Pregnant ≠ Brainwashed

John Dias:

Just when I thought that you were so enamored of the gift of life that is now growing in your womb — the inherent goodness of that child — you prove yourself once again an ideologue.

Translation: What? Women keep thinking even after they’re knocked up?

I’ve actually been waiting for this moment. I knew, at some point, someone would assume that pregnancy had negated my feminism. Please let me assure you: it has only strengthened my beliefs. I want my children of either sex to have reproductive choice and freedom. I want my children to be artists like their parents, but I also want them to eventually solve the world’s most pressing problems of disease, hunger, and injustice, and I don’t want any path closed to them because of their sex, gender, or sexual orientation.

I believe that good parenting is, in large part, about being a good role model. If I want freedom and choice, opportunity and achievement for my children, then I have a duty to embody those things in my own life. And I intend to do so.

Sorry to disappoint, John! Oh, wait. No, I’m not.


29 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Celeste said,

    Supporting the right to abortion=supporting the right to abortion.

    It does NOT mean anything else. You can support the right to abortion AND:
    1. Want to be pregnant.
    2. Get pregnant.
    3. Have a baby.
    4. Be a mother.
    5. Think for yourself.

    I think John Diaz is the ideologue here. He has some crazy idea that pregnant women can believe only one thing, and he’ll write the script. He’s just crazy.

  2. 2

    John Dias said,

    Supporting the right to brutalize your child equals supporting the right to brutalize your child. It does NOT mean anything else. You can support the right to dismember your child’s body AND:
    1. Want to be pregnant.
    2. Get pregnant.
    3. Have a baby.
    4. Be a mother.
    5. Embrace your ideology above all else.

    I think the ideologues equate legality of abortion with a perceived moral legitimacy of abortion. Was it legal, historically for a time, for parents to beat their kids with impunity? Certainly — depending on the time and place. Do we look back on such a period and tell ourselves, “Well, according to the standards at the time, that was accepted. It was not immoral for them to beat those children.” No! We don’t say that. Today we recognize that all violence against children is wrong, and we reflect our belief in the form of laws prohibiting violence and abuse against children. The morality is independent of the state of the law; in fact, it precedes the law.

    What this has to do with abortion is that Roe v. Wade (the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in all 50 states) removed the right of people across the land to put their moral beliefs into action, based on community attitudes about whether abortion was a morally heinous and brutal crime — or a medically necessary option for women. Seven (out of nine) people imposed their moral vision upon a nation of more than 200 million — preventing anyone from significantly legislating on abortion for at least two more decades. Abortion under Roe v. Wade was legalized through all nine months. We do live in a democracy — if the people supported such a radical concept as Roe imposed then they could have enacted it democratically. This could have taken place at the national level, in Congress, which would have removed local powers but at least have the blessing of majority rule. But rather than let abortion policy play itself out in the public square, seven ideologues imposed their narrow vision upon the country.

    Planned Parenthood, the organization promoted in the blog entry that Uccellina wrote about (and to which I replied) supports maintaining the usurpation of democratic processes in the form of its support for Roe. A right to abortion was manufactured without public input, by seven individuals to accomplished this by judicial fiat. Today, ideologues like Planned Parenthood cite the decision as a fait accompli — an accomplished and presumably irreversible deed or fact.

    They are nevertheless ideologues, because they took away the right of the people to decide this issue. Congress has never weighed in on this in a legislative sense; the ideologues prevent that from happening. And even if Congress did get the chance to weigh in on the matter, I submit that those who derive their morality from the current state of the law (“it’s moral because it’s legal”) are also discarding their independent judgment and are therefore brainwashed ideologues.

    Don’t hate me. I’m just the messenger.

  3. 3

    sweetxsardonic said,

    Um, no, John. Actually, people *do* have the right to decide the issue. If Planned Parenthood and similar organizations were *not* around, then the choice would be taken away. See how simple that argument was? And anyway, who are you to judge? Last I checked, there wasn’t a higher being named John Dias.

  4. 4

    uccellina said,

    John, the vast bulk of services provided by Planned Parenthood involve gynecological services and general women’s health, often for low-income women. While I fully support the right to abortion, it’s only a small part of what Planned Parenthood does. But you wouldn’t know that, of course, as you haven’t actually looked at I am Emily X, and are simply attempting to derail this discussion and turn it into a debate about abortion.

  5. 5

    John Dias said,

    sweetxsardonic wrote:

    “If Planned Parenthood and similar organizations were *not* around, then the choice would be taken away. See how simple that argument was? And anyway, who are you to judge? Last I checked, there wasn’t a higher being named John Dias.”

    So taking away the right of the voters to choose upon the legality of the choice, ensures the legality of the choice. That statement simply prioritizes one choice above another — reflecting your personal values and judgment.

    Who are you to judge?

  6. 6

    SilliGirl said,

    Women have been controlling their fertility since the beginning of time. Technology has made that more reliable, but has also opened the way for men to think they have a right to control it as well.

    I know it’s dismissive, but I kind of feel like if you don’t have a uterus then you should back the fuck off.

    (I apologize if this is seen as an attempt to derail the conversation into a debate on abortion, especially since there’s nothing really to debate.)

  7. 7

    John Dias said,

    SilliGirl wrote:

    “I know it’s dismissive, but I kind of feel like if you don’t have a uterus then you should back the fuck off.”

    I disagree. Booyah!

  8. 8

    uccellina said,

    Booyah? Whoa, I’m having flashbacks to frat parties I didn’t even attend.

    So, about the idea that women are expected to stop thinking once they’ve gotten pregnant/become mothers . . . anyone?

  9. 9

    John Dias said,

    Uccellina wrote:

    “So, about the idea that women are expected to stop thinking once they’ve gotten pregnant/become mothers . . . anyone?”

    No, I don’t expect you to stop thinking… If I had my way and the law reflected my preference, I would merely expect you to comply.

  10. 10

    SilliGirl said,

    When we begin to think about parenting, families, etc, men often don’t relate. And when men don’t relate, the issue becomes unimportant to them, and when something is unimportant to men, it’s generally seen as unimportant to society. And this all snowballs into a complete lack of respect for women’s ideas.

    The shift to becoming a mother is huge and comsuming, and I think people forget a) that the shift doesn’t last forever, and b) that women still generally have opinions about other stuff during the process.

  11. 11

    uccellina said,

    My blog, my last word on the subject: Legal or Not, Abortion Rates Compare. The risks, of course, do not compare at all.

    We are done with the abortion debate now. Back to the subject of motherhood and feminism.

    (Thank you, Silligirl.)

  12. 12

    John Dias said,

    SilliGirl (I so love your screen name, especially as it pertains to what I’m about to say)… Your opinions are welcome! I just want to defeat them in the public arena, that’s all.

  13. 13

    uccellina said,

    John, you are now trolling. Cut it out or be banned.

  14. 14

    John Dias said,

    Uccellina wrote,

    “John, you are now trolling. Cut it out or be banned.”

    I love this blog, and don’t want to be banned. But I am unclear as to your definition of trolling. When does vigorous debate and expression and, and trolling begin?

  15. 15

    uccellina said,

    Well, derailing a post is a good start for trolling. So stop!

  16. 16

    John Dias said,

    SilliGirl wrote:

    “When we begin to think about parenting, families, etc, men often don’t relate. And when men don’t relate, the issue becomes unimportant to them, and when something is unimportant to men, it’s generally seen as unimportant to society. And this all snowballs into a complete lack of respect for women’s ideas.

    “The shift to becoming a mother is huge and comsuming, and I think people forget a) that the shift doesn’t last forever, and b) that women still generally have opinions about other stuff during the process.”

    What I think you’re trying to say is that fathers don’t relate to the mother’s perspective. I am a single father with primary custody — a huge time share, and enormous responsibility. Prior to the breakup, I still assumed enormous responsibility. I paid for a mother’s helper to assist our son’s mother while I was away at work. When I returned, I assumed almost all parenting duties in addition to the ongoing responsibility of maintaining/repairing the house, moving/lifting large objects, catching spiders that the wife considered to “scary…” All “men’s work,” I suppose. The late nights putting our son to bed, waking up numerous times at 4:00 AM (you’ll have double the fun with that one, Uccellina), and being the only one to do this because my Ex has physical difficulties getting up at night — it was a huge deal. And I was still expected to be the provider, while she was expected to do her “job” during my working hours and (at her option) have a meal ready when I returned.

    Lack of empathy for the other sex goes both ways. I think that SilliGirl is displaying a lack of empathy to the contributions of men and fathers, especially those who took on a burden similar to mine.

  17. 17

    Husband said,

    No one has taken away a woman’s right to carry her child to term and give birth
    to it. We don’t need laws at the local level to provide for that.

    And, no one has been given the right to make a woman have an abortion
    against her will. To my knowledge. there are no laws, at any level, that makes
    THAT legal.

    But there are plenty of people like you, Dias, who think they have a
    right to tell other people how to run their lives, despite the fact that they are in the
    minority and despite the fact that the Supreme Court has already decided the issue.

    The assault on Roe vs Wade, for the last twenty years, has been the work of
    political conservatives, who have cynically made use of the fears and beliefs of
    conservative religious movements in order to get into power and implement their
    REAL agenda – making money for their Big Business cronies.

    The Right Wing does not care about women and children, or they would back health
    care reform for children. They would fund education. They would fund day care
    centers. They would care whether women died because they were denied an abortion
    that would have saved their life, and they would care whether women died having a
    backstreet abortion.

    The biggest assult on so-called Family Values has been by Corporate America, which
    no longer pays a father enough to support a family. Corporations have realized that
    if they let women into the marketplace, and pay them less, then they can pay
    everybody less. Families either struggle to get by or else send BOTH parents out
    to earn a living. The resulting stress on the family takes its toll in deteriorated
    health, divorce and drug problems.

    Corporations and Conservative government don’t want to pay for the schools,
    day care or health care that a family needs to care for the children that the
    Religious Right says a woman HAS to have. And I don’t see religious ideologues
    lining up to help the poor. They have formed an unholy alliance with Big Business
    to get the money to help them buy the Moral High Ground.

    And they are too busy arguing about what is moral to see or even care about
    what is right.

  18. 18

    Red Diabla said,

    John’s a prime candidate for a Foghorn Leghorn hammering.

    He’s also a prime example of why a woman’s fertility shouldn’t be decided by anyone EXCEPT the particular woman involved. It ain’t your business, pal. This isn’t a “my way or the highway” type of situation for the whole of womankind.

    I don’t have kids. I don’t intend on having kids. I like riling up other peoples’ kids and then handing them back to their parents. I look forward to the opportunity to do that with Uccellina’s kids that she happily chose to have.

    To be honest, to find this type of conversation STILL going on after decades of stupidity just boggles my mind. We can’t stop people from having kids; to stop them from NOT having kids makes even less sense.

  19. 19

    John Dias said,

    Husband, I wish I could respond to your comments… It would make for interesting discussion. But alas, I would be banned.

  20. 20

    Andree said,

    Trolls will disappear, like bad advertising, if you ignore them.

  21. 21

    SilliGirl said,

    Much as I think I should listen to Andree’s advice, I am feeling spicy tonight and I will respond to John’s accusation of lack of empathy.

    First, what does my perceived lack of empathy towards the contributions of fathers have to do with society’s assumption that women’s critical thinking skills plummet after having kids?

    Second, your emphasis on my words was quite telling. (See comment #16) When did this discussion become all about you? I wasn’t trying to give single dads the smackdown, and in a different conversation I’d probably have plenty of empathy for situations like yours. But Uccellina wanted to talk about why there is a perception that women stop thinking when they have kids, and that is what I was addressing.

    The words I would like to emphasize are “when we begin to think about…” When a woman first becomes pregnant, chances are she’s thinking about it a whole lot more than the man is. It’s her body that’s changing, and her hormones, and a man will never know what that’s like. I don’t think men mean to be dismissive of that, but it’s relatively easy when it’s not happening to them. And because our society is so focused on what men deem important, little value is given to the process women go through (mentally as well as physically) while pregnant.

    Therefore, the leap that’s made is: “Women don’t think about important things anymore once they have babies.”

    Honestly, I’m not sure this subject even merits its own discussion though, Uccie. To me it seems like one more item on the list of assumptions that men can make about women which then become conventional wisdom because of their societal privilege . I Blame the Patriarchy, ya know?

    P.S. John, “welcoming” my opinions with the stated goal of defeating them in a public arena hardly lends itself to a productive debate. (See comment #12)

  22. 22

    Annika said,

    There seems to be a belief, held primarily by drive-by commenters, that once a woman becomes pregnant on purpose she cannot possibly think abortion is anything but bad and should be anything but outlawed. Apparently our brains are simply not complex enough and our hearts not large enough to hold dear the child we have made and also hold dear the right to have made that CHOICE. Also, it is apparently not possible to think abortion is an awful thing and still be glad it exists and willing to fight for the right to choose it, even if we don’t want to get one ourselves.

  23. 23

    […] about kid food, and two congrats on the estate thing? If I had any energy left I’d compose an intelligent and thought provoking post on feminism and motherhood, but alas, I stopped thinking six years ago when I got pregnant the first time, and so now my […]

  24. 24

    MonkeyGurrl said,

    Holy moly. I’m gone one day and this is what happens? It took me two sittings to read through (and comprehend) the comments. Wow.

    I’m reminded of my favorite sayings: “you can’t legislate common sense”, and “common sense is not that common”.

    I truly think John is not a troll or means anyone harm, he just vehemently disagrees with you (the royal “you”, meaning you, me, and the preponderance of people that visit this blog). And no matter how well-argued, he will never truly understand your perspective because he is forever fixed in the argument and how it applies *to him*; he has never been, nor is capable of being in a position where choice is an issue. You will never agree to his argument (no matter how well argued) because you have. Which is why this dialogue, despite its innate inability to ever be reconciled, is important, as is our responsibility to never let our daughters, sisters, nieces, and friends forget the importance of vigilance and action.

  25. 25

    dancinpistachio said,

    whoa! i haven’t read the uccie blog in a little while, and now look! so… far… behind. so… much… to say… if i sound less than articulate, it’s bc i’m at work and typing fast…

    has anyone here actually read roe v. wade, beginning to end? i direct that question primarily to johndias but, for the sake of fairness, i’m asking everyone. roe is damn lengthy and complex, and nowhere in Justice Blackmun’s decision, nor in the concurrences or dissents of the other Justices (note that i refer to them as “justices” – to call them “ideologues” unfairly diminishes the significance of what the SC does), does anyone say that the law of the land is now that “abortion is morally acceptable.” the gist of what WAS said is that (1) the constitution protects people against deprivations of life, *liberty*, and property without due process; (2) a woman’s right to reproductive freedom is included in this *liberty* interest; therefore (3) laws limiting abortion are invalid where ever they limit a woman’s right to reproductive freedom *without first providing due process*.

    further, no one was “significantly prevented from legislating on abortion for twenty years,” and i wish i knew where you got that stat, johndias. to the extent that the decision allowed for “abortions on demand,” or that a woman may have an abortion at any time during her pregnancy, without regard to any other concerns, roe has been reinterpreted, narrowed, and implemented in so many different ways that it’s no longer even the guideline for what is or isn’t a legal abortion. that is why organizations like planned parenthood are necessary. because the right to obtain abortions – as with all constitutionally protected rights – MAY be limited so long as due process isn’t offended, some states have had a field day trying to pass laws regulating when, how, and why the procedure may be available (again – no legislation for at least twenty years? wtf?). because these regulations may not actually be in compliance with the constitution, but might still be forced on innocent women, we need people on the frontlines fighting for women’s ability to exercise the rights granted to them under the constitution.

    speaking of “rights” – people in this country do not have an unlimited “right” to “put their moral beliefs into action.” yes, there is a democratic process through which laws are enacted, but any laws passed must still be in compliance with the federal constitution. if the people of New Mexico were to pass a law holding that it’s immoral and illegal for christian women to work outside the home while not extending that prohibition to women of other religions, that law would be struck down because religious discrimination is not permitted under the constitution (i know that’s an absurd law, but i’m just trying to make a point). for the Supreme Court to overturn that law doesn’t make them ideologues – it means they’re doing what they’re supposed to do to make sure that majority rule at the state level doesn’t trample on nationally protected rights. women have a right to reproductive freedom under the *national* constitution that can’t be legislated away because of moral beliefs. therefore, the roe decision did not “take away” the right of the people to decide the issue. it just reminded everyone that they never had any such right in the first place.

  26. 26

    John Dias said,


    I wish I could respond to what you wrote in comment 25, because I know my shit on the subject. But I’m sort of “on restriction.” I’ve been accused of derailing the discussion to be about abortion, when somehow it was supposed to be about Uccellina’s favorite new blog.

    You see, as much as I oppose much of the political ideology which motivates Uccellina to write this blog, I’m totally into this blog. She’s a good writer, doesn’t seem to be a bigot, and (unlike many feminist bloggers) tolerates my rantings to a point. She also takes a break now and then from political subjects and writes about… cats. Which is cool, I guess…

    In any case, I will be glad to refute you, if given the opportunity. Not that you’re interested in being refuted.

  27. 27

    dancinpistachio said,

    you did derail the subject and you’re right – uccellina did say that the abortion debate was over, and for that, i apologize to her. i was a couple days late to the party in reading these comments, so i really wanted to respond.

    i took courses in constitutional law and politics as an undergrad, and just finished law school – while i’d never claim to be a constitutional law expert, i feel like i have a decent idea what i’m talking about as well. also, i never said i wasn’t interested in being refuted, so quit being so combative. i believe you when you say that you love this blog, but you don’t get license to leave needlessly argumentative comments and expect us all to smile and nod because you’re “totally into this blog.” you want to comment, comment, but you hurt your credibility by picking petty fights.

  28. 28

    A said,

    The continuing attempts to have a rational conversation with Dias remind me of a favorite quote: Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig likes it.

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