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View Diary: My reproductive wake-up call (197 comments)

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  •  Honest, if IMO Proving Why We Fail (none)
    but I do think that just as its true that I can't speak for you, you can't speak for me.

    You could have fooled me, trying to tell me what I "should" be doing when it comes to dealing with the issue of "choice."

    You aren't "more of a woman" than I, and your rights aren't of more interest to me than mine and my daughters.

    I never claimed to be "more of a woman" than you: perhaps you could show me where? I claimed only to be a different woman than you, one who sees the issue of abortion as having a different priority in the fight for "choice" than you do.    

    It is also clear from what you write that your daughter's rights are indeed of more interest to you than the rights of women generally.  Sort of an "it's all about me and mine" approach, which has its place.  But if that's so, you don't get to claim to be fighting for all women, because all women are not you and your daughters, either.  Should I take your statement about what you are "interested in" to mean that your daughters are immune from the harm that is caused by the deprivation of reproductive choice for poor women and the failure of other women to fight for them unless they want an abortion? If so, they are blessed, I guess.  I can certainly understand your tunnelvision when you don't have to live in those circumstances - such tunnelvision is quite common.  As for me, having been blessed with abject poverty and financial comfort and having developed empathy from the experience of both throughout various phases of my life, and knowing the impact of each on women's lives, I tend to fight politically based not just on where I stand personally, or where my daughters stand, but based on a "there but for the grace of God go I" stand.  But then again, some people are unable to truly care about and fight for anything that doesn't directly affect or benefit them.  /shrug

    God, I could be the most hypocritical, terrible, selfish, woman of all time but how is telling me that I'm so evil going to get me over to your side?

    You know, another key problem in terms of trying to build coalition is when folks get so defensive as their initial response to legitimate criticism that isn't even personal that they project, i.e. believe someone has called them evil when, in fact, no such thing occurred.  You and I are not on "opposite sides" except in your narrow framing of the issue of reproductive choice - We don't agree about some aspects of the issue/framing (to use a word I despise); but seem to agree about others.  But obviously, you don't agree.  Perhaps because of that irrational defensiveness thing I just mentioned.

    I don't have to give a damn about the issues of poor women.

    No, you've made that clear.  And you get points for honesty if nothing else.  But nobody does - not even poor women.  (Sort of like when I was growing up, my mama always told me I only had to do two things in this life:  stay Black and die.) Ours is a culture where it is easy to stop caring about people who are not like yourself.  Women are just as vulnerable to this "I got mine, get yours" mentality as men.  So I guess would be fine, except that one doesn't get the right to claim to be fighting for them.  Since you've admitted that you don't give a shit about what may be an equally or more important issue for them - you're just using them as poster children for what matters for you.  

    As for the remainder, the history of the fight to legalize birth control options was a fight that ultimately changed strategies to include issues of more relevance, and themes of more relevance, to oppressed women's populations.  Perhaps, at a time when the fight to preserve abortion rights continues to lose ground, the mainstream movement might finally take a listen to some other ideas about how to build women's coalition on this issue?  Of course it doesn't have to.  But then again, if women's groups continue to focus on a narrow definition of "the problem of choice" I suspect all of this will be moot in about 10 years for all women:  the ones you care about and the ones you don't.  Moot in a depressing sort of way.

    I do give you points for honesty, though.

    My separate place for mental meanderings: Political Sapphire

    by shanikka on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 05:34:31 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Shanikka, I did reply to this but accidentally (none)
      put it lower down somewhere.
    •  I made a mistake though (none)
      1) I should not have used a thought experiment with you. I see you've quoted my remark "I don't have to care" down below as being synonymous with "I don't care at all." That isn't correct, as should be clear from my writings.  My point was that if you are trying to appeal to someone you clearly feel has completely different interests from you you might want to think through the basis on which you are appealing to her.

      You say you have votes, or could have votes, to form a kind of coalition. And you want my vote. You ask me to support what you say are the interests of your group either because its the "right thing to do" or because its identical to my interests.  I've pointed out that I do support the causes you say are yours, even though they are not "in my interest" in a purely utilitarian sense at the moment. You've taken that to mean that I have no morality, or no morality that jumps with yours. mY point was the direct opposite. I argued that although what you are advocating out of self interest is in fact what I am arguing out of dis-interest and disinterested moral compassion. I advocate precisely the same politics you do although it does not benefit me.

        I simply tried to tease out the differences in appealing to others on the basis of similarity (we are all women together which would be my preferred course of action) or hostility (you rich, priviliged white women should support me because I'm right...).

      Sorry you didn't get that.

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