Home > Conservative, Groupthink, Liberal > Woodhull’s Comment on Abortion Wedge issue

Woodhull’s Comment on Abortion Wedge issue

Woodhull has made a great comment (actually there were a few)on the wedge issue of abortion;

The water’s edge of “pro choice” is a lot further out than merely whether a woman has ultimate say of her body. Again, I don’t know the stats and all I have is anecdotal evidence, but the idea of pro choice has changed the mind set and landscape of society and goes hand-in-glove with womens’ rights, generally. Being able to control the timing and number of births, women have been able to compete more fully in a “man’s world.” From being able to finish her Masters to setting her sights on the corner office or simply allowing her to remain an unfettered, single woman; a woman who doesn’t have to worry about a pregancy (and more importantly, children) interrupting her career trajections can take that chip off her competitions’ stack. More about that in a second.

Conversely, all of society has suffered (but more particularly women) because, let’s face it, eggs get old (but, interestingly, sperm probably survives the grave!), so it’s a double edge sword and a real dilemma for women–secure your future at the risk of not having a progeny to enjoy your efforts. I guess that would mean you really can spend your nonexistent childrens’ inheritance. There are many causes of infertility, but I think the single greatest one is simply that women delay (for too long) the decision to start a family. And we all wonder how men can get away with taking up with someone who’s half their age with impunity. We have a number of laws and societal changes in place now that complement the reality that women cannot compete successfully in the work force if they are discriminated against because they choose to have a child: Family Leave, beefed-up prenatal care and precise anti-discrimination laws in the workplace. However. What cannot be legislated are society’s views toward the traditional role of motherhood–not parenthood–specifically motherhood. Who gets the most heat for latchkey children, the men? Not hardly.

But here’s where it gets interesting: Enter a pretty, smart woman like Sarah Palin. The first shocker is she is pretty AND a governor! That’s news all by itself. Then, saints alive! she’s got kids, too! And not only does she have kids, she has a lot of kids (not just the two to replace herself and Todd). The frosting on the cake? She was flying all over AK (not an easy thing to do in the first place) while pregnant AND she made the pro-CHOICE of keeping her and her husband’s less-than-physically-perfect child! What a woman! She just kicked big holes in womens’ rights argument that the only way women can compete is by remaining child free. Of course the most handy argument is that not every woman is Sarah Palin, with a husband who supports the family while she pursues her career (never mind that a commercial fisherman is in no position to take his whole brood out to sea every day). Suddenly it isn’t looking so good for women who have used that rationale for abortion, because Sarah is the poster girl for what all women can do if they took womens’ rights seriously. Because if we all did (men and women), poof! no wedge issue. Such a rift would return to its rightful place as an ideological discussion over theism versus atheism, which currently and rightfully has no legitimate place in these discussions.

There’s a lot more to this conversation and it seems to me that pro choice and pro life supporters have more in common and could have a real dialogue if pols would get out of the conversation. I think HRC sums the whole thing up very well whenever she mades the statement, “God given potential.”

Lots of good stuff there, two things I want to focus on.

Being able to control the timing and number of births, women have been able to compete more fully in a “man’s world.” From being able to finish her Masters to setting her sights on the corner office or simply allowing her to remain an unfettered, single woman; a woman who doesn’t have to worry about a pregancy (and more importantly, children) interrupting her career trajectory can take that chip off her competitions’ stack.

The most important thing is that there is a choice. We all have choices on what we want to do, it all depends on our priorities in life. Anytime anyone makes a choice, they need to be aware of the opportunity costs involved with that choice. I know opportunity cost is a economic concept, but it has profound meaning in our everyday lives. The opportunity cost of finishing “her Masters” is that she will give up some of her child bearing years. There is always that give and take aspect to any decision we make, it’s the price we pay. Now modern day contraceptives make that decision easier, by lowering the opportunity costs involved. For example, by using contraceptives a modern woman doesn’t have to worry as much about how to juggle career and motherhood, since contraceptive lower the cost (getting pregnant).

Now I’m not hear to talk about the morality of it all. That’s really none of my business what a woman decides to do. I just want people to be aware that there is no free lunch. Everything we do involves choices and every choice has an opportunity cost involved. I think in this debate we all need to grow up and act like adults and acknowledge that what we do has consequences.

Second point I want to make stems from this, in regards to Sarah Palin.

Suddenly it isn’t looking so good for women who have used that rationale for abortion, because Sarah is the poster girl for what all women can do if they took womens’ rights seriously.

First off, I think one of the big reasons why leftist groups like NOW don’t really like Palin, is because that is exactly what Palin did. She didn’t go by the “rules” set forth by NOW, she did it her way. She made her own choices and has stuck by them. Groups like NOW don’t like that, they don’t like people making their own choices. When people think for themselves and decide for themselves, it empowers the individual making the choices. NOW has made tons of money but letting women outsource the decision making to groups like themselves.

Think about groups like NOW, NARAL and EMILY’s list, what do they do? I think all they are good for is putting out lists of who the “approved” politicians are. They put out lists of how to live an “approved” lifestyle. Well who approves them? NOW, NARAL and EMILY’s list of course, not the millions of women out there, but the select few at the head of those organizations. It’s all about control. Much like the Abortion debate is all about controlling the message, those groups are trying to control a woman’s decision, by telling them how to live the “Feminist” way.

What happens when a woman doesn’t live and choice the way NOW, NARAL et al think they should? They get attacked just like Palin did. We have a younger generation of women, that don’t really know about making their own decision about; abortion, career/family management, etc. They have grown up listening to the “experts” tell them how to act and how to think. We have conflict between the older generation that fought for equal protection and the younger generation that think they are entitled to it. It’s one big groupthink mind fuck! As a result, we have young women doing more damage to women’s rights than the young men of this generation ever could. Hell as more and more young men are blurring the line between man and woman; metrosexual, emo, beta males, we have the young women attacking older woman that try to live life by their own rules. It’s maddening.

Yet, it’s exactly the way the politically powerful want it. They don’t want people making up their own mind. They don’t want people to understand opportunity cost. They want to keep control. The easiest way to do that is to create a populace that outsources the decision making.

I think it’s going to get much worse from here on out.

Here is a clip of NOW backpedaling over the “controversy” on the Tebow commercial. Just for laughs.

One thing I like about this clip, is that it’s woman on woman and it shows that you don’t have to be a Democratic shill to be an empowered woman anymore.

  1. yttik
    February 11, 2010 at 08:52

    I’ve been quite delighted to see the country finally forced into this discussion, with Palin’s arrival on the scene, although it’s really frustrating how rigid people are with their talking points.

    I watched Bristol Palin on Oprah, and was surprised to see Oprah attack her. Here we have a teen girl who has a baby to care for, her life upturned, and has been very publicly humiliated and betrayed by Levi Hollywood, so she has decided to be abstinent. Well who wouldn’t? Most girls would swear off men for the next couple decades after that experience. Oprah could not let it be, she demanded Bristol retract her statement about choosing to be abstinent. That’s unrealistic and unattainable Oprah says, so you can’t even say it because you’re just setting yourself up for failure. The underlying message was that you cannot say no to sex, even if you want to. Abstinence is evil! No it isn’t, not if it’s a choice. Girls, women, don’t have to make sex a central part of their lives, and live life according to the media, where sex is the only part of their lives that matters.

    On to the movie, “The Pregnancy Pact,” surprisingly not as stupid as I had anticipated. What happens when a group of girls deliberately decide to get pregnant? It throws a wrench in both sides of the argument. You can’t be advocating birth control and abortion rights to girls who biologically, culturally, crave motherhood. You also can’t lecture them about being abstinent. Both arguments fall on deaf ears when the needs and desires of the girls involved are not even part of the equation.

    And that’s really my whole point. The entire reproductive debate is supposed to be about real people, about their lives and choices but it’s gotten so politicized, their choices, desires, are no longer even a part of the debate.

  2. February 11, 2010 at 09:59

    Like I said, it’s become a politicized wedge issue. As a wedge issue, it behooves both sides to not let it go. As long as they have that issue, they are guaranteed a certain number of votes. The electorate for the most part are happy to go along. That’s why we are typically talking past each other.
    The question becomes why does the electorate fall into the trap and what can we do about it?
    Open and honest discussion is one way, but as you can see by the reaction of some over at LR, that isn’t an option for some. It’s far easier to demagogue and moralize than it is to see another persons point of view. It give a reason for some to feel smug and have that elitist attitude about them.

  3. yttik
    February 11, 2010 at 11:04

    What can we do about it? Well unfortunately I think we are doing something about it. As the prochoice side of the argument becomes more strident and less willing to discuss it, the more people move to the other side. We’re now at a point in history when more people identify as prolife rather then prochoice. Needless to say that does not make me happy. However, trying to whack your head against people who aren’t willing to see the forest for all the trees is pretty futile. It’s a bit like trying to explain to Democrats that the more you call people stupid, bitter, etc, the more you inspire a populist backlash. Believe it or not, voters don’t like to be insulted and humiliated into supporting you. Naturally I point this out because I am a neocon Republican mole who wishes to destroy the Dem party. As fun as that might be, the D’s are so busy trying to self destruct all by themselves, my secret diabolical plot can’t even get a foot in the door.

  4. Woodhull
    February 11, 2010 at 13:19

    Another stream of consiousness:

    An important aspect to this discussion is brought out by both of you, but not made explicit. yttik’s example of Ms. Palin’s message on Oprah versus the baby’s father going Hollywood. My example of a woman delaying motherhood and risking her fertility in doing so versus all men who, regardless of their wives’ or girlfriends’ “choice”, being largely unaffected by that choice either way if it suits them. Some may never know they’ve left a child behind, some may use the hammer of an on-going relationship as a means of convincing a women to abort, some may simply disappear after a period of time and some may disappear in their midlife when someone more delectable appears (meet J. Edwards). In any case, our society still turns a blind eye to a man’s personal responsibility for their own children. I think if we could catch our young men sometime in junior high school with a hard-hitting message that pregancy and parenthood are just as much their responsibility as young womens and somehow turn their heads around, vis-a-vis, “getting a girl pregnant just isn’t cool, man”, or attach the same stigma to such a situation as we’ve saddled our girls with maybe we’d see some good change here.

    The other bit here is that we have lowered our expectations for our kids, in many instances replacing such stigma with a tolerance based on so-called cultural differences. We aren’t doing our kids any favors by sending them the message that if they get pregnant that’s just okay by us — Grandma and Aunt Susie will just jump right in and pick up the slack while you get your GED and compete for a below-living-wage job. Why aren’t groups like NOW, NARAL and Emily’s List up in arms about continuing the cycle of poverty (and all the abuses that go on in that strata) and ignorance in womens’ and their childrens’ lives? “Choice” doesn’t sound like a very good choice in these cases.

    The U.S. (both public and private) spend billions of dollars in foreign aide every year, much of it in educating village girls the world over about the importance of reading, writing and math (basic education) and pounding the message over and over again how basic education is to girls’ lifting themselves out of poverty and giving them the ability to successfully contribute to their country’s growth as well as participating in their country’s government decisions. Part of that education tacitly raises the issue of delaying pregnancy and families until a girl can make her way in the world–after a solid education. Why is that message so lost here in our own country? And why is that tolerated?

  5. Woodhull
    February 11, 2010 at 13:23

    “…much of it in educating village girls..” should have been “some of it”

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