Nearly all the posts are bilingual.
Presque tous les articles sont bilingues.

English spoken. On parle français. (وكمان منفهم عربي، حبيبي)

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La plupart du contenu de ce blog est soumis aux droits d'auteurs. Par exemple, nombre des illustrations les plus récentes sont faites par moi. Je suis du genre coulant. Si vous comptez emprunter du contenu, SVP contactez-moi en laissant un commentaire. :-)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Reproduction & feminine liberty.

Looks like every political party in Italy today is anti-abortion, and in favor of a "moratory, like with death penalty". The influence of the Catholic Church, leaning on the debates with all its weight, looks practically like Vatican interference in the internal affairs of Italy. And Spain, and Portugal, and other countries... I'm not denying that the idea of abortion makes me uneasy. That there are abuses of the system. Bit I feel it is essential to remind of a few facts:
Until the 20th century, women worldwide have paid a terrible tribute to motherhood. Today, thanks to the advances of Medicine, this is no more ENTIRELY the case, and in advanced countries (which, I remind you, comprise a minority of Humankind), giving birth has at last become nearly risk-free, you no longer risk your life simply by getting pregnant. Also, when an unplanned child is born, we all know that the father is often long gone, and has vanished 9 months earlier. While the mother sees her life set for her. The number of women, in the 50 to 100,000 years history of our species, who lost their life while giving birth, by getting pregnant without the approval of phallocracy, or by trying to abort in despair (remember "honor crimes") and most of the time in terrible pain, that number is far greater than the genocides of Adolf Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot put together.
Another small detail: the Law has excellent reasons for only considering the fœtus as a human person once it is born, and born alive. Did you know that 75% of human fecundations NATURALLY end by a failure? Miscarriage, sometimes very early and unnoticed, spontaneous abortion, stillborn child... In religious terms, this means that God himself does notconsider a child as a future human Destiny before it is born alive. Assimilating abortion to the murder of a baby is a brazenly hupocritical exaggeration. Most medical abortions, before the 12th week, are performed while the fœtus still has no brain, just a bunch of unconnected stem cells. To me, no brain means no conscience yet, no possible thought even at the elementary level, no soul. While the life of an adult woman is definitely there.
Finally, there is viability. It's not just that an early fœtus couldn't possibly live as an autonomous organism. There's also the grave ethical dilemma of greatly premature babies. We are able to save them more and more early. Yes, they do survive... but with a growing incidence of very grave, and unavoidable, brain damage. If my brain had to be ravaged in exchange for my survival, I'd refuse, that's no life! And I'm talking about fœtuses who are WISHED to live, way later than the 12 week stage. Nature, or God, is sending us a clear message: no matter our scientific progress, we must learn not to insist beyond our limited human abilities, because a fœtus PROGRESSIVELY becomes a viable baby, over a period of several months. That's just the way it is.
I, a guy, vouch for the following:
Any legislation, any referendum regarding abortion should rely exclusively upon the free choice of WOMEN. It's their bodies involved, their destinies, their lives sometomes threatened. The fathers, uncles, and religious males, starting with the deliberate robe-wearing bachelors who don't want to know the first thing about a normal sexed life (but who sometimes test an abnormal version!), those don't have a saying in the matter, it's not their place to judge in the place of God over what they'll never live in their flesh and heart.
Woman IS NOT man's property.
You can't force or command the love of a mother. Giving birth, loving, it's always a choice, a gift of oneself.

On dirait que tous les partis politiques en Italie aujourd'hui sont anti-avortement, et en faveur d'un "moratoire, comme pour la peine de mort". L'influence de l'Eglise Catholique, qui pèse de tout son poids sur le débat, ressemble quasiment à de l'ingérence Vaticane dans les affaires intérieures de l'Italie. Et de l'Espagne, et du Portugal, et d'autres pays... Je ne nie pas que l'idée de l'avortement me met mal à l'aise. Qu'il y a des abus dans le système. Mais il me semble essentiel de rappeler quelques faits:
Jusqu'au 20ème siècle, les femmes du monde entier ont payé un tribut terrible à la maternité. Aujourd'hui, grâce aux progrès de la Médecine, ce n'est plus ENTIEREMENT le cas, et dans les pays évolués (je vous rappelle qu'ils concernent une minorité de l'Humanité), accoucher est enfin devenu pratiquement sans danger, on ne risque plus sa vie simplement en tombant enceinte. Egalement, quand un enfant non prévu naît, nous savons tous que le père est bien souvent loin et disparu depuis 9 mois. La mère, elle, voit sa vie déterminée pour elle. Le nombre de femmes, durant les 50 à 100.000 ans d'histoire de notre espèce, qui ont perdu la vie en accouchant, en tombant enceintes sans l'approbation de la phallocratie, ou en tentant d'avorter dans le désespoir (cf. les "crimes d'honneur") et la plupart du temps dans de terribles souffrances, ce nombre est de loin supérieur aux génocides commis par Adolf Hitler, Staline et Pol Pot réunis.
Autre petit détail: la Loi a d'excellentes raisons pour ne considérer le fœtus comme une personne humaine qu'une fois qu'il est né, et né vivant. Saviez-vous que 75% des fécondations humaines se soldent NATURELLEMENT par un échec? Fausse couche parfois très précoce et inaperçue, avortement spontané, enfant mort-né... En termes religieux, cela signifie que Dieu lui-même ne considère pas un enfant comme une future Destinée humaine avant qu'il ne soit né vivant. Assimiler l'avortement au meurtre d'un bébé est une exagération aussi hypocrite qu'outrancière. La plupart des avortements médicaux, avant 12 semaines, sont effectués alors que le fœtus n'a pas de cerveau, juste un tas de cellules souches non connectées. Pas de cerveau, pour moi, implique pas encore de conscience, pas de pensée possible même élémentaire, pas d'âme. Tandis que la vie d'une femme adulte, elle est indiscutablement là.
Enfin, il y a la viabilité. Ce n'est pas seulement qu'un fœtus précoce ne pourrait pas vivre comme un organisme autonome. Il y a le grave dilemme éthique des grands prématurés. On arrive à les sauver de plus en plus tôt. Ils survivent, oui... mais avec un taux croissant de dégâts cérébraux très graves, et inévitables. Si on devait me ravager le cerveau en échange de ma survie, je refuserais, ce n'est pas une vie! Et je parle des fœtus que l'on SOUHAITE voir vivre, bien plus tard que le stade de 12 semaines. La Nature, ou Dieu, nous adresse un message clair: quels que soient nos progrès, nous devons apprendre à ne pas insister au-delà de nos capacités humaines limitées, car un fœtus devient PROGRESSIVEMENT un bébé viable, en l'espace de plusieurs mois. C'est ainsi.
Moi, qui suis un mec, je propose ce qui suit:
Toute législation, tout référendum sur l'avortement devrait dépendre exclusivement du libre choix DES FEMMES. Il s'agit de leur corps, de leur destin, de leur vie parfois menacée. Les pères, les oncles, et les religieux mâles, à commencer par les célibataires délibérés en soutane qui ne veulent pas savoir ce que c'est qu'une vie sexuée normale (mais qui parfois testent une version anormale!), ils n'ont rien à dire, n'ont pas à juger à la place de Dieu sur ce qu'ils ne vivront jamais dans leur chair et leur cœur.
La femme N'EST PAS la propriété de l'homme.
On ne peut pas forcer ou imposer l'amour d'une mère. Enfanter, aimer, c'est toujours un choix, un don de soi.

6 comments:

Johnnie Walker said...

Any legislation, any referendum regarding abortion should rely exclusively upon the free choice of WOMEN. It's their bodies involved, their destinies, their lives sometomes threatened.

What a very wrong-headed opinion. It is a shame that a man's opinion these days when it comes to reproduction is irrelevant. A child is as much his as the woman's, she just has the unenviable task of incubating it for nine months. It does not follow that a man should have no rights over the growing life, and it does not follow that only women should be able to express an opinion or vote on anything to do with abortion.

You are a spineless little worm. What has happened to all the Marlboro Men? The invention of the Pill has caused estrogen to leach into the water system, affecting testosterone levels in men. (This is not some crackpot conspiracy theory, but is firmly grounded in science.)

It is especially bad when the brainwashing has been taken so far that men themselves are freely spouting this kind of bullshit.

You should be ashamed of yourself.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

"A child is as much his as the woman's"
Well, sure. In a couple. No wife has the right to choose to abort a common baby without her husband's consent, that would be plain monstruous!
Alas, most problems revolving around the abortion issue happen like this: girl gets pregnant, devil-may-care guy vanishes, girl is forced by law to HAVE the baby even if she can barely sustain herself. I'm not even mentioning the cases of rape or incest.

I'll be frank about one thing: in most cases, save for the very specific extreme ones, I'm against abortion. I really, spontaneously, viscerally dislike the idea. 25% of the world's population came from unplanned pregnancies, which the parents just decided to accept and love them. I would like to propose to any woman pregnant with an unwanted/unsustainable child to carry it until term and then give it for adoption by a loving family (the kind of promising but sterile parents whom today have to adopt from Africa or Bangladesh or the likes).
Ideally, it should be the baby's exclusive decision whether to be born or not, but that's not going to happen.

"It does not follow that a man should have no rights over the growing life"
Hell no, it doesn't. I'm with you there, and so is Nature's fundamental laws.
When the man has any interest in the matter, he must have a saying in the decision. You'll notice I said legislation and referendum. Many people, including women, mothers... are like me anti-abortion by personal belief, but pro-choice for the sake of fundamental liberty and human rights. Who am I, were I the Pope in person, to decree that an Irish 14 year-old who's been abducted and brutally raped has no other right and option but to give life to the child of the monster who traumatised her for life? It would be like re-stabbing a scar just because, as an eternaly celibate cleric (in theory, altar boys notwithstanding), you consider that God speaks directly through you. No one mortal should hold such a privilege over the lives of others. I've seen more terrible human dramas that a theologist. I've had people of all ages die in my arms. I dare claim that the empathy gives me the right to express an opinion, without commanding anybody.

One argument I've heard many times, is that freely available abortion in some countries (France is the main "permissive" example I've heard about) led as a consequence to the spread of "conveniency abortion". Basically, it is said that "women don't bother with contraception anymore, if they do get pregnant they just go and have an abortion". Well, thankfully this is, most of the times, completely incorrect. The process of voluntary abortion, outside life-threatening medical situations, is still extremely arduous and disheartening in the facts. Nothing is made to encourage women into getting careless and dumping foetuses in the garbage. It is the very opposite: the law is still enforced very poorly compared to what it should, by lack of clinics, bureaucracy, and sometimes because doctors won't approve of an abortion because of their own personal moral beliefs (which is unethical, regardless). And in the end, all this is mostly penalising to women in situations of great social distress.
I also know from solid experience that aborting, no matter whether it is from spontaneous miscarriage, for medical reasons, or by simple choice, is almost always a very traumatizing thing to a woman. She'll feel secretly mutilated in a way that has no equivalent to a male. THIS, my friend, is why I claim that a man has no right judging a woman's motivations by a national and all-encompassing law.

"and it does not follow that only women should be able to express an opinion or vote on anything to do with abortion."
It seems our minds aren't considering the same setting and scenario. In a progressive and sensible country, there wouldn't even have to be a debate. "In an ideal world..."
But a vast majority of countries are still horribly archaic phalocratic societies where the males and the clergy always have decided of women's own destiny. While women never had a saying in this. The only practical way to balance this is to push to the maximum towards women having the sole decision in what is their specific matters. Be it only to make a crucial point, that women do not belong to the men, as is still the general attitude, sometimes officious, sometimes official. Can a Yemeni or Saudi or Afghan or Indian woman past the age of 50 buy from his parents and marry an 8 y/o boy? No she can't. But the opposite happens every day, all over the planet. From illiterate child to lifelong domestic slave, destined to be treated like a private whore, doing chores and raising babies in a walled cage. Many of them escape that fate through immolation. Or fail trying...

I would consider being ashamed of myself like you suggest, honestly. I'm just waiting for another shame to cease: that of one gender OWNING another. And generally treating the other like no animal should even be treated.
Today, in Tunisia, the law is very egalitarian toward women. But the factual situation is not. Why? Because a great many men are still stuck in the Middle-Ages, and in homes they decide and force. Or kill. There's one "honor crime" a week in average in Jordan. A mere suspicion of "immorality" can be enough. A woman force-wed without love, who gets pregnant from another kinder man and cannot abort, is virtually condemned. By people who are allowed up to 4 wives at a time, and hold the exclusive right to divorce.


One very valid element you mention is oestrogens in water, so I'll answer that to the best of my professional medical knowledge:
- The hormone quantities in the Pill today are equivalent to the ones normally present in a woman's body. And markedly lower than in a pregnant woman! This cannot logically be the cause of hormonal problems in men drinking the water.
- But a problem there is, you're right. You're not just a crackpot paranoiac fool, men today ARE increasingly having hormone-related fertility and cancer problems, and these problems ARE coming from the environment. (The water? Why not.) But one very well known source, known for more than 15 years, is the industrial pesticides, used and spread in massive quantities. These have a hormonal action of the oestrogenic type, they get into the fruits and vegetables and water we consume, and usually they are NOT broken down by the body's enzymes like carefully human-tested medications are. Basically, most of the chemical substances used in agriculture and industry today are little to not at all tested properly for innocuity, it's just one vast all-for-capitalist-profit mess.

There's a massive epidemic of cancers emerging, in both men AND women, and things are getting worse at an alarmingly fast rate.
You are fully justified to worry. We're on the same side, man. You just need to know what to fight against. I've been documenting myself on all this for more than 20 years now, so I do think I know a reliable thing or two.

As for that "spineless" remark... I think my cat has a much flexible back than I do. Pity, that: I'd love to be capable of SOME things he can do, blink-blink nudge-nudge. :-)

I heard your anger, JW. I can understand where it comes from, honestly. This is why I don't respond with thoughtless rudeness. Dou you think I don't have similar anger sometimes? Think again. Not just "sometimes". I've worked very hard, my whole life, to tame and control the rampaging hulk born from life's trials anf injustices. I grew up in Lebanon during the notorious war. Others had an alcoholic father, or were Black in a White regime, or got crippled by a speeding car, or whatever. I don't claim to be special, life is tough on most of us.

Peace, yo.

Joe Dick said...

Who am I, were I the Pope in person, to decree that an Irish 14 year-old who's been abducted and brutally raped has no other right and option but to give life to the child of the monster who traumatised her for life?

I don't know about the Pope, but it does seem like it should be a crime simply because having an abortion in the case of rape or incest would be punishing the child for the cime of it's father.

But, of course, as a male I'm not allowed to express an opinion on the subject. I am a white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant male, and therefore not entitled to express an opinion on any subject under the sun.

P.S. Not to imply that I am in agreement with anything else J.W. said, but I do agree with him on that one point.

P.P.S. I don't know if it is so much about anyone OWNING anyone else so much as it is about a woman not having the right - as they currently do - to do anything they want to an unborn baby (include kill it). A man has no rights over it, basically, even though the creation of a baby is a 50-50 split.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

"having an abortion in the case of rape or incest would be punishing the child for the cime of it's father."
It definitely feels so, and this is why mysef I am against abortion. I just take note that:
a) In many ways, the unborn child, even when close to term, is NOT YET a living person. It begins with two cell merging, and if no miscarriage or stillbirth occurs, one day a living baby is born and a human life starts. It is in part Nature that set this rule: individual life starts at birth.
b) The woman's life is long started. I just KNOW, as a man, that I can never really understand all that it means to carry a baby and deliver it. If it is the offspring of a rapist, it becomes the living embodiment of that hated person, the exact opposite of having your loved husband's child. Even if there is no hate for that guiltless child, it's rubbing it on the already permanent trauma. Some women have testified that it made them live the whole horrible thing all over again.

I don't buy any of that "original sin" crap. My proposition, as I said, would be that such babies be given the option to live, and simply removing them from the nefarious history that surrounded their birth. Give then a new life, a clean slate, and let them start living with a fair chance of a loved life like every other innocent newborn.
I know perfectly well this is a utopist view. It is also the best one I can think of.
This, outside of direct medical risk for the mother, nats. For instance, getting pregnant too young, when you're far from having completed your growth, represents a dangerously increased risk of complications, and not only obstetrical.

Also, please let's remember that not only delivering a baby was taking a vital risk for oneself until recent medical advances, but that in many countries of the world -in fact a majority of the planet is STILL that badly underdeveloped- pregnancy for a woman still means risking her life.
And most of these women never have any saying when a man "goes to them". It's a global package, most of the time.

"But, of course, as a male I'm not allowed to express an opinion on the subject. I am a white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant male, and therefore not entitled to express an opinion on any subject under the sun."
(He he) Not entirely false, my friend. Better become a vampire fast, and express your opinions under the moon. :-)

I was just saying that I myself dare not take the right to judge on what I cannot know. Would you let women decide on the legal sanctions to a low blow? They can't know how it feels.
And, gays or no gays, a man cannot really know what a woman feels within herself when she's raped. There's the assault, and then there's the violation of the womanhood. Conversely, a woman can't understand what it would feel for a guy to be raped, either. (Pulp Fiction, anyone?)
While we can usually know what things feel like for a child, because we were all children once. We CAN legiferate about children's rights with sincerity and knowledge.

"I don't know if it is so much about anyone OWNING anyone else so much as it is about a woman not having the right - as they currently do - to do anything they want to an unborn baby (include kill it). A man has no rights over it, basically, even though the creation of a baby is a 50-50 split."
"As they currently do"? But DO they, really? In most places of the world, that's a definite negative. And conversely, in most places of the world, factually the female IS nothing more than the property of males, I'm well placed to know it. What do you call it, when a Yemen or Afghanistan father sells his 8 year-old daughter in marriage to a complete stranger over 50, and it is fully legal and in the open?

I see your man rights, and I'll raise you a twenty. YOU feel that way. Actually, so do I. But, let's face it, we're the exception, not the rule. You and I would never conceive a baby unless we felt ready to assume the responsibility of bringing a new life to the world, of becoming a parent, of undertaking this amazing daily adventure, as a couple, as a solid team. But what about all those teenagers who squirt their load and then vanish into thin air? What about the grown-ups with immature minds who do the same? Nature has created this unfairness: a male has no bonds but those he accepts. A woman has no choice. Now, in most of the world, males and religious blokes deciding in the place of the woman? (and you know in the facts this IS how it goes.) I have to say no.

There are, no reason to skip it, very important ethical issues involved: the rights of a baby-to-be, the rights of a child's father (often very disregarded today in the West, as most divorce settlements illustrate), etc. Well, these require, these absolutely need, a global social debate and reflection. But ceasing to decide IN THE PLACE of women is a vital first step.
What I meant, in my initial post, was that when a country holds a referendum about legalizing abortion, not only should the medieval Church(es) shut the fuck up and instead deal with their pedophiles in priority, but maybe it should be a referendum for women only because, basically, it's their bodies, and their lives, before anything else.
As for the baby's rights, let me reassure you: the overwhelming majority of women have that which we call, for lack of a better word, "maternal instinct", and much more than men (the AVERAGE men, of course). As for those exceptional ones who would feel no love for their newborn baby? Well, NOW there's a dilemma. Two points to make there:
1- Exceptions should never exert tyranny over the general rule. Otherwise, every parent would need to be constantly monitored to make sure they don't abuse their kids! And every man would have to wear a zipper detector to signal whether he might be about to commit a rape when he takes a pee. And... etc. A law that assumes every citizen to be a potential monster is madness.
2- The issue of indignant parents joins the discussion about abortion, while I was talking essentially about women's rights (it's intertwined, but not fused). And on this topic, I'll just ask one question, without trying to give it an answer, because there's NO simple answer:
Do you know what utmost horror it is to grow up as a totally unloved child? Do you know it well enough to decide it's a better fate than to never be born in the first place?
I've heard more than once people wishing they were never born. And some of them had a solid point, not just a school love gone wrong. Babies are far smarter than one suspects: they can feel if they're not loved, and very often they'll just die for no visivle reason, because they sense that life has nothing for them. One of Nature's mysteries is that a baby has a biological need for love and affection, otherwise even with the most technically impeccable care, it just dies. It's a terrible but known fact. And I feel that for a baby to be sentenced to this is worse than not being born at all.

I'm not "resting my case". I'm just leaving everybody to meditate. Including myself.

I must say, I'm very surprised, and in a good way. I would have expected these types of posts and sensitive topics to attract a barrage fire of moronic narrowness from many typical douraks. Instead, and in spite of words sometimes heavy with emotion, so far 100% of my comments (2 out of 2) have been expressing intelligent views. Strongly in disagreement, yes. But constructive. My goal was never to gather applauding crowds, only to promote smart thinking as much as possible. I'm starting to feel I have a blog of quality.

For this, thank you people. It's beneficial to everybody, and "we're all doing it".

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Added detail to unloved babies who die: can any law FORCE love? ORDER a mother to love her baby? I don't think so. Not even God gave Himself such a right. "Honour thy father and thy mother", show them a proper attitude, that is all which can be COMMANDED. Love is given freely, otherwise it's fake.

When there's no love, there have to be other solutions.
I agree that the fate of a baby on the way is something to worry about. But it is more so than the fate of living individuals, be they infants of adults?

What about a legal-slave wife who doesn't want to have a daughter, because she doesn't want the same kind on non-life to be bestowed to her child? Some women, many in fact, prefer to abort or even to commit suicide. Immolation by fire or drinking acid, typically.
Not to mention that abortion in these places is close to suicide, given the risks for complications. Most of them improvise everything on their own, and often die alone in the process.

I apologise for breaking it to you fine people so bluntly, but the civilised West is the tiny exception in a very barbaric world. And a very relative exception, if one is to consider the very eager plans of some retrograde influential people here and there. Do not take civilization for granted. The barbarians are always at the gate, and sometimes inside the city, ready to take it all away from you.

Joe Dick said...

I apologise for breaking it to you fine people so bluntly, but the civilised West is the tiny exception in a very barbaric world.

You are probably right, and sometimes I forget how not everyone - probably a very small percentage of the world's total population - has grown up in as (relatively) safe and secure place as I have.

Every country has its problems, but the ones here are pretty minor compared to other places.

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