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this requires some backstory. gwenhyffar recently posted this…

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this requires some backstory. gwenhyffar recently posted this tirade against the dutch government being overrun by fundies and trying to inch away abortion rights. By requiring that abortions be performed in a hospital or licensed medical clinic, they are essentially putting a group that provides abortions in international waters for women in countries in which abortion is illegal out of business. I am, of course, enraged that their government would do such a thing. Especially since the Netherlands is seen to be one of the most progressive countries in the world.

I read down and find some controversy in the comments. Namely, a man comes in and is like "what's the big deal?" and gwen tries to explain to him and it doesn't get through.

He then posts this (which is a small excerpt from a much longer comment):

I'm just trying to imagine it the other way now,.. A ship from the middle east comes by, picks up a bunch of women and returns them circumsized. I bet you would not just let this slip of with a, HEY it's their law they did it where i couldn't see it so it's all good!


I reply:

i don't see how this has any bearing on an abortion argument. if the women wanted to have circumcisions, that is their right. you are comparing the additional availability of an elective procedure with the restriction of an elective procedure.

Of course, you are a man. You will never have the reality of being stuck in a country where you are being forced to carry a fetus to term that may be killing you because you have no reproductive rights. Men, in my opinion have no right to tell women anything about what we do with our bodies, until you also start dying during childbirth.


I think that I am fairly respectful. I point out the fallacy in his statement, and then tell him why I believe this organization's contribution to the world is meaningful, and that I understand why he may not feel that way. By this point, he has been banned from commenting further in her journal, so I receive this lj message:


i don't see how this has any bearing on an abortion argument. if the women wanted to have circumcisions, that is their right. you are comparing the additional availability of an elective procedure with the restriction of an elective procedure.

Partly true, but for many people abortion is not all that elective, like you said yourself, sometimes it just really needs to be done. I admit it is not the best comparison, but it was merely to state that even if it is not illegal, the argument of legality really doesn't matter to me. It's more of a moral thing.

Men, in my opinion have no right to tell women anything about what we do with our bodies.

Very true, yet stupid by my book. No other person, be it man or woman (because our cabinet really is not a league of big evil conspiring men, women have the right to vote and there are more women on this earth to begin with :p) should have the right to tell another person what to do with his or her body, that is why i dislike this whole femalre rights crap. It should be human rights! men should just as badly NOT want to see a woman die :s i really don't see the point. All of a sudden female rights organisations need to go wild? as if men are PRO abortion just because they are men :p


to which i replied:

The reason it's "women's rights" instead of "human rights" is because we live in a patriarchal society, for better or worse. White men as a group have never involuntarily had rights stripped from them, or not been allowed certain basic rights. So it is the "minorities", in this case women, that must fight for their rights.

I do agree with you in general, I think "feminism" has gone from searching for equal rights to something completely different and mildly unsavory. There are a lot of women whining and demonizing men. That's not something I seek to do. I just don't believe that men should be able to pass laws restricting access to a medical procedure that only effects women. It's like a band of women coming along and wanting to restrict access to treatments for prostate cancer on the grounds that it is immoral. I realize all lawmakers are not men, but when you look in my country (i'm from the us), a vast majority of lawmakers are rich white christian men, so i believe it's an apt comparison.

You're also talking to someone who had to travel hours into another state to have an abortion performed because of the restricted access to them in my home state. I understand (partially) what these women in countries in which abortions are illegal feel when they learn that there is a ship that will come and help them. It's the light at the end of a very long, dark tunnel when you find a way to end an unwanted pregnancy that you didn't think you'd have.


I would like to clarify in my reply, that it is the women who fly the flag of feminism because of their hatred of men that I find unsavory. I don't believe that feminists as a whole do this, as I consider myself one.

Abortion is a medical issue, not a moral one. You cannot legislate one group's morality on the whole. It is wrong to do so. Our laws should be based on principles that are beneficial to the society, not some stone aged belief system.

If abortion's legality is revoked, women will go back to dying in motel rooms at the hands of untrained abortion providers. We will not just cease to seek abortion, they will only become unsafe. By restricting access to abortion, you are maiming (and sometimes murdering) your wives, daughters, and mothers. If you don't believe in abortion, don't have one.


ETA: Our dialogue is continuing:

I do agree with you in general, ... so i believe it's an apt comparison.

Exactly right on the first part, but the second i don't understand. When i read Gwen and the hatefull reactions i'm gettin i always see the same problem returning white christian men,.. i am a white christian male and i am pro abortus? what is it that makes those women think white christian men are against them? they are against abortion! It's not like i get a daily newsletter from conspiringwhitemalechauvinists.com or anything, there is no THE white christian man. And as far as Holland goes, there are men and women probably not all white against abortion, so why gather under some feminist flag? Many men want women to have this choice and would really support it, but once you call it feminist and you get people like those in Gwen's post out in public nobody takes it serious anymore.

Seeing as the whole post is going wrong and i'm getting angry emails from people to which i cannot comment i would only like to say that what Gwen is saying simply isn't true. This law change is due for november, it's still under debate :s the WoW has given a statement in an intervieuw that the way this is going their operation might come in danger, THAT's why they are not sailing out with their ship, they are busy here getting this law change done right and if they set sail now ant this bill does get passed, THEN they are in trouble. I read a couple of articles on the subject and it's all on a if, when, maybe base. People are getting a lot of things mixed up here and it is simply not true. Now non-dutch people read her post and think we are bloody idiots just because she posts something they think is true.


You're also talking to someone ... that you didn't think you'd have.

And THAT is what the world needs, the people in the country that has poor to none abortion options need to stand up for themselves, it's not like shouting boo in some dutch LJ chat that changes things, it's getting up and doing something about it. I think what WoW does is great and they should be ale to do it a lot more, but it is no sollition! it's not enough!

with kind regards,

a white christian male :p



my reply:

I don't know if i can clarify why women band together like we do and mercilessly eviscerate white christian men. Most of us understand that all white christian men are not part of some evil conspiracy to keep us barefoot and pregnant. However, there are a lot of those men, and a lot of them hold positions of power, and that it very very terrifying. When you bring about a point of discussion that even hints to the fact that you maybe, in some way, agree with something that we see as endangering our rights, the claws come out. As you have seen. I've been keeping it civil, but I'm sure I'm one of the few that has been.

I see where you're coming from regarding the need to go out and do something as opposed to chatting about it online, but by chatting about it we raise awareness. Although this law has not passed, and may never, it's good to get discussion going and to raise the issue so that people are informed. There's a bill going through in Ohio that restricts abortions to only ones that the father consents to. If you can't find the father to consent, you're fucked, basically. I don't see airing dirty laundry (potential or actual) as anything but good. It will get people to act and to bring about change. It may make your country look bad right now, but hopefully will make it better in the future.
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On July 28th, 2009 04:50 pm (UTC), belindashort commented:
Have you heard about the Bill they're trying to pass in Ohio that states that fathers have to be notified and have a say in whether or not the woman is allowed to abort?

http://www.politicsdaily.com/2009/07/23/ohio-abortion-bill-would-guarantee-a-mans-right-to-choose/
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On July 28th, 2009 04:53 pm (UTC), fuzzdecay replied:
Ugh, yes I heard about that and it makes me stabby. It really shouldn't matter if the man wants the baby or not, he's not the one whose body is irreparably damaged by carrying a pregnancy to term and giving birth. He can peace out and leave the woman with her unwanted child whenever he wants. Men simply don't have the innate responsibility to children that women have and it's not fair to give them equal say.
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On July 28th, 2009 04:53 pm (UTC), belindashort commented:
Oh god, this comment:

Men should have a say. . . especially since the law demands that they pay for the kid up until the age of 18. In fact, men should be able to insist that a woman have an abortion and it the woman disagrees then she can waive child support from the man.
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On July 28th, 2009 06:22 pm (UTC), fuzzdecay replied:
oh there's more now! i'm editing to add more as it happens.

I'm actually thankful you did post that image. I'd never heard of geri santoro. It's such a tragedy that women are still dying like that in countries that haven't legalized safe abortion.
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On July 28th, 2009 07:30 pm (UTC), fuzzdecay replied:
to quote a reply i made to someone in her journal:

"I had so many issues with him bringing up genital mutilation. It doesn't make sense as an argument in the slightest. I can't imagine a single woman waking up and thinking "wow, it'd be great to lop off my clit today!". If it's not elective, and the people from the ship were stealing woman to mutilate them, that's not the same at all as a woman electing to have an abortion.

it's just.... ugh. This is precisely why I don't talk to many people outside of my small group of friends online. There is too much stupid and not enough time in the day to deal with all of it."

this has seriously been my week of being enraged. first at creationists, now at anti-choicers.
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On July 29th, 2009 04:10 am (UTC), chalicerae commented:
Where to begin, haha. I'm suprised this person can operate a computer, nevermind remember to breathe every few seconds to maintain consciousness. The fact that people still have put up with government controlling such personal choices in their lives makes me cringe. Not that Canada is perfect, eh.
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