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View Diary: President Obama: Women should make their own health care decisions. Mitt Romney: No comment. (92 comments)

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  •  and the paradigm (7+ / 0-)

    we are battling is religious based male dominance where men make decisions and women shut up.   So how do you unscramble this particular egg?

    Not all men buy that particular paradigm and some women do buy that paradigm, so yes, it cuts across gender lines. Nevertheless, the power players in the movement and in the legislature that will make these beliefs into law are almost all men.  Tell me again how many Republican women are in Congress, state legislatures as total of all Republican legislators?

    We are fighting patriarchy, and yes, that does have something to do with gender roles, power and why women aren't allowed to control their own bodies because of men.

    •  As I said in a comment yesterday (4+ / 0-)
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      jfromga, tardis10, OldDragon, raincrow

      I believe patriarchy and male dominance is THE worst scourge on the Earth in history of humanity, bar none. Worse than wars and racism and slavery combined.

      And I happen to have a penis.

      •  I understand (5+ / 0-)

        that you are not supporting these right wing Republicans' pro-rape positions and that you are not supporting patriarchy.

        But while it is true that all legislators ought to stay out of areas of health care choices of individuals (I wouldn't support a law outlawing vasectomies because every sperm is sacred), especially when those laws are inflicting religious views on everyone in contravention of the Consitution, this particular battle runs largely down a divide between women and a particular group of men.  

        I also think it is easy to stand on the outside, having a stake in the outcome of a pregnancy is different than being forced to be pregnant.  I think the other response pointing out how hard it is to understand racism if you are white and it is not aimed at you on a daily basis is a good analogy.  You know racism is bad, you oppose it, you can get angry when you think about it, but quite frankly, most of us white people get to walk around without it coming up routinely in our daily lives as something we have to swallow, ignore when it is some minor point ( a long look that asks 'why are you here, your kind shouldn't be here'), to something we have to fear and anticipate such as comments, or even being actively  persecuted by police or beaten up by a gang, etc.

        I am sure I think about things as a women, about where I could go,  would I be safe, should I do this alone, that can occur to men, but probably not as often or as deeply or in as many situations.   I think the wingnut judge someone diaried about a few weeks back is an example of just how different it is to be female,  the judge lectured a victim of sexual abuse by a police officer, that it was her fault for being at a bar.

        •  All good points but (1+ / 0-)
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          Two things:

          1) As a general principle, I don't believe social progress is made only by the subset of the populace who is most directly affected by a certain phenomenon. This goes far beyond legislating: I think that historically, paradigms shifts, tectonic changes in human consciousness, tend to happen as wide epiphanies. "It's none of your business because you weren't born [a certain way]" -- insert "female", "black", "Jewish", "gay" -- is not exactly an enlightening rallying cry for social change.

          2) One of the reasons that racism isn't exactly a great analogy with this issue is because... Well, to put it in completely rough and trivial terms, were my fiance to get pregnant, I wouldn't simply walk away and say "Your problem, good luck!" -- nor would she think that my desire to have the baby or lace thereof would be an irrelevant factor in her decision whether to keep it or not. So one of the reasons I'm pro-choice is because I want US to have that choice, not only because I want HER to have that choice.

          •  I understand that (1+ / 0-)
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            real progress is made by large numbers of people who aren't directly the victims of persecution/deprivation of rights, because most humans are capable of empathy, they can feel, to some degree, the pain of the group that is being discriminated against, they can hold ideals intellectually and emotionally about fairness and what is wrong and right, etc.    Nevertheless, I think there is a difference in how one experiences an 'ism' if one is a victim of the prejudice or deprivation or just empathizing and supporting other people, how it affects a person emotionally and mentally, shapes attitudes and beliefs, etc.

            I think your second point is interesting,  you speak of your fiance,  you have already made certain commitments in that relationship, and presumably your fiance has as well, most importantly, you've committed to the idea of sharing your lives, so any important decision, you've already assumed will be shared.

            What if it were a woman you'd dated a few times, had sex with once, the birth control failed, and she became pregnant.  Would you have the same expectations about the decision making?   Not that you would walk away, I assume you are a responsible person, and that if she chose to have the child you would still want to be a part of the support and rearing of that child, but very possibly not be willing to get married, you don't see this woman as someone you want to share your life with on that level.  

            Not that I am assuming you would have a one night stand, but if you did, what then?

            If your fiance was raped, how much input would you expect in that decision?

            I think each situation probably causes a different gut level reaction as you first think about them.  I think you might reach the same decision once you think about it, weigh the factors, etc.,  but that most initial emotional reaction, is it really the same?

            I think that is the more accurate way to perceive this, what you think is sometimes different than what you feel.   And I think most of what you are hearing from women here, when they say, men can't make these choices, is that feeling.

            •  I take no offense at that assumption. (0+ / 0-)

              I was a self-admitted slut before my fiance, so it isn't like such a thought has never crossed my mind.

              If you accept the -- ahem, patriarchal -- premise that the act of casual sex is inherently asymmetrical, then things are much clearer. In other words, if you accept paradigms that run so deep that they're even embedded in the language (the man "gets some" and the woman "puts out"), that the woman merely pleasures the man in such an act, getting nothing in return -- and that therefore he owes her complete deference in deciding how to deal with consequences, then yes, things are clear-cut: the decision is hers and hers alone.

              But I reject that premise. I certainly never saw my casual sex partners as mere pieces of meat whose job was to pleasure me; it was a short-term exchange of pleasure for both, and both had an equal interest in it.

              Now, biology makes pregnancy, and the short period after pregnancy, asymmetrical, yes. The man doesn't have to deal with morning sickness or with hemorrhoids, the man's health and perhaps life is put at no risk at all, the man doesn't have to breast-feed, and furthermore, the man doesn't have to deal with the pain of abortion if that is the decision. And because of these things, vested interest of the woman does tip over in her direction if there is an unresolveable disagreement afterwards.

              However, let's not pretend that the man simply has ZERO interest in what happens with the pregnancy. Unless he is a cold bastard, there is an immense emotional investment with the outcome of the pregnancy -- whether it is in bringing it to term or not. If the baby is kept, then there is a life-long vested interest, emotional, financial, investment in time and energy.

              And if the man IS a cold bastard? Then of course, the decision is hers and hers only, and the courts should make sure to extract all financial burden from the said bastard.

              But most of us are not cold bastards, and this "dear-men-with-penises-STFU" attitude is painful to hear (and I'm not saying that this is your attitude, don't get me wrong). In an act of casual sex, both parties enter that contract with certain risks (even if the woman's is higher, again), and therefore both parties should have a say in the outcome.

              I'll even say that in any healthy act of casual sex, an unresolveable disagreement if pregnancy happens is very unlikely. If it does happen, the woman has the primary say; but that doesn't mean that the man's say is ZERO.

              If my fiance was raped, I'd definitely expect to have a say in that decision, because as you say, we've already committed to making all major life decisions jointly. I wouldn't even bring a pet hamster into our home without her prior agreement.

              In addition, the freedom of choice is NOT just a women's issue. It's a human rights issue.

              •  I strongly disagree (0+ / 0-)

                with you that is a patriarchal assumption that the woman gets to make the decision.

                If you accept the -- ahem, patriarchal -- premise that the act of casual sex is inherently asymmetrical, then things are much clearer. In other words, if you accept paradigms that run so deep that they're even embedded in the language (the man "gets some" and the woman "puts out"), that the woman merely pleasures the man in such an act, getting nothing in return -- and that therefore he owes her complete deference in deciding how to deal with consequences, then yes, things are clear-cut: the decision is hers and hers alone.
                I don't view consensual sex as the woman putting out, either in a casual or committed relationship.  But ultimately,  while the man can have an opinion, he doesn't make any decision.  The decision is always the woman's decision ultmately.   She may decide to make that decision with you or without you.  I understand that a man may have a commitment to parenthood, a strong desire to have a child, be willing and able to raise the child without the mother if necessary if the woman was agreeable with having the child and handing it over.   But I personally would never feel it was the man's decision.  I would always feel it was my decision and mine alone.  No one should decide I should be pregnant if I don't want to be.
                •  As I said (0+ / 0-)

                  if there's an unresolveable disagreement, she makes the decision.

                  But anyway, what about the other way around? To me, that's where the crux of my emotional investment is. During my "slut-years", my nightmare scenario wasn't that I'd want one of my partners to stay pregnant while she wanted to abort, no no no, far from it. It was the exact opposite: "Whoops, you know what I said that night about how I didn't want children? Well I was just kidding. And you seem to be a healthy specimen and a fine sperm donor." What then? Do you think that's fair?

                  •  using people (0+ / 0-)

                    without their knowledge or permission isn't fair.  That's whether you steal their sperm without their permission to impregnate yourself,  or just assuming you can use their garden hose.

                    I still disagree about 'unresolveable disagreement' she makes the decision.  No conditions.  My attitude would be thanks for your permission, but I didn't need it toin the first place with  that kind of position.

                    •  Permission?? (0+ / 0-)

                      I think a lot of this discussion comes from the fact that your primary scenario is, bluntly, the woman being pushed to stay pregnant against her wishes; mine is the woman insisting on staying pregnant despite the man's wishes. So emotionally, I think we may be talking from two slightly different perspectives.

                      So, it's not about "permissions". It's about two people engaging in an act that can have consequences. Those consequences are the responsibility of both.

                      •  you keep vearing (0+ / 0-)

                        away from the point that this is a woman's decision, regardless of the choice.   You don't want the child to be born, not your choice.  You do want the child to be born, it is not your choice.

                        As for responsibilities, yes, both have responsibilities, but not the same power to make the decision.

                        •  I'm not veering away. I disagree. (0+ / 0-)

                          I think both should do their very damn best to come to a consensus, and that neither's input should be dismissed. The woman has veto rights to be deployed only after all other avenues to come to consensus have been tried and failed. That is how reasonable human beings embark on long journeys together, or decide not to.

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