Friday, April 06, 2012

Perceptive failure at Progressive Bloggers (Updated)

You could say some feathers got ruffled over two members at Progressive Bloggers and their position on this.

You could say that, but you'd be wrong.

The moderators at Progressive Bloggers weren't ruffling feathers. They were spitting in the face of staunch defenders of the inalienable right of women to control their own bodies without interference from the state.

The issue stems from two members of Progressive Bloggers deciding that a "debate" on abortion is somehow a reasonable approach to a "problem". That, quite rightly, got the women at DAMMIT JANET! very, very riled. They again, quite rightly, do not expect, in a forum where contributors are expected to share a sense of progressive views on political and human issues, to be blind-sided in that forum with anti-progressive posts that clearly belong outside that medium.

Two things: 1) The quotation marks above are my way of saying there is neither room for debate nor is there a problem to be debated; 2) The fact that the bloggers at DAMMIT JANET! are women seems to have minimized the weight of the complaint they leveled in relation to the offending posts.

There is no abortion debate in this country. The matter has long been settled. Morgentaler et al v. R and Trembley v. Daigle sealed the hatch on the need for any further discussion.

Those attempting to generate a renewed "debate" on abortion should be viewed exactly for what they really are: religiously-driven nativists bent on exercising dominion over women. No matter how they frame their position, no matter how they word a motion in parliament, no matter that it is presented as an open-minded discussion, it all has one very ugly purpose: the authoritarian domination of women.

It does not matter where things could lead if they get their "debate". They don't get their "debate". Period. 

To allow it or to buy into it is to suggest that there is somehow room for it. There isn't. Not now. Not in the future. The late nineteenth century was not the "good old days".

Women have the same unassailable human rights as every other adult in this country. That includes the same rights as men to make medical decisions in the privacy of a medical office. And neither the state, nor the purveyors of superstition, nor nativist authoritarians get beyond that medical office door.

One might suppose that the moderators at Progressive Bloggers were attempting to appear fair by "allowing" an anti-progressive opinion or two to go unchallenged; something along the lines of everyone having the right to express their opinions. Perhaps the "women" are over-reacting. It's just healthy debate, after all.

No ... it's subjugation. There's nothing healthy about it. The bloggers at DAMMIT JANET! are not over-reacting. What they see, because I see it too, is a dismissal of the desperate situation faced by the women of this country. The rights of women are under assault from within our own parliament and the moderators at Progressive Bloggers are not willing to take their place at the battlements.

They're prepared to allow a "debate".

Over the rights of our fellow citizens.

How "progressive" is that?

The moderators at Progressive Bloggers should hang their collective heads in abject shame. You have let us all down.


I'm sure there are more, but the position taken above is clearly shared by others:

All of them are known for being able to stare down the kid on the mound and knock one over the centre field fence. 

Feel free to add to the list in comments and I'll add them later today. 

And then someone tries to piss me off with an email:
I read the Beav because you guys focus on the tough stuff. Why are you in this pissing match?

This is not a pissing match. This is the tough stuff. This is about never letting down your guard because if you do, this is what happens. Think that can't happen here? Take a look at the lying, cheating, racist, homophobic, anti-woman, science-denying, pack of worthless canaille that have occupied the federal government. 

It's not me; it's you.   


fern hill said...

I do enjoy a well-placed quotation mark -- or two. ;-)

Thanks, Dave.

harebell said...

What would be the reaction from the prog blog crowd if somebody tried to reopen the "debate" on civil rights and equality of races in society? I think I have a good idea about that.
But when it comes to the civil rights of homosexuals and women there seems to be a hell of a lot of equivocating, always in the name of free and open discussion of course.
Either ALL people have a right to decide what they do with their own bodies or we ALL don't.
Because once we decide on arbitrary grounds that some groups do not have that privilege, all it will take is more arbitrary reasons to remove that privilege from all of us.
It's the same with the evil reasoning behind the Wild Rose Party's "Conscience rights" bullshit.

Self righteous prigs looking to force their sanctimonious oppression on others.

Real_PHV_Mentarch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Real_PHV_Mentarch said...

Hear, hear.

In any case - and for what it's worth - I've severed my ties to ProgBloggers, for the same reasons ... including also because of the prevalence of anti-evolution, religious devotee/fundie wankers.

Let there be progressiveness! ;-)

the regina mom said...

When I get back to blogging I will also cut my feed to ProgBlogs. In the meantime, I'm posting this dandy post to Fbook and Twitter.

Scotian said...


Deja vu all over again I see.

All I have to say here is that I am with the ladies of DJ and wholeheartedly agree with everything Dave wrote in this post. Take the brevity to underscore just how strongly I agree and recognize that to do so in my more usual verbose manner would run well over the character limit here (as it did the first couple of times I tried to respond today).

Saskboy said...

Dave, to answer your concern about vote counts changing, (since Fern removed my answer where you asked), I'd said it probably has to do with daily voting, and the counter being changed whenever the 24hours rolls over. @ChrisInOtt would know I think.

Dave said...

Oh well. It's probably moot at this point.

Gia said...

Great post. Boyfriend would agree. Like birth control or premarital sex - they choose to make a non issue that everyone agrees on (bc is good, premartial sex happens) an "issue."

ThinkingManNeil said...

Hear, hear, Dave! Hear, hear! This is how the christofascist crowd operates: drive in the thin edge of the wedge under the guise of democracy. But rights are non-debatable; either you have them innately or you don't, and they are not conferred by king, or state, or church. We have them all, inalienably, by the simple virtue of being human, not from any other source. These misogynistic, addle-brained ratbastards on the right want one thing and one thing only and that is to remove women from the workplace and shackle them again to a chain that runs from the bedroom to the kitchen to the church pew and back again. They're offended and afraid of strong, capable, intelligent, independent women and want, meek, docile, obedient,psalm-singing Stepford Wives. Well, to all those right-wing, bible-thumping assclowns and those who would enable them in some perceived notion of debate for fairness sake I say this is is an issue where yielding any quarter is simply out of the question, a non-starter, case closed.

Christina Montgomery said...

Thanks, Dave. Nice reminder that you win the battle but the war goes on. And you should never turn your back.

Rev.Paperboy said...

Dave, I made it a point not to read this post before writing my own over at the Woodshed, so as not to be swayed by the opinion of someone I deeply respect.
Needless to say, my post is just the longer, more poorly written version of what you lay out here, despite that precaution.

Dave said...

Longer, well written and well done, I'd say.

Orwell's Bastard said...

Can't improve on it, so I linked. What you said.

fern hill said...

Pissing contest/match, eh?

Would that be Gordie? Or is it just a popular way to refer to things women shouldn't worry their purty little heads over?

Maybe they mean it literally. Because I'm betting than just about any man could beat the average woman in a pissing match.

Dave said...

Dunno about that. A woman on her back with no hands has pretty good odds.

Edstock said...

Gordie — what an unctuously slimy piece of work. Compared to most fetus-fetishists, he's somewhat facile, but like 'em all, evasive, when cornered.

Beijing York said...

Thanks for this, Dave. It is an important issue. Anytime the government tries to chip away or take away one's human/civil rights is of grave concern.

DJ and other have been monitoring this issue like hawks because it is important. This is not some kind of contentious issue that deserves debate. It is about a right to physical autonomy for women; we have the right to decide if and when we pursue pregnancy to full term.

To hear so-called progressives even questioning that right just sickens me to the core. To see them duped into following this just leaves me empty.

How can so-called progressive even invest an iota of text in support of this when there are so many other battles to be fought. This is a total betrayal to women in my view.

Gordie Canuk said...

Given that we're all now living in Stephen Harper's Canada I guess I shouldn't be completely surprised by those who wish to demonize and misrepresent who I am and what I am about because of differing opinions over whose rights should take precedence...a woman carrying a child or a fetus so far in its developement it is capable of surviving autonomous of that same mother.

As far as that goes, I'm not going to resort to the typical neo-con style name calling I find myself subject to.

But I would like to clarify a couple of things.

1) I'm not a religious guy, and while I was raised in a church going family I don't consider Jesus to be 'the' son of god or even divine...but I do think the man had some really cool things to say, and some others that were out to lunch quite frankly.

2) I ascribe to evolutionary theory, I do not believe in the story of Genesis or in any other creation myths.


Aunty Bertha said...

Well, gordie,

How about a woman who discovers at 21 weeks pregnant that the fetus she is carrying has no brain from the eyebrows up? The condition is called anencephaly. It is a neural tube defect. Chance of survival is ultimately ZERO, however if carried to term the resulting human being can live anywhere from 3 seconds to 3 weeks (according to my OBGYN).

So gordie, how about you climb your way inside my uterus and tell me what I should I have done. Carry a fetus with ZERO chance of survival to term, or terminate the pregnancy?

Well, it was a decision that required very little consideration. Knowing myself as I do, there was NO WAY I could have gone through the remaining 19 weeks knowing that what was in my body had no chance of survival and still remain sane. As a mother of 3 LIVING children, my duty was to ensure that they did not have to survive a crazy mother.

Although the decision was a no brainer (and yes, a little black humour - I think I'm entitled), it was by no means easy. This was a very much wanted pregnancy that took almost a year to happen - it took so long, we seriously considered giving up.

The fall out:

Delivery of a 21 week old fetus is considered a still birth and you are required to name it. How's that for a nasty surprise after all the heartache of the previous 24 hours (because it was less than 24 hours from finding out to delivery - no D&C under general anaesthetic)

a couple of days later, milk comes in. Great, engorged breasts and no baby to feed. Nobody warned me about this either.

As a still birth, the fetus needs to actually be either buried or cremated - we chose cremation.

Weeks and months of waking up crying

Depression around the anniversary date every year - it's coming up for year number 15.

If I were to get a do-over. I'd do the same fucking thing. In a heart beat.

Now, I'm sure you're curious about my husband's reaction to all this and his part in the decision.

He said EXACTLY the right thing - "It's your body, do what you need to and I will support you 100%"

You will notice there were only 2 people involved in the decision - my doctor and ME.

My right to make decsions over my body and what I will allow to grow inside it are NOT up for debate and are nobody's business but my own.

All my life I've been accused of penis envy, but it seems to me, there is WAY more uterus envy going on.

So gordie, fuck off.

Scotian said...


You miss the point...basic human rights start at control over one's own body for *BOTH* genders, and that TRUMPS your free speech and other considerations, including that of the fetus, because when you argue for the rights of the "pre-born" as some like to call it you are automatically saying that the rights of a woman based solely on a biological reality they had no choice in, suddenly are lesser/inferior to those of a man and therefore must be subordinate in law. You may not see it that way, but your perception and reality are not automatically the same thing.

Look GC, I have no personal love for abortion, it makes me very uncomfortable and always has even when the issue actually was being debated because of the actions and litigations surrounding Morgantaler. However I have ALWAYS been ARDENTLY pro-choice politically because I understand that the most basic human right is that to choose what happens to your own body, and that all other human rights spring from that basic concept/premise. It is not a woman's fault that biology forces them to be 100% the ones that bear the consequences of procreation (while a man has ZERO, remember this is about physical reality not moral reality which is semantically null because it has no simple definition) but it is, so it only follows that women are the only ones to make the choices regarding those consequences in this area because it *IS* their bodies and they *ARE* the ones that pay ALL of the physiological costs that come with procreation. Leaving aside the rest of the elements that favour the argument for it being part of the basic human rights of women that alone is sufficient to see this as a bright line IMHO. Now, to be raising this issue in a time where such rights are clearly under major attack by the NA right wing and especially these days by a majority PM whose view is clearly anti-equality on a lot of fronts not least women smacks not of honest debate on an abstract issue but capitulation to extremism for many including but not limited to progressives (since I would not properly describe myself as one, I am more a centrist moderate with strong social justice values) as the mainstream in our society clearly sees this as a long settled issue and are happy to leave it that way.

You made your bed, and to take the wounded martyr approach now that you have paid the obvious consequences seems not only disingenuous but just odious. Sorry.

Dave said...

Gordie Canuck -

Take a look around. You are not considered an ally in any sense of the word. To make it clear, you are now a target.

No so-called "progressive" would put the inalienable rights held by a an individual up for debate by others.

You want a debate.


Got that?

It's really quite simple.

Now stop before you drop anymore masks.

Dana said...

Stalking horse for the theocons, I tell ya.

Dave said...


Pale said...

Great Aunt Bertha,

Thanks for that. So many who have gone through those terrible times remain silent. With very good reason. The Gordie types. Shaming and all that crap. It's like ripping open a gaping wound isn't it?
And I do know. Yup.

Anyhoo. Do Gordie and his incredibly naive and moronic kindred realize that late term abortion is already very well regulated? Do they realize that if the cons and the religious right had their way then women would also have to suffer through a tragedy like yours, or be subjected to tribunals and the like to make those decisions for us? Like in the US right now?

If they do, they are even scummier than I thought.

Dana said...

Let's have a free and open discussion about forced castration.

Which males should have their testicles removed? When? Should some boys have their testicles removed before they drop? Which ones?

Would it be appropriate if the operation were performed by lesbian females? Why and why not?

Should parents or other family members be forced to be present to observe?

Should males be allowed to have any part in the discussion about male castration?

Should males be allowed to have any part in the decision making process about which males should be castrated?


Male opinions may not be considered.