Occupy GlobalNOISE March for mELBOURNE Babies

Anti-abortionists/pro-lifers/forced-birthers held a ‘March For the Babies’ yesterday in Melbourne. At the same time, the Campaign for Women’s Reproductive Rights and Occupy Melbourne crew organised a smaller counter-demo in support of women’s reproductive rights. Abortion was legalised in Victoria in 2008: the Babies march is an annual event organised to protest the passing of this legislation (the Abortion Law Reform Act).

The few thousand Christians who assembled to protect innocent babies were addressed by a handful of politicians and a foreign aristocrat. The Age reported that Pro-choice activists disrupt anti-abortion march (October 13, 2012) and television news reported that protesters clashed (which meant there was some shouty) but otherwise the event passed off peaceably. Angry Christian Bill Muehlenberg complains:

Yet if a dozen activists demanding homosexual marriage had held a public demo, without any opposition and thus no conflict, the MSM would still be everywhere, even outnumbering the protestors. The 6 o’clock news would be full of this, with major stories devoted to their protests. And next day all the newspapers would likely have front page coverage of the event as well.

Probably.

As for Jesus and abortion, I don’t recall him ever having mentioned it.

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2015 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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68 Responses to Occupy GlobalNOISE March for mELBOURNE Babies

  1. Georgia says:

    Derek’s increasingly frustrated Catholic mate, Derek, who has renounced his faith and decided to move to Acapulco, but will probably just buy an Exit bag and cry himself to death watching Patch Adams.

    Derek, I seriously am sorry that I come across as flippant.

    I’m not. Really. I have cried for hours about this for … well, lots of times. I’ve missed lunch during a conference because I was sobbing outside.

    I’m sorry about using ‘rape’ so much, too. I would use ‘murder’, but then people always get mad at me because they say that I’m likening abortion to murder.

    Thanks for not thinking of me as a ‘bad person’. I would really like to meet you in person to show you that I am human. I have a heart. I know a young lady who had an abortion – I nearly burst into tears when she told me.

    Engaging in a debate about this, I know, would be emotive and difficult. I’ve had a guy profile me as fat and ugly and blah blah blah. I know that women who feel they need abortions are human. But I don’t believe that abortion is the best thing for women! How could killing your child be the best thing for you? One of my teachers told me she’d had an abortion, and she was still pro-choice, but she said it had been the greatest grief she’d ever known. How can that be good? It damaged my classmate, too. I’m sure it damaged the lady my father spoke to on the March, who retorted ‘I’ve already killed three of them.’

    I have feelings and hopes and dreams. I want to go overseas, and work with children and homeless people. I want to get married and raise a family. I want to make films and publish my books. I want to spend time with my darling baby brother, who calls me Dawdah. I know that other women have the same. I’m going across the state in a week to help another young woman with her future, her dreams that she’s scared will be shattered.

    I don’t want to play with women like pawns! I just want them to love their children. If they can’t love their children, I want them to give them up. I want them to be supported through pregnancy, not discriminated against. I want them to feel loved – I want them to be loved.

    I feel sad all the time because people like you want to tell other people what they have a right to do in moments of extreme crisis. In moments of existential, logistical and ethical crises that tear at people’s very hearts and keep them up every night until they make whatever awful choice it is that they need to to keep themselves alive, sane or even just safe, you want people to feel like murderers and bastards.

    I heard of this woman in another state. She was coming down to Melbourne for an abortion, because it was too late in WA (their laws are stricter). She was 22 weeks along. The baby was perfectly healthy. But it was a boy. She already had two boys. She wanted a girl.
    She could have carried that boy another two months. They could have done a C-section and that baby boy would be alive. He’s not. He’s dead. I bawled my eyes out when I heard.
    Because his mother had hopes and dreams, but they killed her son.

    And it’s hard – it really is hard. Most women don’t abort for reasons like that. Most abort because their boyfriend threatens to leave them, or their parents will kick them out, or they’re afraid to lose their job, or they just don’t want a child right now, or the baby’s got Downs.
    So kick the boyfriend out – he’s not worth her heart. Give her a new home and cry with her parents. Legislate against pregnancy discrimination, and give her maternity leave. Take the child, no questions asked. Teach the parents about Downs, and how it can be Ups.

    There are ways to be defiant, and fight for women, without abortion! And that’s what I want! That’s why, at 18 years of age, I want to start a crisis pregnancy centre! That’s why I’m studying Community Services Work, Alcohol and Other Drugs, Professional Writing and Editing! That’s why I scoured the city I live nearest for help of any sort for pregnant women in need! I didn’t find any. The nearest adoption agency is hours away, and stuffed with red tape. A woman can make a trip to Melbourne, there, get assessed, ‘counselled’, have the abortion, and back in one day.

    Derek, would you help out with a crisis pregnancy centre? Where a woman can get free baby clothes, nappies, food, education and even a place to stay? I’m going to. If I have to use my entire wage when I get a job, after finishing study, that’s what I’m going to do.
    Because that’s right!

  2. Derek's increasingly frustrated Catholic mate, Derek, who has bought an Exit bag, found it to be decidedly roomy and intends to live in it until the world outside stops hurting or the oxygen runs out. says:

    I don’t care enough about your opinion. I care about your hatred, your naivety and your misogyny. I care about your enthusiasm for the medieval and your appetite for oppression. I care about the women whose world you seek to control.

    Why should I be open to being told that God thinks I’m wrong? That logic is nonsense. If I don’t believe in God, then his opinion has no value. It’s like if you said Chandler from Friends was on your side; it’s not an effective argument, it’s just a grown-up way of telling me what your mates think and why I should agree with them. Strangely, you mention Buddha; who wasn’t fictional (like God) and did have a solid basis in historical fact. Your example makes no sense, because Buddha’s deal was that people found their own way. But whatever, you’re an idiot. I also read The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide, but I refer to the work of the philosopher Kierkegaard (I assume it is from his tradition of existentialism that Adams drew).

    You also wilfully misinterpreted what I said about laws based on belief. Again, whatever. You’re an idiot. I also don’t think a baby suddenly attains the right to life the moment it’s heaved screaming out of a lady’s vagina. You are again wilfully misinterpreting my position. I believe that an embryo or a zygote have no personhood and are therefore fair game for removal. Also, your whole thing about how pro-choicers are in favour of aborting right up to the day of delivery… Do you understand our position at all?

    You say you’ve cried for these children, blah blah blah (very likely, fuck off). They’re not your children to cry about. Go have yourself a kid at fourteen, be ostracised by the community, be abandoned by your family, be demonised by the media and special interest groups, be unable to make money, find yourself forced down avenues you never thought you could face, then tell me what a miracle an unwanted pregnancy is.

    Abortion is not the EASY OPTION. YOU FUCKING MISOGYNISTIC ARSEHOLE. IF YOU THINK IT IS THEN YOU’VE EITHER NEVER FACED THE POSSIBILITY OR YOU’RE TOO MUCH OF AN EMOTIONALLY UNINTELLIGENT DICKHEAD TO UNDERSTAND THE SUFFERING OF OTHERS OR TOO MUCH OF A MIDDLE-CLASS SUBURBAN PRIVILEGED LOSER TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THE CONSEQUENCES OF UNWANTED PREGNANCY ENTAIL FOR PEOPLE WITH LIMITED ACCESS TO LIFE CHANCES AND SUPPORT NETWORKS.

    PS: Do all you pro-back-alley-abbortionists abstain from eating meat and wearing leather? Because I can guarantee that a cow suffers more pain for a longer time than does a potential baby.

    Anyway, I’m done now. You’re a dick. I tried to read more of your arguments to respond to, but you’re a zealot and a freak as well as a fucking idiot. You also seem obsessed with the idea of debate in a way that comes across as offensively trainspotter-y considering the serious subject matter. Go to uni or read a book sometime. I’ll leave you with this charming snatch of dialogue from an episode of Red Dwarf:

    Rimmer: What color is it supposed to turn?
    Lister: Blue for not pregnant, which is the color it’s gonna turn.
    Rimmer: And red for pregnant?
    Lister: Yeah.
    Rimmer: [chants] Come on, you re-eds!

  3. Derek's increasingly frustrated Catholic mate, Derek, who has bought an Exit bag, found it to be decidedly roomy and intends to live in it until the world outside stops hurting or the oxygen runs out. says:

    Also, some help (because you’re going to reply to my comments and misinterpret them whether I like it or not): When I said “go to uni” I was fairly aware that you’re already studying. I just said it in the context of you being a naive moron.

  4. Derek's increasingly frustrated Catholic mate, Derek, who has bought an Exit bag, found it to be decidedly roomy and intends to live in it until the world outside stops hurting or the oxygen runs out. says:

    Also, I like your idea of a socially just society where women are allowed to be pregnant without fear of their life disintegrating. So… why fight for those women to be made into criminals before those support structures are in place? Wouldn’t it be more humane to restructure society so that being pregnant is awesome, then take away abortion because it’s no longer necessary? So, to be clear… we make society a friendly, easy place to be pregnant, where nobody needs an abortion, then we stop offering them because nobody should need them anymore. But that’s just hard work. Better to demonise the frantic and desperate women, then maybe get around to fixing society later. Only that won’t happen. I’m sure it helps you sleep at night to say you’re going to get around to fixing society just as soon as all those nasty women and doctors are locked up, or the women bleeding to death in basements from back-alley abortions.

    If you want an insight into my point of view, treat abortion as a social problem (I don’t think it is one, but it seems to be for you). Drugs are a social problem; criminalisation doesn’t work because they proliferate in greater quantity under prohibition. For different reasons, abortion will tend to be accessible underground even if it is illegal. In the case of abortion, the quality of the care that people receive is so poor (or offered by unlicenced or disreputable practitioners) that many people die from the inferior illegal version. Those that survive are locked up or fined, and end up in even more dire situations of distress than before or are unable to get the service at all, leading them back to whatever problems with their life forced them down that road to begin with. Obviously, criminalisation doesn’t work in the case of fixing “social problems”. Therefore, we have to look at what about society makes people act in these ways. Once we stop those things from happening, then we start to see that the activity might tail off, or that people have other options. Criminalising an option which arises from deep personal crises and interacts with social injustice, family dynamics, faith and community support is never the solution. It just makes that option less safe when it is inevitably practised just as widely as before, or further serves to harm the people who have only turned to it as a last resort.

    I still don’t want to talk to you, and I still really dislike you. But this argument of yours caught my eye and I found it unique among your zealous streams of consciousness as something worth responding to. Well done, you made a sensible argument. Let’s see how bizarrely you misinterpret my point here.

  5. Grant says:

    Gotta love the irony: a man who says he doesn’t care for a woman’s opinion because she’s a misogynist…

  6. Georgia says:

    Hi, back again …

    “If I don’t believe in God, then his opinion has no value.”

    But if you’re not open to believing in God in the first place, how can you say that I should be open to not believing in God?

    “I also don’t think a baby suddenly attains the right to life the moment it’s heaved screaming out of a lady’s vagina. … Also, your whole thing about how pro-choicers are in favour of aborting right up to the day of delivery… Do you understand our position at all?”

    Well, it does happen to be the law that abortion is legal up till the day of delivery. So … do you agree with the current laws? Otherwise, when do you draw the line? When does the unborn become a person, worthy of human rights?

    “They’re not your children to cry about.”

    Right. So because they aren’t mine, I shouldn’t care about them?

    “… tell me what a miracle an unwanted pregnancy is.”

    An unwanted pregnancy is not just a miracle. It is a child, and if a fourteen year old can’t keep a child, she can give it up for adoption. Change the culture, but you don’t try to rid the world of anger and not make revenge-killings illegal at the same time.

    Sometimes, abortion does seem to be an ‘easy option’ for some women. For some it is an agonising decision! But agonising over a decision does not make it right!

    “… a potential baby.”

    Just wondering, since from 6 weeks old an unborn human has a heart, that is beating, and you call that unborn human a ‘potential baby’, is that also a ‘potential heart’?

    I do call the unborn human a baby. I don’t call him an infant. I see ‘infant’ as being a more scientific term relating to age, whereas baby is a more loosely-held term for a young or more vulnerable person, or a person for whom special affection is felt. Ie. my dad calls me his baby girl. That is acceptable in Aussie culture, but calling me his infant girl would just be weird.

    “… we make society a friendly, easy place to be pregnant, where nobody needs an abortion, then we stop offering them because nobody should need them anymore.”

    The problem is, even if being pregnant is an awesome experience, there are and always will be people who don’t want to be pregnant anyway. Already have too many kids. Don’t want another boy, don’t want another girl. The baby has a disability. The father doesn’t want to pay child support. The career comes first. Etc etc.

    This world will never, ever be perfect. There will always be someone who wants to have an abortion regardless of the other options. There will always be relatives who will pressure girls to ‘get rid of it’, because they don’t want the responsibility.

    “… treat abortion as a social problem … … Obviously, criminalisation doesn’t work in the case of fixing “social problems”.”

    Is child abuse also a social problem? So instead of locking up child sex offenders, we should attempt to solve their sexual frustration, and legalise abuse? Is theft a social problem? Is murder?

    Yes, we must fight the culture. Yes, yes, yes! Porn objectifies women, and is counted as a contributing factor in some sexual abuse cases (the offender was so used to seeing women being used as toys, etc.). Lack of parental affection leads to girls seeking ‘love’ from boys, well before they’re ready for the kind of love those boys have in mind. Intolerably complicated adoption processes make it hard all around. Uneducation is a massive problem. And on and on.

    I’m only 18, give me a break. I can’t solve Australia’s social problems with a magic wand. I am studying to make a difference. I’m getting there.

    All those things can be reasons why women and girls seek out abortions. But being a reason doesn’t mean it’s a *good enough* reason! Lack of education is also a reason behind lots of child neglect (abuse) cases! That doesn’t mean that child abuse should be legal!

    Please, I find it really hard to debate you when you won’t even state your position. Come on! When do you believe human life begins, and why? Do you believe that human life is precious, even when not conscious or able to think?

    Have you checked out the 60 Minutes segment on Pregnancy Reduction, on YouTube? The doctor who performed those procedures used the ‘potential life’ argument, and he and those two women were perfectly un-agonised over their choices.

    Grant – please say something nice. In need of a little emotional support here.

    ~ Georgia

  7. @ndy says:

    Georgia,

    I posed some questions here to which you replied here.

    In response:

    1.
    On The Bible.

    a) The Bible isn’t really a book but a collection of books, and there are all sorts of differences between the various versions of it that have thus far been produced, not just in terms of translation or interpretation but also in terms of what’s included (and what’s not) and what status various texts are accorded. The Bible is also an historical document — its contents have changed over time, along with what’s considered canonical, by whom, and why. It’s possible to adopt a cavalier approach to such matters, as you do, but serious scholars take a different approach; their debates extend over centuries, and have assumed critical importance at various historical junctures. Contemporary scholarship supplements Biblical exegesis with scientific examination of these texts and the cultures out of which they emerged, often in the form of comparative studies.

    b) If The Bible, however defined, is the main source of God’s wisdom, what it says assumes absolutely critical importance for beliebers. So it’s not really appropriate to compare, as you do, the status of Biblical texts with those of Ancient Sumer, and for all sorts of reasons. Most importantly, perhaps, is the fact that, while I’m sure they exist, very few people, when presented with important moral dilemmas, ask themselves ‘What Would the Ancient Sumerians Do?’.

    c) The reason I ask which version of The Bible you believe is The Final Word in morality is so that we can understand one another, and have a common reference point. It’s interesting that you feel able to pick and choose whichever English translation you feel serves your purpose — and I think you’re correct to state that from the content of each of these translations an ideal narrative may be synthesised, at least in regards to some few events and figures, and despite the many difficulties, or various sorts, such a project must overcome — but, as they say, The Devil lurks behind every detail.

    d) Do you really believe Noah was 500 years old when he fathered his first child (Genesis 5:32)?

    e) Why was it OK for God to destroy the sinful city of Sodom but not OK to destroy Lot’s daughters when they had sex with him (Genesis 19:30–36)?

    f) If God is all-powerful, how come He lost His wrestling match with Jacob (Genesis 32:24–30)? And why were his armies defeated by the king of Moab after the king sacrificed his son to the god Chemosh (II Kings 3:18–19, 26–27)?

    g) Do you really believe that anyone who works on a religious day of rest should be killed (Exodus 31:15)? If not, why do you believe that you have greater moral authority than God in this instance?

    h) If you don’t believe in killing children, why did God allow Jephthah to sacrifice his virgin daughter? (Judges 11:30–39)?

    i) Do you believe that children should be put to death for the sins of their parents? If not, why did God kill David and Bethsheba’s baby but let them live (II Samuel 11:2–4, 14–27, 12:9–19)?

    j) Do you believe, as Jesus did, that if your hand or your eye causes you to sin it should be ripped from your body (Matthew 5:29–30)?

    k) Do you think slavery is a Bad thing? If so, on what basis? That is, why, on the one hand, is it never condemned in The Bible and, on the other hand, Paul and Peter encourage slaves to be obedient (Ephesians 6:5–7; I Peter 2:1–8)?

    2.
    In your opinion, did The Jews believe that The Messiah must be a descendant of King David, or not? Was Jesus a descendant of King David?

    3.
    I repeat: “That said, if at any point Jesus repudiated the six hundred or so commandments Moses spells out in Exodus, I’m not aware of it.” Romans 5–8 does not appear to contain reference to Jesus denying God’s authority as expressed by Moses in Exodus, so…

    Reading between the lines, your opposition to abortion would appear to be based on the commandment, expressed by Moses in Exodus, that ‘thou shall not kill’. Now, it may be that you declare yourself a higher moral authority than God, and simply select which commandments you will obey (of which this happens to be one). Alternatively, you may assume — and you would appear to regard yourself as holding this position — that God, as He is found in The Bible, is the source of your knowledge of Good and Evil, and therefore obey his injunction to murder men who assault and/or swear at one of their parents. Now, Christian opposition to abortion is fairly well-established, but not the Christian commitment to honouring God’s commandments and, therefore, to murdering children who abuse or insult their parents.

    This being so, I believe a different kind of March is very much in order.

    4.
    Re The Covenant:

    You seem to be suggesting that with Jesus’ arrival (life, death and resurrection) a new agreement was made between God & Man, and that as a direct consequence of this, it’s safe to ignore God’s commandments.

    Really?

    Jesus never said anything about this stuff. Obviously, his claim that he was The Messiah the Jews predicted was remarkable, as was the idea that ’cause of him Good people could go to Heaven, but this doesn’t mean God’s commandments may be ignored, or at least not according to my understanding of the mainstream Christian tradition.

    5.
    On The Bible, Christianity and Gender:

    Er.

    6.
    Look, it’s fairly obvious that you’re caught on the horns of a dilemma. That is, according to you God is Good and so is everything He does. According to The Bible, what He did was, inter alia, slaughter, and command to be slaughtered, thousands of innocent people, including pregnant women. It’s difficult to explain or to rationalise this because it points to an obvious contradiction in your argument that killing babies is wrogn. Instead, you’re forced to try and justify the killing by God of innocent babies by way of some murky recollection regarding the Canaanites and how Bad they were and really, those innocent Canaanite babies deserved to die and anyway God is love and so on and so forth.

    Not a very convincing argument. I mean, if the only butchery in the OT was that of the Canaanites, maybe, but in reality — as you know — it’s merely one example among many of God-approved mass violence.

    You write:

    The Canaanites, for instance – I have heard (need to do more research though) that because of their rampant sexual activity with anyone and anything, they were all riddled with sexual diseases completely untreatable at the time. Even the unborn (so I’m told) were affected. Slaughtering them was in a way a mercy killing (which, btw, I believe only God can normally ordain) and in a way, protecting his chosen people from those horrible diseases. I’m not saying every person God killed was dying a horrible death. But God cursed this world when Adam sinned, and the results of that flow on even – especially – today.

    I dunno who you’ve been speaking to or what your research consists of, but as far as I can ascertain, The Canaanites are referred to in Genesis 9:18–27, where Cham is described as being their father. As for the rest, you appear to be arguing that the Canaanites were so dangerously degenerate they deserved to die, a fate “normally”(?!?) only God can ordain. Obviously, you must maintain somesuch fiction or God’s wrath is rather difficult to explain. Abstracted from its context — a story about a repellent people whose genocide took place a long, long time ago — this kind of thing would properly be regarded as ‘hate-speech’, and certainly accords with how, say, the Nazis portrayed the Jews or indeed, how almost any mob justifies the slaughter of another as good, right and proper.

    You ask:

    So, what’s your independent basis for Good and Evil? My independent basis is an independent God, combined with the conscience he gave me.

    “… you have no compelling argument upon which to appeal to others who do not share your opinion regarding God’s existence or the status of the (Christian) Bible as the ultimate source of all moral authority.”

    Hm, I thought I did a pretty good job of arguing why abortion is wrong. You guys all quit that subject, anyway.
    My God didn’t tell me to ‘compel’ people with ‘arguments’. He told me to love people. To pray for people. To witness to people. I talk to God, God talks to you. I’m just a pen. The meaning comes from him. Besides, here I am debating you at 12:50 am. I must be just a little bit compelling there … or else … won’t say that.

    Initially, your argument as to why abortion should be considered wrong/a moral evil — made in response to my observation, undisputed, that Jesus never said nothing about abortion — was expressed in the following terms:

    Jesus “just said to love everyone, and by extension, don’t kill anyone”.

    Leaving aside the fact that Jesus also said he came not to bring peace but a sword and to pit son against father (and a number of other similarly un-loving things), one could also argue that “by extension” ‘love everyone’ is, more simply, an exhortation to adopt a polyamorous lifestyle. In any case, if God is Love, as you also maintain, then love for humanity undoubtedly includes mass murder, including that of pregnant women, rape, and many more things normally regarded as Bad. In fact, as the Bible makes clear, God does not only not condemn the slaughter of the innocents, he actively demands it, on repeated occasions — and commits it too.

    In response to my pointing out that God condones genocide, rather than reach the obvious conclusion that God does not, in either theory or practice, oppose the killing of innocents (including pregnant women), you instead ask yourself the question on what basis can you love a supernatural mass murderer (“Why do I still love Him? How can I love Him?”). The reason you give is that God is holy, sacred, right, perfect and unable to tolerate Evil. Further:

    We people were created to be holy. Perfect. Friends for God. When we sin – I mean any sin – we break that holiness. As people who have chosen to sin, spat in God’s face, every single on of us deserves death. Deserves it like hell.

    So he could wipe every human being off the face of this planet and be perfectly justified in doing so. He is the Judge. He is the Alpha and the Omega, Creator with the right to mould his creations any way he chooses. And judge them.

    So why doesn’t he? Because he is not only perfect justice. He is mercy, as well. He loves. He shows his justice by obliterating, and his love by building up. You get to choose whether to be obliterated or built up. (Though check out [Calvinistic] theology, which I largely hold to.)

    The thing is – God is the judge. We aren’t. He did not give you or me the authority to kill. Human life is sacred to God – and he gets mad when we claim the right to kill for ourselves.

    As well as providing some psychological insight into your perspective on life, this passage is a mess of contradictions.

    Leaving that aside, when I query your reliance upon God and The Bible to determine the nature of Good & Evil, I mean to draw your attention to an argument that was made a long time ago by the Ancients Greeks. Notably, by Plato in the Euthyphro, in which Socrates asks “Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?”

    This is what I mean by ‘independence’.

    7.
    Jesus on abortion:

    We both agree that Jesus said nothing about abortion. Obviously, then, his views on the subject must be arrived at via inference, as you’ve done with regards his imploring his followers to ‘love their enemies’. But beyond this, it’s noteworthy in the sense that, while he bothered to preach about a whole lotta stuff, he failed to do so in regards this issue, one which is the only one capable of mobilising Christians to take to the streets.

    Odd.

    Also, he never said nothing about not killing people. In fact, if he made any statement about killing or murder, I’m unaware of it. But certainly, he never contradicted God’s commandments, or criticised God for his murderous ways, including the mass murder of pregnant women/innocent babies.

  8. Georgia says:

    Hey Andy, sorry I haven’t gotten back to you – my plan to help my friend across the state went haywire when she turned up a few days ago, so I have been working with her instead of writing to you guys. I’ll reply properly when I have the chance – hopefully not too long. Meanwhile, have you seen the music video by Nick Cannon, on his song ‘Can I Live’? I really like it. Or check out Gianna Jessen’s testimony, or even Jill Stanek’s blog (I heard Jill at a conference – it’s amazing hearing her face-to-face).
    Must go, early start tomorrow with my friend.
    God bless, talk soon
    Georgia

  9. Why won't the voices stop? says:

    Grant. Misogny isn’t limited to men, and disagreeing with a woman does not make you a misogynist. Thinking that, though, does make you a reactionary.

  10. Why won't the voices stop? says:

    Also, Georgia. It isn’t legal to abort a baby right up to the day of delivery. That’s just fact. You can’t abort after a cut-off period well before the delivery date in places where it’s legal at all. Seriously, where do you get your wacky info from?

  11. Georgia says:

    http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Abortion_in_Australia – very pro-choice, government-ordained website

    (Btw, check out this link: http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Baby_due_date – notice that here they call the unborn a ‘baby’? And it’s all sweet and beautiful – because the baby is wanted? If someone wants you, you’re a person, if no one wants you, you’re not …)

    http://abortionlegalsupport.com/2012/02/laws-on-abortion/

    Just three of my many sources. Not to mention looking up the actual laws.

    http://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/Domino/Web_Notes/LDMS/LTObject_Store/LTObjSt6.nsf/DDE300B846EED9C7CA257616000A3571/4F29752004617CA6CA257A2A007ABBA5/$FILE/08-58a005.pdfbookmarked.pdf

    There is no limit set out in that legislation, after the post-24-weeks-get-two-docs-to-agree bit. (Get two pro-choice doctors and you’ll be fine.)

    There used to be a cut-off period. Not any more.

    So yeah, that’s where I got my wacky info from. :)

  12. Georgia says:

    1 On the Bible … serious scholars take a different approach; their debates extend over centuries, and have assumed critical importance at various historical junctures. Contemporary scholarship supplements Biblical exegesis with scientific examination of these texts and the cultures out of which they emerged, often in the form of comparative studies.

    Yes, I’d probably agree with you. I’m all in favour of researching the cultural implications of the writings from when they were written, and to whom.

    b) … it’s not really appropriate to compare, as you do, the status of Biblical texts with those of Ancient Sumer … very few people, when presented with important moral dilemmas, ask themselves ‘What Would the Ancient Sumerians Do?’.

    True, but does that mean that those texts are untrue, just because someone does or does not stake their beliefs on said texts? That was what I was getting at.

    Will have to reply to the rest later, only have scattered bits of time atm.

  13. john says:

    hey georgia,

    They can have lovely free sex and just drive their girlfriend to the clinic whenever the contraception fails.

    this is more than a little unrealistic. the fact you think this i would guess comes from your own inexperience.

    Re Catholicism – nope, I’m not a Catholic…

    i’m glad your not a catholic. i could be wrong, but one of the speakers was a minister of some sort (with the white neck thing on a black shirt), and i guessed he was a catholic. considering that the rally was a day after the police’s claims were reported, it seemed like bad timing. but maybe he wasnt a catholic. ive known some really great religious people, some of whom may have been driven by their religious beliefs to trying to change society for the better (like fighting poverty, doing suicide prevention counselling, etc. places where me and other atheists also volunteer), some of them were great people otherwise but just happened to be religious too and it was not a motivator for them. the uniting minister where i was from would speak at lots of rallys and was an old communist basically, but not a godless one! i am hostile to the catholic church specifically though, but hey id hazard a guess that they hated me first, what with being a queer atheist and for having had a vasectomy too. ive always found that really odd, that catholics hate abortion, but to them vasectomys are a mortal sin too (at least from what i understand). i will never make someone pregnant who may then consider an abortion, yet that makes me a mortal sinner? so yay for not being a catholic.

    Well, in a way. But put it this way. If the government of some island was trying to run a program to give mosquito nets to malaria-prone areas for kids, would you say ‘Oh but some of your officials poisoned people’s water supplies! You can’t do something good, because some of your guys did stuff bad!’

    this is a silly analogy to be honest. pulling examples out of thin air is not a good argument strategy- and you rely on it way too much.

    I don’t care how many Australians believe abortion is okay. Since when did the majority know best?

    in this case, in the rights of queer people, in many other cases, the majority knows best. not all cases sure, but this ones a pretty obvious one. and that was a majority (overwhelming majority) of religious people. thought maybe you could see that not everyone that believes in a god has to be anti-choice- thats a lie spun by the religious right.

    *trigger warning for discussion of sexual assault*

    “…abortion has existed for a long time.” Yeah, so has rape.

    so just like pell, your saying abortion is morally on the same level as rape. sorry, but as a survivor of sexual assault, youve just lost me. i obviously dont mean that you were gonna win me over to being anti choice, youve just lost me thinking you were arguing from a place of good will. your not. no matter how many tears you shed over abortions and how hard it is or whatever, you are basically saying that stopping women having abortions has the moral equivalency/importance of stopping rapists. you run this basic line 4 times in one response to me, responses that trivialise peoples experience of sexual assault. while @ndy is perhaps a bit kinder in his reading of what youve written, and you have sort of apologised for it (sort of, because you say “I’m sorry about using ‘rape’ so much”, but the problem isnt that you used it alot, but that you used it at all), i have a different reading on what you are doing.

    you are using the sexual assault of people (mostly but not always of women, by men), to try and get people to question abortions morality. this is really fucked and comes across as disrespectful/dismissive to me as someone who has been sexually assaulted. my experiences of being raped, and the experiences of everyone who has been, are not yours to try and win an argument with. to do that just makes it seem like you do not give a shit at all about our experiences of sexual assault. in fact, you wanna take advantage of the pain that people feel about their experiences of rape, to use that pain against us to make us ‘realise’ that abortion is wrong. that is fucking disgusting.

    if abortion is as morally clear cut bad as rape as you seem to think, then you would not need to stoop to such low levels (and they are really fucking low). the fact that you do, and you do so repeatedly, shows that you dont have any actual real arguments, and dont have any real regard for people (other than fetuses).

    Absolutely provide sex education – depending on what that entails. Absolutely provide cheaper child-care, etc etc etc. Provide for the child to live, not die.

    i take it you booed when bernie finn was speaking then? he (through the liberal party) fights against all of these things (though actually hes probably in favour of teaching abstinence- if thats what your alluding too).

    “the other issue is that of consistency. for people like yourself, abortion is murder. … but most people who are anti choice make exceptions in the case of rape, incest …”
    Not me. Why kill a child for the crime of the father?

    again, you would seem to have no idea what it is like to have been assaulted. and im glad, no one should have that experience. but you flout that ignorance when you think that carrying your rapists (‘the father’) child is not going to be an extremely horrible experience for the woman. and if it is, your attitude can be summed up as this: tough shit, why should the kid die? maybe you should look into the many different ways people feel after being assaulted, mental illness, etc, before talking about something you know nothing about.

    It’s like one of those co-joined twins was dying, and her death would kill the other as well. You save a life… Exactly like that. The easiest way to explain. You know, having a dead sibling attached to your head could kill you.

    this is a false argument using another stupid analogy. the fetus (that puts the pregnant womans life at risk) is not necessarily going to die. there are plenty of kids whose mothers died giving birth to them. they are not the dead (or dying) conjoined twin. you are turning one situation (the mothers life is at risk due to the pregnancy) into another (the fetus is dead/dying and its death will kill the mother). maybe these are your own specific narrower boundaries on when abortion is ok, but it was in reply to it being a “serious risk of death to the woman”.

    I don’t mind much when other people don’t support my stance.

    so you wanna make decisions based on your moral viewpoint, and enforce them on the rest of us through a law that criminalises abortion? while changing the law may not be your ‘focus’, you were at a rally aiming to recriminalise abortion, and im pretty sure you werent standing on the same side of the cops as me.

    so your question, “So, what’s your argument for the non-human-personhood of the unborn?”, as much as you may not want to hear it, is irrelevant.”
    What on earth? “It’s irrelevant if a woman is a person, the man is a person and rape is always going to be around, so tough luck.” No. That’s not for me.

    you obviously didnt wanna hear it, going by your response. your question is irrelevant simply because people can talk in circles for years about when personhood starts (and they have been), and will never agree, and it will not stop abortion like you hope.

    to distract from the obviousness of that you fall back, yet again, to relying on rape analogies. i cant see you changing the way society thinks about abortion, sorry, when your fallback position to this I would use ‘murder’, but then people always get mad at me because they say that I’m likening abortion to murder. is to then start comparing it to rape. if you cant see that people would get pissed off for the same or very similar reasons, you honestly come across as having no way to emotionally relate to other living breathing humans who have experienced trauma (or people in general). this is what you should be working on before you start worrying about abortions. why are you so emotionally distant from those around you? why does your moral outlook stop you from being able to understand and empathise with other peoples experiences, and instead allow you to be so dismissive of them?

    Depends on the situation. Probably an educational program and/or jail term for non-coerced women. A 13 year old dragged in by her abuser is obviously a different case.

    right, so if the 13 year old walked in (to the illegally run clinic?) on her own rather then being dragged by her rapist then maybe youd lock her away too? please be honest and tell people that you think that jail might be appropriate sometimes for women who have abortions. that would finish the argument once and for all.

  14. Grant says:

    I didn’t say disagreeing with a woman makes you a misogynist.

    I said it was ironic that a man was YELLING at a woman that he doesn’t care what her opinion is because she is a misogynist.

    Surely it is misogynist to SHOUT at a woman in an intimidating way because you disagree with her opinion? Would we tolerate that in public?

    @ndy, on the other hand, has been arguing with Georgia using evidence and reason – i.e. in a way that demonstrates respect for other people’s views and a willingness to engage in debate. As has Georgia.

    Grant

  15. Elish says:

    Grant, the idea that arguing with somebody on the internet by yelling at them makes you a misogynist because they’re a woman is so incredibly bizarre that I wonder if you really have any true critical framework for understanding what misogyny is.

    Georgia’s views are misogynistic because they represent the idea that patriarchal systems of authority (church and state in this case) should ordain what a woman does with her body and limit her reproductive freedom (and her freedom to deal with the consequences of pregnancy in a society that makes pregnancy an extremely precarious social position for an automatically-marginalised group). Shouting at her about this doesn’t make anybody a misogynist, it just makes them a poor rhetorician. Especially because the issue of Georgia’s gender doesn’t alter the meaning of Derek’s arguments (whether they are strong arguments that he expresses well or not is entirely another matter). Being rude to a single woman is not misogynistic, especially in the context of an internet argument where no threats of violence have been made (except, curiously, by Derek against himself). Never shouting at anybody but women, because you think that no woman could be inherently right and they need to be told so by a forceful man, that is misogynistic.

    Also, as for “yelling” or “shouting” itself… this is the internet, and these arguments are being carried out entirely by text. Despite the crassness and crudity of Derek’s arguments, he hasn’t ever attacked Georgia in a way that could constitute genuine intimidation, because neither of them have any way of meeting and she clearly isn’t scared of him (and he is clearly not interested in meeting, associating or visiting physical violence against her). Calling someone a fucking moron on the internet (and in real life for that matter imo) isn’t particularly violent or intimidating, it’s just kind of rude and childish.

    So, bottom line… Derek being rude to Georgia isn’t misogyny, it’s just poor technique in the context of a debate. I think your view of what constitutes misogyny is a little bit narrow and doesn’t reflect much engagement with the concept of misogyny itself. You seem to think that simply being unpleasant to a single woman is misogyny, which is similar logic to me saying that being rude to a single man (without attacking him on the basis of gender) is misandry or being rude to a single Belgian (without reference to the state or culture of Belgium) belies my racism towards his whole state. If Derek had said something along the lines of, “What would you know, you fucking woman?” then I might agree with you. However, “What would you know, you fucking misogynist?” is (despite its crassness) neither misogynistic nor representative of a poor understanding of the term itself, engaging as it does Georgia’s obedience to a patriarchal doctrine (her church) and her support of a patriarchal system (the state) in regards to the oppression of women.

    Stop defending women who haven’t asked for your help, and protecting them automatically from men who disagree with them. If you do some reading, you might be unpleasantly surprised by how your behaviour frames you in regards to misogyny.

    NB: I’m a friend of Derek’s (I thought I’d make that clear before you jump down my throat for supporting him regardless of his shitty behaviour) but I’d be the first to admit that he sucks at arguing on the internet.

  16. Georgia says:

    Hey John,

    I won’t refer to all of your destructions of my arguments, as mostly you didn’t give many reasons for that destruction (apart from ‘you’re inexperienced’ or somesuch). But here goes below:

    ‘… Since when did the majority know best?’

    in this case, in the rights of queer people, in many other cases, the majority knows best. not all cases sure, but this ones a pretty obvious one. and that was a majority (overwhelming majority) of religious people. thought maybe you could see that not everyone that believes in a god has to be anti-choice- thats a lie spun by the religious right.

    Again, I just don’t care what the majority believes. I don’t base any of my beliefs on what any majority (or minority, for that matter) believes. I wasn’t saying that the majority is never right. I was just saying that saying ’90% of Aussies believe this’ is going to sway my opinion by, hm, zilch.

    so just like pell, your saying abortion is morally on the same level as rape. … you are basically saying that stopping women having abortions has the moral equivalency/importance of stopping rapists.

    Prove that it doesn’t. Whether or not I believe it has the same equivalence, you haven’t put forward any reason behind your rebuttal.

    you are using the sexual assault of people (mostly but not always of women, by men), to try and get people to question abortions morality.

    Actually, I’m not. When I refer to rape, I’m generally using it as an allegory to illustrate why I believe that IF abortion is wrong, we should stop it. At the march I spoke to a couple of young guys who said that abortion is morally wrong, but we should still allow it to happen. I’m sure they believe that rape is morally wrong, but they would not allow that to happen. Why?

    That is the question.

    if abortion is as morally clear cut bad as rape as you seem to think, then you would not need to stoop to such low levels … you dont have any actual real arguments …

    Hey, what do you reckon about using the Crusades to demonstrate that ‘religious’ idiots do stupid and cruel and evil things? Well, we should never need to use allegories should we, because everyone already has the same view of morals as we do, and all of those views are consistent! (Not.)

    So you didn’t check out the DNA argument, the life argument, the blood type argument, the heartbeat argument, the brainwaves argument … the ‘when is it okay to kill a child in the womb’ argument?

    ‘Absolutely provide sex education – depending on what that entails. Absolutely provide cheaper child-care, etc etc etc. Provide for the child to live, not die.’

    i take it you booed when bernie finn was speaking then? he (through the liberal party) fights against all of these things (though actually hes probably in favour of teaching abstinence- if thats what your alluding too).

    I couldn’t hear a lot of what Bernie was saying, since you guys were making such a racket and I was wandering around the back of the crowd looking for someone, or I was kneeling in front of your big banner praying, or talking with some kids, for most of the time. But hey, I think abstinence is the best idea. There are other sex education things that I do believe should be taught, though.

    ‘It’s like one of those co-joined twins was dying, and her death would kill the other as well. You save a life… Exactly like that. The easiest way to explain. You know, having a dead sibling attached to your head could kill you.’

    this is a false argument using another stupid analogy. the fetus (that puts the pregnant womans life at risk) is not necessarily going to die. there are plenty of kids whose mothers died giving birth to them. they are not the dead (or dying) conjoined twin. you are turning one situation (the mothers life is at risk due to the pregnancy) into another (the fetus is dead/dying and its death will kill the mother). maybe these are your own specific narrower boundaries on when abortion is ok, but it was in reply to it being a “serious risk of death to the woman”.

    If the baby is under the age of viability, and the mother dies, the baby dies too. That’s generally how it works. If the baby is past the age of viability, as I understand a C-section could be performed and the baby lives AND the pregnancy is ‘terminated’. If a woman is in the process of giving birth in this country, and the baby becomes stuck, operations etc. would be in order – an abortion to prevent death in childbirth sounds pretty ridiculous to me.

    ”so your question, “So, what’s your argument for the non-human-personhood of the unborn?”, as much as you may not want to hear it, is irrelevant.”’
    What on earth? “It’s irrelevant if a woman is a person, the man is a person and rape is always going to be around, so tough luck.” No. That’s not for me.’

    you obviously didnt wanna hear it, going by your response. your question is irrelevant simply because people can talk in circles for years about when personhood starts (and they have been), and will never agree, and it will not stop abortion like you hope.

    Oh, they’ll talk in circles? Like they did with slavery? Like they did, and continue to do, with every other social justice issue in the world?

    Re murder/rape analogies – people think I’m likening abortion to murder more because murder is the killing of a human being, and abortion (I claim) is also killing a human being. I used to use slavery, but then some pro-choicers told me that slavery was okay, and I didn’t want to have to follow that whole trail too.

    … please be honest and tell people that you think that jail might be appropriate sometimes for women who have abortions. that would finish the argument once and for all.

    Okay. Jail might be appropriate sometimes for women who have abortions.

    Done.

    Grant says:

    @ndy, on the other hand, has been arguing with Georgia using evidence and reason – i.e. in a way that demonstrates respect for other people’s views and a willingness to engage in debate. As has Georgia.

    Thanks Grant, and thanks @ndy too. I like debating you.

    Elish, capitals are generally considered the text version of shouting. So Derek kind of was shouting at me.

    Stop defending women who haven’t asked for your help, and protecting them automatically from men who disagree with them. If you do some reading, you might be unpleasantly surprised by how your behaviour frames you in regards to misogyny.

    Hey, THAT’s misogynist! Because if he defended a guy, no one would care, but because I’m a woman, he must act differently towards me! Arugh!

    How about we just forget the whole misogynist thing. It’s kind of childish. I’m an adult, but I certainly don’t mind other people mentioning (rightly) that it is ironic for a guy to yell at a girl ‘You’re a *#$@$%&@# misogynist!’, or explaining why they think it is ironic.

    Must go – I’ll get back to @ndy when I can …

  17. Elish says:

    Once again, Georgia and Grant. I think you need to understand. There is no irony in a man telling a woman she is a “fucking mysogynist”. You could only identify irony in that if you assume the following:

    1) Swearing at a woman is misogynistic

    2) Women aren’t often capable of misogyny

    3) A man isn’t allowed to call somebody misogynistic (possibly because you assume that misogyny is a condition of maleness itself and not a condition of patriarchal societies)

    I’m not going to tell you exactly where I stand, but you could probably infer…

    Hasta luego, shitheads.

  18. @ndy says:

    @Georgia:

    Re The Bible, you wrote:

    “Yes, I’d probably agree with you. I’m all in favour of researching the cultural implications of the writings from when they were written, and to whom.”

    That may be so, but the point is that, for believers, The Bible is not just another way of understanding previous cultures, but The Word of God. In other words, it’s accorded a unique and holy relevance which other texts most definitely are not: it cannot, in the eyes of a believer, be reduced in status to this level. Rather, it assumes absolutely critical importance in terms of how believers view the world — from the moment of its conception (Genesis) to its end (Revelations) — and the ways in which God commands them to interact with it. As such, The Bible’s message is eternal: it expresses eternal truths about God, Man, and the relationship between them. As many previous scholars and commentators have noted, paying too much attention to its history, and the cultural, economic, political and social forces which shape(d) its creation, risks rendering it un-holy; profane.

    Re comparing The Bible with Ancient Sumerian texts, and my suggestion that your comparison, in this context, was wrong-headed, you wrote:

    “True, but does that mean that those texts are untrue, just because someone does or does not stake their beliefs on said texts? That was what I was getting at.”

    Previously, when I raised the issue of The Bible’s historicity, you wrote:

    “Translation of the Bible? Hey, if we find a clay brick with writings on it from Sumer, waaaaay before Jesus’ time, we translate it and say ‘In Sumer, so-and-so said this!’ Well, we Christians get these scrolls and things and translate them and say ‘In Israel/Egypt/Babylon, so-and-so said this!”

    If only it were that simple. And really, it’s not.

    Of course, as I indicated above, reading these texts assumes very different meanings depending on the assumptions governing their status. Thus you and other believers assume that some particular texts are not just what some body happened to write some time in the past, but holy. If one were to apply the same approach to Ancient Sumerian texts, we’d be left pondering over the critical importance of what An and Enki thought about abortion…

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