Thursday, January 15, 2009

Things Seen 12

Procured by mrs. o during her countryside travels:



A few incomplete musings (I should probably duck and cover):

1) The pro-choice position is not about demanding the termination of any and every pregnancy.

2) As mrs. o appended to her e-mail, these are not the times of Mary and Joseph, for many of us. Part of being pro-choice is about working towards and respecting women's autonomy. What autonomy did Mary have? She is primarily revered for having been a "vessel."

Her worth was tied up in her virginity--if her unmarried pregnancy had been found out she could have been killed; she was no longer a desirable marriage prospect.

Even carrying a pregnancy that, in the words of Sojourner Truth, man had nothing to do with, Mary found her baby's ancestry traced through her husband and her husband named the baby.

3) One of the things that people who are pro-choice advocate is strong support systems for pregnant women so that a full range of CHOICES are open to women. A literal interpretation of the story of Mary's pregnancy reveals that she, as a girl described as humble and devout, had the support that she would've considered most important--that of her God. Plus, Mary had internal insulation from the slut-shaming that complicates many teenagers' pregnancies.

4) The logic behind the question on the marquee is faulty:

a. It is based on the comparison of Mary with other teenaged girls who have
unexpected pregnancies. Yes, Mary was young, with an unplanned pregnancy, and could have faced death. That last factor cannot be overstated. But Mary had a kind of support (see #3) many girls don't. Because the angel appeared to Joseph as well, she also had the protection of being married before her pregnancy was apparent.

b. Emmanuel Baptist Church uses the argument to "rebuke" pro-choicers and claim that EBC is supportive of "life." But it is who they don't rebuke that demonstrates, again, that the pro-life position is one that is not so much centered on "protecting life," but on regulating how women express their sexuality and how they reproduce. If church members care so much about life, why don't they, when using Mary as an example, critique the society in which she lived--one that would have killed her and ended her pregnancy as well? Especially when that is a danger many women still face.

c. It doesn't work as well if you substitute other parents. I shouldn't say it, but I thought it, and according to my mother, it's the same. Seriously, plug in the names of the parents of someone you believe is truly evil.

4 comments:

sly civilian said...

well, honestly, she might have been. she shows obvious concern about what is about to happen to her, but agrees with the messenger that she desires to carry this child.

it's unrealistic to try to figure out if she had real options, or if the text conveys her voice and opinions authentically...but with what we have, there is a story of an unplanned pregnancy, and the mother and the non-father both coming to terms with it, and deciding that it is for the best.

as you say...it's pro-choice, not "abortions for all."

Mommy to Ander and Loki said...

elle and sly civilian - Well said. Mind if I steal your arguments next time a relative insists, despite my polite refusal to discuss it, my voting pro-choice?

CameronJ said...

... then they would still be fictional? (glib, I know)

good points

SjP said...

My answer to that question is "they were"...

Revelations and ruminations from one southern sistorian...