be responsible for their offspring. Women as well.

    The act of sexual intercourse is risky for many reasons–STDs and pregnancy are the medical risks. No birth control method is 100 percent effective except sterilization and even then, there have been casese where some medical complications resulted in pregnancy.

    Having sex isn’t a need or a right. It is something that at its basic level is for the procreation of species so if that happens one should NOT be surprised. STDs and the possibility of pregnancy should always be considered when deciding to have sexual intercourse.

    I am also pro-choice, anti-abortion.

  • Arch Conservative

    You’re mad at your brother for saving your life?

    You more morose than I had originally thought and it wa snot my wish that you die. I just find it hard to figure out what reason you have for getting out of bed in the morning. Based on what you’ve said you seem like the type of person who cannot find joy in anything and I do not wish you harm but feel sorry for you.

  • Oh christ, no. Happiness is not a given or even an option for more people than you might think. That’s just the way it is. If you have a source of joy, good for you, but don’t feel sorry for me. a) I resent it. b) It is unnecessary and unwarranted. c) Biology promises that one day I will get the one thing I really want. Just hope that it’s sooner, not later. (Oh, and he didn’t save it, he prolonged it – big difference.)

    What gets most people up in the morning? Obligation. Stuff that needs doing. Other people’s needs. What else is there?

  • Love?

  • I didn’t have time to read the many intelligent responses to this article, but at the risk of repeating points already made and aspects of the article already disputed, I’ll say these things anyway:

    well written but really poorly researched. This article barely touches on anything valid and using mostly invalid generalizations and examples of extreme feminism of the 60s and what seems to be an out of context example of man-hating feminism to prove some point – a point I’m still unclear about.

    To say that feminism doesn’t care about pornography is probably the most uninformed thing I’ve ever heard. In fact, one of my problems with parts of feminism is their obsession with blaming everything on porn.
    And I don’t know what porn you’re watching, but the kind that’s easy to get certainly does not feature paper-thin beauties that perpetuate stereotypes of beauty for women. It’s kind of gross, actually.

    Also, to say that being Pro-Choice (which is exactly what it is) is not in any way being irresponsible to the health of women. Are you completely unaware of the fact that a major argument for pro-choice is to ensure the health of women for the even worse repercussions of ILLEGAL abortion? No surgery is perfect, but plastic surgery is still legal and it’s far more harmful to women and society than abortion and pornography both physically and mentally.

    And about the whole “choice” thing, don’t get me started on what the contradictions of pro-“life” are. Conservatives, which is in itself a negative word to me while “liberal” is a word that means open, smart and progressive (good qualities in Americans, I thought), are pro-life and pro-death (penalty). They’re pro-“freedom” but not pro-speech or pro-separation-of-church-and-state.

    “Pro-choice” means CHOICE, as in it isn’t FORCING a woman to get an abortion but it allows them to do it if it is necessary AND it makes the process able to be regulated and improved on for health and safety of the woman.

    You obviously have the capability of doing some great writing, but maybe you should put a little more into it next time. Your opinion, as all opinions, is valid, but your argument is not.

    Like most conservatives, you seem to be blinded to the truth and concerned only with the well-being of your “cause” and not of what matters – freedom.
    Man-hating is one thing, but riding old stereotypes and using extreme examples doesn’t help prove anything. There are problems with modern feminism, but they’re not about “choice” or pornography and they’re not based on so-called man-hating.

  • Vizion

    I don’t think “choice for men” will ever be granted, but not for the reasons you gave. Many liberals seem to be against because they always tend to see women as underdogs, and many conservatives are against it because they think taking responsibility is the manly thing to do.

  • Vizion writes, “I don’t think ‘choice for men’ will ever be granted, but not for the reasons you gave. Many liberals seem to be against because they always tend to see women as underdogs, and many conservatives are against it because they think taking responsibility is the manly thing to do.”

    An interesting take, especially the part about liberals seeing women as “underdogs” — just like they see all other groups of Americans, other than that much maligned group labeled as “straight white men.”

    Liberals have a tradition of championing for the oppressed and, over the last 50 years or so, they have been very successful in that arena.

    Now, there are some people who say that it is not in the liberals’ best political interest to work too hard to put an end to all forms of oppression because they will lose their base of oppressed groups.

    But this is just as ridiculous a notion as the claim that conservatives want to keep the abortion issue — and now the same-sex marriage issue, too — unsettled because it’s a good way to fire up their base.

    Of course there is always a cynical and pragmatic element in any political group, but principles do trump politics more often than not — else we wouldn’t be desegregated, sex discrimination would still be legal, and the gay rights movement would not have progressed at such a rapid pace.

    It’s not just conservatives who see taking responsibility as the “manly” thing to do but, the neoconservative movement notwithstanding, they have pretty much cornered the political market on personal responsibility due to the liberals’ convention of distributed responsibility and obligation (“It takes a village…”).

    No, “choice for men” isn’t going to happen anytime soon, but never say “never” as there was a time when neither liberals nor conservatives believed that such radical ideas as the abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage, desegregation, etc. would ever come to pass.

    There was a time, in the not too distant past, when contraception was illegal and the stigma of illegitimacy was placed not only upon unwed mothers, but their “bastard” children as well.

    Homosexuality was removed from the manual of mental illnesses only recently, in 1974. At that time, hardly anyone imagined that homosexuals’ right to civil marriage would be recognized only 30 years later.

    Back in the 1990s, the idea of “choice for men” was thought of as some contemptible “deadbeat dads” movement, but now it is seriously discussed as a matter of fairness between the sexes.

    BTW, it is privileges that are granted, rights are recognized. (No offense, I just have “a thing” about that particular semantic usage.)

  • I wonder if I would have written a critique of Bush whether the comments would be “Great writing. You’re 17! Get out!!”


  • Mr. James, if you had written a critique of Mr. Bush, you may have received a well-deserved compliment or two on your writing skills and maybe a remark or two about your age (some of us middle aged folks on this thread have teenagers of our own, and all of us were 17 at some point in our lives), but then the red partisans and the blue partisans would have gotten so busy flaming one another with the same tired old partisan talking points and rhetoric that they hardly would have noticed anything other than their own sound and fury signifying nothing.

    BTW, I don’t think anybody is telling you to “get out!” Although many of us, in our vainglory, do make great sport of harshing on logical fallacies, quotes out of context, propagandistic assertions and group generalizations, it’s not intended as hostility, but rather as education.