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Tag Archives: ableism

On Abortion and Reproductive Rights

This post isn’t about being pro-choice or pro-life, or pro-abortion or anti-choice if you use the rhetoric of the opposing side. It’s about a really disturbing pattern I’ve seen recently in various discussions, both online and off, regarding abortion rights. I am genuinely disturbed and uncomfortable when people say that their reason for being pro-choice is “What about poor women? What about disabled/mentally ill women*?” etc.

If your reasons for being pro-choice are founded in classism, ableism, racism, or any other -ism, then we’re not making any fucking progress at all. If your logic is “abortions need to be safe and legal because otherwise women popping out babies to get the DPB is going to become an even bigger problem” or “Disabled women or women with mental health problems just can’t cope with having kids, so abortions need to be available to them”—I don’t say this often, but you are fucking doing it wrong. If your reason for wanting safe and legal abortion is so that the women you don’t think should be having kids can have them, and you’re going to then turn around and shame those who do have kids even though you deem them too young, too poor, not capable, etc. etc.—then sorry, the other side’s rhetoric is way more accurate. That’s not pro-choice, that’s pro-abortion.

Pro-choice is more than access to abortions. It’s also access to effective and affordable birth control. It’s allowing a pregnant person to choose, for themselves, the fate of their own bodies and lives without indulging in slut-shaming and bigotry. It’s working towards better support for women who choose to keep and raise a child, no matter what. Reproductive rights are exactly that: the right to reproduce, or the right not to reproduce—and knowing that whatever your decision, you will be supported. If not by the government (yet), then at least by the people who are supposed to be fighting for everyone’s reproductive rights.

*It’s worth noting that abortion is not solely a woman’s issue and not everyone who bears a uterus is a woman — however, in this rhetoric people will almost always use “women” exclusively, so that’s what I’ve used here.

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2011 in Reproductive/sexual health

 

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Signal Boost: hate pages on Facebook

Trigger warning for just about every -ism you can conceive. This post is about the prevalence of hate groups on Facebook. Also an added trigger warning for discussions of rape and abuse in the comments.

Addendum 25/09/2011: Scar has quite rightly pointed out in the comments that this list doesn’t contain any hate pages against trans* folk. This was an oversight on my part—at the time I posted the link to this page, I simply didn’t have the spoons to read through the whole list, and I take full responsibility for this. My heartfelt apologies to anyone who felt erased by this—obviously as it is not my list I can’t do a lot about it, however I will definitely keep it in mind when I am linking pages in the future.

Good Gravey has posted The big, bad list of hate-pages yet to be reported (plus the success stories) on his Tumblr. Those of you who follow/like/whatever-the-kids-are-calling-it-nowadays the SlutWalk Aotearoa Facebook page will know that I and the other moderators of the page will often post the links to Facebook pages that perpetuate rape culture; however the sad truth is that the list Good Gravey has provided here is, simply put, too long to deal with individually.

Facebook have outrighted stated that in their opinion, pages that threaten rape are no worse than a bawdy pub joke. According to Facebook’s statistics page, there are over 750 million users currently on Facebook. If we assume a gender balance, and we also assume the often-touted statistics that one in four women and one in eight men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime, there are over 140 million survivors of sexual assault actively using Facebook.* To ignore them in favour of stating that “It is very important to point out that what one person finds offensive another can find entertaining” is a horrific marginilisation of a huge part of your users.

And this doesn’t just stand for rape culture, either. The only way to even stand a chance of being taken seriously is to report each one of these disgusting pages that promotes racism, sexism, rape culture, cissexism, classism, ableism and any other -ism you can conceive.

Again, the full list is here and I would encourage those of you with the spoons to report, report, report as much as possible. There is currently a success rate (i.e. the pages now show as uanvailable/removed) of ~9%. This is could, but we can try to make it better.

*If anyone wants to check my math (it is rather late): 750,000,000 users = 375,000,000 women and 375,000,000 men.
375,000,000 x ¼ = 93,750,000
375,000,000 x ⅛ = 46,875,000
93,750,000 + 46,875,000 = 140,625,000

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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