Re: The Domestic Terrorists have won.

Postby Monocheres » Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:17 pm

Jennifer, you may be being a little too hard on Coda.

Coda wrote:I understand all of that, Tychomonger, which is why I've been emphasizing due diligence so strongly. It's why I've left in a window during which time the woman can, without fear of punishment, get an abortion. I DO NOT want to punish women who are TRYING to be responsible, and thus I have included provisions for forgiving a woman who HAS been responsible and has become pregnant anyway.


I think his emphasis on due diligence is the key here. Also notice that Coda is conceding that birth control, even when used with utmost diligence, sometimes simply fails, and abortion then becomes the last stop-gap birth control measure. This is a remarkable concession for someone who has self-described as a pro-lifer.

Coda wrote:And in the absence of some binding social contract such as marriage,


Jennifer, I don't actually see anything about religion in here. I see a "social contract". If you're reading religion into it, realize that that is an assumption about marriage that you're bringing to the table. Again, you've swallowed the religious right's definitions of things. You're yinning their yang. (Doesn't Deuteronomy have some stricture against that?) ;-)

Coda wrote:by the way, the woman IS completely responsible.


Is this misogyny? Well possibly, if you read "responsible" as "to blame". But you could just as easily read this as empowerment of women. Coda has been arguing that, in a just world, free will, i.e., choice, always comes inextricably bound up with responsibility. Well, that can also be flipped around: In a just world, if you are given responsibility, then you should also be granted free will, i.e. the choice of what to do. If you take all the freedom and neglect the responsibility, that's not justice. If you are assigned all the responsibility but are denied the freedom to choose, that's not justice either.

In this case we're talking specifically about a woman's choice of what to do with her body. If I understand Coda right, the man involved gets absolutely no say about that. That is, unless the woman freely chooses to grant him some say, by engaging in a "social contract" with him, i.e., marriage. Sounds to me like total empowerment of the woman and total disempowerment of the man. As you can see in what Coda says next:

Coda wrote:The woman gets to choose who to sleep with and what birth control measures she wants to use. Any scenario where this choice is denied is rape -- a scenario I've accounted for.


In other words, Jennifer, the scenarios you paint where a man might force or drug or con a woman into unprotected sex would constitute taking away a woman's choice -- and Coda is calling those scenarios rape. A grievous crime with severe punishment for the man. That's a pretty strong statement. That's actually much more protection for women than currently exists, I think. (Is that true?)

Coda wrote:If women are clamoring for this special right to have abortions -- a right men cannot have, and in many jurisdictions even a legally married husband has no say in -- then it should be understood that the right to sexual freedom has to come with a level of responsibility.


Again, emphasis on how little say the man involved -- even a husband -- has in the woman's choice. That's empowerment of the woman. Well, all Coda is saying is that if you're going to give women that much sexual power, then they should also take on the responsibility that comes along with that power. I don't think he's arguing that we should dump all that responsibility on women without granting them the power as well.

Jennifer, your reaction to this post sounds almost as if you are saying that a woman would be incapable of wielding such power and bearing such responsibility. That, simply by being a woman, she'd be too weak, too guileless, too innocent to handle it. That she'd have to be coddled and protected, for her own good. If that's your viewpoint, then realize that that is a form of mysogyny too.
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Re: The Domestic Terrorists have won.

Postby Wizard CaT » Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:37 pm

So much arguing on the misguided stance that human life is special. @,@
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Re: The Domestic Terrorists have won.

Postby Jennifer Diane Reitz » Mon Jun 15, 2009 2:54 am

Monocheres wrote:Jennifer, you may be being a little too hard on Coda.


I do not. If anything, I held back my actual feelings tremendously, I assure you.

Monocheres wrote:
Coda wrote:I understand all of that, Tychomonger, which is why I've been emphasizing due diligence so strongly. It's why I've left in a window during which time the woman can, without fear of punishment, get an abortion. I DO NOT want to punish women who are TRYING to be responsible, and thus I have included provisions for forgiving a woman who HAS been responsible and has become pregnant anyway.


Coda is still suggesting that women who choose abortion ad hoc, say because they had a party night and forgot to use birth control (oops!) are somehow, in some way not being responsible. They are being very responsible; they are getting an abortion to prevent an unwanted birth and the many attendant, life altering miseries that surround such a mistake.

Coda is suggesting that women need to be forgiven despite using birth control should it fail. They don't need to be forgiven. They have done no wrong.

Coda is suggesting that women must be responsible only according to his beliefs, which stem from religion, not reason. What about the woman that gets a kick out of getting pregnant, then does the responsible thing by getting an abortion after. There are many such kinks, and some women apparently do just that.

This may not be appealing, but by getting an abortion after the thrill of being pregnant for a few weeks or a month wears off, such women are being very responsible. They are just not adhering to his religious notion of what women should be doing, or how they should be acting with their bodies, and their sexuality.

Monocheres wrote:I think his emphasis on due diligence is the key here. Also notice that Coda is conceding that birth control, even when used with utmost diligence, sometimes simply fails, and abortion then becomes the last stop-gap birth control measure. This is a remarkable concession for someone who has self-described as a pro-lifer.


Just whose definition of 'right' and 'wrong' is being held absolute here in determining 'due diligence'. Why should abortion be a last, stop-gap control measure? Why can't it just be a birth control option to be used at will? Why does some sects religious belief get any say at all in the life and behavior of a person not part of that faith?

This is, as I have stated, a need to control the lives of others. It is not enough to hold that abortion is somehow wrong, instead there is talk of punishment, limitation, control and due diligence -as if that belief in wrongness applied to anyone else.

Monocheres wrote:
Coda wrote:And in the absence of some binding social contract such as marriage,


Jennifer, I don't actually see anything about religion in here. I see a "social contract". If you're reading religion into it, realize that that is an assumption about marriage that you're bringing to the table. Again, you've swallowed the religious right's definitions of things. You're yinning their yang. (Doesn't Deuteronomy have some stricture against that?) ;-)


I am reading religion into it because there is no requirement, anymore at least, that a woman only have a baby within the confines of marriage.

Why is it no longer required? Because that requirement is religious in nature. It has nothing to do with reason. It has nothing to do with personal liberty, or freedom, or human choice and will.

Coda is suggesting that 'in the absence of marriage' that suddenly ONLY the woman is to blame. This is is actual statement. I harped on it about five times. Only the woman is to blame. Coda is very clear on this point.

No. The woman is NOT to blame. There is no blame. There is no shame. There is no wrongness.

Except in the eyes of religion. That is why the very statement is religious in nature.


Monocheres wrote:
Coda wrote:by the way, the woman IS completely responsible.


Is this misogyny? Well possibly, if you read "responsible" as "to blame". But you could just as easily read this as empowerment of women. Coda has been arguing that, in a just world, free will, i.e., choice, always comes inextricably bound up with responsibility. Well, that can also be flipped around: In a just world, if you are given responsibility, then you should also be granted free will, i.e. the choice of what to do. If you take all the freedom and neglect the responsibility, that's not justice. If you are assigned all the responsibility but are denied the freedom to choose, that's not justice either.


Yes, this is misogyny. There is no empowerment here.

Think, man! If an unmarried woman is COMPLETELY responsible for getting knocked up, that implies that a married woman is not completely responsible - her husband shares equal responsibility.

This automatically makes the unmarried woman carry any burden relating to pregnancy, and frees any man who impregnated her from all responsibility.

But rationally, both man and woman, married or not, are ALWAYS equally responsible. There is no 'we're not married, so I get out of responsibility free' card for men. At least not outside of the 'traditional values' born of religious community.

Singling out unmarried women to be the sole responsibility with regard to pregnancy is the same as punishing them; unless they are married they must endure the issue of their pregnancy alone while the man involved skips off scott free. This makes women second-class, automatically.

If there is a punishment for having an abortion (at late term, for example) the unmarried woman alone would face it, her partner is effectively given a wink and metaphorically a pat on the back (sure the ladies man, sport! Wink!). This is not equal, and it is degrading.

This is misogyny, and it is born of religious doctrine. It sure isn't born of science or reason.

Monocheres wrote:In this case we're talking specifically about a woman's choice of what to do with her body. If I understand Coda right, the man involved gets absolutely no say about that. That is, unless the woman freely chooses to grant him some say, by engaging in a "social contract" with him, i.e., marriage. Sounds to me like total empowerment of the woman and total disempowerment of the man. As you can see in what Coda says next:

Coda wrote:The woman gets to choose who to sleep with and what birth control measures she wants to use. Any scenario where this choice is denied is rape -- a scenario I've accounted for.


In other words, Jennifer, the scenarios you paint where a man might force or drug or con a woman into unprotected sex would constitute taking away a woman's choice -- and Coda is calling those scenarios rape. A grievous crime with severe punishment for the man. That's a pretty strong statement. That's actually much more protection for women than currently exists, I think. (Is that true?)


Rape is a crime of violence. It really isn't sexual, in the sense of a man trying to have pleasure, rather it is about domination and control of women, as well as punishing women. The sexuality of rape is a tool to degrade the self worth and power of a woman. It has little to do with sexual gratification as such.

Thus, a horny man encouraging a woman to get drunk and screw is not rape. He isn't beating her and ripping her clothes off, he is seducing her, and she is being stupid. Between the violence of actual rape, and the willing choice of two equal partners, is a vast gray area of driving hormones meeting foolish momentary choices.

Coda does not allow for this. He would, as I read things, punish just the woman alone for sexual idiocy in this matter of abortion issues, and there are many circumstances that are not rape, but are just plain foolish.

Who has not an acquaintance who does not have a story of an overly charming, and somewhat pushy man, too much drugs and rock and roll, and a night of idiotic debauchery that is not rape, but which is just plain being stupid, or weak willed, or an easy mark?

(if you don't know anyone like that, I doubt you know any women. At least women who can talk honestly with you)

Coda says: "The woman gets to choose who to sleep with and what birth control measures she wants to use". No, not necessarily. Such things are always a negotiation. Sometimes a man won't use a condom, and the woman may have to try some other method. Or perhaps the woman wants to use birth control, but the man wants bareback, and after pleading and cajoling and whining and threats of leaving, the woman gives in. Stuff happens like this all the time.

Birth control is always a negotiation. Either overtly, or covertly, it is always a negotiation, and sometimes negotiations go horribly wrong.

To imagine that women alone have all the power in these circumstances betrays a lack of sexual -and social- experience.

Coda wrote:If women are clamoring for this special right to have abortions -- a right men cannot have, and in many jurisdictions even a legally married husband has no say in -- then it should be understood that the right to sexual freedom has to come with a level of responsibility.


"The special right to have abortions" - I cannot express how silly, and how parroty this statement is. Special rights. A programmed code-phrase exclusive to religious fanatics. It is usually used against Queer folk trying to gain equal standing under law, as a means of negating any talk of their actual situation. It is Newspeak, Orwell speak, that converts a discussion about equal rights into 'special rights' - special only because if everyone were Christian and Straight, then there would be no problem!

In this case, Coda parrots this empty, mean code-phrase to suggest that because men do not have wombs, and thus are not forced by biology, by reality itself to bear the entire risk and effort to bring a baby to term, and thus cannot have an abortion because they cannot become pregnant - in other words because men are not women - that abortion has become a 'special right', a right beyond equality, a fucking privilage -as if it were some golden joy and not a heartwrenching decision - that somehow they must be pay for this with 'responsibility'. He has already defined this responsibility in terms of punishment for casual, unmarried sex.

"clamoring for this special right to have abortions" - can you hear this in your head? Clamoring? Special right?

No, Monocheres. No.

Abortion is something that women can have only because they have wombs. No law gave them a womb, reality did. And women alone risk their futures, their health, and their very lives in carrying a child to term.

No pregnancy ever killed or crippled a man; but pregnancy absolutely can kill or cripple a woman. Carrying a child to term is a risk, and always has been. And this before the issue of having to care for it for the next 20 years even begins.

This is just bullshit. No... it is horseshit. Bullshit is mere lies, horseshit is toxic lies. Lies that cost lives and hurt people.

"Special right". Fuck. Seriously. Fuck.

Monocheres wrote:Again, emphasis on how little say the man involved -- even a husband -- has in the woman's choice. That's empowerment of the woman. Well, all Coda is saying is that if you're going to give women that much sexual power, then they should also take on the responsibility that comes along with that power. I don't think he's arguing that we should dump all that responsibility on women without granting them the power as well.


This isn't about 'sexual power' and who has more of it. You make the whole issue sound like a 'biggest dick' contest.

"Women have all this power because they have wombs, and so they have to pay for that because men don't have wombs and..." No. The responsibility -the payment- here is always about values that not everyone shares. Responsibility can very well be having an abortion after an orgy because it would be irresponsible to try to raise a child right now, because it isn't convenient.

That IS being responsible.

'But the man has no say'. NO. He does NOT. Why? Because he isn't the one risking his life to bring a baby to term. He isn't in any danger, he isn't at any greater risk as a result. Men do not die from carrying a baby, and women do. Period. That is why.

Jennifer, your reaction to this post sounds almost as if you are saying that a woman would be incapable of wielding such power and bearing such responsibility. That, simply by being a woman, she'd be too weak, too guileless, too innocent to handle it. That she'd have to be coddled and protected, for her own good. If that's your viewpoint, then realize that that is a form of mysogyny too.


At this point, looking at the above statement, I honestly have to just turn away. The words coming to my mind now are so angry, so filled with vitriol that I don't feel capable of calmly, reasonably telling you just how full of toxic horse-shit that paragraph above is. I feel like I would just start gibbering obscenities, which is pretty much what I feel you have done yourself, with that last paragraph.

I can't even list the degree of wrong it represents.

It is like a brand new form of wrong that requires an entirely new taxonomy of cranio-fecal bastardly fuckheadedness. Seriously.

It is like you do not comprehend anything that I have ever said.

It is like looking at a translated portion of some Cthuluan tome, one which rends the very fabric of logic into something terrible and painful, something that destroys my soul even as the words supernally dissect my living brain. I feel like I need to make a sanity check after it.

I genuinely don't know how to respond.

Well, peaceably, anyway.
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Re: The Domestic Terrorists have won.

Postby Monocheres » Mon Jun 15, 2009 7:30 am

Okay, if it's possible for me to retract what I said, I'd like to. I assure you, I wasn't trying to be vitriolic and didn't intend any of it as "gibbering obscenity". First, let me stipulate that I agree with you that women should be free to get early-term abortions, and that the objection to them is religiously-based and oppressive. (I might differ on later-term abortions, but that's too big a discussion to launch into right now.) All I was trying to do was give Coda credit for evolving in the right direction, given where he's starting from. I don't actually endorse has plan as such. I was hoping to get to that in a follow-up, but I probably should have gone there first.

First of all, Coda's plan struck me as being too hypothetical. As if he were talking about some alternate splay, or perhaps some future, where women really were in control. Second, I too was put off by the notion that all the responsibility would be saddled entirely on the woman, and none on the man. I was hoping he didn't actually mean it in exactly that way. If his plan somehow gave women true power along with the responsibility, it would make more sense. As for the man's responsibility: Earlier in this discussion Tychomonger implied that there's no way to prove a man's involvement in a pregnancy that might need to be aborted. Well that's totally false: DNA matching is a slam-dunk for establishing paternity. If Coda were to amend his plan to say that a woman could, I dunno, get a warrant to force a man she slept with to take a DNA paternity test, and then he would have to share whatever "penalty" might accrue for not applying "due diligence", that would be more fair. (Of course, you'd have to make subsidized DNA tests available to poor women, and you'd have to have really strong paternity laws that forced a man to provide child support or relinquish paternal claims in an adoption or at least help pay for the abortion or whatever.) And finally, I'm mystified by how it would even be possible to establish whether or not two people were being "diligent" in the privacy of their bedroom (or in the backseat of their car, or in a back room of a club on a night of wild debauchery, or whatever). That's such an impractical and intrusive idea that I just can't see how you could put it into law. (To be fair, Coda even conceded that himself.) The most you could say is that "acting responsibly" would be a societal norm that you'd like to encourage -- but don't most people endorse that already? Okay, so the religious right tend to base their stance on religion, and there are bigots among them that use it as an excuse to be judgmental and oppressive, but just because such extreme bigots exist, are moderates not allowed to endorse "being diligent" as a good thing?

As for women's empowerment. Please try to put aside for the moment the whole issue of sexual politics, and just focus on where I'm coming from when it comes to my attitude towards women: In any aspect of life, assuming everything else were equal, do I feel that women are just as capable as men? Of course. I consider it a good thing that society is moving in a direction where women are gaining on men in terms of power and accomplishment. I look forward to the day when things are truly balanced and equal. And if you were to pose the hypothetical question to me "If women were granted true power (in any aspect of life) and were assigned the responsibility that goes with it, do you think they would be able to handle it?" then my answer would be a resounding "Of course! Why even ask?" So it's something of a hot-button with me whenever I hear anything even dimly paternalistic about women's capabilities, or presumed lack thereof [*]. But if you were to ask me the question "Do women have that true power, now, today, in this world?" Then of course, my answer would be "No. It's getting better, but it's not there yet."

[Edit: While I don't want to prohibit early-term abortions, I do think people should try to avoid the need for them as best they can. Jennifer, I just can't go as far as you do in viewing abortion as something comfortably routine, or something that everyone should accept as comfortably routine. If for no other reason, it's a risky procedure for the woman. I mean, c'mon, it's surgery. It's not as risky as childbirth, to be sure, but I'm not arguing childbirth as the alternative to abortion. I just think people should be as careful as possible with their birth control.]

[*] Eliminated an irritated, and unnecessarily irritating turn of phrase. Just to clarify: Of course it's absurd to think of Jennifer as being misogynistic, but it's eminently possible for Jennifer to play into the hands of misogynist bigots by holding positions that aren't strategic. If anyone cares, I'd be glad to elaborate, but it's probably not worth pushing it.
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Re: The Domestic Terrorists have won.

Postby Coda » Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:17 am

@,@

I'm going to be honest with you: tl;dr. I skimmed through it, and I'm greatly appreciative of Mono's input and support.

It's true that my proposal is largely hypothetical; part of the reason I bring it up here is to find the specific points of weakness and discuss reasonable compromises and modifications so I can refine my hypothesis. Big thanks for the DNA testing point.

Drugging a woman and seducing her into sexual relations is considered rape in some jurisdictions anyway; it even has its own name: "date rape." My earlier statement about rape was a DEFINITION. Saying that rape is always a crime of violence means that you're using a different definition.

Sleeping around ad-hoc is irresponsible, both for men and women alike. It's a disease transmission vector that NO ONE thinks is a good idea. Responsibility means that any person -- male or female -- who intends to be sexually active should be using birth control; every woman should have FREE access to birth control pills or IUDs, such that NOT having one is either negligence or a religious decision.

I'm not arguing that women need forgiveness in a "forgiveness for your sins" way; I'm saying that, should some abortion restriction based on diligence be implemented, the "forgiveness" comes as Mono said -- as a final stopgap measure.

I'm arguing that women should be responsible not from religious belief but out of reason. Irresponsibility is universally bad. Irresponsibility is a short-term kick with no mind for the long-term consequences. Responsibility IS reason. And as such, EVERYONE SHOULD BE RESPONSIBLE, regardless of age, race, gender, social standing, or beliefs. Arguing that a woman can choose what happens to her body but isn't responsible for what happens to her body is a CONTRADICTION.

I bring up marriage and social contracts not as the only acceptable setting for a family, but as a case where a woman might willingly grant another person a right to make decisions about her body. NOTHING MORE. Don't read anything else into it.

I use the phrase "special right" in the same sense that women have a special right to maternity leave; again, I'm not using it in the way you seem to think I'm using it. It's only special because it's one that men absolutely do not have -- and you're arguing wholeheartedly that they SHOULD NOT have the right to choose what happens to a woman's body, EVER.

I'm going to quote one thing that particularly stands out to me:
Responsibility can very well be having an abortion after an orgy because it would be irresponsible to try to raise a child right now

Having an orgy without being prepared is irresponsible.

Preparation is responsibility.

Responsibility is preparation.


Getting pregnant in such a scenario either means your birth control failed (I've accounted for that) or YOU SCREWED UP.
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Re: The Domestic Terrorists have won.

Postby strange_person » Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:02 am

Jennifer Diane Reitz wrote: Why should abortion be a last, stop-gap control measure? Why can't it just be a birth control option to be used at will?
Causality is why. Sane people don't say "I'm going to use abortion as my primary method of birth control, and condoms as a backup if that doesn't work out."
Jennifer Diane Reitz wrote:Why does some sects religious belief get any say at all in the life and behavior of a person not part of that faith?
Why do you keep bringing up religion in a discussion about birth control? You say they should be separate. If you wish it to be so, act as if it already is and force those who would contradict you to justify themselves.
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Re: The Domestic Terrorists have won.

Postby Monocheres » Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:52 am

strange_person wrote:Why do you keep bringing up religion in a discussion about birth control?


Sigh. S_P, Jennifer has been so burned by bigots in her life, that she's conditioned to see bigotry even in an off-hand turn of phrase. Even from her friends. Even from friends of hers who are earnestly struggling with difficult issues and trying to be as open-minded as possible.

It's ironic. Tragic, actually.

[Edit: And to be honest, I had to tl;dr and skim over it all too. I also had to look up what "tl;dr" meant. :mrgreen:]
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Re: The Domestic Terrorists have won.

Postby strange_person » Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:52 pm

I am aware of these things, yes. I have read her autobiography, all the stuff on Jenniverse, ed's article...in short, I have done the research. Even considering that, though, it seemed to be an issue which was not being addressed in a sufficiently straightforward and unambiguous manner, and the Political Arena is meant to be the one place on this forum where politeness and subtlety can be cast aside with least consequence.
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Re: The Domestic Terrorists have won.

Postby Monocheres » Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:55 pm

Jennifer Diane Reitz wrote:Who has not an acquaintance who does not have a story of an overly charming, and somewhat pushy man, too much drugs and rock and roll, and a night of idiotic debauchery that is not rape, but which is just plain being stupid, or weak willed, or an easy mark?

(if you don't know anyone like that, I doubt you know any women. At least women who can talk honestly with you)


Actually I did know one gal like that. That was a looooong time ago. Knew her since high school. She was a freshman when I was a senior, so I was kind of like a big brother to her and she was kind of like a little sister. Except that no guy is really able to be that attached to a gal without feeling at least a little something more. (Watch When Harry Met Sally for a refresher on that point.) It was a Catholic high school so she came from a pretty straight-laced background. But when she got to college she kind of went a little wild. Went to a lot of parties, got drunk a lot. Hung around with a bunch of frat guys who were, well, frankly, typical pigs. But they were jocks, and she liked her guys hunky. I tried to play the big brother role, tried to tell her those guys didn't give a damn about her, they were just using her and they'd drop her like a hot potato when they got tired of her. They wouldn't be there for her when the going got tough. I knew I was mouthing platitudes. Hell, she was using those guys too. She went through one after the other. Broke a few hearts, from what I gather, so maybe some of them actually weren't total pigs. I tried telling her she had to be careful, she could catch something -- but those were the days before AIDS and multiply-resistant bacteria so she thought I was being silly. Anyway one night she got drunk at a frat party and slept with some guy she'd just met who was visiting from another school. She didn't even get his last name. Both were too drunk to bother with condoms. Sure enough, a couple weeks later she missed her period. Who did she turn to for help? You guessed it. Old ersatz big brother. I was the one who drove her to the Planned Parenthood in another town so her friends at school and her parents wouldn't find out. I was the one who wrote the check because she didn't have the money and didn't know who else to ask. I was the one who sat in the waiting room with her while she filled out the paperwork. I was the one who got to see the looks on the faces of all the other gals there, most of whom were alone. Couldn't tell if the expressions were repugnance, thinking I must be the bastard that knocked her up but wouldn't marry her and was helping her get rid of my own baby instead. Or whether it was jealousy at the fact that she actually had a stand-up guy who (they thought) had done it to her but was caring and responsible enough to be there by her side when she made her choice. I figure there were some of both. Well, I thought, that's okay, if focusing on me helps them get through it, then let 'em think whatever they like. I was the one who waited until she came out, relieved and giggling over how easy it was. (Well, it was a pretty early-stage pregnancy.) I was the one who drove her back home, without ever -- not once -- saying "I told you so." Within a few days she was back to the partying, as if nothing had happened.

I haven't spoken to her since.

If it makes you feel better, think whatever you like about me.

Dammit.
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Re: The Domestic Terrorists have won.

Postby Anna » Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:49 am

Monocheres wrote:If it makes you feel better, think whatever you like about me

I do think: you are a big brother.

•••

A story, as I heard of it first, I didn't believe it, but it is true, and I learned that half a year ago.
The cicumstances why I didn't believe it is that my Kusine/cousin-female has some big mind problems, she's alcoholic and has a borderline also. And I heard this at first to a time when my mother was still alive. Should I believe my mother? Of course I do.
Fact is, she never did told me the whole story.
Ok, let's see what I can pick together with my lousy english.
The 50's and early 60's, Germany (of course)
My aunt had brought some children into the marrige with ny uncle, I really don't know how much, I can only remember the picture of a room with a lot of children beds, you must know, I was about 3-5 years old. I think she had 3 children by her own.
And later, in this marriage she get two other girls, my both cousins. 1958, 1959 ...
I'm old, yes?
it was the very early 1962. My aunt died suddenly, the german help system with ambulance and so was very very bad, (it delevoped 10 years later)
I still can see her in my memory when she was lying on the couch, an other woman, I suppose it was her sister, did moving her arms, helplessly in the acting.
These are the memories I've got from this day.
She was my favourite aunt, she was nice and my mother told me that my first word ever I said was the name of my aunt.

What I've heard decades later, she was a victim of a stupid made abortion by a so called Engelmacherin.
(angel-creater)
She did bleed to death.

I heard this story in the early ninties at the first time, as a reproach of my cousin against my mother, that she was there...
My mother rejected it. I don't know, maybe she was, I can't tell. We were at the home of my aunt, that's the fact.

The silence in my family, my mother didn't told me the story, and I heard it very later by the second wife, now the widow of my uncle.
It was a talk around the coffee table, she told about a bunch of mattress' she once found at the loft, with large dark brown spots and how my grandma explained it to her.
These dry bloody mattresses were stored for many years, and no one did ever remove them.
So I heard the full story for the first time.

And now, the whole world can read it, my revenge for the silencing.
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Re: The Domestic Terrorists have won.

Postby Monocheres » Tue Jun 16, 2009 6:11 am

Anna wrote:
Monocheres wrote:If it makes you feel better, think whatever you like about me

I do think: you are a big brother.


No. I wasn't her big brother. I didn't help her. I enabled her. She was a user. She used me, just like she used every other guy in her life. I didn't bother saying "I told you so," because I realized it wouldn't have made a dent. And if she were a different kind of person, I wouldn't have needed to say it, anyway.

If I helped anyone that day, a little, it was those other women in the room, the ones whose pain and anxiety made me come to despise the way she came out of that office ... giggling. It was those other women, the ones whose stories I didn't know, that I might have helped just a bit. Just by letting them hate me for a little while. If that helped. But I wish there had been more guys in that room, with them.

If a woman must go through that, then so be it. As your story points out, Anna, it may be better than the alternatives. But can you understand why I would think: The fewer that would need to, the better.
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Re: The Domestic Terrorists have won.

Postby Jennifer Diane Reitz » Tue Jun 16, 2009 4:08 pm

I'd like to try a different direction with this. An experiment.

To get around all the submerged anger, past pain, and personal issues involved.

What if... we just simply, concisely, describe the world we want in regard to abortion?

Not any changes to people - people are what they are. I mean the world around them. The society, the laws, the rules.

Take it as red that people won't change their behaviors - because in all of recorded history, they haven't. People will still have sex, still get accidentally pregnant, still be stupid, no matter what. As ever was. An ever will be, until Singularity or something.

I'll go first:

__________________________________________________
A world where individual choice is supreme. Everyone has absolute freedom to deal with their own bodies however they want. No law can oppose such choice, only regulate things like cleanliness, safety, and quality.

A baby is not considered as a person until it is entirely outside of a woman's body. That will be the dividing line. The rule of First Ownership. A person owns their own body and their own life, and they own, have total power, absolutely, over any object within their flesh. A living body becomes an independent state, answerable only to itself regarding all matters within it.

_________________________________________________
Period.

Under this, no one can control anyone else. It is absolutely fair; your beliefs and attitudes apply only to you, and no one else. Every person has dominion over their own life, but cannot control anyone else, nor impose anything on anyone else.

Your turn.
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Re: The Domestic Terrorists have won.

Postby Coda » Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:10 pm

We already know what the polar opposite viewpoint is, and it's just as intolerant to the possibility of other beliefs, so I'll pitch the concept of a world that, instead of attempting any absolutes, tries to be accommodating to all.

We know that human beings are reckless, self-centered, and foolish. It's so significant that we have Murphy's Law to describe it: If there is more than one way to do something, and one way can have disastrous results, someone somewhere WILL do it.

The world I want to see is one where compromise and tolerance is king. One where the weakness of human nature and the force of human belief are understood and accounted for. The law, then, is there to mediate and balance; the government is there to facilitate compromise and help those who can't help themselves.

Thus, acknowledging that there is a group that demands that all abortions should be permitted, and that there is a group that demands that all abortions should be prohibited, the law should seek to strike a fair and reasonable compromise. Such a compromise would likely say that abortion should be possible but minimized, emphasizing prevention -- avoiding the NEED for abortion, which nearly all parties will agree to. As such, the government should provide ready access to all appropriate pregnancy-prevention measures, for all people, male and female alike, no questions asked, no money required.

Still, neither human behavior nor birth control are perfect. Again, the law should seek to strike a fair and reasonable compromise.


What is this compromise? I don't know. I thought I had a reasonable idea, but in the interests of approaching this from a neutral ground, I leave it open for discussion instead of defending my original concept.
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Re: The Domestic Terrorists have won.

Postby Monocheres » Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:26 pm

Okay, I'll bite:

__________________________________________________
A world where the freedom to choose and the commitment to life are in sensible balance based on the way biology actually works, with no arbitrary dividing lines, and acceptance of the reality that nature has shades of gray.

A child has a 100% unquestionable right to life at the very end of gestation, when it is fully-formed, recognizably human, and doing little in the way of development other than adding weight and protective layers of fat. Not having reached the arbitrary event of birth is no excuse for taking a human life by violent surgical means, when a premature baby has a decent chance of viability and in an emergency could be born by Caesarean section anyway. Late-term and partial-birth abortions are to be banned, except for the rarest and direst of special circumstances. Mere whim is no excuse. Even socioeconomic circumstance is no excuse. In the latter case, society and the law should provide whatever it takes to support the mother and child, be it welfare, health care, adoption programs, incarceration of abusive family members, what have you. Whatever it takes. A society with pretentions of compassion and protection for the weak and vulnerable must embrace the nearly-born and the new-born as its weakest and most vulnerable.

A woman has a 100% unquestionable right to control her body at the very beginning of a pregnancy. The arbitrary event of fertilizing an egg is no excuse for taking away that right. The mere blueprint for a human being is not a human being. Even getting past the earliest stages of embryonic and fetal development is still not enough of an excuse. A woman is free to cancel an accidental or even intentional pregnancy by abortion, at her sole discretion, for any reason whatsoever (even a whim), within a reasonable window during which nature is already very likely to cancel it anyway by miscarriage, namely 12 weeks (the first trimester) -- or thereabouts (no arbitrary dividing line). This is ample time to detect the pregnancy and consider carefully whether to choose to continue it. But past this point the chance of miscarriage drops substantially and the chance of coming to term becomes significant. In essence, nature signals its commitment to the pregnancy. If the mother allows the pregnancy to continue substantially past this point, then she has chosen to commit to it too, and should be required to hold to that commitment. Her body begins to change dramatically due to the influence of the baby -- in effect, she relinquishes significant control over her body to another individual.

But this window has no exact boundary. There are shades of gray all around the 12-week time frame, with considerable variability from woman to woman. Therefore, every effort should be made to make the decision as soon as possible and avoid the period of ambiguity. The vast majority of elective abortions should happen very early, peaking in the first 4-8 weeks and declining sharply in frequency thereafter. Society and the law should implement whatever it takes to guarantee this, be it free family-planning clinics, pregnancy education programs, home pregnancy monitoring kits, pregnancy counseling, what have you. Whatever it takes. After the first trimester, the law should make it progressively more and more difficult to get an abortion, and finally ban it outright in the third trimester when a premature baby would be viable, on the grounds that the woman's body and life have already been substantially altered and committed to the baby by that point [edit: so what difference will a few more weeks make? Three months is enough time to decide whether to have a child, you should not need nine. Irresponsible waffling is no excuse for killing an innocent life.]

In short: Make your choice early, and then DON'T F*CK AROUND with your child's life.
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Re: The Domestic Terrorists have won.

Postby Coda » Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:35 pm

You know, Mono, if you could actually get that plan passed into law, I'd be okay with it. I, personally, still find it a little bit too permissive, but I think I would be able to support it.
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Re: The Domestic Terrorists have won.

Postby Shackler » Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:43 pm

Coda wrote:We know that human beings are reckless, self-centered, and foolish. It's so significant that we have Murphy's Law to describe it: If there is more than one way to do something, and one way can have disastrous results, someone somewhere WILL do it.

The world I want to see is one where compromise and tolerance is king. One where the weakness of human nature and the force of human belief are understood and accounted for.


I want to see a world where these human weaknesses are corrected.
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Re: The Domestic Terrorists have won.

Postby Coda » Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:48 pm

I'm not sure I do want to see a world where that's corrected -- at least, not one descended from our own. Perhaps a new world with new people that were never us, but our world CANNOT be "corrected" in that manner without revoking the free will of a significant portion of the human population. Besides, if it weren't for careless mistakes we wouldn't have penicillin or vulcanized rubber.
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Re: The Domestic Terrorists have won.

Postby Shackler » Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:55 pm

Coda wrote:our world CANNOT be "corrected" in that manner without revoking the free will of a significant portion of the human population


I disagree.
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Re: The Domestic Terrorists have won.

Postby Monocheres » Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:14 pm

Coda wrote:You know, Mono, if you could actually get that plan passed into law, I'd be okay with it. I, personally, still find it a little bit too permissive, but I think I would be able to support it.


Heh, aren't large parts of it already the law? Well, some pieces, I suppose.

Oh, and let me add some notes:

1. My proposal imposes no penalties on the mother or anybody else. The only stricture is on the availability of abortion based on the age of the fetus.

2. This is all defined in terms of the relationship between the mother and the baby. Nobody else need be involved in the choice to abort, or the commitment to life. However, societal and legal provisions that impose responsibilities on the father could certainly be added, to support the mother and child in completing the pregnancy, and beyond. (Things like DNA paternity-test "warrants", child support, etc.)

3. My proposal is based on biological facts, not on religious or political dogma. Miscarriages are extremely common in the first 12 weeks. [EDIT: This study says "61.9% of conceptuses will be lost prior to 12 weeks" but I can't tell if this means that 61.9% of all pregnancies miscarry within 12 weeks, or whether 61.9% of all miscarriages occur before 12 weeks. These studies found 25% early pregnancy loss.] Many women never even know they were pregnant and miscarried! Miscarriage is a natural process that weeds out non-viable fetuses. Usually the cause is chromosomal abnormality. Miscarriage is, in fact, nature performing abortions. If it's good enough for Mother Nature, why not let human beings emulate Her and do it within the same time window, for the sake of a woman's freedom of choice?

4. Jennifer only asked about abortion given current human behavior, so I limited my proposal to that. But of course you could also add societal and legal measures providing free birth control and promoting more effective and conscientious usage of it, in an attempt to reduce the frequency of accidental pregnancies requiring first-trimester abortions.

5. I pretty much only focused on elective abortions. Therapeutic abortions (i.e. abortions needed for the health of the mother) are a different matter. There would be somewhat fewer time restrictions on those. Even late-term therapeutic abortions might be covered under "rarest and direst of circumstances." But then why not just deliver a preemie by emergency C-section instead? Once you rule out all the cases where that would work, I'd think 3rd trimester abortions would be vanishingly rare, if not completely non-existent.

6. Abortions for rape or incest could be covered in the first trimester. (Is there any reason why they couldn't?)
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Re: The Domestic Terrorists have won.

Postby Monocheres » Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:02 pm

Let me add one more note that was implied throughout my proposal but never stated, yet vitally important and fundamental:

7. To abort a non-person is a right, to abort a person is homicide. By the end of gestation a fetus is categorically a person with full human rights, since it is not qualitatively different in any significant way from a new-born baby, which is a person with full human rights. [EDIT: Well, that's my opinion, and my thesis here.] But a newly-fertilized egg cannot in any reasonable sense be described as a person. Between the zygote and the neonate, there are 9 months of varying shades of gray. It is difficult if not impossible to draw a line somewhere in between to mark the transition from non-person to person. In fact, for all we understand, "personhood" itself may be quality with varying shades of gray. We only know for certain what we would be doing at the very beginning of a pregnancy and at the very end. In between, all we can do is estimate roughly how likely it may be that we are committing a crime. The end of the first trimester seems an opportune place for a cut-off however, since the fetus's nervous system is still very primitive, and since this is when miscarriages trail off.
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