Paul Ryan & Women


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  • Weston J. Kathman

    Playing politics is beneath you. The upcoming presidential election offers the same choice as every previous election: Fascist A (Obama) vs. Fascist B (Romney). It is senseless to take sides in such a meaningless contest.

    • Lone Wolf

      But which one is the least evil?

    • vasaroti

      Women’s issues are extremely important to any discussion of atheism or freethought. Why? Because women are the primary victims of religious doctrine, which, sadly,has been enshrined in law for centuries. Mo only quibble with this graphic is that it omits all the other issues, such as access to education and employment, which are of prime importance to women.

      Republicans are always talking about supporting the family, and they claim that women should be the prime caregivers in a family, but try to get them to see the benefit to all society for maternity leave , days off for care of sick children, at-work day care, etc., and suddenly the corporation is way more important than the family.

    • Reginald Selkirk

      Just because both options are bad, it is senseless to pretend that they are equally bad.

      • UrsaMinor

        Precisely. Given a choice between being shot in the head and shot in the foot, I’d definitely opt for being shot in the foot as the lesser of two injuries. But they are both bad options.

  • Cody

    I agree with Weston. Anyone with half a brain can realize that both political parties are exactly the same.

    They differ on smaller issues such as abortion/gay rights to keep us squabbling with each other, that way we never pay attention to the more important things.

    When was the last time you heard about foreign or economic policy? Other than when a candidate says “WE will fix the economy that THEY broke.”

    • Weston J. Kathman

      Thanks, Cody! Elections are basically staged to provide the rubes with the illusion of having some control/influence over the way the criminal enterprise known as the U.S. Government operates. It’s all a huge farce and distraction. I can’t believe that so many people fall for it.

    • Sunny Day

      I wouldn’t call treating greater than 50% of the people in the country as 2nd class citizens a “small matter”

      It’s OK that you think the economy or foreign policy is of greater importance, but please don’t attempt to minimize the other issues.

    • blotonthelandscape

      Those are not small issues for the vast majority of the western world. If anything, they are the key issues of modern democracies. Economic policy relates to the basic everyday running of a country, but they are not the issues that have meaning.

      And if you want to hear a presidential candidate talk about his/her plans for economic reform in detail, listen to interviews and talks with economists, or with the candidate’s economic advisors.

      Oh, and FYI, “It’s all a huge farce and distraction.” = Conspiracy-Theories-R-Us.

    • Johan

      That is just apathy disguised as a political stance. People say that shit all the time and yet they don’t understand their own words. Both parties are exactly the same, except when they aren’t. They opt out of voting pretending they did something good by not fighting against evil.

      That is stupid, cowardly, apathetic and pathetic. Take charge of your life, take responsibility for your actions, take a stand on issues. “They don’t talk about foreign policy so both parties are equally evil!” Nonsense. Grow a pair.

  • Weston J. Kathman

    I should add that it is very strange (and disappointing) to see that so many of my fellow atheists are such ardent supporters of the State. They seem oblivious to the fact that statism is itself a secular religion — based on mythology and shoddy reasoning, or usually no reasoning at all. We need to dump ALL superstitions.

    • Sunny Day

      Well here you have your chance to make you case.

      What of it? This is the first time I’ve heard of the mythology of the state.

      • Weston J. Kathman

        The State itself is a fiction. It came out of men’s minds — no different than Zeus, Thor, and the three little pigs. And the things that people believe about the State are entirely mytholgical as well. Take for example “consent of the governed.” Have you ever consented to anything that the government does? I know I haven’t. It takes all of about 12 seconds of critical scrutiny to dispel such a bogus notion. There are countless instances of the same phenomenon.

        Most atheists, it turns out, only apply reason and the demand for evidence very narrowly to traditional religion. They ought to focus some of their skepticism toward the religion of statism.

        • blotonthelandscape

          No-one is pretending that the state is anything other than man-made. It’s not a fiction, it’s a construction, not like Zeus, like a house.

          It is unreasonable to expect every member of the state to consciously acquiesce to every action the state wishes to make. However, when pushed, we would all consent to the state existing. We do this not because we trust the state per se, but because we do not trust each other. If left to our own devices, we would end up in a Nash equilibrium. Not only that, but we would be at the mercy of externalities, and public goods and infrastructure would fail. Our societies could never have developed to the point they have without the state, and removing the state would quickly undo everything we have achieved with it.

          The state is the construct we have made to protect ourselves from each other; it’s not perfect, but it’s the best option. As atheists (and liberals) all we can do is try to ensure that the State always works in the interests of the progressive public good, and fight against individuals who would subvert the state towards the good of their cronies. But it is naive foolishness to think we can just do away with it and everything will be all hunky-dory, and it’s blind ignorance to accuse the state of lack of utility.

          In your 12 seconds of thinking about this subject, you clearly forgot to factor some 250 years of economic, political and philosophical discourse into your opinion. May I suggest you start with the basics, such as the Prisoners Dilemma, and move on from there?

        • Reginald Selkirk

          The State itself is a fiction. It came out of men’s minds…

          It is hypocritical of you to be on Teh Internet, since it was invented by the fictional state. Go away.

        • Kodie

          Does it ever occur to you there’s a myth of no-state?

        • Johan

          The alternative to a state is horrible. No roads, no police, no firefighters, no protection from the horrible things that people can do. Those who fight the very existence of “the state” are probably the kind of psychopaths that the state protects us from.

          Anarchists and their ilk tend to be screwed up individuals. Exactly the kind of people we need protection from.

  • smrnda

    I can’t agree that the political parties are totally the same. There are some issues that are pretty important to me where they differ. So far, I haven’t heard any Democratic politician advancing any program of making contraceptives illegal nor have any Democratic politicians expressed an interest in abolishing minimum wage or child labor laws, nor have any Democratic politicians made a point about distinguishing ‘real rape’ from, apparently, other forms. Not that the Democrats haven’t failed to deliver for working people, but d I can’t say that they only differ in unimportant issues.

  • Clarice O’Callaghan

    Saying that both parties are the same is a superficial understanding of the parties. Consider:

  • Custador

    Women of America! If you vote Republican, YOU ARE VERY STUPID!
    These people think that you are less than nothing. They want you to have no rights. They want the only person punished in the event of you getting raped to be YOU. If you get raped, they regard YOU as the guilty party. In fact, it seems like some of them don’t even accept that it’s possible for a woman to be raped unless there’s violence involved. That means that in their eyes, date-rape, drug-rape, marital rape – None of these things are rape. Once again:

    Women of America! If you vote Republican, YOU ARE VERY STUPID!

    • Noelle

      It’s certainly a strange turn for it to be popular for republicans to embrace such a blatantly loud and dangerous anti-women/girls are gross and so morally weak we need to make decisions for us stance. It’s taken on a dangerous brand of crazy this year. They usually take on some sort of restrictions on abortions bent, but this more recent stuff is surreal. There are normal and good conservatives out there, and some of them have spoken out against the crazy. But not nearly enough of them.

      It’s a pity, really. I sometimes find liberals annoying and am prepared to listen to a calm and intelligent conservative voice in order to find some balance and hash out real-world solutions. But, wow. I’m seeing locked wards and forced injections of antipsychotics kinda crazy here.

    • JK

      I do not live in the US. As far as I understand it there are supporters of either party that will always vote for the respective candidate no matter what. Then there are the swing voters that will vote the candidate that appeals to them most or makes the better promises e.g. for the creation of jobs.
      I would NEVER even think about voting for a team of POTUS/VP when either of them wants to take away a right (no matter what kind of). I do understand that abortion is a controversial subject but wanting to ban it even after rape or when it is indicated medically seems to be far beyond over the top. Most woman do it out of an emergency situation, some just chose not to give birth (though they could use other means not to get pregnant of course) and finally it’s their decision (hopefully they include their partners too of course), no one elses.
      If anyone does not like abortions – DON’T HAVE ONE. But don’t try to force others to live the life you want to live.

      • andom

        oh please,
        in the US only 12% of abortions are motivated by health problems of the mother; 1% for rape and 0,5% for incest. And as you seem interested in the free choise for women you should know that for 6% of abortions “Parents want me to have an abortion” and for 14% “Husband or partner wants me to have an abortion”! (source: guttmacher institute)
        So we have 20% of abortions not wanted by women! but it seems that nobody is worried about this.

        • Mogg

          Who says nobody is worried about it? I’m sure the vast majority of women who chose to abort don’t want to, after all very few people choose to have medical treatment or surgery for fun, and lots of women are not having an abortion because they don’t want to ever be a mother, but because they are in a situation where they feel they can’t be a good mother. Do you have a proposal to help in this situation, though? Some super-awesome solution which involves supporting these women and girls who would presumably be abandoned by their partner or family if they continue the pregnancy?

          • andom

            I knew that women had fought against the patriarchal power of husbands and fathers …
            Women, those who fight for women rights , should tell me what could be the solution.
            Or in this subject they have surrendered to fathers and husbands who do not want their daughter/wife pregnant?

            • Mogg

              Not at all. It’s just that our society (and when I say our, I mean Western, given that I’m not American) is still extremely hostile to single mothers. Single mothers are shown in study after study to be at a huge disadvantage socially and financially – disadvantages which tend to last long after their children have grown up. Recreate society, particularly employment conditions, in a way that doesn’t penalise a woman for having children, provide support for them and their children, and de-stigmatise single motherhood and illegitimacy, and then maybe those women would have more ability to resist the coercive pressure of their parents or partner. Not exactly an easy task.

              Even then, they would have to have the internal strength to risk having those closest to them and sometimes supporting them to cut all ties. Do you have any idea how hard that is? I have risked that, and even with an independent income, a place to live and not having to think about how I would support a baby it was incredibly difficult to contemplate facing the world essentially alone. I cannot imagine how hard that would be for a pregnant high school student.

            • UrsaMinor

              It’s a difficult question. The biological facts are that both men and women are required for pregnancy to occur, but only women bear the burden of becoming pregnant. Men can walk away from an unwanted pregnancy, and often do (although increasingly they are legally responsible financially for the child here in the U.S.- but enforcement of the law is a whole separate can of worms). Single fathers who choose to raise their children alone are vanishingly rare, so there is little understanding or empathy on the male side of the equation.

              However you arrange things, childrearing requires societal support. Access to daycare is a huge issue even among married couples when both parents work. Ideally, one would construct a system where all parents, single or partnered, would have affordable access to quality child care during their work hours. It doesn’t address all the issues, but still this would be a huge step forwards.

            • Kodie

              I find this is unspoken as well. It’s “ultimately” the woman’s choice, but what if it’s not the woman’s choice. It’s entirely plausible for some women to be coerced into getting an abortion from the potential father or her parents, and she still gets blamed for it because she’s the one who has to walk into the clinic and ask for it. “What the father wants” is only an issue when he opposes the abortion. I think there is one part of some (or most, or all) state laws when someone asks for an abortion, she is given legal information about the father’s financial responsibilities. If a guy says he’ll leave or he won’t pay for it or denies it’s his, it’s a good thing for women to know before they make a decision. There is a myth about women that they got pregnant on purpose to keep a man in her life, and I’ve been through arguments which fail to realize a man’s presence at the sexual encounter as equally responsible.

              A lot of invasive laws treat women poorly, as if they are uneducated, and can’t think for themselves, but it also puts them in the position of having to know things they may not know or have no way of learning. That’s the fault of ???? Lack of birth control education is responsible for more teen pregnancies, yes? When is the class on the financial responsibility of the father? If you think you can’t do this alone, you might make a different decision if you believe you have to than if you knew you didn’t have to. Empowering her to choice means informing her which choices are still available if she believes they’re not, without pressuring her.

            • Johan

              Women have chosen a solution. Why are you claiming they have not?

        • vasaroti

          Those are NOT Guttmacher Institute stats!
          “• The reasons women give for having an abortion underscore their understanding of the responsibilities of parenthood and family life. Three-fourths of women cite concern for or responsibility to other individuals; three-fourths say they cannot afford a child; three-fourths say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or the ability to care for dependents; and half say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner.” ” Forty-two percent of women obtaining abortions have incomes below 100% of the federal poverty level ($10,830 for a single woman with no children)”
          “• Fifty-eight percent of abortion patients say they would have liked to have had their abortion earlier. Nearly 60% of women who experienced a delay in obtaining an abortion cite the time it took to make arrangements and raise money.”

          I’m alarmed to see that these stats do not include abortion due to fetal defect, which I’m sure is a major reason for late-term abortions.

        • Johan

          Since those aren’t Guttmacher, where did you get those fake stats?

          • andom

            The source is a paper written among others by Susheela Singh, Vice President for Research of the Guttamacher Institut: Finer LB et al., “Reasons U.S. women have abortions: quantitative and qualitative perspectives,” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2005, 37(3):110-118. The file is available on the Guttamacher Institute’s site.

            Now, yes I made a mistake and i beg perdon.
            I did not realize that the study distinguishes between ‘specified reasons contributed to their decision’ and ‘ the most important reason for having the abortion’ .
            The percentage I gave in my previous comment where from the first table: reasons that have contributed.

            Considering only the ‘ most important reason for having the abortion’ we have that “Physical problem with my health” is 4% and not 12% as I wrote wrongly in my previous comment; “Possible problems affecting the health of the fetus” is 3% for a total of 7% of abortion motivated by health problems. Victim of rapes are <0.5 % and not 1% as I wrote and incest is not reported in the 'most important reasons'. "Don’t want people to know I had sex or got pregnant" is <0.5 % .

            So really thanks for making me notice that the medical reasons are less than what I thought previosly.

            • Custador

              That does rather imply that the “Partner wants me to have a termination” one is more often a contributing factor than a deciding one, though, doesn’t it?

              Incidentally, though I disagree with your views, it is rather refreshing to have an antagonist who can use research and evidence! That’s a bit rare around here :-p

  • Kacy

    The sad thing is that I know many Catholics who will see this and say, “Way to go Paul Ryan!”

  • Clarice O’Callaghan

    At the news conference yesterday Obama said what I’ve forever wanted a politician to say, that “politicians — a majority of whom are men— should not make decisions on behalf of women.”

    • Theory_of_I

      The average time from intromission to ejaculation is 5 minutes. The average pregnancy from conception to delivery is 9 months. On that basis, the male participant is entitled to 5/394000 or 13 – 100,000ths of the decision regarding the reproductive rights of the female participant. As non-participants, NO others (particularly religiously infected politicians) are entitled to affect any decision whatsoever.