Giving Women $1,000 to Have a Baby

I haven’t seen anyone point out the obvious yet, but I’m just going to say it.  There is absolutely NOTHING surprising about Steve Waldman advocating trying to come up with a small, suitable, not unseemly fee we might pay pregnant women who would otherwise have abortions to have their babies and then give them up for adoption.

Because, after all, saying “paying women who would otherwise have abortions to have their babies and then give them up for adoption” is just a long-handed way of saying “let’s buy babies from women.”

And what’s surprising about this?

The core belief of the pro-life movement is that it’s okay for the State to step in and take control of a woman’s body for nine months in order to force her to give birth, if she gets pregnant.  In other words, that there are some circumstances in which your body is not intrinsically you, but is instead a thing that the State might need to own and control if you yourself cannot control it properly.

Well, if the pro-life movement already believes that women’s bodies do not belong to ourselves, but can under very ordinary circumstances, belong to the State, what’s so surprising about learning that some pro-lifers believe that a baby’s body might also be up for grabs?  Also available as a commodity to be bought and sold?

If you believe you have the right to commandeer a woman’s body and force her to give birth, it is not at all surprising that you believe that you then should be able commandeer the baby’s body, too?

No.  It’s extremely consistant.

A Review and a Preview

The preview: Y’all!  You can already get Those Darlins’ album from iTunes!  I am trying my very hardest not to download it here at work, even though I so need to spend the whole afternoon listening to it.  But look at the song list!  They do a version of “Who’s that Knocking at My Window?” AND “Keep My Skillet Good and Greasy” (which reminds me, if you have a copy of Uncle Dave Macon’s version, email me. I can’t find the Oxford American CD with it on it.).  I can’t wait to listen to it.

But what radio station will play them? How will the whole world know they need to dance around to them?

The Review: Hombre Lobo by the Eels.  The Butcher and I have both been listening to it all weekend and we are both of the opinion that it is a good album that becomes great the longer you let it repeat. I’m not a big Eels fan, but the Butcher is.  He says it’s much better than their last one, which he declared “kind of boring and pretentious.” So, even if their last album put you off, you might like this one.

Ha, I’m sorry, I’m such a fan-girl nerd when it comes to music I like.

The Thing(s) that Bug(s) Me about Jon & Kate +8

I think I may have posted about this before, but I’m too lazy to look.  I was, however, talking about this this weekend and still thinking about it on the way home.

I have not watched that many episodes of this show and never a whole one all the way through.  But when flipping by, I would stop to watch the kids be cute and do cute things.

I mention this because it is possible that I managed to watch on the small handful of very rare occassions when Kate slapped Jon, but I tend to believe she slapped him almost every time I saw the show because she slapped him quite frequently.

And one show I watched, she was talking about how Jon used to make fun of how her belly looked after she had all those kids.

I’ve been thinking about that, because when I first heard it, I was like “god, what a fucknut.  Who says that about your wife after she’s had eight kids with you?”

But I’ve been thinking, what if Jon were Jonna and Kate were Karl.  Would I buy that because Jonna made fun of Karl’s body, Karl deserved to be able to slap her?  I’m not saying that that’s the argument Kate was making, of course, but it seems kind of how the show is set up, for Kate to be the put-upon drill sergeant who has to keep an army of kids and inadequate husbands together through discipline.

I also think that there’s the whole, “Well, she isn’t hitting him hard enough to hurt him,” thing.

But again, if Karl were slapping Jonna on tv regularly, would I buy that? That it’s okay because he’s not slapping her hard enough to hurt her?

We know well how male abusers work–how they and the people around them excuse their behavior because the victim deserves it in some way.

But it seems to me that here’s a classic example of how female abusers practice–wide out in the open because the kids are a handful, so who can blame her for losing it occassionally?, and because it’s kind of a joke that she hits her husband.  After all, you’d have to be a real wimp to not be able to take a few slaps.

You can see how our societal stereotypes about what it means to be a real man keep a lot of folks, even a lot of feminists, from recognizing what she does to him as abuse.  After all, we expect him to take it.  For him not to take it would be unmanly. (We call this “The Patriarchy Hurts Men, too” and then the men all laugh and say “Whatever” but I’m still right.)

But it still teaches the same thing to the kids–that problems are solved and frustrations resolved through violence and that you should be willing to tolerate some level of violence from your spouse.

But more than that what bugs me is that these two have behaved that way on television and then gone all over putting themselves out there as a good Christian example of a family.  I don’t blame them for trying to make a buck.  I even understand the motivations behind two people in a really fucked up marriage wanting continual outside validation that their fucked up situation is blessed by God.

But folks, if your church leaders watched that show and still had those folks into your church to talk to you or recommended their books for you to read, you might should ask yourself what kinds of shepherds are leading your flock.