More on "pro-life" and feminism
I still haven’t replied to Hugo (I will when I have time – I hope tomorrow), but he’s decided to take a break from the debate, reasoning that pro-life men should donate money to pro-life organizations but not be heard.
When I take a step back and quiet my own emotions, I look at my own syllabus for my course on masculinity and remind myself of what this country’s history of misogyny and chauvinism has really been. Men (especially white men like me) have, over the course of some four centuries, taken their fears and anxieties about themselves and projected them on to others — especially men of color, homosexuals, and all women. We have used reproductive policy not so much to protect tiny babies as to to limit the options for their mothers. (Look at any of the traditional arguments against legalizing contraception, used as late as the 1960s, and that becomes evident). Given that history — a history that I know intellectually like the back of my hand — how can I expect my voice as a man to be heard separate from that history?
Read the whole thing.
And Amanda at Mouse Words (who, I should acknowlege, criticizes me for participating in this debate – although I’m not sure if she’s saying it would be better that I not express pro-choice views), has an incredible post summarizing the links between pro-life and a male-centric worldview. Here’s a sample:
I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating–that the pro-lifers define “conception” as what makes a baby is a rhetorical device to reinstate the belief that a baby is made by a man and merely borne by a woman. There are many steps in the process of turning raw material into a baby, but only one is bandied around by pro-lifers as the point that something turns from raw material into a baby, and amazingly enough that step is the only one that involves a man. Anything pre-conception (or, with the morning after pill, pre-intercourse) that prevents bearing a child isn’t baby-killing, but anything after a man has planted his seed, if you will, is the moral equivalent of murder. Ejaculation has become the end-all and be-all to pro-lifers of what makes something a baby.
Again, I recommend you read the whole thing.