Saturday, April 01, 2006

Can you trust the other side?


It's hard to listen when you vehemently disagree with someone's opinion. I force myself to be quiet when I really want to shake people and say, "Are you kidding? You buy this?" And barring people who are downright offensive, I can usually listen and take in their point of view. Even if we both walk away disagreeing, it can be counted as a small victory that we were at least respectful and courteous.

I allow comments on my blog and I've only rejected a handful that were deliberate attacks on someone else who had commented. The rules of my blog are simply that people don't call out others by name and slander them. Fortunately that doesn't happen too often. But I've printed comments from people who called me a "cunty bitch" (I actually appreciate them taking the time to make "cunt" into an adjective).

What I really crave is an actual discussion. It's much easier call me "cunty bitch" than sit down and make a valid point. REAL DISCUSSION is hard to stomach.

I have a friend who is entering the priesthood. We talk on the phone and we disagree on pretty much everything. He recently sent me a book that I'm forcing myself to read, although most of it goes against everything I believe in. Why? Because it would mean a lot to him and I want to honor him by trying to see his point of view. Besides, the more you know-- the better. At least that's the motto, I live by. This woman, not so much... I stumbled upon her website:

"The Revolution" (http://myheartsrevolution.blogspot.com/)

In it, Mary Worthington details her call to arms, "On Divine Mercy Sunday in 2001, I answered God's call to dedicate my life to building a Culture of Life. These posts are careful reflections of the pro-life movement and the moral state of the world at large."

I spent some time on her site, reflecting on many of her posts, and even looking through her archives. I took the time to comment on one of her latest posts titled:

"Do women want contraception?"

In it she talks about a study conducted in Brazil where the Family and Food and Nutritional Security Unit of the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) determined that women in Brazil would be greatly aided by gaining access to contraception.

Mary Worthington calls this conclusion a "planned parenthood related agenda." I wonder if she's heard the stories about women in Uganda who fight over who gets the used condom they find in the alley? Women there are reduced to washing used condoms so they can protect themselves from AIDS. But Mary Worthington says that giving women means to protect themselves is "societal suicide."She says this can even lead to abuse,

"But, can't birth control be considered abuse? Men get to expect unlimited sex from women without regard for her health or the natural consequences of sex, children."

Mary says one thing I agree with. She states that women need potable water, vaccinations and protection from spousal and child abuse. Of course they do, but I would argue that being able to plan families is also crucial and no one is arguing that we give these women education on sexuality and then disappear, ignoring their obvious need for food and water.

I wrote Mary a comment for her blog. One that was free from a lot of the anger I was feeling. It was also vulgarity-free and attempted to engage her in real discussion. She has REFUSED posts from me. It is her blog, her right of course, but I noticed in reading other posts that she will post comments from people that are opposed to her views... as long as they are cruel and rude and make no real argument. People who say things like, "You are so obsessed with other people's sex lives because you don't have one of your own." Yet she refuses to publish me. Why is that you suppose?

I want to publish my reply... this is my answer to Mary Worthington's claim. Tell me if you find it inappropriate to publish?

"One must pray for women who live in those conditions with so many problems on their hands like getting clean water etc.

But I would argue that they probably would very much want access to contraception. Since they live in poverty, it would be helpful to plan their families in number and spacing. That way they could provide for the children that they have and perhaps the mother can stop being pregnant long enough to maybe even get a job and help support the family she loves so much.

Birth control is a gift from God to women AND MEN everywhere. Before birth control, what do you suppose happened to married couples when a doctor told a woman, "Don't have any more children, it could kill you." Does that mean a married couple should turn away from each other in bed and deny their physical love? Sex is not just for procreation but having sex doesn’t always mean you want a child.

Both men and women benefit from being able to enjoy sex for its emotional and physical benefits. If a child resulted from every time a married couple had sex, how could they support all these children? Not just in food, clothing, water, education but also in the woman’s medical costs?

I completely support your right to refuse contraception. If you do not want it, don’t take it, or perhaps choose natural family planning but as for myself, my friends and my daughters, we can choose family planning and we have a right to make a decision with our doctor on how we are going to do so.

In case you aren’t aware—pregnancy is extremely hard on a woman’s body especially when adequate health care is not available (in a third world country). Most women do not want 5 children under the age of 7 when there is no money to care for them.

You have a right to do with YOUR body as you choose. So do not deny other women that choice. Contraception is not being forced on anyone, not you and not me and not the women of Brazil.

Furthermore. Birth control cannot be considered abuse in any way, shape or form. If a husband is using birth control as a means of forcing sex on his wife, then that is marital rape and she is not being abused due to birth control but due to an abusive relationship."

1 comment:

Sarah said...

I read through her blog, and saw the few comments she actually had let through. I think the problem in this situation is that, while you do want good discussions about these topics, she does not. Perhaps she is afraid that you will dismantle her entire argument (which you actually did do in the reply to her that you published in your blog) and she either does not want to take the time to post a counter-argument or she is simply that closed-minded that no matter what you say, you won't get through to her. I am guessing it is probably a little bit of both.