I was looking for something on Thomas Nagel and neutral monism when I tripped over this piece of idiocy. I decided to write something about it so I have something to point MRA’s and anti-abortionists at (the older I get, the less inclined I am to waste any time engaging with them).
The author, who seems to be one of those tiresome men who spend a lot of time dancing on the head of a pin trying to prop up patriarchal religion, is responding to a question about whether one can see abortion as murder and still think it should be legal.
He does some sort of Syllogisms 101 rearranging to come up with the following:
The propositions in question are not logically contradictory. But one can generate a logical inconsistency by adding an eminently plausible proposition. Consider the following antilogism:
a) Abortion is murder
b) Abortion should be legal
c) Murder should be illegal.
The triad is logically inconsistent: the constituent propositions cannot all be true.
Now (c) is the least rejectable (the least rejection-worthy) of the three propositions. For if the law does not proscribe murder, what would it proscribe? The purpose of the State, at a bare minimum, is to protect life, liberty, and property. (Call it the Lockean triad.) If the State is morally justified, then its passing and enforcing of laws is morally justified. Among these laws are laws pertaining to the killing of human beings. Without going any deeper into it, I will just assert what most of us will accept, namely, that the intentional killing of innocent human being is morally wrong and therefore ought to be made illegal by a morally justified State.
In short, we ought not reject (c). Therefore, one who accepts (a) ought to reject (b). Transforming the antilogism into a syllogism, we get:
Murder should be illegal
Abortion is murder
Abortion should be illegal.
It sounds very clever and logical, but it isn’t. As always, the autonomous pregnant woman, who should be the subject of the discussion and the arbiter of her own fate, is completely obliterated from the discussion; it is no accident that there is not one mention of the mother in this entire piece of ugly sexist sophistry.
Because if we spoke about the mother, we would have to acknowledge that this argument is a complete straw man; women’s right to abortion is not dependent on whether a foetus is a human, or a potential human, with a right to life.
It seems a bit silly to me (not to mention disrespectful to women) to regard a fertilised egg as equivalent to a human being, but if you want to grant it full personhood from conception, then by all means do.
What you do not have the right to grant it is the use of another human being’s internal organs, any more than I am entitled to the use of your kidneys, as Judith Jarvis Thompson argued with exemplary clarity in 1971.
This principle is upheld in every other situation. If your child has a kidney disease which will kill him and you are the only donor match, you cannot be forced to donate a kidney, even if your child dies as a result. (You may choose to, but you cannot be made to.) Your child’s rights have not been violated in such a situation, because his rights do not extend to your kidneys.
Similarly, you cannot be forced to donate your organs after death, even if your heart or liver is a perfect match for someone who will otherwise die.
But women are not permitted to control our own bodies in this way when pregnant, and we are made unmentionable in male discussions about abortion so that this huge violation of our autonomy can be conveniently overlooked. Pregnant women have fewer rights than a corpse under the totalitarian regime these men support. If you force them to confront this, they will mutter something about the uterus being different because it is ‘intended’ to gestate life, or something. But this is drivel and the point remains. It’s not your uterus, you don’t get to say what happens in it, and you should not even be expressing an opinion on the subject, considering that this is something that will never happen to you.
And more importantly, it’s not the foetus’ uterus either. The decision to go through with a pregnancy is entirely up to the owner of the uterus on which that pregnancy depends. It is the mother’s decision, and only the mother’s decision. The liberal left often does a lot of pacific waffling about “trusting women to make the right choice” on abortion. This is nonsense. The hard fact is that it is the mother’s choice, whether you think she’s right or not. No-one is expected to like it. They are, however, expected to defer to her right to bodily autonomy.
The foetus’ supposed right to life has nothing to do with it, because the foetus’ rights do not extend to its mother’s body, and because killing the foetus is a side effect of expelling it from the uterus, not the goal. If Bergoglio and his accomplices can come up with a way to extract the foetus alive without harming the mother, they are at liberty to continue gestating it, feeding it, changing its nappies, educating it, providing it with healthcare, and all the other things they will cheerfully expect the mother to do for free, regardless of the impact on her own life or the lives of her other children.
But they won’t, of course, because this has nothing to do with compassion for innocent murdered babies, and everything to do with the male’s pathologically violent need to control women’s sexual and reproductive capabilities. You can codify it in a so-called ‘holy book’, you can dress it up in a surplice and a fancy hat, you can swing some incense around and mutter in Latin to fool the plebs, but it’s still ape mate-guarding behaviour, and it’s as barbaric as fuck.
As for fathers’ supposed rights over a pregnant woman’s body because of having contributed a dribble of semen with a few sperm cells in it, as often as not by coercing the mother: I’m with Hobbes in seeing motherhood as a natural relation and fatherhood as largely a social construction. I think a good way to look at this is to say that your rights over the fate of your reproductive products end when those products leave your body. In the case of men, this is at the point of ejaculation. In the case of women, this is at the point of giving birth.
In other words, women, who do all the work of gestating new humans and most of the work of raising them, have nine more months to make their decision than men do. Get over it.
With the UK GRA consultation kicking off at last, Pink News have trumpeted Penny Mordaunt, the new Equalities Minister as saying “Trans women are women, that is the starting point”.
In other words, women have been obliterated right at the start of the consultation. Given Mordaunt’s commitment to listening to women’s groups during the consultation, it will be interesting to see how she manages to marry this mantra with the rights of women as a sex class. Continue reading
I’ve seen more than a few people trying to subvert criticisms of ‘biological essentialism’ and shoehorn them into trans ideology, and pretend that this somehow makes it compatible with radical feminism. Somehow, ‘your genitals should not dictate how you get treated by society’ has been mutated into ‘your genitals don’t determine whether you’re a man or a woman’, and this eventually becomes ‘you’re obsessed with genitals’, usually in the context of men of varying genders trying to guilt lesbians into having sex with them. Thus gender gets detached from sex, loses its connotation as a hierarchy which naturalises the oppression of females, and allows males to identify as women; and saying that sex exists and has political importance is now supposedly oppressive.
This is sexist drivel, as a simple analogy makes very clear. Sorry, but radical feminists aren’t that stupid. Continue reading
The reporting/attacking of gender-critical women is stepping up on Twitter and other platforms at the moment, I suspect because we’re again winning some space in the public eye, thanks to, amongst others, the excellent #ManFriday, and the BBC’s reporting of Twitter’s suspension of several accounts for stating biological reality – things like ‘penis is male’ are now enough to get you reported and suspended.
A few people have mentioned trans ideology, and the furious response has predictably been that there is no such thing, just a group of marginalised trans people seeking their rights and being attacked by evil terfs who hate them.
Well, I call bullshit. There most definitely is such a thing as trans ideology (or more specifically, transgender ideology), based on an unhappy marriage of queer theory and some concepts from sexology, and the most obvious way to demonstrate it is to point out that there are many trans people who don’t adhere to it, very often older trans people and transsexuals, who are staunch feminist allies. (The marvellous Miranda Yardley has just been banned from Twitter for fighting women’s corner as a transsexual; here’s some of her writing on trans ideology.) Continue reading
Update: I have now been recognised as human again (a first for Twitter! Women are human! Who knew!)
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I expect that’s just in time for me to get suspended for being gender-critical…
I have failed the Turing Test; Twitter thinks I’m a bot, not a person (which is pretty much how they think of most women, I think) and has locked my account (@radicalhag). It will let me back in if I type in the code they will send to my UK prepaid sim card, which I threw away when I got back to South Africa.
I’ve logged a ticket and will hopefully get this resolved. In the meantime I’m tweeting as @Women_Say_No, so please follow.
It’s been an interesting few days in the Land of Transactivism. UK Labour have done two things which, apart from probably being illegal, are viciously and irredeemably misogynistic. Continue reading
This is a useful article on the invalidity of the criticisms of science emerging from post-modern thought.
Rational criticisms of scientific bias are reasonable and should be acknowledged. We are just beginning to find out, for example, how much disease research has been done on male subjects, with the assumption that the findings will transfer to females. Unsurprisingly, given our profound genetic differences, much of it doesn’t, and women have been getting a bad deal in healthcare as a result. Continue reading
A contemplation of the “trans women are women” mantra from 2014, again from the excellent Culturally Bound Gender.
“I used to use “she” to describe MTF trans people. I used to use “he” to describe FTM trans people. I will no longer engage in this practice, except for when directly speaking to trans people who could conceivably direct violence toward me. Make no mistake, trans folks: many people outside your movement, even the ones who nod in agreement with the statement “trans women are women,” don’t really believe it. When they are women, they have been trained to spare your feelings and to avoid potential conflict with males—especially those who are backed up by other males with violent tendencies. I hope your pronouns feel like a hollow victory, wrested as they have been from the mouths of women who know the wrath they face for saying any other words but the ones you told them to say.”
Another very good post from Culturally Bound Gender on the outrageous claim that women have ‘no shared girlhood’ and therefore may not organise without men:
“Women shouldn’t have to prove anything, including a “shared girlhood,” to be able to meet and organize with other female-born persons without being harassed. The fact that liberal feminists are buying into this idea–that without a universally shared experience, it’s illogical and bigoted for a group to be able to define itself and exclude non-members–is a sign of how far feminist analysis has fallen since feminists started “doing” feminism online.
Why has this happened? Because the internet’s the ultimate proving ground that women talk differently when they have to talk around men and be subject to men’s criticisms all the time. The changes that have occurred to feminism since feminism became part of the blogosphere have been the exact kinds of changes you’d expect to see when women are having to do feminism in front of men. The environment that the second wave operated in was, in some ways, shitty for what it excluded, because the fact that feminist monographs, zines, and so forth were being distributed primarily among white, middle class women left a lot of women out. However, men also basically didn’t give a fuck (except when they were reacting with horror to out of context bits of Intercourse), so women in academia were left to talk and debate about feminist issues without constant comment and intrusion from men declaring a need to be heard and dialogued with.
The internet changed all that. Now, everything has to be released male-ready–or else. Positions determined to be too radical are sanded down, and it’s de rigeur for third-wave feminists to angrily declare that they’re not like those other feminists who are mean and nasty to men, the man-haters, the bra-burners, the TERFs, the Andrea Dworkin, whoever’s the boogeyman identified by men in the comments sections and subreddits where women are trying to do feminism today.
So again and again, you see women taking pains not to offend any men with what they write, because we know what happens to women who write on the internet–especially, gracious me, under their own name!–and who don’t toe the party line. Talk about sexism in video games, get rape threats. Talk about feminism and the oppressiveness of gender roles, get rape threats.”