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I Could Have Used You That Night
May 6, 2010 12:34 PM   Subscribe


 
That's quite a powerful piece.

But she would be well served to get a tripod.
posted by brand-gnu at 12:44 PM on May 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks for posting.
posted by hermitosis at 12:50 PM on May 6, 2010


Amazing. Beautiful. Wonderful. Terrible.

Lord, save me from Your followers!
posted by pla at 12:55 PM on May 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is quite moving, and makes me sad about sex.
posted by poe at 12:56 PM on May 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Damn. She holds it down. I like her voice.
posted by cashman at 12:57 PM on May 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


If they are going to make you do something as blatant as forcing you to look at an Ultrasound, why not just also require doctors to tell these women they are going to hell for what they are about to do?
posted by mreleganza at 1:04 PM on May 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


.
posted by clvrmnky at 1:04 PM on May 6, 2010


That right there is some powerful shit. Thanks.
posted by Nothing... and like it at 1:10 PM on May 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


wow. that made my tear up and almost start crying at work.

i don't care if it's a personal vignette she's telling or not, but hell, that is so powerful.

i want that on flyers to paste everywhere.
posted by sio42 at 1:11 PM on May 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Strong. Damned strong.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:11 PM on May 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


May the Oklahoma Senators add to SB 1878 that any woman seeking abortion shall be arrested, held without trial, sentenced to death, and killed in public, for that is the only logical outcome of their will to suppress the freedom of a woman's choice.
posted by drogien at 1:14 PM on May 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


That was very well said. Thank you for posting.
posted by YAMWAK at 1:15 PM on May 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


That made me want to weep.
posted by leftcoastbob at 1:25 PM on May 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


All I can say is "Amen."
posted by The Light Fantastic at 1:26 PM on May 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


'nuff said.
posted by punkfloyd at 1:29 PM on May 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't know how to feel about these things, because I feel so strongly for her, so sympathetic, but at the same time, there almost seems to be an implication here that her pain is the reason why abortion should be legal, that if society or the law was sufficiently comforting, sympathetic, supportive... then it would be okay to force her to carry a fetus, force her to give birth.

I'm not comfortable with that, not because I don't feel for those people who hurt, but because there are also women who just plain don't want to have a baby. Period, full stop. And if we say that the cause of the pregnancy matters, that the emotional feelings about it are what justify the legal allowance of it, then it seems like we're also saying that in the absence of human misery, it's totally okay for the government to take control of our bodily choices.

I think her poem and her performance are wonderful, but I don't want to live in that world. I want to live in a world where it's enough for me to say, "This is my body."
posted by gracedissolved at 1:31 PM on May 6, 2010 [25 favorites]


And that, is how it's done.
posted by odinsdream at 1:32 PM on May 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can't help but think that a text version of the poem could have had more power than a video recitation, especially one with such poor sound quality.
posted by longsleeves at 1:35 PM on May 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sadly, if the intended recipients ever read that poem it will prompt them to further cut funding for the arts and burn a few biology texts.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 1:44 PM on May 6, 2010


Lauren is my friend, and I am so very proud of her for using her voice. She is amazing.
posted by psylosyren at 1:55 PM on May 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


I don't think that is what she is actually advocating, gracedissolved. She is challenging the lawmakers' disingenuous use of 'concern' for women considering abortion as the basis of their law. She is taking their 'concern' for women and pushing it to its extreme to call them out on what is actually merely a rhetorical device for them.
posted by barrett caulk at 1:57 PM on May 6, 2010


I read Oklahoma poet and thought, "oh god not poetry. You're going to read a poem to bad people? Do you think a poem will melt their hearts?"

Then I watched it and thought, ok that was some bold stuff. Kick ass grrl, you kick ass.
posted by nola at 2:14 PM on May 6, 2010


After the shock and awe, my issue with the piece is that rape is used as .... a moral bargaining chip of sorts. Yes, we're taking a worst-case scenario to prove/show that the 'concern' of lawmakers is disingenuous, but it relies on the argument that rape is the one reason everyone should agree on for why abortion should be legal. So then, what, every other woman drives in behind that fire truck? I love the poem and I hate the law, but I'm not sure that rape is any better a rhetorical device than concern.
posted by Sweetdefenestration at 2:23 PM on May 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oh my christ, she has GOT to disable comments. *shudder*
posted by tristeza at 2:28 PM on May 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm bothered by the constant pushing of the holy trinity of "rape, incest, the health of the mother" as a reason to keep abortion safe, legal, and accessible.

That said, I feel that the people in the middle on this issue are only leaning toward the side of choice because they feel strongly about that trio of reasons, which they see as high enough on the scale of morality and ethics that they are willing, begrudgingly, to accept that women will also have abortions purely because they do not want to carry a pregnancy to term. Just based on my observations, I tend to believe that those people in the middle are most people.

We need those people on the side of reproductive rights, and I guess that means we need to keep appealing to their sentiments and manipulating their heartstrings on the matter, and it makes me feel pretty goddamn dirty. But pushing the reality of free-choice pregnancy termination on people whose hearts are really only in the battle of protecting women from the most difficult of situations is probably just going to result in losing the whole reproductive freedom war.
posted by padraigin at 2:32 PM on May 6, 2010 [8 favorites]


Cool poem.

She introduced it in A POETRY VOICE and I started to feel some dread--I'm pretty glad her reading of the actual poem was more casual.

(I hate POETRY VOICES.)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 2:36 PM on May 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


Its a beautiful poem and I can only thank her for speaking for the women out there who have faced violence. I try to do my part every year at my university's Sexual Assault week and rally.

U rock Girl!!
posted by VickyR at 2:39 PM on May 6, 2010


VickyR, every bit counts, but I think all men and women could do more than participate in an Awareness week.
posted by psylosyren at 2:42 PM on May 6, 2010


gracedissolved it seems like we're also saying that in the absence of human misery, it's totally okay for the government to take control of our bodily choices.

Personally, I'm fine with that. Achieve the absence of human misery, and whoever/whatever achieved that may (if permission were even relevant) do whatever it wants with my choices.

I'm even fine with a less reductio ad absurdum counterpoint. If a coalition of power groups ideologically opposed to freely accessible abortion were to go put in the necessary hard and humble work to significantly reduce the many human miseries (primarily poverty, and secondarily shame) that directly and indirectly prompt women to choose abortion of otherwise-viable fetuses, I would applaud the reduction in abortions that results, and gladly salute the pro-lifers' noble victory.

The general problem though with these assholes, the pro-lifers, Repugs, teabaggers and suchlike, is that they don't do a damn thing to address human misery. It's nothing to them if you'd give birth to a child in palatial wealth and happiness, or in a four-bed sewer with nine people sharing beds and diseases with no hope of employment or education and nothing to do but wait to die. Pro-lifers don't give a shit either way. They have an ideological axe to grind against abortion itself, without consideration of cause or consequences, and that's the end of their interest in the matter.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 2:43 PM on May 6, 2010


Moved to tears. If we (truly) care about life, we should care about all life, not just that of not-yet-born.
posted by dbmcd at 2:44 PM on May 6, 2010


padraigin: "But pushing the reality of free-choice pregnancy termination on people whose hearts are really only in the battle of protecting women from the most difficult of situations is probably just going to result in losing the whole reproductive freedom war."

We can at least try to

1) Be honest about our personal feelings about abortion without constantly trying to be political about it (especially as it pertains to women and our own bodies--it is our freedom, after all, that we're discussing, not just a political football)

2) Or, if that doesn't work for you, reading up on the Overton Window might.

I always say that yes, I am pro-abortion, when it's wanted, when it's needed, I am pro-. I am happy that people are able to get abortions. If they didn't exist my life (and the lives of many other women) would not be the same. So, I am pro-abortion.

I refuse to act like that's not the case for some vague political gain.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 3:00 PM on May 6, 2010


I refuse to act like that's not the case for some vague political gain.

No doubt, and while I'd never heard of the Overton window, that's really how I think about this issue.

I don't hesitate to say what I think about the matter, I'm too old to care about offending people with my personal beliefs. I'm talking less about how I personally approach the situation though, and more about how quick the pro-choice movement is to fall back on the most tragic of situations to support their case.
posted by padraigin at 3:29 PM on May 6, 2010


This piece was beautiful.

However, it does seem predicated on the assumption, as aeschenkarnos suggests that
"human miseries (primarily poverty, and secondarily shame)...directly and indirectly prompt women to choose abortion of otherwise-viable fetuses".

And I think that this is a false assumption. It could be a matter of the area I was raised and the people I grew up with, but I knew far, far too many well-off young girls (and the boys they dated) who were just plain irresponsible and saw abortions as an "easy out." I know a 24 year old (who now has a 1 year old) who had four abortions while we were in high school. FOUR.

I think this law was poorly thought out, and ultimately innapropriate. But I think anything that can help teach irresponsible 16 year olds that an abortion is a significant, emotional, tough decision is something that is worth not immediately dismissing.
posted by CharlieSue at 3:33 PM on May 6, 2010


And I think that this is a false assumption. It could be a matter of the area I was raised and the people I grew up with, but I knew far, far too many well-off young girls (and the boys they dated) who were just plain irresponsible and saw abortions as an "easy out."

Having an abortion is taking responsibility, and is never an easy way out. Unless you were there with them, and made the choice with them, and knew what they experienced, do not presume to claim to know what they did, or how they felt about it, or how easy or difficult it was for them.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:22 PM on May 6, 2010 [14 favorites]


If they are going to make you do something as blatant as forcing you to look at an Ultrasound, why not just also require doctors to tell these women they are going to hell for what they are about to do?

Yes! Except they don't want to make her wait till death, they prefer the woman feel like she's in hell immediately, there at the clinic, and the doctor performing the abortion is Lucifer himself, smiling and licking his lips.
posted by tula at 4:28 PM on May 6, 2010


Powerful shit.
posted by Mental Wimp at 5:12 PM on May 6, 2010


I knew far, far too many well-off young girls (and the boys they dated) who were just plain irresponsible and saw abortions as an "easy out."

Oh, then let's make sure they raise children, okay?
posted by Mental Wimp at 5:14 PM on May 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


I know a 24 year old (who now has a 1 year old) who had four abortions while we were in high school. FOUR.


Here's a thought; why is the number of abortions that a person has significant? Of course, it is a medical procedure, and ideally any unnecessary medical procedures should be avoided, but in an age where a person could have a nose job, a boob job, lipo, and numerous other not insignificant surgeries by the time they hit twenty, why should an abortion be any different?

If we are looking at this as only a medical procedure, which I think that many pro-choicers do, than why judge on how many? There is no denying that it's better to avoid putting yourself in the situation of needing one because of any risks involved, but if you remove the moralizing, that would be the only reason, right?

I am not asking this to be snarky, I have had opinions before about people who have had what I would have deemed too many abortions, but it just now occurred to me while reading that comment that my opinion was based on nothing.

If I am pro-abortion (which I am), and don't believe that having one is murdering a baby (I do not) and truly believe that a woman's right to control her own body is just that, why should I put arbitrary restrictions on it, moral or otherwise? If a woman is emotionally okay with getting an abortion (many women I know had none of the emotional trauma you so frequently hear about), or ten abortions, why should I care? It's not my business.

Plus, I would rather that woman have ten abortions than one abortion and nine potential children that she didn't want running around.

What am I missing here?
posted by newpotato at 5:48 PM on May 6, 2010 [8 favorites]


mreleganza wrote: "If they are going to make you do something as blatant as forcing you to look at an Ultrasound, why not just also require doctors to tell these women they are going to hell for what they are about to do?"

I'm more concerned with HB2656, which makes it impossible to sue a doctor who lies to you about the condition of the fetus.

newpotato wrote: "If I am pro-abortion (which I am)"

I can't say I've met a lot of people who claim to be pro-abortion. Personally, I'm pro-autonomy. As in a person can do whatever they like with their own body, whether it be remove a fetus, get a boob job, an penis enhancement, or any other cosmetic surgery, or even commit suicide. Since it's not my body, I don't get to say what happens to it. If we're going to force women to carry fetuses to term, what is stopping us from forcing her to breast feed?

As far as the medical procedure goes, I am neither for nor against it any more than I am for or against tonsillectomy.
posted by wierdo at 7:02 PM on May 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


..I knew far, far too many well-off young girls (and the boys they dated) who were just plain irresponsible and saw abortions as an "easy out." I know a 24 year old (who now has a 1 year old) who had four abortions while we were in high school. FOUR.

I think this law was poorly thought out, and ultimately innapropriate. But I think anything that can help teach irresponsible 16 year olds that an abortion is a significant, emotional, tough decision is something that is worth not immediately dismissing.


1. You don't know what her whole story is. Would you rather she'd had four births and four children she was not equipped to raise?

2. Babies /= punishment. I mean, yes, they can be made to, but they SHOULD not. For the parent's sake, and Jesus, for the baby's sake. Forcing an unprepared, resentful teenager to bear a child they can't adequately care for in order to "teach you a lesson, young lady!" is horseshit, and it's cruel. To all parties.

3. Why is it your job, or anyone's job, to police how much and how responsibly anyone is having sex, just because they're young? What gives you the right to decide that that young lady is just being too slutty for your tastes? It's not your vagina. She's taking care of herself the best she can. Unless she's forcing herself on others or being forced, it's none of your concern. Step off.
posted by emjaybee at 7:14 PM on May 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


I know a 24 year old (who now has a 1 year old) who had four abortions while we were in high school. FOUR.

Why wasn't she offered birth control pills? That's what I don't understand about teen pregnancy. If anti-abortion forces think they know what's best for women why not just put all teen girls on implanted birth control until they're of age or married or whatever. I do understand that not all women can tolerate hormonal birth control but there's IUDs and the ring and whatnot. If the state ordered it then sexually active teen girls wouldn't face the problem of having to ask Mom and the resulting screaming and accusations.

Obviously there are some technical problems with this idea but I wish I'd been forced onto birth control before I had an abortion at 14 rather than after.
posted by irisclara at 7:45 PM on May 6, 2010


That was amazing. Thanks for posting that, eustacescrubb.
posted by homunculus at 7:50 PM on May 6, 2010






That should be pier. I think. Homonyms, dangit.
posted by NoraReed at 7:59 PM on May 6, 2010


I thought the poem was a really powerful response to this paternalistic, condescending law. Thanks for posting.

What am I missing here?

Even some people who are pro-abortion think that killing a fetus is intrinsically bad -- but it's less bad than taking away a woman's right to make decisions about her own body. It's not necessarily a zero sum game: right or wrong, check only one box.

This doesn't speak for those who feel that an abortion is, as you say, simply a medical procedure. But I don't think you know what view the person you quoted holds.
posted by onlyconnect at 8:30 PM on May 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Exactly.

Thanks, eustacescrubb.
posted by zinfandel at 8:48 PM on May 6, 2010


CharlieSue: "I know a 24 year old (who now has a 1 year old) who had four abortions while we were in high school. FOUR. "

You really want someone that irresponsible (as you see it) having four children instead?

Think about what you're saying! Someone is a frivolous or thoughtless person, therefore they should have more children?!
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:03 PM on May 6, 2010


wierdo: "As far as the medical procedure goes, I am neither for nor against it any more than I am for or against tonsillectomy."

I am pro-tonsillectomy. It's better than people dying of tonsillitis!
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:07 PM on May 6, 2010


internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 wrote: "I am pro-tonsillectomy. It's better than people dying of tonsillitis!"

I'm pro-people-doing-what-they-want-to-do-with-their-own-bodies. ;)
posted by wierdo at 10:06 PM on May 6, 2010


Powerful, but not a poem.
posted by thinkpiece at 1:48 AM on May 7, 2010


If I am pro-abortion (which I am), and don't believe that having one is murdering a baby (I do not) and truly believe that a woman's right to control her own body is just that, why should I put arbitrary restrictions on it, moral or otherwise? If a woman is emotionally okay with getting an abortion (many women I know had none of the emotional trauma you so frequently hear about), or ten abortions, why should I care? It's not my business.

Plus, I would rather that woman have ten abortions than one abortion and nine potential children that she didn't want running around.

What am I missing here?


Absolutely nothing. You simply start with different premises to most pro-lifers. If you believe that having one is killing a baby then it is your business every bit as much as your neigbour blowing out a baby's brains with a pistol would be. You just disagree.

The part that I don't understand is why so many so-called pro-lifers seem opposed to decent sex-education that works (rather than abstenance-only nonsense). And they seem to be against the provision of contraception. If they actually cared about abortions, they'd be encouraging everyone to have contraception.
posted by Francis at 3:17 AM on May 7, 2010


Powerful, but not a poem. - thinkpiece

Not for the first time, I wish MeFi allowed the old BBCode : rolleyes: icon.

Also, sorry, but having spent a lifetime studying, writing and publishing poetry, that is most definitely a poem.

Also also: snobbery is boring.
posted by eustacescrubb at 5:19 AM on May 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Do they really believe that abortion is murder?
... the leaders of the abortion criminalization movement have consistently put their political weight behind policies which make little or no sense if they genuinely think that abortion is identical to child murder. And those same leaders routinely endorse policies that make a lot of sense if their goal is to penalize women who have sex.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:53 AM on May 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Even some people who are pro-abortion think that killing a fetus is intrinsically bad -- but it's less bad than taking away a woman's right to make decisions about her own body. It's not necessarily a zero sum game: right or wrong, check only one box. - onlyconnect

This. My friend who had the four abortions (who I do know well, who I was good friends with for years, who I was with when she made these decisions) shouldn't have been forced to raise a child. That isn't what I was or am saying. What I'm saying is that while I am pro-choice, I still feel it isn't just "any other medical procedure."

I may not feel like the government has a right to tell a woman whether she can or can't do anything with her own body, but that doesn't mean an abortion isn't ending a potential life. And that is a decision I don't feel like should be taken lightly - and to caveat this, I am perfectly aware that for many or even most people it isn't an easy decision.
posted by CharlieSue at 5:56 AM on May 7, 2010


I may not feel like the government has a right to tell a woman whether she can or can't do anything with her own body, but that doesn't mean an abortion isn't ending a potential life. And that is a decision I don't feel like should be taken lightly

If you don't feel that the government can tell women what to do with their bodies, then why does it matter how lightly their decisions are made?

It's bizarre that there are people who claim to believe everyone has the right to reproductive autonomy -- but also think that people are required to agonize about their decision to abort, as well. This kind of attitude that too easily veers into moralizing territory -- "you have the right to do this -- but if you don't think long and hard about how you're Ending a Potential Life, then you're doing it wrong."

Nobody can know for sure how easy or difficult another person's decision-making process was, and it cannot be used as a diagnostic of the validity of someone's abortion. And if you think abortion is a right, it is a right regardless of whether or not the person decided on abortion "lightly".

(I say "lightly", because it's a hilarious thing to say about any abortion. No matter how easily or happily a person decided to abort, it's still a medical procedure. It's not like they "lightly" choose the salmon over the frigging crabcakes.)

Abortion is not a difficult choice for everyone. It can (and often is) a decision made with no hesitation, no emotional turmoil, no indecisiveness, and no regret. That is a valid abortion experience, too, and does not deserve to be diminished or questioned by people who are supposedly "pro-choice", simply because it doesn't kiss the asses of anti-choicers with enough passion.
posted by Coatlicue at 6:56 AM on May 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would rather someone irresponsibly have an abortion that irresponsibly raise a kid. Weird, huh?
posted by Jilder at 8:32 AM on May 7, 2010


How much to get this put on TV?

Seriously, got my credit card out.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:59 AM on May 7, 2010


It's bizarre that there are people who claim to believe everyone has the right to reproductive autonomy -- but also think that people are required to agonize about their decision to abort, as well. This kind of attitude that too easily veers into moralizing territory -- "you have the right to do this -- but if you don't think long and hard about how you're Ending a Potential Life, then you're doing it wrong."

I am pro-abortion, and I liked the poem very much, and I'm against laws like this that condescend to tell women they're not suffering hard enough over their abortion decision. I'm against this law. At the same time, I don't think it's bizarre or unprecedented. For example, we regulate degrees of murder according to state of mind: was it an accident, did you plan it, was it self defense? We care what people were thinking when they murder someone, and that affects how we analyze whether or not they have committed a crime.

I am NOT saying abortion is murder -- it's not, a fetus isn't a child. I guess I'm saying that although I am against the law, I can sort of understand the "state of mind" place it might be coming from. What I really don't like is a bunch of people, overwhelmingly male (though I guess the bill was co-sponsored by a republican woman), telling women across the board that they are not thinking hard enough about their abortion decision and that they should have a little more state-sponsored guilt about it. They don't know. They just don't know, and they have no right to assume they do.
posted by onlyconnect at 10:10 AM on May 7, 2010


But Coatlicue, if you choose the salmon, you are valuing the potential life of the salmon more than that of the crabs, and you SHOULD agonize over that decision!
posted by NoraReed at 1:38 PM on May 7, 2010


Powerful, but not a poem.

You may think you are the judge of what is and isn't a poem, but you're not. I am.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:35 PM on May 7, 2010


Isn't it illegal to take a photograph of a child without the consent of the parent? Anyone who generates an image of a fetus (which we can safely assume is legally a child in Oklahoma) without the consent of a parent may be vulnerable to a violation of privacy lawsuit.

Also, I think after this bill is signed, everyone in Oklahoma is going to be 9 months older than they thought they were. That'll be fun.
posted by _aa_ at 9:20 PM on May 7, 2010


@_aa_ I don't think there are actually any legal issues with photographing children.
posted by NoraReed at 12:29 PM on May 11, 2010


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