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7 years ago
i recently wrote a comment on this topic from the opposite perspective ;) it was in response to a question by Crystal who unfortunately hasn't seen it.
in a nutshell: for a feminist it's a given that you're sexist, but it would be a fresh take if you avoided being anti-LGBT+ at the same time.
7 years ago
also, nice job explaining intersectionality and being woke (the latter is an African American vernacular term).
i would clarify that intersectionality is not just about your identity but also what feminists call privilege, or basically how society treats you. young is not an identity but ageism definitely happens; you don't have to identify as middle-class or heterosexual to benefit from the privilege associated with that; you don't have to consider yourself fat to experience discrimination for your weight/size (a lot of activists have reclaimed the word fat but outside the body positive circles it remains a powerful insult or a self-deprecating term).
in practice i would assume that a feminist who brings up intersectionality wants to make sure you think of more scenarios. if a trans man gets pregnant and can't get an abortion, he may be more likely to kill himself for example.
also, many of us are already having those other aspects debated on a regular basis - gay rights, transition, disability or maternity benefits. and many pro-lifers deny these other things too, which for someone who views abortion as an option, makes the choice of that option more attractive. it's simply exhausting to have what you consider a fundamental aspect of you questioned routinely.
the worst is when you make arguments that appeal to emotions. imagine that all our life we've been told that we're too emotional, that we should be more like men, be rational, think before deciding. yet when we rationally decide to have an abortion, suddenly that goes out of the window and you attempt to change our mind, maybe at the very last moment, right in front of a clinic. it may already be an emotionally hard choice, and you've already done a lot to make it harder, and now you're turning the tables and painting us as cruel??? you don't care how much our wellbeing will suffer as long as we perform our function as incubators. (general you)
from our perspective, regulated abortion has no victims (or a negligible number of them, a risk comparable to going to the dentist or something; a much lower risk than driving). pro-life activism potentially turns everyone with a uterus into a victim. (and with intersectionality in mind, it hurts the weakest of us more)
6 years ago
"nice job explaining intersectionality"
Rachel Crawford explained intersectionality in relation to an individual: any individual's resultant identity / overall identity (using some of my own words) is the intersection of all the politically-relevant categories they belong to – in her case, young, white, etc.
But I've heard "intersectionality" used also in relation to movements, specifically in relation to attempts to form an anti-oppression coalition. For instance, women and blacks are both oppressed, so their interests overlap or intersect in that they share being oppressed, and they can form a coalition on that basis for the sake of greater effectiveness.
Are both uses of "intersectionality" acceptable?
If you have thought about anti-oppression coalitions (whether or not you use "intersectionality" in that sense), then I'd like to ask you, would it be correct to think that stresses will certainly emerge in the coalitions, along the lines of this example? –
In the US, women and Muslims are both oppressed, so they can seek coalition for the sake of greater effectiveness on political issues where their agendas coincide. But then, out of a desire to keep good relations, the women might end up condoning Muslim governments that oppress women.
Can such stresses emerge? (This would not be to say that the coalition-building was of no value at all.)
6 years ago
i wouldn't call it a coalition. it's more of a notion that your feminism is useless (or even harmful) if it's not intersectional. same goes for any other movement that advocates for human rights. it's about making your movement INCLUSIVE.
it's the notion that you can't separate the facets of someone's identity from one another, and advocate for one but tear down the other.
so by this logic an anti-abortion movement simply can't be intersectional. a "pro-life" one theoretically can, but only if it advocates for contraception and doesn't use fearmongering. only if it doesn't reduce people to their vaginas and attempt to shame them into having a baby. only if it recognizes that not all people who can get pregnant identify as women.
6 years ago
I wrote, "Please spell it out based on the assumption that the unborn, under pro-choice laws, are an oppressed group."
However, if you wrote the words of yours that I quoted WITHOUT assuming that, please spell it out also based on the assumptions you yourself had when you wrote it.
6 years ago
"[Intersectionality is] the notion that you can't separate the facets of someone's identity from one another, and advocate for one but tear down the other.
"so by this logic an anti-abortion movement simply can't be intersectional"
Can you spell out for me how an anti-abortion movement separates the facets of someone's identity from one another, and advocates for one but tear down the other? I don't understand this.
Please spell it out based on the assumption that the unborn, under pro-choice laws, are an oppressed group.
6 years ago
from my perspective, the anti-abortion movement tears down my female identity without even advocating for me in any way. it reduces me to my vagina and does the same with trans and non-binary people (in even worse ways).
what i had in mind was an anti-discrimination movement that's also anti-choice. so for example it's fine if an anti-racist movement also works on reducing the number of abortions through things like education, making contraception available, etc - great. but as soon as their education starts including fearmongering ("it's hard to get pregnant after an abortion") or outright causes unnecessary stress to afab people (assigned female at birth) - at this point they lose their intersectional credentials because they support only a subset of afab people. (you may argue that so does the pro-choice community, but we really support any free choice - we just don't want it to be based on shame/fear/misinformation)
to me the unborn are not an oppressed group, sorry. have you ever held a piece of menstrual tissue in your hand?
6 years ago
I'd like to invite you, as someone woke to the injustice wrought by privilege, to read
by Rebecca Stapleford.
6 years ago
"without even advocating for me in any way."
. I bet you haven't thought about some of the points made there.
"what i had in mind"
Thanks. Now it's becoming more clear what you were trying to get at. But –
"causes unnecessary stress to afab people"
– surely it's not possible to liberate any oppressed group without stepping on someone's toes, is it? (Meaning that some stress is not unnecessary.) It seems that the underlying issue here is what you say below about the oppressed group we're trying to liberate.
Well, when you write things such as "you don't care how much our wellbeing will suffer as long as we perform our function as incubators. (general you)," you are shaming aren't you? Moreover, you shame shaming.
I don't think there is anything generically wrong with shaming as a tactic. It's just that shaming should be applied only when someone has done something to be ashamed of, and you and I disagree about the something. (See also
"to me the unborn are not an oppressed group, sorry. have you ever held a piece of menstrual tissue in your hand?"
You mean menstrual tissue sometimes contains a still-living embryo? Doesn't menstruation only occur if there had been no embryo in the first place or it had died?
Anyway, considering how recently you and I were typical embryos, wouldn't it be unforgivably snobbish to talk about embryos like that? (Sorry, I can't think of any word other than that.)
Now we get to what, not surprisingly, is the heart of our differences: our widely-differing perceptions of the unborn. The days are long gone when we could form our perceptions only by what we could hold in our hands and see with unassisted vision. As Javier Cuadros
: Science is a process of knowledge in which we penetrate ever deeper. . . . As the observations multiply . . . it is typical that the original appearances . . . are shown to be incorrect. The reality is different. . . . This is why I have always been puzzled about the reluctance of scientists to apply the same program of investigation to the nature of the human embryo. Are human embryos men and women and thus entitled to the inalienable right to life and respect for their dignity and physical integrity, or are they not? Here, many scientists . . . are for applying the simple criterion of appearances. No, [embryos] are not men and women, they say, because they do not look like a person. Agreed, they do not look like a developed human being. But the earth looks like it is stationary. . . . shape does not make a human being. It has been shown that the most fundamental element of the presence and identity of a human being is the existence of [complete human genetic information] . . .
Even once we agree on the science involved, it is still possible to have different philosophical interpretations of the science. Regarding the interpretations, please see
6 years ago
also, don't take my words out of context!
"you attempt to change our mind, maybe at the very last moment, right in
front of a clinic. it may already be an emotionally hard choice, and
you've already done a lot to make it harder, and now you're turning the
tables and painting us as cruel??? [if you do this, then] you don't care how much our wellbeing
will suffer as long as we perform our function as incubators."
6 years ago
i never saw your reply until now. as for the embryo/menstrual tissue, you are right that it's not alive when you're holding a piece of it. but i thought to you a dead embryo is a dead baby? to me a lump of cells is a lump of cells, whether dead or not. i can't call this a baby with a straight face, and i despise anyone who considers it more important than an adult human being.
as for shaming, nope i don't see it as that. and i specifically said it was a general "you". if you're not the problem, then you're not the problem. i'm just "saying it like it is", as some people from your movement put it.
some stress is not unnecessary? like trans men committing suicide if they can't get an abortion?
6 years ago
"i despise anyone who considers it more important than an adult human being."
Do you despise anyone who considers it more important than a certain amount of hardship for an adult human being? That describes me. I'm only asking for clarification of this point of yours at this time, and not replying to other points, because if you say you despise me, I would not wish to continue.
6 years ago
anyway, my point was mostly that the anti-choice crowd has been failing to convince me and other pro-choicers that they are really pro-life. if nothing matters more than a fetus being carried to term and allowed to be born, then how about:
-understanding that some parents are LGBTQ and not ignoring them? raising awareness of the fact that not all pregnant people are women? specifically, understanding that the availability of gender-neutral facilities etc will make them less likely to choose abortion? (yes, this is something the pro-choice people advocate for, because we do support a choice and we think it's a shame if a trans person's main reason for abortion is because they can't stand being called a woman. this is so easy to rectify!)
-accepting that some of the fetuses and babies you're advocating for will grow up LGBTQ and promise not to interfere with their upbringing if that happens to be the case?
-similarly, accepting that some of the fetuses will be born intersex, and that they shouldn't undergo any unnecessary procedures or surgeries just because their genitalia look strange to some people?
-making adoption easier not only for cishet but for LGBTQ people?
failing to address any of these basic points just shows that it's not about the baby, but about enforcing your personal ideas of morality.
6 years ago
"if you can dismiss possible suicide as a 'certain amount of hardship', yes i despise you."
Well, I guess now whether you despise me, and whether therefore our
conversation comes to an end, revolves around the word "possible."
Certainly I don't want to drive any pregnant person to suicide. Not only wouldn't
it be good for the pregnant person, normally it wouldn't save the baby
either, so such a law would be unqualifiedly negative. An ideal law would
be one that bans abortion, but makes an exception if the person will
really commit suicide.
But it's very difficult to know who will really commit suicide. In order to save all those babies whose mothers are merely bluffing about suicide (which might be a majority of those who threaten suicide in order to be allowed to abort), some
pro-lifers would simply say that unfortunately, no "suicide exceptions"
can be permitted, and would tolerate some suicides for the greater good
of saving numerous babies.
For myself as one pro-lifer, I think we should at least try out a law that bans abortion, but makes an exception if the person will really commit suicide.
However, such an approach could go wrong in two possible ways, and in fact it can be expected to go wrong rather often in one of the two: mothers will successfully bluff, and therefore unborn children will be aborted that
could have been saved. Less often, it will go wrong the other way: a
real intention to commit suicide will be mistaken for a bluff, an
abortion will be denied, and someone will commit suicide. Suicides will
be possible, but – at the expense, unfortunately, of those babies whose mothers were bluffing – they should be very few under this policy I propose, fewer than under a "no suicide exceptions" policy.
Once there is an unwanted pregnancy there is rarely going to be
any perfectly happy solution. We have to find the lesser of the two
"failing to address any of these basic points just shows that it's not about the baby . . ."
I can only read "shows that it's not about the baby . . ." to mean "shows that the
pro-lifer has some motivation for opposing abortion other than protecting babies."
So "failing to address any of these basic points just shows that it's not
about the baby . . ." is a surprising claim. I don't see how
"shows that the pro-lifer has some motivation for opposing abortion
other than protecting babies," which is what you seem to be claiming, follows from "failing to address any of these basic points."
For instance, let's grant that LGBTQ people make good parents and
as able to adopt as cishet people. And let's say that person A mistakenly believes otherwise. I know some pro-lifers who do believe otherwise (some do and some don't), and I can tell you that those pro-lifers' motivation for opposing abortion is that they want to protect unborn babies – not any other motivation. And some
of those some pro-lifers would oppose LGBTQ adoption (in the belief that the
child would suffer) even if some pregnant women thereby become more motivated
to abort. But that would not mean that those pro-lifers' motivation for opposing abortion was something other than wanting to protect unborn babies – it might at most mean that that motivation of theirs was not extremely strong.
The only way the contradiction that you seem to claim would be a real contradiction would be if we really accept the premise that to a pro-lifer, "nothing
matters more than a fetus being carried to term and allowed to be born."
But "nothing matters more" is a misrepresentation of the
pro-life position. For instance, no pro-lifer says "if we can save only
the life of the mother or the life of the baby, we must save the life of
the baby." It is not true that to a pro-lifer, "nothing matters more
than a fetus being carried to term and allowed to be born." But the fact
that it is not true does not mean that a fetus being carried to term
and being allowed to be born doesn't matter at all, and that pro-lifers'
real motivation is something else.
6 years ago
well, it seems to me like an overwhelming majority of pro-lifers simply wants to impose their personal values on everyone. honestly what the LGBTQ+ people are asking for is nothing compared to what pro-lifers are asking for (make everyone who happens to get pregnant carry it to term)
i guess many pro-lifers simply don't know anything about trans men and maybe mistakenly believe it's about MtF people giving birth (which is indeed impossible as of now, and nobody denies that)
6 years ago
I'm preparing to travel right now, will get back to you in a couple of days.
6 years ago
if you can dismiss possible suicide as a "certain amount of hardship", yes i despise you.
if you just believe that a pregnant person can go on living as before i simply consider you misinformed (and maybe naïve).