Thursday, April 26, 2007


In response to this post on Feministe about a man who admits he valued his unborn daughter's life over his wife's...

Innocence is a sham, people.

Saving a fetus/baby because its life is "more precious" or "more important" or "more valuable" than the mother's is probably the stupidest thing I have ever heard.

Remember what I said yesterday about my own birth and infancy? I would not hope for a second that my life was placed above my mother's.

There is no reason for this. At all.

And that's not even addressing that man calling his wife's desire to abort the pregnancy "foolish and immature, emotional and illogical."

Honey? DTMFA.


kate said...

Well, it's biologically selected for that the baby would be more important to him. Consider the number of marriages that end in divorce, where couples fight bitterly over custody.

Frankly, my own mother considered having an abortion when she found out she was pregnant with me. My father, however, was instantly excited that they were having a baby. Throughout the nine months, Dad grew more excited about his child, and Mom was more and more fearful (this is borne out by the journals they kept at the time, which were part of my 18th birthday present). She never connected to me as a person until I was born; he connected to me instantly.

I don't agree with the man's conclusions on that post, but I think it's important to identify where these people are coming from, emotionally, before you can argue with them. There's validity in their emotions, if not their actions and political assertions.

Natalia said...

DTMFA indeed.

Baby Pop said...

There's validty to unconditional love by a parent for his or her child, and there's validty to the fact that husbands hold opinions on reproductive choices within a marriage. Where there is not validity is in the tone of this guy's whole argument, and the fact that his opinion about what his wife wanted to do about her pregnancy is over the line. And I'm sorry, I can't identify with where this asshole is coming from. I guess it's wonderful that he loves his child so much (though I shudder to think what his "love" is like), but it's appalling that any loving husband would issue an ultimatum to hold his wife hostage in a marriage/pregnancy that may not be the healthiest for her or any potential child.

Paul said...

In all fairness, people deal with different values for different people's lives all the time. In general, I would harm people attacking my friends, over harming my friends, or standing by idly. I don't think that's just me.

Secondly, parents regularly place the value of their childrens' lives above the value of their own lives. That's culturally accepted and considered noble. You have been a beneficiary of your parents valuing your life above their convienence. Maybe your mother valued your life higher than her own: that's her choice, and I would consider it legitimate.

But, BUT, BUT:

Those are individual choices. If this guy were carrying the unborn child, his valuations would be all that mattered. If he wants the doctors to save the child rather than himself, fine, bully for him. He even gets to not understand how other people don't feel that way, if he doesn't want to do the introspection and soul-searching necessary.

It is not his place to impose his value system on others, particularly not where he's demanding someone change how they value their lives. This goes at least triple for pregnancy, and at least triple again for people risking their existence on behalf of some goal they may not share.

Firefighters run into burning buildings to save people inside, and are rightly considered couragous for it. If the fire commissioner yanked some civilians off the street, slapped helmets on them, and threw them into a burning building, barring truly extraordinary circumstances, that commissioner would at the very least face a competancy hearing, most likely would be removed, and might even face criminal charges. This reaction might also be reasonable for a man who sees women primarily as incubators for his sprogs.

Irene said...

The feministe post nails it in all it's fucked-up glory in the very first line:

"Note that his child is valuable because she loves him unconditionally and because she is genetically close to him. In other words, her value as a human being is contingent on him. And that’s exactly why his wife doesn’t matter as much."

Interrobang said...

Hi, got here from Feministe. I am the child of a probable coerced pregnancy (abortion wasn't legal/available in my home jurisdiction when I was born, and the woman who gave birth to me was 17 when I was born), and realising that has kept me up at night. I bet it's never crossed his mind that someday his little girl might say to him, "You did what to my mom?! And she didn't want to be pregnant?! You bastard!"

I know that if someone ever told me that I had to choose between getting an abortion or getting a divorce, and I didn't want to be pregnant at the time, I'd be packing my bags. And that is where the real abusiveness comes in.