I give you the inimitable Katha Pollitt on the subject of men in the media dominating the conversation about women's rights:
Someone like, oh, a man. In the immediate aftermath of Dr. Tiller's murder it was astonishing how many men were called upon to weigh in on abortion on national television. CNN featured William Schneider, Sanjay Gupta and Bill Press. On Fox, Bill O'Reilly defended his use of "baby killer" and "death mill" to describe Dr. Tiller and his clinic. On MSNBC, Keith Olbermann--who the last time I checked in spent a whole segment making fun of Miss Anti-Gay Marriage California's breast implants with waspish misogynist Michael Musto--had only men: Slate's Will Saletan, who thinks we can "end" abortion by stigmatizing women with unwanted pregnancies, because right now everyone is just too kind, and Andrew Sullivan, who knows as much about women's reproductive lives as I know about soliciting bareback sex on the Internet. Sullivan confessed:
So Sullivan, who has been an outspoken antichoicer for two decades, is only now finding out why women terminate pregnancies? Shouldn't that have been part of the basic research? And even after hearing the awful stories, he still, apparently, thinks Dr. Tiller was wrong to help them: women ought to carry anencephalic fetuses to term, give birth to Tay-Sachs babies who will live a few brief agonized years, postpone their own cancer treatment or heart surgery to give birth even if delay means they die, have their stepfather's baby in middle school. But at least he feels bad about it now.
In the more than three decades since Roe v. Wade, "the fetus" gradually became the star of the abortion drama, and the voices of women who had abortions, aka "the woman," leached out of the public discussion. How many embryos can dance on the head of a pin--now that's interesting! Off-the-cuff judgments about how late is too late and what kinds of health problems count as serious--everyone's a doctor!
Kind of reminds me of some of the people who show up to argue against women's reproductive rights here. There's never a thought for their well-being, privacy, human rights, or right to live their lives as they wish.
For them, there's never an alternative. It's either ''Slut! Bring up your children in poverty and shame! That will teach you!'' or "Go find yourself a back alley abortionist.''
Seriously, gentlemen, what do you propose? Prison for all women of child-bearing years? Chastity belts? Forced sterilizations? Assassinating doctors and clinic staff? Police officers in every OB/GYN examination room? State monitoring of our menstrual cycles? Wire hangers? Drano?
Because all your intellectual arguments about whether a few cells in MY body trump my life, rights and choices just don't cut it.
This is the real world and there are real world consequences.
So what's your answer?
Oh, and while we're on the subject, this is from Tuesday's Hansard.
UPPITY WOMAN DATE: As of this moment, 2:03 p.m. on Friday, I have yet to find a single pragmatic answer to my questions. Not one ''solution'' except ''adoption.''
First of all, women are not breeders for infertile couples, or those who want more children. It is hard to give up a child. So there will be many women, often in difficult circumstances, trying to bring up children, with or without their fathers' support.
Second, with the improvements in reproductive technology, fewer couples need to adopt. Now people can have triplets at the drop of what's in a turkey baster.
Third, very often the same people who are against abortion are against same-sex couple adoption.
Fourth, many children go unadopted already. The waiting lists of unwanted children are long.
Five, figure 100K abortions per year in Canada. Say half are kept by their mothers (see above.) Who is going to adopt 50,000 children, including those with severe abnormalities? Who is going to adopt 50,000 children, including those with severe abnormalities EVERY YEAR?
Where will these children go? Will they all become wards of the state? Maybe we can donate them to the military, the way kids became cannon fodder in past centuries? Or how about using them for cheap labour, like they did in Dickensian workhouses?
I await your answers, gentlemen.