Thursday, August 30, 2007

Take Action Friday

Urge your Senators to pass the Gulf Coast Housing Recovery Act of 2007 and bring Katrina survivors home.

Appear at a Dream for Darfur Olympic Torch Relay to show China that they must divest from Sudan.

Call your local pharmacy and ask if they supply Plan B.

Remind Bush that the genocide in Darfur is still "on his watch." That can be a birthday present to me: Save Darfur.Org is hoping for 100,000 signatures by September 18.

Support the Broadband Data Improvement Act. Quicker Internet connections means quicker access to your favorite activist websites and blogs.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What's Up with Women's Healthcare in Japan?

A pregnant woman on her way to a hospital miscarried after the ambulance crashed outside of Osaka. That might not be a reflection on access to prenatal care in Japan, but the fact that she was en route to a 10th hospital is. The previous 9 hospitals turned her down, saying they were full and couldn't care for her.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Since I've Been Gone

I've been gone for a while so I haven't been able to update. So here I am catching up on anything you and I have missed this week.

Yesterday, August 26, marked the 87th anniversary of women getting the right to vote. Some assholes think women should have been satisfied for the past 87 years because, according to them, voting equals equality. Oh, really? Here are some things we still need to remember while we continue to fight for equality.

August 24 marked the first full year of over (or behind) -the-counter access of Emergency Contraception for adult women. But there is plenty that needs to be done, as seen in this new report by NOW.

And speaking of anniversaries, I missed my anniversary of joining Megan here at Feminists to the Rescue. My first post here was on August 13, 2006. Memories . . . :)

And now to what I really wanted to talk about.

Every barista at a Washington coffee shop, Lola Bean Espresso, have quit because their boss imposed a new "skimpier" dress code. "Military Monday, Cowgirl Tuesday, Bikini Wednesday, Schoolgirl Thursday and Fantasy Friday" says it all. There are so many things wrong with this setup. Military Monday sexualizes dropping bombs on civilians, enslaving children, raping women, and all the other sad realities of war that are not at all sexy. Schoolgirl Thursday isn't a far cry from pedophilia. Cowgirl Tuesday shows us that anything can be perceived as sexy as long as a woman does it, even if it's shoveling manure. Leave the cowhands alone, damn it. They're just doing their job! And I don't even want to know what Fantasy Friday means. *shudders* But the saddest part of it all is that one barista says she will be unable to pay her mortgage now that she has had to quit her job. The boss of Lola Bean Espresso says he was surprised that every one of his workers quit, but he is hiring new ones who are willing to conform to the new dress code.

Some may say that if the women who quit were more like the women who will take their places, then they wouldn't have to worry about not paying the bills. I say it's the fault of miogynistic bosses who are out to make an extra buck on the backs (or busts) of their workers.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Thursday, August 23, 2007

More On Why I Hate Catchy Little Lists. . .

This is why I hate catchy little lists.

Here we go again.

Mistake #10: Thinking That Your Great Date Actually Meant Something
Have you ever had a man say how much he likes you, how sexy you are, and how he's serious about finding a long-term relationship? Ever have an amazing date where the chemistry was great, the conversation flowed, and you hooked up with him afterwards?
Have you ever had a man do all of these things and then NOT call?
No, you're not crazy or delusional. Your mistake is thinking that what a man says on a date actually means something. It doesn't. It means he's being in the moment. So don't put too much weight on a great date. The only way you can tell how a man REALLY feels about you is by how quickly he follows up for another date.
In short, ladies, your mistake in is expecting men to follow up on their word. Your mistake is to expect more out of men than what they normally give you as a second-class citizen. That's your mistake, not theirs.

Mistake #9: Ignoring Your Own Intuition
How many times have you been across a table from some guy, wishing that you'd rather be anywhere else on earth? How many times have you felt deceived, angered, manipulated, or just plain turned off by the man in front of you?
Now, how many times have you considered that it was actually your fault that he was sitting there?
I'm not blaming you. I've been there myself. But the common denominator in all your bad dates is not the awful men themselves, but YOU. If you find yourself losing hope that there are any great guys out there, do yourself a favor and only go out with men who truly interest you. Instead of meeting total strangers, filter out men by email and phone. This strategy will prevent most bad dates before they happen.
I'm not blaming you, I'm just telling you that the fact that the men you find yourself on dates with are all douchebags is entirely your fault.

Mistake #8: Waiting for Men to Write You First
Have you ever sat in front of your computer, reading emails from losers, and asked yourself why the winners never write to you? You look at your favorites list and wish you could say hi to them, but you know better. It's tradition: men approach women. And you wouldn't want to come across as desperate. After all, what guy wants a woman who's so needy that she has to write to him first?
Actually, all men do. We love it. If you have a good photo, an original profile and you write a confident email, most guys will drop everything they're doing to talk to you.
If you don't have a good photo, however, you're out of luck. Okay, so I have to say that this one isn't that bad.

Mistake #7: Expecting Him to Tell the Truth in His Profile
You don't like to be lied to. Nobody does. And once you've gone out with a man who claimed to be 5'9" but is really 5'5", it's hard to keep dating. But haven't you ever done the same thing? The typical woman exaggerates her height by one inch and lowers her weight by 20 pounds. And it's not just a coincidence that the most popular ages for women on dating sites are 29, 39, 44 and 49.
You want to be given a chance. You don't want to be judged before you meet. And you're insecure that telling the truth won't get you in the door against younger, thinner women. So if there are good reasons why an honest woman might be tempted to misrepresent herself, wouldn't it make sense that an honest man might be tempted to do the same thing?
Expecting men to tell the truth is. . .a. . .mistake. So, when the next guy tells me he's NOT a serial rapist, it's okay if I kick him in the balls and call the cops because I'm supposed to assume he's lying, right?

Mistake #6: Thinking You're Now Dating the Man You've Met Online
Have you ever gone on an amazing date and saw that he was online right afterwards? Have you ever emailed a man who seemed interested then suddenly disappeared? Have you ever gotten intimate with a man who never called again?
You're not alone. All of these things are common in the world of online dating. So instead of taking it as a personal rejection each time a man comes and goes, take a step back. Think of all the guys who have written to you that you weren't interested in. Imagine all of them taking it personally. It's ridiculous.
It's easy to forget how many choices men have. It's easy to forget how many other women they're contacting. And if you think that you're exclusive with every new guy that gets you excited, you're in for a lot of disappointment.
So don't be upset when he hits it and quits it. Because, you know, writing to someone and fucking them are the exact same thing and require the same amount of effort and interest. That's why my marginalization of your pain is okay, lolz!

Mistake #5: Meeting for a Coffee Date to Save Time
Have you ever spent a month getting to know someone online and discovered on the date that they were a real-life dud? I have. I remember vowing not to waste that kind of time on a stranger ever again. You probably did, too. You probably started meeting guys right away to make sure that you had that "in-person chemistry." And at some point, on your tenth (or twentieth) bad date, you probably asked yourself, "Why do I even bother?"Online dating is NOT about meeting men as quickly as possible. Moving quickly means there is no screening. There is no getting-to-know-you process. You might as well have cute men at a bar pick a number to meet you. The ONLY way to enjoy online dating is by going out with fewer men. It's far better to go on one comfortable date on a Friday night than five blind coffee dates during the week.
That way you'll only be lied to, manipulated, and fucked around by one guy, not five.

Mistake #4: Expecting That You'll Succeed Online Because You're a Catch
You're sweet. You're fun. You're attractive. You have no trouble meeting men in real life. You figure that with all your good qualities, online dating should be a piece of cake. Except that's not how it's worked out. The only guys contacting you look like they've been let out of jail or a retirement home. There have to be better men out there. Then how come they aren't writing?
Simple. Any man who you think is a great catch has hundreds of options. And when a guy has that many choices, he's often going to search for younger women. Why? Because he can. So forget these guys and their unrealistic Playboy fantasies. Mr. Right is the man who wants YOU. Focus your attentions on the men who are searching for you, instead of the ones who aren't, and you'll have far greater success.
"Great catches" treat women like shit. So go out and get the guy who's been let out of jail. I'm sure he won't treat you like shit! Oh. . .wait. . .

Mistake #3: Trying to Stop the "Wrong" Men From Writing to You
Have you ever had a profile that just seemed to attract all the wrong men? You want a man who is attractive, successful and honest, and all you get are ugly unemployed guys who lie about their height. So, to stop them from wasting your time, you decide to spell it out in your profile: "If you're over the age of 50, live in another state, or have a substance abuse problem, don't even bother writing". And yet they STILL keep on contacting you! What can you possibly do to stop these annoying men who can't read?
Nothing. Ignore them. But don't try to stop them. After all, if you have any standards, most of your emails are going to be from the "wrong" guys. That's okay. They're allowed to write to you. And you're allowed to delete their email. As a quality woman, you're going to get all sorts of men who are interested in you. Your job isn't to scare away the bad guys, it's to attract the good ones. And profiles with negative warnings to the "wrong" men only make YOU sound bad.
Um, why? Why does not wanting creepy men to contact you make you sound bad? Do men say "Oh my gosh, a woman with self-respect! Oh noes, my cock is falling off"?

Mistake #2: Signing Up for a One-Month Subscription
Even though you know how difficult it is to find a soul mate, you signed up for a one-month subscription on a dating site. One month! You're going to fall in love before you get your next phone bill! Clearly, you've created an unrealistic timetable. So while you may not want to date online forever, you're shortchanging yourself if you act as if you have only 30 days to find a husband.
Remind yourself why you started dating online -- it's hard to meet people in real life.And quitting is not an option.
Oh my goodness, now we have to marry the guy who just got out of jail, too.

Mistake #1: Searching for the Right Dating Site
If a girlfriend told you that her biggest problem in losing weight was that she couldn't find the right gym, you'd probably shake your head. You know that it's not the gym but your friend's dedication to using the gym that makes all the difference. Yet you may think that you can cure your dating blues just by choosing the right website. Newsflash: ANY website with lots of single men can be the right website; your success is ultimately determined by how you use that site.
You can use Yahoo! to search all day long to find a place that is populated with tall, honest, successful men. But at the end of the day, it's not the site that will determine your fate. It's you. The question is how committed you are to turning yourself into a success story.
Exactly. Kiss patriarchy's ass and grovel at the feet of men over the internetz and you'll have yourself a great jailbird husband in no time! Hooray!

Oi. Hate catchy little lists about what's so wrong with women that they can't get a wonderful man to date them. Really hate them.

On the upside, however, I am currently blogging from my laptop. It is a big accomplishment for me. Haha.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Anti-Feminist Women. . .WTF?

I do my best thinking while I'm driving. Today, my (deep, I assure you) thoughts went drifting into the feminist realm, as they so often do, and I pondered this post by Amanda over at Pandagon. This characterization of liberals by conservatives got me to thinking. This is exactly what anti-feminist women do to feminist women.

Anti-feminist women accuse feminist women of being against women making choices because sometimes we disagree with the choices being made, or even express concern about why such decisions were made. Aside from being the cause of global warming and other such world crises, feminists hate stay-at-home-moms, girls who abstain until marriage, women who have lots of children, etc., etc.

However, like in Amanda's post of about liberals, these are all strawfeminists, of course. However, I think anti-feminist women really need a way to justify what would seem like a really stupid decision on their parts. They'll denounce the right to vote, and if a feminist disagrees with that or calls them on their bullshit, it's a chorus of "Well I thought feminists were supposed to support women's choices. I choose not to support woman suffrage". Then you get the real crazies who then take that to Ann Coulter-like proportions and just won't shut up about how feminists are now just like the system of oppression they claim to oppose. Sort of like how since liberals don't want to shoot brown people, they must support terrorists. Very logical stuff.

I consider "Choice Feminism" to be authentic feminism as much as I think "Pro-life Feminism" is authentic feminism. Basically, not at all. A woman's choices aren't free from scrutiny, nor should they be. For example, 70% of women in Uganda choose to believe that a husband is justified in beating his wife in some situations. Feminist should just take that as face value, right? I mean, it's okay as long as a woman believes it, right? Just like liberals should be more tolerant of racism and sexism, feminists should be tolerant of the misogyny that can, amazingly, crop up in the minds of women everywhere, apparently.

The equivocation of fighting for what you believe in, even without the use of legislation or old-fashioned lock-and-load intimidation methods with fascist crazies shooting the person that thinks Neil should have won so You Think You Can Dance in stead of Sabra is ridiculous, and both crazy conservatives and anti-feminist women should be called out on that bullshit.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Senator Clinton Thanks Women's Lib

She didn't say those exact words or "feminism" or any variation of the word. However, she closed the Democratic debate by recognizing the women's movement as the reason she can run for president today on This Week with George Stephanopoulos. When asked when was the decisive moment in each candidate's life to enter politics or run for President, Senator Clinton said,

Well, when I was growing up I didn't think I would run for president, but I could not be standing here without the women's movement, without generations of women who broke down barriers, the civil rights movement that gave women and people of color the feeling that they were really part of the American dream.
So I owe the opportunity that I have here today to many people; some of whom are known to history and many who aren't.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Take Action Friday

Homophobic judge Leslie Southwick might be given a lifetime job on the US Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. Southwick believes homosexuality is a choice and ordered an 8-year-old girl to be taken away from her biological mother because she's a lesbian. But you wouldn't know how big of a dick he is if you just read what the White House thinks of him. Tell your Senators to block the nomination.

Urge the Iranian government and the UN to free feminist scholar Dr. Haleh Esfandiari from Evin prison, a place notorious for the torture of political prisoners.

Demand investigation into the horrific treatment of transgender activists in New York.

Contact Manhattan Mini Storage and tell them how awesome their ad is.

Support the Equity in Prescription Insurance and Contraception Coverage Act.

Join the Planned Parenthood Pill Patrol!

Write your representatives about the Education For All Act.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Mifespristone as Safe as Surgical Abortion

A new study of nearly 12,000 women in Denmark concluded that mifespristone (RU-486) does not increase a woman's chances of having a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. But check out how the study was done.

In the new study, researchers used a national abortion registry to identify all women in Denmark who had abortions between 1999 and 2004, and then got information on later pregnancies from national patient and birth registries.

Denmark is the only country with an abortion registry . . . .

National abortion registry? So the women didn't give their consent to be part of this study? Hopefully an ethical research team will replicate the study and get similar results.

Crazy Sexy Cancer

Campaign slogan for Camel No. 9 cigarettes for women? Nope. It's the documentary debuting on TLC on August 29 at 9pm.
Crazy Sexy Cancer is more than a film, it's an attitude! It's about rising to the challenge of life, and no matter what, refusing to give up who you are at your core. This story is as funny as it is frightening, as joyous as it is outrageous. Ultimately, Crazy Sexy Cancer is a thought provoking film about, friendship, love and growing up.

Okay. I understand the whole "don't let cancer get you down" concept. And I fully support women with life-threatening diseases giving the medications that make them fat and bald a big "fuck you, I'm still sexy." But must we call a disease that kills millions of people a year "sexy?" Would anyone call Lance Armstrong's testicular cancer sexy? I don't think so.

On Biblical Models of Equality

I guess I should stop having expectations when it comes to fundies. They raise the bar in flimsy explanations every time I talk to them.

This problem really only gets worse when you apply the fundie equation to tweenies over the internetz, so I probably shouldn't be surprised about the state of this thread on The-N. I knew things weren't going to go well when the original poster equated a man not smacking women around to submitting to them.

A direct quote, just in case it's too incredulous to be believed (and you people are too lazy to follow the link):

Likewise a man restricting his self from hitting a woman he is being submissive to her, not because he’s weaker but the fact he knows he’s much stronger than her.
Great. It's so fabulous to know that a man is submitting to me when he decides not to beat the shit out of me. Silly me, I thought he was just, oh I don't know, respecting the fact that I'm a person with rights.

The poor guy also subscribes to the notion that a woman saying she wants more rights is a woman saying that she's better than everyone else and and that she should have rights over men. Of course. It's kind of like reverse psychology, right? Or a classic case of projection? Maybe "I'm rubber you're glue"?

I've just noticed that when people bring up the question of whether or not The Bible is sexist, EVERYBODY starts wringing their hands right and left.

"No. The times were sexist! It means nothing that a hell of a lot of the sexist tripe that went on was created and/or condoned by the Old Testament!"
"No! It was just mens' interpretation of what God said!"
"No! God didn't REALLY mean it when He told women to submit!"
"No! When Paul said 'Women be silent in church' he was actually talking about some group of uppity bitches who thought they could handle the church better, which is why he went for a bit of hyperbole by telling women in general to be silent and acting like a sexist prick!" (One of my favorites, by the way, especially when it can't be backed by scripture by the person arguing it)
"No! If Jesus had had women disciples, well, he wouldn't have been taken seriously! Never mind the fact that he was tortured to death with common thieves!"
"What? God is TOTALLY a dude and it's TOTALLY not sexist because guys can just relate to a fatherly influence better!"
"When God told women to submit and men only to love their wives, well, God actually meant to tell them to submit! Love, submission, same thing, right?" (This is the argument the original poster in the thread on The-N is going for. Oh it's great fun.)

I have been told all of these when talking about this subject. I've gotten a different excuse from every person I've talked to.

Not only that, but now we've gotten into talking about the Biblical (in a fundie's view) model of marriage. Oh. My. Goodness. this is exactly why I never want to get married. These people think GAY PEOPLE ruin marriage for others? Phew.

These girls that are going to these churches and learning that it's great for a man to "lead" them have my pity. It really breaks my heart that girls are being told these things. One girl in this thread told about her lesson on relationships in her bible class. She said that men were supposed to lead in 5 ways, and then she outlined them all. Here's part of her post:

Righteousness - he must set a good example. He must strive for keeping his own purity as well as his wife's. [In the words of my teacher, "DON'T BE AN OCTOPUS!" meaning don't be all grabby and pervy, touching her lady parts all the time.] This one definitely applies before marriage. Another quote from my teacher "To all you gentlemen, imagine it's your wedding day. It's beautiful and pefect. Then, your bride walks into the chapel, wearing a beautiful, flowing, scarlet gown." That's not what you want, is it guys? She should wear white! [White = pure]
A woman wearing red instead of white to show you how her hymen is still intact? BOOOOOO! *throws popcorn* Terrible! Dicks will be limp everywhere! The earth will shake and God himself will smite thee, lustful hussy! Thinkin' you can wear the color you want to on your wedding day, or worse, thinkin' you can do what you want to instead of what Daddy or Hubby wants.

But keep in mind, Male ownership of women's bodies is TOTALLY not sexist. It's great!

Another gem:

Before marriage, a girl should be submissive to her father, not her boyfriend.

Her boyfriend hasn't bought the merchandise yet, so hands off! That pussy belongs to Dad!

Look at it this way... if a husband leads a wife in the 5 ways he should, then wouldn't it be easy for a wife to submit to him?
Not if she has a mind of her own and wants to use it.

She wouldn't be following him into sin at any point if she was submitting to his leadership in righteousness. She would not be acting as a slave to him if he was treating her with selflessness.
First of all, the very fact that all of this fairy tale hinges on very big ifs in the first place is unnerving to me. I love the assumption that men will be perfect leaders. Or if that's not the assumption, it's assumed that women should shut up and handle it. It seems to me that in most cases, the assumption is that women should take their second class treatment with a smile.

Secondly, these people don't seem to realize that those who value gender equality have a problem with the fact that women are told to follow JUST FOR BEING WOMEN. There is no part of that that is conducive to gender equality and/or freedom. There is no part of that which is equal.

At the end of the class, my teacher asked all the girls who would submit to a husband like the one described above to raise their hands. Not one girl had her hand down.
It really upsets me if this is true. These girls are being told fairy tales, and then they promise to stick to the fairy tale even when it's not a fairy tale any more, and they're held to those promises despite any consequences. These girls are sold to the highest bidder while being told lies about how great it is to submit and have no power. It's absolutely shameful.

I just don't understand why people think this is equality. It's OBVIOUSLY not. If someone has power over you, how can you be treated equally to them? These people are not living in reality, and they're handing that fantasy land to their daughters and then throwing them out in to the deep end of real life. It's terrible.

Mostly, that post on The-N just got me to thinking about how distorted some Christian views on equality and sexism really are. It seems like they'll go to any lengths to justify some of the things that are in the Bible and how they interpret those things. They'll even denounce the divinity of the text while I the same breath saying that it's God's word for women to submit! It's all just a cycle of women being oppressed. Welcome to Patriarchy, people. I KNEW there was a reason why I called the Bible the Patriarchy Manual.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Take Action Friday

I had a little idea just now. I subscribe to a few e-newsletters from different organizations like NOW, Save Darfur, and the Human Rights Campaign. Several times a week, I get notified about ways to take action by contacting your Congresspeople and demanding their support and vote for or against certain measures. The organizations send pre-written e-letters, and all you have to do is put in your name and address, and the letter goes straight to your Congresspeople. Pretty nifty. I thought it would be a good idea to post the links of the pre-written e-letters here every Friday so that you can take action on a number of issues in a snap. What a way to start the weekend! So, even though it's now Saturday, here's the first Take Action Friday.

Support The Compassionate Care for Servicewomen Act (S. 1800/H.R. 2064), which would require the government to provide Emergency Contraception at all U.S. military health facilities around the world.

Help pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would make it illegal in all 50 states to fire an employee for being homosexual or transgender.

Encourage China to divest from Sudan.

Thank your Representative for helping to pass the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007. Or show your disappointment if they were one of the 199 Reps who voted against this fair pay legislation.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

iPLEDGE Program Not Successful

iPLEDGE is a government program that women of child-bearing age have to sign up for before taking the drug isotretinoin, an acne medication more commonly known as Accutane, because the drug can cause horrible birth defects, even in small doses. I just started on isotretinoin 10 days ago, and I hope that, 6 months from now, I'm part of the 80% that doesn't have to deal with the most stubborn of acne ever again. Of course, I had to join iPLEDGE. I had to read a lot of literature about birth control and take a quiz on their website. While registering, I had to tell them the two forms of birth control I'd be using while taking the drug and for one month afterwards. I have to take monthly pregnancy tests at the dermatologist's office. I have to show the pharmacist my special iPLEDGE card as proof that I'm part of the program before getting my prescription, which my doctor has to write up every month (no refills). Not that any of this is too bothersome; even the bathrooms at the doctor's office are surprisingly quiet and, therefore, a good place to pee in a cup.

What bothers me about this is that I have to go through all of this bullshit simply because I menstruate. And, because I don't have sex, I had to choose "abstinence" as my primary form of birth control. (I wanted to choose "my acne-ridden face, assholes," but that wasn't an option). Abstinence is most certainly not my primary form of birth control. I'm not having sex because I don't have a boyfriend, not because I'm trying to prevent pregnancy. iPLEDGE was starting to look a lot like pledges of abstinence made at purity balls and abstinence-only sex-ed classes. Furthermore, it perpetuates this notion that women's sexuality has to be regulated by the government for the good of an embryo that doesn't even exist. Can you say "forever pregnant?"

Part of me once thought that iPLEDGE is simply a way to reduce abortions, miscarriages, stillbirths, and infant mortality. It's a preventative measure, not oppressive. After all, if it works, that's a good thing for all. But it doesn't. According to the FDA, 122 women became pregnant while on isotretinoin this year, which is about the same number of pregnancies that occurred in the years previous to iPLEDGE's inception in 2006. This number is most likely accurate, as part of sticking to the iPLEDGE program means your doctor reporting your pregnancy to the federal government. Apparently, the government monitoring a woman's sexual behavior is about as good as her doctor saying, "Don't get pregnant. This medication causes birth defects." So why not just trust us?

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Giving Birth: The Responsible Thing to Do

Megan and I frequent message boards. It's a site mainly for teenagers, but I've been there for so long that it's kind of hard to stop going, especially when these boards give so many opportunities to lay the smackdown on people. For the last few years, a lot of abortion topics have been made on the boards, and people give their positions and their opinions. It's a great way to find out what America's youth thinks about reproductive rights. Of course, those on both sides are just starting to get in on the abortion debate, so arguments for both sides, at times, aren't very thought out. This was made quite obvious when I posted a topic asking a (not so) simple question: Which is more irresponsible, having 10 abortions or having 10 children? In asking this question, I didn't set out to prove a point. In fact, I honestly didn't know what people were going to say. I just wanted opinions. I did, however, accurately predict the results of the poll. I had a strong feeling that many more people would believe that having 10 abortions was more irresponsible. Out of 112 casted votes, 73% (82 votes) said that having 10 abortions was more irresponsible, while 26% (30 votes) believed having 10 children was more irresponsible. One thing to know about the poll, one can vote more than once (I think some time has to go by before you can vote again), but I doubt anyone sat there and voted over and over. And now, the replies!

Several people said that it all depends.

"It depends on the woman's situation and how frequent these pregnancies were. A woman in her 60's who [has] had 10 abortions or children in her many years doesn't bother me. A woman in her 20's or 30's would cause me to become concerned for her health and lifestyle and first if I didn't know what her life was like. I would have to know the woman's situation before I can determine if she has been irresponsible."

"It depends on your definition of irresponsible. I happen to think that having 10 children is a little irresponsible and selfish. I mean, who wants to be one of ten? You'd have no identity. What motives would a parent have for having 10 children? Are they running a farm or something? Are they Angelina Jolie? I'm no one to tell someone how many children is right for them, but I can't even imagine a stable household with ten children. But, that's just me, I really don't want kids. Having 10 abortions obviously means something's wrong. I'm pro-choice, but I would hope to never see a woman who is seriously in the situation where 10 abortions become necessary. I wouldn't call it irresponsible, just sad."

"Well it also depends on what the woman's going to do once she has the 10 kids. Like give them up or keep them. Because not many regular people can properly take care of and provide for 10 kids."

"I think it all depends on the situation. Having 10 children and being extremely poor probably isn't responsible, but if you can handle having 10 children, why not? It's not irresponsible if you can provide for all of them. Having 10 abortions also could be seen as responsible if the parent knows that they wouldn't be able to care for their child if they went through with the pregnancy. And if they had 10 abortions because they were continually accidentally getting pregnant, then I wouldn't say that the abortions were irresponsible, but the person's sexual habits were."

"It depends" is a fine answer in my opinion. If anything, it shows that the gears are turning, even if they're somewhat painfully grinding . . . not unlike my teeth after reading the following, completely backwards, responses.

"Having 10 abortions. Having 10 children can mean a lot of things could happen. For example: An extremely wealthy person who can afford having 10 children and has time to give them attention isn't irresponsible. A woman who got pregnant twice, once with triplets and a second time with septuplets isn't irresponsible. A woman who spaces out their pregnancies so that when the older ones are able to take care of themselves, they have more children. A person who has children and adopts older kids, say at 16 years old, so that the children can have someone to help them finacially and emotionally get to college. Then at 18 they leave and they adopt someone new."

"I think so many abortions is the irresponsible thing here. That many abortions says to me, that the woman has never heard of other forms of birth control, and that she can't control herself on any means. 10 children isn't necesarily irresponsible. What if unplanned pregnancies happen, but the woman keeps them? Or what if surprise multiple babies happen. Say a woman really only has sex enough time for 3 or 4 babies, but then get multiple babies each individual time. That stuff happens. So yeah, I think 10 abortions is the real irresponsible thing."

In short, a woman with 10 children could have been in a variety of different situations. A woman who had 10 abortions can only be one thing: Irresponsible.

"Well, I want to say having 10 abortions. I mean, if you know that you don't want anymore children, you should do everything you can to prevent creating innocent lives and then taking them. But I also have to say that if you aren't rich and can't give all ten kids a good childhood, then I think that you really should reconsider having 10 kids. But between the two, I'd say that taking lives is worse than giving life."

"I picked 10 abortions because if she had 10 kids then at least they would have a chance to live."

Basically, giving 10 children shitty lives is better than not having any children at all.

"I would go with the abortions though, because the repeated procedure is of no good to her body while having the children does not mean she kept them."

"10 abortions. It doesn't matter if you're pro-life or pro-choice. Do you realize how bad for your body 10 abortions would be?"

So, even though abortion at any stage of pregnancy is safer than giving birth, 10 abortions does more damage to the woman's body than giving birth 10 times. Furthermore, raising 10 children to at least age 18 doesn't take a toll on a person's body at all. Interesting.

"I think the abortion is more irresponsible than having the kids because having babies and stuff is like a part of life."

"With having 10 abortions I think that is irresponsible, because the woman puts herself at a high risk to not be able to have children [in] the future due to that many abortions."

"If someone has the means to support ten children, it's her choice whether or not she feels she's up to it, and if she can raise ten children well, there's no problem, and i might personally consider her irresponsible for getting ten abortions."

Translation: You're not living responsibly unless you pop out a few.

Then there were a few that just completely defied all logic. I wasn't too surprised by the following responses, since pro-lifers don't seem to know much about reproduction, whether they're posting on a message board or holding up a sign with a photo of a stillbirth and the caption "ABORTION!"

"Having 10 abortions is more irresponsible, generally. Because that most likely means the woman was being irresponsible and not using any form of protection."

"I think it's more irresponsible to get 10 abortions because if you're really screwing around that much and getting pregnant everytime, I seriously doubt you're even trying to protect yourself in the first place."

"I think 10 abortions because she's probably having unprotected sex"

And a woman who gives birth to 10 kids had her tubes tied???? Apparently, having unprotected sex is only irresponsible if you don't want to give birth. Otherwise, fuck all ya want! Giving birth is the responsible thing to do! Thank goodness for responses like these:

"I think they are both the same. In both situations the woman had unprotected sex. But, if the woman wanted to have ten children, she needed to have unprotected sex."

"Well either way she's probably having unprotected sex. I mean you can't accidently get pregnant 10 times on a form of birth control. (well you can but only if you're dumb about it)."

I just don't get it. Since when is giving birth the unequivocal responsible thing to do? How can Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee get away with saying that he believes in personal responsibility in the same breath as saying he's pro-life? Part of being responsible is making your own decisions. The other part of responsibility is making important decisions for those who are incapable of making decisions for themselves. Since the basic tenet of conservatism of personal resposniblity and the pro-life philosophy don't go hand-in-hand, then conservatives like Mike Huckabee must believe that women are inherently irresponsible and can't make personal decisions for themselves. That's the only way the word responsibility can factor in to any pro-life position, and that's what I want to start hearing from the pro-life movement. I want pro-lifers to cut the "personal responsibility" bullshit and just say how they really feel.