Abortion, Free Speech, and Nice Guys

16Dec09

This entry might be dangerous, because there are a few things on various topics I want to address.  I try not to do that, because I’m not sure I will be able to actually post a coherent thought on any of them.  We’re going do to a little experiment though, and see how it turns out.

First, I want to address abortion.  Browsing Shapely Prose this evening, I came across this entry.  It made me laugh (for the record, the comments are definitely worth a read, too), and it also made me start thinking.  I am pro-choice.  There are many reasons for this, but the most basic of these is that I believe no one has a right to dictate what someone does with his or her body, except that person.  I also believe that the life of an unborn child IS NOT more important than the life and happiness of the mother who does not want it (or the mother who does, but that doesn’t really apply).

I have always had a problem with the way many people argue against abortion with what-ifs.  Sometimes it takes the form of, “If so-and-so’s mother had chosen to abort them, very-important-event never would have happened.”  Sometimes it’s the even more ridiculous, “The aborted child could go on to do great-world-problem-solving-action!  They could be the best person the universe has ever encountered!”  This is referred to in the article as the “Pretend Child,” which is a term I am now adopting.  The ugly truth is, an unwanted child will probably have a rough life.  Whether the mother decides to keep it, give it to relatives to take care of, or put it up for adoption, coming to terms with his or her unwantedness will always be a problem for the child.  Some may argue that a child won’t have to deal with its unwantedness if a mother keeps it, but this is simply not true.  Even if a mother does not outright say, or actively show, that the child was not wanted, IT WILL SHOW.  A mother who is not ready to be a mother is far less likely to be a good mother.  A mother who does not want a child, even if she just does not want it at that particular point in her life, is far less likely to be a good mother.  A mother who is not mentally or emotionally prepared to be a mother is far less likely to be a good mother.

But that’s not really what I wanted to address.  (See?  I’m already getting off-track.)  The thing that caught my attention in the article was the “Pretend Mother” (which, I guess does relate to what I said above).  Not all women are made to be mothers, just as not all men are made to be fathers.  Pushing motherhood onto them because of some notion that the life of  an unborn child is sacred and more important than the life of a person who has already been born (was going to say adult woman, but not all females who are forced to have children they did not want are adults, and I can’t think of a better term right now) is ridiculous.  How is it that, when the woman was a fetus her life would be sacred, but now that she is not it no longer means anything?  Why?  What’s the point if a human is only valuable if they stay within a certain age range?  And the notion of the Pretend Mother goes hand in hand with the Ideal Woman, who is demure, sacrifices herself for others, doesn’t speak her mind, loves to have people make decisions about her life for her…you get where I’m going.  Same sexist bullshit, different day.

Moving on…in my last blog, I referenced the fact that I had spoken my mind to someone who had made an (offensive) broad generalization about women.  I was told by that person recently, in an exchange of messages, that I should not have been offended, because most intelligent people know not to take broad generalizations seriously.  Gee, what was I thinking?  You mean I shouldn’t be offended when people say that most black people are lazy?  Because they made an arbitrary comment about a large group of people, instead of a logical one about an individual person, it should be allowed, and it isn’t untruthful and offensive?  I’m stupid for taking it seriously?  Why thank you, I am persuaded by your superior logic, and will go do something domestic now.

Come on people, this is the kind of thinking and behavior that has been used to oppress people for years.  Let’s try to make people believe they’re wrong for pointing out that I was out of line about something, so I don’t get that uncomfortable feeling that I’ve done something bad!  Even better, question their intelligence!  They couldn’t have a valid reason for being offended, and it wouldn’t make sense to have a serious, respectful discussion about it.  Far better to write off their opinion and tell them they’re stupid.

I also got that whole speech about how the first amendment protected that person’s right to say something offensive, so I obviously should not be allowed to say anything about it.  Wait, you mean the first amendment also protects my right to tell someone what I think?  Even if I disagree with them?  Well damn.  Too bad we can’t use that one to shut people up.  (I am a lover of the first amendment.  Seriously, best thing about America.  There are times when I really, really wish people would just shut the hell up and stop peddling their horrible, bigoted, close-minded ideas, but I would always fight for their right to do it, even at my most irritated.)

Something else I’ve been thinking about is the Nice Guy.  I was speaking to one for a while last night.  I’ve known plenty of them in my life.  I cannot count how many times I’ve heard a woman called a bitch, just because they did not want to get involved romantically or sexually with a guy.  Trust me, if a woman is not dating you, it is not because you are too nice.  She may, exhibiting the time-honored submissive behavior cultivated in women, tell you how great you are as she’s rejecting you.  This is because she’s avoiding confrontation.  What you should not get from this situation is that you are being rejected because you are not treating her badly enough.  What you should get is that she is not attracted to you, and is probably getting creepy vibes from you, and does not want the situation to escalate so is letting you down in the most demure and complimentary manner possible.  Also, you are not entitled to have sex with a woman because you chose to be friends with her.  She is not supposed to know that, by being a friend to her, you really want to have sex with her.  You have no right to get angry because she “let you do whatever friendship activity with her, and then went off to date that jerk!”  It is not her responsibility to let you know upon embarking on a friendship with you that she is not going to have sex with you.  You are not entitled to sex with women, and you should not assume that you will get it.  (Have I said this in enough ways that there can be no question about it?)  And by the way, trying to manipulate women into having sex with you puts you firmly in the jerk category.  She’s probably dating that “jerk” because he treats her like a human being, and, I don’t know, actually stated his intentions.  Just saying.

I think this puts the Nice Guy vs. Jerk idea into good perspective, too:

There’s an ancient, but pointed, joke.

Q.  What’s the difference between a slut and a bitch?
A.  A slut is a woman who sleeps with everyone.  A bitch is a woman who sleeps with everyone except you.

Suddenly, reading the Salon article, the skies parted, angels sang in heavenly chorus, and BOOM! Epiphany.

Listen up, Nice Guys: the idea you cling to, that women only like jerks/assholes/bad boys?

Is totally valid.

When your definition of “jerk” is “guy currently fucking the woman you want to fuck.

(From Ideologically Impure.)

I’m getting worn out just thinking about this subject, so I’m going to end this there for now, but will leave you with one of my favorite xkcd strips:

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