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"She's More a Conservative Man Than She Is a Woman on Women's Issues":

That's what Politico reports that "[a] spokeswoman for the National Organization for Women, noting Palin's opposition to abortion rights and support of other parts of the social conservative agenda, told Politico."

This sort of "not a real woman" argument strikes me as quite reprehensible, a denial of individuals' right to come to their own moral and pragmatic judgments independently of their group. To give an analogy, it would be equally reprehensible to say "he's more a white than a black" of a black who opposed race-based preferences for blacks, or to say "he's more a black than a white" of a white who supported such preferences.

But even if it's just shorthand for the statistical assertion that "her views are those shared by men much more than by women," it is, as best I can tell, simply false, at least to the item specifically mentioned in the quoted passage:

Age, education and religion each plays a strong role in informing people's views on the issue. But despite conventional wisdom, sex does not. Indeed, as usual, men and women support legal abortion in roughly equal numbers: 54 percent of men, and 58 percent of women, say it should be legal in all or most cases. In the various conditions tested, moreover, men and women express virtually identical views:

Favoring Abortion: Men Versus Women

SituationMen Women
All or Most Cases 54% 58
To Save Woman's Life 88 88
To Save Woman's Health 82 83
In Cases of Rape/Incest 80 81
Physically Impaired Baby 53 55
To End Unwanted Pregnancy 43 40
D&X/Partial-Birth Abortions 28 19
Pregnancy is 6 Months+ 15 8

So "she's more a conservative [wo]man than she is a [liberal] woman" on abortion would be accurate. "She's more a conservative woman than she is a liberal or centrist woman" would be accurate on some aspects of abortion rights questions (perhaps if she thinks abortions should be illegal when the only reason is a "physically impaired baby"), but not on other aspects (such as in her opposition to allowing abortions "to end unwanted pregnancy"). But to say "she's more a conservative man than she is a woman on women's issues" is factually inaccurate (at least if I read it right as an assertion that she votes with what is dominantly the "male view" as opposed to the "female view"), as well as reprehensible for the reasons I mentioned earlier.

Spitzer:
Yep, makes sense. According to NOW, "women" believe X, Y, and Z, as defined by the elite intellectual vanguard who understand "women's" interests (i.e. NOW). Those who don't adopt the vanguard's policy preferences have been coopted by the superstructure, display false consciousness, or are simply reactionaries who must be re-educated or eliminated. Standard fare, Marxist-wise. In (small d) democratic politics, it translates into blaming the voters (who display false consciousness), not the platform, when confronted with contrary election results.

Marxists don't seem to change their stripes even though no nation has ever adopted fully-fledged Marxism except through the barrel of a gun.
9.8.2008 6:50pm
AMB:
Let me get this straight: NOW is trying to say that a woman who has given birth to FIVE babies is "not woman enough."

And the last one she carried while governor of a state and gave birth to right after giving a major speech to a group of other governors?

Maybe if Palin had screamed and whined and called in for a hair appointment, NOW would call her "woman enough."

Should we pull out the Soujourner Truth "Ain't I a Woman?" speech?
9.8.2008 6:54pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
I agree that NOW's spokeswoman's statement is wrong, because it elides the difference between a position that is bad for the interests of women and a position that is a "man's" position. (The flip side of Prof. Volokh's chart is that there are plenty of men, including even some conservative men, who are pro-choice. So being pro-life isn't even a "conservative man's position".)

That said, I do think that sometimes conservatives oversell the extent of pro-life views among American women. Certainly very few female politicians on the national stage are pro-life (an indicator itself), and a lot of women who self-report as pro-life in political surveys are actually expressing their personal views about the morality of abortion rather than whether they would actually like to see doctors or women arrested for performing or procuring abortions.
9.8.2008 6:58pm
js5 (mail):
Since when does being pro-life/anti-choice determine whether one is a conservative?
9.8.2008 7:06pm
MadHatChemist:
This is typical leftist thinking: that an individual only has value derived from their membership in some defined group, and if they violate those pre-determined interests of the group, then they not only cancan be, but ought to be dealt with.

This is no difference then the left hounding a gay individual who is a Republican, or a black individual who opposes Affirmative Action, &c.
9.8.2008 7:07pm
Dave N (mail):
A fair example of why the National Organization for Women is a politically irrelevant wing of the Democratic Party, and nothing more.

The organization lost whatever shred of credibility it ever had with its fawning over Bill Clinton.
9.8.2008 7:08pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
MadHat:

So I was just hallucinating when I thought I saw conservatives talking about Republicans In Name Only.

This is how political factions work. There are attempts to impose orthodoxy on both sides. Sometimes they succeed, sometimes they fail.
9.8.2008 7:09pm
Hei Lun Chan (mail) (www):
a lot of women who self-report as pro-life in political surveys are actually expressing their personal views about the morality of abortion rather than whether they would actually like to see doctors or women arrested for performing or procuring abortions.

Do you have any evidence for this?
9.8.2008 7:14pm
MadHatChemist:
Dilan Esper:

Being a member of a political party is ideology based, and tussling over that ideological identity is part and parcel of it.

Being of a certain sex or race is not ideological (or at least not ought to be).
9.8.2008 7:14pm
ShelbyC:

This is how political factions work


Woman is a political faction?
9.8.2008 7:16pm
anon the anon:

To give an analogy, it would be equally reprehensible to say "he's more a white than a black" of a black who opposed race-based preferences for blacks, or to say "he's more a black than a white" of a white who supported such preferences.


I don't think much of the quote, but this sort of comment doesn't strike me so much as reprehensible as just not terribly wise for a public statement by a NOW spokesperson. It seems similar to the term "Uncle Tom," or to more recent cultural pejoratives like twinkie, oreo, or coconut.
9.8.2008 7:18pm
Sarcastro (www):
Conservatives would never call their political opponents girly men! I never see gender used as an insult by Conservatives on this very blog!

[not that that makes this okay, but it's not a partisan thing here]
9.8.2008 7:19pm
paul lukasiak (mail):
Its stupidity like this that makes me ashamed to identify myself as a progressive.
9.8.2008 7:20pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
Being of a certain sex or race is not ideological (or at least not ought to be).

I'm sympathetic to this, which is why I think the NOW spokesperson was out of line.

But I would note that conservatives also do this with respect to religion (or at least conservative Catholics do), i.e., contending that liberal Catholics who disagree with church positions aren't "real" or "serious" Catholics.
9.8.2008 7:21pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
Do you have any evidence for this?

I cited some-- the fact that very few women politicians of national prominence are pro-life. In other words, women who are committed to politics and are attentive to the difference between personal views and the public policy question tend to be less likely to identify as against abortion rights.
9.8.2008 7:22pm
anon:
Dilan,
Good point. One's personal views on the morality of abortion do not necessarily translate into a public policy opinion. For that matter, it is not clear what Palin's public policy opinion is with respect to abortion. McCain wants to overturn Roe v. Wade because the question should be left to the states. So while he claims life begins at conception, he is prepared to live with abortions unless and until there is popular support for banning them. I am assuming that Palin will conveniently share McCain's policy views at least until the end of the campaign, but it is hard to imagine that the pro-lifers won't still think of her as firmly on their side.
9.8.2008 7:23pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
anon:

You actually made a point I have been wanting to make for a long time. As far as I know, Palin has said that she is personally pro-life and has supported some state level efforts to restrict abortion. But I haven't seen her call for an all-out ban or say that she would appoint judges who would overturn Roe.

That doesn't mean this isn't her position; only that we don't know it yet (as we don't know many other things about her).
9.8.2008 7:30pm
pluribus:
Maybe I haven't been visiting thie site long enough. Or maybe I just don't understand the libertarian philosophy well enough. But do I detect a certain double standard? Is it intolerable (and a violation of Godwin's Law) to hurl the Nazi and Fascist epithets, but tolerable to call people or organizations Marxists, or associate them with "fully-fledged Marxism"? When referring to otherwise respectable mainstream political organizations, I would have thought both of these tactics were below the belt.
9.8.2008 7:34pm
SMatthewStolte (mail):
I'm one of those people who has had somewhat evolving views on the question of abortion. Does that mean I've had some sex changes?

Wow! I think I need to re-evaluate my whole life now.
9.8.2008 7:39pm
Matt Bruce (mail) (www):
Obviously Palin isn't a True Scotsman.
9.8.2008 7:41pm
Houston Lawyer:
With regard to abortion, the Catholic Church actually has a clear stance. The Catholic Church is an organization you can choose to join or they can excommunicate you.

You really can't join the opposite sex or another race nor can you be excluded from your sex or race. There is no woman's position or black position, but there is a Catholic position.
9.8.2008 7:42pm
pluribus:
I rather liked Biden's response to Tom Brokaw this Sunday, in which he said that he accepted his church's teaching that life begins at conception, but he does not feel the necessity to impose that belief on others who believe otherwise. Contrast that with Cardinal Egan's remark:


The head of the Catholic Church in New York closed his statement by saying that anyone who defends abortion is not fit to be a leader in a civilized democracy. "Anyone who dares to defend that they may be legitimately killed because another human being 'chooses' to do so or for any other equally ridiculous reason should not be providing leadership in a civilized democracy worthy of the name."
9.8.2008 7:42pm
The Ace (mail):
I love this. Biden called Palin and "extremist" today and Obama spent time attacking her. When is the last time in political history the top and bottom of a ticket spent so much time attacking the bottom of the other?

I doubt it has happened in modern political history.

Obama has hung out with Bill Ayers for years, and saw no problem going to his house with Ayers' weather underground wife, but Palin is "extreme."

Too rich.
9.8.2008 7:44pm
Nathan_M (mail):
Leaving aside the stupidity of NOW's spokesperson, how can 58% of women think abortion should be legal in all or most cases while only 40% of women believe it should allowed to end an unwanted pregnancy? And here I thought an abortion was always to end an unwanted pregnancy.
9.8.2008 7:45pm
pluribus:
Houston Lawyer:

The Catholic Church is an organization you can choose to join or they can excommunicate you. You really can't join the opposite sex or another race nor can you be excluded from your sex or race. There is no woman's position or black position, but there is a Catholic position.

I am not aware that anybody argues that all women must have the same beliefs on abortion. In fact, the polls referenced above show that they don't. I am aware that the Catholic hierarchy teaches that all Catholics must have the same beliefs on abortion, and any Catholic whose does not is not "fit to be a leader in a civilized democracy."
9.8.2008 7:50pm
whit:
This is quite typical of the Identity Politics Left (tm). Spend any time in leftist blogs (I do), read Ms. magazing, etc. and this hardly seems unusual. I recall margaret thatcher being referred to as "without uterus" by these people, and other conservative/libertarian women referred to as "not authentic women" etc. because they didn't have the left's pre-approved mandatory views for a woman. The other tactic besides declaring blacks, gays, and women who don't vote "authentically' is to claim they are ignorantly voting "against their interests" and of course they need their consciousness raised.

It's incredibly offensive and incredibly stupid.

This is way more common with the left than the right, because the left plays identity politics WAY more than the right. I will admit i've seen the right do it a bit (sometimes in regards to christians for example, who vote what a conservative christian might feel is inauthentic and/or inconsistent with christianity) but it's clearly the left's domain.
9.8.2008 7:55pm
SMatthewStolte (mail):
pluribus, a couple points:
• This is not a libertarian blog, but a legal blog with bloggers that tend to be more libertarian than anything else. But they don't feel compelled to follow any sort of libertarian rule-book.
• However, libertarianism tends to be so antithetical to Marxism that it's actually very easy for a libertarian to see any departure from his position to be a step in the direction of Marxism. Sometimes, this is justified; sometimes it isn't.
• I don't really know how most folks at organizations like NOW feel about Marx, but my guess would be that their opinion of him is a hell of a lot more favorable than mine. Either way, the claim that Palin is not really a woman seems to be near enough to Marx's idea of false consciousness that it isn't wholly outside the ballpark. I'm sure that NOW would problematize Marx's materialistic reductionism by noting that gender differences are always inscribed on bodies and that these differences always exceed economic analyses … But even so, that seems to be an advance on Marx rather than a radical departure.
9.8.2008 7:57pm
Sarcastro (www):
pluribus This is the internet. Hitler refs will occur in time; have patience. People here tend to be a bit highbrow, so they hit the Marx a bit harder than Hitler.

When the break out the Pol Pot you know it's a real stemwinder!
9.8.2008 7:57pm
Sarcastro (www):
whit Rightwing blogs NEVER indulge in any identity politics! That's how I know there are no True rightwing blogs on the internets.
9.8.2008 8:01pm
Ex-Fed (mail) (www):
I expect more racial, gender, and sexual preference identity politics from the left ("No real woman/black/gay would think that") and more nationalist and religious identity politics from the right ("No real American/Christian would think that").
9.8.2008 8:06pm
Sarcastro (www):

[The Bridge to nowhere] could be a real problem if Palin were a man.


But as a woman, and a darned purty one, she can say:


"A lady is allowed to change her mind!"


Case closed.



Source
9.8.2008 8:06pm
Sarcastro (www):
9.8.2008 8:10pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
I expect more racial, gender, and sexual preference identity politics from the left ("No real woman/black/gay would think that") and more nationalist and religious identity politics from the right ("No real American/Christian would think that").

That seems basically right to me.
9.8.2008 8:12pm
whit:
ex-fed that puts it succinctly. well done.
9.8.2008 8:12pm
The Ace (mail):
I cited some-- the fact that very few women politicians of national prominence are pro-life.

That isn't "evidence" that is an assertion. On top of the fact it is a non sequitur (which is why you're saying it).

What about your garden variety Congresswoman or state senator? They don't count because they are not "committed to politics"?

But I would note that conservatives also do this with respect to religion (or at least conservative Catholics do), i.e., contending that liberal Catholics who disagree with church positions aren't "real" or "serious" Catholics.

Um, that isn't "conservatives" saying that, it happens to be leaders in the church.


and a lot of women who self-report as pro-life in political surveys are actually expressing their personal views about the morality of abortion rather than whether they would actually like to see doctors or women arrested for performing or procuring abortions.


You have no evidence for the first part and the second part is a nice strawman as of course if Roe were overturned doctors must be arrested!

You are as intellectually dishonest as any leftist posting here.
9.8.2008 8:15pm
The Ace (mail):
and a lot of women who self-report as pro-life in political surveys are actually expressing their personal views about the morality of abortion

No, they are not.
9.8.2008 8:17pm
Dan M.:
Actually, Palin has revealed her thoughts on abortion policy. If you watched the 2006 gubernatorial debate (it was on C-Span last night), she said flat out that, if it were presented to her, she would endorse and support a measure to outlaw abortion except in the case to save the mother's life.
9.8.2008 8:19pm
Brett Bellmore:

how can 58% of women think abortion should be legal in all or most cases while only 40% of women believe it should allowed to end an unwanted pregnancy? And here I thought an abortion was always to end an unwanted pregnancy.


I think it's fairly clear that the latter number refers to elective abortions, and it may be that a lot of people are under the (mistaken) impression that most abortions aren't elective.

Or maybe they used leading questions.
9.8.2008 8:19pm
The Ace (mail):
contending that liberal Catholics who disagree with church positions aren't "real" or "serious" Catholics.

Yes, silly them!
I mean, going against the core teachings of the church and all, why wouldn't they be considered "real Catholics"?

Don't worry, you don't know, and aren't Catholic anyway. But that won't stop you from commenting.


Archbishop Chaput, who was scheduled to lead a pro-life candlelight vigil Monday night here in front of Planned Parenthood, called Mr. Biden's support for abortion rights "seriously wrong," said archdiocese spokeswoman Jeanette De Melo.

"I certainly presume his good will and integrity," said the archbishop, "and I presume that his integrity will lead him to refrain from presenting himself for Communion if he supports a false 'right' to abortion."


Who is an Archbishop to say such a thing!??
9.8.2008 8:20pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
That isn't "evidence" that is an assertion. On top of the fact it is a non sequitur (which is why you're saying it).

TheAce:

If you want to run the numbers, they are certainly available. But you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows, and if you total up the women in the House, the Senate, the Cabinet, and the Supreme Court (for instance), you will find that a far higher percentage of them are pro-choice than the percentage of women who self-identify as pro-choice in the public at large.

Calling me names really doesn't change that fact, and I don't have to do your research for you.

And I haven't seen you advance a better hypothesis for why this is than the one I advanced.
9.8.2008 8:22pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
Also, TheAce, the issue of to what extent the Catholic Church requires politicians to enact pro-life policies is one for which there is serious debate within the Church, and, notably, neither this Pope nor the last one has endorsed some of the actions of certain conservative bishops (and, to be fair, they have not endorsed the positions of liberal bishops either).

But conservatives are certainly going beyond the facts when they imply that the position taken by certain conservative bishops on this issue is in fact the position taken by the Church as a whole.
9.8.2008 8:25pm
The Ace (mail):
And I haven't seen you advance a better hypothesis for why this is than the one I advanced.

Um, how about more liberal women enter politics?

Have you ever thought whether or not women self ID as "liberal" or "moderate" in greater numbers than men?

Of course not.

Either way, even if what you said were true, that doesn't make this statement "a lot of women who self-report as pro-life in political surveys are actually expressing their personal views about the morality of abortion" true.

I doubt you're intelligent enough to understand why.
9.8.2008 8:25pm
The Ace (mail):
But conservatives are certainly going beyond the facts when they imply that the position taken by certain conservative bishops on this issue is in fact the position taken by the Church as a whole.

Yet another strawman.

Again, you're not a Catholic (you don't know what the church believes or instructs), but that won't stop you.
9.8.2008 8:27pm
Andy Freeman (mail):
> I am not aware that anybody argues that all women must have the same beliefs on abortion.

Yet, you posted in a thread where such a "body" was quoted.

> In fact, the polls referenced above show that they don't.

No. It shows that there is disagreement on whether it's okay for women to have different opinions on abortion. Still, there are folks who believe that it's unacceptable for women to have certain positions on abortion.

> I am aware that the Catholic hierarchy teaches that all Catholics must have the same beliefs on abortion, and any Catholic whose does not is not "fit to be a leader in a civilized democracy."

Yeah and?

I like stained glass and cathedrals as much as the next person, but why is it wrong for the Catholic church to have membership restrictions and opinions? You want to be "mostly Catholic", start your own church.

Note that it's only "not progressive" churches that get criticized for political activity. Obama's not-church is still acceptable (even though he never listened).
9.8.2008 8:31pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
Um, how about more liberal women enter politics?

The problem with that is that even most Republican female politicians of national stature are pro-choice.
9.8.2008 8:31pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
Again, you're not a Catholic (you don't know what the church believes or instructs), but that won't stop you.

As I said, it's off the subject, so I am not going to go into it deeply. But anyone who reads this can verify that the last two Popes, while committed pro-lifers, have conspicuously NOT endorsed the argument made by certain conservative bishops on this issue, despite quite organized campaigns to get them to do so.
9.8.2008 8:32pm
pluribus:
A thoughtful response, SMatthewStolte. My personal opinions of both Marxism and Fascism are so unfavorable that I don't waste time distinguishing the degree of their unfavorableness. I view both with opprobrium and remember that both were bitter enemies of the American values I hold dear.

However, libertarianism tends to be so antithetical to Marxism that it's actually very easy for a libertarian to see any departure from his position to be a step in the direction of Marxism.

I agree that Marxism is antethical to libertarianism (as it is to my own sensibilities). But so is Fascism, in my humble opinion. From the right we hear the Marxist epithets, and from the left the Fascist and Nazi epithets. I consider all of them bumper-sticker smearing.
9.8.2008 8:33pm
bad imitation (mail):
Eugene:
Eugene:

What if most african-americans actually do consider non-supporters of AA to be less than fully black? Classic example: "H" is an associate dean and an occasional player in a noontime basketball game on the Berkeley campus. Shortly after 209 passes, he goes before the local media and announces that UC will comply with the law. Next day, one of our "community" regulars announces that "H" is an "oreo." This was unintentionally funny, since the speaker portrayed a State Farm agent in commercials running on the east coast.
9.8.2008 8:35pm
anon:
Dilan,
I glanced at the Feminists for Life - the organization with which Palin seems to have self-identified - web site and there does not appear to be any strong support in that group for legal action banning abortion. The articles addressed a variety of issues, but the ones on abortion seem to be trying to persuade women that they should not choose abortion, rather than arguing that the abortions should be illegal and there are pro-life groups (e.g. National Right to Life) that do espouse such legal action. As far as I know Palin could be politically pro-choice even while remaining personally pro-life.

My guess is still that she will adopt the McCain view.
9.8.2008 8:36pm
loki13 (mail):
EV-

I normally like your posts, but I think you missed the boat on this one. There are a whole host of issues that are important to woman, not just abortion. For you to single out abortion is a rhetorical trick; in other words, she may (or may not) be dissimilar from men, or even conservative men, in this one policy, but what about the rest? We have heard that she is not in favor of equal pay for equal work; this is an issue that has more traction with the female electorate than the male. Whether this is good or bad is debatable (if she ever answers questions), but I am sure that is an issue I'd like to see you run some statistics on.
9.8.2008 8:39pm
Jmaie (mail):
<i> Contrast that with Cardinal Egan's remark:
</i>

Cardinal Egan's position would be very worrisome if he were running for office....
9.8.2008 8:40pm
The Ace (mail):
The problem with that is that even most Republican female politicians of national stature are pro-choice.

You mean like Elizabeth Dole?

I suppose you're defining "national stature" as whatever you want it to mean too.

But anyone who reads this can verify that the last two Popes, while committed pro-lifers, have conspicuously NOT endorsed the argument made by certain conservative bishops on this issue, despite quite organized campaigns to get them to do so.

And then what?

You do understand that you can't cite a singular example of "conservatives" or any elected Republicans criticizing Democrats as not "Catholic" for not enacting pro-life policies , right?
9.8.2008 8:41pm
pluribus:
Andy Freeman:

I like stained glass and cathedrals as much as the next person, but why is it wrong for the Catholic church to have membership restrictions and opinions?

Nothing is wrong with it, and I'm not aware that anybody has said that it is. Certainly I didn't. What I consider wrong is the position of the Church (evidenced by Cardinal Egan's statement) that anybody who doesn't share the churches beliefs isn't fit to lead a civilized society. It's not enough for Catholics to follow their beliefs. They must, at least according to this cardinal, impose their beliefs on others who don't share them. If you believe that abortion is wrong, don't have one. Don't try to force a woman who doesn't believe it is wrong not to have one.
9.8.2008 8:42pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
loki:

It looks as though the NOW spokeswoman specifically said abortion was one of the issues that made Palin into a "conservative man".

I would further argue that even if we assume that Palin's record is completely anti-feminist on a range of issues (something I am not sure about), NOW still shouldn't be calling her a "man".

If she's anti-feminist, say she's anti-feminist and back up the claim. Or say she's bad for women and back up that claim. But it's offensive to call female politicians who disagree with other female politicians "conservative men".
9.8.2008 8:42pm
pluribus:
The Ace:

The problem with that is that even most Republican female politicians of national stature are pro-choice.

You mean like Elizabeth Dole?

I hate to break it to you, but Elizabeth Dole is not "most" Republican female politicians of national stature.
9.8.2008 8:44pm
The Ace (mail):
The problem with that is that even most Republican female politicians of national stature are pro-choice.

I guess these women don't count

* Michele Bachmann (MN - 06)
* Marsha Blackburn (TN - 07)
* Barbara Cubin (WY - AL)
* Elizabeth Dole (NC - Sen)
* Mary Fallin (OK - 05)
* Virginia Foxx (NC - 05)
* Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA - 05)
* Candice Miller (MI - 10)
* Marilyn Musgrave (CO - 04)
* Sue Myrick (NC - 09)
* Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL - 08)
* Jean Schmidt (OH - 02)
9.8.2008 8:47pm
The Ace (mail):
I hate to break it to you, but Elizabeth Dole is not "most" Republican female politicians of national stature.

And I never said she was.

Can you read?

I suppose you're defining "national stature" as whatever you want it to mean too!
9.8.2008 8:48pm
josh bornstein (mail) (www):
I know it's not at all the main point of EV's post, but I was shocked at one of the stats he mentioned. Assuming the numbers are correct, only 88% of both men and women support abortion to save the mother's life.

Can this possibly be true? Do really 12% of the population believe that it is better to force a pregnant woman to die, rather than allow her to abort the fetus? Or, do you think those high numbers are due to poorly-worded questions, and if it were put as starkly as that; the number would be much much lower?
9.8.2008 8:48pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
You are halfway there, Ace. Now start totaling up the number of pro-choice female Republican politicians in the House, Senate, and Bush's cabinet.
9.8.2008 8:49pm
pluribus:
Jmaie:

Cardinal Egan's position would be very worrisome if he were running for office....

But it's not worrisome because he is merely trying to influence the election of people who are? NOW isn't running, but it is trying to influence the election of people who are.
9.8.2008 8:50pm
whit:
note also that there is a huge difference between calling somebody not a "real catholic" or "authentic" catholic and saying somebody is not a real woman, black, etc.

catholicism, or being a democrat or a republican etc. is based upon a set of beliefs. they are man-made things. yes, i realize the history of the catholic church(descended from one of the apostles, etc.) but it's a man (the pope) that ultimately defines what catholics believe. you can argue details about dems, catholics, etc. but it's a belief system.

being a man, woman, black, etc. is about who you are. it's a ToTALLY different thing. that's why it's a qualitatitively different thing to say somebody isn't an authentic woman, etc. vs. somebody isn't an authentic christian, etc.
9.8.2008 8:51pm
pluribus:
The Ace (mail):

And I never said she was.

Is somebody else posting under your name? When a dumb point is made under the name "The Ace" is just assume that it was "The Ace" that made it.
9.8.2008 8:54pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
whit, there's truth to that, but it's also true that conservative Catholics would very much like to adopt definitions of "Catholic" that are MORE restrictive than that currently endorsed by the Church leadership (i.e., there's a big difference between saying that someone is gravely wrong or committing a serious sin and saying that the person is not a Catholic at all). And there are political reasons why they are trying to do this.

I agree this isn't an exact analogy to the race and gender stuff, but it also isn't as far away as it might be portrayed.
9.8.2008 8:55pm
The Ace (mail):
When a dumb point is made under the name "The Ace" is just assume that it was "The Ace" that made it.

Why do you bother?

What is funny, is even after I bolded it for you, you posted this.
You do realize you're coming across as completely incoherent, right?
9.8.2008 8:56pm
R:
Eugene,

I agree with the general sentiment of your post, but setting aside what it's probably shorthand for, isn't, "she's more a conservative man than she is a woman on women's issues" technically correct?

Going by your chart, most women (58%) favor abortion and (we can assume) most conservative men are against it. I guess we have to assume that the abortion issue represents "women's issues", but I think that's your assumption.

But you're the math guy. I'll let you point out the flaw in my thinking on this one.
9.8.2008 8:56pm
The Ace (mail):
Now start totaling up the number of pro-choice female Republican politicians in the House, Senate, and Bush's cabinet

Ah, so only politicans at the national level are "women who are committed to politics" now?

That is your contention?
9.8.2008 8:58pm
tired of blogs:
The Ace, what you're saying here is clearly true, but you express yourself so obnoxiously that I find myself searching for reasons to disagree.

If you want to stick with the boldface and the sarcasm, fine, but would you at least try to avoid blanket characterizations of all leftists as intellectually dishonest, etc.? I mean, what's the point of having a conversation at all if that's true? Are you just looking for kudos from your own "team?" If you're actually trying to change minds and not just insult people, you'd be better off giving them a reason to listen to what you have to say rather than moving straight to name-calling.

Honestly, I don't know why I bother. I picked this handle in the first place for exactly this reason. I just can't seem to find a civil conversation about these issues on the net. I was hoping for some enlightenment and thought-provoking conversation in this thread, and I'm so distracted by the tone of your posts that I can't tell whether there's any to be found.
9.8.2008 8:59pm
whit:
dilan, the point is that it's ARGUABLE what defines a catholic, or a democrat, etc. for example, is a democrat somebody who must ALWAYS vote for democrats, or usually vote for democrats? is being pro-life inconsistent with being a democrat? how about pro-vouchers? (imo, no... fwiw) etc. all that stuff is COMPLETLEY different than saying somebody is not an authentic WOMAN or black man, or whatever, based on their political beliefs. it's a qualitative difference. it's substantial.

lefties do this ALL the time with (for example) log cabin repub's, black conservatives, etc. etc. it's stupid, it's abhorrent, and it's nonsensical. the idea that you cannot be a REAL black man and vote republican is incredibly offensive, incredibly paternalistic, etc. now, I also find it offensive that some christians might say "if you are pro-choice, you are not a real christian" but it's still an entirely different argument. nobody knows if the god of abraham (which covers, christians, jews and muslims) wants us to be pro-choice or pro-life. people may THINK they know. but they don't.

however. i KNOW that a black man who votes republican is no less "authentically" black than one who votes democrat.

there really is no equivalency.
9.8.2008 9:08pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
whit, I agree that democrats and liberals shouldn't call people Oreos and "men" and the like over these sorts of disputes.

I would suggest to you, though, that it isn't so much "equivalency" as it is similarity. Specifically, mainstream Catholicism and Christianity don't have as much of the "top down" architecture as conservatives within those traditions claim they do. Which makes what constitutes a "real Catholic" or (especially) a "real Christian" much closer to what constitutes a "real black" than you are acknowledging.

You'd have to look at a religious group like the Mormons, with a strict set of rules and widely-enforced excommunication, to find a different situation. The Catholic Church rather likes having lots of members and lots of influence, which is exactly why the Popes have not cast their lot with those who wish to narrow the definition.
9.8.2008 9:13pm
R:
Eugene,

I re-read your post and you do sort of cover yourself with that last parenthetical there:


But to say "she's more a conservative man than she is a woman on women's issues" is factually inaccurate (at least if I read it right as an assertion that she votes with what is dominantly the "male view" as opposed to the "female view"), as well as reprehensible for the reasons I mentioned earlier.



But why do you read it that way? If they meant "man" rather than "conservative man" why bother to be so specific?
9.8.2008 9:21pm
A.:
Smells like second-wave feminism where sex positive feminism would be better. As always.
9.8.2008 9:31pm
whit:
fwiw, i have lots of friends who have mormons, so I'm pretty familiar with how they work. plus, i saw the south park episode!!! catholic, otoh, means "universal" etc. and while not to be confused with the UU (god forbid... ) :) you are right. the catholics certainly have a broader tent.

i think the main point is that it's often difficult to make distinctions in the large middle area when it comes to who is and isn't catholic or jewish or whatever, but the extremes are clear.

iow, a person who doesn't believe in god at all, doesn't identify as a catholic at all, and doesn't even think jesus existed is clearly not a catholic, and it would be pretty clear to argue that somebody who goes to mass every week, professes to be catholic, was baptized in the church, and goes along with all the doctrine clearly is a catholic. those are the extremes and they are easily defined and agreed upon by nearly everybody.

otoh, with who is an "authentic woman" etc. there is really NO ideology, voting record, belief system etc. that makes any woman an "inauthentic woman" or makes any black an "inauthentic black".

and we don't have to bring up the mixed race thang here, and can exclude it since we are talking about ideology, not blood quanta.

i would argue that thomas sowell or clarence thomas is exactly as "authentically black" as spike lee, jesse jackson, or al sharpton. cause the TERM is meaningless, and offensive.

otoh, i don't have a problem with, and there's a validity to at least arguing who is and isn't true catholic, jew, democrat, etc. because if there is NOT at least some set of beliefs, ideology, etc. that makes one either X or not X, then the term ceases to have any meaning whatsoever.

otoh, the term of who is and isn't a man or black is not defined that way
9.8.2008 9:38pm
Andy Freeman (mail):
> What I consider wrong is the position of the Church (evidenced by Cardinal Egan's statement) that anybody who doesn't share the churches beliefs isn't fit to lead a civilized society.

Lots of other folks seems to be entitled to the position that anybody who doesn't share said folks' beliefs aren't fit to lead civilized society, so why is it wrong for the Catholic church to have that position? Seriously - any Tom, Dick, or Nancy Pelosi is entitled to that position, so why not the Catholic Church?

Who else isn't entitled to use whatever criteria they want to decide who is and isn't "fit to lead a civilized society"? (I can think of one group.)
9.8.2008 9:40pm
pluribus:
The Ace:

Why do you bother?

It's no bother. It's fun to identify illogical arguments, misinformation, and intemperate posts, and you are a good source of all of the above.
9.8.2008 10:01pm
R:
Whit,

One quibble. I think we usually understand what the speaker means when he calls someone an "inauthentic black", so the term isn't meaningless and offensive. It's just offensive.
9.8.2008 10:06pm
CB55 (mail):
Thanks Mrs Palin for making the issue not about your opposition to Roe vs Wade but your opinion on sex education, abortion and birth control.
9.8.2008 10:19pm
Andy Freeman (mail):
> dilan, the point is that it's ARGUABLE what defines a catholic, or a democrat

Why is it arguable? Why doesn't the DNC get to define "Democrat"? Why doesn't the Pope get to define who's Catholic?
9.8.2008 10:27pm
Hei Lun Chan (mail) (www):
If you want to run the numbers, they are certainly available.

But the numbers, such as those Eugene cited, say that men and women have almost the exact same views on abortion. You however say that those numbers don't really tell the whole story, and your only evidence so far is your assertion that prominent female politicians are not that pro-life. Even if that is true, it doesn't mean anything since you're trying to extrapolate from a small sample that isn't even representative of the general population. Do you have any other evidence that when women say they're against abortion they're merely expressing their personal moral view and that they don't want those views to be made into law?
9.8.2008 10:30pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
Hei:

There's plenty of it, from deeper poll questions (on proposed criminal penalties for abortion and the overturn of Roe), to exit polls of elections where abortion is on the ballot in some form.

Conservative pro-lifers want desparately for it to be true that women are more pro-life (in terms of public policy) than men, for all sorts of reasons. It isn't. When you talk about punishing people for procuring or performing abortions, many women who self-identify as "pro-life" get off the bus.
9.8.2008 10:37pm
theobromophile (www):
This sort of "not a real woman" argument strikes me as quite reprehensible, a denial of individuals' right to come to their own moral and pragmatic judgments independently of their group.

Agreed.

What is especially sad is that it comes from the group that once fought for the right of women to act like men - be athletes, get educations, be ambitious, have hard-charging careers - without being bluestockings or neutered women. For them to now turn around and dictate the bounds of womanhood is ridiculous.

As for the specific issue of abortion: there are legitimate questions regarding whether abortion is even good for women. As much as pro-choice advocates would like to say that abortion is just another surgical procedure, groups like Rachel's Vineyard, After Abortion, and Silent No More simply do not exist for tonsillectomy patients. There are also legitimate issues about the fact that abortion makes women like men - barren and incapable of being pregnant - and whether it should be women who change to accommodate a society that is hostile to pregnant persons, or whether our culture should change.

It seems to me - perhaps because I'm a pro-life woman - that women can oppose abortion not just on moral grounds, but on feminist grounds. How on earth it makes someone less of a woman to consider things from a woman's perspective is beyond me.

To give an analogy, it would be equally reprehensible to say "he's more a white than a black" of a black who opposed race-based preferences for blacks, or to say "he's more a black than a white" of a white who supported such preferences.

EV, Ellen Goodman already got that one when she said, of Sarah Palin, "You go, Clara Thomas."

(For those who were at the Federalist Society student symposium in March, this is all reminiscent of Wayne State's protest of Ward Connerly.)
9.8.2008 10:38pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
It seems to me - perhaps because I'm a pro-life woman - that women can oppose abortion not just on moral grounds, but on feminist grounds.

I don't really see this with respect to abortion in the United States. There's no real evidence, just a bunch of stereotypes, that abortion in the US harms women. You can certainly be pro-life and be a feminist (because you support the rest of the feminist agenda and oppose abortion based on a claimed moral status of the fetus), but that's being feminist despite being pro-life, not because.

Note that I limited this to the US. If you go to countries where female fetuses are routinely aborted, where there are forced abortions, or where abortions are unsanitary, there can be feminist arguments against abortion in those contexts.
9.8.2008 10:42pm
CB55 (mail):
Hel:

McCain and Palin would rather make it a case that it is not about Them, Bush, GOP or any issue that matters.
9.8.2008 10:42pm
theobromophile (www):
There's no real evidence, just a bunch of stereotypes, that abortion in the US harms women.

Care to back that up?
9.8.2008 10:45pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
theobrom:

There's been a lot of effort over the last 35 years that have been made to establish some sort of connection between abortion and tangible harm to women (the pro-life movement has a vested interest in that one), but nothing has panned out despite a ton of research.
9.8.2008 10:48pm
Toby:
Dilan

The issue is considerably grayer than that, at best, to any unjaundiced view of the research. Indeed, the number of caveats required to make your statment true are just about enough to make the assertion meaningless.

Many women, including women that are glad they aborted, report a lingering melncholy decades later. THat NOWists are willing to dismiss this as part of a false consciousness is instructive...
9.8.2008 10:55pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
toby:

That's not really a tangible harm; after all, many people who maintain pregnancies to term suffer post-partum depression or end up deeply regretting their choice too, as do many women who give their children up for adoption. ANY choice after an unwanted pregancy (or even a wanted one) can produce a similar psychological harm.

What the research has never shown is any conclusive showing that women who choose abortion are at any GREATER risk of any particular tangible harm as compared to women who make other choices.
9.8.2008 10:59pm
CB55 (mail):
It is the case that the same political party that opposes abortion is of course the same body that think the state should do as little as possible for those born and unborn from education to health care.
9.8.2008 11:01pm
Bart (mail):
It was inevitable I suppose that the same gang who argued that Clarence Thomas wasn't really black because he was a conservative would likewise argue that Sarah Palin is not really a woman for the same reason.

Reprehensible is the right term to describe these ideological commissars.
9.8.2008 11:03pm
CB55 (mail):
Of course Thomas and Palin everything to do with antiabortion and nothing to do with health education for kids.
9.8.2008 11:07pm
CB55 (mail):
Bart, thanks for reminding me that it's not about Palin or Mccain but over one million kids and their needs and not Palin or Thomas
9.8.2008 11:09pm
theobromophile (www):
Dilan,

I have no desire to derail this thread by this discussion. I'll refer you to two sources:
1. the above-cited groups (e.g., Rachel's Vineyard), which obviously do not exist for show; and
2. Dr. David Rearden's "Aborted Women: Silent No More" (and anything you can find near it on the library shelf, some of which will be more up-to-date).

If you would like to continue this discussion, we can move it to one of our blogs. While it is pertinent to a subset of EV's thread, enough of the Sarah Palin threads have devolved or been derailed in the past week, and I don't think either one of us cares to contribute more to that.
9.8.2008 11:17pm
David Warner:
"I agree that Marxism is antethical to libertarianism (as it is to my own sensibilities). But so is Fascism, in my humble opinion. From the right we hear the Marxist epithets, and from the left the Fascist and Nazi epithets. I consider all of them bumper-sticker smearing."

Before one jumps whole hog into the pox-on-both-your-houses moral equivalency, it might be prudent to, say, ask some members of NOW what they think of Marx, or to peruse the typical Womyn's Studies syllabus. Somehow I don't recall seeing passages from Mein Kampf in the Catholic Catechism, or excerpts from Il Duce's speeches in the WSJ. The foul-smelling old misanthrope is still very much with us, the psychopathic untermensch not so much. Thank God.
9.8.2008 11:24pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
theobrom:

I never denied that the pro-life movement CLAIMS that abortion harms women. Only there isn't any scientific evidence of unique harms to women from abortion, i.e. any showing that women who have abortions are worse off than those who carry their fetuses to term and raise them or give them away for adoption.

Citing a few women who regretted their decision to have an abortion, or even are haunted by it, doesn't change that, because there are a heck of a lot of women who are haunted by their decision to carry unplanned pregnancies to term as well.
9.8.2008 11:31pm
TDPerkins (mail):

But I would note that conservatives Catholics like the Pope, the Cardianls, ArchBishops, Bishops, and Priests also do this with respect to religion (or at least conservative Catholics do), i.e., contending that liberal Catholics who disagree with church positions aren't "real" or "serious" Catholics.


Fixed that for you. Ex-Catholics who dissented on the grounds that abortion is ok-dokey are called excommunicated.

Witness Pelosi being invited to a "come-to-Jesus" not long ago.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
9.8.2008 11:37pm
Pauldom:
Theo-

There are plenty of groups that support women after their babies are given up for adoption, and plenty of books about the lingering negative psychological effects they experience. By your standard, adoption, also, is harmful to women and ought to be opposed by feminists on that ground. Unfortunately, the more alternatives we oppose, the fewer remain. That's why most feminists don't make arguments like yours.
9.8.2008 11:41pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
TDP:

Given that American Catholics poll as pro-choice at the same rate as non-Catholic Americans, and numerous Catholic politicians remain in the church despite pro-choice beliefs (and many of those people attend church frequently and receive the sacrament), your claim that the Pope and the hierarchy take the position that anyone who espouses pro-choice beliefs is out of the church is obviously incorrect.

That is clearly what some conservatives would LIKE the Pope to do. But, in fact, the Pope weighs the moral / theological claim against the fact that seriously attempting to root out pro-choicers from the church would decimate the church's membership in some locations. So, instead, the Pope condemns pro-choice activity as gravely sinful, but he is careful NOT to endorse the views of conservative bishops who want to take active steps to kick these folks out. And his equally pro-life predecessor was careful not to as well.
9.8.2008 11:44pm
TDPerkins (mail):

your claim that the Pope and the hierarchy take the position that anyone who espouses pro-choice beliefs is out of the church is obviously incorrect.


No, that's the position they take. They like American money, so aren't actually going to press many people on it--but I think you will see the Church finds Pelosi's wanderings intolerable. Likewise, I doubt most parishes will long tolerate open and confrontational dissent on the topic.

Broad schism is possible. That is not the same as acceptance.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
9.8.2008 11:54pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
TDP:

You have to be very careful in the way you use terminology. The key is how they approach communion. Conservatives in the Church want the Pope to say that pro-choice politicians should be denied communion. So far, 2 Popes have refused, instead saying that the believer should search his or her own heart and determine whether he or she is entitled to take communion.

I realize one can play games with labels like "excommunicated", but as long as the Pope continues to refuse to take the meaningful to get pro-choicers out of the Church, rejecting the arguments of the conservatives who are trying desperately to obtain such a ruling, I don't think conservative claims about who is and isn't a Catholic on this issue can be credited.
9.8.2008 11:57pm
Hoosier:
"i have lots of friends who have mormons"

I want one too. Are they available in stores again?

"pluribus:
Andy Freeman:

What I consider wrong is the position of the Church (evidenced by Cardinal Egan's statement) that anybody who doesn't share the churches beliefs isn't fit to lead a civilized society. It's not enough for Catholics to follow their beliefs. They must, at least according to this cardinal, impose their beliefs on others who don't share them. "

"Impose our beliefs" HOW? Dispatch the Sacred Monkeys of the Vatican to hurl Holy Scat at their grannies?

Read the quote again. You read it WAY wrong.
9.9.2008 12:34am
SMatthewStolte (mail):

Why doesn't the Pope get to define who's Catholic?

Because he's only the Vicar of Christ &does not have the right willfully to alter the moral law. Certain things are known to be wrong according to right reasoning, such as murder. Papal infallibility does not imply that the wrongness of murder depends on whether the pope says it is wrong. (Here, I'm using murder as an example and not as a synonym for abortion). Other things are known only by Divine revelation, such as church teaching on the Trinity. The Pope has no authority to declare that, for instance, Mary is a fourth Person in the Godhead.

Catholic teaching on abortion makes the claim that the immorality of abortion can be known to right reasoning &is not dependent upon the mysteries of faith. In other words, according to the Catholic church, it shouldn't take a voice from heaven to tell you that abortion is wrong, any more than it should take a voice from heaven to tell you that murder is wrong. This is the reason that conservatives don't think that being pro-life means imposing your religion on others.

Concerning the development of Catholic teaching on abortion (ie, changes), this can be explained in part by scientific discoveries of the fetus' development in the womb. In a Thomistic tradition, the ensoulment of the body refers not to a ghost-in-the-machine that drops in from heaven at so and so many months. The soul, rather, refers to the active principle by which the body (conceived as a unity) develops. It is clear today that this active principle is present at the moment of conception (and not before), but it has not always been clear, and this has led to some unfortunate confusion.

One of course might disagree with the church, but it certainly helps to know what the church teaches, first.

That's the way I understand it, anyway.
9.9.2008 2:37am
Jay Myers:
whit:

fwiw, i have lots of friends who have mormons

As pets or are you saying that they own slaves?
9.9.2008 4:06am
theobromophile (www):
By your standard, adoption, also, is harmful to women and ought to be opposed by feminists on that ground.

Absolutely untrue.

I had no desire to get into the details of the research surrounding post-abortion trauma, as I do not want to derail another Sarah Palin thread. (I'll let someone else do that.)

I am not saying that feminists are required to oppose this - you seem to have missed this thing called "the point," which would be that feminists, and women, can come to their own conclusions - as I was not articulating a standard for mandatory opposition to any particular policy matter. Rather, I was laying out a basis for reasonable opposition, from a feminist perspective.

Nice try.
9.9.2008 10:33am
pluribus:
Hoosier:

"Impose our beliefs" HOW? Dispatch the Sacred Monkeys of the Vatican to hurl Holy Scat at their grannies?

I understand the Catholic position on abortion to be that the law should forbid abortions, and that it should forbid them for all women, not just Catholics. Further, it is that Catholic politicians should support laws forbidding abortion for all women, and if they do not do so they are not fit to be leaders in a civilized society. They need not hurl "Holy Scat" at anybody, just get the law to enforce their belief that abortion is murder. If I misunderstand this teaching, I (s a former practicing Catholic) will be glad to be corrected.
9.9.2008 10:35am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
It doesn't appear that the organized feminist groups actually put women's issues first, anyway.
As Tammy Bruce said, which becomes clearer when you think about it, feminist groups push radicprog agendas using women's issues as a tactic. But when there's a conflict between radicprog and women's issues, the latter get booted to the curb.
You will recall all the horrid noise the feminists made about the Duke non-rape case. Even when deprived of their dearest wish--a real rape--they went on and on about what miserable, rotten, scumbags these guys were.
But there was a real rape at the same time. Nobody paid attention. Not Duke, not the potbangers, not the gang of 88, and most certainly not the feminists.
Difference. The real rape had a white vic, a black perp, and took place at a black fraternity house (which was not decertified by Duke).
The first case supported a narrative the radicprogs love--rich white guys sexually using a poor black woman as in the plantation days. So they rode that horse long after it was dead.
The second case supports a narrative the radicprogs want buried, the idea of sexual violence by black men against white women. So the real victim of a real rape was...a non-person. All those horrible things that rape represents.... All the horror of the violation.... What it proves about the patriarchal rape culture....
Nope. Kick that raped, violated sister into the shadows.

It's hard to think of a clearer demonstration that Bruce is right.

So, naturally, feminists would not like Palin. But, unfortunately for them, they are restricted by their ostensible goals to complaining in terms of women's issues and the usual feminist tropes. But those aren't the real issues.
9.9.2008 1:11pm
Andy Freeman (mail):
> I understand the Catholic position on abortion to be that the law should forbid abortions, and that it should forbid them for all women, not just Catholics.

And that makes Catholics no different from any other group that says "there ought to be a law".

The unanswered question is why is it wrong for the Catholic Church to push for a law? Everyone else gets to.

Related - why is it wrong for the Catholic Church to use its own criteria for determining membership? Again, other (not govt) groups are free to determine membership criteria.

In fact, it's perfectly acceptable for Senators to refuse to confirm appointees based on said appointees abortion position.

Is it the stained glass, the Cathedrals, the memories of Latin mass, the "we wore these outfits before Neo" attitude?
9.9.2008 1:12pm
Hoosier:
> I understand the Catholic position on abortion to be that the law should forbid abortions, and that it should forbid them for all women, not just Catholics.

Yes, the Church teaches that this is what just law would do. No non-Catholic is required to accept this.

As to kicking people out of the Church: The Church does not do so, because it cannot do so. In Catholic theology, this is ontologically impossible. Thus there is no provision in canon law for making someone an ex-Catholic. (Secular equivalent? How about trying to make someone an ex-war veteran. "He was a veteran of the Vietnam War, but he isn't anymore." Not possible, right?)
9.9.2008 3:04pm
pauldom:
Theo:

I am not saying that feminists are required to oppose this - you seem to have missed this thing called "the point," which would be that feminists, and women, can come to their own conclusions - as I was not articulating a standard for mandatory opposition to any particular policy matter. Rather, I was laying out a basis for reasonable opposition, from a feminist perspective.

Not that I particularly want to continue this exchange, but I believe that you are the one who missed my point: Whether or not your perspective is reasonable, and whether or not all or only some women might find it so, the argument would still be atypical of feminism.

You stated that "women can oppose abortion not just on moral grounds, but on feminist grounds." For support, you provided some evidence that abortion can be traumatic. It's hard to see how a "protect her from trauma / for her own good" approach differs from garden variety paternalism.

I assume you could explain the difference in a different context (i.e. not a blog comment tangent) so that even I couldn't fail to 'get' it. I was responding just to what you actually said.

To tie this somehow back to the thread--NOW's comment also declares some options/viewpoints off-limits for women. I don't consider that approach "feminist," either.
9.9.2008 5:08pm
pluribus:
I wrote:

I understand the Catholic position on abortion to be that the law should forbid abortions, and that it should forbid them for all women, not just Catholics.

Hoosier answered:

Yes, the Church teaches that this is what just law would do. No non-Catholic is required to accept this.

This is disingenuous. If the Catholic position is adopted, the law would forbid all women to have abortions, Catholic and non-Catholic alike. There would be no exemption for non-Catholic women. All would be required not only to "accept this," but to obey it, on pain of the penalties provided by the law. What is the usual legal penalty for murder?
9.9.2008 6:04pm
Anthony A (mail):
Dilan - can you point to a conservative Catholic saying that a Catholic who believes that the government should provide more for the poor, foster racial equality, promote better working conditions, end our involvement in Iraq and ban abortion is not a "real Catholic"?

There *are* pro-life liberals, and some of them are Catholic; the people who are accused of being "not really Catholic" are not accused of that because they differ on how to best serve the poor or promote world peace, but because they disagree with a fairly fundamental Church teaching.
9.9.2008 9:24pm
Hoosier:
pluribus

"This is disingenuous. "

No it isn't. Why do I have the sense that, if I explain this to you in very clear terms, it won't make a bit of difference in your opinion? Or you accusations?

Thinking involves making distinctions. If you want to know what those are, I'll be happy to oblige. But it takes mental effort.
9.9.2008 10:42pm
TDPerkins (mail):
Dilan,

Would you like to be a fly on the wall for these conversations, or do you imagine you already know what will be said?

Quotes from there:


Two prominent U.S. Catholic bishops said Tuesday that Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden contradicted church teaching by saying in a weekend interview that determining when human life begins is a "personal and private" matter of religious faith he would not impose on others.


&


Last month, a chorus of bishops issued statements scolding Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for misstating Catholic teaching about when life begins in defense of her support for abortion rights. She accepted an invitation to meet privately with San Francisco Archbishop George Niederauer, the bishop of her home diocese, to discuss the matter.


Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
9.9.2008 11:15pm
Roger Zimmerman (mail):
And, it's interesting that the biggest spreads (and possibly the only statistically significant ones, depending on the sample size) occur at the "extreme" end of the policy spectrum, where men are more likely to favor the most controversial circumstances for aborting a fetus.

I have a hard time believing that this (if true) is because men are less conservatively religious than women. Instead, I'd hypothesize that both of these circumstances have a relatively high "yuck" factor (see Virginia Postrel on this, if you're interested) and men are less susceptible to arguments based on such factors.

In other words, there is a core of people that are pro-abortion on a very fundamental level, who see absolutely no individual rights standing for a fetus. However, only some of these are able to translate this perspective into a fully consistent set of policies, because they can't overcome their emotional reaction (however derived) to abortion under certain circumstances, even though they would still define it as abortion of a fetus.

BTW, I am such a person and I can overcome the yuck factor on D&X, but not on 6+ months. However, I justify this position on the grounds that the law always must draw lines based on "age", and that at some point the fetus passes into actual (instead of potential) personhood, and indeed this line may move as we understand more about fetal development.

So, am I a counter-example to my hypothesis? I report, you decide.
9.10.2008 4:17pm
Seamus (mail):
I understand the Catholic position on abortion to be that the law should forbid abortions, and that it should forbid them for all women, not just Catholics.

Similarly, the religious groups who signed on to the "American Jewish Committee et al." amicus brief in the Heller case (American Jewish Committee, Anti-Defamation League, Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, Central Conference of American Rabbis, Methodist Federation For Social Action, Clifton Kirkpatrick In His Capacity as the Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), American Jewish Congress, Friends Committee on National Legislation, National Council of Jewish Women, Union for Reform Judaism) want to restrict handgun ownership, not just for members of their denominations, but for everybody.
9.10.2008 4:19pm
tired of blogs:
Everybody who wants to pass a law wants it to apply to everybody.

This is news?
9.10.2008 6:12pm