NOW sides with Palin: Letterman's jokes were "juvenile, sexist"

UPDATE, 6/12, 12:45a: Now Amanda Fortini at Salon has jumped on the anti-misogynist Letterman bandwagon, also calling out feminists who avert their eyes when conservative women are the targets. In an overall good piece just out:

If there was any question that a stubborn strain of old-school sexism persists in Obama's America, one has only to look at certain leaders of what the right wing loves to call the "liberal media" but which is sounding and acting, recently, more like the frat-house media.

salon broadsheet.jpg

There, like a virus hiding in the body before, perhaps, staging a comeback, misogyny has found a place to lurk almost undetected, at least by the usually sharp eyes of progressive feminists.

Examine the symptoms of this infection, beginning with David Letterman's comments....

Shouldn't liberals exhibit the same sort of decorous treatment we demand for ourselves? Sexist comments like Letterman's and Cimbalo's also conjure a troublingly insular, clubhouse atmosphere in lieu of an inclusive political party. What's more, the gender-based stereotypes they conjure are as stale and ignorant as any voiced by the old Neanderthal right: Pretty women are de facto stupid, sexually promiscuous and low-class....

And what's the problem with sexy women, anyway? The facile answer is to say that female sexuality is threatening in some visceral, primitive way. But maybe the deeper fact is that pretty women remind us that the world is essentially unfair -- and if the world is unfair, then the progressive quest for fairness may be quixotic and unnatural. There is no more free market economy than your average singles bar. In any case, stern conservative strength in a woman has undone the left for ages: See Margaret Thatcher. Liberals would probably contend that these women present much to argue with, propounding odious views with real-world implications -- they do, they do -- but why not attack their ideas rather than insult them?

Asking why it is that liberal women do not often take liberal men to task for these attitudes is well worthwhile. Maybe we don't want to appear shrill and humorless, unable to take a joke. Or maybe it's thought that conservative women are too ideologically reprehensible to merit a defense. But to challenge this kind of sexist talk is not the same thing as agreeing with a woman's politics. If the left is allowed to remain a refuge for this sort of misogyny, if this virus in the body politic is allowed to flourish, then it is likely only a matter of time before it is once again directed at liberal women who are threatening in some way, as happened to Hillary Clinton....
_______________

Well, I'm pleasantly surprised shocked. The National Organization for Women is at this sliver in time getting back to true feminist roots, putting women first, not abortion.

As a Biblical egalitarian and American feminist in the pattern of Susan B. Anthony, I agree with everything NOW has to say about David Letterman's misogynist jokes at the expense of Sarah Palin and her daughters. See them all here. I even agree with NOW's last paragraph:

NOW hall of shame.jpg

If only NOW et al would stick to stuff like this. Tragically, its dogmatic promotion of abortion has the opposite impact on women, exploiting and hurting them in the worst possible ways.

It seems to me if NOW can think with such clarity as it demonstrates in the blurb above, it must know the truth about abortion - particularly as time goes on and consequences (such as the Asian gender imbalance) become more obvious - and is simply in too deep.

Nevertheless, NOW's shot across Letterman's bow is sure to have a quieting effect - finally - on the shameful sexism displayed against Sarah Palin and her daughters by MSM and liberals. And that is good.

[HT: Amanda Carpenter]


Comments:

Well, I never thought I'd say this, but GO NOW! Never say never! Maybe there will be hope for them yet.

Posted by: heather at June 11, 2009 10:53 PM


I also did not care for the jokes about Chelsea Clinton.

Posted by: heather at June 11, 2009 10:56 PM


Good for them! I wonder if anyone in the state run media will cover this. Not holding my breath. However I am sure Fox will. Greta had a long segment on Sarah this evening.

Posted by: Joanne at June 11, 2009 11:00 PM


And you know what was equally disturbing about Emptyheadman's terrible "jokes" was the way the audience laughed and clapped.

Too bad they didn't boo.

Posted by: Joanne at June 11, 2009 11:02 PM


Well I'll be damned...who'd uh thunk it? I have been waiting for years to hear something like this. And no! Chelsea didn't deserve that either. If anyone at all had said anything like that about my daughter, I would be meaner than one of Michael Vicks dogs. No one would escape my wrath.

Posted by: Julie Ottaway at June 11, 2009 11:08 PM


Good - about time.

They've remained silent while many in the media and "entertainment" have ramped up horribly inflammatory attacks against women, and Palin in particular (ie Sandra Bernhard). So it's pathetic that NOW waited until their political objectives were met in Obama to stand up and defend anyone in the Palin family, including all the insults leveled at Bristol.

Now secure, they need to keep the media hydra under control, lest it turn on them.

Too late, it already has.

The truth is that abortion is violently misogynistic and misandristic all around. Both genders are aborted.

As for the parents, abortion is as victimizing to a devoted man who wants his child as rape is to a woman. It stirs deep angered resentment. But men won't discuss their emotions, and many women don't really want to listen to men because to really do so would remove the political football of reproductive "rights" (power over society). So while claiming condemnation about the violence they instigated, NOW works diligently to turn that violence to their power hungry advantage.

I've been on forums where what I had to say was dismissed because of my gender. Disrespectful discrimination triggers responses in men that women simply don't understand until it comes to dominance. And dominance is really the very essence of the abortion issue. Women dominate through social methods while men use physical force and weapons.

Yet, used improperly, social domination is just as insidious as physical domination.

Socially demanding conditions for women to abort, (removing the accountability from the males who father the child), is far worse than anything Letterman said. The complete message is that guys are free to dominate women because women will suffer and clean up the consequences of irresponsibility. How is controlling such conditions any different than a madame managing a whorehouse of unwilling sex slaves? (NOW profits politically at women's expense through men's irresponsible behavior.)

So Slam, Bam, Thank you NOW!

You're contributing to the on-going rape of America.

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at June 12, 2009 7:33 AM


The unnattracive left. Go to church this Sunday and there will be a lot of pretty women at all ages. Incredibly many are married. The left thinks beauty ends when a woman gets desparate and marries. NOW is against a woman's need for a man. Gov Palin treats her husband like the strong man that he is. Libs can't imagine that. Research publish by Ann Coulter in "guilty" shows how many problems are attached to single parenting.
When we picture women do we picture grace, poise, charm, confidence holiness, motherhood

Erbe
P Hilton
B spears
Maddona
Cher
Dorhn

Posted by: xppc at June 12, 2009 8:08 AM


C'mon guys, I mean gals, this is all about publicity and ratings in view of Conan's arrival and Letterman is playing you all like a fiddle.

Don't think for a moment that this wasn't orchestrated and approved at the highest levels of CBS management.

Otherwise, why isn't Letterman gone?

Posted by: HisMan at June 12, 2009 8:16 AM


Chris, 7:33a, said: "So it's pathetic that NOW waited until their political objectives were met in Obama to stand up and defend anyone in the Palin family, including all the insults leveled at Bristol."

I was just thinking the same thing, Chris. At this point they don't view Palin a threat... the damage is done... so it's safe to defend her?

Posted by: Jill Stanek at June 12, 2009 9:29 AM


Posted by: Jill Stanek at June 12, 2009 9:29 AM
-------

Either they think it may get out of control, or it's politically beneficial for them to jump aboard the publicity train while it's picking up steam.

There's little to no downside for them now. They operate from fear and not faith.

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at June 12, 2009 9:48 AM


They talked about sexism towards Palin during the election season, as well. They touched on the "concern" over a mom being a VP candidate in their initial statement following Palin's nomination, but discussed sexism towards Palin (and Clinton and, to a lesser extent, Michelle Obama) in a column here: http://www.now.org/news/note/090508.html

A few notable sentences --

"[P]ublic prejudice impacts all women. As long as the media get away with it, no woman is immune from the injustices and cruelty of sexism."

"Which brings us back to Sarah Palin, who, as I write this, has been McCain's VP choice for less than one week, and already has faced an onslaught of double standards and condescension. The sexism aimed at Palin might not look exactly the same as the sexism directed Clinton, but it originates from the same biased place nonetheless. "

"Over the next two months, NOW will be working to educate voters about the dangers of sending McCain and Palin to the White House. We will be posting information about their records and platform on our website. But we also will monitor the media and call them out for their sexism directed at Palin. A woman slurred, regardless of her party or stances, is a woman slurred. "

"The media are not doing themselves any favors by questioning the priorities and abilities of moms who work outside the home. "

"Palin also has been portrayed as a lightweight in a way that men of similar experience rarely are. Radio host Ed Shultz called Palin an "empty pantsuit" who has set off a "bimbo alert.""

"The revelation that Palin's 17-year-old daughter, Bristol, is pregnant, has become a predictable distraction for the media, who love obsessing about the reproductive status of women, particularly young women. I do want to note that I'm pleasantly surprised that a pregnant teenage daughter is not an automatic disqualifier for Palin to be on the conservative ticket."

"I feel for Palin, and for all women struggling to be taken seriously in a man's realm; the desire to have people discuss your policies, not your hair or hemlines; the conviction that you have every right to raise your family as you see fit, including taking on a demanding job outside the home; the entirely reasonable expectation that you are the peer of your male colleagues and deserve the same treatment and opportunities that they receive. "

"These struggles will continue for Palin and Clinton and all the women that follow them, if the media continue clinging to their outdated notions of gender stereotypes and rigid sex roles. We can get them to stop, but we have to do it together. The media are nothing without us -- their viewers, readers, listeners -- so we have to make sure they hear us loud and clear.

Why? Because we should defeat anti-women's rights candidates like Sarah Palin based on their merits and their positions, not their gender."

Posted by: Alexandra at June 12, 2009 9:59 AM


I see that Letterman did issue an apology. Don't know how sincere it was.

Posted by: heather at June 12, 2009 9:59 AM


This is good for Governor Palin and NOW- there is good in everyone, and NOW proves it. They did something quite courageous in defending her, because it could have been quite easy to jump aboard the bandwagon with the rest of the bias out there and simply continue to berate Sarah Palin and her daughters as people tend to do, but they stood with her, and that makes a world of difference, I'm sure, to Sarah Palin and her children.

Posted by: Vannah at June 12, 2009 10:31 AM


I agree Vannah. I actually e-mailed them to thank them.

Posted by: heather at June 12, 2009 10:33 AM


That's a good idea, Heather. I think that I might try that... :)

Posted by: Vannah at June 12, 2009 10:52 AM


Vannah @ 10:31,

It shouldn't take courage to do the right thing. I'm not convinced NOW has done anything extraordinary by this and I'm not jumping on the NOW bandwagon yet. I want to see them see them denounce abortion-choice first.

Posted by: Janet at June 12, 2009 1:16 PM


Wow- that would be amazing.

I think that eventually NOW will be against abortion. I've realized over the past few months that women's rights are tied up in anti-abortion measures and laws. Historically, abortion has proved fatal for women. Whether coat hangers were used frequently or whether the abortions were performed in "doctor's" office, women were still in danger. Abortion is a sign of women's inequality, women are raped more frequently than people realize by abortionists (though I wouldn't say that this is something that every abortionist does), and it has devastated women's rights in Asia.

NOW, if it is to be a women's rights organization, must acknowledge that abortion needs to be fought through healthcare, seeing children as children and not punishments, raising women's status, reducing unintended pregnancies (whether through abstinence or otherwise), improving education for young people, changing the landscape so that men are more involved- all this and more. The pro-life stance, essentially, as it should be, in a nutshell.

Do you think that more women's rights organizations will support this? I'm not so afraid to stand up for women's rights knowing that being pro-life is being pro-equality for women. That makes me feel better, because I was always hearing that women's rights were abortion, abortion, and the ever-popular abortion. You?

Posted by: Vannah at June 12, 2009 1:36 PM


I was just thinking the same thing, Chris. At this point they don't view Palin a threat... the damage is done... so it's safe to defend her?
Posted by: Jill Stanek at June 12, 2009 9:29 AM

I'd agree with this. Where were they before? I think Letterman should personally call Palin and apologize.


Because we should defeat anti-women's rights candidates like Sarah Palin based on their merits and their positions, not their gender."
Posted by: Alexandra at June 12, 2009 9:59 AM

anti-rights? For what right? The right to dismember your unborn baby? The right to make sure the father never has ANY say in what happens to his child (he supplied the sperm, but that's such a minor point)?
No thanks. I'm for women who truly believe in finding workable solutions to womens problems and issues. Solutions that don't base a right on an entire group of human beings being declared nonpersons.

Posted by: angel at June 12, 2009 1:38 PM


Yes, angel, we are all aware that NOW is not pro-life. The point is not that they are 100% awesome but that to pretend that NOW didn't comment on the sexism of the campaign season is to ignore the things they actually said.

Posted by: Alexandra at June 12, 2009 1:54 PM


wow, Alexandra! Let's give NOW a medal for doing one right thing in 40 years. That works for me!

Posted by: angel at June 12, 2009 2:09 PM


the problem is Vannah that NOW and most other women's groups believe in a distorted right to privacy, and a mythical so-called reproductive right that simply doesn't exist in the manner they have framed it.
Until this distortion is corrected this group and it's sister groups will NEVER be prolife. A prolife profeminine view of women is completely antithetical to what they believe and live.

Posted by: angel at June 12, 2009 2:22 PM


wow, Alexandra! Let's give NOW a medal for doing one right thing in 40 years. That works for me!

Hey, angel, I have no interest in trying to convince anyone that they should like NOW, much less give them a medal. But if someone starts waxing poetic about how NOW silently stood by on the media's sexism until after the election, that's not true, and I'm going to say it.

Posted by: Alexandra at June 12, 2009 2:32 PM


Posted by: Alexandra at June 12, 2009 9:59 AM
------

Alexandra - thanks for pointing out NOW's statement by their PAC Chair.

Have to love the continuing hypocrisy of NOW, because the column is named "Below the Belt".

If you're a guy, that only means one nasty thing - which kind of sums up the way NOW fights- dishonorably.

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at June 12, 2009 2:51 PM


It's nice to see a tiny few of you conservative women to be concerned about Chelsea. I guess 20 years later is better than never.

...ho...hum...

What did your crowd say back then? Geeze, "libruls" cannot take a joke?

By the way, do some research on what McCain said about Clinton.

I don't think NOW is the only 800 pound hypocrit in the room.

Posted by: Soonerman at June 12, 2009 4:52 PM


If you're a guy, that only means one nasty thing - which kind of sums up the way NOW fights- dishonorably.

Sorry, Chris, could you elaborate? Is that a general comment or are you saying that the statement I linked to was dishonorable "fighting"?

Posted by: Alexandra at June 12, 2009 8:37 PM


Alexandra - no, the comment wasn't against you.

I appreciate your linking to statements by NOW's PAC Chair, and for what it's worth, she did make statements during the election season about the misogynistic activities of the media. Like whispers in a storm.

That said, I think there's a great deal of double-speak in what was said, for instance this line:

Why? Because we should defeat anti-women's rights candidates like Sarah Palin based on their merits and their positions, not their gender."

I'd find that far more believable if NOW had any intellectual honesty whatsoever. As it is the bodily autonomy/justifiable homicide abortion argument is woman's full blown rejection of parental responsibility and violates every known sentiment of mercy upon dependent defenseless human beings - the very essence of humane motherhood and femininity.

So their "might makes right" position betrays statements about any kind of misogyny as nothing more than a pity-me play on the feminine gender for political power points.

And they know it too, because as I pointed out, they named their column "Below the Belt" - a well known euphemism for hitting a man in his private parts. That's nasty considering their alleged ideal of debating the merits.

When the game is domination, and might makes right, there are no rules at all. They shouldn't pretend there are. Proof?

NOW has killed more women than Sarah Palin.

That's anti-women, forget about the rights, because they won't even admit when they got theirs, or that they're inalienable.

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at June 12, 2009 9:50 PM


Vannah,

I don't share your hope that NOW will become pro-life. They are so staunchly pro-abortion that they claim a woman has a moral right to choose whether to continue a pregnancy.

NOW tried to pass an equal rights amendment decades ago, but failed - they still think that equal rights for women means being just like a man. Abortion, in their opinion, levels the playing field.

Posted by: Janet at June 12, 2009 10:17 PM


And they know it too, because as I pointed out, they named their column "Below the Belt" - a well known euphemism for hitting a man in his private parts.

I'm pretty sure it was intended for the dual purposes of: saying that the treatment of Palin is below the belt; and to a lesser extent suggesting that such treatment is because of, shall we say, largely "below the belt" differences between her (and Clinton) and male politicians. I don't think it was some coded pity-femininity-party message; it's a pretty basic (and hackneyed) phrase.

Anyway. Thanks for your opinion.

Posted by: Alexandra at June 12, 2009 11:23 PM


Alexandra - "Below the Belt" is the name of their on-going column.

However, maybe you're right. Maybe they are using it to indicate media references that are uncalled for, though other columns don't make that case. That doesn't change the fact that they justify the violent destruction of defenseless human beings, (their very own children!), then cry about how women are killed by violent men every day:

http://www.now.org/news/note/071408.html

Again, the crying is strictly about fostering domination, and the violence of abortion is used to achieve that end.

As usual though, you are quite calm headed and provide alternative perspectives, and give every appearance of being sweet and kind, while you avoid the harsh reality of what actually occurs to focus on the most trivial aspect of my post.

So today 2-3 women will die at the hands of violent men... Wait, I'm wrong, it's Saturday, abortion day, so thousands of women will die at the hands of violent men and women today.

Have a peaceful, violence free, self-focused, care-free day, Alexandra.

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at June 13, 2009 7:59 AM


As usual though, you are quite calm headed and provide alternative perspectives, and give every appearance of being sweet and kind, while you avoid the harsh reality of what actually occurs to focus on the most trivial aspect of my post.

Well at least I can be counted on to give "the appearance" of being sweet and kind, though it sadly counts against me in work situations sometimes. If only you had any hope of being correct about the rest of it.

Have a peaceful, violence free, self-focused, care-free day, Alexandra.

Fortunately I have many others to focus on today, and many cares -- to say nothing of the the actual worries, which I also consider a blessing -- but you have a condescending and self-important day, yourself. I will do my best in the future not to calmly and almost-kindly engage you on trivial aspects of your posts.

Posted by: Alexandra at June 13, 2009 11:41 AM


Chris @ 7:59 am: very very good points.

Posted by: angel at June 13, 2009 11:42 AM


Chris,

Deep cleaning breaths, peaceful thoughts in your happy place. (I am just joking, not criticing.) You have my admiration and respect.

Even God has a limit to HIS patience.

Alexandra kept poking around til she found where your fun meter had pegged out.

Alexandra is an agent provocateur. Her comments are not to be taken any more seriously than pbho's pronouncements.

Or maybe Alexandra is a stunning proof that 'pro-lifers' are not monolithic.

Your right Chris. NOSLLW is not about equal rights. It is about liberal domination first and women a distant second at best.

yor bro ken

Posted by: kbhvac at June 13, 2009 11:44 AM


Here is an exercise for all you folks who have fallen for the 'equivalency' ploy concerning what was spoken or written about Chelsea Clinton and has been and is still being written about Sarah Palin and her family, particularly her daughters.

Do a Nexus search for Chelsea Clinton and Bristol and Windy Palin and the Bush daughters.

Check out the liberal strategy for dealing with Monica Lewinsky BEFORE they found out about the semen stained blue dress and then compare it to AFTER they knew there was undeniable evidence that what Bill Clinton was accused of was true.

I agree the children of politicians should be 'off limits' unless they knowingly and willfully insert themsleves into the fray.

I am not talking about parents using them as 'props'.

I am talking about campaigning for their parents or other politicians.

Then the rules of engagement are grow a very thick skin and either learn to ignore the 'smack talk', or give better than you get and give early and give often.

yor bro ken

Posted by: kbhvac at June 13, 2009 11:57 AM


If liberals abandoned the ad hominem attack they would be left with pouting and crying, 'Why me, why me'?

Their arguments will not stand up to even minimal scrutiny.

Their next strategy is to critique grammar and syntax (not to be confused with sin tax, liberals love taxes).

Then they attempt to divert attention to ancillary issues or non-sequiturs.

And finally, sooner rather than later, their 'flight or flight reflex' kicks in and they suddenly remember they had a heart bypass surgery scheduled for that very time and they will have to continue this discussion another time.

yor bro ken

ps: There are some exceptions to these 'rules', but they are as few and far between as well armed doves.

Posted by: kbhvac at June 13, 2009 12:11 PM


Alexandra is an agent provocateur. Her comments are not to be taken any more seriously than pbho's pronouncements.

Or maybe Alexandra is a stunning proof that 'pro-lifers' are not monolithic.

How are your comments meant to be taken, ken? And why would such proof that pro-lifers are not monolithic be stunning?

Their next strategy is to critique grammar and syntax (not to be confused with sin tax, liberals love taxes).

Then they attempt to divert attention to ancillary issues or non-sequiturs.

I'm unsure if you're just ranting here or if you are still posting about me, but this is not what I was doing. Every comment I left in this thread was a response to another person either pulling deep meaning from an untrue assertion, or interpreting and commenting on a phrase in a way I felt was not intended. I did not keep poking around at anything; or I suppose that's not for me to say -- rather that if Chris felt that I was trying to annoy then I must apologize because that was not my intent.

Good grief, I forget how miserable people here can be sometimes. Fortunately you're always here to remind me.

Posted by: Alexandra at June 13, 2009 12:35 PM


Honestly, although I don't feel that NOW deserves a standing ovation, I have to say that Alexandra had some points that deserved merit. We can't just ignore when an enemy stands up for us. Isn't that, in many ways, what Jill's original post about?

Giving NOW their due in regards to this situation?

Yes, they're pro-choice. Yes, we disagree with them. Yes, that should always be recognized and mentioned (as Jill did). But let's not forget that there was something to be respected in the fact that NOW came out and boldly supported a woman who they obviously don't agree with on a pivotal issue.

There is some merit in that.

Furthermore, the issue that Alexandra addressed was the issue that was pushed, so far as I can see. The question of the title of the article. And for the record, that's what I saw when I read it. It clearly came across to me a double-meaning that the jokes were "Below the Belt" and that the problem arises due to a fundamental difference which is located "Below the Belt."

It is unrealistic to expect any pro-choice advocate to get into a debate on this forum about the "merits" of abortion. Just because you feel the itch to debate it doesn't mean it's going to be debated.

I would be thrilled to see some valid, well thought-out reasons why abortion should be legal. I have yet to hear such arguments. That said, I continue to talk about what is wrong and immoral and unjust about abortion, and hope that my words might touch someone without my knowing.

But it certainly does not help to be unrealistic, unreasonable, and demanding. There WAS merit to Alexandra's argument. It was somewhat undone in your eyes by the glaring bias and hypocrisy inherent in her support of NOW. I do understand this.

We are our own undoing when we refuse to concede value where it lies.

Posted by: MaryRose at June 13, 2009 3:05 PM


Thank you for that, MaryRose.

Just one thing -- I don't support NOW. I don't really have a position on them either way; don't usually pay attention to them but I get annoyed at how they seem to be blamed for all bad behavior by anyone who could plausibly be argued to be "not a conservative" (ie, the treatment of Palin both by the media and by individuals) so I try to keep up on what's actually being said. I don't support abortion and they do so there's that. I just thought it would be intellectually dishonest not to point out that the whole "They only defend her when she's not a threat to their male candidate" thing isn't exactly true.

Posted by: Alexandra at June 13, 2009 3:15 PM


Every comment I left in this thread was a response to another person either pulling deep meaning from an untrue assertion, or interpreting and commenting on a phrase in a way I felt was not intended.

your "take". We have the right to disagree.

Posted by: angel at June 13, 2009 5:42 PM


your "take". We have the right to disagree.

Yes, angel, my point is shockingly not that I am right or wrong but that I am no more right or wrong in commenting here than someone like Chris is. He shared his point of view; I shared mine; but according to Ken I am some agent provocateur engaged in a battle of semantics. Tell me, why is this?

Posted by: Alexandra at June 13, 2009 10:40 PM


Alexandra,

Thanks for the clarification :)

Posted by: MaryRose at June 14, 2009 1:53 AM


I don't support abortion and they do so there's that.
Posted by: Alexandra at June 13, 2009 3:15 PM
-------

Okay, I'm confused.

My understanding (albeit from last year) of your position on abortion was that while you didn't proactively promote it, you agreed with SoMG's position that bodily autonomy justified homicide of the unborn within the 1st trimester, (leaving it legal, despite acknowledging the full humanity of the unborn).

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

My comments were based on that understanding. And if what you are saying is sincere above - that you do not support elective (non-life threatening) abortion, then I owe you a sincere apology.

However, if my understanding is correct, but you made the statement at the beginning of this comment, I think that would prove Ken's statement true.


Posted by: Chris Arsenault at June 14, 2009 8:16 AM


I used to support the legality of abortion; I no longer do and have not for some time now. Shockingly, it was not being called an idiot, a fraud, or a whore that changed my mind, though I would be incorrect to say that not one person who called me an idiot had any effect on my application of logic. Fortunately I treat others as I would like them to treat me, and give full consideration to words and arguments even when I dislike the speaker.

I don't know why you would owe me an apology, unless you treated me in some way that you would not treat a pro-life person (though truth be told I have always considered myself pro-logic; I just consider myself pro-life as an incidental result of that). ie I don't know that you would tell someone you knew was pro-life that they just couldn't get why it actually IS funny, and moreover correct, to say that pro-choice women sleep around; I am still curious as to what about that, exactly, I am missing, but oh well. If a pro-life person points out that NOW didn't stand silently by through sexist attacks on Palin, is that somehow more valid than a pro-choice person pointing out the same thing? I suppose you wouldn't tell a pro-life person to have a self-focused, carefree day, but I find the assumptions inherent in that to be lazy -- that pro-choice people focus only on themselves and care for nothing, and that they thus do not warrant the same consideration and dignity that pro-life people do. Oh, yes, yes, I know, the pro-choice ideology and movement blah blah blah, but what of pro-choice individuals? I am the same person I was when I was pro-choice, with the same cares, the same concerns, and the same life, barring one logical conclusion. It is precisely that attitude -- that certain ideas are less worthy of consideration because of who they come from, that certain people are less worthy of taking seriously because of what they believe -- that would have kept me pro-choice had I adopted it myself.

Posted by: Alexandra at June 14, 2009 9:59 AM


Alexandra,

Well said. Although I believe there are many good people on this forum with many strong and valid arguments, I have recently noticed a trend of completely ignoring the validity of ANY argument whatsoever which comes from the voice of a prochoicer.

I must admit, Alexandra, your comment about being pro-life caught me off guard as well. This is because it was heinously clear in the attacks you received that most of the people who were engaging you had come to the conclusion that you were pro-choice.

We must not turn pro-choice advocates into the Enemy. We lose the battle if we forget that the other side is just as human as we, just as worthy of God's love and forgiveness.

Posted by: MaryRose at June 14, 2009 8:45 PM


Alexandra, please forgive me.

I do owe you an apology because I saw your responses as evasive (given my understanding of our conversations long ago) and not simply confined to how NOW presented their arguments.

So my responses were predicated upon a past that is no longer the case.

People do treat each other differently based upon prior experiences, and yes, that one logical conclusion has profound consequences. An illustration? Discovering your spouse cheated on you radically changes perspectives and interactions with others. Ideas lead to actions and reactions. Rejection of fidelity has profound consequences - yes? The same holds true here.

In fact, one reason why I suppose I wrote the way I did was because you are so logical, your ideas do have merit and your approach is genuinely calm, reflective, and, more often than not, caring. So the justifiable homicide position of last year struck me as being so out of whack with the rest of your character, it was disturbing to me. If you noticed I shied away from arguing with you, because you are so likable, and I didn't want to be so harsh with you.

I suppose you wouldn't tell a pro-life person to have a self-focused, carefree day, but I find the assumptions inherent in that to be lazy -- that pro-choice people focus only on themselves and care for nothing, and that they thus do not warrant the same consideration and dignity that pro-life people do.

My lazy thinking? Writing really concise commentary within a few lines can be a challenge, particularly when addressing something so grave as life impacting choices. Many pro-choice people genuinely care, but the actual consequences of such care stem from that one logical conclusion.

Abortion is an insidious thing. There's a reality that transcends intellectual arguments to leave a spiritual debris field throughout people's lives. It also strikes close to home in ways that demand action & accountability. I personally know of a situation where a plurality of abortions were violently imposed upon a woman by a man. Last week, when I gave testimony, I heard the NOW rep make blatantly false statements about freedom of choice that contradicted what I knew to be absolutely true. It was hypocritical to say they empowered women, when in fact they empowered him.

So please excuse my passionate responses. In this battle of life and death, where someone stands both in spirit and in truth makes a huge difference in how truth is conveyed, either gently or sternly.

And in military parlance, what happened might be called friendly fire.

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at June 14, 2009 9:06 PM


I must admit, Alexandra, your comment about being pro-life caught me off guard as well. This is because it was heinously clear in the attacks you received that most of the people who were engaging you had come to the conclusion that you were pro-choice.

Oh, MaryRose, I'm not one for big announcements. I was pro-choice but the comments of two people in particular led me to reconsider that position. Many people have known for some months now but, honestly, like I said, I am the same person, and very little has changed. I have never liked abortion, I have never been a "pro-choicer who sleeps around and hates babies," etc; I simply came to the conclusion that as someone who bases my beliefs on the intellectual, it didn't matter much what my emotions on the subject were. So my emotions haven't really changed much, just the amount I allow them to inform my opinion on this subject.

I don't come here too much anymore -- the valleys of freelancing, those days when the phone does not ring with job opportunities, are my downfall when it comes to this particular site. And on some level, I must admit, since I tend not to comment directly on abortion-related subjects but on tangentially related ones, I have no interest in being taken seriously merely because I am somehow a member of a less untouchable class "now." By that I mean, if I say something like how I think it's unnecessary to presume to know, and then joke about, the sex habits of pro-choice women, and someone says, "Well, you wouldn't understand anyway," I don't view "no im on ur side now so u can talk 2 me like a person, its ok" to be a debating point that should be persuasive and thus I'm not comfortable using it to persuade someone.

Chris, I suppose we'll just have to agree to disagree. I don't believe that, were I still pro-choice, I would be any more incorrect on this specific topic (NOW and Palin) than I am now. I don't think it's surprising that many nice people are pro-choice, I don't see the need to dismiss the care that many of them have just to emphasize the uncaring nature of abortion, and I don't know that I consider any fire friendly. I have enjoyed talking to you, though, and while I don't think you owe me an apology, I do appreciate it. As always, you have my apologies if I annoyed or offended you in any way.

Posted by: Alexandra at June 14, 2009 10:18 PM


Chris,

Well-spoken.

Unfortunately, abortion is insidious on both sides :( ... it tends to raise the bristles of all involved, and we end up in such discussions as these.

Posted by: MaryRose at June 15, 2009 12:04 AM