Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Some Context For Defenses Of Abortion Centered On "Bodily Autonomy"

"My body, my choice." It means more than simply being wrong about how many people are involved, though some people do need to consider how many lives are at stake in the question of a particular "choice." Yet I think the reason abortion rights has dovetailed so easily with feminism is that, with limited exceptions, the political counterweight to "progressive" feminism--some kind of "conservatism"--has accepted the general degradation of women. This is how abortion can be seen as "empowering." It disregards the male contribution to the sexual act, and any rights or duties that flow from that, because in extreme forms, radical feminism denies the goodness of maleness as such.

If you begin with an a priori assumption that a relentless and crushing patriarchy exists, and it squelches all femaleness and its creativity, and you add in political opposition that has taken to calling concerns about consent as "puritanical", perhaps add in genuine sexism and discrimination in workplaces, rape, sexual assaults in varying degrees, and the reality that oftentimes justice is not done in such cases, you could see how a reasonable person might miss the full and true contours of the moral question of abortion, and so such "reproductive choice" becomes a matter of being heard and seen as a person, as something more than an object for male use.

We might say that the patriarchy kept the power, and abandoned the virtue. Christians, do you hear me? There's only so far I can walk across this bridge, because 1. I don't believe in anyone's absolute autonomy; and 2. I do believe in some kind of patriarchy, in the end. A Catholic who doesn't believe in general in hierarchy is likely in dissent. That's the way we tend to see the world, as mediated by the Church.

As one example, though, have you seen those pick-up artists? I doubt those guys are leftists. And true enough, some radical women would have no patience with my genteel paternalism, anyway. Admittedly, I have clicked around a few of those PUA sites in moments of quiet desperation, but those dudes are not Christians, or they certainly don't talk like us. Of course, somebody should write a startling expose about how PUAs and institutional "feminism" are just mechanisms for the capitalist monolith. [You could probably get Deneen to write the foreword.--ed.] Yeah, totally.

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