Thursday, June 16, 2005

Gloria Steinem Wears Army Boots



The Last Amazon visited the The Corner and was treated to this interview with Gloria Steinem. From a brand new feminist magazine for teens appropriately named "The F-Word Ezine" - Like, I am just, like, you know, blown away by the depths of Gloria's 'arguments' that I'm like, speechless:

Melody: I keep on reading about how you believe in the inherent goodness of humanity, and I was just wondering how someone like Bush fits into that world view... if he does, at all.

Gloria: Well, yeah. He wasn't born that way. As a baby, he probably had a whole person inside him! But that family is enough to turn anybody into a raving power maniac, and they certainly did it with him.

Melody: When I saw the picture, the famous picture of him, with a bunch of other white guys, gleefully signing away our rights as women... all I could think was, "ok, how is that not just pure evil?"

Gloria: Well, you know, there is certainly evil effect. There are certainly going to be millions of women and a lot of men who simply are not alive because he's in the White House. There are going to be whole species of animals, and living things, and plants that are not alive anymore, and will never come back, because: he killed them. So, that's an evil impact. I don't think it's inevitable. He wasn't born that way.
I'm not quite convinced that abortion is murder, but clearly it does mean that "there are certainly going to be millions of women and a lot of men who simply are not alive."
Melody: I just read this article in Mother Jones in October about a personal narrative account of what abortion was like prior to Roe v. Wade. And, it was just so helpful to me, I mean, obviously I already was really passionate about the issue of reproductive choice, but, it's another thing entirely to hear from someone who went through it, like, how many people were dying, from illegal abortions...

Gloria: Well, it still is hard though for young women who happen to live in a state where there's parental consent, or for poor women who can't get Medicaid-funded abortions. I mean, women are still dying for lack of safe, legal abortions. But, it was infinitely worse when I was growing up. Contraception was illegal. Say, in Connecticut, it wasn't until the late sixties I think, that you could get information about contraception, you couldn't send it through the mail, you know. So, from the time I could get pregnant I suppose, to Roe v Wade, there were just habits of mine, and I think a lot of my contemporaries: when things were really bad we would always think to ourselves, "well it could be worse, I could be pregnant." Because it was essentially a choice between one of two things: either you endangered your life and your health by going out and getting an illegal abortion, which often meant being sexually abused by the doctor too, 'cause they would bargain. "You can have an abortion if you sleep with me" you know, stuff like that. Or, your life essentially came to an end, your life as you knew it, because you would have to get married, and have to bear a child, which of course, changes your entire life. So, it was, quite literally, the worst thing that could happen to you, short of stepping in front of a car.
Um, there was a third and a fourth choice too Gloria: become a lesbian or refrain from intercourse.
Melody: There's so much focus on getting marriage rights for homosexual couples, because of all the civil rights they get, because of the fact that they get health care, but no one thinks to say: "Ok, wait, shouldn't everyone get healthcare and all those other benefits without having to commit to some sort of legal romance? I don't understand!"

Gloria: Yeah, well, we should, you know, we're the only democracy, or, the only industrial, modern democracy without a national system of healthcare, and without some system of childcare. "Women in this country are not the most equal in the world, we're just the most lied to." 'Cause many countries are ahead of us. That's true, but it is probably also true that we want to be able to choose family as well as be born into family. So, we want to be able, and everyone should be able to say, "This person is not a blood relative, but this person is my chosen family." And, that seems OK, I don't have a problem with that. But, I agree that we all should have healthcare, whether we do that or not. And just, I think, you know, I think that little kids, have this kind of innate sense. Little kids are always saying: "it's not fair!" We just have to keep that sense!

Surely Gloria would have the highest praise for Henry Morgentaler. Today he received his honorary doctor of law degree from the University of Western Ontario here in foggy town:
"By fighting for reproductive freedom, and making it possible, I have made a contribution to a safer and more caring society where people have a greater opportunity to realize their full potential," he said, shortly after receiving his honorary doctor of law degree from the University of Western Ontario in London.

"Well-loved children grow into adults who do not build concentration camps, do not rape and do not murder," said Morgentaler, 82, who himself survived a Nazi death camp.

He claimed that violent crime has decreased since 1991, a trend he attributed to more abortion procedures being made available.

"The most important factor is that there are fewer unwanted children, fewer children likely to be abused, brutalized or neglected ... children so victimized they may grow up for a thirst for vengeance which seeks an outlet in violence," he said.
The Eclectic Econoclast attended the ceremony and comments here and here and here.

Crossposted at Dust my Broom

Update - Publius from Gods of the Copybook Headings:
The good doctor is basically advocating eugenics. Not on racial grounds as the Nazis, but on grounds familiar to the cruder social Darwinists of the early twentieth century; that of class. The idea of a "criminal class" was quite common in Victorian and Edwardian society. The belief that some people are predisposed to criminal activity and must be controlled by the state led to the logical extension that the breeding of this class should be restricted. The danger of the lower orders (which were sometimes considered synonymous with the criminal class) out breeding their betters was a great worry to many highly respected figures of the time.

I'm sure Morgentaler would never argue anything quite so obviously elitist. He's approach is more subtle. Unwanted pregnancies lead to abused children. Abused, or neglected, children become criminals. The reasoning is specious at best, though common enough among leftist criminologists. Call Morgentaler's approach eugenics for the unloved. Or in Paul Tuns blunt phrasing, "pre-emptive capital punishment." The unloved, if one looks more closely at the argument, are also often the very poor. Fewer poor people, less crime. Even that cold right wing villain Mike Harris would have winced at that, no?

2 comments:

Kateland, aka TZH said...

Ah, the Last Amazon wears army boots on a regular basis and lets face it, GS's shot at the big time all came about because she put on a playboy bunny suit. Real women wear army boots and they shoot guns too

Lisa said...

I rather like army boots myself, as long as they're not on the feet of socialists. I frequently sport Doc Martin's.

Gloria wears army boots and carries a nail file rather than a gun, cause like, she might break a nail and like, only bad American's carry guns.