Anti-Choice Concern Troll Is Very Concerned About Sexism
I’m at the Midwest Feminist Conference at the University of Iowa this weekend. I will blog all about it when I get back. Until then, here is a piece I wrote in my Facebook notes just a few weeks before I started this blog.
“Guys… I’m telling you, abortion is sexist. It’s the rationale for allowing men to do whatever we want, whenever we want without consequence.” Scott Harold Southworth, (While knowing the arguments for abortion inside and out, Scott beautifully showed how to win in debate against the abortion ideology).
Many times, debating with a religious person is like playing chess with a pigeon. You set up the pieces, carefully anticipate your opponent’s moves, and plan your counter moves. Your opponent then swoops down, knocks over the pieces, craps on the board, then flies back to the roost to brag to the other pigeons about his victory.-
I feel I have stumbled upon an overturned, guano speckled chess set.
If by beautifully winning an abortion debate, Issac means briefly grabbing your audience’s attention with an absurdly ironic claim, then, yeah, sure. Coo away over the victory. How very clever to turn a feminist issue on its ear like that. Never mind how hair-brained a scheme it is for a man to depend on abortion to escape the consequences of sex. Really, a rationale for whatever, whenever? What if the woman decides to keep the pregnancy? What about STI’s? What about rape? As fool-proof as the plan may seem, an abortion will not overturn a prison sentence.
Southworth completely mischaracterizes abortion as a flippant form of birth control for the care-free, irresponsible lifestyle. In reality, it is a solution of last resort when birth control fails. Even for those of us with no moral qualms about terminating an early pregnancy, abortion is riskier and more painful than preventing a pregnancy in the first place (though much less risky and painful than carrying a pregnancy to term). Abortion is a service nobody wants to need, but anyone having heterosexual intercourse involving a potentially fertile woman may one day need it. That includes married and long-term couples, not just the people of loose morals that Southworth seems to imagine.
What irritates me most about this argument, though, is the well-worn script that casts men as predators and women as prey. According to this script, either a sexual relationship lasts forever, or the man just used the woman for his own hedonism, and the relationship meant nothing. To view the wide range of human sexual relationships in such cynical terms is dehumanizing. It robs women of their sexual agency, reducing them to objects who have a bit of their self-worth whittled away each time they give in to being intimate with someone new. It robs men of their hearts, reducing them to con-men who will not be believed when they say they care about the women they go to bed with but do not marry.
How utterly insulting to both men and women to tell women that if they are sexual beings and use the tools necessary to control what happens to their bodies, they will be exploited by men. How utterly foolish and wrong to think that women do not enjoy sex, or that men are dogs who are only after one thing. Most of all, how utterly sad that people who try to cram sexuality into that tiny, myopic box never appreciate how rich and nuanced and deep human sexuality can be. Such appreciation is impossible when your greatest concern is how closely you are following the script.
Yes, people screw up sometimes. Heartbreak and regret occur. However, any genuine exchange of affection and pleasure is something to grow from and remember fondly. The experience and the person you share it with are valuable whether it lasts only a few hours or for fifty years, whether it is your first and only or the one on which you lost count.
Us women, we are not delicate flowers that wilt upon abandonment. If you were truly concerned about women, you wouldn’t patronize and slut-shame them. You would have more compassion for a woman than you would for the unconscious growth in her womb. But you are not really concerned with discrimination against women. This clumsy non sequitur of an argument of yours is nothing more than a transparent, disingenuous attempt to tether your outdated, misogynistic attitudes to a progressive cause. So, Issac, Scott, you two can take your concern over sexism and shove it.