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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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150 Responses

  1. JeremiahB
    JeremiahB April 12, 2006 at 11:58 pm |

    HAH! Anti-choicers consider themselves passionate. They’re only passion is acting crazy.

    If anti-choicers were pro-passion they wouldn’t be anti-sextoys (Missouri).

    I saw these people on Frontline, they’re not right in the head.

  2. another lynne
    another lynne April 13, 2006 at 12:14 am |

    Everytime I read this stuff I get caught. Because honestly, a part of me looks at these folks and thinks “what’s the point?” But then they go beyond the realm of crazy talk about sex into the realm of true bughouse nuttery into talking about the evils of kissing….and honestly, short of holding kiss-ins (hmm…interesting idea) I’m not sure what we can do

  3. Sierra
    Sierra April 13, 2006 at 1:30 am |

    Someone should have brought up the fact that many women ovulate multiple times in their cycle, and many more develop follicles that are reabsorbed, but that prevent the same physiological changes as actual ovulation.

    But yea, yeesh. Anti-sex nuts are frightening.

  4. Sierra
    Sierra April 13, 2006 at 1:30 am |

    Present, rather.

  5. ilyka
    ilyka April 13, 2006 at 2:29 am |

    Birth is the most natural thing a woman can do.

    No, actually, that would be dying. In fact, that’s the most natural thing any human being can do. And nature always knows best, which is why there’s such overlap between environmental protection groups and Dawn’s commenters, am I right?

  6. jenofiniquity
    jenofiniquity April 13, 2006 at 3:06 am |

    I could really go the rest of my life without hearing the vile coinage “contracepting” ever again. If a couple “uses contraceptives,” it suggests that contraception is a tool for them. It’s peripheral to their identity as a couple since they can start and stop as needed. Calling them a “contracepting couple” shifts the focus away from the utility of contraception and frames it as a lifestyle choice, and one that can be used to define them. Of course, that’s what Dawn Eden and her weirdo acolytes want, so I like Jill’s use of scare quotes.

  7. Deep Thought
    Deep Thought April 13, 2006 at 5:55 am |

    Listen, folks, the basic impulses behind opposition to contraception are usually good ones. They range from a desire for an ‘all-natural’ lifestyle (i.e., my friendsG and W – liberal atheist Manhattanite arts folk who eat organic vegetables, hormone-free beef, and use NFP) to couples that believe that the use of contraception indicates a critical ‘reserve of emotion’ to devout Catholics that have moral and religious objections to contraception.

    If people who oppose contraception are so innately “anti-sex”, why do devout Catholics have so many kids? Survey after survey show that devout Catholic women are no different than the mainstream in that in their 50′s the majority of them state that they wanted 1-2 more children than they actually had (statistically). Devout Catholics and Orthodox Jews (who sahre similar outlooks on contraception and sexuality) also survey as very satisfied with their sex lives and often have a higher average frequency of intercourse with their spouses overall.

    Just because they don’t like the way *you* have sex doesn’t mean they are *anti* sex.

  8. Ledasmom
    Ledasmom April 13, 2006 at 6:07 am |

    Well, if they don’t want to be seen as anti-sex they can damned well stop referring to sexual pleasure as nothing but an adjunct to reproduction, now can’t they?
    Also, they can stop pretending they know sweet Fanny Adams about my sex life with my husband, ’cause this bed is not big enough for them to be hiding there without me noticing.

  9. Michelle
    Michelle April 13, 2006 at 6:39 am |

    I like being a sterile fembot.

  10. Dianne
    Dianne April 13, 2006 at 6:47 am |

    Survey after survey show that devout Catholic women are no different than the mainstream in that in their 50’s the majority of them state that they wanted 1-2 more children than they actually had (statistically).

    Interesting. I’d like to know more. Can you give a source for one or two of the surveys you reference?

  11. Justin K.
    Justin K. April 13, 2006 at 6:57 am |

    Deep Thought, no, it’s not the choices these people make in their personal lives that make them antisex (I know people who practice NFP, and they’re friends of mine). It’s the eagerness to condemn any sexual practice they don’t practice themselves, and use coercion and state power to impose their narrow view of sexuality on the rest of us. My girlfriend and I use contraception (like over 90% of Americans) and we love each other very much. We don’t go around lobbying the gov’t to make the pill mandatory.

  12. Deep Thought
    Deep Thought April 13, 2006 at 7:15 am |

    Ledasmom,
    Well, they *are* evangelizing a bit by trying to promote what they believe to others. I’ve always thought the argument that those who oppose ABC should use is “You think the sex is good now? Wait ’til you try it *our* way!!” Much more in line with how they actually think. Also, some do argue that, ultimately, sexual pleasure is an adjunct to reproduction. Mainly the non-religious, really, but from many of the various anti-ABC camps.

    Dianne,
    Please refer to the surveys conducted by the sociologist Andrew Greeley. And not to blogflog *too* badly, but my own blog (link above) has a mind-numbing array of links to these and other fertility-related studies. I can forward links to specific articles if you are interested.

    Justin K.,
    Although there are some in the anti-ABC groups who want to ban all ABC, they are far from a majority. Most just disapprove of its use, want people to know they are missing out, and move along.
    That being said, there are some who think that the pill in inherently dangerous and want to have it banned or heavily modified. They are much the same as those who think that some vaccines can cause serious reactions or death and want them banned/modified. Again, they are working from a viewpoint that they are concerned about an unsafe drug, not opposition to sexuality. Since these two groups exist within the same, larger, community and there is some overlap between the ‘pill is toxic’ and ‘pill is immoral’ crowds, it is easy to lump them together.
    Again, the vast majority of anti-ABC folks want to improve the quality of life for others. As one friend of mine put it “I have a neighbor who spends a fortune on hormone-free beef – and takes the pill every morning. What the Hell?: and a Catholic priest I know (wait, wait – he’s Syriac Rite, so he’s married with 5 kids) compares couple who use ABC with couple that only use the missionary position; “there’s nothing wrong with that, but, well,,,”
    The real problem with the anti-ABC groups is that, like many such groups, the least articulate seem to be the loudest.

  13. Stephen
    Stephen April 13, 2006 at 8:07 am |

    Mr Thought, I think you need to know that most of us in the “pro-birth control” crowd (I can’t believe that even exists) don’t care what other people do. If people don’t want to use birth control that’s fine, I don’t care what they do in their own beds. But when they start to tell me what I should do that is when the problem starts. Further, when they decide that laws should be changed and curriculums altered to match what they think is the only way, that is the problem. Your friends who evidentaly don’t care to change the law are fine. Those that want to make everyone else do what they do, that’s where the problem starts.

  14. evil_fizz
    evil_fizz April 13, 2006 at 8:20 am |

    They range from a desire for an ‘all-natural’ lifestyle

    I am so fucking tired of abuse of the word “natural.” Nightshade is natural. So is cholera, syphilis, and Tay-Sachs. Earthquakes, hurricanes, and tsunamis? Check! Bear maulings, shark attacks! All natural, too.

    Part of this asinine argument against contraception is that it somehow violates the natural order. The natural order is that we’re born, we might reproduce, and then we die. That’s about it. The natural argument is simultaneously an appeal to tradition and an utter failure to define terms meaningfully. Anyone who uses the word “natural” to define the propriety of a choice loses all respect from me.

    Rant concluded.

  15. another lynne
    another lynne April 13, 2006 at 8:37 am |

    Actually, it seems to me that an “all-natural” life style would include doing things which prolong our lives and make us better able to care for our offspring. Which means (in part) controlling the number of pregnancies.

  16. Lauren
    Lauren April 13, 2006 at 8:46 am |

    Did somebody break the template, or is it just me (being forced to use IE for the first time in at least six months — stupid browser)?

  17. Lauren
    Lauren April 13, 2006 at 8:47 am |

    BTW, I still love Ilyka. Also, new crush on evil fizz.

  18. Marian
    Marian April 13, 2006 at 9:07 am |

    I think I tried reasoning with one of those this one time, by giving my Dunkin Donuts analogy. I like donuts. I think they taste great and are fun to eat. However, if I go out for donuts every day, that will add up not only in cost, but in my health as well.

    Thus, I only go to Dunkin every couple of months, if that. Lately not at all, due to my high cholesterol. But I have eaten them in the past, and don’t regret the experience.

    By their logic, this means that I must not like donuts, at all? I mean they believe that not having children yet, or not wanting more after you’ve had a certain number, means you don’t like children, at all, or that you consider them a “mistake.”

    To me, telling ANY parent that they don’t value the children they do have, is beyond cruel. By their logic, Andrea Yates valued her children more than my mom, because she had 5 and my mom had 2.

  19. evil_fizz
    evil_fizz April 13, 2006 at 9:08 am |

    Aw, Lauren. *blushes*

  20. Marian
    Marian April 13, 2006 at 9:10 am |

    Oh and the response when I used this reasoning was, “I still think contracepting couples view children as a burden not a blessing.” Blech.

  21. Jivin J
    Jivin J April 13, 2006 at 9:18 am |

    Hi Jill,
    I agree with much of what you said in Dawn’s comments. I too have a difficulty understanding how one form of preventing conception (NFP) is good and moral while other forms (condoms, pill, etc.) are bad and unhealthy.

    But I think you take it too far in this post. Some prolife people also happen to be big into NFP and advocate NFP and are against contraception (though I’m not sure they’d make it illegal) but your post seems to argue that this position (which is held, I’d guess, by a small minority of prolifers) is the standard for prolifers.

    That’s like one arguing that all pro-choice people never want to have children because a small portion of people who are pro-choice are also advocates of the child free lifestyle.

    You’ve unfortunately taken the mindset of a small portion of prolifers with the intention of defaming anyone who against abortion and turned what could have been an honest discussion into a laughable and delusional (OMG! The anti-choicers are going to take away my condoms!) post.

    I mean, do you honestly think that all the proponents of NFP want to make their lifestyles into public policy for everyone? Are you that paranoid to think that contraceptives could be banned? I don’t think I could name a single politician on the national scene that would advocate making contraceptives illegal.

    Could you please share with us the names of people with “quite a bit of political power right now” who want to ban contraceptives?

  22. Tanooki Joe
    Tanooki Joe April 13, 2006 at 9:27 am |

    Of course, the corollary of Dawn’s logic is that the infertile can never be loved.

    Remember, it’s only love if you’re playing pregnancy roulette.

  23. five blue
    five blue April 13, 2006 at 9:28 am |

    it’s a separate point, but it seems to me to be very logical and smart at this point to decrease our rate of expansion as a species. it’s not about hating kids or not wanting to make room for them, but about the fact that we as a species have gone way too far, have broken the social contract and are killing plants and animals faster than is, well, natural. so the natural thing to do (and i use this overused word voluntarily: anti-choicers claim they are on nature’s side, right?) seems to me to limit our reproduction until we reach some balance again (which is probably not possible anyway, but let’s try!). so when people say that *i* need to stop using any form of birth control (or, since they’re nice enough to give me *that* choice, stop having sex!), i see it as an invitation to a species-wide suicide. and i choose not to take part. oh, i know i’ll be part if the suicide anyway, but i choose not to hasten it by my own actions.

  24. Tuomas
    Tuomas April 13, 2006 at 9:34 am |

    Hmm, evil_fizz already took down the naturalistic fallacy in the anti-contraceptive groups position quite nicely. Odd to agree for a while.

    I’m still a bit astounded that such people are for real. I guess I’ve led a sheltered life, at least in that aspect.

  25. Marian
    Marian April 13, 2006 at 9:41 am |

    Remember, it’s only love if you’re playing pregnancy roulette.

    Isn’t their logic dangerously close to the “Get pregnant or impregnate someone just to trap your partner” philosophy? If marriages are held together only because there’s always a risk of pregnancy, then what is the difference between that and a teen who throws her pills away because she believes a pregnancy will make her boyfriend commit? kwim?

  26. zuzu
    zuzu April 13, 2006 at 9:46 am | *

    Just because they don’t like the way *you* have sex doesn’t mean they are *anti* sex.

    Oh, no. If someone is going to play the “sex for me but not for thee” game, then they’re anti-sex. And controlling. Because God knows that we can’t have other people having more fun than we are.

    Dawn Eden gives me a headache. Isn’t she single? Doesn’t that mean she should be a virgin, by her own rules?

    And seriously, what’s with this idea that the only “real” sex there is involves penile-vaginal penetration? I had some mind-blowing sex a couple weeks ago that did not involve a penis at all. Oh, there was a penis in the room, but the fact that it was not deployed on this occasion did not mean that its owner and I were not having sex.

    But Dawn seems to be a little fuzzy on the concept of the clitoris.

  27. five blue
    five blue April 13, 2006 at 9:56 am |

    understood (thanks for the link – i’m new here, i may be talking out of my ass, and i’ll appreciate anyone who tells me so! (well, in a nice way, ya know?)). in this case it’s not about one thing being more “natural” than another, but about survival. i’m sure having five kids can be great (etc.), but if the planet itself can’t support our population (and the way it is living), shouldn’t instinct kick in? i think maybe it has, and it’s being seen in the increasing number (seems to me – is it true? where can i find out?) of people who choose not to have children. i’ve never understood why they aren’t praised for their rationality (since collective blaming of “bad” parents is so rampant, i’d expect the reversed equivalent for people who are able to assess that they should not, will not or do not want to have children – i’d posit that *they* are thinking about the children!)

    oh, and to get back to the quoted text, her body will be fine? her body? arrrgh! what about HER? i’m choking on rage here!

  28. Marian
    Marian April 13, 2006 at 10:15 am |

    i’m sure having five kids can be great (etc.), but if the planet itself can’t support our population (and the way it is living), shouldn’t instinct kick in?

    Dawn is of the ilk who believe that every person living in Manhattan could have 10 kids and be just fine; it’s just that we are all materialistic and busy aborting all our pregancies. I posted anonymously about that once on there and was told to “grow my own food.” Also, the girl didn’t believe me that I paid $50/week in groceries when I lived in the city. She said I was either lying or shopping at the wrong places. Where was she from? The South! :eyeroll:

    right, you don’t live here, but you know exactly what it is like to live here!

    I’ve tried the population and cost-of-living arguments with these types too; they don’t accept. We’re just selfish and anti-child for living in the Northeast to begin with. You could as easily move to rural Alabama and buy a house for $40k–if you don’t want to or your job wouldn’t have a transfer there–you’re selfish and anti-family.

    And we must be spending so much on our lavish lifestyles that we just don’t care about anyone else (I’d LOVE for them to visit my “lavish” 1-bedroom, 1950′s apartment in Jersey with no couch, a futon to sleep on, and a folding table, and then say that to me).

    Oh and in 1920, everyone lived with a huge family in a tenement hall when they immigrated to NY, so why not go back to those days?

  29. Kim
    Kim April 13, 2006 at 10:25 am |

    Amen, Five Blue! I’ve always said that I’m already a better parent than a lot of other people… because I realize that no child should ever have to suffer the injustice of having me for a mother. Besides, I don’t know that my genes are so fabulous as to bear repeating. (And I’m certainly bitchy enough to think of some people whose genes definitely should have been asked to exit the pool.)

  30. Marian
    Marian April 13, 2006 at 10:32 am |

    You guys seen this?

    Yes, all of us who haven’t had kids yet to trap our men are headed for splitsville, all because of that condom or pill. That is exactly what breaks up all Hollywood marriages. I suppose Angelina got pregnant to keep Brad around then?

  31. five blue
    five blue April 13, 2006 at 10:33 am |

    hold on – they could have 10 kids and THEIR BODIES would be just fine ;-)

    what i can’t get over (maybe i’m slow… and this applies to most debates on any rights issue) is how there can be a debate where one side says “we know what’s best for everyone – and here it is, like it or not” and the other one says “what we think is best is for everyone to make their own choices as to what is right for themselves”. it might just be the way my brain is wired, but to me it seems obvious that no option is simply “good” or “bad” but that these are moral – and therefore individual – judgements we make… i guess i just don’t get why anyone would want to impose their views on anyone else – that tells you how unsuited i am to live in society!

  32. Dianne
    Dianne April 13, 2006 at 10:33 am |

    BTW: What’s all this babble about “natural” from people using the internet? Nothing about using the internet, from using written language to sending packet data is in any way “natural”. So if acting in “unnatural” ways makes you less lovable, then you’d better stop NOW while you’re still at least tolerable. (Fortunately for me, I’m quite happy to undertake all sorts of unnatural behaviors* and still be quite lovable so I can still use the internet.)

    * My what dirty minds you have…I was thinking of unnatural behaviors like reading and riding the subway. Not those disgusting things crossing your minds…well, not at work anyway;-)

  33. Deep Thought
    Deep Thought April 13, 2006 at 10:43 am |

    Stephen,
    Please call me Deep; Mr. Thought is my father. Come on, all sorts of people try to ‘coerce’ others every day, probably even you. Want condom education in public school? Well, you are trying to ‘impose your values on others’ (namely Catholics) aren’t you? Most ever’body advocates *something* for the common good, after all. That is a part of the market of ideas. Laws and curriculums were changed (by court order, not legislation) less than a century ago to allow ABC to be even *mentioned* in this country, after all, and a whole lotta’ people didn’t like it at all. Your quote is eerily akin to things like “I don’t mind them queers at all, as long as they keep it to themselves”.

    evil_fizz,
    Don’t be disingenuous. People who object to synthetic hormones in their beef probably should also logically reject synthetic hormones in their own bodies, right?

    Marian,
    Uh, you were just reinforcing their conceptualization of *you* as someone who views children not as people with an inherent, immutable worth, but as commodities which have a value inversely proportional to their perceived negative impact on your lifestyle. To “us” (broad, weeping generalization alert!) children aren’t begotten for the pleasure they bring us, they are begotten for the very purpose of being, independent of their utility to ourselves (don’t get me wrong, their utility is high, and we gain great pleasure from them). As my friend G., mentioned above, once told me “I don’t paint for the pleasure the painting will bring me; I paint because I must. The fact that I also love the paintings is a bonus”.
    (Forgive me for my clumsiness with these ideas, I am very much toward the periphery of apologetics for this).
    Also, pregnancy (even intercourse) is seen as only being acceptable within an existing, stable marriage. Thus, the concept of “trapping” someone with pregnancy is pretty foreign to these folks (in general). Besides, NFP requires a great deal of cooperation between partners.

    Jill,
    Emergency Contraception is largely seen as an abortion issue by those who oppose it, not ABC. You know this and have mentioned it before yourself.

    Tanooki Joe,
    Yes, some feel that the infertile are missing out on something, but that something is the joy of children. Remember, the anti-ABC crowd does not generally feel that the users of ABC don’t love each other, they feel that the use of ABC lessens or hinders the emotional attachment. Again, its no so much “you don’t love each other”, its “you could love each other *even more* if only…”.

    five blue,
    I invite you to visit my blog to read a bit about population (which *is* fairly boring, but important).

    Tuomas,
    There are 1.1 billion Catholics, and you never heard of opposition to artificial birth control?

    zuzu,
    Where is this “sex for me but not for thee” stuff coming from??! Seriously, that comment thread has several comments from people who oppose ABC insisting that giving up contraceptives does *not* mean giving up sex; one or two of those same posts insist that the sex will get *better* (even if that sentiment is stated indirectly).

  34. Marian
    Marian April 13, 2006 at 10:46 am |

    Deep:

    Uh, you were just reinforcing their conceptualization of *you* as someone who views children not as people with an inherent, immutable worth, but as commodities which have a value inversely proportional to their perceived negative impact on your lifestyle.

    I’m glad you know me so well, better than I know myself! Will that still apply to me when I start trying to get pregnant in a couple months? Will I then get credit for viewing children as people? Pwweese?

  35. Chet
    Chet April 13, 2006 at 10:52 am |

    Part of this asinine argument against contraception is that it somehow violates the natural order.

    Totally. You know, when one takes the trouble to examine the mechanism of human pregnancy and contraception, one sees a lot of biological reality that doesn’t jive with the idea of conception as the “natural” purpose of sex.

    The vagina is not a welcoming environment for sperm; in fact its Ph is quite hostile. Unlike any other animal species, humans (and other great apes) have few if any clearly recognizable signals of ovulation (a phenomenon called “cryptic ovulation”). The cell membrane sperm must penetrate to combine with an oocyte is so thick that sperm rarely succeed at all. It’s been estimated that, among couples using no form of birth control, less than 1 in 500 acts of penetrative intercourse will result in pregnancy.

    It’s so hard to get pregnant, and a lot of that seems to be the result of specific defenses against pregnancy in the woman’s body. Clearly we evolved to have a significant amount of sex without resulting in a unsupportable number of offspring (but also without resulting in no children at all). So preventing pregnancy hardly seems “natural”; it seems like the prevention of pregnancy is so natural that a woman’s body does it automatically to a great extent. This would tend to favor a hypothesis that the purpose of sex in humans is for pair-bonding or some other social relationship.

  36. Marian
    Marian April 13, 2006 at 10:52 am |

    Also considering the low percentage of people who have babies within 9 months of their weddings, there must be an awful lot of people who don’t think children are human. I”m curious why I get criticized for not having a large family yet, considering I got married less than 2 years ago?

  37. Kyra
    Kyra April 13, 2006 at 10:53 am |

    Non-contracepting couples love all of each other. Contracepting couples say to each other, “I love this part of you (your body) but not this part (your reproductive capability and life-giving purpose).”

    Couples who go into the bathroom and pass waste into the toilet and make sure to clean themselves off before having sex, are saying to each other, “I love this part of you (your body) but not his part (your urinary and excretory systems).”

    Couples who treat diseases like cancer or heart disease say “I love this part of you, but not the inside of your veins, or your tumor.”

    Does Dawnie crusade against shaving, too? Showering (which removes natural dead skin and sweat that your body produces)?

    We’re not perfect. If something’s not functioning to your satisfaction, there’s nothing wrong with helping it do so.

  38. zuzu
    zuzu April 13, 2006 at 10:59 am | *

    Deep, follow me here: anyone who disapproves, loudly, of the way that others have sex because it’s not the way that they themselves have sex (and just *couldn’t* be any good because it’s not the way they themselves have sex, and all those benighted people just *don’t understand* that they’re not really having good sex because they’re not opening themselves to pregnancy each and every time, lalalalalala) are of the “sex for me, but not for thee” crowd.

    IOW, these are people who just can’t stand the thought that other people might be having non-procreative sex in a manner that they don’t approve of. So they tell themselves that those other people just aren’t really truly having a full sexual experience, and they work to eliminate hormonal and barrier methods of birth control so that everyone who has sex therefore must have sex in their approved way, but only, of course, in a state of holy matrimony, which means alla you sluts and queers just have to take your lumps when you get pregnant or you get a disease from unprotected sex.

    Compare and contrast, if you will, with education about condom use as both contraception and disease prevention and other means of contraception. Such education focuses not on what kind of sex you should be having or the morality of it or how it really is or isn’t good sex at all because you’re preventing your partner’s essence from entering your body, but how to keep yourself protected should your goal be to prevent disease or pregnancy.

  39. Deep Thought
    Deep Thought April 13, 2006 at 10:59 am |

    five blue,
    Had to get off-topic, but all “moral” decisions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are just individual choice? Hmmm. Do you think, oh, that the Augusta golf club should be forced to admit women? That a landlord that only wants to rent to married White Episcopalians should be barred from advertising that property publicly? That neo-nazis should be publically denounced? etc., etc.
    Almost everyone is advocating for what they feel is good and opposing what they feel is evil. To call someone to task for that because you don’t like their stance is kinda’ silly. Disagree with them, sure! But don’t condemn them for doing, well, what the Feministe blog does (which is advocate positions the author’s support and denounce positions the authors oppose).
    In my opinion, this is all good. I love coming here not to point and laugh, not to feel superior, but because I must *think* here. Sometimes I agree, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I learn things, sometimes I even change my mind.
    If I dismissed zuzu, piny, and Jill as “moonbats”, “feminazis”, etc. or ignored their words and thoughts because they are trying to ‘impose their values on others’, *I* would be missing out, not them, wouldn’t I?
    The anti-ABC crowd usually has a very positive goal – trying to bring men and women in a committed sexual relationship into a deeper, more emotional level of commitment and love with each other. If they weren’t convinced this is true, they would not take the steps they do to live in accordance with that belief. And if they are certain its right, shouldn’t they try to share it with people they think are missing out on how their lives could be even better?
    That’s not so terrible a goal, is it?

  40. bellatrys
    bellatrys April 13, 2006 at 11:01 am |

    Jivin, I grew up in the prolife movement (there’s a family picture of preschool me with my little sign protesting Roe vs Wade next to my mother) and most of the magazines we got were conservative ones with a strongly prolife bent – and banning contraception has *always* been at the forefront. I don’t know a single prolifer who isn’t also against contraception, for various tortured reasons ranging from “it’s an abortifacient!” (the Pill, and it isn’t) to “it destroys intimacy and openness to life in marriage, and is therefore unnatural” (condoms) to “it encourages promiscuity and sin” (all forms.)

    Yes, they really do think that “Just Say No to Sex!” is going to work.Something which, as another blogger put it recently, is not something you can believe if you have any familiarity with the English folksong tradition…

  41. bellatrys
    bellatrys April 13, 2006 at 11:09 am |

    Specifically, Jivin, you might want to look at the work of Deal Hudson, recently of Crisis Magazine and advisor to the President on faith based matters, until it was discovered that he had to leave his teaching job after getting an underage student drunk and having adulterous sex with her; of Human Life International, which has tied contraception, and abortion with TEH GAY and Jewishness for decades, and which claims partial credit for the successes of El Salvador; of Dr. Dobson and his Focus on the Family, which is hardly a political nonentity, and which believes that the Pill is an abortifacient, and which, while supporting the development of the HPV vaccine, reminds parents that “The HPV vaccines do not, in any circumstance, negate or substitute the best health message of sexual abstinence until marriage and sexual faithfulness after marriage.”

  42. Deep Thought
    Deep Thought April 13, 2006 at 11:10 am |

    Jill,
    Let me pause to split an important hair. The vast majority (but not all) people who oppose ABC also oppose abortion. But they see both as coming from the same mindset, i.e., both as symptoms of somthing else. This is largely a Catholic concept, but is rapidly growing in popularity with all pro-lifers.But *politically*, power is still all on the anti-abortion side, not the anti-abc side. So while there is political opposition to EC as an abortifacient, there is virtually none behind anti-ABC – right now.
    I expect that power to grow, probably at a speed that will shock you (and even me). My wife is very involved in theoretical opposition to ABC (no marches, voting, etc., just theological conepts) and *she* is surprised at how rapidly the sentiment is spreading and the momentum it is gaining. It is an interesting dynamic. A sociologist I know speculates that we might be seeing the beginning of another Great Awakening.

  43. zuzu
    zuzu April 13, 2006 at 11:11 am | *

    The anti-ABC crowd usually has a very positive goal – trying to bring men and women in a committed sexual relationship into a deeper, more emotional level of commitment and love with each other. If they weren’t convinced this is true, they would not take the steps they do to live in accordance with that belief. And if they are certain its right, shouldn’t they try to share it with people they think are missing out on how their lives could be even better?
    That’s not so terrible a goal, is it?

    It wouldn’t be, if all they were doing was trying to convince people of the rightness of their own position, rather than trying to denigrate the experiences of others and prevent them from making the choice of using contraceptives by working to outlaw them by spreading misinformation about their effects (i.e., that the pill and EC are abortifacients).

    Moreover, if someone does not want to be proselytized, leave them the hell alone.

  44. Deep Thought
    Deep Thought April 13, 2006 at 11:12 am |

    Marian,
    Sorry I wasn’t clear – I wasn’t referring to how you actually think and feel, I was speculating the impact your analogy would have had on the person you were speaking to. I have *no idea* how you feel, and I apologize for implying such. I am sorry that I obviously offended you, I assure you I did not mean to, and I will try to be more clear from now on.

  45. Marian
    Marian April 13, 2006 at 11:14 am |

    In my opinion, this is all good. I love coming here not to point and laugh, not to feel superior, but because I must *think* here.

    But I think telling someone you’ve never met, who wants desperately to be a parent, and soon, that they obviously don’t value children because they didn’t have them right away (when they had no job, health insurance, or place to live) is a bit harsh and in the finger-pointing department.

    Assuming that everyone who postpones childbearing does so because it would “get in the way of their lifestyle” (Right–watching Netflix and drinking grocery-store vodka in my tiny apartment every Saturday is so luxurious I can’t let anything interfere, that’s why we waited–not) is insulting and presumptuous.

    You knew nothing about me, about my history, or about the fact that (click on my link) I am actually a conservative who put off childbearing PRECISELY because I want to be a stay at home mom (my husband’s starting salary of $31k would not have allowed that back in ’04). Having a child instantly wouldn’t have done much to my lifestyle, but would have forced me to leave the child with a stranger while I worked my ass off to pay our bills.

    FYI, I want to raise my family in the way that most conservatives would applaud (in my 20′s, SAHM, or maybe some working at home), but no, I’m still in the wrong because I waited too long. God that pisses me off. Y’all still have to assume that because I use contraception, that I’m up there with the typical person who just wants to go clubbing, live upscale, and think only of themselves. Rather than viewing children as a “commodity,” I view them as something I want to have the time and money to raise the best way I can. Apparently that’s still not enough for the traditional values crowd.

    This is what bothers us about the anti-contraception folks like Dawn. Lots of people plan their families, from liberals to conservatives to socialists to apathetics. I post at Jill’s site because she’s a friend of mine and I also happen to think the right goes too far on issues like this. Read my blog next time before you judge me, and you’ll find that I’m with you on a ton of other issues.

  46. bellatrys
    bellatrys April 13, 2006 at 11:14 am |

    Oh, here we have Focus on the Family talking about why you shouldn’t teach your kids to use condoms: it will encourage them to have premarital sex.

    Which is why so many good conservative Christian boys go out and impregnate their girlfriends, because they either don’t know about condoms, or think that it somehow makes it “less sinful” if they at least don’t compound the sin of fornication with the sin of contracepting – and guess what, this sometimes results in, you got it, abortions as well as shotgun marriages.

    Yes, there have been both in the extended prolife Catholic circle that I inhabit, as well as surprisingly “premature babies,” and the occasional adoption. It works as well as the idea that if we just don’t talk about TEH GAY except how awful a sin it is, our kids will never grow up to be gay, either.

  47. Marian
    Marian April 13, 2006 at 11:15 am |

    Marian,
    Sorry I wasn’t clear – I wasn’t referring to how you actually think and feel, I was speculating the impact your analogy would have had on the person you were speaking to. I have *no idea* how you feel, and I apologize for implying such. I am sorry that I obviously offended you, I assure you I did not mean to, and I will try to be more clear from now on.

    Whoopsie, I see that we cross-posted. Jill if you want to delete my last post from moderation since it no longer applies, that would be fine.

  48. Deep Thought
    Deep Thought April 13, 2006 at 11:15 am |

    Chet, etc.,
    Usually by “natural” the opponents of ABC are referring to ‘Natural Law’, specifically the thomistic conceptualization of natural law.

  49. Marian
    Marian April 13, 2006 at 11:15 am |

    And thanks for the apology Deep.

  50. Deep Thought
    Deep Thought April 13, 2006 at 11:20 am |

    Kyra,
    Actually, the argument is that you are ‘breaking’ something so that it won’t work properly, and that’s kinda’ messed up.

    Stripped of most of the theory, and a bit simplified, but true enough, I suppose.

  51. Deep Thought
    Deep Thought April 13, 2006 at 11:25 am |

    zuzu,
    You’re entitled to your opinion, but I’m just saying that it contradicts the words of those you are talking about, as well as the attitudes of the ones I know personally who agree with them.

    i.e., I’m just sayin’.

  52. another lynne
    another lynne April 13, 2006 at 11:26 am |

    Ok….I can’t help it, I am really trying not to get angry but statements like this:

    “The anti-ABC crowd usually has a very positive goal – trying to bring men and women in a committed sexual relationship into a deeper, more emotional level of commitment and love with each other”
    drive me nuts. The reason being is that you (and Deep, I’m assuming that you are part of that crowd, not simply playing devil’s advocate here) *aren’t* listening to the response from men and women that are in commited sexual relationships. You aren’t hearing us when we tell you exactly how and why your opinion (which, being an *opinion* is valid for *you*) doesn’t hold true for *us*. You automatically assume that our relationships somehow have less meaning, less depth…dismissing what *we* have to say about it, simply because we choose to use contraception to prevent pregnancy. You don’t want to use it? Fine. I’m not gonna try and make you, and I wouldn’t be so offensive to suggest that doing so would be the only way you could have a truly deep meaningful relationship with your spouse.

  53. Marian
    Marian April 13, 2006 at 11:28 am |

    You know, off topic but calling you Deep feels pretty weird actually, because I keep thinking of the actor Deep Roy, the Indian dwarf who played the Oompa-Loompas in Tim Burton’s Willy Wonka movie, hee hee.

    Deep

  54. Marian
    Marian April 13, 2006 at 11:28 am |

    Oops, Deep

  55. five blue
    five blue April 13, 2006 at 11:29 am |

    Sometimes I agree, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I learn things, sometimes I even change my mind.

    Deep, that’s great. that’s what i’m looking for. not just in a space but in people.

    i see your point about morality. you’re right, sometimes a “higher” morality needs to be imposed if only to protect people. in the case of contraception and sex, however, i don’t see a reason to impose anybody’s views on anyone. i don’t see that anyone needs to be more right than others. if we’re talking about two consenting adults acting in private, what gives anyone the right to say that what they do is right or wrong? i have absolutely no problem with people who believe contraception is wrong for them – none at all! the problem starts when they tell me that *i’m* wrong and i *should* follow their example because it’s morally better. if they could prove to me that it’s better health-wise, i’d listen – we’d be discussing facts. but morals? at that level and on this topic, i do believe morals are an individual’s choice.

    i try to live and let live (this is *not* a statement about abortion!) and i ask to be allowed to make my own choices as well, while i respect others’ personal choices. i can see how that is asking/expecting others to live like i do. but it can also be seen as a healthy boundary i set up for myself, since i make my choices no matter what; i only ask that others respect that. if they don’t, i’m disappointed perhaps (and that disappointment is my own, created and managed by me – see how i’m not imposing much on others?), but i’ll still make the same choices, the ones i think are good – not inherently, but for me.

  56. Deep Thought
    Deep Thought April 13, 2006 at 11:32 am |

    Marian,
    Let me try again. I wasn’t judging you, I was trying to say that I think that the example you gave (the donuts one) was a poor one, that’s it. Period. End of my thinking about that, and you, at the time. My thoughts even now are primarily “darn it, I *totally* failed to explain what I meant, and ain’t that a kick in the head”.
    The use of NFP to space children or avoid pregnancy due to health or economic reasons is more than acceptable to all but the nutty fringe of the anti-ABC crowd – and nothing but 13 Irish twins pleases them, anyway.
    Let me say it again – I have no opinion of you as a person ‘cuz I don’t know you. I am speaking in general here, not in particular. I am not associated with Dawn’s site and rarely visit it. If you think I am judging you as a person or even your individual actions, I insist you are mistaken.
    I am sorry that I was misunderstood, I accept that the misunderstanding is my fault for writing sloppily, and I ask you to accept my apology.

  57. Deep Thought
    Deep Thought April 13, 2006 at 11:36 am |

    Marian,
    Cross-posting palooza!
    Well, you deserved an apology. I’m just sorry I was a dork about my point-making.

  58. alleyrat
    alleyrat April 13, 2006 at 11:40 am |

    A sociologist I know speculates that we might be seeing the beginning of another Great Awakening.

    great. so this one will bring with it a birth control abolitionist movement?

    is anyone else disturbed by the madonna/whore complex showing up with a lot of these people? if a woman isn’t at risk of getting pregnant (become a mother) during sex, then she’s automatically a whore? being “used”, like a “blow-up doll”, etc. the misogyny in the way these people are talking about sex is pretty striking.

  59. zuzu
    zuzu April 13, 2006 at 11:41 am | *

    You’re entitled to your opinion, but I’m just saying that it contradicts the words of those you are talking about, as well as the attitudes of the ones I know personally who agree with them.

    Explain.

  60. piny
    piny April 13, 2006 at 11:45 am |

    Your quote is eerily akin to things like “I don’t mind them queers at all, as long as they keep it to themselves”.

    That’s a ridiculous analogy. For it to work, we would have to be arguing that people who practice NFP or the rhythm method or who want to be quiver-full must never talk about it, ever, or let anyone know that they have a bunch of children or want to have a bunch of children–or even that they’re married. That’s the social order advocated by people who want queers in the closet. Since that’s not what we’re saying, it doesn’t work.

    Dawn Eden’s commenters are analagous to a group of people saying that absolutely everyone should be gay, that they actually are gay deep down, and that anyone not a practicing homosexual is sick, wrong, and unnatural. For the analogy to really stick, those people would have to be advocating public policies that make heterosexual contact illegal, deprive heterosexual partnerships of any legal protection, and gag anyone providing information about heterosexuals and their perversion.

    That’s the level of arrogation we’re complaining about. We’re not the ‘phobes here.

  61. Deep Thought
    Deep Thought April 13, 2006 at 11:45 am |

    another lynne,
    Well, see, that’s just part of life. I have people tell me every day that I am ignorant, irrational, superstitious, and brainwashed for being religious (what I get for a public email on an avowedly Catholic site). Catholics keep telling people that we aren’t benighted, ignorant, supertitious fools and that we can use reason, but the Freethinkers just don’t listen.
    Maybe its because they sincerely want to help us. I hope so, because that’s what let’s me keep talking to them. And what helps me get Jews, Catholics, Muslims, etc. talking to each other. When an atheist tells me that I don’t have to be a slave to the Pope, I assume that he has the highest motive – wanting to help her fellow man.
    I’m not saying I didn’t spend a few years trying to pin their ears back, but I learned that that was the *worst* way to try to show them my point of view.
    I am a late (30 years old) convert to Catholicism with an unchurched upbringing. I used contraceptives routinely until I was 28 and began the conversion process.
    In my personal experience, those who say sex gets better without contraception are right, and I tell people that. Many of the anti-ABC crowd are also former users of contraception, and will tell you so.
    Don’t look at this as people like us saying “oooooh, we are soooooo much better off. You need to get hip” and more like “Dude, you know that chocolate cake you like so much? Well, there’s *more* at the next table!”
    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – the self-proclaimed spokespeople for opposition to ABC are their own worst enemies. There are many very articulate priests that discuss it, but they are largely ignored. Even the married ones.

  62. Deep Thought
    Deep Thought April 13, 2006 at 11:51 am |

    “IOW, these are people who just can’t stand the thought that other people might be having non-procreative sex in a manner that they don’t approve of. So they tell themselves that those other people just aren’t really truly having a full sexual experience,”

    As I am trying to explain, saying you can do it in a way even more emotionally satisfying is not a ‘no sex for you’ position, but rather a ‘hey, you want it to get even *better*?’.

    Now, I am discussing opposition to contraception in and of itself, not the attendent positions that may accompany that, because the opposition to ABC is a rather diverse group.

  63. Deep Thought
    Deep Thought April 13, 2006 at 11:55 am |

    piny,
    Point taken. But remember, the majority of people opposed to ABC are *not* trying to legilate it, they are trying to convince with arguments. And again, most anti-ABC people see EC as a separate issue from ABC.

  64. evil_fizz
    evil_fizz April 13, 2006 at 11:55 am |

    People who object to synthetic hormones in their beef probably should also logically reject synthetic hormones in their own bodies, right?

    Does that mean they’d reject latex, too? Rubber, lo and behold, is natural too.

    I’m not being disingenuous when I say this whole “what’s natural” thing is a crock of shit. The word natural is used simultaneously to mean “occurring in nature” “proper” “right” and “morally correct”. The leap from “occurring in nature” to “morally correct” is a logic fallacy of epic proprotions. If you cannot see that the idea of something being “natural” is completely subjective (and ultimately worthless in evaluating the relative merit of human sexual behavior), then this side of the discussion is done.

  65. Deep Thought
    Deep Thought April 13, 2006 at 11:57 am |

    piny,
    A small question – “phobes”?

  66. evil_fizz
    evil_fizz April 13, 2006 at 12:00 pm |

    In my personal experience, those who say sex gets better without contraception are right, and I tell people that.

    An opinion you’re free to hold and share. But you need to listen when people say “No, I emphatically disagree.” or “Actually, my sex life got a thousand times better when my husband got a vasectomy.” This is not about pointing out more chocolate cake. It’s saying “I know the real secret to perfect chocolate cake! Bake according to my recipe!”

  67. Kyra
    Kyra April 13, 2006 at 12:00 pm |

    Vasectomy brings in a different kind of barrier, Ledasmom — a barrier of refusal to accept the possibility of life.

    Does this person have glass in their windows? That’s a barrier of refusal to accept the joys of nature! What? You’re worried about rain, mosquitoes, snow, cold, heat? You obviously don’t love life if you don’t open yourself fully to what nature has to offer.

  68. Dianne
    Dianne April 13, 2006 at 12:03 pm |

    Couples who treat diseases like cancer or heart disease say “I love this part of you, but not the inside of your veins, or your tumor.”

    Arteries. It’s the arteries that are a problem in heart disease, not the veins. Couples who get treated for deep venous thrombosis are saying “I love this part of you, but not the inside of your veins.”

    (Sorry. I can’t help making pedantic corrections from time to time.)

  69. piny
    piny April 13, 2006 at 12:03 pm |

    In my personal experience, those who say sex gets better without contraception are right, and I tell people that. Many of the anti-ABC crowd are also former users of contraception, and will tell you so.
    Don’t look at this as people like us saying “oooooh, we are soooooo much better off. You need to get hip” and more like “Dude, you know that chocolate cake you like so much? Well, there’s *more* at the next table!”

    Yeeeeesss, and the queer poly freak crowd, among other people, is telling you that there are a hell of a lot more flavors than chocolate. The contraception/no-contraception binary is the best indication of how little your “experience” is worth.

  70. zuzu
    zuzu April 13, 2006 at 12:04 pm | *

    DT, once again, with feeling:

    Dawn Eden and her commenters are quite clearly saying that people who “contracept” are immoral, withholding, bad bad people (women) who don’t fully accept their partners, hate children and just can’t know the transcendence that Dawn does, so therefore we have to work to prevent them from being able to do things differently.

    Now, is that vinegar or honey?

    Moreover, you also assume that people who use contraceptives have never considered the issue nor have they ever had unprotected sex. You assume that they’re just beknighted and don’t know any better. You fail to take into account that hey, maybe they’re perfectly happy with the sex they’re having, they’re perfectly happy with the level of intimacy in their relationship, and the absence of terror of conceiving when they’re not ready to actually *enhances* their sexual relationship.

    In short, good on you for deciding that you like one particular method better than others. It doesn’t mean that everyone else has to make the same choice or agree that it really is the better way.

  71. Kyra
    Kyra April 13, 2006 at 12:07 pm |

    What is possibly romantic about a man who slaps a slab of latex on his intimate parts just to use you for 15 minutes with no possibility of life resulting?

    Nothing. However, there’s plenty that’s romantic about a man who puts on a condom to make love to you. You know, pleasure, for example? Joy in each other’s responses and feelings? A loving communion between two people with no real possibility of an unwanted pregnancy resulting?

    Here’s a hint, people: not everybody wants a baby. Not everybody even likes babies. For some people, this “life” you’re idolizing is a BAD thing. And for many, many people, sex is a good thing in and of itself, and better on contraception because you don’t have to worry about paying a price big enough to potentially cancel out the good parts of sex.

  72. another lynne
    another lynne April 13, 2006 at 12:08 pm |

    Deep – your experience – great. Talk about *your* experience all you like. Doesn’t make it valid for me or anyone else. Doesn’t make *my* experience any less valid. Doesn’t give you the right to assume that because my experience is different that yours that I am somehow *wrong*.

    You are making assumptions here, about the depth of feeling that applies to you and your wife, that you can somehow measure that against what others might feel. That is so deeply offensive, and truly arrogant.

    I don’t recall making any statements (positive or negative) about your being Catholic, about your being brainwashed, or slavery to the Pope, so please, don’t lump me in with that sort of rude behaviour.

  73. zuzu
    zuzu April 13, 2006 at 12:11 pm | *

    Oh, and a data point:

    I had my tubes tied five years ago. Don’t have kids, don’t want ‘em. I’ve had trouble with hormonal methods of birth control, and relying on condoms alone frankly scared me.

    Sex is fantastic for me now that I don’t live with the worry that I might be pregnant. I still take precautions — I absolutely insist on condoms for safety, for instance — but I no longer worry that I will be made accidentally pregnant.

  74. Dianne
    Dianne April 13, 2006 at 12:13 pm |

    On the issue of contraception and love in general, I’d have to say that my opinion is nearly the exact opposite of Eden’s commentor’s: I would think that forcing or coercing someone into not using contraception is proof that the person involved doesn’t love his or her partner. Who would try to force a loved one to beget or bear a child they do not want? That’s not love, that’s domination.

    On a practical level, I’ve had sex both with and without contraception. I can’t say I saw a great deal of difference. In fact, I rather prefer sex with a diaphragm or female condom because both can, in the right circumstances, be used as sex toys. Also pregnancy is no fun at all. I was sick the whole time. My immediate post-pregnancy weight was 20 pounds less than my pre-pregnancy weight. That was fine for one pregnancy (and to be honest, I had the reserve fat to deal with it), but 10 or more pregnancies? It could turn deadly pretty quickly. Not to mention the problems at delivery…

  75. piny
    piny April 13, 2006 at 12:19 pm |

    I had my tubes tied five years ago. Don’t have kids, don’t want ‘em. I’ve had trouble with hormonal methods of birth control, and relying on condoms alone frankly scared me.

    I’m probably not ever gonna get pregnant, either, and cannot get pregnant now–and it’s, ahem, unlikely in the extreme that I’ll ever impregnate anyone myself. Not to mention the apposite genital configuration of my partners. Sex in my life is divorced from reproduction, too; that doesn’t mean there’s any way to cram it into some calculus of “better/worse.”

  76. Ledasmom
    Ledasmom April 13, 2006 at 12:20 pm |

    Even if sex got better for every couple who forgoes contraception (and I think it’s important to remember that those who do so are self-selected, and doing any sort of statistically-valid study on the matter would be exceedingly difficult), isn’t saying that, therefore, every couple should avoid it a counsel of perfection? That I may solemnly believe that living with a minimum of possessions leads to greater happiness does not give me the right to forbid you to own stuff.

  77. Kyra
    Kyra April 13, 2006 at 12:22 pm |

    Kyra,
    Actually, the argument is that you are ‘breaking’ something so that it won’t work properly, and that’s kinda’ messed up.

    We’re people, not machines. We’re individuals with our own diverse desires and find different things fulfilling.

    Therefore, “functioning properly” ought to be defined as “functions in the manner most conducive to fulfilling the desires of the person/people in question.” If I don’t want babies, and my body is trying to enable the production of babies, forcing me to avoid something I greatly enjoy in order to avoid pregnancy, then it is, as far as I’m concerned, not functioning properly, not functioning to my standards. It needs to be fixed. Enter the Pill, which not only fixes the baby problem but also the unpleasant period issues. My body is not broken but fixed.

    If you need to use a spatula as a screwdriver, and succeed in making the spatula function as a screwdriver, that does not mean the spatula is malfunctioning.

  78. Marian
    Marian April 13, 2006 at 12:28 pm |

    This isn’t directed toward Deep Thought, but just in general.

    I guess too, where I have a rift with the anti-ABC crowd is that I *do* believe that in certain cases, a child is an inconvenience. I believe a child can be BOTH a blessing and a burden. I believe that the ones I do have will be blessings, and we will always be “open” to more in the sense that we will not abort any unplanned ones. But having an unplanned one wouldn’t necessarily be an occasion to party.

    Having a child is a blessing. It also drives up the cost of your insurance (ours will double when we upgrade to family plan), stretches your grocery bill further, forces you to get a bigger living space if your’e in a tiny apartment like we are (which can easily double your rent to almost 1/2 your income, in some areas). Being put into that situation when you don’t have the extra money laying around, is an inconvenience and a stressor. It can put a couple into debt. It can upset someone a great deal.

    Getting pregnant on my wedding night would have meant paying cash for my prenatal appointments, if I even got them, because we didn’t get insurance until 2 months later. It would have meant drawing from our savings to pay ALL of our bills. We don’t have that problem anymore, hence we are now thinking about parenthood. But I was admittedly jealous of those who could afford kids straight off the bat.

    that doesn’t mean the resulting child isn’t loved, but I’m sure a lot of children would be resented if we were required to be in those situations (due to contraception being unavailable when we want to use it, etc.).

    Why it’s considered a *bad thing* to want to provide for a child, not just give birth to it, is something that’s always an impasse there. Conservatives are supposed to support saving money and financial responsibility. They are supposed to oppose debt and overspending, and relying on the government, but welfare sometimes becomes the only option for couples whose child costs outweigh their income.

    Children ARE an added cost, which can be inconvenient if not dangerous for some. I hate it when people insist that children are “not something you afford, but something you’re blessed with.” Why aren’t they both?

  79. zuzu
    zuzu April 13, 2006 at 12:29 pm | *

    Sex in my life is divorced from reproduction, too; that doesn’t mean there’s any way to cram it into some calculus of “better/worse.”

    I can make that calculation for myself because I’m still having the kind of sex that can lead to procreation but I’ve removed the risk and the fear of pregnancy from the equation. For me, the absence of the risk and the fear make it possible to focus on the pleasure. Ergo, better sex.

    Now, would going without condoms make the sex better? No, because then I’d be dealing with the risk and the fear of disease since I’m not monogamous.

  80. Deep Thought
    Deep Thought April 13, 2006 at 12:30 pm |

    another lynne,
    Another hair. I don’t think your experience is wrong because it is different from mine. Neither do most people who oppose ABC.

  81. Deep Thought
    Deep Thought April 13, 2006 at 12:31 pm |

    Hmmmm. I do seem to be talking about what other people think a lot in this thread, don’t I?

    Since it is kinda’ off topic ( we are talking about Dawn Patrol’s post) does anyone even *care* about my personal take on this, let alone want to hear it?

  82. Marian
    Marian April 13, 2006 at 12:34 pm |

    well it *is* more interesting to agree and disagree in these threads, rather than everyone saying, “I agree, oh me too, oh me too….”

  83. Tuomas
    Tuomas April 13, 2006 at 12:34 pm |

    There are 1.1 billion Catholics, and you never heard of opposition to artificial birth control?

    Of course I have. That wasn’t my point. I’ve just never seen so lame rationalizations for it (well, to be fair, to each her own, but IMHO all rationalizations against artificial BC are pretty lame). And I don’t think all catholics are really like that. Not the few I know of, anyway.

    (And when I call their rationalizations lame, I’m not trying to deny them of their right to their viewpoint, just in case you were wondering. They have right to their views, I have right to mine.)

  84. Sandra
    Sandra April 13, 2006 at 12:35 pm |

    Bellatrys–
    I once dated a guy who was prolife and okay with contraception. The problem was, he would not use contraception for himself–he wouldn’t wear a condom. He was fine with me using contraception, but thought that my use of the pill was not as effective as Depo. He tried pressuring me into getting Depo, but I refused. I think he just didn’t want to deal with those messy periods every month.

    The abortion issue eventually ended the relationship because he said he wouldn’t be able to live with himself if I’d gotten pregnant and killed his baby.

  85. piny
    piny April 13, 2006 at 12:36 pm |

    Since it is kinda’ off topic ( we are talking about Dawn Patrol’s post) does anyone even *care* about my personal take on this, let alone want to hear it?

    That depends. Are you talking about what you believe your needs to be, or what you think the best solution for all of us is? Because there’s a wide gulf between the two “takes.”

    And does it include more assertions like the one about how sex without contraception is “better?” In any generalizable way?

  86. Tapetum
    Tapetum April 13, 2006 at 12:41 pm |

    Deep – If Dawn and her commenters were talking about how wonderful life is on NFP, and how deep their commitments were, and how it enhanced their marriages and sex lives, I, and I suspect most here, would have no objections.

    Instead she’s saying that those of us who aren’t doing these things are morally deficient, that our marriages are loveless, that we don’t love our children properly, etc. etc. Which I object to strongly. She has said those things to ME, directly, in this thread and in several others. (Cynthia Wood in this thread) One of the greatest ironies I see is that I’m actually following her model of the “proper” life rather better than she ever has – not because of it’s moral rectitude, but because they were good choices for me. To be told that my 14-year marriage is loveless or deficient, and that I don’t love my two little boys because I choose, for what I deem more than good and sufficient reason, not to have more is infuriating – and beyond arrogant on their part.

    Hemmorhaging is indeed natural. For me it appears to be a normal part of childbirth. Let Dawn try having somebody pump up and down on a fresh surgical incision with their entire body-weight (after the anesthetic has worn off), while somebody else manually hauls clots out of her uterus. If she’s gone through that and is still willing to use NFP herself and say how great it is, I might start listening.

  87. zuzu
    zuzu April 13, 2006 at 12:42 pm | *

    Tuomas, most Catholics ignore the Church’s teachings on birth control. It’s a particular issue for the American Catholic church.

  88. Tuomas
    Tuomas April 13, 2006 at 12:44 pm |

    Tuomas, most Catholics ignore the Church’s teachings on birth control. It’s a particular issue for the American Catholic church.

    It seems so.

  89. evil_fizz
    evil_fizz April 13, 2006 at 12:46 pm |

    And I don’t think all catholics are really like that. Not the few I know of, anyway.

    Actually, approximately 90% of Catholics use contraceptives. And Italy (population 97% Catholic) has one of the lowest birth rates in the world. (I pulled the data from this article.)

  90. Marian
    Marian April 13, 2006 at 12:51 pm |

    Tapetum:

    To be told that my 14-year marriage is loveless or deficient, and that I don’t love my two little boys because I choose, for what I deem more than good and sufficient reason, not to have more is infuriating – and beyond arrogant on their part.

    Exactly. And just as the school bully breaks others down to feel good about himself, whenever people start finger pointing (“My marraige is better than yours; I’m a better mom than you are,” etc.), to me it just screams insecurity with their own choices, not confidence in them. I might be wrong, but that’s what they sound like.

    And I repeat: Accusing ANY parent other than one who is blatantly ABUSIVE, of “not loving” or valuing their children’s lives, is the most cruel thing anyone could say. Does my mother wish she’d never had me because she didn’t have any more after me? Doubt it. Comments like those not only make parents out to be bad parents, but could you imagine telling a child that? “Because your parents use condoms and didn’t give you a sibling, that means they don’t love you. Don’t fool yourself or feel valued..if they loved you, they’d have had more.”

  91. Kyra
    Kyra April 13, 2006 at 12:51 pm |

    Arteries. It’s the arteries that are a problem in heart disease, not the veins. Couples who get treated for deep venous thrombosis are saying “I love this part of you, but not the inside of your veins.”

    (Sorry. I can’t help making pedantic corrections from time to time.)

    You’re right. I was going from memory of biology class three weeks and one day ago, during which I was drawing concepts for what a Cardassian male might look like naked and not really paying attention to the lecture.

  92. Malibu Stacy
    Malibu Stacy April 13, 2006 at 12:58 pm |

    Some of us sexually selective (oh, okay, dormant), premenopausal types use ABC for purposes other than contraception, you know, such as being able to leave the house no matter what day of the month it is. So, as long as nobody is proposing to curtail MY choices of medical treatment, NFP’ers can gush to their heart’s content about the moral superiority of their own personal choices. I think I can tune it out without too much difficulty; I have a vegan teenager, so I’ve grown accustomed to ignoring self-congratulatory crowing and overly dramatic criticisms of my immoral lifestyle. At least they’re not trying to hook me into Amway.

  93. Jivin J
    Jivin J April 13, 2006 at 1:12 pm |

    Jill,
    Is saying two words that supposed to be an argument? If so, the pro-choice slander that prolifers want and are trying to take away birth control options is lamer than I thought.

    Most prolifers I know who happen to oppose emergency contraception due so because they think it might prevent a human embryo from implanting – I haven’t seen many arguments that it should be illegal because it prevents ovulation.

    Plus, no one is about to take away EC (I’m not aware of a single bill to make it illegal – though a bill might exist) – many individuals are opposed to EC being sold over-the-counter.

    I’m still wondering if you have any national politicians with power who want to make contraceptives illegal?

    Your broad generalizations about prolifers show that either 1.)You are largely ignorant about prolifers and haven’t spent very much time looking at the web sites of mainstream prolifers 2.) You’re being intentionally deceptive.

    Bellatrys,
    You know one now. I’m as prolife as they come (take a look at my blog) yet my wife and I use contraceptives. I know numerous prolife people who use contraceptives. Maybe your knowledge of prolifers has just come from your experience with individuals who are Catholic and prolife.

  94. Deep Thought
    Deep Thought April 13, 2006 at 1:27 pm |

    As to birth control and Catholics, these days many American Catholics are like many American Jews; its seen as a heritage/ancestry as much as a religion. I’ve met people who have never been to Mass and who have parents who haven’t been in 30 years who insist they are Catholic. Thus, weird numbers sometimes.

    Meh.

    Among self-described observant Catholics the use of contraceptives is still high, but not 90% (studies conflict based upon definition of ‘devout’. Some only count Catholics as ‘devout’ if they avoid contraceptives).

  95. zuzu
    zuzu April 13, 2006 at 1:37 pm | *

    I know you’re a convert and all, but didn’t they cover the “once a Catholic, always a Catholic” thing? And the “nobody gets to decide who’s a good Catholic and who’s not except God and the Pope?”

  96. Txfeminist
    Txfeminist April 13, 2006 at 2:12 pm |

    I read about two-thirds of the thread. Damn, she’s a nut.

    I love it when Christians,when in debate about something physical like sex, conception, evolution, etc, can no longer base what they are saying on science, or evidence from the physical world, so they just switch paradigms and say it’s purely a “spiritual” thing, or a metaphysical thing, so you can no longer debate it anymore- it’s such a convienient switch to flip.

  97. Ledasmom
    Ledasmom April 13, 2006 at 2:41 pm |

    Honestly, Deep Thought, to imply that someone regards Catholicism primarily as a cultural rather than a religious identity, because that person has a disagreement with the church on the matter of artificial birth control, is rude, just rude. Show me the Catholic who has followed the teachings of the church in every way and on every issue and I will show you a saint – by the definition of the Catholic church, anyway.
    How about the really characteristic Catholic teachings like, say, transsubstantiation, which, if we are to believe the polls, many Catholics do not believe in (believing communion to be instead symbolic)?

  98. Kristen from MA
    Kristen from MA April 13, 2006 at 2:41 pm |

    sorry if i’m repeating someone else’s comment (i can’t read through them all since i’m at work):

    but FYI, at one point (before he served as AG) that freak nutjob John Ashcroft proposed an amendment to the US Constitution that would have banned many popular forms of contraception, including the IUD and yes, the PILL.

    so there are, in fact, politicians on the national stage that would ban contraception.

    but i’m sure all of you open-minded, just-here-to-expand-my horizons-and-respectfully-offer-my-opinion-with-no-intention-of-forcing-my-beliefs-on-anyone-else-conservatives who post here would BE OPPOSED TO SUCH AN AMENDMENT, RIGHT?

  99. piecesofeight
    piecesofeight April 13, 2006 at 3:52 pm |

    I love you lot *grin* one of the few (but growing number of) blogs where most people are actually sane. It seems however that we are a minority in this world. I foresee struggles ahead if these people get their claws in any deeper…

  100. Roving Thundercloud
    Roving Thundercloud April 13, 2006 at 4:00 pm |

    Wow, all I have to do is get pregnant, and my already fabulous marriage and (bonus!) my sex life will vastly improve?! Sign me up!

    The funny thing is, now that my husband and I are both pushing 40, we find ourselves in the middle of an unplanned pregnancy. It’s our first and quite possibly our only child, since we’re practically geriatric. We’re fine with it, having a lot more life-experience and coping skills now than we did at 20, but I have to say that I still don’t buy the argument that having kids is the way to marital and sexual bliss.

    First of all, sex during pregnancy–at least the kind of sex that conservatives approve of–sucks, and I have every reason to believe that post-partum sex will suck too, once the impending cutie-pie has ravaged my vagina and breasts. Secondly, as millions of parents have noticed, becoming a parent pretty much derails your entire life. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s totally worth it and “it’s different with your own,” but your life is never yours again. Couples who can’t adjust to that idea cease to be couples–or at least cease to be functioning couples, even if they stay together.

    Children are not a magic wand you can wave over a marriage, and to suggest otherwise is to objectify them as less than persons in their own right. If a couple can’t learn to cope with the tremendous changes of becoming parents, much less the various issues and stresses of a lifetime of parenthood, it’s bad for everybody, and the children suffer the most. Simply put, children are not for everybody. But neither is celibacy. What’s a couple to do?

    I’ve just finished a very cheerful book which points out that over 10 percent of divorces and breakups occur during pregnancy, another 30 percent occur within 2 years of a first baby being born, and the rate of separation rises to 50 percent within five years of having a child. I’d love to know where the author got that stat, but even if exaggerated, it all seems so darned avoidable. My husband and I are prepared to give up our current concepts of normal life in order to give this child everything it needs, but if the only natural and moral alternative to contraception is celibacy, then I guess no amount of dedicated parenting can wipe out the awful stain of staying happily married for 20 years without having kids.

  101. bellatrys
    bellatrys April 13, 2006 at 5:00 pm |

    Well, Jivin, try telling your prolife acquaintances that at the next pre-protest meetup, and see how favorably they look on you for not being “open to life” in your marriage and whether or not they think the Pill is an abortifacient, as every prolife website out there avers regardless of denomination, some calling it “baby pesticide” – and btw, last time I checked, Dr. Dobson was Protestant, and RTL and other groups are ecumenical, and Town Hall is hardly an exclusively Catholic site, being an outgrowth of the Heritage Foundation, but joining in the chorus of claims that contraception destroys marriages.

  102. Niles
    Niles April 13, 2006 at 5:53 pm |

    Seems to me, the “there should be no barriers between true intimacy” all spirals back to poor old Onan and his sulky spilling of seed, denying the God of his people more followers. All the justification about how it brings a man and woman spiritually together seems a lot less important (given Onan’s lack of enthusiasm) than providing new generations of believers in greater numbers. How do you defeat your enemies? You outbreed them. Contraception and abortion rather undermines that plan.

    The fact someone contracepting had to be made an object lesson of divine punishment in the Testaments says to me, a lot of people contemporary to the story were vigorously working to undermine ‘the plan’.

    The oh so living naturally ancient peoples had a plethora of contraceptives and abortificants, chemical and barrier, some practical, some not. The milleniums long history/evidence of sex for ‘fun’ practises is fascinating and of course, desperately ignored by the inheritors of the ‘believer breeding’ plan.

    I don’t know how often it was repeated in history, but as a reader, I find it interesting the laws against contraception and abortion came in during the 1800s proselytizing of Dominionist Reconstructionist Millenialist evangelical Christian hysterias. The same, albeit even more embroidered, evangelisms underpinning the exclusive faith End Times mongering now. With the same laboured, thin, pseudo-scientific arguments.

    Makes me wonder if the reactions here are the same eye rolling and head thumping the earthy “contraceptors” of the ancient world did when lectured and threatened on their ways. Contraceptors, those plant eating dinosaurs what lived in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, but didn’t survive the Flood for punishment of evil, wicked, contracepting ways. They wish.

  103. Deep Thought
    Deep Thought April 13, 2006 at 6:05 pm |

    Ledasmom,
    Whoa, whoa, whoa! My reference to “cultural Catholics” was clearly in regards to people who have never been to mass, i.e. – never been to a Catholic church *at all*. Meaning – no communion, no confession, sometimes even no *baptism* and yet claim to be Catholic! If you wanna’ come in for Easter Mass (this weekend, BTW) only, sleep around, use condoms, get an abortion, support the death penalty, etc., and call ourself a Catholic, I won’t call you a “cultural Catholic”.

    Maybe “cafeteria Catholic”.

    Besides, I’m not the Magisterium, here, am I?

    As for a deep misunderstanding of doctrine, I blame catechesis – the American Catholic Church has done a *lousy* job of teaching Catholics (and explaining to others) what the Catholic Church *actually* teaches. As a teacher of catechesis and theology my most unprepared students are ‘cradle Catholics’.

    zuzu,
    Sure, all people baptised in a trinitarian formula are perpetual members of the Body of Christ. And the state of anyone’s soul is between them and God. But I can still judge actions and words. I condemn no one to Hell, nor consider anyone beyond salvific grace. But I do think that people who don’t believe in or obey 80%-90% of Catholic dogma and call themselves Catholic may misunderstand the entire concept.

    I am far from perfect, and I know that this is a topic that invokes strong feelings. But I, like many others, believe both emotionally and rationally what I say. I have had the fortune to learn a great deal here, especially about the struggles of the transgendered (well, for a newcomer to the idea, like me, I have learned a lot). I just want to make a viewpoint available that does not synch with what I perceive to be that of the posters here. Not to confront, not even necessarily to convince; just so that you can understand us better.

    If you end up more opposed to what I believe, at least that is now an informed opposition.

  104. five blue
    five blue April 13, 2006 at 6:15 pm |

    all people baptised in a trinitarian formula are perpetual members of the Body of Christ.

    sorry, Deep, i call loophole! apostasy! it allows anyone who was baptised to “cancel” that, and then they are no longer “perpertual members”.
    i was baptised (catholic) as an infant, and my opinion was not requested, and i do intend to request apostasy (only reason i have not yet is i need to take ten minutes to write a letter…). this is completely off-topic, but i (couldn’t find your email on your site) would be interested to hear your point of view on catholicism, coming from a very different background (not US). fiveblue at gmail dot com, if ever you’re interested.

  105. another lynne
    another lynne April 13, 2006 at 7:13 pm |

    Oh, and furthermore Deep,as an Episcopalian, I am in fact, catholic.

  106. Kyra
    Kyra April 13, 2006 at 7:48 pm |

    Birth is the most natural thing a woman can do.

    Funny, I would’ve thought things like breathing and eating topped the list.

    It’s not a medical emergency.

    Except when it is.

    Stop pathologizing it. Her body will be fine, and there is still no excuse to contracept.

    Biggest. Fucking. Lie. Ever.

    And in any case, just not wanting to be pregnant is a perfectly good excuse to use contraception. (“Contracept” is not a word. It is a fragment of a word, and that word is not a verb but a noun. You know, like “establishment” in the First Amendment, which is another noun that wingnuts tend to mistake for a verb. So although this appears to be a recurring problem, consider yourselves educated. Conservatives are annoying enough without mutilating the English language.)

  107. Deep Thought
    Deep Thought April 13, 2006 at 8:24 pm |

    five blue,
    Apostasy can only exist when you are, in fact, a member of the Body of Christ. And the technical view of the Church is that all people baptized via trinitarian formula are, in fact, Catholic (big C Catholic) – some are just separated from the Magisterium.

    And I will drop you a line, tonight or tomorrow. Thanks.

  108. Deep Thought
    Deep Thought April 13, 2006 at 8:37 pm |

    Niles,
    Onan’s sin was not primarily contraceptive behavior. Within Hebrew society, widows without sons were effectively powerless. Brothers had a duty of attempting to father a son with widowed sisters-in-law so that said son could support his widowed mother in her old age. By refusing to do so, Onan was both abandoning his sister-in-law to poverty, but also ensuring that all land and property of his brother would be inherited by Onan or by Onan’s own sons. This disregard for a a person who was both related to Onan (and thus deserving of justice as seen by the then-tribal Hebrews) and a widow (accorded special protections within Levitic law) was the crime for which Onan was slain.

    Also, Dominion Theology is a rather recent development, primarily formulated in the 1970′s and formalized in the 30+ years since. Your reference to ‘Dominionist, Reconstructionist’ preaching during the 1800′s is terribly anachronistic.

    And can someone explain the fascination many secular Liberals seem to have with Dominion Theology? It is a terribly small movement with virtually no credibility within or among the primary schools of Theology.

  109. zuzu
    zuzu April 13, 2006 at 9:02 pm | *

    Whoa, whoa, whoa! My reference to “cultural Catholics” was clearly in regards to people who have never been to mass, i.e. – never been to a Catholic church *at all*. Meaning – no communion, no confession, sometimes even no *baptism* and yet claim to be Catholic!

    Dude, remember that you’re a convert, okay? Seriously. You were not raised in Mother Church, so you have a very different perspective than those of us who were, regardless of how half-assedly. Moreover, some of us belong to ethnic groups (in my case, Irish) in which Catholicsims is simply assumed.

    Moreover, once you’re baptized, you are considered Catholic. You’re on the rolls, and you can’t get off until you request it. I was perfectly happy to be lapsed for years until Ratzi got the top job, and then I actively sought apostasy. But members of my family are still Catholic (my aunt’s a friggin’ nun, fer crap’s sake), I attend significant events in their religious lives, like my nephew’s recent First Communion.

    So, basically, you dont’ get to decide who’s a Catholic and who’s not. And I do feel sorry for you if you converted into the kind of self-righteous parish where the priest thinks it’s okay for you to be passing judgment on the relationship of your fellow churchmembers to God and to the Church. Because that means he isn’t doing his job. Confession is between the penitent and God, and the priest is the only intermediary, who takes the secrets to his grave.

  110. bellatrys
    bellatrys April 13, 2006 at 9:02 pm |

    And can someone explain the fascination many secular Liberals seem to have with Dominion Theology?

    Um, Fred is hardly a secular Liberal. Neither is the Green Knight, nor PastorDan.

    And the reason Dominionism is so fascinating is that people like Rushdoony and his heirs, and their associates, have deliberately and strategically exerted a great and steadily increasing deal of political influence on US politics the last few decades, in a whole range of areas from the rape of nature under the justification of “subduing the earth” to laws penalizing gays and lesbians to insisting on a public burning of incense to Tashlan in the form of graven images and approved public prayers to cheerleading for war against the infidel. Theologically they may be a marginal sect – but then, so wasn’t Arianism, once and then again. It all comes down to what princes and earthly powers you can influence, as a sect.

  111. Deep Thought
    Deep Thought April 13, 2006 at 9:40 pm |

    zuzu,
    Who is saying someone baptized isn’t a Catholic? Not me. I may disagree with some aspects of how you live your life while you call yourself Catholic, but you probably disagree with some of the ways I live *my* life while I call myself Catholic. I hope we both continue to struggle toward salvation. Again, my ‘cultural Catholic’ comment pertains to people who aren’t even baptised.
    And how do you feel now that Pope Benedict XVI isn’t nearly so, uh, fierce a pope as many felt he would be?

    bellatrys,
    I didn’t call anyone anything. I was just wondering about the fascination many secular Liberals seem to have for Dominion Theology, like I said.

    My two cents worth; I think the influence of Dominionists on politics is overblown. The confluence of resurgent nationalism and Christianity pre-dates Dominionist theory and is an independent development in a number of Pretestant theologies. IMO, Rushdooney and North have been very, very good at pointing to the accomplishments of others and saying “I wrote that, that’s my idea, they totally cribbed from me”. Internally, many theologians scoff at these claims, but “outsiders” often buy it.

  112. zuzu
    zuzu April 13, 2006 at 9:46 pm | *

    Who is saying someone baptized isn’t a Catholic? Not me.

    Sure you did. You didn’t get around to the “and in some cases, not even baptized!” until the end.

    I’m not struggling toward salvation. I’m agnostic. I strive only to live a good life. Ratzi’s proven himself to be a witch-hunter, with his rooting out of gay priests, even those who’ve been good, celibate priests. I don’t agree at all that he’s less fierce than advertised. In some ways, he’s done me a favor, since I was complacent about JPII even though he was really no worse, just more cuddly.

    My aunt, BTW, a Vatican II kinda nun, still has issues with calling him Pope.

  113. Deep Thought
    Deep Thought April 13, 2006 at 9:59 pm |

    You know, of course, that some conservatives complain he isn’t nearly strict enough.

  114. zuzu
    zuzu April 13, 2006 at 10:04 pm | *

    And that’s why people call them theocon fascists.

    Because if you’re to the right of the Hitler Youth/Grand Inquisitor Pope, what other epithets are there?

  115. Deep Thought
    Deep Thought April 14, 2006 at 12:00 am |

    zuzu,
    Don’t confuse theological conservatism with political conservatism. They are rather different, after all. Fascism (the subordination of society to ‘the state’) is something his past writing condemns pretty clearly, and he has a stand against totalitarinism in all forms.

  116. Erika
    Erika April 14, 2006 at 12:52 am |

    Who are the five percent of women who never use contraception? Scary!

  117. Thalia
    Thalia April 14, 2006 at 1:45 am |

    Onan’s sin was not primarily contraceptive behavior. Within Hebrew society, widows without sons were effectively powerless. Brothers had a duty of attempting to father a son with widowed sisters-in-law so that said son could support his widowed mother in her old age. By refusing to do so, Onan was both abandoning his sister-in-law to poverty, but also ensuring that all land and property of his brother would be inherited by Onan or by Onan’s own sons. This disregard for a a person who was both related to Onan (and thus deserving of justice as seen by the then-tribal Hebrews) and a widow (accorded special protections within Levitic law) was the crime for which Onan was slain.

    So impregnating your brother’s widow (regardless of how she feels about it) is a way to show her respect? That is so fucked up.

    I mean I’m not surprised or anything, given the Old Testament, but fuck.

  118. Deep Thought
    Deep Thought April 14, 2006 at 11:37 am |

    Thanlia,
    Again, within the laws, customs, etc. of the time – it made sense. And the widow, also in that paradigm, would probably prefer a surrogate father, as it were (the children were considered the children of the dead brother), to a life of insecurity and poverty.

  119. Deep Thought
    Deep Thought April 14, 2006 at 11:38 am |

    Erika,
    Mainly Catholics, then a small number of Lubavicher Jews (I think I hacked the spelling on that).

  120. W. Kiernan
    W. Kiernan April 14, 2006 at 12:37 pm |

    Deep, Deep Thought sez: To “us” (broad, weeping generalization alert!) children aren’t begotten for the pleasure they bring us, they are begotten for the very purpose of being, independent of their utility to ourselves (don’t get me wrong, their utility is high, and we gain great pleasure from them).

    Exactly! It’s not about you and what you want; the transcendent issue is the kids, those wonderful, irreplacable kids. Oh, how it irks me – not so much for any personal reasons as due to my dismay over the desuetude of the West – whenever I see a beautiful woman walking down the sidewalk, that she isn’t running-not-walking to the nearest hotel room with me so we can have a shot at engendering another one! I mean, for a woman to reject my importunities clearly is functionally identical with her taking birth-control pills or using condoms: no kissy-huggy with ol’ WDK = yet another eternally forsaken opportunity for blesséd conception. One wants to weep, really. So what if she’s not interested; so what if she doesn’t want to jump into bed with a complete stranger, so what if she finds me (“yeth, Mathter, look, Igor has brought you thome lovely fresh new brains!”) perhaps somewhat repulsive – the fact remains, every time any female rejects me, there goes another potential child, maybe even twins or triplets, lost to contingency… Come on, Christian ladies, y’all stop being so selfish, and do the right thing!

  121. Deep Thought
    Deep Thought April 14, 2006 at 8:26 pm |

    W. Kiernan,
    Was that, uh, meant to be funny?
    A Christian woman (as traditionally defined) would not be interested in attempting to engender a child with you until you were married, thus undermining your pining, as it were.

  122. zuzu
    zuzu April 14, 2006 at 8:29 pm | *

    Oh, Jesus, DT.

  123. Fitz
    Fitz April 15, 2006 at 12:11 pm |

    I was reading Dawn Edens piece that was linked to, and thought it pertinent to comment. I believe the point she makes is more metaphysical then biological.
    The idea, (in my understanding- and its one I subscribe to) is that the nature of the sexual act with birth control as apposed to without birth control, is one of kind not degree.
    This phenomena is magnified as an entire culture succumbs to the notion of sex under a regime cheap, reliable, female controlled birth control.

    If one is truly interested, the works of scholars like Robert Michael at the University of Chicago, or most prominently, Nobel-prize-winning economist George Akerlof of the University of California at Berkeley – use an economic model to show how the introduction of the pill dramatically restructures our concept of human sexuality and its value.

    To be curt, one can accurately say that sexual intercourse is seen in contemporary society as essentially recreational rather than procreational. Indeed, this is a dramatic departure in terms of human understanding of sexuality. I believe Dawn thought experiment is helpful in highlighting this significant divide in peoples understanding of intercourse.

  124. trouble
    trouble April 15, 2006 at 1:48 pm |

    Let’s see. This isn’t rocket science, girls. We know sex = babies. Durr.

    So, if you choose to have sex in circumstances which aren’t suitable for bringing new life into the world, and you don’t take every precaution under the sun to prevent it, and wind up pregnant, whose fault is that, precisely?

    It isn’t PUNISHMENT. It’s dealing with the inevitable consequences of your actions. All the temper tantrums in the world won’t eliminate that reality.

    And I say this as a woman who had an unplanned pregnancy.

    I’ve been there. I’ve walked the mile in those shoes. I LIVED with the consequences of my actions and accepted responsibility for them. I realized it was NO ONE’s fault, but my own, that I wound up preggers. Did my boyfriend (at the time) have responsibility? Yep. But ultimately, it was MY BODY. I chose…stupidly.

    You don’t get to cry and throw a temper tantrum when you’ve been a tard, and think people are going to be sympathetic to you.

    It’s idiotic. Oh. And irresponsible, immature, and stupid.

    And god…do I hate stupid people who blame everyone else for the bed they find themselves lying in.

  125. trouble
    trouble April 15, 2006 at 1:50 pm |

    And for the record, I’m not religious. And, I consider myself a feminist…a responsible feminist who takes responsibility for MY OWN BODY and doesn’t expect other people to do it for me or clean up the messes I’ve created.

    When did feminism get to be about lack of personal responsibility?

  126. zuzu
    zuzu April 15, 2006 at 1:50 pm | *

    So, you had an abortion, did you?

  127. trouble
    trouble April 15, 2006 at 1:51 pm |

    No. I had a BABY.

  128. zuzu
    zuzu April 15, 2006 at 1:52 pm | *

    And those who decide not to have the baby aren’t taking personal responsibility, is that your argument?

  129. trouble
    trouble April 15, 2006 at 1:52 pm |

    I still have a baby (though she’s 12 now). Do I regret my choice? NEVER. There has never been one single day that I’ve regretted choosing to own my choices and have that baby. I wish I could say as much for my friends who’ve had abortions.

  130. trouble
    trouble April 15, 2006 at 1:52 pm |

    Zuzu:

    Yep.

  131. trouble
    trouble April 15, 2006 at 1:53 pm |

    Abortion is expecting someone else to pay the price for YOUR stupidity.

    That’s why, in a nutshell, I oppose it. Not for religious reasons. Not for archaic mythological ones. Not because I hate sex. Not because I hate women.

    But because abortion, at it’s crux, is an inherently violent act that devalues life and diminishes personal responsibility.

  132. trouble
    trouble April 15, 2006 at 1:57 pm |

    Having said that, though, I’m not without the capacity to reason. I abortions should stay legal, though strictly curtailed. I support the widespread availability of the morning after pill, and though I would never have one, I support abortions staying legal until after the first trimester.

    After that, I think they should be illegal. I think strict fines and penalties, not to mention criminal charges should be imposed against people who perform abortions after the first trimester.

  133. zuzu
    zuzu April 15, 2006 at 1:57 pm | *

    I see.

    You think that the only way to take personal responsibility after an unplanned pregnancy is to have the baby. Anything else is not taking responsibility for your own body and/or expecting other people to “clean up your messes” for you.

    Walk me through your reasoning as to how finding out you’re pregnant, making a decision as to what to do about it, and then paying someone to perform a medical procedure is not “taking personal responsibility” for your own body.

  134. zuzu
    zuzu April 15, 2006 at 2:01 pm | *

    Abortion is expecting someone else to pay the price for YOUR stupidity.

    Ah. Pregnancy is not punishment, you say, yet here you are insisting that it’s your own damn fault if you get pregnant because you were do damn stupid to have sex when you didn’t want to get pregnant, even though you were taking reasonable precautions not to get pregnant, and that’s just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.

    Fault…price…stupidity…consequences….

    Yeah, I really see how you might think of yourself as not being anti-sex, or not an advocate of pregnancy as punishment.

  135. Dianne
    Dianne April 15, 2006 at 2:03 pm |

    After that, I think they [abortions] should be illegal.

    Always? Even for a 13 year old who only got up the nerve to admit that she was raped by her father in the 13th week? Even for the woman with eclampsia in her 14th week of pregnancy? Even for the fetus with misdeveloped lungs who will die painfully gasping for breath if it is brought to term? Even for the fetus with trisomy 13 who will die in great pain within a year of birth? Would you support greater access to first trimester abortion so that any woman who wanted an abortion could get access to one quickly and easily instead of having to jump through so many hoops that she can’t get one before the 12th week?

  136. zuzu
    zuzu April 15, 2006 at 2:06 pm | *

    Come on, Dianne. That 13-year-old was just stupidly refusing to take responsibility for her own body when she let Daddy rape her. She should have kept her legs closed, or at the very least insisted he use a condom.

    And the woman with eclampsia? Tough titties. Shoulda known better when she spread her legs.

  137. trouble
    trouble April 15, 2006 at 2:09 pm |

    Sorry. Your reasoning is flawed. Consequences do not equate to punishment.

    Say, for instance, that you leave your car unlocked; and some tard comes along and steals your car stereo. Are you being punished for leaving your car unlocked? Of course not. It’s just a natural and logical possibility…

    If you have sex, and you aren’t using oodles of protection, in every way you can to prevent it, are you REALLY SURPRISED if pregnancy occurs?

    And why should someone else be killed when you were too silly or irresponsible to ensure that they weren’t created in the first place? So, you equate pregnancy with punishment. Have you ever been pregnant? LOL.

    There really is no excuse, these days, for an unplanned pregnancy. Condoms are readily available. There is free and/or low-cost birth control throughout the U.S. The morning after pill is prescribed around the U.S. and is cheap through most insurance plans.

    When I got pregnant, it was because I was only using birth control pills, no condoms or other form of back-up. It seems to me that we realize now that probably two methods of birth control are required not only to stop the spread of STDs and protect our bodies that way, but because we know that no form of birth control is infallible.

    So, explain to me again how the life that YOU CREATED should be destroyed because you didn’t prevent it’s creation, rather than you having to deal with the untidiness you’ve created yourself.

    I know what you hope to do, Zuzu, by equating consequence with punishment. But it’s a logical fallacy, nonetheless. And your use of the fallacious reasoning known as prejudicial language doesn’t save your flimsy case.

    What are reasonable precautions, in your mind?

  138. Dianne
    Dianne April 15, 2006 at 2:10 pm |

    A Christian woman (as traditionally defined) would not be interested in attempting to engender a child with you until you were married,

    Well, the comment you’re responding to might or might not have been pure sarcasm, but I do have a serious question about this issue. If it’s of paramount importance to have as many children as possible isn’t abstinence just as sinful as birth control? Barring the one not particularly well documented example 2000 years ago and some unnatural acts with turkey basters, conceptions don’t happen without sex. So not having sex is refusing to be open to as many conceptions as possible (as many as god wants for you?) So is the only moral thing to do to get married as young as possible and stay pregnant as much as possible? What about priests, monks, and nuns? Do they get some sort of special dispensation to ignore the rules?

  139. Dianne
    Dianne April 15, 2006 at 2:12 pm |

    Say, for instance, that you leave your car unlocked; and some tard comes along and steals your car stereo. Are you being punished for leaving your car unlocked? Of course not. It’s just a natural and logical possibility

    So if you left your car unlocked and the stereo got stolen you wouldn’t report the theft because it was just a natural consequence? If the police arrested the thief and recovered the stereo would you refuse to take it back because that would be refusing to take responsibility for the natural consequences of leaving your car unlocked?

  140. trouble
    trouble April 15, 2006 at 2:19 pm |

    Dianne:

    How does this way you’re attempting to bend the metaphor relate to abortion?

    Is abortion equivalent in that instance to reporting the stereo stolen?

  141. Lauren
    Lauren April 15, 2006 at 2:27 pm |

    How does this way you’re attempting to bend the metaphor relate to abortion?

    How do stolen cars relate to abortion?

    Trouble, take a walk, chill out, drink a glass of wine, then come back to this post and try not to comment eight times in a row. Really, it will help your argument.

  142. trouble
    trouble April 15, 2006 at 4:35 pm |

    Lauren: Ad hominem. Nothing I said was irrational. Bite me.

    Jill: Pregnancy doesn’t happen by accident. Whether you refuse to believe abortion is about not taking responsibility or not, it is. It is killing another life because we ourselves didn’t do enough to prevent that life from happening.

    Deal.

    And if that is the most responsible choice those women can make, thank whatever deity exists that they aren’t parents. They’re selfish children who put their own convenience above all other things.

    And THAT, ladies, is why our society is falling into the toilet.

  143. Kristen from MA
    Kristen from MA April 17, 2006 at 11:30 am |

    Trouble,

    you say you don’t regret your choice. and yet you are deeply, deeply angry about something. get some professional help.

  144. trouble
    trouble April 18, 2006 at 12:29 am |

    Jill: I’m gone??? OOo, the terror of that.

    Kristen: Stick to the political spectrum where you only mildly suck, and try avoiding the psychiatrist’s couch, for which you are clearly unqualified. Just a tip. ;) (Ad hominem, btw), and no cognitive response to the points i made. *kiss kiss*

    IF am I am angry about something, It’s mainly about how the feminist movement has been overtaken by a group of petulent children with little sense of personal responsibility who just want to fuck, when they want to fuck, and god damn it all if some inconvenient life that might hamper our club hopping happens. We’ll just flush it down a sink.

    That’s what I see in your generation, and it does indeed sadden and anger me.

    The lack of ability to debate abortion without mischaracterizing those who, for their own deeply decided internal views against it, as those who hate sex, is just pathetic, too.

    Because trust me. I’m as anti-abortion as almost anyone. And, i love sex. I just don’t do it without the awareness of the risks involved.

  145. R. Mildred
    R. Mildred April 18, 2006 at 1:00 am |

    IF am I am angry about something, It’s mainly about how the feminist movement has been overtaken by a group of petulent children with little sense of personal responsibility who just want to fuck, when they want to fuck, and god damn it all if some inconvenient life that might hamper our club hopping happens. We’ll just flush it down a sink.

    What the fuck are you talking about? We don’t want to abort, every abortion we have means one less baby to eat on a stick at our New York City brunch barbecues.

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