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Feminism and Logic: a Primer

Dictionaries and Other Nice Things

At the risk of breaking the second commandment of church speaking (the first being refraining from starting any talk with, “The For the Strength of Youth pamphlet says…”), I’m going to start this post with a definition (I know, I’m sorry!):

Feminism and Logic: a Primer

fem·i·nism
noun

  1. the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

Read it twice. Read it thrice. 

Let’s review. Feminism is decidedly not defined as “supporting women’s choices,” “respecting women,” “elevating women’s causes,” “supporting what women think is right,” or anything like unto it.

If you disagree, then you cannot argue with my position, on principle. Rather, you must support and respect me in my statements because I’m calling the woman card.

Application

Demanding that women be “respected” and “supported” for what they think, say, and do—outside of the specifics of what they think, say, and do—doesn’t help women. It doesn’t show that we are capable or smart or…well…equal. Rather, is proves that we need special accommodations because what we think, say, and do cannot bear the scrutiny of the outside world or the application of logic.

These demands also imply that we believe men—universally and for no other reason than that they exist—are to be granted that same support and respect in all they think, say, and do and feminists are simply expecting equal treatment.

Hogwash.

Stop whining. Start thinking. Win.

{ 36 comments… add one }
  • CDQ January 22, 2015, 5:50 pm

    So you want liberal feminists to be logical?

  • Sandra January 22, 2015, 6:09 pm

    Advocacy of woman’s rights..

    …Sounds like that would include a woman’s right to make decisions about what cause she commits herself to, and the right to speak her mind as much as any other person.

    So I’m disagreeing with you that feminism wouldn’t include that.
    And I’m also allowing you the right to say whatever you’d like about feminism.

    You can respect someone and support them as a human being even if they are wrong or misguided on any given subject, or if you just think they are…

    I don’t know what your point is in this post really. Is it to say that supporting a woman’s cause is a bad thing for a person who calls themselves a feminist (or not?) to do?
    Are we to prescribe for women what they should do in every instance then, because we know what is good and sound for them in every case and will support nothing but the “right” thing for them?
    Which I suppose includes never ever having a nanny?

  • carsonwin January 22, 2015, 9:58 pm

    This is great. Thank you. Will be linking!

  • Tressa January 22, 2015, 11:11 pm

    Don’t know if you’ll see it but RE your comment in the abortion thread on fb:

    1- loved it but won’t “like” it because I’ll be labeled and harassed by all the uber to,errant women there (hack)
    2- these women think three short paragraphs is a lengthy dissertation on abortion (because the depth of their reading is on snap chat memes)
    3- you are brave to stand up to the herd, for people who claim independence, they have none . . . and they are so blind they can’t see it.

  • Alison Moore Smith January 22, 2015, 11:27 pm

    CDQ, it’s the conflation of progressivism and feminism that seems to cause most of the problems!
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  • Alison Moore Smith January 22, 2015, 11:52 pm

    Sandra, I have no problem with a woman “speaking her mind as much as any other person.” I would just hope that we would try to match quality as well as quantity.

    Advocating for a woman to be allowed to commit to causes just as men are allowed to commit to causes (which would be definitional feminism) is not the same as supporting any given cause nor is it the same as respecting any given commitment.

    Women can be just as stupid and foolish as men (because EQUALITY!) and demanding that women be supported and respected without context (or in spite of it) is just dumb (not to mention sexist).

    You can respect someone and support them as a human being even if they are wrong or misguided on any given subject, or if you just think they are…

    I can “respect someone…as a human being”? OK, so I won’t pluck them into pieces into a sink and/or stab scissors in their skulls and suck their brains out when they really, really inconvenience or traumatize me. I can get on board with that, but I don’t think your typical feminist is ready to go along with that, given the pinnacle on which “reproductive rights” sits.

    I can “support them…even if they are wrong or misguided on any given subject”? But why? My neighbor wants to freebase cocaine and then stab her sister. Hmmmm. I think that might be wrong, but…hell…I need to support her anyway because, you know, that made up definition of feminism!

    If you’re talking about anything consequential, then why would you either respect or support bad behavior, harmful decisions, or stupidity? How does that help women?

    Is it to say that supporting a woman’s cause is a bad thing for a person who calls themselves a feminist (or not?) to do?

    It’s a bad thing to (a) support a stupid cause or to (b) demand that women be “supported” without respect for what they are being supported for.

    Are we to prescribe for women what they should do in every instance then, because we know what is good and sound for them in every case and will support nothing but the “right” thing for them?

    We are to prescribe for ourselves the criteria upon which we will choose to support others, rather than be dictated by the feminist masses that we must support women no matter.

    Which I suppose includes never ever having a nanny?

    And this is relevant because…?
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  • Alison Moore Smith January 23, 2015, 12:00 am

    Haha. Did someone complain about the length of the one comment? If they think that’s long on a topic like abortion, that’s sad (but telling, eh?).

    My point was that I won’t be back to go over and over and over how feministy and awesome it is to dismember a baby to make sure you don’t have to bother with it.

    The arguments about how horrific life must necessarily be for these wretched, unwanted babies—so we better preempt their possible future pain by snuffing them out now!—is such mindless and evil drivel, it’s mind-boggling. Why aren’t these women on the streets looking for all the poor and sad and offing them? How can they waste precious time on facebook when they could be protecting all mankind from suffering?

    Anyway, it’s late, but wanted to check in and released the modded comments before bed.
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  • R.D. Hayes January 23, 2015, 12:14 am

    Here is my two sense. I am all for equal rights but, I am not about to say that I can do as much as a man can. I may need help loading that 100 lb whatever and I am not about to say that I can do just as much as a man can; saying this would be just dumb on my part. With this being said, I do believe that we should get fair treatment when it comes to pay grades, employment opportunities, and promotions if we are good enough to fit the bill. I don’t think that people should have to meet a certain quota on hiring a person based on sex or race. I mean, why would you hire a tiny person that can’t lift much to do a job that requires them to do so just so you do get sued later down the road. Everything has two sides to every story though and this can be flipped to say some of the same things about males. I am in the USAR and we are not treated any differently in my unit, than any guy within my unit and it can be brutal but, this is the job I chose so I must accept it.

  • Sandra January 23, 2015, 12:34 am

    Well, I supposed it was relevent, since the post you linked to the end of this post referred to a friend who obviously didn’t love her kids much because they had a nanny. Sorry I bothered to click your link if it was actually irrelevant..
    But you seemed to be implying that nannies are not an option to be supported?

    I don’t know what causes in particular have you so offended to declare all your positions on ways women should not be supported…if it’s your neighbor with her cocaine, by all means, call the police who will equally arrest a woman or a man for possession of such..

    I guess I never met anyone saying “all women’s choices are right and should be fully endorsed simply because they are women”
    Sounds imaginary to me…

    But you’ve got a great argument against that if anyone ever does come along and argue that..

    I do hear feminists saying that feminism isn’t about promoting one way of being a woman over any other way of being a woman…but rather about allowing opportunity not to be disqualified from certain things solely based on the fact of being female.
    I think most folks still expect an earning of position and application of reason and knowledge–just hopefully not an automatic disqualification for being the wrong sex, when in all other ways one is qualified…

  • Tressa January 23, 2015, 1:29 am

    Sandra, feminism is described ALL THE TIME as respecting and supporting women. Your denial of that seems imaginary.

    PS if you read something on a DIFFERENT post, why not comment THERE?

  • CDQ January 23, 2015, 1:41 am

    ***And I’m also allowing you the right to say whatever you’d like about feminism.***

    Sandra, how progressive of you to allow a blog owner to say what she wants on her own blog!

    Assuming that you will also allow ME to say what I want (pretty please?) too, do you notice that in your first comment you defended the ideas refuted in the op and then in your second comment you claimed to have never heard of the same ideas you defended.

  • VagBag January 23, 2015, 2:24 am

    Gaaaawwwwwwwwwwdddddddddd. You don’t even know what feminism is. Your head is stuck so far up you a@@ you can’t even see.

    Instead of thinking your so smart you should be supporting women’s choices. It’s there life not yours!

  • Sandra January 23, 2015, 7:43 am

    Sure, say what you like.
    I don’t see me defending any woman soley for the fact she is a woman. That makes no sense. I just don’t think supporting women is NEVER a part of being a feminist… Or being a plain old kind Human Being.

    I’m confused on what the point is here.

    Are you being forced to support other people’s nannies? Or cocaine habits and abortions? Or is it wrong that people have those choices to make in the first place and you protest to those options? Or are you just upset that anyone could find it acceptable to employ a nanny and don’t support that choice being an acceptable choice?

    Apparently I’m missing some larger thing you are in on with some other blog or something. I’m just not in on it I guess.

    I’m not familiar with your blog here, just came across this post today.. so if it’s part of some other conversation I guess it just really doesn’t make sense as an introduction to a blog I’ve never read before.

    I hope we are at least supporting that women can make their own decisions whether you want to endorse or support those decisions or not.

    If it’s supporting choices you’re against, great, I think everyone has that right…I suppose if you are a mormon as the blog name suggests you do beleive in the agency of all God’s children, and probably support the right of men and women to choose their own choices.

    Supporting women, to me… means supporting that she is a human who will make her own choices and maybe others like yourself don’t know what is best for her or her family and that’s just fine if you wouldn’t choose the same thing.

    So I don’t see the conflict here.

  • Tay January 23, 2015, 10:26 am

    There are too many “-ites” being made and separated out within us as human beings, and within the lds church. I find it upsetting. We should be supporting and gathering, not labeling and separating. We can get along in our differences, it just takes a little humility and love. Posts like these do not help, do not build, do not show a loving attitude. I’m sorry for whatever pain you have felt because of the feelings of others, wherever it originated. Maybe those are feelings you ought to dig deep and deal with soon. Posts like this are hurting, not helping.

  • Alison Moore Smith January 23, 2015, 11:00 am

    it was relevent, since the post you linked to the end of this post referred to a friend who obviously didn’t love her kids much because they had a nanny.

    Gotcha. Except for the non sequitur about love. (To be clear, my friend is the nanny.) I didn’t make a quantifying statement about the parents’ love for the kids, nor did I make a comparison from their love to someone else (“didn’t love her kids as much” as who?).

    Rather, I discussed prioritizing children and the fact that the issue is consequential enough talk about. In other words, throwing out things like your comment in order to…dare I say it…shame people into shutting up is anti-woman, anti-thought, anti-reason.

    But you seemed to be implying that nannies are not an option to be supported?

    No, I didn’t. In fact I explicitly state (you can look if you care to) that there are reasons when a general rules wouldn’t/couldn’t/shouldn’t work. Making a blanket statement about either supporting or not supporting nannies is, once again, the problem. Either supporting or not supporting something consequential OUTSIDE OF THE CONTEXT is abdicating thought and reason.

    I don’t know what causes in particular have you so offended to declare all your positions on ways women should not be supported

    Then let me state this again. The particular cause is the demand that women be supported and respected without the context of WHAT is being supported and respected.

    I guess I never met anyone saying “all women’s choices are right and should be fully endorsed simply because they are women”
    Sounds imaginary to me…

    I’m just a bit startled by this statement. As in what-rock-have-you-been-hiding-under startled. This is everywhere and has been for decades. I recognize that the real demand is only enforced for a particular kind of choice. For example, if I choose to be strongly pro-life I am not supported and if I choose to say that parents should raise their own children I am not respected.

    But the rhetoric has always been abymsally incoherent and has continuously demanded both support and respect, not only without discussion about what is being supported and respected, but while actively stomping out any discussion of those things as anti-woman. (Thus the linked post.)

    That said, I’ll help you out with my “imaginary” claims, with the realization that by doing this I am disrespecting your googling skills (this tiny sampling took me all of three minutes to compile).

    “A major goal of feminism is to support women’s choices, but another that is equally important is to foster societal respect for those choices.” (Waking Sleeping Beauty: Feminist Voices in Children’s Novels, p. 2)

    “feminism is: respecting people of all genders as human beings that deserve to be treated with respect” (urban dictionary)

    “Feminism is a movement which seeks respect and equality for women both under the law and culturally.” (Geek Feminism Wiki)

    “I agree that feminists should support women’s choices, rather than seeking to limit them.” (Senator Penny Wong)

    “…pro-pornography feminists argue that feminism should support women’s choices and sexual autonomy…” (Hollywood on Stage: Playwrights Evaluate the Culture Industry, p. 223)

    “A failure to respect women is, in fact, a failure to respect all humans as equally human.” (National Review)

    Post title: “We Need To Support Women’s Choices” (Thought Catalog)

    “…young feminists must make their voices heard and take action to increase women’s options and support women’s choices on these issues and others.” (Young Feminists Take On the Family)

    “It’s not a shame to demand respect.” [It’s just vapidly irrational.] (Viral Women)

    “Why don’t we try being true feminists and support women’s choices, no matter what they are? I am ashamed that any woman would feel guilt for making the choice she feels is best for her family.” [Because women are too delicate…to…handle…guilt…] (The Careerist)

    “…many good men who are out there — supporting women, respecting women, and working alongside women…” (Hollaback)

    “…safety, respect, equality, self-esteem and an overall sense of happiness have less to do with the policies of the United States than with the basic tenets of humanity.” [Good heavens, this women has no knowledge of history. (And, no, I don’t respect cluelessness.)] (More Hollaback — seriously, you could spend a day browsing this site gathering inane quotes. It’s a freaking gold mine of stupid.)

    Etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

    But you’ve got a great argument against that if anyone ever does come along and argue that..

    Good, so we agree.
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  • Alison Moore Smith January 23, 2015, 11:08 am

    R.D. Hayes, well said. Your caveats are spot on. As cool as female firefighters are, if they can’t life the equipment or carry people down a ladder at the same skill level as men I hope to heaven that I get male firefighters on my call and not the female ones who were accepted on accommodation and quota!

    “…if we are good enough to fit the bill.”

    Exactly. Real equality, not accommodation and support and respect outside of what we actually do!

    USAR = Urban Search and Rescue, correct? Good for you and good for you for not expecting special treatment. THAT is the example I want to show my kids!
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  • Alison Moore Smith January 23, 2015, 1:27 pm

    Sandra, may I point to exhibit #97,492,316.

    …you should be supporting women’s choices.

    Plus grammar!
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  • Alison Moore Smith January 23, 2015, 2:47 pm

    Sandra, I want to thank you for having the courage to post here and to speak your mind. Even though I disagree with you on practically every point 🙂 I appreciate the opportunity to discuss the issues with someone who holds decidedly different views.

    I don’t see me defending any woman soley for the fact she is a woman. That makes no sense.

    So, again, we agree. But please note, this post wasn’t about you. It wasn’t a rebuttal to the Sandra form of feminism. 🙂 It was a rebuttal to a very (perhaps the most) common form of feminism.

    I just don’t think supporting women is NEVER a part of being a feminist… Or being a plain old kind Human Being.

    But Sandra, you have to admit I never said women should never be supported in anything. I said feminism is not defined with such simplistic conditions/demands. (And, in fact, the simplistic conditions/demands are irrational.)

    Are you being forced to support other people’s nannies?

    Actually, yes, I am forced to support other’s child care through the tax code. But that’s not the relevant point here. The point is that within the walls of most feminist rhetoric, I am required to support the choice of any parents to leave their children in the care of others for the majority of their waking hours without consideration for the actual circumstances involved.

    With regard to right of choice, I would never advocate legally preventing most quality child care choices. I would, however, argue morally and ethically for prioritizing children over adult self-fulfillment, freedom, etc.

    Or cocaine habits and abortions?

    Have you heard of this little thing called Obamacare? Yes, we all support drug habits and shredding babies post-conception contraception. (And, yes, much of this predated Obamacare. It’s not new.)

    That said, I’m actually very libertarian leaning. So if we did not have laws that required tax money to spent on, say, hospitalization and rehab and welfare for junkies, then I’d be mostly in favor of legalizing most drugs for adults. If you want to kill off brain cells and make a literal fool of yourself and curl up in a vomitus ball in the street, then I support your right to do it. I do not respect that choice (ah, and there’s where we can actually discuss things with brains and all that) nor do I encourage it. I don’t even support it in any moral/physical sense. But I support your right to make of your life what you will, even if it’s to make it a pile of crap.

    As for supporting the “right” to an abortion (as per our current laws), no. The (sad?) fact of human biology is that women have this uniquely woman thing where they carry other humans inside of them. At this point we aren’t scientifically able to do much to change that, so it’s going to be an inequity in the “sexual rights” movement even if it makes us really mad and even if we get all pissy about it. We feminists like to deal with facts. We need to deal with that one.

    This (sometimes) presents a conflicting value: mom vs. child when the mom doesn’t WANT the child that is necessarily housed inside of her. So when does the mom trump the child? If the mom has to give up her LIFE to allow the baby to have LIFE, then we have an equivalence we can logically discuss. If the mom is sacrificing discomfort, sleep, a measure of physical pain, embarrassment and the baby is sacrificing LIFE, they aren’t equivalent.

    That’s probably better left to an entire post about abortion, but I’ll leave that with one additional thought: when we “support” and/or “respect” a culture that devalues human life to the point that any preference or desire trumps another’s right to LIFE (that foundational, constitutional thing and all), we all pay the price eventually. (And, of course, the babies pay the price immediately.)

    Or is it wrong that people have those choices to make in the first place and you protest to those options?

    Is it wrong to pull a living baby out of the vagina by the feet, hold the head inside (so as to claim STILL FETUS!), stab scissors into it’s skull, suck the brains out to collapse the skull, and then extract the entire body? Yes. It’s wrong. Is it wrong that people have the choice to do this to a baby? Yes, it’s wrong. Hell, yes, it’s wrong.

    I hope we are at least supporting that women can make their own decisions whether you want to endorse or support those decisions or not.

    It’s an interesting parsing you did there from the most common “support women’s choices” to “support that they can make decisions.” That is a meaningful change and not what the post is about. Still doesn’t entirely change the conclusion. No, I do not support that women can make their own decision OUTSIDE OF THE CONTEXT OF WHAT THOSE DECISIONS ARE. (I take the same position on men’s decisions, for the record, so EQUAlITY RULES!) No thinking person should make such a general statement of support.

    Example, compare the following couplets, the first in each example being the OP point, the second your rewording:

    1. Do you support a woman’s choice to have sex with the neighbor’s toddler?
    2. Do you support that a woman can make her own decision to have sex with the neighbor’s toddler?
    1. Do you support a woman’s choice to keep her daughters out of school and put them in domestic servitude?
    2. Do you support that a woman can make her own decision to keep her daughters out of school and put them in domestic servitude?
    1. Do you support a woman’s choice to binge and purge?
    2. Do you support that a woman can make her own decision to binge and purge?

    How would you respond to each of those? How does your notion of agency play into that?

    Supporting women, to me… means supporting that she is a human who will make her own choices and maybe others like yourself don’t know what is best for her or her family and that’s just fine if you wouldn’t choose the same thing.

    This is rather equivocating, but I’ll go with it, even though I disagree that this is the general feminist meaning of “support women.” Here’s my parse of your statement:

    “Supporting women” means:

    • Acknowledging the human-ness of women (agreed) AND
    • Agreeing that women make choices (agreed) AND
    • Agreeing that outsiders may not intimately understand other’s situations (agreed) AND
    • Therefore, the choices made are “just fine.” (Outside of context, obviously no.)

    And thus the wheel turns again. 🙂
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  • Naismith January 23, 2015, 2:54 pm

    I find it interesting that no citation is provided for the definition. Of course other people define feminism differently.

    I’ve been told that I am not a feminist by various people, for various reasons.

  • Sandra January 23, 2015, 11:24 pm

    Ah definitions. I do seem to have a different brand of feminism I carry about with me than this one you describe…and I still haven’t met anyone in real life who says all decisions by women are worth full support and endorsement. Though you and some other commenters seem to know some folks who do maybe? We’ll have to be introduced so I can ask them what that’s like.
    I don’t know how you’re measuring the “most feminists” figure you’ve got worked out… but the whole label seems pretty fuzzy when so many have a different take on it apparently. And I don’t know if there’s any benefit of claiming a better definition than others have if there are no real world benefits in doing so. That would be something else to work out.

    Anyway. For all your scenarios of outrageous and damaging choices a person can make, I do beleive that humans are cabable of making, and do make such decisions, even ones more horrible than those you describe. There are consequences to such choices and
    Of course not everything a woman chooses is “just fine” (which I never claimed..) but it’s still hers to choose and if you have help or information and education to offer someone in a tough situation, then great.. but meanwhile we’re all left trying to make do with what we’ve got so far…

    I didn’t declare these hypothetical women’s choices to be “fine” but that it’s fine that you don’t choose the same.
    Thank goodness for the ability to choose.

    well. Abortion is pretty awful and I hope there are fewer people rushing out to get one than sometimes people make it sound. I’d have to study up on the statistics there. But as far as I understand, it isn’t banning abortions that decreases the rate of abortions.. so it seems that we may be better off leaving it as a safe (I know, only for the mother…I know…it’s tragic, nothing changes that…) and legal procedure while working on the underlying issues which would ever cause a woman to think of abortion as a good option for her… at least you acknowledge a woman in peril of dying is allowed to consider the issue. I think that’s pretty important.

    Anyway.
    Happy weekend.. I don’t have time to take your comments apart section by section the way you do with ming, and also don’t find that necessary. I’m not looking to dismantle or disagree with anything you say. I just found myself genuinely perplexed at what your point was with this post and what you propose to do and who exactly you are talking to with it. But that’s ok. Like you said maybe it’s just not pertinent to my Sandra Feminism. Whateva! 🙂

  • IdRatherNotSay January 24, 2015, 11:25 am

    Oh dear heavens I am laughing so hard I am about to fall off of my chair. Can I respond to Vag Bag? Please?? I mean, I know it isn’t being productive to the OP but I just cannot help myself!

    “VagBag January 23, 2015, 2:24 am

    Gaaaawwwwwwwwwwdddddddddd. You don’t even know what feminism is. Your head is stuck so far up you a@@ you can’t even see.

    Instead of thinking your so smart you should be supporting women’s choices. It’s there life not yours!”

    Corrections:
    1. “Gawd” – correctly is spelled is ‘God’
    2. “A@@” – um, do you mean ‘ass?’ Because ass is not spelled with 3 As
    3. “Your” – should have been spelled ‘you’re’
    4. “There” – should have been spelled ‘their’

    I mean, c’mon. Stop making an “a@@” out of yourself! Hahahahahaha!!!

  • IdRatherNotSay January 24, 2015, 11:36 am

    I’d also like to add my two cents to VagBag’s comment, in all seriousness.

    No, it is not their (women’s) choices. It is not anyone’s right to decide whether another person lives or dies. In my opinion, if you’re doing the deed, you need to accept the responsibilities and consequences that go along with it. Killing another human being because you slipped up is not an option. The baby’s body is the baby’s body, it is not the woman’s body. I hate when people say, “It’s my body.” No, it isn’t your body. It’s inside of your body, but it is another human’s body.

    I do not care if anyone wants to rip me to pieces over that. Right is right and wrong is wrong.

  • Alison Moore Smith January 24, 2015, 12:06 pm

    citation: Oxford American College Dictionary

    You can find the same definition by googling “feminism.” It pops up at the top. Here is the Random House Unabridged Dictionary‘s definition:

    the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.

    I found no definitions that were substantively different with regard to my point. They all focus on balanced rights. None focus on ipso facto supporting/respecting/agreeing with women.

    The thing that’s most baffling to me is that the “equality” part of this definition is known to approximately 100% of claimed feminists, but none of them think men are or should be respected and supported as a general non-contextual rule. In other words, feminists tend to demand INequality.
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  • Alison Moore Smith January 24, 2015, 12:47 pm

    I still haven’t met anyone in real life who says all decisions by women are worth full support and endorsement.

    If you ignore the myriad quotes I cited above—and the tens of thoursands you could search for in about 30 seconds—you can continue to hold on to that position. Go for it!

    …the whole label seems pretty fuzzy when so many have a different take on it apparently.

    Here’s the thing. If you agree with me (which you seem to be arguing now), why wasn’t your response something like this, “I totally agree! I would never support that kind of feminist rhetoric! Fortunately most of the people I know understand this.”?

    And I don’t know if there’s any benefit of claiming a better definition than others have if there are no real world benefits in doing so. That would be something else to work out.

    Sorry, don’t understand your position here. “Claiming a better definition”? I’m actually inserting the real definition into the rhetorical junk pile of feminist demands.

    For all your scenarios of outrageous and damaging choices a person can make, I do beleive that humans are cabable of making, and do make such decisions, even ones more horrible than those you describe.

    Sincerely, it seems you don’t read for content or meaning, but just to refute. The refutation can only work if you’re responding to something I actually said. Otherwise we call that a straw man. Not only do I think humans are “capable of making, and do make such decisions” (um…duh), I explicitly stated so in my response. So what do you think you are refuting? The question has never been: “Can humans make decisions?” it’s whether or not we should be required to “support” and “respect” decisions made by women, without context for what the decisions are.

    You’ve said repeatedly you AGREE with me that we shouldn’t. So what is the argument?

    There are consequences to such choices and Of course not everything a woman chooses is “just fine” (which I never claimed..)

    Yes, you did,within the context of feminist “support of women.”

    Supporting women, to me… means supporting that she is a human who will make her own choices and maybe others like yourself don’t know what is best for her or her family and that’s just fine if you wouldn’t choose the same thing.

    It’s only “just fine” if the choice itself is fine. So, again, if you demand that the feminist position on “supporting women” means that we agree that those different choices are “just fine” out of the context of what the choice is, we do not agree.

    Sandra, you are qualifying your statements more than those in the quotes above, but you still end up at the same place. Supporting means agreeing that women’s various choices are “just fine” WITHOUT CONTEXT FOR THE CHOICE.

    but it’s still hers to choose and if you have help or information and education to offer someone in a tough situation, then great.. but meanwhile we’re all left trying to make do with what we’ve got so far…

    I agree with this completely, except that for you that ellipsis ends with “…and it’s just fine.” It may or may not be fine, depending on the context.

    I didn’t declare these hypothetical women’s choices to be “fine” but that it’s fine that you don’t choose the same.

    It’s only fine if the choice itself is fine.

    Abortion is pretty awful…

    Why do you think it’s awful? I’m infusing nothing here because I don’t know your position, but the typical feminist abortion rhetoric (NARAL, NOW, etc.) is to “keep abortion safe and legal” and, generally, to fight limitations. As NOW says, “We oppose attempts to restrict these rights through legislation, regulation or Constitutional amendment.”

    Sadly most LDS feminists seem to follow blindly along. There was a facebook thread in an LDS feminist group a couple of days ago. There were dozens of responses and when I posted, I believe I was the ONLY person to claim a pro-life position and/or to vary much from the typical rhetoric. I have heard, too, that afterward my position was ridiculed (mostly in an ad hominem way).

    I hope there are fewer people rushing out to get one than sometimes people make it sound.

    Approaching 58 million in US alone since Roe v Wade. Guttmacher’s latest worldwide stats show 43.8 million in 2008 alone.

    Is that fewer than you thought?

    I’d have to study up on the statistics there. But as far as I understand, it isn’t banning abortions that decreases the rate of abortions.

    Here is a chart of US abortions showing two legal shifts in abortion laws. The first in 1970 that involved 15 states and the second nationwide. Exponential increases.

    so it seems that we may be better off leaving it as a safe (I know, only for the mother…I know…it’s tragic, nothing changes that…) and legal procedure while working on the underlying issues which would ever cause a woman to think of abortion as a good option for her… at least you acknowledge a woman in peril of dying is allowed to consider the issue. I think that’s pretty important.

    Thank you for noting the lack of safety for the baby. Note that the best stats I can find show that 2.8% of abortions are performed because of a risk to maternal health.

    I agree that working on the underlying issues is imperative. Unfortunately (given our culture) many of the biggest underlying issues are moral/religious in nature and the feminist movement generally has been contrived in a moral/religious vacuum. We glorify sex anytime/anywhere. We undermine the very idea of values-based expectations.

    IMO given that millions of children are literally being dismembered every year—and that most thinking people agree it’s “tragic,” it’s abhorrent to me that we (collectively) take the position that, “Well, we need to keep it legal because ALLEYS and COAT HANGERS.” 🙁

    Thanks for the discussion, Sandra. I (sincerely!) respect you for taking the time to present your opinions. Part of responsible feminism, I think, is to be aware of the general rhetoric that does not match “our brand” and be clear that we do not, in fact, support and respect those parts. 🙂
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  • Alison Moore Smith January 24, 2015, 12:49 pm

    IdRatherNotSay, I’m not sure if you’re allowed. I think Sandra took control of comment moderation up there a ways. 😉
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  • Alison Moore Smith January 24, 2015, 12:52 pm

    The baby’s body is the baby’s body, it is not the woman’s body.

    Isn’t this the fundamental and scientifically obvious point that makes all the difference?

    I do not care if anyone wants to rip me to pieces over that.

    That’s a morbid pun if ever I heard one! (Probably unintentional…)
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  • Alison Moore Smith January 24, 2015, 1:57 pm

    I had another thought just now on Sandra’s statement:

    Supporting women, to me… means supporting that she is a human who will make her own choices and maybe others like yourself don’t know what is best for her or her family and that’s just fine if you wouldn’t choose the same thing.

    When the Mormon Message You Never Know was published, the Bloggernacle (particularly the feminist Bloggernacle) and LDS social media went absolutely BONKERS castigating the CHOICES of the woman in the video.

    I wrote about my take on it here, You Never Know: Why the Mormon Message Might Not Mean What You Think It Means, only slightly biased because my daughter had a small part in the vid. 🙂 But the bigger point is that there we probably all know women like this, women who serve their fingers to the bone and sacrifice much personal interest in the effort. And yet, there was almost ZERO feminist support of such women making their own decisions. There was almost ZERO, “well, her choice was different than yours and mine, but it’s just fine.”

    Do you see the hypocrisy?
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  • Bonjour January 24, 2015, 2:59 pm

    Will you PLEASE comment on the “trigger warning” and “content warning” stuff? I have a feeling our thoughts are the same, but that you’ll say it better than I can! PLEASE! Before I harm myself!

  • IdRatherNotSay January 24, 2015, 3:16 pm

    I can’t even believe that said fundamentally and scientifically obvious point is even up for debate. I can’t. I mean, really??

    I am sure every argument has been made and that my thought is not original but I think about how very seriously child abuse is taken by pediatricians, teachers, etc. in our society… so it’s not okay to hurt a child who is out of the womb, but it’s fine to go ahead and kill one when it is inside of the womb?? Have we all gone crazy?

    And you are correct. That was an unintentional morbid pun. I feel sick now. LOL

  • Alison Moore Smith January 24, 2015, 5:47 pm

    Wow, you just REALLY want to get me in hot water, don’t you Bonjour!

    Maybe that will be my Saturday night project. 😉
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  • Alison Moore Smith January 24, 2015, 5:54 pm

    Honestly, IdRatherNotSay, yes, I think we have gone crazy. Somedays I think Isaiah 5:20 is well upon us. 🙁

    Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

    I know this scripture can be used to make any given point, but when we use linguistic manipulation to change brutally ravaging a baby’s body and sucking it into a bag in pieces “choice,” or “reproductive rights,” or “women’s health advocacy,” or any of the other crock, I don’t know how we can see that as anything other than calling evil good. It is precisely that.

    When LDS women jump on board it makes me sick and sad.
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  • Alison Moore Smith January 24, 2015, 7:41 pm

    Was just reading on a blog and saw this comment:

    I might be in the minority here, but my brand of feminism is to MMOB. Women are perfectly capable of making choices that suit themselves and I’m not going to sit back and wave my finger at them.

    I couldn’t find a reference for “MMOB.” Perhaps she meant MYOB? In any event, this was ironic given that her comment was, specifically, waving a finger at the post author.

    All of this snarking about what is good or bad… jeez, just relax…I also fail to understand why the choice of one or another has any moral weight like “good” or “bad”.

    Yet she’s snarking to let people know they are wrong for snarking…

    If feminism is (at least partly) about free choice and expression, then be happy for more of it.

    Add another definition to the pile. Feminism is not about “free choice and expression.” Andmore is better. Except, of course, for the free expression of the author and others she disagrees with.
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  • IdRatherNotSay January 25, 2015, 12:03 am

    Sometimes I think some women call themselves feminists so that they feel like they can belong to a club when in reality, they have no clue what they are claiming to believe. Feminism is not some trend like essential oils, ‘Twilight,’ chevron and Anthropologie. I agree with the OP. Feminism is about equality, not being commended for making stupid statements/decisions just because one is a female.

    I am sorry, well, actually I am not sorry, but I cannot even pretend to be tolerant of murder. I will not attempt to be PC and I am highly disappointed in women who can. It is a biological fact that the female body, in general, is designed to create life (in addition to our other functions as individual human beings). How can a giver of life fight for the legal right to murder the very thing she is programed to protect with her own life? I just had my first baby and I’m telling you, if anyone ever lays a finger on her with bad intentions, I’ll end up in prison!!!

    I want to applaud you, Alison, for using your freaking brain and standing for what is right in a group of…. individuals who flunked out of grammar 101! This is why I read your blog. You’re the real deal.

  • IdRatherNotSay January 25, 2015, 12:32 am

    …and not to beat the dead horse or anything but this one just kills me:

    “If feminism is (at least partly) about free choice and expression, then be happy for more of it.”

    The perception and act of free choice (does that really even exist?) and expressing oneself is called “freshman year.” By the way, since when is abortion synonymous with self-expression? Again, no pun intended. :-/

  • Alison Moore Smith January 25, 2015, 1:06 am

    You made my day. Me and my freaking brain both. 🙂
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  • Dorothy January 29, 2015, 9:29 am

    Good post! Just saw this linked at the fmh fb page. Get ready for a firestorm. They don’t like being challenged and the don’t like dictionaries. They only like things that support their ideologies, which is pretty much the proof of your pudding, isn’t it?

    I like the fmh blog most of the time, but the fb group is mostly filled with “angry women with nothing better to do.” (I don’t even know why the discussion showed up in my feed. I thought I unfollowed it because it’s so embarrassingly stupid.)

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