baby grand
January 23, 2005 10:36 PM   Subscribe

Post-Abortion Grandparents' Kit. Your heart still aches for the grandchild you'll only hold in heaven. This kit will help you to identify and overcome post-abortion syndrome in your daughter and in your family.
posted by orange clock (129 comments total)
 
/me baits for the flames.
posted by shepd at 10:46 PM on January 23, 2005


Focus on your own damn family.

Ugh. God, I hate the fundies.
posted by symphonik at 10:49 PM on January 23, 2005


WTF? How asinine.
posted by yodelingisfun at 10:50 PM on January 23, 2005


Oh good, I've been everywhere looking for one of these.
posted by DyRE at 10:51 PM on January 23, 2005


Wouldn't it be fun for your parents to sit down with you, oh say, twice a month and go over and over and over this? You can alternate weeks with the drug talk.
posted by Balisong at 10:55 PM on January 23, 2005


Nothing makes you feel more wanted as someone's kid than being told in writing by your parents they think you're a total screwup.

Perhaps the afflicted daughter could send their parents a copy of this book in return?
posted by shepd at 10:59 PM on January 23, 2005


We just keep our aborted fetus in a jar of formaldehyde on the mantle. It helps ease the pain of the entire family.
posted by lacus at 11:07 PM on January 23, 2005


Firtst you declare MetaFilter dead,, and now you wanna talk about dead babies? wtf?
posted by LouReedsSon at 11:29 PM on January 23, 2005


Ways to dispose of your fetus.
posted by arse_hat at 11:54 PM on January 23, 2005


I'll tell my grandma about this.

Oops! She aborted.

I'll tell my mother.

Oops! She aborted too.

Uh, I'll tell my sister-in-law. Nope. Her mother? Nope. Her grandmother? I'm really reaching for someone to need this.
posted by goofyfoot at 12:02 AM on January 24, 2005


This FPP is just a little too Fark flamewar for me. Let's go back to jumbo toilets?
posted by mek at 12:17 AM on January 24, 2005


No one wants to hear the truth: Abortion will break your heart.
(Suggested Donation: US $15.00)
posted by Dean Keaton at 12:20 AM on January 24, 2005


[this is great]
posted by LimePi at 12:40 AM on January 24, 2005


Tough choice. Give them the kit or have them read this report (PDF). See which one makes them feel worst.
posted by fubar at 12:42 AM on January 24, 2005


another [shameful] case of marketing... grrrr.
posted by illhelpu at 1:18 AM on January 24, 2005


good troll
posted by matteo at 1:23 AM on January 24, 2005


...Reality hurts my brain.
posted by TwelveTwo at 1:48 AM on January 24, 2005


Troll or not, this was worth it for lacus' one-liner. Nicely played, sir.
posted by gompa at 2:30 AM on January 24, 2005


(Or madam, as the case may be.)
posted by gompa at 2:32 AM on January 24, 2005


Is it too late to abort James Dobson?
posted by eatcherry at 2:53 AM on January 24, 2005


Full-birth abortion.

It's a procedure where a doctor ... stabs .... a ... fully .... grown .... man ... in ... the .... head ... with ... scissors
posted by breath at 4:06 AM on January 24, 2005


This is awesome! Someone is getting rich selling shit like this and it ain't Jesus.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:15 AM on January 24, 2005


[this post has been aborted]
posted by Mikey-San at 4:16 AM on January 24, 2005


The good part of James Dobson ran down his mother's thigh.
posted by nofundy at 4:43 AM on January 24, 2005


I keep one next to the fire extinguisher at home, and one in a glove box of my truck at all times. Next to a space blanket...
posted by c13 at 4:56 AM on January 24, 2005


WTF? How asinine.

It's not just asinine, it's DOBSININE!
posted by Shoeburyness at 5:01 AM on January 24, 2005


Being from Colorado and having seen the FoF building, and knowing the city it's located in (something like one church per 35 people), this seems like more disturbing trend in the 'distribution' side of FoF. They've always been loud in the media, but it's as if they have their own factory for this crap now.

Can someone just put a permanent DoS on them?
posted by crabcakes at 5:32 AM on January 24, 2005


When pseudo-medical terminology is used in aid of fundamentalist garbage, it is especially insidious. This would be a funny link if it was not a probably quite effective way to spread ignorance about reproductive choice. In the current climate these Neanderthals probably get some kind of federal funding. Of course, in a fairer world anyone believing this retarded jive shouldn’t be in a position to terminate a pregnancy as they would be discouraged from breeding anyway. There are enough theocrats on this planet already, and they are nothing but trouble.
posted by The Salaryman at 5:57 AM on January 24, 2005


This abortion kit, it vibrates?

Who wants to hear some of my dead baby jokes?
posted by The White Hat at 5:57 AM on January 24, 2005


Once these people convince you to not have an abortion, they can also sell you a book on how to keep your kid from being gay, or CD's that help explain how you can defend marriage. Sounds like a great little group, because family isn't about love and caring, it's about brain washing.
posted by MrBobaFett at 6:06 AM on January 24, 2005


Why are we incapable of recognizing abortion as both necessary and often tragic?
posted by Lisa S at 6:07 AM on January 24, 2005


Why are we incapable of recognizing abortion as both necessary and often tragic?

Women who have abortions may feel some sense of loss and pain as they give up a possibility. Grandparents who feel their own loss, not a sympathy with their kid, but imagine this fetus as an individual they'll 'hold in heaven', are projecting their own fantasies onto difficult and realistic choices their kid had to make. A 'kit' that helps grandparents deal with this is quite obviously more of a guilt generator than an actual therapeutic resource.
posted by mdn at 6:23 AM on January 24, 2005


*Often* tragic? Not in my experience.
posted by eatcherry at 6:30 AM on January 24, 2005


A 'kit' that helps grandparents deal with this is quite obviously more of a guilt generator than an actual therapeutic resource.

I think the reality of would-be-grandparents' sense of loss and pain exists independently of their kid's "difficult and realistic choices." I say kudos to Focus on the Family for addressing a seldom-recognized, but no less real, perspective.
posted by Lisa S at 6:41 AM on January 24, 2005


Bullshit. "Grandparents" (which they are not, as a child would have to exist in the first place) have absolutely no right to feel "traumatised". It is selfish and self-indulgent for anyone other than those immediately affected by an abortion to claim any kind of loss. This is nothing more than another pathetic anti-abortion attempt to guilt-trip women into submission.
posted by eatcherry at 7:07 AM on January 24, 2005


*Often* tragic? Not in my experience.

Curious -- in your experience, is it more than often, or less than often?
posted by davejay at 7:12 AM on January 24, 2005


Yeah, except, these people aren't Grandparents at all because there never was a baby, Lisa S. What if your daughter wasn't pregnant at all and told you "Mom, instead of having a baby this year, I think I'll wait" would you feel as if you'd lost a child? Is this a "pre-emptive abortion"? Surely you can see how ridiculous this becomes?

This is yet another a crude attempt to change the tone of debate.
posted by nixerman at 7:13 AM on January 24, 2005


I am sure you are all surprised to know that Focus on the Family has a talk radio show too. I read somewhere that the show gets absolutely huge ratings. I wonder how often this is advertised on the show, and how many people have bought this kit.
posted by SisterHavana at 7:17 AM on January 24, 2005


Curious -- in your experience, is it more than often, or less than often?

Less than often. A lot less than often.
posted by eatcherry at 7:18 AM on January 24, 2005


Bullshit. "Grandparents" (which they are not, as a child would have to exist in the first place) have absolutely no right to feel "traumatised".

The ridiculousness of this particular contraption aside (it's not any kind of therapy, it's propoganda for Dobson, and his crew to get their name in the papers and drum up donations), I don't think that we can tell people what they have "no right," to feel.

That's the trouble with this issue. It's so emotional and so dividing that it's almost impossible, to hold any opinion, or question either sides stance without starting a firestorm, or to discuss any of the surrounding issues and effects rationally.
posted by jonmc at 7:18 AM on January 24, 2005


I think I have a right to tell people what they can feel when they're using my body and my choices to manipulate me into feeling guilt over a non-existent child. Because that's all this kit is - manipulation.
posted by eatcherry at 7:21 AM on January 24, 2005


Perhaps the afflicted daughter could send their parents a copy of this book in return?

Or perhaps this one?
posted by chrid at 7:22 AM on January 24, 2005


I think the reality of would-be-grandparents' sense of loss and pain exists independently of their kid's "difficult and realistic choices."

given your history, I'm hesitant to bother responding, but - how can grandparents feel loss of something they never had? A woman may feel loss because she may feel her body changing; she has an intimate relationship with the pregnancy and its potential, and the choice she makes will have a radical effect on her life, either way (and a tough thing about big choices is that there is often some degree of regret no matter which way you choose). But grandparents have lost nothing real. They may have fantasies that don't come true, but to 'mourn' over that is really self-indulgent and disrespectful of those experiencing real loss. And I think it's obvious that the real purpose is to make a statement, not to 'heal.'
posted by mdn at 7:24 AM on January 24, 2005


I think I have a right to tell people what they can feel when they're using my body and my choices to manipulate me into feeling guilt over a non-existent child.

You can feel whatever you want and say whatever you want to them, but telling people what they can and cannot feel is a)wrong and b) pointless, since no matter what you tell them to not feel, they'll still feel anyway.

I agree that this whole kit is ridiculous and insulting, but getting overheated and irrational about it just makes pro-choice people seem like the stereotype the fundies are trying to propogate.
posted by jonmc at 7:25 AM on January 24, 2005


Ah, thanks for that link mdn. I think we have ifeminist in our midst. Explains a lot. Ick.
posted by eatcherry at 7:25 AM on January 24, 2005


I think we have ifeminist in our midst. Explains a lot. Ick.

"Ifeminists believe that freedom and diversity benefit women, whether or not the choices that particular women make are politically correct. They respect all sexual choices, from motherhood to porn.

As the cost of freedom, ifeminists accept personal responsibility for their own lives. They do not look to government for privileges any more than they would accept government abuse. Ifeminists want legal equality, and they offer the same respect to men."

In short, ifeminism calls for freedom, choice, and personal responsibility."


Wow. Sounds horrible.
/sarcasm
posted by jonmc at 7:30 AM on January 24, 2005


If you believe that, you really don't know anything about ifeminism.
posted by eatcherry at 7:32 AM on January 24, 2005


So enlighten me.
posted by jonmc at 7:36 AM on January 24, 2005


A 'kit' that helps grandparents deal with this is quite obviously more of a guilt generator than an actual therapeutic resource.

Seriously? I assume then that you have read through this kit?
posted by tomplus2 at 7:37 AM on January 24, 2005


So enlighten me.

If you're too lazy to enlighten yourself beyond reading an ever-so-slightly biased about page, then I'm sure as hell not wasting my time.
posted by eatcherry at 7:40 AM on January 24, 2005


i don't understand it ... i looked all through the "sanctity of human life" section and can't find one book about how to deal with your child being killed in a foreign country or how to deal with his having blown up children with bombs

can someone explain that to me?
posted by pyramid termite at 7:40 AM on January 24, 2005


If you're too lazy to enlighten yourself beyond reading an ever-so-slightly biased about page, then I'm sure as hell not wasting my time.

Hey, you're the one who brought them into the conversation with your little "she's a witch, burn her.." callout, up above. I'd say the onus is on you to prove what's so ick-worthy about them.
posted by jonmc at 7:43 AM on January 24, 2005


One thing about this kit stands out in my mind: women who have an abortion and who have parents who would go in for this kind of thing would probably conceal their pregnancy and abortion from those parents in most cases.

Think of all the not-babies not being grieved over!
posted by adamrice at 7:45 AM on January 24, 2005


But grandparents have lost nothing real. They may have fantasies that don't come true, but to 'mourn' over that is really self-indulgent and disrespectful of those experiencing real loss.

If the grandparents are pro-life, then they believe life starts at conception. If the child dies after conception, the grandparents believe their grandchild, who became their grandchild when conceived, was killed.

Suppose your daughter agreed with Princeton's Peter Singer that children's lives could be 'ended' up to 30 days after birth. Your daughter 'aborts' your grandchlid at age 25 days.

Would you have no right to be upset? It's exactly the same argument. In both cases, the only argument is time and the point of sanctity.
posted by null terminated at 7:48 AM on January 24, 2005


Focus on your own damn family. Ugh. God, I hate the fundies.

They are. You clicked on the link. Did you get one of these in the mail?


women who have an abortion and who have parents who would go in for this kind of thing would probably conceal their pregnancy and abortion from those parents in most cases.

Maybe in most cases, but not all cases. I know of some. They've had a real hard time dealing with it. I'm sure one reason that family.org has this thing is because they see that there is a need for it - ie calls about how to deal with it. Supply and demand.

Surely some of you who hate the idea can see how this is a good thing for some people. To each his own.
posted by tomplus2 at 7:53 AM on January 24, 2005


I'd say the onus is on you to prove what's so ick-worthy about them.

So we all have to give extensive explanations for everything we mention that someone doesn't understand? There's a nifty little tool for these things - google. I would think if you're so curious you'd want to find out for yourself anyway - isn't it obvious that anything I have to say is going to be biased too?
posted by eatcherry at 7:54 AM on January 24, 2005


isn't it obvious that anything I have to say is going to be biased too?

it's abundantly obvious.

But hey, if we don't have to back up our assertions anymore here, why don't we just dispense with puttings words into links, or using sentences in our posts, cos, hey, if people want to know what the hell we're talking about, they can just Google it.

But what do I know, I'm just an evil agent of the patriarchy.
posted by jonmc at 7:58 AM on January 24, 2005


That's tool of the patriarchy.

Or just tool.
posted by eatcherry at 8:01 AM on January 24, 2005


Thank you jonmc for the iFeminism link. If I were female, I hope I'd have that view of things. It really seems to makes logical sense.
posted by PossumCowboy at 8:08 AM on January 24, 2005


Well, thank goodness you're not female then.
posted by eatcherry at 8:10 AM on January 24, 2005


Well, eatcherry, you've managed to make scarlet-letter brandings of those who disagree with you, without providing evidence, insist that readers provide your evidence for you, and resorted to schoolyard name calling. I'm impressed, you hit the debate incompetence trifecta.

*applause*
posted by jonmc at 8:10 AM on January 24, 2005


*bows*
posted by eatcherry at 8:12 AM on January 24, 2005


Curious how the only moral values fundies hold pertain to gays and abortion. They're pleased as punch with all the other immoral acts of this administration.
posted by fleener at 8:20 AM on January 24, 2005


Slightly more accurate article on iFeminism.

(BTW jonmc, where exactly did I ask anyone to provide evidence for anything?)
posted by eatcherry at 8:24 AM on January 24, 2005


eatcherry lives in an igloo and wears lederhosen for fun.

(I don't have to back any of this up, right? These are the new rules!)
posted by tr33hggr at 8:25 AM on January 24, 2005


But according to ifeminism, "equality" is synonymous with equal treatment under the existing legal, economic and social systems. In other words, rather than opposing the status quo, ifeminism operates within it. While other feminists view the law as inherently unjust and in need of reconstruction, ifeminists have absolutely no desire to prosecute pimps, legislate against sexual harassment, or otherwise compromise and challenge the default male standard.

So, ifeminists take responsibility for their own freedom? An outrage!
//sarcasm
posted by tr33hggr at 8:30 AM on January 24, 2005


(BTW jonmc, where exactly did I ask anyone to provide evidence for anything?)

You said iFeminists were "icky," I googled their site, read their about page, and said that I didn't see what was so icky about them, and asked you to back up your assertion. You told me to go google them some more. That's asking me to back up your assertion for you.

Also "ick," is the best you can do? Get a thesaurus.
posted by jonmc at 8:36 AM on January 24, 2005


Think of all the not-babies not being grieved over!

*promptly buys hundreds of kits to compensate*
posted by squidlarkin at 8:42 AM on January 24, 2005


I didn't ask you to "back up my assertion" - I told you if wanted to know more about iFeminism, don't expect me to educate you.

eatcherry lives in an igloo and wears lederhosen for fun.

You never know.

Also, where are all the women here? (Apart from Lisa S. of course, who, frankly, we could do without.) Am I getting in the way of the MeFi boy's club?
posted by eatcherry at 8:45 AM on January 24, 2005


If you're too lazy to enlighten yourself beyond reading an ever-so-slightly biased about page, then I'm sure as hell not wasting my time.

It's about the links, people. I admit I didn't know anything about ifeminism either before reading this thread and had no idea about the objections many people had against them. I'd hate to be called lazy because I didn't know that.

You're surrounded by (wait for it) open-minded people here, eatcherry. If you want to win people to your side, maybe you should take a moment to educate them instead of ridiculing them for not being in the know like you are.
posted by turaho at 8:51 AM on January 24, 2005


All I can say is, I can't believe that it's still considered acceptable to give baby boys circumcisions without anaesthetic.
posted by breath at 8:52 AM on January 24, 2005


Also, where are all the women here? Also, where are all the women here? (Apart from Lisa S. of course, who, frankly, we could do without.) Am I getting in the way of the MeFi boy's club? Am I getting in the way of the MeFi boy's club?

Welcome To The Eatcherry Cliche Festival.

Please come up with some argument that's not a prechewed catchphrase you got out of a pamphlet.

And there are plenty of women in here in this thread, if you bother to look at profiles. And whatever happened to equality, y'know weighing peoples arguments on their merit, not the speakers genitalia?

And, dismissing Lisa S. from the conversation because her opinions conflict with yours? Not cool. It's disrespect for freedom of thought, which is the antithesis of what I though feminism was about.
posted by jonmc at 8:54 AM on January 24, 2005


turaho, I did link to an article about iFeminism, albeit later than I should have. However, I'm not here to win people to my "side" because 1. I don't have a side and 2. I don't care nearly enough about anyone here to want to win them over to anything.
posted by eatcherry at 8:56 AM on January 24, 2005


Hmm. Thanks for links, eatcherry and jonmc. I still don't see what's so bad about ifeminism. The arguments in the link eatcherry provided rest on the premise that our legal and governmental structures are flawed, and exclusively favor white men. Assuming this to be true, the opinion of the person who wrote that is that it would be impossible to work within those laws to attain true equality.

Only if you believe both those premises to be absolutely true could you call ifeminism "icky". Seems to me its just asking us wimmins to take personal responsibility for our own actions and lives instead of looking for government handouts. Even if our system is flawed, how can that ever be considered a bad thing? Guess I have a new label.
posted by jennaratrix at 8:58 AM on January 24, 2005


2. I don't care nearly enough about anyone here to want to win them over to anything.

Then why are you wasting so much time typing at us?

You say one thing, but your actions say another. Unless you're merely typing to display how wonderfully righteous you are or something, in which case knock yourself out.
posted by jonmc at 8:59 AM on January 24, 2005


jonmc, Lisa S.'s previous posts were far beyond "conflicting" with my opinions. I think if you're a woman posting that another woman is just a bitch who needs some "chocolate and deep dicking" you pretty much lose any respect or tolerance you might have had to start with as far as I'm concerned.
posted by eatcherry at 9:00 AM on January 24, 2005


2. I don't care nearly enough about anyone here to want to win them over to anything.

And you're writing here for...? I would think these comments count as a discussion, and to have half of a discussion be someone telling me they don't want to explain themselves to because they don't care about me is really, really crappy. (Especially over a subject THEY brought up.)
posted by PantsOfSCIENCE at 9:02 AM on January 24, 2005


her posts in this thread were perfectly reasonable and politely stated, whatever we might think of the substance of them.
posted by jonmc at 9:02 AM on January 24, 2005


And now all this has made me very curious as to why you see ifems as so bad, eatcherry. Share? Please? I'm in the same confused boat as jennaratrix.
posted by catachresoid at 9:04 AM on January 24, 2005


Why would I care about you? I don't know you at all, and I seriously doubt you give a shit about me or my opinions. I'm here because I like arguing, that's all.
posted by eatcherry at 9:04 AM on January 24, 2005


eatcherry, I happen to agree with your positions-- I don't like "iFeminism" in the least-- but you haven't helped your-- our-- cause here at all through your behaviour in your thread. It's perfectly reasonable for jonmc to ask you to back up your arguments, and to provide links. That's (part of) what Metafilter does, at its best: share information. Barging around and throwing insults is just at best unhelpful. And bringing up "Don't expect me to educate you"-- that is, again, what Metafilter, at its best, is about. Educating. You know, sharing information. What you have done here is simply disrespectful.

And there are lots of women on Metafilter, myself included, but you're not going find that gender is a good predictor of any kind of politics. Speaking of which, where's konolia in this thread?
posted by jokeefe at 9:07 AM on January 24, 2005


I'm here because I like arguing, that's all.

Oh I'm sorry, but this is abuse. You want room 12A, just along the corridor.
posted by turaho at 9:08 AM on January 24, 2005


I'm here because I like arguing, that's all.

Oh well, then, I shouldn't have wasted five minutes typing my above comment. Maybe you should find another site to troll? I suggest FreeRepublic; you'll get some good fightin' there.
posted by jokeefe at 9:10 AM on January 24, 2005


Ha! turaho wins.
posted by jokeefe at 9:12 AM on January 24, 2005


I'm here because I like arguing, that's all.

I like dancing. That dosen't mean I'm good at it.
posted by jonmc at 9:12 AM on January 24, 2005


I'm here because I like arguing, that's all.

Well, that in itself is respectable. But the thing about arguments is that one usually has to back them up by evidence (provide links, in this case)...
posted by c13 at 9:12 AM on January 24, 2005


I guess I have a problem with iFeminism because it attempts to dismiss the idea of sexism existing at all. To them, any problems women have are entirely of their own creation. There are some aspects of it that I agree with in theory (just as there are aspects of more traditional second-wave feminism that I don't agree with) but there is such a blame-the-woman mentality among iFeminists (which was extremely disappointing to me, as I had felt at one time they were exactly what I was looking for).

Spending some time on various iFeminist forums confirmed this for me - I've never seen so many women eager to tear down other women and at worst blame them for being abused, or beaten or raped. iFeminism is "anything goes" feminism and I can't agree with that. Feminism isn't about "anything goes" - there are things that are very definitely anti-feminist (although what those things are varies, of course) but iFeminists seem to think that just calling themselves feminists makes them so. It's also worth noting (I think) that iFeminists are supported by some pretty extreme "men's rights" activists as well as anti-abortion groups.
posted by eatcherry at 9:14 AM on January 24, 2005


Well, that's the first time I've ever been accused of trolling. Go me.
posted by eatcherry at 9:14 AM on January 24, 2005


The "ifeminist" stuff doesn't theoretically bother me... it seems a bit naive, but not completely wrongheaded, and open mindedness is definitely important. But there are a lot of complicated issues that revolve around gender and sexual identification (external & internal) and ifeminism basically seems to say that they don't exist, or at very least, that we should act as if they don't exist. I'm not saying that's a completely useless viewpoint, but the longer I live, the less I believe it.

Lisa S, though, seems more fundamentally to be trying to rile people up. Who knows how seriously she holds these beliefs, and even whether she's actually female, but her intent seems to be button pushing more than anything. The quote I linked to above is really pretty egregious, you have to admit.

eatcherry, I appreciate your comments on this thread, but I think you got a little oversensitive/defensive in response to jonmc. If you're going to bother making a point, it's worth bothering to explain it; plenty of us are unfamiliar with this website/movement, so your insights would be useful to broaden understanding.
posted by mdn at 9:26 AM on January 24, 2005


I believe we've had a breakthrough, folks. Welcome to Metafilter and your first trial by fire, eatcherry. I think you'll find a lot of people here are willing to hear you out as long as you take the time to defend your views, unlike some of the infamous hit-and-run trolls who live to mix shit up.
posted by turaho at 9:28 AM on January 24, 2005


oops, didn't notice everyone's responses on preview... yes, eatcherry, your perspective resonates with me regarding the denial of sexism thing.

Anyway, I'd be interested to hear more about your experiences on those forums. It sounds like you gave the philosophy serious consideration at the start, which is not the impression your initial comments here gave - remember we don't know your history when you make comments here; sometimes you gotta be careful about how you come across.
posted by mdn at 9:32 AM on January 24, 2005


eatcherry: perhaps "the women" are confused by your belligerent posts. Reading though the comments (the original article didn't open up for me) I couldn't figure out what your ifeminist comment was in response to, and I appreciated jonmc's link. Your anger at him seems entirely out of proportion to his comments, and it wasn't until you posted the Burbridge article that it became obvious that you are a feminist objecting to libertarianism rather than an anti-feminist objecting to feminism.


tr33hggr: it's not that ifeminists take responsibility for their freedom, but that they (seem to be: I only skimmed) are dismissive of the genuine, outside-the-individual barriers that women face politically and socially. Their stance on porn/prostitution is a good example. While their basic stance on freedom of choice is a good one, they do not (seem to) acknowledge that many women and girls do not have a choice, and that often their lack of choice is linked to broader economic/political/social structures.
posted by carmen at 9:33 AM on January 24, 2005


Perhaps eatcherry hasn't made the most compelling presentation of her case, but having some familiarity with ifeminism, I think her feelings are rather on target.

I don't have the time right now to go into this subject in any depth, I understand it to be a constructed ideology which co-opts the language of feminism with the intent of pushing an very conservative, reactionary agenda.

Its aim is to dismantle any legislation which attempts to correct the gender inequality in our society. It's brought to you by the same language think tanks that have given us Tax Relief, the Death Tax, the Clear Skies Act, No Child Left Behind, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Perhaps it's best embodied by Ann Coulter and Camile Paglia.

That's pretty icky to me.
posted by cytherea at 9:35 AM on January 24, 2005


Interesting! Thanks for the explanation, eatcherry.

Now I'm wondering if Randians blame the victim for being mugged...
posted by catachresoid at 9:38 AM on January 24, 2005


Hmm. I'd like to bring this back on topic a bit.

My sister was unfortunate to suffer the loss of her child one week after the birth, due to a congenital heart defect that went undiagnosed during the pregnancy. It was discovered a full day after the birth, giving her and her husband a full day of believing everything was fine until the bad news came. Their child took another six days to pass away.

It devastated her, and her husband crumbled to pieces. Obviously the rest of us were hurting, but in no way and at no time did any of us even begin to understand what they were going through. Before my sister came home for the first time afterwards, my father and I had to remove every baby-related thing from the room they had set up because she didn't want to see it when she came home.

Neither my father or mother, who became grandparents for the first time when my sister's daughter was born, took any action to deal with their own pain. This was because they were preoccupied with worrying about their daughter's pain, and doing their best to be there when she needed them, and be out of the way when she wanted to be alone. This is because they loved her.

It is this experience that I am thinking of when I make the following statement of opinion: this kit merely serves as a propaganda tool for the detached and a useless (and possibly inflammatory) salve for the wounds of the self-absorbed.

Postscript: she now has two healthy children, my niece and nephew, and we recognize all three birthdays.
posted by davejay at 9:39 AM on January 24, 2005


This article was my first exposure to a pro-life perspective I could respect and identify with. It's not directly related to the discussion, but it's pretty interesting and also short.
posted by carmen at 9:44 AM on January 24, 2005


was my first exposure to a pro-life perspective I could respect and identify with

carmen, thanks for saying that. Even though I am prochoice (and I realize that as a male, I'll never be the one making that choice, thus rendering my opinion somewhat moot), this have never been a simple issue for me, and I suspect it's that way with a lot of people. Sometimes the absolutism (even when it comes to just talking) about this subject can be stifling.
posted by jonmc at 9:50 AM on January 24, 2005


I decided not to tell my mom I was planning on having an abortion a few years ago because I knew how much she wanted grandchildren. I did end up telling her after the fact and she was sorry (and a little hurt) that she wasn't able to support me during a difficult time. I don't think she or my boyfriend's mom felt any worse than they would have if they'd found out that I miscarried after being 6 weeks pregnant.

I have often thought of telling my (hyper-Catholic) grandparents about it, just to show them that not everyone who has an abortion is some kind of monster. I haven't done it, though, because it would probably do irreparable damage to our relationship and I know they aren't long for this world.

As for Ifeminism, thanks to everyone who provided information about it. I do believe that sexism is still alive and well and it's good to try to correct that, but I was concerned by some of the other arguments being made against Ifeminism--that it's pro-porn and prostitution. While I might be willing to concede that porn and prostitution contribute to the objectification of women, I can't really support the idea that women should be told what they should or shouldn't do with their bodies under any circumstances. What consenting adults do with their reproductive organs is really none of my concern.
posted by apis mellifera at 10:01 AM on January 24, 2005


apis mellifera -

I am both pro-porn and highly in favor of the legalization of prostitution. But I think most of the people here who object to the stance of iFeminism are objecting to their apparent denial (I say apparent because I am one of those who has been unfamiliar with the movement until today, and know little about it) that women can also be unwillingly forced into porn and prostitution either out of economic desperation or outright threats. It's just as insane to deny that some of these people aren't really consenting as it is to criminalize those who really are, I think.
posted by kyrademon at 10:14 AM on January 24, 2005


It's just as insane to deny that some of these people aren't really consenting as it is to criminalize those who really are, I think.

I agree, but is that a feminist issue per se? There definitely are male prostitutes, and men involved in the porn industry, and I'm sure not all of them are truly consenting either. If Linda Lovelace is a victim of the porn industry, then isn't John Holmes (used by those around him, addicted, dead young of AIDS) as well?

I don't object to highlighting the issue, just some aspects of how it's framed.
posted by jonmc at 10:25 AM on January 24, 2005


jonmc -

Sure. That just makes it a human rights issue as well as a women's rights issue. I tend not to regard the two as mutually exclusive.
posted by kyrademon at 10:27 AM on January 24, 2005


Sure. That just makes it a human rights issue as well as a women's rights issue. I tend not to regard the two as mutually exclusive.

But an awful lot of feminist writing that I've seen dosen't seem to frame it that way, simply seeing it all as patriarchy in action and primarily an extension of men controlling women rather than the broader question of the strong tyrannizing the weak.
posted by jonmc at 10:35 AM on January 24, 2005


One thing about this kit stands out in my mind: women who have an abortion and who have parents who would go in for this kind of thing would probably conceal their pregnancy and abortion from those parents in most cases.

adamrice took the words out of my mouth.

The books featured in that link said a lot about bringing women's pain over abortion out into the open. There's a fundamental assumption there that is flawed. Certainly there are women who will feel guilt after having an abortion, and those women deserve support. But there are other women who will have no guilt, because they freely made the choice that was right for them and their families. As much as some people try to make women feel guilty about the choice to have an abortion, lots of women don't.
posted by raedyn at 10:40 AM on January 24, 2005


Well, jonmc, it does make sense to ask questions such as -

Why are the vast majority of people who are forced into prostitution women?

Why are the vast majority of rape victims women?

Why are the vast number of people who are forced into pornography women?

You can ask these questions without denying that there are men being victimized, too. But there does seem to be a pretty darn strong indication that the current "strong tyrannizing the weak" power dynamic in this case largely *is* a case of men controlling women. Ignoring that is obscuring the problem, not helping it.
posted by kyrademon at 10:44 AM on January 24, 2005


(Here's another one that I started reading with an "oh no" and finished reading with some "wow." Thanks again, mefi-- this place is still the best of the web.)
posted by koeselitz at 10:46 AM on January 24, 2005


Why are the vast number of people who are forced into pornography women?

My response to that would be: what percentage of women in pornography have been forced into it?
(No snark - I think it's a valid question and I'd like the answer if you have it.)
posted by ruddhist at 10:54 AM on January 24, 2005


kyrademon, I actually am questioning the veracity of those claims. Is the majority really that vast? I'd like to actually see those numbers. And with the relative acceptance of gay porn in recent years, I'd imagine there's plenty of male participants in the industry as well, and I seriously doubt that the gay porn industry is any less sleaze-ridden and corrupt than the straight, since it's often made by the same companies and with the same motivation, namely money.

Now I realize that whatever our differences here are, we're basically on the same page. I'm just saying that when the discourse is framed in strictly feminist terms it alienates sympathetic males from the conversation, which is not good.
posted by jonmc at 10:56 AM on January 24, 2005


I'm so glad to see that everyone stuck around long enough to both get through the ifeminist storm and back to the original issue. This is why I love MetaFilter, in case anyone is interested.

If it's true that ifeminism denies that sexism exists, and is supported by ultra-conservative men's groups, I can see how it loses truly feminist credibility, but my ideal would be to end the separation of women's issues from everyone else's issues. If we recognize that some aspects of porn and prostitution are detrimental to all of us, not just to women, then it can be dealt with as a human rights issue (as jonmc and kyrademon have already stated). The problem with any solution that differentiates between genders is just that - that it differentiates. How can women ever claim equality if the only method we can come up with to combat institutionalized sexism and prejudice is preferential treatment?

I don't think many people would argue that sexism exists in our world; I think a lot of people would argue that the ways we've come up with to fight against it aren't really working. To me any kind of affirmative action bolsters the idea that women need assistance, and supports the idea that they are inferior. I feel it is a bandage, a fix of the outward symptoms, rather than a full repair of the underlying issue.

The underlying issue is that some people think that women aren't as good as men. Hiring quotas and preferential treatment aren't going to change that, and in fact, may reinforce it. A new approach may not be a bad thing, even if we have to go through some trial and error to get there.

So, ifeminism. Maybe they've co-opted the language of feminism for their own conservative aims. Maybe men think this is a great idea. But if taken at its face value, I kind of do, too. Someone will eventually comment that refusing to acknowledge barriers is living with your head in the sand, but I've busted right through barriers because I simply didn't see that they were there. That's how it's done. Then one day we're all on the other side of them, and no one even remembers what we were arguing over in the first place.

In the end, I guess I'd like to think that I can do whatever I want, whether or not a bunch of men or the Anne Coulters of the world think I should or not. And I'd like to know that I got my place in college, in graduate school, my degree, and my job based on my own merits, and not solely based on affirmative action policies. I believe that those policies got us to where we are today, and without them I wouldn't even be able to make this argument. But I also believe that as the world changes, so do the methods of dealing with issues like sexism. Personal responsibility sounds like a really good thing to me. Just because the "other side" is trying to co-opt it to weasel out of any responsibility doesn't mean that it's the wrong idea. We just need to co-opt it back.

Sorry, rambling and off-topic of the original post, but those are my thoughts.

On preview: kyrademon makes some really good points, in that the majority of victims of rape, porn and prostitution are women. The idea that I was trying to put into words, and failing badly at, is that it shouldn't be okay that it happens to anyone, or worse because it happens primarily to women. If we say "forcing a person into prostitution or pornography or raping is wrong," then it's wrong, and it doesn't matter if the victim is male or female. Framing it in terms of men vs. women makes it sound like a vast conspiracy, and I don't see that.
posted by jennaratrix at 11:00 AM on January 24, 2005


>Framing it in terms of men vs. women makes it sound like a vast conspiracy...

Why? In various related discussions I've been having online and off recently, this idea keeps coming up that calling something a feminist issue somehow blames all men for the problem, or alienates men from the problem, and I'm having a truly hard time understanding that.

If we talk about, for example, American over-consumption being a contributing factor in some third-world poverty, it doesn't seem like we're claiming all Americans are creating a conscious conspiracy against the thirld world. We're not told *not* to call it a third-world issue simply because that might alienate people who want to help and yet don't live in the third world.

Johnmc seems (and I could be misinterpreting) to be saying that by talking only about women, we turn guys off the issue, so does that mean that no one should be talking about subsets of populations at all? That we can't talk about black poverty without also talking about white poverty? Why can't we call issues that affect women "feminist issues"?
posted by occhiblu at 11:20 AM on January 24, 2005


Johnmc seems (and I could be misinterpreting) to be saying that by talking only about women, we turn guys off the issue,

Not exactly. It's more the implication that as a male you are an oppressive patriarch until proven otherwise (that permeates some, I repeat, some feminist discourse taht makes men uneasy. Nobody likes being made to feel that way. or having their own suffering dismissed. (I realize that's not what is the intention, that's just how it comes across).

so does that mean that no one should be talking about subsets of populations at all? That we can't talk about black poverty without also talking about white poverty? Why can't we call issues that affect women "feminist issues"?

No, it does not. But I do think there's more to gain by making the debate more inclusive. Race, gender and the like are often used by those in power as divide and conquer issues because they are effective that way. We her plenty of talk about racism and sexism and that's a good thing, but we could here more about the larger framework of economic exploitation and government and corporate control in which they exist and how it affects all of us.
posted by jonmc at 11:27 AM on January 24, 2005


jonmc -

I have to leave for work to go home now, but if you're willing to wait a few hours I'm pretty sure I can support what my claims quite easily.

Please bear in mind that I am also including conditions in places other than the United States (where the incidence of forced pornography of both men and women is, I believe, relatively low.)
posted by kyrademon at 11:52 AM on January 24, 2005


Another way to deal with a lost child is creating bizarre internet shrines. If you're wondering what the images in that article used to look like, check here (NSFW). Also, please note that these articles involve highly inflammatory material that many consider insulting to those who have had miscarriages, while the authors insist they're merely poking fun at the strange coping bahaviour of some grief-stricken parents.
posted by nTeleKy at 12:14 PM on January 24, 2005


Here is an attempt to draw the two issues in this thread together:

The article I posted earlier suggested that most women who get abortions do so because they do not have the ability to support a(nother) child. Unemployment, partner unemployment, and lack of medical coverage are all potential reasons why a family may not be able to add another child.

The ifeminist position against affirmative action is not partnered with any program of wage equity across various sectors. Their response to why women and men are differently represented in different fields is basically that either women and men have different likes or women aren't as "competative" as men in those fields (see the faq question 20). They neither acknowledge that the fields dominated by women are, on average, lower paid, nor do they suggest a solution to replace inequity. They simply do not acknowledge that inequity exists.

Both the ifeminist position and the Focus Resource Center's package focus attention away from the broader issues that relate to women's (and families') difficult choices about abortion. By individualizing the "problem" of abortion, they both promote a devisive moral position based on individual choice and concepts of right and wrong, rather than a (what I consider to be a more feminist approach) moderate, social position which seeks to address the causes of abortion and limit its neseccity to extreme cases.
posted by carmen at 12:43 PM on January 24, 2005


oops: on rereading that: ifeminism does not individualize the "problem" of abortion, it individualizes the related social problems of wage inequity and access to resources.
posted by carmen at 1:04 PM on January 24, 2005


It's interesting to me that both the FoF "grief kit" as well as iFeminists seem to be arguing similarly: as carmen says, they are individualizing the problem rather than addressing the greater social atmosphere that leads to, for example, discrimination against women in the workplace or abortion chosen for economic reasons.

In the one instance, it is assumed that the only thing preventing women from taking an equal place in society is the woman herself; she's not "assertive" or "competitive" enough. Blame the victim. In the other, it is assumed that your good-for-nothing child chose abortion because her reasons were selfish. The pro-choice article showed some very convincing links (2/3 of women chose abortion because of economics) between abortion and societal conditions.

Both viewpoints (FoF and iFems) assume that society is OK, but it's the damn uncooperative members of society, who won't just settle for their job stocking shelves at Wal-Mart, raising their kids in economic conditions that make going to Iraq to be cannon fodder a good deal, who are screwing things up.

Viva la American Dream!

(on preview: I hope I got what you meant, rather than what you said, carmen....)
posted by MiHail at 1:37 PM on January 24, 2005


MiHali: you got it :)
posted by carmen at 2:02 PM on January 24, 2005


>I do think there's more to gain by making the debate more inclusive

I understand what you're saying, and on my most intellectual days I will not only agree with that view but also champion it, but there's also some gut-level negative reaction I have to this argument, because on some levels it feels like someone saying, "Your problems don't interest me unless you also sympathize with how bad I have it." It's like telling a friend who's having a bad day that your day is *also* bad, so she has no right to complain.
posted by occhiblu at 2:33 PM on January 24, 2005


Jonmc –

Some statistics for you.

While I assume that your dispute was over my claims for forced pornography statistics rather than those for rape or forced prostitution, just in case:

Seven out of every eight rape victims are female.

So that’s 87.5%, a pretty hefty majority. As for prostitution, I’ll take a look at the prostitution of minors, which I hope we can agree can reasonably be assumed to be coerced. In Thailand, out of 17,978 adolescent and younger prostitutes, 16,651 are girls and 1,327 boys, and of foreign children, 5,419 are girls and 91 boys. So that’s a whopping 92.6% going by the *smaller* number.

This actually leads to the next point, since, worldwide, a hefty chunk of those forced into pornography are the same people being forced into prostitution, a fact you can find somewhere in the middle of this report, and this one (PDF). So we can reasonably assume the statistics are similarly skewed.

One might expect the numbers to equalize a bit for preadolescent child pornography, since the secondary sexual characteristics have not yet developed. And indeed, we find less skew, but still a significant one. In one analysis of 60,000 pieces of child pornography below the age of thirteen, 43,000 were of girls (PDF). A hefty 71.6%. This already referenced report (PDF) similarly notes that half of child pornography rings are girl-only, with the rest being divided between boy and girls both and boy only, for a similar statistic.
posted by kyrademon at 2:58 PM on January 24, 2005


Where is this thread moving?
We have a comfort tool for non existent grandparent. So the thread bags on the tool which has nothing to fix. Then the thread proceeds to: In Thailand, out of 17,978 adolescent and younger prostitutes,
Does this abortion tool come in a Thailand version? If not, what does the above have to do with the thread?

Seems the thread is trying to argue one’s personal choice here which is weird if you’re truly pro-choice, it’s yours. The maker of this kit could be using the time with this to move on with their life through “others.” Sadly “others” is not how you live your life.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:53 PM on January 24, 2005


“others.” = others' experiences
posted by thomcatspike at 3:56 PM on January 24, 2005


All I can say is, I can't believe that it's still considered acceptable to give baby boys circumcisions without anaesthetic.

I can't believe it's acceptable to circumcise baby boys at all. We hear all the time about Female Genital Mutilation in 3rd world nations, yet right here at home we have male genital mutilation right out in the open.
posted by MrBobaFett at 3:59 PM on January 24, 2005


Yeah, there's, um, been some subject creep.

Roughly: grandparents in mourning for aborted child -> accusations of manufacturing false grief in order to control debate terms -> defense of grief for never-born relative as reasonable perspective -> accusations of iFeminism -> definition of iFeminism -> disparagement of iFeminism's stances, including on pornography and prostitution -> defense of libertarian view of pornography and prostitution -> semi-rebuttal and analysis of the difference between forced and voluntary pornography and prostitution -> questioning why forced pornography and prostitution should be in any sense considered a women's rights issue rather than a human rights issue -> statistics on the prostitution of minors in Thailand.

Quite clear, really.

I'll, er, drop the subject if people rightly wish to keep the thread on-topic.
posted by kyrademon at 4:05 PM on January 24, 2005


circumcisions without anaesthetic.
This has been covered in many posts on how it is done today which you may search.
Basically my brothers born in the late 70's & early 80's had a plastic ring place around the fore skin at the head. Not sure if it hurt when placed on. The fore skin fell off and healed about the same time the cut portion of the umbilical chord attached to their bellies separated thus falling off their belly button like a scab. Should we not cut the umbilical chord?

From changing their diapers which were cloth, they did not seem in any pain when I cleaned them in that area and they were loud criers.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:10 PM on January 24, 2005


Yeah, there's, um, been some subject creep..
Um, I was pulled in with my last comment, it can happen;P
posted by thomcatspike at 4:13 PM on January 24, 2005


Got to admit, though, I have absolutely no idea how circumcision got into it.
posted by kyrademon at 4:16 PM on January 24, 2005


I read the original circumcision comment as a meta-comment on our having got off-topic and on the general predisposition around here to jump into whatever nearby and hotly contested subject matter we can...
posted by mdn at 5:09 PM on January 24, 2005


Well, we can talk about Gary Burghoff's nature art if you want, mdn...
posted by jonmc at 5:31 PM on January 24, 2005


I was under the impression it was still illegal to abort your grandparents.
posted by nanojath at 9:43 PM on February 22, 2005


curse you to hell tharlan!
posted by nanojath at 9:09 PM on February 23, 2005


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