You are exactly right about corporations taking advantage of the perceived need for equity and somehow managing to get two for the price of one, which sucks for everyone. I don't see how the earlier system of gender policing was preferable, however. What would be interesting to me would be an argument against equity as a value. But if we continue to value equity, legislating in favor of it is going to mean legislating for control over one's body. I think an argument against equity might be so new and surprising that it might get some attention, but people seem afraid to make that argument, preferring to just say abortion = murder.Blosser:
Well, stating the obvious (we're killing human lives here) is no argument, but it's enough to keep most simple-minded people from me from thinking it's a good thing. I don't think there's any real need for an argument on this point. Where the argument is needed, rather, is where and why killing human lives if justifiable.Colleague:
The equity thing is interesting. I've always thought so since reading Jose Ortega y Gasset's The Revolt of the Masses (pictured right). And I do see how it's socially related in some of the feminist discourse, but I don't see how it's logically related in any way that really makes sense (unless I'm missing something here). People often want to tie the issues together in terms of a woman's right to control her own body, but this seems to miss the simple point that the baby's body is not her body, even if it's hosted by her body, as well as the further point that equity would seem to demand granting that infant a right to the protection of his or her little body as much as the mother has to the protection of hers.
But the equity thing has also been subjected to a great deal of mistification, in my view. For, in what sense are people equal? We're not equally healthy, intelligent, wealthy, strong, education, wise, gendered, able to carry babies in our wombs, diligent, etc., etc. I might want to argue that we're all equally human, but that presupposes a common human nature, which those disposed to puke at any hint of Aristotelian "essentialism" would seem to want to deny. So where does that leave us? We might want to argue that people have the right to equal rights before the law? But what does this mean when natural law is denied so that all we're left with is positive law (arbitrary human laws), which can be horribly unjust, and when "rights" seem to have reduced to whatever anyone wants to do that they can get away with doing?
Personally, I'd want to argue that the only viable defense of any kind of equality of rights before the law would have to be tempered by the demands of justice and based on the good consonant with their nature as human beings. There's really nothing that complicated about this. Natural law says we learn what a thing is from what it does, and we should treat things according to their natures. We don't water our tomato plants with gasoline, and we don't put water into our fuel tank. We learn to treat things according to their nature. What is the nature of a human being? Aristotle walks us through this in his The Nicomachean Ethics (Oxford World's Classics). It's not that hard. At least, it wasn't until this case of collective amnesia suffered by the readership of the New York Times, or at least that part of it which shares the presuppositions of those who write that parish magazine of affluent and self-congratulatory liberal enlightenment.
I was not aware that an unborn child could both be killed and inherit property. That does seem contradictory, though I'm not sure how to resolve the contradiction. Very interesting. I guess in a sense the point is moot, since the child can only inherit the property if it is born and lives.Blosser:
It's one of the many crass and hypocritical inconsistencies ensconced in our contemporary system of positivistic, analytic jurisprudence.Colleague:
I try not to get emotional about whether staying at home is shit-work or some wonderful privilege. I suppose at issue is choice. I will be honest with you: I have never found the idea of a "wife," or at least the concatenation of images that term conjures up in my head, to be anything but repulsive. I have no objection to anyone being a "wife," if that means staying at home and playing with kids and baking cookies and beaming radiantly or snarling bitterly depending upon her mood, but I don't want one in my house, thank you. I feel about wives about the same way I feel about TVs--don't want one. A friend and lover, someone with whom to share life's adventure, that I can see, but not a wife, a soccer mom, or what have you. But that's just me personally. I feel about "wives" the way I feel about war--if someone had to go to war and kill and die, I'd rather that person be me than someone else, but it seems better if no one has to. But if people want to . . . But anyway, as I say, the issue is choice. Choice is political, so sexuality is political. I've threatened to tell you about my father, but some day I'll tell you about my mother, too, if you're not careful.Blosser:
I thought you said you were going to try not to get emotional here!Colleague:
But this sounds downright pathological, if not Pavlovian! Good heavens. Just what did happen between you and your mother!? You're working with a model of "wife" here that is appalling. Your wife must find this amusing, to say the least. Of course you may not like the connotations involved in her "having" a "husband" and you're "having" a "wife." But unless something has escaped me, that's what you apparently are to one another, like it or not.
Abraham Lincoln used to ask, "If you call a tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?" When people would answer, "Five," Lincoln would correct them: "No, the answer is four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it one." But then, that's just common sense. Lincoln didn't know anything about postmodern insights.
I'm sorry I missed your guest--I don't remember any notice of her visit.Blosser:
She was good. Sorry you missed her.Colleague:
. . . I don't know that I have an opinion about the politics of abortion. My head is full of leftist arguments, as I have said, but I enjoy having this discussion with you and am learning a lot.Blosser:
I don't know that I follow you here. On the one hand, you seem fond of saying that you don't know how pro-choice people think because you've never read any, and that you don't know whether you have an opinion about the politics of abortion. On the other hand, you state here that your head is full of leftist arguments. But then it would seem to me that it should be perfectly clear to you what pro-choice arguments would be and that you would have a definite opinion about the politics of abortion. In fact, it would seem that this datum would rise to the level of public knowledge, unless someone's missed something here.