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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

"People of Choice" website highlights the bad, the worse, and the ugly

Recently, Life Dynamics launched a new website called People of Choice. Inspired by People of Wal-Mart, it highlights abortion advocates displaying hatred of children, ignorance of human anatomy, extreme selfishness, racism, and other unflattering traits.

"Abortion is not murder. it is a medical procedure to remove unnecessary piece
of meat. what if it is born and becomes a freak, for example gay."
Just lovely.

If you've been at this for as long as I have, you've surely encountered some of these types before. Dealing with, say, men who are obviously pro-choice for self-interested reasons (but remember, it's all about "women's rights") gets tiring. Humor is a good way for us to stay sane. If the goal were to boost pro-life morale, I'd say job well done.

But an email announcing the project indicates that People of Choice is actually meant for people who are undecided:
Years ago there was an article published about the abortion issue and one of the questions they asked was "forgetting the abortion issue for a moment, what is your perception of the two sides?" They said that the most common response that they got was exhibited by this one guy who said, "Look, I don’t really know what I think, I listen to one side and I think they are right. I listen to the other side the next day and I think – no – they’re right. I go back and forth. But what I do know is, I think I like the pro-choice people better than I like the pro-life people." And, that’s a major issue and you cannot discount that. ...
There’s an old saying in marketing that people do not buy products from people they do not like. The pro-aborts, working with their stooges in the media, have been very good at painting a perception of the pro-life movement. They’ve painted this picture of pro-lifers that is very unflattering, and yet, we know there’s all this stuff out there showing what the pro-aborts are really like. And, the media never puts that out there, never says a word about any of that stuff. What we are going to do with this People of Choice website is show the American public what they’ve never been shown before. This is what they’ve never known. These are the kind of people we have to go up against. I think it’s going to change things. We’ve already seen that the pro-aborts are already getting very incensed about it. They don’t want this stuff out there.
I'm not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, I have no problem with hanging people by their own words; ClinicQuotes does this very effectively, quoting abortionists and industry workers who freely admit to horrific things. People of Choice is much snarkier than ClinicQuotes... but I've been snarky on occasion, too.

On the other hand, the site just rubs me the wrong way. It's very negative, and that negativity may turn undecideds off. Pro-choicers who are more reasonable than those featured on People of Choice will dismiss the whole thing as a giant ad hominem attack (and in the process, feel persecuted and become even more entrenched in their position).

Changing the negative perceptions of pro-lifers is important, but it could be accomplished by a more positive site – for instance, showcasing inspiring stories of pro-lifers adopting children with disabilities, opening their homes to pregnant teens, etc. On the other hand, would that be as effective? There's a reason political candidates go negative: it works. (And of course, the other side went negative long ago.)

It seems that, like Tevye, I've run out of hands. So I ask you: what do you think about People of Choice?

21 comments:

Faye Valentine said...

Great idea.

Simon Jm said...

Both sides have plenty of wing-nut, ignorant and inconsistent members.

Crystal Kupper said...

Hmm, I'm with you. There's pros and cons on both sides. But my gut reaction is that you win more flies with honey than with vinegar.

JDC said...

Personally, I think the website is awesome.However, for the fence sitters, who it is actually aimed at, I'm not sure. It seems that creating the site may come off just as mean-spirited as the people featured on it.

Catherine Wettengel said...

I'm 100% pro-life, but I agree that pro-lifers spew some serious hate venom that would make even me cringe when I read it. I'm sure that there are many people who are pro-choice mostly b/c they don't want to be associated with people who refer to anyone as "Satan" simply b/c she cares about women and doesn't realize what abortion truly is. I've seen pro-lifers do this. They use all manner of terminology to refer to born people who've committed atrocities or who just don't understand that abortion is murder. I can def see how pro-choicers would get the impression that pro-lifers tend to only care about the pre-born even though I know darn well that pro-lifers just get frustrated and don't communicate themselves well.

Marauder said...

I think it would be a lot more effective as a site if they'd ditch the "RoeBot" thing and just let the comments from/pictures of pro-choicers speak for themselves.

Kocourkova Zuzana said...

Aye, I see the author's point. Similarly, I see a lot of anti-misandry material quotes extremist man-hating feminists, and the negativity did get really wearing after months of it. Or with animal welfare - images of brutal factory farms vs stories of love or friendship of animals. I am in no way drawing parallels on the content of the movements, only on the tactics - I think positivity goes a lot further because negativity, for me anyway becomes too overbearing and painful and sad because there is so much of it in the world already.. That's why I really like this website. It's also good to show what you bring to the table rather than discrediting the opposite side because that way it shows you have more agency I think?

argent said...

I don't think the idea of showing off the racist, child-hating, misogynist, etc. elements in the pro-choice camp is a bad idea in general, but that's not all they're doing. Many of the entries just show pro-choicers being weird (like the woman who makes paintings from her menstrual blood, or the vagina cupcakes). While being weird doesn't tend to be a good arguing tactic, a site saying "look at what weirdos the opposing side are, don't hang out with them!" seems to be doing more harm than good.


And yeah, the RoeBots seem a bit vicious. Let the awfulness speak for itself.

TooManyJens said...

I have a couple of problems with this. For one, I don't like modeling anything after People of Wal-Mart; that site is classist and unbecoming anyone who claims to respect all human beings equally.

For another -- does anyone think that it would be hard to put together a "People of Pro-Life" site that had tons of sexist, hateful, and ignorant commentary? Would we like it if that was passed off as "exposing the words and behaviors of the "pro-choice" community"?

There are some terrible pro-choice people out there. But I think there's a way to highlight terrible things people do without trying to make a community's worst members into the face of the whole community. That's dishonest and lazy. Most pro-choice people are really just trying to do what they think is best, the same way we are. I disagree with them about what's best, but that doesn't make them the enemy.

Stormii said...

Yup, it'll be all funny till someone does the same to us.

Stormii said...

This isn't exposing anything. It's just showing that every movement has its wackos.

Marauder said...

Yeah, vagina cupcakes (vulva cupcakes, actually) are fairly bizarre, in my opinion, but are they horrible in the way that racism, hateful comments about children, and misogyny are horrible? Not even close.

Suzb said...

I think the evil of abortion is striking to anyone who looks at it and sees the vile that is spewed by the supporters. One doesn't need a group or website to illuminate it. All you have to do is just post something prolife and see what horrible responses are made or go to any site dealing with abortion and witness the abusive, harassing, disgusting statements. That being said, I think we need to recognize the average person who says, "I'm pro choice" or is neutral on the issue have very compassionate, yet misguided views. The average person is not a "pro abort". They mean well but have forgotten, for example, how human an unborn child is or the dignity that an impoverished, desperate woman deserves. The majority of people clearly obtain their views from following others. Would rather see pro life people being the beacons of compassion, resources, caring and justice. There are horrible examples of pro life people conducting themselves in very unflattering ways. Abortion is horrible, it should make us mad! But, if we're going to affect change in the culture we need to change how we respond to those who are lost in it.

purrtriarchy said...

I made the mistake of getting involved in abortion "debates" on YouTube and Yahoo comments.

I really cannot count the number of times that I have been accused of being a "slutty whore who can't keep her legs closed" by pro lifers - simply for saying "BTW I disagree". The fellow on YouTube called me a " dirty cocsucking whore" in EVERY single reply.

purrtriarchy said...

There is one feminist who knits sweaters, from her vajayjay. She sticks balls of yarn up in there, and knits.

Elizabeth Doecke said...

I can see what they're trying to do, but I honestly don't know how productive it will be. Most reasonable people know that any controversial issue will have people involved who are extreme, rude, hateful and disgusting. And if they're not reasonable to realise this, then they're probably not reasonable enough to listen objectively to the arguments for either side. So I question the value of highlighting the behaviour of pro-choice individuals in this way.

argent said...

And I think lumping "weird" in with "hateful" sends a message that "different=bad", which is a really bad thing if we're trying to argue that unborn children are just as human as anyone else despite the fact that they often look different and have different capabilities.

Athena007 said...

There are always going to be fanatics with agendas on all sides. Just live your own life to the best of your ability and remember that you will answer for your own actions, no one will answer for you. Anyway, I just wanted to say that I caught and appreciate the Tevye reference lol.

Athena007 said...

Thank you for being someone else who detests that stupid People of Wal Mart site! It's vile and honestly, I have felt like crying when seeing some of them who were so obviously mentally handicapped. People can be so high and mighty. They don't realize that the taller you sit in the saddle, the harder the fall is going to be.

m17l6s85 said...

From what I've read, quite a few of the "People of Choice" photos/posts are actually photoshopped to begin with. One or more of them came from this Jill Stanek post *asking* for photoshopped pics - http://www.jillstanek.com/2011/05/sample-signs-to-post-on-narals-flickr-page/

Catherine said...

I don't even find vulva cupcakes to be all that weird, honestly.