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Jun 14 2009

Spinster aunt perceives misogynist billboard

Pregnantscared
Creepy billboard somewhere on MoPac.

There is only one reason that pregnancy should “scare” you: your culture hates women and kids.* It especially hates teenage women. It especially hates pregnant teenage women. It especially hates teenage pregnant women who get knocked up under unapproved circumstances.

Some unapproved circumstances:

they are not legally bound to an approved representative of the state (husband)
they’re poor
they’re prostituted
they’ve got a drug problem
they’re sluts
they’re women of color
they’re unmarried and poor and have some kids already

Your culture totally fucking hates these women no matter what. It hates’em if they have abortions, and it totally fucking hates the resulting kids if the unapproved women keep’em instead of adopting them out to approved (white affluent heterosexual married) people under the guiding auspices of godbag motherfuckers.

Yeah, I said “motherfuckers.” Take a Xanax.

The world’s uteruses are owned by the state. This means the world’s women are owned by the state. Unapproved pregnant women who aren’t claimed by a state-licensed nuclear family replicator (husband) are required to be scared shitless. This is so their culture can punish them for their sins, and so that godbag uterus-control groups like the Majella Society (the cabal responsible for these asinine billboards) can get their hooks in and brainwash the unapproved women into having babies they don’t want.

These Majellans are world-class kooks, by the way. This is the promo for a commercial airing in local Austin markets:

Have you ever wondered how our country would be different without abortion? Lifesaver [the title of the commercial] shows how over 50 million individuals would be helping our society today.

Here’s how the commercial“shows” how 50 million non-aborted fetuses are morally superior to aborted ones: it features a Beauty2K-compliant actor wearing a firefighter suit at a fire –she’s a former fetus, brought to term and given up by a scared teen mother — who grew up to be gorgeous, and to save lives, too!

Apparently the theory is that all aborted fetuses possess magical powers that might-have-been. Majella suggests with all seriousness that millions of aborted “babies,” had their host humans not asserted their personal sovereignty and gotten them removed, would have all grown up to be Mother Teresa and Jesus and dudes who would cure cancer. It does not seem to occur to Majella that the mere circumstance of having once been a fetus that was not aborted in no way ensures that a person will become a selfless world-saving supermodel scientist.

While there is no way to actually disprove the hypothesis that aborted fetuses are somehow superior in character to unaborted ones, the fact that all aborted fetuses are dead would indicates that they lack at least one trait necessary for superhumanness: not being dead. Furthermore, that the entire human population, all of whom are former unaborted fetuses, are just regular schmoes eating Twinkies on the couch watching internet porn, suggests that preventing abortions does not create heroes.

_____________________
* Homicide is the leading cause of death among young women. Homicide is the leading cause of death among pregnant women. The homicide rate for black pregnant women is 3 times that of white pregnant women.

96 comments

4 pings

  1. Mooska

    Kerist. I hate the way those bastard organisations prey on vulnerable women. They should be required to declare any godbagging interests they might have before being allowed to advertise.

    The whole abortion thing just drives me crazy, actually. There was a thread about it elsewhere recently and this woman came on banging on about how, because she wished she hadn’t had an abortion, anyone else who had done so and wasn’t consumed with remorse would eventually be that way in the end. And SHE KNEW because SHE’D HAD ONE and that was that. Ooh, it got my goat I can tell thee.

    Anyway, I pointed her towards I’m Not Sorry.org/net/whatever and told her not to assume she spoke for all women. Dammit, why can’t these people understand the concept of *choice*?

    Still, with the murder of Dr Tiller recently I guess women like her are the least of our problems. I could weep. Again.

  2. Shopstewardess

    As far as I remember, about 20 years ago in the UK the same line “Pregnant? Scared?” was used on advertising by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, which is a pro-choice organisation providing services for women in the UK who want abortions. I might well have gone to them had I needed an abortion (if for instance the free National Health Service couldn’t have done things quickly enough).

    So, the same words, albeit used in a completely different context, in a different country and a long time ago. BPAS’s current adverts have probably moved on from that old wording, although I haven’t been noticing that sort of advertising lately. It’s not exactly relevant to me – my getting pregnant these days would be a miracle second only to the virgin birth.

  3. Cass

    You forgot to include their slogan: “Celebrating the Heroism of Motherhood.” (Have I ever mentioned, by the way, how deeply I admired your heroic contraction of breast cancer?)

  4. yttik

    I wish we could put aside politics and just realize that everybody hates us. Sounds depressing, but it’s actually really a relief to free yourself from left and right, dem and rep, lib or con. As a girl you are simply screwed. You will be ridiculed for saying yes, for saying no, for getting “yourself” pregnant, or for having an abortion. It’s a no win situation. There is no “correct” choice for women. And nobody is your friend, certainly not these pregnancy centers, but neither is the head of the Democratic National Committee, pro-life Tim Kaine. Or anti-choice, anti-contraception Alexia Kelley who now heads the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Health and Human Services. And probably not our new supreme court justice, although we won’t know until much later because nobody thought it was relevant to even ask Sotomayor how she feels about women’s sovereignty over their own bodies.

    I dream of a day when women unite and simply demand reproductive privacy. What we do with our bodies should not even be a subject of debate. Our sexuality and our choices belong to us, they should not be drug out into the court of public opinion.

  5. Cottonpants

    These are exactly the posts I come to IBTP for. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for pointing this shit out. Said shit should be obvious to everyone, but until it is, we need smart women like you to light the way.

    Three cheers for Jill!

  6. ElizaN

    On the bus I ride to work, there are ads promoting the availability of long-term birth control at a local women’s health center, which read “It’s nothing to be embarassed about.” It makes me furious that these words need to be said. It’s the same people trying to make women embarassed about birth control who then turn around and shame them into coerced childbirth.

  7. katrina

    A friend told me about the time when she was 18 and pregnant, and rang the number on a billboard like this one. She was horrified to find it was “full of little old Christian men who tried to persuade me to keep it”.
    I’d had been 18 and pregnant at the same time (before I knew her) and I was lucky enough to see a doctor who immediately booked an abortion for me, funded by the state (this was Australia in the late 1980s). I got a patronising lecture on how this was the best course of action, but I didn’t mind too much, as I happened to agree.
    When I read websites by feminist, disabled Women Of Color and they start banging on about you white women should check your privilege, I always think of how lucky I was to get that abortion, and even have it paid for, by virtue of being Australian (and happening upon the right doctor). My friend got hers in the end, too, but she had to pay for it and she had to endure the anti-abortion activism first, thanks to that cunning, misleading billboard.

  8. BMS

    [Sorry for OT. Very sad. Female verdin just crashed into our window, ending her life. She had just flown off a branch after feathering her nest. Savage death island is with us wherever we are.]

  9. Orange

    Mind you, if no abortions ever happened, we would have more women in poverty. More children in poverty. More crowding in schools. More people using more resources and releasing more carbon into the atmosphere, hastening climate change.

  10. liberality

    been there, done that–fuck them!

  11. Jodie

    Where the heck would those fifty million people even be now? We can’t house and feed or even provide jobs for the people we have now. Yeah, my grammar stinks today but I don’t care.

  12. Oaktown Girl

    Chiming in to second what Cottonpants said above.

    Also, it’s an idea that’s been around for awhile, but I’m totally on board with mandatory vasectomies for all males upon reaching puberty. If they (the males) want it reversed in order to procreate, they have to be “sponsored” by the woman who has agreed to be impregnated and go before a panel of (mostly) women to plead their case. After the baby is born, the vasectomy must be restored.

  13. humanbein

    Oaktown girl: Great idea. The cultural imperative for males is to protect their right to rape and impregnate anyone at will. I wish there was a magic way to simply hand out penises to those who need them, when they need them, and to leave everyone else the default neutral sex – a human being enjoying life without being enslaved to sexual pleasure.

    I look at flowers and think how much nicer it would be if our sex lives were like flowers, this one special season in a long series of transformations, rather than the cradle-to-grave artificial urgency our culture has turned it into.

  14. birkwearingblamer

    Sayeth Twisty/Jill:
    Yeah, I said “motherfuckers.” Take a Xanax.

    That doesn’t bother me,but please pass me that Xanax anyway. My teen just got a driver’s learning permit.

    Do these godbag creeps offer anything besides “counseling,” which apparently consists of convincing women carry all fetuses to term? If that’s all that these godbags offer, then women are truly alone with this organization. When this organization offers maternity care, educational services, daycare services and support that allows a woman to keep a baby without being poor, then they’ll offer some real assistance. If not, STFU.

  15. Dicey Venison

    These billboards that are put up by the godbags give the impression that they’re trying to do women a favor.
    They aren’t.
    It’s very short-sighted and cruel, because it’s using the panic of an unwanted pregnancy to push a mysogynistic agenda.
    I once met a woman who is rabidly anti-abortion because she was coerced into having one, and now she thinks that every single instance of abortion is murder.
    I, however, don’t regret having had an abortion.
    There were so many factors that made being pregnant absolutely wrong for me.
    It would have been the worst mistake of my life if I had gone through with the pregnancy.
    It really pisses me off when people try to lay a guilt trip on me about my decision, because they think they know what’s best for me, better than I do.
    Fuckers.

  16. Frumious B.

    @Oaktown Girl: In principle, I believe in bodily autonomy for everyone, but now and then, when my guard is down, suggestions like yours sound really dang good.

  17. delagar

    Fruminous B & Oaktown Girl: I too believe everyone should own his/her own body, but, like you, often, especially, after, for instance, I have been reading O.S. Card’s latest barking lunacy, I feel the lure of this Utopian idea.

    I am certain it is very, very wrong, however.

  18. sonia

    Once when I mistakenly thought I was pregnant as a teenager, I went to one of those places in a panic after school. I really thought I was, and I wasn’t sure what kind of “help” was going to go down, but I was hoping it was financially oriented towards my potential abortion bill, but it turned out to be just a creepy session of talking about how I’d “really” feel if I did have an abortion. I knew exactly how I did and do feel, and I got out of there eventually and simply felt I’d wasted an afternoon, but I always wondered how it would have affected someone who wasn’t sure what she wanted for herself or had not been raised in a feminist environment.

    I think the most insipid part of the tactics of the clinic was that they said they’d be there for me “no matter what,” which wasn’t actually what I got from everyone in my life about the issue. That statement can be a very powerful leverage to use on a young girl who is scared and confused. I wish they’d shut those places down. And of course the picture has to be a Latina/Mexicana woman, because little white gals just don’t ever get knocked up…gag.

  19. Oaktown Girl

    Frum B. and Delagar – of course I’m only in favor of mandatory vasectomies until such time as men are ready to recognize the “bodily autonomy” of those sub-human creatures called women.

  20. sevanetta

    Elegantly put.

    Motherfuckers, indeed.

  21. Alex

    There’s one of those crisis pregnancy centers right next to the post office in my town–I walk past it almost every day because I have a small mail-order business out of my home. For a long time I wondered, “Is that one of those scam places where they lie to women, or is there some small chance that, against all odds, they provide a legitimate service?” Then one day I while I was walking by they had a giant bale of anti-choice propaganda on the porch. At least I don’t have to wonder any more.

  22. Kelsey

    On a related note, it has always fascinated (repulsed) me how the people that purportedly care so much about fetuses are the same ones that will whine endlessly about slutty welfare queens sucking up their tax dollars. It’s like they don’t even comprehend that God’s precious snowflake children actually cost money to feed, house, clothe, and educate after they’re born.

  23. rootlesscosmo

    @Kelsey: as someone said, the godbags believe life begins at conception and ends at birth.

  24. Cottonpants

    I’m gonna go ahead and return the “ditto”, Oaktown Girl. Please, bring on the vasectomies!

  25. Oaktown Girl

    @rootlesscosmo – I have a friend who’s been saying for almost 20 years that the official chant at anti-choice rallies should be this:

    SOUND THE TRUMPET!
    BLOW THE HORN!
    WE WILL LOVE YOU
    ‘TIL YOU’RE BORN!

  26. Spiders

    It should read: “Pregnant? Scared? You should be.”

  27. slade

    I would like to see a billboard that read:

    “SPELL RELIEF…….A B O R T I O N!”

    Wasn’t there a TV commercial similar to that…’how do you spell relief….?’ Oh yeah, ROLAIDS. OK, it’s late. I’ll go to bed now.

    Of late I’ve been trying out ‘fatherfuckers.’ Just want to be fair, after all.

  28. denelian

    i actually just posted on saturday a plan that is similiar in theory to the madatory vasectomy:

    mandatory, universal, anti-fertility something. that *everyone* takes. and there is a counter agent that is *free*, that is tailored to each specific individual. so if someone *wants* to get pregnant, and they have a willing partner of any sort, they call or otherwise contact the agency that distributes the counter agent. BOTH people have to take the counter agent, BOTH have to request it, because EACH counter agent ONLY works for one person.
    so no more guy poking holes in the condoms because he really wants a baby; no more women “forgetting” their birth control pills.

    this way, EVERY FUCKING BABY will happen because EVERY PERSON who wants the baby made an actual effort to have the baby, and it will be well-nigh IMPOSSIBLE to “trick” the system. there will be no more babies where only one person wanted it, because both of the people who are involved in creating said baby MUST order and MUST take the specific counter agent that ONLY WORKS FOR THAT SPECIFIC INDIVIDUAL.

    other important note: there is NO REASON AT ALL to deny ANYONE WHO IS OF LEGAL AGE the counter agent. it would be a federal crime that, if allegeded, will cost the person who allegedly denies counter agent an automatic suspension from work until/unless s/he is cleared unabiguiously of all charges. and if the allegations prove true, the person is automatically fired, banned from ever working for the government in *any* capacity, even as a temp worker or subcontracter, and will AUTOMATICALLY incur a prison sentence that is a MANDITORY 5 years. per person denied the counter agent.

    the counter agent is always free, and always delivered within 48 hours of requesting it (except blizzards and such). every person has the right to access as much as s/he wants at any time. they could get a lifetime supply the day they turn 18 (if they want to be “Quiverful” or whatever). literally no acceptable reason to deny any person’s request – no matter how many kids, what level of employment, race, age, religion, sexual orientation.

    the ONLY thing is that *BOTH* parties to the pregnancy? they BOTH need to order, and take, their specific counter agent (one could not order agent for another, that person has to order it for him/herself.) and again, the counter agents are tailored – the one that works for me won’t work for *anyone* else (with the slight possible except of an identical twin. there should probably be legislation about preventing twins from “spiking” their other twins with the counter agent…)

    i don’t… i’m pretty confident it would work. and i am totally confident that it will never, never, never get suggested seriously by anyone in any large forum where there is the slightest chance that the government would even consider talking about setting up a committee to research the idea.
    sigh.

  29. Cathy

    No, no, no. See, the superhuman qualities are acquired by the fetus only after holier-than-thou godbags convince the pregnoid who didn’t want a baby to go ahead and have it. The fetuses who were wanted all along are the ones who grow up to be schmoes eating Twinkies.

    Reminds me of the old bumper sticker, “A world of wanted children would make a world of difference.” I wish we could put that on a billboard right after the offending one.

    Since women are so severely punished for having sex with men, I will do my best to convince women and girls to avoid it. Not “abstinence only” BS. Abstinence plus Plan B in case of rape. Everyone is so concerned about breast cancer and heart disease, but you don’t see ads warning about the risk of homicide due to pregnancy.

  30. angryyoungwoman

    When I was 23, I went to the doctor to get birth control, which he immediately denied me because he wasn’t comfortable giving bc to unmarried women. Of course, I’m sure he’d have much rather I’d have gotten knocked up and had an abortion. The whole town I lived in then was full of crazy religious zealots.

  31. CassieC

    @angryyoungwoman: now I understand why you’re angry. Lor-die.

    @Jill/Twisty: another reason to be scared is that if you have a state-approved husband (or non-state approved boyfriend), he is much more likely to kill you when you’re pregnant, see the homicide thing.

    In my experience, American men don’t deal well with pregnancies. The Europeans I know are much more laid back (quote a single male friend “I’ve started subletting a room in my flat so I can save money, because what if I have a girlfriend and she gets pregnant?” – no existential angst whatsoever, just economic good sense).

  32. speedbudget

    Not to threadjack, but I read this article in my asinine local newspaper yesterday by accident. I normally avoid my asinine local newspaper, but I was waiting for Mom to finish getting dressed.

    Anyway, it’s the usual victim-blaming rape = having sex nonsense, but I wanted to write a letter to the editor and I am hoping some of you guys can give me some pithy comments to throw in. I’m hoping the letter will (A) be published and (B) be so awesomely righteous that they will have to give it its own editorial spot on the page.

    For some background, one of the schools in my state has been having a run on males in authority raping their young charges. Four arrests in two years, I think. For some reason, they haven’t figured out that victim blaming and referring to raping a kidnapped, drunk 15-year-old as “having sex” might add to the problem.

    The first three paragraphs made me spit out my Diet Coke. http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20090614/NEWS/906140358/1006/Male-coaches–female-players-need-clear-lines

    If anybody is interested in helping me out, my email address is deawarner@verizon.net

  33. Other Liz

    You are so right, Cathy, it’s the host’s decision not to abort that gives the fetus moral superiority.

    Why, my mum chose not to go on the pill, and my resultant younger brother is 15 percent better than he would otherwise have turned out, had she not been given the option of refusing contraception.

    So imagine the difference refusing abortion – or having it refused on your behalf by godbag (tomayto, tomahto) would make.

    It’s almost worth ambitious would-be parents considering abortion just so they can later refuse it, to reap the rewards. Better then hothousing, and cheaper, too!

    On a more serious note, the word is that vasectomy is not reversible in the long term. After a while, a man’s body adapts and creates sperm eating antibodies or something so as not to waste the protein(not a joke) – it takes more or less time depending on the man.

    What I’m worried about is the extreme moral, physical and intellectual superiority of an unwanted fetus created by uncalled for sex with a man who has refused a vasectomy and is incompetent with contraception. Add a decision not to abort, and bingo, the kid’s a genius, will never need to study, scholarships all the way, will probably marry royalty. That’s been the real life experience, yes?

  34. naath

    Argh, I hate those Crisis Pregnancy type places. Yuck Yuck. Worse than being horrid forced-birth types they don’t even provide help with caring for a child. Supposing that one did, actually, want to have the baby but was in a position where having a baby would be a financial hardship then one might, legitimately, want to talk about that to people With Clue. But no, the forced birthers don’t want to provide a service to women who want to have children (or even to women they have convinced to not have abortions) they are (afaict) *only* interested in talking women out of having abortions. No BC to stop you getting pregnant and thus stop you needing an abortion, no parenting advice, no advice about benefits you might be eligible for, no advice about ante-natal health care… just “abortions are evil”. Obnoxious fuckers.

  35. Amananta

    I bother the people who like to go around and yell “What if your mother would have aborted YOU?!” Because I posit she would have been better off. My mother was raped repeatedly by an older male in the family starting when she was 14 and had me when she was 16. Her life and mine have been a living hell. She hates me and does a poor job of concealing it in spite of the societal mandate to love your children no matter what. She married some jerk because he would have her, poor tainted thing she was with a “burden” (me) that she needed to be grateful to any man for putting up with. So like many former fetuses who should have been mercifully aborted, I ended up in a family that generally hated me and abused me so that all that is really left of me now is a decidedly non-functional, non-contributing-to-society mental patient. I don’t have a job, I’m not “beautiful”, I’m hyper critical of the society and the religious folks who tell me I should be so happy to have been born. I started wishing I had never been born when I was EIGHT.
    So when they shake their fingers at me and scream “AREN’T YOU GLAD YOUR MOTHER DIDN’T ABORT YOU?!” I tell them “No.” At which point they sputter in rage and shock and then smugly tell me “I’ll pray for you.” I tell them not to bother.

  36. Oaktown Girl

    Please don’t get sidetracked on a discussion of vasectomies – mandatory or otherwise – due to my comment way up above. I only brought it up because I was so angry at this female-hating reality. So I felt like sharing here something I sometimes throw it out there in “polite” company so folks of all genders can take a moment to think about what the world might look like if male reproduction was even semi-controlled by an oppressive authority.

  37. blondie

    She should be scared because the illusion that she is free, i.e., her body is not owned by an individual man and/or the state, is about to be ripped away. She will soon learn, if she doesn’t already know, that her body and sexuality are not her own, but under the immediate authority of the state and/or her closest male relative (husband, father, whoever owns her at the moment).

  38. Laughingrat

    We have one of these places on my route to work. I proudly give them the finger every time I drive by, and every time I find their literature slipped into the public space (at the gas pump, on bulletin boards) I take it down and tear it up. Really, though, I yearn for a more effective means of taking these assholes down.

  39. Roving Thundercloud

    Amananta, I was grieved to read your post. I have often considered that while my life hasn’t been all that tough, my mother’s would have been much, much easier if she hadn’t had me. She had a terrible childhood, escaped to college but left it to marry the first man who showed her any kindness–because she was pregnant with me, of course. Turned out he really just wanted a babysitter for his 3 boys so he could carry on with the mistress who had cost him his first marriage, and I was a useful tether. Her brother offered to help her get an (illegal) abortion, and I’m sure her life would have been much more promising without me in tow. Anyway, I have a deep wish for you (and your mom too) to find whatever peace you can. I don’t believe in happily-ever-after but sometimes there are quiet moments, and I hope you find many.

  40. Cottonpants

    Amananta has beautifully summed up my own life experience as well.

    And yes, the anti-choice idiots really do sputter helplessly when you tell them that both you and your mother would have been better off had you been aborted. At first, it’s amusing to watch them try to process it. Because they just have no idea what to do with that. But then they just end with, “I feel sorry for you,” or, even better, “No one would be better off getting an abortion.” And then they walk away quickly before you can shatter their worldview any more.

    It’d be nice if they actually listened.

  41. slownews

    denelian, yes, your plan is brilliant. But the contraceptives should be in the water. All the water. So there’s no “forgetting to take it.”

  42. Lizard

    Maybe I’ve spent too much time with dystopian science fiction, but the idea of mandatory contraception of any sort scares the shit out of me. First (maybe least importantly) are the technological barriers. No birth control is risk-free or appropriate for everyone, so I’m a lot more comfortable deciding whether birth control is, in fact, a good option for me – or whether not engaging in that type of sex, or just using barriers, makes more sense.

    More importantly: that’s terrifying. The history of governments preventing baby-having is not a good history. Supporting reproductive freedom/bodily integrity are why I’m pro-choice. Any government which gets to the point where they have the power to control reproduction that fully will — even if you believe that’s not in itself abusive and horrific — abuse it. That’s how people work. The negative consequences of unplanned/unwanted pregnancies pale in comparison to the negative consequences of THE GOVERNMENT CONTROLLING YOUR REPRODUCTION. Also, the first can be minimized a lot better by increasing access to contraception and abortion. Women don’t mostly want to have babies they can’t take care of. When they have better economic opportunities and access to medical care, they mostly don’t do it.

    Thirdly (fourthly?) if there were a risk-free, side-effect-free, appropriate-for-everyone, reversible method of contraception, many of us would already be doing it. Those of us who wouldn’t, though, I’d much rather keep the right to decide that than the government.

    Yeesh.

  43. fueltank

    They want to dominate the wombs, but won’t recognise the womb’s residing in an actual person. They reckon it’s best, then, if the person is dehumanised and the womb becomes a ward of the state. Because clearly all those womb’s out there (when they aren’t roving around hysterically) are in dire need of some god-lovin bible-learnin re-clamation project.

    Reclaim the fertile lands for the glorious fatherland!

    It sounds like a land war because it IS a land war. Only this ain’t land they’re co-opting, it’s people.

  44. Astro

    I think the point isn’t government-controlled fertility, but switching the default from “fertile” to “infertile”, and becoming fertile (rather than becoming infertile) at your discretion.

  45. Lizard

    The point to you may not be government-controlled fertility, but when I read about mandatory contraception as the default, it’s the word “mandatory” that sticks out at me.

    When women have rights, economic opportunities, and easy access to contraception and abortion, we’re pretty good at not having babies unless we want them.

  46. hero

    Late to the party, but why on earth would anyone who would read this blog also read OS Card? This is a fascinating demographic. Another reason to stay firmly ensconced in the Twisty/Jill fanclub and follow the talk.

  47. Level Best

    Amananta, you DO contribute. For one thing, you contribute excellent, thought-provoking posts on your blog on a regular basis that help some of us (like me) along. I am so sorry that a rapist relative of your mother’s brought lifetimes of pain to two women, though. There seem to be men like this is virtually every family, mine included.

  48. Narya

    May I suggest a reading of “Gate to Women’s Country” by Sheri Tepper? It presents an interesting take on this issue.

  49. TwissB

    Yttik said it for me “I wish we could put aside politics and just realize that everybody hates us.” Sonia Johnson expressed the same thought long ago in connection with what pornography shows: “Rifle barrels pushed up women’s vaginas – How they must hate us!” Note that it’s all directed at the body part unique to women. That’s so no man can be harmed – unless he is representative of some despised minority class, in which cse he is almost a woman. Now that they have distanced themselves from the feeble, icky, woman-tainted “right of privacy” by claiming their men-only right to equal protection of the law, gay men are increasingly seen as men. Sorry, lesbians. That’s just the way the ol’ Constitution bounces.

    The abortion issue is a men’s game at women’s expense. It places no limitations on and indeed celebrates men’s sexual options. Every abortion represents an occasion when a man chose not to contracept.

    So I’m not interested in playing men’s game by men’s rules. I won’t talk about respecting “conscience,” or contribute to blind alley political organizations like NARAL that cultivate useless expertise about nuisance anti-abortion legislation, or to CRLP that uses its expertise on nuisance anti-abortion law to prolong the illusion that “choice” has nothing to do with pregnancy discrimination, like violence against women, a primary form of sex discrimination that proclaims men’s right to invade women’s bodies at will. I am disgusted with women lawyers who pay their dues by lying to women about their constitutional inequality.

    There is a remedy that applies specifically to American women – and it’s not just a “symbol” as Ruth Bader Ginsburg mealymouthed it. Facts at http://www.equality4women.org. Kvetching and handwringing gets us nowhere.

  50. Neko-Onna

    “It’d be nice if they actually listened.”

    Wouldn’t it, though? I’m one of those folks who can honestly answer “Yes, I wish I had been aborted.” too. No heartbreaking drama- just two parents who were not in any way ready to have a kid. But the forced-birthers don’t care about that. They can’t care about that, really. They are too heavily invested in propping up their religion- inspired fantasies about how things work to really care about actual people. The fact that they don’t consider women real people just makes it all that much easier. The “commercial” Jill linked to is a great example of that wish fulfillment mentality. I just put up a post at my place that talks about the roots of the irrational beliefs that drive the “pro-life” movement. If you care to do so, please stop by and take a gander.

  51. Miss Andrist

    I don’t dream of a day when all the women get together. Six thousand years of that not happening – whatever. I dream of a day when all the women pick up baseball bats and do what needs to be done.

    It’s not my job to change hearts and minds even if it were possible. I don’t care. These male supremecists are, with their hatred, constituting a direct threat to my life. Predictably, my self-preservation instinct is triggered and I have a Louisville Slugger with their names written on it. I’m not a crazed lunatic or a man-killing psychopath.

    As Jews : Nazis
    As blacks : KKK
    Females (me) : Males (them)

    Tell me I’m wrong. Actually, don’t bother. A store near you has your Louisville waiting – Walmart, Target, Academy. Get yours today.

  52. Amos

    The Majella Society website is strange. Most groups like that put propaganda on the web to prove their commitment. This one just solicits donations to put propaganda in other media. They do have an endorsement from Oliver North though.

    Selfless world-saving supermodel scientist would make a good premise for a TV show. She could have ambiguous vision/hallucinations of Mother Teresa and Jesus, who would distract her by humorously bickering with each other about medieval theologians and such.

  53. yttik

    “Please don’t get sidetracked on a discussion of vasectomies – mandatory or otherwise -”

    Oh, I don’t know. I’ve found it to be a very effective way of dealing with people who talk about wanting to restrict or reduce abortions. Just tell them that you agree and believe any man creating an unwanted pregnancy should be forced to have a vasectomy for negligent pronging. Than mention that you would like all men over 16 to pay a mandatory reproduction tax, kind of like we have to have car insurance just in case we have an accident.

  54. Chai Latte

    I’ve seen these signs up near a local Catholic church. I kind of want to puke when I see them. (See, THIS IS WHY I no longer go. I do kind of want to check out Gnostic churches, though.)

    Fuck. I love children (I teach preschool), and I’d like my own someday, but…the thought of spending nine months as property of the state? Scares the fuck out of me. Though most women, like me, who are of childbearing age, are owned by the state anyway. (I’m not married, no menz to claim poor meee. Except maybe my Dad?)

    I have to wonder why we bother with kids, honestly–there’s the guilt trip for not being with them every waking second, and the fact that even if we have a partner, he is not socially expected to do his half of the child-rearing workload.

  55. Shelby

    Oh my fuck and god. Unbelievable! I live in Sydney, Australia. Would you see that lying piece of shit promo in New York or is it endemic to the southern states? This is a perfect example of why we have the saying “only in America”.

  56. Oaktown Girl

    “Please don’t get sidetracked on a discussion of vasectomies – mandatory or otherwise -”

    Oh, I don’t know. I’ve found it to be a very effective way of dealing with people who talk about wanting to restrict or reduce abortions.

    yttik – you misunderstand me. I was only talking about this specific thread and not straying too far from the topic* on account’a me inadvertently hijacking the thread. By all means, please do talk about vasectomies – mandatory and otherwise.

    *Yes, I know in the big picture it’s all related to the topic, but you get my drift.

  57. rootlesscosmo

    @Shelby: about three blocks from here, in hip, humane (etc.) San Francisco, there’s one of those, in the parking lot of a big Catholic church, facing a busy road. It’s easier and less dangerous (in the Dr. Tiller sense) to terminate a pregnancy here than in other places in the US, but it isn’t cheaper (pricier if anything) and there’s no escaping the cruel godbag misogynist propaganda.

  58. katrina

    Shelby, read all the comments. It’s not “only in America”.

  59. Shelby

    @rootlesscomso. Thanks mate. It costs a couple of hundred dollars here for a termination. Although the legislation provides that the reason for termination must be on medical grounds, in a practical sense you merely have to say “I don’t want to have a child” and that’s good enough reason for the termination. That’s Sydney though. I think in Queensland it’s still illegal to have any control over your uterus and you have to cross the border. Just wondering, when you say it’s costly – how costly?

    @katrina. I Didn’t have time to read all the other comments. I wasn’t trying to disrespect Americans. I know, it’s like showing disrespect to your mum or dad, right? You can put shit on them but if anybody else tries well they better shut their mouths. It’s probably just that we don’t have the same amount of religious fervour here. Our political leaders would never mention god as your polly’s do.

  60. denelian

    Lizard, for the record, the point really isn’t government control of reproduction, but (as someone else so nicely stated for me) a flipping of the “default” setting from “fertile” to “non-fertile”
    that’s all.

    and… to be honest, i don’t really agree that everyone (even in the US) who wants to be on contraception of some sort *is* on contraception.

    there is the fact of abstience ed, which taught SO many kids that it was better to have sex with *NO* BC than it was to be on BC and be considered a “slut” because you were on the Pill.
    there is the fact that many doctors, and pharmacists, and other medical providers, now have the right to *deny* BC to women based on the “conscience”. and in MANY cases, these are the *ONLY* medical providers that can be reached.
    there is the fact that birth control costs money, and not every place has a Planned Parenthood or similiar clinic where they can get BC for free, or on a sliding scale.

    there are the women who just aren’t on it because they aren’t planning to have sex; then they have sex, or are raped, and aren’t on BC and…
    and there are the teenagers whose PARENTS prevent them from BC (and yes, that still happens some place too)
    and there are the women who, for whatever other medical reason, can’t go on hormonal BC – and the non-hormonal methods? (except condoms) cost a *HELL* of a lot more, and may have other inherent problems (like an allergy to what it’s made out of)
    and there are those who plan to use condoms (with or without foam or other added spermacide) but the person they are having sex with refuses, or takes it off, or otherwise impares the function of the condom (i had this happen – ex-boyfriend poked holes in the condoms with a safety pin).

    and i am sure there are even *more* reasons that not every woman who wants to be on Birth Control *IS* on Birth Control.

    and then there are all those women who don’t want to get pregnant (at least now) but just DID NOT THINK ABOUT IT. and are now pregnant. and even if they have access and legal issues on their side and the MONEY for an abortion, being pregnant for *any* length of time can be deadly, and a surgery is still a surgery, and etc.
    and some of those women really don’t believe that abortion is ok, even for them, even if they don’t EVER want children, so they continue a reversable dangerous medical situation (a pregnancy) so that they can “do the right thing” and give baby up for adoption (although its DAMNED hard to get someone to adopt a non-white baby), despite all the risk it puts them through (not that i have a problem – that’s a valid choice and every woman has the right to MAKE that choice – i just think that, all other things being equal, it’s crappy and cruel to make people go through that)

    and the women who are told they are not *CAPABLE* of getting pregnant by doctors, and then – whoops!

    hence wanting people to be able to just be non-fertile, with no effort.

  61. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Some fella on the tv this weekend was saying “You don’t have to make abortion illegal. You just have to make it impossible.” And although I can’t recall which side of the issue he was on, we are well on our way to that end here in the good ol’ USA. This makes me sad, angry, and relieved that I aborted a 6-week fetus when I was 19. The poor creature might’ve grown up to be female in this sick, sickening culture.

  62. Uppity

    I love this place.

    I’ve always wondered who was going to pay for all the gruel the abandoned unaborted post-fetuses would require.

  63. procrastinatrix

    @Narya: I was thinking of “Gibbon’s Decline and Fall” by Sheri Tepper-where 5 women are given the option of changing the way the human species reproduces, or keeping it the same. Not her best writing, but fun ideas.

    @Lizard: “When women have rights, economic opportunities, and easy access to contraception and abortion, we’re pretty good at not having babies unless we want them.”

    I couldn’t agree more, but this is semi-true for only a tiny % of the world’s women, and the % is shrinking all the time.

    And, for some truly terrifying, Tepper-esque info, check out the Doha International Institute for Family studies at http://www.qf.edu.qa/output/page91.asp

    I shit you not, this is a co-funded think tank by rich US Mormons and rich Saudi (and other) Muslimists, and who knows what Christianists, that “conducts research and promotes scholarship on the legal, sociological, and scientific basis of the natural family as the fundamental unit of society.”

    These people are coming for your womb and your rights. They have an office in Rome as well, the better to advise the UN on “the natural family”.

    Sorry to sound all conspiracy theorist, but I think Prop 8 in the US has shown us that even today, godbag money=policymaking, whether we like it or not.

  64. katrina

    Shelby, I’m Australian. I said it’s not a case of “only in America” because, as is mentioned in the comments, both Australia and the UK have a history of posters that look like this one. Read the comments.

  65. pers

    Unfortunately, I think our society loves them. I am a very responsible young adult, finished college early with a 4 year degree (three years ahead of my peers) and came into a poor economy workforce. I looked for jobs for 6 months to no avail, and when I was in need of medical help and applied for medicaid, I was given nothing because I was not unmarried and knocked up. Only young females pregnant or with children can get medical assistance in the country. It’s a sad situation that females who try hard and look for jobs, or even get a low-paying hourly job with no benefits cannot receive medical bill assistance. Congrats on trying hard! You get nothing! But hey, if you slip up and get pregnant we will help!

  66. The Menstruator

    I’m so angry I wish I could just get an abortion now as a statement.
    As long as women are brainwashed and forced to submit by varied means nothing will ever be different.
    I wish I were knocked up with a male child right now. I’d have that shit sucked out of me so fast.

  67. Amananta

    @ Chai Latte:

    Oh it doesn’t end after the nine (or ten!) months you are pregnant. Once you are a mother, unless you are a bad mother who instantly cedes her child to a more worthy (white heterosexual wealthy married) couple, the state proceeds to own you and run every detail of your life for the next 18 years. How you choose to dress, how you choose to dress your child, how often and how well you clean your house, how much you weigh, how much your child weighs, how you let your child wear their hair, how often you go to the doctor or take your child to the doctor, how you handle discipline, what you name your child, whether or not you want to let your sperm donor near the child or not due to general asshattery or outright abusiveness, whether or not you “deserve” to get any money from him for his supposed great sacred spermly contribution, your profession and career choice, if you work, where you work, how long you work, how you get along with your family, and whether or not you go to a federally recognized church are all matters the state can and will look at, interfere with, and threaten you over. These and more.

  68. Amananta

    Bad mother, should, of course, have been in scare quotes to denote sarcasm. I do not imply that anyone who lets her unwanted fetus out for adoption should feel she is bad – but I do point out the hypocrisy in a culture that surely does look at such women, after having bullied them into giving birth against their will, and recoils in horror if they admit they willingly gave up an unwanted baby for adoption. How dare we have no maternal instinct?!

  69. Cathy

    Oh, Amananta and Roving Thundercloud – your stories make me hate the world even more. I regret bringing a female child into this misogynist world (she was planned, but I was less aware at the time), and often wish I hadn’t been born, either.

    Lizard, how would it be if the the water got spiked by some radfems, as opposed to the gov’t? I know it seems control-freaky, but as it stands now we don’t have control over our own bodies. I wouldn’t mind throwing in some saltpeter (or some more effective anti-Viagra) to boot.

  70. PatriarchySlayer

    @Cathy, there are many days when I wake up and hate the world too, but I think that this world can change. I have to believe it will. It’s frustrating sometimes, but revolutions take time. I’m glad I was born. Maybe I can spread the message of feminism a little farther.

  71. Lizard

    @Cathy – If there were birth control that were risk-free, temporary, and had no side effects, and someone were putting it into the water supply, I’d rather it be you than the government. But: still. If that existed, and it were freely available, I think women who didn’t want kids would take it, so there wouldn’t be a need.

  72. Jude

    Know I’m singing to the choir here, at least when I can stop laughing about Twisty’s diatribes. (Twisty’s hilarious when not poignant in passage of a beloved canine friend).

    To the point of this posting, on abortion hypocrisy in general, pre-Roe v. Wade graffiti used to read: “If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.” As a guy, totally I get that.

    Abortion post-Roe v. Wade is not an inalienable but an alienable right (abortion or not, never an absolute right, hey, gals, keep up the good fight). Abortion as alienable right is the way the patriarchy rolls, giving with one hand to women, then holding the power of the threat of being able to take it away, a sort of political terrorism.

    Interestingly, it only took a couple of years after grassroots sisterhood sparked menstrual extraction lessons in Santa Monica, CA, for Roe v. Wade to be enacted and male-dominant medicine to take over the “legal abortion” business. (I learned this in law school; fascinating history and herstory. Menstrual extraction worked informally as an abortion if a woman was pregnant, back when there weren’t early dip sticks, and otherwise got a woman through her period in mere minutes by the extraction process.)

    Anybody wondering about the fate of the grassroots women’s health movement can try to get the menstrual extraction “del-um” kit drawings from the U.S. Patent office online; as an exercise in curiosity I tried recently and they don’t seem to be there. Every 2009 computer link I tried to click for a diagram of a menstrual extraction device (no doctors required, no anesthesia, considered a very good thing by progressive women circa 1970) was broken.

    Don’t quote me but I believe that in 2009 it’s now something like 83% of counties in America do not have a “legal abortion” provider (aka doctor). Plus women get subjected visually, while driving on regular errands, to the god-bag billboards of those who would require the higher risk to a woman’s life (of the pregnancy going full term) than the far lesser risk — to the woman — of an early trimester abortion.

    Don’t know about you, but as a guy I don’t particularly like medicine’s profit motive or living in a world of constrained choice for women like my daughter. I care more about her than about any fetus I have no reason to know. It played my heartstrings to see a photo of what looks like a dad and his chodor-head-gear-wearing and injured daughter in the Iran revolts, in a country where the abortion rights and grassroots women’s activities are thoroughly disallowed or punished by the male-dominant regime. (See http://thelongestwar.wordpress.com/)

    Maybe here in the U.S it’s because of mass media and god-bag bamboozlement (mentally powerful conditioning by TV, film, radio, internet) that women give up their collective power over their bodies to legal and medical systems men invented, according to “rights” (like abortion) which can be taken away by politics or removed by terrorists who kill off those relatively few abortion providers who receive the medical-school training even to know how to conduct the operation.

    But then I’m no M.D., so what do I know?

  73. Henrietta G. Tavish

    If you actually visit a crisis pregnancy clinic, you’ll find a bulletin board covered with pictures of happy mothers and babies. A certain percentage of women who go to such clinics are convinced to give birth, and either keep the child or give it up to a grateful couple for adoption. Everybody wins. Is it any of YOUR business, all of you silly, bitter, overwrought, hyperventilating commenters? Why no — no, it’s not at all!

  74. slythwolf

    I had a friend in high school, whom I still run into from time to time, who got pregnant on purpose at 18 while we were seniors and had no intention of getting married or any of that bullshit. She wanted to have a kid, so she had one.

    When I mention this to people, they invariably ask me if she comes from a “bad” family or had a “bad” childhood or something similar because it’s unheard of for a teenage woman to want to have a baby. Aren’t babies supposed to be the “consequences” for their “actions” in “not keeping your legs closed, you little slut”?

    We’re 26 now. She has four kids (some of whom even have a different dad than the others), and remains unmarried and poor and fucking happy.

  75. Pantsuit Sally

    “If you actually visit a crisis pregnancy clinic, you’ll find a bulletin board covered with pictures of happy mothers and babies.”

    Well, of course. The clinic staff aren’t going to post pictures of women sleeping on the floor of a homeless shelter with the babies they were pressured to keep; or women who have been beaten by their abusive babies’ fathers, whom they perhaps had to stay with out of economic necessity; or women greiving because the grateful couples who adopted their children turned out to be abusive. I’m sure many of the people who seek help at crisis pregnancy centers have very good outcomes; others, however, do not. In many cases, keeping the child or giving it up for adoption does not result in anybody winning.

    “Is it any of YOUR business, all of you silly, bitter, overwrought, hyperventilating commenters? ”

    Yes, when it comes to my body, my health, and a very personal decision about what is best for myself and my family, of course it’s my business. No one here is advocating that all women who find themselves pregnant under less-than-ideal circumstances should just get an abortion. Speaking of sticking one’s nose into other people’s business and hyperventilating, look at you getting all upset over the suggestion that women should be given comprehensive information about ALL of their options and then make their own decisions without being slut-shamed.

  76. jezebella

    Hey judgy mcjudgerson lady: Hell, YES, I do consider it my business when an organization makes it THEIR business to abuse, deceive, and harass vulnerable girls and women in my community.

  77. Spiders

    Shelby, I know it’s not as overt here but we do have some serious godbags in the major and minor parties, and all parties in this country court the catholic vote. Bob Hawke was openly agnostic but I think those days are gone for now.

  78. Felicity

    A lot of misogyny is directed at young and teenage women. We seem to frustrate a lot of people.

  79. Josquin

    The photo says it all:

    tilted head,downcast eyes, denoting shame and passivity, but still vaguely alluring and “hott” .
    I hate this crap. I hate that she has to look ashamed. I hate the fact that they used the image of an “alluring” young woman. It links her sexuality with her guilt, her shame, her debasement.
    I hate that the vile message in this photo and so many like it goes unnoticed, day after day. I hate that so many of us have bought the message our whole lives. I love that I can come here and read things that help me see through the lies.

  80. Dana

    Yes, yes, yes, yes, YES.

    And then you go and blow it with this: “Majella suggests with all seriousness that millions of aborted ‘babies,’ had their host humans not asserted their personal sovereignty and gotten them removed…” (Pardon my ellipsis. I believe it actually belonged there.)

    Now I agree that abortion is in part about personal sovereignty and bodily integrity. Right there with you. The trouble with the feminist movement, or movementS plural if you like, is that feminists tend to stop at believing that abortion is about these things. Not too many feminists go that one logical step farther to assert that childbirth and childrearing are also assertions of personal sovereignty. (It does happen, but it’s rare, at least in mainstream public discourse.)

    Feminists drum up pregnancy as being a “crisis” just as much as godbags do, and for the exact same reasons. Every single damn time I see abortion discussed amongst those on “our” side, it’s framed in terms of “helping” the poor, the single, and women of color. Got any idea how gross that is? I didn’t, for a while. Then the tables were turned on me. I’ve never been a woman of color, but I’ve sure been poor and single. And pregnant. And judged for toughing it out–well duh, I wanted the baby in the first place, but gee, I’m a horrible person for BWP/Breeding While Poor. I heard this from avowed LEFTISTS, now. Not just from godbags.

    So I know. I’ve heard it from both sides. As far as I’m concerned, if you’ll forgive the Internet acronym, both sides need to STFU and let the women handle this who actually have to deal with it. No matter which of SEVERAL reproductive choices we make.

    I shouldn’t have to turn to Birthright or Operation Save America or who the hell ever to get help if I’m not independently wealthy, married, and the right skin color when I breed. No feminist woman should have to go through that. I want to know where the intentional communities for single mamas who intend to parent are located. (It would sure beat “single mothers’ homes.”) I want to know what childbirth resources we’ve marshaled for our side rather than fobbing our pregnant and desperate (often driven desperate by our own rhetoric, to boot) off to some Christian organization to brainwash them and steal their babies from them.

    You know, it’s a lot easier to change the values of a culture if you inculcate those changed values into kids rather than try to legislate them into the adults. I’m not saying dedicated childfree women should breed, but for those of us who are OK with having kids, we could use a bit more cultural support from our own and a bit less drama-mongering. It’s just a baby. They don’t bite. Well, at least not until the teeth come in.

  81. Jill

    Dana, you misinterpret my post. Nowhere do I assert that women who procreate are less entitled to human status than women who don’t. There is no “feminist movement,” but if there were, it would be pretty piss-poor if it suggested the opposite.

    Your ellipsis, by the way, ellides out of existence the whole gist of my statement, which is that bringing unwanted pregnancies to term does not guarantee the inherent nobility of the resulting offspring.

    Although I must reiterate, which I do whenever the opportunity presents itself, that it is irresponsible, classist, racist, and gaudy for anyone to procreate at all, given the unsustainability of the current population, and the concomitant impending doom of millions of poor brown people from disease and starvation as well-to-do honkys continue to hog all the planet’s resources. I direct these remarks particularly at men, who are ultimately the ones in control of women’s uteruses.

  82. Felicity

    I can’t stand the jockheads who talk about the NEED to procreate – and that procreating is the PURPOSE of our lives. Those who bring up evpsych and its main principle- to reproduce- like we should be popping out left, right and centre to appease some natural innate force make me sick. As bad AS godbags! No it’s really not our main purpose in life, the Earth is way too damn overpopulated. We’re not doing anyone any favours by popping yet another ten out, for reasons Jill mentioned. Anyone who resorts to ‘well it’s all so we pass on our genes’ is just immensely stupid. That line should come straight out a comic book, but we live under a patriarchy so instead it’s like a standard mantra.

  83. Agasaya

    I’d like to probe into the rationale of this statement by Jill, if I may. She wrote, “…it is irresponsible, classist, racist, and gaudy for anyone to procreate at all, given the unsustainability of the current population, and the concomitant impending doom of millions of poor brown people from disease and starvation as well-to-do honkys continue to hog all the planet’s resources.”

    The individual facts are unassailable. It is the implication I question. How will refraining from procreation save any of those doomed millions? The well-to-do (the aristocracy in any culture basically), need to conserve resources more than their genes as long as we aren’t talking about large families. The food shortages are actually contrived, an artifact of agribusiness controlling the food supply.

    The leadership of said aristocracies are the basic problem since all we see of them is hypocrisy and misogyny. If enlightened individuals, inclined to devote themselves to raising children, actually raise them to refute and begin repairing these systems, progress might possibly be made. Without new and improved versions of the ‘old model’ male, we’re all doomed anyway.

    Under the Shah of Iran, women were educated and managed, even under the current extremist rulers, to see that their children were educated. Those are the children currently resisting the election results in Iran today.

    Quality, not quantity.

  84. Ron Sullivan

    If enlightened individuals, inclined to devote themselves to raising children, actually raise them to refute and begin repairing these systems, progress might possibly be made.

    If we can’t manage to persuade and educate people to whom we haven’t actually given birth, we’re doomed anyway, anyway. Do you really think people live out their parents’ ideals? How many of us here would be Betty Crocker Jr. or Sister Mary Whoozits if that were so?

  85. Agasaya

    Ron,

    We do persuade others, which generally convinces them not to actively work against those trying to make progress. But passive people don’t alter policies (hence the Prop 8 vote in California which might have gone the other way but for stay-at-home voters).

    Your parents aren’t reading this, are they? And just how much change have you wrought? Might you have accomplished more (not to say you haven’t, I have no knowledge of you or your life) if your parents had started you on the ‘right’ road at an earlier stage of your life?

    How many got to this point due to tragic events and abuse teaching us, rather late, about what needs to be fought?

    Lastly, if we are doomed, then it doesn’t matter what anyone does so there are no limits to impose.

  86. Miss Andrist

    HEY JUDE:

    (HAR HAR HAR *snort* HAR) Regarding your comment and mention of ME, I happen to possess some documentation / instructions about how to perform it, specific necessary implements, etc. I’d offer this tidbit in a more direct fashion, but I have no clue what your email address is, your blog doesn’t allow commenting and your hosting cloaks you. Someday soon, I will deposit this information aomewhere useful, so the general public can make use of it.

    Until then, a few key points:

    1. The most important ingrediant in performing ME is a specific type of cannula called a Karman cannula. (Combine the power of Google with logical deduction to find out why this specific type of cannula is important.)
    2. In fact, the only really important ingrediant is Karman cannulae; you can accomplish the task with any combination of airline tubing/aquarium lines, syring and mason jar half-full of distilled water that pleases you.
    3. I’ve only ever found one distributor of this implement – or at least that lists it as being a Karman cannula. You can find similar devices for similar purposes all over the web, but if you completed the Google-plus-logical-deduction excercise from step 1, you’ll realize right away that the difference between “other” implements and the aforemention is small but far from negligable. That said, the described distributor only sells in bulk, and if the internets tells the truth, they’re located in India and take orders from gullible/desperate Americans through their extra skeevy website.

    If The Blogger Formerly Known As Twisty saw fit, she could theoretically flex her awesome powers of board moderation and telepathy to manufacture a channel of communication betwixt the two of us, allowing me to slip these documents to you under the digital table like setting up a shady deal. You know, if this were a movie.

    Otherwise you’ll just have to wait for the proverbial premiere like everybody else.

  87. sharonevolving

    yttik, I so agree with you. I have totally given up on any kind of party or ideology identification, since libz proved just as hateful to women as conservatives ever did. Women need to wake up and realize we are hated on every front, and organize for ourselves. Love this blog!

  88. Jill

    “If The Blogger Formerly Known As Twisty saw fit, she could theoretically flex her awesome powers of board moderation and telepathy to manufacture a channel of communication betwixt the two of us [...].”

    I wish I did have awesome powers of board moderation, alas. Every time I’ve tried to manufacture channels of communication betwixt two commenters for the purpose of slipping documents, at least one of the parties involved (usually me) lives to regret it.

    Person with information that will change the world are encouraged to put it on their blogs and send us the links.

  89. Ron Sullivan

    Agasaya, I’m not sure where to begin with this because I’m having trouble following your reasoning——starting, I confess, with the “Quality, not quantity” sign-off in your former post, which seems to contradict the rest of it.

    We do persuade others, which generally convinces them not to actively work against those trying to make progress.

    What you mean “we” here? Do you honestly think that “active” feminists are all that way from birth or bringing-up? Who on earth started this whole thing?

    But passive people don’t alter policies (hence the Prop 8 vote in California which might have gone the other way but for stay-at-home voters).

    Here’s another logical leap. First, the assumption that I-don’t-quite-know-who (non-cradle feminists?) are “passive” and that non-voters somehow lost that election. In fact, the November 2008 election in California brought out a lot of first-time voters. Unfortunately lots of those voted for Prop. 8. I blame the godbags, in particular.

    Your parents aren’t reading this, are they?

    My parents are long dead. What on earth would that have to do with anything?

    Odd though it may seem to some, they both came some distance in my direction over the years. Mom got good and pissed-off and left the church about the same time I was doing the same. I wish everyone here could’ve listened in on my dad’s telling me about his jury-duty stint, in which he persuaded the rest of the jury to find a serviceman of some stripe guilty of rape. Defense had argues that since the victim was a prostitute, she couldn’t be raped. Dad maintained that that’s like saying a storekeeper couldn’t be robbed. Might be primitive reasoning but it worked on that group. I was so proud.

    And just how much change have you wrought?

    Interesting question. I suspect I’ll never know. I’m clearly a failure as a nurse, or at least a burn-out. (I saved a few lives, I guess. Don’t know whether they were the “right” lives; some of them were even being raised Mormon. Helped get some kids away from abuse; how do you count that? Trouble with hospital work is that it’s mostly team stuff, very little lone-ranger opportunity.)

    I’m a failure as a landscaper and, worst of all in my estimation, as an arborist, both because I can no longer physically do the work. I was one of the first wave of women in my specialty here, and there are lots of us in the club now. (Literal club; very good, physiologically sound, artistic techniques.)

    Currently I’m being a failure as a columnist, partly because so many publications have gone under or are circling the drain; partly because I’m enjoying persistent chronic anoxia and a drug load that wipes my brain now and then.

    Haven’t passed any laws lately. Have managed to promote feminists interests in all of those fields above, though. I’d like to think I’m a small part of the reason why nursing, for example, isn’t quite the profession it was in the mid-’70s when I started. What went on started without me and continues after me, but I was in there pulling for a decade or more.

    Might you have accomplished more (not to say you haven’t, I have no knowledge of you or your life)

    Well, that’s true enough. Interesting that it didn;t stop you from this rhetorical tack.

    if your parents had started you on the ‘right’ road at an earlier stage of your life?

    My parents thought they were starting me on the right road; that’s the point. Just like everybody’s parents. No exceptions, including everyone here.

    I was a self-identified feminist by the time I reached adulthood; I’d been a feminist for a long time but didn’t have the word to describe it. Like a lot of us, it was a relief to hear other women saying what I’d been thinking and saying for years, stuff that had been dismissed as my private craziness. Knowing all this would have saved me lots of pain, but I’m not sure it would have made me somehow more accomplished a feminist. Being raised Catholic cost me a lot but it sure as hell honed my politics.

    How many got to this point due to tragic events and abuse teaching us, rather late, about what needs to be fought?

    Quite a few, I’d imagine. Do you have some fantasy that someone else’s having babies will somehow reach back in time and cure that?

    Lastly, if we are doomed, then it doesn’t matter what anyone does so there are no limits to impose.

    Hey, that word was your introduction up there. Here’s the point: We’re not the only beings on the planet. Kids being raised in a feminist fashion still consume, still take up space——especially “First-World” kids. And there’s no more guarantee they’ll live out feminist ideals, as self-evident as we might find those, that there was that I’d be a Good Catholic Wife’n'Mother or Sister of Mercy, as I was raised to be.

  90. Jill

    I love you, Ron.

  91. Agasaya

    I might love Ron too if he’d addressed any of the salient points about the assertion that bringing more children into the world is unjustifiable. The discourse is still entertaining though, as are the details of Ron’s life. By the way, “doom” was Jill’s word and only appeared in my post for that reason.

    The point is that any life can contribute more than it consumes if you look beyond food and fuel as the measure of their footprint. Individuals will alter the manner in which consumption exceeds supply. Consumption is currently a competitive issue, strictly artificial in nature. Supply is dictated by the male-led corporations (try reading Michael Pollan on agriculture), determined to stop the promotion of sustainable living for short-term gain. If you have left-overs, do you send them to the Sudan? Even if we stopped having babies, the world’s poor and oppressed wouldn’t benefit from because they would not be the recipients of any excess left to the wealthier powers. They would still lack the where-with-all to buy it under existing rules.

    I am suggesting that educated young people, free from the experience of early, crippling pain and abuse (emotional and/or physical) will be able to skip decades of evolution and go straight to effective advocacy while still young and strong. Few victims manage to surmount their experiences as Jill notes in her latest blog post about the sex trade. Victims do wait in the wings, but for whom?

    Seeing the world for what it is from the ‘get-go’, is a real time-saver. No Ron, not all will ‘get’ it just because it’s presented. However, the odds increase with such a start. Anyone with the guts and ability to do so should not feel disenfranchised from feminism or humanism if they raise a child to shape better lives for themselves and, hopefully, their cultures. The descendants of those who escaped genocides from many places and cultures have had an important impact in recent history. The denial of such events across cultures is part of the revisionist history that people swallow whole once the actual survivors die out. Descendants of survivors were likely instrumental in saving lives in Kosovo. Too bad Darfur doesn’t appear to be on any map published by western civilizations despite there being more advocates for it than in previous generations.

    Look at Iran’s youth, educated even as rights were taken from women with the silent or enthusiastic support of Iranian males. Largely powerless for that very reason of surrendering those rights. (see op-ed in today’s Times on that topic) Funny how revolutions only succeed when you have the support of women who a) engender those values, b) pass them along to their children. Guess that’s why history is full of many cultures which separate boys from their mothers early on, physically in the educational system or mentally as in the US (boy versus girl attitudes and past-times). Females ‘warp’ the Male mind. Translation: Females demonstrate the obsolescence (and obscenity) of the traditional male orientation.

    ‘Quality and not quantity’ refers to how a few individuals can hasten change. It is not an endorsement of over-consumption nor a religious mandate to ‘go forth and multiply’. It is a rationale for the reasonable desire to do so if it can be done ‘well’. Sure, Ron, you can do that for existing children – but just how much time do you have to be a big brother or sister? Or, perhaps, a spinster Aunt?

  92. Jezebella

    It is a slippery slope from “quality not quantity” to eugenics. Who defines “quality”?

  93. Agasaya

    Sorry that the quality of my writing and the context of this discussion has been inadequate to explain the ‘quality and not quantity’ phrase for some of you. I refer strictly to the characteristics and intention of parents – not the children being produced. Having spent a quarter century working with disabled kids, my position that every child is a ‘quality’ child has been demonstrated in action and not just rhetoric. This discussion is about the intentions behind parenting. The thread began with Jill’s statement that those choosing to parent are incredibly misguided (at best). I dispute that and also propose that the future of society depends upon how we raise the next (though hopefully smaller) generation of people in societies where they will be free to have influence. Those professing more ‘advanced’ views of free societies are mostly too bound to their patriarchal structures and are therefore destined to fail in their goals. Any limits placed upon women in society sabotages that society. Hence my mention of Iran.

    Parents who merely hope to ‘re’populate the earth with replacement people, and so live on through eternity do not, IMHO, have ‘quality’ motives for producing children. I think it has to be about the kids and not ‘us’ since having kids requires a large degree of self-abnegation.

    It is about deciding to have children in order to continue the evolution towards a sustainable and equal existence for all. That is, the intent to rear children for a ‘quality’ existence of self-actualization and promotion of the same to others. The quality issue is in the mind of the parent, rather than the achievements of the offspring. How kids will turn out is never predictable but the odds for success can be increased. Abortion rights aren’t about population control but about the decision not to bring a child into the world by people unable or unwilling to provide a quality existence for them. Again, parental intent (often called, choice), is the subject and not the children themselves.

    We need more people free of old-guard fear and restraint to promote ‘quality of life’ philosophy and practice. Most of us are too damaged and limited to make sufficient impact. Contributing ideas that others can run with is about all a lot of us can hope to do. Some do it better than others which is what brought us to IBTP.

    Sorry for the poor editing of this hasty post but the eugenics reference required immediate reply.

  94. katrina

    Here’s an article on what those bastards do with the women and foetuses that fall into their hands:

    http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090914/joyce/single

  95. Shopstewardess

    Man hands on misery to man and woman, as Philip Larkin didn’t quite say.

    Having kids: it’s the world’s biggest ever Ponzi scheme.

  96. ElkBallet

    Sorry if someone else has already posted this, but I supposed whoever wrote that about the unaborted fetuses didn’t read the plethora of studies that show legalized abortion led to a drop in crime rates ~20 years later. States that legalized abortion earlier showed an earlier drop in crime. States that perform more abortions have lower crime than states where fewer abortions are performed. It’s all correlational, but you’ve gotta wonder…

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