Confession: Yes, FtB has been stacking the place with diversity »« Why I am an atheist – Doug Mackie

Knitting souls with an approved wanton sounds like fun to me

It’s been a while since I said this, so it’s time for a booster shot: I really hate “framing”. It’s a sell-out that leads to people making their opponents’ arguments for them, as they try to bend over backwards to see it through the oppositions’ eyes. It’s far, far better to see your own position clearly and try to explain it well to others.

I was reminded of that by this excellent point made by Amanda: that in the process of trying to reach a subsidiary goal, making contraception available to all, many liberals are conceding a larger, more important point to the conservatives and buying into their dogma that sex is evil.

All that said, I want to be clear that it’s not enough to be outraged at the anti-contraception shit and take it as a given that it’s way out of bounds. I mean, it seems obvious that it is, but without an aggressive counterattack from the left, right wingers may gain ground in their attempts to redefine the over 99% of women in the country who have sex for fun and not just for procreation as sluts. We need to frame our arguments as a full-throated, unapologetic belief that sex is good, women are good, and women’s right to enjoy sexual pleasure without shaming or government interference is good. Unfortunately, I’m not seeing enough of that. Instead, the most important argument—that a woman has a right to be a sexual creature and that sex is good—being abandoned by all sorts of liberals and feminists. The most common form this concession takes is well-meaning, and often person conceding the argument that women who have sex for pleasure are somehow less-than don’t intend to concede it. But that’s nonetheless what they’re doing. That concession looks like this:

"Some women aren’t even taking the birth control pill for contraception! They need it for cramps/endometriosis/etc."

Every time you say this, a right winger wanting to imply that women who have sex for pleasure are sluts gets his wings. This statement and all variations on it feeds into the right wing claim that a) contraception is not health care and b) that women who have sex for pleasure are so indefensible that you have to lean on off-label uses for a contraceptive drug to justify its existence. It also does absolutely nothing to defend the non-pill contraception that’s covered by the health care act, such as IUDs or sterilization. Plus, that gives them an easy out, which is to say that they’re fine with insurance covering pills that are prescribed for non-contraception use, but just object to prescriptions for women who use them to prevent pregnancy.

It’s a very political argument to make, very short-sighted and damaging in the long run, but I can understand why people do it. You’ve got an immediate political battle to win, the defeat of a bill that strangles access to contraception. So you take the typical approach of your everyday social primate with a theory of mind: you imagine the world through your opponent’s eyes, and then you try to frame your arguments to take into account his or her values, to find reasons that they would find compelling. Unfortunately, what it accomplishes more than anything is to make particularly odious attitudes commonplace…and it makes the next fight harder.

Our problem isn’t a few bills in state legislatures. It’s the whole deeply imbedded, constantly reinforced notion that good women are sexless and chaste, while bad girls are the ones who enjoy sex and actually have sex with more partners than just the one man who owns her. That’s why those right-wingers are getting their wings: because every time we implicitly accept that premise, we dig our progressive goals a slightly deeper grave.

And oh, how deeply this poison is infiltrating our culture! The other night, I was watching Much Ado About Nothing, the Branagh version. I very much like part of the story — the banter between Benedick and Beatrice is wonderful — but another part, the relationship between Claudio, a dashing soldier, and Hero, the beautiful young bride-to-be, is horrifying. Claudio is tricked by the villain (played by Keanu Reeves, unbelievably) into thinking that Hero was playing around with another man on the side…and then he waits until the hour of the wedding to publicly shame and humiliate this woman he supposedly loves with all of his heart.

CLAUDIO

Sweet prince, you learn me noble thankfulness.
There, Leonato, take her back again:
Give not this rotten orange to your friend;
She’s but the sign and semblance of her honour.
Behold how like a maid she blushes here!
O, what authority and show of truth
Can cunning sin cover itself withal!
Comes not that blood as modest evidence
To witness simple virtue? Would you not swear,
All you that see her, that she were a maid,
By these exterior shows? But she is none:
She knows the heat of a luxurious bed;
Her blush is guiltiness, not modesty.

LEONATO

What do you mean, my lord?

CLAUDIO

Not to be married,
Not to knit my soul to an approved wanton.

It’s a terrible scene, full of Shakespearean viciousness, and all of the contempt and hatred falls on poor Hero for her supposed licentiousness. And then, of course, the true villains are exposed and her true and good chastity vindicated. The resolution was just as appalling as the accusation, because it simply endorses Claudio’s behavior, that it’s perfectly reasonable to scorn and despise a woman if she’d ever shown passion for another human being.

Just once, it would be nice if the heroine turned out to be a lusty, experienced sexual partner and the moment of revelation, in which the horrible accusations are shown to be base and dishonest, didn’t involve showing she was innocent of the crime of sex, but instead involved the man realizing that he loved her anyway, and that there was nothing wrong with a woman enjoying sex…and realizing that the wedding night was going to be phenomenal (for him, if not for her; in the play, Claudio also brags about his abstinence, so I suspect he’s going to be a bit of a disappointment.)

But no, we keep perpetuating this view. We keep supporting the men and women and religions and other institutions that make sure young people are ignorant and ashamed — we look the other way or don’t even see it as a problem ourselves, but it’s really just another kind of child abuse. Let’s keep the children terrified of hell, ashamed of their bodies, and disgusted by their sexual feelings…because, by god, that’s how our parents raised us, and no way are those little brats going to grow up to find joy in what has been denied us!

I favor making contraception available to all because I think everyone should be able to have happy, safe, consensual sex. It’s also a nice bonus that some forms of contraception alleviate menstrual problems or side-effects like migraines, but it’s dishonest and bad framing to pretend that those are the real reasons we should encourage sex education, or insist that health insurance cover prophylaxis, and every time we sweep the most important issue of happy sexy time under the rug, we are pandering to the prudish conservatives.

And don’t get me started on that abortion slogan of “safe, legal, and rare”: I want abortion to be safe, legal, and available as often as women need or want it.

Comments

  1. says

    People should be able to obtain contraception because they’re adults and they make a personal decision to use it. Blue noses who clutch their pearls and shriek about immorality and licentiousness are just incipient despots who hate not being to control other people — either because they “know better” and want other people to conform to their superior philosophy or they are simply groveling before some religious icon and want the rest of the world to grovel alongside them. (And, just to make it all the more entertaining, many of the loudest voices belong to those who consider themselves exempt from the strictures they want to impose on others.)

  2. Part-Time Insomniac, Zombie Porcupine Nox Arcana Fan says

    How much longer is this form of irrational thinking and behavior going to last? If it’s terrifying the hell outta of me, it’s making me want to hit people with a crowbar, and when that’s not happening, it’s making me wish they would spontaneously explode so we don’t have to listen their claptrap anymore.

  3. otrame says

    PZ, it is possible for abortion to be both rare and available whenever, in a woman’s opinion, it is needed. Abortion is a lousy method of birth control and in a sane world it would usually only be needed when the fetus was damaged or the woman’s life was in danger, or the pregnancy was the result of rape.

    If we want to cut down on abortion, then we need real sex education, readily available contraception (and some money put into better, safer contraception) and most importantly, we need to get rid of the idea that women who want sex are sluts. Right now, our culture tells young women in particular that being prepared to have safe sex with no pregnancy is something only sluts do. So they don’t prepare and tell themselves they were just “carried away” by the moment and they get pregnant a lot. We can only fix that when we can get the public view of sex out of the hands of the fundamentalists, and though I think that will happen faster than most people think it will, I think it will be a while.

  4. Forbidden Snowflake says

    PZ:

    It’s been a while since I said this, so it’s time for a booster shot: I really hate “framing”. It’s a sell-out that leads to people making their opponents’ arguments for them, as they try to bend over backwards to see it through the oppositions’ eyes.

    Amanda:

    We need to frame our arguments as a full-throated, unapologetic belief that sex is good, women are good, and women’s right to enjoy sexual pleasure without shaming or government interference is good.

    It’s still framing, though. Framing is just choosing a way to present your case with the implications you want to make, not necessarily trying to fit it over the opponent’s values.

    Also, Keanu’s wooden, stilted acting was perfect for his awkward, misanthropic character. If any director’s choice of Keanu was ever a good call, it was Branagh’s.

  5. otrame says

    Zeno, people should be able to get contraception whether they are adults or not. Otherwise, I agree with you.

  6. ladydreamgirl says

    Knitting souls is actually quite difficult, they’re rather slippery and insubstantial so it’s hard to keep them on the needles while you’re working with them.

  7. kevinalexander says

    Humans aren’t the only animals that do that hate on other people having sex.
    Most social animals do. You can see how it evolved. If you can stop your rivals from having offspring, you can stop your offspring from having rivals.

  8. imnotherbert says

    I agree with this post, except for this –

    “You’ve got an immediate political battle to win, the defeat of a bill that strangles access to contraception.”

    Bullshit. No one is trying to “strangle access to contraception”. Talk about framing – a bill is passed providing “free” contraception to everyone, some of us balk that *we* must be forced to pay for other peoples contraception, and then the other side screams “woman hater! You want to kill women and take away access to birth control!” Again, bullshit. Contraception is just as available as it was. I don’t expect to have to pay for it anymore than I expect others to pay for mine.

    Just don’t vote for Rick Santorum, or we might *actually* be faced with strangled access to contraception.

  9. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    While the Catholic and Mormon hierarchies and certain fundamentalists like the Quiverfull cultists see contraception as immoral, most Americans consider it both moral and private. Over 90% of Catholic married couples use various forms of contraception, despite what the professional virgins in the bishopric dictate.

    The party of limited government is showing its hypocrisy by trying to regulate contraception. If they really wanted to shut down abortion, they’d be pushing contraception with all their power. Instead, as Amanda shows, their agenda is more involved with punishing women for being women.

  10. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I don’t expect to have to pay for it anymore than I expect others to pay for mine.

    Ah, the explanation, but the the excuse. Framing. And why some of us hate framing. Contraception, like all medical care, should be widely available and part of all health coverage.

    Why should anybody have to pay for contraception? Birth costs a lot more money than BC pills, and you appear willing to pay for an unnecessary birth rather than far, far cheaper contraception. Doesn’t add up.

  11. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    imnotherbert #8

    some of us balk that *we* must be forced to pay for other peoples contraception, and then the other side screams “woman hater! You want to kill women and take away access to birth control!”

    Ever since a friend of mine was killed by a drunk driver, I have had a real dislike of drunk drivers. When a drunk driver has an accident and requires medical treatment, some of my insurance money goes to pay for that treatment. But unlike you, I don’t whine about this. Part of living in a society is having to do things we don’t like. I have to pay for drunk drivers’ treatments and women haters like you have to pay for their contraception. If you don’t like it, that’s too bad. You can whine to the misogynist Catholic bishops.

  12. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart: mad, but sadistic genius says

    … some of us balk that *we* must be forced to pay for other peoples contraception…

    What else are “we” unwilling to pay for, I wonder?

    OP:

    … every time we sweep the most important issue of happy sexy time under the rug, we are pandering to the prudish conservatives.

    Bingo.

    I don’t understand how contraception can be framed (heh heh) as a controversial topic when almost 100% of sexually active women have used it. This isn’t some sort of shocking “OMG, American women are all sluts!!” revelation– we’ve been “slutty” for a long fucking time now and fuck these fuckers right in the ear if they want to make an issue out of it now.

    Thinking a little bit on it, though, zeroing in on the evils of contraception has taken a lot of focus off of the economy. Which, you know, the conservatives can’t fix with their tax cuts and oil drilling schemes and they fucking know it.

  13. says

    some of us balk that *we* must be forced to pay for other peoples contraception, and then the other side screams “woman hater

    That whole “solidarity” thing which we hold in rather high esteem in the first world seems to escape the average American, I notice.

  14. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart: mad, but sadistic genius says

    Nerd:

    Birth costs a lot more money than BC pills, and you appear willing to pay for an unnecessary birth rather than far, far cheaper contraception. Doesn’t add up.

    Well, except those slutty sluts who want to have teh fun sexy times without consequence get punished. I suppose there’s some sort of little sadistic thrill in that.

    Not only does birth cost a whole hell of a lot more than (any form of) contraception, think about all of the other costs that society incurs: schooling for example. In my home state (NY), the average cost to the taxpayer per student per year was $17,173 during the the 2007-08 school year. That a hell of a lot of doses of The Pill.

  15. naturalcynic says

    Bullshit. No one is trying to “strangle access to contraception”. Talk about framing – a bill is passed providing “free” contraception to everyone, some of us balk that *we* must be forced to pay for other peoples contraception…

    NO. The same fuddy-duddies that are objecting to paying for other people’s contraception through insurance are also trying to limit or ban it outright. See the “life begins at conception” bills. And contraception is part of the normal health care for women and a high rate of contraception use is a positive social value – worthy of promotion, rather than a backhanded and unappreciative OK.

  16. nemothederv says

    I don’t think it’s a case of liberals “framing” the argument. If only they had that ability the issue would have been settled.
    The issue has already been framed by every shock jocular televangelian politico to have crapped out their bullet points through an echo chamber in the last thirty years.
    Even the word “liberal” has been framed. There’s about 20-40% of the U.S. population that thinks that liberal means freeloading
    communist
    man-hating
    gun-fearing
    god-killing
    bible stealing
    vegetarian (or worse yet, vegan *gasp*)
    Pedophilic (yes, they think nambla is a liberal invention)
    baby killing
    flag burning traitor that wants to kill whitey.

    That’s just off the top of my head. I’m sure i left a few things out.
    This is what we are to them.
    When you try to talk to an angry drunk you do not shout at them or speak up when they can’t hear you. Instead, you make eye contact and whisper. This makes them focus, pay attention and ,hopefully, calm down. That’s what we really need the right nuts to do.
    Calm down.

  17. allyson says

    #8: Do you feel the same way about vaccinations? That you shouldn’t have to pay for other people’s measles shots, or can you see how that clearly benefits you as well? Or paved roads, or strong bridges, or a fire department ,or the ready defense. I can clearly see how a lower birth rate and planned pregnancies benefits everyone in a given society. If people cannot afford birth control (which is very expensive w/o insurance) than those who can least afford to support children will have them, and you’ll have to pay for their care. Ounce of prevention now to avoid a wreck later.

    In addition, because of the recession, people who actually do want children can’t afford to have them, which is terribly sad. And without free access to contraception, one of life’s greatest joys, sex, is also something they can’t afford without risk. I don’t see how contraception is any less important to a healthy society than vaccination. Healthy, loved, wanted children (along with healthy women) seem to me to be at least as important as the paved road. If you don’t see it that way, we’re at an impasse. You might as well say you don’t want to pay for compulsory K-12 education. These things are the same to me. Kids won’t DIE if we don’t teach them to read, after all. But I’m sure that you can clearly see how the dollars spent are beneficial to all.

  18. says

    Audley:

    This isn’t some sort of shocking “OMG, American women are all sluts!!” revelation– we’ve been “slutty” for a long fucking time now and fuck these fuckers right in the ear if they want to make an issue out of it now.

    That’s the thing, though – no one is pretending that women haven’t been happily sexual creatures throughout the ages. It’s just that previous to effective birth control, the majority of women who chose to have sex were appropriately punished (eventually) by having to carry and birth a child and suffering the shame of being knocked up out of wedlock and all that. Shorter version: That’ll learn them sluts!

    Now that there is effective birth control, they are all in a tizzy, because it makes it so damn difficult to control those darn sluts.

  19. DaveL says

    a bill is passed providing “free” contraception to everyone, some of us balk that *we* must be forced to pay for other peoples contraception

    The bill makes insurance companies pay for contraception, not employers. If you want to claim you’re paying for it “indirectly”, well then if it isn’t covered by insurance, then these same employees will have to pay for it from the very same wages provided by the employer who objects to contraception. So either way you slice it you’re “indirectly” paying for things you don’t like, and that’s the price you pay (and have always paid) for living in a free society.

    The only difference is that when wages are used for contraception that makes them unavailable for use for other things, whereas use of one insurance benefit doesn’t generally reduce other benefits available. In other words, opposition to contraception coverage stems not from objections about paying for birth control “indirectly” (which as we have seen, happens anyway) but whether or not employers can impose a monetary penalty on employees for using birth control.

    Churches does not make civil law in the United States of America. You do not get to fine people for breaking your religious rules. Your dishonesty is noted, now kindly fuck off.

  20. says

    … some of us balk that *we* must be forced to pay for other peoples contraception…

    Birth control costs very little, especially in comparison to what else is covered via taxes. This little whine of yours isn’t about having to fork over a few cents for BC coverage, it’s about you thinking that women don’t deserve full health coverage.

  21. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart: mad, but sadistic genius says

    Caine:

    Now that there is effective birth control, they are all in a tizzy, because it makes it so damn difficult to control those darn sluts.

    Oh sure. But how long have we had reliable, safe contraception for now? As long as I can remember*, at least. This is a huge, decades-long step back, is what I’m saying.

    I agree 100% with PZ– this argument should be about sex and control, not about the possible beneficial side effects of contraception.

    *Not that I’m all that old or anything.

  22. raven says

    If it’s terrifying the hell outta of me, it’s making me want to hit people with a crowbar, and when that’s not happening, it’s making me wish they would spontaneously explode so we don’t have to listen their claptrap anymore.

    Good question.

    It doesn’t make me want to grab a crowbar though. It makes me reevaluate my decision to not flee the USA.

    I don’t have to live here. And if you list Rick Santorums dozens of hates, I end up in many of those categories. I wouldn’t want to live in Santorum’s murky New Dark Age. He wouldn’t want me to live there either.

    It’s not as simple as it sounds though. Have you ever tried to move a few cats? Just changing brands of dry cat food is a major change for them.

    PS Two of my colleagues have already gotten fed up and left. One of my friends has shifted most of her considerable fortune to a Canadian bank. It’s getting dark and scary out there for sure.

  23. steve oberski says

    @otrame

    Abortion is a lousy method of birth control and in a sane world it would usually only be needed when the fetus was damaged or the woman’s life was in danger, or the pregnancy was the result of rape.

    No, this is a perfect example of framing.

    Women have personal autonomy and they have complete control over their bodies. They, and only they, decide if they will carry a fetus to term and danger, rape or condition of the fetus have no bearing on the decision (although these are all good reasons for a woman to have an abortion).

    If, and only if, in her, and only her, personal opinion she decides that she wants an abortion then that is sufficient reason.

    You see the same sort of framing happening in the gay marriage debate, the argument gets framed into a discussion on whether homosexuality is an inherent characteristic or a voluntary choice. This is immaterial, the issue at hand is whether adults are allowed to form consensual relationships with whoever they choose and the reason for which they do so is no one else’s business and allows the religious right to hijack the discussion.

  24. says

    Audley:

    this argument should be about sex and control, not about the possible beneficial side effects of contraception.

    It’s always been about sex and control and will continue to be, unless someone manages to come up with an effective birth control pill for men. (I’d love to see that become a reality, if only to see how wm privilege twists to accommodate it).

    I’ve never argued the non-contraceptive benefits of the pill, probably because I’ve never been able to take them, due to medical reasons.

  25. says

    Otrame:

    Abortion is a lousy method of birth control and in a sane world it would usually only be needed when the fetus was damaged or the woman’s life was in danger, or the pregnancy was the result of rape.

    Not in my case. Abortion was the solution to an unwanted pregnancy, full stop. There was nothing physically wrong with me or the fetus and the sex was enthusiastically consensual.

    This is the problem with framing the right to terminate – you literally invite moral judgments into the picture. The reason[s] any woman chooses to terminate are no one else’s business.

  26. kemist says

    a bill is passed providing “free” contraception to everyone, some of us balk that *we* must be forced to pay for other peoples contraception

    But you have nothing against maternity leave, right ? Cause that, birth- and childhood-related health care and schooling costs a tad more than the pill. If you don’t want to pay for other people via your insurance company, you should make contraception mandatory and penalize those who do have children.

    You guys in US DO get paid maternity leaves ? I mean with all those lobby groups who go around shouting family-this and family-that, you should have the all-around best conditions to raise children.

  27. raven says

    moron troll:

    … some of us balk that *we* must be forced to pay for other peoples contraception…

    This is part of a medical insurance plan.

    You are also being “forced” to pay for other people’s quadruple coronary bypass operations.

    “forced” to pay for their kid’s medical care.

    “forced” to pay for other people’s cancer treatment.

    “forced” to pay for other people’s ski injuries.

    OTOH they are being forced to pay for your neurological workup (you are going in for one aren’t you, you should), your cancer treatment, your medical care if you are in a car crash and so on.

    This is how insurance plans work.

    PS How do you feel about paying to raise other peoples kids for 18 years? Feed, clothe, educate, and amuse them. Because with limited availability of contraception there will be more unplanned, unwanted kids and some of them will end up caught in the social safety net. The one that YOU pay for too.

  28. imnotherbert says

    @ ‘Tis Himself, OM #12

    “I have to pay for drunk drivers’ treatments and women haters like you have to pay for their contraception.”

    Exactly what I’m talking about. You are so thick you can’t fathom that someone might not want to pay for other peoples condoms and *not* be a woman hater.

    @ naturalcynic #17

    “See the “life begins at conception” bills.”

    Noted, I stand corrected. Thanks for reminding me.

    @ allyson #19

    Public roads, school, ect., I see as a different issue from one’s personal issues. But, you made some good points there, I will think on further.

    @ DaveL #21

    Yeah, the bill makes “insurance companies” pay for the contraception – and who pays that bill? We do. You can’t possibly believe these costs aren’t passed down the line. And the issue isn’t whether employers object to contraception (excepting the case of religious institutions), it’s me having to pay higher premiums for something I don’t want or need, or my tax dollars paying for it for other people. Your idea of people buying their own contraception somehow equaling employers imposing a monetary penalty for using birth control is just asinine. You could apply that twisted “reasoning” to anything – food, gasoline, car repair, why should I have to pay for any of it out of my wages?

    As for your last bit about churches and religious rules, I don’t know what the hell you’re on about there, I certainly haven’t been dishonest, and perhaps you could learn to have a conversation without telling people to “fuck off”? Just a thought.

  29. allyson says

    While I agree that the framing of this sucks, I’m also of the mind that the “rare” part is more about the hope that no one should ever have to deal with an unwanted pregnancy to begin with. Having an abortion blows in the best possible circumstances. It’s still a medical procedure, and it’s still wrought with emotion about the possibilities. It’s not at all like going to have tooth extraction. Part of that is the vile climate of vicious hatred that is hurled at women seeking abortions. I wish they didn’t have to be in a position to have a medical procedure that could have been prevented with contraception.

    That said, this is a piece of a long, complex, nuanced conversation, and shouldn’t be a freakin’ slogan.

    I’m certain that if it were possible in some science-fiction land to inoculate girls against pregnancy and STDs at birth, and give them a cheap/free OTC pill that would render them able to conceive once they’ve decided that they want to be pregnant, there would be a vocal contingeny of crazy-people railing against it because women are SUPPOSED to be punished for sex. We saw that with the HPV vax. “Here, we have this thing that will help prevent your daughters from cervical cancer!” “NO! HOW WILL I BE ABLE TO PREVENT THEM FROM HAVING SEX IF I CAN’T TELL THEM THEY CAN DIE FROM IT!” (I always imagine these folks speak in ASSCAPS)

  30. raven says

    “I have to pay for drunk drivers’ treatments and women haters like you have to pay for their contraception.”

    Exactly what I’m talking about. You are so thick you can’t fathom that someone might not want to pay for other peoples condoms and *not* be a woman hater.

    It all works out.

    I have to pay for your Zyprexa and thinking brain service dog. Even though I don’t much care for idiotic trolls.

  31. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    imnotherbert,

    As others have already noted, you are also paying for other people’s heart surgeries, broken arms and so on. Why would paying for pregnancy and STDs prevention be any different?

  32. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart: mad, but sadistic genius says

    Yeah, the bill makes “insurance companies” pay for the contraception – and who pays that bill? We do. You can’t possibly believe these costs aren’t passed down the line.

    So, if you don’t want to pay for someone’s heart surgery because you feel like they lived an unhealthy lifestyle, that’s okay? It’d be interesting to see how much of your premium actually goes toward the contraception “pool”.

    Also, as others have pointed out, birth is expensive. And let’s hope that the resulting child is in perfect health– no allergies, asthma, or anything like that to force up your premiums. (But, even if they are, you’re still paying for checkups and vaccinations, which aren’t cheap.)

    You really haven’t thought this through, have you?

  33. mnb0 says

    @2: a very long time. The idea that sex is bad, that men are victims of their lust and that women should not enjoy it at all is one of the most evil legacies of the Abrahamist religions. It’s deeply planted in Western culture.
    If you want to know how deeply, watch Get out your Handkerchiefs, that utterly amoral French comedy, that without mercy shows how difficult it is even for “modern” men to develop a psychologically healthy attitude towards sex (not that women are any better, but that’s not what the movies is about).
    Well, let me (Dutch, male) say it loud and clearly.
    I expect my female partner to enjoy sex and to see me, among several other things, as her sex object.
    Because sex should be fun for two (or more).

  34. julian says

    Yeah, the bill makes “insurance companies” pay for the contraception – and who pays that bill? We do. You can’t possibly believe these costs aren’t passed down the line.

    Hey, fuck nuts. Try reading what’s being said to you. Like the parts how unwanted pregnancies and children cost the government (and by extension you, shit for brains) more than a few condoms.

  35. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart: mad, but sadistic genius says

    Shorter me:
    Kids are more expensive than not having kids. Herp a derp.

  36. says

    Allyson:

    It’s still a medical procedure, and it’s still wrought with emotion about the possibilities. It’s not at all like going to have tooth extraction.

    I wouldn’t be so quick to jump on this particular horse. For a lot of women (myself included), the only emotion involved in having an abortion is relief*. As far as the procedure itself, it’s quick and painless.

    To me, bringing up the emotional factor (especially at what an agonizing decision it is – which is generally the case when a pregnancy is wanted) is yet another bad way to frame the argument for womens’ autonomy.

    Again, the reason why any woman chooses to terminate a pregnancy is no one else’s business. Nor are her feelings about the matter.

    *For those who haven’t, do some reading at imnotsorry.net

  37. Michael says

    I’m not sure I agree with your take on ‘Much ado about Nothing’. The reason the scene is ‘vicious’ is because she is innocent of the charge. Considering the violation of trust, if anyone (male or female) found out their partner had cheated on them just before their wedding (no matter how sexually active either had been before their engagement), a public dress-down is average on the scale of repercussions.

    In more modern films, in ‘When Harry Met Sally’ both characters were sexually active (Billy Crystal more so), but neither the villain; but in ‘Wedding Singer’, Drew Barrymore’s cheating fiance is rightly hated.

    My point is that it doesn’t matter (beyond STD’s) whether you or your partner were sexually active before you were engaged, but if you are making a commitment to a monogamous relationship (engagement to be married?) then breaking that trust/agreement should have consequences.

  38. mudpuddles says

    Great post PZ, but this?

    The resolution was just as appalling as the accusation, because it simply endorses Claudio’s behavior, that it’s perfectly reasonable to scorn and despise a woman if she’d ever shown passion for another human being.

    Claudio does not despise Hero for ever having interest in another man, he despises her alleged infidelity, which is just fine (remember, he’s not a Mormon!). Of course, he should have checked his facts before jumping up and down on her honour, but he believed his girlfriend had been screwing around á la Newt Gingrich.

    Would my girlfriend be rationally expected to be happy if she returned from holiday to find out that I had been sleeping around behind her back? No, she’d kick me in the nuts, then tell the world I was a sleaze, and I would deserve all of it. We don’t think Tiger Woods’ wife really should have just said “no problem, Tiger” after she found out about his shenanigans, do we?
    As Brabantio might have said if you were the Moor of Venice, “Look to it, Myers, if thou hast eyes to see…!”

    Otherwise I agree. Its pretty sickening how Rethuglicans think that men are perfectly right to diddle around as much as they like (married or not; again, Gingrich) and presumably use whatever means necessary to prevent the scandalous appearance of a bastard child (even though they’d likely be clapped on the back by their peers for doing as men do), but women must always stay true to the one who possesses them, with that “possession” being defined and redefined purely as Rethuglican men deem fit. Scum, scum, scum….

  39. Aquaria says

    a bill is passed providing “free” contraception to everyone, some of us balk that *we* must be forced to pay for other peoples contraception

    You fucking piece of shit scumbag.

    Do you “balk” at paying for blood pressure meds because so many people pig out on too much pies, cake, candy and Mickey D’s? Or do you think it’s better to pay for those than for the cardiac surgeries and effects of stroke that are a hell of a lot more expensive to treat?

    Do you balk at paying for patches to get smokers to quit? Or do you think it’s better to pay for those, than to pay for the hundreds of thousands of expenses that come with lung cancer, emphysema and the dozens of other conditions that are expensive to treat?

    Do you “balk” at paying for erectile dysfunction pills? It’s covered by most insurance plans. The poor, poor men shouldn’t have to live without sex and dumping their worthless sperm wherever they want, they should be able to fuck to their heart’s content, no consequences.

    Tell you what, champ–if you didn’t pay for Viagra, maybe birth control wouldn’t be necessary. Can’t get it up? Live with it. How does that sound to you?

    You’re a hypocrite and a scumbag piece of shit.

    Die in a fire.

  40. allyson says

    @imnotherbert: I guess at this point I’d ask you what sort of preventative health care you do think it is worth subsidizing if any. And if there is health care you would subsidize (like vaccinations, which I may be falsely assuming you support), how is birth control different? If you’re against subsidizing ANY healthcare, that’s a different argument as you are not just singling out women, but all people, and then this conversation is a different one.

    If it is solely the preventative health care of contraception, I’d ask you why you think preventing unwanted pregnancy is different than preventing unwanted HPV or measles (if in fact you do support taxpayer-funded vaccinations for infectious disease, maybe you could clarify that).

    It appears from your argument that this is the one issue sticking in your craw when discussing free medical care, and since it mostly affects women’s health (though it can be successfully argued that unwanted forced births affect the entire family and society as a whole), you’re choosing to single out women as undeserving of subsidized medical care. That’s why people are calling you a woman-hater. Now if you don’t want to subsidize ANYONE’S medical care, we can say that you’re an equal opportunity people-hater. Which is different.

  41. Lyra says

    Abortion is a lousy method of birth control and in a sane world it would usually only be needed when the fetus was damaged or the woman’s life was in danger, or the pregnancy was the result of rape.

    What? No. In a sane world, there would be no abortions due to rape, because there would be no rape.

    I really, truly do not understand this list of exceptions. Why a rape exception, but not a woman’s health exception? Why not a the-condom-broke exception? Why not a she-lost-her-job exception? Having an abortion because your birth control failed is not a worse situation than having an abortion because you got raped.

  42. says

    allyson:

    You might as well say you don’t want to pay for compulsory K-12 education.

    There are conservatives saying that, in effect if not usually quite so bluntly. Certainly they don’t want to pay the teachers or teach the kids science or history. And considering how willing so many of them are to piss money away fighting in court for the right to push their religious crap in schools, I’d say the education is secondary at best.
    In my darker moments, I think the creation of a large underclass of unemployable young people is actually the goal–a controllable work force for our new prison labor-based economy. Want to escape that fate? Join the military. Either way, you’re part of a captive audience ripe for proselytization.
    And now Rick Santorum is making noises about colleges & universities being “indoctrination centers” and taking aim at any that receive any public funding. It’s all about cutting off the escape routes in advance of the big push.
    I’m having a lot of these darker moments of late.

  43. julian says

    Why not a she-lost-her-job exception?

    Aye. A good question.

    The family no longer has reliable income, the family just lost their home in a fire or flood, there’s been a huge down turn in the economy and the family will need to start pinching pennies just to be able to reliably feed the ones there.

    All perfectly good reasons for someone to reevaluate whether they want to be having children right then.

    And besides the point. An abortion should always be available for whatever reason.

  44. raven says

    You might as well say you don’t want to pay for compulsory K-12 education.

    There are conservatives saying that, in effect if not usually quite so bluntly.

    A lot of christofascists hate public education. They don’t control it, it costs money, and it sometimes teaches kids knowledge.

    Rick Santorum is one, recently attacking public education. He also hates universities despite having a BA, MBA, and JD from public universities.

    They really do want a New Dark Age. Being hypocrites, it is just for you citizens. I’m sure their castles will have lights, hot water, state of the art equiped militaries, and internet access.

  45. yiab says

    This is exactly the sort of interpretation that baffles me and makes me think I don’t understand people very well at all.

    How do you reach the conclusion that the objections to insurance covering contraception are about sex-negativity towards women and not about anti-fun beliefs about everyone? I don’t see the following explanation being considered by anybody here yet, and I see no good reason to reject it:

    A lot of people believe that fun and pleasure are completely optional and so they don’t accept that they should be considered part of health. If someone doesn’t believe that a person’s basic health has anything to do with how well they are capable of having fun, then it’s easy to see that they would not accept “sex for fun is good” as a reason for contraception to be a part of health insurance, even though they may agree with the statement. Also, it’s easy to see that providing reasons for the prescription of birth control pills for non-fun-related conditions would be aimed at people holding these beliefs.

    (Note: I don’t agree with the preceding viewpoint and I certainly accept that there are also many people who believe that women having sex for fun is bad – a view with which I also disagree – but I’m simply asking why this potential motivation for these people seems to be ignored in this discussion.)

    So would somebody please tell me why nobody even considers this as a possible motivation for the opponents of contraception in health insurance?

  46. ema says

    Contraception is just as available as it was.

    Looks like the Washington judge who recently ruled that pharmacies don’t have to sell ECP didn’t get your memo.

    And the issue … [is] me having to pay higher premiums for something I don’t want or need, or my tax dollars paying for it for other people.

    Assuming you’re an insured young, healthy person who only wants, needs, and uses the system for routine physicals, and nothing else, you are already paying for prenatal care, deliveries, C/Ss, treatment for prostate cancer, etc., etc. for other people. Your issue with contraception coverage makes no sense in this context.

  47. says

    It’s a very political argument to make, very short-sighted and damaging in the long run, but I can understand why people do it. You’ve got an immediate political battle to win, the defeat of a bill that strangles access to contraception. So you take the typical approach of your everyday social primate with a theory of mind: you imagine the world through your opponent’s eyes, and then you try to frame your arguments to take into account his or her values, to find reasons that they would find compelling. Unfortunately, what it accomplishes more than anything is to make particularly odious attitudes commonplace…and it makes the next fight harder.

    I agree with this, and think it’s an excellent point, but in many cases I think there may be something beyond this strategizing and inadvertent concession going on. It was from Jon Stewart that I first heard this argument about the other uses of the Pill, and I was surprised because it wasn’t a point I’d ever have thought of making. It reminded me of some other bits by him in which he goes after Conservatives who want to subject pregnant rape victims to forced birth. In one, he actually says, so quickly I almost missed it, something like “It’s possible to oppose abortion without wanting to further traumatize rape victims.” What these sorts of comments have led me to suspect, and it’s been a reluctant realization if not a completely shocking one, is that some of these Liberals do share some of the attitudes of the Right with regard to women and our bodily autonomy (though probably not consciously) and some do believe there are valid moral reasons for opposing abortion (and even some that that could override women’s rights). I could be wrong, but I do sense in many cases that’s what’s going on. If so, I wish they would make their views plain so that we can argue with them.

  48. allyson says

    >Again, the reason why any woman chooses to terminate a pregnancy is no one else’s business. Nor are her feelings about the matter.

    I agree with that, totally. But I’m unsure why it’s not ever appropriate to discuss that some women do have an emotional issue tied to termination. Like I said, that’s not part of a slogan, but it is part of a larger discussion, just as much a part of it as the fact that some women don’t. Sometimes that emotional issue can be helped by the kindness of someone saying, “despite what the crazy-people are yelling outside, none of this makes you a bad person, it doesn’t mean you’re worthless, or that you’re going to be punished with breast cancer, or any of the other horrid things people say to women. You’re capable of making sound rational decisions, and you’re the only one here that matters.” Ignoring that some women do have a hard time with this doesn’t make it go away, and it’s a disservice to them to shut out that conversation in safe places.

    Again, because I don’t think I was clear enough, I don’t think “rare” is a slogan. It’s part of an enormous conversation a woman is having with her doctor (and perhaps her loved ones if she has a decent non-judgmental support system to lean on).

    I mean, if you’re a woman who really wants to start a family, but can’t afford one (financially or for any other reason), abortion can be a sad, stressful experience. I wish they could make a choice that would make them happy. I wish that women could prevent pregnancy simply by wishing it so and then we wouldn’t have to deal with this at all. But that isn’t the case at all. And to say it one more time, I do think “and rare” shouldn’t be part of the safe and legal slogan, due to all the reasons you’ve outlined and millions more.

    In an effort to not give the other side ammo, I don’t want to take away a piece of this conversation from women who have been shamed and made to feel crappy and need someone to say, “I wish that this never happened.”

    I want chemo to be legal, safe, and rare, too. It’s not because I don’t want everyone to have access to chemo who needs it, I just wish they never had cancer to begin with.

  49. dianne says

    Abortion is a lousy method of birth control and in a sane world it would usually only be needed when the fetus was damaged or the woman’s life was in danger, or the pregnancy was the result of rape.

    First, what Lyra said about rape.

    Second, what, no exception for major damage to the mother? Loosing her vision and kidney function isn’t enough: she has to be definitely dying to “deserve” an exception in a “sane” world?

    Third, barrier protection with abortion as a backup when it fails is the safest method of birth control out there. In my version of a sane world, this would make barrier+abortion the most common version of birth control. (Though, of course, there are reasons why people use various other forms and the form used in any individual case is something that the person involved should decide, possibly in consultation with his/her doctor. Yes, men need birth control too. Not to mention STD control.)

  50. Azkyroth says

    I’m quite certain the idea behind “rare” is that it should be needed less often, which is a good goal for any invasive surgical procedure.

  51. Lyra says

    @julian

    I hope you are aware that my examples was not meant to be exhaustive, because that was part of my point. I will be all sad if my post was not able to convey what I wanted it to convey.

  52. Stevarious says

    @ ‘Tis Himself, OM #12

    “I have to pay for drunk drivers’ treatments and women haters like you have to pay for their contraception.”

    Exactly what I’m talking about. You are so thick you can’t fathom that someone might not want to pay for other peoples condoms and *not* be a woman hater.

    You’re clearly either a woman hater or an idiot (or both). Tis was obviously just giving you the benefit of the doubt, as hate can be cured by education.
    You claim to not want insurance to cover other people’s condom for financial reasons – even though pregnancy or STD treatments will be covered under the insurance and cost you considerably more money. So either you are too stupid to do simple math, or you lied about the reason you oppose free birth control. Since the only other reasons I can think of to deny free birth control is to ‘make sure those sluts get punished for their irresponsible fucking’, maybe you’d like to explain?

  53. DaveL says

    Yeah, the bill makes “insurance companies” pay for the contraception – and who pays that bill? We do.

    Already answered, if you had bothered to read. First, costs for anything and everything are “passed down”. Lung cancer treatments for smokers. Diabetes treatments for overweight diabetics. Labor and delivery for kids that aren’t your own. It’s called insurance.

    Of course, birth control doesn’t actually increase the cost of insurance. It’s a cheap and effective preventive measure that avoids a lot of increased cost down to line.

    And the issue isn’t whether employers object to contraception (excepting the case of religious institutions), it’s me having to pay higher premiums for something I don’t want or need, or my tax dollars paying for it for other people.

    Well, you don’t pay higher premiums since, as I’ve already pointed out, it’s a cost-saving measure. But somehow I don’t think you’ll be relieved to find that out. Because you’re not being honest.

    Your idea of people buying their own contraception somehow equaling employers imposing a monetary penalty for using birth control is just asinine.

    Then surely you can find a flaw with it. Go ahead. What is the difference between employees using an employer-provided benefit that allows them access to a wide range of goods and services (insurance) for contraception different from employees using an employer-provided benefit that allows them access to a wide range of goods and services (wages) for contraception?

    You could apply that twisted “reasoning” to anything – food, gasoline, car repair, why should I have to pay for any of it out of my wages?

    For the same reason your taxes pay for the DOD, or IRS, or DEA, or EPA, or FBI. Because our collective representatives have decided this is an effective and judicious use of public funds. Of course, in this case, they can back it up. Suck it up, buddy, nobody gets a line-item veto.

    I certainly haven’t been dishonest, and perhaps you could learn to have a conversation without telling people to “fuck off”? Just a thought.

    If you’re relieved to find out that contraception doesn’t actually increase your tax bill, and you’re just an incensed at having to pay for cancer treatment, diabetes treatment, and pediatrics, them I’d be willing to admit I was wrong about you. Otherwise you’ll keep getting the language you so richly deserve.

  54. julian says

    @Lyra

    Sorry about that. I got what you were saying. I’m lousy at signalling “I agree with what you said.”

  55. raven says

    OT but just barely. Right off my morning news feed.

    ..Santorum says he doesn’t believe in separation of church and state
    By Lee-Anne Goodman, The Canadian Press | Associated Press – 1 hr 24 mins ago………WASHINGTON –

    Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum said Sunday that he doesn’t believe in the separation of church and state,

    adding that he was sickened by John F. Kennedy’s assurances to Baptist ministers 52 years ago that he would not impose his Catholic faith on them.

    “I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute,” Santorum, a devout Catholic, said in an interview from Michigan on ABC’s “This Week.”

    I think Ricky S. just committed political suicide here. Or I hope anyway.

    His made up Catholicism isn’t recognizable to most Catholics. It is a mixture of ancient Dark Age Catholicism crossed with modern backwoods fundie Xianity with some rage and a lot of hate thrown in.

    Fundie xians are pretty stupid. A recent news article found that many of them don’t realize he is actually a Catholic, a Fake Xian to many of them. Because mostly he is channeling fundie-ism.

  56. MAtheist says

    Is it time to start the “Don’t be a prude” campaign? Wasn’t it Hitchens that said it best, that the way to improve society is the empowerment of women?

  57. Nemo says

    @yiab:

    Because there’s almost zero opposition to insurance covering Viagra. When we hear as much complaining about that as we do about birth control, you can say it’s “merely” anti-fun, and not anti-woman.

  58. Lyra says

    @julian

    Ahh, excellent. I thought you might be saying that, but I wasn’t sure, as sometimes my internet comprehension fails.

    @allyson

    I want chemo to be legal, safe, and rare, too. It’s not because I don’t want everyone to have access to chemo who needs it, I just wish they never had cancer to begin with.

    The problem I have with this is that no one ever actually feels the need to say “legal, safe, and rare” for chemo. Why? Because all understand that people don’t willy nilly decide to go in for chemo, and we don’t generally think that it is appropriate to deny chemo to those who got their cancer for the “wrong” reasons (like smoking). If someone goes in for chemo, we just accept that it’s the person making the best decision that they can. We understand that chemo isn’t a person’s first choice, and we don’t run around acting like it will be someone’s first choice if we don’t specifically discourage it.

    In short, there’s all this baggage that goes along with people’s view of women who have abortions that doesn’t go along with people who have chemo.

  59. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart: mad, but sadistic genius says

    yiab:

    So would somebody please tell me why nobody even considers this as a possible motivation for the opponents of contraception in health insurance?

    Okay, I’ll bite.

    While there is the whole “sex is icky!” argument (which you pointed out), the responsibility for chastity and purity is foisted onto women. Look at those creepy father/daughter “purity balls” that have popped up all over the country as an example. There’s no equivalent creepy mother/son “purity” movement.

    Also, most forms of contraception (the exception being classic condoms) are for women. There’s no Pill for dudes, no IUDs, etc etc.

    Lastly, unwanted pregnancies impact women far more than they impact men. Not only health-wise (herp a derp), but economically speaking, too. Single moms make up a huge percentage of the impoverished in the US.

  60. Azkyroth says

    I expect my female partner to enjoy sex and to see me, among several other things, as her sex object.
    Because sex should be fun for two (or more).

    *sigh* this is a perfectly reasonably statement but you’re gonna wanna rephrase it…

  61. says

    Claudio does not despise Hero for ever having interest in another man, he despises her alleged infidelity, which is just fine (remember, he’s not a Mormon!). Of course, he should have checked his facts before jumping up and down on her honour, but he believed his girlfriend had been screwing around á la Newt Gingrich.

    That is not just fine. Remember, he’s been mooning over her and professing his deep love for her…and then he turns into a raving monster at one piece of evidence that she has been unfaithful. That’s what’s wrong…that one person can feel the right to so completely control another’s sexuality.

    As for the argument that insurance shouldn’t cover contraception: think of it as preventive medication. My insurance is paying for a small collection of vascular medicines I take every day — it costs a little money, but it costs a lot less than a heart attack.

  62. Holms says

    I notice how conservatives never seem quite as outraged if a man seeks sex before marriage; sometimes there is even a hint of approval of this show of chest-thumping manliness. Of course, the question of how said strapping young man obtains sex before marriage is not something they consider:

    1. He has sex with an unmarried woman. Clearly she is a wanton whore!
    2. He has sex with a woman married to someone else. She needs to be disciplined by her husband!
    3. He has sex with a woman, married or unmarried, without her consent. Act disapproving, while doing nothing to disapprove of the general ‘manly men get to spread their seed’ culture.

  63. raven says

    Single moms make up a huge percentage of the impoverished in the US.

    Teenage pregnancy and single mothers are highly correlated with life long poverty and this is causal.

    1 in 5 US children poor, Census says – US news – Life – msnbc.comwww.msnbc.msn.com/id/…/us…/t/one-us-children-poor-census-says/Cached

    18 Nov 2011 – The number of people living in poverty has reached an all-time high in the United States, despite the country’s position as one of the wealthiest …

    20% of US children grow up in poverty. This number is increasing thanks to the Bush catastrophe.

  64. allyson says

    >Is it time to start the “Don’t be a prude” campaign?

    You can’t, really. This is an accusation leveled at women and girls who don’t want to have sex at the moment, or with the specific person leveling the accusation. This stuff is fraught.

    The conversation is purely about sexual freedom, and the ability to care for one’s own body, in whatever way the person chooses. Women like having sex when they want to have sex with the person they want to have sex with. They like having the freedom to say yes or no without having to deal with life-long consequences. I believe this is a basic human right, to be able to have consensual sex without fear of consequence in this day and age of pregnancy and STD prevention and treatment. I’m tired of the shaming, whether it be slut-shaming some women and prude-shaming others. Walk a mile in my vagina and then hold your stupid congressional hearings. Ugh. That’s a different conversation, too. But it all adds up to Marcotte’s original thesis that it’s always about keeping women compliant and subservient. I’m fortunate to be here in my blue state. I drive by the local planned parenthood and there are usually no hand-wringers shaming women for daring to receive low-cost health care. I think of the women who have to endure that crazyland perp-walk, and my heart hurts.

  65. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart: mad, but sadistic genius says

    Also, as an addition to my 63:
    Are there any bills out there* looking to limit a man’s reproductive freedoms? Are lawmakers threatening to take condoms off the shelf or outlaw vasectomies?

    I thought not.

    *Besides the one in GA, which was to make a point about birth control.

  66. Lyra says

    As a side note, I keep reading “wanton” as “wonton.” It has lead to some confusing reading.

  67. says

    Allyson:

    But I’m unsure why it’s not ever appropriate to discuss that some women do have an emotional issue tied to termination. Like I said, that’s not part of a slogan, but it is part of a larger discussion, just as much a part of it as the fact that some women don’t. Sometimes that emotional issue can be helped by the kindness of someone saying, “despite what the crazy-people are yelling outside, none of this makes you a bad person, it doesn’t mean you’re worthless, or that you’re going to be punished with breast cancer, or any of the other horrid things people say to women. You’re capable of making sound rational decisions, and you’re the only one here that matters.” Ignoring that some women do have a hard time with this doesn’t make it go away, and it’s a disservice to them to shut out that conversation in safe places.

    You are doing some serious stretching to miss my point. I spent years escorting and as I live in a state where obtaining an abortion is next to impossible and live next door to a state where it is impossible, I help run an informal network to help women who want an abortion.

    Nowhere did I say it’s never appropriate to discuss a woman’s feelings or that some women have a difficult time with deciding to terminate. You’re carrying the whiff of pro-lifers, whether you realize that or not.

    If a woman seeking an abortion wishes to talk, that’s fine. In the political arena, however, it’s completely inappropriate for discussion, because, as has been pointed out already by myself and others, it opens the doors for moral judgments on the part of others.

    Right now, abortion is legal and it needs to remain legal and accessible. The various emotional states of people considering obtaining an abortion have nothing to do with fight. It only serves as a distraction, and a heavy talking point for pro-lifers.

    In many states, you’d be hard pressed to tell if abortion was legal. The situation in SD is beyond insane, with all clinics except for one PP in one tiny corner of the state closed down, a mandatory 3 day wait in place, mandatory counseling and a mandatory ultrasound also in place. Along with that, the religious exemption for pharmacists passed some years ago, and many pharmacies don’t carry any sort of BC, let alone EBC.

    Many states have now passed bills in which a woman’s medical history is a fair target, others are gleefully instituting mandatory (vaginal) ultrasounds and so on.

  68. allyson says

    >In short, there’s all this baggage that goes along with people’s view of women who have abortions that doesn’t go along with people who have chemo.

    Exactly! Exactly! And that’s what needs to be fixed. Until it is, the “rare” part shouldn’t be sloganized (a word that I’ve apparently just made up according to the red squiggles under it), but we can discuss it in non-pundit rooms.

  69. allyson says

    >You are doing some serious stretching to miss my point.

    No, I just misunderstood it in general as to mean that it was outside the bounds of reasonable discussion. Thanks for clarifying.

  70. ChasCPeterson says

    Are there any bills out there looking to limit a man’s reproductive freedoms?

    The bastards wouldn’t dare threaten our right to natural male enhancement, to say nothing of our critical ED meds. We need to be Ready; we’ve read Penthouse Forum.

  71. Arkady says

    It does amuse me as an asexual (well, grey-A, bit complicated) to blow the minds of fundies sometimes. Much as they can’t comprehend a woman who is sexually active and unashamed, they find it even more mindblowing that someone can be far more chaste than them and not have the least bit of carnal temptation. Last time I used it in a discussion with a fundie (a ‘traditional marriage’ defender) I got told I must have some past trauma. Nope, not unless you count the discovery that sex wasn’t the least bit fun or interesting, with the help of a very kind and understanding partner. I don’t feel the least bit of shame or disgust over sex, it’s just something I find incomprehensible and dull; much like the enjoyment other people derive from following team sports, I know it brings a good deal of joy and happiness to many people but I just don’t get the attraction.

    I use the Pill to control bad periods (could well be endometriosis but the current treatment is working and full diagnosis requires laparoscopy), so I must admit I have used the “Some women aren’t even taking the birth control pill for contraception! They need it for cramps/endometriosis/etc.” argument before as that is the sole reason I take it.

  72. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart: mad, but sadistic genius says

    Lyra:

    As a side note, I keep reading “wanton” as “wonton.”

    Weird. I just ate wonton soup for lunch.

  73. yiab says

    Because there’s almost zero opposition to insurance covering Viagra. When we hear as much complaining about that as we do about birth control, you can say it’s “merely” anti-fun, and not anti-woman.

    Because the “protestant work ethic” considers fun to be bad and making babies to be a duty to god. It’s the same reason that the opposition to IVF is a lot less publicized than the opposition to fetal stem cell research.

    I think a more appropriate analogy would be to coverage of condoms, though I am unaware of such a thing ever having been suggested (which actually goes to supporting my unstated point that I think our side is conceding the anti-fun argument).

    While there is the whole “sex is icky!” argument (which you pointed out), the responsibility for chastity and purity is foisted onto women. Look at those creepy father/daughter “purity balls” that have popped up all over the country as an example. There’s no equivalent creepy mother/son “purity” movement.

    Also, most forms of contraception (the exception being classic condoms) are for women. There’s no Pill for dudes, no IUDs, etc etc.

    Lastly, unwanted pregnancies impact women far more than they impact men. Not only health-wise (herp a derp), but economically speaking, too. Single moms make up a huge percentage of the impoverished in the US.

    I never said anything about these policies having equal impact on men and women, it’s obvious that the impact is far greater on women and that evangelicals focus pretty strongly on women.

    Remember though that we are talking about how best to argue against something and so we must consider the motivations of our opponents. The religious right is notorious for not caring about the consequences of its actions instead caring about imposing morality (i.e. abstinence-only education) so anti-contraception initiatives having a disproportionate impact on women is irrelevant in their consideration of whether to do it, thus I can’t see how we can claim that their motivation is anti-woman.

  74. Sastra says

    Unfortunately, what it accomplishes more than anything is to make particularly odious attitudes commonplace…and it makes the next fight harder.

    Yes, this. And I can think of analogies to “Some women aren’t even taking the birth control pill for contraception! They need it for cramps/endometriosis/etc.”

    “Some people only got AIDS through blood transfusions. So you should want to fund AIDS research.”

    “With the high divorce rate and sleazy celebrity weddings, marriage is in trouble anyway. So you shouldn’t be against Gay Marriage.”

    “Many of the suits filed against school prayer are filed by other Christians. So you should be in favor of the separation of church and state.”

    “Homosexuality is biological, not a choice. So discriminating against gay people is wrong.”

    “A lot of orphaned children are hard to deal with and will simply otherwise languish in the foster care system. So why not let gay couples adopt?”

    “There are people who don’t believe in God because they’ve been very deeply hurt at some point in their lives. So you should be more accepting of atheists.”

    “Plenty of abortions are either medically necessary or performed on rape victims. So you can support abortion.”

    “Children who are taunted for being gay are frequently not gay at all. So anti-bullying rules aren’t a bad thing.”

    And of course

    “Many religious people have no problem with accepting both evolution and their faith. So you can believe in evolution.”

    All those rationalizations will make the initial problem worse, long term. They justify bigotry and/or bad thinking.

  75. sidneyia says

    PZ, I’ve been a fan of yours for a long time and I really hate being “that person” who calls out a respected writer for something seemingly trivial, but: this militant “sex is good”/”everybody is sexual” attitude is erasing and stigmatizing to the 1% of the population who are asexual. I understand the kneejerk reaction to the right-wing’s sex shaming is to proclaim sex awesome for everyone forever. But please be aware that this is alienating and uncomfortable for some of your readers. I admire FTB’s efforts to be inclusive of the queer community/ies, so I feel like this is worthwhile to bring up, even though it’s likely to draw some backlash.

    (And I realize 1% seems like nothing – but bear in mind, that’s approximately the same percentage of Americans who are avowed atheists.)

  76. yiab says

    Gah, the q tag doesn’t work the way I thought it did. My preceding comment included quotes from posts #61 (Nemo) and #63 (Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart: mad, but sadistic genius). That’ll teach me not to use preview.

  77. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Remember though that we are talking about how best to argue against something and so we must consider the motivations of our opponents.

    You fall into the accommodationist trap PZ mentions. What PZ said is ignore what they are saying, and make sure our message gets across uncontaminated. And the best way for that to happen can be a forceful statement of where we should be, with only snide and facetious references to the opposition and their extremism.

  78. allyson says

    @sastra: Yeah, but those things are all true. So what do you do? I’ve found that sometimes the simplified arguments are sometimes good for simple minds, and sometimes can open someone up to the more complex arguments. You don’t just have to argue one thing. It’s sort of like the argument, “so you’d be ok with your jehovah’s witness doctor denying your blood transfusion and letting you bleed out?” to people who think catholic hospitals should be able to deny abortion on all grounds for religious freedom.

    The actual argument is that people who cannot perform legal healthcare procedures due to their moral issues have no place in the healthcare business and should look into different careers that won’t compromise the health of the public.

  79. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart: mad, but sadistic genius says

    Remember though that we are talking about how best to argue against something and so we must consider the motivations of our opponents.

    It’s not all about teh menz and framing it as such is every bit as ridiculous as framing the bc debate using the “menstrual cramps? argument.

  80. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart: mad, but sadistic genius says

    In other words, arguing from teh menz point of view just proves to the Conservatives that women’s health and lives don’t matter, unless they directly impact men.

    That really makes my blood boil.

  81. Lyra says

    Also, I’d like to bring up the point that that when a person argues for A when s/he really want B, sometimes s/he end up with A.

    I’ll give an example. For years and years I’ve seen pro-lifers say something along the lines of, “Abortion is killing a baby!” and pro-choicers will respond with something along the lines of, “Yeah, but you support abortion in the case of rape! Rape embryos are the same as non-rape embryos; so you should support abortion in rape and non-rape situations equally.”

    I know the goal of this line of argument. I know the pro-choicer is trying to convince the pro-lifers that abortion is acceptable in both rape and non-rape situations. The problem is that this argument runs the risk of the pro-lifer taking the argument to conclude that abortion shouldn’t be allowed in the case of rape, either.

  82. Azkyroth says

    PZ, I’ve been a fan of yours for a long time and I really hate being “that person” who calls out a respected writer for something seemingly trivial, but: this militant “sex is good”/”everybody is sexual” attitude is erasing and stigmatizing to the 1% of the population who are asexual.

    “Sex is good” is a personal opinion and “everyone is entitled to guilt-free sex without fucking up their lives, if they want it” doesn’t erase shit.

  83. yiab says

    You fall into the accommodationist trap PZ mentions. What PZ said is ignore what they are saying, and make sure our message gets across uncontaminated. And the best way for that to happen can be a forceful statement of where we should be, with only snide and facetious references to the opposition and their extremism.

    I agree that we should be using forceful statements, I never said anything against that. I’m confused though that you don’t seem to care what their motivations actually are, rather you seem to care about making assertions regarding their motivations in order to motivate our side better. I think that the truth matters even where motivations are concerned.

    I’m not saying that we shouldn’t argue that sex is fun, I’m saying we should include the argument that fun is good and should be considered worthwhile even in a healthcare context.

    It’s not all about teh menz and framing it as such is every bit as ridiculous as framing the bc debate using the “menstrual cramps? argument.

    When did I mention men?
    Also, there’s a reason I asked for someone to explain this to me rather than simply asserting incorrectness on the part of others, it’s because I genuinely want to learn here. I, for one, am incapable of learning by being sneered at in text unless there is an actual argument included in the sneer and if you’ve included one in your response I can’t see it.

    Also I’d like you to notice that the OP is specifically about which arguments we should be making, so please don’t insinuate that my discussing the choice of argument is somehow my derailing the conversation.

  84. mudpuddles says

    That is not just fine. Remember, he’s been mooning over her and professing his deep love for her…and then he turns into a raving monster at one piece of evidence that she has been unfaithful. That’s what’s wrong…that one person can feel the right to so completely control another’s sexuality.

    We must be dealing with two different versions of the play.. the evidence in the version I have, considering the period, was pretty bloody damning (though false) – Claudio believed he and Don Pedro had just witnessed the infidelity happening. And he did not believe he could control Hero’s sexuality – that’s stretching it… He was supposed to be marrying her the very next day! He simply expected her not to shag another bloke when they were ready to walk down the aisle! I’d wager that Hero felt the same about Claudio – “darling, we’re getting married soon, so no sex with another woman or I’ll kick your ass”. Sure, a calm and rational “what art thou doing, fair maiden?” would have been better than a freakout, but that’s just not 16th Century English drama, and Claudio was a bit of a hotheaded arse till he realised his error.

    Unless Branagh has taken big liberties with the story (I’ve not seen the movie) I reckon we shall just have to disagree on the nature of the ire of a Shakepearean character. But I agree on the other on-topic stuff.. (sorry for digressing…).

  85. yiab says

    In other words, arguing from teh menz point of view just proves to the Conservatives that women’s health and lives don’t matter, unless they directly impact men.

    That really makes my blood boil.

    Okay then, please tell me how what I said is an argument “from teh menz point of view”.

  86. Sastra says

    allyson #83 wrote:

    @sastra: Yeah, but those things are all true. So what do you do? I’ve found that sometimes the simplified arguments are sometimes good for simple minds, and sometimes can open someone up to the more complex arguments. You don’t just have to argue one thing.

    I think the problem here is that the “simplified” arguments are actually bad arguments when you get right down to it. Instead of opening a mind up for more ‘complex’ arguments, you risk shutting it down. If you go too far into the mindset of the other person, you simply reinforce the problem and how then can you slowly introduce the opposite viewpoint? They’re entrenched.

    I dare say it’s possible that in personal encounters even a small movement from a dogmatic position is a victory which will just have to be “good enough.” But I think that PZ’s right when it comes to overall strategy. What you’re forced to use on your Aunt Edna (“a pet psychic told me your poodle wants you to take your medication”) shouldn’t be the main point of a letter to the editor, an article, or any public statement or position paper.

    The actual argument is that people who cannot perform legal healthcare procedures due to their moral issues have no place in the healthcare business and should look into different careers that won’t compromise the health of the public.

    No argument here on that. But I don’t think your analogy is really similar to the examples I used. For one thing, pointing out that a rule would lead to contradictions is a good argument.

  87. Arkady says

    Sidneyia, I didn’t find it erasing. While I am asexual and need the Pill for medical rather than contraceptive reasons, I fully support the fight for all women to be able to use it if they want to (and what about those who use it for both?). As a PhD student in the UK I am severely put off from considering working in the US due to the religiously-motivated restrictions on women’s healthcare, you don’t need to be a sexually active woman to need such services. (inc. STD testing, I currently work in a lab that handles HIV)

    The effed up religious attitudes to sex make life difficult for all of us, in a previous generation it would have been quite likely I’d have gotten married, discovered I didn’t enjoy sex and been stuck for life in an unhappy partnership.

  88. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart: mad, but sadistic genius says

    yiab:
    You lead with this:

    How do you reach the conclusion that the objections to insurance covering contraception are about sex-negativity towards women and not about anti-fun beliefs about everyone?

    We gave you answers to that question. We have shown you why the birth control debate should be about women and not “everyone”*, but these arguments just aren’t good enough for you.

    I focused on teh menz because as I stated in my first post to you, this isn’t about everyone: women are expected to remain pure, women are the ones who are ultimately punished for having sex for pleasure, women bear the economic brunt of having kids. None of these bills have focused on men’s access to contraception, but to women’s. How is this about “everyone”, again?

    What the hell else do you want? You want me to agree with you? Ain’t gonna happen, sweetheart.

    I, for one, am incapable of learning by being sneered at in text unless there is an actual argument included in the sneer and if you’ve included one in your response I can’t see it.

    Oh. A tone troll. How surprising.

    *Read: men.

  89. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart: mad, but sadistic genius says

    yiab:

    Okay then, please tell me how what I said is an argument “from teh menz point of view”.

    Because trying to insert “everyone”* into an argument about women’s access to birth control is a derailing “what about teh menz” tactic.

    Duh.

    *Who else is included in everyone?

  90. mudpuddles says

    As for the argument that insurance shouldn’t cover contraception: think of it as preventive medication. My insurance is paying for a small collection of vascular medicines I take every day — it costs a little money, but it costs a lot less than a heart attack.

    Some readers might find this interesting: Trussell et al (1995) The economic value of contraception: a comparison of 15 methods. Am J Public Health. 85(4):494-503.

    From the abstract:

    All 15 contraceptives [that were assessed] were more effective and less costly than no method. Over 5 years, the copper-T IUD, vasectomy, the contraceptive implant, and the injectable contraceptive were the most cost-effective, saving $14,122, $13,899, $13,813, and $13,373, respectively [per person], and preventing approximately the same number of pregnancies (4.2) per person. Because of their high failure rates, barrier methods, spermicides, withdrawal, and periodic abstinence were costly but still saved from $8933 to $12,239 [per person] over 5 years. Oral contraceptives fell between these groups, costing $1784 over 5 years, saving $12,879, and preventing 4.1 pregnancies.

    Also: Tsui et al (2010) Family planning and the burden of unintended pregnancies. Epidemiol Rev. 32(1):152-74.

    Family planning is documented to prevent mother-child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus, contribute to birth spacing, lower infant mortality risk, and reduce the number of abortions, especially unsafe ones. It is also shown to significantly lower maternal mortality and maternal morbidity associated with unintended pregnancy.

    The evidence of benefits over costs is pretty solid.

  91. Sastra says

    That is not just fine. Remember, he’s been mooning over her and professing his deep love for her…and then he turns into a raving monster at one piece of evidence that she has been unfaithful. That’s what’s wrong…that one person can feel the right to so completely control another’s sexuality.

    Heh. I still remember the subject of my high school senior English “thesis” — it was on Much Ado About Nothing and was titled “Against Claudio.” I was really, really offended by that character. As I recall, my main complaint was that at no point did Claudio ever try to talk to his beloved Hero about the incident, ask her any questions, attempt to get her side of the story. No, he instead acts like she’s a piece of property or furniture and goes on his snitty staged rampage at the very wedding. I said that he could not love her. Not as a person. He loved the idea of her, and the idea of being in love.

    And I didn’t buy my teacher’s argument that it was a ‘different time.’ Sure. A different time when people who “loved” each other, really didn’t.

  92. yiab says

    We gave you answers to that question. We have shown you why the birth control debate should be about women and not “everyone”*, but these arguments just aren’t good enough for you.

    I agree it should be about women. You have been ignoring the fact that we are talking about the motivations of the opposition and that you have not given any reason to think that their motivations are anti-woman.

    I focused on teh menz because as I stated in my first post to you, this isn’t about everyone: women are expected to remain pure, women are the ones who are ultimately punished for having sex for pleasure, women bear the economic brunt of having kids. None of these bills have focused on men’s access to contraception, but to women’s. How is this about “everyone”, again?

    Again, I agree that the results of this legislation are a negative effect on women. It’s “about everyone” because it’s part of a larger intent and this is the only battleground which hasn’t been already conceded by the opposition, and the reason that it hasn’t been conceded is that this battleground is specifically about women, whereas the larger war is about “everyone”*.

    What the hell else do you want? You want me to agree with you? Ain’t gonna happen, sweetheart.

    No, I thought I made it clear in my last post, I want you to educate me. I understand this is not your job, which is why it is a request and not a demand. If you do not want to educate me or help me find someone who will, please stop denigrating me for being uneducated; I have been trying to educate myself on this topic for some time to no avail.

    Oh. A tone troll. How surprising.

    Apparently you didn’t notice that my comment wasn’t actually about your tone but about the lack of content in your response. I don’t care that much about tone, what I do care about is vacuity, and vacuous criticism is just as irritating as vacuous praise.

    *Read: all human beings

  93. MAtheist says

    @ allyson #68
    In response to your

    This is an accusation leveled at women and girls who don’t want to have sex at the moment

    No it isn’t, it is an accusation leveled at the prudish conservatives mentioned in PZ’s opening post

    I favor making contraception available to all because I think everyone should be able to have happy, safe, consensual sex. It’s also a nice bonus that some forms of contraception alleviate menstrual problems or side-effects like migraines, but it’s dishonest and bad framing to pretend that those are the real reasons we should encourage sex education, or insist that health insurance cover prophylaxis, and every time we sweep the most important issue of happy sexy time under the rug, we are pandering to the prudish conservatives.

  94. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart: mad, but sadistic genius says

    yiab:

    You have been ignoring the fact that we are talking about the motivations of the opposition and that you have not given any reason to think that their motivations are anti-woman.

    You’re fucking kidding, right?

    If their motivations aren’t anti-woman, then why aren’t we having this same conversation about vasectomies?

    Evaluation isn’t really your strong suit, is it?

    I want you to educate me.

    Jesus Christ, of course you do. Does anyone have the Derailing for Dummies linky handy?

    Yiab, since you’re clearly new to this whole series of tubes, I will educate you by giving you the links to Google and Wikipedia. Go! Search! Learn how this new and crazy internet machine works and educate yourself!

  95. yiab says

    Because trying to insert “everyone”* into an argument about women’s access to birth control is a derailing “what about teh menz” tactic.

    Duh.

    *Who else is included in everyone?

    But as far as I can tell we’re not arguing about womens’ access to birth control. We’re arguing about the motivations of people who are trying to deny women access to birth control. I’m suggesting that their anti-woman actions are a consequence of a more general, less sexist motivation.

    As for who else is included in “everyone”, women, intersex people, genderqueer people, and trans men (who also should have access to birth control btw) are also included in everyone, not just “teh menz” (at least in my mind and my words they are).

  96. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart: mad, but sadistic genius says

    yiab:

    I’m suggesting that their anti-woman actions are a consequence of a more general, less sexist motivation.

    Right. So, you’ve decided to ignore the last 20 years (or more) of American politics?

  97. unclefrogy says

    I will go back and read all the comments in a bit but I want to say something first.
    The real subject of the contraceptive abortion debate as was brought up is not so much about contraception and abortion as it is about sex. Sex is a very large part of who we are, It is involved in much of what we do. We are physical beings to continue we must have sex, it binds us together.
    From where I sit our behavior has not matched our words. Sex has and will be a driving force no amount of “moral condemnation” has or will ever diminish sex’s importance or I would bet the amount of time we engage in it’s various forms.
    If the debate is really about sex and not about population control issues and birth control but about sex and I think it is primarily about sex. It is bound to fail ultimately sex is too central.
    there are issues about population control and disease prevention to be sure and they are very important to address in the real world of how humans behave but I heart of the controversy is about sex make no mistake it will be “won” when we can openly and completely accept our physical being. The whole idea of framing is backwards why should we bend over their way and not insist on taking the argument to the heart of the matter.

    now I will go back and read the thread to find out where I may be wrong.

    uncle frogy

  98. yiab says

    If their motivations aren’t anti-woman, then why aren’t we having this same conversation about vasectomies?

    Perhaps I’m not familiar enough with the American medical system. are vasectomies covered by health insurance providers? Are they mandated to do so? If they are then I concede the point.

    Yiab, since you’re clearly new to this whole series of tubes, I will educate you by giving you the links to Google and Wikipedia. Go! Search! Learn how this new and crazy internet machine works and educate yourself!

    I’ve been doing that for months and I’ve wound up even more confused. I can’t find answers to my questions already out there, which means that either I don’t know the right way to look for them, or they’re really hard to find. Either way it seems to me that the best way to remedy the situation is to use this incredible new medium for communication called the internet and ask them in order to get an answer.

  99. janine says

    I’m suggesting that their anti-woman actions are a consequence of a more general, less sexist motivation.

    It is so comforting to know that restrictions of action on people like me might not have a sexist root.

    But you would be wrong, at the Abrahamic root, Eve (Women) brought about the “Fall Of Man” and are considered the Devil’s Gateway.

  100. imnotherbert says

    @ allyson #43

    The original post by PZ was about contraceptives, which is why I commented on that specific thing the way I did. I read the context of the post as saying that contraceptives should be free for all as an accessory to the recreational sport of sex – I don’t expect society to pay for accessories for my hobbies, so in that context, contraceptives are no different.

    However, you and others are putting the subject in the context of preventative healthcare, and to be perfectly honest, this is not something I’ve thought a lot about because it just isn’t an issue in my life. Reading the comments here (including the more “charming” ones) makes me realize that that is the more proper way to conceptualize the issue. And you are absolutely correct – when you liken it to HPV and the like, I am realizing that I was taking a different opinion based on an incomplete view of the issue. Which is cool. It’s why I come to this blog, and why I read through even the most hateful comments. It’s certainly given me much to think about.

    So, thanks to all who commented, your input is appreciated.

  101. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Yiab-stop talking as if you’d adequately dealt with people’s objections. You haven’t. You haven’t even acknowledged that multiple commenters demonstrated to you why this is about being anti-woman, not just generalized anti-fun. They pointed out that there is no similar push to exclude Viagra or any other male-sexuality-specific drug from any insurance scheme.

    You need to acknowledge this now. Damn it, argue honestly. You’ve been “educated” and if you’re reasonable you have got to admit you were wrong.

  102. yiab says

    Right. So, you’ve decided to ignore the last 20 years (or more) of American politics?

    I never said there wasn’t a strong anti-woman agenda in the US, nor did I say that said agenda didn’t play a big part in this argument in particular. All I’ve been saying is that maybe that agenda isn’t the only thing. I think some of them have primarily anti-woman motivations, and some have primarily anti-sex motivations, but that their goals and rhetoric are the same at the moment.

    As for the question you might ask next of why do the other things matter, if we don’t address their other motivations at the same time as their anti-woman motivations, then they can fall back on that rhetoric if they are finally forced to concede a point.

  103. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Jesus fucking Christ!!! Yes, Yiab, yes. Vasectomies are covered by insurance. If you admit you don’t know much about American insurance then why the fuck do you think you can just go on and on about what birth-control-opponents motivations are and are not? Why do you think you have a legitimate reason to question those of us who are Americans and know full fucking well what we’re talking about?

  104. janine says

    I do not give a flying fuck what their motive is to restrict the actions of people like me, the only thing I care about is expanding and keeping my freedoms.

  105. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart: mad, but sadistic genius says

    Also, if their motivations aren’t sexist*, intent isn’t magic. If their intent isn’t to keep women down (yeah, right), the consequences to limiting contraception negatively impacts women far more than men.

    But please, educate me on how limiting women’s (not men’s) access to birth control isn’t sexist at its core.

    *I really want to know what fucking planet you live on.

  106. yiab says

    Yiab-stop talking as if you’d adequately dealt with people’s objections. You haven’t. You haven’t even acknowledged that multiple commenters demonstrated to you why this is about being anti-woman, not just generalized anti-fun. They pointed out that there is no similar push to exclude Viagra or any other male-sexuality-specific drug from any insurance scheme.

    You need to acknowledge this now. Damn it, argue honestly. You’ve been “educated” and if you’re reasonable you have got to admit you were wrong.

    My request to be educated is, in fact, an admission that I know I probably am wrong. Unfortunately, I still don’t understand why I’m wrong or in what way, and so I must keep asking to be educated. It would be dishonest of me to simply say that my objections have been dealt with in a way which is understandable to me because they haven’t, and it would be dishonest of me to simply leave things with an admission of my lack of understanding, because in my experience I don’t gain any understanding that way and I am highly likely to be wrong in future.

    What you are asking me to do therefore, looks a lot like dogmatic acceptance, but I am going to assume that I’m wrong about that too.

  107. Aquaria says

    I agree that we should be using forceful statements, I never said anything against that. I’m confused though that you don’t seem to care what their motivations actually are, rather you seem to care about making assertions regarding their motivations in order to motivate our side better. I think that the truth matters even where motivations are concerned.

    We know their true motivations, better than they do.

    That’s what you don’t get.

    If you strip away their bullshit lies about savin teh baybeeeez (and it is bullshit–they don’t give a flying fuck about anyone post-natal), you always get to the “Shouldn’t have spread her legs” argument. And then you strip away that, and it’s about women as property/lesser/subordinate or about how people shouldn’t be having sex at all, only crawling up the asses of their scumbag deities, 24/7.

    I’ll let the others tackle the sexism bullshit; they do it better than I do. But I go after the second thing that motivates these scumbags: They really do think that the only thing people should be doing in life is sucking up to jaysus. Your whole life should revolve around it.

    I know this, because I’ve, you know, actually talked to them and listened to them and patiently peeled back the layers to the nasty, bitter, ugly center.

    What do you think they mean when they utter such idiotic bullshit as, “We spend our time with the lawd” or “I give my life to jaysus”. Idiotic as it is, I know for a fact that they are not kidding. Their lives really do revolve around their imaginary slimeballs in the sky.

    Worse, they think you should live that way, too. They may spout that they want to save you from hell, but that’s fucking bullshit. What they really care about having control over you, over everything.

    Sex can’t be fun, or having sex just because it feels good horrifies them. They can’t stand that it takes away from dry-humping their genocidal scumbag deity; moreover, they actually think that it can’t possibly be as much of a rush as sucking up to said deity.

    If you think the fun factor isn’t at work here, look at how they hate the arts & humanities, secular games or sports team fandom. Has it occurred to you why they really hate that stuff? Did it occur to you that they really can’t stand it that you find something outside of their slimeball deities to occupy your time? You’re supposed to be as infatuated with jaysus as they are. But few people are, and the christards are too stupid and selfish to live and let live. To them, everyone is supposed to be the same.

    Next time, you might want to try to understand what others might know, or have experienced, before you make bullshit assertions.

  108. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    He lives on the same planet as imnotherbert. Planet All About Me. That is a planet (I didn’t make up) where it’s socially acceptable to walk around in public without thinking about how desperately dire it is for women or any disadvantaged group. Nope, it’s just fine to complete never stop to think about things that “were never issues for me.” Me, me, me, me, me.

    And then sniff about “hateful” comments. No, fucker: your disregard for other people and your willingness to complain about having to pay for THEIR health needs because YOU don’t empathize enough is actually hateful in practice. There was nothing hateful (note: profanity is not equal to hate, and neither is insult) about the tongue-lashing you got. That’s the reaction ordinary people with a sense of empathy have when they encounter profound, belligerent self-centeredness. I hope you spend some time thinking about this.

  109. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Stop it Yiab. Stop it. Acknowledge what I said about Viagra. You’re not getting away with this.

  110. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I’m so foolish sometimes. It’s transparent that Yiab is deliberately trolling and I fell for it. Guys-it’s an act. Don’t be dumb like me. Communication over.

  111. SallyStrange: bottom-feeding, work-shy peasant says

    why I read through even the most hateful comments

    You want a fucking medal or something for not running away crying because someone typed some mean words about you, which then appeared on your computer screen, where you chose to read them?

    You know what’s hateful? Assigning unwanted babies to women who have unauthorized sex as a way of punishing them. It’s hateful towards the women and it’s hateful towards the children.

    “Hateful.” Hateful, my left butt cheek. Fuck you. It’s great that you admitted you were wrong. So how about now you admit you were wrong about there being anything hateful about calling out the stupidity you were displaying before?

  112. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    As for the question you might ask next of why do the other things matter, if we don’t address their other motivations at the same time as their anti-woman motivations, then they can fall back on that rhetoric if they are finally forced to concede a point.

    You are saying that their one true motivation, of which anti-woman stance is only a subset, is their negative perception of sex in general. Where do you see a problem in our way of addressing the situation then? PZ mentioned a sex positive attitude right there in his post, it was kinda part of his point. So, where’s the drawback?

  113. sidneyia says

    #93, thanks for responding. That was more a generalized response to the attitudes that are prevalent here and in a lot of secular progressive spaces that if you’re not having sex or at least cheerleading sex, you’re doing it wrong. So I realize my concern came seemingly out of nowhere. The reason I reacted to this post in particular, instead of one of the many that have made me uncomfortable in the past, is that the quoted passages contained many assertions of “sex is great!” with no qualifications (e.g. “I think sex is great!”).

    Since there is a lot of general discussion about diversity going around on FTB, I figured this is as good a time as any to bring up that sex-normative language, like other forms of exclusivity, is something to be mindful of.

    Obviously I agree with the general arguments put forth by PZ and other FTBers on birth control and sexual freedom, otherwise I wouldn’t be here. However I do think it’s important to include the freedom to say no without shame or othering – and sometimes no, forever! – as an important dimension of sexual freedom and sex positivism.

    #87 – that’s an understandable reaction. Erasure is hard to spot unless you’re part of the group being erased.

  114. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart: mad, but sadistic genius says

    Josh:

    I’m so foolish sometimes. It’s transparent that Yiab is deliberately trolling and I fell for it. Guys-it’s an act. Don’t be dumb like me. Communication over.

    I’m not so sure that yiab isn’t just a fucking derailing idiot.

    Besides, I’m feeling sick and miserable right now. Indulging in a little SIWOTI syndrome is comforting.

  115. yiab says

    Jesus fucking Christ!!! Yes, Yiab, yes. Vasectomies are covered by insurance. If you admit you don’t know much about American insurance then why the fuck do you think you can just go on and on about what birth-control-opponents motivations are and are not? Why do you think you have a legitimate reason to question those of us who are Americans and know full fucking well what we’re talking about?

    I made a suggestion about what I thought their motives might be and asked why nobody else had considered it. I am perfectly ready to accept an answer of “their motives are not that because of this that and the other thing”, provided follow-up questions get answered in a way I can understand as well. So far I have been told that the results of their actions are anti-woman (true), and that their motivations include an anti-woman stance as a major factor (also true), but I haven’t heard why their motivations do not include an anti-fun stance, nor have I heard why we should not be addressing an anti-fun stance if present.

    Are vasectomies part of mandated coverage? (the second part of my question on this)

    intent isn’t magic. If their intent isn’t to keep women down (yeah, right), the consequences to limiting contraception negatively impacts women far more than men.

    I agree that intent isn’t magic. I also think that there is a fact of the matter about intent, and that we need evidence in order to determine what their intent is. I also know that a lot of people believe that intent is magic and act accordingly, so simply pointing out the consequences of their actions is insufficient to conclude that those consequences are their primary motivation. Do I have too high an evidentiary bar here?

    But please, educate me on how limiting women’s (not men’s) access to birth control isn’t sexist at its core.

    Did somebody try to mandate that health insurance providers cover condoms while I wasn’t looking?

    I already said that yes, this action (limiting womens’ access to birth control) is sexist. Yes, there are people promoting this action whose primary motivation is anti-woman.

    *I really want to know what fucking planet you live on.

    One where peoples’ motivations are often complex and inscrutable and cannot be judged very well by the consequences of their actions. What planet do you live on?

  116. janine says

    Because there is nothing fucking sexist about the line, the gals should hold an aspirin between her knees, right yiab?

  117. says

    Josh:

    I fell for it.

    It really doesn’t matter if it’s an act or not, people reading might actually learn something. I’d weigh in more, considering this is one of my main subjects, but I swore to myself this was a “get some godsdamn work done!” day. So…back to work.

  118. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Whatever it is Audley, I’m done playing. It’s obnoxious, it’s deliberately evading clear, reasonable questions, and I think it’s doing it for shits and giggles. Meh.

  119. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart: mad, but sadistic genius says

    yiab:

    Did somebody try to mandate that health insurance providers cover condoms while I wasn’t looking?

    Are you fucking illiterate?

    Vasectomies are covered. You want a little anecdote to back that up? All of the men that I know who have had the snip-snip! can’t afford a procedure like that out of pocket and they all have private health insurance. Hmmmm.

    Bonus: There have been zero bills (once again, except the one in GA, which was making a point about access to birth control and was used to point out the Republican hypocrisy) proposed that would limit access to either condoms or vasectomies.

    Jesus Christ.

  120. says

    One where peoples’ motivations are often complex and inscrutable and cannot be judged very well by the consequences of their actions.

    Actually I think that’s the most important metric for judging about their motivations. Do they care about the results? If not then they’re literally saying “we’re doing it my way because that’s what’s most important and I don’t care who gets hurt or fucked over!” and people need to start realizing that that is what they’re saying.

    When Ron Paul says that we should get rid of FEMA he is saying that his strong moral convictions require that poor people die to preserve his ideology.

  121. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart: mad, but sadistic genius says

    Josh:

    I’m done playing. It’s obnoxious, it’s deliberately evading clear, reasonable questions, and I think it’s doing it for shits and giggles. Meh.

    It’s all good. I just need a distraction from how miserable I feel.

  122. SallyStrange: bottom-feeding, work-shy peasant says

    Count me as one who is just totally indifferent to the motivations of people trying to limit my human rights. I really don’t care if they hate fun, or women, or both. I care about what the effects of their policies are. I don’t find it productive to speculate endlessly about whether they really mean to set women back decades in the fight for equality. The point is that that is what they are doing.

  123. yiab says

    Stop it Yiab. Stop it. Acknowledge what I said about Viagra. You’re not getting away with this.

    I thought I had. Okay, Viagra is covered, and helps in making babies, therefore has non-fun (in the mind of the religious right) uses. This is perfectly consistent with an anti-fun mindset as well as an anti-woman one.

    You are saying that their one true motivation, of which anti-woman stance is only a subset, is their negative perception of sex in general. Where do you see a problem in our way of addressing the situation then? PZ mentioned a sex positive attitude right there in his post, it was kinda part of his point. So, where’s the drawback?

    No, I am saying that the major motivation for some of the people is their negative perception of fun in general. There are people who will agree that sex is fun and that fun is good but disagree that the ability to have fun is part of being healthy. That’s my point that I’ve said over and over.

    I’m not so sure that yiab isn’t just a fucking derailing idiot.

    The fact that you are interpreting my intent as trollish or deliberately derailing is actually the source of significant anxiety for me at the moment. If I can’t make my own motivations understood by simply being honest and direct, what the fuck should I be doing?

    I genuinely don’t understand how so many people seem to come to the same conclusions about the motivations and intentions of others, I know this is a failing on my part. Many of these questions seem childishly stupid to you, I get that. Where should I be asking them then, as their answers are actually not obvious to me?

  124. says

    I mean seriously, if you don’t judge someone’s character at least partially by the results of their actions what the fuck can you judge it on? Some metaphysical inherent purity of the soul?

    If someone keeps claiming seemingly earnestly that they want to do good but keeps acting in ways that hurt people again and again and again, what can you say about their motivation? Their conscience is either weak or ill formed, and coddling them for having ‘strong convictions’ isn’t going to solve anything.

    A big part of having an honest benign motivation is willing to actually respond to reality. Someone who actually cared about people would not, no scratch that, COULD NOT, blatantly ignore suffering they cause.

  125. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart: mad, but sadistic genius says

    Sally:

    I don’t find it productive to speculate endlessly about whether they really mean to set women back decades in the fight for equality.

    But, but, but Sally! How will you derail these kinds of conversation unless you philosophically wank on about what Conservative’s intentions might be?

    I mean, it almost sounds as if you want to talk about the matter at hand! *gasp!*

  126. Azkyroth says

    #87 – that’s an understandable reaction. Erasure is hard to spot unless you’re part of the group being erased.

    Reread the fucking post. What was actually said doesn’t erase anyone.

  127. says

    I really don’t care if they hate fun, or women, or both. I care about what the effects of their policies are. I don’t find it productive to speculate endlessly about whether they really mean to set women back decades in the fight for equality. The point is that that is what they are doing.

    Furthermore, if someone actually wasn’t motivated by hate or woman wouldn’t the accusation and pointing out that they’re acting like they are be of benefit to them? If I don’t want to be racist and someone points out that I’m talking like a racist why would I not want to consider that point?

    Where should I be asking them then, as their answers are actually not obvious to me?

    Why should you care?

    No, I am saying that the major motivation for some of the people is their negative perception of fun in general. There are people who will agree that sex is fun and that fun is good but disagree that the ability to have fun is part of being healthy. That’s my point that I’ve said over and over.

    You’d have to really prove this and I think it’s an uphill battle as again there’s a very slanted focus on women…and more importantly who the fuck cares?

  128. says

    that’s an understandable reaction. Erasure is hard to spot unless you’re part of the group being erased.

    If this is erasure what would you call someone coming in and demanding that the conversation be about them?

  129. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    No, I am saying that the major motivation for some of the people is their negative perception of fun in general. There are people who will agree that sex is fun and that fun is good but disagree that the ability to have fun is part of being healthy. That’s my point that I’ve said over and over.

    A lot of religionists are anti-fun, it goes with being a proper God fearing, self-hating little worm. They want others to bow and be miserable as well, which again goes with the territory.

    That is being addressed quite often when religion gets mocked. It’s neither unknown nor surprising.

    I’m still wondering what’s that got to do with fighting against their anti-woman notions.

  130. Azkyroth says

    …unless, I suppose, you think that “the idiot in front of me ran a red light” erases colorblind people who don’t see the light as red.

  131. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Witness how blinkered (or stupid) it is:

    Okay, Viagra is covered, and helps in making babies, therefore has non-fun (in the mind of the religious right) uses.

    A drug invented for and marketed elderly and middle-aged men. Advertised by Bob Dole, for fuck’s sake. Pushed as a cure for impotence among men in relationships well past their reproductive years.

    And it thinks anyone on the Right thinks its OK because it helps make babies. That’s totes so obviously their motivation.

  132. says

    Technically don’t men remain reproductive until death theoretically?

    Okay, Viagra is covered, and helps in making babies, therefore has non-fun (in the mind of the religious right) uses.

    You know I often find that for most people the ‘complex’ motivations eventually basically boil down to something petty and everyday affecting a decision that required greater reflection.

  133. janine says

    Advertised by Bob Dole, for fuck’s sake.

    Did he not perv out over Brittney Spears? Purely procreation there.

  134. says

    It is kind of funny, in a sad way, how many people will jump to the defense of Claudio and how he was really, really justified in what he did.
    I mean, as others have noted:
    -he never talks to her about it
    -he waits until the worst possible moment to break up with her
    -in that time and place, his accusations equal a conviction and the end of any hope of happiness, as well as the ruin of her entire family (not only her fate, but her father’s and Beatrice’s).
    But the men still think that this would be the adequate punishment of her alleged infedility.
    It’s not like he could have just left town and claimed “cold feet”.

    Considering abortion, it is always fascinating how so-called pro-lifers will always come up with the straw-slut who fucks the whole football team without using a single condom. If that woman exists, why on earth would they want somebody who’s clearly bad at making important decissions* go on with a pregnancy (many more possibilities to make very bad decissions) and have a child (indefinete possibilities to make bad decissions).
    It’s because they really, really just want women to be puished and suffer, no matter whom they throw under the bus alongside.
    Hey, very much like Claudio.

    *I mean not using condoms. She can fuck the whole football league if she wants to

  135. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart: mad, but sadistic genius says

    Yiab,
    You’re showing the classic signs of a derailer. If you don’t like it, then stop acting like such a jackass.

    As for:

    Viagra is covered, and helps in making babies, therefore has non-fun (in the mind of the religious right) uses. This is perfectly consistent with an anti-fun mindset as well as an anti-woman one.

    Why is there no issue with vasectomies, then? They are covered and the only reason to have one is to have sex for fun without worrying about other forms of birth control.

  136. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Ing, yes, that is why I characterized the relationship as past its reproductive years, not the men. Heteros in late middle age.

  137. says

    You’re showing the classic signs of a derailer. If you don’t like it, then stop acting like such a jackass.

    Just because the result is derailing doesn’t mean that’s the motivation! he might just want hugs and back massages from a team of adorable kittens! People are complex!

  138. says

    @yiab

    FYI I’m not denying that you might legitly be someone horrendously ill informed, with a low emotional IQ, naive, and/or over thinking the issue. But note how I really really don’t care?

  139. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Just because the result is derailing doesn’t mean that’s the motivation!

    I heart you so much Ing.

  140. sidneyia says

    #135 – if a transgender man who has had an abortion came in and requested that people use gender-neutral language when discussing abortion, would you say he was making the conversation all about him?

    I mean, if your objection is with my choice of venue rather than my actual complaint, point taken. I’ve been mulling over the best place and way to bring this up for a while. If you can think of a better one, please let me know. I sure wasn’t about to email the admin of FTB about it using the advertising link.

  141. Azkyroth says

    Yiab, what WOULD convince you that the Reich Wing’s forced-birth stance is intended primarily to punish women for having sex?

  142. Azkyroth says

    Because, seriously, above and beyond the large amount of 101-type information on this on the net, people have made some very good arguments here and you just keep going “but what if,” “but maybe,” “can we be sure,” etc.

    From where I’m standing, it looks like you’re one of the assholes for whose sake the standard of proof in criminal trials is explicitly “beyond a REASONABLE doubt.” Now’s your chance to present some contrary evidence…

  143. Azkyroth says

    #135 – if a transgender man who has had an abortion came in and requested that people use gender-neutral language when discussing abortion, would you say he was making the conversation all about him?

    Yes.

  144. says

    Giliel, I supsect some of the anti-abortion folks fall for the “magic of babies” idea that a lot of people seem to have. They think that having a baby will magically fix everything, that the mother will see the tyke and instantly fall in love with them and have no other interest than doing what’s right for the baby. The “if you’re right with God your life will be wonderful and abundant” idea many fall for probably doesn’t help either

  145. mudpuddles says

    @ Giliell #141:
    Hi Giliell,

    It is kind of funny, in a sad way, how many people will jump to the defense of Claudio and how he was really, really justified in what he did.

    I don’t defend him in that way. I suggest that despising infidelity and being crabby about it when it has happened to you is justifiable. Jumping to conclusions, not trusting this person you supposedly love, concocting a plan to slut shame your betrothed at the altar, and generally being a complete wanker to her on the morning of your wedding, not so much. ;)

  146. says

    timgueguen:

    They think that having a baby will magically fix everything, that the mother will see the tyke and instantly fall in love with them and have no other interest than doing what’s right for the baby.

    Uh huh. I have a response for that one:

    Have you ever bothered to read all the heart-rending stories of women so desperate they went ahead with back alley abortions? See, this is what you want, for women to die. You’re so invested in seeing women judged and punished, their deaths are, in your view, perfectly acceptable and right. Not only that, you don’t care in the least about the quality of life a child will face when unwanted or born into a life where it simply cannot be afforded financially.

    My mother was too terrified of dying to have an abortion in 1957. So instead, I was duly carried and born. My life was a fucking nightmare and I will always carry the scars and effects of being unwanted. Yes, I know if I had been aborted I wouldn’t exist. That’s the point. I wasn’t an “I” then; there would have been no pain, there would have simply been non-existence. In a great many cases, it’s for the best. It would have been for the best in my case, for all involved.

    It’s never about good sex education, proper health care and access to contraception for you folks, even though those things would help to make abortion safe and rare. No, you see, there’s no happiness in that, because you can’t purse your mouth in judgment of those awful sluts and you can’t pretend you are ever so righteous in fighting for potential children and you don’t get to pretend that everything would be so much better if your sociopathic god was in charge, which of course wouldn’t happen in any case, because there’s that little problem of your god not existing. If you’re so convinced of your god and so convinced abortion is murder, let your god handle it. After all, that god of yours didn’t seem to have any problem showing himself in the old testament, eh? Ah, but you may not want that – your god was rather fond of slaughtering children left and right, along with pregnant women.

    It all comes down to keeping women under a thumb – a god’s thumb, a man’s thumb or if those don’t work, your self-righteous, judgmental thumb.

    All of my pro-abortion (pro-choice if it makes you feel better) is based on my own personal experience of being a child of someone who desperately wanted an abortion, but was too scared of dying from one (back alley at the time, 1957).

    As I have said elsewhere, more than once, my life was a fucking nightmare. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Ever.

    There’s such a shitload of worse that can and does drop on the results like myself, that knowing it could have been as simple and easy as non-existence makes the cruelty and torture all the worse. Lifers have a hell of a lot to answer for, and they will never, ever, have one decent excuse for the villainy they practice, not to me.

  147. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    sidneyia,

    We understand there are some people who are asexual. However that’s not what this particular discussion is about. If you really want to discuss asexuality, I suggest you take it to the Endless Thread.

  148. dianne says

    I suggest that despising infidelity and being crabby about it when it has happened to you is justifiable.

    But they weren’t married yet. How could it be infidelity even if Hero had slept with 90% of the men and 10% of the women in…wherever the play was set?

    The one way I see Claudio as vaguely tolerable is to see him as someone who acts first and thinks about it later. He sees apparent evidence of his betrothed having sex with another man and flies off the handle. Later on he regrets his thoughtless and malicious action and is ready to make amends by marrying Hero’s “cousin” literally sight unseen. This interpretation may be supported somewhat by Claudio’s inexperience: he has been saving himself for marriage (specifically for Hero?) and therefore is doubly disappointed that she hasn’t, as he expected, making him all the more ready to act crazily on the basis of little evidence. He’s still a hopeless sexist jerk, but he’s a comprehensible and reformable one. If nothing else, the next time he gets mad at Hero she can say, “Remember what a public ass you made of yourself the last time you accused me of something” and slow him down a bit.

  149. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    The anti-abortionists’ willingness to allow rape and incest victims access to abortions shows they’re just slut-shaming. If they cared about teh babez then their anti-abortionism would be absolute.* Rape and incest victims did not enjoy the sex and so they’re allowed to have abortions. All the other women supposedly had consensual sex for enjoyment and so should be punished for having fun.

    *Admittedly, some anti-abortionists, like The Frothy One, are totally anti-abortion. But they are a minority of forced-birthers.

  150. Azkyroth says

    But they weren’t married yet. How could it be infidelity even if Hero had slept with 90% of the men and 10% of the women in…wherever the play was set?

    Being engaged also comes with the expectation of sexual exclusivity in the general case. This is hairsplitting.

  151. Lyra says

    #135 – if a transgender man who has had an abortion came in and requested that people use gender-neutral language when discussing abortion, would you say he was making the conversation all about him?

    *pauses for a moment as she considers a transgender man coming in and insisting there was nothing gendered about the opposition to birth control and abortion, as men can get pregnant, too.*

    *twitches*

    o_O

  152. SallyStrange: bottom-feeding, work-shy peasant says

    The anti-abortionists’ willingness to allow rape and incest victims access to abortions shows they’re just slut-shaming. If they cared about teh babez then their anti-abortionism would be absolute.

    Yes, and to the person who was fretting that calling out this hypocrisy and rejecting the framing that anti-abortion measures hurt women who have been raped (as well as hurting those dirty filthy sluts who chose to have sex and therefore deserve to be hurt) would result in more anti-choicers simply pushing for blanket abortion bans without exceptions:

    Let them. Such policies would be massively unpopular. They would fail, hard, and ultimately completely discredit the anti-choice movement.

  153. dianne says

    They think that having a baby will magically fix everything, that the mother will see the tyke and instantly fall in love with them and have no other interest than doing what’s right for the baby.

    I can imagine this happening sometimes (obviously not in every case-see Caine’s experience). Childbirth triggers all sorts of hormonal changes and there’s a lot of evolution behind trying to make parents not abandon their helpless offspring. So maybe some women would fall in love on sight. Maybe even most.

    But even if it does happen, so what? The reasons that the person wanted an abortion will likely still be there, whether they were not having financial stability, not having social support, having conflicting duties, or even just not liking children or not wanting to raise a child. Those obstacles and feelings will still be there.

    In some ways, the problem that the pregnant woman “just” didn’t want a baby right now might be the worst problem. She likely still wouldn’t want to do all the things she would have to to raise a baby, yet she’d be attached to the baby, too much to let go without taking damage. She’d never be happy, either with the baby or away from the baby. She’d love the baby, yet she’d also resent it deeply. So the baby would grow up with the message “I love you, but I hate you too.” The mother wouldn’t be able to do whatever it was she wanted to do rather than raising a baby and the child would have the additional obstacle of insecurity and mixed messages to overcome before he or she could do anything with his/her life.

    It’s just not ever going to be a good situation to raise a child in.

  154. dianne says

    Being engaged also comes with the expectation of sexual exclusivity in the general case.

    I’ve never been engaged so will take your word for it. Another reason to avoid marriage.

  155. says

    Giliel, I supsect some of the anti-abortion folks fall for the “magic of babies” idea that a lot of people seem to have. They think that having a baby will magically fix everything, that the mother will see the tyke and instantly fall in love with them and have no other interest than doing what’s right for the baby.

    Or (in a non-negligible number of cases) they want the baby. Those Good Christian Couples who can’t have children need coerced breeders.

  156. mudpuddles says

    Hi dianne, #156

    But they weren’t married yet. How could it be infidelity even if Hero had slept with 90% of the men and 10% of the women in…wherever the play was set?

    So, if you are due to get married tomorrow and tonight your hubby- / wife-to-be sleeps with someone else, its not being unfaithful? I think it is. Being not married yet isn’t the point – being just about to get married and being in a supposedly monogamous relationship with someone who trusts that you won’t do the dirt on them, is. I think that sleeping with someone else on the night before your wedding pretty much counts as the epitome of infidelity.

    More on-topic, I reckon that infidelity also equals shitting on the people you would have elect you on a promise to save the country from hell and safeguarding personal freedoms, by working overtime to deny the most basic freedoms to the great majority of those people, and deciding that you know better than any woman in the country what she should do with her body. “I’ll give every freedom you want, as long as you exactly what the fuck I say!” Republicanism today makes me nauseous.

    If nothing else, the next time he gets mad at Hero she can say, “Remember what a public ass you made of yourself the last time you accused me of something” and slow him down a bit.

    …yes, though he’d be bloody lucky if she put it quite so politely!

  157. says

    timgueguen

    They think that having a baby will magically fix everything, that the mother will see the tyke and instantly fall in love with them and have no other interest than doing what’s right for the baby.

    Funny enough, I’ve never seen the discussion go that way.
    Whenever I did discuss it with pro-forced-birthers it went the usual way:
    A)health risk for the mother
    OkOk, that’s a good reason. But in all other cases, people can just abstain.
    So,
    B) rape. Only works in case the other one is just a bit naive and not a total Santorum. Makes them shift the focus from itsybitsy baby-embryos to actual people, i.e. women.
    But for the rest, they should just use contraceptives!
    So, we go to
    C) Contraceptive failure.
    2 halves of a condom happen more often than people like to acknowledge.
    OkOk, but
    D) Miss slutty-slut who screws around like there’s no tomorrow and never uses contraception!
    Obviously everybody knows her. I don’t know her, but every pro-lifer in the world knows her.
    And this is obviously the woman who doesn’t deserve a safe and legal abortion because she’s an irresponsible slutty-slut.
    Which makes my head explode…

    mudpuddles
    So, he felt betrayed. OK. I’d feel betrayed, too.
    But let’s look at some other facts:
    The person who makes him “witness” her infidelity is the biggest scumbag in the whole play. That guy hates him and Benedict and the Prince. For that guy, it would be much, much more fun to have him marry her and then disclose her infidelity.
    Why should that asshole do him a favour?
    You know, if my husband’s former best friend wanted to do me a favour by telling me something bad about him, I’d question his motivation because that guy hates me.
    He is ready to believe that she is “wanton fruit” at the first instance while he never doubts the intention of a known douchebag.
    That’s called misogyny.

  158. unclefrogy says

    Both Claudio and the Prince are fools having fell for the lies and deceit of the princes bastard brother a known lier and a trouble maker in fact the whole play makes fun of people and what they want to believe about others and themselves and love (and sex)
    it is much ado about nothing

    uncle frogy

  159. dianne says

    So, if you are due to get married tomorrow and tonight your hubby- / wife-to-be sleeps with someone else, its not being unfaithful?

    I don’t do marriage, but I’d be fairly peeved if they didn’t discuss it with me first. Note: not ask my permission, but discuss it with me. Honesty is a bigger deal to me than sexual exclusivity. Plus I want to know whether we need to practice safe sex or not.

  160. says

    Sally Strange:

    Such policies would be massively unpopular. They would fail, hard, and ultimately completely discredit the anti-choice movement.

    Unfortunately, they don’t discredit pro-lifers at all. In 2006, SD criminalized abortion with no exception for rape, incest or health of the mother. The only exception was in the case of a mother’s life being endangered.

    That was the case until 2008, when the law was amended to allow a rape and incest exception, but only if the rape or incest was reported and there’s DNA evidence. If a woman doesn’t report (or report in a timely manner), no exception. If there’s no DNA evidence, no exception. It should be noted that it’s often the case that getting the DNA results back often takes a specific amount of time (long enough to prevent an abortion under SD law).

    After enacting the exceptions, the mandatory wait went from 1 day to 3 days and the mandatory counseling* was also enacted.

    *SD is rife with Christian pro-life fake women’s clinics, and it’s those fake clinics where the mandatory counseling must take place.

  161. mudpuddles says

    dianne #167

    I don’t do marriage, but I’d be fairly peeved if they didn’t discuss it with me first. Note: not ask my permission, but discuss it with me. Honesty is a bigger deal to me than sexual exclusivity. Plus I want to know whether we need to practice safe sex or not.

    That’s pretty cool, but that kind of openess is your & your partner’s choice. ‘Twasn’t for Claudio & Hero.

    @ Giliell #165

    I agree with absolutely everything you just said.

  162. says

    In some ways, the problem that the pregnant woman “just” didn’t want a baby right now might be the worst problem.

    My best friend is the result of an unsuccessfull home abortion. Her mother didn’t go for the coat hanger, but things like jumping off the table and poking with knitting needles.
    She felt it adequate to share those details with her and also make sure that she knows that she actually didn’t want to have her, the only one of her three children she really, really didn’t want to have.
    +++

    it is much ado about nothing

    Only that Hero supposedly dies of shame, which nobody who isn’t let into the secret doubts.
    Yes, women, much ado about nothing, since 1598

  163. says

    Giliell:

    She felt it adequate to share those details with her and also make sure that she knows that she actually didn’t want to have her, the only one of her three children she really, really didn’t want to have.

    Yeah, A told me about desperately wanting an abortion when I was 8 or 9 years old. At least she didn’t breed anymore.

  164. dianne says

    he’d be bloody lucky if she put it quite so politely!

    She’d put it politely. Hero’s character was like that. Now if Beatrice ever felt the need to go after Benedick for something, she’d probably use language that could melt his ears off. But Hero was always characterized as meek and mild. (But not, I think, a complete doormat. She did have the guts to stand up, in the same public where she’d been “shamed” and make Claudio acknowledge her innocence.)

  165. says

    *Admittedly, some anti-abortionists, like The Frothy One, are totally anti-abortion. But they are a minority of forced-birthers.

    Except for them.

    And no the fact that some don’t consider it an abortion makes no difference, the point is that someone WOULD and Santorum is very glad that those people didn’t make the choice for him.

    So, if you are due to get married tomorrow and tonight your hubby- / wife-to-be sleeps with someone else, its not being unfaithful?

    Am I there?

  166. Azkyroth says

    For fuck’s sake, “[assuming, as with the vast majority of couples, that sexual exclusivity is part of the terms of your relationship.]”

    Same as with “[if you want it]” and “[in my opinion].”

    I have fucking Asperger’s and even I can read between the lines on this stuff. What the hell is the rest of your problem?

  167. dianne says

    In 2006, SD criminalized abortion with no exception for rape, incest or health of the mother. The only exception was in the case of a mother’s life being endangered.

    They may also have had an interesting definition of “mother’s life being endangered.” I vaguely remember a case where a woman had bad CHF and was on coumadin and got pregnant. She was denied an abortion because she only had a 10-20% chance of dying, not a >50% chance. Coumadin’s a nasty teratogen, BTW, so apparently horrific fetal anomalies weren’t an excuse either. IIRC, she ended up getting an abortion in Texas. When you have to go to Texas for the more liberal laws, you know it’s bad.

  168. says

    Dianne:

    They may also have had an interesting definition of “mother’s life being endangered.”

    In SD, endangered means “she’ll definitely die in about 5 minutes if we don’t terminate.”

  169. Azkyroth says

    …fuck, hasn’t the SD law been struck down yet?

    Why hasn’t this either been challenged or a modern-day Underground Railroad formed?

  170. Azkyroth says

    Actually, it looks like my incantation at 149 banished Yiab back to the Dipshit Dimensions.

  171. says

    …fuck, hasn’t the SD law been struck down yet?

    Obviously not.

    Why hasn’t this either been challenged or a modern-day Underground Railroad formed?

    How about you read what people post? I’ve already stated I’m part of an informal network to help women.

    As to the law being challenged, it *has* been, repeatedly. SD is a nest of fundamentalists.

  172. says

    Sally Strange #117

    Assigning unwanted babies to women who have unauthorized sex as a way of <em<punishing them. It’s hateful towards the women and it’s hateful towards the children.
    (My emphasis)

    This always gets me riled up. Pregnancy as punishment? Babies as punishment?

    This is so wrong. It’s not fair to the mothers; it’s not fair to the kids. Pregnancy should be a time of celebration, of preparation for a much-desired outcome. In an ideal world (which we will never have, but it’s good to aim in that direction) the only women to get pregnant would be those who actually wanted and could cope with a kid.

    A woman who does not want a (one more) pregnancy should be allowed, even encouraged, to prevent or stop a pregnancy; she should never have to be a mother until she wants to be.

    Sex is not a sin to pay for. And treating it as such hurts childen as much as women. (We don’t call kids “bastards” these days any more, but oh! how some people think it!)

  173. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart: mad, but sadistic genius says

    Ing:

    We’re still debating whether the problems it caused were the intent of the law makers or not.

    *snerk!*

  174. Azkyroth says

    Obviously not.

    …was it really not obvious that that was a rhetorical question?

    How about you read what people post? I’ve already stated I’m part of an informal network to help women.

    Okay. I missed one sentence in a long fucking thread. How should I punish myself?

    Also, that’s a start. Good. Why isn’t there more?

    As to the law being challenged, it *has* been, repeatedly. SD is a nest of fundamentalists.

    There are multiple levels of courts, some above the state level. I’m incredulous that it hasn’t been appealed to one that recognizes Roe V. Wade as binding precedent, as would be obvious if you weren’t bending over backward to read my post uncharitably

  175. raven says

    She felt it adequate to share those details with her and also make sure that she knows that she actually didn’t want to have her, the only one of her three children she really, really didn’t want to have.

    That happened to a daughter I know.

    Her parents were getting divorced when she became pregnant. Her husband didn’t want an abortion so she agreed to have the girl and sign over all custody. Which happened. She took the older two kids.

    This girl grew up knowing what happened. She also grew up more than a bit mentally disturbed, got kicked out of HS, and so far has made a total mess of her life.

    Just one example but I wouldn’t recommend telling your kids they weren’t wanted.

  176. raven says

    Why hasn’t this either been challenged or a modern-day Underground Railroad formed?

    There is. Thanks to medical research, abortions can be drug induced, RU 486 + a prostaglandin.

    There is an underground market for these drugs.

    I know it exists but don’t know much about it. The underground hasn’t been part of my existence in many decades. Maybe someone else knows more.

  177. raven says

    This always gets me riled up. Pregnancy as punishment? Babies as punishment?

    Yeah, good point. Me too.

    For any fundie xians out there. A baby is not a punishment device.

    I think you are supposed to waterboard those women or make them wear a Scarlet A or something. It’s been a while since I was in church and I didn’t take notes.

  178. says

    Just one example but I wouldn’t recommend telling your kids they weren’t wanted.

    I think there’s a difference between unplanned and unwanted.
    That’s the thing about pro-choice: It means you can also say yes.
    But burdening your kid with the knowledge that they’re the reason you’re unhappy is mean.
    I don’t give a fly’s fuck about the “innocent fetus” bullshit, but babies ARE innocent.

  179. says

    We’re still debating whether the problems it caused were the intent of the law makers or not.

    Ah, exactly.
    I suspect the right wing would much rather field questions about their motives than questions about the consequences of their policies. Consequences often have human faces, which people might react to; motives, on the other hand, can always be defended in terms of supposed “first principles,” which are vague and slippery enough to defend either side of any issue as needed.
    Your opponents complaining about rights being abrogated? “It’s for the good of society, which is more important than the individual.” Opponents want government to allow or encourage something for the good of society? “Why should I have to pay for it?”
    “First principles” work best when you don’t think through the implications or acknowledge the consequences. It’s easier to put a spin on motives than on reality.

  180. Ichthyic says

    …being just about to get married and being in a supposedly monogamous relationship with someone…

    …should really not be related to one another.

    It’s only a ridiculously unfounded and prevalently prudish ptotestantism that has made the two so linked.

    Instead of trying to figure out whether someone has been “unfaithful”, perhaps we really should be re-examining what it is, exactly, that we want out of our long-term relationships to begin with.

    I for one know for a fact, that if the partner I have been with for several years now, told me she slept with someone else, I wouldn’t be jealous at all, nor would I be thinking in issues of “unfaithfulness” to me. The only question in my mind would be just a quick check to make sure I’m not missing something in our own relationship that I could easily provide myself. THAT is real trust. I trust my partner will voice any concerns she has about our relationship not fulfilling any specific needs.

    The very concept of “faithfulness” is ridiculous, except in the purest biological sense that you personally would be selected for only wanted to raise your own kids. Other than that? what REAL reason is their to want “faithfulness” in a relationship, in and of itself?

    For me, whether one stays in a relationship has much more to do with shared interests, and shared bonds of caring about each other, than with any issue of “fidelity”.

    I think the idea of forced fidelity is purely born of fear. Fear that if a partner tries out other human interactions, they will dump you for “something better”. But if they have already been with you a long time, isn’t it obvious that there is much more already to that bond than “fidelity”? Wouldn’t they very likely stay with you, regardless of experimenting with others, simply for the exact reasons they chose to be with you for so long to begin with?

    Hell, if you want to look at it from a superficial standpoint:

    Say you REALLY like Apple tech products. Apple isn’t going to get upset with you, and take back the stuff you bought from them, because you decide to play with an Android tablet, or a MS PC. They know you’ll come back to Apple for the same reasons you chose them to begin with, er, whatever those were. OTOH, if the only reason you were liking Apple products was because of their marketing… Well, then one would expect that experimenting with other options might get you to leave Apple.

    Does Apple fear you will see through their clever marketing if you try other products? Yes they do, and they do everything in their power to try and force you to stay “faithful” to them.

    So, if you are involved in a relationship with a person, and you are SO FEARFUL that “infidelity” will destroy your relationship, what, exactly, does that suggest about the basis for your relationship to begin with?

    yeah.

    If your relationship is so superficial, and

  181. dianne says

    I think the idea of forced fidelity is purely born of fear. Fear that if a partner tries out other human interactions, they will dump you for “something better”.

    From what I remember about Much Ado About Nothing, that description fits Claudio pretty well: he “worships” Hero but isn’t up to actually talking to her until others push him and is very insecure. (Though it’s been a long time since I read the play and I’ve not seen it actually performed, so could be wrong.)

  182. says

    Ichthyic:

    I think the idea of forced fidelity is purely born of fear.

    It started out as a rider on owning property (a woman and subsequent children). Ya can’t have any bastards in the woodpile, ya see. Besides, no one respects a cuckold. (it was expected that men would cheat, it’s only natural and all.)

    I think people who are bonded and love one another don’t find fidelity difficult (that’s assuming fidelity is important to the people in the relationship.)

  183. Ichthyic says

    (that’s assuming fidelity is important to the people in the relationship.)

    the very assumption I’m challenging.

    :)

    It’s not that in a caring, bonded relationship one would find fidelity difficult or easy, it just seems generally… irrelevant.

    Obviously, there would be special circumstances within a relationship where it might be relevant, as in the case where two partners planned to raise kids of their own in the near future. However, from a purely emotional or intellectual perspective? I’m gradually concluding as I get older that there really is a lack of support for the idea of infidelity itself being grounds for terminating a relationship.

    Why make it a part of a marriage contract?

    I’m genuinely curious as to people’s ideas as to why it should be part of it.

  184. says

    Ichthyic:

    Why make it a part of a marriage contract?

    Honestly? Because humans just aren’t all that evolved. For most people, a relationship a/o marriage is still very much about property, no matter what wordage they wrap it up in. They now officially possess that person, or possess the position of *the partner*, if you prefer.

    Humans are messy creatures who are often irrational, jealous and possessive.

  185. Ichthyic says

    Because humans just aren’t all that evolved

    ah, yeah, I keep trying to forget that.

    You’d think I’d be something less of an idealist after 47 years of living.

  186. Ichthyic says

    …still, imagine, using the analogy I proffered earlier, how people would react if Apple forced you to sign a contract that forbid you to use any other product, at risk of removal of all Apple products if you did so?

    I suppose one might argue that some EULA’s are actually approaching that state, even now, and it’s not as hypothetical as I am intending here, but that’s besides the point.

    wait, or is it?

    right.

    unevolved screaming monkeys.

    must keep reminding myself.

  187. Lyra says

    I think that people should be able to decide for themselves if they want to be in “open” or “closed” relationships. I dislike it intensely when a group of people take it upon themselves to tell everyone else, “You must be in an open/closed relationship, because if you aren’t, you’re a bad person.”

  188. Ichthyic says

    I dislike it intensely when a group of people take it upon themselves to tell everyone else, “You must be in an open/closed relationship, because if you aren’t, you’re a bad person.”

    wait, are you trying to force me to not make a choice?

    ;)

  189. Lyra says

    @Ichthyic

    No, no, I am clearly demanding that you not be in an open or a closed relationship. You must be like a zombie, the living dead! Bwahahaha! No, wait, you have to be the opposite of a zombie, neither living nor dead . . . ?!

    *peers around ninja-like*

  190. Ichthyic says

    No, wait, you have to be the opposite of a zombie, neither living nor dead

    I shall now attempt to be a Heisenberg Zombie.

    You will not know whether you need to shoot me in the head or not until you open your closet door.

  191. Wowbagger, Madman of Insleyfarne says

    Gah. Having played Claudio (and struggled at it, because he’s an idiot and I hate playing idiots – well, certain kinds of idiots at least) I hate the character so much – which is a shame because (as PZ noted) Much Ado has some of the best dialogue of any of the Shakespeares; the Beatrice/Benedick bits are pure awesome.

    Really, if it had ended with Benedick dueling Claudio and winning I’d have been a lot happier. And not just because death scenes are inherently awesome…

  192. says

    Caine, what would your opinion be on an abortion carried out very late in a pregnancy (past viability), done for the sole reason that the mother wanted it done? I realize that this is mostly hypothetical, as there are few doctors who do late-term abortions, and even fewer (none?) who perform them without medical necessity. But since your stance on abortion seems to be very clear-cut, I’m wondering if you draw any lines.

  193. Ichthyic says

    Really, if it had ended with Benedick dueling Claudio and winning I’d have been a lot happier.

    Ditto, but only if Claudio’s death in that duel actually resulted from him tripping clumsily and falling on his own sword before the fight even started.

  194. Ichthyic says

    But since your stance on abortion seems to be very clear-cut, I’m wondering if you draw any lines.

    if you think her opinions are clear cut, then you should already have your answer, and the only possible reason you even would ask is because you’re a disingenuous twit.

  195. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Not the “but what about a month later…. but what about 2 days after that… but what about a woman deciding she wants an abortion three days before her due date” argument again.

    —–

    the Beatrice/Benedick bits are pure awesome

    I’ve watched the Branagh version just a couple of days before deciding I needed a new nym for internet use. The way Beatrice as a character, and especially Emma Thompson in the role kicked ass were the deciding factor.

  196. says

    Caine: Ethics is not a subject that deals only with what has already happened – it’s about having thoughts about what could possibly happen. First of all, I’m sure that somewhere and sometime in the history of the world, a fetus has been aborted for non-medical reasons after, say, 8 months. But even if one hasn’t, I’m still interested in learning what someone such as yourself’s thoughts would be on the matter. Understanding why your opinion in this case might be different (or not) from your opinion on pre-viability cases is also helpful in understanding your position on the latter.

    Icthyic: Your concern is noted.

  197. says

    @Martin

    I have no pressing interest in stopping someone from aborting at any time. It’s a personal decision and I don’t want to spend my life getting into people’s business second guessing whether something that affects pretty much only them was for good reasons or not.

  198. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart: mad, but sadistic genius says

    First of all, I’m sure that somewhere and sometime in the history of the world, a fetus has been aborted for non-medical reasons after, say, 8 months.

    So the fuck what? Why does it matter?

  199. says

    Beatrice:

    Not the “but what about a month later…. but what about 2 days after that… but what about a woman deciding she wants an abortion three days before her due date” argument again.

    I know. 100% pure straw. I think Tim Martin was looking for a moral statement from me, attempting to find out if, as an evil atheist female with a clear stance on abortion, I actually have any morals.

    Figure it out, Tim.

  200. Ichthyic says

    Icthyic: Your concern is noted.

    yup, disingenuous twit.

    I’m not concerned though, just noting it for reference.

    frankly, I rarely pay attention to anything you post, since you’ve so commonly proved yourself a disingenuous twit.

  201. says

    Tim Martin:

    Ethics is not a subject that deals only with what has already happened – it’s about having thoughts about what could possibly happen. First of all, I’m sure that somewhere and sometime in the history of the world, a fetus has been aborted for non-medical reasons after, say, 8 months. But even if one hasn’t, I’m still interested in learning what someone such as yourself’s thoughts would be on the matter. Understanding why your opinion in this case might be different (or not) from your opinion on pre-viability cases is also helpful in understanding your position on the latter.

    What, exactly, is unclear about my position on abortion? What you are doing is presenting straw and attempting to claim it’s not straw.

    We’ve heard this exact same rhetoric from one moronic pro-lifer after another, literally hundreds of times.

    As to my thoughts on another woman terminating a pregnancy? Here’s my thought, you dimwitted cupcake – it’s none of my fucking business. It’s none of yours, either.

  202. Gregory Greenwood says

    I have long since come to the conclusion that the real motivation behind all the anti-choice blather of the so called ‘pro-lifers’ is the pathological fundie hatred of women. As has been noted many times by other commenters throughout this thread, unwanted pregnancy is seen as a ‘punishment’ to be applied to ‘sluts’,and I am convinced that this is the true reason why fundies are so keen for birth control and abortion to be stringently restricted or banned altogether.

    That the anti-choicers don’t actually care about the embryos themselves is evident from the fact that the very second the child is born they pretty much seem to lose interest. If this wasn’t the case, then you would expect to find the same people campaining on issues such as ending child poverty, opposing the drivel of the anti-vaxxers, and fighting for better education and life opportunities for kids including keeping lies like creationism and AGW denial out of the classroom – and yet the anti-choicers are almost always either silent on these issues or actively on the wrong side of the debate.

    Since it doesn’t in actuality seem to be about the embryos, then it is either an anti-woman stance or an anti-sex-in-general stance, the latter option being that put forward by yiab upthread (and repeatedly demolished by other posters). Of these two options, the misogyny explanation seems more credible since you don’t hear these cretins trying to curtail male sexual freedom, and all their attempts to pass laws and influence policies harms the interests and wellbeing of women to a disproportionately greater degree than that of men. Indeed, the only scenario in which I could imagine them advocating for a restrcition of male sexual freedom would be as a means to turning the screw on women more completely – if men cannot access condoms, vasectomies and the like, then that is one less source of possible sexual congress that wouldn’t run as great a risk of unwanted pregnancy, thus shutting down another avenue whereby a ‘wanton’ woman might avoid getting what the misogynist fundies think she ‘deserves’ – the removal of her bodily autonomy by means of forced birth.

    The cesspool of the mindset of the religious Right in the US seems to be a bottomless pit of ever greater misogyny. This, perhaps, is to be expected, but what worries me more than anything is that the accommodationist framing tendencies of some libertals that PZ describes in the OP might have the effect of shifting the Overton Window ever further to the Right, to the point where the politcal consensus is a sex-negative mentality where sex is seen as inherently ‘sinful’, pregnancy as ‘just punishment’ for female promiscuity, and birth control as something that is only grudgingly given because ‘good girls’ might have a ‘legitimate’ need for it – and the leap from that to the type of total ban that the real forced-birth fanatics like Santorum fantasise about is not very large at all.

  203. says

    Understanding why your opinion in this case might be different (or not) from your opinion on pre-viability cases is also helpful in understanding your position on the latter.

    Viability is a red herring and has nothing to do with the ethics of it.

  204. says

    Ing:

    Can we move out of Wonderland now back into the real world?

    Tim has no interest in reality or any scenario congruent with reality. Tim prefers unrealistic scenarios just like every other pro-lifer scum who has shown up here.

  205. raven says

    Tim Martin the moron troll:

    Caine, what would your opinion be on an abortion carried out very late in a pregnancy (past viability), done for the sole reason that the mother wanted it done?

    Tim, what would your opinion be on an abortion caried out very late. Say about the 80th trimester.

    Since you are obviously stupid, that is around age 20.

    The USA does this quite often one way or another. Capital punishment is just a very late term abortion or equivalent. So is lack of availability of medical care which causes higher mortality among poor people.

    Then of course, thanks to moron Bush, the USA helped retroactively abort well over 100,000 people in Iraq including 6,000 Americans, two of whom were friends of mine.

    Just so you know, I’m opposed to abortion between the 3rd and 400th trimester. Judging from all the death threats I/we get from fundie xians, they are not the least bit shy about them.

  206. says

    done for the sole reason that the mother wanted it done?

    “The mother,” eh?

    ***

    That the anti-choicers don’t actually care about the embryos themselves is evident from the fact that the very second the child is born they pretty much seem to lose interest. If this wasn’t the case, then you would expect to find the same people campaining on issues such as ending child poverty, opposing the drivel of the anti-vaxxers, and fighting for better education and life opportunities for kids including keeping lies like creationism and AGW denial out of the classroom – and yet the anti-choicers are almost always either silent on these issues or actively on the wrong side of the debate.

    I read somewhere recently that ratings of senators’ records on women’s reproductive freedoms and their records on child welfare were highly correlated: the ones that were the worst on the former were also the worst on the latter.

  207. raven says

    Tim Martin is a fundie xian idiot trolling.

    He is also stupid and boring.

    Hey Tim, tell everyone they are going to hell, drops off some death threats, and go back to playing with your toy trucks.

    The adults are having a discussion here and you are being a brat.

  208. Gregory Greenwood says

    Tim Martin @ 210;

    Caine, what would your opinion be on an abortion carried out very late in a pregnancy (past viability), done for the sole reason that the mother wanted it done? I realize that this is mostly hypothetical, as there are few doctors who do late-term abortions, and even fewer (none?) who perform them without medical necessity. But since your stance on abortion seems to be very clear-cut, I’m wondering if you draw any lines.

    The most likley outcome in such a scenario, where the foetus is already fully viable, is that it would be delivered (perhaps by C-section) and then given up for adoption, rendering your hypothetical somewhat moot.

    That said, I think that there is one very important reason why a woman should always have the option to end her preganancy, whether by abortion or otherwise, at any point, that you need to consider.

    No one – not an adult, not a child, and certainly not an embryo – can claim rights in another person’s flesh. That your body is your own and no one else’s is a fundamental component of human rights and any meaninful definition of personhood. By the same token that a third party cannot demand that you donate a kidney to them, however much they may need it, neither can a woman be compelled to continue to carry and give birth to a foetus should she not wish to do so.

    Her body is her own, at all times. That a foetus is dependent upon her body to survive does not alter this essential component of her bodily autonomy and thus her personhood. To claim otherwise is to seek to redefine women as nothing more than living, ambulatory incubators; a postion that is hideously dehumanising, utterly misogynistic, and morally indefensible.

  209. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart: mad, but sadistic genius says

    SC:

    … the ones that were the worst on the former were also the worst on the latter.

    Well, there’s a big ol’ surprise!

    I read the link you left at #168 and holy shit. I don’t even have the words to express how outraged I am by those adoption rackets.

    Thanks for digging it up.

  210. says

    Icthyic:

    frankly, I rarely pay attention to anything you post

    You are doing a great job with that!

    Caine: I’m not sure why you keep bringing up straw men. Straw men would apply if you had made an argument and I were trying to make your argument weaker to defeat it. Except I’m not interested in defeating anything, and I’m asking you precisely about the part of this issue that your argument/opinion didn’t cover (since I presume you were talking about the vast majority of abortions that take place, which are either pre-viability or medically necessary.) So, again, I’m not sure why you keep accusing me of a logical fallacy when all I’m doing is asking you a question.

    Furthermore, I’m not sure why you bring up pro-lifers, or the fact that you’re an atheist. I’m both an atheist and in favor of women’s right to choose. But I do wonder about post-viability cases. In this sense, my thoughts seem to be similar to The Thinking Atheist’s (he posted on this on Facebook a few weeks ago.) That thread was one in which people could have a reasonable discussion about the ethics of the matter. I’ve also had discussion about this at Choice in Dying, Eric MacDonald’s blog. Eric and I did not agree in the end, but, whatever my thoughts end up being, I am going through the process of having them.

    I had hoped I would be able to hear a woman with a strong view on the topic – and relevant experience – articulate why she feels the way she does. Instead I get attacked. Thanks for your help.

  211. says

    Also, to add to mine @231, I’m tired of the assumption that all pro-lifers are religious. Yes, a majority of them are goddists of some sort, however, I’ve run into quite a lot of atheists/agnostics/nones who are anti-abortion. Assuming that atheists wouldn’t be anti-abortion is the same as assuming there are no sexist atheists.

    Back to Tim Martin for a moment – I have an idea he’s the type who thinks the Trolley Problem is terribly interesting and clever. Personally, I hate that shit and have no use for it. I’m very much a Kobayashi Maru type person.

  212. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart: mad, but sadistic genius says

    Instead I get attacked.

    I know I left that tiny violin around here somewhere…

  213. says

    Tim Martin:

    I’m not sure why you keep bringing up straw men. Straw men would apply if you had made an argument and I were trying to make your argument weaker to defeat it.

    No, that’s not how it works. You obviously don’t understand the concept of someone erecting a strawman, which is what you’ve been doing from the start.

    I’m asking you precisely about the part of this issue that your argument/opinion didn’t cover

    No, Cupcake. You asked about a scenario which has zero relation to reality. Also, I gave you an answer – it’s none of my business, nor yours.

    I had hoped I would be able to hear a woman with a strong view on the topic – and relevant experience – articulate why she feels the way she does.

    Jesus fucking Christ – did you click the link I provided upthread to my whole post on the subject? What about that does not articulate how I feel and why?

    You’re being purposely dense now, and I don’t have time for this type of shit. By the way, you have not been attacked. People have disagreed with you and used some nasty words, that’s all. That does not constitute an attack.

    You’ve provided one moronic scenario which has no basis in reality and are all upsetty that people aren’t passing around tea and discussing hypotheticals. I don’t give a shit about hypotheticals, I care about women dying and kids getting fucked into the ground because a woman was forced to birth.

  214. raven says

    Tim the jerk:

    I had hoped I would be able to hear a woman with a strong view on the topic – and relevant experience – articulate why she feels the way she does. Instead I get attacked. Thanks for your help.

    That’s because you are a jerk.

    We aren’t cells in your test tube. We are people, those things you’ve heard about but never been able to learn how to interact with.

    Caine says you aren’t a fundie. I didn’t click on your nym because I don’t trust fundie xian websites. They are often filled with malware of one sort or another. Often my mailbox ends up overflowing with godspam.

    Do us atheists and normal people a huge favor. Find a really ugly fundie xian cult and JOIN IT. You are making us look bad.

  215. says

    First of all, I’m sure that somewhere and sometime in the history of the world, a fetus has been aborted for non-medical reasons after, say, 8 months.

    Childbirth carries risks, up to and even beyond delivery. There are always medical reasons, whether cited or not.
    Of course those medical issues mostly don’t affect people named Tim, so they can be safely handwaved away.

  216. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart: mad, but sadistic genius says

    Ing:

    Oh what where was that link Josh shared for how to derail? “WHY WONT YOU EDUCATE ME!?”

    Derailing for Dummies?

    This thread is becoming lousy with those assholes.

  217. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    My thoughts on Tim Martin (although my decision to not strike out “intellectual,” “clever,” or “engaged” in his case is debatable):

    There are the occasions that men—intellectual men, clever men, engaged men—insist on playing devil’s advocate, desirous of a debate on some aspect of feminist theory or reproductive rights or some other subject generally filed under the heading: Women’s Issues. These intellectual, clever, engaged men want to endlessly probe my argument for weaknesses, want to wrestle over details, want to argue just for fun—and they wonder, these intellectual, clever, engaged men, why my voice keeps raising and why my face is flushed and why, after an hour of fighting my corner, hot tears burn the corners of my eyes. Why do you have to take this stuff so personally? ask the intellectual, clever, and engaged men, who have never considered that the content of the abstract exercise that’s so much fun for them is the stuff of my life.

    -From Melissa McEwan’s “The Terrible Bargain We Have Regretfully Struck”

  218. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I had hoped I would be able to hear a woman with a strong view on the topic – and relevant experience – articulate why she feels the way she does. Instead I get attacked.

    Too many anti-choice fuckwits ask the same question. They hope to find a crack to gain some traction. So those of us who have been arguing since Roe v. Wade, don’t give one iota on a woman’s bodily integrity up to actual birth and first breath of the ex-embryo. It isn’t good for anything less to be seen, as it is considered a sign of weakness, and we know that.

  219. says

    CC, excellent response. It’s pure truth. One of the things which popped into my head while Tim Martin was being annoyed by my refusal to play his game of “Hypothetical Scenario!” was the case of a young woman in the south (U.S.) a year or so ago.

    It was yet another state who has gone the way of SD. They have abstinence education instead of comprehensive sex ed, access to birth control is limited and access to abortion is damn near impossible, especially for a young woman in her teens. So what happens? She shows up at an emergency room, bleeding out with tremendous physical damage from douching with bleach in a desperate attempt to abort.

    And I’m supposed to care about moronic hypotheticals with no relation to reality? I don’t think so.

  220. Lyra says

    Here are a list of things that help prevent late term abortions:

    *Access to birth control.
    *Access to early abortions.
    *Access to healthcare.
    *Adequate housing.
    *Good legal protection from abusers.
    *Access to food.

    You know what doesn’t prevent late term abortions? Waiting periods. Mandatory counseling. Mandatory, unrelated medical procedures that must be done first. Not having an abortion clinic in the area. Having abortions be expensive. Making pregnancy tests difficult to get. Making being pregnant a shameful thing.

    So why in the @#@$%$~! do people insist on trying to lower the abortion rate by going with the freaking second list?!

  221. Ichthyic says

    Caine: I’m not sure why you keep bringing up straw men. Straw men would apply if you had made an argument and I were trying to make your argument weaker to defeat it.

    no, cupcake, that’s not what a straw man is.

    It’s when you substitute your own, invented, argument in place of the one the person you are debating made.

    if, as you stated, her positions were clear, you wouldn’t have needed to create such an inane scenario as you did to try and elucidate a response.

    like I said, you’re nothing but a disingenuous fuckwit.

    but then, you repeat yourself.

    why do you come here?

    you never do anything but post moronic “gotchya” scenarios that have as much to do with ethical thought as what color underwear you’re wearing.

    over and over again, this is what you do.

    this, is why you are nothing but a dishonest, disingenuous, inane, prick.

    I eagerly await the day your patten of posting here gets you the final boot.

  222. Ichthyic says

    hey let’s shove this one right down Tim’s throat, shall we?

    But I do wonder about post-viability cases.

    So, when it gets to the point where we can raise a human fetus entirely artificially, will you then be entirely against abortion?

    or just wondering about it?

    disingenuous fuckwit.

  223. dianne says

    I’ve sometimes proposed that it would be reasonable to restrict third trimester abortion if and ONLY if the following criteria were met:
    1. Early abortion, especially first trimester, were readily available and free or very inexpensive, i.e. subsidized.
    2. Abortion were allowed at any time if that were the safest way to resolve a problem that threatened the mother’s life or health.
    3. Abortion were allowed at any time if the fetus had an anomaly incompatible with life outside the uterus. I’ve seen children dying of Tay-Sachs and similar diseases. Believe me, it makes a D & X in labor look benign. Heck, it makes exposure look benign. Not pretty endings, most of these lysosomal storage diseases.
    4. It were acknowledged that, because of social pressures, we were giving fetuses a privilege that no living person had and that any ambiguities should always be resolved in favor of the pregnant woman.
    5. If the woman desired an end to the pregnancy in the relevant period and there was truly no grounds to allow an abortion, delivery should take place as soon as feasible, unless the pregnant woman did not desire an early end to her pregnancy via delivery.

  224. Pteryxx says

    and what else doesn’t prevent late-term abortions, is ignorance. All that just gets you dead women…

  225. says

    Ichthyic:

    you never do anything but post moronic “gotchya” scenarios that have as much to do with ethical thought as what color underwear you’re wearing.

    over and over again, this is what you do.

    I don’t remember seeing this guy post before. I have no use for mental masturbaters who like to wank for hours on end over pointless scenarios though, so I’m not surprised he hasn’t caught my attention before.

  226. Pteryxx says

    “mental masturbators”

    …he does seem awfully excited to have REAL LIVE WOMEN on the Internet to try his pet thesis on, if ya know what I mean.

  227. Lyra says

    Ok, I guess maybe I’ll expand a bit on what I wrote.

    How do we feel about abortions of healthy, post-viability fetuses? It’s a serious question, and it’s one that one could answer either with words or with actions. I propose that we consider how our society handles abortion.

    Our system (as crafted by those who oppose abortion) is not geared towards preventing late term abortion. It drives women TOWARDS late term abortions. It tells them, “If you wan an early term abortion, you need to have enough money on hand to pay for it out of pocket, you have to know where the real abortion clinics are (not the fake ones), you have to be immediately strong enough to walk past a bunch of people who will videotape you and call you a murderer, you have to be able to get off from whatever work you have or find childcare, you have to have transportation that can take you perhaps hundreds of miles to get to the real abortion clinic, you need parental consent, you need to go through a waiting period, you need to have mandatory counseling, you need know you are pregnant early enough that you can schedule an abortion at a place that may have a long waiting list . . .”

    Pro-lifers sit down and work out ways to make it so that women can’t get abortions pre-viability. They do that because they know it’s so much more difficult (on all levels) to get one later. They lay their bets on it. Any discussion of post-viability abortions must be viewed in this light.

    In essense, if we don’t want post-viability abortions, then why the fuck aren’t we acting like it? Why aren’t we subsidizing early abortions? Providing free transportation to the clinic? Ensuring that women can take off time from work and that they have child care? Outlawing clinics that deceive women into thinking they can get an abortion there? Striking down waiting periods? Making sure that you don’t end up with a few over-worked clinics?

    Because if we did that, we’d end up with early term abortions. And the pro-lifers don’t REALLY like those any better than post-viability abortions.

  228. says

    Pteryxx:

    …he does seem awfully excited to have REAL LIVE WOMEN on the Internet to try his pet thesis on, if ya know what I mean.

    Oh yes, I know what you mean. I didn’t miss his little attempt to shame and guilt me for not joining in his little wankfest, either. Whadda nice guy.

  229. Ichthyic says

    How do we feel about abortions of healthy, post-viability fetuses? It’s a serious question

    not really, no.

    it’s nothing more than subjective projection of angst.

    any dividing line you make, based on that argument, is actually more arbitrary than full-partum birth as a dividing line.

    I refuse to take anyone presenting this argument even remotely seriously unless they’ve read the opinions of the judges in Roe V Wade, who themselves considered the same, exact, issue, and realized it was arbitrary, but figured the best political solution was the trimester system.

    don’t follow Tim into oblivion.

  230. says

    Lyra:

    It’s a serious question

    No, it isn’t and you shouldn’t be sucked into Tim Martin’s wankery. Late term abortions aren’t legal unless there are specific circumstances, those being medical in nature. It’s not as though a woman can waltz into a clinic 6 months pregnant and get an abortion.

    While states might vary slightly on the cut-off time, they are all pretty damn close. Women aren’t driven to obtain something which is unobtainable. The reason that current restrictions being placed into state law are so effective in stopping women from obtaining abortions is because there’s a limited time in which to get one. If that time is missed, then we get one more woman living with a forced birth situation and one more unwanted kid. Or the messy result of an attempted home abortion.

  231. Mr. Fire says

    Caine, what would your opinion be on an abortion carried out very late in a pregnancy (past viability), done for the sole reason that the mother wanted it done?

    Note also that here, Tim Martin is using pretty much the exact same strategy that PZ complains about in the OP: trying to force his interlocutors to answer through a framing of his choosing.

    Of course, as Caine and others have pointed out, the core issue is that it is a woman’s own body and therefore not for other people to legislate. Our ability or inability to stomach his (absurd) hypotheticals really is irrelevant.

  232. Lyra says

    Late term abortions aren’t legal unless there are specific circumstances, those being medical in nature. It’s not as though a woman can waltz into a clinic 6 months pregnant and get an abortion

    I was under the impression he was asking about what we thought, not what was currently legal? Maybe not. Anyway, I am somewhat aware of various state regulations, although it’s a pretty intense patchwork, let me tell you.

    While states might vary slightly on the cut-off time, they are all pretty damn close. Women aren’t driven to obtain something which is unobtainable. The reason that current restrictions being placed into state law are so effective in stopping women from obtaining abortions is because there’s a limited time in which to get one. If that time is missed, then we get one more woman living with a forced birth situation and one more unwanted kid. Or the messy result of an attempted home abortion.
    Yep! Pro-lifers know it is more difficult to get an abortion the more time passes, and they factor that in; they know that if they can just toss enough roadblocks in front of her, she might not be able to get one at all. To this, it isn’t about pre-viability and post-viability, it’s about being able to keep women from having ANY abortion or not. Which I actually tried to address in my post, although maybe I didn’t do a good job?

  233. says

    Lyra:

    although maybe I didn’t do a good job?

    No, you didn’t. You allowed yourself to get drawn in to Tim Martin’s mental masturbation scenario, which is utterly pointless and has absolutely nothing to do with reality.

  234. says

    Abortion is a lousy method of birth control and in a sane world it would usually only be needed when the fetus was damaged or the woman’s life was in danger, or the pregnancy was the result of rape.

    1)a sane world would be one in which rape was rare
    2)for some people, abortion is the only possible method of birth control, and who the fuck am I to tell them they’re somehow wrong
    3)sometimes, circumstances change from favorable to unfavorable, and a wanted pregnancy turns unwanted for economic/social reasons.

    Again, bullshit. Contraception is just as available as it was.

    liar.
    1)plenty of catholic-affiliated institutions previously paid for insurance that covered contraception (either voluntarily, or because state-law demanded it), but are now throwing a hissy-fit over it. In at least one case, a place that had provided such insurance has not dropped it.
    2)The war on PP means free birth control is more and more difficult to come by
    3)Obama made the statement quite a while before the conservatives threw a fit over it, so yes, as a result of publicity of this they’re now fighting something that they didn’t fight before.

    I don’t expect to have to pay for it anymore than I expect others to pay for mine.

    middle class libertarian, are you. well, in the name of not-wealthy women everywhere, let me say: FUCK YOU. maybe you have $900* lying around, but I don’t, and many other women don’t either. And we still have a right to have sex without the specter of pregnancy, your libertarian wankery notwithstanding.

    *that’s how much replacing my IUD will cost me

  235. Koshka says

    It’s not as though a woman can waltz into a clinic 6 months pregnant and get an abortion.

    Yet that is the scenario pro-lifers suggest. Imagine the queue of women lining up to get their late term abortion!

  236. Mr. Fire says

    I’ve also wondered about a possible counter-scenario for pro-lifers, to ask them next time they bring up the post-viability angle:

    What if it was only possible to keep a fetus alive by forcing a woman to continue gestating artificially? Say when a woman goes into labor at 18 weeks, and the lungs are not yet viable? If technology existed that would shut down a woman’s labor against her wishes, should it be implemented? And then if technology arose that could prevent all or almost all miscarriages, should that technology be enforced?

    Not having any training in medicine, I freely admit that I have no idea if these thoughts are remotely meaningful.

  237. says

    Jadehawk:

    *that’s how much replacing my IUD will cost me

    Sweet baby buttfucked Jesus! Back in the dino days, PP covered my IUD 100%. I am speechless and so sorry you even have to worry about this.

  238. Lyra says

    Oh! I am also inclined to post this, as I have been digging around on on Google:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late_termination_of_pregnancy

    In 1987, the Alan Guttmacher Institute collected questionnaires from 1,900 women in the United States who came to clinics to have abortions. Of the 1,900 questioned, 420 had been pregnant for 16 or more weeks. These 420 women were asked to choose among a list of reasons they had not obtained the abortions earlier in their pregnancies. The results were as follows:[2]

    1) 71% Woman didn’t recognize she was pregnant or misjudged gestation
    2) 48% Woman found it hard to make arrangements for abortion
    3) 33% Woman was afraid to tell her partner or parents
    4) 24% Woman took time to decide to have an abortion
    5) 8% Woman waited for her relationship to change
    6) 8% Someone pressured woman not to have abortion
    7) 6% Something changed after woman became pregnant
    8) 6% Woman didn’t know timing is important
    9) 5% Woman didn’t know she could get an abortion
    10) 2% A fetal problem was diagnosed late in pregnancy
    11) 11% Other

    We could knock out the first with education better and screening availability, the second by removing roadblocks, the third by accepting of a woman’s decision, at least some of the fourth by education, the sixth by accepting the woman’s decision, the seventh by education, and the eighth by education.

    So! Are we going to be provide education, remove roadblocks to early term abortions, and be supportive of a woman’s right to get an abortion, or . . . ?

  239. Lyra says

    No, you didn’t. You allowed yourself to get drawn in to Tim Martin’s mental masturbation scenario, which is utterly pointless and has absolutely nothing to do with reality.

    Well, I’m sorry if my wording was such that my point was not clear.

  240. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    It’s not as though a woman can waltz into a clinic 6 months pregnant and get an abortion.

    Which they should be able to. Especially considering all the other deliberate legal hurdles that slow down or prevent them getting abortions earlier.

  241. Ichthyic says

    getting back to the original post by PZ:

    Claudio is tricked by the villain (played by Keanu Reeves, unbelievably)

    this left me confused.

    does PZ mean he can’t believe that they chose Reeves to play the part, or that Reeve’s performance was completely unbelievable?

    both?

    and if just the latter, is that meant in a good way, or in the “his performance was entirely plastic and fake” way?

    so many important questions!!!

  242. Ichthyic says

    That’s one of the reasons I refuse to participate in wankery over the idea.

    it’s nothing more than a slippery slope argument, intended to get people to try and say they have *some* objection to abortion, and then if *that* exists, extend it irrationally and inevitably to encompass the entire argument.

    I’ve seen it a thousand times, it never changes, whether you apply a slippery slope argument to this issue, or any other for that matter.

    FFS, there’s even a wiki on it!!!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slippery_slope#As_a_fallacy

  243. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart: mad, but sadistic genius says

    They could have saved money by not hiring Keanu Reeves, and instead propping up a plastic mannequin for the part.

    Oh snap! Take that Keanu!

  244. Ichthyic says

    They could have saved money by not hiring Keanu Reeves, and instead propping up a plastic mannequin for the part.

    I’ll take it the answer was “both” then.

    :)

  245. says

    Josh:

    Which they should be able to.

    Can you imagine the howling that would take place? We’d all be deafened.

    Ichthyic:

    it’s nothing more than a slippery slope argument, intended to get people to try and say they have *some* objection to abortion, and then if *that* exists, extend it irrationally and inevitably to encompass the entire argument.

    I loves you.

  246. catnip67 says

    Wow! I don’t how you people keep up with the discussion! I have spent the whole day just reading all the comments!
    What was I going to say? Oh yes…

    On fidelity. Its a social construct that I have no truck with. If my partner wishes to have sex with other people, what right do I have to prevent her? I want her to enjoy her sexuality to the fullest, and do not wish her to have any artificial constraints (consenting adults being the only caveat). I would like her to feel safe and free to tell me about any other sexual partners, either past or present, as part of our deep level communication. Nobody outside of our relationship has any right to question, criticize or judge our relationship. Short version (& related back to the original shakespeare) Claudio was a mysogynistic idiot & Hero would do well to refuse to marry him.

    On abortion: In a civilised society, a woman’s right to choice about her body should be absolute. Education, contraception & a healthy attitude to sex (within society) should be always available & abortion available in the event of failure of the above. I have no right to tell any woman whether she should or should not. Neither has anyone else.

    Not really rocket science.

  247. says

    catnip67:

    On fidelity. Its a social construct that I have no truck with. If my partner wishes to have sex with other people, what right do I have to prevent her?

    None. The only thing you have a right to is your reaction. Hopefully, this extracurricular sex has been discussed beforehand, and the relationship mechanics worked out such that nobody gets hurt.

    Fidelity isn’t the issue. Your relationship with your partner, and the way their desire for sex outside your relationship affects it, is the issue.

    Full disclosure: been there. Done that. Worked out very well, thank you.

  248. catnip67 says

    They could have saved money by not hiring Keanu Reeves, and instead propping up a plastic mannequin for the part.

    didn’t they just edit him in from other movies?

  249. Ichthyic says

    Not really rocket science.

    you’d think so, but then try explaining rocket science to someone with their fingers in their ears.

    I keep hearing Altemeyer telling me all these anti-abortion boobs are just RWA’s, and they won’t listen to anything you try to tell them that doesn’t agree with their “trusted sources”.

    I don’t think his studies and conclusions are pushed often enough; they really do act as a kind of “rosetta stone” to understanding much of the religious nutbaggery that has taken over the political mind of America over the last 40 years.

    seriously, I can’t imagine anyone here hasn’t read it yet, but if there still some people who missed it, you simply MUST spend a day reading this short book:

    http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

  250. says

    Ichthyic:

    I keep hearing Altemeyer telling me all these anti-abortion boobs are just RWA’s, and they won’t listen to anything you try to tell them that doesn’t agree with their “trusted sources”.

    Fuck. My view of people changed after reading Altemeyer. I thought I was cynical before. Fuck.

    The only good thing was his studies showing people became less RWA through education. There’s a glimmer of hope there. It also explains why so many RWAs are against education.

    For those following along at home, definitely click Ichtyhyic’s link. It’s most definitely worth your time.

  251. catnip67 says

    Nigel

    Hopefully, this extracurricular sex has been discussed beforehand, and the relationship mechanics worked out such that nobody gets hurt.

    You are spot on with your extra analysis.

    Yes it has been discussed. No action has been taken, but that is equally valid. It’s more about providing a mutually beneficial symbiosis, without the feeling of being trapped or owned.

  252. catnip67 says

    Ichthyic, Nigel,

    Have saved the link and will read this evening when I get home (I have to get some work done today! :-/)

  253. says

    Caine:

    Oh goody, sounds like something I don’t need, however, the book is loading on my little netbook and I shall read.

    I suspect you won’t learn anything startlingly new, or revelatory. It’ll mostly confirm some of your worst suspicions. But Altemeyer presents some pretty damned good research to demonstrate why so many people are willing participants in the destruction of their own ideals. (Think “small government” and “personal rights.”) And, he gives some damned good models for thinking about social issues.

    Also, his writing is clear and engaging. It’s just a damned good read.

  254. says

    oops, hit “submit” waay to soon, was going to respond to the whole thread at once :-p

    anyway, where was I

    You guys in US DO get paid maternity leaves ?

    lol. of course not; what horrible socialism is that, to make a company pay for someone’s spawning?

    You are so thick you can’t fathom that someone might not want to pay for other peoples condoms and *not* be a woman hater.

    nothing to do with thickness and everything to do with the fact that the effect is indistinguishable. but it’s true, libertarians don’t hate women per-se. it’s the poor ones they want to punish, the rest just suffers as a side-effect.

    Public roads, school, ect., I see as a different issue from one’s personal issues.

    schools are public issues, but the most universally used medication isn’t? you’re a fucking idiot.

    Yeah, the bill makes “insurance companies” pay for the contraception – and who pays that bill? We do. You can’t possibly believe these costs aren’t passed down the line.

    what part of “pregnancy is more expensive” did you miss, honeybunch?

    You could apply that twisted “reasoning” to anything – food, gasoline, car repair, why should I have to pay for any of it out of my wages?

    it may shock you, but civilized countries do, for example, have companies pay people for their commutes.
    also, of course, you’re right that companies shouldn’t be involved in health-care; that being part of the essential social safety-net, it should be completely handled by the government. but that’s not what you meant, of course.

    How do you reach the conclusion that the objections to insurance covering contraception are about sex-negativity towards women and not about anti-fun beliefs about everyone?

    because they don’t throw fits over viagra, vasectomies, or condoms.

    Because the “protestant work ethic” considers fun to be bad and making babies to be a duty to god. It’s the same reason that the opposition to IVF is a lot less publicized than the opposition to fetal stem cell research.

    70-year-old-dudes don’t generally make babies, they fuck for fun only.

    I think a more appropriate analogy would be to coverage of condoms, though I am unaware of such a thing ever having been suggested (which actually goes to supporting my unstated point that I think our side is conceding the anti-fun argument).

    condoms are handed out for free at PP. but you never hear them having a fit over that fact, either.

    Remember though that we are talking about how best to argue against something and so we must consider the motivations of our opponents.

    what? no it’s isn’t. it’s about how not to cede ground by forgetting how patriarchal, anti-women, and anti-sex conservatives are, and arguing only one one front.

    I can’t see how we can claim that their motivation is anti-woman.

    that’s bullshit, when the talk about consequences only ever addresses women, not men.

    When did I mention men?

    um. when you said it wasn’t just about women?

    you have not given any reason to think that their motivations are anti-woman.

    this is of course incorrect, you’re just not paying attention.

    I’m suggesting that their anti-woman actions are a consequence of a more general, less sexist motivation.

    sexism is not just an attitude. sexism is both discrimination and prejudice, so it’s sexist because it has sexist consequences. and again, if their motivations weren’t sexist, they’d be whining just as loudly about viagra, vasectomies, and condoms.

    are vasectomies covered by health insurance providers?

    yes.

    I don’t expect society to pay for accessories for my hobbies,

    I guess that means you’re also against company-sponsored health initiatives that include free or discounted gym memberships? how about dental care? (after all, eating solids is a hobby in exactly the same way sex is)

    you and others are putting the subject in the context of preventative healthcare, and to be perfectly honest, this is not something I’ve thought a lot

    libertarian thinking in a nutshell

    I made a suggestion about what I thought their motives might be and asked why nobody else had considered it.

    translation: “it’s not possible for others to have considered and rejected a possibility; it must be because I’m smarter than they and thought of a possibility they didn’t”

    But even if one hasn’t, I’m still interested in learning what someone such as yourself’s thoughts would be on the matter.

    and once again we’re asking the most important questions: should Rosemary and Hattie have had abortions?

    my thoughts seem to be similar to The Thinking Atheist’s

    telling.

    How do we feel about abortions of healthy, post-viability fetuses? It’s a serious question,

    not really. it’s a “serious question” only for those who construct their ethics deontologically, and those people are, quite frankly, useless in dealing with real world problems.

  255. says

    Sweet baby buttfucked Jesus! Back in the dino days, PP covered my IUD 100%. I am speechless and so sorry you even have to worry about this.

    it still does, in the more civilized states. I got the first one in WA from PP, and that was for free.

  256. says

    I keep hearing Altemeyer telling me all these anti-abortion boobs are just RWA’s, and they won’t listen to anything you try to tell them that doesn’t agree with their “trusted sources”.

    The Romance Writers of America are destroying reproductive rights?

  257. Pteryxx says

    As long as certain folks are going on about hypothetical preferential just-before-birth abortions, a reminder mentioned on TET. This is a real bill being considered in Alabama. This is the actual state of abortion discourse.

    It will force any woman seeking a D&C for any reason to be subjected to an ultrasound and detailed description of the embryo/fetus’s development. This is uncalled for in the case of a woman seeking abortion, but it is downright cruel to women who lost wanted pregnancies. It punishes any woman who loses a pregnancy for any reason.

    The chairman of the state health committee is VP of a medical equipment company (which supplies ultrasound equipment). So there is a conflict of interest issue as well.

    Link to comment and petition to oppose

    From the text of the bill, the definition of abortion requiring a forced ultrasound:

    The intentional use or prescription of any instrument, medicine, drug, or any other substance or devise or method to terminate the life of an unborn child, to terminate the pregnancy of a woman known to be pregnant with an intention other than to produce a live birth and preserve the life and health of the child after live birth, to remove an ectopic pregnancy, or to remove a dead unborn child who died as the result of natural causes, accidental trauma, or a criminal assault on the pregnant woman or her unborn child.

    Source

    This has nothing to do with preserving viable fetuses. NOTHING. No health benefits. No good whatsoever can come of this. This bill has only one purpose – to torment women for the horrible crime of contact with sperm.

  258. DLC says

    Okay, so I’m just going to state it cleanly:
    Proposed: No woman should ever become pregnant unless she wants to, and no woman should ever be made to feel dirty or evil for wanting to have sex, with whatever adult human partners they choose.

  259. says

    Pteryxx, I know there’s a great deal of attention being paid to that particular bill, but mandatory ultrasounds have been in force in many states for a number of years now.

    As I pointed out supra, SD instituted a mandatory wait (3 day), mandatory ultrasounds and mandatory counseling (Christian ‘counseling’ at a fake clinic).

  260. catnip67 says

    To paraphrase a protest slogan from several years ago, when (then Australian Health Minister & now opposition leader) Tony Abbot (ironically a drop out RC seminarian) tried to ban RU486: “Get your rosary off her ovaries!”

  261. Pteryxx says

    Caine: I know. I’m in Texas. I just want to see one of these cool, cool, considerate strawbuilding menz try and defend THAT.

  262. says

    Pteryxx:

    I just want to see one of these cool, cool, considerate strawbuilding menz try and defend THAT.

    I thought everyone knew that women stored their evil sac of original sin up their vaginas…really, they’re just lookin’ to protect all the latter day Adams. Right?

  263. catnip67 says

    I thought everyone knew that women stored their evil sac of original sin up their vaginas…

    That’s one way to carry it, I suppose. They can also be used for all sorts of other contraband

  264. Stardrake says

    This is why I just refer to these folk as slavers. Because that’s all they consider women to be. If not slaves to the menz (the ideal!) at least slaves to their uteri and slaves to Great White True Amurrican Daddy In The Sky.
    The only reason I don’t escort at the local PP is that my temper is far too short, and they’d end up with footage they could use against PP (although the soundtrack might be a bit overloaded–I am LOUD).

  265. says

    Stardrake:

    The only reason I don’t escort at the local PP is that my temper is far too short

    An effective way to deal with that is to escort with a partner or very good friend. When you feel your temper slipping, grab partner or friend and indulge in a kiss. This works best when you’re both the same sex.

  266. Ichthyic says

    I suspect you won’t learn anything startlingly new, or revelatory.

    One thing I learned related back to Milgram’s old experiments on “shock teaching”.

    Did you know, before he even started the experiments, he sent a poll round to 39 of his colleagues across the country and in the US, asking them how many of the subjects they expected would actually run the entire experiment; giving the “learner” the full 450 volt shock.

    to a person, they ALL said that NONE of the subjects would run the full gamut. He also polled a random sample of “strangers”, and got a response indicating they thought 1-2% would indeed go the full 450.

    for those that don’t recall, fully 62% of the subjects actually went the full 450.

    62%

    that’s a solid majority, and pretty fucking far from “None”.

    Altermeyer examined in detail a case which was much more conservative, located in a “seedy” part of town, and at little more than a warehouse, with many factors changed, and even then, there were still over 30% of the participants that went the full 450.

    So, if you assume the samples in that experiment were representative at all (it’s a reasonable assumption, given how the sample test subjects were selected), then someone who wished you dead would only have to try 3 or 4 random strangers to find one that literally would pull the switch for you if you pulled authority on them.

    his conclusion was, literally:

    “If that doesn’t give you the heebie-jeebies, nothing will.”

  267. catnip67 says

    “If that doesn’t give you the heebie-jeebies, nothing will.”

    It’s official….That gives me the heebie jeebies….

  268. jefrir says

    If a woman was requesting the abortion of an 8-month healthy pregnancy, then yes, I would be concerned. But not because of some moral issue, or about the poor lil fetus. I would be concerned because no real woman would do that unless there was something seriously wrong. The appropriate response would surely be to
    1. Provide the abortion; it’s the woman’s body to do what she wants with, and she is the best placed to make that decision.
    2. See if there is anything that can be done about whatever issue it is that’s making a woman desperate enough to make such a decision.

  269. says

    A bit late to the party (as usual) but the Much Ado quote caught my eye. This is one of the most misinterpreted plays in the canon.

    The whole point of that scene is to highlight the difference between Hero/Claudio and Beatrice/Benedick. Claudio humiliates the woman he supposedly loves and respects, based on hearsay. Everything that there has been between them suddenly counts for nothing on the word of a man he barely knows.

    In the subsequent scene, when Beatrice is outraged by what has happened, the following lines are exchanged:

    BENEDICK
    Think you in your soul the Count Claudio hath wronged Hero?

    BEATRICE
    Yea, as sure as I have a thought or a soul.

    BENEDICK
    Enough, I am engaged; I will challenge him. I will
    kiss your hand, and so I leave you. By this hand,
    Claudio shall render me a dear account.

    Benedick trusts Beatrice. That she knows something to be true and tells him so, and he believes her purely based on their friendship, is the turning point of the play. The marriage of Hero and Claudio isn’t a good thing, nor a restoration of the rightful order. It is a heedless rush to disaster, with its counterpoint the marriage of Beatrice and Benedick, two people who understand what love is actually about.

    And thanks for writing this, PZ. I’ve been very uncomfortable with the whole ‘contraception is needed for non-sexy things’ reasoning, but not being American I assumed I didn’t have the understanding that you have when it’s your reality. I’m relieved that my discomfort wasn’t unfounded.

  270. darwinharmless says

    @Shiroferetto Comment #10 for the win. That’s a slogan I can endorse: “Safe, legal, and none of your business.” Thanks for that. The only thing I would add is “available”.

  271. says

    Ah, yes, the 8 months straw-fetus.
    I was wondering when it would show up.
    So, let’s say that Slutty MCSlut, whom I mentioned before, the woman who doesn’t deserve a safe legal abortion because she screws around irresponsibly has now made it to the 8th month of her pregnancy. So far she hasn’t sought an abortion for whatever reasons and now she is 35 weeks along with a healthy, well-developed fetus.
    At this point, she walks into the hospital and demands to have an abortion NOW.
    She is not willing to wait three or four more weeks until the babe comes out the normal way. She also refuses to have labour induced which at this point would mean a more or less normal delivery, or to have a C-section and the just put the baby up for adoption (not talking about the whole adoption problem).
    No, she insists that it is aborted NOW, which would, at this point not be any easier or less risky for her than any of the aforementioned possibilities.
    And at this point armed militant animal rights activist vegans storm the clinic and demand that all drugs that were ever tested on animals have to be destroyed or they will perform an abortion on a pregnant cat.
    What is your moral stance on this scenario?
    And no, I don’t care about “probable” or “possible” because that’s absolutely not my point. You MUST have a fail-proof ethical position on every idiot scenario I can think of or you are not a rational skeptic and therefore not allowed in the debate.

  272. says

    dianne:

    I’ve sometimes proposed that it would be reasonable to restrict third trimester abortion if and ONLY if the following criteria were met:

    1. Early abortion, especially first trimester, were readily available and free or very inexpensive, i.e. subsidized.

    2. Abortion were allowed at any time if that were the safest way to resolve a problem that threatened the mother’s life or health.

    3. Abortion were allowed at any time if the fetus had an anomaly incompatible with life outside the uterus. I’ve seen children dying of Tay-Sachs and similar diseases. Believe me, it makes a D & X in labor look benign. Heck, it makes exposure look benign. Not pretty endings, most of these lysosomal storage diseases.

    4. It were acknowledged that, because of social pressures, we were giving fetuses a privilege that no living person had and that any ambiguities [?] should always be resolved in favor of the pregnant woman.

    What do you find reasonable about that?

    (I’ll note that, as far as I know, abortion is legal in Canada at any time during the preganancy and for any reason and is part of the national health care system. I find this eminently reasonable.)

  273. dianne says

    What do you find reasonable about that?

    “Reasonable” was the wrong word. “Practical” might be better. It’s moving the window back from the “killing helpless babez!” meme to an acknowledgement that the law is demanding more of pregnant women than it does of anyone else. Currently, the majority of states in the US have essentially banned abortion after about 20 weeks. This is entirely permitted by Roe versus Wade. So I think that formally restricting third trimester abortion with the caveats I mentioned, would actually make it more available and would remove the “but what about the woman who wants an abortion for no good reason at 8 months” excuse from the prolifers’ rhetoric.

    Plus I’d just like to get them to acknowledge, once, somewhere that they ARE asking for more of pregnant women than they do of anyone else. Even if we make the claim that a late fetus is 100% human, unquestionably a baby, there is no other situation where any person is required to give up the use of their body to save another person’s life. Acknowledging that formally might pave the way for later generations to say, “Well, this is awkward…why don’t we just get rid of it and make the law the same for everyone?”

    TL:DR version: You’re right. It’s not reasonable. It’s an attempt at Realpolitik.

  274. David Marjanović says

    From the text of the bill, the definition of abortion requiring a forced ultrasound:

    The intentional use or prescription of any instrument, medicine, drug, or any other substance or devise or method to terminate the life of an unborn child, to terminate the pregnancy of a woman known to be pregnant with an intention other than to produce a live birth and preserve the life and health of the child after live birth, to remove an ectopic pregnancy, or to remove a dead unborn child who died as the result of natural causes, accidental trauma, or a criminal assault on the pregnant woman or her unborn child.

    I’m speechless at such blatant evil.

  275. Naked Bunny with a Whip says

    @catnip67 #300:

    They can also be used for all sorts of other contraband

    Let’s please not give the TSA ideas.

  276. Naked Bunny with a Whip says

    @Giliell #308: I’ll need some more time to flesh it out, but I guarantee my moral stance in that scenario will somehow involve ferrets.

  277. Naked Bunny with a Whip says

    It’s hard not to notice the loaded language in that ultrasound rape bill. “Unborn child” this and “terminate the life” that.

  278. Ogvorbis: Now With 98% Less Intellectual Curiousity! says

    It’s hard not to notice the loaded language in that ultrasound rape bill. “Unborn child” this and “terminate the life” that.

    I’m sure that was entirely accidental and not intended to favour the side of human rights or the side of religious rights. Just, y’know, happened.

  279. Naked Bunny with a Whip says

    I’m sure they would have asked a doctor what the proper medical terms were if any had been invited to the prayer meetings.

  280. Ogvorbis: Now With 98% Less Intellectual Curiousity! says

    I’m sure they would have asked a doctor what the proper medical terms were if any had been invited to the prayer meetings.

    Oh, but proper medical terms would just confuse voters and legislators. These are simple folk. Salt of the earth. You know, morons.

  281. Gregory Greenwood says

    David Marjanović @ 311;

    The intentional use or prescription of any instrument, medicine, drug, or any other substance or devise or method to terminate the life of an unborn child, to terminate the pregnancy of a woman known to be pregnant with an intention other than to produce a live birth and preserve the life and health of the child after live birth, to remove an ectopic pregnancy, or to remove a dead unborn child who died as the result of natural causes, accidental trauma, or a criminal assault on the pregnant woman or her unborn child.

    I’m speechless at such blatant evil.

    Agreed. It is stuff like this that convinces me that there are truly monstrous humans in existence, and that there are in fact evil people, as well as evil deeds.

    The wording of this bill is an unambiguous attack on womanhood. The embryo is of little concern to the proponents of this legislative abomination, if it is of concern at all. Frankly, I can see no conceiveable rationale behind such laws except to punish women for having sex. It is the true, and very ugly, face of the anti-choice movement.

  282. Gregory Greenwood says

    SC (Salty Current), OM @ 229;

    I read somewhere recently that ratings of senators’ records on women’s reproductive freedoms and their records on child welfare were highly correlated: the ones that were the worst on the former were also the worst on the latter.

    Somehow, this doesn’t come as a huge surprise…

    The anti-choicers, like most wingnuts, seem to be hell-bent on maximising human pain, suffering and death for its own sake and calling it righteous.

    As horrifying and incomprehensible as it is, they really do seem to want to return to the Dark Ages.

  283. says

    From the text of the bill, the definition of abortion requiring a forced ultrasound:

    The intentional use or prescription of any instrument, medicine, drug, or any other substance or devise or method to terminate the life of an unborn child, to terminate the pregnancy of a woman known to be pregnant with an intention other than to produce a live birth and preserve the life and health of the child after live birth, to remove an ectopic pregnancy, or to remove a dead unborn child who died as the result of natural causes, accidental trauma, or a criminal assault on the pregnant woman or her unborn child.

    I’m speechless at such blatant evil.

    Am I misreading something? Are people reading this as specifying that an ultrasound would be required in this circumstance? It’s part of the list following “with an intention other than,” so I read it as an excluded circumstance. Is this mistaken?

  284. Pteryxx says

    SC: yeah, I think you’re mistakenly giving it too generous a reading (though I am not well versed in legalese-level pedantry). The clause “to remove a dead unborn child…” is the last in a string of clauses which each refer back to “the intentional use of… any substance/device/method/etc.” The subject of the quote is “The use of.”

    Here it is broken up with no other edits but additional line breaks:

    The intentional use or prescription of any instrument, medicine, drug, or any other substance or devise or method

    to terminate the life of an unborn child,

    to terminate the pregnancy of a woman known to be pregnant with an intention other than to produce a live birth and preserve the life and health of the child after live birth,

    to remove an ectopic pregnancy,

    or to remove a dead unborn child who died as the result of natural causes, accidental trauma, or a criminal assault on the pregnant woman or her unborn child.

  285. says

    SC is right it could be read that everything after “preserve the life and health of the child after live birth” is a continuation of acceptable practices…but it’s not clear.

    Which makes it a horrible law if it could be read in two opposite ways.

  286. Ogvorbis: Now With 98% Less Intellectual Curiousity! says

    Which makes it a horrible law if it could be read in two opposite ways.

    All together now: “That’s not a bug, that’s a feature!”

  287. says

    Here it is broken up with no other edits but additional line breaks:…

    Ah. I see how you’re reading it.

    Which makes it a horrible law if it could be read in two opposite ways.

    In addition to its being horrible even in my reading.

    All together now: “That’s not a bug, that’s a feature!”

    This.

  288. Pteryxx says

    I’m trying to parse the definition in a less-evil way, but it seems more ambiguous that way than the other way around.

    For instance:

    The intentional use or prescription of any instrument, medicine, drug, or any other substance or devise or method to terminate the life of an unborn child,

    to terminate the pregnancy of a woman known to be pregnant with an intention other than to produce a live birth and preserve the life and health of the child after live birth, to remove an ectopic pregnancy, or to remove a dead unborn child who died as the result of natural causes, accidental trauma, or a criminal assault on the pregnant woman or her unborn child.

    That comma before my line break shouldn’t be there if all the rest of the clause is supposed to refer to “the use of”.

    Or, additions I’d say should be made to make SC’s interpretation follow:

    The intentional use or prescription of any instrument, medicine, drug, or any other substance or devise or method

    to terminate the life of an unborn child, [OR]

    to terminate the pregnancy of a woman known to be pregnant with an intention other than [:]

    to produce a live birth and preserve the life and health of the child after live birth,

    to remove an ectopic pregnancy,

    or to remove a dead unborn child who died as the result of natural causes, accidental trauma, or a criminal assault on the pregnant woman or her unborn child.

    But I’m sure clarity is of the devil, or something like that.

  289. says

    Or, additions I’d say should be made to make SC’s interpretation follow:

    I think the comma could perhaps be read as an “or” in this case. It’s trying make sure to include terminating pregnancies in any cases other than live birth/ectopic/dead. They’d have to say something about that because, for example, an early C-section for a problem pregnancy would otherwise be included. I’m not at all sure, though, and it may well be part of the intention to make it as ambiguous as possible.

  290. says

    Yeah, the bill makes “insurance companies” pay for the contraception – and who pays that bill? We do. You can’t possibly believe these costs aren’t passed down the line.

    This is bullshit. Insurance companies already know that providing contraception is basically free to them. Pregnancy and childbirth are expensive. If I remember the article I read, every dollar spent on contraception saves the insurance company something like 4 dollars for pregnancy care. And that’s ignoring all the expenses the child will rack up after they’re born. So really, if you don’t like spending your money on other people:

    1) Why the fuck do you even have insurance, then?
    2) You should be clamoring to this, because if anything, it’s saving money.
    3) Why does this only come up on women’s health issues? Do we tell diabetics “fuck your insulin. just eat right, asshole.”

    These are probably the same people who don’t want to pay for bariatric surgery, either.

  291. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    The relationship between “born” and “unborn” is starkly different than that between “dead” and “undead”.

  292. TomeWyrm says

    Wish I knew a lawyer. But using the rules of grammar as I know them I parse the sentence as

    The intentional use or prescription of any instrument, medicine, drug, or any other substance or devise or method to terminate the life of an unborn child,

    to terminate the pregnancy of a woman known to be pregnant with an intention other than “to produce a live birth and preserve the life and health of the child after live birth”,

    [or] to remove an ectopic pregnancy, or to remove a dead unborn child who died as the result of natural causes, accidental trauma, or a criminal assault on the pregnant woman or her unborn child.

    Three separate phrases, which could be re-arranged to say (this IS a descriptive list, those can be moved around quite readily)

    The intentional use or prescription of any instrument, medicine, drug, or any other substance or devise or method to terminate the life of an unborn child,

    to remove an ectopic pregnancy,

    to remove a dead unborn child who died as the result of natural causes, accidental trauma, or a criminal assault on the pregnant woman or her unborn child,

    or to terminate the pregnancy of a woman known to be pregnant with an intention other than to produce a live birth and preserve the life and health of the child after live birth.

    Line breaks mine, used to delineate complete phrases.

  293. Pteryxx says

    Do we tell diabetics “fuck your insulin. just eat right, asshole.”

    There certainly are people who espouse such a belief, at least when it comes to type II diabetics. But, yeah, it hasn’t worked its way into public policy. Yet.

    It’s been argued that the current conscience clauses in healthcare provisions could exempt insurers and health care providers from allowing ANYTHING related to an “immoral lifestyle”, such as substance abuse treatment, STD testing, or anything ostensibly related to obesity; or anything involving a personal belief, such as vaccines. Basically conscience clauses are just an excuse to substitute moral condemnation of the patient for medical best judgement.

    Best source article I could find: PDF of legal analysis

  294. woodsong says

    I haven’t yet read all of the comments, so I don’t know if anyone has brough up this particular argument for the anti-BC folks…

    Do you drink diet soda? Use margarine? Artificial sweetener or decaf coffee?

    If so, you’re trying to get the pleasure of eating/drinking something you enjoy, which doesn’t have much nutritional value in the first place, without the potential consequences of excess calories/caffiene. How is eating empty calories completely socially acceptable, while non-procreative sex is “evil”?

    Don’t the Christians consider gluttony to be as much a cardinal sin as lust?

  295. Ogvorbis: Now With 98% Less Intellectual Curiousity! says

    How is eating empty calories completely socially acceptable, while non-procreative sex is “evil”?

    Because almost everyone eats for pleasure, but, as GOP candidate Santorum said (and this is paraphrased, I am not gonna go looking for the actual quote), “Only a very small minority have sex for pleasure, so why should we change morality for them?”

  296. dianne says

    There certainly are people who espouse such a belief, at least when it comes to type II diabetics. But, yeah, it hasn’t worked its way into public policy.

    Shh! Don’t give them any ideas!

  297. dianne says

    GOP candidate Santorum said (and this is paraphrased, I am not gonna go looking for the actual quote), “Only a very small minority have sex for pleasure, so why should we change morality for them?”

    Oh, my goodness! I almost feel sorry for the poor piece of santorum. He’d really be much happier if he’d come out of the closet already.

  298. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Oggie:

    “Only a very small minority have sex for pleasure, so why should we change morality for them?”

    lolwut?

    There is something seriously wrong with ol’ Frothy.

    More importantly, there’s something seriously wrong with the people who have voted for him. I mean, gah! How can anyone be so fucking stupid?

    Anyone who has masturbated knows that sex is pleasurable. Why the fuck would anyone even deny that?

  299. Ogvorbis: Now With 98% Less Intellectual Curiousity! says

    Oh, my goodness! I almost feel sorry for the poor piece of santorum. He’d really be much happier if he’d come out of the closet already.

    I feel sorry for his slave wife.

  300. dianne says

    I feel sorry for his slave wife.

    Her too. Definitely. She probably doesn’t find much pleasure in sex either. Who could with a partner who’s clearly not into it?

    Their kids aren’t getting the best message either…

  301. Pteryxx says

    Anyone who has masturbated knows that sex is pleasurable. Why the fuck would anyone even deny that?

    But masturbation’s EVIL and UNNATURAL* and has to be fenced about with guilt and hatred and ignorance so the world doesn’t come to an end prematurely, or something like that.

    I still can’t wrap my head around these people believing something pleasurable, natural, and harmless is so awful; but then my fundie birth sect never could explain to me why spices were evil. As in, stuff you add to food so it tastes good. If garlic and herbs were so frickin’ evil then why did god put them on the world? Why does nature have nuts and berries growing wild all over it? Sheesh!

    *Never mind that nature’s all about the gay sex and masturbation: see Evolution’s Rainbow, etc.

  302. Gregory Greenwood says

    Pteryxx @ 340;

    my fundie birth sect never could explain to me why spices were evil. As in, stuff you add to food so it tastes good. If garlic and herbs were so frickin’ evil then why did god put them on the world? Why does nature have nuts and berries growing wild all over it? Sheesh!

    Hmmm… Are you sure – I mean absolutely sure – that some of those fundies weren’t xian vampires?

    It would explain the garlic hatred, at least…

    ;-)

  303. woodsong says

    Ogvorbis:

    Because almost everyone eats for pleasure, but, as GOP candidate Santorum said (and this is paraphrased, I am not gonna go looking for the actual quote), “Only a very small minority have sex for pleasure, so why should we change morality for them?”

    Snort. He actually claims that? Does he really think that married couples with a small number of kids are practicing abstinence? I think surveys asking the question “How often do you have sex?” would indicate otherwise…

    If he is actually speaking for himself, and not just playing holier-than-thou, I, like others above, feel sorry for his wife.

    Actually, I feel sorry for her whether he’s describing his own sex life or not. I can’t imagine dealing with, and being expected to provide sex for, someone like him on a regular basis. Talk about toxic!

    Is there any way we can legally invoke separation of church and state to keep clergy out of public office, at least above the town council level?

  304. Gregory Greenwood says

    As for all this ‘sin of Onan’ blather, I imagine that the fundies are scared that if young people in particular masturbate, it feels good, and nothing bad happens, then they might begin to wonder if other expressions of sexuality might also prove to be not only not evil, but actually rather a lot of fun.

    After that, their principle means of control – sexual guilt and fear – goes right out of the window. Targeting masturbation is simply the first front in their broader war against normal expressions of sexuality. The fact that it harms no one and is actually beneficial if not taken to extremes does not even begin to impact their delusions – they have never allowed little things like reality to interfere with their prating self-rightousness.

  305. Ogvorbis: Now With 98% Less Intellectual Curiousity! says

    I think I need to walk back that semi-quote as I cannot find it. I remember reading it, and it was in the past month or so, but I cannot find it. Sorry. I should have searched before typing.

  306. Pteryxx says

    That line of reasoning doesn’t work too well when it comes to marijuana or mushrooms, either.

    Yeah, I just didn’t want to go that far off-topic. BUT…

    Having plants grow drugs doesn’t make any sense from a sinfulness/creation standpoint, but evolution explains it perfectly. Plants and animals evolved together, so plants evolved chemicals that interact with animals in various ways – poisons, medicines, drugs, and pleasure rewards, which all overlap.

    One of the more famous incidents I got detention’d for was challenging my school’s so-called “anti-drug” policy. They banned all pop/soft drinks from campus on the grounds that they had evil drugs in them – namely, caffeine. So I asked the teacher “Is that coffee in your hand decaffeinated?”

    …Yeah, I don’t know why they didn’t send me to a camp.

  307. pj says

    Found something that was new to me. Santorum is close to Opus Dei.

    Rick Santorum sent two of his sons to a Washington, D.C. all-boys school affiliated with Opus Dei …Santorum says he’s not a member of Opus Dei, though he did go to Rome in 2002 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its founding, and he belongs to the St. Catherine of Siena Parish, “a favorite of Opus Dei,” the Washington Post says.

    Maybe he wears a hairshirt. Gets all his kicks out of mortification of flesh?

  308. dianne says

    …Yeah, I don’t know why they didn’t send me to a camp.

    They were afraid you’d convert the people running the camp?

    BTW, do fundies really consider spices evil? I’d never heard that one before.

  309. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Pteryxx:

    But masturbation’s EVIL and UNNATURAL* and has to be fenced about with guilt and hatred and ignorance so the world doesn’t come to an end prematurely, or something like that.

    Granted, but considering that studies and surveys have shown time and again that close to 100% of people masturbate, I can’t believe that the fundies would lie about it feeling good. They might say that it’s EEEEVIL!, but it’s EEEVIL! ‘cos it’s fun without procreation, right?

    I mean, if masturbating sucked, there’d be no reason to outlaw it, right?

  310. woodsong says

    Ogvorbis:

    Oh, I can believe that he said something like that. I’d just like to know if he actually thinks that! (I use the word “thinks” very loosely in his case). If so, he has a serious disconnect with reality, not that that’s a surprise.

    I brought up the gluttony and fat free/caffeine free/sugar free foods as a potential argument to throw in his & other anti-BC-ers faces, much like Pteryxx’s anecdote:

    One of the more famous incidents I got detention’d for was challenging my school’s so-called “anti-drug” policy. They banned all pop/soft drinks from campus on the grounds that they had evil drugs in them – namely, caffeine. So I asked the teacher “Is that coffee in your hand decaffeinated?”

    Well done, Pteryxx!

    Does anyone here think that my argument might be worth pulling out against Frothy’s allies?

  311. says

    Three separate phrases, which could be re-arranged to say (this IS a descriptive list, those can be moved around quite readily)

    I just can’t imagine that they wouldn’t have just said “any termination of a pregnancy except to produce a live birth and preserve the life and health of the child after live birth.” It would be strange for them, I think, to specify these cases, especially the one about removing a dead fetus with the language of “trauma” and “criminal assault.” I don’t put the evilness of it past them by any means; I just don’t see how it would make sense for them to include those cases specifically using that language.

    But again, I could be wrong.

  312. Pteryxx says

    BTW, do fundies really consider spices evil? I’d never heard that one before.

    I was raised by Seventh-Day Adventists, who have a cultural background of denying any kind of ‘sensual’ pleasures – Kellogg and his crazy masturbation-preventing health foods come from that way of thinking.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Harvey_Kellogg

    My natal sect also didn’t allow ornamentation such as bright clothing or jewelry, or any kind of dancing (but sports were okay for some reason – if I’d known about tai chi, I would’ve pushed them on that one.) That’s also why I never knew brussels sprouts could be tasty instead of overly boiled tasteless mush. I’ve also been cautioned for bringing deviled eggs to potlucks that have mustard in them.

    Sex education was nonexistent – Libby Anne goes into this in more detail than I know. I’d educated myself, mostly through medical texts and animal breeding, but somewhere in middle school I remember a teacher telling us the “women are supposed to die in childbirth” line. I walked out in a rage. I just wish I hadn’t been too beaten down by that point to say more.

  313. SallyStrange: bottom-feeding, work-shy peasant says

    Oh, but the pleasure you get from masturbation is from Satan! And the guilt you feel about it is God’s loving message to you that you’re going to burn in hell.

  314. dianne says

    And the guilt you feel about it is God’s loving message to you that you’re going to burn in hell.

    What’s the old saying about what you learn as a fundamentalist? God loves you and you’re going to hell. Sex is horrible and disgusting and you should save it for someone you love.

  315. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies says

    I can’t believe that the fundies would lie about it feeling good.

    What am I saying? Of course they would lie. I’m thinking about this like a rational person, instead of a brainwashed piece of shit.

    My bad.

  316. says

    As I pointed out supra, SD instituted a mandatory wait (3 day), mandatory ultrasounds and mandatory counseling (Christian ‘counseling’ at a fake clinic).

    For a second I thought that said “mandatory 3 day ultrasound”, and now I need brain bleach.

  317. Amphiox says

    Exactly what I’m talking about. You are so thick you can’t fathom that someone might not want to pay for other peoples condoms and *not* be a woman hater.

    No, it doesn’t necessarily make you a “woman hater”.

    What it does make you is a financial incompetent, who fails to understand that paying for universal access to contraception is actually one of the MOST ECONOMICALLY BENEFICIAL (and dirt cheap!) things any society that wants to advanced its economy, can do.

  318. Amphiox says

    Incidentally, reliable birth control has been around a lot longer than people think. It dates back at least to Ancient Egypt, and from how sophisticated the methods of the Egyptians were, it probably dates back even further than that.

    The Forces of Darkness(TM) have in fact engaged in an epochal, millennial effort to suppress and eliminate that information, and they were SO CLOSE to succeeding, when the BCP burst on the scene in the 60s.

    So of course they are in a tizzy. They are seeing a two thousand-year project of theirs swirl down the drain. All those resources they poured into it for all those centuries, wasted….

  319. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Not to beat a dead horse here, but for yiab and anyone else who thinks that bills restricting women’s access to birth control or abortion aren’t anti-woman, Jon Stewart would like to have a word with you.

    Pat downs at the airport? Government intrusion.
    Mandating HPV vaccinations? Government intrusion.
    The healthcare reform bill? Akin to rape!

    But forcing a woman undergo an invasive medical procedure for no god damned reason? Perfectly acceptable!

  320. says

    also fuck those 7 scariest words. “I’m from the Government, but we aren’t allowed to help” is fucking scarier damn it!

    As is “I’m from the government, now where are your papers?”

  321. Pteryxx says

    There certainly are people who espouse such a belief, at least when it comes to type II diabetics. But, yeah, it hasn’t worked its way into public policy. Yet.

    About that:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2012/02/27/the-blunt-amendment-making-health-care-worse-for-all/

    From the proposed Blunt amendment:

    A health plan shall not be considered to have failed to provide the essential health benefits package described in subsection (a) (or preventive health services described in section 2713 of the Public Health Service Act), to fail to be a qualified health plan, or to fail to fulfill any other requirement under this title on the basis that it declines to provide coverage of specific items or services because—

    (i) providing coverage (or, in the case of a sponsor of a group health plan, paying for coverage) of such specific items or services is contrary to the religious beliefs or moral convictions of the sponsor, issuer, or other entity offering the plan; or

    (ii) such coverage (in the case of individual coverage) is contrary to the religious beliefs or moral convictions of the purchaser or beneficiary of the coverage.

  322. hiker says

    Personally I’m sick of “free love” Boomers who predate second-wave feminism trying to pressure me into wanting sex outside a trusting long-term relationship.

    I’m an atheist, raised atheist; no religion taught this to me. I’m also a feminist. Not the fun kind. (Even though I’m Gen X, not a Boomer.)

    Wanting sex only in a trusting LTR is just how I am.

    Apparently I’m not allowed to want that. Apparently that makes me No True Liberal now — at least, free love Boomer d00ds keep telling me so. Even while evincing zero familiarity with the whole, “my body, my choice” argument for abortion. You know — the argument that was supported in Roe v. Wade. THE BASIC FEMINIST ARGUMENT.

    But then, these d00ds predate feminism.

    My favorite Boomer feminist had their number.

    When we Gen X women were young, these “free love” sexual coercers tried to con us into believing their spiel so they’d think we were cool. Cooler than Boomer women! Oooh, yeah, we’re sex-“positive.” We’re the fun kind.

    Some of us fell victim to it. Example: Amanda Marcotte.

    AFAIC, these Boomer assholes have just gone on to indoctrinate their Millennial kids.

    Blech. Leave me alone and let ME control my OWN sexuality. Don’t try to tell me more sex is always better. Don’t imply I should always want sex or else I’m anti-feminist. And don’t tell me there’s something wrong with the fact that I wanted my long-term partner to share my sexual values and have a sexual history similar to mine. It’s not exactly a double standard, now is it? I have a single standard.

    But. I. Have. A. Standard.

    For myself. And I have a right to that.

    From the above link:

    The hope of the male Left is that the loss of abortion rights will drive women back into the ranks–even fear of losing might do that; and the male Left has done what it can to assure the loss…. [T]he Left has not just been an absence; it has been a presence, outraged at women’s controlling their own bodies, outraged at women’s organizing against sexual exploitation, which by definition means women also organizing against the sexual values of the Left…. On the Left, women will have abortion on male terms, as part of sexual liberation, or women will not have abortion except at risk of death.

    NO.

    “Sexual liberation” is crap. Contraception and abortion are not about “sex being good.” They are about a woman’s right to control what happens to her own body.

  323. SallyStrange: bottom-feeding, work-shy peasant says

    Hey hiker, if you’re too stupid to figure out that

    a.) nobody is forcing you to be polyamorous against your will, nor shaming you for being monogamous and

    b.) asserting that “sex is a good thing” is an intrinsic part of the battle for asserting that women have the right to control their own bodies

    then you can fuck off. And since you brought up the alleged intergenerational war, fuck off and die already. You’re not helping.

  324. says

    Personally I’m sick of “free love” Boomers who predate second-wave feminism trying to pressure me into wanting sex outside a trusting long-term relationship.

    what.

    Some of us fell victim to it. Example: Amanda Marcotte.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

    oh yeah, Amanda Marcotte, that victim of patriarchy. lulz.

    AFAIC, these Boomer assholes have just gone on to indoctrinate their Millennial kids.

    fuck you, cupcake. just because you don’t like no strings attached sex doesn’t mean we’re indoctrinated if we do.

    And don’t tell me there’s something wrong with the fact that I wanted my long-term partner to share my sexual values and have a sexual history similar to mine.

    you’re allowed to want whateverthehell you want. you’re not allowed to be a judgmental ass about it, or pretend that it’s not judgmental to think someone worse because they have a different sexual history and different sexual preferences than you.

    Contraception and abortion are not about “sex being good.” They are about a woman’s right to control what happens to her own body.

    I fail to see how one contradicts the other. The conservatives are wrong on multiple levels, so that means opposing them on multiple levels.

  325. says

    oh yeah, there’s some non-prejudiced, women-affirming language for ya: “lots of girls who wanted it all the time outside marriage, free, giving it away”

    *rolleyes*

    “giving away” sex is an incoherent and ultimately patriarchal notion about the value of women. guess even the great andrea dworkin wasn’t immune.

  326. says

    oh, and since I’m on the topic anyway: outliers like me notwithstanding, on average, Millenials have fewer partners and start fucking later than Gen-X, both in NA and in Europe; “these Boomer assholes have just gone on to indoctrinate their Millennial kids” my ass. Millenial kids know their sexuality better and are more assertive about their own wants and needs than previous generations. are they free of patriarchy? obvs not; but they’re not “indoctrinated”; or if they are, previous generations are even more so. So that little condescending generational sneering was, of course, complete bullshit.

  327. Ichthyic says

    Personally I’m sick of “free love” Boomers who predate second-wave feminism trying to pressure me into wanting sex outside a trusting long-term relationship

    this is a poe, right?

    well, it’s pretty goddamn funny either way.

  328. says

    I read this post earlier, and had to deal with criticism of the main story, which I had overlooked in my enjoyment of the film. Today, I’ve had a few beers and am watching it again. I finally have a response. I haven’t read every reply on this post, but I gather that the question is of “purity” in the sense of a woman being “pure” to be worthy of marriage.

    I agree that Claudio’s etc. condemnation of Hero is appalling, especially by our modern standards. In this sense, I think that the play should be appreciated in that this play is Shakespeare’s approach to the question.

    Shakespeare was brilliant in showing, in allegory, exactly our situation. The story arcs address the morals of an atheist (Don John), the patriarchal values indoctrinated in youth (Claudio) and the shocking revelation that concurrence in wit and wisdom between lovers (Beatrice and Benedick) are the essential element of “marriage.”

    Shakespeare’s plays are so complex and ingenious that there is no space to write about it here. It is my view that this play shows Shakespeare’s insight in the relationship of the sexes.

    I understand the play thanks to your criticism, an I thank you. The movie is one of my favorite DVD’s.