I’m sorry, everyone.
I’m sorry Chris Trotter likes to wax lyrical, pretending not to know what people are talking about when they’ve taken the time and energy to provide all the relevant links to his own previous sexist whinging.
I’m sorry Chris Trotter has so little respect for women he thinks we can’t concentrate on more than one issue at a time.
I’m sorry Chris Trotter is so defensive about being called on his and the “mainstream” Left’s misogyny that he has to ironically apply a “you’re either
Nexus with us or against us” strawman on feminists.
I’m sorry if any of you sustained abdominal injuries while cackling* at Chris Trotter of all people calling someone else a “bully”.
I’m sorry if anyone had to waste 5 minutes on Google to reassure themselves that Chris Trotter has no idea what he’s talking about in regards to the US antichoice movement, which has been incremental and smouldering and very subtly engineered for the most part.
I’m sorry that my heretofore mild tone is about to be cast aside in favour of my usual “expletives-included” style.
Because fuck you, Chris Trotter. Fuck you for using vulnerable solo mothers as a fucking weapon against a feminist who actually gives a fuck about helping women take charge of their bodies and doesn’t cast them aside once they’re no longer useful. Fuck you for trying to turn NZ feminists against each other and using a woman public figure, very thinly veiled, as another weapon. Fuck you for fucking implying with scare quotes that that woman was somehow being dishonest in describing herself as a mother.
And fuck you, you pathetic, outmoded hack, for trying to say “that’s politics” as though you have a single fucking clue how to get the left back into power in this country. Let me know when that brilliant racebaiting manoeuvre from fucking 2009 starts paying off, mmkay?
But thank you, too, Chris. Thank you for continuing to demonstrate your utter irrelevancy. Thank you for proving for me (as though it needed to be proven) that feminists cannot assume the left are allies (hey Marty G, if you’re reading this, remind me why you were surprised my post was less than flattering of Labour?).
Thank you for the hilarity of the fact that you have no fucking sense of history, when you try to say that the people who stood up and made noise never achieved anything. I’ll remind every civil rights activist ever, shall I? Guess they should’ve just got up and asked quietly from the back of the bus if they could be treated like full, worthy human beings, etc.
You’re not scary, Chris. You’re not intimidating. You haven’t put me in my place. You’ve just made my entire argument for me. And I thank you for that.
[TW: ableism and ableist language used with vicious sarcasm]
Oh, who would’ve fucking guessed it: it’s actually complete and utter bullshit to assume that violent people are mentally ill or that people with mental illness are more likely to be violent.
Or, just in case this isn’t clear, it is simply impossible to watch someone’s YouTube channel and psychically diagnose them with paranoid schizophrenia.
I assure you, dear readers, I am wearing my shocked face right now.
Rather than looking at individual cases, or even single studies, Fazel’s team analyzed all the scientific findings they could find. As a result, they can say with confidence that psychiatric diagnoses tell us next to nothing about someone’s propensity or motive for violence.
But you know what? This is a lot like an issue which comes up in fat acceptance when people are discussing studies showing this or that.
It actually doesn’t fucking matter.
It’s not actually fucking relevant, because even if there were a clear connection (just to repeat for all the douchebags clinging to stereotypes to justify their douchebaggery, there isn’t) you would still be a gigantic asshat to make assumptions about people’s mental health based on their actions and your prejudices about how humans are meant to act.
For those who are still refusing to get it:
You do not get to make the call about someone else’s mental state unless you are that person, or their duly appointed medical practitioner.
You do not get to assume that “only a craaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy person” would do xyz.
You do not get to whinge that “it’s obvious” and at the same time pretend that you’re using words like “insane”, “craaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy” and “nuts” in some kind of Totally Nonjudgemental Clinical Way, especially when you are operating in a linguistic culture that frequently uses those words in entirely non-clinical ways.
Right now you may think that this is just some over-sensitive crap from someone with obvious triggers around mental illness, and you, Marty G, may somehow sincerely believe that that statement is not in of itself buying into prejudice around mental health, is not full of nasty little implications*, is not inherently gendered.
You’re fucking kidding yourself, dude.
You also, Scott, don’t get to say “maybe this guy did this thing in a vacuum because he’s insane.” Guess what, folks? People with mental illness strangely have this thing where they still live in our society, they still receive societal messages about things, and they still get influenced by “normal” stuff just like you.
You don’t get to imply that none of the prevalent language of violence and hatred and freaking gunsights over people’s homes might just all be nothing to talk about because hey, we all know that mentally ill people just randomly shoot people because they’re craaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy. And somehow this isn’t you buying into demeaning stereotypes?
Could someone please explain that one to me again, and try not to just repeat “But I watched his YouTube channel and he’s clearly craaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy” because I’m just not sure how that’s meant to be any kind of argument against you being a judgemental asshole with no qualifications to make that call basing your opinions on ableist stereotypes.
Less-ranting related reading: Discussion of an assassination: ableism & the failure of sociological understanding, just in case my obvious triggers and oversensitivity totally harsh my cred.
*I do just want to deal with this one directly; Marty, you see, just thinks I “have strong reactions over anything to do with mental illness and [he doesn’t] know or care what the root cause of that is“. Fuck off, Marty. If I say “Marty obviously has some issues dealing with stroppy women who won’t fellate his intellect” I’m not going to whinge that I’m totally not calling you a sexist pig, I’m just, you know, observing a pattern of behaviour and I don’t care what the reason is! Your implication is obvious. Have the fucking spine to own your assumptions when it’s someone you [vaguely, internet] know and not just the Progressive Bigotry-Scapegoat of the Week.
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.
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:
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.
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.
**And speaking for myself, I Google “abortion” pictures for shits and giggles. QUICK, SOMEONE FIND A REALLY SHINY NICKEL FOR SIZE COMPARISON.