Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Progressive Bloggers and the Abortion Battle
I must admit that when I first saw the battle over abortion raging at Progressive Bloggers, my first instinct was to duck and cover. Because I've seen it all before, and it always ends badly.
It's the kind of fight where the one who tries to break it up ends up in hospital. And everyone loses, except the real enemy.
But now that I've found my courage at the bottom of a bottle. Even though I don't usually drink. And now that I've written my will, I figure I have to say something before it gets even worse.
So here goes.
First of all I get it. I really do. I can understand why so many feminists in the PB blogosphere were pissed off at this post and this one. Because both inhabit the space between the naive and the incredibly ignorant.
Stephen Woodworth's motion is not a reasoned examination of anything. It's a sneaky assault on women's rights.
Woodworth pretends that abortion is somehow peripheral to his motion, but prenatal legal protections are the core foundation and trigger for anti-abortion laws. His motion serves no purpose unless he plans to use it as a vehicle to help re-criminalize abortion.
Woodworth's claim that late term abortions are a problem in Canada is a complete invention.
The system works just fine. The only thing that needs improvement is access to those services. And abortion should remain something between a woman and her doctor. Because this is the 21st Century and women aren't about to go back to the days of guilt and coat hangers.
But of course Woodworth can't accept that. Because he's a religious fanatic, he bases his beliefs on the sayings of ancient hairy desert dwelling patriarchs, who believed that they were the creators of life. And women were only the soil their seed grew in .
Which is so ignorant it hurts eh? Just like it would hurt if men could give birth. For you can be sure they would be screaming from St John's to Victoria. And loudly demanding THEIR reproductive rights.
But having said all that, I also have to say that I have been shocked and saddened by what has happened at Progressive Bloggers. I hate to see my blogging family tearing its guts out, over the opinions of two bloggers. It just doesn't make sense.
It reminds me of what the Roman philosopher Seneca once said.: Anger is like those ruins that smash themselves on what they fall.
The posts may have been ignorant, and even offensive considering the circumstances. But I honestly don't believe they were misogynistic by intent. And they should have been dealt with by the force of argument, and used as a good excuse to educate others.
I also believe that the administrators at Progressive Bloggers should not have been pressured to expel the two bloggers. Because unless the post is clearly and deliberately offensive, misogynistic, racist, homophobic etc. where do you draw the line?
I have had my clashes with PB bloggers who think the word "faggot" is fine, or patronize LGBT people, or don't support their struggles, or think that bullying isn't a progressive issue. Even though it's killing kids and scarring lives. I've been enraged by feminists who supported the destruction of the gun registry. Or by older bloggers who put young people down, or by those who compared young occupiers to "rabid animals." I let them know what I thought of them, but I never called for them to be expelled.
So I didn't think it was right to insult the PB administrators for refusing to act as bouncers. Or giving the offending bloggers the benefit of the doubt.
Especially since instead of insulting the administrators and moderators, we should be thanking them for creating and maintaining such a great aggregator. As far as I'm concerned anyone who is forced to read my posts night after night deserves a medal, not a smack in the face.
And finally, I don't believe Dammit Janet should have quit Progressive Bloggers. And Dave at the Galloping Beaver shouldn't either. You stand your ground, you fight on, you educate, you give as good as you take. This is the internet, not a religious order.
But what is done is done, you can't change the past but you can change the future. So I suggest it's time to move on, and here's what I propose:
(1) We all cool down a bit. As I know too well, anger is natural and may be liberating, but in the long term it's self defeating. We all need to understand that a blogging family is like any other family. We don't all think alike, you can't shove a thermometer up someone's ass to measure their progressivity. And the best way to counter ignorance is by hurling ideas at each other, not insults.
(2) We do all we can to reconcile Dammit Janet and the PB administrators, and convince Dave and the Galloping Beaver not to leave. Because not having them on the blogroll is I believe a loss for all of us. I personally admire all of the above. And I practically worship Dave.
So if they need a peacemaker, or a matchmaker, I'm available eh?
(3) We tell Stephen Woodworth that he should feel free to give birth to as many children as he wants...
But he should not force his religious views on the rest of us. And above all he should keep his wretched motion away from the bodies of Canadian women.
In short, to put it crudely, he should shove it in a shoe, or where the sun don't shine.
And lastly, but most importantly, instead of fighting each other we should UNITE to drive the Harper Cons from power. Because if that foul regime wasn't running things, we'd never be having this angry argument.
And until they are defeated NOBODY is safe.
C'mon everyone. I know we can do it eh?
Anger may be like those ruins which smash themselves on what they fall.
But we have a government to topple.
And we are not the ENEMY..
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For what it's worth, I entirely agree.
For some reason I can't seem to leave a comment except as a reply, so please pardon the squeeze in.
I consulted all of our co-bloggers on this issue. We don't consider the attachment to Progressive Bloggers to be much of an advantage, if there is one at all. I can appreciate that it is an easy place for readers to pick up on the latest posts but in truth, there are better strategies than PG. A Twitter feed is faster, ultimately more reliable and provides a better return.
I doubt whether Scott would want me around now. If we remain I will enter this fray with a cutlass in my hand. The two offending bloggers, both of whom are dumber than a mud fence, would become my personal targets. They wouldn't likely survive that and I'm pretty sure Scott wouldn't want it.
I did not want the ban-hammer used. I did however, expect that the moderators would action the complaint by at least pointing out to the offenders, (and they are offenders), that their views violated a 1st principle.
Then we get the condescending post issued by Paladiela. Unnecessary, irrelevent and cliquish.
She doesn't get it, Scott is plain stubborn, John thinks it's a personal issue involving him and the others are anonymous. Not sure I want to be around that collection.
I almost never use PG. The way we have our blogroll structured it provides new posts from other blogs at the top of a rotating list. For example, I came here from TGB because your post was at the top of the blogroll.
We're still mulling it over.
Simon! I have been missing you! Well said old chap. It has been a dog's age since I have blogged and I must say, this inward-looking kerfuffle is not the sort of thing that looks the least bit appetizing from without. It reminds me of the internecine warring betwixt student newspapers I recall from my Concordia j-school days.
I agree with you there is no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater (note the extra-maternal independence of said baby) by harumphing all the way out of the PB fold. But at the same time, the ignoramuses who stuck their feet mouthward certainly make one scratch one's head upon pondering their need to associate themselves with progressiveness. Alas, they may just be young and naive (one hopes, anyway).
As for us old codgers, who maybe remember Alan Alda sticking up for feminism when his TV character was one of old school machismo (albeit a pacifist one, but that's an essay on its own), this "debate" is obviously a smoke screen meant to sow doubt in the inherent truth that women's reproductive rights ultimately belong to them, and when the case is suddenly no longer obviously closed on that, those directly affected will naturally become incensed. (So am I, btw).
But if we need a litmus test for who can be a PB, this isn't a bad one. I guess it just points out there oughta be a few defined principles in place that a member should see themselves able to live with or not, to consider themselves a member in good standing.
May I posit a starting off point? You can't be progressive if you don't agree with the Charter.
PS: I am sorry for not being around lately, Simon. You are a king among bloggers and I salute you! Thank you for being a peacemaker and an all-around Good Egg.
Simon, as much as I adore you, I have to disagree. I'm sure many progressive people down south, in what has become the Excitable States, probably started out on the same path of accommodating so-called progressive allies, hoping that they could open their eyes. It did NOTHING for protecting what little rights women or LGBT people had. Look at where they are today.
We have no choice but to call a red card every time even one iota of deference to the right wing agenda is shown. This also applies to all political parties who claim to protect our rights. It is too easy to be considerate because that is, in my view, a default position among progressives. That's fine under many circumstances but not when it comes to Charter rights.
Great post Simon. Totally agree, a woman's body..a woman's right to choose and everyone must be equal.
I believe that patriarchy is the greatest enemy faced by the people of the world and the environment. I cannot STAND patriarchy.
I noticed a post at W Kinsella's site where he calls Fern Hill an idiot. In a post prior to that he mentions going to Easter Mass and after seeing another attendee in some kind of sweatshirt states that the priest should have punched the attendee in the face!! Hmmm Catholic..abortion...no link there is there? And this is a guy always talking about fighting the right. Yikes.
Great post, Simon. It helped me develop my own thinking on this issue. Thanks,
Thanks for your post Simon, I agree.
Dave, The "others" are not really anonymous, they were all listed on the old site, and haven't had their emails listed on the new one, no one requested it I guess. Ask if you care to know.
And the only reason I know it's at least partly to do with me is because some bloggers *tell me* that it is. Then they highlight my age, or my gender as a reason I can't want equality as much as they do.
There's really no benefit to leaving Progressive Bloggers, other than psychological for some people. In reality, people will never find some other blogs, and never build the connections we've all made over the years. I think that's a sad outcome, worse than this overblown tiff.
Great comments, Simon!
Since PB has bloggers of many political ideologies, it would be difficult to conduct a "progressive" test. I do find your theromometer test to be intriguing.
If people want others to be expelled from PB because the others may have the "wrong" views about abortion, then who will be next to be expelled? Will bloggers who post super-pro or anti-Israel comments be expelled? How about comments that may consider anything positive that the Harper Conservatives may do?
Two of the best ways to deal someone's comments is to comment yourself or ignore him/her. By replying to someone's comment, you let your views be known. By ignoring him/her, you deny that person an audience.
Actually, there is a great benefit to leaving Progressive Bloggers. It forced us to look at other strategies. That's called fresh thinking.
You'll note that of all the reasons you cited for "taking it personally", I attempt never to engage in that. If I have been one of the offenders, I would offer an apology now.
In any case, it's done and TGB has moved on.
This is despicable. How can any person, religious or not, justify ending another human's life? Do NOT tell me a fetus is not a person. There is not some magical moment where it magically ceases to be a lump of tissue and gains rights as a human. If you choose to have an abortion, you are committing a murder.
I support rights for women, I hope that they enjoy the same rights as everyone else the world over. But no person's rights should trump that of another's, that being a fetus. Just because it cannot talk back, doesn't mean it is without rights.
I cannot wrap my head around the concept of branding a group as inhuman and therefore able to be systematically wiped out merely because they are 'inconvenient'. This is a holocaust.
hi Michel...I'm glad you agree with me, because that makes two of us, and it's worth a lot. Because when all sides come after me I can point them in your direction and make my getaway. ;)
Seriously though, I know people are so angry I'm sure I won't be making any friends, and I only hope I don't lose any. But I just had to say what I feel. I'm very upset by what happened, and I want to try to make it better by encouraging reconciliation. Anger passes, but regret lass forever...
hi Dave...As I said in the post I greatly admire you, and I know your motives are honourable ones.
I also realize that your blog is so popular you probably don't need Progressive Bloggers. But it's still the best progressive aggregator we have, you and your GB posse are such a big part of it, and I do believe that we are stronger together so I would be devastated if you left.
Just like I am by what happened to Dammit Janet.
I wouldn't feel good if I didn't at least try for a reconciliation, and I've been thinking how we could do that. Maybe it could be a simple declaration of principles that you, the PB administrators, and the DJ women could agree on.
I don't think the PB admins would object to that, everyone could save face, Dammit Janet could return to where they belong, everyone could go forward, and of course none of this would stop you from using your mighty cutlass on any scurvy bloggers.;)
At least that's my hope. I believe this episode has helped raise consciousness about Woodworth's wretched motion, which is the most important thing, and reconciliation would be a bonus. Please think it over, for if we could emerge from this fight feeling we all won, I'd be a very happy person...
P.S. I don't know what's wrong with my commenting system, but naturally I blame Vic Toews... :)
Hi Scott...how great to hear from you again, and to see you wade in to the battle by posting something after so long. You know Scott, we on the frontlines understand that you artistic types need to concentrate on other things like writing songs, and we don't mind filling in for you now and then, but once every six months is DEFINITELY not enough. ;)
As for the litmus test, as I told Dave I think a simple declaration of principles might be the way to do it. Nobody would lose face, and everyone could come out a winner. And yes, affirming our belief in the Charter of Rights, might be just the way to do it. Nobody could disagree with that, and it would fire a shot across the bow of any blogger who might forget what the word progressive means. I'm not sure it will work, because so many angry words have been exchanged, but I know I wouldn't feel good if I didn't at least try, because although they do sometimes make me crazy, I do love my blogging family...
hi Stewart...OK so now there are three of us, and I'm starting to feel really encouraged. ;)
The patriarchy is the enemy of all of us, it turns men into oppressors instead of partners and makes life miserable for so many, so as far as I'm concerned it can't be buried soon enough...
hi Cathie...thank you, I must admit I was nervous about writing it, although of course I don't really drink. ;) But I feel much better now, because I feel I have tried my best to bring us all together. And the main thing is to be united to defeat Woodworth's sneaky motion, and of course eventually defeat the Cons. Because as I said in my post if that foul regime wasn't in power none of this would have happened...
hi Skinny Dipper...thank you, I'm glad you liked my post. As I said I am very uneasy about expelling bloggers for all the reasons you mention. However, as I told Dave and the others I think a general declaration of principles might be a good idea. It doesn't have to be long, in fact the shorter the better. But it would reaffirm what we believe in, and it could offer us all an honourable way out of this sad situation...
Love to hear your ideas on how to stop women from perpetrating your perceived "holocaust", Dustin. Forced 'labour' camps maybe?
hi Saskboy...thank you, I did want to use the opportunity to pay tribute to those who administer and moderate Progressive Bloggers. However I don't want to characterize this episode as an "overblown tiff." The fact is it's an emotional issue so it's only natural that people on both sides should be angry. All I'm asking is that we move beyond anger, and unite to fight the real enemy...
hi Dustin...I respect your opinion, but I simply can't agree with you. No woman wants to have an abortion, but you simply cannot equate the rights of a tiny lump of tissue,with the rights of a living breathing woman. And abortion is not murder. The facts are that there are very few late term abortions, the number of abortions is going down not up. And better sex education, and birth control will do more than any law to reduce them even further...
hi Beijing...you know that I adore you too, I'm very very sorry if my post disappointed you. And I completely understand how you feel. But I am not saying that women and their allies should give an inch in the struggle for human rights and reproductive freedom. I'm not complaining about the angry debate, because women do have a right to be angry. I just hate what's happened, I want to see Dammit Janet back where it belongs because it's such a powerful voice for the feminist movement, so I am just seeking a way reconciliation can happen, and the struggle can go forward stronger than ever. As you know from reading my posts I had problems with anger when I was a teenager. But people like Seb and others taught me that going beyond anger could make me a better and stronger person. So even if you disagree with me, and think that my head is muddled. Which is entirely possible. ;) I hope at least you know that my heart is in the right place...
Simon, I thank you for offering your services. It is generous beyond description because I believe you might have ended up in the middle of something bordering nasty.
Be assured, TGB is not going anywhere, but there will be, sometime in the next week, a statement of the principles to which we all adhere. While I won't suggest that makes PG less or equal to TGB, it will be something they haven't done.
We'll be fine. So will you. So will we all. Perhaps it US purging the system.
Now ... if I might ...
I support rights for women
No you don't. And you just dirtied up my good friend's living room. I don't like you anymore. (It's that old Royal Marine Commando coming out in me again).
Wrap your head around this.
Simon's a sweetheart. I'm not.
Hey Dustin, I don't respect your opinion because I'm not an idiot and I have a spine.
You fucking lot need to grow one.
hi Dave...I'm sorry that all of this happened. But I know you're an honourable man who felt you had to do what you did. I'm also sorry that I wasn't able to bring people together, or act as a peacemaker, for the little that would have been worth. But you're probably right. I probably would have flown into a wall of flak, and had my little wings blown off. I'm afraid that's happened before. Oh well, I will of course be following the excellent adventures of you and your galloping pirates. Bon voyage mon Capitaine...
A good post, Simon. I would take issue with this though: "This is the internet, not a religious order."
'This' is not just 'the Internet'. 'This' is 'an online community', coalesced around an umbrella concept: progressivism. That means, to me at least, that beyond our many different views of the world is a set of core values to which we all adhere.
The 'abortion debate', as you call it here, is a good illustration of that. In a paper on the separation of Church and State, Constantin Fasolt wrote about the gordian knot that the issue of abortion presents to humankind:
One part is that abortion constitutes a fundamental threat to the distinction between the public and the private sphere. It threatens our ability to reconcile the most fundamental rights of one human being (the mother's right to liberty) with the most fundamental rights of another (the unborn child's right to life). It is therefore impossible to ignore. The other part of the dilemma is that the questions raised by abortion are impossible to answer in terms of the distinction between the public and the private sphere (or that between human live and dead matter). So long as we start with the conviction that mother and unborn child each hold inalienable rights to equality and liberty, abortion can only be treated as an exception from the norm or an anomaly that cannot really be accounted for. So long as the debate is framed in terms of individual rights to liberty and equality, it can only lead to exceptional, anomalous, or arbitrary answers to the question posed. The only rational way to end the debate is to abandon the distinction between the public and the private sphere itself, because it is the use of this distinction that makes it impossible to find a rational solution to the problem of abortion. But dropping that distinction is precisely the one solution that is excluded from the realm of possibilities, because it is the starting point of the debate. How could it possibly be dropped? It is the reason why the debate got underway. Thus dropping it is something of a logical impossibility. There is no logically satisfying chain of reasoning that ends by disproving the truth of the premises on which it rests. It is therefore a political impossibility as well. The distinction between the public and the private sphere figures among the fundamental articles of the modern faith. Its reality cannot even be doubted, much less abandoned, without provoking fear and shaking the religious foundations of the modern polity. [/...]
Abortion thus fuels a self-destructive logic from which there appears to be no escape without changing the foundations of society.
Trying to decide the question of abortion in terms of individual rights to liberty and equality and the distinction between the public and the private sphere can only end up by showing that those terms are neither as neutral nor as universal as they seem. They were developed by adult males in early modern times in order to settle disputes amongst themselves that they had for a long time tried, but failed, to solve by violence. If those same terms are used to settle disputes about abortion nowadays, the result will be to prove that the liberty and equality promised by modern society cannot be extended to women without either ignoring differences between the sexes or denying women the rights that men enjoy.
Thus, at this point in time, while we may have different points of view about abortion, as progressives we all adhere, or should adhere, to the notion of individual freedom and equality. I’ll illustrate that with an example: I have had an abortion, a decision that for personal reasons I regret today. But that’s me. Far from me to foist my mores on other women and on society. At the end of the day, it is up to each individual to make that decision.
On that issue, I do not have difficulty separating my personal feelings from my progressive core values. I understand that for other individuals that might be more difficult. What this whole debate certainly is not though is ‘trivial’.
Simon, please add this paragraph to my previous comment where the last paragraph but one is somewhat muddled. This is more what I would like to say. Thanks and best regards.
Still, at this point time, those values of liberty and equality are the only ones available to us upon which we, as progressives, can agree. Thus while we may have different points of view about abortion, as progressives aren't we all required to adhere to those notions of individual freedom and equality? It is a conundrum. Until we find a way out of it, at the end of the day, we are on our own.
I'll illustrate that with an example ...
Mr Simon, no one blames you for wanting harmony inside the cave when the wolf is at the door. Trouble is, some inside the cave started talking about amputating part of a woman's personhood to throw out to the wolf because it wasn't like actually throwing out all of her to be eaten.
Except, those in the cave, especially the women, had seen that happen to other women in caves further south, only to watch more and more womanly person parts get tossed out the door to the wolf and many women could remember their aunts and grandmothers getting tossed out bodily and bloodily to the wolf.
Meanwhile, the cave owners decided such talk of expendable parts was ok for the cave population's intellectual entertainment, never mind what the partable forewarned and anyway, it wasn't as if the hunters would be affected. The women could just stick around the cave more and learn to deal with their restrictions.
So, when those who were looking at amputation said to themselves, 'we can face the wolf but we can't face the wolf *and* the sharp knives at our backs, it's time to find a new cave, no matter how risky it is' and the response was in essence 'typical selfish wussies for not wanting to hear the logic of how amputation will keep the wolf happy for an hour or so' fresh air sounded like a really good idea.
That said, I never came to your site from PB. I got here via links and blogrolls from many of the now ex-cavers and I found some of them off your links after I found I enjoyed your stuff and trusted your opinions (btw: 'allo to the M. Sebastien). I -coff- first saw the aggregator during all this spelunking. Guess I'm really behind the times, eh?
I've been quietly watching this unfold and I have to say, Niles, that is a brilliant analogy.
I'm just not sure where we draw the line or how. I've seen what I've considered to be anti-worker posts on PB blogs that I don't consider progressive. PB is a blog aggregator, not a publisher. I'm not sure if anything other than self-identifying as progressive is workable. Do we base expulsion on a pattern of non progressive blog posts or if you make one non-progressive post are you out. Do we give the moderators ultimate expulsion rights or do we have to vote on expulsions. Which issues are worthy of expulsion, does it include workers rights or just women's rights.
Is this a non-progressive blog post.
hi Gene...thanks for your thoughtful comment. I agree with a lot you say, and I certainly never called the debate "trivial." I also agree that PB is a blogging community, but what I meant about "religious order" was that it shouldn't be a place where one muddled and clearly wrong post should get you excommunicated. As I said in my post I thought this should have been an opportunity to educate people, and should not have led to such ugliness. Unless the bloggers involved had a track record of questioning women's rights, and in this case I honestly don't see it. I am quite sure that 98 per cent of Progressive Bloggers support a woman's right to choose, and attacking each other does nobody any good....
hi Niles...I really don't know what to say. I'm troubled by the images you describe. I may have to write a post about them to properly describe my feelings. What I do know is that I'm sad, I'm not sorry about trying to find a way for all concerned to emerge from this angry exchange in a more positive. Only sorry that I failed. And now of course it's too late. Everyone must lie in the bed they made for themselves, and life goes on...
hi rww...You ask a lot of good questions, some of which I asked in my post. I too am not sure if anything other than self-identifying as progressives is workable. And when I look at the blogroll that's what I see. Unless someone is consistently and deliberately misogynistic, homophobic, racist etc I can't see the moderators tossing them out. And I certainly don't want to vote to throw anyone off the island. For once you start down that road where will it end? And who will throw the first stone?
Is this a non-progressive blog post? I suppose some people probably think it is but I don't. I know who I am, I know my motives are noble, and nobody is going to tell me differently...
Please explain how my post was naive or ignorant.
hi Scott...I thought it was ignorant because Woodworth did not present a strong argument for the need for a discussion on abortion. Quite to the contrary and for good reason. There is no need for such a divisive discussion. The system works quite well as things are now, the number of abortions is going down, and the issue is best left to a woman and her doctor. I also thought you were a bit naive for not realizing what an internet storm your post would cause. And I'm saddened by the results. But it's only my very humble opinion eh? And as I said in my post, it's time we all moved on...
I'm late to this party.
Lookit, this is no big deal in the grand scheme of things. A blogroll is just a collection of like-minded bloggers. Those of us who headed for the door prefer to be in better company. The site admin wishing us all "good riddance" and calling pro-choice women "shrill" and "banshees" simply confirms us in our belief that we made the right decision.
It's called freedom of association. Those of us who see the word "progressive" as linked inextricably to human rights are associating here: http://canadianprogressives.ca/. Come and join us!
If it was time we all moved on it seems odd to extend the 15 minutes to belittle another person.
You may justify your claims however you wish but Woodworth brought up facts and medical opinion, your unexplained dismissal of them speaks loudly enough of your credibility, let alone your failure to attempt to understand my position.
Unlike you, I needed to try to understand your position before I thought you were ignorant, I'm glad that's settled.
Hi Simon, I revisited your blog today only to find that you had replied to my previous comment. I'm sorry I got kinda side-tracked in my thoughts there. I did not mean to imply that you said the debate was 'trivial'; Scot Tribe did. Indeed, that was the main reason I decided to quit PB. I could have lived with the ugliness, as you say. Debate can be that way sometimes. But for me, there was more.
I was 11 or 12 years old when my mom had an abortion - the back-alley kind. I was not aware of it then. All I knew was that one morning, I found her panic-stricken in her room. She asked me to go to my uncle who did not live far from where I lived and ask him to fetch my aunts - her sisters. My father was absent at that point in time. I ran over to my uncle who went on his bicycle to fetch my aunts. Meanwhile, I returned to my mother only to find her panting on her bed. All around the room, on the floor, were clots of blood. She asked me to clean the floor. It was a very difficult task to do. I was scared and unable to retrieve many of the clots of blood. When her sisters arrived, they took care of her and of the cleaning. Given my young age, they did not care to explain what was happening. I would know much later. It was a distressing and traumatic experience. … 2/…
When I had my abortion, it was in the best hospital in Aberystwith, Wales, UK. The doctor who operated on me was addressed to as 'Mr'. I did not understand. I asked my husband how come that was so. He explained that in the British system, when you have risen high in the medical hierarchy, your title changes from 'Dr.' to 'Mr.' That's how I knew that he must have been one among the best doctors to operate on me. He was very kind and considerate.
I wouldn't wish my mother's experience on any woman, or mine at my mother's side on any child. Scot's remark that such matters are 'trivial' awoke those bad memories. For better or for worse, we are the bearer of the offsprings of our species. It is at the core of who we are as a human being, even if we decide not to have any offsprings. For Scot not to have understood that shows not only a rather shallow mindset, but a dismissal of our gender that for me at any rate has been painful.
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