Only Senator Marrero Stood for Us

I gave her a lot of grief, but I just want to point out that Senator Marrero was the only person yesterday to stand up and tell things from the pro-choice side and from the side of reality.

I’d like to have the opportunity to say there is a different perspective. There are those of us who really do care for and respect a woman’s right to make choices about her own body. … I don’t know of anything that’s more private or more important than for a woman to be able to decide whether she would like to carry a baby under whatever circumstances. It seems to me that some of these decisions are very agonizing, very difficult for people to make. But it’s a decision that should be made between a woman and her husband or her partner and her physician or the people who care about her. It seems to me unreasonable that the legislature should make this important decision for a woman.

We have so many children in this state right now who are in state custody who are being taken care of because they were in abusive situations. If you force people to have babies who don’t want or need babies, I can’t even imagine how many abusive situations you’re going to run into. Every child should be a wanted child. That is what a lot of us in the state of Tennessee sincerely believe, that a woman should make choice to have a child, to love that child and to take care of that child, and that is her right to make that decision. I oppose the state of Tennessee and the legislature making that decision for a woman. I applaud the fact that the constitution in the state of Tennessee guarantees a woman’s right to privacy. Nothing is more private than what you do with your own body.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–I feel like anti-abortion folks think that babies are magic.  That, if only they can persuade, or, if necessary, force, a woman to have a baby, she will transform into the perfect mother.  She won’t drink or do drugs while she’s pregnant.  If she doesn’t want to be a mother, she’ll happily give the baby up for adoption, and the baby will end up in a happy, perfect, wonderful home.

I have witnessed first-hand how this is not the case.  How women who shouldn’t have children at all have babies because “Hell no, she’s not having an abortion” who still drink and do drugs and smoke throughout their pregnancies, who refuse to consider even in-family adoptions because “it’s mine,” and who put those children in dangerous situations again and again and again.  I have seen the cigarette burns and the bruises from straps.

Babies are not magic.

They are not so powerful that they will be able to protect themselves from situations they should have never had to be in to begin with.  If a woman knows she can’t hack it as a mother, the State should not force her to be one.  That is not fair to her or her children.

36 thoughts on “Only Senator Marrero Stood for Us

  1. I can’t speak for the womenfolk in your state, B., but I’m thinking the menfolk who push this kind of legislation don’t give a shit about the babies. To them, it’s the sperm that holds the magic. The Masculine Life Juice must not be denied its sacred, natural destiny. So if women want to have sex with men, they have to accept several rules:

    1. There will be no contraception. Thou shalt not interfere with the destiny of the MLJ.

    2. There will be no abortion. Thou shalt not destroy what the MLJ has created.

    3. Once the baby is born, the slutty bitch is on her own, unless a) she is married to the provider of the MLJ, who will then be lord and master of the progeny and may do with the progeny as he wishes (including abusing and/or abandoning it), or b) she is not married to the provider of the MLJ, which means she must be ready to accept said provider’s interference in her life at any point at which he decides to lay claim to what is rightfully his.

    4. Any deviation from the aforementioned rules is to be considered a grave transgression against the preferred, sperm-centered order of things. If there are insufficient laws to make any and all such transgressions illegal, then writing them and enacting them is the first priority of all legislators.

    Feel free to amend these rules as you see fit.

  2. Pingback: Thank You, Senator Marrero « Women’s Health News

  3. How … Aristotelian. Which reminds me that you’re leaving out:

    5. The only input into a child’s being that a woman can possibly have is by nursing it, since milk, while it can’t overcome MLJ, can seriously interfere with it’s ability to imprint the child with all that is masculine and good, and therefore nursing of babies is to be discouraged, considered to be obscene and dirty, made difficult, ridiculed, and all that stuff. Bottles and formula are the way!

  4. Funny, I was just telling my kid about the homunculus and spermist theories of conception because they were referenced in Midsummer’s Night’s Dream.

  5. My two favorite bumper stickers:

    If men got pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.

    If you don’t believe in abortion, don’t have one.

  6. Pingback: Babies Aren’t Magic : Post Politics: Political News and Views in Tennessee

  7. B., I wouldn’t set foot nor tire in Tennessee without coming to visit you. But I do spend a lot of time with people who seem to think like Campfield (God knows they talk like they do), so that kind of misogynist, racist, homophobic– oh, you get the point.

  8. So can we add on to this legislation that all men that don’t/ can’t/aren’t paying child support will be required to get vasectomies? or will the state go ahead and guarantee child support funding for all of the babies they want to protect and keep with this legislation? How about medical insurance for these children?

    It’s real easy to grandstand and legislate, it’s much harder to fund, protect and educate.

  9. > aren’t paying child support will be required to get vasectomies?

    If you really want men to pay their child support, change “vasectomies” to “castration”. That might actually work. :-)

  10. I think we need a version of Godwin’s Law specific to abortion discussions that is invoked whenever the word castration gets thrown in to the discussion.

  11. will the state go ahead and guarantee child support funding for all of the babies they want to protect and keep with this legislation? How about medical insurance for these children?

    Ahh, but the key thing to remember about the “pro-life” crowd is that the goal is only to protect “life” until it’s born. then it’s on it’s own.

  12. OH MY GOD, DOLPHIN!!!!! I have always assumed that “pro-life” meant “on the side of life.” But what if the “pro” means “before” like the “prologue” to a book?!

    All this time, they’ve been clear that they’re all about being on the side of “before-life” and we’ve just misunderstood.

  13. I’m always surprised by the amount of people down here who have a working knowledge of Biblical Greek, so I’m chalking it up to that.

  14. I’d like to just meekly pop in here to remind you all that not all pro life people are into abandoning the baby after birth and abandoning the mother at any stage.

    I have always always always been a prolife person who thinks that the key to ending abortions is not a temper tantrum of bossy legislation but is instead arrived at through care and concern for the people most likely to have abortions. Women. All women.

    I care about womens’ issues. I care about all women.

    The good news is that over the last five years there are a lot more prolifers like me. Those who turn their backs on the attempts to outlaw Roe and instead do vital work caring for girls, women and young families.

    The irony or bad news is that we are overwhelmingly women. The “new prolifers” as they call us– even though I’ve been doing it this way for 22 years– are women. The men are still throwing tantrums and making laws.

  15. Can we please dispense with the jokes about castration and vasectomies and how men are the most evilest monsters that ever walked the Goddesses’ wonderful Earth? That garbage got old in the 1970s. It has no place in a serious discussion about the madness of the Tennessee legislature with regard to abortion.

    Heh-heh, in Africa they cut girls in their vaginas, that’s pretty funny, huh? No, it’s not fucking funny, and neither are your castration jokes.

  16. Yah, “some men are doing wrongheaded stuff” is exactly equivalent to “men are the most evilest monsters that ever walked the Goddesses’ wonderful Earth.” I’m sure that’s just what Coble would have written if she could only have found the words.

  17. autoegocrat, I assumed saraclark isn’t actually making jokes about castration and vasectomies so much as she is alluding to the historical precedent of people advocating for interfering in the reproduction of women based on whether or not they require government aid – see the history of forced and coerced sterilization and coercion wrt certain long-term contraceptives for examples. In other words, those actions were “justified” because the women’s actions were seen as a burden on society/the government, thereby giving those entities an interest in their reproductive freedoms. By my reading, it’s an example of what we’d see if we were being consistent (which still wouldn’t make it right).

  18. Speaking as someone who’s occasionally been identified as a man, I find the castration jokes pretty funny.

    And may God bless you, Katherine Coble. You are pro-life in the same way that I am. My quarrel isn’t with you, it’s with people who use the term dishonestly.

  19. Autoegocrat, do not make me have to try to enforce a rule that says you must be high before reading the comments here.

    Relax. It’s all good. There’s no one here who actually believes that men need to be castrated or that y’all are evil. And that comment is clearly, clearly a bitter joke, wishing that we had the same assumed right to bodily autonomy as you, not a bitter joke wishing y’all really had to face the same kinds of bizarre interferences by the state.

    I’m truly sorry you had such a bad experience with feminists in the 70s, but I was busy doing things in the 70s like learning to use a toilet, trying to walk, getting a basic command of language, and picking on my brother. If I got a copy of the 1975 feminist agenda, I probably had to have my mom fish it out of my mouth after I tried to eat it.

    Seeing as we’re all good commies here, I’d just point out to you that what was tragedy in the 70s has become farce here at Tiny Cat Pants in the 00s.

    But if you require from me an apology for the sins of all feminists 40 years ago in order to feel comfortable here and able to get the stick out of your butt, consider it given.

    Now, come on, man, and stop being so fucking weird and up-tight.

  20. By my reading, it’s an example of what we’d see if we were being consistent
    Rachel, in what sense is castration comporable or consistent with forced sterilization? A vasectomy is a decent comparison, but castration goes well beyond that.

    Besides that, by my reading castration was brought up in this thread in context of punishment/ motivation regarding payment of child support rather than anything to do with any governmental history of forced female sterilization.

    I got indifferent children’s point, and I didn’t have any particular problem with it other than the fact that certain words and concepts immediately change the discussion in a pretty negative way. But are you really saying that forced castration is consistent with forced sterilization?

  21. I mean, when you castrate a boy cow, you take his balls. When you castrate a boy person, you take his balls. How is depriving someone of his balls not the same (though cruder) as depriving someone of her uterus or ovaries?

  22. There’s no one here who actually believes that men need to be castrated or that y’all are evil.
    Aren’t you the one that’s fond of pointing out the power of words? Obviously no one is actually advocating castration, but it’s dirty pool to bring it up in this capacity.

  23. I just don’t see it. We’re talking about state interference in people’s reproductive rights. How is pointing out that one gender’s bodies are considered fair game for really invasive state interference and the other gender not considered dirty pool?

    I’m not be petulant. I just honestly don’t see it.

  24. B., you just have to understand scrotal sensitivity. If you even TALK about molesting a man’s testicular accessories, it causes an instinctive defensive reaction. It is especially dangerous when a female does it. See, because we want you females to have awe and respect for Teh Mighty Phallus (and it’s testicular accessories). So when one of you even jokes about molesting those parts, it’s kind of like a psychological Achilles heel, but attached to the penis.

    Sorry for the snark, gentlemen, but I just can’t take the fear of a castration-minded feminazi seriously when there is a far more prolific and merciless erection thief that waits out there for all of us.

  25. Sam, it’s really somewhat more complicated than that.

    All right B, I think my concept of what’s behind the words ‘sterilization’ and ‘castration’ is somewhat different from yours. When I hear ‘sterilization’ I think vasectomy or tubal ligation type things. And castration…. I think I’ve read too much historical fiction to think of it as something as simple as surgically removing balls.

    So in my mind Rachel was comparing a tubal ligation to chopping off all the dangly bits. That’s an unfair comparison and I’ll continue to maintain that belief. The one is way the hell more invasive than the other. Since Rachel was probably referring to something bigger than a tubal ligation, then I retract my over reaction.

    However, I do want to point out that castration specifically got brought up as being worse than a vasectomy. saraclark proposed a vasectomy for men that didn’t pay child support and indifferent children said that castration would work much better. Sure I over reacted, but there’s a lot more going on there than you’re saying.

  26. Gotta say, as a person of the male persuasion, I understood the point of the castration analogy & thought it pretty funny.

    But back to SJR 127…

    By tabling Kyle’s amendment which would’ve created exceptions for cases of rape, incest, & the life of the mother, it’s clear is that the GOoPers do not want any exceptions enshrined in the constitution. They say that they will leave it up to future General Assemblies to create those exceptions, knowing full well that if one General Assembly creates those exceptions, another General Assembly can just as easily take them away.

  27. Here’s what I can’t figure: why’d Marrero give money to Tim Barnes, knowing these were the stakes? I guess she figured all the Dems would roll over when 127 came to the Senate floor for a vote, and that one more voice for choice wouldn’t make much of a difference.

    Not that I agree with that calculation, and I’m more than a little disappointed in her.

  28. Thank you rachel for clarifying the direction I wanted to go with my earlier comment.

    I am not pro-castration or anti male in any way. But my point was that any legislation that invades an indivudal’s personal reproductive areas and takes away their choices in life is not a good thing. Most men would feel just as threatened by another gender making these decisions for them as women do currently.

    Coble’s take on a pro-life person working to make a difference through actions and society rather than legislation and laws is a much better way to go and one that more people could live with.

    I am for choice-his, hers, yours, mine and ours. Someone else should not get to make that decision for me.

  29. I’m truly sorry you had such a bad experience with feminists in the 70s, but I was busy doing things in the 70s like learning to use a toilet, trying to walk, getting a basic command of language, and picking on my brother. If I got a copy of the 1975 feminist agenda, I probably had to have my mom fish it out of my mouth after I tried to eat it.

    Hah, indeed. Let’s see, in the 70s, I was… -14 years old? Ish? Exciting, that. Y’know, existing in two places at once as bits of information that would eventually be gametes which would, at some point in the future, unite and pop out a kid who one day gained some feminist sensibilities… fun stuff! Totally allows you agenda-setting abilities.

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