Monday, January 07, 2008

Really? Really? REALLY???

Oh god please tell me the new anti-abortion movement propaganda is not going to be based on men's tears?

"It's a rule of thumb that if you want to get a law passed, you have to tell anecdotes that grab people," said Dr. Nada Stotland, president-elect of the American Psychiatric Assn. Antiabortion activists have done that well, she said. "They've succeeded in convincing a lot of the American public" that abortion leaves women wounded.

Now, those activists see an opportunity to dramatically expand the message.

The Justice Foundation recently began soliciting affidavits from men; one online link promises, "Your story will help legal efforts to end abortion." Silent No More encourages men to testify at rallies.

Therapist Vincent M. Rue, who helped develop the concept of post-abortion trauma, runs an online study that asks men to check off symptoms (such as irritability, insomnia and impotence) that they feel they have suffered as a result of an abortion. When men are widely recognized as victims, Rue said, "that will change society."

Abortion rights supporters watch this latest mobilization warily: If anecdotes from grieving women can move the Supreme Court, what will testimony about men's pain accomplish?

"They can potentially shift the entire debate," said Marjorie Signer of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, an interfaith group that supports abortion rights.

...

But the activists leading the men's movement make clear they're not relying on statistics to make their case. They're counting on the power of men's tears.
What's so fucking sad is even the few ancedotes the article uses are from men who didn't give two shits about their former girlfriends abortions when they were in their 20s...and it certainly didn't effect them at all, right up until the point they found religion and hit their midlife crisis.

And despite the fact that pregnancy is what happens to women and they haven't talked to these ex-girlfriends in decades still somehow, this dude knows just how she feels because, god, doesn't he just feel bad. Not that he ever thought about what the pregnancy situation might have felt from her perspective before.
But would his long-ago girlfriends agree? Or might they also consider the abortions a choice that set them on a better path?

Aubert looks startled. "I never really thought about it for the woman," he says slowly.

"On one level, yes, maybe she got an education, married a great guy, has six kids and everything's wonderful now," he said. But he can't believe it could really be that uncomplicated. "It might bother her once every 20 years or once every five years, or every day, but there's a scar."

He has not talked with either of the ex-girlfriends, but he says he can imagine what they feel because he knows how the abortions affected him. He never had the nightmares that other men describe, or the crying jags, the drug abuse, the self-loathing. Yet he knows he has been tarnished.
Tarnished, yes. Clearly. I would say your capacity for self-awareness has been deeply tarnished.

8 comments:

:-jon said...

...yeah...this will be in the "why didn't I think of that" file*, it's so easy, doesn't require any science, and in today's atmosphere of men being encouraged to be more sensitive to their emotions... brilliant!



*Other things that are in the file, Fruitopia, Rifftrax, GuitarHero...I really don't have a lot of respect for this file. But at least with those three, I could've made money.

Anonymous said...

So Newscat, is your opinion that men don't experience any angst or pain when women abort their children? Especially when the abortion is against the man's wishes?

Jim in Cleveland

NewsCat said...

Jim, the article explains that of course some men are going to have emotions about abortion. They are probably going to have emotions when they find out their partners are pregnant, especially if its unplanned.

And one of the experts quoted said she encourages such men to get counseling to help deal with their feelings.

But I don't believe that men's feelings count when it comes to women's bodies. "Oh I'm sorry, you have to have my baby because two decades from now, long after I've stopped thinking about you, I'm going to have an emotional twinge when I think about this pregnancy...(which at the moment I don't care about in any case)."

My position has always been that men don't get a veto position because you can't square the circle on pregnancy. It's the one thing that can't be divided 50/50. Someone's got to have right to decide who carries the pregnancy forward (or doesn't) and it should be the person who's BODY it's attached to, don't you think?

Anonymous said...

No, I don't think. I believe the woman has the right to say no to the man when he wants to have sex. That is her veto power.

This may sound draconian to you, I realize. I am not saying the woman throws away her rights as soon as she spreads her legs--I believe the fathers should take as much responsibility as the mother has to. But just because the mother has the baby inside her does not give her the right to ignore the father's wishes. I grant you that some deadbeat who took off has no right to feel grief 20 years after an abortion. But to dismiss the man's rights entirely--to scoff at them as meaningless--seems to me to be counter to what true feminism is.

Intrinsic to your argument is your statement that a man's feelings don't count when it comes to women's bodies. We both know that the view that only the woman's body is affected is not unanimously held, not by any means.

I further believe that the flip side to your argument--that men don't have the right to care about a baby attached to a woman--let's men off the hook when it is the man who wants them to have the abortion. If a man offers to pay to have it "taken care of," and the woman declines, then by your logic the man is no longer responsible for what happens to the baby, or to the mom.

NewsCat said...

So "consent to have sex" now equals veto power over abortion (which you don't believe in)?

And of course raped women don't get the right to have an abortion either.

But how does it work in your mind though? You don't think either the woman or the man should be able to jointly or separately decide to have an abortion. So in the end it doesn't even matter if *as a couple* they decide to terminate because you don't even want to grant them that collective decision.

So isn't all this "men's rights" bunk anyway? Because you don't want to grant the men the right to have a woman have an abortion either.

NewsCat said...

BTW, I'll tell you want a man who gets a woman pregnant has the "right" to demand. Access to the child should he agree to pay child support. Additionally if the mother decides to give her child up for adoption he should have the right to become the sole parent.

But has it ever struck you as entirely unfair that a man cannot be compelled to "parent?" I mean, he can be forced to pay child support, but he is not compelled to RAISE the child. Whereas a woman is compelled to either give proper care to the child, or give it up for adoption. It's either all or nothing for women. Not...I pay a percentage of my income and retain a connection but I'm not forced to raise the little rugrat.

She cannot force the father to suddenly become a parent the way she is forced to.

NewsCat said...

BTW, I'll tell you want a man who gets a woman pregnant has the "right" to demand. Access to the child should he agree to pay child support. Additionally if the mother decides to give her child up for adoption he should have the right to become the sole parent.

But has it ever struck you as entirely unfair that a man cannot be compelled to "parent?" I mean, he can be forced to pay child support, but he is not compelled to RAISE the child. Whereas a woman is compelled to either give proper care to the child, or give it up for adoption. It's either all or nothing for women. Not...I pay a percentage of my income and retain a connection but I'm not forced to raise the little rugrat.

She cannot force the father to suddenly become a parent the way she is forced to.

Anonymous said...

Newscat--

Your second entry first: I agree with your point of view. The father should have all the legal responsibilities the mother has. He should have to do more than give payment, but take the child. Rarely, though, does the father have equal rights to a child. As a younger, single man, I used to believe that fathers and mothers should be treated exactly equally under the law when it comes to custody rights. But now that I am a father, I see that a mother normally (there are exceptions, obviously) has instincts about parenting that a man just doesn't have. Still, I agree that it is unfair that custody should automatically fall to the mother.

In terms of your first part, I was talking legalities. I believe abortion is wrong even in cases of rape, though I am immensely more sympathetic to the woman in that instance than to a woman using abortion as delayed contraception. I don't think the man or the woman should have a right to end the life of the innocent child, born or unborn. But in this country, even if Roe ever gets overturned and abortion gets thrown back to the states, abortion is legal in most instances. Thus, it is my view that the man has a right to some say in the matter. But more to the point, you say the man's feelings and wishes are nothing, that he has no right to feel anything for the baby. I think that's baloney. Legally, it may be up to the mother to kill the fetus if she wants; morally, it seems wrong to completely discount the feelings of a man who may indeed be willing to raise the kid, or believes killing it is wrong.

I can only speak to how I would feel if I got a woman pregnant. I would know the law would not support me if she wanted to abort. I would be forced to allow her to have a procedure done to end the life of my child, which I believe to be the taking of a human life. I can't imagine not having incredibly strong feelings about the matter.

Jim in Cleveland