Monday, June 27, 2022

The Abortion Debate

Procreation is the order of the day. By all appearances, if you listen to the agonized and agonizing public debate about abortion rights, the only sex that counts involves a man and a woman. Not a trans male and a trans woman, but a biological male and a biological female, where procreation is either risked or desired.

It was not too long ago that we had supposedly overcome, not only the gender binary, but the notion that sex and procreation were intimately intertwined. 

You might imagine that all of those young people who were hooking up were engaging in coitus, but, in truth, they had discovered, for having taken sex education in kindergarten, that life offered up a panoply of sexual activities that, we will say, offer foolproof contraception. No one ever got pregnant from having oral sex. The same is incontestably true of gay sex. And dare we mention, no one ever got pregnant or impregnated anyone by watching porn. 

For some reason, as we have reported, people today, for all of their sexual sophistication, are effectively having less sex. So says the science, and we are not going to argue with the science.

Besides, haven’t we all been told that privileging heternormative procreative sex is totally and completely homophobic. It is so obvious that it does not merit mention. Didn’t we all learn in college that the only reason cultures privilege heteronormative coitus is that they are severely bigoted against homosexuality?

And then there is the trans movement. Yes, one understands that a trans male whose female sexual organs have not been neutralized can get pregnant. And that a trans female whose male sexual apparatus still functions can still impregnate a human female. 

But still, if we offer children puberty blocking hormones in elementary school and if we subject them to what is gingerly called gender affirming care, pregnancy will no longer be a major concern. Genital mutilation makes procreation impossible. Moreover, those who have undergone it, and who poison their bodies with opposite sex hormones do not even want to perform any sex act whatever.

Among the more compelling sidelights to this debate is the assumption that men are burning up with desire to commit acts of carnal intercourse with all or most women. The abortion debate is underwritten by the notion that women are irresistible to men. This might not feel like an affirmation, but it certainly counts.

Dare we mention that the debate over abortion mostly, but not always, involves extramarital sexual relations. Of course, it does happen that a married woman will choose to end a pregnancy, but still, her being in a committed and publicly recognized relationship must count for something. 

And yes, rape and incest do matter here, but, the Mississippi law that was just overturned does allow for abortions during the first fifteen weeks of pregnancy.

So, we as a culture have, in the space of a couple of months gone from a condition where a candidate for the Supreme Court could not define the word “woman” to a condition where being a woman seems fundamentally to be based on procreative risk. 

And we have seen the airwaves filled with discussions about the horrors of pregnancy, the horrors of giving birth, the ultimate horrors of having to raise a child. Biology may not be destiny, but it is hardly irrelevant. All of our sanctimonious blather has not repealed reality.

Of course, those who are pro abortion rights seem mostly to be motivated by a sense that a female should be able to walk away from the consequences of an act of coitus just as easily as a man can. To many minds this proves, beyond any doubt, that God is sexist. But still, even if abortion becomes the order of the day, it remains a far more radical solution than what a man can do to avoid responsibility for his actions.

As many women have pointed out, this feels totally and completely and utterly unjust. And yet, it is also built into the biology. And when you fiddle with biology you might find yourself facing some unexpected outcomes.

You might believe that a woman cannot disembarrass herself of the consequences of coitus because of the vagaries of the anatomical difference between the sexes. And yet, didn't they tell us that anatomy merely a social construction, designed by the patriarchy to keep women out of the workplace and off the battlefield?

Anyway, now the states will decide. In my home state, New York, precisely nothing will change. Abortion will still be available, basically on demand. The Mississippi law articulates the standard that is available during the first fifteen weeks of pregnancy. Which happens to be the standard in most civilized countries-- though if you listen to the ravings of the brain dead celebrities who seem always to lead such debates, you would not know it.

Surely, in Mississippi and elsewhere the pro life faction has compromised by allowing abortions in the first fifteen weeks. And yet, the pro choice contingent undermines its case when it insists on abortion up to and including the moment of birth.

In any event, contraception is still available. And those sex acts which count as foolproof contraception will still be on the menu.

At a time when we have supposedly overcome the gender binary and have found a myriad of ways to avoid conception, the sole and defining issue in this intellectual maelstrom involves plain old copulation, the old fashioned kind, with a man and a woman, genitally, without any contraception. Go figure.

The debate over the difference between the sexes, and how much of it can be attributed to biology, will continue to rage.

Heck, some women, short on little gray cells, have suggested that women go on a sex strike, by withholding sex. This means, obviously, withholding a certain kind of sex. Strangely, they are acting as thought one and only sex act that counts and that men are extremely desirous of committing it with them. Is this what the national conversation about sex has become?


Anonymous said...
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Ares Olympus said...

I've been using the phrase "biological sex" more often lately since the word gender now means exactly nothing factually.

I read recently rape may be expanded to include stealthing, men who agree to have sex with a condom, but take it off without telling his partner. Myself, I'd be willing to expand the word stealthing to include lying under oath until you can get a lifetime appointment to inflict your personal opinions on others using arguments from 17th century writings.

Maybe it is best the Left consider Roe vs Wade as a sort of training wheels period that is no longer needed. Abortions performed are at a record low. The pill is widely available for women to avoid pregnancy, so they are less in danger of being "raped" or stealthed and forced to carry her rapist's child and give him visitation rights. And abortion pills are now used in over half of abortions.

And while gas prices are high, surely many South Dakotans probably already drive to Minnesota for better health care, so does it really matter if you're "raped" in South Dakota and your governor thinks you need to carry it to term?

Few are ready to call a woman a murderer, if she takes abortion pills in the few weeks of pregnancy, although Trump has entertained the thought that women need to be punished.

Anyway a 50 state free-for-all is what SCOTUS has demanded of us, and it looks like high midterm voter turnout for Democrats is a gift from Trump that will keep on giving for years to come.

Anonymous said...

Ares, I don't understand what you're saying here: "Anyway a 50 state free-for-all is what SCOTUS has demanded of us, and it looks like high midterm voter turnout for Democrats is a gift from Trump that will keep on giving for years to come."

Ares Olympus said...

Anon, since 2000, Democrat votes have dropped an average of 18M votes midterms from presidential year, while Republicans dropped an average of 13M votes. However in 2018, with hated Trump as president Democrats broke the trend and only dropped 1M votes from 2016. Now Trump is gone, but his 3 justices appointed give the Right a 6-3 advantage in SCOTUS decisions, demonstrating what Hillary said - that a Republican president could get 3 SCOTUS seats and tip the court balance to Republicans for 30 years. Most people doubted a right-wing SCOTUS majority would act purely on partisan basis because that would destroy the illusion that the court is nonpartisan. Now with Roe overturned, thanks to McConnell and Trump, and Alito's boldness, the curtain has been pulled aside, and no one can pretend voting doesn't matter, pretend majorities don't matter. So 2022 looks more like 2018 than 2010 or 2012 midterms under a sleepy Democrat electorate. They see midterms will make the difference, and whatever the weaknesses of the Democrats, the Republicans have proven themselves as completely corrupt machiavellian who see power exists to be grabbed, and any means are allowed to keep it. Rationally we have to accept with Bill Clinton's wise "Its the economy Stupid", Democrats are going to lose the majority 2022, but not by half as much has SCOTUS played it safe and kept Democrats sleepy and apathetic.
US House votes by year
Year Democrats - Republicans
2000 46,582,167 47.1% - 46,992,383 47.6%
*2002 33,795,885 45.2% - 37,332,552 50.0% - midterm R President
2004 52,969,786 46.8% - 55,958,144 49.4%
*2006 42,338,795 52.3% - 35,857,334 44.3% - midterm R President
2008 65,237,840 53.2% - 52,249,491 42.6%
*2010 38,980,192 44.9% - 44,829,751 51.7% - midterm D President
2012 59,645,531 48.8% - 58,283,314 47.7%
*2014 35,624,357 45.5% - 40,081,282 51.2% - midterm D President
2016 61,765,832 48.0% - 63,182,073 49.1%
*2018 60,572,245 53.4% - 50,861,970 44.8% - midterm R President
2020 77,529,619 50.8% - 72,760,036 47.7%
*2022 ?