Monthly Archives: August 2006

Guess who I saw today?

More pictures of the little one here.

Confessions of a Reader

Almost spring.
A spider
Stakes a claim
On a corner
Of the eight-foot window
In our living room.

Each morning
I admire
Taut guidelines,
Carefully placed spokes,
Dancing gown threads,
Architecture unrivalled.

My mother
Would not tolerate
Such slovenly housekeeping.
She would get a broom
And knock down
This errant squatter’s palace.

I do not.

I am waiting for Charlotte
To leave a message.

“Confessions of a Reader”
by Carol Wilcox
[via]

Is there a pro-life movement without God?

[disclaimer: these are just some random thoughts I had after watching the last episode of 30 days. Read and respond with an open mind? I’m not sure where this rethinking of the issue is going to take me, but I’ll post these thoughts anyway.]

This is the question I have after watching the latest installment of 30 Days. As I’ve mentioned before, this episode had a pro-choice activist go live in a crisis pregnancy center/maternity home for a month.*

The whole time I watched the episode, I wanted to see an articulate argument of a Pro-Lifer who didn’t rely (explicitly or implicitly) on religion — but I didn’t see one. Come to think of it, whenever I have discussed this issue with people on the other side, God always seems to come into the equation, as well. Whether it’s issues of a Creator/creation, the formation of a soul, or the threat of punishment from God, there seems to be elements of the supernatural surrounding this particular position. (which, according to your personal perspective, may not necessarily be a bad thing)

But my question remains — is there a pro-life movement without God? Are there any secularists out there who support a pro-life position? I’ve never encountered any.

Can there be a pro-life position without some reference to religion, God, or the supernatural? If so, then what is the rational/practical/ethical foundations for such a movement? I’ve found only a few websites so far that present a secular version of the pro-life stance, but they’re few and far between.

While personally I’m against abortion, pragmatically I know that women need to have the abilities to control when (or if) they become pregnant. This is not to say I advocate abortion as a means of contraception — but I also know there are exceptions, and I think the procedure needs to remain safe and legally available. But as I’ve mentioned before, being pro-choice means more than just advocating for legal abortions. It means giving women control of when they become pregnant, by allowing them access to methods of contraception. I’m always flabbergasted when I read about people who are “morally” opposed to all forms of contraception (for a case in point — read this article).

But back to the 30 days episode. The pro-choice activist on the show held her own for the month she was in the maternity home, and asked some interesting questions that were either unanswered or ignored by her hosts. The point that stuck with me is that many people who hold onto this position don’t realize the practical implications of the ideology they want to enforce.

I understand if you believe life begins at conception, and that all forms of hormonal contraception and abortion need to be outlawed or eradicated (or at least, severely limited) — but how many of those who hold this position are willing to pay money into the social services that will be required to take care of these unplanned, and possibily unwanted babies? What about the educational systems these children will be going into? Raising the incomes for the families to help feed their growing broods? I’ve said this before, but I’m stunned at how quickly a pro-life position can end (for some people) as soon as the baby exits the actual womb.

In the show, the Christian agency that governed the maternity home had a rule of making its residents watch a mandatory video that outlined the evils of abortion (complete with misconstrued information) — but then did not offer any child care or maternity classes for the residents after they had the actual babies. That blew my mind.

But back to my original question, if being pro-life is linked in any way to a spiritual belief, then how can these beliefs be legislated by a government whose job it is to separate church from state? I’m still thinking about this, and how it plays out in the battle back home.

[*While I watched the show, it was interesting to witness the ever-present assumptions about the pro-choice movement rearing their ugly heads (again).

My personal favorite misconception about the pro-choice movement is the notion that if you are pro-choice, you automatically hate or dislike children or the process of pregnancy and its effects. In the show, the minister of the crisis pregnancy ends up remarking how amazed he was that the pro-choice activist could get along so well with the children — and, gasp! the children actually liked her back.

The other assumption, of course, is that being pro-choice automatically means you are pro-abortions. Needless to say, as I watched the show, my blood pressure was raised for a lot of it.]

Preview of the show:

Not much to say

But I’ve got a couple new posts up over at my baby blog — including a poll of whether I’ll have a boy or a grrrl. I’ll know, hopefully, by Thursday.

Click on over and leave a vote. I’m off to run errands and enjoy this last week of summer before classes start.

For the record:

Cruise Weekend is the lamest “festival” our city has to offer. Nothing like watching a bunch of drunk, overcompensating guys trying to show off their rides — well, that’s what happens after dark on 8th Street, anyway.

Yawn.

It also signals the official end of summer. Sigh.

Well done, Sister Suffragette!

So, cast off the shackles of yesterday!
Shoulder to shoulder into the fray!
Our daughters’ daughters will adore us
And they’ll sing in grateful chorus
“Well done! Well done!
Well done Sister Suffragette!”

Happy Women’s Equality Day! If I was around in the early 1900′s, you know I’d be one of the suffragettes.

Joint Resolution of Congress, 1971 — Designating August 26 of each year as Women’s Equality Day

WHEREAS, the women of the United States have been treated as second-class citizens and have not been entitled the full rights and privileges, public or private, legal or institutional, which are available to male citizens of the United States; and

WHEREAS, the women of the United States have united to assure that these rights and privileges are available to all citizens equally regardless of sex; and

WHEREAS, the women of the United States have designated August 26, the anniversary date of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, as symbol of the continued fight for equal rights: and

WHEREAS, the women of United States are to be commended and supported in their organizations and activities,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that August 26th of each year is designated as Women’s Equality Day, and the President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation annually in commemoration of that day in 1920, on which the women of America were first given the right to vote, and that day in 1970, on which a nationwide demonstration for women’s rights took place.

(not that I expect my President to acknowledge this day as any other day than a Saturday)

As a society, we may come a long way since 1920, but there’s still quite some distance left to go in terms of reaching true equality for women — in both the public and private spheres. The important thing is not to fall asleep while our hard-earned rights are taken away.

While there are several critics out there who like to think Feminism is a dead concept (or a taboo label), I’ll proudly identify myself as one — if only out of appreciation for the hard work of the women who have come before me, who worked hard to ensure the rights I have today.

Abba’s last video

Thanks to my mom, I know most of the lyrics/songs included on this video. I’ve got many memories of being a “dancing queen,” lamenting my lack of “money money money.”

Happy Friday!

[via]