[RANT] Hold. Up.

On the heels of discovering that I am making an average of $20,000 less than my male counterparts (people aged 25-35, who have Masters-level degrees) just because I have two x chromosomes, I then hear about this stupid piece of crap:

Trading away abortion rights for the health care bill.

Comes from this awesome LJ post, plus comic (I heart Lucy Knisley and this one time Jennie met her and omg I was jealous and I’m done now I think).

Okay. #1? no. #2? also no. #3? more and different no.

This country has made great strides in equalizing men and women, as far as rights go. But we still have a long way ahead of us, and will until we all make the same wages regardless of gender (which, by the way, makes no difference to ability or talent or any actual important employment factor) and until we have autonomy over our bodies and are free to live with the consequences of our own decisions. And when the decision to help people pay for the decision to save one human life (instead of condemning two) wins out over the decision to subsidize a drug to help men have more sex (Viagra is still covered, btw). “Oh, I’m sorry, you’re just going to have to deal with your preeclampsia, which will cost more than the abortion and may possibly kill you, but at least your husband can still get cheap pills to help him the next time you want to chance it.”

Also that $20,000 discrepancy is crap.

Also also I am perhaps a little grumpy and affected by the bad weather today. Carry on with your day as usual.

About HappyGoth

By day, I'm a graphic designer. By night, I'm a knitter. I'm doing my part to keep Hotlanta stylish. I imagine that if you don't already understand the title of the blog, you're probably confused and perhaps slightly annoyed, but never fear - I do have a reason (and it's a good one). Having gone to hear Stephanie Pearl McPhee, and then having been inspired to blog about knitting, I found myself wondering what to call the blog. I recalled a conversation I had with Mouse and the Chicken Goddess about why it is a Bad Idea to anger knitters - this conversation was following SPM, aka the Yarn Harlot telling the assembled throng about Those Who Do Not Understand Knitting and Therefore Belittle It Much to the Chagrin of Others, or TWDNUKTBMCO, which is not the acronym she used but is the one I'm using because I forgot hers - that is, we are numerous and we all have very pointy sticks, easily transforming into an angry mob. Therefore, knitters = angry mob.
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16 Responses to [RANT] Hold. Up.

  1. David says:

    The world has never found a cure for ANY virus, only ways to keep the sufferer comfortable while the virus does its thing. The only way to control the virus is to isolate it and let it die out. It sounds heartless, but that’s the only way we have right now.
    “Babies didn’t choose to be born…” that’s where you should have stopped. No child chooses to be born.
    Regarding 2., you make moral judgements of people every day. Don’t kid yourself. It’s intrinsic in human nature. But one thing is for sure, the ONLY way we will ever change the culture regarding abortion has nothing to do with legal processes. The only way to do it is to change the heart of each prospective person considering abortion, regarding attitudes toward life and sexuality.

    Your last paragraph is absolutely wrong-your body is God’s. He gave you the ability to do whatever you want with it, but you will ultimately find out how he feels about that.
    God bless.

    • HappyGoth says:

      But you don’t get to choose, either. And yes, I make judgements. But I’m not going to force someone to act on my judgements.

      I will settle with God when my time comes.

    • Telaryn says:

      Your last paragraph is absolutely wrong-your body is God’s.

      Actually sir, you are incorrect. Your body and mine were crafted by the ecstasy of the God and Goddess, coming together in loving union to create the universe and everything in it.

      Sarcasm aside, I find it fantastic that you seem to take as your personal crusade the task of dictating changing the hearts of people facing a decision you will never be called upon to make.

      You believe your God is anti-abortion – fine. That’s faith, and faith is a wonderful thing. My life has been greatly enriched by the faith I have in my Gods and their teachings.

      Neither of us can prove our beliefs, however. So when you use your *faith* to dictate how I am to live my life – I am left with the all-pervasive question, “what if you’re wrong?” The *only* way for us to continue to coexist as a free society is to err on the side of caution and assume that what is right for me may not necessarily be right for my neighbor.

      Otherwise we are no different than the oligarchies we claim to despise so much.

  2. A woman bears the brunt of responsibilities when she has a child. Whether she’s married, with a boyfriend, or all alone, the bulk of childcare in most case will ultimately fall to her. It is her body sacrificing itself to carry a fetus for 9 months, and at the very least, the next 18 years being responsible for the child.

    This is a HUGE TASK given to us, and it should not be taken lightly. Therefore, a woman should have the right to say “no thank you.” And frankly, it’s none of anyone’s business why she makes that decision. Unless you are in her shoes, living her life, you have no say the decision she makes about her body.

    Babies are not consequences. Babies are not punishment. Babies are BABIES. They are human beings, and when they are born, they should be wanted and loved. Not looked upon as “this is your fault for having sex, so deal with it.” That attitude sickens me and is the WORST ARGUMENT against abortion I’ve ever heard.

    Morally is subjective. It doesn’t even enter into the equation. Your morality is different from my morality. Abortion is a very personal decision, one not made lightly, and not without potential long term emotional consequences. There is a misinformed idea that the bulk of women getting abortions are “slutty teenagers” and prostitutes. That’s simply not true – most women getting abortions are normal, everyday women, in their 20’s and up. Many have children of their own. They’re not using abortion as a form of birth control – they’re having abortions because their husband or boyfriend’s condom broke, or they misfollowed their cycle. Some stories are even more heartbreaking – they were raped, they’re in abusive relationships, they lost a job and health insurance, and already have children who depend on them.

    Regardless, the decision to bring a child into the world is theirs and theirs alone.

    If anti-abortion activists were TRULY pro-life, they’d be handing out birth control on street corners, so that everyone everywhere would have access to it. The best way to prevent abortion is to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Not having sex is a great way, but NOT THE ONLY WAY to prevent it. Regulating sex is again, one of those moral issues where your morals should not take precedence over my morals. There is nothing inherently evil or wrong about sex – it is natural, it can be beautiful, or it can be ugly. We are not animals who hump on instinct to continue the species – we have sex for many reasons – for pleasure, for bonding, to connect with someone – the reasons don’t matter. Sex may result in procreation, but is not the only reason for it. And again, a baby is not punishment for sex.

    It always amazes me that the biggest trolls who post their long-winded judgments on posts like this are always men. Men have been trying to control women’s lives and reproduction for untold centuries. It’s amazing that this gift of giving that is a woman’s and a woman’s alone has turned into a weapon to be used against us by men who feel a moral superiority and…fear? I wonder what lies in the darkness of their hearts? What sins are in there that are so terrible they have to point and shout so loudly to condemn the actions of others, to distract everyone from their own moral failings?

    Interesting, no?

    • David says:

      Did you know that the most ardent anti-abortion people are not men?

      Since when do we humans get to decide if another human lives or dies? Except for location, in every other case, killing an innocent human is murder.
      Not having sex is the only 100% effective method of not having children.
      But again, read my ‘lips’-I am not for more legislation. I am for trying to gently change people’s hearts. Do you honestly believe that, because there’s laws about racial discrimination, that people suddenly don’t discriminate? No, the key is education. I agree that you have to let people make their own decision, but it’s very important that they have all the facts. The current legal environment in the US surpresses all the facts. It has been proven that if you show a pregnant woman the ultrasound of the beating heart, many will choose to keep it at least to term.
      You’re right that a baby is not punishment for sex. It is a natural consequence of the act of sex. How can you say that sex is natural, and in the same breath interrupt the naturalness of it? But again, it’s not for legislation, it’s inside your heart where this change takes place. I am absolutely against the state stepping in and legislating anything, especially in the arena of morality.

      Regarding your second paragraph, it amazes me that women think that being able to have abortions somehow frees them from oppression. The gift of giving you speak of is not yours alone-it takes something from a man to be a gift.

      If you think I (personally) condemn someone who has an abortion or thinks it’s ok, you’re wrong. I just pray for them, and for the souls of the unborn children. And I know for certain that, even after the deed is done, if the person making the decision is sorry, they are forgiven.

      Even you, evilsciencechick, even if I disagree with you, it’s not condemnation of you. It’s about the idea, and that’s what I’m discussing here.

      At any rate, if you want to have abortions, go ahead and have them. It is your personal decision, to be sure. Just don’t ask me or our government to pay for your personal decision.

      • Telaryn says:

        Did you know that the most ardent anti-abortion people are not men?

        I notice you use “anti-abortion” in this statement. And you may be right in saying that – most of the women I know in my age group are anti-abortion…for themselves.

        Show us your facts for the most ardent anti-choice people being women, and we’ll be comparing apples to apples.

      • Christian says:

        “Did you know that the most ardent anti-abortion people are not men?”

        Cite your source.

        • David says:

          Simple observation. The pro-life movement is generally run by women, not men. Even the group called Priests for Life, while by definition Priests are men, the support is mostly female.

          Abortion enslaves women, does not free them.

  3. Christian says:

    “People need to think a little bit about the consequences before they go having too much fun for the 30 seconds to a minute of their whoopie!”

    This is a sickeningly popular opinion. Sickening because the fundamentally, the argument is, “children are punishment for the sin of lust.” Popular because…well, that part I can’t really figure out. Viewing children as a punishment is sick.

    Government policies need to include comprehensive sex education, not the abstinence-only nonsense that did nothing allow STD rates to skyrocket. And the health care reform bill needs to allow women to get abortions, because it’s nobody else’s business what a woman does with her own body.

    • David says:

      The point is that actions have consequences. Sex is primarily for procreation, and secondarily about pleasure. People today emphasize the pleasure and forget about the possibility of procreation.

      But just for your information, if people actually listened and followed the abstinence-only agenda, there would be 0 STDs. Zip, Zero, nada.

      What I want to know is, if it’s “nobody’s business what a woman does with her body”, as you say, why should it be my business, or everybody else’s business to pay for the consequences??? That makes no sense.

      • HappyGoth says:

        At the risk of calling a firestorm down upon myself from the Blog Gods, I’m gonna have to side with Christian on this one.

        Abortion needs to be covered by whatever public insurance plan the govt decides on because there are women out there who didn’t make the choice to be pregnant. There are women out there who have been raped and have no medical complications, other than deep psychological trauma that will be passed on to their children (not because they want to, but because that is the situation). There are women out there who were doing everything right and had their birth control fail, and are not ready to be parents (for example, college students). There are women out there who aren’t educated well enough to know how to use the proper birth control methods (and in my opinion, these are the women who need the coverage most, because not only can they not pay for the abortion, they also cannot pay to feed and clothe the child).

        It’s like welfare – some people abuse the system, but the majority of those out there who benefit from it truly need it, and I am glad it’s in place (should I ever be in a situation where it’s necessary).

        • David says:

          Abortion should be a last resort, not a form of birth control. Right now, the ‘health care bill’ that the Senate will approve does not treat abortion as a last resort. 50,000,000 abortions in 25 years since Roe v. Wade is too many.

          I personally am against it, but see a need. But it doesn’t take much education to tell modern Americans that if you have sex you run the risk of being pregnant. And with the number of adoptive parents in this country, there’s an alternative.

      • Christian says:

        “The point is that actions have consequences.”

        Yes, unless science gives us an out, in the form of pills, condoms, and so on. Which it has. Contraception isn’t 100% effective, sure, but it’s much more effective than the abstinence-only crowd would have us believe*. Effective enough that the introduction of the birth-control pill marked the end of the Baby Boom.

        “Sex is primarily for procreation, and secondarily about pleasure.”

        Biologically, yes, but Western culture supercedes biology on many subjects. It tells us that theft is wrong, even if we really need our neighbors’ goods. It tells us that killing people is wrong, no matter how angry they make us. Many people feel that eating meat is wrong, even though we have canine teeth intended for that purpose.

        And Western culture also supercedes biology on these difficult subjects:

        — The world is overpopulated to the tune of 2 billion hungry people, and women can choose to not have kids in order to combat that.

        — A woman can choose to abort a child rather than expose it to her abusive family.

        — She might decide that abortion is better than having a child who’s missing most of its brain or addicted to crack or born with AIDS.

        — A woman might decide that she is emotionally unable handle carrying and giving birth to a child who was conceived through rape.

        — A women might prefer abortion to having a child who will starve or freeze to death, because that child’s parents can’t support them.

        These are difficult choices, and they should be left to the women in those situations. Not Congress, not you and me, just her. Because we’re talking about her body, and in the end, she has final say over her own medical decisions.

        “But just for your information, if people actually listened and followed the abstinence-only agenda, there would be 0 STDs. Zip, Zero, nada.”

        Not so. Abstinence-only education has taught kids that STDs are caused by “sex,” without actually defining what “sex” is. In the absence of comprehensive sex ed, the kids take President Clinton’s definition: only heterosexual intercourse counts as “sex,” so they figure oral and anal sex are okay. If that’s all they’ve done, they still consider themselves virgins, even though they have engaged in behaviors that could–and do–spread STDs*.

        The combination of strong hormones and weak decision-making skills means that kids who want to have sex will have it, abstinence education and abstinence pledges be damned. (And consent be damned, too, in a frightening number of cases.) Even the kids who take the pledge only hold out for an average of a year over the kids who didn’t. And the pledge kids are more likely to get pregnant or catch STDs, because they were convinced that condoms don’t work enough to bother with it. And guess how many kids know what a dental dam is? Do you know what it is?

        As a result, one of the fastest-growing STDs among high school students is gonorrhea of the throat, which is typically spread by oral sex. Left untreated, it can fester enough to be transmittable through kissing. This is preventable, if only kids know what to look for*.

        “What I want to know is, if it’s ‘nobody’s business what a woman does with her body,’ as you say, why should it be my business, or everybody else’s business to pay for the consequences???”

        It’s our business because the women in greatest need of abortions, the ones most likely to have crack babies or have babies they can’t afford to support or babies with problems due to poor (or non-existent) pre-natal care, are poor. They won’t be able to afford the procedures on their own. I feel that we as a civilized society are responsible to take care of people who take care of themselves.

        But let’s say that you aren’t. In that case, consider this: those babies are more likely to need government support (by welfare if their mothers keep them, or by Child Protective Services or similar organizations if they don’t); they’re more likely to need additional health care if they have birth defects, mental or emotional problems, addictions, or diseases; more likely to need additional school resources if they have mental or emotional problems; and more likely to become criminals, as people do when they are cold and hungry and desperate and grow up thinking no one loves them, so you’ll have the added expenses of incarceration, added police forces, and a rise in costs to cover theft. (Read Freakonomics for the link between Roe vs. Wade and the resultant drop in crime in the ’90s, as millions of unwanted babies were never born, and never grew up to be unwanted adults.) In the end, you’ll be paying far more to support the kid than you would for the abortion.

        If you don’t mind that, consider that these kids will share a classroom with yours.

        DISCLAIMER: I’m not saying that all poor women ought to have abortions, or that they should all want them. I maintain that this is each woman’s personal decision, one that should not be stripped away because they can’t afford it. Nor am I saying that all poor people are welfare recipients, drug users, or criminals. But these things are all more common in poor communities, and we would be naive not to acknowledge it.

        “And with the number of adoptive parents in this country, there’s an alternative.”

        My family got tangled up in the adoptive process in Chicago, because my baby sister is adopted. From this, we learned that there’s an alternative for healthy white girls (who are in very high demand), and to a lesser extent, for healthy white boys. But the placement rates for minorities aren’t as encouraging, and for babies with health issues–birth defects, addiction, mental problems, AIDS–they are downright tragic. Not all unwanted babies are adoptable.

        *These are problems that would be solved, or at least dramatically mitigated, by comprehensive sex education.

        • David says:

          Does the fact that you can bury the consequences make them any less real? No, it doesn’t. The effects of abortion are shown to be life-long to the mother, and the father.

          Western civilization may supercede biology, but it doesn’t supercede God, who supercedes everything. Again, the fact that you can doesn’t mean that you should. That applies to everything.

          It is a myth that the world is overpopulated. If the entire population of the world were put into the land area of Texas, each person would have an area equal to the floor space of a typical U.S. home and the population density of Texas would be about the same as Paris, France.
          That the rest of the earth would have enough resource to feed everyone is a given.
          There are other ways available to a woman who doesn’t want her child to grow in some harsh environment. She needs to rise to the opportunity that’s presented to her, rather than turning her back on it. In the end, it’s not ‘her’ body.
          Regarding abstinance only, can you show me a case of STD not coming from the performance of some sex act? If abstinance only education doesn’t explain what sex is and why you should abstain, then this is a weakness which needs to be addressed. But something needs to counter the pop-culture mantra that if it feels good, you should do it. Strong hormones and weak decision-making skills are best combatted by strong family and strong moral teaching. Attitudes like ‘they’re going to do it anyway’ actually encourage children to do it. Our responsibility to the poor is to help them in their need, and show them how to manage their lives, not to dig a hole so they can bury their indiscretion. Besides, there are other ways to care for the children (do they not deserve protection as well?). Regarding adoption, the road to adoption does need to be streamlined. Many people go overseas because the process is so difficult. But on another note, what did the world do before there was a govenment blanket to care for all these orphans? Hint: they turned to the Catholic Church. Before that, unwanted babies were left to drown by the side of a river, or exposed to the elements. Christians took pity and cared for these children in large quantities.

        • HappyGoth says:

          A couple of things:

          1. There is an AIDS epidemic that the world is battling. Many of these cases come from unsanitary hospital conditions. Many come because babies are born to HIV-infected parents. The AIDS epidemic started out as an STD. But nowadays, it is not always transmitted sexually. The babies who are born with it didn’t choose to be born that way, and will die young.

          2. I am an Episcopalian. I am female. I support a woman’s right to choose, but also I believe that ultimately it is not my place to judge others, morally. I can teach by example but I cannot force someone to believe what I do. I cannot make the call that someone should have to carry a child who will continue a cycle of violence and poverty, just because I think it’s wrong for them to abort the fetus.

          My body is mine. It is my right to choose what I do with it. I can get tattoos. I can pierce my ears. I can get cosmetic surgery. I can drink myself into a stupor. I can smoke cigarettes and give myself emphysema. I can sleep with somebody who might give me syphilis. I can go sky-diving. I can swim in the ocean with sharks. I can make the decision to bring a child into the world when I cannot support it, or not. This is my right.

  4. David says:

    I agree that women should make as much as men for doing the same job, unless they lower the standards in order to allow women to compete for the job. For example, if you are 120 lbs and you want to be a fire fighter, and one of the requirements is you have to carry 300 lbs on your shoulders for 300 feet and do 500 pushups, sorry, you need to meet the requirements. If you qualify, then you should get the same bank. But if they say, well, oke it’s unreasonable, so you only have to carry 150 lbs and do 25 pushups, those different requirements demand that you get lower paygrade. But you’re talking masters level, and you’re right here.

    You are also right that health care coverage funded by tax payers should not include medical non-necessities like Viagra (or any of those) or the one that makes eyelashes grow. But it still should also exclude abortion, except when the mother’s life is in danger. I also don’t think the government should fund contraception. People need to think a little bit about the consequences before they go having too much fun for the 30 seconds to a minute of their whoopie!. 🙂

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