No Uterus- No Opinion. No, that’s Wrong!

No Uterus- No Opinion. No, that’s Wrong! May 21, 2019
Photo by T. Chick McClure on Unsplash

Inspired by a social-media meme, I was confronted with a blatant truth that forced me to reflect on the idea that no uterus = no opinion necessary.

What I came to realize is how wrong of a statement it is to make. Let’s call this one an “about-face” reflection.

I Have the Power to Build You Up or Break You Down

The last week has been an emotional roller-coaster for women across the United States. We are fueled by our outrage, to break down the walls that we believe are being built around our bodies and our freedoms. Unfortunately, this has lead me down a destructive path of breaking a person down- and in this instance, it’s men.

My husband pointed out to me that when it comes to the bare bones of any discussion with me in particular, there are many instances when I have the power to break him down or build him up. He noted that perhaps while railing against the injustices of what is taking place; instead of building others up to increase the volume of our voices, perhaps instead, I was a little too willing to break others down for daring to disagree with me.

It stopped me dead in my tracks. I was forced to ask myself, out loud: “Woman, am I doing something wrong?”.

Why would I ask myself that? Well, if even my husband is cautious about whether or not he can opine on societal issues that are seemingly attacking women; it must mean that my approach and delivery are creating a level of discomfort that not even he is willing to tango with.

No Uterus, No Opinion

My husband and I have survived infidelity (mine) and many other rather stress-inducing experiences during our journey together. We are avid conversationalist. That’s what I enjoy most about him- his ability to talk about everything under the sun. There are no topics we won’t discuss. So, the fact that he was hesitant to engage with me on the issue of abortion must mean that I have some work to do. If I am creating a disconnect by voicing my very loud voice- I am working against my very own goal of creating connection.

For instance, he remarked that my eldest daughter and I had made it pretty clear to him that,

If I don’t have a uterus, I am not entitled to an opinion.

Ugh, what did I do? Women, are we doing that? Are we cutting men out of the equation? Are we forgetting to empathize with the male perspective because we actually believe this is just an attack on our body? Does this act not create a precedence for all bodies?

We Need Men

We need men, don’t we?

Surely, many women would disagree.

We don’t need men, men are the ones who created this problem and it will take women to resolve it!

But I must redirect. Aren’t men the ones in power? Aren’t men the ones legislating bills that all but oppress us and encourage us to be barefoot and pregnant- always? Isn’t that the general consensus that we feministic females often attribute to men?

If we rally against all men- if we create a divide so strong that men retaliate to silence us indefinitely; aren’t we part of the problem? Aren’t we acting as a catalyst? Aren’t we relinquishing our megaphones almost entirely if we silence those who we claim are silencing us?

“All” Men?

Over-correction can lead to extreme polarization. If we are to correct this shift in our country; if we are to continue to raise our voices so that we can be heard- shouldn’t we, at the very least, temper our outcry so that we don’t pit all men against all women? Wouldn’t our voices be louder with the baritone of men?

I do try to not suggest that all men are against women. I do try to use qualifying words: “some men”, “those types of men”, “the men that;” but is that enough of a distinction to remove the potentiality that I don’t mean “all men”?

My husband insists such is not always the case. He stated that, sometimes, men just focus on the word “men” and view it as an attack, despite the qualifiers. (Obviously he doesn’t speak for all men, but that’s his perspective and I am willing to consider it).

Let’s step back, ladies, and ask ourselves this: What happens when we see or hear “women” in any general discussion? For me, I assume that whatever the conversation entails, if you are saying “women”- even if there is a qualifying distinction- I only hear the word “women” and assume that it’s a generalization about all women.

If I know that this is how I respond- how can I honestly assume that men will understand the distinguishing separation of “good men” (or allies) from “bad men”?

The Dark Sides of Empathy

Abortion is one of the heaviest topics of discussion out there, right along with racism. These are tough conversations to engage in, and when we do, our passion presents itself more often than our reason does.  Why? As David Hume once offered (and argued for, extensively): “Reason is… a slave of the passions.”

German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche expounded on such ideas as well, namely that, it is all but impossible to be objective while also empathizing with the another. A point of interest from Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil; referenced by Provost Professor at Indiana University Bloomington, Fritz Breithaupt; is that “women are the true masters of empathy.”

Breithaupt breaks this idea down in the highly anticipated book, The Dark Sides of Empathy.  In regard to self-loss, he notes that, based off of Nietzsche’s work, that:

Women play a particular role in the relationship between the strong self and the objective person: they take a third position. In a world of Nietzsche’s thought, women are masters at manipulating the way they are seen by others. They understand how they are observed but, unlike the objective person, the do not comport themselves purely receptively or projectively in the face of observation. Rather they stake a claim to the observations of others by disguising, masking, beautifying, or withholding themselves.

If this observation is valid, I would argue that women have the capacity and maybe even the responsibility (?) to redirect the focus of this topic- which hinges on morality- in such a way that protects us from falling into the traps of “emotional woman syndrome”.

Women ARE Emotional

Women are often viewed as emotional creatures- creatures who change like the moon changes phases. Are we more so ruled by our passions? Are we able to stand back and take a third position; that is ordered by neither objectivity but subjectivity?

Has not society also reinforced this notion that women are ruled by their emotions and that men are ruled by their rationality? I wouldn’t suggest using this supposition as the maxim for “the way things are” by any means but, I surmise that, if this sentiment has been perpetuated throughout our society, then we don’t have to look too deep to understand why abortion is such a divisive issue. If we do act on the expectations that women = emotional and men=rational, that is.

Men have been painted as the objective ones; women as the subjective ones. For all of us, we are already operating with a deficit and a disconnection. Participating in any conversation that delves into morality, sanctity of life, and rights of unborn lives are bound to produce unstable discussions- nonproductive discussions, to be exact.

Perhaps gendered conversations that pit us against each other right from the beginning? These discussions lack empathy and without empathy, it’s hard to see the other as a human.

Empathy: Required

Empathy is what is required to engage in the atmosphere of abortion. The idea that this is a nuanced conversation holds much water. The capacity to look at this from an individual experience versus a collective reality will produce greater results.

For me, this means that I have to stop assuming that, just because 25 white men voted against the choice of a woman, in Alabama; somehow all men agree with such actions. It means that even if a man I know voices his opinion that “abortion is murder, and women who abort are in fact, murderers”; I have to pull back and reflect before I respond (even if he did just call me a murderer). He is, after all, also a human being- made in the image and likeness of God.

It is difficult to grant space to an individual who doesn’t have a uterus; who doesn’t have a lived experience of what it means to be a woman in “a man’s world”.  But, “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinth. 12:9)

I had not been extending the necessary grace for this topic (and I cannot imagine I am the only one that feels that way).

Glorified Empathy 

If, as Breithaupt reflects on, “Schopenhauer’s goal was to break down the ‘wall between You and Me’ with compassion;” and that such a breakdown could only last temporarily; that means that we need to revisit the topic of abortion in a more compassionate way.

We need to recognize a more nuanced approach to tacking the brevity of this issue. It seems we are all forgetting how much attention and awareness is needed to marinate on such a weighty dilemma.

The dark side of empathy is that, not only can it lead to self-loss in such a way that, objectivity cannot compete with the demands of subjectivity- which ultimately leads to empathy; but it can also lead to viewing the world in black and white. Breithaupt notes:

Human beings tend to quickly take sides in conflicts and use empathy to glorify their chose side while condemning and demonizing the other side.

While one side demands that our country empathize with the woman, the other side demands that we empathize with the unborn. On both sides of the spectrum, we would argue that we are being empathetic and that empathy is not the problem.

Is that because we fear that empathy- which leads to understanding- somehow means we must also accept and therefore agree with that which we are empathizing with? (I questioned this particular question in an earlier blog).

Theory of Mind 

When we pick a side for abortion, or any other societal topic of interest or issue; we either align ourselves with our political party’s position of the issue, or, we pick the side that offers the least resistance in our personal lives.

Breithaupt defines empathy in a variety of ways; considering methodical approaches with his definitions. I submit for you to consider the definitions:

  • From an evolutionary biological and behavioral sciences approach: “Cognitive acts leading to cooperation (altruism) or competition.”
  • From a Theory of Mind, philosophical approach: “Understanding the emotions, beliefs, and mental states of others.”
  • From a phenomenological approach: “Coexperience of the situation of others.”

In regard to such heated discussions- abortion- I would suggest that we consider implementing empathy (as defined by Breithaupt), particularly defined from a Theory of Mind approach; into our exchange of listening and responding.

The idea that we should allow a collective ruling authority make decisions for morality is already absurd. But the idea that we don’t consider trying to understand “the emotions, beliefs, and mental states of others” while dialoguing with another is just as absurd. How can we dare claim to make any sort of honest conclusion from our conversations if we are not willing to see them as a human being with an experience, and therefore an opinion and perspective worth validating?

Calling Out the Bull-Shit

I am aware that I have exhibited such behavior. I accept that it was mostly, entirely emitted emotively without consideration for the other. I too, have asked “Why are all the men so silent on this topic” after observing a Y chromosome deafening silence (especially from my progressive brothers).

But, didn’t I tell them that their opinion didn’t matter at all solely based on the anatomical fact that these men (probably the majority of them) don’t have uteruses?

If I know anything at all about the men in my life, I know they listen earnestly to my opinion. They hear me when I voice my frustrations about the sexism that I do face. But what I also know about the men in my life is that, they will also call me on my shit and point out my obvious hypocrisy.

Actualize the Third Position

When I was first introduced to Nietzsche, I came across a review of his work that suggested he was sexist. After reading The Dark Sides of Empathy, I cannot help but wonder if Nietzsche was simply pointing out, in a not-so-obvious way, his envy for how a woman could approach the need for empathy and create (and manipulate) a third position so sufficiently.

If such is the case, and I interpret the possibility, then I would submit- at least for myself- that we all accept the invitation to actualize this ability. Otherwise, we are merely acquiescing to the dark sides of empathy.

 

 

About Danielle Kingstrom
Danielle Kingstrom is an author, podcaster, and home-school teacher. She cohosts the podcast: Book Ish- The Canon Continues. Danielle lives in Minnesota, with her husband Cory, and their five children. You can read more about the author here.
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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • It’s difficult to figure out how to empathize with someone who thinks I am naught but a walking incubator if I am unlucky enough to end up pregnant when I don’t want to be pregnant – whether from rape or incest or even just normal, consensual sex with a husband with which I have agreed that we don’t want (or simply cannot have) children, and whether right at this moment in time or ever, no matter what the reason. We do not force anyone to donate organs to save any number of dying children in hospitals across the country, so why should women be forced to donate an organ, and face the possibility of death from childbirth which is higher than death from an operation to, for example, donate your kidney? Also, a fetus, for most of its development, has no conscious thought, and the absense of conscious thought is one of the reasons people are unplugged from life-sustaining equipment every day in this country. So why is one being called “murder” and the other simply a medical decison? There are so many reasons that I cannot possibly empathize with the (99% are) men who want to take my control of my body away from me.

    However, your husband sounds much like mine, in that he believes such decisions belong to the woman involved, not to some group of people who know nothing of her situation, her reasons, her medical history, her potential problems, her future, or anything about her, and do not CARE about any of those things. In fact, my husband is quite VOCAL in his distaste for these evil bans! So, he doesn’t take my disparaging comments about such evil men as anything to do with him, at all, which makes him different in that way. I don’t know how to teach your husband to be as vocal and understanding as mine, or why mine retains his strong beliefs about right and wrong in these situations without thinking I hate ALL men, including him. I wish I could have him pass along advice to your husband, LOL! But I DO know that my husband just helped me get all of the materials needed to a) make several signs for protests, and b) a Handmaid’s Tale type costume for those protest… oh, and c) this was on our ANNIVERSARY, no less!

  • Brandon Roberts

    tbh i never liked the no uterus no voice argument when there are good arguments against illegalizing abortion.

  • DoctorDJ
  • Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate the comparison you mention- “we do not force anyone to donate organs”. I recently saw a similar comparison and it was a perspective I had not yet considered.
    Your husband sounds like a really great ally to have at your side. My husband is adamantly opposed to such bans as well. But what I appreciate about him, that is even hard for me to imitate, is that he is always willing to consider an opposing view and why a person holds such a view.
    An incredible author and podcaster, Osheta Moore, discusses building back stories in her book “Shalom Sistas”. A way to create a little understanding in someone who upsets you; in that you consider what kind of beliefs they have and how another set up a beliefs would push against those and why. To consider they might just be reacting from something else that occurred in their day. My husband puts that into action far better than I do. But it’s a worthy and compassionate practice that can help humanize the other. I would never tell you to change- so you keep doing what you do. We need voices of every tone to speak truths from every point of view.
    Thank you for your commentary! Your anniversary sounds like it was really great and unique. 🙂

  • William McPherson

    Men are people too. I believe strongly in hearing the frustrations and concerns of all people, especially on something as emotionally charged and life impacting as abortion. Shutting down conversation leads to misunderstanding, ignorance, and violence. The way these laws are being rolled out is not honest, it is despicable, and it will ultimately have lasting consequences for everyone. No one likes abortion, but no one likes wars either…but we still have them and rightly justify when they are necessary. But I agree, we need empathy for each other if we wish to avoid counter-oppression and continuing the cycle of fear and vengeance.

  • Rudy Schellekens

    “Also, a fetus, for most of its development, has no conscious thought, and the absense [SIC] of conscious thought is one of the reasons people are unplugged from life-sustaining equipment every day in this country.”

    Really? You know this because…? And maybe, just maybe, we need to rethink the idea of “unplugging people…” But that is a totally different conversation.

    Yes, I am a male. And never was the cause of an abortion. But the thoughts of the father should be as important as those of the “mother, carrier” whatever term you want to use. I prefer the term “mother.”

    You HAD the choice (in a consensual relationship). You could have said, “No,” or made sure that “protection” was used. To kill the result of that “choice” or “carelessness” should not result in the death of a human being. And that IS what is developing. Not just a “blob of tissue.”

    A Dutch sociologist said in the early 7-‘s, when abortion became legal in that country, that “The way we treat the beginning of life, will eventually decide how we treat the end of life…” And how right he was!

  • Kate Johnson

    When you have a factual scientific basis for claiming non viable potential people are the same as actual people, I’d be glad to discuss it. But you do not, because they are not. Public policy should be based on facts, not fantasy or unfounded opinion.

  • You are absolutely right! Thank you for sharing that.

  • Rubbish. Nonsense to justify taking life and not feeling like the monster you are.

  • P. McCoy

    Can’t reason with someone who “sees” an Aryan Gerber baby in a six week ultrasound picture. As for “protection” most men put a high premium on having unprotected sex.

  • P. McCoy

    There are good arguments for removing testicles that Women can present but you would resent them.

  • Reason doesn’t exist in this problem does it?

  • Kate Johnson

    You folks are on the same level as someone who thinks the earth is flat, or the moon landing was faked and or vaccines cause autism. Your belief that something is true is not factual evidence of anything whatsoever. You think a potential person is the same as an actual person, then prove it. Factually, scientifically. Your opinion has no meaning in the context of the making of public policy. I don’t care what you think. Only what you can demonstrate to be factually true. Public policy should be based on fact not unfounded supposition. You can call me a monster all you want. I couldn’t possibly care less about your opinion of me. I think you’re a fruitcake, so I guess we’re even.

  • If you are talking about when life begins yes we do differ. Most of the states limit the time when an abortion can performed so they disagree with you too. Those laws are in place for a reason. Public policy is based on many things other than facts like safety, education and health. It might surprise you to remember that our country believes that “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    Life is sacred in this country to all but the ignorant and self-absorbed.

  • Kate Johnson

    Safety, education and health?! Really? LOL! Alabama has one of the worst infant and maternal mortality rates in the country! Not to mention the highest rates of teen pregnancy, the highest rates of STDs. They are the last state to ever discuss safety, education or health. Alabama is one of the most unhealthy, poorest. least educated states in the US. They are practically the statistical equivalent to a third world country. I can’t imagine taking their advice on safety, education or health, since they are pretty much failing those subjects already. To make it ever more fantastic, it’s a state that takes 300%+ more from the federal coffers than it puts in. The federal taxpayers are already footing the bill for their failed policies and political theater, and yet they still have manage to have more children going to bed hungry than almost anywhere in the US, competing with Louisiana and Mississippi. That argument only reinforces your membership in the flat earth society.

  • P. McCoy

    I am open to the reasoning that Men have choices in abortion too; if Women are supposed to refrain from sex, anti abortion Men can do likewise.

  • P. McCoy

    You must remember that the Founding Fathers were Deists, not Fundamentalist Christians and Roman Catholics were rightfully held with suspicion and contempt. So your point is moot.

  • P. McCoy

    Ah, but when they are no longer the fetal idol after birth, they become moochers and the mothers are welfare cheats! Pro life is a fraud! I hope this backlash from the Pro choice crowd leads to a muzzling of religious fanatics who are abusing the Constitution in their quest to establish a theological tyrannical government in the United States!

  • Kate Johnson

    You nailed it. Forced birth, not pro life. I believe it’s all political theater anyway. They know these laws will inevitably be overturned, then they will use that as a rallying cry for four more years of the Trumpster Fire, to try to get another regressive judge on the bench in the Supreme Court. I think, however, that they are underestimating just how much this political theater, meant to placate their gullible base, has also had the effect of seriously mobilized their opposition particularly that huge base of 18-25 year olds. This power play has reminded the rational of what a serious threat these extremists are to our privacy and freedom. That if we don’t want to live in a “Handmaiden’s Tale” world, we must vote them out!

  • Andris Stanga

    As a man I have ALWAYS respected the voices and opinions of women. Always. But that respect doesn’t mean that I have to agree. The person, for instance who uploaded to this discussion the “trust women” meme actually insults the many men who have been betrayed by women (the writer here confesses infidelity after all and so admits she has betrayed the trust of the man who loves her). The fact is starkly clear and obvious: women are equally capable of lying as are men. And because there is plenty of ample evidence that women are more emotionally driven, not my research but there is plenty out there, there is additional evidence that female lies are connected to the emotions of a situation.
    That aside, let’s move to being more constructive.
    My personal disconnect from many modern feminist arguments is this: it is so self-centred with little or no regard for consequences, personal accountability, and any sympathetic understanding of counter thoughts or arguments. The result is distinctly and distressingly a non-dialogue. That is inherently non-helpful and divisive to society in general. And worst of all, it makes enemies of potential allies.
    Personal accountability is the feature that is being projected onto men by women these days – as is painfully clear in the despotic recent Gillette advert, to use one glaring example. But this goes 2 ways. Men DO expect women to deal with personal accountability also, and to be ready to face consequences for not doing so, just as men do. And, like it or not, this theme also enters into the debate about abortion – and indeed, into contraception in general.
    I am worried about the confusion used in the term ’empathy’ in this article. There is almost an absence of the word ‘sympathy’, and this is the word that I believe the author actually means in several parts of the discussion, or else it does not even make sense. For those who don’t know or understand the difference, put in over-simplistic terms it is this: empathy is the ability to feel what others feel, emotionally and/or in terms of physical pain; sympathy is the ability to be able to see something from the point of view of the other, and so to question one’s own actions. An example, the well-known story of the Good Samaritan. Seeing the attacked and near-dead person, the Samaritan felt for the physical, and most probably, also emotional distress of the victim. That is empathy. This understanding led him to do something about it. That is sympathy. Sympathy does not always lead to the ability to do something about the empathy. And empathy does not always lead to a desire to become sympathetic. You can have empathy for the emotional and/or physical situation of a person, but be totally unsympathetic to it. There can be a whole variety of reasons for that to be the case.
    Men have been arguing for some time, but almost totally being ignored or silenced, that ideological propaganda can lead women to have reduced empathy (as in not even wanting to feel or understand the emotional or physical distress of another) and be far more greatly unsympathetic. And, like it or not, to most men this is seen a unfeminine in the extreme. You can hate that assertion, but you will never be able to deny it’s truth in any way that men can have sympathy with your arguments.
    For God’s sake then, stop the unnecessary war between genders and give a voice to both sides.
    I have my own views on abortion, but I will not air them here. I think that, despite the quality and needed message of this article, my views would still be ignored simply because I am a man. And in that alone the basic problems are revealed. And in addition it reveals the desire to avoid accountability for actions, and for consequences. These are themselves factors that have lead to the drastic increase in the ‘hook-up culture’ so much so that it has become seen as the norm in non-Christian western society. And for that kind of culture to continue to exist, it is necessary to defend abortion rights. Yet in all honesty, this culture devalues women, alienates men, and destroys family. Another reason to look at this all again, and as dispassionately as possible.

  • SCUBAsabre

    Factually innaccurate drivel… the Founding Fathers were anything but Fundamentalist Christians. You need an actual history lesson not that Fundy Revisionist version you have embraced. The irony, your religious veiws can dictate your life but they cannot dictate the life of other peoples. The effort to you your personal interpretation of religion to legistlate is exactly what the founding father’s did not want. I know, you’re going to double down on your claim rather than educate yourself, it’s the way of people like you.

  • Why would people refrain from sex? People have been and will be having sex.
    The issue is abortion not sex. Abortion once rare is now habitual; a convenient birth control alternative. Society is cheering this reprehensible conduct; Planned Parenthood being the poster child. 56 million abortions annually worldwide.

    https://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/news/440KeyAbortionFactsFinal.pdf
    “On average, 56 million abortions occurred worldwide
    each year in 2010–2014. This is an increase from
    50 million annually in 1990–1994, resulting primarily
    from population growth.”

  • Nimblewill

    Are y’all the same women who circumcise your sons without giving them a choice?

  • I do not believe the Founding Fathers were Diests and that comment is sharpely disputed.
    You may not believe Life is sacred but most of us do.

    https://www.heritage.org/political-process/report/did-america-have-christian-founding

    “In 1776, every European American, with the exception of about 2,500 Jews, identified himself or herself as a Christian. Moreover, approximately 98 percent of the colonists were Protestants, with the remaining 1.9 percent being Roman Catholics.[3]”

  • P. McCoy

    Are you the same men that give your sons a choice to go to grade school?

  • P. McCoy

    Obviously not every European American helped to write the Declaration of Independence etc; Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine may have ‘identified’ as Protestants but they presented their thoughts in writing as Deists. History does bear that out.

  • P. McCoy

    Lots of life threatening pregnancies, rapes as a weapon of war etc; out there.

  • Nimblewill

    What? That don’t compute in so many areas. School is compulsory in the United States. Circumcision is not. I had my son circumcised. I chose to do it because infants can’t make choices that are best for them. Just like I chose to feed him vegetables. They also have no choice in abortion. My argument is that some of the women who believe they should have sole choice over their bodies are making choices for men and unborn children.

  • What I see is a concerted effort by Progressives to deny that this country was founded on Judeo – Christian principles. No Christianity – no sin – abortion not a problem.

  • So you are trying to justify 50 million abortions based on a relatively minisculeue number of
    exigent circumstances.
    Birth control is the main use of abortion today clothed in “women rights”.
    The reaction to this latest celebration of infanticide is to go after abortion in the courts from the Right. Hope everyopne is ready for this spectacle.

  • Danielle Kingstrom

    I submit that it all depends on what you define as “life” and also what you define as “monster”.
    (Can’t win them all).
    Thanks for you input.

  • Danielle Kingstrom

    Can’t reason with most people when we place objectivity to the side in order to empathize with the position and the protections we align ourselves with. Nietzsche demonstrates this idea brilliantly- in order to be empathetic, we must remove objectivity- which is necessary for reason. 🙂

  • Danielle Kingstrom

    I don’t agree with most of the arguments that remove bodily agency from any individual- male or female, man, woman or other.

  • Danielle Kingstrom

    Depends. Do you believe reason can be integrated with empathy? Isn’t empathy a phenomenon of subjective nature? Reason is objective, is it not? Perhaps you can expand?

  • Danielle Kingstrom

    One would have to ask: If you don’t care, why bother commenting?

  • Danielle Kingstrom

    Well, the basis of the piece wasn’t about the morality we try to attach to the procedure itself, but more so , that we should stop eliminating male voices from the conversation.
    The pursuit of happiness itself is a joke and one of the gravest aims that could have been included in the constitution. But, that’s another blog.

  • Danielle Kingstrom

    I don’t think I have ever written anything that would suggest that I believe the earth is flat. False analogy?
    The comment regarding “safety” was tongue in cheek. I guess I didn’t make that clear?
    But thanks for your contribution.

  • Danielle Kingstrom

    Thanks for your contribution.

  • Danielle Kingstrom

    I would hope that any sort of policy does NOT create a blockade for any expression of thought or belief. What a pendulum swing that would be. North Korea, anyone?

  • Danielle Kingstrom

    But in actuality, the abortion rates have decreased over the last ten years.
    To suggest it is being used as birth control is more than facetious, don’t you think? Where are the statistics that demonstrate return users of abortion? I think your contribution is solely conjecture.
    Not many people cheer for abortion. The voices that are, well, they are just amplified from extreme points of view, but I don’t believe it’s the norm to praise abortion.

  • Danielle Kingstrom

    Are you assuming all women are the same?

  • Nimblewill

    No Ma’am, just the ones who believe that stopping the beating of a flesh and blood heart is birth control……………….and even then there will be some differences.

  • Nimblewill

    I’d love to hear them! I won’t resent anything that is good.

  • Danielle Kingstrom

    This piece is about giving men the space to speak, it has nothing to do with what founding principles one alleges our country was formed on.

  • Kate Johnson

    I said I couldn’t possibly care less of Bob’s opinion of me, especially since he’s an obvious fruitcake and a well established blabber of baseless propaganda on this site. I care about the topic. Rational people must push back this against this fabricated nonsense, that non viable potential people are the same as actual people, which lacks any valid scientific basis in fact, and is clearly motivated by a desire for power and control over women’s bodies, reminiscent of the mindset of a rapist. This kind of ridiculous legislation, has vividly reminded the rational, just how profoundly dangerous these religious extremist are to our privacy and freedom. Most of us have no intention of being silent while our freedoms are trampled under their feet. We will fight for women’s personal physical autonomy and medical privacy with the same furor the other side fights to suppress it and control us. They use their supposed passion for the welfare of children as an excuse for the assault on our freedom and privacy, yet the statistics in their states, the number of children living in food insecure poverty, belies that passion and reveals this for what it’s truly about, a certain segment of the population wanting to control women. I don’t think this is a men vs women thing. I think it’s rational vs irrational thing.

  • Danielle Kingstrom

    How many pro-choice women have you actually sat down with, face-o-face, and held a discussion with?

  • Danielle Kingstrom

    Thank you for clarifying. I appreciate your contribution and your point of view.

  • Kate Johnson

    So sorry Danielle, I was replying to Bob, not your excellent article.

  • Nimblewill

    A couple. One argued that it should be a crime to cut down 200 year old trees but abortion should be legal. Fact of the matter is that pro-abortion women are rare in these parts

  • Danielle Kingstrom

    Perhaps they are rare in your parts. But perhaps, they are also just not as vocal around others who hey assume will only cut them down and refuse to consider their point of view .
    I recall many times in my life where I had opportunity to contradict the views of pro-life individuals simply because I didn’t want to invest the energy in arguing without the potential of understanding and compassion.
    We live in a society where insta-reactions trump reflective responses. Could it be that the influence of such “norms” just serves as another justification for why one side doesn’t bother with the other?

  • If as the dictionary says, reason is “the power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic”, then our mind should be able to comprehend the nature of a feutus. Empathy is a subjective feeling that is missing from one side of this discussion.

    So armed with reason and empathy let’s pretend we are totally naieve about life and are in the hospital delivery room watching a few babies being delivered over the course of a day. We see the women with a big bellies lying on the table and later the babies emerging and then the bellies go down and the babies are separated and start crying. Reason will tell us that if we go into the woman before the baby emerges and cut its spinal cord it will not cry when it comes out because it will be dead. That is what reason has to stay. Empathy will say don’t do it. That baby is a life. You cannot extinguish it. Progressives say empathy for the mother demands the life of the child be extinguished. Progressives elevate misplaced empathy over reason. That is where we are at…

  • As to the point about men, it may be that because many of the men are not available to provide thier input when the time comes, they have become irrelevant. Married couples no doubt discuss pregancy before abortion is acted on.

    But current thought seems to be that a woman has rights and they trump everything. By casting the issue around women’s rights it avoids all the nasty complications: she either does or does not want the child.

    I would simply say most women realize that pregnancy is very serious and takes steps either way.

    Why do you say the pursuit of happiness is a joke. Please expand.

  • I would say it is not at all certain that abortion rates have decreased over the last 10 years. Even if so the gross number of abortions annually is such a large number that most on my side of the debate wonder how the civilized world can rationalize it.

    But I would say even among happily married couples abortion is an option for unplanned pregnancies. I personally know married women who admit to having several abortions over their married life. Some stopped when confronted with the issue as it now parades itself in the media on a daily basis; some did not.

    Regardless of the stance, abortion is evil. It is cloaked in words like “rights” and “protoplasm” but it is still evil.

  • Danielle Kingstrom

    Well, from *your* perspective, that is where “we” are at.
    From what I am understanding, it seems like you want to both place blame and demonize the Other while at the same time, failing to tell me what you are doing individually to help encourage women to choose a different option.
    Reason would suggest that if you did care about this issue, you would act in accordance with your values and find some method to prevent further abortions. You could utilize empathy to do so.
    But your passion suggests that you merely want to voice an opinion about it and then wash your hands of it, because at least you don’t support such an idea.
    Further, I think ALL people are capable of misplacing empathy- perhaps manipulating it and pushing into hyper-empathy. I don’t for one moment consider it to be solely a Progressive phenomenon. I don’t think there is a person alive who can escape the possibility of at one time or another, allowing their reason to become slaves to passion.

  • Danielle Kingstrom

    Your first statement:
    “As to the point about men, it may be that because many of the men are not available to provide thier input when the time comes, they have become irrelevant. Married couples no doubt discuss pregancy before abortion is acted on.”
    To me, although I may be reading into it; sounds like you have a predisposed description of the “typical woman seeking abortion”.
    “They have become irrelevant.” This sounds like conjecture. What if the men create the feelings of irrelevancy by abandoning the woman when she informs him that she is with child? The image I receive from your statement is that women merely trot around and have sex with whomever, taking no precautionary methods; and then suddenly just act on some impulse to abort.

    Married couples also, no doubt, discuss abortion before pregnancy is acted upon as well.

    The pursuit of happiness is displaced. Happiness isn’t something you achieve, own, or earn. It is just a feeling one experiences once in awhile and desires to repeat it. It’s as much of a fallacy to chase after happiness as it is to chase after love.
    You cannot own it, hold it, capture it, buy it or force it. It just is, in a present moment, a phenomenon that takes place.
    But, I should reserve my articulation on this topic for another blog…

    Despite the disagreement, I must say, I have rather enjoyed this dialogue.

  • P. McCoy

    Diseases and habitual rape?

  • P. McCoy

    Unborn children is an emotional, unscientific term; fetuses, zygotes, embryos etc; have no sentience thus the Woman has the last say. With Men, anti abortion men more than a few who rant about having to pay Child support after birth simply can choose NOT to have sex with females. Other than that, the Woman gets to decide.

  • P. McCoy

    Hearts beats does not denote sentience nor personhood.

  • There is no 100% effective birth control. Just because it fails should not mean a woman should be forced to risk her life for something she does not want. And just because you have some distorted views on when life actually starts does not give you the right to demand others follow your distorted beliefs.

    I note you have no answer for the lack of conscious thought being one of the main reasons for people pulling life support for brain dead humans who actually were born and actually lived, other than a dismissive “maybe we need to rethink” it. No, we should not. NO ONE would want to be a vegetable. Period. And the simple fact is that an embryo, and most of the fetus’ existence, has absolutely no more conscious thought than an amoeba – in other words, none.

    Bans on abortion do not stop abortions. They only stop a woman’s ability to have a safe abortion. Bans kill women. Why is it okay to kill a woman to save what is, for most of its existence, unable to survive on it’s own? Because that is fact, abortion bans only ban SAFE abortions.

    Find a medical worker of any kind (doctor, nurse, even coroner) who worked during the time before safe, legal abortions were available, and ask them about the cases of sterility, severe injury, bleeding to death, or death by sepsis due to infection caused by the hanger, knitting needle, or other foreign object used in one of those hidden, unregulated abortions. You would rapidly understand WHY we need safe, legal abortions.

  • Nimblewill

    There is a deep, deep philosophical difference between the way we think. I’m not sure it can be overcome by conversations P. McCoy notes below “Hearts beats does not denote sentience nor personhood.” I believe that a heart beat denotes life. Change my mind. I don’t think it makes you an evil person. I really don’t . As a Christian I don’t think it condemns you to hell. I believe with all my heart that God loves you as much as he does me. His love is not based on our individual philosophies. I’m a screwed-up walking contradiction and need new mercy every day.

  • Nimblewill

    We agree!

  • Conservative views differ from Progressive views to be sure. Conservatives live in reality and deal with it; Progressives live in fantasy land and emote constantly: Weather or dying earth for example? Education or indoctrination of our children. Child rearing or child destruction, etc.

  • Nimblewill

    What does? Do you have scientific evidence for what does? When does it occur? When does a person cease to be a person? This is just as important a question as “when does a person become a person.”

  • Danielle Kingstrom

    Conservatism is a preservation of the past, of the status quo. Jesus was about smashing through the status quo. Conservatives live in the past. There is no reality with conservative thought. Progressives live in the now and look toward the future.

  • Danielle Kingstrom

    I am certainly glad you don’t think I am going to be condemned to hell- a place that I do not believe even exists except for in the mind.
    I cannot change your mind or anyone else’s, however. Repentance- “changing of the mind” (metanoia) is for the self.
    I can only offer my own experience and perspective so that it will influence you to think. But, it is not my responsibility to change any one else’s mind. I am not God nor am I trying to control anyone (another thing God won’t do). Only YOU can change your mind.
    A heart can beat with no brain activity- that to me does not represent a viable life.

  • Kate Johnson

    LOL! That’s truly hilarious Bob. Regressives are the realists? The ones who deny science and think the earth is six thousand years old! LOL! You really are hoot! If your purpose in coming to Patheos, a progressive journal, to spew your idiocy and baseless propaganda, is to reinforce the view that many progressives have, that you folks are beyond clueless, are very dangerous to our freedom and privacy, that you hate democracy and want to turn it in to a theocracy like the Spanish Inquisition, that you all are deeply misogynistic and want to control women and make them the second class citizens you already believe they are, then congratulations, well done! You are certainly succeeding at that.

  • Dr Paul

    This article was one of the few that seems to take a balanced view of the topic of abortion. As a sociologist I note this topic brings out the extremes. With ever issues there is ALWAYS two sides. Going into such a discussion as Abortion one must be prepared to admit there is a second side. If not there is little value in any dialog.

  • Conservatives do not think the earth is 6000 years old – perhaps some fundamentalists do.
    There is a difference between science deniers and fake science – guess which side you are on?
    Progressives deny the First Amendment – you just did in spades. That is the danger and why you must never, ever gain power in this country.

  • Kate Johnson

    96% of all climates scientist are wrong, sure, exactly what we’ve come to expect. Do you even know what the First Amendment is? Here’s the text “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Progressives cannot deny your First Amendment rights, unless they are in the government and are making laws preventing you from speaking or following your faith. It does not mean you get to force everyone else to do it your way or agree with you. All I told you that what you are saying, and are certainly free to say, is only verifying for progressives their low opinion of regressives. Your mischaracterization, or perhaps misunderstanding of the First Amendment is a great example of why. You are free to say whatever you want, no one is stopping you. No one is suggesting that you be jailed for what your saying. Only that I really don’t understand your objective in coming here. It’s not like your propaganda and name calling is going to change anyone’s mind. Do you just like to hear yourself talk? Is that it? Or do you just want to be a horrible witness for what you claim to believe, to drive even more people away from God, because they are under the misguided notion that he looks like people like you?

  • Nimblewill

    There would never be brain activity if that heart didn’t beat! That is the purpose for abortions. If you stop the heart beat you stop the brain activity.

    His kindness leads me to repentance.

  • Fair enough. I take your points at face value.

  • Do you have any proof that 96% of climate scientists agree with Climate Change. You don’t because that is not true.
    We understand the First Amendment and the reasons you wish to limit it.
    I come here because I can – why do I need to explain that to you?