Monday, August 06, 2007

Do feminists really respect women's choices?

In response to JJ's post (which was a response to another post of mine):

There's a misunderstanding on JJ's part about my views on legality and morality. I understand that some people consider certain acts immoral and tolerate them being legal. There are all kinds of acts that I consider immoral that I would not want to be illegal.

Most Canadians support first trimester abortions being legal. This is mostly a hunch, but I would say most Canadians don't like abortion. If the majority don't consider the typical first trimester abortion immoral, a large segment of the population does. They certainly think it's not desirable.

But the majority of Canadians want it legal.

In the minds of most people, that would make Canadians collectively pro-choice.

I thought that supporting legalized abortion, regardless of one's personal views on abortion was sufficient to make one pro-choice.

Until Elizabeth May made her famous comments about some women frivolously exercising their "right" to abortion, and that some women are reduced to undergoing one, and that no one in their right mind likes abortion.

EMay was excoriated throughout the feminist blogosphere. It does not matter that she has no intention of restricting abortion whatsoever.

She questioned the exercise of abortion on the part of some women.

And that made her a target.

Moral of the story: In order for a person to be considered pro-choice by feminists, they must not only support legal abortion, but a woman's personal decision for abortion. If someone wants to reduce the number of abortions, or questions abortion, or has a nuanced discussion about abortion, they are not pro-choice, but anti-choice. It's a black and white issue. Abortions are to be supported no matter what, even if it's obvious to you that it's the dumbest decision of their lives. You do not have the right to judge.

Now of course, abortion is a choice. And the decision to have as many kids as you want is a choice. And feminists are part of the pro-choice movement.

Now imagine for a moment, that a fellow feminist's abortion was called freaky, unnatural and just not cool.

That would never be tolerated.

If Elizabeth May can't call abortion frivolous because women have autonomy to decide what is or is not acceptable, then why should it be okay for JJ to call Mrs. Duggar's 17 pregnancies freaky and unnatural?

Is it a matter of there being a double standard, one for leftist women who support choice and one for social conservative women who happen to give free reign to their fertility?

If a left-wing woman wants to dispose of her unborn child, no one must criticize her.

If a right-wing woman wants to have seventeen kids, she's an acceptable target for criticism.

Just seems like a contradictory situation.

Again, this is why we call it the pro-abortion movement. Abortion is favoured over birth.