Katha Pollitt on Feminists For Life

From Katha Pollitt’s current Nation column (and via Tennessee Guerilla Women):

It is indeed feminist to say no woman should have to abort a wanted child to stay in school or have a career–FFL’s line is thus an advance on the more typical antichoice position, which is that women have abortions to go to Europe or fit into their prom dress. You can see why their upbeat, rebellious slogans–”refuse to choose,” “question abortion,” “women deserve better”–appeal to students. (But what do those students think when they find that the postabortion resources links are all to Christian groups and that FFL’s sunny pregnancy-assistance advice includes going on food stamps or welfare?) Exposing the constraints on women’s choices, however, is only one side of feminism. The other is acknowledging women as moral agents, trusting women to decide what is best for themselves. For FFL there’s only one right decision: Have that baby. And since women’s moral judgment cannot be trusted, abortion must be outlawed, whatever the consequences for women’s lives and health–for rape victims and 12-year-olds and 50-year-olds, women carrying Tay-Sachs fetuses and women at risk of heart attack or stroke, women who have all the children they can handle and women who don’t want children at all. FFL argues that abortion harms women–that’s why it clings to the outdated cancer claims. But it would oppose abortion just as strongly if it prevented breast cancer, filled every woman’s heart with joy, lowered the national deficit and found Jimmy Hoffa. That’s because they aren’t really feminists–a feminist could not force another woman to bear a child, any more than she could turn a pregnant teenager out into a snowstorm. They are fetalists.

There are two approaches to reducing abortion – supply-side, which tries to reduce abortion by making it unavailable, and demand-side, which tries to reduce abortion by making women less likely to want abortion. In my view, the only genuinely feminist approach to reducing abortion is the demand-side approach. If you favor banning abortion, then you favor a system in which fetuses are saved by eliminating women’s rights; you’re weighing women’s rights and fetal rights, and deciding women’s rights matter so little that it’s not unreasonable to dismiss them entirely from the equation. Rather than seeking a solution that respects women’s rights and fetal rights, they say that women’s rights are so totally overwhelmed by the presence of a fetus, they might as well not exist at all. That view is simply not compatible with feminism.

A coherent pro-life feminism would, in my opinion, take a demand-side approach to reducing abortion; this approach respects both the need to reduce abortion and to protect women’s rights.

(There is, by the way, absolutely no evidence showing that the supply-side approach actually works. In practice, demand-side approaches work better; the countries with the lowest abortion rates are countries in which abortion is legal, the use of birth control is strongly encouraged, and there are generous government programs supporting single parents (usually mothers) and their children. So giving up on banning abortion does not mean giving up on protecting the greatest number of fetuses. If pro-lifers were both sincere and evidence-based in their approach to reducing abortion, that’s the sort of policy they’d be arguing for.)

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130 Responses to Katha Pollitt on Feminists For Life

  1. 101
    Ampersand says:

    i don’t want my tax dollars being spent on abortions. i’ve stated that very clearly at least a dozen times. i said nothing of healthcare.

    Sorry to have misread you on that; however, I don’t think it makes any difference to any of my arguments.

  2. 102
    jaketk says:

    Why don’t you start vilifying the men who don’t/won’t/can’t pull out or ejaculate somewhere else?

    it is the importance of understanding how both human bodies work, not just the one you have. when a man gets aroused, a clear fluid is secreted from his penis. while it does not appear to be semen, this “pre-cum” does in fact contact sperm. pulling it serves no real point. as for vilifying men, if he is stupid enough to have unprotected sex with a woman because he a) doesn’t the feel of a condom, b) thinks he can control it, or c) is dumb enough to believe she is actually on the pill, then by all means he is just as completely stupid as she is. there simply is no excuse for him not to protect himself, especially with sexual partners these days.

  3. 103
    jaketk says:

    jake squid, unless a woman happens to be walking down the street, a car hits her, she goes flying into the seat, driver has an erection, and she stragetically falls onto his erection, and he ejaculates, only then would your analogies make sense.

  4. 104
    jaketk says:

    So you are willing to pay for abortions that are a result of rape (no choice to have sex) or when the pregnant woman is under the age of consent (legally, she *can’t* ‘decide to have sex’), right?

    if she cannot give consent to sex, how can she give consent to abortion? or is it alright to manipulate, coerce, or force a girl to have an abortion against her will? if anything, i would say that responsibility would lie on the perp, not me.

  5. 105
    Jake Squid says:

    Nope, my analogies make perfect sense. As they always do because, well, you know… analogies never suck. Of course I wasn’t making an analogy. Or even three analogies. I was doing parody. Maybe it weren’t not real good parody, but it were parody nonetheless. Or, perhaps, I was only attempting to do parody and did non-sequitur instead. I was making the absurd argument that setting bones shouldn’t be paid for with tax dollars ever because broken bones are overwhelmingly the end result of bad decisions to parody your absurd argument that abortions shouldn’t be paid for with tax dollars ever because undesired pregnancy is overwhelmingly the end result of bad decisions. I was giving an example of a similar absurd argument that I thought that you might understand. How wrongish I were. Poor, saddish me. You may not have noticed the parenthesized sarcasm at the end, so I’ll forgive your incomprehension of parody vs. analogy this one time.

  6. 106
    Sheelzebub says:

    if she cannot give consent to sex, how can she give consent to abortion?

    If a young girl cannot give consent to sex, how can she give consent to pregnancy and childbirth?

    If a woman can consent to sex but refused to do so and was forced (i.e., raped), then your point is moot. She bloody well should be able to decide if she wants an abortion or not. If a poor woman who cannot afford an abortion is raped, she should just bear the child? And who pays for the prenatal care? Not to mention the counselling she’d need if she didn’t want to carry the pregnancy to term but was compelled to?

    Or is it alright to lie, manipulate, or coerce a girl or a woman to stay pregnant against her will?

  7. 107
    Jake Squid says:

    if she cannot give consent to sex, how can she give consent to abortion? or is it alright to manipulate, coerce, or force a girl to have an abortion against her will? if anything, i would say that responsibility would lie on the perp, not me.

    Well, that kicks it. You, sir, are one sick fuck. You actually have the blind gall to admit in public that the child molester should have the responsibility of deciding whether or not their victim should have an abortion? Unless you just wrote that very, very badly you should both be ashamed of yourself & hieing off to a mental health clinic.

  8. 108
    hun says:

    The responsibility _to pay for_ the abortion, not the responsibility of deciding whether to provide her with an abortion.

  9. 109
    Barbara says:

    jaketk, in the nether regions of our country (primarily) people trying to cook up meth in homegrown labs are suffering terrible burn injuries, which needless to say, they have no means of paying physicians or hospitals to treat. The economic impact of these injuries on certain hospitals is so severe that they are thinking about closing down their burn units. Do you think they are “culpable” for their injuries and should therefore be ignored by health care providers?

    This intentional versus accidental versus necessary versus elective care bullshit has to stop. You don’t want to pay for abortion because you consider it to be immoral. I will accept that for what it’s worth, but you should stop pretending that there is some greater analogy that can be posed as it relates to a lot of other health care services, which clearly are brought about because of the recklessness and stupidity of the person requiring assistance.

  10. 110
    Jake Squid says:

    Well, hun, I hope that you are right and that I’ve horribly misread it.

  11. 111
    Sheelzebub says:

    Still, it begs the question–if the perp doesn’t have the money, his victim is, quite literally, screwed?

    Sorry. Still sick.

  12. 112
    Jake Squid says:

    Still, it begs the question”“if the perp doesn’t have the money, his victim is, quite literally, screwed?

    Well, yes. Although jaketk denies being a libertarian, he loudly and clearly espouses the view held by most modern American libertarians. That is, you deserve it if you can pay for it but if you can’t pay for it, that’s your own shortcoming and it might be better for the rest of us if you’d toddle off somewhere where we don’t have to look at you. In short, jaketk appears not to have the smallest bit of compassion or empathy for others – just like most libertarians.

  13. 113
    Fielder's Choice says:

    Once upon a time, we were all fetuses. And in the Land of the Fetus, we had nothing to do but think deeply and prepare for our futures.

    Then, all of a sudden, we hear through layers of muscle and epidermis in a language we barely understand that someone wants us to be gotten rid of. Why? Because it is their right. For most of us, this means that we will never meet another human being. This is bad for kids. This is bad for their long-term sanity. And any mother who’s ever played music to her baby or talked to “it” before nine months are up can understand why being pro-choice while pregnant is unhealthy for one’s eventual offspring.

  14. 114
    Q Grrl says:

    And soon, in some not far future, we’ll all be dead. What’s your point?

  15. 115
    Sheelzebub says:

    Fetuses can think? They can plan for their future? What a feat for a being that has no cerebral cortex for much of its existence!

    College for fetuses! As long as they can afford it, of course. . .

  16. 116
    ms. jared says:

    “my fetus went to college and all i got was this stupid shirt”.

    sheelz, you’re my shero!

    xoxo, jared

  17. 117
    jaketk says:

    This intentional versus accidental versus necessary versus elective care bullshit has to stop. You don’t want to pay for abortion because you consider it to be immoral. I will accept that for what it’s worth, but you should stop pretending that there is some greater analogy that can be posed as it relates to a lot of other health care services, which clearly are brought about because of the recklessness and stupidity of the person requiring assistance.

    it is no more bullshit than claming that the government has a responsibility pay for all your mistakes. it doesn’t. the same healthcare providers who you expect to pay for your abortion would turn a child away if he could not afford to have surgery. depending on the state you live in, if you make a certain percentage of money, you might not have access to government funded healthcare.

    no, i do not agree with the needless taking of life. so just as i do not agree with vigilantes, the death penalty, hunting for “sport” (if your not eating it, then there is honestly no reason to kill it), i do not agree with abortion. and i don’t have to. i have not said you can’t have an abortion. i am not going to prevent you from having one. if your life is in danger, i.e. having this child will potentially kill you, in my opinion that puts you in the same position as someone putting a gun to your head. i understand the decision. but it is not those instances in which you are speaking of. you’re not even speaking about poor women. you’re talking about upper middle-class white women who know the risks of unprotected and take them anyway and now expect the government, as if it were a parent, to pay for it.

    i understand that you think pregnancy is an expression male oppression and to value that life is immoral. i will accept that for what it’s worth, but you should stop pretending that there is a moral equivalency between life-saving medical care and abortion, in which the former is necessary lest the person die, and the former is an attempt to undo an act supreme recklessness and stupidity, which by your estimation is not unlike the removing of a tattoo.

  18. 118
    jaketk says:

    That is, you deserve it if you can pay for it but if you can’t pay for it, that’s your own shortcoming and it might be better for the rest of us if you’d toddle off somewhere where we don’t have to look at you.

    yeah, that’s a problem, especially since at the moment, if i had to go to the doctor, the $65 they would charge me just to sit in the room for 10 minutes and have the doctor nod and wink at me would make me completely broke. you know, your argument doesn’t have much weight since i’m–and i don’t really mean to shout–WORKING CLASS! it would have so much more sting if i were one of the upper middle-class white women whom you feel should have an abortion at my expense, who, interestly enough, wouldn’t have the slightiest problem with rolling their eyes and allowing me die rather than give me a couple of ounces of their blood. i give blood once a year, but because i won’t pay for her abortion, i’m the uncaring, ammoral, apathy-filled misogynist. hmm…

  19. 119
    mythago says:

    you’re talking about upper middle-class white women who know the risks of unprotected and take them anyway and now expect the government, as if it were a parent, to pay for it.

    Uh, aren’t those upper middle-class white women precisely the ones who have health insurance and so don’t need the government to pay for them? Or do you believe pregnancy is a function of skin color and income?

    i’m”“and i don’t really mean to shout”“WORKING CLASS!

    Right. And I’m Supergrover.

  20. 120
    Crys T says:

    “And in the Land of the Fetus, we had nothing to do but think deeply and prepare for our futures.”

    Oh god. I know it’s not polite to laugh, but…………..my god.

  21. 121
    Jake Squid says:

    i give blood once a year,…

    Oh. Well then, I guess that excuses your willingness to let those who can’t afford health care suffer & die. More importantly, that gives weight to your desire to punish women for being stupid enough to get pregnant.

    But wait… Were you aware that you can give blood every 8 weeks? And you can give platelets every 2 weeks (I think it’s two weeks, but I don’t make it in that often – it could be four weeks). And if you can’t make it to your nearest blood collection center, most of them will send a mobile unit to your area at least 3 or 4 times a year.

    You know, I think it’s great that you give blood once a year, giving up to an hour and a half of your time each and every year – but how much of a sacrifice is that? You could be giving blood 6 1/2 times a year plus platelets 26 times a year. I gave a homeless guy a WHOLE pack of cigarettes on Saturday. I guess that means that I can now rail against taxes paying for any services for the homeless and be right because I’m such a fucking saint. Give me a break.

    …you’re talking about upper middle-class white women…

    No, you liar, it’s you who is talking about “upper middle -class white women.” I never said any such thing.

    And, Jake Squids analogies make perfect sense.

    Goddammit! Will no one listen to me? To meeeeee!!! I told you I didn’t make analogies, I made parody. If I’d made an analogy wouldn’t it have been something along the lines of:

    Your stance on paying for abortions is the same as saying we shouldn’t pay for broken bones yada, mumble, harrumph…?

    So, am I parody trained or merely analogy ridden?

  22. 122
    wookie says:

    Right. And I’m Supergrover.

    Hello everybodee! I’m SUPER-grover. Today, we are going to talk about ABORTION! Abortion, rhymes with, contortion! (twists himself into human knot and gets stuck)

    I’m so embarrrrased!

    Good call on whoever pointed out the upper-middle-class-white health insurance point. Again, there are two very dangerous things that jakekt is missing:

    (1) accident versus “on purpose” is a moral road that medicine and legality has no safe path to tread and never will.
    (2) Just because “its not fair” because of some people, doesn’t mean it is right to blanket out the rest of the cases.

    When it comes to medical and legal services/rights/whatever, you HAVE to take the ‘lowest common denominator’ to make sure that those who need help get it. If we don’t do those things than our society might as well be libertarian (or anarchist, I’ve never been clear on the difference).

  23. 123
    alsis39 says:

    CrysT wrote:

    And of course, the planet really *needs* those millions of extra humans, doesn’t it?

    Of course it does, you round-heeled, big gummint worshipping Commie foreigner freak !! Libertarians want more unwanted babies born because the bigger the common herd is, the more people they’ll have to feel superior to ! Besides, somebody has to provide all that cannon-fodder for Gulf Wars III, IV, V, VI, et al !! You don’t expect the Rand Brand Cream O’the Crop [tm] to sully itself with –shudder– solar panels and— and– (shudder) bicycles and such, do you ?! DO YOU ?!?!

  24. 124
    Brian Vaughan says:

    My point was that abortions should be provided for free from public funding (and that funding from taxing the rich) because as matters stand, abortion is inaccessible to many working class and poor women, even though it’s nominally legal.

  25. 125
    reddecca says:

    Who has ever said that white, upper-class women who could easily afford to pay for abortions (or pay for decent insurance that woulshould have their abortions paid for?

    I don’t know if I have yet, but I certainly will. To me, universal healthcare means universal healthcare. If you have means testing then it usually ends up with the people just on this side of the margins. You can be reasonably well off and still find it hard to get your hands on $1,000 (that’s the cost for a private abortion here).

    I live in Wellington New Zealand, here abortions are done at a dedicated unit in the local hospital. Doctor’s visits aren’t free here, but maternity care is, so a visit to confirm my pregnancy and get a referral for abortion would be free (although if it ended up being a negative test I’d have to pay for it). Because of our extremely fucked up abortion laws I’d need to make two visits to the level J Unit (as it’s euphamistically called), but they’d both be free. This is true whether I was on the unemployment benefit, or the CEO of our largest company.

    Now our abortion laws say you have to have two doctors sign off that the pregnancy would damage your mental health, but in practice we have abortion on demand, paid for by the government. I think I’d rather have what we’ve got than what happens in the states.

    So I support abortions paid for by the state for upper class white women, as well as everyone else. I understand in America clinics would need to have sliding scales, because they’re not state subsidised. But I don’t think that’s what we should be fighting for. I believe that for women to have a meaningful choice both the cost of an abortion, and the cost of raising a child, should be met collectively, rather than individually.

  26. 126
    Nick Kiddle says:

    Then, all of a sudden, we hear through layers of muscle and epidermis in a language we barely understand that someone wants us to be gotten rid of. Why? Because it is their right. For most of us, this means that we will never meet another human being. This is bad for kids. This is bad for their long-term sanity. And any mother who’s ever played music to her baby or talked to “it” before nine months are up can understand why being pro-choice while pregnant is unhealthy for one’s eventual offspring.

    1. What are you smoking, and is it safe to consume during pregnancy? If so, could I try a bit?

    2. Were you really equating fetuses with kids just then, or did you just express yourself badly?

    3. Would you mind explaining just how my pro-choice views damage the cute li’l parasite and how best to mitigate their effect?

  27. 127
    jaketk says:

    Oh. Well then, I guess that excuses your willingness to let those who can’t afford health care suffer & die.

    that would be a valid opinion had that been my argument. but just to play the hand i was dealt, i have no healthcare because my part-time job does not provide it. to purchase health insurance outside of a job is expensive, and even then there would be more limits to how much it would cover. and just as i have no health insurance, neither does my brother. our foster parents are kind enough to help him pay for his medication, even though he tends not to take it all. even under government-funded healthcare, it would not provide all the treatment and medication he needs to keep his HIV infection under control.

    but you already knew that…

    More importantly, that gives weight to your desire to punish women for being stupid enough to get pregnant.

    how is it punishment to suggest that women be responsible for their own abortions? punishment, in my view, would be denying someone access to something, more along the lines of excluding them from domestic violence shelters (ironically paid for by their tax dollars), ignoring the rates in which they are physically and sexually assaulted, deliberately attempting to bar and block the creation of rape centers, shelters, and support groups for those victims, or even worse, simultaneously mocking them and suggesting that because of their gender, the abuse is not only their fault, but that they deserved it, and are rapists simply for being that gender.

    that would be punishment, jake, not unlike the suggestions of mutilating little boys to prevent pregnancy which occured eariler in this thread. it is not punishment to suggest that a woman should pay for her own abortion. its more along the lines of suggesting that transgenders should pay for their own surgeries, which, ironically, has not been suggested to be funded by tax dollars despite the greater need to perform the surgery.

    imagine that…

    But wait… Were you aware that you can give blood every 8 weeks? And you can give platelets every 2 weeks (I think it’s two weeks, but I don’t make it in that often – it could be four weeks). And if you can’t make it to your nearest blood collection center, most of them will send a mobile unit to your area at least 3 or 4 times a year.

    were you aware that i am not in perfect health? that although i am 5’9″, i only weigh 124lbs? that because of alteration in one’s heart rate as result of giving blood and my preexisting condition it puts me at serious risk?

    why am i asking? of course you did…

    I gave a homeless guy a WHOLE pack of cigarettes on Saturday. I guess that means that I can now rail against taxes paying for any services for the homeless and be right because I’m such a fucking saint.

    you remind me of surban girls at my college who think giving a homeless guy a sandwich and working at the soup kitchen on christmas means you’re trying to make a change.

    if you care so much about poor women, why not donate your time and your money, open a private fund, and send the money to the clinics in poor neighborhoods. there is no law that says you cannot privately pay for women’s abortions, so why not do that, since you care so much about them? or is that because you honestly don’t, and this is just a “cause” to you, to be dealt with by others?

    No, you liar, it’s you who is talking about “upper middle -class white women.” I never said any such thing.

    when you suggested that there should be “abortion on demand” you implied that you were speaking about all women. but apparently you’ve changed your mind. my question is, if abortion is supposed to be anonymous, how exactly do you plan on enforcing that? how do you plan on deciding who fits into the “poor” bracket? more importantly, if you’re so keen on providing healthcare to everyone, why would you exclude middle/upper middle class white women, besides the obvious “they’re the ones who use it the most” thing? you certainly aren’t suggesting that we give tax dollars to help poor fathers who are struggling to provide for their families. or providing safe places for poor children away from their abusive mothers. or even putting money into the community to change the overall situation.

    Your stance on paying for abortions is the same as saying we shouldn’t pay for broken bones yada, mumble, harrumph…?

    actually, that’s your stance. if your read my posts, i never stated anything of the sort. granted, i understand that it makes me a easier target to argue that i don’t support healthcare, or that i don’t want to help people, or that i want to eat your children. as the conservatives demonstrated this past election, and more recently NARAL, flat-out lying about your opponents positions is fairly effective, when people buy it.

  28. 128
    Ampersand says:

    Jake and Jaketk, please cool the discussion down a notch or two, if possible.

    how is it punishment to suggest that women be responsible for their own abortions? punishment, in my view, would be denying someone access to something, more along the lines of excluding them from domestic violence shelters (ironically paid for by their tax dollars), ignoring the rates in which they are physically and sexually assaulted, deliberately attempting to bar and block the creation of rape centers, shelters, and support groups for those victims, or even worse, simultaneously mocking them and suggesting that because of their gender, the abuse is not only their fault, but that they deserved it, and are rapists simply for being that gender.

    Gosh, there’s a lot to unpack in that paragraph.

    1) Someone without the $300-600 an abortion costs (iirc) is effectively being denied access to abortion, and so by your definition can be said to have been “punished.” This is far more true of abortion than most other expensive things, because it’s not possible for someone to save up money for six months for their abortion.

    2) Just because someone’s tax dollars go to project X doesn’t mean that they have a moral right to make use of X’s services. For example, imagine a tax-funded hospice for lepers. It would be illogical to argue that it’s unjust for the hospice to turn away taxpaying non-lepers who need hospice services.

    3) I don’t ignore statistics regarding abused men; however, I think men’s rights advocates have vastly distorted the statistics.

    4) I don’t think many feminists oppose shelters or rape services for men, so long as those services are not funded by cutting services for women.

    5) No one here – or anywhere else I’m aware of – has said that anyone is a rapist simply for being male.

    that would be punishment, jake, not unlike the suggestions of mutilating little boys to prevent pregnancy which occured eariler in this thread.

    That was clearly a “modest proposal” type suggestion; to imply that it was a serious suggestion is unfair.

    I gave a homeless guy a WHOLE pack of cigarettes on Saturday. I guess that means that I can now rail against taxes paying for any services for the homeless and be right because I’m such a fucking saint.

    you remind me of surban girls at my college who think giving a homeless guy a sandwich and working at the soup kitchen on christmas means you’re trying to make a change.

    In context, unlike the “surban” girls at your college, Jake was obviously being sarcastic. Hence the “Give me a break” bit which you cut out.

    if you care so much about poor women, why not donate your time and your money, open a private fund, and send the money to the clinics in poor neighborhoods.

    Speaking for myself, I’d rather have government-funded health care – including abortions – because I think that private charities are ineffective. However, it would be inaccurate to say that I’m not willing to have my money go to such a cause; I pay taxes too, after all.

    I also agree with you that it would be better to have free abortions available to everyone, including upper-class women. (Of course, they are indirectly paying for these services through their higher tax rates.) [Edited to add: Of course, I realize you're opposed to tax-funded abortions for anyone. But you seemed to be saying that if we have tax-funded abortions for anyone, then it makes more sense for them to be available for all; if that's what you were saying, I agree.]

    I’d favor tax-funded sex change surgeries. I support tax-funded programs to help poor parents (including but not limited to fathers) support their kids, and programs to help kids that need to be taken away from abusers (including but not limited to kids of abusive mothers). I’m fairly sure Jake would say the same; why do you assume that he would not?

    actually, that’s your stance. if your read my posts, i never stated anything of the sort

    Since you’re constantly making assumptions about other posters not supported by anything they’ve ever said, it seems a little hypocritical to complain that others are treating you the same way. Maybe you can start solving the problem by ceasing to add to it?

  29. 129
    ginmar says:

    I”m getting echoes of, “Because I had an abortion, and I now regret it, all women must be denied abortions,” in Jaketk’s recital about health care. I like the classic “Why don’t YOU go do something?” demand, which ignores the fact that most of the poeple here DO do stuff like this in real life, officially or not, professionally or not. LIke the ‘women-should-protect-themselves’ discussions, demanding that feminists go out and fix problems they in fact have been working on for ages merely demonstrates the speaker’s lack of knowledge–and insults the people he’s dealing with. But that’s not his fault, of course. Oh, no.

  30. 130
    jaketk says:

    1) Someone without the $300-600 an abortion costs (iirc) is effectively being denied access to abortion, and so by your definition can be said to have been “punished.” This is far more true of abortion than most other expensive things, because it’s not possible for someone to save up money for six months for their abortion.

    that statement makes no sense. if a person is ill and needs medicine, how is it any easier for him save $600 in six months? the girl with a heart condition can cave the money? what if she can’t work? it sounds like you’re going with the worst case scenario, but that apply to all instances?

    Just because someone’s tax dollars go to project X doesn’t mean that they have a moral right to make use of X’s services. For example, imagine a tax-funded hospice for lepers. It would be illogical to argue that it’s unjust for the hospice to turn away taxpaying non-lepers who need hospice services.

    i’m not talking about a moral right. i am speaking strictly of legality. public spaces provided for by tax dollars cannot exclude said public without sufficient cause and/or the existence of separate but equal facilities. a good example would be public restrooms. both must exist or the city could be held liable for not providing the facilities.

    however, on a moral level, how can one justify turning away sick patients, rape victims, or dv victims because of their gender?

    I don’t ignore statistics regarding abused men; however, I think men’s rights advocates have vastly distorted the statistics.

    statistics are notoriously misleading, and without understanding precisely how the study was conducted, what questions were asked, and what the exact results are, not just the ones they released, one cannot accurately judge them. however, i was not speaking strictly about domestic violence. likewise, most therapists and psychologists, and police officers and prosecutors, routinely state that male victims of violence are less likely to report their abuse, so that isn’t a ploy that those who believe should have rights are using.

    I don’t think many feminists oppose shelters or rape services for men, so long as those services are not funded by cutting services for women.

    when has there ever happened? and honestly, if the goal is to stop ALL violence, speaking from the p.ov. of equality, why would that matter? would it not be better to offer at least SOME support to male victims than none? in this instance, it would be the prevention of abuse, or even death. what significant harm one could do by using some of money to open ONE shelter for men?

    No one here – or anywhere else I’m aware of – has said that anyone is a rapist simply for being male.

    you had a rape-thread a couple of months backs. there’s some 300+ posts, perhaps more, rather long read, but i read several instances of ” men are rapists” comments.

    That was clearly a “modest proposal” type suggestion

    obviously. however, that doesn’t negate my point about it being suggested purely as a means of punishment.

    I’m fairly sure Jake would say the same; why do you assume that he would not?

    no offense, i have a policy of not accepting statements made in another person’s name. if that is his position, then it is better for him to say it himself, if for no other reason than you can be misrepresenting him. but to answer your question, based on my experience, i would assume that his response would be much like that one you gave, an acquiescence. given the lack of support of those initiatives, and their usual derailment, like at this blog, it would be wiser to err on the side of caution. so just as you would not assume that posters at say… MND would support stiffer rape laws, i would not assume that prevention of male abuse would be a supported issue here, particularly when the victims will be blamed for their own abuse, i.e. the “patriarchy.”