Caveat: I know this is an inflammatory issue. If you disagree with me on the subject of Roe v. Wade, write your own blog post.
One sentence I’ve never heard and will never hear (except possibly as a joke) is this one, “Martha, congratulations. You’re going to have a baby.”
If I had heard that at any time in my life, I would not have greeted it with, “Oh, thank you doctor (or little plastic and paper tool). I’m so happy!” I don’t know how I would have taken it. I like dogs. I like freedom. I liked working. I like privacy. None of my spouses really worked out. I dunno. A baby is something I never, ever, ever wanted, not even during my “Hello world, I’m a little girl busy pretending and trying on future lives.” Nope, not even then.
Yesterday I watched Kellyanne Conway talk about feminism at CPAC. I am bewildered at how she has had such a successful career when she seems to me to be a complete blithering idiot, but she’s cute, petite, blonde and perhaps, uh, she looks good on her knees. I don’t know. The interviewer asked her about her success, and Kellyanne said straight out that she’d been, essentially, lucky. Luck has a lot to do with success, I think.
She said that the definition of feminist is someone who “hates men and loves abortion.” This is what she said; today it has been changed to “very pro-abortion.” Whatever.
No one on this earth is FOR abortion. It’s crazy to me how something so obvious eludes all the people who don’t want to see it. Even the most ardent “pro-choice” maven KNOWS what abortion is. It is the destruction of potential human life. That thing is a baby. Duh. This is why no one is “pro” abortion. That stance runs absolutely against the first imperative of all living things; mate and spawn.
But… Should someone have the right to choose what to do with a human life they cannot care for? Absolutely. In my mind, that is respect for life.
Back in high school I was compelled to endure Johnathon Swift’s brilliant essay, “A Modest Proposal.” Perhaps because I’d spent my childhood not practicing being mommy but imagining I was Cleopatra, I could imagine the world about which he wrote. It helped a lot when I saw engravings of the streets of London, Dublin, etc. on which drunken, displaced, impoverished grownups lay, bottles of gin all around them, their children ignored, abused, forgotten. One way this problem was addressed was by picking up the children from the streets and selling them as slaves on plantations in the New World. Most of them died, some of them became Americans. Then there was rounding them all up and shipping them to ‘stralia. On those long voyages, many died, but who cared? They were not quite people, were they?
I’m old enough to remember the time before Roe v. Wade. There were articles in magazines such as Look, Life and Time (with photos) about illegal abortions taking place in Tijuana or Juarez. Those were good abortions compared to those happening in back alleys with coat hangers. Coat hangers today are mostly plastic, but when I was young they were wire and we (seriously) used to joke when we saw one lying in a gutter about how maybe someone had had an abortion. Don’t touch it.
The thing is, desperate girls and women did. Not women using “abortion for birth control” (oh please) but women in circumstances they could not fathom, in which a child should not be born. I thought at the time that no woman who’d stick a coat hanger up her pussy should ever have a child, and, after that, if she lived, she probably couldn’t.
I consider the abortion question to be a ‘non-issue’ one of those distractions from things like a war in which we’re involved and in which thousands of actual living, breathing, useful, viable human beings are killed. Not potential life, but actual walking-around-on-the-planet life, young people, in one of life’s shining moments, dead. But, it seems, that for certain groups of conservatives (and liberals?) war is OK, a necessary evil, abortion is wrong. One could consider war to be “retroactive abortion.”
In my mind, that problem of abortion has been solved. But that’s just my mind. I know there are people who are willing to kill and/or die to stop others (that they do not even know) from performing or having abortions. I might find this absurd but what control do I have over what they think? None.
Would I have had an abortion if the doctor had ever said to me, “Congratulations! You’re going to have a baby!” No, I would not. I knew that I didn’t want a baby, and I took a lot of care throughout my childbearing years to be sure I would not have a baby because I knew if I did, I would have to raise it, love it, nurture it, teach it and basically endure its presence for the rest of my life. I did not want that job. Most women do just as I did. We KNOW abortion is not “birth control.”
But I’ve had friends who found themselves against that terrible wall. It’s a grueling, horrible decision to have to make, and one that no one ever forgets. Yes, it is possible to give birth and offer the child to someone else to raise, to adopt, but that, also, is a painful, grueling, horrible decision. Comments like those of Kellyanne Conway are, in my mind, beyond stupid. They are inhuman, judgmental, and illogical.
“… it’s difficult for me to call myself a feminist in the classic sense because it seems to be very anti-male, and it certainly is very pro-abortion in this context. And I’m neither anti-male and pro-abortion,” Conway said.
And yet the conservative right would take away from women a choice that women in the past fought hard to have the right to make. “Love abortion?” I don’t think so, you stupid twat. As for feminism?
I, also, never saw myself as a feminist. Perhaps I still don’t. But the real definition of the term is not “hating men and loving abortion.” It’s “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.” I do believe in that, even as I acknowledge the obstacles presented by biology.