Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bunnies and Misogyny

[This is the second post in a series on the pro-life movement and misogyny. Additional posts can be found here:
Logical Reasoning and Misogyny
Control and Misogyny]

An analogy:

A fatal disease is spreading among a population. An ointment is being developed that will likely cure the disease, but every few ounces of the ointment must be secreted by killing 10,000 bunnies. You personally don’t have the disease, and you oppose the ointment on moral grounds because of the bunny killing.

After awhile, public outrage at bunny killing culminates in the ointment being banned. Research continues, and a few years later a vaccine is discovered. However the vaccine only gives white people immunity. Minorities are still afflicted with the disease.

If you continue to hold the same position you already held—that killing 10,000 bunnies just to secure a few ounces of ointment is immoral—are you now a racist?

Clearly not. Race is incidental to the larger moral question, even though the issue only affects one race. Some people will oppose the ointment because they are racists, but as was discussed in Logical Reasoning and Misogyny, this is not evidence that anyone who opposes the ointment must be racist.

The same line of thinking can be applied to the pro-life movement in terms of the sexes. Gender is incidental to the moral question of whether fetal life is worthy of legal protection, even though pregnancy only affects one gender. If men could get pregnant, such a question would still remain, and pro-lifers would still hold that our society should value and care for fetal life.


Nulono said...
"No person shall ... cause ... the unlawful termination of another’s pregnancy."

A law against illegal stuff?

M said...

Kind of like laws making illegal immigration illegal. :P

Anonymous said...

Gasp! Those poor bunnies!

In all seriousness, this is one of the things that bothers me most personally about the whole abortion controversy. Such a tremendous fuss is made over the fact that females happen to be the ones with the pregnancies. To me the premises "abortion is only performed on females" and "humans should not be arbitrarily killed" don't seem intrinsically related, yet pro-choice rhetoric takes the gender detail and runs with it to such a degree that "women's rights" is now code for abortion. (It's kind of ironic given that pro-life groups usually seem to be female-dominated and many abortions seem to be the result of the father's wishes.) The side effect is that I will no longer answer to the word "woman". The thought of being part of a group that has the right to kill other people is deeply disturbing. I like my soft, curvy, frill-adorned body and have never wished I had male phenotypes, but I'd rather be considered a man/hermaphrodite/androgyne/whatever else there is than a natural predator of innocents. I suspect this is not a healthy way to grasp for an identity, but it's the bind society has placed me in...