“Choice” was so ten years ago.

18 05 2008

Something has been bothering me for a while about certain sections of the feminist movement.

Remember “choice”? You know, what we were fighting for a bunch of years ago? Well, it seems to have gone out of style.

Sure, anyone will still valiantly defend your right to choose certain things related to reproductive health; namely, birth control and abortion. Unless we’re talking about “pro-life feminists” (shudder). But, especially lately, a lot of choices aren’t seen as nearly as valid. Specifically, choosing to do things certain feminists don’t approve of.

You know what I mean. Choose to have an abortion, or become an engineer? Good on ya! Choose to wear something revealing, be tied up, or be a stripper or porn star? Suddenly, you lose your ability to choose that. You know, because it’s all a product of brainwashing by the patriarchy.

I’ll definitely admit that sexism does influence our choices sometimes. So does racism, homophobia, transphobia, and ableism, and whatever other internalized prejudices one might have. But those aren’t always the only reasons someone might choose to do something (especially something you don’t particularly like or approve of). And, really, when it comes to women in porn or sex work or whatever, do people who call themselves “feminists” really think women are that weak and unintelligent? That they’re so brainwashed by the patriarchy that they couldn’t possibly make a choice of their own?

And as for choices that aren’t frowned upon? Well, I’ll be the first to admit that people don’t always have the most pristine of motives for, say, having abortions. Like, you know, wealthy families who don’t want a kid with Down Syndrome because they’ll never graduate from Princeton. Is it a choice I would make? Probably not. Is it influenced by a lot of ableism? Probably. Am I going to badger them constantly, and tell them how wrong and brainwashed they are? Hell no. It’s not my place to judge, let alone harass them over it. Which is why I distanced myself from a lot of the pro-lifers at Aspies for Freedom – but that is another rant for another time.

You know, it’s hugely ironic when certain feminists go on about “choice”. Then, when someone chooses something they don’t like, that person’s ability to choose suddenly vaporizes.

At some point, regardless of the motives they might have, we have to step back and let other people make their own decisions. Especially when those people are telling you to back off.

When I say I’m pro-choice, I mean it. And it’s not just about abortion.


Age of Consent Raised in Canada

3 05 2008

It’s officially, as of last Thursday, been raised to 16.

Honestly, my feelings are quite mixed about this. Primarily, I was worried that there wouldn’t be a close-in-age exemption, but there is. So, hopefully, we won’t have another Genarlow Wilson case, which is primarily, what I was worried about.

However, I worry about how this is going to impact young people’s access to sexual health services, such as contraceptives, abortion, and things like pelvic exams. By law, doctors, teachers, and other adults in positions of authority are required to report suspected child abuse; under this law, having sex with a 14 or 15 year old constitutes child abuse – and I’m guessing a lot of people will choose to ignore the fact that the close-in-age exemption exists. How is a 14-year-old girl going to get access to birth control if she can’t ask her doctor for it, for fear that legal action could be taken?

And this article has it all wrong. Hyperbole much?

Under the old law, it was still illegal for adults in positions of power (teachers and whatnot), to have sex with teenagers. And, no, a 14 or 15 year old is not a “child”. They are a teenager.

And you gotta love this line: (sarcasm, of course):

“No longer must parents and police watch as their children are lured off to some other city with a man who promises them love and excitement.”

No. Just, no. Kidnapping was always illegal. Sex trafficking was always illegal. Luring someone under 16 from their home – none of it was legal in the first place!

Most child/youth sexual abuse doesn’t start this way. The vast majority of it takes place in the home. But, of course, it’s so much easier to look at the scary men coming from the outside, rather than tackling the monsters hiding in homes around the world.

Sorry, your religious beliefs don’t give you licence to be an asshole.

26 04 2008

So the National Post (Canadian conservative mouthpiece newspaper, for those of you not in the know), published this lovely article today, about the fine, upstanding moral Catholic pharmacists and doctors (notice the blatant sarcasm), who won’t give people birth control or emergency contraceptives, and violate several codes of ethics in doing such.

Gag me with a spoon.

Yes, you are entitled to your beliefs. No, as a medical professional, you are not entitled to impose them on people who need their fricking medication.

And don’t even get me started on the so-called “moral values” of saving sex for marriage. Please don’t. My personal moral philosophy is simply “Harm none”. Why is that so hard for others to grasp? In short: please, right-wingers, get the fuck out of my sex life. (Or lack therof at this point). And everyone else’s, for that matter.

Not prescribing birth control or emergency contraceptives because of your proclaimed beliefs in the “sanctity of life” or “morality” is just absurd. How is it protecting anyone if a teenager in a rural area is denied birth control, and later gets pregnant? I have a friend who, at the time, lived in a rural area, when she thought she may have done something that could potentially have gotten her pregnant. She had to get her mother to drive her to a pharmacy, which was quite a ways away, to get the EC pill. But, she did, and continued with her life as usual.

What if she had one of these “moral” citizens as her pharmacist? What would she have done? And where, possibly, would she be now?

Jesus Christ. (No pun intended). Not everyone is taking birth control for “impure” reasons (although, to quote Seinfeld, not that there’s anything wrong with that). I take it for acne and awful cramps. If I lived in a remote area, deny me my prescription and I’m doubled over in pain, breaking out in pimples, and I probably won’t like you very much.

So much for pretending to care about people, huh?