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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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156 Responses

  1. Kasabian
    Kasabian October 24, 2012 at 11:56 am |

    Not sure why his opponent had to make the somewhat disingenuous leap from “babies caused by rape are a gift from God” to “Rape is a gift from God”… the first one’s horrible enough as-is.

    1. Past my expiration date
      Past my expiration date October 24, 2012 at 12:17 pm |

      Because “God doesn’t want rapes to happen, but God does want pregnancies resulting from those rapes to happen” is a logically- incoherent position (unless the pregnancy is God’s way of making up to the person for being raped?), and they were giving him the benefit of the doubt.

    2. Rhoanna
      Rhoanna October 24, 2012 at 12:20 pm |

      Yeah, maybe Mourdock believes God is just making the best of a bad situation. Everyone knows that a fetus is an appropriate “sorry you got raped” gift.

    3. konkonsn
      konkonsn October 24, 2012 at 12:25 pm |

      Well, actually, the only one who said, “Rape is a gift from God,” was the writer of the article in: “Lest anyone think he actually believes rape is God’s gift…”

      Donnelly only made the connection that if “God intended” for a baby to be born from rape, that God must have intended for the rape to happen (thus God is pro-rape).

      1. BabyRaptor
        BabyRaptor October 25, 2012 at 10:36 pm |

        The christian god IS pro-rape. Note that he never says “don’t rape,” but more than that, he orders that rape victims be punished just like their rapist. With the death penalty.

        He also decrees that, in the few situations that don’t warrant both of them getting stoned to death, the rapist has to pay for and marry the woman. No thoughts at all about the victim, anywhere.

  2. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil October 24, 2012 at 11:57 am |

    Yep, that’s my Senate candidate.

    1. Lolagirl
      Lolagirl October 24, 2012 at 12:03 pm |

      Ugghhh, FashionablyEvil, you have my sympathies.

      Seriously though, assholes like Mourdock and Daniels are the reason why I will never, ever move back to Indiana (no offense, FE!). The far right has been on a crusade to wrest control of Indiana and its politics for a while now, and sadly they seem to be winning. In the meanwhile, they have made it abundantly clear that they don’t care one bit about the residents of their state.

      1. FashionablyEvil
        FashionablyEvil October 24, 2012 at 12:28 pm |

        Well, I moved here from Georgia, so my standards for state-level office are low. (But John Lewis was my Congressman in Atlanta. I miss him.)

      2. Lolagirl
        Lolagirl October 24, 2012 at 12:39 pm |

        I still can’t believe that Lugar was unseated in favor of this degenerate, it’s really a sad statement on where politics are at in Indiana these days.

        I’m from NWI, which is still basically Democratic stronghold in the state. Lugar at least seemed to understand the need to work across the aisle and represent the needs of all of his constituents. Mourdock is one of those Teabagger true believers who enjoys being a lightning rod for controversy. But that also means it’s all about him in his mind, not his constituency.

  3. catfood
    catfood October 24, 2012 at 12:24 pm |

    “Please proceed.”

  4. samanthab
    samanthab October 24, 2012 at 12:28 pm |

    I vote for keep talking. It makes me ill, but it’s about time for it to become crystal clear- to women and to un-creepy men, how twisted these people are.

    1. Anon21
      Anon21 October 24, 2012 at 12:33 pm |

      If he wins the election anyway, does that make other rape apologists bolder about expressing their real views, making rape culture that much more toxic and harmful? These are the hypotheticals we wouldn’t have to ponder in a sane world, because in a sane world there would be no chance of a candidate who said this stuff getting elected to the U.S. Senate.

      1. samanthab
        samanthab October 24, 2012 at 1:59 pm |

        Well, there’s the individual election, and there’s the national party. I think it’s safe to say that if Karl Rove has been seeking to distance the national party from Akin’s comments, Rove is doing so because he believes that they have consequences. I haven’t read as much yet about Murdock’s race.

  5. pillowinhell
    pillowinhell October 24, 2012 at 12:29 pm |

    The very first fragging comment is to slap us on the wrist for calling out atrocious thinking and rightly defining the “logic” of that thinking? What the hell? Is there a special sortware out there to dismiss feminist thinking the moment the topic deals with rape?

    1. Kasabian
      Kasabian October 24, 2012 at 12:56 pm |

      Not very helpful I know, but that wasn’t my intent :( . Dunno why I feel the compulsive need to get into semantics when no matter which way you slice it, the guy’s a logic-torturing toolbox. Again, I apologize. Bad first comment. :(

  6. matlun
    matlun October 24, 2012 at 12:38 pm |

    The Republican Rape commentary is becoming a bit repetitive. I seem to be constantly going in a loop
    1. At least now they have reached bottom and will not be able to say anything even more obnoxious.
    2. Wait! They actually did, but at least now … (go to 1)

  7. William
    William October 24, 2012 at 12:52 pm |

    At what point can we just be honest and start treating Christianity-as-a-whole as a hate group?

    Seriously, fuck everyone under the sign of the cross.

    1. FashionablyEvil
      FashionablyEvil October 24, 2012 at 1:35 pm |

      Sure, it’s not like the term “hate group” actually has a definition.

      1. Anon21
        Anon21 October 24, 2012 at 2:39 pm |

        Um… does it? Beyond whatever a particular speaker wants it to mean? I’m sure various people have defined it, but it’s surely not an uncontested term.

        1. Odin
          Odin October 24, 2012 at 3:17 pm |

          Organizations such as the SPLC that keep track of extremist groups do indeed have a definition of hate group, with specific criteria that must be met. Sure, some people (especially members of the SPLC-designated hate groups) disagree, and there is room for quibbling over details, but in general I think the social justice community as a whole agrees that if the SPLC labels a group as a hate group, that group really does deserve that label.

          If we are going to actually track hate group activity in a given country, then we need a robust definition of hate group. If we expand it to include, eg, “all Christian groups”, then it’s rather useless concept, because that means Habitat for Humanity becomes a hate group.

        2. FashionablyEvil
          FashionablyEvil October 24, 2012 at 3:41 pm |

          Ah, that was sarcasm on my part. We’re all agreed that it actually has a definition (including those used by the FBI and SPLC).

    2. samanthab
      samanthab October 24, 2012 at 2:04 pm |

      Uh, okay. Well, that’s a massive insult to the memory of George Tiller, for one.

      1. Bagelsan
        Bagelsan October 24, 2012 at 11:00 pm |

        Why yes, I’m sure he’d love you dragging him in to prop up a rape discussion.

        1. Esti
          Esti October 25, 2012 at 5:08 am |

          He’s not being used to prop up a rape discussion. He was mentioned as an example of a Christian who put his life on the line to defend the right of women to control their bodies, to combat the idea that every Christian should be written off solely because of their religious beliefs.

          Personally, I think he’d be pretty okay with that.

    3. BHuesca
      BHuesca October 24, 2012 at 2:12 pm |

      …and your plans for other religions? Women have been stoned to death in the name of Islam because they were pregnant outside of marriage, can we call “Islam/Muslims as a whole” a hate group too? Pretty please?

      1. William
        William October 24, 2012 at 2:28 pm |

        Works for me. I pretty much find anything in the Abrahamic tradition to be morally repellent and politically dangerous. Not that I think we should reduce anyone’s liberty to believe what they want to, but I just do not see why we continue to treat people like this with any modicum of respect or civility. The Klan can still have a rally, after all, but they sure as hell aren’t worthy of anything besides contempt. Christianity and Islam have earned the same treatment, in my opinion.

    4. Patu
      Patu October 24, 2012 at 3:13 pm |

      This is so completely and utterly not about your little pet peeve with Christianity right now. This is about sexist arsehole men, and you know what? There are plenty of those who are atheists, too.

      1. Beatrice
        Beatrice October 24, 2012 at 3:25 pm |

        But this particular asshole uses God as an excuse for his misogyny. So the topic has quite a lot to do with religion.

        1. Patu
          Patu October 24, 2012 at 5:16 pm |

          Yes, that is true. But religion doesn’t make people bigoted; bigots use religion as a justification for their bigotry. That’s the key difference here. Mourdock doesn’t see women as less than human because he’s a Christian; he uses Christianity to reinforce his views of women’s subhumanity.

          Look, I’m an atheist too. But it pisses me off when men come into a feminist discussion about men hating woman and immediately going ‘IT’S CHRISTIANITY’S FAULT’ without using a modicum of introspection to think about how no, actually, this isn’t just a Christian thing.

        2. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll October 24, 2012 at 5:19 pm |

          But religion doesn’t make people bigoted;

          Except when it’s chock full of bigotry. You don’t have to use religion to justify it when your religion has already justified it flat out for you.

      2. William
        William October 24, 2012 at 7:05 pm |

        I know that there are sexist atheists, too (and, for the record, I’m not an atheist). The thing is, as Beatrice and Pheenobarbidoll have pointed out, this guy’s religion isn’t just a cover for his sexism but a major part of the worldview that informs not only his rampant misogyny but a whole host of other oppressive views. When you have a faith rooted in entitlement and patriarchy, and when members of that faith actively use the organization and dogma of their faith to advance the oppression of others in service of the explicit tenets of their faith, you cannot give the religion a pass. Would you have different oppression without the shame-culture of the Abrahamic cults? Sure, but its not an accident that places like Europe (who aren’t choking on regressive religious bullshit) have a lot less problems with LGBT and reproductive rights.

        1. Donna L
          Donna L October 24, 2012 at 7:35 pm |

          have a lot less problems with LGBT . . . rights.

          I don’t think you know enough about the state of LGBT rights throughout Europe to make that kind of generalization.

        2. William
          William October 24, 2012 at 9:59 pm |

          I don’t think you know enough about the state of LGBT rights throughout Europe to make that kind of generalization.

          You’re right, I was over broad there. Eastern and Souther Europe tend to be pretty bad, but Northern, Western, and Central Europe are a hell of a lot more progressive, on average, than the US with the EU pulling the region as a whole towards a more modern stance.

        3. s l mccoy
          s l mccoy October 24, 2012 at 11:43 pm |

          Please don’t mistake Christianity for what some particular self-proclaimed Christians do. To the great chagrin of the right-wing anti-choice Christians, the Bible does not say abortion is wrong or against God at all.

          In the Gospels, the father of Jesus is the Holy Spirit that comes on Mary and makes her pregnant only after she agrees to get pregnant in accord with highly limiting pre-stated conditions. Later, this Spirit is defined by two key statements:

          “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty”
          and in a passage that Jesus with that Spirit on him cites from the older Bible: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me . . . to preach deliverance to the captives . . . to set at liberty them that are bruised.”

          That sounds more like Roe v Wade than anything those far-right anti-choice people ever say. The ignorance of those people is a form of captivity. Someday, those of us who are not quite that ignorant may be able to help deliver them.

        4. Beatrice
          Beatrice October 25, 2012 at 1:53 am |

          LGBT rights are worse in Eastern than Western and Central Europe… church has a rather large influence in many countries of Eastern Europe.
          Coincidence?

          Hell, pope loves to visit my little hole and promote “family values” and warn about things like “overly secular Europe” (meaning:EU).

          But this has gone a bit off topic, so I’ll shut up.

        5. William
          William October 25, 2012 at 11:56 am |

          Please don’t mistake Christianity for what some particular self-proclaimed Christians do.

          Spare me.

          I come not to bring peace, but to bring a sword (Matthew 10:34)

          But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one (Luke 22:36)

          And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables.(John 2:15)

          Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered. When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked. Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (Matthew 21:18-22)

          Christianity is a faith steeped in entitlement and violence which has actively used the worst of human brutality both to spread and to maintain it’s hegemony in the west. It followed on the heels of Roman slavers, European crusaders, Spanish conquistadors, slave ships bound for the New World, and the Manifest Destiny which followed. It is hand in glove with patriarchal oppression. That today’s Christians sometimes have the privilege of feigning peace because their will has been so thoroughly inflicted upon the rest of us does not impress me. Peace is a modern affectation for Christianity and it does not at all surprise me that we begin to hear this vileness when the repellent oppression it has served to foster is threatened and the men who benefit from it begin to feel afraid.

      3. Bagelsan
        Bagelsan October 24, 2012 at 11:04 pm |

        Pet peeve: a small nuisance or minor dislike.

        Large organized religion that actively promotes and enables rape: not a small nuisance or minor dislike. More like a major and dangerous threat.

        So fuck right off with your “pet peeve” crap. Christianity has more blood on it than will ever wipe off, even with the boot lickers working 24/7.

      4. SlipperyWombat
        SlipperyWombat October 25, 2012 at 2:07 am |

        This is so completely and utterly not about your little pet peeve with Christianity right now. This is about sexist arsehole men, and you know what? There are plenty of those who are atheists, too.

        I had the recent displeasure of conversing with two “no exceptions” opponents of reproductive rights, who were both Christian, but neither of whom referred to any of the usual sanctity of life garbage. They went straight to stating their belief that forcing women to carry pregnancies to term was a matter of ensuring they “took responsibility” and “suffered the consequences” of their behavior. To cases of rape they both expressed that such situations were unfortunate and offered up the consolation that they approved of giving up the child for adoption in such cases.

        It really is a fucking morbid obsession with controlling the bodies of women that drives these people.

        1. s l mccoy
          s l mccoy October 25, 2012 at 1:03 pm |

          I urge you to take a look at the website of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice http://www.rcrc.org/, which has actively supported abortion rights and other aspects of reproductive choice for decades. The woman who took Roe v Wade to the Supreme Court and won was a Methodist minister’s daughter. Part of what helped her by creating a very favorable context was the abortion rights movement of the 1960s and early 1970s, which many Jewish and Protestant Christian churches/groups served as organizers.

  8. benvolio
    benvolio October 24, 2012 at 12:54 pm |

    What gets my particular goat here is that he just finishes talking about ‘respecting the views of people that don’t feel my way’ and then goes ahead and tells us he advocates not respecting them, i.e. legislating his way, thereby making anybody else’s way illegal.

    So, he’s a misogynist and a liar. Not surprising; goat-getting anyway.

    1. SlipperyWombat
      SlipperyWombat October 25, 2012 at 2:39 am |

      What gets my particular goat here is that he just finishes talking about ‘respecting the views of people that don’t feel my way’ and then goes ahead and tells us he advocates not respecting them, i.e. legislating his way, thereby making anybody else’s way illegal.

      Republicans of this sort resolve this by avoiding the “women are people” fallacy.

  9. Dank
    Dank October 24, 2012 at 1:07 pm |

    Hey, if you believe in God as an omnipotent being with the power to prevent all rapes, then what other explanation is there for why she lets them happen? Must be part of the plan.

    1. doberman
      doberman October 24, 2012 at 2:02 pm |

      I don’t believe in god, but I think that they think that god allows these things to happen because he gives everyone free will, and simply hopes that they will do good things, rather than forcing good things to happen. You know?

      1. William
        William October 24, 2012 at 2:33 pm |

        I don’t believe in god, but I think that they think that god allows these things to happen because he gives everyone free will, and simply hopes that they will do good things, rather than forcing good things to happen. You know?

        Extending someone’s free will over the body of another is explicit support for oppression. A human being’s body is not a valid token in the moral testing of another. Any faith that would argue otherwise is repugnant and worthy of nothing better than bare tolerance. Even then the tolerance is less about them and more about making a moral decision not to do to oppressors what they would do to those they seek to oppress.

        If God has the power to stop a rape and does not he is as morally culpable as a rapist and not worthy of our worship. If he lacks the power he is not worthy of the title of God.

        1. doberman
          doberman October 24, 2012 at 3:48 pm |

          Well if one believes in god then one couldn’t really say the things that god does is immoral. As a divine creator type thing he would define what is moral and not.

          Also I do kinda disagree with what you’re saying there. I don’t think a world in which peoples free will was constrained in order to protect others would be a good one. I think we need to give people fully free will and just hope that they will do good. Otherwise you end up in a scary 1984 type situation where people are neutered and fed lies in order to keep the system running.

        2. librarygoose
          librarygoose October 24, 2012 at 5:41 pm |

          Otherwise you end up in a scary 1984 type situation where people are neutered and fed lies in order to keep the system running.

          Also known as real life things that happen.

        3. Asia
          Asia October 24, 2012 at 6:23 pm |

          I agree with Wiliam. I can’t worship a god that would let me get raped.

        4. William
          William October 24, 2012 at 7:09 pm |

          I don’t think a world in which peoples free will was constrained in order to protect others would be a good one. I think we need to give people fully free will and just hope that they will do good. Otherwise you end up in a scary 1984 type situation where people are neutered and fed lies in order to keep the system running.

          Intentionally misread much?

          We constrain free will for the good of others all the time, and justifiably so. On my way home from work someone cut me off in traffic. I was pissed, but if I’d rammed their car off the road or threw a brick through their window there would be some pretty significant (and absolutely justified) consequences. Similarly, I don’t really give two shits if someone’s free will demands that they rape someone. Your will does not trump the will of others. Its really not that tough.

        5. Alara Rogers
          Alara Rogers October 25, 2012 at 8:28 am |

          Well if one believes in god then one couldn’t really say the things that god does is immoral. As a divine creator type thing he would define what is moral and not.

          This is actually my fundamental problem with the worldview of Christians.

          Is God good because God defines good, and therefore, all that God says to be good is what is good? Or is God good because goodness exists as a concept outside of God, and God exhibits those traits that are part of the definition of good? The first argument allows for rape and murder to be good if God says so, which most people, including most Christians, would argue is not the case. The second argument says that humans don’t, in fact, need God to define goodness for them… they know what it is already.

          So anyone who says “Well, how can atheists be moral without a belief in God?” is revealing that they themselves are morally bankrupt, and without a playbook to follow they literally cannot tell what is moral and what is not. Morality is understood by most people to have a separate existence outside of God, because when you confront Christians with passages in the Bible where God told the Israelites to murder all of their enemies, including babies and children, except for the teenage girls, who they should take home and rape, they get really uncomfortable and make excuses like that’s the word of man instead of God, or it was a different time, or you can’t take everything literally, or whatever. (They may also argue that when the Bible says to spare the virgin girls and take them as wives, that’s not advocating rape, because we all know how much teenage girls love to marry and have sex with the men who just slaughtered their entire family in front of them.) People in general were horrified with the recent comments of a Republican who is in favor of murdering rebellious children, even though that in fact is advocated in the Bible, because even Christians understand that murdering a child for talking back to you is wrong regardless of whether you think God approves of it or not.

          So actually, yes, you can call God immoral, if you yourself have a moral center, because you can make a judgement call on the actions of God. Now, I personally believe that an omnipotent being who runs around preventing people from doing things that they want to do is immoral because I do believe that free will is important; that being said, a Creator who designed humanity such that men are stronger than women, are biologically capable of committing rape, that women can become pregnant from such rapes, and that pregnancy can be life-threatening to women, is either really really stupid and/or careless, or a misogynist. A good God who is omniscient, omnipotent and benevolent would have designed humans so that men would have no desire to rape (after all, humans have very, very little desire to eat other humans… it happens on occasion, but it’s hardly endemic like rape is, so it’s possible to imagine designing humans such that they just don’t want to commit certain awful acts without infringing on the concept of free will.) Or, would have designed women with the ability to abort pregnancies at will, given the danger that pregnancy presents to human women in particular. The very fact that rape, in particular, exists, and that pregnancy, which makes human women weak and can endanger their lives, can be inflicted on them by men in an act that’s pleasurable for the man performing it and has no negative biological consequences for him, is an argument against the existence of a benevolent omnipotent God.

    2. samanthab
      samanthab October 24, 2012 at 2:05 pm |

      Then the same is true of abortion, no?

    3. sonia
      sonia October 25, 2012 at 11:56 am |

      I’ve met Buddhists who thought that it could represent punishment for the woman’s actions in her past life.

      1. William
        William October 25, 2012 at 11:57 am |

        Fuck them too.

        1. sonia
          sonia October 25, 2012 at 12:25 pm |

          With a baby pineapple.

  10. Jordan
    Jordan October 24, 2012 at 1:23 pm |

    You know, I’d bet you’d have to go outside the first world to find a country where politicians say things like this. Maybe Pakistan or Saudi Arabia.

    1. konkonsn
      konkonsn October 24, 2012 at 5:39 pm |

      I don’t really have time or energy to argue, so instead:

      Fuck you.

    2. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune October 24, 2012 at 11:57 pm |

      *snort*

      Politicians saying such things in India would get pilloried, and India isn’t even that progressive. You can tuck your racism and Islamophobia away, thanks.

      I mean, seriously. The US is currently a country which is engaging in blatantly imperialistic unprovoked warfare, whose citizens elect politicians who openly say that women’s suffrage was a mistake, which has wealth that most developing countries couldn’t dream of and yet have a class divide that’s as steep as any of them, which spends more on the military than on anything else but who won’t pay their veterans’ goddamn medical bills, which has the dubious honour of having a city decriminalise domestic violence to save money in the year 2011. Sneering about “third world” countries is fucking ridiculous, because a lot of them are sneering back, sweetie.

      1. SlipperyWombat
        SlipperyWombat October 25, 2012 at 5:52 am |

        The US is currently a country which is engaging in blatantly imperialistic unprovoked warfare…

        Yes, and once we have incorporated the vast resources and skilled labor pool of Afghanistan into our Empire there will simply be no stopping us!

        And that is nothing to compare to our practices of “honor killing” female family members when they are raped or simply declaring them as unmarriagable cast-offs. And then our penchant for throwing acid in the faces of non-compliant women or those who dare to pursue an education. Or requiring them to self-immolate when their husbands die. Or stoning them to death for adultery on the testimony of any two men.

        Yep, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S. are pretty much the same place as far as human rights are concerned.

        1. EG
          EG October 25, 2012 at 7:47 am |

          Yes, and once we have incorporated the vast resources and skilled labor pool of Afghanistan into our Empire there will simply be no stopping us!

          The rationality and usefulness of the war has nothing to do with whether or not it is imperialistic. However…

          “Mining in Afghanistan rapidly expanded in the last decade after the Karzai administration came to power. Major mining activities are monitored and supervised by the Ministry of Mines and Industry in Kabul. Afghanistan has over 90 mineral fields, containing barite, chromite, coal, copper, gold, iron ore, lead, natural gas, petroleum, precious and semiprecious stones, salt, sulfur, talc, zinc among many other minerals. Precious and semiprecious stones include high-quality emerald, lapis lazuli, red garnet and ruby. It is believed that the country holds up to $3 trillion in untapped mineral deposits.”

          From the same article: “Afghanistan’s significance from an energy standpoint stems from its geographical position as a potential transit route for oil and natural gas exports from Central Asia to the Arabian Sea. This potential includes the construction of the Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline gas pipeline.[3] The first Afghan oil production began in October 2012.”

          From the Wikipedia article about Afghanistan: “The United States Geological Survey (USGS) estimated in 2006 that northern Afghanistan has an average 2.9 billion (bn) barrels (bbl) of crude oil, 15.7 trillion cubic feet (440 bn m3) of natural gas, and 562 million bbl of natural gas liquids.[224]”

        2. EG
          EG October 25, 2012 at 7:48 am |

          And lithium. Apparently, Afghanistan could “become the Saudi Arabia of lithium,” according to the Pentagon.

        3. EG
          EG October 25, 2012 at 8:04 am |

          And one more thing–empires rarely use their conquered populations for skilled labor.

        4. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 25, 2012 at 10:50 am |

          You know, this is exactly why USians like you get sneered at by people of other countries. Not because you’re better or worse than any given person/regime, but because you fuckers can’t look beyond your AMERICA FUCK YEAH long enough to acknowledge that you maybe aren’t perfect. But no, we clearly all hate you for your freedom.

          Also, seriously, doubling down on Pakistan and Saudi Arabia as your go-to examples? As opposed to actually addressing the issues with US civil rights that I brought up? Deflect moar, o defensive one.

        5. SlipperyWombat
          SlipperyWombat October 25, 2012 at 12:58 pm |

          And one more thing–empires rarely use their conquered populations for skilled labor.

          This was my point. The mercantilist model in which unskilled labor and raw resources were worth a war, an occupation, and the general pain in the ass of administering a colony is simply gone. If you have the assets to do all that then you can simply buy local elites and manipulate markets to accomplish the same goal at a fraction of the cost.

        6. EG
          EG October 25, 2012 at 1:05 pm |

          Ah. Unfortunately, that meaning did not come through.

        7. SlipperyWombat
          SlipperyWombat October 25, 2012 at 1:30 pm |

          You know, this is exactly why USians like you get sneered at by people of other countries. Not because you’re better or worse than any given person/regime, but because you fuckers can’t look beyond your AMERICA FUCK YEAH long enough to acknowledge that you maybe aren’t perfect.

          I am not under the impression that the U.S. is perfect. I believe that almost the entire country was fooled by transparent proaganda campaign into supporting the Iraq war in contravention of international law. And I believe we have been a potent anti-democratic, pro-fascist force throughout the middle east and Latin America for the last 60 years.

          I just don’t accept that this makes us remotely comparable to Pakistan or Saudi Arabia where it concerns human rights. I think that if states like those (or the Chinese or the Soviets) had had anything close to the preponderance of military power we have enjoyed since WWII the world would have been a much scarier place.

          I admit that we can’t know how such a state would have behaved and I could be wrong, but that is my basic position on the matter.

          Also, seriously, doubling down on Pakistan and Saudi Arabia as your go-to examples? As opposed to actually addressing the issues with US civil rights that I brought up? Deflect moar, o defensive one.

          Nope, that is not at all how this went. Here is the original comment you were replying to:

          You know, I’d bet you’d have to go outside the first world to find a country where politicians say things like this. Maybe Pakistan or Saudi Arabia.

          At which point you brought up racism, Islamophobia, India and third world countries sneering at the U.S.

          What the poster said was no different from the statement “you have to go outside New York to find good brisket, maybe Tennessee or Texas.” This statement does not imply that all states which are not New York will have good brisket. He specifically referenced those nations to which he felt his comments applied.

          You were just in such a hurry to execute some third world smackdown action that you read his comment as “only people in the third world are ignorant enough to make claims like this,” which would be quite objectionable if this were what he had said.

          And I’m not sure holding up India as a superior example in any debate surrounding abortion is ever a winning move given the “gendercide” phenomenon. Probably even less so on a feminist blog.

        8. petpluto
          petpluto October 26, 2012 at 4:41 am |

          You were just in such a hurry to execute some third world smackdown action that you read his comment as “only people in the third world are ignorant enough to make claims like this,” which would be quite objectionable if this were what he had said.

          Ah, but he DID say:

          you’d have to go outside the first world

          Which is basically saying, “only people in the third world are ignorant enough to make claims like this”. Because if no first world country would make those claims… …then we’re left with third world countries. And then using Pakistan and Saudi Arabia as his examples really cemented which portions of the third world he was referring to.

      2. SlipperyWombat
        SlipperyWombat October 25, 2012 at 9:01 am |

        The rationality and usefulness of the war has nothing to do with whether or not it is imperialistic.

        What defines a war as ‘imperialistic’ by your standards?

        I have seen everything from Kosovo to the first Gulf War referred to as imperialistic, yet China somehow escapes the moniker despite it’s appropriation of Tibet and it’s designs on Taiwan.

        “Afghanistan’s significance from an energy standpoint stems from its geographical position as a potential transit route for oil and natural gas exports from Central Asia to the Arabian Sea.

        The word “potential” is rather key there. Talk of an Afghanistan pipeline has been around since Caspian reserves were first seriously looked at in the 1970’s. Yet 35 years later not one foot of pipeline has been put down. This isn’t an accident. Any such pipeline would necessarily start in Turkmenistan – which already has a pipeline heading into Russian distribution. They aren’t terribly interested in assisting competition in the market.

        If you look closer than the wiki you will find that the pipeline project they specifically reference has been around for years and hasn’t drawn nearly enough investors to begin construction. This is due to both stability concerns and the fact that a great deal of natural gas production capacity has come online in the region since the 1990’s – for all practical purposes killing the profitability of any such project.

        Also, should Iran move back into the international fold you have an option with a fraction of the cost and ten times the stability.

        …minerals…

        The Chinese are the only ones seriously looking to secure any of the rare earth metals. I’m not sure any U.S. company would even have the capacity to bid given that the industry has been dead here for years. Extracting and processing these minerals in a way which is both cost-effective and environmentally friendly is not trivial.

        1. DonnaL
          DonnaL October 25, 2012 at 9:26 am |

          By the way, I’ve heard lots of people refer to China as imperialistic. And Russia too, despite the breakup of the Soviet Union. The USA is hardly the only country that gets regularly accused of that particular sin.

        2. EG
          EG October 25, 2012 at 9:35 am |

          yet China somehow escapes the moniker despite it’s appropriation of Tibet and it’s designs on Taiwan.

          It does? First I’ve heard of it.

          The point is not whether or not the US is using these resources in practice. The point is that your comment quite clearly implied that Afghanistan would be useless as an imperial holding because it lacks valuable resources. That is untrue. If you want to revise your statement to be “If it is an imperialistic war, why isn’t the US exploiting Afghanistan’s resources to the hilt?” that’s fine, but don’t pretend it was implied in your original statement.

        3. SlipperyWombat
          SlipperyWombat October 25, 2012 at 10:36 am |

          DonnaL:
          By the way, I’ve heard lots of people refer to China as imperialistic.

          EG:
          It does? First I’ve heard of it.

          I stand corrected.

          Most of the literature I’ve read on China dealt with Tibet as a peripheral matter or not at all, but if you look at the stuff specifically related to Tibet it is fairly common.

          The point is not whether or not the US is using these resources in practice. The point is that your comment quite clearly implied that Afghanistan would be useless as an imperial holding because it lacks valuable resources.

          It does and I stand by that assertion. Relative to the costs associated with sufficiently stabilizing the country to the point where you could effectively extract, process, and transport those materials – which would likely require another 10 years of occupation at a minimum – and building those industies from the ground up, they do not represent a profitable investment for the foreseeable future.

          The inability to get private investors to fund projects in Afghanistan has been a major roadblock to revitalizing the country. The risk to benefit ratio just isn’t there as far as private enterprise is concerned.

        4. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 25, 2012 at 10:39 am |

          Really? People don’t call China an imperialist country now?

          You must be moving in different circles than I.

          What defines a war as ‘imperialistic’ by your standards?

          A war waged by a superior military power, specifically to to gain strategic or ideological power over a culture, people or region by any of the following methods: the destruction or removal of resources and services, cultural destruction through assimilationist techniques or the total annihilation or enslavement (physical, ideological or financial) of the people of that culture, state or region.

        5. Beatrice
          Beatrice October 25, 2012 at 10:42 am |

          The inability to get private investors to fund projects in Afghanistan has been a major roadblock to revitalizing the country. The risk to benefit ratio just isn’t there as far as private enterprise is concerned.

          Fortunately, war is a profitable business, so private investors can be quite happy with US wars. But I’m sure there is no connection between the incredible amounts of money being spent on wars and the lack of desire on the part of US government to stop those wars and stop starting new ones.
          It’s benevolence and good intentions all the way down.

        6. EG
          EG October 25, 2012 at 10:47 am |

          Relative to the costs associated with sufficiently stabilizing the country to the point where you could effectively extract, process, and transport those materials – which would likely require another 10 years of occupation at a minimum

          Yes…that’s why imperialism requires military occupation. That’s…how it works. But the Romans got silver and lead out of Britain nonetheless.

          “There are no resources” is a different statement from “The resources there are require a tremendous military and financial outlay to obtain.” The second statement, for one thing, outlines a situation in which imperialism would be necessary to obtain those resources.

        7. matlun
          matlun October 25, 2012 at 11:31 am |

          I do not see Afghanistan as a good example of an imperialistic war. The US wanted to strike back very hard at the source of the 9/11 attack for multiple political reasons:
          * Domestic politics: The public needed to be shown that strong and forceful action was taken. It was a clear vote winner.
          * Future real-politik deterrence: Show the consequences of any attack like that against the US.

          It is a very different situation from for example Iraq, which was IMO primarily an attempt at controlling the oil resources.

        8. SlipperyWombat
          SlipperyWombat October 25, 2012 at 1:48 pm |

          Yes…that’s why imperialism requires military occupation. That’s…how it works. But the Romans got silver and lead out of Britain nonetheless.

          “There are no resources” is a different statement from “The resources there are require a tremendous military and financial outlay to obtain.” The second statement, for one thing, outlines a situation in which imperialism would be necessary to obtain those resources.

          You don’t get to make things up. I didn’t say “Afghanistan has no resources.” Please quote me if I did. I sarcastically made light of the idea that we are here for their resources because they are of zero consequence to this war.

          We will be out of here in 2014 and whether the Karzai government will last much longer than that or would have the least bit of interest in favoring any U.S. contractors are very open questions.

        9. SlipperyWombat
          SlipperyWombat October 25, 2012 at 2:05 pm |

          Fortunately, war is a profitable business, so private investors can be quite happy with US wars. But I’m sure there is no connection between the incredible amounts of money being spent on wars and the lack of desire on the part of US government to stop those wars and stop starting new ones.
          It’s benevolence and good intentions all the way down.

          Yes, Obama is a tool of the Military Industrial Complex and that is why we are still in Afghanistan.

          From a military perspective I can tell you that we don’t want to be here any more. We never wanted to be in Iraq. And I believe that you can point the finger at the adoption of a deeply flawed conceptualization of counterinsurgency doctrine (COIN) as the primary culprit.

          I think Obama made the mistake of listening to Generals like McChrystal who had begun to drink their own koolaid so to speak. They were convinced we could fundamentally change Afghanistan and definitively defeat the insurgency. Now everyone has faced reality. We have essentially engaged in a less barbaric Soviet Invasion 2.0. And we will leave with precisely the same results.

        10. SlipperyWombat
          SlipperyWombat October 25, 2012 at 3:17 pm |

          macavitykitsune:

          A war waged by a superior military power, specifically to to gain strategic or ideological power over a culture, people or region by any of the following methods: the destruction or removal of resources and services, cultural destruction through assimilationist techniques or the total annihilation or enslavement (physical, ideological or financial) of the people of that culture, state or region.

          Thank you for providing the definition you are using. I tend towards a more Marxist definition, but I would rather get at meaning than play with semantics.

          Do you honestly feel that the U.S. is employing any of the methods you listed in Afghanistan? Being over here, I just don’t see it, but I am genuinely interested in the perspective of people who view Afghanistan as imperialist aggression rather than an aggressive police action in response to 9/11 that has been allowed to sprawl.

        11. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 25, 2012 at 3:47 pm |

          Wombat, I don’t much care for the Marxist definition of imperialism, to tell the truth. It seems a bit oblivious to the colonised’s experience.

          I would think that the creation of a persistent state of fear for life/property, the installation of a regime that has been vetted/judged suitable by the US rather than by Afghans, and the general deterioration of standard of living for the Afghan population is pretty telling.

          an aggressive police action in response to 9/11 that has been allowed to sprawl.

          First off, the fact that it’s viewed as “police action” rather than a military invasion by the population of the invading country is pretty damn imperialistic, don’t you think? People in another country don’t police shit, they invade. I’m not saying you’re an imperialistic bastard or whatever, I’m pointing out the fact that your language is indicative of the way the US is trying really hard to influence the way its population thinks and speaks about the war.

          Secondly, Afghanistan has always, always been strategically vital. It opens the door both to the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent, both regions that have been wary or hostile towards the US (with reason, but I’m not going to harp on that). The US has been trying to bully India and Pakistan to allow it land bases in the Himalayas for years now with relatively little success. Sure, it was always presented as a police action, but so was British guardianship of Egypt, and British annexation of many kingdoms in India/Pakistan; the language around each invasion has been identical. A police action. It kind of triggers an instinctive response to tell the truth.

          Because, really, let’s be honest here. If the US wanted to hit AQ in its pocketbook they should have been bombing the shit out of Saudi Arabia and the UAE. If they wanted to kill bin Laden, well… remind me again where he was caught? Iraq? Afghanistan? No? Right. It was bullshit all along. It was common knowledge in Indian media that OBL was in Pakistan all along; you can’t seriously tell me that Indian tabloids have better intelligence than the US government. No, Afghanistan hiding OBL was pretty obviously an imperialistic propaganda.

          Also, speaking of shitty things in the world: when I told my dad about bin Laden being killed, his response was “well, on the bright side, now they don’t have an excuse to invade India”. Would have been a hilarious joke, if we hadn’t all been quietly worried about exactly that, and watching anti-Indian propaganda quietly ramping up in international media….

        12. SlipperyWombat
          SlipperyWombat October 26, 2012 at 4:12 am |

          I would think that the creation of a persistent state of fear for life/property, the installation of a regime that has been vetted/judged suitable by the US rather than by Afghans, and the general deterioration of standard of living for the Afghan population is pretty telling.

          Given that over a million refugees have actually returned since the ousting of the Taliban in 2001 I think you will have difficulty in supporting your persistent state of fear thesis. The rule of a military occupation is never particularly good, but implying we are worse than the Taliban just discredits everything you say outright.

          And when an entire gender has no voice and the vast majority of the population is illiterate and has never participated in politics, how much input on a political process do you realistically expect? Despite all of that, the U.S. did consult educated Afghanis and they chose the Loya Jirga format for their government and they chose to make Afghanistan an Islamic Republic with the lesser status of women codified in the constitution.
          /Borat voice “Great Success!”

          As far as the economy, Afghanistan was, I believe, the 6th poorest country in the world *before* the U.S. invasion. It will still be among the poorest when we leave and there isn’t much the military can do about that. It will take a concerted effort from the international community, private investors, and a commitment on the part of Afghani elites to end the corruption and ineptitude within their government. And none of the aforementioned players seem all that interested.

          First off, the fact that it’s viewed as “police action” rather than a military invasion by the population of the invading country is pretty damn imperialistic, don’t you think? People in another country don’t police shit, they invade. I’m not saying you’re an imperialistic bastard or whatever, I’m pointing out the fact that your language is indicative of the way the US is trying really hard to influence the way its population thinks and speaks about the war.

          No, I used that term specifically to refer to the proximal objectives of the war. I have never heard it referred to in the U.S. media or by administration officials (present or former) as anything but an invasion, a war, and a military occupation.

          What I meant by the term was that our objectives were the destruction of AQT (Al Qaeda/Taliban) personnel and taking reasonable steps to ensure their immediate reconstitution did not happen the moment we left. I think I am in basic agreement with most of the posters here that the latter objective has been used as an excuse to support an excessively long occupation.

          Secondly, Afghanistan has always, always been strategically vital.

          Not when you have assets in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, and carriers in the Persian Gulf. We successfully maintained control of the Persian Gulf for sixty years w/o Afghanistan. During this period the only people who thought it was strategically vital enough to invade were the Soviets. Without 9/11 we would have been happy to continue to ignore Afghanistan in it’s misery and unless you can produce some credible analysts who were pushing for an Afghanistan invasion *before* 9/11 I am gonna throw the bullshit flag on this one.

          If the US wanted to hit AQ in its pocketbook they should have been bombing the shit out of Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

          Which would have won AQ the support of the richest of the world’s oil producers, a brilliant strategic maneuver. Or were you suggesting we bomb their oil fields and just tank the entire global economy? Either way, yeah, worst idea ever. And we didn’t want to hit them in the pocketbook, we wanted to shoot them in the face. And we did.

          They had control of a nation state and an international network carrying out simultaneous operations on mutliple continents. Now they skulk about in the dark and bury bombs in the dirt.

          It was bullshit all along. It was common knowledge in Indian media that OBL was in Pakistan all along; you can’t seriously tell me that Indian tabloids have better intelligence than the US government. No, Afghanistan hiding OBL was pretty obviously an imperialistic propaganda.

          Wah? Yeah, it was widely reported in the U.S. media that he had moved into Pakistan as early as 2003 and this is where most U.S. analysts assumed him to be right up until we killed him. I’m not sure what U.S. media you were/are watching.

          Would have been a hilarious joke, if we hadn’t all been quietly worried about exactly that, and watching anti-Indian propaganda quietly ramping up in international media….

          That is a new one to me. Because of my former unit I have been at some high level policy and global assessment briefs and I can tell you that the suggestion of war with India would have produced laughter in those environments.

          At the end of the day, the DoD budget has to be reigned in and they would rather cut soldiers and benefits than R&D and procurement to the weapons manufacturers. I don’t see the U.S. going to war again any time soon unless the trigger is pulled by China or North Korea.

      3. DonnaL
        DonnaL October 25, 2012 at 9:23 am |

        In my personal opinion, the Iraq war was entirely unprovoked; I have always been very much against it. Saddam Hussein was not exactly a benevolent dictator, but he was hardly alone in the world. But the Afghanistan war was very much provoked, given that the Taliban gave safe haven to Al-Qaeda and — unlike Iraq — was certainly complicit in 9/11. (Not to mention the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha statutes, which so far as I’m concerned justified the overthrow of the Taliban all by itself. But that’s just me.)

        Nor do I believe that the Afghan war was imperialistic in intention.

        However, justified or not, and imperialistic or not, after 10 years — longer than the Civil War and World War II together, and you could throw in the US involvement in World War I as well — we have no business still being there. It’s time to go.

        1. EG
          EG October 25, 2012 at 9:42 am |

          Fair points. I would be more convinced of our intentions in attacking Afghanistan if the US had cast its eye on Saudi Arabia as well, but I do think that whether or not the war was begun with imperialist intent, staying there is imperialist in effect.

          Not to mention the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha statutes, which so far as I’m concerned justified the overthrow of the Taliban all by itself. But that’s just me.

          Not just you! To say nothing of their treatment of women.

        2. SlipperyWombat
          SlipperyWombat October 25, 2012 at 3:02 pm |

          DonnaL:

          However, justified or not, and imperialistic or not, after 10 years — longer than the Civil War and World War II together, and you could throw in the US involvement in World War I as well — we have no business still being there. It’s time to go.

          You won’t find many military personnel who disagree with you.

          EG:

          Fair points. I would be more convinced of our intentions in attacking Afghanistan if the US had cast its eye on Saudi Arabia as well, but I do think that whether or not the war was begun with imperialist intent, staying there is imperialist in effect.

          I assume you are referencing Saudi Arabia because it is the country of origin of most of the hijackers? If I am wrong, I apologize.

          Let’s say my gunner, who happens to be Mexican, kills some Afghanis and they somehow find out his identity and decide to retaliate. Which is the appropriate target? His country of origin or the country which trained, armed, and deployed him to Afghanistan?

          And we didn’t cast an eye on Saudi Arabia because they and Al Qaeda were already enemies by this point. SA has been extremely helpful in providing intelligence and turning over AQ members it takes into custody. Does money still flow to these organizations from SA? Yes, but it flows from right here in the U.S. as well and we have volunteers from here joining the ranks of AQ also.

          And “imperialist in effect” is a dubious concept. Either there are attempts to exploit the labor power and/or natural resources for the benefit of the occupying nation or it is just a regular ass war in my book.

    3. Alara Rogers
      Alara Rogers October 25, 2012 at 8:36 am |

      For all of the awful things that are done to women in such nations… preventing them from getting abortions by making it illegal isn’t one of them. Islam doesn’t seem to have an issue, in general, with abortion.

      And it’s hard to compare apples to oranges, but when the question is “which is worse, a nation where atrocities are regularly committed against its own people by its own people, where such atrocities are technically illegal but rarely prosecuted, vs. a nation which commits atrocities against people of other nations, and does not even consider such atrocities to be illegal and in fact requires a willingness to commit atrocities as a necessary component of national leadership capability”… well, I actually think that committing atrocities against total strangers who have absolutely no power whatsoever to even protest it, and lionizing those who do so, is more immoral than committing technically-illegal-but-rarely-prosecuted atrocities against your own people. The US is better for women’s rights in specific, but for general human rights, the US doesn’t grant them to anyone except Americans, Canadians, people from Western Europe, and people who are from powerful trading partners with the US. Everyone else, the US considers legal to kill if it serves “national security interests.” And most Americans don’t consider this a problem.

      1. SlipperyWombat
        SlipperyWombat October 25, 2012 at 10:09 am |

        vs. a nation which commits atrocities against people of other nations, and does not even consider such atrocities to be illegal and in fact requires a willingness to commit atrocities as a necessary component of national leadership capability”… well, I actually think that committing atrocities against total strangers who have absolutely no power whatsoever to even protest it, and lionizing those who do so, is more immoral than committing technically-illegal-but-rarely-prosecuted atrocities against your own people.

        I can’t parse anything you have said here unless I know how you are defining atrocities.

        Are you a pacifist and consider war itself an atrocity?

        Are you referring to the removal of Saddam/Al Qaeda/Taliban as an atrocity?

        Are you referring to civilian casualties the U.S. has inflicted while perpetrating wars against the above actors atrocities?

        Are you only referring to those specific instances (marines in Haditha for instance) where U.S. soldiers operated outside the conventions of war and terrorized civilians?

        The US is better for women’s rights in specific, but for general human rights, the US doesn’t grant them to anyone except Americans, Canadians, people from Western Europe, and people who are from powerful trading partners with the US. Everyone else, the US considers legal to kill if it serves “national security interests.” And most Americans don’t consider this a problem.

        Are you seriously suggesting that nations in that region practice restraint when they feel their national security interests are threatened? Do you not recall Saddam’s deployment of chemical weapons against both the Kurds and Iranian troops in the Iran-Iraq war? The massize strikes on civilian population centers in that same war. The various Arab threats to drive all the Jews into the sea – a threat held in check only by Israel’s vast military superiority. The incredible brutality of Hindu-Islamic violence which has occurred during some of India and Pakistan’s clashes.

        I’m sorry, no, you cannot support the thesis that the U.S. engages in some uniquely cruel or callous form of warfare relative to these other countries because the claim is an utter farce. They (referring to Pakistan and the majority of the Islamic states in the middle east/central asian region) have abhorrent records when it comes to the treatment of women, homosexuals, and often religious and ethinic minorities in ther own countries and when they go to war they are typically far more brutal to civilians than we are. You have not made a single accurate assertion here.

        You may want to actually read Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International reports regarding the wars which have been fought between states in that region and compare them to our own occupations.

        1. DonnaL
          DonnaL October 25, 2012 at 10:25 am |

          The incredible brutality of Hindu-Islamic violence which has occurred during some of India and Pakistan’s clashes.

          Unless you’re talking about what happened 65 years ago when India and Pakistan were coming into existence as independent nations — the population transfers, etc. — I don’t know what you mean; I’m not aware that there’s been anything “incredibly” brutal about the limited clashes between India and Pakistan. Yes, some of the mass murders that have taken place within those countries have been “incredibly brutal,” but they weren’t part of any international conflict that I know of.

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 25, 2012 at 10:34 am |

          Yo, Wombat person. Might wanna read up on things a little more recent than 1947 if you want to yammer about “Hindu-Islamic” conflict on the internets. The wars since haven’t been more brutal than any war fought anywhere. In fact, the Kargil and Siachen conflicts have had lower civilian mortality rates than those drone strikes you fawn all over.

          If, on the other hand, this is Quote 1940s War Record week…

          and when they go to war they are typically far more brutal to civilians than we are.

          I see you Partition (which was rioting, by the way, not a formal war between sovereign countries) and raise you Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

          I’m just sayin’.

        3. EG
          EG October 25, 2012 at 10:35 am |

          Well, and of course those hostilities had nothing to do with the legacy of the British Empire, I suppose.

        4. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 25, 2012 at 10:41 am |

          EG, what are you talking about? Don’t you know that the British were the only thing keeping all Indians from running around in animalistic frenzies tearing each other apart? Such savages, we were.

        5. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 25, 2012 at 10:45 am |

          Also, I find Wombat’s statements fucking hilarious, because while yes, there HAVE been incredibly violent communal riots in India and Pakistan, they’ve almost all been in times of peace between the two countries while violence flares up in each. Godhra, Mumbai, all of it… all in peacetime. That’s some massive conflation and selective vision there, buckwheat.

        6. SlipperyWombat
          SlipperyWombat October 25, 2012 at 2:12 pm |

          DonnaL and Macavity are correct here. I don’t know why I conflated the 2002 massacres and others with flareups in the Kashmir conflict, but I was completely wrong to suggest any such connection.

          I apologize for being wrong as fuck.

          Rest of the post stands.

  11. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan October 24, 2012 at 1:29 pm |

    Wait, I thought women couldn’t even get pregnant from legitimate rape? Now we get a baby out of it? Make up your minds, fundies! Do we immaculately conceive a baby post-rape, but-totally-unrelated-to-the-rape-because-lets-be-real-“rape”-just-means-regrets-in-the-morning-amiright?

    Maybe a stork detects that you’ve been raped, and brings a baby.

    1. (BFing)Sarah
      (BFing)Sarah October 24, 2012 at 2:56 pm |

      Silly Bagelsan, we simply cannot possibly understand the complexities of god’s plan. Whenever it feels like it might not make sense, you should just tell yourself: stop thinking. And that will solve all of your problems, don’t you see?

      1. Bagelsan
        Bagelsan October 24, 2012 at 7:03 pm |

        You’re right, of course! *goes to kitchen*

        1. (BFing)Sarah
          (BFing)Sarah October 24, 2012 at 11:00 pm |

          [Ties on apron and bustles about, happily preparing a roast for the *man* of the house]

      2. Kristen J.
        Kristen J. October 25, 2012 at 12:20 am |

        You forgot the bit about the pots. God is a potter and we’re all pots so STFU and stop questioning my bullshit justifications for whatever it is I want to do…i.e. God’s Plan.

        1. (BFing)Sarah
          (BFing)Sarah October 25, 2012 at 1:42 pm |

          ‘He’ cares for the very littlest sparrow!

        2. Bagelsan
          Bagelsan October 26, 2012 at 11:43 am |

          Damn, even the little sparrows are getting forcibly knocked up now?

  12. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan October 24, 2012 at 1:31 pm |

    Apropos of nothing, “Mourdock” kinda sounds like a good villain name for a fantasy novel, or something. “Mourdock the Malevolent!”

    1. karak
      karak October 24, 2012 at 1:47 pm |

      Mourdock the Morlock. He’s gonna start eating people any moment. God’s plan.

  13. Marksman2010
    Marksman2010 October 24, 2012 at 1:45 pm |

    Never ends.

  14. roymacIII
    roymacIII October 24, 2012 at 1:56 pm |

    I’m with the “keep talking” group.

    I feel like I’ve heard this particular brand of “every life is a gift, even if it comes from a horrible act” anti-choice rhetoric before. On the one hand, I’ll grant that it’s a more consistent approach than the “abortion is wrong (well, except for rape or incest)” camp. On the other hand, he’s still a giant asshole.

    Also, you would really think that all of the controversy lately would suggest to some of these people that maybe the wisest course of action is to shut the hell up.

    1. EG
      EG October 24, 2012 at 2:37 pm |

      You know, I bet that these pro-rape cheerleaders honestly don’t understand why there’s any controversy at all, and don’t believe that anybody really disagrees with the “truth” of what they say–those people are just being “politically correct.”

      They keep saying it because they honestly don’t think there’s anything very wrong about rape and forced pregnancy.

      1. roymacIII
        roymacIII October 24, 2012 at 6:03 pm |

        Ah, yes. Good point, EG; that hadn’t really occurred to me before, but that has the ring of truth to it.

    2. (BFing)Sarah
      (BFing)Sarah October 24, 2012 at 2:47 pm |

      Yeah, I’ve heard all of this before, too. The anti-abortion crowd is pretty set on the whole baby = gift thing. Don’t get me wrong, I love babies more than most people probably love babies (seriously, I love them), but I would not suggest giving one to someone as a gift. If god really wanted to give me a gift, I would think that “he,” in all of ‘his’ infinite wisdom, would come up with something more appropriate–like a year of free massages or a new couch. Those are gifts. A baby is adorable, but its not a ‘gift.’ Its like a thousand more chores plus lots of noise. What kind of f-ing gift is that?

      1. Andie
        Andie October 24, 2012 at 2:58 pm |

        These are probably the same assholes that give a small child puppy for their birthday.. not because they like the kid, but because they really don’t like the parents that much.

      2. Past my expiration date
        Past my expiration date October 24, 2012 at 6:04 pm |

        Babies are gifts, except for when they are consequences. Or maybe they are gifts AND consequences.

  15. Henry
    Henry October 24, 2012 at 2:40 pm |

    They keep doing this shit and the polls keep closing to 50/50 on the national election. I think we need to ask ourselves why. Why is the Democratic lead with women shrinking and the Rep. lead w/ men expanding? Are they getting extremists to become likely voters, thus moving the polls? Are they speaking to some weird pyschological crap that’s been ingrained in our subconscious over the years?

    This is equivalent in terms of positions to getting the most left-wing Democrat to support Khmer Rouge-style communism, which we cannot find, even if we go as far left as Kucinich (you can’t even find socialists in the Dem party – but that is another argument).

    So I don’t know if as a strategy to win they should stop, as a moral stand they must stop, but we are not dealing with moral people here.

    1. Jerry
      Jerry October 24, 2012 at 6:49 pm |

      This is what makes my stomach churn. Not that every now and then some political schmuck will say something deeply offensive, but when they do, all kinds of people will throw their support to them. I could envision the next Mourdock relating how he went on a trip to East Nowhereistan and participated in the actual stoning to death of an adulteress and the crowd giving him a standing ovation.

  16. dc
    dc October 24, 2012 at 3:34 pm |

    Elizabeth Miller (whose name may be familiar), an assistant professor of pediatrics at University of California, Davis, published a new study in the journal Contraception addressing “reproductive coercion.”


    http://www.shakesville.com/2010/01/reproductive-coercion.html

  17. onetinythought
    onetinythought October 24, 2012 at 5:07 pm |

    With apologies to Simple Gifts…to be sung to that tune:

    Tis a gift to be pregnant
    Tis a gift to be raped
    This the gift to be forced down where (they think) we ought to be;
    And when we find ourselves in the choiceless of night
    T’will be in the valley of Republican spite.

    Douchebags, one and all. It would be nice if some of these idiots actually had a dog in the fight, ie, a VAGINA

    1. DonnaL
      DonnaL October 24, 2012 at 11:14 pm |

      Unfortunately, having a vagina is no guarantee that someone won’t hold similar views.

  18. doberman
    doberman October 24, 2012 at 5:45 pm |

    I am curious as to what people here think of the Sex Pistols song which is against abortion? It is curious to me because I have always associated “punks” and there ilk with liberals. I realise this is a bit off topic but I’ve never seen it discussed by feminism before.

    1. EG
      EG October 24, 2012 at 6:19 pm |

      I think it’s typical male privilege bullshit. What is there to discuss?

      1. doberman
        doberman October 25, 2012 at 5:51 pm |

        But did Lydon actually have male privilege? He wasn’t in the position to take advantage of what is commonly called “male privilege”, i.e. he wasn’t married, so he couldn’t enjoy the benefits of having a wife and he didn’t work in a traditional career, so he wouldn’t be making more money than the women in the same field?

        1. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll October 25, 2012 at 6:02 pm |

          You are a fucking moron.

        2. EG
          EG October 25, 2012 at 6:03 pm |

          Since Jill said off-topic, the subject is closed. If it comes up in a more relevant context, we can discuss it then.

        3. doberman
          doberman October 25, 2012 at 6:41 pm |

          Ah, apologies. I didn’t see Jill’s comment.

        4. BHuesca
          BHuesca October 26, 2012 at 12:36 pm |

          Isn’t “moron” ableist?

  19. Libby Goodheart
    Libby Goodheart October 24, 2012 at 7:25 pm |

    I see the objection to Akin’s pseudoscience, but I don’t really get this other than the fact that there is yet another anti-choice Republican which is not really news.

    It may have something to do with the fact that my grandmother was – although put euphemistically in the hushed tones of a shameful family secret – the product of a rape. My great grandmother emigrated from Ireland to Scotland to find domestic work “downstairs” in a wealthy home (i.e. Downton Abbey) and found herself pregnant and “sent away” at the age of 14. She then made her way to the United States where she made a life.

    I do find the criticism that reduces the “rape baby” to something evil in itself insulting and hurtful – to think that because my direct ancestor was a rapist, and my grandmother the product of a rape that I am some kind of moral error and not part of a greater plan that includes everyone in the human family is abhorrent and I don’t think that you all really have an appreciation for how people like me may feel about these comments.

    1. Partial Human
      Partial Human October 24, 2012 at 8:05 pm |

      Oh PLEASE. Get off the cross, we need the wood.

      A girl or woman undergoing a horrific violation, followed by ten months of discomfort, risk of permanent injury or death, ending in either prolonged genital pain or major abdominal surgery, and being saddled with a baby she never wanted? There is no good in that, nor in seeing that rapist’s face in her child, and then in her grandchildren. No. Good.

      I guarantee you it was torture, and if she put a happy front in it? It wasn’t for much more than to make everyone else feel better.

      By bringing in this whole “Abortion led to me, wah I’m being victimised!” you’re no better than those anti-choice freaks who build their entire careers on giving lectures as “rape babies”.

      You wouldn’t have existed if your mother had ovulated 24 hours before or after she did, or one of your parents had been scheduled to work that day, or any number of things.

      Do you think it’s appropriate to tell friends who are descendants of diaspora Jews or of slaves “Hey, the holocaust and slavery weren’t so bad! I mean, you ended up being born here because of what happened to your ancestors! I’m hurt that anyone would say they were bad things”?

      -signed PH, daughter of a woman conceived during rape, who would rather her beloved (late) grandmother had never, ever gone through that, and isn’t so selfish as to chuck her dummy out of the pram. because someone dared to say “rape, and the sequelae thereof, are NEVER gifts”

      1. Libby Goodheart
        Libby Goodheart October 24, 2012 at 8:23 pm |

        Do you think it’s appropriate to tell friends who are descendants of diaspora Jews or of slaves “Hey, the holocaust and slavery weren’t so bad! I mean, you ended up being born here because of what happened to your ancestors! I’m hurt that anyone would say they were bad things”?

        -signed PH, daughter of a woman conceived during rape, who would rather her beloved (late) grandmother had never, ever gone through that, and isn’t so selfish as to chuck her dummy out of the pram. because someone dared to say “rape, and the sequelae thereof, are NEVER gifts”

        That’s a strawman. I think it is possible to separate the bad event from the eventual positive outcomes. I don’t think it is selfish to be grateful for my life and that of my mother and siblings and the rest. You’re making my original point – you consider me an insult and a symbolic repeat of my great grandmother’s rape.

        1. EG
          EG October 24, 2012 at 9:01 pm |

          You’re making my original point – you consider me an insult and a symbolic repeat of my great grandmother’s rape.

          That’s because you’ve turned yourself into that symbol by using your existence and your special feelings of being meant to be to attempt to justify telling raped women that God intended them to be forced to carry the child of their rapist. None of the rest of us have said anything about people who already exist.

        2. Partial Human
          Partial Human October 24, 2012 at 9:33 pm |

          Oh do learn to look beyond the end of your own nose, cupcake.

          you consider me an insult and a symbolic repeat of my great grandmother’s rape.

          For that to be true I’d have to consider myself an insult, no?

          OK, I was going easy on you before, so here goes…

          What I object to is your appropriation of your great-grandmother’s pain, pain of being torn from her home and family and sold into service. Pain of being raped, of being shamed, of having to flee again. Pain of raising the child of the fucking entitled pig that raped her.

          In the grand scheme of things? You are not special, nor important. If the worst slight you’re currently suffering is “Wah. No forcible impregnation and forced birth would mean no-one like me!”, then you’re very fucking lucky.

          Every time you appropriate the pain of your ancestor you’re spitting right into the faces of the people here who have been raped, have been TERRIFIED that would result in pregnancy, or who did get pregnant and then had to scrimp, save, bow and scrape to have their body returned to them.

          THEY ARE THE VICTIMS OF THIS ANTI-CHOICE BULLSHIT THAT PUTS THE RIGHTS OF PWESHUS ICKLE BLASTOCYSTS OVER THE RIGHTS OF RAPED WOMEN.

          YOU ARE NOT THE VICTIM.

          May every floor you ever walk on be covered in Lego, and may your feet be forever bare.

          Shit. Caps lock, I really went there, because despite taking EC, ten months of regular bleeds and a negative test, I was fucking TERRIFIED into a state of anorectic hair-pulling, convinced that one act of sex that I never consented to was going to leave me with a baby to explain to my evangelical parents. Ten months of panic attacks at every stomach pain, the sight of a pregnant woman, of every magazine story saying “I didn’t know I was pregnant!”

          The last six weeks I was a hysterical, crazy, terrified mess. This, all of it, just from the fear I might be pregnant. I cannot even fathom where actual pregnancy would have led, but suicide would have been the first option.

          Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and wipe your saliva off my face.

        3. Donna L
          Donna L October 24, 2012 at 10:07 pm |

          Do you think it’s appropriate to tell friends who are descendants of diaspora Jews or of slaves “Hey, the holocaust and slavery weren’t so bad! I mean, you ended up being born here because of what happened to your ancestors! I’m hurt that anyone would say they were bad things”?

          Thank you. Obviously I wouldn’t be here if Hitler had never come to power and the Holocaust had never happened, because my mother would never have had to leave Berlin as a refugee, and would never have eventually ended up in New York City and met my father.

          To suggest that I’m “grateful” for any of that, simply because it resulted in my existence, would be unspeakably grotesque and disgusting. God’s plan, my ass. If I could wave a magic wand so that none of that had ever happened, and my mother and her family — and millions of others — could have been spared their suffering, even though it would mean wishing myself out of existence? Of course I would. I’m sure I’m as egotistical as the next person — unless the next person is Libby Goodheart — but there are limits!

        4. William
          William October 24, 2012 at 10:11 pm |

          That’s a strawman. I think it is possible to separate the bad event from the eventual positive outcomes. I don’t think it is selfish to be grateful for my life and that of my mother and siblings and the rest.

          No, you narcissistic piece of shit, it is selfish for you to say that your existence is worth someone’s rape. It is the absolute pinnacle of entitlement. If your great grandmother had never been raped the entire line of people you’re so busy wringing your hands over would have never existed to agonize over what possible good their existence might represent to justify a rape. You’re not bad for existing, you’re not tainted, but to suggest for even a moment that your existence is worth another human being’s rape is disgusting.

        5. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 24, 2012 at 11:44 pm |

          PH, Donna, William, I don’t have much to say about this other than GIANT HUGS for you guys if you want ‘em, and fuck this Libby person, really.

        6. Alara Rogers
          Alara Rogers October 25, 2012 at 9:04 am |

          Your existence is a gift to you from your *great-grandmother*, who didn’t have the option of abortion but certainly did have the option for infanticide.

          Our mothers pay the price to make us live. We are not the children of God. We are not even the children of our fathers, unless our fathers choose to contribute to our lives once we are born, or unless our mothers consider our fathers to have contributed to our lives before we were born. We are the children of our mothers. Our mothers made us, from their own bodies, and they suffered to do so. No matter what else they did or didn’t do, they did that. We can also be the children of those who raised us and loved us — the people I acknowledge as my grandparents didn’t conceive and birth my mother, they adopted her, and two of the people who acknowledge me as their mother were never borne by me — but first and foremost we exist because of our mothers.

          If your grandmother was the product of a rape and your great-grandmother raised her anyway, in a world where adoption did exist and no one looked very carefully at dead babies, that is due to your great-grandmother. You aren’t here because of a rapist. You are here because your great-grandmother made a choice to allow your grandmother to live, and made a choice to raise her and be her mother. When you reduce your existence to “I was created because of rape” you erase your great-grandmother’s agency in your existence, and erasing anyone’s agency is wrong, but erasing a rape victim’s agency is fucking offensive.

          If a woman wants to choose to view her baby as a gift from God to repay her for the suffering of a rape, that’s her prerogative. No one else gets to make that choice for her, including that baby. Many women do voluntarily choose to birth and raise a child conceived in rape, and view it as a reclamation of control over their lives and bodies. That is their choice. Anyone who seeks to force that on them is spitting on their choice.

          Someone who dies because they voluntarily put themselves in harms’ way to save others is a hero. Someone who dies because other people put them in harms’ way against their will, even if it was to save others, is a victim and the person who did that to them is a murderer. And both can be true at once. A person who was placed in danger by another, who chooses to make the best of the sacrifice they are being forced to make, can be a hero without making their murderer less of a murderer. Likewise, a woman who chooses to birth and raise a child conceived in rape can be viewed as a hero, but this does not make her rapist any less of a rapist, it does not make her rape any more forgivable, and the fact that she made that choice does not excuse those who want to force that choice on others… in fact, the very fact that others are forced to do something she chose to do weakens her choice and spits on her sacrifice.

          There is nothing wrong with being a child conceived in rape. No one asked to be born, and it is not your fault that you came into existence. There is something very wrong with forcing women to bear children conceived in rape. Anyone who tries to force women who were raped to bear their pregnancies is themselves a kind of rapist. The Republicans who spout off about lemons and lemonade or gifts from God wouldn’t be nearly so offensive if they were not using their arguments as a means to try to *require* women to bear pregnancies conceived in rape. You can make the argument that some women choose to make the best of a bad situation and get a child they love out of the horror of having been raped, if you’re just trying to point out that this is a thing that happens and no one should assume that all women will want to abort such pregnancies. But if someone makes that argument beecause they want to force all women to do the same thing, then they’re being offensive and frankly, they’re evil.

        7. tinfoil hattie
          tinfoil hattie October 26, 2012 at 3:42 pm |

          No, you narcissistic piece of shit

          I get that people are annoyed, but really: why is this comment allowed to stand? It’s appalling. Disagreement is one thing, but Libby Goodheart did not use any hateful terms like this. So, she sees this from a very personal point of view. So, most people disagree, and she might even be wrong! But holy cow, this is abusive.

        8. William
          William October 27, 2012 at 11:11 am |

          I get that people are annoyed, but really: why is this comment allowed to stand? It’s appalling. Disagreement is one thing, but Libby Goodheart did not use any hateful terms like this. So, she sees this from a very personal point of view. So, most people disagree, and she might even be wrong! But holy cow, this is abusive.

          Sorry, as a rape survivor hearing someone talk about rape as justified gets my back up. For the record, I’m not “annoyed” so much as “infuriated.” Yeah, calling her a “piece of shit” was mean, but it was intended to be and I still sincerely believe it. The blatant narcissism is self-evident. Sorry if you didn’t like my tone.

    2. Bagelsan
      Bagelsan October 24, 2012 at 10:59 pm |

      Shorter Libby: “Fuck you great-grandma, your getting raped was totes worth it!”

      Anyway, great-grandma was probably totally dressed like a slut, too.

    3. Andie
      Andie October 25, 2012 at 10:40 am |

      FFS.

      I’ll make it real simple.

      Rape babies are not evil.

      Forcing women to carry rape babies against their will IS evil. Saying God intended for a woman to be raped is evil. And when you say that a rape baby is a gift from God, well, gifts are given intentionally. So if you tell a woman her rape-pregnancy and rape-baby are a gift from God, then you are saying, vis a vis that God intended for her to be raped.

      And that is fucking evil.

      Are we clear? Crystal?

  20. Marissa123
    Marissa123 October 24, 2012 at 9:39 pm |

    It’s a preeeetty short leap from that statement to “rapists _are_ god.” Just sayin’.

    1. Bagelsan
      Bagelsan October 24, 2012 at 10:57 pm |

      Well, we already knew “God” was a rapist, so I guess it’s a really short leap.

  21. Henry
    Henry October 25, 2012 at 1:35 am |

    Mourdock needs to pick up a Bible and read it, then when he’s done read it again. God does not make or intend babies, except for the Jesus situation, but that’s still being debated. God has actually physically interfered on this planet only a handful of times, and it was big stuff to send a message or fix things. The Noah thing comes to mind, as does the Moses thing, and those two cities he leveled (though we only focus on the one engaged in too much sexy time and ignore the one that let capitalism run amok). God doesn’t even care if we are alive or not. He built the planet and left us a pile of rules. Some make sense, many do not. If God exists you may ask him about them after you die.

    Mourdock’s only position on abortion should be God said don’t kill people, fertilized eggs & fetuses are people in his view, therefore no abortions because it would violate a commandment from God. That would be a religious position, though at odds with the actual Bible which says that causing a nonconsensual miscarriage requires payment of a fine – it is silent as to desired miscarriages. http://civilliberty.about.com/od/abortion/f/bible_abortion.htm

  22. Kerandria
    Kerandria October 25, 2012 at 3:55 am |

    Oh nooo, people use the Bible to legitimise being hypocritical bigoted shites. Thanks for letting us know about this very important fact that most of us weren’t already aware of.

    Biblesplaining doesn’t change reality. The reality of the situation is that some fucking disgusting people are using a Bronze age collection of stories to write and enact legislation that leads to oppressing very real, very alive people.

    1. SlipperyWombat
      SlipperyWombat October 25, 2012 at 6:01 am |

      Biblesplaining doesn’t change reality. The reality of the situation is that some fucking disgusting people are using a Bronze age collection of stories to write and enact legislation that leads to oppressing very real, very alive people.

      I agree with the basic premise that people generally use religion to support impulses they would have followed in any case, but is there any need for mutual exclusivity in that regard?

      Can’t the Bible, Koran, Hadith’s, etc. be inherently patriarchal and misogynist AND be employed as such simply out of convenience by men who would behave in such a manner even without a holy text to back it up?

      1. Scott Cunningham
        Scott Cunningham October 25, 2012 at 11:08 am |

        Can’t the Bible, Koran, Hadiths, etc. all be inherently patriarchial and misogynist AND be selectively used out of convenience by people who aren’t inclined to behave in such a manner? I remember being a Christian; it took a lot of work to hand wave away all the endorsements of slavery, women as property, genocide etc. And when people say the New Testament is better, they have to employ still more hand waving and careful cherry-picking sentences they can creatively interpret to not be absolutely awful. Or they say the insufferably unjust is just because the Bible says so.

        Who elected this God? I demand a recall ballot.

        1. Henry
          Henry October 25, 2012 at 2:16 pm |

          They can, but they have to do a lot of cherry picking and ignoring. You’re looking at a document written over 1000s of years that spans some of the worst periods of humanity and endorses much of that behavior. There’s very little that is actually useful to modern society, and there are better sources for those rules (i.e. murder is illegal everywhere).

          Regardless, their abortion position does not pass muster under their own rules (nor does God intend babies under their rules). Abortion was prevalent during the New Testament era, and there is no mention of it in the Bible. One would think a book that bothers to delineate what types of birds are edible, would have made at least a passing statement on abortion.

          So where did all this pro-life stuff come from that is supposedly based on the thinnest reinterpretation of Bible passages celebrating childbirth? – I think you have to look elsewhere – and that elsewhere is a fairly dark place.

          Oh and meh to Biblesplaining – using the enemy’s “facts” to defeat their argument is a common (and powerful) rhetorical device not “-splaining”.

    2. konkonsn
      konkonsn October 25, 2012 at 12:47 pm |

      Biblesplaining

      Aw, geeze. Did you really have to co-opt that term? Maybe you live in a county where Christianity is an oppressed religion, and my sympathy to you if you do, but this specific news event is taking place in the United States where Christianity is an oppressor.

      There is no womansplaining, no homosplaining, no transsplaining. Use a different word if you want, but don’t try to equate people being pissed at Christianity for oppressing them with oppressors trying to explain oppression.

      1. konkonsn
        konkonsn October 25, 2012 at 12:48 pm |

        *explain oppression to the oppressed.

        Bleh…

  23. Stella
    Stella October 25, 2012 at 9:02 am |

    Guess they expect more hard times ahead and dont want a republican president associated with the next 4 years.

  24. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan October 26, 2012 at 4:36 pm |

    Could all the women voting for the Republican ticket instead just mail in their uteri to their State Representative, and skip voting? Then they could abandon control of their own bodies, as they apparently can’t wait to do, while I could still keep my uterus to myself. It would make everyone happy!

  25. Anna
    Anna October 26, 2012 at 7:02 pm |

    I’m just going to put this here, because I’ve been so upset about all the coverage I’ve seen on this, that I had to write something, and I’m not sure where to vent…

    I don’t understand the shock and outrage that has resulted from these comments Richard Mourdock made about banning abortion in the case of rape. Okay, so his wording kind of sounds like he believes rape is part of god’s plan, but that is clearly not what he meant. He believes that god creates life, and however that life is created, it’s sacred. That’s actually a really logically consistent point of view. It’s not one that I happen to agree with, but it doesn’t strike me as particularly radical or offensive. Dangerous, yes, but so are less conservative anti-choice arguments.

    Stay with me here. If a person honestly believes that abortion is murder (murder!) then it makes sense to view it the same way. We have some instances where we say that it’s okay to kill somebody – if it was an accident, if you did so protect your own life, etc. So if abortion is murder, then allowing for exceptions only in instances where the life of the mother is in danger makes logical sense.

    But this whole political discussion about the conditions under which abortion is allowed is terribly, terribly dangerous. A politician who says they support outlawing abortion except in the case of rape, incest, or the life of the mother is no better, and I would argue, worse.

    First of all, setting up a system under which abortion is only allowed if a woman was raped is simply not functional. Not only does it place a woman in a position of having to prove that she was raped before being allowed to make important health care decisions, but it would drastically limit the availability of abortions across the board. If abortion is only legal under these extreme circumstances, it would effectively become unavailable under all circumstances. This has been demonstrated in South American countries that have these policies in place. When doctor’s fear they will face criminal consequences for preforming a given procedure, fewer will be trained to preform it, and many of those that are will be unwilling to do so.

    A politician who says they support abortion in the case of rape, incest, or life of the mother, is just highlighting the ways in which they would like to control women’s bodies, and cast blame on sexual women. This position draws a clear line between female sexual agency and blame. A woman who has consensual sex should be punished, should be stripped of her rights to make decisions about her own body and health care, because she brought it on herself.

    Personally, I find this vastly more offensive than the (I’m going to say it again) LOGICALLY CONSISTENT view point that if abortion is murder, nobody should do it.

    I am vehemently pro-choice, but dressing up anti-choice rhetoric with these caveats and exceptions that make it more palatable is offensive. Not only would the practical outcome be more or less the same, but the logic behind it equates consensual sex with blame and punishment. This life stuff is fucking complicated! If you can see your way to thinking that if a woman gets pregnant because she was raped, she should be able to make her own decisions about that pregnancy, how can you not see the variety of complex and deeply person reasons that woman chose abortion under other circumstances? It boggles my damn mind.

  26. anon
    anon October 31, 2012 at 2:01 pm |

    so what, a 12 year old that ends up that way, is that a gift from god too? really? what idiots. so god wants children to have children, and maybe die, because the body isn’t ready for that yet? so basicaly, they think god wants children to die?

  27. Yay! Obama won big last night. So, how’d all those GOP rape apologist candidates do?

    […] something God intended”. (It’s worth noting that as infuriating as this is, it’s nothing we haven’t heard before.) After unsuccessfully trying to backpeddle , he forced Mitt Romney to clarify that he […]

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