chimerically: (Default)
I've realized that I could never effectively argue with most anti-choice activists about birth control and abortion because we would be making completely different assumptions about the world -- different and fundamentally incompatible paradigms, in Kuhn's terms (since I've been reading lots of and about him in my philosophy of science class). Their arguments about what the Bible says about sex and other topics hold no weight for me. My arguments about problems of abused and neglected children, overpopulation, and a woman's right to control the course of her life hold little or no weight for them.

The point where we might be able to actually speak to one another, rather than past one another, is the issue of viability and when "life" starts, but even there they take what I see as ridiculously extreme views such as "life starts at conception" or sometimes with the possibility of conception (thus, the fight against birth control as a preventative measure) that I can't possibly agree with, given the messy realities of life: so many fertilized eggs don't implant, so many proto-fetuses don't last even a week, etc.

Furthermore, if they take this stance, why aren't they attacking in-vitro fertilization as vehemently as they are abortion and birth control? Multiple fetuses are grown and then one (or sometimes a few, but certainly not all) is implanted, and the rest are discarded. Isn't that murder in their eyes? Shouldn't all viable fetuses be given the chance to live in that case too? Funny how the intention of the couple seems to change the morality of the fetuses: people who are going through in-vitro fertilization want to be parents while people practicing birth control don't.

Along those same lines, it's also very strange that some anti-choice people take childlessness to be irresponsible, while from an environmental perspective, I think that having children is the more irresponsible choice (which, of course, some eco-minded parents mitigate in various ways, as I hope I would too if/when I have children -- but all things considered, that's still another person using a lifetime's-worth of resources, which is not small even when minimized). And moreover, making sure that one has children at a point in one's life when they can be best provided for seems to be, to me, a lot more responsible than risking having kids as soon as one starts having sex, which for a very large part of the population is very young (even with abstinence-only education like I grew up with, as a recent study shows). Of course, the anti-choice people would say one shouldn't be having sex until one is prepared to have children (which is the often-unsaid corollary to most of their points), but that's a whole 'nother can of worms with its own set of worldview incompatibilities, and I'll save that for another post (though you're welcome to rail in the comments if you want to).

No wonder this is such a hotly-contested debate. Except that it's not really a debate at all.

(NOTE: I don't mean to imply that one side is more "rational" than the other, even though I have made it clear which "side" I am on. These sorts of disagreements happen all the time, in many areas. My main argument is that the incommensurability of worldviews prevent the two sides from even seeing eye-to-eye.)
chimerically: (Default)
I hate it when people use rape as a metaphor. Why use a symbol of sexualized degradation, violence, and control -- and something so heavily gendered -- to characterize some abstract idea or unrelated action? How do you think rape survivors reading these metaphors feel about having their experiences compared to some abstract ideological issue in this way? I feel jarred every time I see it used. Also, I feel like it just habituates us to the idea or rape -- that it's not a big deal. What a stupid, ridiculous metaphor -- why would anyone want to compare sexual violence against (primarily) women with anything else?

*ahem* Anyway, back to my reading ...
chimerically: (Default)
BTW, I'm going to try again to post more often, yet again. I can't tell you how often I write half of a post, or half-write a post, only to abandon it because I know the ideas aren't as well thought out as they could be if I did nothing but think about them all day, and that y'all are going to tear the post to shreds for it ... but this whole blogging thing is supposed to be a learning experience, not an attack, right? :~) I always learn so much more from conversations - especially those friendly, exciting, constructive, can't-get-the-ideas-out-fast-enough kinds of conversations that I love to have but don't have nearly often enough - than anything else, anyway. Got to have more of those in my life. So let's have some conversations, eh?

Just one of those moments of learning how I learn ... like in high school when I finally realized non-interactive lecture classes were about the worst way for me to learn, ever. (How do you learn best? Learn worst? I'd love to hear!)

virago

Oct. 26th, 2005 04:20 pm
chimerically: (Default)
Word of the day (inspired by [livejournal.com profile] threadwalker), as seen on iGoogle:
virago: an ill-tempered, overbearing woman; also, a woman of great strength and courage.
How's that for a juxtaposition! Tells you a lot about our culture, actually ...

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