Abortion reform: all about destroying The Left

I was alerted by the watchful Pascal’s Bookie that it was all well and good to have a giggle about Deborah Coddington’s continuing bizarre fixation with trying to convince us she’s silenced and oppressed through her personal column in the Herald, but I may have woken a terrifying, moustachioed dragon which was bearing down to let me know that women’s issues don’t mean shit.

Again.

My three regular readers may recall my post on identity politics, in which I was a touch critical of Chris Trotter and another white male “leftist” whinging about how all this talk about non-white non-straight non-males having rights and shit was getting in the way of … what was it?

connecting with things that matter to people and making politics work for people

Oh yeah.  For “people” you can feel free to read “privileged motherfuckers”.

I encourage y’all to read that post, not simply to boost my readership numbers but also because it pretty much provides all the context you need to give Trotter’s “critique” of Chadwick’s abortion bill proposal some serious eyebrow-raise.

I mean, let’s start with the headline – which I would totally give the benefit of the doubt as being the work of an even-less-impartial-than-most subeditor if it weren’t, you know, a quote from the article.

Are 18,382 abortions in a single year not enough?

Seriously?  At the risk of expecting you to exhibit some basic fucking empathy, Chris, you know how many abortions would be “enough”? As many as pregnant women choose to get.  As many as are needed, by living, breathing, thinking human beings whose bodies are their own to control.

I’m probably getting ahead of myself.

See, Chris has a question for Steve Chadwick:

“Why now?”

It’s probably a fair enough question, if Chris’ intentions weren’t kinda really, really obvious.

Because, try as I may, I’m finding it really difficult to make the cost/benefit analysis come out in Ms Chadwick’s, her party’s, or even her gender’s favour.

The prioritization is so ridiculously classic Leftist Chauvinist that I’m not sure it’s not satirical.  Self-interest, The Great Left, and then, maybe, some tiny wee gender bonus.

I mean, I can’t see how the bill could possibly benefit Steve Chadwick.

Oh, except that warm tingly feeling we humans get from doing the right thing.

And I simply cannot understand what it could do for women.

Besides, you know, treating them like human beings deserving of autonomy, allowing them to make their own choices about their fertility, and removing a whole bunch of paternalistic red tape from a basic legal medical procedure.  And if the bill doesn’t pass? Oh, it’ll still only force people to have an open discussion about these issues, and only reveal the misogynist spucwits* in our Parliament and society for who they are behind mealy-mouthed talk of “family values” and  “respect your freedom but will actively try to take it away from you”.

But what will it do to The Left?  I think it’s safe to say that’s what’s really worrying Chris.  After all, he’s the one who’s stated that “abandoning the failed, identity-driven politics of the past 30 years” is an absolutely necessary step towards Labour’s “rehabilitation – and re-election”.

Because caring that gay people can have their relationships acknowledged and that men can’t legally rape their wives … well, that was just a drunken bender, a lapse of judgement, a crime on the part of Labour/The Left.

Charming.

Trotter then mumbles something about “What’s sauce for the ideological goose must also be sauce for the ideological gander” which seems to imply that fighting the abortion fight on the basis of ideology is somehow a bad thing for the prochoice side.

I’m pretty sure it also helps that our ideology is backed up by logic and shit.

I simply cannot see what difference – in practical terms – changing the present legislation would make.

Cliff Notes: Chris = male.

I would go off on a massive “let’s make one of YOUR rights contingent on being labelled mentally unstable” rant, but seriously, y’all, SERIOUSLY:

Has the existing legislation created an unfulfilled demand for abortion which her proposed bill seeks to satisfy? That seems unlikely, in light of New Zealand’s undoubted competitiveness in the international abortion stakes.

1.  I love love LOVE it when people ask vague rhetorical questions which they think back up their argument … and don’t actually bother to try to answer the question.  Because that might be inconvenient.

2.  “Competitiveness”?  FUCKING HELL CHRIS, THERE’S NO PRIZE FOR CONSISTENCY IN VIEWING THE WORLD THROUGH ABSURDLY MASCULINE TERMS.

And here’s the main thing wrong with every single thing Chris Trotter says: if it were about a minimum wage or annual leave rights, he would be spitting at these exact arguments.  Oh well, in comparison to the States we have massively strong worker protections.  Guess we don’t need to fight for guaranteed redundancy payments, right?

Still, Chris has a point:  we’re well ahead of countries where abortion on demand is legal.  Because of course the only consequence of increasing access in principle to abortion is an increase in abortions.  And having abortion on demand couldn’t ever possibly be an indicator of more liberal attitudes to sex and contraception which result in fewer unplanned and unwanted pregnancies.  And no one drank during the Prohibition, either, and the only reason for lifting laws against alcohol must be to help people drink more.

Shit, it’s hard to headdesk while typing.

Does Chris get better? You bet.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve no desire to make it more difficult for New Zealand women to access abortion.

DON’T GET HIM WRONG, GUYS, HE TOTES THINKS CHICKS ARE COOL.  I bet he loves women.  I mean, his mum’s probably a woman.

Protip from an amateur to a “pro”:  if you really don’t have a problem with something, you probably shouldn’t run a headline of “IS THIS THING HAPPENING TOO MUCH?” and then only explain that you totes support it … ten paragraphs in.  I mean, assuming you want to communicate your point clearly.  Assuming you have a point.

But Chris has concerns, you see.

But there were hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who did not agree with me – decent, well- meaning people who could not get past the fact that something human always dies when an abortion is performed.

Decent, well-meaning people.  You can probably insert the word “male” in there somewhere…

Their passionate contention was, and remains, that there is more than one individual involved in the decision to terminate a pregnancy, and that every person is morally obligated to speak up for those who have yet to attain a voice.

I’ve figured it out.

Chris Trotter is really, really oblivious.

Chris, their “passionate contention” is that a foetus trumps a woman.

That is all.

It is not about “life” and it is not about “moral obligation”.

It is about using The Sacred Unborn to control women’s lives.

You know how I know this?  Because no human being, living, breathing, or otherwise, actually has a “right” that allows them to commandeer another human being’s body.  Not even to survive.

And you know what happens when you point this out, Chris?

Do you know what the next line is?

It’s, “well you should have thought of that before you had sex.”

Fuck “passionate concern” and fuck “moral obligation”, Chris.  It’s about women having sex and being punished for it through biological slavery.

Of course, what would I know?  I’m just a silly wee feminist in utter denial about reality – right, Chris?

This is the “icky” factor that Ms Chadwick’s feminist supporters urge their sisters to ignore. It simply does not help to think too much about the messy mechanics of the abortion procedure itself – let alone what it destroys.

It destroys an undeveloped organism that is occupying a human being against her will.  And even if you call it a baby, even if you say “look! blood!”** and even if you use the word “potential” till the cows come home … you know what’s “icky”?  Forced pregnancy.

Hence why in my post on the enemy, I expressed a sentiment which seems to have annoyed Comrade Chris:

In the words of one blogger calling herself the Queen of Thorns: “Dear anti-choicers: go get yourself a f**king tapeworm already and sit down to a marathon of the Alien quadrilogy and then whinge to me about ‘it’s no big deal, just wait X months’.”

I think Chris intends for me to be hurt by the dismissiveness of “calling herself Queen of Thorns”, but come on; it’s not exactly likely to be my given name, is it?

Chris has no response to my point;  I think he was just going for some kind of “OOH! She said a naughty word and Is No Lady” vibe, because after all:

With friends like this, Ms Chadwick has no need of enemies. But enemies she will have if this is the tone of those who carry her spears. And it is here that my misgivings are at their greatest.

Tone argument concern trolling.  Two of the key ingredients in a Threatened White Male cocktail.  Shit, people, I might put people off by saying fuck!  I might be sinking the HMS Pro-Choice as we speak by being uncouth!  I’m letting the side down!  Chris is really worried, honest!

Do you want to know why I’m angry and ranty and full of cussing, Chris?  Because misogynists are denying me autonomy.  Because the law treats me like I’m too flighty and irrational to make legal medical decisions.  Because fuckwits like YOU are fucking running interference for God-bothering fundy wankstains and letting me know loud and clear that yet again The Great Left is no fucking ally to those whose oppression doesn’t affect straight white “working-class” man.

~~~

*Thanks, toad.

**And speaking for myself, I Google “abortion” pictures for shits and giggles.  QUICK, SOMEONE FIND A REALLY SHINY NICKEL FOR SIZE COMPARISON.

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26 comments

  1. Boganette

    Spot on. His column was ridiculous.

    Particularly the “I simply cannot see what difference – in practical terms – changing the present legislation would make.” bullshit: He doesn’t see the point in changing the law because he’ll never need an abortion.

    He’s a prize fuckwit – and he can quote me on that if he wants.

    Oh and the anti-choice comments on the column are more moronic than usual. I mean does every anti-choice hick have a cousin/mum/aunty/brother who was born at 21 weeks? How convenient.

  2. QoT

    What is it about some people that they think claiming a ~personal connection~ gives their argument more weight? See also: everyone knows a welfare queen, everyone knows a man whose Evil Ex is screwing him for child support, everyone knows a horrible slut who thinks abortions tickle. And it’s always completely irrelevant to the argument anyway!

  3. Amanda

    Thanks QoT. I could barely marshall my thoughts into something coherent, glad you replied quickly and decisively!

    Everytime I read something like Trotter’s argument, I keep hearing something like “I don’t hate women! I love (to fuck) them!”

  4. QoT

    Thanks Amanda. Decisive is what I do! Quick is a product of trying to vent rage efficiently (and before ANTM starts).

  5. Robyn E. Kenealy

    Chris Trotter’s whole schtick gives me flashbacks to being interviewed by a scary nun while I was waiting for a pregnancy test this one time. It was negative, but I don’t like to think what would have happened if it was positive. I’m pretty sure I could have been guilted into a very, very unwanted pregnancy, because, as a lapsed Catholic, the presence of nun + the fact that I was already committing a sin by having pre-marital sex would have rendered me unable to pretend to me mentally unfit (as opposed to, say, making a sane and legitimate choice.)

    I mean, seriously. What the fuck IS the left if it’s not about fighting against established privilege?

    Anyway, carry on.

  6. Maia

    This was fantastic. I read Chris Trotter’s article this morning, and have been fuming about it all day. As Mark Thomas said: “Remarkably Daily Express hits all time low, almost against the laws of physics”

  7. Tidge

    urgh. i think what chris meant to say was “with friends like me, the left does’t need enemies.”
    thank you for this post.

  8. Trouble

    QoT, I think I love you. I need a bumper sticker that says “Tapeworms are alive too.” I wish I knew how many hearts they have, so I could say “Tapeworm medication stops five beating hearts” or suchlike.

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  10. archiesfrog

    Here from the handmirror, and so pleased to see this – I’ve been fuming since I read Trotter’s article, and reading such clear, cogent and entertaining rebuttle is a delight – swear words and all!

  11. Da5id

    That must be some of the most self-righteous, pompous drivel I’ve ever seen someone write.

    To summarize, what you’ve said here is ‘ME, ME, ME – it’s all about what I want, and fuck you if you don’t agree with me killing my baby’. This may come as a shock to you, but not all women think the same way you do. Are they all misogynists as well?

    I think even feminists would disassociate themselves from you and be shocked by your saying that viewing pictures of aborted babies gives you “shits and giggles”.

    If that’s what you really think, it’s not just extreme, I think it’s something you need psychiatric help for. No normal person would say such a thing.
    [QoT: Da5id, I commend your psychic powers of diagnosis. Now read the post again since it, um, kinda covered all your “objections”.]

    • nikki

      Well actually yeah, I do happen to think that anti-choice women are misogynistic. Do I really have to say “if you don’t want an abortion then don’t have one!”? Because I thought you would have got that by now.

  12. RedLogix

    Sad how many folk have confused ‘autonomy’ with ‘I can do whatever I like’.
    [QoT: Thanks for the vague critique, RL! Feel free to actually make a point whenever you like.]

  13. Pro-choice

    “I think even feminists would disassociate themselves from you and be shocked by your saying that viewing pictures of aborted babies gives you “shits and giggles”.” – Ha! Way to miss the point dumbass.

    And I really love how this little guy is saying ‘not all women’ etc while talking about what he thinks about all women and what their rights should be. I just sure do love it when men speak for me.

    And Red – You can do whatever you like. How come my vagina stops me from being able to do whatever I like?

  14. ZenTiger

    And Red – You can do whatever you like. How come my vagina stops me from being able to do whatever I like?

    Well, actually, Red can’t go around killing people without expecting some-one to complain.

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  16. Mindy

    So abortion is murder, but when an unborn child is killed in say a car accident the driver at fault isn’t charged with murder, even if they were drunk while driving, because apparently in that case the foetus is not ‘human’ enough to count. How does that work?

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  18. Helen

    I find this

    What ill-omened denizen of the current political environment has told her that this is the moment to introduce a members bill permitting abortion-on-demand up to the 24th week of pregnancy?

    I would really, really like to know who it was.

    quite creepy. “Their names!! Take their names!!!”

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