Some radical feminist thought.. | INFJ Forum

Some radical feminist thought..

Discussion in 'News and Politics' started by acd, Jan 17, 2009.

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  1. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    So I totally stole this from another thread on another forum that I am a member of.. http://www.thesophiahouse.com/forum/index.phpBut the other forum is mostly religious in perspective with not very many members who identify themselves with feminist thought be it radical or more conventional feminist thought... Anyway, I was interested to see what ya'll think.


    http://community.feministing.com/2009/01/say-no-to.html
    Say No To...


    Along with the emancipation of women, sexual liberation has become very much a part of politics around the world. To the conservatives, both these issues challenge ‘family values’.
    But what if there were no families? What if we say no to reproduction?
    My understanding of reproduction is that it is the basis of the institutions of marriage and family, and those two provide the moorings to the structure of gender and sexual oppression. Family is the social institution that ensures unpaid reproductive and domestic labour, and is concerned with initiating a new generation into the gendered (as I analyzed here) and classed social set-up. Not only that, families prevent money the flow of money from the rich to the poor: wealth accumulates in a few hands to be squandered on and bequeathed to the next generation, and that makes families as economic units selfishly pursue their own interests and become especially prone to consumerism.


    So it makes sense to say that if the world has to change, reproduction has to go. Of course there is an ecological responsibility to reduce the human population, or even end it , and a lot was said about that on the blogosphere recently (here, and here), but an ecological consciousness is not how I came to my decision to remain child-free.
    Because reproduction is seen as a psychological need, even a biological impulse, that would supposedly override any rational concerns arising out of a sense of responsibility, ecological or otherwise, I would like to propose emotional conditioning to counter such a need or impulse to reproduce. Using my own life as a case study, I conclude that I came to a resolve not to reproduce through largely unconscious emotional reactions . I like children, but every time I fantasized of having one, I felt pangs of guilt over how for this 'impulse' of mine, someone else would have to put their body on the line.
    I used the word 'felt' to indicate how there wasn't much rationalizing on my part. And this feeling went way back: I was raised in an extended family setting with a lot of women, and as they got married, I noticed their lives becoming either extremely stressed (if they chose to work) or extremely limited in their scopes, and sometimes even threatened in a pregnancy. This feeling was reinforced when people's indifference to women's condition frustrated me.
    Another feeling came from growing up near the poor: married people become much less charitable when they had their children to ‘take care of’, which means expensive schools, football clubs, game consoles, etc., etc. Because of the social premium on marriage and family, the poor also have children, only their children have no future and can easily be exploited by the economic system. If families are for raising and 'taking care of' children, what about the poor and their children? With high incidence of domestic violence, child abuse and 'juvenile delinquency', there are little 'family values' that the underprivileged can realistically talk of.
    Thus as I realized how the cultural imperative on starting a family was unfair to women and the poor, I felt an instinctive aversion to it. That is the emotionally conditioned response that could override our responses to needs and instincts that make us want to reproduce. And if we rule out the biological 'instinct', which is strictly only to have sex and not to reproduce, my case for saying no to reproduction becomes much stronger.






    So, fellow idealists, what are your thoughts on this?

    I originally said something like: So then..the best solution to the injustice in the world is to end it all? As the writer says, "So it makes sense to say that if the world has to change, reproduction has to go. Of course there is an ecological responsibility to reduce the human population, or even end it "

    Why even speak of change, or abolishing poverty, oppressive gender roles, etc. etc. then? Why even write this article if human life has so little value at the core? If in the end, we're not worth it..
     
    #1 acd, Jan 17, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2009
  2. ZenCat

    ZenCat Waving Sage

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    Have to admit the subject is so big and strongly worded that I'm not sure my response will be the kind of feedback you were hoping to get, but I'll give it a try!

    I think the biological instinct to reproduce is so deeply ingrained that it's unlikely ever to be eradicated by means of widespread individual choice, and governments that attempt to impose restrictions will - over time - be unsuccessful. The urge to reproduce ensures the survival of the species, and I can't ever imagine the majority of humanity being capable of ignoring that instinctual mandate. I also don't feel that most of our world's societies provide adequate tools (socially or physically, i.e. universally accepted, safe birth control) or enough of our population willing to render themselves incapable of reproducing (by way of surgery) to curb reproduction to that degree.

    I have nothing but admiration for those who choose not to reproduce, especially for well-thought-out reasons such as recognizing a disinclination to raise children or out of a sense of ecological responsibility. I have a couple of friends who have chosen not to have children. I myself have two children, both of whom were deeply wanted and remain a joyful commitment, but my husband are content with these two, and have done what is necessary to ensure that we will not have any more.
     
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  3. OP
    acd

    acd Well-known member

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    Well, I'm interested in any feedback so thanks for taking the time to read and reply! It is a pretty well written piece, well thought out and eloquent in it's seemingly rational appearance-- but I think it screams of emotional frustration.

    I agree that the instinct is too strong for people to individually form a mass consensus to decide to not reproduce. Plus I'm not so sure that most people would go about problem-solving oppression and exploitation of one's kind and environmental exploitation and destruction by choosing to end the human race.. The whole article is a pretty intellectualized way of saying: "I give up. We can't fix any of this, let's give up."

    If one is going to go as far to to suggest the extinction of their own kind to preserve the biosphere, that which sustains them by means of a mass consensus to decide on the extinction-- wouldn't it just be easier to persuade people to come to a mass consensus to change what they are doing to damage what sustains them as a species? Just seems like the most irrational bit of altruism I've ever heard of. Since all things strive to live, wouldn't it be easier to come to a consensus to live responsibly, instead of to die off responsibly? I mean, according to Occam's Razor, "The simplest solution is best."

    I'm just absolutely blown away that some one can say that reproduction is the root cause of the exploitation of the poor, and since the poor can't be happy we should all stop living. It just seems crazy to be so concerned with the oppression and unhappiness of other people that the only solution you can come up with is for the human race to become extinct!
     
  4. ZenCat

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    I agree. It's at the far end of the extremism scale to blame reproduction rather than individual personality traits like greed, lack of imagination, lack of education, absence of will, etc.

    Also it suggests an unwillingness to accept change or even the possibility of change which in turn suggests the inability to recognize the potential for change that exists in each individual.

    It appears to be one of those "Everyone is *insert flaw here*" arguments, which always baffle me.
     
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  5. Flavus Aquila

    Flavus Aquila Finding My Place in the Sun
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    I don't exactly understand the whole feminist movement so I have some questions:

    1. What is the motivation for the feminist movement?

    2. What are the goals for the feminist movement?

    3. What would constitute a position against the feminist movement?
     
  6. Shai Gar

    Shai Gar Guest

    3. Any position I take.
     
  7. Julia

    Julia Community Member

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    I'll have to spend a little more time thinking about it, but have a few thoughts presently. There is less pressure to reproduce now than in the past. Some of what the author is promoting is occurring naturally I think.

    I do not see there being one model for a family unit or that reproduction has to be aligned with such a unit. There is still a traditional norm which is relevant to much of what the author says, but there are also single, professional women getting invetro fertilization and married couples who have no children by choice. Even if these are not majority choices, they are by no means unusual.

    Marriage has traditionally been associated with maintaining property within a family name through inheritance, so making the case that it maintains divisions in society makes some sense.
     
    #7 Julia, Apr 23, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2009
  8. Creon

    Creon Community Member

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    Well I could think of better ways to change the world instead of dooming our kind. Isn't a little bit stupid to stop reproduction instead of changing the economic system or the social structure and the idea of family? Plato had considered in his republic that all children should be taken from their families at birth and should be raised along all the other children in an "equal opportunity" enviroment, where children were to be held in common by all, in order to avoid nepotism and ammasing of private wealth.
     
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    #8 Creon, Apr 25, 2009
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  9. Shai Gar

    Shai Gar Guest

    If we get rid of reproduction and sexual drive... so many women would be sidelined just for being retarded.

    They're weaker, they don't bond as well with men without the sex bit, they don't bond with each other, they constantly undermine each others authority and can't be put in charge of other women.* Whereas men bond easy with each other, and aren't closer simply because of fear of being called fags. Men are also physically stronger, and are able to get a lot more done than women are with the sole exception of what you want to remove.

    Reproduction is the ultimate field leveller. It's also the key to creating true equality of the sexes if women obeyed me and followed my plan for gender equality.




    *this is only the majority of women, not necessarily you.
     
  10. Shai Gar

    Shai Gar Guest

    Mao Tse Tung tried that. It failed miserably.
     
  11. OP
    acd

    acd Well-known member

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    Real simple.
    1. Equality for all people regardless of sex or gender or sexual orientation.
    2. Same as above.
    3. Opposing equality of a person based on sex, gender, or sexual orientation.

    P.S. Thanks for resurrecting this thread! I had high hopes for it when I posted it months ago.. and it didn't seem to do much, then.
     
  12. Flavus Aquila

    Flavus Aquila Finding My Place in the Sun
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    But people aren't all equal in every respect.

    Some are better atheletes; some better scientists; etc. etc.

    Similarly, woman are better mothers than men - so in regard to those things which make women and men different, they are not equal in various respects.
     
  13. OP
    acd

    acd Well-known member

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    Equal rights and employment opportunities. Equal medical rights..

    For example, a big thing issue recently is whether pharmacists should be allowed to refuse to give out birth control to customers, or whether they should be allow to try and dissuede customers from purchasing birth control or the plan B pill.

    Feminist thought is that that is unacceptable. Do you see why?


    Anyway. People are different, but I don't see how differences mean that there should be an inequality among them. So what do you mean by that?
     
    #13 acd, Apr 25, 2009
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  14. Flavus Aquila

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    I don't say that there SHOULD be an inequality amoung people.
    I say that there IS an inequality amoung people.

    I don't think men should be allowed to have the same amount of leave that women have (titled maternity leave). This isn't being sexist, it is just a recognition that infants don't need the fathers as much as their mothers.

    I think that part of the difficulty I have with the equality arguement is that I live outside the U.S., where 'rights' are not the big issue. It is more a matter of 'recognition'. In Australia, it is more a relevant to see that women's needs are recognised and accomodated.

    As for the pill - when the 'male pill' is eventually perfected, I am sure that there will be the same difficulty in obtaining it.

    My opinion on that topic is that hormonal treatments should be forbidden in all but the most life-threatening cases. Hormones do not break down in the environment - oestrogen is particularly stable and has all sorts of nasty effects on the animals living down-stream from major cities.
     
  15. Azure_Knight

    Azure_Knight Community Member

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    The right to do anything should be tied to the responsibility that goes with it.

    IMHO, the movement is more about making money and spreading ignorance more than anything else. For example, V day was created as a day for anti-violence against women. However, I have heard the V monologues read on V day. One of the stories is about a thirteen year old girl who is given alcohol and has sexual experiences with an older woman. The girl describes the experiences as 'positive healing' among other things. IMHO, the story is about statutory rape, intoxication of a minor, and an older woman taking advantage of an impressionable girl. How this act can be described as non violent is beyond me...

    Any group that tries to make money through spreading ignorance is completely against what I believe to be right and true. I have found V day and other things (but not all!) in the women's movement to violate this statement and others that they themselves have made. For example, the women's movement is supposed to be about equality between genders. This is simply not the case however. Members demand special treatment, and villify anyone (male or female) who would deny them of being special are either against women or worse. Women who are for the stated purpose of the women's movement should break away from this sect and spread the truth about women as well as promote equality.

    I apologize if my post offends anyone, but I wanted to provide my experiences with the women's movement to add meaningful discussion. I have nothing against either men, women, or movements for true equality.
     
    #15 Azure_Knight, Apr 25, 2009
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  16. OP
    acd

    acd Well-known member

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    Do you think there ever will be a male pill? Seems unlikely to me. But--were it to happen, I'm sure some men would probably get hassled by some zealots for trying to purchase it.

    So you believe that contraceptive pills (which, yeah, are hormones) should be forbidden due to environmental issues? That's really interesting, and call me ignorant--but I wasn't really aware of the environmental damage caused by producing contraceptives... Anyway.

    Ok. All that aside... Aside from environmental issues, there are women who have been denied the pill because their pharmacist had a moral dilemma in handing them over. Do you think that's fair?


    Also, here's a site from abc http://abcnews.go.com/WhatWouldYouDo/Story?id=7021986&page=1 covering this.

    About legislature: http://www.physiciansforlife.org/content/view/1372/29/

    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/130293235

    And these are interesting, too: http://www.feministing.com/archives/011744.html
    http://www.womenstake.org/2008/06/pro-life-pharma.html
     
    #16 acd, Apr 25, 2009
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  17. Flavus Aquila

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    I think that some people have a moral dilema about the pill for two reasons:

    it encourages people to have irresponsible sex;

    there are questions as to whether it acts as an abortefacient.

    As for fair, I don't think anyone should be forced to do something against their conscience, no matter how out of step it might seem. Someone's conscience is their conscience.
     
  18. OP
    acd

    acd Well-known member

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    You're right; no one should betray their conscience. If that is the case--they probably shouldn't be pharmacists, then.

    How can the use of contraceptives be irresponsible sex? Regardless, one person's moral dilemma shouldn't determine the actions of another individual.

    Why should a stranger get to decide whether a woman has sex or not? And why should a stranger get to determine whether the sex is irresponsible or not?
     
  19. Flavus Aquila

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    Some teenagers do really self-destructive things. It just seems that being on the pill might for some (only some) lead them to throw off all restraint and end up catching STD/STI's.
     
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    acd

    acd Well-known member

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    Denying them the pill won't stop them from having sex, though.
     
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