Monday, July 1, 2013

Delicate Condition

Would support for abortion rights grow if more women discussed their abortions?
I don't know the answer to that question. Would support for castle laws grow if more people discussed their murder-in-self-defense stories? That's another head-scratcher, but the answer seems fairly clear. There are certain things you don't "discuss" with the public, and killing human beings is one of them.

Sonya Renee, a "performance poet" (is there any other kind?) weighs in thusly:
If we know our stories can be sharp and effective tools for keeping abortion safe and legal why aren't we speaking up? We have been made silent by the dehumanization and danger of coming out.
Pro tip: when discussing abortion, it's best to leave the adjective "sharp" out of the lexicon.

Anyways, come on. "Coming out" was a term heretofore largely reserved for homosexuals revealing their sexual orientation to friends and family. The phrase occupied a special place in the sociological lexicon: sexuality is a thing you can't choose. Abortion, on the other hand, is explicitly defined in terms of "choice." Why on earth would a pro-abortion rights advocate expropriate "coming out" for the abortion rights crusade? It's offensive and incorrect.

Meanwhile, Wendy Davis, the Texas senator who filibustered an anti-abortion bill (quite impressively, in my opinion), is unable to actually come out and say the word "abortion" in an interview, instead opting for such creative euphemisms as:
"matters of personal liberty"

"intrusions against our personal liberty"

"doctors who are able to function in this arena"

"turning back the clock"

"women's healthcare"

"reproductive decision-making"

Good Lord. When I speak of gun rights, I don't couch it in terms of "personal liberty" or "self-defense decision-making." I speak of gun rights. Davis apparently didn't get the "Coming Out" memo.

Props to the hardline feminists who are actually able to utter the word "abortion" when they debate the whole thing. I'm uncomfortably pro-abortion rights, and it helps to talk about the matter with people who are completely comfortable with it; I'm much more happy with a picket sign that says "Abortion On Demand And Without Apology" than I am with an obscure and ridiculous platitude to "reproductive decision-making." One is straight talk; the other is Orwellian nonsense. Let us at least debate the issue honestly.

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