Quickies

Skepchick Quickies 6.25

  • Atheists buy sign on Billy Graham Parkway – “Yep, there it is – “One Nation Indivisible,” with the “under God” left out – high atop the parkway, near Boyer Street.” From Tim.
  • New form of gene regulation hints at hidden dimension of DNA – “The findings involve apparently redundant copies of genes, called “pseudogenes,” and RNA molecules that would normally carry out genetic instructions, but appear to be disabled. When it comes to altering the activity of PTEN, a cancer tumor-regulating gene, these components are neither redundant nor broken. Instead they help turn PTEN on and off.”
  • UFO’s, bigfoot, ghosts, and milk - New episode of the podcast”The Conversation” featuring the awesome Maggie McFee of the Boston Skeptics. From Ballookey.
  • Thwarted sperm finally have an advocate – Sad your woman had an abortion without your permission? Now there’s an e-card for that. (Plus Amanda Marcotte tries her own hand at making e-cards for such a situation.)
  • Cute Animal Friday! ZenMonkey reports that a red panda cub was born at the National Zoo, the first one in 15 years. And Elyse brings us the exciting new sport of pug bowling. Have you been enjoying the World Cup? Personally, I’m pulling for team meerkat.

Amanda

Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

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53 Comments

  1. The comments under the billboard article – a reminder of why I limit my commenting to places where I don’t see quite so much ignorance, ethnocentric fear, and anger. Well, we might have a bit of anger here….So scratch that one.

    Pug Bowling – you see what happens when you use your creative juices for fun? Everyone wins…except pug – although he seemed to be having fun.

  2. “One Nation, Indivisible” is my favorite atheist billboard yet. Well done, NC. But the comments after that article…ugh. How can we as a nation, in the 21st century, still believe and espouse such silliness.

  3. Thwarted sperm.

    first wife: i ain’t havin no baby
    me: ur kidding
    first wife: take me to the abortion clinic
    me: no, take yourself, i want a baby.
    first wife: fine, I’ll get my sister to take me
    me: c ya
    ………..
    me next step: change locks on doors, file for divorce.

    sorry if this offends, but half the DNA was mine.

  4. @Tanstaafl56:

    The DNA was yours; the uterus wasn’t. If you want a baby you’ll have to either let it leech off your body for 40 weeks, or find a woman who consents to doing that for you. If you were my husband, I would’ve dropped the embryo off at your front door and let you do with it as you please, since you claimed ownership of it. I don’t know why you think you’re entitled to a woman’s body to get what you want, but your ex-wife is better off without you and I’m glad she stood up to your coercion.

  5. @Tanstaafl56: It is her choice. Period. And you are disgusting.

    It was not your body. It was her body. She was the one who would have had to carry the baby. Not you.

    Seriously, get off your high horse. It is not your decision and it never will be.

    Don’t like that?

    Don’t have sex. You have that choice, you know.

    And, protip: TALK to the women you are going to sleep with and make sure your beliefs about this sort of thing line up. That way there aren’t any surprises. If they don’t line up? DON’T HAVE SEX.

    If I accidentally got pregnant today, I’d get an abortion. Period. I don’t give a shit what my partner says. It is my body. If he doesn’t like it, he can choose not to have sex with me.

    For the record, he knows damn well how I feel about this. AND he is 100% fully aware that it’s my decision. AND he’s okay with that.

    He would never, ever force me to have a child I don’t want.

    Why would you think that’s okay?

    I’ll go ahead and force you to give me your kidney. Would you like that?

  6. knew this would strike a few nerves. and that’s why i waited to post part 2.

    Years later, she attempted to contact me, could not and wrote a letter to my parents explaining. She was having an affair and knew the child was not mine. Could not bring her self to tell me the truth.

    We were both young, in our 20’s, I thought we were in love, guess i thought wrong.

    That’s 30 years in the past now and I am actually glad it turned out that way. I would have never met my soulmate of the last 26 years.

    Now as to being on my high horse, i am allergic to horse hair so find another descriptor. Maybe my pain does not count, since i am only a man. I live with it every day, Mari.

  7. @Tanstaafl56: Her having an affair has nothing at all to do with the fact that you still attempted to forcer her to have a child she did not want. It does not change the fact that, had it been yours, you still would have tried forced her to have a child she did not want, and instead of supporting her, you abandoned her. If she had not had an affair and the child had been yours, you would have still abadoned her because she did not want to be forced to have a child she did not want to carry. Still disgusting. Still coercion. Still not your decision.

    Also, how do you know for certain it wasn’t yours? You don’t know, do you? You still tried to force her to have a child she did not want. That is what is important here; not the affair. It has nothing to do with anything. You are just trying to garner sympathy. Guess what? It won’t happen. Because you still tried to force her to have a baby she did not want, and instead of supporting her, you abandoned her. Disgusting, and like catgirl, I’m glad she stood up to you and didn’t give in to your coercion. That is abuse, btw. You were abusive. To try to force her to carry a child she does not want and then to abandon her is abusive.

    I never said your pain doesn’t count. I said it was not your decision and it never will be. It is not your body. She is the one that was going to have to carry the child; not you. It is NOT YOUR BODY. It is not your decision. Period.

  8. @Tanstaafl56:
    So your wife came home from her abortion to find herself locked out of her home? Nice. You’re a prince. Bet she’s heartbroken about losing you.

    Do you divorce your crusty sweatsocks too, when they refuse to have your babies after you generously donate your DNA to them?

    Here’s how things actually work: Until somebody invents the uterine replicator, your DNA doesn’t get to make a baby–unless a woman consents to build one with her own body, risking her own health and life to do so. And any sane woman hearing your story would run screaming from the prospect.

    Personally, my partners know that while I will take serious steps to prevent pregnancy ever being an issue,* I am never going to have a baby. If I got pregnant, I would abort. I don’t date people who would have a problem with that, because if you have a problem with that, you have a problem with my being an autonomous human being.

    *Hello, uterus. Don’t you like the new IUD I got you on Tuesday? Look at how pretty it is! It’s like I got you uterus-jewelry! Please stop with the death-cramps now, ok? Please?

  9. @Tanstaafl56: Wow, what? Wow at our honesty?

    You’ve grown a bit since then? Really?

    Somehow, I doubt it.

    “sorry if this offends, but half the DNA was mine.”

    Straight from your fingers. Grown a bit, my ass.

    I like how you don’t actually respond to our points. Imagine that! You can’t defend your despicable actions! Surprise, surprise!

    It’s hard to defend trying to force a woman to have a baby she does not want, and then abandoning her because of it, isn’t it?

    Something tells me you’re really pleasant.

    What happens if your current wife got pregnant and decided she didn’t want it? Would you abandon her? Try to force her to have a child? Both are still abusive behaviors. But she’s the love of your life! And you supposedly loved your first wife. Tell me, why would you force someone you claim to love to risk life and limb, when she does not want to? Tell me. Because that’s not how you treat someone you claim to love. You don’t try to force her to risk her life. That’s not love: That’s abuse.

    And, your “explanations” are what, exactly? That you thought you were entitled to a child that your wife did not want to carry to term? And that you were in the right to try to force her to carry a child she did not want? And that you were in the right to then abandon her because she dared to make a choice about her body? Is that your explanation? That’s the only explanation I can see. And it’s not a good one.

    Why not at least own up to your actions? Instead of trying to garner sympathy and claim that you’ve “grown a bit since then” (when clearly, you have not; if you had, you would admit that what you did was disgusting; but you did not; instead, you say that the DNA is half yours, which implies that you have every right to force a woman to have a child she does not want; grown a bit my ass).

    Sorry. This shit won’t fly in this crowd. Nice try, though.

  10. @Tanstaafl56:

    This:

    Thwarted sperm.

    first wife: i ain’t havin no baby
    me: ur kidding
    first wife: take me to the abortion clinic
    me: no, take yourself, i want a baby.
    first wife: fine, I’ll get my sister to take me
    me: c ya
    ………..
    me next step: change locks on doors, file for divorce.

    sorry if this offends, but half the DNA was mine.

    does not sound like growth to me. It sounds like entitlement and a major lack of empathy.

    I can understand a man being sad or upset over a partner’s abortion. I don’t think that pain doesn’t count. But it doesn’t outweigh the massive differences in the way pregnancy affects men and women, in terms of risk, responsibility, and life changes. Which is why in the end, abortion is always and only the woman’s choice. Responsible guys get that, even if they’re unhappy about the abortion.

    And I don’t see how the fact that your wife was (unbeknownst to you) having an affair excuses your behavior in the slightest.

  11. @StephanieB:

    And I don’t see how the fact that your wife was (unbeknownst to you) having an affair excuses your behavior in the slightest.

    Don’t you see? We’re supposed to sympathize with him! She didn’t just want an abortion, but she had an affair, too! That dirty slut!

    *eye roll*

    If he had “grown up a bit” he wouldn’t have mentioned that. Him finding out that she had had an affair had NOTHING AT ALL to do with his decision to try to force her to have a child she did not want, and then abandon her when she decided to get the abortion anyway, and yet … he still had to mention it. Because he noticed that we just weren’t shaming her enough by her decision to get an abortion. No, no. Now he must show the world what a dirty whore she was, and how undeserving of his love she was, and how in the end his actions were justified. She was a cheating whore; why should he have stayed with her?

    Don’t you see?!

  12. only excuse i have is i was devoutly xian at the time, have not been since shortly afterward. and i have had 30 years to change my views.
    Our last child (11 on the 4th of july) was her choice. we could not really afford another child, we discussed, i told her i had no weight in the matter.

    to your points:

    yes, i am disgusting.

    yes, i want my hosiery to have my babies. (this is what garnered the ‘wow’)

    (actually i am pleasant now adays, i am everybodies goto person for favors)
    (and i took my sister in law to the clinic a couple of years ago to get an abortion when she could not find a ride)

    I still would have felt the same way about the baby not being mine and abortion at the time (xian legacy dogma)

    believe or don’t.

  13. @Tanstaafl56: I don’t believe you, quite frankly.

    You wouldn’t have said this:

    Thwarted sperm.

    first wife: i ain’t havin no baby
    me: ur kidding
    first wife: take me to the abortion clinic
    me: no, take yourself, i want a baby.
    first wife: fine, I’ll get my sister to take me
    me: c ya
    ………..
    me next step: change locks on doors, file for divorce.

    sorry if this offends, but half the DNA was mine.

    And then you further wouldn’t have mentioned the affair which had nothing at all to do with your trying to force her to carry a child she did not want, and then abandon her. Yet you still mentioned it. Why, if not to further shame her for her decision? It was pointless and unnecessary information, yet you still felt the need to mention it. For the record, you did not shame her further in our eyes; you instead showed your true asshole colors. Good job!

    If you really had “grown a bit”, you would have mentioned your reasonings the FIRST time. You would have said that at the time you were misguided, but have since grown.

    But you didn’t.

    Instead, you said “half the DNA was mine” and then attempted to shame her further by bringing up the affair.

    Just because you are the “go to person for favors” doesn’t mean you still didn’t try to force someone you supposedly loved to have a child she did not want, and then try to shame her in a public forum by mentioning an affair that had nothing at all to do with YOUR decision to abuse her (and yes, you abused her).

    Nice attempt at backpedaling, though.

    That shit still doesn’t fly here.

    I don’t care how pleasant you think you are; you are coming off as a complete fucking tool. It was the mention of the affair that solidified my views of you.

    Nice try, though. Still think you’re an asshole.

  14. @Tanstaafl56: I believe I have.

    Men who mention shit like that (the affair) have only one goal: To shame. It really had nothing to do with anything, and yet you still mentioned it.

    And it’s not like you’ve even said, “You know what … you’re right. That was uncalled for. Perhaps I’m still hurting from it all. It really didn’t have anything to do with anything.”

    Nope.

    Instead, you try to convince us that you such a nice person, and the go-to person for favors! Because can’t we see how nice you are?!

    Nice people don’t have to convince others of how nice they are. Nice people are just nice. You are not nice.

  15. @BeardofPants: BUT! He has grown! Don’t you see?! He has grown. He is not still trying to slut-shame the wife he supposedly loved, because he has grown! He is not still trying to claim that “sorry half the DNA was mine” because he has grown! Don’t you see?! He has grown, man.

  16. @marilove:

    Because he noticed that we just weren’t shaming her enough by her decision to get an abortion. No, no. Now he must show the world what a dirty whore she was, and how undeserving of his love she was, and how in the end his actions were justified. She was a cheating whore; why should he have stayed with her?

    qft

  17. @StephanieB: Seriously.

    He didn’t say: “You know, my then-wife told me she didn’t want this child, and I, at the time a misguided christian, tried to force her otherwise, then made the decision to lock her out of the house and divorce her when she couldn’t be forced. That was shameful and unacceptable.” That would have been relevant to the posted e-cards, and I would have said, “I’m glad you were able to see what you did was wrong. In the end, that’s what matters. You made a mistake, but have owned up to it. Good job.”

    No. He didn’t do that.

    Instead, he has to FIRST make certain that we know half the DNA was his; then mention that she had an affair, to shame her. Then, and only then, did he think it was appropriate to mention that his “reasons” where because he was a “christian” at the time. And yet he still can’t admit that what he did was wrong. Not once did he do that. He claims he has “grown” and yet … not once has he even admitted that how he treated his first wife was wrong. Did you notice that? I did. No; instead he has to try to slut-shame her to garner our sympathy, and then has to convince us that he’s “pleasant” and the “go to guy for favors” … because that’s certainly relevant!

    Sorry, Charlie; not gonna fly. I can see right through you.

  18. @marilove: I’ve learned that since I can’t get prenant, don’t have to go through periods, and will never have to work through labor, no matter how much I want a child, if a theoretical mother of a potential child wants an abortion, the most I can do is cry, and pout.

    If a medical advancement were created which allowed a fetus to be transplanted from the woman to the man and he could carry it to term, and then deliver via C section, would you agree there would be a valid reason to protest?

  19. @marilove:

    Yup. Just ending that little scenario, “at least, that’s what I thought at the time. I was kind of clueless back then,” would have prevented all references to crusty hosiery and righteous wrath on our parts, and all passive-aggressive flouncing on his.

  20. @infinitemonkey:

    If a medical advancement were created which allowed a fetus to be transplanted from the woman to the man and he could carry it to term, and then deliver via C section, would you agree there would be a valid reason to protest?

    It would be a valid reason to say, “Hey, this might be a good idea.” But it’s not a valid reason to force such a procedure on a woman, which would likely be harder on her than an abortion. It’s still her body, and she still has the final say.

    For the record, I never said a man can’t be sad when a woman decides to get an abortion. He has a right to those feelings. What he *doesn’t* have a right to is her body, nor does he have a right to try to coerce her or force her to make a decision she does not want to make.

    In a perfect world, the two people would be able to talk it through and make a decision together. But the world isn’t perfect.

  21. Well, I write this cringing and expecting to be flamed, but:

    It is interesting that a turn-about of the unexpected / half unwanted pregnancy is a loser for the man.
    “Honey, I’m pregnant.”
    “You know I don’t want kids.”
    “Well I’m not having an abortion.”
    “But I don’t want kids, I don’t want to be responsible for the child.”
    “Your paying for it, buddy. See you in court.”

    I think that, just as a man should not be able to force a woman to have a child that is genetically theirs if the woman does not want it, a woman should not be able to force a man to support a child under similar circumstances.

    Yes, there is physiological burden one way and a legal burden the other way, but the biology of the situation is not something we can do anything about, whereas the legal burden is artificial.

  22. @Tanstaafl56
    Yes, half your DNA, true. But this shit is far more ancient than arithmetic.

    I like how Leonard Cohen puts it:

    So I knelt there at the delta,
    at the alpha and the omega,
    at the cradle of the river and the seas.

    Just a fact, beyond those gates we have no dominion. By invitation only.

  23. @Finn McR: Oh, fuck that shit. If a man has sex with a woman, and gets her pregnant, and she decides to have the child, there is now a child that needs to be taken care of. He could have easily not have had sex, no? You can’t just go “POOF! The child no longer exists!”

    No, it’s not fair; but neither is the world.

    The onus of child birth is on the woman. Therefore she gets to make the final decision, because it is her body. But if that decision is to have a child, then there is a child that is to be taken care of.

    To abandon that child that is NOW ALIVE and had no choice in being alive is disgusting.

    To say, “I will not support if it if is born” is a form of coercion to force an abortion she may not want. You are now waving over her head the possibility that you will now not financially support the child YOU helped bring into the world. It takes two to tango, and no, once a child is BORN, you do not have a right to walk away (unless she agrees).

    Tip: Talk to the person you’re going to have sex with. Find out what her decision will likely be. But then realize that decision can change. If you for certain do not want children and are not certain that she will get an abortion don’t have sex. If she decides not to abort and a child is now ALIVE and needs to be taken care of, then be a responsible adult and take care of the child.

    It’s not a fair world. But then, it’s not fair that women have the onus of pregnancy, is it?

    Only a woman can get pregnant. Until that changes, you do not have any say in her final decision. But you still must take responsibility — unless she decides she does not want your help — if a child is born.

    Do you honestly want to advocate fathers to be able to run away from their responsibilities? Fuck, men do that already. They get a woman pregnant, and then suddenly! They are no longer around. Suddenly, they don’t want to be responsible for the child they helped bring into the world.

    Once a child is born, that child is what is most important. Period.

  24. @marilove: Marilove: You are a raging hypocrite.

    I understand that you are incensed by what *you think* Tanstaafle56 wrote, but you are totally rocking a double standard.

    Your standard is that whatever a woman who engages in intercourse wants, that is the absolute, total moral standard of what is right. You are full of s**t. There are two people involved. One, the female, bears the burden of having to take an embryo to term, abort it, or take her chances. One, the male, is done with any physical responsibility once the critical act is done. Both bear some degree of legal responsibility once an embryo implants in the uterus.

    You, throughough this thread, have imputed to others (Tanstaafl56) ideas that were not written in comments (e.g., that he locked out his to-be significant other *while she was out having an abortion*. Take a chill.

    If a woman has sex with a man and there is a child, then “poof” the child exists. You are so enraged, and biased by the issue that you can’t see the other side. There are a number of possible configurations of people engaged in one-off or regular heterosexual intercourse: both parties expect a child; one party expects a child, but the other thinks that contraceptive is in effect (used by one or the other, and of different efficacy); both parties think that contraceptives are in effect; etc.

    Sorry for the wording, but I think that your reaction is hysterical. You think that any man should either commit himself to a life of celibacy, eternal masturbation, or GTFO. Well, **** you. A couple; that is, a heterosexual married couple that is engaged in routine, unprotected sexual intercourse, should expect a child to result. I am not commenting on @Tanstaafle56’s situation; I don’t know him. But it should be a basic assumption.

    This is the way I see your world working (get a copy of the movie Cherry 2000):

    Any man (any ignorant, pushy, arrogant, hairy, obnoxious, shitty man) who wants to have sexual intercourse with a female should first have a contract written up to specify: the type (if any) of contraception(s) in use, the consequence of failure thereof, expected parental duties in the event of issue…

    Get a life, I was commenting that, if (after a pregnancy occurs) the female party does not want it to come to term, then she holds all the cards; if (after a pregnancy occurs) the male party does not want it to come to term, then fuck him (in terms of most laws).

    I am totally open to talking about types of contraceptive and relative failure rates, but you, Marilove, are a fanatic, and therefore not worth any more of my time.

  25. @Finn McR: I’m a hysterical fanatic and need to get a life?

    Oh, stuff it. You don’t even warrant a response.

    And do you honestly think he didn’t kick her out immediately after she made it clear she was going to get an abortion? YEAH RIGHT.

    Thwarted sperm.

    first wife: i ain’t havin no baby
    me: ur kidding
    first wife: take me to the abortion clinic
    me: no, take yourself, i want a baby.
    first wife: fine, I’ll get my sister to take me
    me: c ya
    ………..
    me next step: change locks on doors, file for divorce.

    “cya”

    then “next step: change the locks.”

    What do you THINK happened? He supported her during the abortion? LOLZ.

    Perhaps I’ll respond to your other “points” tomorrow, perhaps not. Quite frankly, you’re not worth my time.

  26. One thing:

    There are a number of possible configurations of people engaged in one-off or regular heterosexual intercourse: both parties expect a child; one party expects a child, but the other thinks that contraceptive is in effect (used by one or the other, and of different efficacy); both parties think that contraceptives are in effect; etc.

    Contraceptives are great, but not 100%. ALL parties should be aware of this. ALL parties should be aware that a pregnancy is possible. A woman is more than likely already aware if she is going to carry the baby to term or not. The man should be aware that she has that decision and it is ultimately up to her if an accidental pregnancy happens. If she decides to have the child, then he needs to be aware that there is now a child to take care of. Regardless of what happened, and who wanted the child or did not want the child, there is still a child. That fact does not change.

    Scenery: Poor woman, and a man, hook up. Woman gets pregnant. Man tries to coerce her into having an abortion she does not want. She decides to have the child. He stomps around and screams, “Well, I didn’t want it! I tried to get you to have an abortion (that she didn’t want), but I don’t want a child. Bye!”

    Now a woman with no money has to take care of a child that he helped to create. He WILLINGLY had sex with her.

    No. I do not think so.

    And once again, waving money over a woman as a means to force her to have an abortion is wrong.

    Any man (any ignorant, pushy, arrogant, hairy, obnoxious, shitty man) who wants to have sexual intercourse with a female should first have a contract written up to specify: the type (if any) of contraception(s) in use, the consequence of failure thereof, expected parental duties in the event of issue…

    I never called any man “pushy” or whatever. I never even IMPLIED it. Your bias is coming out…

    I never said anything about a contract.

    I said you should talk to your partner. Why wouldn’t you talk to the person you are sleeping with about your expectations?! This to me, seems obvious. Also notice that at least once above I mentioned that a woman may change her mind, once the decision is required. The man should be aware that a child should result from sex, and if he’s uncomfortable with either having a child, or the woman getting an abortion, or both, then he should talk to her, so they are on the same page. If he doesn’t want a child and she says at the time she will abort, but then changes her mind, he needs to ACCEPT the fact that a LIVE child — a living, breathing human being — is now in this world and needs to be taken care of.

    If he can’t accept the above, he can keep it in his pants.

  27. @Marilove: Quote, “Also notice that at least once above I mentioned that a woman may change her mind, once the decision is required.”

    – So a male can’t trust a woman until after she has or has not conceived, because she can change her mind at any time? Ok. So plans change, a potential child enters the picture unexpected and possibly unwanted, and only the woman is allowed to choose the outcome? I see your position there.

    “I said you should talk to your partner. Why wouldn’t you talk to the person you are sleeping with about your expectations?! This to me, seems obvious. Also notice that at least once above I mentioned that a woman may change her mind, once the decision is required. The man should be aware that a child should result from sex, and if he’s uncomfortable with either having a child, or the woman getting an abortion, or both, then he should talk to her, so they are on the same page. If he doesn’t want a child and she says at the time she will abort, but then changes her mind, he needs to ACCEPT the fact that a LIVE child — a living, breathing human being — is now in this world and needs to be taken care of.”

    – And I wrote that a heterosexual couple regularly engaged in unprotected intercourse should expect a child to result. I did not make any assumptions about the case of Tanstaafl56, but you did. Then, you flew off the handle based on your assumptions.

    “I never called any man “pushy” or whatever. I never even IMPLIED it. Your bias is coming out…”

    Oh, really? You never implied that men have no business commenting on procreation? Yes, I see that your comments to date have be reasoned and not at all inflammatory or misleading. I do apologize. I suppose that must have been my bias. I will even admit to some bias: I have no children, do not currently have an S.O., but I do think that laws that make men automatically responsible for children for which they have contributed DNA are B.S. To argue that women have an absolute right to have or not have abortions (which I absolutely support, Planned Parenthood being one of my bi-annual charitable contribution recipients) and to argue at the same time that the associated “sperm doners” have no say *at all* in the matter is not reasonable. It is certainly not an easy fix. How does one determine the a-priori intentions of the parties involved? However, as far as I know (and I certainly could be mistaken at zero-dark-thirty), paternity laws don’t take into account whether the genetic father expected, or should have expected, issue from the intercourse.

    This is not the most pressing problem of the decade; I simply though that a different perspective on unwanted parenthood should be considered.

  28. @Finn McR: It has nothing to do with trust! An abortion is a serious medical procedure that not all women are comfortable going through, and when that decision is suddenly in your face, you may not be able to make the decision you thought you were going to make before.

    YOU CANNOT GET PREGNANT. You will never understand.

    I never called anyone a “sperm donor.”

    “paternity laws don’t take into account whether the genetic father expected, or should have expected, issue from the intercourse.”

    You should always realize that, guess what: A child might happen after intercourse.

    A man CAN NOT give birth. The onus is on the mother. It’s not fair, but neither is the fact that SHE is the one that has to either decide to get an abortion, or go through nine months of pregnancy.

    No, it’s NOT your decision, and while some women may appreciate your input, in the end, you have no say, because, guess what? YOU CANNOT CARRY A CHILD.

    Life is not fair sometimes. Stop talking about what’s fair. It has nothing to do with “fairness”.

    If you have sex and a child results, that child needs to be taken care of. A child is now alive.

    Do you really advocate abandoning children? Really?

  29. The only real control a man has over procreation prevention is abstinence or sterilization. Thus we have the biologically defined parameters available to the human male which are significantly different than the biologically defined circumstances the female is in. The male can not exert any control over the females’ procreation circumstance or decisions, and to think otherwise makes you a douche. Why is this so complicated for some guys.

  30. @marilove: Thank you.

    Your ALL CAPS!! laden response shows my point. A man is responsible* for any baby as soon as a flawed-condom-wrapped or bare penis comes near a vagina. The woman**, who would be burdened by carrying a resulting baby to term, can (within various State restrictions) decide whether or not to complete the pregnancy. So the woman has more power in this circumstance than the man. If that does not fit in with the tale of the female as perpetual victim, then sorry. I love women, several specifically and as a wonderful complement generally. However, that does not relieve those women of the same level of responsibility for their actions as those of men.

    * Under paternity laws, as far as my neophyte-level understanding applies. I’m not writing here about the more nebulous moral responsibility, which depends so much on the particulars of prior understanding of the two parties involved.

    ** And here I am not trying to make any arguments for restrictions on a woman’s right to an abortion. The idea that abortion is only acceptable in the case of rape is abhorrent. Any woman should be free to determine for herself whether to carry a child (ab initio, an embryo) to term.

  31. I should just let this die a slow death, but I have to say this:

    I am, and have always been, absolutely pro-choice. Reasons (there are plenty of legitimate ones) and rights aside, that is one choice that simply cannot be withdrawn, in any significant way. If a woman is not allowed to have a safe abortion, she can cause an unsafe one, if she is determined enough.

    Having said that, I have always wondered why the father has no say in at least some of the cases. I have wanted a child my entire adult life, and much of my teens. I grew up making promisses to some future child I may never have. I know if I one day find myself pregnant, I will instantly and utterly irrationally love the embryo. Before everyone misunderstands me, I’m not saying women who have abortions don’t love their babies, or suffer for their choice. That is not what i’m saying at all. But the fact remains that the woman has the choice here. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain, despair and utter helplessness of knowing that the child you want (maybe already love) is on the way but it will not be born, and there is nothing you can do about it. I find it very understandable that someone in those circumstances would react emotionally and irrationally, even many years after the fact, when intellectually they see things differently.
    There are many problems with the concept of allowing fathers to veto abortions. Most of them are practical rather than moral/ethical, in my opinion. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t at least grant the fathers the right to have feelings for the aborted embryo, and to have those feelings respected.

    I find Tanstaafl56’s reaction to the news and the feelings entirely understandable and perfectly natural. At that moment, from his perspective, his child was threatened, and he responded to try to save it, to defend it, in the only way he could, from the one threatening it. I may not think he has the right to stop the abortion, but I do feel he has the right to be hurt by it, and to have his feelings respected.

    What I do find disgusting is the tone of this page and the page this links to. What they both say to me is: by virtue of the fact that they do not carry the uterus and the baby, which incidentally is out of their control, men are not entitled to have any feelings about any embryo until given permission to have them by the woman carrying it – she will do so by carrying it to term. Any male who should somehow find himself having such feelings before permission is granted him is actually just a domineering macho bigot who should be ridiculed for wanting to force his will upon his little woman.
    I grew up surrounded by latin males, raised to believe it was unmanly to show feelings, and that the male always has the final word in a marriage. Growing upas a girl, claiming the same rights my brother had was a daily struggle, and the source of many of those promisses I mentioned earlier. But this post is undoubtedly the most sexist thing I have ever heard/read. Those latin males were domineering, condescending, and patronizing. But they never denied anyone the right to have feelings, and though they often disregarded them, they did not ridicule them.

  32. I don’t understand the actual point you’re trying to make on this thread Finn.

    You state that:
    “The woman, who would be burdened by carrying a resulting baby to term, can (within various State restrictions) decide whether or not to complete the pregnancy. So the woman has more power in this circumstance than the man. If that does not fit in with the tale of the female as perpetual victim, then sorry.”

    Yes, the woman necessarily has more power in this circumstance because she’s making a serious medical decision about what to do with her own body. It follows OF NECESSITY that as a free human being, she must by definition have complete control of her own medical destiny. What on earth this has to do with women being perceived as perpetual victims is a total mystery to me.

  33. @gwenwifar:

    “What I do find disgusting is the tone of this page and the page this links to. What they both say to me is: by virtue of the fact that they do not carry the uterus and the baby, which incidentally is out of their control, men are not entitled to have any feelings about any embryo until given permission to have them by the woman carrying it – she will do so by carrying it to term. Any male who should somehow find himself having such feelings before permission is granted him is actually just a domineering macho bigot who should be ridiculed for wanting to force his will upon his little woman.”

    Is this what’s being said? I disagree. A man or woman whose wife is getting an abortion to which they do not consent, has every right to feel very hurt, angry and even betrayed. The right of the non-pregnant party to have these, imo perfectly understandable feelings in such a situation was noted a few times in the above discussion. What we are arguing against, is the idea put forward at the Christian anti-abortion site, that having these feelings in any way confers power upon the NPP in a relationship over the ultimate decision the pregnant woman has over whether or not to abort. They don’t confer that power; in fact, the only power the NPP has in these situations are ones of persuasion and argument (eg. “let’s talk about this. You know I didn’t want a child and I’m not financially or otherwise in a good position now to properly raise a child. I feel that having a child now would not be in the best interest of our relationship or the child’s optimal welfare….” etc. etc. etc.), but the NPP never has the right to exert coercion or force over whether a pregnant woman aborts.

  34. ()@Magnus H.: I’d like to hear what you’re hearing, and that is stated in many posts here. however, here is the problem I’m having with your interpretation:

    Tanstaafl56 tells a short little story – wife was preganant, tells him she’s going to abort. He wants to have the baby and makes that clear. She refuses and wants him to have an active part – albeit only driving her to get the procedure. He refuses to do so. She has the abortion, he changes the locks and files for divorce.

    Nowhere do I see anything to indicate there was anything other than persuasion. Maybe it was clumsy persuasion. Maybe it was emotional and even ugly at times. Fights within a couple sometimes get ugly, and he was fighting for the life of his child. But it’s not like he locked her up or threatened to kill her. He didn’t cancel the appointment, prevent her from arranging for somebody else to take her or in any way attempt to sabotage it. Getting the abortion was her choice, she made it, and she carried it out, with complete disregard for his feelings. But that doesn’t mean he has no choices in this.
    It was her choice to end the pregnancy, it was his choice to end the marriage. Or doesn’t he have the right to make that choice either? Frankly, if I had been in his situation, I might have done the same depending on her reasons. After all, in my emotional state I might wonder why, if my feelings are irrelevant to her, I should consider hers.

    To this story, some of the reactions follow:
    “It is her choice. Period. And you are disgusting.”
    “I do not have time for possessive uterus snatchers.”
    “I don’t know why you think you’re entitled to a woman’s body to get what you want, but your ex-wife is better off without you and I’m glad she stood up to your coercion.”

    I could continue to copy and paste from here, but instead i’ll go to the posted link and show how further respect is bestowed through such words as:
    “sorry your bitch emasculated you” and “they just let cunts say no whenever they want these days”.

    But more than the words, it’s the tone. The way assumptions immediately were made about what type of persuasion was employed and what her motives might have been. About the validity of his feelings and the reasons behind them. About the way the word disgusting started flying around immediately.
    Sorry, i don’t see it.

  35. @gwenwifar: No argument from me on those fronts, though I think the initial “disgusting” remarks and ensuing argument resulted from Transtaa’s “half the DNA was mine” comment, which appeared to imply that he thought he should have some say over whether his wife actually got the abortion or not.

    If the “disgusting” remarks were merely a result of Trans leaving his wife when she decided to go ahead with the abortion, then I don’t disagree with you that that’s out of order. The NPP in a relationship has no say over whether the PP decides to have an abortion, but it seems to me that they are fully within their right to declare that they will end the relationship if the PP does/does not go through with the procedure.

    It may or may not be a shitty thing to do, depending on the particulars of the situation, but the NPP stating that they will leave the relationship, in no way amounts to coercion. Coercion is defined as “forcing another party to behave in an involuntary manner” and the decision of the PP with regard to abortion in such a situation is not at all rendered involuntary.

    The pregnant woman in a relationship must have absolute control over her decision to abort or not, but the consequences of that decision on the status of the relationship she is in at the time, are entirely a function of the desires of both the individuals involved. Thems the brakes of consensual, adult relationships.

  36. @gwenwifar: Have you ever read anything about or by the Fatherhood Forever people, the ones who made the original non-sarcastic e-cards? They are, in fact, disgusting. They have made up a disorder, post-abortion trauma, and stated that any man who’s potential fetus is aborted suffers deeply from that trauma. They use it as an argument for abortion restriction and total illegalization of abortion.

    That is why I posted the original link. I find the very existence of such a group to be threatening and hateful, so seeing their views brought to light and mocked appealed to my twisted sense of humor.

    Of course men are emotionally affected by abortion and of course whether or not you’d seek an abortion is a topic that every couple should discuss. But a group using that to overturn a woman’s legal rights is disgusting, sneaky, and cruel.

    @Finn McR: Yep, that’s right. Each and every time you have sex with a woman, you are risking that you will impregnate her and that she will then have to decide whether to have an abortion or have a child. That’s pretty fucking scary.

    And every time a woman has sex with a man, she risks becoming pregnant and having to decide whether to have an abortion or to have a child. That’s pretty fucking scary, too.

    No, it’s not fair, it’s frightening, and it can be life-changing. Welcome to being a woman.

  37. @Amanda:
    I’ve heard vague noises about the group, and though they are not enough to judge by, I will concede that they are indeed disgusting. So is NAMBLA, and a variety of other groups. Turning this into a Halmark moment you can make money off is even disgusting in and of itself. But this does not make it appropriate for people’s feelings of pain and grief to be mocked. That is the bottom line.

    Even is basic respect isn’t a good enough reason, how’s this one? This is the kind of thing people come across accidentally, read, and walk away from just knowing that pro-choice advocates are heartless bitches, that abortions are some kind of feminist statement rather than a difficult heartbreaking choice most women would rather not have to make. Is that the image we want to put effort into promoting? Because if so, I’ve been wasting an awful lot of my time trying to fight that image.
    @Magnus H.:
    Funny what happens when we start making assumptions. In that DNA comment you heard an implication that his opinion should have been considered (and in my opinion it should have, though as I said before that doesn’t mean it should be the determining factor), a whole lot of people here saw coersion, and I just saw pain and frustration. Maybe even an attempt to justify his response even – I heard “I know changing the locks on her was not the best possible choice, but it was my embryo too, and I was grieving, and angry”. I find it hard to be on my best behavior when I’m experiencing these feelings. Doesn’t everybody?

    However, the feeling I got was that the disgusting referred to his not supporting her after the abortion. Either way, it’s out of line.

  38. Even not being a supporter of abortion 30 years ago, I worked for a doctor at the time and assisted in many abortions euphemistically called ‘DNC’.

    That is not the reason for this post.

    The saga did not end with the changing of the locks.

    We continued to live together for a few months, even after the divorce. Things got cooler and cooler and we finally decided to move her to a location of her choice. San Marcos, beautiful hill country and rivers out by Austin, and a college town (she wanted to finish school).

    Last summer out of the blue I got an email from her (she was trying to think of a song we used to listen to.. was it Peter Gabriel, Genesis or whatever … turned out to be Gentle Giant) she wondered out loud if I would know that, and her daughter said ‘look him up on the internet’. She did, found me and we caught up on life, the universe and everything. She remarried a few years later and now has 4 beautiful kids.

    She forgave me years ago, I will never be able to forgive myself.

    There are still many aspects of the story untold, but i don’t believe they could possibly change any opinions.

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