Monday, February 16, 2009

Feminism should not co-opt "abortion"

The issue of whether life starts at conception is a medical issue, or a theological issue, or a spiritual issue -- but I don't think it a gender issue. Certainly, as a man, I will never know what it means to become pregnant. But I also know that plenty of women count themselves among the ranks of the pro-life movement.

(Personally, I have no position on the abortion issue. I am forever "undecided." Blame it on Peter Singer.)

Organizations like N.O.W. (National Organization of Women) should be at the forefront of the fight for gender equity. Instead, their divisive stance on the abortion issue alienates pro-life women. Part of me thinks this could be part of a divide-and-conquer strategy that benefits male hegemony. By causing a rift on this front between pro-life and pro-choice women, a comprehensive movement towards women's rights gets thwarted.

Feminism would be better served to leave that particular hot-button issue off the plate for the doctors and the preachers to figure out.


  1. "Feminism would be better served to leave that particular hot-button issue off the plate for the doctors and the preachers to figure out."

    Spoken like a man! A woman's right to have control over her own body is most certainly a gender issue.

    If men could get pregnant I don't think they would want a government or some other stupid group imposing their "theological" or "spiritual" views upon them. And even if there were some men that had no problem with giving up their basic human rights to make family planning and medical decisions to irrational people that doesn't mean they should be able to decide for anybody else.

    If some women don't believe that abortion is moral or whatever, then they don't have to get an abortion. Who are they to make those decisions for another woman? And those decisions shouldn't be made by patriarchs or some people with irrational beliefs in fairy tales.

    I reject the framing of the term "pro-life" for several reasons. First, it suggests that those that aren't "pro-life" are "anti-life" which is false. Second, there are plenty of people that call themselves "pro-life" activists (my aunt is one of them) that are for these BS wars and for the death penalty. Those are hardly a "pro-life" positions. That is simply being pro-oppressive government.

    Abortion is a medical and personal decision. The only healthy way to try to stop abortions is to prevent unwanted pregnancies by providing good education and access to good health care.

    Some of the people that want to impose their religious beliefs on the world are opposed to making sure there is good education, health care and prophylactics etc. available to all which would prevent many unwanted pregnancies.

    Some don’t think government should play a role in taking care of those unwanted children once they are born. And they call that good family values. I call them mentally challenged. You can call me, Feminista!

  2. You speak like a pro-choice advocate, and you use all their language. Fine. But some women believe that life begins at conception. If that is your starting point, then this is not about a woman choosing what to do with her body; rather, it would be about the life of the unborn child. (I use "child" in this case because, if one believes life starts at conception, then one would never use the medical term "fetus.")

    So, again, you have alienated pro-life women from your brand of feminism through your divisive language -- a discourse that seeks only to wedge women apart on this issue so they don't unite in solidarity on others.

    Typical man.

  3. I wonder how many anti-choice women really consider themselves feminist.

    There are many issues that feminist don't agree on. There are some women in the sex industries that consider themselves feminist. Are some feminists alienating them by attacking their trade or livelihood?

    Some women choose to be in these industries to have a higher living standard don’t they? And how will the nature of these industries change if feminists don’t change them?

    Should feminists let fear dictate what issues they should speak out about? Is that really how we empower women in a patriarchal society, by telling them what issues to speak about and by saying women’s reproductive rights and women’s health aren’t one of them?

    Part of me thinks this could be part of a divide-and-conquer strategy that benefits male hegemony. Taking issues off of the table and constraining women’s voices on their most basic rights are a strategy to empower them? Let the preachers decided? That's your proposal to help end gender inequality? Way to go man!

  4. Silly boy, feminists should absolutely discuss these issues -- but when banner organizations for the movement take such a strong stance on hot button social issues, they do not promote discussion among women, they just alienate women from one another.

    You are such a typical man.