The Lesbian Duplex 1: An Open Thread

This space is for conversation between commenters.* If you have a link or article or interesting thought that’s not relevant to an ongoing thread, you can share it here. If a conversation on another post has turned entirely off topic, you can bring it here. And so on. My comment policy lays out the house rules. Enjoy!

* You’re probably wondering about the name. The lesbian duplex has become a running joke on this blog since two of my posts on Debi’s book, Created To Be His Help Meet. For the backstory, you can take a look at these posts—read them Simper, Smile, and Giggle and Single Moms Turned Lesbian. I think the name suits these threads, because if Debi were right, we would all be lesbians living in duplexes.

About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • Conuly

    Schneier on Security makes his weekly random chatter post a squid post. He picks an article about squid and lets people have at it.

    Surprisingly, I have learned a lot about squid. They’re pretty awesome, if not actually good at the whole security thing.

  • Sally

    I have occasionally thought of a topic I wished I could just bring up, but I can’t remember any of them right now. I’ll have to start a list.

  • InvertIntrovert

    Has anyone else read The Child Exchange? It’s a long and engrossing piece of investigative journalism from Reuters that’s absolutely horrifying. It’s about American adoptive parents who can’t handle their (usually international) adopted children and try to pass them off to strangers on the internet, some who’ve had their own children taken away by CPS. It’s super creepy, and I can’t help but feel like it fits into the larger story of evangelical international adoptions, Quiverful families, and rigid parenting techniques meeting special needs kids that Libby Anne has talked about many times on here.

    In particular, I noticed how many of the parents who were giving up their adoptive children talked about having five or more children in the home, and they simply couldn’t afford to pay their PTSD-suffering adoptees the attention they needed.

    The whole thing was really interesting. Like a lot of former evangelicals, I was raised to think of adoption as an instant cure-all for everyone, and it’s really sad to see how much hurt this simplistic belief causes when it runs up against messy reality.

    • Shayna

      Yeah I read the whole thing over the three days it was published. It sucked (meaning the situations, not the reporting) on sooo many levels.

      It seemed a lot of these people did not do their homework on what to expect from international/older child adoptions. I read some of the posts Reuters had collected from those message boards & OMG so many of them had no clue what they were getting into.

      I want to adopt in the future & I have made it a point to look at the experiences of people who have taken in ‘troubled’ kids because I know it is always a possibility. I want to know everything I can about RAD & PTSD & FAS before I start the process so I can at least try to be prepared for what may come. I can find other people going through the same thing, I can look for help & resources before I need them so I know they are out there.

      • InvertIntrovert

        Yeah, the naivete is staggering.

        One of the things that struck me was how many people chose international adoption because it was cheaper, without even thinking about how a traumatized older child experiencing culture shock would probably cost them more in therapy, special education, energy, and time in the long run.

        And so many had so little sense of responsibility for the children they had uprooted from their home countries and promised to take care of. The people who refused to turn their children over to the state because they’d still be forced to pay child support made me livid.

      • Shayna

        Oh yeah, I mean you are adopting. They call that a forever home for a reason, that’s exactly what it is supposed to be.

        I do sympathize with families who aren’t getting the support they need to help their children, but holy crap, to just give them up to complete strangers? And I totally agree about the child support dodgers, grrr.

      • http://Thechurchproject.me/ Tracey

        International adoption cheaper? My DH and I are adopting domestically and we have heard the reverse is true. International adoption is in some cases faster but as I understood it usually more expensive.

      • Alix

        I think what made me angriest was the comment by one unhappy adoptive parent that there needed to be more “consumer protection.” WTF? They’re children, not cars.

        I was also struck by how many of those “problem” behaviors are things most families are willing to handle when it’s their bio kids. Shows how little they think the adopted kids are really theirs.

        I will say, though, that I do think there ought to be a way for any parent – adoptive or bio – to give up any child that they really truly can’t handle – with an investigation, sure, for the sake of the children, but there needs to be more support for any parent who tries the whole parenting gig and finds out that, for whatever reason, they really aren’t able to handle it.

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        Re: your paragraph #2

        Whoa, I got lucky, if that’s the case! My parents treat me like one of their own, because as far as they’re concerned, I am! I won’t say they’re the Best Parents Ever, ‘cuz, duh, human, flawed and all that, but they did the best they could, and I think they did a damn fine job raising us.

      • Alix

        …Somewhat tangentially, this is why it pisses my mom off when folks say that the people who adopted her aren’t her real parents. Yes, Grandma R turned out to be abusive. But (and this sounds weird to say of an abusive woman, but it’s true) both Grandma R and Grandpa R* considered Mom their kid.

        In the article, though, I just remember reading case after case of the parents giving the kids up ’cause they were “defiant” or “oppositional” or hoarding food or something, and I was thinking “I bet you wouldn’t give away your biological kid for those things. You’d discipline them, go to therapy, try to work it out, not just dump ‘em ’cause they weren’t perfect kids.” Just the fact that they felt entitled to dump them or try and “give them back” says a lot about how little these parents felt these kids were theirs. And I found myself really wondering how much of the “failure to bond” these parents were noting in their adopted kids was more a failure on the parents’ part to bond with them.


        *Yes, they shared the same initials. It made for easy monogramming.

    • osiote

      Have you heard of this:

      http://dissidentvoice.org/2012/08/american-babies-exported-for-adoption/

      Adoption is all about the money. (most of the time)

      • Beutelratti

        … the flying fuck?! I read the Reuters-article and now this and wow. I almost hate to bring it back to the good ol’ abortion debate, but how on earth can people still go on and on and on and on and on about “murdering the unborn babiez1!!1!!!!” while actual babies and children are being treated like objects that are for sale?! Where the ever flying fuck are all those people that want to force women to carry pregnancies to term and give their babies up for adoption when it comes to do something about how actual babies and children are treated?! How the fuck would any woman willingly carry a pregnancy to term just to give a baby to an industry that will treat it like it’s just another object for sale. Seriously?! What. The. Fuck. I’m out.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        There is such a one in a long, long, oh-so-very-tediously-long thread elsewhere on LJF. She argues that there are lots of couples who want infants (she forgets all the caveats: white, healthy, male infants with impeccable health records from upper-middle class women are in short supply, after all), that women who give their babies up for adoption never have problems, that “killing babies” is the worst thing EVAR, that children never wind up abandoned in foster care. She is completely blind to how adoptions can fail or how many children currently already exist who need homes.

      • NeaDods

        I ran into a woman like that at the march for women’s lives in DC a few years ago. She was FURIOUS over abortion because her son “had to go to Korea to get a kid because they were all aborted here.” Which would be a huge surprise to all the kids in the foster system, I’m sure.

      • osiote

        The problem is these people view children as property.

      • Beutelratti

        Yes, imagine if all the energy, time and money that currently go into “fetal personhood”-campaigns went to supporting children’s actual personhood instead …

      • NeaDods

        Right through that child’s adulthood, if you look at some of the blogs or the Duggars. The idea of letting go is utterly foreign.

      • osiote

        In the Duggar household, the children are slaves. Just make the older ones look after the younger ones, and put them all to work each day cleaning house and doing chores.

        It really does remind me of the biblical mindset – where parents could stone their child if xe misbehaved. Because obedience was valued above all other things. However, back then, it sort of made sense, because survival depended on it. In the modern era, not so much.

      • NeaDods

        They are slaves – especially the girls, who are carefully not given the education that would let them strike out on their own.

        But even the “children” who are over 18 are treated like children. They may have more responsibilities in the household, but they certainly do not get any more autonomy. Libby Anne’s talked about that in her life too.

      • Alix

        My dad, a classic authoritarian, keeps trying to intervene in the lives of all three of us kids. The youngest of us is 22.

        He is seriously trying to arrange of all of us to live in houses on his street, and “of course” he won’t butt in, he says, but he can’t help himself. He feels it’s his right to try and sabotage my sis’ relationships if he doesn’t like them, among other things.

        He also freaks the fuck out if he wants to talk to any of us and we don’t answer the phone/email immediately, to the point that he sends out flurries of demanding, “urgent” messages to everyone he knows, demanding they help him get in touch with us. He just pulled this a week ago – because he wanted to tell me a cockroach-infested house on his street was up for rent at a really cheap price, and I should move in, and that I could totally clean up that massive infestation. He literally could not understand why I didn’t like his master plan, or why I don’t want him calling me.

        It’s the authoritarian’s divine right to rule over his subordinates, don’t you know.

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        Ugh.

        That’s horrible — parents need to recognize that their adult children are, you know, adults, and can make their own decisions. I, for one, will ask for their input when I want it, and thankfully can trust them to (mostly) butt out. (And the times they have stepped in, it’s been needed.)

      • Beutelratti

        I think I’m going to puke.

      • Jackie

        That’s surprising. Friends just adopted a newborn maleand were given a discount of thousands of dollars because they were willing to take any baby and this baby I biracial. Like $15, 000 v. $30, 000 because many Americans don’t want non-white American babies.

      • osiote

        Yes, black babies sell for about 10k less than white ones.

      • Beutelratti

        Hmm … rescuing a baby from an “uncivilised” country vs. adopting the black or biracial bastard child of a slut. I wonder what the Good Christian™ would do…

      • Guest

        The issue of cross-racial adoption is a really thorny one. On one hand, the idea of black children being worth less is sickening, on the other hand… I don’t think white parents should blithely enter into cross-racial adoptions without seriously thinking about the effects that’s going to have on the child, or about all the ways they might be ill-equipped to address the racism that child is going to face.

      • Jackie

        Our four were foster kids we adopted-biracial but identify black and 3 are very dark. It’s like any other issue with kids. You figure it out. Ours are all grown up now and claim they’re fine. And they were the only children of color in this small town.

      • fiona64

        Yep. I actually brought that up (several times) in the aforementioned lengthy thread — there are 100K kids currently available for adoption in the US, according to the most recent AFCARS stats. And yet there are people demanding that “selfish women” not be permitted to terminate pregnancies because OMG infertile couples can’t adopt. Why are those infertile couples too selfish to adopt one of the kids *already* available?

        It really does begin to feel more than a little like human trafficking in action.

      • Alix

        I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: when there are no kids who fail to be adopted, when all kids are adopted rapidly into decent, loving homes, then, maybe, I’ll concede that the adoption industry is working, and that its promise of “give up your child to a better home” isn’t a hollow slogan.

      • Beutelratti

        It is human trafficking. I could understand if there were fees to cover the costs of the adoption agency, I don’t understand how you can put a price on a baby’s head. That’s selling. That’s trafficking.

      • Ms Morlowe

        Her poor grandchild! “I couldn’t get a proper American kid, because they were all ‘murdered’ so I guess you’ll have to do!”

      • brbr2424

        Adoption exists to find families for children not to find children for families. Even if there were no children available here, policy should not be made based on demand for infants. If the same logic is applied to organ donation it would go like this. There are not enough hearts, livers and lungs for the people who need them. Therefore roads should have no speed limits and drinking an driving should be legal.

      • NeaDods

        Precisely!

      • Beutelratti

        Yeah, I think I read that. I think it was the same woman who’s utterly against any form of birth control except for NFP and views the pill as “anti-feminist”.

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        Yeah, I’m feeling some exceedingly violent urges towards that person.

      • Lizzie

        Is he [JOP] copying and pasting everything he says from some place else? It feels very form like.

      • dildo depot

        Yes.

        Feminerd has had some long long long long painful long long debates with him.

        No wonder xie is so patient with myintx.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Oh yes, I have infinite patience on the Internet apparently :/

        And also, the wrong, it burnssss uss! We can’t let people be wrong on the Internet!

      • dildo depot

        Oh joy, harveydude is back!

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        Greaaaaat. *groan* Just what I wanted, moar substance-free anti-woman bollocks.

      • Quis ut Deus

        don’t be so jejune!

        :P

      • Alix

        …I laughed. He has no idea how ridiculously pretentious he is.

      • Lyric

        Oh, god, yes. I said something on that thread about, “He really loves him some big words, bless his little heart.” And I’m reeeally hoping he speaks Southern.

        (“Bless your heart,” can either mean, “I’m sorry, that’s terrible,” or “That is so mind-bogglingly stupid I am not sure how you’re breathing.” If I bless his little heart, there’s no ambiguity. :) )

      • Alix

        LOL.

        Born and raised in Virginia, here. Even up here in the yankee-infested land of Northern Virginia, we understand the fine gradations of a proper “bless your heart.” XD

      • Lyric

        ‘Kay, not funny anymore. He responded to a post of mine and suggested that the solution to children who were raped is to MORALLY EDUCATE THEM. I think the weird blood-rush thing I just did is what tumblr refers to as FLAMES ON MY FUCKING FACE.

      • Alix

        …This guy is seriously sick. As revolting as she is, even myintx isn’t this bad.

      • Lyric

        At any rate, I’ve got to go to bed. I’ll see what BULLSHIT he comes up with next time the babies get up.

      • Alix

        Sleep well!

      • Quis ut Deus

        I know that feeling.

      • fiona64

        I think he’s pissed that his wife left him. Seriously.

      • Lyric

        He keeps mentioning that his wife miscarried, but seems to think that requiring a murder inquest for a miscarried fetus is perfectly reasonable and there’s no problem with forcing a grieving woman to go through that. I wonder if he didn’t blame her for it.

        . . . I hope she threw a live badger at him before she walked out.

      • fiona64

        Now, now … let’s not wish potential harm on an innocent badger. How jejune. ;->

      • Lyric

        You’re right, it could bite him and get food poisoning.

      • Lizzie

        well, he’s seen that he isn’t getting anywhere on the “and you wonder…” page, so he’s replying to other posts now. What a banana. (apologies to all real bananas reading this)

      • Alix

        …I will never be able to see the word “jejeune” again without laughing my ass off.

      • Alix

        Aaaaaand I spelled it wrong. Go me. >.>

      • Quis ut Deus

        How jejune of you.

      • Quis ut Deus

        Fuck that, I’m getting tired of Valde, and I need some inspiration.

      • Lizzie

        Let’s all take a break and watch Clue. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92IkddsjtAA

      • Alix

        He’s now asking me how things like empathy and compassion could possibly make me moral. All because I told him I disagree with laws. (How he doesn’t see the irony there, I have no idea.)

        …Yep, he’s one of those people who believes that without the force of law and the Bible, everyone will just be horribly evil to each other all day. People like that don’t realize that they’ve just admitted they’re nothing but monsters on a leash.

      • Quis ut Deus

        I don’t know if you watch the Daily Show, but Jon Stewart does a terrific impression of US Republican senator Lindsay Graham, who sounds like a southern bell who is about to faint ‘from the vapours’ at any minute.

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        So, you say “jejune” and all I’m thinking is… isn’t that part of the digestive system?

      • Alix

        *blink* It is? (I am not up on the details of human anatomy.)

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        I present to you, the jejunum — a portion of the small intestine.

      • Alix

        Interesting, thank you! Today, I learned something new. :)

      • Lizzie
      • Quis ut Deus

        I have downloaded it, I just have to find the time to watch it!

        There is also a new film that just opened at Sundance – “After Tiller”.

      • fiona64

        Yes, he is. I’ve stone busted him on his plagiarism by posting links that show where it actually came from.

      • Lizzie

        i love you. (you’re private so i can’t see it, but hopefully i’ll come across it. stupid disqus.)

      • fiona64

        I’ll probably take my history public again at some point; it’s only been private for a little while. He’s plagiarized at *least* two posts so far, and I’ve nailed him on both of them.

      • Alix

        …random interjection: am I the only one getting fed up with his pretentious pseudo-intellectualism?

        I went to a really weird liberal-arts college, and I swear to god he reminds me of the folks who used to strut around campus pretending to be all hot shit ’cause they could whip out $10 words and Greek and French and Latin, and we’d all sit and laugh at them because their languages sucked, they used the $10 words wrong, and even if they got all that right, they still didn’t actually have any arguments underneath it all. And their logic skills sucked – it was all about the posturing rhetoric, not actual thinking.

        Given that he doesn’t understand that yes, he is actually assuming things… Gah. I want to slap him so hard right now.

      • Lizzie

        YES. THIS. ALL DAY. EVERY DAY. THIS.

        He’s making me crazy. So certain of his intelligence and his correct-ness. It’s unsettling how sure (and wrong) of himself he thinks he is.

      • Alix

        I love how he’s trying to argue that proof of a creator = proof his god was the creator. Even leaving aside the whole problem of the assumptions going into “the universe was created,” that’s still a major leap in logic.

        My religion holds that the primordial deity – who is the substance of the universe itself – was genderless/all-gendered/genderfluid (because how could the divine universe hold any fewer genders than it evidently holds?), though I commonly use “goddess” to refer to em – and that the Big Bang was the Goddess, er, “knowing emself.” In both the euphemistic and non-euphemistic sense of the phrase.

        Nothing in his “proofs” of a created universe proves that his creation story is more probable than mine… :P

        If I felt like getting into the theological argument it’d generate, I’d post this whole thing right to him.

      • Lizzie

        But he doesn’t want a theological argument. He wants to use other peoples words, throw in some words he saw other smart atheists use on HIM, and then turn them back on other people. All with a smidge of latin for good measure. (which i can do too: quae ingens turd)

      • Alix

        I took several years of Latin in high school, but I need to brush up. (Like, I really need to brush up, because half the documents pertinent to my interests are in Latin, so why the hell, Alix, did you let this drop? :P) I’m better with classical Greek.

        …I love how he keeps saying he “has no dog in this fight,” when he’s the one badgering people over not believing in his theology. Yeah right he’s got no dog in this…

      • Alix

        Also, did you see he’s now arguing that stoning children and genocide are moral if the victims are “evil”? He thinks this makes him loving and just, but all I see is a monstrous hypocrite.

        It also puts a really disturbing spin on his insistence that eight-year-old rape victims needed “moral instruction” that would’ve prevented their rape.

        Once more, we see that the people most sure of their own righteousness are, in fact, terrifyingly cruel.

      • fiona64

        Oh, no. He’s beyond tiresome. You are not the only one.

      • Alix

        He’s not responding to me today, apparently. *crosses fingers*

      • Lizzie

        diggin this new name!

    • Saraquill

      The expose and the stories of the children were so infuriating, but I forced myself to read it all the way through. One day I may adopt, and I want to be nothing like those alleged parents. I want to hold on to my children and love them in good times and bad.

    • fiona64

      So many anti-choicers wave their hands and tout adoption as a panacea, calling it an alternative to abortion. It’s really an alternative to *parenting,* but I digress.

      The problems faced by adoptees are *huge,* not the least of them what you describe here. It’s become fashionable at the moment for evangelicals to adopt from Africa, just as it was fashionable a few years back for Caucasian women of a certain age to adopt female Chinese infants. Treating living beings of any sort as an accessory is beyond disgusting — and I can’t help seeing these cases as exactly that.

      • Alix

        That, and the other thing anti-choicers forget in their pro-adoption arguments is that there’s no guarantee the adoptive parents are perfect, either.

        I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: my mother was adopted. She was born into a dirt-poor family of Irish immigrants in Appalachia, and all she knows about them beyond that is that the woman, her birth mother, had upwards of ten kids, was married to an abusive alcoholic, and was desperate to get her newest baby away from all that. My mother’s parents adopted her as a newborn straight out of the hospital.

        My grandmother was a very abusive, authoritarian woman. Mom does admit her life with her parents was better in some ways than her life with her birth family probably would’ve been – but it doesn’t change the fact that her mother was both abusive and mentally ill. (I think mood disorder, but there are reports of Grandma R. seeing things that weren’t there, so no one’s really sure.)

        So, not only is the adoption industry (in many places) far more of an industry concerned with making money off of what amounts to selling children to wealthy would-be parents, and not only does the adoption system fail in placing all the kids placed in it, often leaving them in shitty circumstances, and not only is there the problem of the “fashionable” adoptions you mention, where kids are nothing but accessories … there’s also the problem that this industry preys on poor women, and that not all adoptive families are stellar, either.

        But adoption’s an instant cure-all, dontcha know!

      • CarysBirch

        I remember in my early-teen years I used to daydream about “what kind” of baby I would adopt when I was old enough to do good deeds. Like I was contemplating going to the pound to see what sorts of dogs they had for adoption. The fact that I was picturing PEOPLE as commodities and I could just pick out my favorite to take home nauseates me.

        At the time I thought the fact that I gave it so much forethought made me a paragon of goodness.

    • http://www.carpescriptura.com/ MrPopularSentiment

      I haven’t read the Reuters piece, but I just finished Kathryn Joyce’s The Child-Catchers. That gave me nightmares enough, tvym.

      It’s the problem with selling adoption as a good deed – it puts the focus on that one single act. So people who want to do their good deed go through the adoption dance, thinking that they’ll then get to bask in how lovely and wonderful and moral they are. (And some of them really do feel this, resulting in these awful child-hoarding situations.) But there’s really no narrative for the ongoing care, particularly of children who are suffering from PTSD.

      But mostly, I think that the whole narrative of the “orphan crisis” (which is most definitely not just evangelical – I hear all the time in discussions with mainstream people about whether it’s moral to make your own kids “when there are so many kids out there in need of parents”). There isn’t an orphan crisis. The vast majority of kids do have parents (usually at least one, but sometimes even two), or at least extended family, who simply lack the resources to care for them. Frankly, I’d rather just give birth to my own kids and find some way to empower those families to keep theirs. Seems like a much better deal than hurting them so that I can feel like I’ve gotten my environmentalist/religious/do-gooder brownie points.

      (That’s not poo-poo adoption, of course. There *are* situations where kids need permanent homes with people other than their biological families. I just don’t think that buying babies from impoverished countries is how that narrative realistically plays out.)

      • Shayna

        Yeah I read that one too. It is funny how such theoretically good intentions can have such nasty consequences. The “road to hell” and all that I guess.

        Intentions mean very little without actual deep thought & preparation, both of yourself & of your circumstances.

      • Alix

        I admit, I get really twitchy when folks try to insist their good intentions are what matter. It’s the practical side of me – no, folks, your intentions don’t matter much*. What matters far more is what actually results.


        *Intentions matter a little. They matter in determining blame, though not so much in determining responsibility. They matter when it comes to determining reasons – why they did what they did. They matter, sometimes, as a mitigating factor – why did you steal the bread? I stole it with the intent of feeding my family. They matter sometimes when discussing literature.

        They don’t matter when it comes to determining whether hurt happened. “I didn’t intend to hurt you” doesn’t change that hurt happened; our hypothetical thief not intending to steal doesn’t change the fact that e stole.

      • Shayna

        Agree totally with your * note. In the case of the adoption stuff we were talking about I meant that your surface intentions don’t necessarily match your actual motivations, does that make sense?

      • Alix

        Yeah. And I do suspect that with some, maybe even a lot, of the folks in question, they don’t actually know what those actual motivations are, necessarily.

      • Hilary

        I think that if a persons intention to do good is sincere enough that they will change strategy and try to correct for what harm they had done with good intentions, that counts for something. But it’s rare that “I’m doing this to hurt you for your own good” type people would be willing to loose face in order to correct for their ‘good intentions.’

      • Alix

        I tend to more hear people throw out “good intentions” or “what they really meant” after the fact, when called on how they screwed up. “I adopted that kid with the best of intentions, yet somehow never really bothered to see what care e needed,” that sort of thing. It rings really hollow.

      • Hilary

        Totally. The only way for that not to ring hollow is to Do Something to try and fix mistakes, or at least publicly tell other such well meaning souls not to make the same mistakes. I do intend to adopt and I really want to do it well, to do right by any child I take in to my life. But we’ll see what actually happens, reality checks can be a bitch sometimes. But until then I’ve got my cats, and my Godson to care about.

      • Shayna

        Exactly. That is why I think that the thought & preparation are so important. If you don’t examine those surface intentions, the deeper stuff will bite you (and/or the kids in these cases) in the butt.

    • aim2misbehave

      You notice a lot of disconnect between cultural backgrounds, too, and I have to wonder about that – for example, if you’re adopting a child from Africa, and a child from Guatemala, and another child from Vietnam, not only are all of them going to be ESL speakers, but they’re not going to share a first language.

  • http://allweathercyclist.blogspot.com/ JethroElfman

    If a fetus has memory does it change anyone’s feelings on abortion? Is there a difference between terminating a glob of cells in the in-vitro freezer, and killing a being with it’s own thoughts and memories. Can you be both pro-choice and pro-life by liking RU-486 and also liking the partial-birth abortion act?

    • brbr2424

      If someone owns a piece of land, do they own it all the way to the center of the earth? If humans evolved from apes or chimps, why are the chimps and apes still here? If an African elephant comes to America, is it an African-American elephant? Do fish get thirsty?

      • Lyric

        If someone owns a piece of land, do they own it all the way to the center of the earth?

        No, there are Silurians in the way.

      • NeaDods

        I adore you.

      • Lyric

        *g* Thanks!

    • Tel

      For me, it makes abortion sadder, but I am still completely supportive of abortion rights — even if the foetus were a fully developed human being, they wouldn’t have the right to occupy the pregnant person’s body, leeching off resources, without their consent. This means that the pregnant person should always have the right to abort. I view the fact that the foetus can’t survive abortion (until it’s, like, 25 weeks) as unfortunate but unavoidable.

    • Anat

      The nature of the fetus has no bearing on the woman’s right over her body. The nature of the fetus may influence whether a pregnant person would want to abort a particular pregnancy, or may influence how far along she’d be willing to do it for reasons other than fetal abnormalities or her own health, but if she wants to abort, she should be able to do so safely.

    • Alix

      It doesn’t change my feelings on abortion, because the key issue for me isn’t how sapient the fetus is, but the fact that it’s co-opting a uterus-bearer’s organs to its own ends.

      Some people consent to that, which is fine. Other people don’t consent to it or withdraw their consent, and at that point the fetus is violating that person. Abortion in those cases is a form of self-defense.

    • fiona64

      Nope. I believe that the person who can best make decisions about a given pregnancy is the pregnant woman; the fetus’ theoretical rights do not trump the actual ones belonging to a born individual.

      • Alix

        That and, well, one person’s rights don’t automatically trump another’s just because they both exist. And a right to life isn’t actually the highest right, or self-defense and refusing to donate organs wouldn’t ever be permissible.

    • CarysBirch

      Mine personally? As in is it something I would weigh when considering what I would do in the situation of an unplanned pregnancy. Probably.

      Legally? Not in the least. I still want to be the one who weighs what I would do in that situation, and I still want to be the one who has the ultimate decision over what happens inside my own body. And I believe the physical attributes of the fetus can’t have any bearing on that legal right, or my bodily sovereignty is irrevocably violated. Either I do or I don’t have the right to deny permission to support fetuses with my organs. Full stop.

    • victoria

      I’d vowed not to get involved in any more of the abortion threads around here, but since this isn’t really an abortion thread….

      I came to a conclusion awhile back that there are two important moral breakpoints with respect to abortion. The first is when neural tissue first starts to differentiate, around six weeks — to me, this is the first point where there is any possible cogent case that the embryo is a separate, living organism. And then there’s the development of the cerebral cortex around 22 weeks, which is the first point that the fetus has the cognitive capabilities we associate with personhood.

      To me, abortion is not a moral issue whatsoever before six weeks or so and immoral when not performed for grave reasons after 22-ish. In between those points I view it as disputable philosophical terrain; I believe the cortex is both necessary and at least close to, if not completely, sufficient for personhood, but I can see a reasonable argument for personhood earlier. (Does this mean I’m in favor of legal restrictions on abortion after that time? No, for three reasons: 1. The bodily autonomy arguments are compelling. 2. As a moral agent the mother — who has thoughts, feelings, emotions, and relationships — outweighs the fetus. There is a relevant moral distinction between consigning a living human to death and consigning something that has never experienced existence and has no capacity to suffer to continued nonexistence. 3. There is a greater harm done by disallowing abortion in cases where it is indisputably necessary (life/health of the mother or fetus) than by allowing abortion in cases where it is not. Besides, I trust ACOG’s ability to come up with reasonable ethical guidelines much more than I trust some random science-illiterate state legislator to do so. I think the partial birth act is bad law not because I am generally in favor of late-term abortions — I’m not — but because when a late-term abortion is necessary the people who are in the best position to determine what will minimize suffering are the doctor and the woman.)

      There is a question I ask myself a lot of the time when I feel strongly
      about a topic, and that question is, “What evidence would convince me
      that I’m wrong?” Not long ago I was thinking about this and I came to the conclusion that if it could be proven that a more primitive part of the brain makes a larger contribution to thinking and personal identity than is currently believed, that would change my mind some. The article you linked talks about 27 weeks, so it doesn’t really change much in my mind. But yeah, I think there is room for a hermeneutics of abortion where there are gradations in how you view the act. From the statistics I’ve read that seems to be the most common position in the U.S. (a majority of people are pro-choice w/r/t early pregnancies and not pro-choice w/r/t later-term pregnancies).

    • Niemand

      1. I wouldn’t abort a viable fetus in a pregnancy I had reasonable hopes of surviving at 27 weeks regardless of whether it could remember things or not. And neither would practically anyone else. The woman who gets a third trimester abortion because she’s annoyed at the weight gain is a myth.
      2. Legally, I don’t see why it should change anything. McFall certainly had a demonstrable memory but that didn’t mean that Shimp had to save him.

      3. The study cited appears a bit dubious scientifically so I think that your IF is a big if. Also, there is a lot of difference between a 27 week fetus and a 9-12 week fetus. The vast majority of abortions occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

    • M.S.

      I think yes is the answer to your final question Jethro…. for many people abortion is not a black-and-white issue. I think the abortion debate would get much further if both pro-life and pro-choice people could admit that and agree on *some* middle ground.
      You can be okay with RU-486 and not okay with partial-birth abortions. IMO, there is something much “more wrong” about aborting a fully-formed baby as it exits the birth cavity versus taking RU-486 and aborting a pregnancy before a heartbeat even begins.

  • Lyric

    Hey, guys, I’m having trouble following the “Seeing the Right as Anti-Woman” thread, because it’s just gotten too bulky. Am I in trouble for yelling at myintx? I know Libby Anne went through and laid down the law on a few things; does she want me gone?

    • osiote

      I have trouble see it too. The screen just goes all grey at times, and the formatting is lost.

      I think it’s the large size of the comments that is the problem. It is really annoying, and i am unable to follow ANY of the conversations because Disqus is no longer updating. I can ONLY follow those who are clickable and who are not set to private.

      • NeaDods

        Is that what’s happening? I’ve been clicking some comments and never getting “there” to read them.

      • osiote

        Yep. One big malfunction. I suspect that when the screen goes grey for someone who is refreshing the page those who are clicking on a comment are having it stall for the same reason.

      • Alix

        Sometimes, if you’re persistent in refreshing the page, Disqus gets over its freakout and loads the comment. Still won’t load whole subthreads, though, which is getting annoying.

    • Anat

      With huge threads it takes forever to scroll through from either top or bottom to the part where the conversation is ongoing, and if I click on a recent comment from the sidebar I don’t get the full sub-thread. Most annoying.

      • osiote

        Yep and it makes me sad because without the sidebar I cannot follow you, Lyric or Niemand:( Because your names are completely unclickable.

      • Lyric

        It’s because I don’t have a disqus account. I suppose I should look into getting one. Do you need an invite, do you know, or a blog?

      • osiote

        Nope just sign up.

      • Lyric

        Okay! I’ll get on that, then.

      • Anat

        Well, the day LJF went Disqus I signed up. And saved the password on Pastor (a great little program for saving passwords, logins etc, also generates random passwords). And then I tried to login, and was told the password I typed was wrong. Trying to register again told me the name Anat was already in use. Drats.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Pastor works. My husband uses LastPass, which does the same thing.

        Er, it sucks that Pastor lost your password, though :(

      • Anat

        It appears to be there, but Disqus doesn’t agree.

      • Alix

        If you want to re-register, you have to pick a different name, but you can change the display name back to Anat. When I signed up, Disqus said “Alix” was taken, so technically my Disqus name is Alix_A, but I hated how that displayed and lo, I discovered the display-name field. XD

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

      I think you’re good. I’m not Libby Anne, obviously, but you’ve been putting out comments long on facts and short on insults from what I can see.

      • Lyric

        Okay, good to know. I did cuss out myintx once, after she said that I would have fallen in love with my “unborn babies” after seeing an ultrasound if I had any kind of a heart. Frankly, I think that qualifies as “trying to start something” (and it’s a sort of criticism I’m sensitive to), but apart from the one blow-up, I’ve tried to keep it to critiquing her ideas. Her stupid, stupid, ultra-repetitive, “I think you will find it is YOU who is slavery!” bullshit ideas.

      • Alix

        I will say I do think it’s also worth noting how toxic the attitudes and mindset are, though, in addition to pointing out the many ways her arguments fail on a simple rhetorical/common-sense level. Which is why I keep trying to point all that out, but I’m having the same problem y’all are.

      • Alix

        Also, some things deserve cussin’s.

      • fiona64

        Frankly, I think that qualifies as “trying to start something”

        I’ve started calling her on that stuff, and flagging the comments — as well as anywhere she says “pro-death.” Both of those have been called out specifically as violations, so I think it’s only fair.

    • Beutelratti

      Can I just give you all a big virtual hug, because you still engage myintx?! I would’ve lost my patience a long time ago.
      Maybe she’s too far gone, but I honestly think that your insistence in pointing out the flaws in her logic just might make her think, if not now then in the future.

      • osiote

        fiona is a goddamn trooper

        Oh and myintx is no longer responding to me

        Her entire argument is this; “women kill their unborn babies because they are too selfish to give the gift of life when pregnancy is not only a minor inconvience, but it improves one’s health”

        So, I and others have kept asking her why she won’t adopt an IVF embryo and gestate it. Give the gift of life…and the pregnancy will improve her health – she said pregnancy prevents rheumatoid arthrritis, MS, parkinson’s etc and extends one’s lifespan.

        She believes that these embryos are babies. However, she says she will not donate her body to the cause because ‘that is the job of the parents’.

        It has been explained to her that these ‘unborn babies’, if they die in the IVF freezer, are no different from her leaving a newborn to die alongside the road in winter. She says she would rescue the newborn….so why not the IVF embryos?

        She also has a bit of CD going on here, because she believes that every zygote has the right to life however she does not believe that a woman should get charged with murder for aborting the pregnancy.

        She is also a fan of comparing abortion to Hitler and slavery.

      • Alix

        myintx is no longer responding to me

        Or me, at the moment, though she’ll do the “no response” thing and then try to sneak a few in there, as if I don’t get notifications. >.>

        I think I pissed her off when I started pointing out how she plays fast and loose with language. (The magician doesn’t like it when one points out the trick.) The rest of y’all can deal in the hard science – I’ll just be sitting here offering supportive fire and learning fascinating stuff from your links. XD

      • Beutelratti

        I have to admit that it was somewhat entertaining to see you ask her again and again why she won’t gestate IVF-embryos and see her trying to wriggle out of that over and over again. The mental contortionism is strong in this one.

      • osiote

        Well, she has driven everyone crazy with OMFGBBQSLUTSKILLBABIESSELFISHBABYKILLERSETCETC

        That I decided it is only fair if she gets the same treatment form one of us:P

      • Beutelratti

        It’s a valid question though. It also makes me wonder why the pope hasn’t gone out of his way to get the good Catholic women to volunteer to gestate all those lost souls, aka IVF-embryos. I mean, by their standards, it’s a genocide.

      • Alix

        I’m not even sure it’s so much about changing her mind, in particular – it’s worth picking her tired arguments apart just in case anyone else stumbles across them.

        Admittedly, that particular thread’s such a monster now that it’s highly unlikely, but.

        Authoritarians are, across the board, dead set about having the last word. And it’s not because, so much, that they think the unrepentant heathens they’re arguing with will be suddenly wowed, but that they think this demonstrates that they have “won,” that their final ideas were unable to be shown to be wrong or flawed. They’re performing for an audience – both of their fellow authoritarians, and of the people they think can still be swayed.

      • osiote

        She repeats the same talking points over and over, and from what I understand she has been at this for a year, perhaps more.

        I don’t even think she reads, let alone understands, any of the science that she has been presented with.

        It is as you said, she wants to win through sheer stubborn bullying rhetoric.

      • Alix

        The repetition thing – I think she knows damn well that if she lets go of any of her proven-wrong arguments, she has none left. It’s why she keeps cycling through her “the LAW says, no, SCIENCE says, no, UNIVERSAL MORALITY” thing, even though the law one especially has been shot to pieces – she’s trying to hide the fact that she has no argument by moving on to the next as quickly as possible, and hoping we’re all short on memory.

        Authoritarians honestly do believe that reference to the “proper” authority is a winning argument, and that bombastic repetition (esp. if they see themselves as the authority or the mouthpiece for proper authority) is a good technique. She’s flailing not so much because of the specifics of our arguments, but because we have any – one is not supposed to argue with correct authority, only problematic authority (i.e. laws she agrees are awful).

        A fantastic illustration of this is her bewilderment at us saying prostitution, drugs, and walking around naked should be legal. But it’s THE LAW that says it’s not okay!!! Don’t we agree with THE LAW?!? Those laws are proper authorities in her mind, and we’re arguing with proper authority, and it literally Does Not Compute. So she flails.

      • osiote

        Ayup.

        Glad you’re back btw, and that I can actually keep track of your insights on this thread.

        The last week has been rough on all of us!

        Olive has been gone for 5 days too, miss her:(

      • Alix

        I have somewhat intermittent internet access right now, of the “when it’s up, it’s fantastic, when it’s not, it’s really not” variety. So.

        I hope Olive’s okay.

      • Alix

        Also, I know I keep harping on the authoritarian thing, but I think it’s really easy to fall into the trap of thinking these problematic techniques, mindsets, and arguments are unique to the individuals we’re arguing against. So I think it’s worth pointing out the common authoritarian aspects there, but if it’s really annoying people I’ll stop.

      • osiote

        Yep and the funny thing about authoritarians is…for all of their supposed respect for law and the rules…when *they* break the rules…it’s moral.

        My dad had that authoritarian mindset, however, bad behaviour on his part was always completely justifiable! (in his mind)

      • NeaDods

        Well, yeah. Laws are to be enforced on other people, not themselves. They are the best authority for THEIR (and everyone else’s) lives.

      • Alix

        My dad was the same.

        Myintx is the same, too, given that she argues on one hand that we cannot oppose the laws she likes, but she’s free to oppose Roe vs. Wade.

        Admittedly, there’s at least a half-consistent underlying belief there: that authorities are hierarchical, and their morality is the highest. Conveniently, they perceive this morality as universal, and so any law that doesn’t fit must be disobeyed and corrupt, and removed to be replaced with the laws they approve of.

        They literally can’t see how self-serving this is, because they truly do believe their morals are universal. That’s the other reason we baffle myintx – she cannot fathom how her arguments to her rigid morality don’t fly with us – clearly, we are immoral sinners who are willfully rejecting goodness. Look at what she kept calling Anat after the infanticide thread.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        She also seems confused that we’re all “on the same side” but disagree on many issues- where to draw the line on drugs, when personhood actually starts, etc. It’s like she can’t wrap her mind around agreeing to disagree, polite disagreement, or understanding that one’s personal views don’t have to be identical to everyone else’s. Or even why I can support, say, Anat even though I disagree with her views on when personhood begins, because we agree on other stuff and Anat makes a lot of sense. Yet another instance of black/white, with me or against me mindset, I guess.

      • Alix

        It’s exactly that. There’s a reason authoritarians are so concerned with reinforcing tribal boundaries and policing their own – dissent from authority is Not Allowed. This is also why she keeps bringing up Gosnell, as if we all must agree with him because she disagrees with us all. It’s classic Us vs. Other.

        And what is disagreement but dissent? We don’t agree with each other perfectly, and that’s honestly incomprehensible to her – that we do find it okay to disagree. I think it’s also why she can’t fathom that we aren’t saying all pregnancies should be aborted – we’re Pro-Abortion, therefore we must be Pro-Forced-Abortion too – her black-and-white rigid categorizations are knocking her feet out from under her.

        Nuance, to an authoritarian, is just another word for “undermining.”

      • Alix

        I wouldn’t be surprised, honestly, to find she thinks we’re all Muslim Pagan Atheist Satanist sluts and murderers who kick kittens, too.

      • Jolie

        Actually…..
        Quite a lot of the people who are vehemently anti-choice are also surprisingly pro-forced abortion when it comes to people of the wrong skin color and/or belief…

      • Alix

        True. Rather highlights their real goals, and who they really consider part of their tribe.

      • fiona64

        She also seems confused that we’re all “on the same side” but disagree on many issues- where to draw the line on drugs, when personhood actually starts, etc.

        Which conflicts with her constant accusations that we’re all sock puppets …

      • Alix

        We are just very creative sockpuppets. Why, there are so many of us, we need multiple people to handle all the puppetry!

      • Lyric

        Harveydude seemed pretty confused on the whole “more than one person” thing as well. And that was before the thread became so completely unwieldy that it was barely possible to check who said what.

        Although in his case, I sort of put it down to, “These are a bunch of Mysterious Female Creatures, what do you mean, differing opinions?”

        (Oh, and hey, look! Disqus account! Should make it easier for people to follow my comments.)

      • osiote

        yay!

        And now harvey is trying to explain why killing an embryo to save a woman’s life = indirect, and thus not intentional killing, whereas an abortion = direct, murderous, evil psycopathic killing. Because in the case of #2, the embryo is synonymous with the pregnancy, but in the case of #1, the ectopic embryo is NOT synonymous with the pregnancy.

      • Alix

        The indirect/direct distinction drives me nuts. At best, he’s saying that the first case is either involuntary manslaughter or justified homicide, but he keeps trying to insist it’s neither while abortion is murder.

        The mutilation of women seeking to end life-threatening ectopic pregnancies, just so that you’re not “directly” killing an embryo, despite knowing that’s exactly what you’re doing and that being the intent of the procedure, really does highlight how lesser they think uterus-bearers are.

      • fiona64

        And. remember, he tried to claim that removing a fallopian tube due to ectopic pregnancy was not called abortion “by anyone,” until I pointed out that medical terminology named it “salpingectomy resulting in therapeutic abortion.”

        Which brings me to another point. WTF is it with the anti-choice and their aversion to medical terminology? “You only call it a fetus to dehumanize it.” Really? I think most of them would be very surprised to look at medical records regarding pregnancies and see regularly used terms like “fetal development,” “fetal heart tones,” and a whole slew of things to which they take exception regularly.

        Is it possible that they really are as collectively ignorant as they appear? I really would prefer not to think that of *any* given group of people, but I’m starting to have some difficulty with continued individuation.

      • osiote

        Yep and it also leaves out the fact that other species have zygotes embryos and fetii also.

        I mean, do we say that dogs are pregnant with puppies? What if we don’t? Are we de-dogging the ‘unborn puppies?’

      • CarysBirch

        LOL I used to say my dog “swallowed puppies” when I was a kid. In that they were in her belly, therefore she must have eaten them. THAT’S not medical terminology, so maybe “that person swallowed a baby” is more to their liking?

      • Alix

        Medicine is a liberal lie, remember?

        Also, I think at least some anti-choicers have an objection to us using medical terminology, not doctors. I’ve run into a surprising amount of people who think it’s fine for medical texts to be that “dispassionate,” and for medical personnel to use terms like “fetus” in a medical context (i.e. in a hospital), but who think that people using those terms outside that context are trying to undermine “basic morality.”

      • Lizzie

        anything that isn’t what they do is immoral.

      • Alix

        Of course. Because their morals are universal.

        That really is the core of the authoritarian mindset, and once you* realize that’s the bedrock of how they think, so much of their to-us irrational nonsense suddenly makes sense. In the sense of “one can see how they think it,” I mean.


        *general “you”

      • dance commander

        Yep Carl Seaton over at “How I Lost Faith in the Pro Life Movement” has been arguing that all women must instinctively know that abortion is morally wrong. And that people have always known this:

        “My moral operating system?
        Well I think that we all instinctively know that abortion is wrong on some level. This is one of the two reasons why most women that get abortions try to get it done as soon as
        possible. They instinctively know that it’s wrong and gets wronger as their pregnancy progresses. The other reason is that once you know you’re pregnant that’s all you can think of.”

        —————–
        Unlike myintx, he actually answers questions that are asked of him. However, he is still sticking to 1) abortion is gross 2) women use abortion as birth control

      • Alix

        My moral operating system? What is necessary is never wrong. And what is necessary for your peace of mind and bodily autonomy counts as “necessary.”

      • Lyric

        Unlike myintx, he’s intellectually honest enough to see that anti-abortion laws don’t decrease the number of abortions, and oppose the laws, preferring to vote for things like WIC and such. Which is one reason why I kind of respect him. I get the strong impression that with myintx, you could offer tons of measures that would actually reduce the number of abortions and she would still want it forbidden by law because it’s wrong and things that are wrong should be forbidden otherwise how will we ever know that we’re wrong and myintx is right?

        That being said, I think Carl is used to doing morality strictly on instinct and didn’t even really understand what I was asking.

      • dance commander

        Fuck Carl.

        He just sent 10 replies to me last night, everything from accusing me of being in the abortion business so that I can make big bucks, to saying I want to kill sweet innocent viable babies because I value a woman’s convenience more than a cute little ‘baby’ with arms and legs.

        Oh, and sluts use abortion as birth control.

      • Lyric

        *facepalm*

        I just went over there and read that. His rationale is that you (and fiona) Know Too Much.

        This is the bloody internet, for crying out loud! It is where information and misinformation live together in a wacky sitcom apartment! And their quirky friend Google keeps dropping by unannounced! And that metaphor really ran away with me, but the point is, information is not hard to find!

      • dance commander

        I saw. Thank you :)

        You are quite patient with him. I was losing it there near the end, had to hold back.

        He has a bit more sense than myintx, but not much.

      • Lyric

        Well, he’s rapidly using up the goodwill he gained from me by supporting WIC and opposing the Texas bill. I’ll try to stay patient, but . . . not so hard I sprain something.

      • dance commander

        You will notice too, in the pictures he keeps pasting over and over, he won’t stop talking about how ‘that little guy didn’t have a chance’ ‘ you think killing that little guy is awesome’.

        Yep, male pronouns all around.

      • Alix

        Also, all women instinctively know abortion is so wrong that the extinction of at least one plant is linked directly to their fervent desire to have one.

        …This gets at one of my more minor peeves about anti-abortion rhetoric: the assumption that all people, ever, think exactly like modern American conservatives. >.>

      • fiona64

        And, he has now accused me of being an “abortion doctor” because I “know too much.” I guess that being an informed individual is just beyond his comprehension.

      • dance commander

        Omg, he just accused me of something similar.

        He really has run out of arguments.

      • fiona64

        I’ve worked in the medical field for too long; I cannot be bothered with using emotion-laden, inaccurate terms like “unborn baby” when I know the correct term is fetus, LOL.

        I guess I’m just evil and heartless like that.

      • Alix

        Never worked in medicine, but I have an English teacher for a mother and I <3 language. (Seriously, had I not fallen into history almost by accident, I'd've almost certainly pursued linguistics at uni.)

        I can't use "unborn baby" because it's an oxymoron. XD It's like insisting that you are "short tall."

      • Niemand

        WTF is it with the anti-choice and their aversion to medical terminology?

        I honestly think that a lot of the time they simply have no idea about the medical terminology. I’ve never met a true “pro-life” person who had any medical sophistication at all (though I know a number of people in medicine who favor restrictions on abortion that I’m very uncomfortable with–but none that actually advocate total legal banning). And I think the medical terms scare them because they show the truth too clearly: there is a reason why the thing that was conceived two weeks ago is a zygote the one 7 weeks ago is an embryo and the one 12 weeks ago is a fetus–they’re very different entities and NONE of them is an actual baby. Plus there’s nothing like seeing a good case of pre-eclampsia degenerate into eclampsia to make you think that abortion is a positive good in some cases.

      • The_L1985

        I think it’s more that the word “fetus” doesn’t tug on the heartstrings as much as the word “baby” does. The only argument they really have left at this point is an emotional one.

      • Alix

        Which is also why they keep hammering on “SELFISH!!!” as if we all agree that selfishness is universally evil.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Oooh, ask him about Beatriz or Esperanza’s situations then.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        He did, though that mostly meant confusing different people’s comments. He seemed perfectly aware there were multiple people talking to him, though he may have thought some were sock puppets.

        He does seem to make a lot of assumptions though … it reminds me of similar merry-go-rounds with theists, actually. They lay out their argument by starting with “I assume you agree with proposition X” and then you’re like “no, no I don’t agree with that at all, that’s what we’re arguing about!” It’s incredibly frustrating sometimes.

        And yay Disqus account!

      • Beutelratti

        I think it’s interesting. It never ceases to amaze me how these people never realise that the Hitler-comparison on their part always, and really always fails. In the end, they are sexist and often racist authoritarians. Now, what was Hitler again?

      • NeaDods

        It doesn’t matter – Hitler is an acknowledged Bad Man and so can be used as an all-encompassing insult. Just like “fascist communist” — it doesn’t matter that it doesn’t MEAN anything, it’s just applying bad words to people you don’t like.

      • Beutelratti

        Funny … the people that use the Hitler the most are actually those that would most likely establish a sort of fascism if they had the chance.

      • Niemand

        It should be pointed out that Hitler was profoundly anti-choice. He forced abortions on some women, forbid them to others, but he was never, ever in favor of letting women make their own decisions. (On this or anything else.) The third reich had a strong sexist component, along with its more well known racist component.

      • Beutelratti

        I know, women were either breeding machines for Aryan children (preferably boys) or disposable.

        So when I read people complaining about “the lack of white babies”, it’s hard not to make the connection to Hitler in return. They want to force white women to birth white babies and they want women of other races to suffer the consequences of their actions. They and their babies are disposable. It’s white babies that count. Perfectly white little soldiers for Hitler, erm, excuse me, their version of Christ.

      • Alix

        My personal favorite was every time she’d try to co-opt our own arguments against us – like her “consent” thing, where she insisted that no, we were wrong about women consenting to pregnancy and being able to withdraw that consent, because consent to sex is consent to pregnancy (…somehow), and once you’ve donated an organ you can’t ask for it back.

        The fact that one’s uterus remains in one’s body during pregnancy, but a donated kidney is physically removed and put in another person apparently flew right over her head. >.>

      • NeaDods

        and once you’ve donated an organ you can’t ask for it back

        She didn’t watch “Monday Mornings” obviously. There was a plot about a woman who gave her sister a kidney, the sister died on the table, and the woman wanted the kidney back – not re-implanted, but in order to use it as part of a ceremony memorializing her sister. Bizarre, but I think legal.

    • fiona64

      Disqus is hiccuping all over the place because that thread has gotten so big.

      And, honest to Deity, myintx tries my patience beyond belief. Frankly, I think she would try the patience of Rabbi Yeshua. All of that said, I’m only aware of one person who’s been banned (which I find unfortunate) for taking myintx to task. I’m still able to comment on that thread, as are several others who’ve been given warnings.

      • Conuly

        My money is on myintx being a garden variety troll. I notice they respond much less vigorously to reason and calm than to (understandable) irritation and frustration.

      • Alix

        That … doesn’t necessarily mean she’s a troll, unfortunately. I actually suspect she’s a true believer; she acts exactly like a lot of fundies and other authoritarians I know in meatspace.

      • Conuly

        Well, happily the two things aren’t mutually exclusive. She could be both. Either way, I suspect she’s out to make trouble much more than she’s out to convince anybody. If you enjoy banging your head against a wall, go ahead.

      • Alix

        More like, I’m not arguing to try and change her mind, and the thread’s so massive now I’m slowly withdrawing anyway.

        It’s not like the only people who see a conversation on the internet are the participants.

      • Conuly

        Maybe, and if you think it’s a worthwhile endeavor, again, go for it. If they’re dumb enough to believe her arguments without your rebuttal, your rebuttals aren’t helping.

      • Alix

        If they’re dumb enough to believe her arguments without your rebuttal

        Thing is, I’m not sure it’s as simple as people being stupid to fall for her or other authoritarian crap. Until folks start picking apart their arguments and sending them into a backspin, they can sound really compelling, especially to someone who is underinformed on whatever topic.

        That’s how authoritarians recruit. They count on sounding reasonable to people who are more casual observers, just like they count on emotional hooks they think no one can argue (“you don’t want to kill babies, do you”), and on playing semantic games that make their arguments seem reasonable unless you catch on to what they’re doing. And there are still an awful lot of people who will not necessarily agree with a reasonable-seeming person who gets the last word, but will think they must have something of a point since they went unchallenged.

        It’s nowhere near as simple as the people being persuaded being stupid. Just like it’s entirely untrue that the victims of con men are stupid.

        (Sure, in the case of myintx, she’s in the frothing-idiocy stage of arguing. ‘S one reason I’m letting that thread drop, especially since no one’s likely to stumble across her crap in a comment section that massive.)

      • dance commander

        “frothing idiocy stage of arguing”

        I like that one.

        She is ignoring me now, which, honestly, is a big relief. I really hated having to respond to her inane bullshit and lies – again, and again, and again…and again.

      • Lizzie

        Yeah, it sort of feels like the end. (hopefully.)

      • The_L1985

        Indeed. Until I was 23 or so, I honestly couldn’t see past the “it’s a baby” rhetoric to the facts of the matter.

      • Lyric

        I think that’s just because she’s STUPID AS BALLS. She doesn’t actually know how to argue against people making sophisticated points, so she favors the comments where she can use her template.

        You know. “Myintx, you’re a hamster.”

        “The pro-death side has more in common with hamsters! One million unborn babies are aborted every year in this country by women who are too selfish to make the right choice. Slaves were once thought of as hamsters, but they finally achieved human rights (and it took overturning a supreme court decision, too!) That will happen with the unborn.”

        That template.

      • Conuly

        Again, as I said to Alix, the two things aren’t mutually exclusive. She can be dumb as the proverbial box of rocks and still be trolling.

      • dance commander

        I have come across pro-life trolls who do exactly that.

        One is quite similar to myintx, and he repeats the same script over and over, refuses to answer questions, and twists everything. Oh, and he lies. I finally managed to back him into a corner and he admitted that he likes to ‘frustrate’ pro-choicers, because he somehow thinks that this will save babies…

        So yes, stupid as balls + troll.

      • Conuly

        And it works, because lots of us can’t stand to let people be wrong on the Internet.

        I say, if you are no longer enjoying dealing with them, time to ditch the conversation entirely.

      • victoria

        I have to say, the straw that broke the camel’s back for me on participating in the abortion threads — and, I think, the reason why certain people keep coming back with the same anti-choice talking points — is how closely they’re intertwined with religion. What evidence would convince some of these folks that they’re wrong? Literally, nothing, because the Bible/my minister/the Catechism/insert religious authority here says so.

        And the stealth (or in some cases, not-so-stealth) proselytism that goes along with it! People feeling really strongly about religion doesn’t normally get my goat; my experiences in the context of religion were generally great and I don’t have triggers, etc., associated with God stuff. Heck, I even understand allowing a little more leeway for it in those threads because for so many people it literally is the source of their morals on that issue.

        But when someone says “Abortion is wrong because A!” and half a dozen people point out why A isn’t a problem/ask about situations where A isn’t an issue, then suddenly “Abortion is wrong because B!”. Rinse, lather, repeat. Argh.

      • Niemand

        Did I get banned? I’m able to post on the thread, but my posts seem to disappear. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to see enough of it to know if I’m in trouble for yelling at myintx or for any other reason. Maybe Libby Anne’s just decided to not let people post without a disqus account?

      • fiona64

        If you were banned, you’d get a big red block saying you’re not allowed to post. I think Disqus is just acting up.

  • KarenJo12

    a href=”http://getalonghome.com/2013/09/choosing-perfect-names-dust-bunnies”>This reminded me of several discussions Libby Anne has posted related to homeschooling neglect. This is part of a series on several blogs connected to “Ladies Against Feminism” about how to manage all the tasks of a large family and homeschool the kids. The author of this piece admits she does it by teaching math and phonics and then the kids are on their own. I was horrified.

  • KarenJo12

    Ugh, my comment vanished. I found a href=”http://getalonghome.com/2013/09/choosing-perfect-names-dust-bunnies>this at “Ladies Against Feminism.” I found her discussion of food and the so-called schooling she provides horrifying.

    • Alix

      Your earlier comment’s showing up for me. Disqus is apparently glitching again.

      • KarenJo12

        Thanks. I see both now. Sorry for the duplication.

      • Alix

        Disqus does this thing where it drops or hides comments, or simply fails to update one’s screen somehow. IDK what’s up with Disqus. I sometimes think it’s deliberately trolling us all.

        Besides, it’s a thing worth linking to. I agree that the lack of education is appalling (she homeschools? when she has no time for it? aargh), but I … don’t see what’s so wrong with her cooking. :/ And I do agree with her point on not depriving oneself of sleep.

    • Beutelratti

      “Just get them reading. This might sound too simple to a
      more hands-on, buttoned-up kind of mom, but once my kids know how to
      read, I put most of the work off onto them.”

      Yeah, because it’s her human right to homeschool and her children can see what happens with their right to an education. Snark.

      “When lunchtime rolls around and we’re in the middle of something, I am
      not ashamed to plunk down some hotdogs and call the pickle relish a
      vegetable. It’s fast, it fills their tummies, they like it, and shut up.”

      Because we all know that feeding kids is about shutting them up.

      Honestly, I just quickly read over some of the stuff she writes and she seems like an incredibly stressed and overburdened mother. If she wants to advocate for large homeschooling families, she’s doing a piss-poor job so far. I don’t feel the luv.

      • Alix

        she seems like an incredibly stressed and overburdened mother.

        That’s the feeling I got. And I look at that and think, ma’am, there’s a perfectly good way to cut one of your elective burdens and improve your kids’ lives in the process. Send them to public school.

      • KarenJo12

        That’s what bothered me the most. She doesn’t care at all whether her kids are, actually, learning anything. Also, I worry about the lack of micronutrients for kids deprived of fruits and vegetables as much as these kids are. Read the other linked blogs on this subject. A couple of them are, if anything worse about educational neglect.

      • Alix

        The micronutrient problem is pretty easily solved, though. I admit to getting a bit defensive about food discussions like this, though, because it isn’t always cheap or easy to make the perfect healthy meals. I’ve been on the receiving end of quite a bit of shaming concerning what I like to cook and what I end up having to cook because of cost or limited availability, and honestly? While I’d throw in salads and veggie soups and the like (and seriously, lady, frozen peas in the mac is a great way to get veggies in…), she cooks like I did when I was still cooking for myself, my siblings, and both parents. Bulk food, fast or requiring minimal attention, with lots of things that can be reused in different ways throughout the week/month.

      • KarenJo12

        Frozen peas and broccoli are my friends, too. I use those just about every day I cook, and I’m only cooking for four people. I also understand that there’s no other way for her to cook for a family that size. Finally, no one should shame you for how you cook for yourself or for what you made when you lived at home.

      • Alix

        I <3 frozen veggies. I used to loathe them, 'cause the stores 'round here used to just have really, really bad bags – mushy, watery, tasteless crap.* Now they have ones that taste like, well, frozen veggies. :D

        I freeze my own, sometimes, when I know how. I admit to refusing to freeze my own peas, though, on account of not wanting to waste my time shelling the little green bastards. Same with corn: I'll make fresh corn on the cob for folks, but if it requires kernels, I'm buying the frozen stuff. Last time I tried cutting the kernels off the cob, I damn near lost a finger.


        *I must admit to frozen spinach, reheated with some salt, being a major comfort food, though. It may be mushy, watery, crap, but it ain't tasteless.

        …Why yes, Popeye was my childhood hero growing up. Why do you ask?

      • KarenJo12

        The quality of frozen vegetables has improved immensely since I was a kid. They now taste like the thing on the package, instead of like the paper or plastic package itself.

      • fiona64

        And even then it was better than the stuff in the can. I still have issues with peas because of canned veg. Ugh.

      • Alix

        …There is one brand of tinned peas, I don’t know the company but it has a really distinctive silver label, that is also comfort food for me – precisely because the peas are small, sweet, a bit mushy, and taste slightly metallic. (What can I say, I’m weird.)

        Other canned stuff? I’ll use it if I have to, and there’s some decent stuff now. But the mushiness really limits what you can effectively do with canned stuff.

      • Alix

        Out of curiosity, has anyone ever found a brand of non-mushy frozen berries? That’s my one big gripe right now.

      • fiona64

        Not sure where you are, but Whole Foods Markets has a house brand of individually quick frozen berries that hold their shape very well.

      • Alix

        There are a couple Whole Foods nearby, one of which I won’t go into after finding food rotting on the shelves, but the other’s been fine. I’ll have to go look for those berries.

      • fiona64
      • Alix

        Yes! :D

      • CarysBirch

        THAT’S IT. :D

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        I use canned and frozen veggies in soups sometimes. The mushiness doesn’t matter so much there, since they’re going to get mushy anyways.

      • fiona64

        That’s a very good point.

      • Alix

        I tend to use canned veggies or the mushy frozen berries for making sauces or other things that don’t require the things to have texture and shape, yeah. Best sauce I ever made involved mashing a bunch of berries through a strainer and adding garlic, some breadcrumbs as thickener, and some lemon juice – delicious on any meat, and it was a whole heck of a lot easier to make with mushy frozen berries than the fresh ones the recipe called for.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Sounds awesome. I’ve been experimenting with cooking down berries into syrups and sauces to pour over ice cream and butter cake and such- sweeter than what you did, but frozen berries still work fine for it. Desserts are far more fun for me to cook than, you know, food!

      • Alix

        I still like sweet stuff, but I’m more and more getting off sweets. Not through conscious choice so much as my tastes taking a decidedly savory and spicy bent, for some reason.

        I have a great deal of fun finding ways to break down the mental boxes I have for what category foods are. One of my favorite simple salads now is just sliced pear – but with crushed pink peppercorns and a bit of vinegar on top. I always grew up thinking of fruits as exclusively sweet things, that couldn’t be mixed with acidic or sour or spicy or savory things, and it’s so much fun to break out of that and play.

      • CarysBirch

        Sliced pear as a condiment on a savory sandwich is great too. I like ham, a soft cheese like brie and sliced pear. Or if you’re feeling tart and crunchy try ham, a strong tasting cheese like havarti, and sliced apples for crunch. Mmmmmm.

      • Alix

        …This entire thread is making me really hungry. Alas, I have no pears. XD

      • dance commander

        I have some pears that I just picked off the 70 year old pear tree in my yard. I thought it was dead! I am now going to take your advice, and try the peppercorns and vinegar on the sliced pear:)

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        I know, right? I’m in the same boat.

      • Alix

        One of my favorite sweet-and-savory sandwich things to do is to make raisin bread or another similar sweet bread (as long as it doesn’t fall apart, obviously) and use it as the base for an otherwise-savory sandwich. Works especially well with any kind of poultry, and me being me I like adding a sharp mustard or some horseradish to it as well.

        Fruit in a poultry salad is also good, and has become a family classic. Grapes and chicken are my nephew’s current favorite combo, though mandarin oranges and chicken is also a hit.

      • dance commander

        good lord another great idea

        you should compile all your ideas into one post and I’ll save to notepad!

      • Alix

        LOL. Honestly, you know how the sandwich-on-fruit bread thing got started? I needed to make packable lunches for us kids for school, and it was the end of the week, and all we had were some raisin English muffins, some ham, the end of a giant block of cheddar, and condiments.

        Necessity being the mother of invention, we made do, and a family classic was born. XD

      • dance commander

        One of my favourite all time treats is raw oatmeal with blackstrap molasses. Sprinkle some nutmeg and cinnamon into the mix and you’re good to go.

        The oatmeal is also really good mixed with a bit of brown sugar.

      • Alix

        …I don’t think I’ve ever eaten oatmeal raw. Well, maybe I have – is the oatmeal in granola raw?

        I’ll have to try that. It sounds good, esp. the brown sugar version.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        I really like raw oatmeal. It’s a dirty little secret of mine that whenever I make some for breakfast, I’ll grab a quick handful and just eat it raw. Om nom nom. The thing with the molasses sounds really good, but I might try that with cooked oatmeal too.

      • Alix

        Honest to god, I did not know you could eat oatmeal raw. XD I knew there were no-heat methods of preparing oatmeal – I’ve made overnight oatmeal myself – but I always figured the raw stuff was too dry to be ingestible.

        This thread’s worth it just to learn that.

      • smrnda

        I read that this was often done during food shortages – the raw oats absorb moisture and expand in the stomach, making you feel fuller with less oats.

        Speaking of oatmeal, I eat it all the time and if you do a little bit of looking around, you can find all sorts of recipes for savory rather than the usual sweet oatmeal.

        All said, oatmeal is pretty cheap and it cooks fast, even in larger quantities.

      • dance commander

        Yes, they do expand. Half a cup + 1 tbsp of molasses and I am full for hours.

      • dance commander
      • Alix

        Also, simplest chicken salad ever? Shred leftover chicken into decent-sized pieces, add raisins, halved grapes, or drained mandarin orange segments, and toss the whole lot with a tablespoon or so of a whole-grain mustard or your favorite vinaigrette.

        Serve it on a lettuce leaf if you want to get fancy, use it for sandwiches, etc. etc. And like any good recipe, you can add anything at all to it – we usually throw in any veggies we have, tomatoes, and a good heaping of green onion.

      • Alix

        Or, now that I think of it, we sometimes toss in a tablespoon or so of capers, too.

        I rather adore capers. I put them in/on everything, including baked potatoes. Butter, mustard, capers, cracked black pepper, sometimes cheese and/or sour cream if the potato’s the main dish … hee. :D

        Briny tangy berry things, mmm.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Or just something really simple, like tuna fish, pickle relish, mayo, and diced apple. The apple’s acidity and crunch adds something really good to the tuna.

      • Alix

        …Better than adding fucking celery. Or raw onion. *shivers*

        *stares suspiciously at all y’all who adulterate the purity of a creamy tuna salad*

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Oh ugh. Yuck. No thank you. I can’t stand celery in a tuna salad or just tuna fish. And raw onion? Really? I have never been confronted with this abomination.

      • Alix

        I refuse to buy tuna salad or creamy chicken salad because people constantly add things for crunch, and I have some ~issues~ with mixing textures like that. (It’s why I can’t stand crunchy peanut butter or chunky applesauce.)

        I have even more issues with the fact that most places around here just advertise the stuff as “tuna salad” or “chicken salad” with absolutely no warning that you’re getting additives. And considering my utter hatred of both all forms of celery and raw onion…

        At least you can see the celery coming.

        Other people add raw bell pepper, if they’re being ~creative.~ Again, no warning, usually, and I cannot actually eat bell peppers, so.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Nodnod. I’m more of a taste than texture person myself, and I just don’t like how the celery tastes (or the raw onion would taste). I normally don’t love mixing textures like that together, though, but for some reason the apple doesn’t bug me.

        I can’t stand bell peppers either. I’m not allergic or anything, I just think they taste terrible, and their flavor is so strong it overwhelms all the other flavors. It would definitely be nice if more food came with warnings or ingredient lists! Bell peppers are in soooooo many things :(

      • Alix

        I like cooked bell pepper, just like I like cooked onion. I just can’t eat the bell pepper. Celery – if it’s cooked, I can at least get it down, but it’s tasteless.

        Agreed on the overwhelming flavor. That’s one of my problems with raw onion, too, even when there isn’t a texture issue.

        Sometimes I like mixing textures? But it’s like those things get defined out as exceptions – like walnuts in brownies. Or I do sometimes put raisins in creamy chicken salad, so.

        I think there was one time I actually pointed out, upon receiving a tuna salad sandwich at a restaurant that came studded with onions, that their menu didn’t mention it came with onions. The reaction was a baffled, “But everybody makes tuna salad with onions…” >.>

      • Conuly

        Big celery is tasteless, but if you have access to some heirloom varieties you should try a little. They’re smaller and surprisingly delicious!

      • Jolie

        Kind of the opposite here… I don’t like Mayo in tuna at all, but I enjoy tuna salad with lettuce, tomatoes, celery and onions, dressed just with olive oil and lemon juice.

      • Alix

        And that actually sounds good to me, though I’d probably tweak the veggies a tad. My problem is when it’s supposed to be the creamy salad and people stick crunchy things in. XD

        My favorite tuna salad is just slices of nice, seared tuna, with olives and capers and tomato and sesame seeds, and whatever the hell else I feel like throwing in. Mmm, tuna. :D

      • CarysBirch

        That I’ll have to try! I always put dill in my tuna salad for just a little bit of tang too.

      • Alix

        I usually use mustard, because no one in my family can agree on dill pickle relish, sweet pickle relish, or no relish, but we all like a good spicy-tangy mustard.

      • CarysBirch

        I love spicy mustard, but not with tuna. The flavors don’t work together for me, I guess. I use dill weed, the herb, though. Not relish at all. It’s delicious. I also put it in scrambled eggs!

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        I can definitely see that working out very nicely.

      • Jolie

        Also grapes go well with ham and brie

      • fiona64

        As do cherries. :-)

      • The_L1985

        Grapes go well with darn well anything, though. Fresh or frozen. :3

      • Jolie

        Dried apricots in stews- Moroccan style! Best thing ever!
        Also: tangerines and green salad, pomegranate tabouleh, papaya stuffed with minced beef, pork in apple sauce, curries with coconut milk, tomato and mango salsa with red onions… the possibilities are limitless ;)

      • Alix

        ‘S not a proper curry without coconut milk. And mango salsa is the best salsa ever, after the garlic lover’s salsa from Safeway. :P

      • Alix

        Also, I haven’t tried the apricots in stews thing, but I think I have to. It sounds awesome.

      • The_L1985

        Frozen berries in plain Greek yogurt is my greatest weakness. <3

      • CarysBirch

        I know these peas. Are they LeFleur? I think?

      • KarenJo12

        LeSeur. My mother LOVES those things.

      • Mogg

        There are few substances more revolting than canned asparagus. Discovering fresh asparagus (in my late 20′s) was a revelation.

      • Alix

        Yes! I thought I hated asparagus, and many, many other veggies, until I had them a) fresh and b) properly cooked.

      • The_L1985

        Ugh. I remember canned veggies with a particularly deep loathing. I think the stuff might be a reason why I can’t stand corn.

      • osiote

        I am on a hardcore calorie deprivation diet atm, and twice a day I have half a tomato, some kale, with a tiny bit of feta all soaked in black salt and balsamic vinegar.

        It is pure heaven I tell ya. BEST salad I have ever had. A bit of spicy tuna thrown in for good measure makes it to die for.

      • Hilary

        I like to freeze food too. My favorite is to buy half a bushel of tomatoes, slice then purret them in the blender, and freeze in 3.5 cup aliquots in freezer bags. I get 12 bags from 0.5 bushels, enough for tomato based soups for a year.

      • Alix

        We used to freeze homemade chicken stock in ice cube trays, until the one evening Dad, all unsuspecting, dropped a couple cubes in his scotch. XD

        Now we freeze them in those small snack containers. Easier to pop the stock out of those than to get them out of bags, less likely to mistake them for water ice.

      • Hilary

        I also freeze strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and rhubarb in season from the farmers market, to use in smoothies and sauces all year. That way I know exctly how fresh, how local and under what conditions my berries where grown. I do not freeze corn and green beans, the local coop has a good line of frozen locally grown organic food.

      • Alix

        (Forgot to put this in my other reply, sorry:) I do agree 100% on the educational neglect thing, though. Teaching the kids to read and then turning them loose is not an education strategy.

      • KarenJo12

        My sons would know everything there is to know about Minecraft and classical mythology but be unable to add and subtract. Heck, I was a National Merit Scholar and if I had been in control of my education I wouldn’t know who won World War Ii.

      • Alix

        Left to my own devices, I’d’ve known everything about dinosaurs, any mythology I could get my hands on, and possibly ancient history. Anything past the introduction of gunpowder to the West? Forget it.

        And that most especially includes math, though I suspect I’d’ve figured out a little for cooking purposes. I would not have been able to translate that to other experiences, though.

      • KarenJo12

        I would have learned cuneiform but, like you, I would have stopped at about 1450, if not earlier. Who needs to know anything after the death of Nero?

      • Alix

        I would have learned cuneiform

        I’m trying to! XD

        Who needs to know anything after the death of Nero?

        Ha. Modern history? What’s that? XD

        I’d’ve jumped around a bit. I found a lot of the subjects people commonly harped on in schools really boring – probably ’cause they were commonly repeated in my classes, so I ended up having bunches about Athens and Sparta and Rome pounded into my head while there were bunches of things (like, er, the rest of the world) that got ignored. If I’d never gone to public school and been left to myself, I’d’ve probably gone learning any ancient history, but if I’d been pulled out and then left to my own devices, I’d’ve entirely ignored post-Archaic Greece and Rome because they were “sooo overdone.”

        ‘Course, it’s interesting to think about how my interests would’ve shaped up without the force of schooling. As a kid, I was waaaay more interested in mythology than, well, anything, and while it was that interest that eventually got me into history, a large part of what got me into history was not being able to study mythology exclusively. So.

        But my grandpa was a history and geography teacher who would always talk to me about those subjects and science, even before I went to school, and so maybe I still would’ve been interested. Who knows?

        But without that exposure to new ideas? Without a grandpa who decided interaction with a small child meant finding cool rocks and bugs and staring at clouds and stars, and telling stories that were really true in lands far away in space and time, and going to the river to see how water shapes landscape? Without a mother who is passionate about literature and creative writing? Without a father equally passionate about American history (which is why I remember any of it, really)? Without a grandmother determined to teach her grandchild how to paint, how to look at the world as an artist does? (This doesn’t even get into the many excellent and encouraging teachers and other non-family folk I knew.)

        Without any of that, books wouldn’t have made a difference. It takes someone showing you the exciting possibilities of the world, sharing the excitement of knowledge with you, to make that knowledge a living thing, a thing worth chasing and cherishing. You don’t develop the spark of curiosity if no one bothers to ignite yours.

      • Anat

        Well, without all those people around you, you wouldn’t have been you, and who knows how non-you would have turned out?

        But yeah, your point that learning doesn’t just happen and people need more exposure to have an idea what there is to be interested in in the first place is spot on.

      • Alix

        Not-me would’ve been a once-in-humanity genius, are you kidding? :P

        I just … the woman in the article taught her kids to read. Okay, good first step. Literacy’s important. Does she encourage them to explore new things? Suggest ideas for things they can pursue? Teach them how to research things they dislike, because you never know when you might need to do so? Those are kind of the utter basics of education and developing curiosity.

      • CarysBirch

        But I would study in your school! Heck yeah I would! Although my core curriculum would include comparitive religions too.

      • Alix

        My definition of “mythology” is a bit, shall we say, expansive, and includes everything from what people generally mean by the term, to folk lore, to religion, to urban legends, UFO stories, and some aspects of modern pop culture (the parts that have crystallized into folklore and even religious movements). So. XD

        I actually got into linguistics by studying comparative mythology, just like I got into ancient history by realizing the not-inconsiderable overlap between mythology and history in ancient texts.

      • brbr2424

        I think homeschooling is the only way to make the quiverful family work logistically. I have three kids and, at one point they were all at different schools with three different start and end times. There is a lot to coordinate with after school care, sports, play dates, birthday parties, conferences and on and on. It is far less wear and tear to keep the kids isolated with no friends, everyone rolls out of bed and helps themselves to breakfast and goes off silently to work their way through workbooks.

      • Alix

        Sure. But I’m not so sure it’s still not more freeing to have, effectively, someone else watching the kids for a while. I mean, it’s not like a lot of things – like sports, after school care, etc. – aren’t optional, at least if the mom’s still staying at home like this woman. And if she wants to, she can still isolate them socially, so no birthday parties, etc. (When did sports become mandatory?) But yes, I suppose anything that involves more work than shunting the kids off to another room to do their own “self-study” is more work than she wants to put into it.

        As for homeschooling parents who actually try to educate their kids, I … honestly don’t have much sympathy when they complain about how really educating them eats into their time. Nobody ever told you* educating kids was easy, or not time-consuming. If the parents went into it thinking it was, I feel sorry for their kids. And there’s a perfectly legitimate option that gets them out of the house for hours on end – a free** option, even.


        *general “you”.
        **in theory.

      • Conuly

        Well, some people do.

        I am not wholly satisfied with the education the local schools are providing for my nieces, and since I’m the one with them after school I do “extra” on the subjects I think they’re lacking. (Some people call this “after schooling”, and let me tell you, “everybody can just supplement at home!!!” is as poor a solution to bad schools as “well, why doesn’t everybody just homeschool?” It can be done, but there is a cost.)

        So I spend a lot of time lurking on the more academic homeschooling boards on the grounds that if the consensus is that this is a rigorous program AND it is secular, then it’s probably good enough for my purposes.

        Something that comes up a lot is that people (especially those who are more invested in homeschooling as a lifestyle or less concerned about academics) have a habit of saying it takes much less time to homeschool a child than to send them to school, because so much time is wasted in school. In extreme cases, they claim it only takes a couple of hours a day in the lower grades, and then they can educate themselves. (I went to a very prestigious high school where many of the teachers quietly expected us to teach ourselves. I failed and transfered out, probably because I wasn’t involved in the cheating that we are just now publicly discovering is fairly rampant there.)

        The more honest people point out that this doesn’t really apply except in the very lowest grades, and then only if you’re exactly trying to match the school curriculum.

      • brbr2424

        I’ve read that some kids only spend a couple of hours a day on their home schoolwork. It think the homeschoolers with only a couple of kids actually homeschool. The mothers with large families are too overwhelmed to sit down with any of the kids for any period of time.

      • Leigha7

        That depends on where you live. Where I grew up (small town), everyone rode the same bus (and pretty much everyone rode the bus unless their parents/siblings/friends drove them or they could drive themselves, because only a handful of kids lived within 2 miles of the school). It dropped off the elementary school kids, then went to the high school (7th-12th grade). At the end of the day, it picked up the elementary school kids, then went to the high school. I believe the elementary school had an after-school program, which ran until around the same time high school sports practices were over. Even if they didn’t, you could arrange to have your child sent home to someone else’s house (i.e., a babysitter) if you were still at work then. It just required a signed notice to the office if it meant them riding a different bus.

        In that setting, it is far easier to get the kids up and on the bus and not have to worry about them until 3 or 4.

      • Conuly

        Except that by middle and high school they should be able to get to and from school themselves, shouldn’t they?

      • Beutelratti

        Also…

        About
        From 1 pastor father, extract 1 mountain girl. In a large mixing bowl, add:
        • 5 children
        • 1 nerd husband
        • 1/4 cup dry, self deprecating humor
        • 2 cups interest in the role of mothers
        • Infinite amounts of Christ’s mercy
        Stir to combine. Bake at 451 until blonde and talkative.

        …I don’t even.

      • Conuly

        451? Fahrenheit 451? She’s admitting to being a book burner?

      • KarenJo12

        Read some of the other linked blogs; if anything, they’re worse.

      • Beutelratti

        :(

        And these are the families who want Germany to overturn its ban on homeschooling so that German families can live like them too?
        If anything, they’re setting a perfect example for not lifting the ban. What they do is neglect.

    • Jolie

      Couldn’t help but think: Okaaaay, but what is the father doing chore-wise?

  • Angela

    Here’s something I’ve been wondering lately that perhaps some of you can shed some light on. I was raised in a conservative Mormon family and find that in many ways I really can relate to many experiences of former Evangelicals, however this isn’t always the case.

    One thing that really confuses me is the vitriol surrounding humanism or secularism. As Mormons we were taught that they were overly prideful and putting their faith in man but for the most part the prevailing attitude was that they’re misguided souls who mean well but just don’t have “the truth.” However, I often hear Evangelicals bring up humanists with the same abhorrence that most people would associate with terrorists, pedophiles, or Satan himself. I get that humanism and religion often butt heads about issues that Christians feel strongly about so I can imagine a certain level of dislike but to hear some people talk you’d think that humanists are all out actively massacring Christians. I don’t understand it.

    • Alix

      At least from my experience (caveat: circulated through evangelical churches, but was on the fringes of the fundamentalist stuff), it’s classic Us vs. Them authoritarianism at work. The fundies loathe humanism because they see it as a threat to their authority (which, to be fair, it is).

      A number of them also see it as in some way elevating man above God, and also see it mistakenly as a kind of self-worship or worship of humanity, and so they do see it as a kind of “satanism” (using the fundie sense of that word, where it means “worship of anything that’s not our version of Jesus and God”).

      • Angela

        Huh. Mormons tend to believe all that too (except for the Satanism bit. How can you worship someone you don’t even believe in?) but they generally don’t view non-believers as monsters (just miserable sinners who need to be shown the error of their ways).

      • Alix

        I tend to find that the fundie groups more likely to have the “non-believers are monsters” attitude are the ones more active in political stuff, especially if they’re constantly running up against humanists or atheists. They feel besieged, basically.

        I still remember when it was more “pagans are monsters,” at least in my area, before it gradually switched to “atheists are monsters; pagans are in error.” (Not that I don’t still run into plenty of people believing the former, mind.)

        How can you worship someone you don’t even believe in?

        The thought process goes that all false religions (and they see atheism and humanism as essentially religious in nature, or as serving the same function) stem from Satan, therefore Satan is what they are ultimately worshipping, and if they don’t believe they’re worshipping Satan either they’re lying to you/themselves or they’re badly duped.

        And a fundie determines whether you’re a willful sinner or a dupe by, basically, whether or not you come to their side immediately upon being told The Truth(TM).

      • CarysBirch

        Yeah there was definitely a strong strain of “You’re worshipping Satan and you don’t even know it!” running through my circles of Evangelicalism. It was usually said with a mock sadness that was definitely more Schadenfreude-ish glee at someone else’s eventual damnation.

      • Alix

        I knew some folks who were genuinely sad at the idea (including one who nearly had a breakdown at the thought of all those sinners she couldn’t reach), but most of the churches I attended were on the fundie fringe – we got fundie literature, were up on fundie culture, but vigorously debated fundie principles and often rejected them (and even removed some of their literature or refused to host some guest speakers when they proved too intolerant).

        We did go to a lot of fundie youth events, though, and that glee was definitely there.

      • dance commander
    • fiona64

      My parents converted to Mormonism about 20 years ago … and I am constantly amazed at the things that the church teaches (believe me, I have educated myself on the matter as I try to get them out of a ward that is, IMO, committing elder abuse against them). I think that it’s because anything not blessed off on by Monson and the rest of his cabal can be perceived as “not faith-promoting.” Remember why Boyd K. Packer hates historians? “They’re too concerned with truth, and some things that are not true are not useful.”

      In short, anything that might cause someone to question The Church(TM) or its Leadership(TM) must be cast as the enemy lest The Church(TM) somehow lose some of its authority … and some of its tithe-payers.

      • Angela

        Oh, they’ve definitely got their own issues! This was NOT a plug for Mormonism, believe me. I agree with everything you’ve said. It’s just that as a Mormon I’d often hear “Oh, those poor secularists are so caught up in their pride they can’t see how truly miserable they are. They may temporarily cause a stir but God will ultimately prevail. We’d better convert them so that they can share in our joy” Not saying that’s any better really, but I do understand it a bit more because I was spoon fed it all my life.

      • fiona64

        I didn’t take it as a plug. :-) I just think it’s all about “you must respect mah authoritay” /South Park

    • “Rebecca”

      This has always confused me, even when I was a fundie kid. My schoolbooks had a snarly attitude towards Enlightenment humanism and when I read their description of what Humanists are, I was like “That… doesn’t sound so bad?”

      • Alix

        I think this is one really good case where what the authoritarians think they’re doing (vigorously defending their authority/tribal boundaries) is actually backfiring. Much the same way as some of the vigorous anti-drug stuff backfires because folks end up trying marijuana and realizing it’s nowhere near as horrid as anti-drug crusaders keep insisting and then end up wondering what else the anti-drug folks are lying about, people hear fundies rail against humanism and other things as ultimate evils or at least gateways to them, then realizing those things aren’t so bad and questioning the whole lot.

        Pretty much exactly this has happened with the question of homosexuality, actually.

        But to the authoritarian, these outgroup things are undermining the group, and must be vigorously rejected, and the more they don’t go away (or the stronger they grow, or the more tepid your own group gets) the more vigorous the defense must be.

    • InvertIntrovert

      I think the real offense is that humanists assign an essential capacity for reason and goodness to humans. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the fundies I know who were most violently disgusted by humanism were the ones most deeply invested in Calvinism and total depravity.

      • Alix

        Honestly? At least among the fundies I knew, it was less that humanists saw humanity as having a capacity for reason and more that humanists saw humanity as having an innate capacity for goodness that was the problem. The fundies I knew were all about co-opting reason, talking about how real rationality led to their God, etc., but the idea that humans might be good without God was the intolerable bit.

        I now suspect one reason my family’s church never fell over into fundie-hood is that they rejected the idea of Calvinist-style total depravity.

    • brbr2424

      I was grocery shopping with my formerly Mormon friend and we came upon the aisle with the garish $1 Jesus candles. She explained to me the images of Jesus in a robe with his arm outstretched were what she was exposed to rather than the images of Jesus being crucified. She also explained that Mormons don’t dwell on Hell as a fiery torture chamber but rather just nothingness. There seems to be an overriding desire to be nice and not hateful. Mormon’s can’t afford to be the bully at this point because they are still in the minority.

      I don’t watch the Dugger show but I understand the boys or girls say the word Nike when they see a woman they believe is not meeting their standard of dress. That strikes me as incredibly rude and hateful. I can’t see Mormon families making fun of others that way.

      • Angela

        I think there is something to the fact that Mormons try not to stir up too much animosity publicly though occasionally they’ll make exceptions (prop 8). They want to convert everyone and know you’ll catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Privately though they’re just as snarky and judgmental as anyone else. Plus they can slut-slam with the best of them. I can totally see Mormon kids doing that unfortunately. In fact, I probably did similar things when I was younger.

      • Lizzie

        this! If they are always unwaveringly polite and nice in public, it’s just another way to try to get as many lost souls as they can.

      • Beutelratti

        I’m not from the States so obviously I haven’t had much contact with Mormons. In fact I hadn’t had any contact with them until a fateful flight from South America to Atlanta.
        I had already noticed the huge group of young, white men in suites at the airport, and oh, how much I had hoped that they wouldn’t be on my flight. I just knew that they had to be some kind of missionaries.
        I was out of luck though. They were not only on my plane, they were sitting all around me; and with all around me I mean in front of me, behind me and right beside me.
        I was in a particularly bad shape, because an episode of my life had just ended and I had cried earlier and was constantly on the verge of crying again. I think the young men next to me noticed that. Until this day, I still appreciate that he seemingly meant good and wanted to distract me, because my state of mind was obvious. I was a mess and I really needed some distraction. However, what the creepy part was (and what reminded me of your “catching flies with honey”-phrase), was that he started with smalltalk; he asked me about my life, what I did in South America, what I would do when I was back home, what music I liked etc. Only after that did he tell me that he was a missionary. Which led him to the inevitable question of “Do you believe in God?”
        Now … I usually don’t hide my atheism when asked. But try not hiding it in a plane, surrounded by Mormon missionaries, and when all you wanted to do for the last hours was bawling your eyes out. So I played along. He gave me the roundup about LDS and then explained to me, that he grew up as a Mormon, that his parents are Mormons, but that he totally wasn’t a Mormon because of all of that. Apparently he had done some serious soul-searching and had realised: “It’s true” (imagine that with a serious face and a nodding head).
        To this day I ask myself what would’ve happened if I had declared that, no, I do not believe in any god and, yes, that I am an atheist and happy about it. How fast would the honey have turned into vinegar?

        (I still like to use the serious “It’s true *nods head*” whenever I encounter religious tomfoolery though, much to the amusement of some friends who know of this story.)

    • dance commander

      Interesting show on History channel called “Brainwashed”

      A few weeks ago a Mormon woman who fell for a conman was profiled:

      http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,779990

      “Today I watched a new episode that focuses on a Mormon woman who moved to Utah to meet her dream man. She had a dream about a man who was her eternal companion. Imagine her surprise when she met him at a church dance.

      He claimed he was an atheist and she thought she’d convert
      him. In one swoop she embarrasses both mormons and atheists as only a brainwashed mormon woman could do.
      He claimed to be the prophet who would re-edit the book of mormon, and she fell for it. Oh my, that’s where it got nasty. He was a conman who zoned in on gullible mormon women.
      It struck me that her ego appealed to her desire to be this prophets wife.
      She became a hooker to support him. I mean, who does that! Such was her gullibility combined with her massive ego that led to her nightmare
      situation.

      They are an easy target for people like this.

      The lack of association between this alleged prophet and Joseph Smith and lds prophets was noticeable.

      She was willing to believe in Joseph Smith and mormon prophets even though the similarities to this guy who duped her were overwhelming.

      It was a very sad situation as I saw her easily manipulated by both the mormon fraudulent prophets and this uber fraud conman.

      The biggest impact was her ego masquerading as a sweet woman who wanted to obey. Testimony = ego. I wonder how many mormon hooks are actually ego inducing devises?”

      ————————

      She was also treated terribly by the Mormon church for what most people would consider to be a small offense. From the thread:

      ” This poor divorced woman had sex outside of marriage and confessed to her Bishop who then excommunicated her and she was shunned for 2 years. She freaked out because she was going to lose her family in the afterlife and spent 2 years being shunned before she was able to get back in. Then at a LDS singles event she meets a man who claims to be the new prophet who has translated the lost portion of the book of Mormon. She marries him and he turns her into a prostitute for god.”

    • smrnda

      I think it’s a mixture of ignorance and arrogance. Many religions feel they have all the answers, and because of this, they don’t bother to actually *know anything* about people outside their cult. The fundamentalist already *knows* that pagans, atheists and secularists are just in rebellion against a god they know exists because the Bible tells him so, and he’d never bother to ask an atheist anything anyway. So the arrogance of knowing it all (with the false humility of pretending they don’t) leads to ignorance since there’s no effort made to understand other positions.

  • Hilary

    What, almost 200 posts and no talk of pets or cats? Or is that just a special side order for the M. Pearl posts?

    • Alix

      I like cats. We should talk about cats.

      Mine has just discovered the joys of lying across the hallway, tripping people up.

      • Hilary

        I’ve got Cody sprawled out at full length along my side. He’s such a beautiful black cat, with big gold eyes, big ears and sleek short fur. There is something truly wonderful about when a cat decides to love you, they can be incredibly affectionate.

      • Alix

        Abby’s a silly gray poofball. She’s decided that the thing she loves most is sitting in the lap of anyone wearing a long skirt, though if you drape a blanket over your lap, she’ll give you a Look but probably deign to snuggle anyway.

        She’s completely bemused by my nephew, though. Apparently, humans are not supposed to be that small, that noisy, or that touchy-feely. XD

      • Jolie

        I’m back to Romana visiting my parents… aaaaaand my cat Sheila, who stayed with them. I’m happy to report my boyfriend is now cat-approved

      • Mogg

        It is very important for a boyfriend or girlfriend to be cat-approved. I’m very pleased that my cat, The Amazing Autistic Ragdoll, seems to like hanging out with my partner and sleeping on his feet. Partner is not so thrilled about having his feet slept on, though!

      • Lyric

        My cats are still completely spooked by my babies. They’re tiny! They’re loud! They don’t seem to be in charge of their limbs! And, worst of all, they have recently become fascinated by cats!

        My babies, for their part, are going to learn to crawl out of sheer frustration at not being able to touch the cats at will.

      • Alix

        Hee!

        My nephew is now almost three. He’s over a lot, but not often enough to be entirely used to the cat, so whenever Abby is nearby he stops dead and just staaaares at her, then gabbles happily and tries to pet her.

        Abby, on the other hand, spent the better part of an hour sniffing him all over and investigating him when he was just a wee baby, and kept looking at us the whole time with this baffled “WTF is this?” look on her face. She’s getting less baffled by him the more he grows, but she’s still rather O.o.

        She’ll let him pet her occasionally, now. But it’s of the “okay, two quick swipes then I’m outta here” variety. XD

      • victoria

        That seemed to be the primary motivation for my kiddo to learn to crawl too. Unfortunately for her, her gearshift was stuck in reverse for several weeks, and the cat was like nirvana: the more the kiddo desired attaining the cat, the further away the cat got.

      • Lyric

        Ohhh, yes. My daughter is just leaving that phase; my son is entering it. And it’s So! Very! Frustrating! when whichever toy they’re focused on starts receding.

        My girl has now entered the stage where if she bounces vigorously enough and lifts her hands up and down, she sometimes makes forward progress. I don’t think she’s exactly sure why or how she makes forward progress, but it happens often enough to keep her working at it. (That, and the fact that she’s overflowing with energy, so she wants to be doing something—even if it’s just boogying in place.

      • Lizzie

        she bounces vigorously enough and lifts her hands up and down, she sometimes makes forward progress
        well, that’s the cutest thing I’ve ever heard.

      • Shayna

        I’ve got Cody sprawled out at full length along my side

        That’s my dog’s favorite daytime spot. Me & my laptop on the couch, with Slick stretched out & smooshed between me and the back cushions. He is a little red dog of indeterminate heritage, about 20 lbs. He makes a great armrest & is very warm.

        His favorite (only) nighttime spot is curled up in the crook of my left arm, snug against my side.

      • dance commander

        My kitty just sat in my hat the other day.

        She’s an asscat, and she got her assgerms all up in my hat!!

        Kitties r bad!

      • Jennifer Starr

        One of my cats destroyed a roll of paper towels yesterday.

      • fiona64

        Paddy is “helping” me by walking across the keyboard on the way to his favorite perch.

    • Conuly

      We need a breather whenever we discuss the Pearls. We don’t need it here!

      But since you insist, my kitties are the most wonderful non-humans I know.

  • TLC

    Libby Anne, this is SO awesome! Thank you for starting this!

    I have scrolled through comments on topics ranging from adoption to abortion to INTENSE hatred of onions to formatting. I have worked 23 out of the past 40 hours, and am almost completely brain dead. All of you wonderful commenters,, however, have revived my sluggish cerebral cells and I may be able to think again soon. THANK YOU!!!!

    • dance commander

      I hate onions as well. What I hate most of all is stinky onion breath!

      • Jolie

        More onions for my boyfriend then! (Though I’ll have him brush his teeth before he goes anywhere near me afterwards…)

  • Alexis

    So I just discovered (rediscovered?) that I actually do have a Disqus account! Yay! Now my name can be all pretty and blue and stuff :D

    • dance commander

      yay!!!!!

  • dance commander

    It appears that once a comment thread reaches a certain # of comments, Disqus starts to hide some of them. I was able to keep track of every comment on this thread for the first day or so, but after that, not every comment updated. I am now having to go back to clicking on people to see what I missed. I even left the page, came back, and certain comments were *still* hidden.

    Fuck you Disqus, fuck you.*

    *They really need to fix this shit, because Disqus is otherwise completely awesome.

  • Lizzie

    ohhhh y’all look what I just saw on the people website

    Jessa Duggar Is ‘Courting’ (Don’t Say Dating) Ben Seewald

  • fiona64

    Okay, I was finally able to put my finger on what is bugging the hell out of me about a certain anti-choice poster in a certain very very, very long thread.

    She displays absolute depraved indifference to the plights of born, sapient, sentient people. And still believes that she is good, righteous and moral.

    It makes me want to scream.

    • dance commander

      Yes.

      She refuses to argue in good faith, she proselytizes, and is basically just trolling now.

      • Lizzie

        Is she liking her own comments? My disqusdash always says “1 person liked this”, and I just can’t fathom someone agreeing with her this much.

      • dance commander

        It will show you who ‘liked’ her when you refresh the page.

      • Lizzie

        athankyouuu

      • fiona64

        I wouldn’t be at all surprised …

      • Alix

        Disqus dashboard also shows dislikes as “1 person liked this” if no likes are present. Don’t ask me why, I have no idea.

    • dance commander

      jfc Feminerd is patient with her.

      DWR is like myintx on steroids however.

      • fiona64

        I want to slap myintx. There, I said it.

      • King Rat

        Me too.

        How can anyone be so dense?

      • Lyric

        Practice.

      • King Rat

        She is completely lacking in self-awareness.

      • Lizzie

        I’m genuinely surprised she hasn’t been banned yet.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Stupidity is not a bannable offense.

      • Lizzie

        I understand that, but it just seems to me like she’s not arguing in good faith. She’s dismissive of most questions and especially facts. Her repetitiveness just comes across as proselytizing to me. However, as a mod you surely have a better eye for this than I. Not to mention the seemingly endless patience you have for that type of person.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Eh, the mod thing is pretty new and I’m still trying to figure out what is crossing the line and what isn’t. While I don’t think myintx is arguing in good faith, I’m also fine with letting her speak here. If nothing else, it gives the lurkers something interesting to read when I and others respond- I’ve learned a lot about fetal development and foster care since this whole kerfuffle started.

      • King Rat

        Well, at least she answered the embryo vs. toddler on fire question:)

        I am pleasantly surprised.

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        No, but she does keep making deliberately provocative statements and continues to advocate for reproductive slavery.

      • NeaDods

        Is trolling? Because I think she’s trolling.

      • fiona64

        No, it isn’t. But she is *constantly* being deliberately provocative. I’m not saying I’m a saint, by any stretch of the imagination … but she is *far* from arguing in good faith. She continues to make offensive comparisons to slavery and the Holocaust. She seldom, if ever, answers direct questions. She just SHOUTS her TALKING POINTS (as noted above).

        I am so far beyond sick of her that I’m ready to scream — and Disqus doesn’t seem to have a way to block users so that you don’t have to see their stupid crap.

      • Lyric

        Is there anyone who doesn’t want to slap myintx at this point?

        “Myintx, we’ve told you this five times. You’re not listening.”

        “The pro-DEATH side is the one that doesn’t listen! Over one million babies are killed in America each year! With heartbeats!”

        “Myintx, your hair is on fire.”

        “Your hair is too SELFISH to be on fire! How many homeless people has your hair adopted lately?”

        And on, and on.

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        Shorter myintx:

      • fiona64

        Ain’t that the truth …

      • fiona64

        “Your hair is too SELFISH to be on fire! How many homeless people has your hair adopted lately?”

        I love you.

      • Lyric

        :) Thanks!

      • King Rat

        yeah, I thought that was pretty damn brilliant as well:)

      • Rosa

        Can you make a satirical tumblr for this? I would read it every day.

      • Lyric

        Channeling myintx every day, though? I’d worry about my sanity.

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        Dude, I’m a pacifist, I don’t do violence, and I want to smack her with a clue-by-four.

      • King Rat

        OH FFS when you wake up tomorrow you will see that she is now comparing birth and pregnancy injuries to…wait for it… A KID SITTING ON THE COUCH EATING PIZZA

        SRSLY?

        FOR REALZ???????

        I lack enough faces to thoroughly palm myself!!!!

      • fiona64

        Oh FFS.

      • King Rat

        Did you see this, can’t tell if you replied or not. She finally answered the toddlers vs embryo fire question:

        “I would save the toddler, because the toddler would die a painful death. My decision is based on PAIN, not the value of human life. All life is valuable. Thought experiment. You’re in a hospital and it catches fire. There are only 2 people left in the hospital. A toddler and a 90 year old in a medically induced coma with no chance of recovery (i.e.
        would not feel pain of death). You only have time to save one – who do you save?”

      • Niemand

        A toddler and a 90 year old in a medically induced coma with no chance of recovery (i.e. would not feel pain of death). You only have time to save one – who do you save?

        When a 90 year old or even a toddler in a coma* with no chance of recovery the standard practice in medicine is to have a discussion with the family about withdrawal of care. Because there is no point in futile care. It only makes things harder on the family and the hospital staff without helping the patient in any way. In short, the 90 year old is at risk of being “killed” (having what is keeping him or her alive) removed just like an embryo in a woman considering abortion is.

        Why do “pro-life” people never seem to have any idea about how medicine works?

        *Not a medically induced coma. There is no such thing as an irreversible medically induced coma when nothing else is wrong-you just turn off the drug.

      • King Rat

        Why do “pro-life” people never seem to have any idea about how medicine works?

        Yeah, I don’t know wtf she was trying to prove by asking that question.

      • fiona64

        I didn’t see that, but I obviously need to go back … because she clearly doesn’t understand how hospital evacuations work.

      • fiona64

        My reply to her “thought experiment”:

        Let’s look at your thought experiment, shall we?

        People in medically induced comas are not there because there is no chance of recovery; medically induced coma is *not* the same as palliative care. Medically induced coma means that there *is* a chance of recovery. Every hospital has an evacuation plan, which means that the patient would be evacuated by a professional involved in hir care.
        (My source: primary. I’ve worked in the medical profession for some time now.)

        That leaves the toddler, whose parents should have done the RIGHT thing and been RESPONSIBLE enough to take hir with them when they left the hospital — you did not indicate that the toddler was a patient, so we can only assume that the parents whom you claim would automatically love their children so very much have just left hir there.

        So, since a caregiver would be taking the patient, I would take the toddler — and call CPS once we were safely outside, since I’m also a mandatory reporter.

        You’re welcome.

      • King Rat

        Notice too, how she said she’d save the toddler and not the embryos because the embryos cannot feel pain.

        Funny how the non-pain of an embryo, if it is inside a woman, trumps any pain she might be experiencing.

      • fiona64

        She doesn’t even realize how many of her inconsistencies she reveals — and how, in doing so, she proves that it really is about slut-shaming. Remember? “Pregnancy is DIFFERENT if it’s from RAPE.”

      • fiona64

        She’s now moved onto plagiarism (I called it out). She put up a big long post about how a fetus is not a parasite … and it is word-for-word stolen from this link without credit: http://www.l4l.org/library/notparas.html

      • King Rat

        Yes, I saw that earlier. And pointed it out. Yet she whines about how we use biased sources. haha.

      • fiona64

        And now she says that the maternal mortality rate is a “straw man.”

        She clearly has no idea what a straw man is … but that’s not the point.

        She’s just … gah!

      • Lieutenant Nun

        straw men are responsible for the maternal mortality rate

        duhhhh fiona

      • fiona64

        You’re right. I should have known better. @@ <– Those are my eyes rolling … at myintx.

      • Lieutenant Nun

        Heh, duno if you saw this one. Someone already flagged it. Talk about OFFENSIVE IN THE EXTREME:

        myintx wrote:

        “Women with mental health issues can get counseling. If abortions were restricted, PP could use the space where they used to kill unborn babies to really help women and provide free counseling. Counseling CAN help
        mental patients. And, unless the abortion bans include serious evaluation on mental disorders as an exception, you’ll likely have a bunch of women who find out they are pregnant all of a sudden having mental issues and use that as an excuse to kill.”

        EDIT: Ok, you’ve seen it. But still, deserves to be pointed out. What a cold, cold…ignorant, privileged brat!

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        Yeah, I’m rather unpleasant without meds, like, to the point where I don’t want to be around me (and don’t blame anyone for avoiding me).

  • Lizzie

    Did we all wish for someone besides MY today or something? BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR GUYS.

  • fiona64

    My Disqus is public again, in case anyone’s interested.

  • fiona64

    Taking my Disqus profile private again, gang. Joseph Polanco is now following me all over the Internet. Seriously. I could see it happening by chance on Patheos, but when he shows up to spew homophobia (not surprising, since he’s a misogynist) on a completely unrelated Seattle newspaper article on a different site, it’s borderline stalking. Creepy little dude …

  • night porter

    If the day couldn’t have gotten any better..Carl Seaton is back and he is accusing everyone here of being…Charles Manson style serial killers!!!!!!!!!!!

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      Link, plz? I need a good laugh.


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