Convergence Day 1 #cvg2013 »« Here’s a useful word for you: confabulation

We can get those, too?

Speaking as a man, I think I should have all the things and be the final authority on everything. Perhaps some of my resentment of women is because they are biologically permitted some experiences that I can’t share, which is NO FAIR. I must be the boss of everything!

So I am deeply impressed with this Brave Hero, who has apparently discovered a way to do something that I once would have thought was unique to reproductive females.

abortionregret

Well, he certainly has all the authority on that issue now, doesn’t he?

Comments

  1. Markus Schäfer says

    You misunderstand – HE was the one who WAS aborted. That is what he regrets, even if he got better.

  2. peptron says

    Maybe that woman wants to warn others that abortion can cause drastic increase in testosterone levels.

  3. =8)-DX says

    He’s providing a voice for the silenced, a hope to the hopeless… Who? of course all those women who had abortions and need him to speak up in their name!
    (One couldn’t go about just listening or asking women how they feel, that’s not proper activism!)

  4. ajb47 says

    If he regrets it that much, maybe he shouldn’t get anymore. I regret drinking that much Sambuca that one time many years ago — I haven’t had any since.

    Oooh. Maybe that sign needs a “YMMV. HAND.” at the bottom.

  5. says

    I’m guessing he is the (ex-)partner of a woman who had an abortion against his wishes, and has hit upon a way of expressing his disappointment that manages to make it all about him, while looking superficially like concern for women.

    Or am I reading too much into this?

  6. says

    David Hart:

    Or am I reading too much into this?

    I’ll have to see if I can find some links– apparently, one of the ant-choice orgs was just handing out signs indiscriminately. So, you can’t even trust the women who are holding those same signs.

  7. says

    Wonkette to the rescue!

    Millstein tweeted that while he saw both men and women holding the “I regret my abortion” signs, they were being handed out by a man with an anti-abortion group, so who knows? Maybe the guy simply didn’t read what was on the signs, or gave no thought to the optics? We’d love to think that a sneaky pro-choice infiltrator was grinning while giving the signs to men, but that’s a bit too Alex Jones false-flaggy, really.

  8. jamessweet says

    FWIW, I had a friend who, over the course of her life, had three abortions. She very much regretted the third, and I believe it played no small part in the spiral of depression and addiction that eventually resulted in her death from an oxycontin overdose.

    This has in no way, shape or form weakened my commitment to pro-choice principles, nor did it alter hers in the months before she died. That a legally-made decision might sometimes be the WRONG one has very little bearing on its legality.

    Are there women who regret their abortions? Of course. Are there women who suffer from depression or PTSD from their mistake? Sure. (Although, clearly there are many who suffer the same symptoms as a result of a mistaken decision to not get an abortion; anecdotally, I suspect the latter number much higher, but in absence of good data to this effect I can only assert that they exist) What this has to do with the legality of abortion, I have difficulty saying.

    I regret the amount of debt I have accrued. I lay awake at night with anxiety and depression sometimes. Are we proposing to outlaw all forms of credit?

  9. throwaway, extra beefy super queasy says

    So many questions. So few fucks given about the answers.

  10. jamessweet says

    And to build on what I said in comment #13, I would think the fact that it can be, for many women, such a momentous and emotional decision, with so much potential for regret and emotional (not to mention physical) suffering, that seems to indicate against government interference. But hey, I’m not a theocrat, so what do I know…

  11. Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^= says

    Is it possible to discuss the poster without the trans* shaming? Thank you.

  12. Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty says

    Even if a woman were holding the sign, it isn’t as if there aren’t women who deeply regret not having an abortion. That has nothing to do with another person’s right to bodily autonomy.

  13. says

    Indeed, maybe he is a trans man, and actually does have reproductive organs and for some ridiculous reason regrets his abortion even though he wanted the male gender.

  14. says

    Are there women who regret their abortions? Of course.

    And of course the “pro-life” response to this is to say: “So we’ll just take that choice away from them. For their own good, the poor dears”. At which point the mask over the misogyny has rather slipped, hasn’t it?

  15. Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty says

    Tigger, maybe he is a transman who had an abortion once. I hadn’t thought of that. I’m so accustomed to cis-dudes telling people what they may and may not do with their own bodies. I can’t imagine a transperson trying to deny anyone bodily autonomy. But, you have a point.

  16. Seize says

    Even if a woman were holding the sign, this argument rings hollow to me. It has both elements of “zygotes are magic” and “motherhood is magic.” First, you have to accept the premise that the specific pregnancy that was ended by elective abortion had magical qualities – a subsequent or earlier pregnancy could not have possibly satisfied the woman who had the abortion. To say “I regret not having a child” is very different from saying “I regret aborting a specific pregnancy.” Then, you enter the territory of why any person would be ascribing to a narrative in which having had a child would drastically improve their current lot in life. While childrearing can of course be deeply satisfying, it is difficult to say the least, most people currently dissatisfied with their lives would NOT benefit from suddenly having another mouth to feed. Therefore we are not, as usual, wishing we had brought a full human being into the world – we are wishing for the fairy dust of motherhood, which would have made us into a pure and holy woman had we not rejected it.

  17. Randomfactor says

    #9 David Hart, I’d guess that’s EXACTLY the situation. His property got an abortion without his permission.

  18. says

    PZ

    Speaking as a man, I think I should have all the things and be the final authority on everything.

    I thought you already had as our great Poopyhead?

    Jamessweet

    This has in no way, shape or form weakened my commitment to pro-choice principles, nor did it alter hers in the months before she died. That a legally-made decision might sometimes be the WRONG one has very little bearing on its legality.

    This
    How do they feel about outlawing marriage?
    Clearly, about % of people who get married regret this later…

    Tigger, maybe he is a transman who had an abortion once. I hadn’t thought of that. I’m so accustomed to cis-dudes telling people what they may and may not do with their own bodies. I can’t imagine a transperson trying to deny anyone bodily autonomy.

    Seriously?
    Occam’s Razor
    That’s so unlikely that it can almost be discarded as an option. Further we have the evidence that those signs were simply handed out, so no, really

  19. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    Well, she turned me into a newt aborted me!

    … I got better

  20. throwaway, extra beefy super queasy says

    Are there women who suffer from depression or PTSD from their mistake?

    Most women who suffer depression after their choice were also suffering before they chose to have an abortion. Maybe it was depression about not being in the position to actually have the means to provide for a child? Or whatever. Just read up.

  21. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    I’m interpreting the poster as not being a message from whoever holds it, but what’s supposed to be a reflection of the thoughts of a woman reading it – look at that number underneath, she’s supposed to call it and share her story or join the anti-lifers of whatever the hell happens when you call the number.

    But hey, maybe I‘m reading too much into it.

  22. throwaway, extra beefy super queasy says

    Beatrice, I think you’ve hit the proverbial nail. My initial reaction was probably a bit more convoluted, i.e., the man considered the abortion which his girlfriend or wife carried out with his blessing as something which he regretted being a part of. But then it would be ‘our’ abortion. The fact that they handed out signs pretty much negates that, though.

    And so that they know I’m addressing them, my 25 was to jamessweet up @13.

  23. auraboy says

    #25 – and there’s even this thing where some women get depressed if they don’t have an abortion. Since postpartum depression is suggested to affect between 5 and 25% of new mothers, maybe having the baby is riskier for mental health?

  24. Seize says

    @ Beatrice: If I did not already have so much exposure to anti-choice whackaloons in my chosen profession, I would be very tempted to call the number and see what it is all about.

    Perhaps a bored male Pharyngulite might like to give them a ring? They don’t seem to discriminate.

  25. Randomfactor says

    Maybe we need some similar signs with “I regret my ordination” and the number for the Clergy Project.

  26. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @Randomfactor

    Genius. Pure, unadulterated, weapons-grade genius.

  27. opposablethumbs says

    I wish I remembered where this is from, but others here probably know – isn’t it the case that women who are bullied/pressured/guilted are significantly more likely to feel they regret an abortion than women whose decision is respected and who have a supportive environment?
    .
    Also, what jamessweet said – people can regret legal decisions on occasion, and this is no kind of justification for taking away their right to make decisions. Marriage would certainly be illegal if that were the only criterion. So would making purchases – any purchases – getting tattoos, moving house, going to concerts, not going to concerts … actually pretty much everything except breathing. The right to choose is not invalidated by the fact that it is possible for a person to make a choice they later regret.

  28. Onamission5 says

    @throwaway #25:

    “…the rate of women having serious emotional reactions after having abortions are less than or equal to the rates of women experiencing depression after giving birth.”

    Which is as I have long suspected, that at least some serious bouts of post-abortion depression are in fact probably misattributed cases of PPD. I’ve been horribly depressed and regretted giving birth, and experience alone has taught me that I take about two years post partum before I start to level off again and be able to cope with normal shit in a relatively balanced, predictable way. Took about two years after my miscarriage, too. Birth, abortion, miscarriage, in any event a pregnancy has been ended and one’s body will probably need some time to adjust.

    I also wonder, of the people who have had abortions and do regret doing so, how much of that regret is tied into the fact that there is so little in the way of support, sympathy or aftercare? How many don’t regret their abortions so much as they regret being rejected by their friends or family, or regret having to hide their abortion because of fear of social consequences?

  29. throwaway, extra beefy super queasy says

    I wish I remembered where this is from, but others here probably know – isn’t it the case that women who are bullied/pressured/guilted are significantly more likely to feel they regret an abortion than women whose decision is respected and who have a supportive environment?

    Maybe you’re remembering this?

  30. throwaway, extra beefy super queasy says

    Hmm, never mind, false alarm as it’s only tangentially related; still good reading.

  31. stevem says

    Could be he is saying he regrets the abortion his “girlfriend” had. His baby, therefore his abortion. Everything belongs to the “man”, even the “woman” herself. And babies are solely due to his participation. Without men, no more babies. Men are all that matter, women don’t count. (and he ‘regrets’ it because he told her to do it)

    But the lie to that whole thing is the phone number and org name below the “slogan”. Clearly it is supposed to be the words of some woman that needs a place to talk about it. And he is just letting them know that the place exists and this is the number to call.

    What I think is crude (maybe just me) but the look on his face is not compassion, but accusation. It says, “If you had an abortion, you *should* regret it. Call this number and support our drive to eliminate it as even an option. Aren’t we so holy to eliminate ‘regret’ from our sacred sisters?”

  32. Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^= says

    Thank you for the pleasant surprise I got when I came back to find my concerns dealt with.

    That’s why I like this place. Everyone slips up sometimes, it’s part of being human. But when mistakes are made here, they are acknowledged so we can all move on.

    Thank you again. =^_^=

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    People regret all sorts of things; stuff we did, stuff we failed to do.

    The way we move on is to acknowledge our regrets, forgive ourselves for not always knowing at the time which is the right decision for us and put right, to the best of our ability, what we are able to in order to make the most of what time we have left.

    What doesn’t work is being made to feel ashamed of ourselves by people who gain a great deal of power over shaming others for their decisions – even if those are the right decisions.

    Holding up a sign to say that you regret making a particular decision is all very well, but what are you hoping to gain from doing that? The only person who can forgive you for a decision that affected no-one else? Is you yourself.

    If you wish to tell someone else that they might risk feeling regret for a decision which is theirs, and theirs alone, to make – why? What do you know about their lives, their circumstances, which makes you think that you have the right to influence it in any way at all?

    If you think that abortion is always regrettable, first inform yourself of the reasons that women have an abortion. Then think, very carefully, whether you have any right whatsoever to step in between a woman and her doctor and tell either of them what you think they should do in any of those circumstances.

    Imagine what you would do in the same circumstances. What would entice you to carry on with a pregnancy that you had already decided would be better terminated? Would it be someone stepping in front of you with a sign which told you that they regretted making the decision to terminate under circumstances that were entirely different to yours? No?

    So, to all of you out there who think you are ‘Pro-Life’:

    If you think that there should be fewer abortions, then do something that actually works. Use your vote and your influence on the following:
    Universal, free, accurate and thorough education, especially sex education.
    Universal free healthcare, especially contraception, in properly equipped doctors’ surgeries and hospitals.
    Decent benefits for those under- or unemployed.
    Affordable, decent housing.
    Grants (NOT loans) for baby clothes and equipment.
    Universal, adequate, child allowance, paid to the primary carer.
    Employment protection for pregnant women and paid parental leave of at least a year, to be taken in turns by anyone in charge of the baby (foster and adoptive parents should definitely get this too); at least double that if the baby is disabled or ill.
    Free, appropriate and comprehensive education and support for disabled people from birth.

    What definitely ISN’T ‘pro-life’ and does nothing towards reducing abortions (and even increases them in some cases), regardless of whether it might give you a smug, holier-than-thou feeling, is doing any of the following:
    picketing abortion clinics, praying, attempting to shame people for thoughtful decisions, restricting access to sex education, restricting access to contraception, closing down health clinic because one of the myriad services they provide is abortion, shooting doctors, trying to make women ashamed for making a medical decision, trying to restrict women’s rights by legislation.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I have several serious disorders which weren’t diagnosed until after I had finished my reproductive years. They resulted in me losing several pregnancies. Had I been diagnosed before I decided to start a family, the advice would certainly have been not even to try to get pregnant, and those embryos and fœtuses wouldn’t even have been started. Should I regret those losses? But because I wasn’t diganosed, and I was a good little Catholic, I now have five grown offspring and five grandchildren who wouldn’t exist if those others hadn’t been lost. Which do I regret? The lost ones or the living ones (most of whom* wouldn’t have been conceived had the previous pregnancies been sustained)? Should I regret only the ones that I lost late enough to know I had been pregnant? Or the unknown numbers that I lost before I knew?

    *One of my losses was my daughter’s twin sister.

    And yes, I had hormonally-related depression after each of my much-wanted children; I only got better after my equally-wanted total hysterectomy. In my case, regrets are only tangentially related to depression.

    I am all in favour of life. I object strongly to war, capital punishment, greedy personal, governmental and industrial/business practices that result in poverty and famine on a planet that has the resources to ensure that everyone has enough. I particularly object to religious doctrines that reduce half the human race to less-than-human incubators, deprives women and girls of equal access to education, work and pay (“Why bother? She’s only going to leave to have a baby!”) and then blame the woman for making the best decision for her, in her circumstances, without making any effort whatsoever to make things better in any way. So I do feel sad that there are circumstances under which someone has an abortion which they later regret. But we, as a compassionate species, reduce the likelihood of that happening by increasing the choices that a pregnant person has, not by restricting one of them.

    The best way to protect life is to do something to make the lives of those already living as safe and as comfortable as possible.

  33. diana says

    When I had an abortion way back in 1972, I consciously decided that I might feel regret at some point. And then I looked at the prospect of having a third child under three years old, a husband who was for sure cheating, and probably planning on leaving me and the children. So I compared the regret of having another baby to the regret of not being a better mother to the two I already had. I chose abortion and what I thought would be the lesser amount of regret. Then I waited for the regret. More than 40 years later and still no sign of it, even though I was prepared to accept and feel it.

  34. Who Knows? says

    David Hart @ 9

    Or am I reading too much into this?

    Nope, you’ve likely hit the nail right on the head.

  35. Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts says

    peptron:

    Maybe that woman wants to warn others that abortion can cause drastic increase in tetosterone levels.

    Pretty sure there’s no way for you to know how that person identifies. Why bring that into it?

    vexorian:

    Indeed, maybe he is a trans man, and actually does have reproductive organs and for some ridiculous reason regrets his abortion even though he wanted the male gender.

    So, reproductively capable transmen shouldn’t be able to get pregnant because of the gender they want to identify as?

    WTF is with the comments in this thread? Why isn’t this transphobic shit being called out?

    Tigger, of course, was on the ball.

  36. HappyNat says

    I suspect one reason women regret or are depressed after an abortion is because they were indoctrinated their whole life to think abortion was a sin. Even if the abortion was the right choice for them it’s hard to shake that christian guilt. There is a Catholic organization in town that counsels women who have had abortions and helps them get over the guilt of the decision they made, sometimes 20 years ago. The women quoted in the article I read all talked about coming to terms with their decision and how god had forgiven them, yadda yadda. All I could think was that is if the god damn Catholic Church hadn’t instilled all that guilt in the first place they wouldn’t need the counseling now.

  37. Seize says

    @HappyNat, the whole “do you regret your abortion hint hint YOU SHOULD” is a particularly vile Catholic snare. You’re involving a woman in a mortal sin for which years of atonement (and attending Mass and passing the collection plate, natch) is required. You’re telling her she is guilty of murder for a choice that factually just adds up to being responsible. You’re snaring her in and telling her she’s broken for being the sexual/reproductive gatekeeper your Church always told her she had to be. It’s a particularly devious snare because you’re telling a woman she is a mortal sinner for a choice she cannot, by definition, go back and “rectify.” You’re stuck going to Church and being sorry forever because of something you can’t undo.

    To me, it’s just an extension of the vilification of human lust that I was so familiar with as a young Catholic. If we’re told that a perfectly normal part of life is inherently sinful, how can we stop coming back for forgiveness? It’s the same trap as “moral sin you can’t go back and fix,” but on an installment plan.

  38. stevem says

    re Thomathy @44:

    WTF is with the comments in this thread? Why isn’t this transphobic shit being called out?

    the “problem” is that we recognize the full range of possibilities. Since xe is claiming to regret xis abortion, maybe xe is not a “real”(‘cis’?) ‘he’ but a trans ‘he’. We don’t assume we know everything “at face value”, but recognizing all the possibilities, no matter how improbable, sometimes leads the thread astray; in weird directions.

  39. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    stevem,

    the “problem” is that we recognize the full range of possibilities.

    Oh come on. Did you even read the quoted comments? Don’t try to excuse unthinking comments by claiming these people were raising trans awareness or some shit like that, because… did you even fucking read them?!

  40. carlie says

    Notice his shirt, also – it’s a fetus that is approximately as large as a small goat. Seems like false advertising if it isn’t depicted at actual size.

  41. Louis says

    Of course we men can get abortions! I’ve had dozens. When I was promoted to full Manginahood and Feminist Ally Status by the Feminazi Man-Oppressing Sisterhood of Doom I was generously granted care of my very own uterus. As I have risen through the ranks of Manginosity to become Ubergruppenfuhrer of Castration and Propaganda Services (London Division) I have managed to accumulate three uteri for the purpose of filling with multiple male foetuses, by use of evil Feminazi Social Sciences naturally. I then abort these foetuses and dance on their NON CHRISTIAN graves singing Hallelujah.

    And if you told that to the MRAs of today, they wouldn’t believe you.

    Louis

  42. carlie says

    What I think is crude (maybe just me) but the look on his face is not compassion, but accusation. It says, “If you had an abortion, you *should* regret it. Call this number and support our drive to eliminate it as even an option. Aren’t we so holy to eliminate ‘regret’ from our sacred sisters?”

    That’s the part that makes it such an arresting image to me. It’s taking the easy joke that this appears to be someone who has never been in need of an abortion saying they regret having one, but it’s fairly obvious that it’s just an incongruity by someone who is holding a placard that, to them, is just a “pro-life” message and an ad for whatever group the phone number leads to. But the look on their face – that’s the thing. That accusatory, judgmental look. That’s the part that gives me chills.

  43. carlie says

    Self-righteous, really. And faslely proud, as if thinking “This is my stance, and I don’t care what you think about it or who gives me crap for it”, going right along with that “oh we’re the oppressed ones and therefore martyrs” charade.

  44. Funny Diva says

    Louis @ 50
    Oh Nooooooes! You said all that out loud on teh internets. Our Sooper Sekrit Agenda has been Revealed!

    Where should I have this containerload of sniny interntez delivered?

  45. Louis says

    Funny Diva,

    Please deliver to the headquarters:

    Evil Feminist Conspiracy Inc (Incorporating Misandry Enterprises)
    1 Emasculation Plaza
    Pointingandlaughingatmras Street
    New Sisterhood
    Socialist Europe

    Thanks. ;-)

    Louis

  46. Funny Diva says

    And from the Actual Equivalence Files…Weapons-Grade Mansplainin’ from the Crunchy Left.
    From my Nation of Change email this morning:
    (emphases mine)

    Robert Jensen, Op-Ed:
    Expanding the Dead-End Debate over Abortion
    The abortion debate in Texas—and throughout the country—has dead-ended: pro-life v. pro-choice, saving the unborn child v. protecting the rights of the mother, responsibility v. freedom. Every encounter leaves each side more dug in. As the Texas Legislature takes up abortion bills in its second special session, we can deepen that debate simply by recognizing the complexity of the issue, which usually is plowed under in the short-term goal of passing or defeating a particular bill. That’s politics, but beneath are deeper questions.

    No, I didn’t need to read more than that “teaser” to consign the whole thing to my “trash” folder.
    (I’m thinking it’s time to unsubscribe from NoC, they’re also on a “they’re gonna kill us all” anti-Monsanto/GMO crusade.)
    Protip, MISTER Jensen: NO. It is NOT complex. Your inability to work through your own false dichotomies notwithstanding.
    Sometimes deadlock is a GOOD thing. Sometimes, THERE IS NO MIDDLE GROUND.

  47. The Mellow Monkey says

    Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty

    I can’t imagine a transperson trying to deny anyone bodily autonomy.

    FTR, trans men can be as misogynistic, controlling, trans-misogynistic, transphobic, etc. as anyone else. I’ve crossed paths with some who are both a) utterly repulsed and enraged by the idea of a trans man being pregnant and b) utterly repulsed and enraged by the idea of “their” woman carrying “another man’s child”. We can all accept that, perhaps, a man has had an abortion or otherwise been involved in someone else’s decision regarding an abortion without assuming this would in any way mean he respects other people’s bodily autonomy.

    Regardless of the background of the man holding that sign, he’s trying to shame people in a way that is closely linked with misogyny and upholding male power.

  48. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    While I normally avoid message t-shirts, I am seriously tempted to make one that says “I Regret My _____.”

  49. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    I’m going to try and make myself feel a bit better by imagining that that other guy that got caught in the photo is staring down because he is ashamed to be seen anywhere near an asshole like that.

  50. says

    Tigger

    Which do I regret? The lost ones or the living ones (most of whom* wouldn’t have been conceived had the previous pregnancies been sustained)?

    Tomorrow will be #1′s 6th birthday.
    Time flies, I guess.
    She was concieved 3 months after my miscarriage, so no, she wouldn’t be here if that pregnancy would have survived. And I wouldn’t miss her one bit. I would have celebrated a birthday back in February and would have celebrated the birthday of my beloved child.
    And now I don’t actually miss the embryo that died. It as a loss, it was painful, but the loss was all mine. To compare my wonderful daughter who’s at the moment trying to sleep early to make tomorrow come faster with the 10 weeks embryo as pro-lifers do is a horrible insult against that child, that living, breathing, thinking child.

  51. Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts says

    carlie,

    Notice the writing above. I believe that it reads ‘I’m Humanist’.
    _____

    Beatrice,

    Ugh. People.

  52. CaitieCat says

    Thanks for speaking up Tigger and others.

    What I’d like to see? I’d like to see the awareness raised that when you start making jokes about how “no woman could ever…” or “no man could possibly have…” or “ha ha maybe he was pregnant” or “ha ha like she’d know what being a father is like,” you’re erasing the lives of trans* folk.

    Question you need to ask yourself in general is, “Is this joke worth the fact that $FREQUENTLY_OPPRESSED people who encounter it will feel ‘set apart’ from humanity?” I would submit that the answer to that is usually, or should be, no. There are plenty of people around who can manage to make all kinds of funny without making people feel like crap. Be more like them. :)

  53. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    I’m reading it as I’m humanS, so maybe that’s actually a ! after I’m human (since humans makes little sense).

  54. David Marjanović says

    Maybe we need some similar signs with “I regret my ordination” and the number for the Clergy Project.

    I’m with comment 32. :-)

  55. Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts says

    I’m human

    If so, it’s really too bad, but then I’d hate for such a person to be inflicted on another species.

  56. smhll says

    Backing up comment 62:

    When we start off the thread with joking about the idea that a man could ever be pregnant, then we are on the train that goes to the station where we keep the buses that we thrown trans people under.

    Let’s switch the train towards a different direction, or put our shoulders to the wheel and start backing that train of thought up.

  57. says

    (Blinks at ‘I’m human’ shirt…)

    Hrm…

    Odd thing to insist upon, seems to me…

    I say we have him tested. He protests too much. Obviously, we’re dealing with some kinda alien.

    … And, apparently, aliens enjoy doing tongue-in-cheek photobombs of cringe-inducing human protests. But then, who can blame them, really? That there, that’s gold. If I were an alien*, that’s exactly what I’d be doing…

    (*/What? How could you even suggest such a thing? I even have a t-shirt right here that says I’m not! Control! This is Delphar-7! My mission is in jeopardy…)

  58. anteprepro says

    Also, gotta love the “Silent No More” on the bottom, whether it is a catchphrase or an organization. When have these fuckers ever been silent? They have been noisy, demanding, and intrusive for decades. They sure do love to play “well look at little ol’ humble me, just mindin’ my own business, when somethin’ finally that has nothing to do with me finally gets me to talk, because I am never angry or outspoken otherwise, nosiree bob”. It’s a really pathetic charade. They like to pretend that they have been pushed to the brink into finally speaking out, when they have always been bullies and busibodies, ordering people around the entire time.

  59. Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^= says

    Thank you to everyone who called out the trans*phobic shit. Thank you for continuing to make Pharyngula a safe place.

    Giliell,

    Happy 6th Birthday to your #1! =^_^=

    My Number 1 had his 32nd birthday last week. I feel old.

    You are so right. Time flies like an arrow! (Fruit flies like a banana)

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Back to regret:

    When we lose someone, the loss hurts; among other reasons because we remember all the time and experiences that we had with them and recognise that we will never repeat those and also because the future we had planned with them, and were looking forward to, is no longer.
    When a wanted pregnancy is lost, the loss hurts partly because we have lost the future we had planned; but the personality we were going to share that future with was, after all, a figment of our imaginations. We have very little, if any (depending on the length of the pregnancy) shared past with them to remember and mourn. The regret is for the loss of a potential life arc rather than an actual one. Yet when a baby is born, the future we had planned during pregnancy often turns out very different in the actual living of it, but we don’t usually mourn that loss of the planned future, because we happily adjust our expectations according to the real child we have borne, rather than the imaginary one of pregnancy.

    (I’ve had a thought – maybe the personal hurt that some people feel when they realise that they have a disabled child (especially Autism-Speaks-Parents) is because they are unable to adjust the plans they had, for the imaginary child-to-be, to accommodate the real child, and they cannot bring themselves to want that child as much as the one they imagined themselves having. That would also explain those parents who control every aspect of their children’s lives: choosing (or at least trying to choose) their clothes, toys, friends, careers, partners… they are trying to turn their real child into the one they imagined they would have).

    When an unplanned, unwanted pregnancy is discovered, the pregnant person suddenly finds themselves in a situation where the future they had planned, and were looking forward to, is no longer. That loss hurts just as much as any other; but they can do something about it that restores the original plan. That might be why few people regret elective abortion. It is something that restores their control over their lives and their futures, rather than something which takes everything away.

    One thing that might help people become more rational about the whole elective-abortion-equals-murder thing would be to put it in context by speaking out about miscarriage, AKA spontaneous abortion, statistics.

    A vast and important part of the experience of people seems to be hidden behind a curtain of shame, and failure, mourning and regret. Every person I have spoken to on the subject knows someone who has had at least one miscarriage. Most, like me, have had several. But no-one mentions it in conversation. It simply gets swept under the carpet and ignored. If one of us doesn’t deliberately ignore the hushing and silencing tactics and raise the subject anyway, it never gets discussed. So no-one knows how prevalent pregnancy loss is. And that isn’t counting the loss of embryos so early that no-one is aware that the egg was ever fertilised.

    I’d like to ask these ‘pro-life’ whiners, picketing with their signs, something important (they aren’t actually ‘pro’ anything; nothing they do is actually aimed at changing the status quo; it’s all about them feeling superior without actually having to do anything helpful for anyone). Exactly how do they treat women who have miscarried a wanted pregnancy? How much sympathy and understanding do they give them? How do they commemorate the deceased conceptuses/embryos/fœtuses – all ‘unborn babies’? How many prayers do they offer up each week for the ‘souls of the babies’ lost by members of their congregation over the previous seven days?

    And I’d like to ask them who, exactly, is responsible for their loss? For every baby born, at conservative estimates more than one, up to three conceptions were lost.

    The truth is that, if they truly believe that not even a sparrow falls without the say-so of their God, that life begins at conception and that every death of an unborn baby is a major tragedy, they should be picketing the churches!

    I’d like to ask them why they aren’t angry at God.

    When their God kills blastocysts, embryos and fœtuses – ones that would be wanted – by the hundreds every minute of every day, all over the world*; yet they say it is wrong for someone to decide under any circumstances whatsoever to end their own pregnancy, when humans do so at the rate of just 83 a minute**?

    When 33 mothers die, every hour from complications caused by pregnancy and delivery***? (I was nearly one of those appalling statistics, back in 1984, when they were even higher.)

    When, of the 15,000 babies born every hour, 634 won’t live to celebrate their first birthday****?

    If no-one ever had an elective abortion again, anywhere in the world, 44 million elective abortions wouldn’t happen each year. But at least 22 million of those embryos and fœtuses would die, through miscarriage, anyway. And more would die because the person carrying them would die.

    By successfully ending elective abortion worldwide, you’d save, at best, 12-22 million lives a year. Meantime, over 150 million embryos and fœtuses, most of them very much wanted, would die before being born, through miscarriage.

    You think life begins at conception, and want to save unborn babies? Stop wasting time and money picketing abortion providers and trying to make people who have had elective abortions feel ashamed or guilty.

    Sponsor research into preventing spontaneous, not elective, abortion. Make pregnancy safer.

    Save over seven times as many lives.

    Thank you.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    *Worldwide births, 15,000 per hour, 250 per minute; spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) and failed implantation rates, conservative estimate 60-75% of all fertilised eggs = 22,500 – 45,000 per hour, 375 – 750 per minute (various implantation estimations, several sites)
    **Elective abortion rates 42 – 44 million worldwide per year, 4,800 – 5,000 per hour, 80 – 83 per minute (Guttmacher Institute)
    ***”Every day, approximately 800 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.” (WHO)
    ****Worldwide infant mortality, 37.61 deaths/1,000 live births (UN)

  60. kayden says

    Getting an abortion is not an easy choice so of course there are some women who regret having one. That has nothing to do with the importance of abortions being legally available to women who need them. Not sure why anti-choicers/forced birthers don’t get that.

  61. Badland says

    Giliell @ 60

    Instant tears from me as I think of my kids doing similar things. Part of the beauty of our children is their innocence, and going to bed early to make tomorrow come sooner is such a lovely example of that

  62. chigau (違う) says

    I wonder if they guy with the sign thinks about how the photo on his shirt was taken.

  63. says

    …and don’t get him started on the remorse he feels about his transvaginal ultrasound. That *really* wasn’t what he expected.

  64. Koshka says

    kayden #77,

    Getting an abortion is not an easy choice so of course there are some women who regret having one.

    I have a problem with blanket statements such as these. For some women it is an easy choice to get an abortion. If a women gets pregnant and doesnt want to be pregnant then she shouldnt have to agonise over her decision to have one or not.

  65. Koshka says

    She was concieved 3 months after my miscarriage, so no, she wouldn’t be here if that pregnancy would have survived.

    My partner had an abortion about 13 years ago because we were at a bad time in our relationship. We now have 2 children. If she was unable to have an abortion at the time I can not say what would have happened but I would think it would be more likely that the child born would have separated parents and my 2 living children would not exist.
    There is no regret. There is sense of loss. There is only recognition that it was her decision and it was right for her, and by extension me and our family.

    I fucking hate these horrible people who try to shame others who have had an abortion. As someone who has had a wanted baby die, i seethe with rage when people want to force others to have an unwanted one.

  66. ck says

    jamessweet wrote:

    I regret the amount of debt I have accrued. I lay awake at night with anxiety and depression sometimes. Are we proposing to outlaw all forms of credit?

    Of course not. Don’t be ridiculous. We’re working at outlawing personal bankruptcy, which is a lot like abortion, and many of the same justifications for one are used for the other. “If you’re going to have fun with sex credit, you should be forced to live with the consequences of child rearing cripping life-long debt, right?” See? It fits perfectly for the punishment “personal responsibility” brigade

  67. MadDissector says

    That sign reminded me a very sad story my mother told me when I was a teen. It wasn’t nice. A friend of hers got pregnant for the third time. She wanted to have the child, but the husband wasn’t happy with the idea of having to maintain three children with his income. So, he was a taxi driver, and one day he arranged a babysitter for the two children and made the wife get into his taxi. I guess she was looking for some romantic time together, but that wasn’t what the guy had in mind: he brought her to an abortion clinic and told to her that she was having an abortion (yes or yes). She didn’t have a say. She couldn’t react. She was so hurt and surprised. She got the abortion. This happened thirty years ago, and she was, as it was normal those days, only a housewife: she didn’t have her own income and therefore she maybe thought she couldn’t oppose. I got to know this woman, as her eldest son was a friend of mine, and I must confess even since I couldn’t look at the husband’s face. I thought his actions were so outrageous. Basically, HE took all the decisions, against HER interests. He was the the one that aborted.

  68. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    joedelaney, 80: Fuck you. Jesus fucking christ, we’ve had numerous calls for the transphobic shit to stop, and you still thought that was appropriate? Fuck you.

    Also, as many of you already know and not to bore y’all to death, my story is very similar to that of Diana at 41, except instead of a cheating spouse we had crushing poverty. Still, all I feel is overwhelming relief, even years afterwards. Especially when I look at my thinking, feeling, laughing children who would have been the most affected if I didn’t abort.

    So yeah, regret is a thing. Of course it is. But many people who aborted don’t feel that regret, and it’s a pretty scummy thing to do to use the ones who already feel like crap to bludgeon other people with.

  69. DLC says

    Well, my Imaginary Friend says I can order people around at will, and that anyone who doesn’t do as I say will be punished in the afterlife. So, I feel completely entitled to order women to do what I say with their bodies. Further, anyone who disagrees with me is Persecuting me, and so must be stopped, and shamed.
    how dare you interrupt my most holy work!

  70. mildlymagnificent says

    I’ve had a thought – maybe the personal hurt that some people feel when they realise that they have a disabled child (especially Autism-Speaks-Parents) is because they are unable to adjust the plans they had, for the imaginary child-to-be, to accommodate the real child, and they cannot bring themselves to want that child as much as the one they imagined themselves having.

    Everyone with a disabled child should read Welcome to Holland some time or another.
    http://www.journeyofhearts.org/kirstimd/holland.htm

  71. says

    @ DLF

    Imaginary Friend

    The thing about childrens’ imaginary friends, is that the children actually realise the “friends” are imaginary.

    The analogy breaks down because only the goddists are deluded. The children see things for what they really are.

  72. Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^= says

    theophontes,

    Maybe we need some similar signs with “I regret my ordination” and the number for the Clergy Project.

    You tickled my funnybone. Your reward: Picture.

    I love it!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    mildlymagnificent,

    Everyone with a disabled child should read Welcome to Holland some time or another.
    http://www.journeyofhearts.org/kirstimd/holland.htm

    Seconded!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Thanks again, to those standing up against transphobia. =^_^=

    Please, anyone thinking of making any kind of ‘joke’, or smart remark, that relies on its impact on gender essentialism; think first about whether you are about to stomp on the feelings of someone innocent.

    This, of course, also goes for race, age, orientation, ability, mental faculties, illness etc.

    Stop it.

    There are ways to discuss obnoxious signs and criticise behaviour, and even to make jokes about them, without insulting whole swathes of bystanders.

  73. says

    I do believe that the man in the picture is offering a phone number to women who regret their abortions. I would call that number and say that my abortion was the right decision that I don’t regret at all, but they are probably counting all calls to that number as a statistic reinforcing their point of view.

    Since many of those people think in soundbites: You can regret any decision–does that mean someone else should decide for you? Should children be kept in school by main force? Should people be prevented from marrying because they may come to regret it? Should the sale of expensive cars be outlawed? Where do you draw the line?

  74. sharkjack says

    @ mildlymagnificent 88: psh, as a Dutch person I feel comfortable saying visiting Holland is more than a few steps down from visiting Italy.

    But seriously it’s a good read and it doesn’t just apply to having a child with disabilities(the fact that we group everyone we see vary from the norm in even one of the many dimensions of abilities into one huge group called disabled shows how hung up we as a culture are over this very narrow set of boundaries that fit our ideal “normal” child). I’ve seen people get so hung up on their shattered dream version of something, that they completely fail to appreciate whatever is actually in front of them. In fact I used to be like that. A silly thing like mcDonalds not having applesauce would’ve totall ruined an awesome birthday part, even though I would’ve liked fries with mayo just fine.

    Learning to let go of conceptions of how things should be when there’s no reason to hold on to them allows you to enjoy things as they come for what they are. It’s up to the person involved to say when there is enough reason to give up a dream or to keep pursuing. Imposing that on others is bound to lead to a lot of suffering.

    Also Yay on calling out the transphobia in this thread. Let’s keep this a trans friendly space and not reinforce that type of misogyny while calling out people imposing their misogyny on others.

  75. peptron says

    Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts:

    peptron:
    Maybe that woman wants to warn others that abortion can cause drastic increase in tetosterone levels.

    Pretty sure there’s no way for you to know how that person identifies. Why bring that into it?

    Forgive my ignorance, but I do not understand that comment. What is the link between what I said and identification. And it brings what into what? You seem to be seeing an undertext that I do not.

    My reasoning for that comment went that way:
    I wrote that with my usual joking point of view that people are always honest and truthful. So, this person said he/she had an abortion, therefore it’s true. In this day and age, only women can have abortion. That means that this person is a woman. However, the person really looks like a man. I do know that there really isn’t much difference between a man and a woman as far as “general” biology goes. Give testosterone to a woman, and she will grow a beard, lose breasts, etc. I also know that a lot of people wouldn’t like something like that to happen without their knowing. Hence the “I regret”.

    So, the question is, what did you see that I did not?

  76. says

    Who are the spaceship lot…real into cloning?

    Ah. The Raelians.

    What we have here is Raelian who sincerely regrets his “financial abortion”, after walking out on his half alien child. As seen on his shirt.

    Mens rights fans of biased and poorly thought out evolutionary psychology should be gathering to tear this (presumed) man asunder.

  77. Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^= says

    peptron,

    Learn about trans* people before making another comment. Seriously.

  78. sharkjack says

    @93 peptron

    So, the question is, what did you see that I did not?

    The answer to that is Cis-normativity, which you clearly put on display here.

    In this day and age, only women can have abortion.

    You are equating being a woman with being a’person who has a (functioning) uterus’. That sentiment is a serious problem that harms transgendered individuals because you are indirectly invalidating their gender identity. Is your little joke worth that damage? No, not it’s not. That’s why it got called out.

    I hope for your sake your ignorance and commitment to correcting it is sincere, it tends not to end well on Pharyngula for those who aren’t.

  79. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    peptron,

    Maybe that woman wants to warn others that abortion can cause drastic increase in testosterone levels.

    Your “joke” was a slightly more intelligent sounding version of: maybe that dude is actually a chick LOL

    Knock it off.

  80. dianne says

    To compare my wonderful daughter who’s at the moment trying to sleep early to make tomorrow come faster with the 10 weeks embryo as pro-lifers do is a horrible insult against that child, that living, breathing, thinking child.

    It also strikes me as an implied threat. Especially given that the “pro-life” movement has repeatedly demonstrated itself willing to kill.

  81. peptron says

    I think I might see the problem as too simple. I always thought that there is really little difference between being a man and a woman in general, and I see sexual identification as just being another detail in a person’s constitution. Thought I think that a lot of that might stem from privilege being like air: you only realise it’s there when it goes foul.

    Anyway, I apologise to anyone I might have hurt. I really did not see any link at all between a woman growing a beard as a medical side-effect and sexual identity.

  82. says

    Funny Diva @ 55, is it possible he was going for “this is just one bill, we really need to defeat the whole anti-choice movement”? Because I’m a flack, and if that’s what he meant, I know where I’m sending my resume.

    I mean, I don’t want deadlock. I want to win

  83. Gregory Greenwood says

    Regardless of who is holding this type of sign, all the signs clearly need a little editing. Simply take a marker pen and add the words ‘opposition to free access to’ between the words ‘my’ and ‘abortion’.

    There – FTFTMA

    (Fixed That For The Misogynist Arseholes)

  84. peptron says

    @sharkjack:
    I had already read those two texts in the past, and in fact the first one really hit me hard because of an unlikely coincidence. They were saying how often we thought about “proprioception”, and I thought “constantly”, since I had been struggling with depersonalization for a long time (thought it seems resorbed now). It’s just that in my mind the fact that a woman is just a small change in testosterone concentration away from having a beard really did not compute as related to transphobia at all.

  85. says

    Sharjack, on why you are destroying your credibility:

    If you want to point out to people how subtle and pernicious gender issues can be, and how casual statements, even if meant in jest, can trigger deep psychological trauma for transgendered people, then please do that. If you want to leap from the shadows and try to chastise and castigate a well-meaning person because something they said on an entirely different topic touched a nerve and you think a huffy little shaming will make your point for you, well, you already have. And FYI, it does not make your point for you.

    Thanks for your time. Hope it helps.

  86. sharkjack says

    @maxdevlin
    I wanted to do the first, not the second.
    I’m a little confused as to how I’m supposed to know that Peptron is a well meaning person. The ignorance tactic is something that insincere posters use here all the time. That why I said I hoped his ignorance was sincere. After his reply I figured it’d be best to put some links to 101 material here because it explains how gender is more than the differences between secondary sexual characteristics of males and females.

    I’m not out to hurt Peptron, he just posted after me (he had posted earlier but that had already been clearly replied to at that point so I didn’t reply to that). and I check threads after I post to see what people have to say about my posts. Peptron replied to defend his previous statement and I amongst others replied to that. Peptron gave a general response about that comes down to him backing down, apologizing, checking his privilege and moving on, which is fine. I should have been more clear when I posted after that, that my next post wasn’t targeting Peptron. Whenever I do that I add an @username to the post. Instead it was meant more generally as an addition to the discussion, for anyone who might be reading and potentially posting afterwards.

    @Peptron, I’m sorry for not making it clear that I wasn’t badgering you after you’d already apologized. I’ll try to be more clear in the future.

    @maxdevlin If I’ve misunderstood what you tried to point out to me go right ahead and tell me, I’ll be checking back for sure. I’m not trying to do harm here, but as we know intent isn’t magic, so when people relate back to me how what I say came across that helps me lessen the gap betweeen those two.

  87. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    maxdevlin If I’ve misunderstood what you tried to point out to me go right ahead and tell me,

    MD is a RW/liberturd troll. Don’t take him seriously. He keeps trying, and failing, with “Gottcha” moments.

  88. peptron says

    @maxdevlin
    The only problem I had with the way people taked to me was that by turning a topic into a minefield, it will simply make it so most people in the same context will not want to bother with it and society will not change.

    For example, I think that most of the problems women face are not related to being a woman per see, but have to do with how people act with women. If you forbid conversation to people that are acting with women in a way that you think is not the right one, it will simply freeze society in time. That is scaring me because it is actively working against change, and change is always needed now, not later.

    @sharkjack:
    I had the occasion of seeing somebody go through female to male reassignment surgery, and the only thing that I saw as a problem was how expensive it was. And the end result really was something similar to what we see in the top picture. That is, a man, for all intend and purposes. A problem I think I have is that I see things like being trans as really being no big deal at all and tend to forget that it actually kind of is. It strikes at the identity of some people. It’s hard for me to see because I really don’t feel like I have a sexual identity at all. I don’t feel like a man at all (nor a woman, for that matter). I couldn’t see what was wrong with my comment at the top because to me, to see that as bad pressuposes that one has to see going from female to male as a bad thing. (See #97 “Beatrice (looking for a happy thought)” for what I mean.) Let’s suppose one does not, then, how is it wrong to think that abortion can increase testosterone to the point of growing a beard? Surely someone could exploit that to save both time and money?

    But the root of my comment was really that I like to test claims by checking what would happen if it was really true, and where does the logic leads you.

  89. itkovian says

    As a French Canadian raised after the quiet revolution, I remain stunned by how Abortion remains an issue.

    I mean, jebus, this is ridiculous.

    What’s worse, it seems like we’re regressing on this issue.

    For example… just recently my wife and I watched a TV show that tackled abortion as its topic. It was the best treatment on the topic I’ve seen in at least a decade, and was beyond a doubt pro-choice.

    The show? Cagney & Lacey.

    We had to watch a show from the 80s to see something on TV that treated the topic of abortion openly and didn’t shy away from the issue. I can’t think of any prime-time TV show I’ve seen recently that would do it.

    I’m hoping its because I’m uncultured and managed to miss out on modern shows that don’t pussyfoot around social issues (and one that doesn’t attempt to be “fair and balanced” and wuss out by never standing for one side or the other of the issue).

    Abortion should be a non-issue by now, and the fact it remains one is one of the greater crimes to be laid at the foot of religion.

  90. Mak, acolyte to Farore says

    Dear Peptron,

    Stop backpedaling. You fucked up. OWN IT.

    And stop with the victim blaming. Telling people that they’re contributing to their own oppression by calling out ignorance is really fucking gross.

    Signed,
    A man who can get pregnant “in this day and age” OMIGOSH HOW ~WACKY~

    p.s. “Meant well” my ass, you aren’t fooling anybody.

    Jeez, every time I decide to read Pharyngula again, this shit happens. The cis-centrist bullshit is so old.