Sunday, February 14, 2010


I snarl about Reclusive Leftist quite often but today she’s hit one out of the park. She’s discussing feminism, Sarah Palin, liberalism, and polar bears. Go, read “The Unresolvable Paradox”.


Anonymous said...

Just read the comments to the Reclusive Leftist post. Amazing. There really are people who believe you can't be both feminist and anti-abortion.

But you're right - the post itself is good stuff.


Paul Brinkley said...

Indeed. I just reloaded it tonight. Great post, and a nice long string of great comments as well. Some courtesy of Texan99, I see. Very bookmark-worthy.

In fact, if you're still reading this Texan99 - thanks for posting there. You're making some deep points, and making them well.

Now quit signing your comments here and go ahead and log in! Ha.

Elise said...

I just skimmed through the comments at the RL post; usually I ignore them because after a few good fights over there, I decided that not only was I not persuading anyone, just reading the comments was very bad for my blood pressure.

Just for the record, though, Texan99, Dr. Socks is being less than straightforward when she insists the only commenter she's calling "stupid" is you. Unless, of course, by "you" she means: commenters who do not share her view of what feminism is, what abortion is, and what oppression is. At least no one called you a baby torturer.

I think Dr. Socks tends to assume beliefs come in sets when they don't necessarily do so. Hence her lecture to you on how prostitutes aren't criminals. Because you believed one thing - that prostitution could be a victimless crime - she assumed you believed other things - like the bad woman idea. It's an unfortunate limitation on a blogger I admire very much in many ways.

I wish I had half your clarity of thought and expression, T99, not to mention your patience and unflagging even temper. Your thoughts on the problem of oppression express so clearly what I've tried to say and which I can only express rather clumsily as: women need to learn - and need to teach their daughters - to stand up for themselves rather than waiting for men and "the system" to stop oppressing us.

As for the issues, I do believe it's possible to be both feminist and anti-abortion. Heck, I even believe it's possible to be both feminist and anti-birth control.

Anonymous said...

Texan99 (not Anonymous) said:

Why, thank you both. I was prepared to hang in there and argue further, but Violet decided I was so "stupid" it was necessary to ban me! My subsequent posts just bounced off. I think I hit a big, big nerve.

The last thing I tried to post was that I was sorry I was stupid, and that I hoped to grow in intelligence to the point where Violet might find it in herself to be civil to me. I think that did it for her, and I might have well have held the snark.

But wasn't that last rant about how it drives her up the F**KING WALL to listen to people who think it's about the BAY-BEE awfully revealing? Mention the BAY-BEE, and tempers will be lost. It's intolerably painful to allow any such thought to intrude. Instead, we have to focus our entire attention on the plight of a Nicaraguan woman chained to a bed and forcibly raped by her husband and made to function as a brood mare. Now, this is an unlikely and distant object of our concern, but it does serve to distract us from the painful picture of potentially human contents of the womb right here in our backyard. If only we could save the Nicaraguan woman without committing abortions on our own bodies right here at home! Oh, wait, we can -- because one situation has virtually nothing to do with the other.

Anyway, I think it's important to remind people, often, that the dividing line between pro- and anti-abortion people is not how much they care about women, but how they view the humanity of the fetus, or lack thereof. Because for me it would make more sense to say abortion is simply a choice, if the fetus got a vote.

Sorry about posting under "Anonymous." I'm a troglodyte, and though I've signed up for a name twice, I can never seem to make it work. But I'll drag myself in the 21st Century and try again.

Texan99 said...

Hey! It took half an hour and three different email addresses, but I made it work!

Paul Brinkley said...


After hearing you got banned from there - assuming that indeed happened, and it wasn't some blog feature screwiness - egad. At one point, I was ready to publicly laud Dr. Socks for being one of those few souls choosing to separate the stuff from the stuff, able to admire some things about people they otherwise disagree with, even vehemently. And then she bans an exemplar of that? Seriously? She just undermined her entire point.

And even if she didn't ban you, she just looked at a commenter playing the role of fly in the ointment of an otherwise good thread, and called her stupid. And you were never even rude, let alone trolling. Unbelievable. She just strengthened one of the stereotypes of liberals I have, that I really didn't want to believe.

Texan99 said...

It's possible that she simply closed comments on that thread, but I tried posting something innocuous on another thread, and that bounced off, too.

I agree with you, I don't think Violet did her position any good by losing her temper. I have a neighbor here who believes firmly in abortion. She manages to do it without getting upset with my views. Essentially, for her, it's a kind of euthanasia: She'd rather see the pregnancy terminated than the baby be born unwanted. She's not entirely sure whether the fetus is a person or not, but it doesn't make that much difference to her, given how she views the situation. It's a principled position, not one I agree with, but one that doesn't require hysterical denial in order to be tenable.

It's also very possible, of course, simply to believe fetuses are not people, especially early in pregnancy. It's also possible to believe that fetuses are people, but not as important as adult women. Where a continued pregnancy will endanger the mother's life, I don't even disagree. The less likely the fetus is to survive to birth, and the more serious the danger posed to the mother, the less problem I have with abortion.

So it's really possible to discuss this issue with me without either of us losing all control. Violet did surprise and disappoint me. The business about husbands as rapists made me think she was living up to a caricature of the leftist feminist as irrational man-hater. Since I used to think of myself as a leftist feminist, and since I remain a rather extreme form of feminist even today, it's very strange to see the direction that school of thought is taking. I don't like to see feminists exposing themselves to ridicule. It doesn't help our cause.