Abortion should be legal for the sake of men (?!) Okay....


20 comments posted
Male Benevolence Will Save You

That's why. These guys want us to avail ourselves of their benevolence, to get their permission, to stand or fall based on how good to us they feel like being.

Some would, of course, in the clutch, be benevolent. They would drive you to Mexico City or Montreal, they would put up the abortion money, etc. My own husband (a Kos regular, heaven help me) says he would. If I didn't believe him, he wouldn't be my husband.

But he doesn't understand that his goodness is not the point. The point is that I shouldn't have to rely on his goodness, or any man's goodness. That's wrong. It's not democracy. None of us is free when one of us is in chains, etc etc...

But that's why these guys are whining about their wallets, because it's all about them. Demo or Republican, we don't get to do anything without getting their permission first.

alsis39.5's picture
Posted by alsis39.5 (not verified) on 8 March 2006 - 12:54pm
While men have an interest

While men have an interest in defending abortion rights, it's absurd and insulting to pretend it's as direct an interest as it is for women. Sexism hurts members of both genders, but not equally.

I think a better argument for why men should support women's rights to abortion is class solidarity. An injury to one is an injury to all. Lack of access to abortion services is a far greater problem for working class women than for women of wealthier classes, and an attack on the freedom of working class women is a blow against the strength of half the working class, a blow against the entire working class.

Then there's compassion, but then, compassion is the emotional form of human solidarity, so I think they're closely related.

FoolishOwl's picture
Posted by FoolishOwl (not verified) on 9 March 2006 - 12:37am
Children are not free

- or as free as they can be an adult world - til women are free to be mothers, or not.

It really is very simple.

And more argument for the impossible, that men stay the hell out of it. Legislators, clerics, authoritarian blogger boyos... and whatever/whoever else.

Love how the boyos so blithely outed themselves. LOL It really is about their relationship to EACH OTHER... and you know what the shrinks say about THAT... [laugh a lot right there]

To say nothing of the "women assists", it may be Leslee Unruh and Buntling (a Democratic woman in the leg) in SD, but there are "women assists" all over.

Working for the Yankee Dollar.

Marisacat's picture
Posted by Marisacat on 8 March 2006 - 1:29pm
A question

But aren't political coalitions built on the intersection of interest? If you favor abortion rights for one reason, and somebody else favors it for another reason, isn't it better to hold your nose long enough to make common cause on issues that you agree on?

If I were to argue abortion rights before an all-male audience, I certainly would stress the benefits to the men, even of those benefits are odious to others who support abortion rights. At certain point, I think, idealism must surrender to some bit of political pragmatism.

Note, please, that I don't take the "NARAL and PPFA must do X or they're traitors to the liberal cause" line. I simply offer my own reflection on political coalition-building. As an aside, I wonder how long the pro-business and libertarian conservatives have held their noses to work with the religious conservatives ...


PS. In case anybody's wondering, my own pro-choice stance is one-half libertarianism, one-quarter pragmatism, and one-quarter general fairness.

pennywit's picture
Posted by pennywit on 8 March 2006 - 1:52pm
An answer

These are statements by bloggers who have been downright hostile to pro-choice activists and reproductive rights advocates, and directed the same kind of invective towards NARAL and PP as they have towards Santorum and DeLay. And yet they claim to define "progressive" values.

They favor regressive candidates who actively campaign for forced pregnancy.

Then they offer these mealy-mouthed excuses for favoring abortion rights, saying, in effect, We offer a kinder, gentler, more pragmatic patriarchy.

Personally, I don't trust those boys as far as I can spit. They say one thing (quoted above), and they do another (e.g., backing Casey). To me, they strike me as unreliable coalition partners because they don't seem to truly believe in progressive values, which would seem to include, at minimum, equal rights and equal protection under the law not only by race but by gender.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 8 March 2006 - 1:57pm
Coalitions and trust ...

Do you place more trust in the senatorial RINOs?


pennywit's picture
Posted by pennywit on 8 March 2006 - 2:05pm
Same problem

Talk up one game, play an entirely different one.

Equal rights has few defenders in Washington these days.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 8 March 2006 - 2:13pm
Interesting ...

If you don't mind my exploring this further ...

His predilection for consuming his own Hush Puppies aside, do you think Kos might have a point in his critique of NARAL and PPFA for their support of RINOs who favor abortion right over bona fide members of the progressive movement?


pennywit's picture
Posted by pennywit on 8 March 2006 - 2:17pm
Six Years Late, Seven Leagues Short

Kos can't tell me anything about how NARAL's binding to the Democratic Party is not good for abortion rights that I didn't already figure out when they started bashing Ralph Nader in 2000.

Kos should not be trusted further than he can be thrown, since he himself makes no secret of the fact that "Democrat" is only a brand name to him, and that he finds abortion "horrible."

Feminists should indeed pull out of NARAL and take their money and time elsewhere, but they should treat the DP in the same fashion. It is no better.

As far as I'm concerned, the bigwigs in NARAL and assholes like Kos deserve each other. Women, OTOH, deserve much better than to be whipsawed back and forth between brand-loyal lobbyists in one stable and brand-loyal lobbyists in the stable next door. When push comes to shove, preserving the DP and their own power and prestige is what really counts to them both. How many women get trampled in the process ? Who cares ?

alsis39.5's picture
Posted by alsis39.5 (not verified) on 8 March 2006 - 2:44pm
Planned Parenthood is in the trenches

Providing the healthcare that's needed, and filing the lawsuits to fight these new laws. What is Kos doing, aside from sneering from the sidelines while backing forced pregnancy through yet more right-wing candidates?

Who's doing the work? Planned Parenthood is.

What Kos is proving is that Planned Parenthood and even NARAL may be right in not relying on the Democratic Party to defend equality and autonomy. If he actually backed "pro-choice" candidates instead of attacking it as a "pet cause," maybe he'd have a point. As it is, it's on his head, but we can't see it thanks to his contortions.

Reproductive rights are up for grabs. If conservatives ever got over their fascism fetish, they could even embrace such ideals. Once upon a time, they did. See this on Barry Goldwater.

That's about as plain as I can make it.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 8 March 2006 - 2:45pm
There Is No "MAY"

NARAL has figured out, too late, what it should have known years ago. They are allied with back-stabbers. In 2000, they helped the DP brokers beat down the closest thing we had to a real alternative. See how they have been rewarded. Karma stinks, doesn't it ?

The Green Party has long been for choice. It is a basic plank in their platform. So what are feminists waiting for ? If not the Greens, Socialists, Libertarians, Indies. We accomplish at least as much by voting 3rd Party as we do by staying home, don't we ?

alsis39.5's picture
Posted by alsis39.5 (not verified) on 8 March 2006 - 2:51pm
Libertarians are a dodgy

Libertarians are a dodgy group, IMHO. The last libertarian presidential nominee refused to address abortion, saying it was a state issue. There are far too many extreme NRA-type wingnuts in the libertarian party.

I'd vote Green, but I'd like to see them campaign harder. The 3rd parties seem to campaign like it's a lost cause.

Catty's picture
Posted by Catty (not verified) on 8 March 2006 - 4:31pm
What do you mean by

What do you mean by "consuming his own Hush Puppies"?

human's picture
Posted by human (not verified) on 8 March 2006 - 5:00pm
Hush Puppies

One wears his Hush Puppies on his feet ...


pennywit's picture
Posted by pennywit on 8 March 2006 - 7:43pm
The silent majority

Republicans may be wrong, but they are ever so clever. Declaring women are not a minority, they do little in terms of affirmative action - and the best part is (for the GOP) women buy it.

If any other oppressed group had the raw voting power of women, they would sweep into power. If 50% + of the voters were black or Hispanic, the government would change.

Instead we listen to men whine about how oppressed they are that after they impregnate us, there are outcomes .... and if it was "fair," they could decide on terminating pregnancies.

The consciousness that has to be raised in not voting Democrat, but voting for female candidates. Makes as much sense as Kos' Dem-only.

I propose the Dame-only strategy. If we elect enough women, when the time comes, we'll determine the agenda. 50+ Senators, 280+ in the House. The Executive branch 50%+ are women. Five Justices on the Supreme Court, women.

(Man, I don't know why we ain't on the cover, Baby)

(We're beautiful people)

(I ain't kiddin', why, we would make a beautiful cover

(Fresh shot, right up front, man)

(I can see it now, we'll be up on the front)

(Smilin', man ...... ahh, beautiful!)

Matsu's picture
Posted by Matsu on 8 March 2006 - 7:10pm
This is not about men's

This is not about men's freedom to get laid or not have to pay child support. It's about whether women end up dead because they're forced to be pregnant against their will.

Reproductive autonomy is important because it lets people avoid lots of situations then would prefer not to be in. Certainly 'death' and 'the unwanted presence of an otherwise benign parasite in your body' are at the top of the list. But this does not imply things like 'having to pay child support' and 'abstinence being the only real form of contraception you have access to' can't also be on the list. That is, just because it's primarily a civil rights issue doesn't mean it's exclusively a civil rights issue.

That being said, Kos is an ass, and Atrios is sketchy at best. Without reading the original posts, I'm entirely ready to believe they didn't start off with a preface about abortion being primarily a civil rights issue.

Noumena's picture
Posted by Noumena (not verified) on 8 March 2006 - 4:19pm
Circular Logic...

...I'd vote Green, but I'd like to see them campaign harder. The 3rd parties seem to campaign like it's a lost cause.

If we want it to be a winning cause, we'll have to shore them up. The Greens have scant resources and few warm bodies. They also don't take corporate funding. If you want hope, create it. Take your time and money out of the DP and spend it elsewhere. Green Senate candidates are running in California (Todd Chretien), Maryland (Kevin Zeese), and Minnesota (Michael Cavlan). We have two Greens running for Governor in OR, and I'm campaigning for a Green council candidate, though the race itself is non-partisan.

Check their homepages, run a search, find out whose out there and learn their platform. Maybe somebody in your town is running.

I agree that Libertarianism leaves much to be desired. I was simply throwing out whatever options I could think of that involve neither tithing to the Big Two nor simply withholding one's vote altogether.

alsis39.5's picture
Posted by alsis39.5 (not verified) on 8 March 2006 - 5:54pm
well, to be fair

Digby's comment was first and was in a context explicitly describing unexpected silver linings for bad events -- the upside being that even the self-involved, or those dismissing the fears of feminists, would have to pay attention now.

*Then* Atrios made his comment based on/in response to Digby's, I think. Duncan is head and shoulders ahead of some of the other big bloggers in personal enlightenment, and I give him the benefit of the doubt that (a) this had a current of irony, and (b) it was directed at those (real or imagined) too thick to have been persuaded by the more substantive arguements, those whose heads are so far up their asses that only the jingling of their wallets against their balls could wake them. So not a primary basis for his own stance, but a sort of "if nothing else works, you might extrapolate to your own personal interest, dumbass."

And then Markos quoted Atrios, completely derivative, and a bit stripped of both irony and context, because where women are concerned, kos has a deaf ear and a blunt instrument.

So anyway, I don't think that all of this can be taken as a wave of ignorance or misogyny, but just one idea that tickled the thoughts of readers and got passed along, like any meme. I liked it too, in the water cooler comeuppance sense, but not because it replaces or in any way comes close to the impact or significance of the real reasons that abortion should be kept legal -- women's rights to self-determination with regard to their physical, moral, and economic futures. Forced pregnancy is demeaning to society as a whole, whatever secret worries it might also insert into the fantasies of men.

acm's picture
Posted by acm (not verified) on 10 March 2006 - 8:39am
Thanks for the timeline

That's very helpful.

I hope you're right in your interpretations of their behavior. (FWIW, I wasn't worried about Digby.)

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 10 March 2006 - 8:45am
Roe vs. men


When women write about keeping Roe vs. Wade, we have to plead victimhood. We have to bring up dire circumstances - rape, incest, health, death - a reasons to keep abortion legal. And these are the most important reasons - to women from harm and pain. But if a woman, and all womens' groups, were to say, I just want the freedom to get drunk and laid and not keep the kid, we'd be labelled murderers, immoral harlots who need to be kept inline. We cannot simply say, I don't want this child - I want my career and my money and my freedom.

Yet, that is exactly what men are saying about being forced to have a child. Men will never be impregnated by rape, giving birth will never jeopardize their mental or physical health, and they probably will not put in the amount of effort that a woman will in raising the child. Men have the freedom to start organizations for their rights and simply say, I just wanted sex, I don't want the child, and I'm not going to pay for it. And so far, there's no outrage among politicians or pro-life groups.

So, women should be forced into pregnancy and motherhood, but men should not be forced into fatherhood and child-support.

MissPenName's picture
Posted by MissPenName on 10 March 2006 - 11:13am