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May 16 2010

And they moved to Stars Hollow and lived happily ever after

Blessed Virgin hates you

This post would have appeared earlier, but I only just now got the gore and debris cleaned up. I allude to the obstreperal lobe tissue dripping from the bunkhouse rafters. That’s right, I blew another lobe, and no doubt you did, too, when you heard about the insane bill that just passed in Missouri.

Missouri’s state legislature, like that of many states, has invaded the personal bodies of its citizenry and enslaved their uteruses. Without compunction of any kind, this cruel and bloated governing body swaggers around the countryside, snapping its fingers, yelling “jump,” and smirking when the captive uteruses ask “how high?”.

There was already an extremely obnoxious law in Missouri forcing women seeking abortions — 24 hours in advance of the procedure — to sit through a lecture (bring a book) on the supposed mental and physical devastation that abortions supposedly cause. The idea being that, after a heartstring-tugging indoctrination with patriarchy-replicating, godsick disinformation about the certainty of a post-abortion lifetime of regret, cancer, depression, infertility, desperate yearning and insanity, women would voluntarily abdicate their personal bodily sovereignty in order to incubate fetuses for the state, which state would then abandon all parties concerned at the conclusion of gestation.

So things were bad enough in Missouri before, but with this new law they’re even worse. Instead of being forced to endure this patronizing abortion-is-bad-for-you crap via telephone, women are now required to audit in person. Providers must also describe the adorable little fingers and toes, the teensy little heartbeat, the precious little turned-up nose of the “unborn child.” Then they have to offer the woman an ultrasound and a chance to hear for herself how adorable the teensy heartbeat is. Then — no shit — they have to hand over “a state-produced brochure proclaiming: ‘The life of each human being begins at conception. Abortion will terminate the life of a separate, unique, living human being.’” If the woman is pretty young, they have to show her a couple of seasons’ worth of “Gilmore Girls,” because that’s such a realistic portrayal of the long-term results of teen pregnancy. Then they lock her in a room for an hour or two with a statue of the Blessed Virgin who weeps tears of blood.

This in-person ‘consultation’ means double the trips to the clinic, more time off the job, and, in the case of women who have to travel for their procedures (that is, everyone in Missouri who doesn’t live in Kansas City, Columbia, or the CWE), the time and expense of putting up in a Motel 6 and eating Grand Slam Fried Polyester Combos at Denny’s while they do their 24-hour stretch of state-mandated limbo. In other words, it merely throws more asinine obstacles in the path of any Missouri citizen who wishes to exercise her fucking legal right to an abortion. Not to mention her human right to personal autonomy.

As far as I know, there is no collateral provision in the law requiring abortion providers to detail the risks inherent in not terminating an unwanted pregnancy. For example, which women are most likely to be murdered? Pregnant women, that’s who! Neither is there a requirement that women be apprised of other unpleasant pregnancy-related crap, such as the public monitoring of their personal habits (no smoking! no drinking!); the insipid, infantilizing culture of American “moms-to-be”; life-threatening conditions such as preeclampsia and postpartum depression; 18 years of financial hardship; 18 years of unpaid domestic labor; empty-nest syndrome; and, naturally, the deleterious impact of human reproduction on the environment. Not to mention that women who don’t have children are free from a lifetime of public shaming for their bad mothering skills and from having to incorporate the word “piddle” into their vocabulary. You’d think that people might find all that information at least as useful as the “fact” that parasitic clumps of cells are Jesus’s Mini-Me. But the State of Missouri couldn’t give a flip about actual facts.

It’s just another dastardly case of institutionalized misogyny and oppression disguised as a romantic fascination with adorable fetuses. I puke on the Missouri state legislature. “The life of each human being begins with conception?” Shoot me now. Every time a politician utters this meaningless godsick hate speech he lands another kick in the teeth of Truth and Beauty’s rotting corpse.

95 comments

1 ping

  1. jaded

    The legislation also would ban insurance coverage for abortions from being offered through state-based insurance purchasing pools authorized under the new federal health care law.

    I wonder if they are on to something…

    Oh I know – We CONTROL your bodies. Particularly your uterus. Hand over the keys to your vagina now.

  2. Molly

    Laws of this sort make me absolutely ill. I had an abortion when I was 21, and it was a huge hassle to ask for even one day off from my suspicious born-again boss, who stopped just short of asking me why I needed a WHOLE ENTIRE DAY OFF for my “doctor’s appointment.” Had I been required to go in the day before the procedure, too, well, I’d probably have an 8 year old now (and a drastically different life, which goes without saying), because my boss wouldn’t have given me the time off.

    But then, I guess that’s the whole point.

  3. SargassoSea

    That photo may be the most disturbing thang I ever did see, except for that bill.

  4. Clarissa

    What a fantastic post! I live right across the state border from Missouri (Southern Illinois) and I’m very familiar with the economic devastation that the current financial crisis has wreaked on the area. I am stunned at the hypocrisy of those politicians who haven’t been able to provide the citizens of their state with better economic conditions. They do, however, have the gall to pass such vile bills. Shame on them!!

  5. Pinko Punko

    Someone done tore the head offa Baby J CLEAN off.

  6. ew_nc

    Truly, the State of Misery.

  7. Liberality

    You don’t feel guilty enough is what the state is saying because you are still prepared to end the lump of cell’s “life” so here, let us dump more guilt on your head. See, told you you are mentally ill. You can’t empathize enough with this “life” so you are bad. Wait, you don’t feel bad, well you should.

    Did I miss something here? If the state is going to legislate morality I think they should start first with taking care of the people who are already here on this planet and stop worrying about growing cells being displaced. IBTP.

  8. nakedthoughts

    this is beyond me.

    I physically felt that hit me. A real physical sensation, that caused me to tear up.

  9. nakedthoughts

    ok. slightly able to think again.

    It occurs to me that this is intimately tied in with rape culture:

    Little lady brains are not capable of making decisions about their bodies so we must “help” them make those decisions by doing everything we can to make them for them. they don’t know what they actually want. She says one thing, but really we know she wants something else. So we’ll give her that something else.

  10. yttik

    Life does not begin at conception. Life begins when softball season starts.

  11. vinoveritas

    The depressing thing is how much family I have in Missouri, and how many of them could use some really solid family planning help.

  12. Tehomet

    That’s twisted. As you know, it’s not possible to get an abortion at all in some places (such as where I live). Meaning a woman who wants one has to go to the next-door country (i.e. England). Until recently I thought that was a horrific intrusion on one’s personal rights. And of course, I still think that. But I also now think that at least banning abortion outright and making a woman who wants the procedure take a ferry/plane to a clinic in another country if necessary does remove one’s rights but a) doesn’t insult one’s goddamn intelligence (we women already know that there’s a foetus or embryo of some size or description in there, right?) b) doesn’t emotionally blackmail one (the fucking ultrasound, Jesus Christ), and c) is probably fucking quicker and cheaper. IBTP.

  13. janicen

    Among all of the things wrong with this legislation, what really hits home with me is the assumption that women cavalierly decide to have abortions on impulse, and if only they took some time to think about it, they would change their minds. It’s sadistic to put women through this.

  14. Triste

    The truly horrifying part of this story is the way that “liberal” dudes simply couldn’t give a fuck less about this legislation. Psychological violence against women doesn’t bother them in the least – half of them are sitting squarely in the “hey, abortion should be legal so that I don’t have to pay child support, but it IS wrong, and you ladies deserve to at least hear about it for being such a bunch of filthy sluts” camp and the other half are in the “Jesus, women sure are a bunch of fucking wusses for being so susceptible to intimidation and manipulation, and god knows when I, as a white-cis-hetero-dude, experience the constant societal pressure to give up my bodily sovereignity, I man the fuck up and give the universe what for” camp.

    Perhaps 19 years of living isn’t long enough to be used to this, because I honestly still find myself fucking shocked by how much dudes hate women. Even liberal ones. “Liberal.”

  15. mercurialsunshine

    I can never get over how incredibly stupid these people think women are. Women having abortions just haven’t thought about it. They don’t understand that the clump of cells in their uterus is a person, and they’re interfering with it’s rights! Hmm, let’s flip that a bit. Maybe try- These fuckwad legislators asserting control over women’s bodies just haven’t thought about it. They don’t understand that women are people, and that they’re interfering with our rights! Yup, that sounds about right.

    I’m sure this is full of grammar issues, but I’m too angry to deal with it right now. I’m lucky I could get anything coherent out at all.

  16. kristyn joy

    “Perhaps 19 years of living isn’t long enough to be used to this, because I honestly still find myself fucking shocked by how much dudes hate women. Even liberal ones. ‘Liberal.’”

    Well, I have a few but not many years on you (I’m in my mid-twenties), and I gotta say it … gets better or gets worse, depending on one’s outlook.

    It’s still just as enraging, but one may or may not develop “Outrage Fatigue” about it.

    For example, my reaction can be summed up as, “sigh. facepalm. sigh again. shake head.”

    Those of us who’ve come from the “punk”/anarcho/fauxgressive side of the tracks can vouch that even those assholes are as misogynist as the frat boys and thuglicans, just don’t think they are. Or openly declare that they don’t care, because women’s rights are “too PC!”

    It gets to the point that one accepts that men hate us, it becomes as taken for granted as breathing, it’s expected, and it makes one quite sad and sometimes angry. This is how separatists and recluses are made.

    Your summarization of the two camps is frackin’ beautiful. If nothing else, it really makes clear the fact that “politics” in the legislative as opposed to interpersonal sense, especially the arbitrary division of politics into “liberal” vs. “conservative,” are/is woefully inadequate and deserving of disdain.

    I like to break a law at least once a day, just to feel better.

    Also, mercurial, your reversal flip of the issue is great. Too bad the thick-skulled nitwits would never, ever, never “get it.”

  17. kristyn joy

    PS – yes, grammatical apologies as well for the dangling antecedentless words and phrases up there.

    This brain is fried from outrage fatigue, as well as the literal fatigue borne of “being unable to sleep because I found out that one of my roommates spies on my bedroom.”
    (Fucking creeper is moving out on June 1, but seriously. It does blow the mind that men not only think that kind of thing is acceptable, but that they proceed to in fact DO IT, relentlessly and without impunity. Even the “liberal” ones. Even the “anarcho” ones.

    The difference between those men and the “conservative”, ie godbaggist, ones may simply be that they just don’t feel guilty about it.)

  18. nails

    Jeez, you would think that this could get struck down by the church and state violation going on. Pharyngula had a post about this once- where biologists think the line about how life ‘begins’ at conception is painfully stupid, because life was going on the whole friggin time. There wasn’t a period of non life in which new life began. A cell (which is very much alive) was fertilized and the course of development for that living cell changed. Even nutty religious doctors know that implantation is the point in time that a fertilized egg is considered a pregnancy anyway. There is zero chance of the precious new life to develop into anything without that. The pamphlet is nothing but religious bullshit. Next they will make pregnant women go to a class about how the pain from childbirth is because some woman ate an apple a long time ago, and that the earth is only 6,000 years old.

    Shiiit, maybe it is time to try and get the ACLU involved from this angle. It makes sense to me, and the equally vague “intelligent design” camp has been defeated on the same grounds.

  19. Emily H.

    “The truly horrifying part of this story is the way that ‘liberal’ dudes simply couldn’t give a fuck less about this legislation. Psychological violence against women doesn’t bother them in the least.” Okay I know for a *fact* that’s not true. Liberal dudes I know in real life and am certain are outraged at this legislation: My boyfriend, my dad, my former roommate Tommy, my ex-boyfriend Andy, the male students and faculty in the graduate English program at my institution, other graduate students I’ve met at other institutions. Many liberal dudes are gay & they’re pretty likely to get why government oppression is a big deal. I first learned about this asinine new law from a Dan Savage blog post. I did a quick search & found a clip of Jon Stewart debating Mike Huckabee about abortion on his show (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/19/huckabee-jon-stewart-deba_n_217918.html); if he’s not an example of a mainstream, popular “liberal dude,” I don’t know who is.

    Yes, liberals can be big assholes, & I don’t doubt a lot of you have encountered guys who have an attitude of “what’s the big deal, women should just stop letting people manipulate them!” A lot of people (male and female) allow sexist ideology to preempt logical thought & obscure their understanding of the Constitution. But if you *don’t* allow that to happen, it’s pretty clear that (a) it’s not kosher to intimidate people out of practicing their constitutional rights; (b) people’s body parts (including uteruses) belong to them & are not for the state of Missouri to regulate. Men as well as women are capable of having these thoughts.

    I dunno where this meme came from, that “liberal dudes” are really just as sexist as right-wing Republicans. Their behavior can be much more disappointing because they’re supposed to be our allies, but between them and non-liberal dudes there’s really no comparison.

  20. Larkspur

    Emily H., you have a very good point, and one that is sadly but inevitably bolstered by the probability that non-male humans like Sarah Palin and certainly Phyllis Shlafly are celebrating this Missouri ruling. It’s dangerous to overlook the fact that some of the patriarchy’s most virulent enforcers are women. This is true even though I have more in common with Sarah Palin than I do with, say, Jon Stewart. Jon Stewart can’t get pregnant. I don’t have a penis. Jon Stewart and I would get along together much better than I would with Sarah Palin, but there it is.

  21. kristyn joy

    Oh, Emily. How lovely the world might be if only that were true.

    However, the “I know a few men who aren’t complete godbaggist douches! Thus liberals = good!” is not valid.

    Think about any feminist website ever, where male trolls show up and say, “I know of one woman who thinks [behavior being discussed] isn’t [sexist/degrading/etc.]. Thus, said behavior isn’t sexist or degrading!”

    Or, “I know a woman! Thus I’m not a sexist!”

    Still doesn’t hold water. Thanks for playing, try again.

  22. Gayle

    “I dunno where this meme came from, that “liberal dudes” are really just as sexist as right-wing Republicans.”

    Life.

  23. Shelby

    All the religious dogma put forth by politicians and religious fruit and nut jobs about the point at which life begins etc., is just a smokescreen. Life obviously begins when you are able to physically fully function independently of the woman who grew you. Men don’t give a flying fuck when life begins. Men only care that bearing children under patriarchy = enslavement of women. The bearing, feeding, clothing and raising of children is not considered a worthwhile pursuit under patriarchy, shit not when there’s real worthwhile jobs like being able to hit a fucking little ball with a fucking little stick real real far.

    This fucking world is so fucking blindly fucked that sometimes I think it would just be best if a great big wave came and washed us all away.

    All pain and no sleep makes Shelby a cranky girl.

  24. Denise

    If we’re trading anecdotes, most of the liberal dudes I know think that feminists are as bad as Republicans, because we tell them they’re wrong about stuff, and telling a liberal dude that he’s wrong is practically the worst thing you could possibly do. Almost as bad as calling a white dude a racist, when all he was doing was trying to make a joke! Besides, black people call each other that word all the time, and if she didn’t sleep around like that, then that guy wouldn’t have innocently raped her, and abortion is OK as long as you don’t use it as birth control, and when you wear that skirt you’re giving mixed signals, you don’t expect men to be mind readers, do you???

  25. kristyn joy

    “If we’re trading anecdotes, most of the liberal dudes I know think that feminists are as bad as Republicans, because we tell them they’re wrong about stuff, and telling a liberal dude that he’s wrong is practically the worst thing you could possibly do. Almost as bad as calling a white dude a racist, when all he was doing was trying to make a joke! ”

    SPOT ON.

    The ONLY difference between “liberal” and “godbag” dudes is that godbag dudes usually feel guilty about fucking, whereas “liberal” dudes consider it to be a way of expressing their “liberalism.”

    Anecdote time — the roommate who spies on me when I sleep and paws through my underwear drawer is an NPR-listening liberal. The roommates who refuse to empty the trash, and instead pile it on the floor because “Joy will just do it when she gets home” are “liberal” gay men. My father, who told me I “write well, for a woman” when I told him I’d finally been published, considers himself the most liberal man ever born. The man who raped me while I was passed out drunk, got me pregnant, and then made me pay for the abortion considered himself a feminist.
    And those are only the most obvious examples from one woman’s life. Like Gayle said, THAT’s where the “meme” comes from.

    If you don’t see it, that doesn’t mean it’s not there. It just means that you aren’t paying enough attention.

  26. yttik

    There are two liberal dudes with the power to put a stop to this. The Democratic Governor who has the power to veto it and the Democratic President who promised the first thing he would do upon taking office was to sign the Freedom of Choice Act.

    Speak not to me of liberal dudes.

  27. Jill

    Emily, your not-my-Nigelism is insufficient as evidence in the argument that liberal dudes are not as misogynistical as the next guy. Dudes who don’t openly support the dismantlement of patriarchy are misogynists. Dudes who do support the dismantlement of patriarchy are not “liberal,” they are radical, and are so infinitesimal in number that for all practical purposes they don’t exist.

  28. kristyn joy

    “Dudes who do support the dismantlement of patriarchy are not ‘liberal,’ they are radical, and are so infinitesimal in number that for all practical purposes they don’t exist.”

    Jill speaks so we don’t have to.

    “Radical” dudes are much like “liberal” dudes, but typically with stranger hairdos.

    A lot of quasi-radical dudes support dismantlement of patriarchy in name only, and pay it some lip service — until they find out that it means giving up some of their privileges, and exactly WHICH privileges, whereupon they’re all like, “Sorry ladies, you’re on your own.”

    Some of them are radical and truly seem to mean it, but still backslide into mansplaining and occasional dickwittery until they’re called out on it.

    And those are just the dudes who so much admit that, yes Virginia, there IS a patriarchy. Most won’t even go that far.

    Then there are, perhaps, a very small handful of dudes who are in fact real honest-to-damn radicals. However, those men are like Sasquatch; there are people like to believe they exist, and it seems like they may, but most people have never seen one and those who claim to can never offer verifiable proof.

  29. Belle

    Misery is not alone. Oklahoma is trying to do it too. Governor vetoed it, and state legislature wants to override it.

  30. Triste

    I hardly mean to imply that liberal dudes are as bad as conservative dudes on the whole. I firmly believe that there are degrees of misogyny – the liberal dudes who sneer at women who dislike being bullied by conservative dudes are not as bad as the conservative dudes who think (and brainwash young girls into thinking) that women exist as receptacles for semen. Furthermore, said conservative dudes are not as bad as the dudes who throw acid on the faces of female college students. At the same time, being “not as bad” as conservative dudes doesn’t make you not a fucking misogynist. In fact, arguing that it does make you a non-misogynist is half of the reason we have these fucking problems. Conservative dudes are able to excuse their hatred of women by saying, “Hey, it’s not sexist! I don’t hate women nearly as much as that asshole across the water!”

    Liberal dudes, like all dudes, mostly hate women. Now, they hate women less than conservative dudes on the whole (at least in my experience), but let’s not act like they don’t hate women, because they do.

  31. Vinaigrette Girl

    I apologise for this link but you could always write the governor here: http://governor.mo.gov/share/idea.php

  32. Sarah

    Dudes who do support the dismantlement of patriarchy are not “liberal,” they are radical, and are so infinitesimal in number that for all practical purposes they don’t exist.

    I have always suspected that anti-patriarchy dudes were, like unicorns, mythical. I’ve never met one, not even among my ultra-left-wing unemployable nutjob social group.

  33. Ellie

    “Bartholin’s gland” is a part of the female anatomy named after the man who “discovered” it. The male equivalent of this gland is called a “bulbourethral gland”. This is just another example of the patriarchal propensity for laying claim to the female body.

  34. Jill

    I grasp your gist, Triste, but a gal can’t make allowances for “levels” of misogyny. Either oppression of women is wrong, or it isn’t. A guy who doesn’t go around throwing acid on women doesn’t get a pass, because he nevertheless participates in rape culture and benefits from male privilege twenty-four hours a day.

  35. Kelley

    Actually, the OK legislature did override their governor’s veto on their new abortion laws. The new measure states that a doctor is required to show women an ultrasound of their fetus, and give an detailed description of the fetus’ physcial characteristics and describe the heart, limbs and organs of the fetus. Also, it’s not just any old ultrasound, no, the OK legislature has made sure the measure stipulates that it’s a vaginal probe ultrasound. This is required for all women who chose to terminate a pregnancy,even women who became preganant as a result of rape or incest.

    The legislature also overturned the governor’s veto of another measure that stipulates that a doctor can’t be sued if he doesn’t tell the expectant mother that her baby has birth defects. Nice, huh?

  36. pheenobarbidoll

    Perhaps feminists should gather en masse to these slut shaming fetus fetishing torture sessions and list a con of pregnancy out loud, for every teensy toe being lamented. While scratching ourselves and spitting, since thats the universal sign of contempt and entitlement. Filthy fucking patriarchs. I long for the day we can shoot them on sight. Yes, Im man hatey today. And proud of it.

  37. Jeff

    I would like to meekly raise my hand as one of the unicornian, sasquatchian dudes who is a supporter of rad fem ideas, but that would be another Dude clamoring for attention on yet another internet feminist space.

    Jill’s right though, and one of the things liberal dudes are most guilty of is pointing at other, more overtly patriarchal cultures (funny how they’re almost always brown folk) and saying “hah! look at how barbaric those people are! at least we’re not doing that!”

    Then they go back to watching porn and hittin up the stripclubs.

  38. Jill

    Filthy fucking patriarchs. I long for the day we can shoot them on sight. Yes, Im man hatey today. And proud of it.

    Don’t beat around the bush, Pheeno. Tell us what’s on your mind!

  39. Amananta

    Once, long ago, in a happier, more innocent time, I believed liberal men were all for feminism and on the side of women’s rights, but definition, even. This was before I wised up and realized liberal men, for the most part, support birth control and abortion (in the first trimester) only so they can get laid easier. Even then, their commitment to it is rather – lukewarm? Shall we say? One man I know quit actively supporting pro-choice movements, and told me this proudly, because after helping organize a bus trip to Washington for the big pro-choice march some years back, he found out the women involved made it a women’s only trip and he wasn’t going to be able to get to go and he’d really wanted to because it was going to be fun! (i.e., he had though he was going to have a good chance to get laid.) The fact that he had a 13 year old daughter? Didn’t matter at all – those chicks had INSULTED HIM and COCKBLOCKED HIM, so they didn’t get his support for their selfish little movement any more, and they had no one but themselves to blame! Another man was pro-choice, and said men should get to be pro-choice too, and demand that a woman have an abortion if he didn’t want her to have the baby. Many more extend this to after it is born, and say child support payments should be a matter of choice. These are liberal men. Our “allies”. I feel grateful, don’t you?

  40. Amananta

    That should read *by definition. Sorry.

  41. kristyn joy

    Hey, Jeff, yeah, that’s great. I’ve also seen a Bigfoot. Twice. But I can’t prove either time.

    Do you still believe me?

    (Hint. This is use of figurative language, as well as a rhetorical question.)

  42. Triste

    You’re likely right there, Twisty. I am always on the fence with this issue. On a personal level, liberal dude assholes who go through life somehow managing to never rape or murder a woman just offend me less than men who, say, marry eight year olds or throw rocks at rape victims. So I find myself wanting to say, ah, it’s not so bad. So maybe some liberal dude hates me a tiny bit for having a vagina and an opinion at the same time. At least he hasn’t tried to mutilate my genitals.

    But then, I do know that there are two major problems with this. The first being that if you give a liberal dude an inch, he will take a fucking mile and ask to see your tits when he’s done. The second being that a lot of this excessive horrifying violence that you see in less-developed countries stems directly from other social problems which are directly caused by Westerners, even the “liberal” ones. There’s a reason that nobody goes around stoning adulterous women* in Canada or Ireland or the USA or Japan. It’s because there is a direct correlation between the horrifying savagery you see in many of these third world countries and the third-worldness of said countries, and there is furthermore a directly correlation between said third-worldness and the actions of Americans, most especially white Americans (who hold the power) and most especially white American men (who really hold the power). That is, as much as I do love telling myself that my Nigel would never throw acid on my face, the fact that he drives a Jeep and wears Nikes contributes to the very social problems which make the throwing of acid in the faces of women that much more likely.

    Yes, I am a bit of a bleeding heart. Forgive me, the Blame is still weak with me.

    * As a side note, I don’t mean to imply that first world countries are even close to being free of violence against women. But there is a difference in the sheer magnitude of violence between, say, the UK and the Congo.

  43. Triste

    Also, my only excuse for the excessive typos/overuse of some variation on “direct” is that I am fucking tired. You are entirely free to ignore everything I said in the above post, as it is likely garbled nonsense.

  44. fannie

    “Many liberal dudes are gay & they’re pretty likely to get why government oppression is a big deal.”

    A big deal for gay men, that is.

    I too used to assume gay men would automatically get women’s issues, until life happened and corrected that assumption. In general, gay men have a tendency to believe they are the default gay human being, don’t care about reproductive rights, and to hate women.

    That is, they’re men.

  45. pheenobarbidoll

    Beating around the bush takes too long. I prefer a riding lawnmower.

  46. Kiuku

    the life of a human being doesn’t really start anywhere. They should sell the morning after pill in kioskes and vending machines. But all this waiting around, they just want to make women’s lives miserable. With women we are dealing with one body. It’s her life too.

  47. Kiuku

    In addition males are exagerating their part in the process. sperm makes placenta, where male dna comes from, it doesn’t actually fertilize an egg, which splits itself, I’m pretty sure of that. I would be willing to bet it actually takes two eggs to make a human child.

  48. Izzy

    In Mississippi we have a mandatory in person consult 24 hours in advance, which is made worse by the fact that there is only one clinic that provides abortions in the whole state. Legislators now amuse themselves by trying to make it illegal to cross state lines to get an abortion. Their tactic is to start with minors, which would effectively criminalize abortion for the under 18 crowd. We already have dual parental consent required for minors. (Come hell or high water, no matter who has custody of the minor in question, and even if her parent can’t sign because she’s incarcerated. Oh the stories I’ve heard. There is a judicial override, but the clinic, its staff and its volunteers are not allowed to tell young women this option exists)
    We also have mandatory state misinformation pamphlets. Interestingly, no entity of state government has ever been able to tell me who drafted those or how I could obtain a copy short of going to the clinic and bothering them for one.

  49. mearl

    The legislation should then include, in addition to Jill’s suggestions, a two-hour seminar/info session about the potential physical and psychological things that can go wrong when carrying a fetus to term and giving birth.

    Oh, sorry, that wouldn’t fit into two hours, because the things that can go wrong for the woman OR the fetus during a full-term pregnancy childbirth are MYRIAD. Abortion is still safer than childbirth.

    Anti-choice supporters sicken me. So many people have this “live and let live, freedom of religion” attitude that assumes all is fine and dandy if you learn to tolerate and respect the religions of people living in your city, state, province, or country. However, these people are voters, lobbyists, and members of parliament: that’s why there has never really been any separation of church and state.

  50. Brittni

    I apologize for not reading all of the comments before hand but a friend told me about this blog so I decided to check it out but I have way to much work to just keep up with the comments.

    I also do not really know the bill that is being discussed but that is not what concerns me. What I care about is [...]

    Which is why I have deleted the remainder of your comment. A grasp of the subject under discussion is, alas, a prerequisite for commenting on this super-intellectual patriarchy-blaming blog, O thou would-be thread-hijacking Fetus Lover. — Jill

  51. Brittni

    I am sorry I didn’t believe there were rules for comments. I believe I read a few that was just pointed at abortion and not just the law. I was just checking to even see if you would post my comment sense the comments I read were all in favor of your opinion I was curious to see if anything else would be posted in oppose of it. And yes I am a fetus lover because once upon a time I was one :)

  52. Jezebella

    Izzy, I bet our mutual friend at Planned Parenthood in Miss. can get ahold of one of those misinformation pamphlets. I would like to find out who writes these little gems, though. An FB query might also turn up someone who brought one home.

    The Mississippi law even requires a parent who is on active duty in a war zone to sign the consent form. In at least one case, a minor’s family had to convince law enforcement to drive her incarcerated mother over to the clinic to sign the form. I bet that was a real piece of cake, eh?

    Soon you will probably all be hearing about the “Personhood Initiative”, which is scheduled to be on the ballot in 2011: a state constitutional amendment to declare that all products of conception are “persons”. Drink while you’re pregnant? You’ve just provided alcohol to a minor. Drive without a seat belt while pregnant? You’ve just endangered the welfare of a minor. Want to order a drink or eat sushi? Here, take this pregnancy test. Mississippians will reach the age of consent, voting, drinking, driving, and etc. a full nine months before their contemporaries, if this goes through. It’s about to get real ugly down here, y’all.

  53. vinoveritas

    Kind of how I love lumps of carbon jetting around the universe, because once upon a time I was one (smiley face.)

  54. vinaigrette girl

    @kiuku, I’d like to see a citation on the idea that sperm doesn’t actually fertilise an egg….

    @anyone, the federal Freedom of Information Act procedures should allow you to discover authorship of any brochure paid for by the taxpayer at the federal level, even if it’s only one red cent. I’d certainly start that hare. You’ll have to investigate matters in your own state for state-wide FOIA-type legislation.

    There is at least one lawsuit started in Oklahoma challenging their insane violations of the doctor-patient relationship: here’s the link. i’ve given them money. I was born in tulsa and reckon it’s time I wrote to whoever represented my district way back when.

    http://reproductiverights.org/en/press-room/center-for-reproductive-rights-files-lawsuit-against-oklahoma%E2%80%99s-ultrasound-requirement

  55. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    These captains of assholery have realized that they don’t have to make abortion illegal. They simply have to make it impossible. Too many limp-noodle liberals are afraid to say that safe, legal, *accessible* abortion is good for women.

  56. EmilyBites

    You’re right Antoinette, it’s the trick of making abortion perfectly legal and absolutely inaccessible at the same time that is the apex of balancing patriarchy douchebaggery. Like with all equality laws in this patriarchal system, liberals and conservatives alike hide behind the bare bones of equality legislation as if it makes any difference to a woman’s actual experience of being a living human being in a male supremacist society.

    So they haven’t repealed Roe? Big fucketty deal. Can a woman get an abortion when she wants one? The problem is this fecal ooze called traditional morality that clings to the abortion issue – liberals are ok with women having abortions, but not using them as contraception and not having too many, because too many would be sluttish, selfish, and wrong. So one abortion is not wrong, but 12 is wrong? Whyzat?

  57. MNObserver

    May I just interject that “empty nest” is not a real-live syndrome, in that a syndrome is something akin to evidence of a less-than-healthy state of being. Truth be told, empty nest is a moment of freedom, of a re-opening of many of life’s pleasures, not the least of which is a bathroom that stays clean once cleaned, leftovers from last night’s delish meal right there in the fridge where you left them, and the ability to listen to whatever music you want without the eye-rolling coolness of young people – albeit young people you love very much – getting in your way.

    It’s as much a “syndrome” as a post abortion “syndrome”: Patriarchy’s way to make you feel guilt when pure unadulterated relief is what any normal woman would feel under the circumstances.

  58. gravy

    Just want to add that my due date’s tomorrow, and aside from the insane risks and cons already listed, I now have personal knowledge that pregnancy (even long-awaited, long-wished for) is insanely physically uncomfortable as well. Even with what I’ve been told is an “easy” pregnancy, there is relentless discomfort, which includes swelling (not just ankles, but causing stiff/clumsy/painful fingers), extreme thirst/hunger/nausea, heartburn, constipation, sciatica, pulled ligaments, sore joints, nasal congestion, breathlessness, exhaustion, and acne so bad it’s painful (to name a few). We’ve all heard about these symptoms, but I had no idea how uncomfortable and relentless they were until I went through it myself, and if most of the powers-that-be had to go through it, they wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

  59. tinfoil hattie

    gravy:

    Aaah, how well I remember. It’s almost over! Wishing you well for the birth!

  60. veganrampage

    List of Excellent Reasons to Have An Abortion-

    Reason #1. Abortion is 9 times less risky than childbirth. In other words, any woman who has an abortion is 9 times less likely to die than she is during childbirth.

    End of fucking list.

  61. TheDom

    This is Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale unfolding before our very eyes. And her book was supposed to be fiction.

  62. Larkspur

    Oh, gravy, gravy, gravy! My very best wishes for the labor ahead, and oh dear goddess I wish I lived nearby so I could bring stuff to you that would ease your discomfort and make things better, and also so I could make funny faces at the brand new baby human.

    Oh, wait. I do not know if I live nearby. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, I might actually have to do what I wish to do. Wait, wait. Okay. Yes! I will do it! Let me know if I should contact you privately.

  63. Sophie

    Gravy: actually I would say we haven’t all heard about these symptoms, so thank you very much for being honest, and disobeying the P’s rule that women must conspire to pretend pregnancy is always a flower-carpeted joyride. I am just now reaching the stage of life at which many of my friends are having babies and I genuinely had no idea what a bloody awful experience it can be, because all I’d heard was the P’s messages about ‘blooming’ and celebrity maternity fashion etc. Good luck to you and your baby, may he or she grow up to be a loving, supportive friend well into your dotage, which I hope will go some way towards making the pain worthwhile.

  64. Larkspur

    Yes, Sophie, it’s awesome, isn’t it? It’s hardly coincidence that a wholly different experience – breast cancer – has also been empinkened and teddy-beared in an attempt to make it, well, pretty. We must protect the world from graphic evidence of our hard-working humanity. Y’all know who I blame.

    By the way, in the olden days, I worked in a law office that handled personal injury cases. One time one of the people involved in an apparently minor accident was four months pregnant. Never having been pregnant (I am a spinster, but a non-aunt one) and possibly being dumb, I had no idea about how much pregnant women’s ligaments, tendons, and bones change and become more elastic, getting ready for the birth.

    Anyway, the supervising attorney sent her for extra tests and monitoring before settling the case, just to be sure her injuries were checked out thoroughly.

    Another lawyer I know loved being in the courtroom, and litigated cases right up into the ninth month of each of her pregnancies. Not that she was all comfy: she described how sometimes, as she got up from the table to question a witness, she’d feel that her leg bone had come kinda loose in her hip socket, and she’d have to jiggle it back into place before she could walk.

  65. Keri

    Of course, no one is going to tell you or admit they were wrong about sperm fertilizing any eggs. The nature of a sperm cell is to bite and chew but it makes placenta. Sure if you put it with an egg, it may bite and chew its way into it, under microscope, but that’s not what fertilizes an egg, when you think about it. In vitro fertilization takes several eggs, so you have to question the opinion of male scientists who are exaggerating their part. No one readily tells you, for instance,that sperm makes placenta. It takes healthy placenta and many sperm cells to make healthy placenta, to have fertilization of a woman’s eggs. Look it up anywhere and most of the articles say that the placenta just forms by itself whereas in actuality placenta formation is driven by paternally imprinted genes from sperm. It doesn’t also fertilize an egg. It takes two eggs to make a baby. Two eggs can divide and make a female child. Sperm by itself only makes placenta.

  66. Keri

    Imagine how that argument would go. “Life begins at placental formation” or “life begins when the egg splits”..I mean really? Males do not possess enough dna in their body to cause a human child as evidenced that no amount of sperm cells has enough dna to make a human being, if even a clone.

    And they just aren’t honest. If it was about protecting life instead of controlling women, they would value all human life, and they don’t. Most of the negative psychological impacts come from society, when it should be telling women how its her body and the real contribution of males, which is very little.

    So it’s very stupid that there are many men inbetween women and birth control pills, or the morning after pill in the form of doctors, pharmacists, and family members, brochures, clinics, and waiting around.

  67. Hermionemone

    Keri, I hate to be the bearer of what might be unwelcome scientific news, but it is conclusively established that one sperm cell plus one egg cell make one zygote (fertilized egg). In mammals, the placenta eventually develops from the growing ball of cells that implants in the mother’s uterus, i.e. it is fetal tissue, not the mother’s.

    Sperm and egg contribute and combine equal contributions to chromosomal DNA during fertilization. Each one has half the DNA needed for a complete organism; when they combine, there is a complete set, and the ovum can start dividing. It often takes more than one sperm to “chew” (more like an enzyme reaction) through the outer envelope of the egg, but once one of them gets through, an instant change blocks all others from getting through.

    It’s pretty amazing in its simplicity and precision. It’s the way all diploid (double-chromosome) organisms like us, reproduce, and has been perfected over the last 800 million years or so since eukaroytes (non-bacteria) first evolved.

    It’s amazing and beautiful at the cellular level, but of course it’s through all the messy individual, personal, social and political implications that we (and the P) put on it, that sex causes all of our problems!

  68. Hermionemone

    Oh, and joys!

  69. Jezebella

    Hermionemone, thank you for that. Keri’s wackaloon theories about reproduction were so far out in left field I didn’t even know where to start.

  70. Hermionemone

    Well, “wackaloon” is a bit harsh, some people just start off with incorrect information, and run with it, never managing to check for updates. It can happen.

  71. Jill

    The nature of a sperm cell is to bite and chew [...]

    Great Scott! Spermatazoa dentata! Grrr! I eat you, Egg!

  72. Jeff

    Actually recent research shows that the egg is the more active participant during fertilization. It grabs and traps the sperm with some sort of sticky material and pulls it it through the exterior wall. My partner shared an article with me about the sociology of medicine and how for decades scientists and doctors had an inaccurate model of fertilization, one that was dominated by an andro-aggressive narrative. That’s why for years we have the false idea of a sperm “burrowing” its way into the egg, or penetrating the egg’s wall (cause that’s what men do, baby! We PENETRATE! HECK YEAH.)

    I’ll ask my partner about it more later. I lost my copy and as far as I know it’s only on JSTOR.

  73. Jill

    I was under the impression that some sort of chemical fusion-type deal occurs, wherein there’s more of a merge-ification of the egg and sperm cells, rather than a balls-out “penetration.” But either way, using reproduction at the cellular level as some kinda proto-narrative of adult human social behavior is just asinine. Spermatozoa aren’t conquering mini-penises. For chrissake, some of’em are female.

  74. Jeff

    Jill, yeah it is asinine. That’s culture for you.

    My partner sent me another copy of the paper, “The Egg and the Sperm: How Science Has Constructed a Romance Based on Stereotypical Male-Female Roles” (Emily Martin, 1991)

    Martin points out research that refutes the long-held notions of the sperm as some sort of courageous spelunker that tunnels its way through the zona pellucida (the egg’s coat).

    “The researchers at Johns Hopkins concluded that the sperm and egg stick together because of adhesive molecules on the surfaces of each. The egg traps the sperm and adheres to it so tightly that the sperm’s head is forced to lie flat against the surface of the zona, a little bit, they told me, “like Br’er Rabbit getting more and more stuck to tar baby the more he wriggles.” The trapped sperm continues to wiggle ineffectually side to side. The mechanical force of its tail is so weak that a sperm cannot break even one chemical bond. This is where the digestive enzymes released by the sperm come in. If they start to soften the zona just at the tip of the sperm and the sides remain stuck, then the weak, flailing sperm can get oriented in the right direction and make it through the zona provided that its bonds to the zona dissolve as it moves in.”

    It’s a great paper, definitely recommend a read if you can get ahold of it.

  75. Jeff

    Shit, forgot to add something for topical relevance:

    “The stereotypical imagery [of sperm and egg as having human agency] might also encourage people to imagine that what results from the interaction of egg and sperm-a fertilized egg- is the result of deliberate “human” action at the cellular level. Whatever the intentions of the human couple, in this microscopic “culture” a cellular “bride” (or femme fatale) and a cellular “groom” (her victim) make a cellular baby. Rosalind Petchesky points out that through visual representations such as sonograms, we are given “images of younger and younger, and tinier and tinier, fetuses being ‘saved.’ ” This leads to “the point of visibility being ‘pushed back’ indefinitely.” Endowing egg and sperm with intentional action, a key aspect of personhood in our culture, lays the foundation for the point of viability being pushed back to the moment of fertilization. This will likely lead to greater acceptance of technological developments and new forms of scrutiny and manipulation, for the benefit of these inner “persons”: court-ordered restrictions on a pregnant woman’s activities in order to protect her fetus, fetal surgery, amniocentesis, and rescinding of abortion rights, to name but a few examples.”

  76. Jill

    “Shit, forgot to add something for topical relevance”

    Yup, that’ll happen when mansplainin’ gets away from ya.

  77. Larkspur

    Is it 100% mansplainin’ if it’s mostly quotes from a paper written by one Emily Martin? True, the quote covers a lot of internet real estate, kind of wide-stancey, but it’s on topic.

    Never mind. The imagery of mansplainin’ run amok is pretty darn funny.

  78. Jill

    I allude to this bit of mansplainin’:

    Martin points out research that refutes the long-held notions of the sperm as some sort of courageous spelunker that tunnels its way through the zona pellucida (the egg’s coat).

    “Zona pellucida” is part of Jeff’s everyday vocabulary, and the lay-feminist is incapable of deducing its meaning from context.

    You know? The above may seem insignificant to the casual observer, but I am always more or less irritated when men tell me things, particularly things regarding female biological processes or feminist theory. Even if the things are interesting.

  79. Saphire

    ^ Hahahaha we’ve all used ‘zona pellucida’. It was the way Jeff spoke as a know all entity about female ovums. Not right!

    Why would the egg penetrate sperm? Doesn’t that feed into the idea a woman’s reproductive system is aggressive, something to be conquered? – Can just imagine dudes wanking off to the idea, why I don’t like it.

  80. Jeff

    Fuck, sorry about that. I’ll work on it, for reals.

  81. Hermionemone

    Awwww, don’t fault poor Jeffrey, he was just giving us more and more of what he really, sincerely thought we needed, whether we asked for it or not. But still, some parts WERE interesting, and perhaps planted the seeds of further inquiry.

  82. Alexa

    Jeff – if you want to join the radfem ranks ‘for real’ then go out.. to the pub, wait for the first guy to make a sexist remark and punch him so hard his jaw breaks. Instead of talking to us about our biological ‘goods’.

  83. veganrampage

    I read/saw/heard that eggs reject sperm they do not want for reasons that the author/filmmaker/speaker did not know. Eggs can reject sperm multiple times if so desired and wait for ones they do want.
    I like that.
    I like less and less lately. Do other Blamers feel this way, I ponder? (Hiya Hedgepig)

  84. Jill

    I feel it necessary to re-emphasize that genetic material does not have human agency. This is one of the basic tenets of the anti-compulsory-pregnancy ideology.

  85. Comrade PhysioProf

    I feel it necessary to re-emphasize that genetic material does not have human agency. This is one of the basic tenets of the anti-compulsory-pregnancy ideology.

    Indeed. Nothing good can come from going down the road of talking about what eggs “want”.

  86. Ron Sullivan

    “What do eggs want? My god, what do they want???”
    — Spermund Fried

  87. Ron Sullivan

    “Make mine sunnyside!”

    Is it because I didn’t sleep last night that I’m drifting into a reverie about Jessica Mitford (re: “Casket and Sunnyside” and I wonder if that journal is still publishing; hmm, do they use freelancers there?) and that guy with the restaurant that serves flavored bubbles (Bulle, was it?) and s’posing he’s ever looked into the possibilities of rooster-sperm omelettes?

  88. speedbudget

    I am just a lady. I can’t use context to get a clue.

  89. mearl

    @ fannie: “I too used to assume gay men would automatically get women’s issues, until life happened and corrected that assumption. In general, gay men have a tendency to believe they are the default gay human being, don’t care about reproductive rights, and to hate women.”

    Yes, what to do? Join forces under oppression and work towards education and equality, or get really fucking steaming mad whenever I listen to a gay male friend make yet another flippant commentary on how REPULSIVE vaginas and women’s bodies are?

    There are two sides to every coin.

  90. Hector B.

    At some point all these obstacles have to constitute an unconstitutional “undue burden,” per Planned Parenthood v. Casey. I wonder if Missouri reached that point yet.

    Not that litigating such things all the way to the Supreme Court would be cheap or easy.

  91. Jezebella

    They’re well beyond undue burden, but it costs big dollars to fight the constant stream of state laws designed to impose said burden. Many state legislatures see at least half a dozen a year, and pass at least one of those every couple of years. They’re called TRAP laws (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) and the fetus-worshipers spend a lot of time dreaming up new ones every year, and testing them in red states with a history of being anti-choice. The ones that succeed get sent off to other state lege’s directly.

  92. Saurs

    I think it’s kind of cute, how Jeff called the zona pellucida an ovum’s “coat.” He was trying to “speak in our language,” right? Too bad an egg doesn’t have something akin to shoes, because that would have totally made sense to the ladies. Now, of course, I can’t help but visualize a jaunty little egg at the opera, or summat, as eggs do, donning a pretty, pastel dolman mantelet or a quilted spencer with puffy sleeves, perfect for the fair. I know we said not to anthropomorphize the eggs, but I just can’t help it!

    I’ll get me zona pellucida.

  93. DitDatDot

    The Onion’s parody of bills like these won’t be a parody at all pretty soon.

    http://www.theonion.com/video/new-law-requires-women-to-name-baby-paint-nursery,14393/

  94. Ash

    I can think of a couple of possible seeds that may have spawned (pardon the pun) some of Keri’s beliefs.

    Males do not possess enough dna in their body to cause a human child as evidenced that no amount of sperm cells has enough dna to make a human being, if even a clone.

    It takes two eggs to make a baby

    These comments both sound like they could be derived/contrived from these concepts:

    1. Eggs have much more mitochondrial DNA than sperm
    2. Parthenogenesis appears to be possible in female gametes, but not male gametes
    ?
    I do actually think 2. Is kind of a fun concept to torture MRAs with.

  95. Ash

    ^
    Sorry.

    “It takes two eggs to make a baby” should be in the blockquote.

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