I think it's a bit simplistic to look at it that way. Here's another factor: women have been oppressed and marginalized in various ways for a very long time, since long before "disenfranchisement" was even a word. Long before white people and black people lived together or interacted in a meaningful way. I'm not trying to say which is better or worse, but it's easy to see how women as a group might have internalized the oppression in a VERY deep way.
Ignoring for a moment the old naturalistic fallacy about women being "natural victims" (they're not, by the way; they may be socially conditioned to be victims, but that's social
conditioning, not a biological inclination - which means that it doesn't matter how long it has been going on, all that matters to whether women or black people accept themselves as "socially lower" is the current
society, not ancient history), I'd have to point out that as offensive as that would be, if it were true, for women
... it also has rather offensive implications for the men
Because that would imply that the men
don't give a fart about how women are treated. Because if you want to remove women's opinions from the equation under the argument that they're going to sit back and allow governments to legislate away control of their bodies from them, that still leaves the men
. And it would mean that pretty much all the men - at least the vast
majority - care nothing about how women treated. In fact, the fact that they're being treated so poorly would imply that at least a sizable minority is quite misogynist (probably true) and
that the rest of then just don't care (that I doubt).
To put in simple terms, if things have managed to get this bad because woman are too weak and cowardly to stand up for themselves, that just means all the onus is on the men
... and they've
failed because they're either misogynist or selfish and calloused.
You seem to assume that all women disagree with Akin, and that if they would just get out and vote, everything would be great. Is that a fair assumption? I doubt it. Maybe if more women voted, you'd see a swing toward the liberal side of things, but that's a pretty big maybe, and there's no way of knowing how big or small the swing would be. Maybe we should ask Ann Coulter.
Really? Is that what it seems like? Because all I did was make general statements. Honestly, is it a thing around here to turn every general statement into a universal absolute? If I said, "Americans are very patriotic", would that be interpreted as "every American alive is very patriotic, without exception"? Because if not, why is it that when I say "American woman disagree with Akin" it gets interpreted as "every American woman alive disagrees with Akin, without exception"?
No, I don't assume that all
American women disagree with Akin - I'm fully aware that there are misogynist women
as well as misogynist men (Coulter being a very visible example). I also don't assume that all
black people believe that racism is still prevalent in America, or that all
of those that do will actually stand up and do something about it. Yet, look at the political climate with respect to racist comments. It doesn't take a majority
to change the political climate, it just takes a vocal minority.
The numbers just don't add up. African Americans make up 12% of the US population. Let's assume that only 50% of them both believe that racism is a problem, and care enough to raise a stink about it when they see it (which is an incredibly
generous estimate, because it would mean that every other black person in America is politically active) - that means that only 6% of the population would raise a stink when racism comes up in politics (ignoring other supporters for a moment). Yet... clearly their voice has a powerful effect.
Now consider that women make up around 50% of the population. Let's assume that only 1 in 10
of them believe that misogyny is a problem, and care enough to raise a stink about it when they see it (which is a low
estimate, really - I would guess closer to twice that) - that means that 5% of the population should raise a stink when misogyny comes up in politics (again, ignoring other supporters), which is more or less the same as the previous case. Yet... their
voice seems silent.
And those numbers are quite generous! I could make the comparison a lot worse - for example, by picking Jewish Americans, who only make up around 1.5% of the population... but I dare any politician to say something antisemitic.
And if we add in the supporters, the situation gets even worse! Because you'd have a hard time arguing that more than half of men
believe women's health should be legislated, rather than under the control of the woman under the guidance of her doctor. I would assume the majority don't really care, but vaguely support women's freedoms, meaning they won't speak up on their own if misogyny comes up in politics, but when the women do (and the minority of men men who would
speak up do), they would lend tacit support; at the very least, they won't support the other side.
So you see, the numbers just don't add up. I don't know what the problem is - whether it's because there's no flag or leader to rally behind, or whatever else it might be. Maybe the women just don't realize how massive their political power is. Hopefully pointing it out like this will shock some people into awareness that this is a very solvable problem, and that all it takes is being noisy.
Actually, I'd like to hear some comment on this, yes. I might be experiencing a brain freeze at the moment, but I don't see what is "messed up" about this part of Akin's reasoning. If a woman wasn't raped, but claims so in order to get an abortion, then... it is kind of wrong, right?
You're not experiencing a brain freeze, and you're not wrong - you're just not going far enough.
First of all, realize that, wrong or not, if the only way to legally and safely get an abortion is if you've been raped, some women will
falsely claim rape to get an abortion. There could be many reasons why: perhaps their contraception failed, perhaps she and her partner were intoxicated at the time and forgot to use contraception or used it improperly, perhaps the relationship with their partner collapsed after she was impregnated and now she can no longer afford to raise the baby, or simply doesn't want to because the reason the relationship collapsed was because the partner was abusive... there are literally thousands
of valid reasons why a woman could end up in a situation where she is pregnant but wasn't
just careless or calloused (assuming you want to use those exceptions to say the woman "deserves" to be pregnant and is thus stuck with a baby she doesn't want, and to hell with her and the unwanted child), without being raped. So there are many valid reasons why a sane, responsible woman might end up with a pregnancy she wants - or needs
- to terminate that don't involve rape or health concerns. But if the only option for getting one is to claim rape... what do you think a sane, reasonable woman would do? On the one hand, two lives are going to be destroyed - her own and the life of the child she doesn't want or can't handle raising (and that's not even taking into account other children she has to care for! which is actually quite a common reason for why women opt for abortion
, so we're often not just talking two, but three, four or five
lives - or more - that will be destroyed) - on the other, a little white lie to get an abortion. Lying about rape is the only rational option in such a situation.
That's what McCorvey did - and for those very same reasons - but in her case, she screwed up because she hadn't reported a rape early enough. (For more background, McCorvey was married at 16, but divorced the husband because he abused her. She already had two children, but her mother threw her out of the house for saying she might be lesbian and took custody of her first child. Her second child ended up in adoption. So did the third child - the one that prompted Roe v. Wade. At the time she was pregnant with that child, she was living with her father and working minimum wage jobs - and, by some estimations, clinically depressed.)
Anyway, the bottom line is that there are valid reasons why a sane, responsible woman might end up with a pregnancy she can't or won't bring to term, and if the only way to get a legal and safe abortion is to claim rape... they will.
The thing is, when those women falsely report rape, they will prompt real
rape investigations. That means police will be running around chasing imaginary rapists.
But it gets worse. Because it could happen that when the women describe their "rapist", the description happens to match some innocent person... who then gets hauled in for questioning and identification. Even when the woman ultimately says, "no, not him," you know
there will always be talk if it gets out that someone was questioned for rape
. That means that innocent men's lives will be affected, too.
But, wait! There's more! Because the police aren't stupid. They're going to figure out that women sometimes falsely report rape to get an abortion. That means that every rape report that crosses their desk is now suspect... even the real ones
. Which means that real
rape victims are going to find that their claims of rape are doubted by the police! Suddenly rape cases are going to turn in circuses where the victim
is on trial, being cross-examined and interrogated to make sure she's not faking it!
And then the rape and crime statistics are going to go all out of whack, police are going to start getting hostile to new rape claims (because every "imaginary rape" that gets reported, and obviously never solved, will count negatively toward the number of cases they solved), women are going to be even more
reluctant to report rapes than they are now - which, by extension means that serial rapists will have a better chance of extending their streaks, which means more women will get raped... and on and on.
I may be mistaken, but I think I've read about abortion statistics in UK (where the abortion laws are very tolerant). The article suggested that women there do, indeed, treat abortions like another form of birth control - and I've read this article in a very liberal newspaper.
Citation needed. If you're referring to the Daily Mail article
, the Daily Mail
is a right-wing rag - a tabloid.
In general, though, the claims of "abortion being used as birth control" just flat out wrong. First of all, it's been proven factually wrong by several studies. For example: this one
, a peer-reviewed
study done by the Guttmacher Institute
, a very respected reproductive health group.
But even without that, a moment of thought shows just how stupid
the whole idea of using abortion as birth control is. Abortion is a surgical procedure
. It has to be done by medical doctors, under local or sometimes general anaesthetic, usually with accompanying drugs. It's one of the safest surgeries, sure, but that's like saying an arm wound is one of the safest gunshot wounds - it's still a surgical procedure, and women not only do get complications from it, some even die
. In the US, 0.6 per 100,000 abortions result in the death of the mother (according to wiki). That's the US, not some third world country with poor medical standards. In fact, this is a fact sheet from my hospital describing the risks of abortion
. Note that the possibility of side effects is at least
Why is that important? Well, because according to wiki, the possibility of side effects from liposuction
is around 0.7%. So, given that liposuction is safer than abortion, if it's true that women consider abortion as a valid form of birth control, then it must also be true that people consider liposuction a valid form of weight loss. Right?
What I'd like to add, though, is that I think that the idea of abortion being available for every woman with no restriction goes against this one thing called responsibility.
That's like saying that making bone settings and casts freely available goes against people's personal responsibility not to break their bones.
I have nothing against abortions in case of rape or health risk for mother... but it shouldn't be an easy way out for a woman who's got pregnant because of simply having active sex life.
That's like saying treating broken bones and painkillers should be available for people whose bones get broken because of someone else's stupidity or a freak accident... but it shouldn't be an "easy way out" for people who break their bones while doing something of their own choosing.