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Messages - rojo

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91
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Feminism and Abortion
« on: December 29, 2006, 10:13:15 AM »
Iím pretty sure I wonít be able to respond to all (if any) of the responses this post can illicit.

Well in that case, I won't bother with tearing apart your post.  Just know that there was a lot of eye rolling.  And a lot of noting that you're wrong and lack understanding.

Give me a quick summary (for my education).

92
General Off-Topic Board / Re: New P-Dub
« on: December 29, 2006, 09:47:30 AM »
This thread has gone way beyond its intended use.

93
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Feminism and Abortion
« on: December 29, 2006, 09:45:07 AM »
real quick:  I don't have a rape exception.  I said I think the world is a better place for women because of me (which includes more than just my views on abortion).  :)

And no other exceptions as well?  That's really what it's shorthand for.

Yeah, I said no exceptions.  However, I did talk about the mother's life in danger issue.

94
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Feminism and Abortion
« on: December 29, 2006, 09:43:49 AM »
Moni's first post is the one that I endorse. Not sure that there is anything to say beyond that.

The question turns on whether a fetus is a 'person', and therefore on whether abortion is 'murder'. There's no way to resolve this question by an appeal to any outside, ahistorical, apolitical authority. It comes down to one's conscience. Feminism stands for the proposition that each woman has the right to determine her own conscience and her own mind on this and on any other social, political, ethical matter.

For the record, a more interesting question would have been whether a feminist can be either for, or indifferent toward, a practice like sati.

I can understand this reasoning and I think it is an honest worldview but I it opens a can of worms.  The problem is you are allowing people to judge for themselves who is and who is not a person.  In one sense I have no problem with this but when they are allowed to terminate the life or otherwise deprive rights of what to another person (or by some objective standard) could be considered a person, I get uncomfortable (to say the least). 

Iím sure someone will accuse me of a false analogy but I see a strong parallel to slavery.  Without getting into any specific historical contexts, it seems similar to the idea that a slave owner (or society) can decide that one person is not really a person or human but a creature that their conscience can justify as property. 

Furthermore, this worldview (which, again, I think it is quite honest and consistent given certain axioms) isnít favorable to the idea of womenís rights or anyoneís rights in the way they are commonly thought.  When people talk about human rights (especially with regard to minorities) they seem to do so in a way that would imply natural law (i.e. an appeal to an outside, ahistorical, apolitical authority).  I know youíre not doing that but Iíll bet it sounds like it.  You might say youíre appealing to someoneís conscience but what youíre doing (not always but often) is appealing to their belief that some ahistorical, apolitical authority compels them.  I understand that you might instead be appealing to some ethical system they have constructed or society has constructed and they have adopted but that isnít the way most people in this country view human rights.  You might say that all ethical systems are individual or social constructions.  Even if this were true, that isnít the way most people think about them and that isnít how theyíre talked about in popular parlance.  People will say slavery is always wrong and not, ďit can be OK depending on a societyís ethical system.Ē 

Mind you, Iím not saying that a moral relativist cannot make ethical judgments about herself, her society, or societies in other places and times.  What I am saying is that most people in this country donít talk about rights from this perspective.  Most abortion supporters donít talk about it from this perspective.  They appeal to a womenís right to choose as if it were a right granted by an ahistorical, apolitical authority.  Yet, a fetusí personhood is relative to their conscience.  This is where I see a contradiction.  Iím not saying you do this but I feel like what you said is said by a lot of people who doní bother to unpack the rest of the implications.  You want personhood to be relative to a personís conscience?  Fine, but realize that womenís rights, human rights, etc. arenít any more relative (I, of course, know you realize this).  If society were to decide that women are nothing more than baby factories, the ethical justification is just as strong as the justification for a womenís right to choose today.

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Iím starting to realize (mostly from Lilyís posts) that, at least for some, abortion and feminism arenít really about ďwomenís rightsĒ but about attaining power.  The issue of equality, then, isnít really that women have a right to equal power but that we donít like that they donít have (at least) equal power.  This may seem like splitting hairs but there is a difference.  ďI donít likeĒ and ďitís not rightĒ are two different things.

I WANT TO MAKE IT VERY CLEAR THAT MY APPROACH TO THE ABORTION ISSUE IS NOT ABOUT POWER (per se) and certainly not about punishment.  I say ďper seĒ because I understand my actions, as a result of my beliefs, can be reinterpreted to have new motivations projected on to me based on the effect of my actions (objective reasonable person test?).  However, power is not the issue for me.

I think this is the point where ships pass in the night.  For the sake of really trying to get something accomplished with all this typing, Iím not going to call abortion murder.  However, I look at it as the wrongful killing of an innocent life.  Iím making an ďitís not rightĒ argument (regardless of the effect of my actions).  People who say the status of a fetusí personhood is a personal decision of the mother are making an ďI donít like itĒ argument.  Is it fair to say that now Iím the one projecting?  Perhaps, but I promise to toss this ladder once I get to the top.  Also, I wonít make value judgments as to which kind of argument is better (right now).  I just want to point out the intersection of these ideas are where we have our head-on collisions.

So what would I like you to walk away with?  How about this:  Donít call me a woman hater (violent or otherwise) and I wonít call you a murderer.  Donít tell me youíre fighting for womenís rights but that youíre trying to empower women.   Just call me an unintentional woman harmer (which Iíll take issue with) and Iíll call you an unintentional (I hope) baby killer (which Iím sure you wont have a problem with  ;)).  By the way, this post, at this point, isnít addressed to anyone in particularÖI guess.

Iím pretty sure I wonít be able to respond to all (if any) of the responses this post can illicit.

BTW, I originally wanted to create a thread about sati but I was afraid it was more likely to get me accused of being breadboy.  Clearly, I was mistaken.  ;D

95
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Feminism and Abortion
« on: December 29, 2006, 07:50:39 AM »
Okay, Thou: If the pro-life position isn't about punishing sex -- you know, the standard one which would permit abortions in cases of rape and incest -- distinguish the scenarios for me.  Why is abortion okay in the case of rape but not in the case of an "ordinary" unwanted pregnancy if the underlying motive is not to punish women for having sex?

I don't think it's OK for rape.

But most people who are otherwise "pro-life" DO think abortion ought to be permissible in cases of rape.  So at least for them it seems fair to assert that it's about punishing sex (unless you can make a meaningful distinction, which you've chosen not to do).

So where we end up is you're going to assert that a woman's sovereignty over her own body should end at conception.  Or at whichever stage of pregnancy you arbitrarily demarcate as the start of personhood for the fetus (i.e., the murder principle).  That's a value judgment, and we're going to disagree.  You do, however, make an exception at the point at which a pregnancy has become sufficiently "dangerous," which of course precludes abortion as a preventative measure, which reads a lot like telling someone she can of course treat her melanoma if she develops it, but she can't take appropriate steps (sunblock) to avoid developing the life-threatening cancer in the first place.  That strikes me as misguided pragmatism, and probably a case of you being dishonest with yourself.

And so then, what, you want to call yourself a feminist?  Uninteresting.  I think your position on abortion is decidedly anti-feminist; if you harbor feminist positions on other issues, great.  Whatever you choose to call yourself is inconsequential (or at the least and again, uninteresting).

I donít know what Iíd call myself.  I think women are great.  I donít think their sole purpose is to make babies.  Iím not interested in punishing anyone for sex.  If Iím against abortion because I believe one personís rights supersedes anotherís (which I am), that isnít going to change because of the manner in which one of the persons came to be.

Then why the rape exception?

Further, if one person's rights supercedes another's, then why not force relatives to donate bone marrow/blood, etc. to their relatives?

Also, I'm not saying that these beliefs are necessarily consciously held.  Like many other things in life, it's one of those things you only notice when you start finding the method in the madness of what makes you squeamish.

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If my wife were pregnant and I was fairly certain that it was her or (the fetus or neither) and I had a say in the matter, then I would choose to have the doctors save my wifeís life but to do it in a way that would give the fetus the best possible chance for survival (however slim).  This approach may reek of ignorance as I am not familiar with medical procedures but it is the overall theme to my approach.  Save the mother but try not to kill the fetus.  I donít know, fly casual.  I donít see room for ďexceptionsĒ but I know a dilemma when I see one.   I can understand why a person who is against abortion would make exceptions for rape or incest but I canít accept it.  Itís simply inconsistent.

My apologies to you and everyone else for starting this thread and not being more involved but my mother is visiting now and I really donít have time to do this.  Regardless of what you think about my position on abortion, the world will be a better place for women because of me.  Trust me.

If you really think the world would be a better place for women without abortion, you may want to read up on South America.  Like it or not, the world is a better place when you give women education, physical autonomy, and control over when they can start families.

Also, why be sorry?  It's a fun thread, and I have nothing else to do until Saturday.  (Well, aside from FFXII.  But that makes me feel vaguely guilty that I'm wasting time.)

And have fun with your mother. :)

real quick:  I don't have a rape exception.  I said I think the world is a better place for women because of me (which includes more than just my views on abortion).  :)

96
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Feminism and Abortion
« on: December 28, 2006, 10:19:09 PM »
Okay, Thou: If the pro-life position isn't about punishing sex -- you know, the standard one which would permit abortions in cases of rape and incest -- distinguish the scenarios for me.  Why is abortion okay in the case of rape but not in the case of an "ordinary" unwanted pregnancy if the underlying motive is not to punish women for having sex?

I don't think it's OK for rape.

But most people who are otherwise "pro-life" DO think abortion ought to be permissible in cases of rape.  So at least for them it seems fair to assert that it's about punishing sex (unless you can make a meaningful distinction, which you've chosen not to do).

So where we end up is you're going to assert that a woman's sovereignty over her own body should end at conception.  Or at whichever stage of pregnancy you arbitrarily demarcate as the start of personhood for the fetus (i.e., the murder principle).  That's a value judgment, and we're going to disagree.  You do, however, make an exception at the point at which a pregnancy has become sufficiently "dangerous," which of course precludes abortion as a preventative measure, which reads a lot like telling someone she can of course treat her melanoma if she develops it, but she can't take appropriate steps (sunblock) to avoid developing the life-threatening cancer in the first place.  That strikes me as misguided pragmatism, and probably a case of you being dishonest with yourself.

And so then, what, you want to call yourself a feminist?  Uninteresting.  I think your position on abortion is decidedly anti-feminist; if you harbor feminist positions on other issues, great.  Whatever you choose to call yourself is inconsequential (or at the least and again, uninteresting).

I donít know what Iíd call myself.  I think women are great.  I donít think their sole purpose is to make babies.  Iím not interested in punishing anyone for sex.  If Iím against abortion because I believe one personís rights supersedes anotherís (which I am), that isnít going to change because of the manner in which one of the persons came to be. 

If my wife were pregnant and I was fairly certain that it was her or (the fetus or neither) and I had a say in the matter, then I would choose to have the doctors save my wifeís life but to do it in a way that would give the fetus the best possible chance for survival (however slim).  This approach may reek of ignorance as I am not familiar with medical procedures but it is the overall theme to my approach.  Save the mother but try not to kill the fetus.  I donít know, fly casual.  I donít see room for ďexceptionsĒ but I know a dilemma when I see one.   I can understand why a person who is against abortion would make exceptions for rape or incest but I canít accept it.  Itís simply inconsistent.

My apologies to you and everyone else for starting this thread and not being more involved but my mother is visiting now and I really donít have time to do this.  Regardless of what you think about my position on abortion, the world will be a better place for women because of me.  Trust me.


97
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Feminism and Abortion
« on: December 28, 2006, 08:01:54 PM »
Okay, Thou: If the pro-life position isn't about punishing sex -- you know, the standard one which would permit abortions in cases of rape and incest -- distinguish the scenarios for me.  Why is abortion okay in the case of rape but not in the case of an "ordinary" unwanted pregnancy if the underlying motive is not to punish women for having sex?

I don't think it's OK for rape.

98
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Feminism and Abortion
« on: December 28, 2006, 05:04:51 PM »
If infanticide were legal and promoted objectives of the feminist movement, then a woman who politically opposed infanticide could not justifiably call herself a feminist even though the basis of her opposition was solely on her belief it was murder?

False analogy.  It's not about killing babies; it's about physical autonomy and motherhood.

It's really the second that gets everyone else worked up.  Unlike most people, I'm far more concerned about the first.

I'm a little confused because I addressed the issue of autonomy and motherhood in the blanket statement "promoted objectives of the feminist movement."

No, you didn't.  Promoted objectives are simply the objectives some organizations promote.  Autonomy and motherhood need not be on the agenda -- and historically, autonomy hasn't always been an objective. 

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It doesnít have to be about killing babies but it can be.  I think people are having a hard time understanding how some women believe it is wrong to terminate a fetus that, in some cases, could conceivably live outside the womb now or within a matter of weeks/months.  They make it sound like these people are loony when they themselves agree that murder is wrong and, perhaps, capital punishment is wrong.  Many anti-abortionists are quite rational in their ethical belief that a developed human fetus has rights.  This isnít creationism folks.

If you think their beliefs are rationally related to the idea that a fetus is a full-fledged person, read the Alas chart.  It eloquently destroys that notion.

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I can understand if someone didnít care for any morality or human rights.  However, if you do have some kind of ethical system that is against killing humans (like most people), you should be able understand where many anti-abortionists are coming from.

I'm not sure that their beliefs about not killing humans automatically leads to a political pro-life conclusion.  After all, look at AR activists: their ethical system goes far beyond merely refraining from killing people to refraining from killing roaches.

From what I can tell, political pro-lifers are about 1) punishing sex and/or 2) the idea that women are nothing more than uteruses. 

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There are a few issues here.  One is when a fetus becomes a person and who gets to decide that.  The violinist argument isnít interested in those questions.

Actually, it is interested in that question.  It's interested in demonstrating why that's the wrong question to ask.

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It assumes the fetus is a person with the same ďinalienable rightsĒ as anyone else.  She grants the anti-abortionists claim that the fetus is a person for the sake of her argument.  With that in mind, I think my infanticide analogy is sufficiently analogous.

No, it's not.  Why?  Because if you accept her premise, then the issue is the extent and nature of physical autonomy.  Infantacide is irrelevant because babies can be given to others.

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Indeed, there are people who accept infanticide because they believe it is a logical conclusion in their justification for abortion.  This is usually because:

1.they donít believe a fetus is a person (which makes a difference to them)
2. because the fetus isnít sufficiently rational
3. infants arenít sufficiently rational either

If by "people" you mean "Peter Singer," you're misreading his argument on infantacide, as well as its relationship to abortion.

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They, plausibly, reject the idea that an infant who was inside her motherís womb 10 minutes ago has just now become a person with all that rights stuff.  That strikes them as a bit irrational for conveying personage/rights.

Actually, Singer doesn't believe in rights -- as you use the term -- at all.

1. I wasnít talking about singer.  I havenít read him.

Then who were you talking about?

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2. Wait a few months and a fetus can be given away.  Itís sufficiently analogous.

No, it's not.  Why?  Because nine months is a long time, and can permanently impact a woman's education and career -- even if the child is ultimately stilborn. 

Second, adoption is far more psychologically traumatizing than adoption or single parenthood.

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Thomson doesnít think you need to wait 5 minutes.  A parent could decide they donít want the infant and toss it in the trash because she doesnít want to deal with hassle of social services (or whoever deals with that kind of thing).

Blood donation doesn't last much longer than five minutes, but people aren't required to donate. 
 
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No, you didn't.  Promoted objectives are simply the objectives some organizations promote.  Autonomy and motherhood need not be on the agenda -- and historically, autonomy hasn't always been an objective. 

What about now?  If promoting autonomy is an objective of the ďfeminist movement,Ē then I did.  Are you going to tell me promoting autonomy is not an objective of the feminist movement?

It's an objective of the second and third wave movement.  However, what I'm contesting is your implied assertion that it's an inevitable objective of feminism.  The first wave demonstrates that it is not. 

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4. Could you give me a link to the ďalas chart?Ē

Of course. :)

http://www.amptoons.com/blog/archives/2006/03/21/why-its-difficult-to-believe-that-anti-choicers-mean-what-they-say/

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5.
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From what I can tell, political pro-lifers are about 1) punishing sex and/or 2) the idea that women are nothing more than uteruses.

Iím not sure what you mean by political pro-lifers.  If youíre talking about people who want abortion illegal

I am.

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then thatís crazy.  Frankly, itís statements like these that make it hard for me to take you seriously.

Ad hom.

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  I personally know many anti-abortionists (and I wouldnít use that term for someone who wouldnít back that up in the ballot box) and none of the meet either criteria.  Indeed, Iíve never met anyone with those motivations.

Have you met pro-lifers who want to restrict birth control?  If so, you have.

Have you met pro-lifers who want to allow abortions in the case of rape or incest?  If so, you have. 

Have you met pro-lifers who want to allow abortions if the mother's health is threatened?  If so, you have.

Have you met pro-lifers who don't think sexual harassment should be a tort?  If so, you have. 

Have you met pro-lifers who are skeptical of 30-something women who claim they don't want children?  If so, you have.

People's explicit statements aren't as revealing as all of their beliefs surrounding a more general topic.  In this case, it's the role of women in relationships and society.

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I think it is nothing more than a rhetorical appeal to emotion.  You may perceive their actions as supporting those ideas but to claim it is their motivation is outlandish.

No.  If I were making a rhetorical appeal to emotion, I'd be arguing that abortions are necessary for families' welfare.  Although I think that's factually accurate, I'm not emphasizing that argument for a reason.

Wow you work fast.  Since I donít and Iím limited on time Iíll just say this:

Iíd like to see you prove your claims that I call crazy and outlandish.  I donít think you can because they are about the motivations of people.  You base it on how you interpret their actions.  By that standard I can just say that people who support abortion have little regard for human life (and certainly babies).  They are selfish and donít wont to deal with responsibility.  I WANT TO MAKE IT CLEAR I DONíT BELIEVE THAT.  However, thatís the kind of reasoning youíre using when you tell us their motivations.

99
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Feminism and Abortion
« on: December 28, 2006, 04:55:18 PM »
2. Wait a few months and a fetus can be given away.  Itís sufficiently analogous.  Thomson doesnít think you need to wait 5 minutes.  A parent could decide they donít want the infant and toss it in the trash because she doesnít want to deal with hassle of social services (or whoever deals with that kind of thing).

And the woman could die, or otherwise suffer serious physical harm, in the interim.  If you're going to completely ignore the distinction between the sort of hassle associated with dealing with social services and the violation of physical autonomy associated with forced continued pregnancy, you're being disingenuous.  Come on, Thou, you're better than that.

Death is not likely (weíve been talking about an average pregnancy).  She could die getting the abortion (however unlikely).  There are other kinds of harm that women face.  An infant can cause harm to finances and career opportunities (among other things).  Thomson says you shouldn't have to wait 10 minutes.  It's not disingenuous and it is sufficiently analogous to make the original illustration which, Iím sure, is now forgotten.

100
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Feminism and Abortion
« on: December 28, 2006, 04:49:01 PM »
No.  These women believe that women's sole purpose is to be mothers.  Since an increasing percentage of us have no desire to be mothers, they're automatically excluding those women from the cause of "womankind."

Thatís a really strong claim which leads me to believe it is either disingenuous or you havenít researched the issue as much as you claim.  All of them believe it is their sole purpose?  Please, you know that isnít true.  Iíll accept many believe it is a primary purpose.  Thereís a big difference.  Some might call what Iím doing nitpicking but I think what youíre doing is creating strawwomen.

Oh, I've researched it.  I started when I was 11, moved to the suburbs, and was so bored out of my mind that I debated both sides of abortion on two different Internet forums.  A little latter, when my Godmother became an executive at Planned Parenthood, she paid me to research it.  (f-ing awesome job, BTW.)

Also, strong =/= immediately apparent.  I think my claim is the former, but not the latter. 
1. it's not true.
2. you can't possibly prove it.
3. it's just rhetoric
4. it would give you more credibility to win your argument with facts than claims like that.  You said they all believe it is the sole purpose.  No way.
5. i have to go pick my mom up at the airport now.

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