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"Not a feminist, but": A guide to what feminism is and isn't

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DrunkGirlfriend from Castle Geekhaven
May 9th 2011 at 11:25:27 PM

[up] Gene therapy to give men the ability to birth children? grin

"I don't know how I do it. I'm like the Mr. Bean of sex." -Drunkscriblerian
Jeysie Diva of Virtual Death from Western Massachusetts
Diva of Virtual Death
May 9th 2011 at 11:25:37 PM

@Carciofus

They do have the right to have sexual freedom in the sense of never having to go through pregnancy.

That's the other part people forget. It's not just a question of what to do with the baby after it's born, but the fact that women have to go through pregnancy first. Which is nine months of something that's very taxing on the body, can endanger the mother's life, can require a great deal of financial expenditure in food and medical services if you want to try to really ensure the baby's health and/or need to arrange an adoption, let alone actually giving birth, etc.

But that's not an artificial stricture imposed on women by society.
Yes it is, in that we have a method to deal with it, but we want to make it illegal to give women the choice of using it. I'm all for finding some better method, but until we do we're stuck with the one we got, for those of us who feel women should have as equal rights as possible.

Because forcing a woman to ever be abstinent against her will or possibly have to go through pregnancy against her will when there is a last resort option already available is IMHO by definition against completely equal rights for women.

I think maybe I should note that it's not a value judgment against people who are pro-life, it's not saying "You can't be feminist because you suck!" it just... is. It's like telling someone they can't be Christian because they don't believe in Christ, because believing in Christ is kind of the most basic definition of being a Christian, not because not believing in Christ makes you too horrible to be a Christian.

edited 9th May '11 11:28:16 PM by Jeysie

Apparently I am adorable, but my GF is my #1 Groupie. (Avatar by Dreki-K)
joeyjojo Happy New Year! from South Sydney: go the bunnies!
Happy New Year!
May 9th 2011 at 11:28:09 PM

@Jeysie: okay that's consistent.

Any way back on the OP. I have see the 'I'm not feminist, but' mentality, a fair bit in todays youth as well.

It's seems that feminism today (like ironically the pro life movement) is something that people feel they must avoid being to being associated with even thought they might openly sympathise with their ideals and goals.

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RhymeBeat Bird mom from Eastern Standard Relationship Status: In Lesbians with you
Bird mom
May 9th 2011 at 11:28:57 PM

[up] No one is saying "women shouldn't have sex" it's that "women who have sex need to be prepared for a chance of pregnancy". The same is true of men, because the government DOES hold them accountable to the best of its ability (child support and such).

Some pro-life femminists think that is enough. You don't have to agree but they have their logic.

The Crystal Caverns A bird's gotta sing.
Jeysie Diva of Virtual Death from Western Massachusetts
Diva of Virtual Death
May 9th 2011 at 11:34:43 PM

[up] Except that the logic forgets that if you absolutely 100% can't/don't want to get pregnant, then "Woman can't have sex" is right now the only option, if you disallow abortion. (Well, you know, unless you're lesbian or bi and switch to only having sex with women.)

And again, it's far more than just a question of lack of responsibility. After all, if a woman gives the child up for adoption, then both her and the guy are no longer responsible—but, like I said, the logic also forgets that the woman still has to go through the process of pregnancy and birth first.

They have their logic, but it doesn't hold up once you actually think about all the Fridge Logic involved. *shrug*

edited 9th May '11 11:36:17 PM by Jeysie

Apparently I am adorable, but my GF is my #1 Groupie. (Avatar by Dreki-K)
Carciofus Is that cake frosting? from Alpha Tucanae I
Is that cake frosting?
May 9th 2011 at 11:35:34 PM

Which is nine months of something that's very taxing on the body, can endanger the mother's life, can require a great deal of financial expenditure in food and medical services if you want to try to really ensure the baby's health and/or need to arrange an adoption, let alone actually giving birth, etc.
Waiting nine months for a kidney transplant would be very taxing on the body too, and also quite expensive when you take in account all the medicinals and so. This would not give me, if I needed a kidney, the right to go harvest it from a random person in the street.

But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.
Jeysie Diva of Virtual Death from Western Massachusetts
Diva of Virtual Death
May 9th 2011 at 11:39:17 PM

[up] I think you're missing the fact that, again, saying pro-life is incompatible with feminism is a matter of definition, not a matter of value judgment.

edited 9th May '11 11:41:09 PM by Jeysie

Apparently I am adorable, but my GF is my #1 Groupie. (Avatar by Dreki-K)
RhymeBeat Bird mom from Eastern Standard Relationship Status: In Lesbians with you
Bird mom
May 9th 2011 at 11:43:28 PM

[up] Very few pro life practitioners say that life saving abortions should be illegal. That's contradictary to the core goal of the movement. Those who say life saving abortions should be illegal aren't likely the claim they are femminists.

The Crystal Caverns A bird's gotta sing.
Jeysie Diva of Virtual Death from Western Massachusetts
Diva of Virtual Death
May 9th 2011 at 11:46:00 PM

@Rhyme Beat Then I apologize for the confusion.

Since pro-life is usually thought of referring to being anti-abortion. After all, you can certainly be pro-choice but not morally approve of abortion—you just think women should still be free to make the choice if they need to.

edited 9th May '11 11:51:10 PM by Jeysie

Apparently I am adorable, but my GF is my #1 Groupie. (Avatar by Dreki-K)
LoniJay from Australia Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
May 9th 2011 at 11:49:40 PM

If pro-life is anti-abortion, then pro-choice would have to be pro-abortion... very few people actually think abortions are a good thing regardless of their views on its morality.

And yeah, if people claim that abortions are immoral even when they're a medical necessity they're not really 'pro-life', are they?

Be not afraid...
vijeno from Vienna, Austria
May 9th 2011 at 11:51:45 PM

Um, men do not have such "rights" to consequence-less sexual freedom. If some guy gets a woman pregnant, he has no say on whether the child should be kept or aborted and is bound by law to provide for the child, in the limits of his possibilities.

This is precisely as it should be, and I am not complaining about that, but your premise is still wrong.

In what way is it "as it should be" if I don't have any right to even fight for the life of my own child? Huge Berserk Button to me, that one.

DrunkGirlfriend from Castle Geekhaven
May 9th 2011 at 11:53:29 PM

If pro-life is anti-abortion, then pro-choice would have to be pro-abortion... very few people actually think abortions are a good thing regardless of their views on its morality.

Not exactly. I'm pro-choice, but that just means that I'm in favor of the option being there. I'd rather there not be abortions, but sometimes it's the right thing to do.

"I don't know how I do it. I'm like the Mr. Bean of sex." -Drunkscriblerian
joeyjojo Happy New Year! from South Sydney: go the bunnies!
Happy New Year!
May 9th 2011 at 11:54:58 PM

Waiting nine months for a kidney transplant would be very taxing on the body too, and also quite expensive when you take in account all the medicinals and so. This would not give me, if I needed a kidney, the right to go harvest it from a random person in the street.

There is an exception with your own kin.

You know my teacher once asked my class hypothetically if one of your parents were dying would you donate your own kidney to save them?

I was surprised with everyone's horrified looks when I answered 'no'.

edited 9th May '11 11:58:15 PM by joeyjojo

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Carciofus Is that cake frosting? from Alpha Tucanae I
Is that cake frosting?
May 9th 2011 at 11:58:08 PM

@Jeysie: I am not making value judgments, for now.

I am just pointing out that "equal rights" does not imply "everyone can do the same things at all times". If something which would normally be within their rights to do would, in the case of a certain group of people, infringe on someone else's rights, then they cannot be allowed to do that. This is the case in both the "pregnant women" (under a "embryos have rights" position) and in my kidney transplant example.

Or would you rather conclude that prohibiting impromptu organ harvesting infringes on diseased people's right to health?

In what way is it "as it should be" if I don't have any right to even fight for the life of my own child? Huge Berserk Button to me, that one.
Let me clarify: I think that it is as it should be that men should have no say in whether an embryo should be aborted or not. Of course, I think that women should have no say in this either.

And now I really have to close TV Tropes and stop procrastinating, read you this evening.

edited 10th May '11 12:02:07 AM by Carciofus

But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.
LoniJay from Australia Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
May 9th 2011 at 11:59:51 PM

[up][up][up] Yeah, I was pretty much joking there.

Also, Jeysie:

Yes it is, in that we have a method to deal with it, but we want to make it illegal to give women the choice of using it.

The trouble is that by our standards, the method of dealing with it is immoral. Doubtless lots of problems could be solved if only ethical strictures weren't in the way, and this is simply one of them. Feminism or lack thereof isn't the issue.

edited 10th May '11 12:00:03 AM by LoniJay

Be not afraid...
Jeysie Diva of Virtual Death from Western Massachusetts
Diva of Virtual Death
May 10th 2011 at 12:03:13 AM

And yeah, if people claim that abortions are immoral even when they're a medical necessity they're not really 'pro-life', are they?
There's a not-insignificant number of pro-lifers you may want to tell that.

Although admittedly it still doesn't address the issue of the financial expenditure the woman has to go through, the lasting biological changes, the difficulty of working and going about life while pregnant, etc.

Basically, all I can say is, for me it's pure logical definition. Being in the position of either never having sex or possibly going through a state of pregnancy you don't want by definition makes women less free than men in this area. But we currently have a method of last resort that can deal with this and make women have the same biological freedom as men. It's definitely not an ideal one, but it exists.

Either you accept this current method because you feel women should have the same rights as men in this aspect regardless. If you don't, then you're saying no, (at this time, at least, barring a more ideal method) you don't think women should have the same rights as men in this aspect.

It's not a value judgment, because even if you're justified in opposing abortion because you think it's immoral and the same as murder, involuntary donation, etc., the purely functional end result is still the same: Women need to be legally forced to be less free than men in a non-insignificant area of their lives by barring this option. Which is arguably incompatible with feminism.

edited 10th May '11 12:04:59 AM by Jeysie

Apparently I am adorable, but my GF is my #1 Groupie. (Avatar by Dreki-K)
Carciofus Is that cake frosting? from Alpha Tucanae I
Is that cake frosting?
May 10th 2011 at 12:07:34 AM

One... more... post...

I am one of those people who think that abortions should be illegal even in the case of life-saving ones. It is tragic that such situations happen, and I will not speak ill of people who made a different call, but the terms of the issue do not change: one person does not have the right to cause the death of another, innocent person.

Not even to save his or her own life. There might be some leeway if the mother's death would be very likely to cause the child's death, I am not sure about that; but that's about it.

There is a reason why Gianna Beretta Molla is a Saint...

edited 10th May '11 12:07:48 AM by Carciofus

But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.
LoniJay from Australia Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
May 10th 2011 at 12:12:15 AM

Well, if both mother and child are going to die, then in my opinion an abortion is just saving the only person who can be saved.

But, well, if it's a case of "The baby or me"... I don't think we can really judge in that case, any more than we can in the cases of Siamese twins who have to be cut apart and only one can live.

Be not afraid...
Jeysie Diva of Virtual Death from Western Massachusetts
Diva of Virtual Death
May 10th 2011 at 12:12:36 AM

I... personally really didn't want to try and make this into a debate over whether abortion is immoral or not, justified or not, partly because that's a messy subject and partly because it'd be off-topic.

I just was trying to examine the underlying logic of, is the end result of making abortion illegal compatible with thinking women should have equal rights as men? Regardless of the motives on either side of the debate.

edited 10th May '11 12:12:50 AM by Jeysie

Apparently I am adorable, but my GF is my #1 Groupie. (Avatar by Dreki-K)
Carciofus Is that cake frosting? from Alpha Tucanae I
Is that cake frosting?
May 10th 2011 at 12:14:32 AM

Well, if both mother and child are going to die, then in my opinion an abortion is just saving the only person who can be saved.
Well, I agree, but there can be close calls — I mean, what likelihood of the death of the child being a consequence of the mother's death do we need to allow before deciding that abortion should be permissible?

edited 10th May '11 12:15:28 AM by Carciofus

But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.
LoniJay from Australia Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
May 10th 2011 at 12:15:34 AM

I think it is compatible. You're never going to be able to completely eradicate inequalities that are caused by pregnancy until we invent male pregnancy and/or artificial wombs, so disqualifying people from feminism based on it is not workable.

[up]I think you'd just have to leave that to the individuals involved. *shrug* A 60% risk of death might be acceptable to me, but not to someone else.

edited 10th May '11 12:17:44 AM by LoniJay

Be not afraid...
RhymeBeat Bird mom from Eastern Standard Relationship Status: In Lesbians with you
Bird mom
May 10th 2011 at 12:18:52 AM

[up][up] Men can't get abortions or force women to get abortions. I'd say that's as equal as we can get without inventing 100% effective birth control or making artificial wombs. The fact that this is a biological as opposed to a cultural problem means that the position of this toward femminism should be irrelevant. There are other operations that are illegal to perform.

The Crystal Caverns A bird's gotta sing.
Jeysie Diva of Virtual Death from Western Massachusetts
Diva of Virtual Death
May 10th 2011 at 12:23:44 AM

Then I guess it's just one of those things that's going to be a huge and messy divide, then.

The problem is basically that if you're someone who doesn't see abortion as immoral, or sees it as an acceptable last resort necessary evil for the moment, (or somewhere in-between) then you tend to look at it as making illegal a woman's right to have control over her own body, which feels anti-feminist.

(I'd offer my own reasonings behind allowing abortion, but they delve into a lot of areas that I'm not in the mood to debate, at least not in a thread not dedicated to it.)

edited 10th May '11 12:24:57 AM by Jeysie

Apparently I am adorable, but my GF is my #1 Groupie. (Avatar by Dreki-K)
MostlyBenign Why so serious?
Why so serious?
May 10th 2011 at 12:25:32 AM

@vijeno

That is perfectly fine. We need a new name then, though, to identify the ideology that axiomatically assumes that women are and have always been victims of evil males and patriarchy, and are thus morally, and probably in all other respects (except power), superior to males. You know, the one that's usually called feminism and that most publically recognized feminists stand for.

"Female chauvinism" would be technically correctly, albeit likely to be misunderstood.

@Jeysie

The problem is, by being anti-abortion, you're basically saying that women don't have the same rights as men when it comes to sexual freedom.

Being anti-abortion isn't in any way inherently contradictory with being for equal rights: after all, men don't get to have abortions either. Of course it can be convenient that men can't get pregnant in the first place, but it's not inconsistent - pregnancy is a question of biology, not rights. Not to mention that anything that pressures heterosexual women to abstain from sex also directly reduces the sexual opportunities of heterosexual men in equal measure.

joeyjojo Happy New Year! from South Sydney: go the bunnies!
Happy New Year!
May 10th 2011 at 12:26:33 AM

A 60% risk of death might be acceptable to me, but not to someone else.

that's cutting it a bit fine don't you think?

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