Thoughts on abortion

Note to subscribers: I’m fresh back from a long vacation, jet lagged and so forgot how to write on this blog. This post got out of hand, was mis-posted and disappeared, and then reappeared in very, very long form, which is probably the one that turned up in your email. What follows is shorter (though never short enough) and severely edited.
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Years ago before I met my wife I had a brief encounter with a lady of the feminist persuasion. Having been brought up very conservative and then only recently having made the jump to more leftist ideologies, I assumed that my attitudes regarding women had been sanitized and that I was safe dating material. I was so wrong.

Feminism (as opposed to suffrage and other kin movements) was a late arrival on the domestic scene, and a kid sister of civil rights. We take so many things for granted now due to the success of the feminist movement. Female athletes are well-trained now, and programs are in place in every school for girls and boys alike to develop their abilities. There are no legal barriers to access to all professions. Sexual freedoms now taken for granted were once condemned as acts of trollops and whores when done by women, though winked at by men.

I crossed a line with the lady above in a most innocent fashion. The conversation was about abortion in general, with which I had no problem, but I said that many times girls from dysfunctional homes would use pregnancy as an escape hatch, a way to land a husband and move on to a better life.

I quickly found that there were no sexual favors to be had from this lady, and in fact no future communication at all of any type. I had crossed a line.

I stand by my observation, by the way. But I was so wet behind the ears regarding feminism. It’s an all-or-nothing proposition. Women now have a large protective umbrella under which they can develop their talents and live as thy choose. Many choose to stay out of the highly competitive world of business, so that female executives of large companies are a rarity. There’s a lot of theories about that, and one I advanced to this woman was that most women in the work place know that they will get pregnant and raise families, and so don’t have the succeed-or-perish dilemma that confronts men.

Consequently, men tend to develop thicker skins and a better skill sets for survival and success. However, due to the success of the feminist movement, that path is open for all to try. There are no clubs that meet and exclude women or plot against them. Most businesses welcome talent into their ranks. Many, though not enough, make allowance for leaves of absence and child care. The battle ain’t over, but it’s well in progress.

The hard-bitten feminist, convinced of her victimhood and angry at men in general, is more these days replaced by women who simply accept everything as normal. When I was in high school the gym was reserved for males, there were no female sports, and most girls did not even know to be angry about this. Those days are long gone and younger women don’t know that it was not always as it is now.

But reality is a tough game for all of us. Young girls do indeed use pregnancy as an escape hatch, and abortion on demand is often a birth control device rather than a rescue mechanism for women who made a mistake.

But people who are anti-abortion are not evil and come about those beliefs honestly. Often the anti-abortion attitude is the result of religious indoctrination. But the decision on when life begins is neither religious or scientific. It’s decision made in civil society by consensus and in spite of disagreement among factions.

We need to come to grips with those of such fixed mindsets that they cannot accept abortion for what it is: a necessary procedure. The public battle over abortion is one where each side demeans the other as ignorant an evil.

Families can set guidelines for children on abortion, its uses or avoidance thereof. Civil rights allow children to ignore parents and make their own choices. Some people find freedom of choice in matters of conscience intolerable. But the authority of the parent stops at emancipation and that legal status is set back to sexual maturity for young girls. It has to be that way otherwise young people are forced to spend their lives paying for youthful indiscretion.

If churches demand as condition of membership the belief that abortion is a sin, even an abomination (it ain’t pretty, after all), that is their right. The authority of the church stop at the front door. Fact.

The ability to allow safe and legal abortion is a right of self-governance in civil society. No strict family or church can override civil liberties.

If families and churches have their way, and legal abortion goes away, illegal abortion fills in the void. Abortions will not likely decline in number, though I certainly don’t possess the studies to back up that statement.

Hard-bitten “pro-choice” feminists are not different in attitude than “pro-life” religious people in terms of off-putting attitudes.

Eleanor Roosevelt said that “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Take that to heart. Part of freedom is allowing others to be right, but also wrong. Moral superiority is an ugly attitude.

19 thoughts on “Thoughts on abortion

  1. Moral superiority is an ugly attitude.

    Mirror?

    We take so many things for granted now due to the success of the feminist movement.

    Hmmm. We’ve run a society wide experiment in upending traditional male-female roles. I’m not sure it goes in the “success” column. Anecdote and surveys don’t put a lot of satisfaction in the post feminist class. Attendant things like single motherhood and childlessness are hardly sterling achievements. Interesting that in 1898 one list of prominent novelists had 31% of them women, where a similar list today has it at 8%

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    1. We are talking basic human rights and attendant problems. If you want women to be chattel, kindly say so.

      Mirror? Where do I excel in moral superiority except in the basics, like murder? I can’t help it. Killing people is wrong, even if we dress it up as self-defense.

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    2. I recall you bragging about your superior empathy, and telling me your perceptions are a cut above most.

      If you want women to be chattel, kindly say so.

      Thanks for staking out the far end of things. I can think of a few options other than that.

      Feminism is anxious to discount motherhood and homemaking, something from which a lot of women gain satisfaction. This hardly bodes well if a society wants to replace itself, which ours apparently doesn’t want to, what with our women in their prime reproductive years shunted off to (allegedly) glamorous professions in the corporate world, or off with a NGO helping the Third World reproduce at an even higher rate.

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      1. Again, if you want women to be chattel, kindly say so. Those who want to stay home and raise families can still do so, but the option is unrealistic for most, as people need tow incomes to make ends meet.

        I don’t recall ever claiming to have superior empathy and blah blah blah. My perceptions are not so heavily managed as others, but that was just a lucky breakout.

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      2. When I first started here, you were going on about how you scored a five on the Meyers-Briggs scale for empathy etc. You seemed pretty full of yourself. And the whole vibe here is that we have to catch up to you.

        people need two incomes to make ends meet.

        That is a problem in itself, not helped by feminism tossing half of the population into the labor pool, thus driving down the scarcity value of labor. But we also have the flooding of the labor market by immigrants, and tech innovation, so it is just one stone in the boat.

        chattel…chattel…chattel

        Yeah, Mr. push poll: do you want women to be free and happy, or do you want them forced to bear children and suffer sadness beyond the ability of the human mind to conceptualize?

        How about: do you want women to be free and happy to raise children, or do you want social pressure to guide them into wage slave jobs that lead to barrenness and despair?

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        1. I scored what? “Empathy” is something that we all have to varying degrees, ‘ceptin’ psychopaths. MB is a pop-psych test that measures w hole lot of things, the idea being that we’re all worthy and need to understand d each other better.

          Full of myself? I suppose.

          I want women to be free to choose what they want to do with their lives, just like I was. I agree that most jobs are dead-end. I also think we have too-high expectations on houses and cars and things. But I’m not in charge.

          Low birth rates are common in wealthier societies. I don’t worry about things like that. Should I?

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        2. I want women to be free to choose what they want to do with their lives, just like I was.

          Context, man. When I want to be free from taxes, you are quick to start talking about social obligations. B.F. Skinner wrote a book called “Beyond Freedom and Dignity”. Maybe you should look into it.

          Low birth rates are common in wealthier societies. I don’t worry about things like that. Should I?

          You spend a lot of energy worrying about what people think of comrade Stalin. This might be a bit more trenchant.

          Today’s offering from Heartiste. Relevant and hilarious, especially the second ad. Be sure to overcurse for the comments.

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          1. “Comrade Stalin.” Good one. I don’t want to get into that, but it has a lot to do with projecting our own evil on others. He had plenty of his own, but we are not slackers in that department.

            I am looking for a good book, and will give Skinner a look. Isn’t he the one who studied how to make people behave right in factories? (Exposing ignorance here.)

            I’ve followed the Obamacare debate and think it is very stupid all around. But what comes across at your link is that they don’t even like the concept of insurance, and think that illness is self-induced. There is no debate about what needs to be debated: The existence of health insurance companies. They are nothing but rent seekers and an added burden to our health care system.

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          2. Skinner is part of the whole behaviorism field in psychology; starting with Pavlov; who showed response to stimuli; Skinner added the operant conditioning part, where we act on the environment in response to contingencies. It is a whole epistemology in itself, but behaviorism also arose in response to the poor results brain psychology was posting.

            At the link, you were supposed to look at the pictures, not read the text: Colorado taxpayers funding ads that urge women to be sluts. What feminism has wrought.

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    1. Is there a clinic in Livingston? I should know this – quite a while back there was going to be one, and my late brother, extremely anti-abortion, thought he would be asked to make them a sign, which he would never do, of course. He also said he would lose tons of business if his trucks were seen hanging a sign there.

      Last I heard of it.

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  2. Sexual freedoms now taken for granted were once condemned as acts of trollops and whores when done by women, though winked at by men.

    Since we are re-making public policy here, maybe we should reconsider this alleged freedom. Women pay a higher price for promiscuity, that’s just a fact of life, no matter how many Obama bucks you shovel their way. There is a scarcity value to female charms. Not so much for men’s.

    A modern industrial society does better nurturing a monogamous, two parent household. Turning our young women loose on the lekking grounds of modern society is a short term thrill that doesn’t add much to the preservation of our posterity.

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    1. I am neither judge nor jury in these matter of the flesh. People are in charge of their own bodies, dignity, choices. I’ve heard of the “walk of shame” and know that it is something women might feel. What should we do? Send them to confession?

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    2. I am neither judge nor jury in these matter of the flesh.

      Dude, you weigh in with a completed opinion on most every other matter under the sun that comes before you. Why stop here? The old were put on the earth to tell the young what to do.

      Alas, the shaming tactics of the Church of Coffee House Leftism is quite developed and pervasive. One pays quite a price in status and acceptance when wandering off the reservation.

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      1. I surmise you want a fair and decent foreign policy to make this a better country for you and your posterity.

        It seems to me one would want a decent domestic policy for the same reasons.

        The culture war is fought on many fronts.

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