In which I agree with Nate

Every once in awhile Nate and I will agree on something. Most often that something is beer, but sometimes that something is more political/social in nature:

I saw this on Facebook recently:

Aside from being completely devoid anything even like cleverness, I have a few issues…

First, I’m not interested in what any woman wants to do with her vagina. I may feel that abortion is wrong, I may feel that birth control is wrong, I might feel that abortion should be mandatory, or I may feel that birth control should be, but really I feel like the state should keep it’s nose out of it and you can do whatever you want. Lets be clear on one thing though, I have just as much of a right to have an opinion and express it as you, whether or not either of us have a vagina or not. If you think otherwise you are either an asshole or an idiot.

If you truly think that the chart has it right, lets apply this to a few other things and see what we get:

Do you own a gun? No? Shut up about guns.
Do you own a car? No? Shut up about cars (texting, etc).
Do you have a kid in school? No? Shut up about education.
Do you live in (whatever state is restricting abortion this week)? No? Shut your mouth about their abortion laws.

Nate then makes his point more about when the government is involved with spending money on abortion and other services rather than about what a women should and should not be allowed to do under the law. I’m less concerned about that and more concerned about the idiocy of telling half the population that any opinions any of its members may hold are invalid on reproductive rights because they have a member. Let’s work this out.

Presumably the picture isn’t trying to imply that women’s opinions are inherently more valuable than the opinions of men. That would be horribly sexist and wrong. So what is it saying? (This is the point where I accurately describe what it is necessarily saying, only to have some random person on the Internet incorrectly nitpick.) It is saying that the reproductive rights of women are only the concern of women because we’re talking about their bodies; it is taking the libertarian position that one’s body is sovereign and should not be subject to the whims of others. That raises the interesting issue of whether or not a woman is allowed, under the rules of the picture, to have an opinion about other women’s reproductive rights, but I’ll skip that here because the point that interests me is, Are women who cannot reproduce entitled to have an opinion on women’s reproductive rights?

Let’s review real quick: Presumably, the picture is not implying that women’s opinions are inherently more valuable than the opinions of men. And why is that important? It’s important because it means having a vagina isn’t the real crux of ‘How to Have an Opinion on Women’s Reproductive Rights’. The real crux is that, following along with the position I described earlier, what matters is a woman’s ability to reproduce. It is her body, a sovereign place. Not only should no one else be able to tell her what to do with it, but she’s the only one who knows best. And why? Because, aside from it being her own body, she’s the one who will be doing the reproduction. It isn’t, per se, that she is a woman. It’s that she’ll be reproducing.

So where are we now in this argument? Simple: Women who cannot reproduce should “shut up”. It isn’t about being a woman – if it was, that would mean that the opinions of men are inherently less valuable, a surely sexist and idiotic position. No, it’s about the ability to reproduce. If you can’t do it, you aren’t allowed an opinion on that matter. Got it?

I wish I could say this was simple reductio ad absurdum, but I’ve barely gone anywhere with what the picture has presented us. All I’ve done is summarize what it said and taken a single step to what it concludes: The ability to reproduce entitles one to an opinion on women’s reproductive rights, so women past menopause or who are otherwise infertile do not enjoy such an entitlement.

Now, back to where people think things through before writing them down, the reality is that anyone who gathers their facts together, thinks about said facts, and then forms a reasoned opinion is doing it right. The person’s sex isn’t relevant in the least. And if you think it is, well, I’ll let Nate say it:

Don’t have a blog? Shut up about what I put on mine.

That goes double for those of you who don’t have my blog.

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One Response

  1. I admit, as I am sure you do, that for many people this graphic is more snark than a serious declaration of principle. Both of us often post things of a similar nature.

    The problem is that a great number of people actually hold what this graphic says as true and legitimate.

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