I’ll jar these mountains till they fall

15 08 2010

‘I am done.’

That was my response to a TNC post on his unwillingness to keep fighting battles he considers settled: I don’t want to die debating the humanity of the blacks, the gays, the browns and the poor.

Amen (or whatever the secular version of that would be), I said in response. I, too, am done defending my status as a human being, done even defending the notion that all of us are humans, and that that’s what, and all, that matters. That I am is settled, done.

But, alas, I am not done. After I said my pie/eace, I realized that there are some issues which are not settled and for which I cannot lay my hammer down.

There are the continued flare-ups, as with the issue of Islam in the US, and whether Muslims get to be as American, much less as human, as the rest of us.

And, of course, there’s abortion. A week or so ago I got sucked into another debate on abortion (also on TNC’s blog); against all better judgment, I couldn’t let the argument that abortion is an immoral and fundamentally selfish act.

Now, those making this argument stipulated that they believe abortion should remain legal, so I should have been able to let it be, right? After all, I do believe abortion is morally fraught, which means I ought to allow for those who agree with me on the legality of abortion to think whatever they want about women who do terminate their pregnancies.

But I couldn’t, because it seemed to me that even in their agreement on the law they diminished the status of those who would make use of the law. How dare a woman choose her life over that of the fetus? they argued. How dare she be so selfish?

How dare she choose herself.

So, yes, I am glad that these critics offer support, however tepid, for the legal right of a woman to make decisions about continuing or ending her pregnancy.

Too bad that support is not so much for the woman herself.

I am tired of this fight, too, am tired of defending a woman’s being, as a human being, and were it just pundits and blog commenters sneering about the decisions a woman may make, I might be able to walk away.

But as long as those with the power to threaten a woman’s ability to live as free human being continue to do so, I’ll keep my hammer handy.


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5 responses

15 08 2010
dmf

i’m all for fighting the good fight(s) but not at all convinced that debate can bridge such gaps in world-views, so i don’t think it’s a matter of walking away from any cause but rather focusing on means (or as you say tools) that can actually achieve an end.
ps. left you something that may be of interest in your about section, lets chat about jack caputo some day.

15 08 2010
absurdbeats

Oh my god, dmf, that’s great! Because *sob* it’s true!

And I am so glad I didn’t see that while I was working on my dissertation—I already had too many ways to slow myself down.

And you do Caputo? Hmmmm.

16 08 2010
dmf

yep one of those times when i had to laught at myself cause i have given that little lecture almost verbatim many times, not the fault of students our rush to finish phd’s here in the states is an absurd and counterproductive system. started reading jc back in his days of demythologizing heidegger and took part in one of his heidegger seminars a ways back (along the lines of our animated friends it was a pretty poor show as the students didn’t really have the background/means to be constructive) his book against ethics and his 2 rad-herme books are really important books for me. have you read any of annemarie mol’s books on medical practices?

16 08 2010
absurdbeats

No, I haven’t read her stuff, and yeah, I’ll probably check her out.

Thanks a lot, dmf—more freakin’ books for me to read. . . .

17 08 2010
dmf

you are welcome, wait isn’t it your job to read? seriously tho body multiple is a wickedly funny and insightful book and the logic of care is quite short and could change your whole take on care ethics, the big question for me is now that we have largely done away with medical paternalism can we do better than the customer is always right?

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