Sunday, August 21, 2005

WomenvChoice

[Welcome again to guestblogger The Raving Atheist:]

Feministing.com Executive Editor Jessica Valenti -- who also runs NARAL's Bush v Choice blog -- is infuriated by New York Times columnist John Tierney's use of abortion polls. He wrote:

It's true that pregnancy is a uniquely female burden and that most pro-life politicians are men -- but then, so are most pro-choice politicians. There's no gender gap in opinion on the issue. Polls have long shown that men are no more hostile than women are to abortion rights. In a New York Times/CBS News Poll earlier this year, men were slightly less inclined than women to say that abortion should be outlawed.
The fact that most women are pro-life doesn't quite fit Ms. Valenti's agenda. But she finds an interesting if somewhat convoluted work-around:
Perhaps there isn't a gender gap in how many people consider themselves pro-choice, but there's certainly one when you take a look at anti-choice leaders. The fact that leaders in anti-choice groups are overwhelmingly men (insanely misogynist men, I should add) isn't coincidental. And numbers aside -- no matter how many men are pro-choice, abortion is still a women's issue. To try and separate it from women is not only naive, it's insulting.
Insulting, yes, but to whom? If the minority of men who lead the movement are insane, what are the majority of women who support it? Insanely masochistic? Just plain stupid? Or is their support, unlike that of the men, just "coincidental"? At a minimum, the suggestion here is that female pro-lifers are mindless sheeple who, lacking the capacity for sufficient moral reasoning, are merely following the big mean billy goats over the cliff. That certainly seems far more paternalistic than anything Mr. Tierney said.

It's Ms. Valenti, not Mr. Tierney, who is separating the issue from women. The only stats that seem to matter to her argument are those involving the minority of men and, among them, the subminority she characterizes as their leaders. That the identical views are held by the majority of women is an inconvenient irrelevancy.

So just say what mean, Ms. Valenti: women are gullible idiots who need to be led to the Promised Land of Choice by you. I'll help you out. I'm in a similar position. The majority of atheists are gullible pro-choice eugenicists who need to be led out of their moral idiocy by me.