"Women are Hosts"

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by ElectricFetus, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. wellwisher Banned Banned

    Another way to look at the abortion issue is, sex gives women an advantage relative to men. Men desire sex more often than do women, because the male body can be fertile nearly everyday; solar cycle. This daily fertility will impact the male brain and induce impulse for sexual behavior. Women are on a monthly cycle; lunar cycle, and therefore cycle between desire and not desire. Men and women can overlap at times, and then they can diverge other times.

    The net affect is, women can learn to use sex as a tool for advantages based on the clarity of her down times. Abortion is a way to maintain this edge. Once a woman is pregnant or her body is stretched out by birth, she can't always get the same leverage over men.
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  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    What the ?

    Are you scared that women are manipulating you, and this is a hormonal ability they have, or something?

    You are have bizarre ideas about women.

    Abortion isn't about "leverage over men". If anything, men telling women when they can or can't have an abortion is men taking leverage over women - a patriarchal concept that has been around for centuries.
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  5. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    And power - physical, political and economic - gives men an advantage over women.
    It would be fair if these advantages balanced out, but they haven't, yet.
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  7. Bells Staff Member

    Were you raised by a wild animal of some sort?
  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    logic | dearth (Part the First)

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    Part of what is happening here is the sloth that comes with comfort. Rep. Humphrey is not so old; his political conscience formed during a period when certain cultural priorities held sway; what seems inherent to him is changing, and he really doesn't have any idea what he's doing.

    Not quite an analogy: Young voters don't like contexts of blame and culpability any more than anyone else, but consider young voters: This was the last of the Roemer-year kids coming of age, and these are significant because they have lived in a particular time; if one was born in '96, this was your first presidential year, while those born in '93 came of age in '12. Their slightly older siblings hit the voting market in '10.

    These are conservative consciences that have grown up entirely in an age in which Justice itself has been abused in a bizarre, codependent relationship; everybody wants Justice, but conservatives just lose their own plot when Justice doesn't follow their path.

    The reaction to losing Amendment 2 has been a simmering grudge against the judiciary. 1993 was the first injunction; 1996 was the U.S. Supreme Court settling the issue. They won at the ballot box, how dare the court take it away.

    A contrast point: There was a decision a couple years ago when the Oklahoma Supreme Court struck an anti-abortion ballot measure before the election; they did it through gritted teeth, in a brief opinion that left a whole lot unsaid. And they were furious. They could personally loathe abortion as much as possible, but you put this before a judge who does his job and he will do his job and how dare you put this shit before the court. So their decision was brief and pained, noting that there was no way the law to be established by the initiative would pass constitutional muster.

    Far and away, judges generally do their damn jobs. It is indeed why Republicans get so frustrated with the judiciary, and the object of both sides' hopes about Justice Gorsuch. Justice Souter was always something of a disappointment for conservatives; Chief Justice Roberts may be pretentious and egocentric, but he's not a whole-ticket ringer so they're pissed off about that, too. And this is how it has gone for a while, now—long enough to raise a generation of voters taught from the cradle that courts are enemies of democracy. There is a reason the conservative culture warriors feel left behind: Supremacism is supposed to be over in these United States of America. They lost on the human rights of homosexuals; they will lose on the human rights of transgender; there is a reason they intend to take it out on women—they think they can.

    At its heart, though, is a logical conundrum they just cannot resolve: They feel their constitutional rights are abridged by the absence of extraconstitutional authority.

    Not that we actually need to blame young voters on this count; it's just that nobody likes being singled out, but it's also true that history offered several striking generational questions this time around. Nor can we blame young Sanders voters for apparently not caring about history; a similar righteous rejection showed in a lot of older Sanders supporters, too. But on the right, these younger were a generation of voters raised in an abusive, codependent relationship with the idea of Justice.

    And this is what isn't quite an analogy; perhaps it is more like a vague framework, a shape constructed of patterns.

    It's kind of amazing; I really can't find Rep. Humphrey's age, but we can tack it from mid-forties to early fifties; he has university degrees, spent two decades working in Corrections, and settled up afterward as a minister-consultant to courts and working as a high-ranking union official before finally running for office last year.

    And that means that most or all of his political conscience is built post-Roe.

    Over the course of forty-three years, anti-abortion activists have pretty much limited their creativity to focusing their attention on pretending to ignore the Supreme Court. Follow the trend on "life at conception", and these days called "personhood", and the whole thing is an effort to turn law, justice, and juristics on their heads. When the Supreme Court made a certain point about the ontology of recognizing human life—a question ne'er settled in any prevailing manner—the anti-abortion response has been to simply presume the question settled and argue from there.

    Furthermore, American traditionalism rooted in supremacist Christianity has been losing ground at least since the nineties, and it really might have been the Gay Fray that did it. Animosity toward the courts was such that by 2005, at the latest, in Roper v. Simmons, the pattern was so indoctrinated that the U.S. Supreme Court could uphold a state supreme court decision by one of the most conservative state supreme courts in the country and conservatives would seethe about liberal judicial activism killing states' rights. And, you know, the really weird part was this would be taken seriously. These days people have a lot to say about equivocation in the press, and we ought not overlook such questions.

    For the longest time, certain shapes of ideas simply found greater inherent sympathy than others. When people appeal to common sense, this is what they think they are relying on. Consider: For all we hear about Christians and their rights, gay marriage should have been settled, in gays' favor, on First Amendment grounds including both free expression generally and freedom of or from religion alike in particular. But it wasn't sufficient because the baseline presumption included inherent supremacy under law for Christianity. An ironic example would be Griswold v. Connecticut, a 1965 Supreme Court decision repealing P.T. Barnum's law against discussion and use of contraception. The precedent establishing marital privacy plays a pivotal role in many of these culture-war issues, and proved vital to gay marriage. Still, at no time during the law's eighty-six years was anybody granted the manner of conscientious exemption we hear Christians demanding in the twenty-first century.

    And this is important; as long as things went this way, these ideological blocs were just fine with what they considered rule of law.

    Once that changed, though, they were clearly disenchanted.

    But much like the young voter might be steeped in rhetoric seemingly foreign to some older consciences—i.e., illegitimacy of the judiciary—so are many Christianist voters of late Boomer and early X age appalled by their declining political influence. There is a reason why we're back to arguing about contraception. Facing the prospect of mere equality, Christianists want an escape hatch; if they cannot be superior, they need an exemption from the rules. That is pretty much the game.

    One of the first rules to go was the part about making sense. In Roe, the Supreme Court decided, "We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man's knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer." The anti-abortion movement response has been to simply insist, to such a degree that bills keep popping up, here and there, intending to legislate ontology in order to derive legislation therefrom.

    There is a reason why these "personhood" bills prove problematic to their sponsors. No one has yet fashioned a personhood bill that makes functional sense. That is to say, it might sound great to one or another conscience, but that does not mean the law will work. And as we go along, the culture-war bills get even stranger, like the one in Texas that would empower state agents to invoke conscience in order to deny medical care to a sexually abused minor. Yes, really↱.

    And over and over again, they keep losing. It is a cycle of self-imposed negative reinforcement: Pass a stupid law, lose in the courts. It has reached the point that their initiatives find regular rejection at the ballot box. As their political power dwindles, they reorganize, refocus, reassert.

    Meanwhile, the hardest aspect to explain has been the abandonment of nicety. It's like the rape rhetoric in 2012; while the Willke Lie persisted, and occasionally bubbled up into the discourse, over a period of decades, it really wasn't supposed to be stated so forthrightly in public. At one point, a Republican compared unwed pregnancy to a disease; that is to say, the prospect of his daughter being pregnant while not married was akin to him personally suffering cancer.

    And, you know, at that point we're through a particular looking glass.

    The question of the parasite is an undignified argument, an implication of disease, and something anti-abortion really ought to leave alone. It's the sort of thing conservatives like to hold up as an example of what's wrong with feminism. In other words, JJ Humphrey is an idiot.

    Basically, the freshman legislator just said something a family values, culture warrior, or other such conservative social-issue disposition simply shouldn't say.

    ―End Part I―
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    (Part the Second)

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    Speaking of conservatives losing their own plot, it seems worth checking in, every now and then, with the idea of a woman's human rights↗, because, as the anti-abortion movement loudly asserts, there are two people involved. And, you know, at least one of them is the (ahem!) "host" to ... er ... ah ... I'm sorry, what was that, JJ? ... host to what? The other? So, yeah, let's talk about human rights and the existential condition called woman. And that simple proposition, the human rights of woman seems to drive supremacists anti-woman misogynists a particular range of advocates including but not limited to anti-abortion, anti-oral contraception, anti-intrauterine contraception, Infinite Prevention, traditional sex roles, traditional religious roles, and other such advocates bonkers; it's pretty consistent↗.

    Whatever we might seek of logical consistency does, in this example, sit aside in favor of the operating reality. I can't pin down the precise transition, or exactly how it worked, as bulletin-board rhetoric percolated into the political discourse, but I would suggest, for comparative context, that even Mike Pence's vice presidential debate performance was in itself unusual for the amount he sounded like a bulletin board argument. That particular phenomenon, though, was quite obviously outshone by the Trump spectacle, which is a bacchanal of trolling beyond any previous witness. But even considering the rhetorical manner unto itself without regard to the internet, as the attitudes predate the network, this really is about the exclusion of women.

    The problem, for these conservatives, is a woman's humanity. The implication of her equality is problematic for a tradition in which she was presumed secondary. This point must necessarily be accounted, eventually; it is in part the reason why it took until 1993 to do away with the marital rape exemption, though only with specific mitigation in over half the states. If she is human, then there is no exemption, and there is no mitigation. Contraception: If she is human, then she has the right to govern her body. Abortion: If she is human, then she has the right to govern her body. And people get tripped up, here. This is it. This is the only context of personhood they want from fertilization-assigned personhood [FAP]. That's it. The whole point of legislating ontology is to assert a complication in her right to govern her own body because there is another "person" involved.

    Personhood is personhood. As this thread already notes, there are a lot of miscarriages. I did once encounter an incredible constitutional assertion basically requiring courts to view life itself as tort, but that's sort of the point. Even attempting some manner of logical address for the sake of mere aesthetics, life as tort was as close as anyone got to escaping the implications of FAP.

    Perhaps we could, while amending the Constitution to assign personhood to zygotes, also amend Five and Fourteen with carve-outs against due process and equal protection, because as we learned from fetal homicide laws, when it's a man's turn to answer, everything gets really, really complicated, so if society is going to do one of these stupid things we might as well look ahead and maybe cover a few of the chief contingency demands? We're talking potential Cabinet-level bureaucracy, here, if equal protection of all these legislated "people" is in effect.

    Oh, right. But it's not quite a digression. Rather, that's how complicated it gets as long as women are people, too.

    It's kind of the reason I ask a certain question, from time to time.

    This is, quite literally, about necessary dehumanization of women. There is no way to what the anti-abortion movement demands without eventually checking these outcomes against the human rights of woman. The end around is that there is human, and then there is woman. It's actually a neurotic thing; once upon a time the basic pretense was impossible. Such notions were said to be the ravings of filthy feminists trying to discredit the traditional mores that preserved society itself and blessed its prosperity.

    But I'm also brought to mind of an episode ... not quite a decade ago, and what I've noticed since. There was a discussion afoot about particular masculine belligerence toward women, and at one point someone vaguely and approximately defending the behavior reduced the whole thing to men being mere automated devices with no will of their own; quite literally, it wasn't his fault that she turned him on. And what gets me is that we had, then, and have, generally, over the years since, some presence of masculinism, or, at least, the occasional voice willing to assert on its behalf without actually taking part in the phenomenon—or whatever the hell that routine we'll see from time to time is supposed to be—and this particular denigration of masculinty and existential manhood strangely passes muster among them when it comes up in such a context.

    When we say it is not us who believe this or that, how often does anyone pause to consider the number of other things we might believe that, in some way we haven't really given any thought to, depend on what we otherwise purport to reject? The problem is not so much the moment of recognizing these needs, but, rather, the question of what comes next.

    For people like Rep. Humphrey, well, he said it pretty clearly for himself: "I understand that they feel like that is their body. I feel like it is a separate—what I call them is, is you're a 'host'."

    Why does it matter what he feels?

    Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi as the overgrown fetus↗. Outsized zygote↗. That's why it matters. Oh, right↗. Look, anyway, you're looking at political desperation not so much being a creature of habit as a creature of neurotic habit. They apparently recognize no other acceptable truth or context; the only variations on the theme are manners of expression, and even at his age these people have been at it long enough that, yes, like the young conservative voter whose political upbringing is subsumed in that weird perversion of Justice often does not seem to comprehend even the mere idea of the presence or nature of judicial norms, so also has the anti-abortion crowd been at this ontological disaster that someone brought to political power in its perpetual, lifelong, permeating tacit authority experiences great difficulty comprehending that other perspectives actually exist as anything other than justifications of why he is always right.

    To the one, he's looking for impact. To the other, as he cannot perceive a reality in which what he believes is not so absolutely true that ... okay, look, the end result is that he's just not awake and aware enough to comprehend the idea that he should not publicly acknowledge certain truths about his outlook. Just like the Willke Lie serves its purpose well enough whispered among the fervent congregants, you're not supposed to say it in the public discourse. There is a great moment on record from the early first decade, a year when former Vice President Quayle could be seen holding his hand over his heart and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to a flag that was not our national flag. Abstinence advocate Pam Stenzel got up in front of the crowd at Reclaiming America for Christ, and the Bush-appointed special advisor of some sort to the United Nations, who actually runs a company that sells abstinence-education promotion materials, tells a tale of a businessman who learned what she did and asked whether it worked. And since she was now in front of a sympathetic audience, she let fly with the truth: "What he's asking," Stenzel↗ argued, "is, 'Does it work?' You know what? Doesn't matter. 'Cause guess what? My job is not to keep teenagers from having sex." It sounds complex, but it's her job to do God's futile work:

    "Let me tell you something, People of God, that is radical, and I can only say it here ... AIDS is not the enemy. HPV and a hysterectomy at twenty is not the enemy. An unplanned pregnancy is not the enemy. My child believing that they can shake their fist in the face of a holy God and sin without consequence, and my child spending eternity separated from God, is the enemy! I will not teach my child that they can sin safely!"

    When they actually say that stuff within earshot of an election, it tends to cause problems. In the end, part of the problem is that what drives many of these people is the ultimate greed. Stenzel's excuse is that she makes people miserable so she can get her ticket to Heaven punched.

    For JJ Humphrey, it's even dumber. He doesn't recognize that he can only say it in certain places without causing trouble. If woman is not human, there is no human rights question. And that's why I ask that one question I do. Sometimes it's very important. And maybe it doesn't sound kind enough a framework, but that's the thing, this is the only way it works, and every once in a while, they admit it. This dehumanization is mainstream Republican politics. And it's all well and fine until they gaffe up and put it in the open.

    ―End Part II―
  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    (Part the Third)

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    No, really, that's a detail of a photo of a box full of toy fetuses. But doesn't that make at least some sort of point?

    "The Precious One" fetal models are manufactured by Heritage House, a "pro-life supply store," for $1.50 a pop — cheaper if you buy in bulk. "Its beautiful detail, softness and weight can really move hearts and change minds!" the website promises. A customer service representative told Jezebel that the models are most often given to pregnant women at "pregnancy centers" and kids at school presentations. The customer reviews on the site (it's like Yelp for fetus-lovers instead of foodies) further imply that the doll-like figures are great for kids. "Children especially like to hold them," one satisfied customer wrote. "No other item that we hand out has the amazing effect that these fetal models have — instant attachment to the unborn!" said another. "So many times, we hear, 'Awwwww! That's adorable!' Or we just see a girl's tears begin to form and fall."


    Naturally, as the gentleman who holds the title of Executive Director for North Dakota Right to Life put it, "They have nothing to do with abortion." Devyn Nelson further explained, "You don't have to bring abortion up at all." Because, you know, nobody else has. They're just the local Right to Life chapter, giving children toy fetuses at the state fair.

    And they really do seem to think that way. It's almost like a sick perversion of their own joke. Think of it this way: After a generation of pretending the only reason other people should get their way is because those nasty, awful people say so, eventually the righteous will start just saying so. And as stupid as it sounds, that's the secret. That's where they get it. Whatever they want, they just say, and whatever they say ought to be the way things are.

    So when people complain about liberals, or women, or whoever, just making stuff up about human rights, it's worth paying attention. Part of their furious resentment is that they can't just say stuff like everybody else and have it come true. So many really do seem to believe this bit; at some point we ought to attend the fact of that belief.

    And time and time again we see it. And it is part of the reason we can find so many people portraying themselves as willing dupes in order to plead on behalf of supremacist attitudes. To the one, certes it must be infuriating. To the other, there is some part of me that would simplify to the point that we long ago learned that what we want and what we get in this world are entirely separate things. And it really is pretty consistent: Bullshit slogans like that tend to hold up in society until it becomes traditional supremacism's turn to start giving over.

    The dupes would have us pity these unfortunates. Hey, the bigots will only resent the pity, anyway, so ... no, we ought not waste our time on that. We can attend myriad choices that might mitigate their blubbering and suffering, but those require that other people should suffer deprivation so that the ones need not condescend to mere equality; such as it is, we come back to two functional choices, which are equality or not.

    And, yes, we know mere equality scares those who demand illusions of supremacy. And we know losing that supremacy makes them feel sad. And. to be certain, we are most definitely aware that being told they're wrong, or being called misogynist or racist or homophobe or simply supremacist hurts their feelings, and in those cases that means they still have feelings. Honestly, they should be proud of their supremacism or give it up. The whole bit where they complain that they don't want to be supremacist except someone forced them to be by demanding equality or calling everybody else bigots in the act of pointing out that the extremist who said something insanely bigoted is a bigot can just go screw. They know they're wrong; they resent the label because they don't want to give up what they're wrong about.

    This dehumanization is the underlying truth. From books and movies and music in my youth on through the Gay Fray and now as my society argues abortion, health care, and putting an employer's conscience 'twixt woman and her doctor, medding in contraception access, and looking for conscience clauses to allow people to exclude women, campaign against transgender, regulate toilet access: At some point we have a duty to acknowledge what this is about. And at that point we have a duty to reject desperate and disorganized pleas to mitigate those acknowledgments.

    The question, "because why?" is simply enough answered: Because someone says so.

    Okay, so ... why?

    Because that's how it goes. Society only works if everybody does their part, and their part is to tell her what to do, and her part is to shut the fuck up and do it. That's what this is about. That's what it has always been about.

    Making sense of the anti-abortion argument in general depends on what one means by making sense, or, more directly, how that proposition of comprehensibility is applied. The anti-abortion argument does not make logical sense without radically reshaping and repurposing human society.

    To the other, we can make a certain amount of sense out of what any particular iteration might mean. Such as it is, the American anti-abortion argument relies on exclusion of women from general humanity. And for any number of reasons including dwindling potential stock, reduced quality of stock on the shelves, and diminished quality of delivery, the social-issues conservatives whose activism intersects with the human rights of women—that is to say, social issues conservatives―seem to be saying, more and more, the things they once knew well enough not to.

    Call it a Kinsley gaffe, and what we glimpsed in its passing is the true nature of the anti-abortion argument, and why its critics view it as so inherently misogynistic.

    She can only be separated from her human rights by being separate from humanity. They're just not supposed to be so straightforward about it.




    Baker, Katie J. M. "Worst State Fair Ever Has Squishy Fetus Toys for Unsuspecting Kids". Jezebel. 24 July 2013. Jezebel.com. 11 April 2017. http://bit.ly/2p3NPqt

    Blackmun, J. Harry. "Opinion of the Court". Roe v. Wade. Supreme Court of the United States. 22 January 1973. Law.Cornell.edu. 11 April 2017. http://bit.ly/2o2dzza

    Goldberg, Michelle. "The Rise of Christian Nationalism". Speakers' Forum. KUOW. 18 October 2007. KUOW.org. 11 April 2017. http://bit.ly/1GO3Luv

    Liebelson, Dana. "Texas Bill Could Protect Welfare Providers Who Force Kids Into Gay Conversion Therapy". The Huffington Post. 13 May 2015. HuffingtonPost.com. 11 April 2017. http://huff.to/1RUM6ds
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  11. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    They want their slaves back. Obviously... Except it's not obvious to everyone, is it?
    Thank you, Tiassa, that was truly comprehensive.
  12. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    This is another one of those moment where I can't comprehend, but I will try. Don't you think that a baby is actually how a woman leverages a man? Abortion if anything is actually a means of freeing a man from being forced socially and by law to support a woman.

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