Skepticism

Saving Tim Tebow, Savior

Dear Tim Tebow,

I hate you. Really, I’ve hated you for a long time. I think you’re a pretentious dickbag and I’m really tired of you and your very literal holier than thou bullshit. I get it. You’re blessed. You’re saved. You’re the greatest college football player ever (so I’ve heard.) You’ve chosen not to take the date-rape free-pass that most big football players get, and everyone is very proud of you for that, especially since you’ve chosen to announce at press conferences that you’re also passing on the consensual sex until you’re married. You practice medicine without a license because orphans in the Phillipines deserve to have their penises touched by you. Because you’re better than a doctor; your hands are guided by God. Sure, in other countries, like the one you and I live in, you’d probably go to prison for performing not-medically-necessary dick surgery on uninformed, non-consenting patients while simultaneously not being a doctor. But I’m sure those boys are living better lives now that you touched their wieners in a totally-approved-by-God way.

I’m happy that the whole football thing worked out for you. I am. I like when good things happen to people. But could you lose the pretentious eye patch Bible verse things and just concentrate on not being so goddamn annoying? I hate watching football. I hate watching football even more when it involves extra homework just to find out what the hell you’re trying to say with your eye-cheek things.

And, even more annoyingly, now you think that just because you were born, you are a spokesperson for everyone who has ever been conceived. That’s very noble of you. And by “noble”, I mean that it really makes me want to murder you in the face with bears.

If I were Jesus, I’d hate you as much as I, Elyse, hate you.

Now that that’s out of the way, I’d like to talk to Skepchick readers about your ridiculously assholey commercial that you’ll be appearing in this weekend during the Super Bowl. Because nothing says “do unto others” like promoting a hate-mongering, anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-civil rights, anti-equality organization to people who are just trying to nom some Hooter’s wings, get drunk, and gamble. And being a virgin who plays football in no way makes you an expert on my dirty sinful parts and the people who may or may not be inside them. It kind of makes you the opposite of that. And it kind of makes you a huge dickhole.

I hope you enjoy hell, Teebs.

Love,

Elyse Anders

Dear everyone who is not Tim Tebow,

Thanks for bearing with me through that. I really hate Tim Tebow.

By now, if you have access to the internet, to anyone in the US, to anyone who has access to anyone in the US or to anyone who has access to anyone with access to the internet, you’ve heard about this purportedly pro-life ad that Teebs and Mama Teebs are doing for Focus on the Family. It’s the first ever of it’s kind to be aired during the Super Bowl, and is likely being included because, thanks to the economy, companies who normally would, can’t or don’t want to shell out almost $3million per minute for ads. Normally, an organization like Fuck us with a Family (see what I did?) would not be allowed to run an anti-abortion ad (or really any other ad for any of their “traditional” “Christian” “family values”) because it would be deemed too controversial. But this year, the rules changed, and FOTF was all over it like Tim Tebow on an orphaned Filipino boy’s penis.

And here’s where it gets fun! People are angry about this commercial. And people are thrilled about this commercial. And people are annoyed by the number of people who are talking about this commercial. And people are annoyed that people are angry about this commercial. And people are angry that people are thrilled about this commercial. So what’s so fun about that? No one has seen the damn commercial! No one even knows for sure that it has anything to do with abortion.

But let’s assume that it is about abortion. Because, let’s face it, it probably is.

Pam Tebow’s story is one of those storybook “look what I would have missed out on if I listened to abortionists” pro-life stories. She and her husband were missionaries in the Philippines when Pam fell ill. She was on “strong antibiotics” before she found out she was pregnant with her fifth child, the great Tim Tebow. Doctors supposedly told her that her life was in danger unless she aborted football’s messiah (though the doctors just thought he was a useless mass of cells and didn’t care about him at all). She told doctors that they don’t know what they are talking about, and instead decided to continue the pregnancy.

The pregnancy was wrought with complications, and she almost lost Tim four times. Doctors kept urging her to terminate, but she knew better and instead prayed. Her prayers were answered when she gave birth to that fifth child… who then went on to be the greatest college football player ever.

The moral of the story is that doctors are stupid. They want to kill your baby because they don’t care about life and they love killing babies. They will tell you you might die if you continue your pregnancy just to pressure you into doing the devil’s work, but if you ignore them God will reward you with a son with super-human abilities.

Of course, given the number of babies born vs the number of Tim Tebows, you’re rolling a handful of loaded 30-billion-sided dice… which might be proof that there is a god.

But the opposing team has chimed in to chastise Pam Tebow for lying through her blessed teeth about the pressure to terminate her pregnancy. And now Gloria Allred is angry. And she wants you to report FOTF to the FCC and the FTC for misleading advertising.

Allred has pointed out a particular inconsistency with Pam Tebow’s claim. Abortion is outlawed in the Phillipines, and has been since 1930, and makes no exceptions for maternal health, rape or incest. Getting an abortion is punishable for up to 6 years in prison for the woman and the doctor of midwife who perform it.

Therefore, Allred claims, it was unlikely if not impossible that Tebow was offered, much less pressured into terminating her pregnancy. And even if she were, Jesus or no Jesus, it was probably in her best interest to continue to refuse.

This certainly presents an interesting twist on the story. However, another twist is that apparently Gloria Allred is incapable of using Google or checking on facts and examining Filipino laws beyond what is outlined specifically in their abortion laws.

According to the United Nations, who seemingly have no interest in gaining fame, money, credibility, or a space in heaven off of this year’s Super Bowl, Allred is correct… and, at the same time, MamaTeebs might very well be telling the truth.

Although the Penal Code does not list specific exceptions to the general prohibition on abortion, under the general criminal law principles of necessity as set forth in article 11(4) of the Code, an abortion may be legally performed to save the pregnant woman’s life.

And while the consequences of abortion in the Philippines are seemingly high, the risk of facing those consequences is relatively low. The same UN document states that the International Planned Parenthood estimates between 155,000 to 750,000 abortions are performed in the Philippines every year. The Guttmacher Institute estimates that 400,000 abortions, 25 per 1000 women, were performed in 1994.

I do tend to be wary of stories from women who insist they were unnecessarily highly pressured to terminate a pregnancy, but refused, only to give birth to a full term, healthy baby.

I also tend to be annoyed by those same women when they claim that you, too, should defy your doctor’s advice that you could die if you continue your pregnancy because you could be carrying the next greatest thing-doer ever.

Whether you want to carry your little thingaling to term or not, no matter what your circumstances, you are far more likely to give birth to a career criminal than to Tim Tebow. I’m no math whiz, but I ran the numbers.

Tim Tebows in the US in 2008: 1

Convicted prisoners in the US in 2008:  >2,000,000

And what about all the kids who go on to do pretty cool things that would have never been born if their moms didn’t abort the baby before them?

My take on the whole MamaTeebs v Allred? Pam Tebow is probably taking some liberties with her story, but most of it rings true. Gloria Allred needs to brush up on her International Law.

What can you do? When you see a heavenly light emitting from your standard def TV, walk away. If you cannot walk away, whip out your uncircumcised penis, show it to the TV screen and yell, “YOU’LL NEVER GET ME, TIM TEBOW!!!” If you’re circumcised and cannot walk away, hold a quick gay marriage ceremony during the commercial. If you don’t want to get gay married, you’re circumcised or don’t have a penis, and you can’t walk away, after the commercial talk about how much you miss the Pets.com sock puppet and the WAAAAAZZZZZZAAAAAAAAA guys. Or… just don’t watch the Super Bowl.

No matter what you do, just keep hating Tim Tebow. He’s a dickbag douchenozzle. And he probably doesn’t even realize that Jesus is a hockey fan.

Love,

Elyse Anders

Dear Focus on the Family,

I can think of no better reason to have an abortion than to stop the world from possibly having to endure another Tim Tebow.

Thank you for supporting a woman’s right and responsibility to save the world through abortion!

Love,

Elyse Anders

Elyse

Elyse MoFo Anders is the bad ass behind forming the Women Thinking, inc and the superhero who launched the Hug Me! I'm Vaccinated campaign as well as podcaster emeritus, writer, slacktivist extraordinaire, cancer survivor and sometimes runs marathons for charity. You probably think she's awesome so you follow her on twitter.

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125 Comments

  1. Geeze Elyse, tell us how you really feel! Do you feel better getting that off your chest? Not that I disagree.

    Since I won’t be watching the Super Bowl at all I guess I’ll miss the message. Or do you think it will play elsewhere once it’s released?

  2. A bit of “holy deception” on the part of the Tebows? Really? Do you think? ;-)

    The reason I’m against the FoTF commercial is because they are taking sides. They’ve refused many others on “contraversial” subjects. So what has changed? The lat time I heard, abortion was still a hot button issue…

  3. From my understanding, Pam Tebow claimed she was told that the medication she received might have damaged the fetus, and that doctors pressured her to have an abortion based on that line of reasoning, not the potential danger to her own health. This would be even a less likely scenario.

    Still, Tim Tebow is a douchebag and a likely NFL bust.

  4. @spellwight:

    When I agreed to take this story, I promised it would be riddled with insults and swear words. I did try to squeeze in some content in there, too, though.

    I don’t think they’ll air this commercial just once. No one ever does. Though they may not need to, FOTF has gotten far more than their $3million worth compared with all the other advertisers. (In fact, if my husband didn’t work in advertising, I wouldn’t even be able to name a single other advertiser!)

    But my money says you’ll see it even if you don’t watch the Super Bowl. It will be on YouTube, and it will be on the FOTF website.

  5. @QuestionAuthority:

    Yes, that has changed. Like I said, they normally probably wouldn’t accept the spot. But with advertising time for this year’s game being very available, CBS is willing to take anyone.

    Remember last year when it was just as bad? They were airing half priced ads for Cash4Gold.

    Desperate times call for million dollar desperate measures.

  6. I feel like pro-choice people always sell the wrong message. I think we should start focusing on the fact that easily accessible, inexpensive, legal abortions actually cause rates of abortion to go down. Sort of a “pro-choice is pro-life” stance instead of the current “abortions are kind of good” sentiment that comes through in your last statement. While it may be true that abortions are necessary in some situations, it seems easier to sell the “none of us like abortions, but here’s the facts” attitude.

  7. you def drove home the point that bothers me the most about the whole thing, the “i was advised to terminate my pregnancy but clearly the right thing was continue on, even if it killed me. and look how well it worked!” what about if she had died, and left her other 4 children without a mother? I feel that that sort of action is truly reckless disregard for her other children and simply an irresponsible choice as a parent.

  8. @Rebecca: I hate to point this out because I share Elyse’s hate for Tebow, FOTF, and the whole anti-choice message, BUT it doesn’t sound like Tebow did the circumcisions. From the linked article, it sounds like he was only retracting some fat and cutting some stitches for some other kind of surgery (don’t get me wrong, there’s an art to both). Circumcision requires no stitching, just a tiny metal torture device and a scalpel.

    And on the subject of doctors pushing abortions: even in the US where abortion is legal, it’s EXTREMELY rare that it is flat out recommended. So unless Mrs. Tebow had some severe medical condition- like her uterus and aorta were about to rip open- I really doubt that doctors were telling her she “should” abort. And that is as nicely as I can say anything on this topic; I will now go back to screaming about it to random coworkers.

  9. Just imagine how many “potential” football players greater than Tim Tebow have been naturally aborted by God.

    According to the American Pregnancy Association ( http://tr.im/MoKK ) there are 6 million pregnancies in the US annually, of which 4 million result in live births, while 2 million are terminated by natural or artificial means.

    Of those terminations, 1.2 million are abortions, while the other 800,000 are natural terminations — in other words, God aborts them. As such, God would be the single most prolific abortionist in America, and indeed the world. Of course, natural termination rates were much higher in the past, even higher than the birth rate, before modern medicine saved so many infants from God’s death-happy grip. And for every live Tim Tebow, there have been countless superstars that God rejected.

  10. @Nick Morgan: Yep! I lumped that in with “comprehensive sex education” since it’s all related.

    Saying that abortions should be safe, legal, and easy to obtain isn’t the same thing as saying, “OMG YAY ABORTIONS WOOO!”

    Though honestly? If I were to find out I was pregnant today, I’d be getting an abortion ASAP, and you bet I’d be saying, “OMG YAY ABORTIONS WOO!”

  11. @marilove:

    Though honestly? If I were to find out I was pregnant today, I’d be getting an abortion ASAP, and you bet I’d be saying, “OMG YAY ABORTIONS WOO!”

    And honestly, I’d like to see more women getting abortions. I don’t think women have enough. Too many women feel too much pressure to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term. I want to see fewer abortions only when we’re seeing fewer unwanted pregnancies. So yes, YAY ABORTION. Safe abortions save lives, both in the life-and-death context and in the quality-of-life context.

    And if even one woman is out there being pressured to not terminate a pregnancy that might kill her, it’s far too many.

    New babies can be made. New adults are harder to come by.

  12. Maybe I missed something, but the article about the circumcisions stated that at the most, he snipped a stitch. Unless he cut into and peeled away the foreskin, I’m not going to crucify him for cutting excess stitch string. To call it practicing medicine without a license might be a bit extreme? Unless I did mis-read the article.

    But other than that, I pretty much agree with what’s said here. On one side, it is a free speech issue. But my counter is that if an ad was run by anti-vaxxers or homeopathy companies, then it should be condemned as well. Free speech should not put the health of women in danger.

  13. @Mythology #26

    The article does include this quote from Tebow:

    “Hands were shaking a little bit. I mean, I’m cutting somebody.”

    Also, a point that you may find pedantic, but I think really does change the meaning of what you claim. There is a difference between an article at most stating he snipped a stitch, and an article stating that at most he snipped a stitch and I think you are confusing the two.

  14. THANK YOU! Tebow and his born again sycophants are beyond annoying. He’s very good at football*. That doesn’t save anyone’s life. That doesn’t feed anyone. That doesn’t even educate anyone. He’s an entertainer in a field that does not express any higher ideas. Football is just pure fun. A guy sitting on the corner banging on a drum is doing more to communicate with his audience than a football player. Tim is just an athlete.

    Why does everyone hang on his every word and suck up to him at every opportunity? He doesn’t say anything thousands of youth group pastors don’t repeat every day. I love football, but the guy is just born-again word salad (with the occasional borderline homoerotic comment about coach Meyer thrown in for good measure.) Why does his playing football well suddenly make his words important?

    If you’re going to get all weak in the knees for a football player, how about Pat Tillman? You know, someone who turned down fame and fortune to do something he believed in? Oh, right. He spent his time actually doing things instead of preaching self righteous bullshit.

    *Actually, Tebow is good at college football. Absent divine intervention, he’s more than likely not going to be a good NFL quarterback. Better keep praying, Tim!

  15. At least I won’t have to put up with any of the Super Bowl ads when I watch it in the UK.

    I have to say that Jesus is setting a very bad example in that picture of him playing hockey. No helmet, no gloves, no apparent padding of any sort, and coming dangerously close to a high-sticking penalty.

  16. I’m not that fussed that Tim is a Christian who likes to talk about his beliefs, fair enough most people do like to talk about what they find important. It’s just that Timmy is soooo completely pretentious, vaporous, overbearing, self righteous, and priggish that I want to vomit anytime I see his face. And as for his future prospects I think Tim would do better if the ball came to him as a receiver, full back or tight end.

  17. @James Fox: “It’s just that Timmy is soooo completely pretentious, vaporous, overbearing, self righteous, and priggish that I want to vomit anytime I see his face.”

    I think the emphasized word is the worst part. If he was saying something that required even the least bit of introspection, the rest wouldn’t be so bad. Muhammad Ali fits most of the above, for example.

    It’s the complete lack of humor or wit that drives me crazy about Tim (Well, that and all the hypocrisy that comes with being a born again zealot.)

  18. Tim Tebow “gets a kick” out of circumcising young Filipino boys? Gaydar alert, gaydar alert! Just sayin’.

    For the record, the only reason he set so many school records at U of F is because he started almost every game for four years. When’s the last time a Gator actually graduated before going off to the NFL?

    Oh, and Elyse, you is one crazy-ass mofo (but in a good way)! :-)

  19. @Garrison22:

    Tim Tebow “gets a kick” out of circumcising young Filipino boys? Gaydar alert, gaydar alert! Just sayin’.

    More like pedo alert. I know it doesn’t form a nice pun, but it’s more accurate. Gay men and straight women alike would like to make it very clear that being attracted to men is not the same thing as being attracted to male children. Yes, I know it was just a joke, but I’m just that kind of person.

  20. This article was completely insane. I’m a Brit and have no idea who tim tebow is but let me get this straight……………..he performs circumcisions on children in the Phillipines, he is not a doctor, he is the greatest college football player ever? OMG WTF

    If any british sports personality was doing this they would be exiled to south georgia.

    How……………why?……….huh?…………what?
    Really?!

  21. Your last letter to Focus on the Fambly was the best one. If I were pregnant and someone told me I’d end up with an arrogant douche like Tebow, I’d run pretty fast to the nearest abortion clinic.

    Why is it that the people most likely to say, “What if my mom had aborted meeeeee?” are the least pleasant to be around? They need to hire a better marketing team.

  22. @Elyse: yeah I know, but those are the kind of things pro-lifers would pick up on as our stance on the issue.

    @marilove: I guess the emphasis that got lost is that I think we need to push the message that pro-choice IS the pro-life stance harder. Thanks to recent studies (like 3 or 4 years ago I think), we have data to back that position up and it’s a much easier message to push than the “necessary evil” or “abortions are good” message.

  23. @mikerattlesnake:

    and it’s a much easier message to push than the “necessary evil” or “abortions are good” message.

    I know of very few pro-choicers who are actually pushing those messages. They’re mostly just straw men that the anti-choice sets up, because they are easier to refute than all the reasons we use. Certainly some people believe that “abortions are good” (myself included), but you won’t find many who are willing to admit it publicly, at least outside of blogs like this. It’s not something that I’ve ever really pushed in any of my arguments.

  24. @Elyse: I mean the island of south georgia. it’s close to the Falkland Islands (or las malvinas as the argentines call them). It’s uninhabited, thought it would be a good place to exile someone.

    Great rant, tho. Loved it. I just checked out tim’s wikipedia article. It makes a bit more sense now.

  25. @catgirl: Are you denying that the “necessary evil” argument is the most common? All I hear is that abortions are necessary in cases of rape, incest, and to save the mother and that abuses of the system are unfortunate, but that abortion needs to stay legal to protect the former three cases. While that argument is true, it’s hardly a compelling one. I rarely hear a pro-choice message that tackles the broader societal impact of legal, freely available abortions and accurate sex/contraception education.

    Can you picture an ad directly following this superbowl ad in which someone came on and said, “it’s great that you chose to give birth to your son and raise him, and we at planned parenthood hope that as many families as possible share in your experience. The choice to abort is a difficult one, and we believe in working towards a world in which fewer mothers have to make that choice. As it turns out, studies have shown that….” and go on to show that pro-choice benefits everybody, including fetuses and that pro-life legislation does nothing to help babies while causing more harm to mothers

    I feel like we’re losing ground at a time when some of the best evidence for the cause is coming out and that makes no sense to me.

  26. @mikerattlesnake:

    I think the “necessary evil” argument is a little old-fashioned, and I don’t think it’s used nearly as much as it used to be. I don’t know anybody who actually holds that position, on either side. Pro-choicers mostly consider it to be a weak compromise, and anti-choicers allow these exceptions mostly so they don’t look like monsters.

    The argument that most pro-choicers make is that things like safe, legal abortion, and widespread access to an education about contraception are good for society. It’s the anti-choicers who frame it as us saying “abortion is good”, while pointing out that they mostly support rape and health exceptions so they don’t seem quite so evil.

    I feel like we’re losing ground at a time when some of the best evidence for the cause is coming out and that makes no sense to me.

    A lot of anti-choicers don’t care about facts or evidence. Do you really think that no one has ever bothered to try to use the argument of reducing unwanted pregnancies? It doesn’t work because anti-choicers care more about punishing sex than preventing unintended pregnancies.

  27. @mikerattlesnake:

    I rarely hear a pro-choice message that tackles the broader societal impact of legal, freely available abortions and accurate sex/contraception education.

    Do you know how are the biggest supports of abstinence-only education?

    Anti-choicers.

    Throwing around statistics doesn’t work. They KNOW that abstinence-only education doesn’t work. They don’t care.

    The anti-choicers’ agenda is to control women. They don’t care about babies. They are anti-birth contro. They are anti-sex education. They are pro-controling women. Period.

  28. @catgirl: Yeah, I know that was kinda lame. Just a weak try at a tie-in to the whole gaydar thread. You are right, he sounds more pedo than homo. And they are NOT the same!

    Nonetheless, Tebow just seems to be dripping with latent homosexuality, but maybe that’s just my take on it.

  29. With how christian he’s being, I’m putting money down that he’s gonna pull Haggard, and in a few years, it’ll break that he has a gay lover. I’m all for that.

    Now, there’s one flaw I’d like to point out in Elyse’s blog. She quotes the U.N. from 1994. He was born in 1984, so the abortions performed in 1994 are irrelevant, unless evidence is put forth that the same rules that applied in 1994 were in effect in 1984, so I can’t rely on Elyse’s debunking of the Allred story. I’m not supporting Allred, I’m just keeping an open mind.

    Finally, Elyse, I just want to say you rock on a consitant basis.

    PS: @catgirl: thanks for pointing out that error. There’s a stereotype that gays are pedos, and that’s two completely different mindsets. Please, no one, in any way think I’m offended.

  30. @infinitemonkey:

    I gave specific stats of 1994 from the Guttmacher Institute as an example – a separate study that affirms the UN’s estimation of 155,000 – 750,000 abortions performed each year. 1994 is the only year that any studies were actually done to accurately estimate the total number of induced abortions in any given year.

    Tebow was born in 1987.

    It is unlikely that between 1987 and 1994, the law suddenly stopped being enforced without any mention, resulting in an influx from near 0 to almost a half million abortions.

    Regardless, the fact of the matter is that Pam Tebow’s story is that her life was in danger from the antibiotics. Based on this claim, Allred is completely wrong that there is no provision for this under Filipino law. It is not covered under the specific abortion law, but it is covered under separate laws.

    Allred is wrong. Period. I appreciate her effort but she is not helping. If anything, she is slandering Tebow with baseless and ignorant accusations that Tebow is a liar.

    Tebow is probably not being honest either, but it’s unlikely that the story is completely fabricated.

  31. @Elyse: Ok, thanks for clearing that up. I hope you don’t think I’m being undue harsh or critical. I did not know you were using 1994 as an example, I thought maybe you just typed the wrong date, which also had wrong. (Sigh, he’s still younger than me.)

    I believe you have justly proved your point that Allred is either misinformed, or willfully deceptional. Either one, we can’t allow, as that is what we decry in those whose positions we oppose.

    In any case, you still rock out loud. That is one point not in contention.

  32. You know what? I actually feel sorry for Tim T. I really do. It’s obvious to me that he was raised in an oppressive christian houshold and at this point, is so brainwashed that he can’t even contemplate reality. Once a person is that brainwashed, they tend to continue self-washing into adulthood, I think. At least I personally know several people who are exactly like that.
    If children are raised from birth to hate in the name of mighty Jeebus, it is almost impossible for them to get their mind right unless they have some kind of personal awakening and decide to investigate reality for themselves. There are plenty of examples of people who have saved themselves right here on this board. That’s why I like this joint so much. Great article Elyse, I’d love to see you guys do more like this.

  33. @infinitemonkey:

    With how christian he’s being, I’m putting money down that he’s gonna pull Haggard, and in a few years, it’ll break that he has a gay lover. I’m all for that.

    He’s had that rumor swirling around him for awhile. I’ve been using it to taunt my fundie brother, who roots for Tebow simply because he’s a big ol’ Christian. I told him (my brother) that when it says “John” under one eye and “316” under another, it’s just a message to his boyfriend John that he’s in room 316 that night. Very simple.

    It is a weird reason to hope someone turns out to be gay — to shut up the fundies who think Christianity inoculates you from it. But there it is.

    If he does turn out to be gay, someone let me know. Already spent too much of my life thinking about him.

  34. @phlebas: Oh, I’m not wishing he turns out to be gay as some sort of wish of evil deeds to befall him, as a matter of fact, I just might start watching football after that-if he still has a carreer. Dude is hot. I’d totally tap that! Also, with all the respect, and the swooning, and all that, it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s the passive in BDSM.

    It falls into my hypothesis-in bed, you want what you don’t have. He doesn’t have a lack of power or authority, so in bed, he wants a lack of power and authority.

    Did I just pervert this thread?

  35. @marilove: You’ve really hit the nail on the head: although they may frame their views as being against everything- sex, contraception, abortion- the anti-choicers are really for one thing, keeping women in their places. It’s not just that their agenda is to control women, I think it’s also about the self-righteousness that oozes out of all of those fundies. They believe that their way is so far superior to any other that they are willing to push what they believe upon any and everyone- in any way they can. It’s that arrogance in everything they think or do that irritates me.

    They’re arrogant enough to believe that women are too fragile to control their own lives, so they aim to make sure that doesn’t happen. They want women to always be defined by the men in their lives- much like Mrs. Tebow is currently being defined by that pretty, vapid little football god she produced. It kills me when women are complicit in this oppression.

  36. @infinitemonkey: No, don’t worry about it, you didn’t pervert the thread, I skanked up the place way earlier this morning. :o

    And now, it is my honor to present for everyone’s viewing pleasure, some video of Tim Tebow crying – because he lost a football game.

    ……fap…….fap…

  37. Then again, maybe Tim Tebow will get confused in his rookie year in the NFL. Imagine him walking up to the line, sticking his hands under the center, patting him on the junk, and suddenly due to a previous brain damage-injury he tries to perform an on-field circumcision.

    I doubt any amount of jesus-quotes in the face-paint will stop that 300+ pound lineman from getting medieval on Tim Tebow’s ass.

  38. @phlebas

    Concerning fun with bible verses and room numbers. There’s a story about a member of the 1986 New York Mets (from the book ‘The Bad Guys Won”) who signed an autograph with a verse from Romans (which he’d abbreviated to Rom.), which resulted in an irate husband wanting to kill him, thinking he’d given his wife his room number. I’d have to find the book to find out which specific Met it was.

  39. @BigMKNows: COTW

    I’ve lately been discussing some of the questions surrounding the idea of god with a coworker. She is skeptical of the idea of god since she doesn’t see any evidence for it, but she has a lot of inertia in her system of beliefs. So, for instance, she doesn’t like it when people say “god damn” since it “uses the lord’s name in vain.” Anyway, I brought up the idea that even if there is a god, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence for the idea that what they command is good. This was a new thought for her, but she saw what I meant: That the equation of god with good is propaganda.

  40. @ thanks Chris Z for pointing that out, if he was cutting somebody – then yeah, that’s bad.

    It sorta reminds me of the Christopher Reeve walking commercial about a decade or so ago. That was controversial in the sense that it gave those with similar disabilities false hope. Of course, that was an investment commercial – and it wasn’t advocating a position that endangers the health and choice of women.

    But nonetheless it was viewed as very insensitive.

    Well, let’s hope the Lions or Browns draft Tebow – that will be the Hell he deserves.

  41. @catgirl: If those are the arguments you hear most, then that’s awesome. I feel like a few years ago I read the study about abortion rates and legality, and it seemed like the pro-choice side just assumed everyone read the study and moved on. I feel like it’s the strongest argument for pro-choice and it’s not being pushed hard enough.

    @marilove: I’m not worried about extremists, I’m worried about the people in the middle who are easily swayed by emotional “baby-killer” arguments. Abortion is discussed as if it is already illegal in this country and politicians tiptoe around it. It’s becoming mainstream to be anti-choice and I feel like that doesn’t have to be the case.

    “You want fewer abortions? WE want fewer abortions too! Look at this study.

    PRO-CHOICE!”

  42. @mikerattlesnake: Have you been listening?

    That has always been the fucking pro-choice argument.

    Maybe it’s because you can’t get pregnant and therefore don’t really pay attention to this on a daily basis, like we do, the women who keep trying to tell you over and over that the pro-choice argument has been saying this for years but the anti-choice crowd doesn’t give a shit.

  43. @mikerattlesnake:

    http://www.naralva.org/assets/files/cpcfactsheet.pdf

    That’s what the pro-life movement does. No matter how often they are told the facts, they continue to ignore them. Because they don’t care about the facts. They only care about promoting ignorance and controlling women.

    http://www.feministing.com/archives/019609.html

    And that. These are people who will claim up and down that they care about women, that they are there with the best intentions, but they harass women. THESE are the people we are fighting against.

    http://www.feministing.com/archives/019608.html

    http://www.feministing.com/archives/019538.html

    We have to fight against this shit. We have to fight against people who don’t trust women. They don’t care about facts. They ignore facts. They push ignorance. We scream the facts, and they turn around and twist the facts and say out-right lies. The more facts we scream, they more shit they just fucking make up.

    We have been screaming the facts for years. There have been NUMEROUS studies done that blatantly show that abstinence-only education doesn’t work, yet those studies are ignored by our own government!

    The facts are being screamed from the top of buildings, but are being drowned out by ignorance and lies.

  44. @marilove: Actually a supposedly large study just released its findings which showed clearely that education based sex-ed that stressed that abstinence was safer and a better choice (but not saying wait until marriage) did result in the students having less sex at a younger age. This was reported on NBC this morning and the age of the students was 6th and 7th grade I think. I don’t recall who did the study or what the numbers were however. As a parent of teenage children I think it’s irresponsible to not encourage abstinence when you are not old enough to make informed and reasonable choices. But that message should always be in context with providing all the necessary information to be safe and not become a parent.

  45. @James Fox:

    A single study does not undo the fact that teen pregnancy rises in places where abstinence-only programs are in place.

    The options are not abstinence-only vs. encouraging sex. Comprehensive sex ed includes the information that says that abstinence is the safest choice while at the same time, giving information about the risks of having sex, what you can do to avoid those risks, and the risks of using contraception.

  46. The goal of the study was to find ways to motivate youth to make better more informed choices and avoid pregnancy according to the article. What I read is that the study shows that the particular method the researchers tested worked. And we agree that it’s about giving as much good and accurate information as possible which should include the advice that having sex when too young can be bad. Perhaps if we come up with a continuum going from the no fuck years, through the shouldn’t fuck years, finally into the fucking is okay but always be smart years, kids would listen better.

  47. @James Fox: I wouldn’t call that abstinence-only education, though. We have always encouraged that all the facts be laid out, including the fact that abstinence, especially at a young age, is the best way to prevent unwanted pregnancies and STDs. That has ALWAYS been the message.

    Our message has never been “GO FUCK, now, do it, it’s so fun yay!” Though of course, the anti-choicers like to make it seem like that’s what we’re doing. As I said above, they like to twist our facts and make up their own truths to fit their agenda.

    We’ve always been pro-sex education (that includes information on abstience).

    It’s nice that an official study has been done to show that we were fucking right and the abstinence-only crowd was wrong (which we already knew).

  48. @James Fox:
    Perhaps the full study commented on this, but I am curious about a couple of things in the study. Was there a measurable difference in the use of safe-sex practices, acquisition of STDs, or pregnancy rate between the 30% of abstinence-only trained kids who were saying that they’d had sex and the 50% of safe-sex-trained kids? Indeed, how did those number compare over all four groups? Were the assignments to various groups truly random, or did parents or students have any say into which group a child would go? And how much does the strong focus on the drawbacks of sexual activity change one’s willingness to admit to sexual activity?

    One thing that did amaze me, though, is that they’re purporting that an 8-hour intervention can have measurable effects 2 years down the line. The other thing that amazed me was that half the 14yr olds were having sex…oh, wait, claiming to have sex. Now, it may be the particular population they were working with, but these numbers are pretty young compared with often cited numbers (25% m, 26%f having first intercourse by age 15–I can’t vouch for the methodology/reliability of these numbers.)

    Hey…I’m all for kids putting off having sex long enough to make good judgments for themselves…and not only in terms of pregnancy and STDs, but also in terms of individual’s true emotional readiness for a sexual relationship. But I think there are a few other endpoints that need to be assessed than just ‘fewer of these kids claimed that they had sex than those kids did’.

  49. @marilove: Certainly, as a pro-choice person who pays attention to politics and societal trends I must be wrong because I don’t have a uterus. Clearly I am sexist because I don’t think that enough people are hearing the most compelling argument for choice clearly and loudly enough. It’s impossible that the information that an interested feminist gets about pro-choice is somehow different than what is picked up by the general public. Maybe we should try printing ads in bold.

    But no, I am wrong, everything I am suggesting is already happening. Let’s not think about changing the presentation of our message despite the fact that we have pretty much failed at making it palatable to the mainstream (who are not all religious zealots) and realistically may face overturning of Roe v. Wade in my lifetime. Sorry I suggested anything.

  50. well, I’m being told I’m not seeing things that I definitely am while you repeatedly raise the strawman of religious zealots that I am supposedly trying to convert.

    Bottom line is that I think if you took the average person off of the street and asked them why abortion should be legal they wouldn’t be likely to give you a good answer, and furthermore that the next generation will have even less of a clear picture. I think this is because we are not marketing our message well enough. The information is there for those interested in it, but it has not permeated the cultural conciousness. If I’m wrong, then I’m happy. But you’ve kind of just yelled that I’m wrong repeatedly without providing anything convincing. If you’re an example of someone who is spreading our message, no wonder we’ve done such a shit job.

    Oh, and that’s not being passive aggressive, it’s full on hostile sarcasm.

  51. @mikerattlesnake: The information is there and we have been yelling it at the top of our fucking lungs but we are constantly undermined by the pro-life group.

    Their lies are much more glamorous than our truths. It is far easier to grab someone with, “YOU ARE KILLING BAAAABIIIIES”, twisted truths and outright lies, than it is to grab someone with unglamorous facts.

    “we” are not marketing our message well enough? You are berating us, and being fucking hostile, but you aren’t really coming up with ANY suggestions. You’ve said the same thing over and over again, with no real suggestions of your own. You’ve said “we” a few times, but I don’t really see YOU doing anything except bitch and moan about how awful our message is and how we ladies must, must do something different.

    Have you ever thought that possibly, just possibly, that your experience may be different because you ARE a man? And why is it that, whenever I mention this, men suddenly get all defensive and say, “I AM NOT SEXIST!”

    I didn’t call you sexist! You are being a sexist jackass now, but explaining to you that your experiences AS A MAN colors your opinions and the way you see things in regards to WOMENS ISSUES is not calling you sexist!

    Go to Planned Parenthood’s website. They are the #1 pro-choice voice right now. All they DO is put out the facts. And yet the anti-choice crowd comes right along, and uses EMOTIONS, not facts, to sway people to their side.

    It is really hard to fight EMOTIONS with boring facts.

  52. so if I go to the Planned Parenthood website I get the facts? What a terrific method of disseminating information! Do you think if we put some flash games on the site we could get more people to go there?

    Yes, a list of facts is boring. The idea that the only way to present facts is to be boring is pretty silly. The other side is doing a fantastic job at marketing their message. We are not. Telling the other side “YOU’RE NOT LISTENING HARD ENOUGH SO I’M GOING TO YELL LOUDER!” also doesn’t work. I don’t mean to disparrage those who are helping, rather the overall message of the movement and the method of spreading that message. We need a Tim Tebow, but preferrably a less Tim Tebow-ey one.

  53. oh, and if I’m not getting the message “because I’m a man” (even one that is particularly tuned in and interested in this and ON THE SAME SIDE AS YOU), then you are basically saying that the current method of disseminating our message is not reaching 50% of the voters. Wait, weren’t you dissagreeing with me?

  54. that study that supposedly shows abstinence only works? The education studied *wouldn’t even have qualified for abstinence only funding.*

    http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/27815

    It did not disparage the use of condoms, and did not insist on abstinence until marriage. Yes, it showed some effectiveness, but it *wasn’t* abstinence only education being studied! Those have consistently been shown to *not* work at all, in fact, if anything be worse than nothing.

  55. @James Fox: Like I said previously, Tim would do better in in the pro’s as a receiver, tight end or full back.

    ——-

    Oh, come on. Be skeptical. Last time I checked, we don’t even know if Tebow can catch the ball in motion or block effectively, so there’s no reason to think he can play any of those three positions.

  56. @James Fox:
    From the study:”It encouraged abstinence as a way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, although the researchers didn’t collect data on those outcomes.”
    ———
    So, for all we know, the 1/3 of the abstinence only kids who DID have sex ended up with AIDS babies. Massive relevancy fail.

  57. @marilove: You are berating us, and being fucking hostile, but you aren’t really coming up with ANY suggestions.

    ——-

    Actually, yes, he did. He said that when communicating about the pro-choice stance, it would be helpful to point out that safe and legal abortions does not mean more abortions. He may be wrong or right, but he did make a suggestion.

    Then you said that the reason he hadn’t hear this message was that he was a man, which, I hate to tell you, about half of all voters are. So you do have to reach them if you want to succeed in communicating your message. So, probably, yelling at him and calling him a sexist jackass wasn’t the optimum communications strategy.

    And if you read through that thread with even a modicum of objectivity, you would notice that he wasn’t hostile at all until after you started dismissing his viewpoint (not ‘pointing out’ as you phrase it, you dismissed it) because of his penis. You did not merely respond, you initiated hostilities.

  58. @James Fox: Hey, I only thought my gay-dar was going off when I saw Tim on TV and thought he should explore some other life style options.
    ——-
    Like I said… based on current information, we don’t know if he’d be any good in any of those positions. He might suck.

  59. @delphi_ote: How in the hell are you going to have a celebrity spokesperson for abortion?

    ————

    Well, you have a celebrity that believes in the pro-choice message talk about that message, for example, in a commercial. What that message should be is discussed exhaustively in the thread.

  60. circumcision makes me cry for boys. seriously, can we talk about genital mutilation. if we’re appalled by cliterectomy in africa why are we so rosy faced as a nation about chopping off some extremely sensitive skin from baby boys without anesthetic. it’s super illustrative of how we as a nation feel about genitalia, and especially the ridiculous amount of pressure we put on dicks.

    benefits? bullshit. a reduced risk of contracting hpv, that’s all.
    you know, if you cut off girls’ clits they will be much less likely to contract vd, or get pregnant, or do that pesky thing little kids do where they stick their hands down their pants to figure out that little tingly thing… start marketing that to parents!

  61. It may be strictly annecdotal and not a representative sample, but both my brother and my girlfriend’s brother had to have circumcisions later in life because of foreskin complications. Dunno what I’ll do when I have kids for sure, but I’m leaning towards circumcising them before they can remember it.

  62. @sethmanapio: Discussed extensively? Sure. If you mean a lot of lazy anonymous internet bitching about the people working their ass off to do something about this issue. Any moron can imagine handing a celebrity a microphone and telling them to say they support a cause. That doesn’t require any imagination. Precisely what they are going to say when you hand them that microphone is the challenge. How do you go for an emotional appeal when the opposition frames your position as “baby killing”?

    The thing that makes the Tebow’s message powerful is that it’s a personal and emotional anecdote, not just Tim’s celebrity status. But you can’t really pull that off for a pro-choice message without sounding insensitive, can you? You’re going to have an undertone like, “Thanks to my abortion, I finished college and my life is on track.” or “The doctor said it was either the baby dies or we might both die. I saved my ass.” If there’s even a hint of that, it’s going to shut people down. It’s not going to change anyone’s mind. You’ve paid a lot of money for a celebrity, and now you’ve undermined your own cause.

    It’s going to be really tricky to find exactly the right life circumstances that highlight how brave and unselfish and necessary these decisions really are. Hence my question, how the hell can you do that? It’s not as trivial as you’re all making it out to be.

  63. I think that establishing common ground is important. We can acknowledge the emotional side and admit that many of us have the same emotional impulses. I think it’s important to not just frame ourselves as the intellectual counterpoint to emotion, rather emotional people who work within an intellectual framework. This eliminates the “people who love babies vs. the people who want to kill babies” dichotomy. Also, spokespeople should include mothers and pregnant women.

    We can then ask the question “What’s the goal?” (since laws should be based on goals for society to achieve, not just things that feel right). If the goal is fewer abortions, criminalizing abortion does not succeed. The only proven method for lowering abortion rates is by reducing unwanted pregnancy. The only way of reducing unwanted pregnancy is legal abortion with comprehensive sex education and contraception. The important thing here is that we are not fighting the other side, we are proposing a goal that should be supported by everybody.

    I think if we successfully framed our argument using both of those tactics, in a high profile environment (internet and tv campaigns), without insulting those on the other side, we could reach the middle effectively. The nuts will never be swayed, but the nuts aren’t the majority.

  64. I’m not sure if this was mentioned, but I believe that abortion, even in cases that threaten the mother’s life, is illegal in the Philippines. My sister-in-law is a doctor there, so I will try to ask her.

  65. @beepbeepsaynomore: f we’re appalled by cliterectomy in africa why are we so rosy faced as a nation about chopping off some extremely sensitive skin from baby boys without anesthetic.

    ———-

    Well, for a couple of reasons. First and foremost (hah, foremost), in the hospitals of this nation at least, they do not perform circumcisions without any anesthetic.

    Second, the benefits (such as they are) are reduced chances of contracting HPV or AIDS, not just HPV, significant reduction of risk for urinary tract infection and the elimination of risk for phimosis.*

    Studies do not show that men with circumcised penises have different response to stimuli in terms of time to erection and time to ejaculation as intact men, and subjective studies on adult men who have been circumcised have ambivalent results: some men find sex more enjoyable, some men find sex less enjoyable, others experience no change. Although circumcision opponents claim otherwise, there is no keratinization of the glans in circumcised men. There is therefore no evidence to suggest that the circumcised male has reduced capacity to enjoy sex.

    In women, the closest analog to circumcision would be a hooderectomy.

    The procedure commonly thought of as “female circumcision” in this culture is a clitorectomy. The scarring can be significant and extensive, and as been discussed on this blog in some detail and even venom, there is certainly evidence to suggest that a woman whose clitoral glans has been replaced with scar tissue will not be able to enjoy sex in the same way as an intact woman will.

    So, while none of this is an argument in favor of circumcision, it should answer your question of why we do not generally view male circumcision the same way we view female circumcision. They are simply not anatomically equivalent.

    *One of the most infuriating things I ever heard was Penn Jillette being told about the existence of phimosis and saying “I wish I had know about that when we did our Bullshit on circumcision.”

  66. @delphi_ote: Hence my question, how the hell can you do that? It’s not as trivial as you’re all making it out to be.

    ————

    First one I can think of would be to find stories of women who didn’t abort and ended up dying… along with their baby. But that’s because I’m spending about a third of a second on this.

    Framing a message isn’t that hard, and there are professionals who do it all the time for things like cigarette smoking and dropping bombs on people. It is in fact that easy, and there are people you can hire to do it.

  67. @delphi_ote: How do you go for an emotional appeal when the opposition frames your position as “baby killing”?

    —————-

    Ask Amanda Peet. She managed.

    Trivial example commercial #2, which I spent about 4 minutes on while making lemon bars…

    Celebrities mother who considered an abortion, chose to carry to term, but STILL SUPPORTS CHOICE. “I’m glad that I made the choice that I did, and I’m glad that it was my choice to make.”

    Tag line: You don’t have to be pro-abortion to be pro-choice.

    Again, that could use about 2 weeks of polish and decent copywriter, but the basic premise–that being pro-choice doesn’t mean that you want to abort fetuses–is there.

  68. @Elyse: yeah, except with Mothers. Maybe Donovan McNabbs mother. She could say something like, “And in addition to supporting a healthy meal of pure sodium and beef gristle for my absurdly wealthy son, I support a woman’s right to choose… and her right to choose Cambell’s Chunky Soup!”

    Which actually, in context, is pretty disgusting.

  69. I think you should be thankful that Tim Tebow is performing circumcisions on these young boys. And he has that personal touch where he kisses where he has just cut with a scalpel. Tim Tebow is so talented, he could be either a doctor or a preacher.

  70. Being a skeptical female who has given birth three times (to three skeptical females and a skeptical male… yes, I have a set of twins) I have to say that every pregnancy is different. While the blog was funny, the reason people keep having kids is that it isn’t always that way.

    I spent months of my first pregnancy with my head in the toilet. No sickness at all with the other two pregnancies, in fact, with pregnancy #2 I felt healthier than I did non-pregnant… and NO PERIOD! What’s not to love about that?

    I’ve had a “normal” pregnancy, a severely post term (induced) and a pair of preemies (one which was an emergency C-Section) so I can honestly say I’ve run the gamut of experiences.

    Now I’ll have to go back through the comments to see where this whole discussion became about abortion. Of course a lot of it is in the language. The right likes to talk about abortion like it’s a black and white issue, there’s “pro-life”and “pro-abortion”, like any woman is having abortions as a form of recreation or something. I think we need to change the language and call it what it is: Pro-Choice and Anti-Choice.

    And why is it so many “pro-lifers” who post on these boards have penises, then are upset when women point out that the majority of “pro-lifers” posting have penises? Doesn’t it occur to them that in many ways their very presence makes our argument?

  71. @Kate: And why is it so many “pro-lifers” who post on these boards have penises, then are upset when women point out that the majority of “pro-lifers” posting have penises?

    ———-

    What boards are you talking about? As far as I know, no pro-lifers have posted on this particular board.

  72. @Elyse: I like the idea of male role models talking to males about trusting women with this decision, and relating it to women in their own lives.

    But you’ll note that there aren’t any personal anecdotes in that commercial. They also only hint at what they’re talking about. My argument before is that you can’t really do these things for a pro-choice message without sounding insensitive.

  73. @sethmanapio: “First one I can think of would be to find stories of women who didn’t abort and ended up dying… along with their baby. But that’s because I’m spending about a third of a second on this.”

    As I wrote before, “The doctor said it was either the baby dies or we might both die. I saved my ass.” It’s pretty hard to win sympathy in a sound bite world for making a decisions to save yourself. It’s also not a good idea to talk about how good your own decision is (I think that’s one place where Ma Tebow is failing.)

    But maybe if you had the celebrity son of a single mother who would’ve died, I we’d be on to something. “I didn’t get a sister that night, but I didn’t lose my mom. She chose be there to raise me.” The thought of losing your mom is a pretty powerful emotional situation. It would probably sway a lot of guys (the demographic whose minds most need to be changed on this issue.)

    Maybe there are some situations where this would work out. You’d have to be very careful, though.

  74. @sethmanapio: “Celebrities mother who considered an abortion, chose to carry to term, but STILL SUPPORTS CHOICE.”

    That might not be so bad if you waved lots of flags and talked about freedom a lot. But I think humanizing the women making the less popular decision should probably be priority number one.

  75. @delphi_ote: It’s pretty hard to win sympathy in a sound bite world for making a decisions to save yourself.

    ———–

    Which is why I didn’t suggest that as a commercial idea. Unless you think that I was suggesting that we interview the dead mother and baby after they died or something, in which case you’re probably on the wrong board.

  76. @delphi_ote: But I think humanizing the women making the less popular decision should probably be priority number one.

    —————

    And you humanize people, in part, by creating relationships. Relationships are transitive to some degree, that is, if you are my friend, I’m more disposed to like the people you recommend as good people.

    So if celebrity Mom supports choice and doesn’t stigmafy (sp?) the people who make that choice, this is a step towards humanizing those people.

    There are many ways to get to Cathay.

  77. @sethmanapio: Obviously I misread your original suggestion! I thought you were suggesting stories of women who WOULD have died, not women who DID die.

    Your suggestion highlights a VERY important issue… the danger here is real, and people need to know that. But I don’t know how to get those stories in front of people in a way that doesn’t trivialize them or sound like you’re blaming the victim for making the wrong choice. Some serious, sober journalism would be ideal. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be much of that going on these days.

  78. @sethmanapio: Yes. Your second suggestion definitely goes a long way toward finding common ground and emphasizing individual choice. I think that’s good.

    My goal was to think of a campaign as visceral and personal as Tebow’s. mikerattlesnake’s suggestion that “We need a Tim Tebow” was what made me initially think this celebrity spokesperson idea was impossible. Your ideas are both good, but it’s hard to compete with “I wouldn’t be here” for immediacy.

    Also, stigmafy should totally be a word.

  79. @delphi_ote: My goal was to think of a campaign as visceral and personal as Tebow’s.

    ———-

    “My Mom isn’t here to see this” is pretty visceral. Maybe from a dad watching his son win some award… “his mom isn’t here to see this.” With tears.

    I’m pretty sure I meant stigMATIZE. With this little sleep, it’s hard to tell.

  80. @superman:

    What is it called again when someone is too stupid to get ironic self-deprecating humor so they link to Maddox because he’s so right?

    Ah, who cares? Trying to come up with the word for it is like giving attention to someone who thinks Maddox is awesome.

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