Is Kleinheider Coming Around?

Today, Kleinheider says:

In my opinion, you are only pro-life if you believe abortion should be outlawed (with exceptions for rape, incest, life of the mother) at some level of government. You can be pro-life and not want a human life amendment to the constitution. You can be pro-life and prefer that the issue go to the states.

But, in my mind, you cannot call yourself pro-life if you believe that abortion should remain as a legal medical procedure. You just cannot. [Emphasis his.]

Is Kleinheider getting soft in his old age?

I’ve often talked about how we, as a society, tend to think of pregnancy as the proper punishment for sluts and how so much of the anti-abortion rhetoric seems to circle around making sure that women don’t escape the punishment that they so richly deserve.

How much punishment do women deserve for being sluts?  Kleinheider spells it out for you.

You don’t deserve to die (hence the reason for the “life of mother” exception).  That’s too far.  But you do deserve to be forced to have a baby.

How do we know this is about punishing sluts?

Because Kleinheider is willing to make an exception for women who got pregnant while not willingly having sex–rape and incest.

If a human being is a human being, from the moment of conception forward, there can be no exceptions (except, possibly, life of mother).  The ‘baby’ cannot help how it was conceived.  Rape and incest are no excuse for “murdering” a baby.

And yet, Kleinheider offers those two loopholes for women seeking abortions.


Because even Kleinheider is uncomfortable with women who are already the victims of crimes that might impregnate them being further victimized by having to gestate and, at the least, give birth to the child of her victimizer.

Now, if only we can work Kleinheider up to the idea that women are grown-ass individuals who all have our own equally valid reasons for making the reproductive choice we make, we might be on to a true revolution.

“All in all they were all just bricks in the wall”

So, we built this wall down south, designed to keep Mexicans out of Texas.  Turns out we’ve just been keeping Mexicans out of Mexico.  Some might find humor in the idea that we don’t even really know where the country full of people we’re so afraid of starts and ours ends.

I, myself, am one of those people.

Nashville Serial Killers

Okay, y’all, so I’m sitting there last night watching CBS’s news magazine wishing I had a poker player next to me, because when the kid was all “I so didn’t stick an ax in my parents’ faces while they slept,” his eyes did something funky that seemed to me as if he was saying, “Yes, yes, I did and I thought they would both die!” when the news came on and Channel 5 starts talking about a serial killer along I-40.

Well, that will sit a girl bolt upright.

Sadly, the story was about 15 seconds long, which leaves me with a ton of questions, which I shall ask you.

For as long as I’ve lived in Nashville, I’ve heard rumors of a suspected serial killer who preyed on prostitutes who work Dickerson Pike.  Has anyone else heard this?  Is it true?  Is it just legend?

If it is true, do law enforcement folks think that this is the same guy as the I-40 killer, if indeed there is an I-40 killer?  Or are there possibly two serial killers at work here in Nashville? According to wikipedia (I know!), the FBI has said that there are probably 35 serial killers at work in the country at any given time. It would seem strange for Nashville to have two.

Is the I-40 killer only killing women in Middle Tennessee or are there other murders along I-40 that fit that pattern?  The investigation is surely hampered by how busy truckstops are, but isn’t it also hampered by the marginal stature of the victims?

One could make a good argument about how this is just more evidence that prostitution needs to be legalized and well-regulated, but I will refrain.

Beauty, the Beast, and Weakness

I’m still thinking about Chris Benoit and I’m thinking about how sad it is that, when a woman winds up dead, if you want to find her killer, by and large, you just start interviewing the people who claim to love her and the people she said she loved and looked for the one(s) who ever laid hands on her and that’s probably who did it.

Rachel has a post about a story from Maryville, about a judge who told a woman who was dropping assault charges against her now husband that she’d better not show back up in his courtroom “claiming the justice system failed to protect her, the next time she gets beaten.”

Don’t get me wrong; I think Rachel’s absolutely right to be disgusted with that judge.

But I can see his point, too.

Again, we tell this story about men–that they are monsters who just cannot help but stomp through the world hurting the people who are in their care.  And so we put the onus on women to be the civilizing influence in men’s lives.

It’s like we, as a culture, believe that Beauty and the Beast is not just a fairytale, but a blueprint for how we ought to live.  Men run around being monsters; women try to tame them.  If the woman is good enough to earn the man’s love–if she keeps the house just so, if she raises the kids just right, if she sets aside her career plans and focuses on making him a success, if she gives enough of herself and in the right way–he will stop hurting her and come to love her.

Her good work will earn her a love that she deserves.  And, if she doesn’t get that kind of love, she must not deserve it.

You can see how women get suckered into abusive relationships and why, in addition to fear, we stay.  That idea of being good enough, of being special enough, of earning the changed behavior of a dangerous man, it’s seductive and I think it makes some women feel powerful (even in situations where, objectively, they have little power)–“I can handle a beast no other woman could.”

Chris Benoit’s wife had accused him of being abusive before, even gotten a restraining order against him, and yet she went back to him–Beauty devoted to transforming her Beast.

Here’s what’s haunting me, though: all of the people who thought that Chris Benoit was a good man.  I’m not talking about folks like me, who just saw him on TV.  I’m talking about the folks he worked with, the folks he was friends with.  Did they really not see that side of him or is our definition of what constitutes a good man so far off the mark that it can include a man his wife was sometimes afraid for her life of?

I keep thinking of all the kids Daniel Benoit’s age, who, until last week, turned on wrestling and looked at Chris Benoit and saw a model for what a man might be.  A man who would kill his own son.

I’m not a man, obviously, and so I can’t speak for what y’all need, but damn, it seems like we’re, as a society, not giving you something you need.  Or, fuck it, is that more Beauty and the Beast crap?  “Oh, men, tell us what we can do differently so that you’ll stop hurting us.”

I feel this idea forming that I don’t yet know how to put into words, because I think we want to look at family violence in all its forms as something gendered.  But abusers can be male or female and their victims male or female.  I do think gender roles have something to do with it.

But I think there’s something about weakness, too.  I don’t quite know how to understand that–but it seems like, in some people, male or female, when faced with weakness, rather than protect the weaker person, they see weakness as an indication that they can do whatever they want to that weaker person.  Or, even more insidious, that whatever happens to that weaker person is either inevitable or that weaker person’s fault in some way.

Again, I don’t want to second guess Benoit’s wife, but in 2003, she was so afraid for her life and the life of her son that it came to the attention of the police.  And yet, she went back to him and, sadly, it turns out that she was right.

I would hope that, if most folks thought there was good reason to be afraid someone might kill their kid, they would do whatever they could to keep that kid separated from the potential killer.

But maybe not if you feel that you, yourself, are weak, that the kid is weak, and that whatever happens to weak people is somehow inevitable and somewhat their fault.

I don’t know.

And how do we combat that mindset?  That weak people just have to take what’s coming to them, because they probably deserve it?

If Only I Had Not Just Committed to Marrying “The Trailer Park Boys”

PeskyFly has a post today so genius that, had I not just decided yesterday to marry a little known (here in the U.S.) Canadian television show, I would have to propose to PeskyFly, or maybe just his penis.

Even after reading the post a couple of times, I’m not clear who exactly my crush is on.  PeskyFly is brilliant, but Lorrie Morgan told me his penis will make me feel safe at night.

Speaking of “The Trailer Park Boys,” I think I sense a theme in men I find kind of irresistible.

See if you can spot it.

(Though I am disturbed to learn that Alan Autry is some kind of homophobic mayor in his old age.  I’ve always wondered why Grace didn’t marry him; maybe that’s it.)

Ha, yes, just part your hair down the middle and feather the sides.  That appears to be all it takes.  Apparently, my libedo was formed in 1982.  Just stick a guy like that in a Camaro and the next thing you know, I’ll be spraying my bangs straight up in a giant sail of hair and aquanet, trying to get his attention.