Monday, November 13, 2006

Uphill both ways...

Today I read this blog entry from Biting Beaver (BB), a new blog I've been visiting. BB is sad because we lost another feminist blogger. I think she's talking about "Molly saves the Day" -- it was one of my fave blogs but has recently disappeared. In a way it's not surprising. BB commented (and she is right), being a radical feminist blogger is sort of like volunteering to run into a brick wall over and over again.

Originally this blog was part of a bigger one-- one that encompassed my life with photos, personal stories. Once these comments started, I painstakingly moved all the posts away to a "safe" place. I didn't want the people who sent vile, threatening comments to see my face or the face of my friends. It's tiring to be so afraid and to come up against the same stupid arguments over and over again.

Well....I had a major lesson in patience when I organized a pro-choice rally on my college campus last week-- a day before critical midterm elections (including the S.D. ban on abortion) we were out in the cold from 8-5:30 holding signs, giving out information and proudly standing by our signs proclaiming messages of prevention/contraception and keeping abortion legal. To my delight, our response was 90% positive to 10% negative. Only one person aggressively attacked us and verbally taunted us about killing babies. But the kind of ignorance is easy to roll your eyes at. There I am...

Sometimes I think pro-life people are just lazy. Seriously. Hear me out. Of course, if you never heard of abortion before, and someone explained it to you-- it would sound like "pro-life" would be the way to go. Hell, even the name insinuates you should get on board-- I mean, what is the alternative? PRO DEATH? Abortion is a very seductive issue, really. Standing up for the rights of innocent, beautiful babies or stand up for the rights of a fully grown woman who's had sex. It's much easier to get behind a silent sonogram photo and talk about "innocence" etc. It's harder to defend an adult woman who's going to have flaws.

That's why so often we pro-choice people talk about the rape victim, the incest victim etc. And they are sooo important to remember, don't get me wrong. But there's a danger in all this. Because I believe, as do many others, that South Dakota's abortion ban was voted down because no one wanted to force pregnancy on a molestation/rape victim. But women who get pregnant from ol' fashioned regular sex... I guess since they weren't forced, they deserve to be punished with pregnancy.

And we have a lot to fear. Articles in South Dakota newspapers show that the S.D. legislature is already planning the second round attack on abortion. This time they may write a law with exceptions for victims. This will be a harder battle because most of the time, pro-choice people have trot out their own "innocent" cast to compete with babies. ---- "You may have pictures of happy babies, but I can show you a woman's bruises!"

And I can't stress enough how I don't mean to belittle a woman's situation as a victim. However we REALLY have to stand up for women who weren't "victimized." Because society is likely to feel more comfortable judging them. Calling them a "whore" and saying "you made your bed now lie in it." Every woman deserves bodily autonomy and no third party should make decisions for her just because their bloated, religious, arrogant ego tells them that they are better equipped (sorry, that's the bitter in me).

It's harder to defend women who aren't:
-- ready for kids
-- willing to mother kids
-- able to support children

It's easy to talk about victims, but what about defending a 21 year old woman who just broke up with her boyfriend and doesn't want to be a single parent? What about a women suffering from alcoholism or drug abuse? Could you defend a prostitute seeking an abortion? Would you defend a married woman who simply said, "I have all the kids I want."?

Maybe you're pro-choice but some of these "what-ifs" are making you recoil in horror. Well, get used to it. You have to be prepared to defend everybody. Women shouldn't be required to prove their victimhood to access legal, safe procedures. Yes, it's harder, and yes it's an uphill battle but it's the right thing to do. Just like we can't let the jerks get us down. Keep bloggin and singing the feminist tune. You won't be singing alone.


Anonymous said...

You know, I think that guy who got on my case about criticizing the Catholics may provide a clue in this whole mess.

It's not that the Thumpers are so much into thinking that "life" is sacred. If a 20-year-old robs a liquor store and kills the clerk, even by accident, they are more than happy to "abort" that 20-year-old.

No, I'm thinking they have something going on where young children, and PARTICULARLY fetuses, are some sort of "sacred object" like a Bible or a flag or something of the sort.

Basically to them, even though they probably wouldn't admit it, having an abortion to them isn't so much like killing an adult as it is like burning a flag ...

Midge said...

Woot, Tobes. :)

Penny said...

My mother almost died from an illegal, back-alley, incomplete abortion, that left her, as she had been told, unable to ever conceive again.

She'd been underage and was being regularly beaten in the late 50's.

Her choice was horrifyingly obvious and obviously horrifying.

Choice is mercy and free-will.

I was approached by a pro-lifer one day on campus.

I asked him if he helped out at the local food bank.


Did he regularly donate to the food bank, then?


Did he collect and donate clothing to women's shelters.


Was he a member of Men Against Violence Against Women?

Slow assimilation of my point.

Did he volunteer his time for relief to single parents and their disabled children?

Did he pass out blankets and sandwiches on skid row?

Did he buy toys for Santas Anonymous?

Did he support a party with socialist attitudes who would implement government programs to help these women if he wasn't willing to?

Did he tithe his 10% of annual income to a non-government religious organization that might help these women?

How about 5%?

Did he write letters to the overseers of the media about sexual content and the salacious messages our childrens' 20 hour television-viewing weeks were feeding them?

No, eh?

No? No? No?

And, how exactly did he think these women, most of them poor financially or otherwise, were going to raise the children he wanted them to keep or have?

Or, was he really telling those poor people to use condoms, lest they find themselves in a worse position in life.

Did he volunteer his time handing out condoms and candy at Raves, Nightclubs or other venues?

Was he donating his time or money to any thing that supported a woman's decision to have and raise a child, or just the one that supported her change of heart if she decided to give birth to the child?

Why was he so quick to use judgment and so resistant to give charity?

I left him and his pamphlets and signage at the side of the road as I angrily walked away, saying, "Keep talking.. don't actually DO anything.. just keep talking. At least YOU'LL feel better."

Tobes said...

Thanks Midge:) woot back at ya

Penny, thanks for sharing. This is exactly what I'm talking about. You had so many good points and thank you for standing up to that guy. I hope he went home and had a nice long discussion with himself...

Sarah said...

I realize this post is a bit old, but I've just come across it. I just want to tell you that I agree with every word you've written here. Thank you.

Tobes said...

Thank you Sarah! :)