Coming Out of Women's Desire and Practice of Liberation (was Re: lifesavers vs. fetal symbols)

Eric Beck rayrena at
Mon Aug 23 15:37:51 PDT 1999

I must say, Yoshie, I love the way you change the subject line on a whim. Such adept and subtle caricaturizing of your opponents' views. I also appreciate the fact that you took a few of my words and cross-posted them to M-fem, a list I'm not on and have little familiarity with.

>Then you don't know much about the
>history of women's movement, nor
>have you attended any 'pro-choice'
>rallies lately.

Well no I haven't. I didn't realize that this was a prerequisite for entrance into the discussion. Perhaps you will want to stop reading here.

>It is a common
>fixture in practice to have speakers
>who remind us of what women's
>lives were like when abortion was

This is very, very different than the expressions of pride that you advocated. As you describe them, these rememberances sound like the recounting of horror stories (of botched abortions, or the fear of them) and of the feeling of not being in control of your own body. Again, that's a long way from taking pride in the act of abortion. The speeches are all well and good--and seem to me excellent, even necessary, reminders--but your invoking them isn't an argument against my skepticism.

>However, it is one of the fundamental biological facts of life
>that without women's self-determination of reproduction (among other
>necessities), we women won't be able to abolish gender-based
>oppression. Access to safe and legal abortion is a necessary but of
>course not sufficient condition for women's liberation.

So then we are in agreement. Right?

Then you wrote a bunch of other stuff that I have no problem with, none of which addressed, or showed much interest in, the, sadly, none-too-deep point of my post: the possiblity that there is no connection between the physical act of abortion and women's liberation.

>What I would like to see is for women to speak up more often about
>abortions that are not made obviously necessary by the exigencies of
>health, economic hardships, etc.

That's great that you would like to see that. I wonder what other women want. Perhaps to keep their personal experiences separate from political action? Perhaps to put behind them an unpleasant experience? I don't know. Since I don't see a stampede to the podium, maybe neither of us do.

>>Admittedly my sample is a bit limited and anecdotal

>So right you are. Please expand your practice and reading, if you're
>interested in women's liberation, that is.

So please enlighten me. Who are some women who are proud of their abortions, and that have translated it into liberatory ideas, actions, etc? I'm not saying they don't exist or that it's impossible, but I don't know of it. Your post was long on bluster but short on helpful details.

Meanwhile, I'll just be picking fleas off my back and scratching my stick in the sand.

>Yes, indeed, every sperm is sacred.

You haven't seen my socks.


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