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Women are "evildoers" too.
October 14, 2004 6:39 PM   Subscribe

U.S. refuses to join U.N. plan for women From AP via Yahoo: UNITED NATIONS - The United States has refused to join 85 other heads of state and government in signing a statement that endorsed a 10-year-old U.N. plan to ensure every woman's right to education, health care, and choice about having children.
and
President Bush's administration withheld its signature because the statement included a reference to "sexual rights."
posted by Skygazer (48 comments total)

 
Sadly, this is nothing new on the part of our Wondrous Leadership. Any program or proclamation that goes past abstinence as a means of population of health control is verboten.
posted by billsaysthis at 6:45 PM on October 14, 2004


The timing on this announcement is curious to say the least. If this had been released before last night's debate it would've been a coup for the Kerry camp. As it is, it's a strong indisctment of a backwards looking and hopelessly insular administration that couldn't care less about healthcare, women's right's, AIDS, not to mention basic human dignity. Right. I'll shut up now.
posted by Skygazer at 6:46 PM on October 14, 2004


Yes, throw the facts of the situation to the wind! Make timing the Great Satan! Damn you United Nations!
posted by fleener at 6:53 PM on October 14, 2004


So, how much longer is it until the leaders of first and second world countries start referring to us as a rogue nation? It's kind of frightening that we seem to be increasingly taking the side of Saudi Arabia and Iran on human rights issues.
posted by graventy at 7:15 PM on October 14, 2004


At what point are we going to accept the fact that some of us disagree with Bush on certain fundamental issues? Are we going to continually feign outrage at every decision he makes based on these ideologies?

I mean, if this UN statement had included a stipulation that all women had a right to live in a society with the death penalty there is no way I, or a lot of people I know, would have supported it. Bush is fundamentally against a woman's right to an abortion. This is not news.

I can't wait for the election to be over so we can all stop pretending to be constantly outraged.
posted by Doug at 7:15 PM on October 14, 2004


What is the point of these "statements" anyway?
posted by smackfu at 7:16 PM on October 14, 2004


who's pretending?
posted by amberglow at 7:16 PM on October 14, 2004


Pakistan signed it. Pakistan.
posted by 2sheets at 7:16 PM on October 14, 2004


who's pretending?

Large swaths of America are passionless about everything except the NFL and celebrity gossip, and they can't understand that some people actually care about these things in any meaningful fashion. Why else would polls show that 60% of Americans think Kerry has a better grasp of issues, yet 56% of people say "character traits" is how they'll be voting this November.
posted by The God Complex at 7:29 PM on October 14, 2004


34 Million Friends
posted by homunculus at 7:31 PM on October 14, 2004


I can't wait for the election to be over so we can all stop pretending to be constantly outraged.

Why would one's outrage at what one may regard as deplorable wane?
posted by juiceCake at 7:32 PM on October 14, 2004


Depending on how the election turns out, the outrage might become much larger in coming years.
posted by eustacescrubb at 7:33 PM on October 14, 2004


The article and the proposed UN statement did not provide for a right to an abortion. Rather, the article and proposed statement includes sexual rights.

The article clarifies and refers to a statement adopted by the 1995 U.N. women's conference in Beijing, "rights of women include their right to have control over and decide freely and responsibly on matters related to their sexuality, including sexual and reproductive health, free of coercion, discrimination and violence."
posted by quam at 7:34 PM on October 14, 2004


There goes 51.52% of the vote for Bush.

Not like my mind wasn't made up already.
posted by vers at 7:40 PM on October 14, 2004


At what point are we going to accept the fact that some of us disagree with Bush on certain fundamental issues?

I think the fundamental issue is shaping up to be this one:

George Bush believes the US should be governed by the laws of his religion.

John Kerry believes he should not legislate his faith onto other American citizens.
posted by Stuart_R at 7:42 PM on October 14, 2004


Fleener: Yes, throw the facts of the situation to the wind! Make timing the Great Satan! Damn you United Nations!

from the article: The Bush administration responded only on Tuesday to organizers who had asked for the president's support.

Certainly not the biggest point to be made here, but I find it interesting that this didn't get out until tonight. At least as far as I've seen. Whatever. I hope Kerry kicks Mullah Dubya's ass for this lastest pile of horseshit.
posted by Skygazer at 7:47 PM on October 14, 2004


Correction the dateline is: Wed Oct 13, 8:04 PM ET
posted by Skygazer at 7:50 PM on October 14, 2004


George Bush believes the US should be governed by the laws of his religion.

Of course, as far as I know George Bush's religion doesn't seek to deny women freedom from "coercion, discrimination and violence"...last time I checked, anyway.

It's all a game of secret keywords, these days. Just like "Family Values" has a recognised meaning amoung certain religious groups that is contrary to how an ordinary person might interpret it, "sexual rights" is interpreted a certain way by Bush's relgious base, despite what it actually means in this context. And because of that misinterpreted context, Bush gains support for being opposed to "sexual rights" for women. In other words, it's all about sacrificing a globally positive action for domestic political strength.
posted by Jimbob at 7:53 PM on October 14, 2004


"sexual rights" is interpreted a certain way by Bush's relgious base, despite what it actually means in this context. And because of that misinterpreted context, Bush gains support for being opposed to "sexual rights" for women.

Regardless. Women in this country, as in most first world nations are overwhelmingly in favor of choice. Not supporting this statement also weakens the "sexual rights" of women in those parts of the world where infibulation (female circumcision) is practiced. Hell. I hope Oprah kicks Aytollah Fratboy's skinny white ass too. /outrage.
posted by Skygazer at 8:08 PM on October 14, 2004


What is the point of these "statements" anyway?

Outrage aside, I would second this question. What are these statements for and what does anyone do with them? It sounds pretty easy to say "we signed onto a statement declaring that women have rights" without actually giving anyone anything or changing any laws. Right?
posted by mathowie at 8:20 PM on October 14, 2004


I can't wait for the election to be over so we can all stop pretending to be constantly outraged.

The outrage is genuine. The surprise -- insofar as some pretend to be surprised, which I don't really see in this thread -- wouldn't be.
posted by clevershark at 9:32 PM on October 14, 2004


It sounds pretty easy to say "we signed onto a statement declaring that women have rights" without actually giving anyone anything or changing any laws. Right?

Well, it's kinda like the non-binding Congressional motion asking South Africa to release Nelson Mandela... you know, the one Dick Cheney refused to vote for.

You can't say the Administration isn't consistent when it comes to this sort of declaration, I guess.
posted by clevershark at 9:33 PM on October 14, 2004


matthowie, it's admittedly of limited value, but of some value nonetheless. When later arguing for laws or treaties that would provide legal force to such protections, statements of this kind constitute an assent to the governing principle. You can say to a nation: "you stipulated to this principle when you became a signatory to this statement." It helps a lot during the arguments and forces any dissenter to make a case why their earlier assent doesn't apply. It can help with domestic legislation in the same way -- it acts something like a precedent; it's not unanswerable but it does demand to be answered, whereas its absence does not.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:46 PM on October 14, 2004


I should add the usual "IANAL" disclaimer -- this is merely my lay interpretation of such things.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:48 PM on October 14, 2004


Skygazer: Women in this country, as in most first world nations are overwhelmingly in favor of choice.

Do you just make shit up as you go along?
posted by Kwantsar at 9:56 PM on October 14, 2004


Oh, a Washington Times link, Kwantsar. Say no more.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 10:08 PM on October 14, 2004


Direct link to the survey, which was commissioned by a pro-choice organization.

Be sure to stick your fingers in your ears and repeat the same syllable at the top of your voice, strangeleftydoublethink, lest you be forced to actually think and read, rather than reflexively jerk your knee.
posted by Kwantsar at 10:15 PM on October 14, 2004


Well then, the majority is re-chaining themselves to the plow. Or the stove, if you prefer. Good for them, I hope they enjoy it.

I suppose that at some point in the near future a poll will be taken which will say that the majority of women prefer to be paid less for equal work, or to be excluded from most jobs other than teaching, cooking, waitressing, babysitting, sewing, telephone operator, butter-churning... and that really, what they want is to stay home and Bear Children For A Strong Future For America.

Hyperbole? Yes... but for how long?
posted by zoogleplex at 10:48 PM on October 14, 2004


Do you just make shit up as you go along?

Sorry Kwantser, but The Washington Times?? I have no idea how the moonies spun those numbers.

This might be a better source. It has multiple polls conducted by many news outlets which shows "always legal" or "legal in most cases" supported by a clear majority of those polled. Except in the Fox news Poll (Big surprise there).

Not to mention what would happen to those numbers if abortion rights were threatened by a new Supreme court judge picked by President "God speaks to me and I am never wrong".
posted by Skygazer at 10:51 PM on October 14, 2004


Who gives a fuck what the majority thinks? If America operated that way, you'd still have people in chains picking cotton. I have very little doubt in my mind that if Dubya is re-elected, Roe V. Wade will be overturned and America will slip farther into the hold of a group of radicals who have somehow marketed their product as "moderate".

And, ya know, only in America would people fall for something so thinly guised just because of some sound bites. I mean, you've got people talking about how Kerry seems like he complains too much or isn't personable enough and giving that equal weight with Bush leading you into an illegal war on false evidence and lying through his teeth while he praises Jesus. Or Wolfowitz pushing for a war in Iraq even before Afghanistan because it would be easier to win (hah) on September 11th. Bush II makes his father look like a dyed-in-the-wool liberal. And yet the polls are tied. God bless America!

Sorry, I was clearly just pretending for a minute there. You guys are cool with me.
posted by The God Complex at 11:08 PM on October 14, 2004


Well, skygazer, had you read the text of the second link I posted (the study cited in the first link), you'd realize that the "moonies" didn't "spin" anything.

And, you claimed that "Women in this country... are overwhelmingly in favor of choice."

Which is funny because the surveys that you cited polled both men and women.

So, I have produced evidence that runs counter to your claim, and you've produced nothing that supports it. And yet you continue to hold your position as fact.

If you give a fuck about your credibility, you might want to back off the "overwhelmingly" part of your claim. Because right now you look like a fundy. You should be embarrassed.

And TGC, I know that you were being clever, but I really don't care what the majority thinks. I do, however, care about the difference between fact and fiction.
posted by Kwantsar at 11:13 PM on October 14, 2004



And TGC, I know that you were being clever, but I really don't care what the majority thinks. I do, however, care about the difference between fact and fiction.


I agree. I don't think there's any point to spouting off facts about what percentage believes it and what doesn't, so you had a point. But my point stands about the majority--a right is a right, and I firmly hold that it's a right that all women should have, which is an argument that I think is tenable.

I was serious about Bush's administration being a radical one, however.
posted by The God Complex at 11:19 PM on October 14, 2004


> Who gives a fuck what the majority thinks?

Exactly, this is not an athenian democracy, its a mixed government democracy. If majority ruled then minority would be fucked. Its that simple. Oh imagine it:

A commission to find the Noah's Ark, paid for by dismantling NASA.

The return of segregation, if not slavery in some states.

The UFO project to kill the greys who are anally raping our precious hillbillies.

An invasion of france and the gassing of anyone who is caught wearing a beret or a tight striped shirt.

A homosexual re-education camp.

Death penalties for half the crimes on the books.

An RPG in every home.

Tin foil hats to be dispensed at the library.

All challenged books destroyed and those who have read them will get a nice "godless liberal" branding on their forehead.

Abortion doctors would be rounded up and shot.

Saddam would be tried for orchestrating 9/11.

And finally, we can sell our 9/11 commemerative coins from silver from ground zero without the damn nanny state getting in the way! A vial of ash from a cremated victim will be on ebay in no time.
posted by skallas at 11:32 PM on October 14, 2004



Women are great!
posted by uncanny hengeman at 11:32 PM on October 14, 2004


Kwantsar: I'm not embarrassed at all and my credibility are just fine thanks for the "concern".

I believe that if the Bush administration has the opportunity to appoint one or two new justices to the Supreme Court they will try to make it constitutionally illegal for a woman to have an abortion under any circumstance.

If you look at those numbers on page 12 of the Progress & Perils pdf closely you will see that it breaks down as follows:

-30% support general availability.
-17% support stricter limitation.
-34% support abortion only in cases of rape, incest and to save a women's life.

That is an overwhelming majority of women (81%) who support some form of legalized abortion.

As for the Washington Times, it is spun. Spin can be an act of ommision or including only the elments that further a particular agenda. The Washington Times would have never carried this if they didn't feel it did so. Nowhere do they give a complete breakdown of the numbers. The 17% who support stricter limits but availability is not even mentioned. That means that 47% support either General availability or availability with stricter limits. As I said 81% support some from of abortion to be available. That aggregate is nowhere to be found. Which is the point in the P&P pdf that they flashed on and ran with (you know between prayer and blow job sessions to the new Messiah Rev. Moon). If you read further in that Wash Times article they also do a nifty job of furthering a right wing take on Affirmative action.

And whereas the P&P pdf does show a bump in opinion towards the anti-choice/Pro-life among women. I would also hazard to mention that the P&P pdf is from June 2003.

The Polls I provided do take their numbers from a mixed gender pool (so shoot me you patronizing blowhard), but they do show overwhelming support for abortion rights from "legal in all cases" followed by "legal in most cases" and so on. I'm only going to focus on those two first instances in pointing some of them out (and hell I'll even do the math for you kwantsar):

ABC/Wash Post, May 05, 2004

23% and 31% for 54%

CBS News, May 20-23, 2004

All 36% and 37% for 73%

NBC news, Nov. 8-10, 2003

53% and 29%(Only Rape, incest, life of woman) for 82%

That last one seems to be closest for the figures of the P&P report. Anyhow the ABC/Wash Post poll and the CBS Poll are more up to date and done only 6 months ago. I'm of the opinion that if those numbers were broken down by gender it would still show women overwhelmingly supporting some form of legalized abortion rights.

I stand by my original point.
posted by Skygazer at 1:51 AM on October 15, 2004


"Outrage aside, I would second this question. What are these statements for and what does anyone do with them?"

Political pressure in future UN meetings. The idea of this (like several other statements fromt he UN) is to have an overly broad, non specific "agreement" that uses tems that are not defined int he document as primary items.

If a country (like the US) refuses to sign because we know it is broadly defined and will simply be an open ended club used to later brow beat us on things we disagree with the UN about then we get brow beaten about it.

If we DO sign then later we get brow beaten about anything we do that can be broadly mis-construed as a violation.

Basically it's a sort of "attack us politically for free" card.
posted by soulhuntre at 3:23 AM on October 15, 2004


Yes soulhuntre, or it could be, as Jimbob said - 'In other words, it's all about sacrificing a globally positive action for domestic political strength.'

I would be interested to hear what part of the UN plan for women you think the US would be brow beaten with. It seems obvious to me that the US has a serious problem with joining the international community. It has always tried to coerce the UN to do it's bidding, when this fails it complains that the UN is corrupt.
posted by asok at 4:12 AM on October 15, 2004


Thank you for posting the details, Skygazer. I'd also like to add that Kwantsar's first link said that 1000 women were polled. 1000 women is hardly representative.

Do you think that Bush is just pushing the American people to see how far we'll let him go before we take him out? That smirk feels like a taunt to me. I get the feeling that he's sitting back, laughing at us and thinking "I can't believe the shit I'm getting away with!"
posted by MsVader at 4:40 AM on October 15, 2004


MsVader: Thank you for posting the details, Skygazer. I'd also like to add that Kwantsar's first link said that 1000 women were polled. 1000 women is hardly representative.

Issues regarding sample size are quite complex. The sample size you need depends more on how subtle the difference you want to uncover might be, not on the size of the population. As long as the 1000 women were selected in a way to reflect the demographic characteristics of the population, 1000 is more than enough to determine that 17%+/- 3% would answer "A" on a multiple choice test.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:43 AM on October 15, 2004


Your claim is so hollow now, Skygazer, that you choose to identify the rape/incest/life-of-mother crowd as pro-choice, and count them toward those who are "overwhelmingly in favor of choice."

You're a frothing ideologue. I'm finished with you.
posted by Kwantsar at 9:07 AM on October 15, 2004


Kwantsar - you cited an article that did the same thing - identifying the people who support the right to choose with restrictions as pro-life.

"Fifty-one percent of women surveyed by the Center for the Advancement of Women said the government should prohibit abortion or limit it to extreme cases, such as rape, incest, or life-threatening complications."

That 51% really breaks down into 34% that want it to be available in extreme cases and only 17% who want it to be illegal. Interpretation is a powerful thing. Of course, maybe it's all semantics and I could be totally reading into what you're saying (as I will admit that I'm adamantly pro-choice), but I just think that calling Skygazer a "frothing ideologue" is a bit over the top.

Kirk - good point. I hadn't taken that into consideration. That's why it's hard to trust any poll - you just don't know how truly representative your sample is.
posted by MsVader at 10:21 AM on October 15, 2004


The United States has refused to join 85 other heads of state and government in signing a statement that endorsed a 10-year-old U.N. plan to ensure every woman's right to education, health care, and choice about having children.

Why isn't the UN also concerned about men's rights? If they are, someone please point me to their statement about it. If they aren't, isn't that wrong? If there are specific issues/problems concerning women (which I believe there are), there are also specific issues/problems concerning men too.
posted by SpaceCadet at 12:09 PM on October 15, 2004


You forgot the requisite evil laugh KWANTSAR: BWAHAHAHAHAA!!

An overwheming number of the women in most parts of this country (except the bible belt), as well as other EU countries, do in fact, support choice.
This from the article you cited in that bastion of journalistic integrity, The Washington Times:

"They're concerned about the shift, and rightfully so," said Ann Scheidler, executive director of the Chicago-based Pro-Life Action League. "We are winning. It's by no means going to be in a year are two, but our effort is to eventually make abortion unthinkable."

I suppose "unthinkable" applies to those "frothing ideologue's" who are rape or incest victims or whose lives are in danger? What about those "frothing ideologue's" too young or ashamed to admit that they've been raped or had sex forced upon them by an abusive father?

Or let's open this up to include the full spectrum of "sexual right's" such as those of women in Africa who're forced to undergo ritual Circumcision/infibulation/cliterectomy (i.e., removal of the clitoris). They're obviously of no use to you OR for that matter the african women who are too ashamed to admit pregnancy and develop obstetric fistula's so that they are constantly pissing and shitting all over themselves and become ruined people.

No use for those "frothing ideologues" either?

I took up your challenge and in spite of your baiting, responded to it. but let's be clear, this post and thread is about the self-serving lack of vision and morality that this administration has displayed over and over and yet again. You (Kwantsar) seem to deal in dismissal and self-righteousness and have yet to even state where you stand on a Bush refusal to sign a UN human rights statement that would further the lot of women's health worldwide. How spineless.
posted by Skygazer at 12:12 PM on October 15, 2004


MsVader: Would you seriously call an extreme-cases-only abortion supporter "pro-choice"?

What you should read into what I'm saying is this: Skygazer claims that "Women in this country... are overwhelmingly in favor of choice." I claim that this is demonstrably false, and cite evidence to bolster my claim. To refute my point, one should either cite a recent poll of women that contradicts the one I've cited, or one should claim that I am incorrectly interpreting the poll. After failing to do the first, Skygazer (and you, apparently) have chosen to claim that women who embrace the extreme-cases-only viewpoint are pro-choice.

I guess you can make that claim, because I don't know of any official definition of "pro-choice". But I have a hunch that most reasonable people would not claim that an extreme-cases-only supporter is "pro-choice" or "in favor of choice."

Last, I am pretty rabidly pro-choice myself, but that's not an excuse to look the other way when someone makes a spurious claim.


On preview, skygazer, I should have stuck to my guns when I claimed that I was finished with you. But...

First, I'm glad to see that you've toned down your original claim. I don't need a mea culpa-- the evidence is on the page for all to see.

Second, a person who continues to support a claim despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary is a frothing ideologue. You could have acknowledged that you overstated your majoritarian claim, pointed out that it wasn't that relevant anyway, and moved on. But you didn't do that.

Third, I know what this thread is supposed to be about. But you made a false (or misleading) claim, and I called you on it. I'm sorry if my promotion of intellectual honesty has distracted you from pursuing your agenda here on your personal weblog.

And FWIW, I don't really understand how the document "would further the lot of women's health worldwide." Am I being dense?
posted by Kwantsar at 12:31 PM on October 15, 2004


I think the most important purpose of this document is as a guiding principle or rationale for other actions. For example, if I signed the document and then give large chunks of money to groups that oppose contraception and reproductive health measures, the public opinion can say "hey, wait a minute. You said that these issues were important."
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:01 PM on October 15, 2004


MsVader: Do you think that Bush is just pushing the American people to see how far we'll let him go before we take him out? That smirk feels like a taunt to me. I get the feeling that he's sitting back, laughing at us and thinking "I can't believe the shit I'm getting away with!"

Yeah perhaps. More then anything it seems like another opportunity to give the finger to the U.N.

Kwantsar: I don't really understand how the document "would further the lot of women's health worldwide."

George_Spiggott's remark (above) did an excellent job of showing how a U.N. statement of this sort "would further the lot of women Health around the world" He wrote:

it's admittedly of limited value, but of some value nonetheless. When later arguing for laws or treaties that would provide legal force to such protections, statements of this kind constitute an assent to the governing principle. You can say to a nation: "you stipulated to this principle when you became a signatory to this statement." It helps a lot during the arguments and forces any dissenter to make a case why their earlier assent doesn't apply. It can help with domestic legislation in the same way -- it acts something like a precedent; it's not unanswerable but it does demand to be answered, whereas its absence does not.
posted by Skygazer at 3:35 PM on October 15, 2004


"I would be interested to hear what part of the UN plan for women you think the US would be brow beaten with."

The vague and ill-defined ones (as mentioned in the links) that would later be used (as pointed out in the thread by others including skygazer) as a lever in future negotiations.

"It seems obvious to me that the US has a serious problem with joining the international community."

How dare we maintain the right to make decisions for ourselves.

"It has always tried to coerce the UN to do it's bidding, when this fails it complains that the UN is corrupt."

Because the UN is never corrupt. The UN alone of all political institutions of man stands inviolate and impartial.

Right.
posted by soulhuntre at 1:06 AM on October 18, 2004


Asok: "I would be interested to hear what part of the UN plan for women you think the US would be brow beaten with."

Soulhuntre responds: The vague and ill-defined ones (as mentioned in the links) that would later be used (as pointed out in the thread by others including skygazer) as a lever in future negotiations.

You didn't answer Asok's question: What part of the UN plan for women you think the US would be brow beaten with? In other words why are women's basic "sexual rights" something that might require "future negotiation"?

Soulhuntre: Because the UN is never corrupt. The UN alone of all political institutions of man stands inviolate and impartial.

All human organizations are imperfect and corrupt. The U.N. has proven itself to be effective over the last half century, in dealing with worldwide health issues. If your beef is with the United Nations as a corrupt institution especially in regards to human rights and health issues you should support your claim.
posted by Skygazer at 1:42 AM on October 19, 2004


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