Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Vagina dentata: No, you cannot be left-wing and pro-life


Vagina dentata, the toothed womb, is the kind of title you'd expect for a feminist blog but I wonder what reaction the masculine equivalent would get or what sort of people would click on it. A pointless question, a bit like asking, since there is an Association of Black Lawyers, why isn't there an Association of White Lawyers. 

In this post Vagina indentata asks whether it is possible to be left wing and opposed to legal abortion and answers firmly in the negative. It sounds like a Radio Yerevan joke from the Soviet Union, except that it is not funny.

Note that the writer has the right to decide what is or is not left-wing. No cafeteria (or as she puts it 'smorgasbord') socialism for her. No Muslim, Jew or Catholic can be left-wing, it seems, unless they buy the whole left-wing deal and excuse themselves from their faith's teaching on abortion. 

Interestingly too, she thinks that we are shedding blood in Afghanistan to make it possible for Afghan girls to get abortions and the pill. This too, it seems, is left-wing. It reminds me of Lord Macaulay's observation that, because of Frederick the Great, "black men fought on the coast of Coromandel and red men scalped each other by the great lakes of North America."

This remark also caught my attention:

"To fight for equality is at the very least, to acknowledge the biological difference that keeps women oppressed and fight to overcome that. " 

So it is biology that she wants to overcome. The idea that biology is divinely ordained and women intended for another destiny than men she would not consider at all progressive - nor the atheist Freud's view that biology is destiny.

I like her admission that biology is conservative, not left-wing. Biology is very right-wing, as is life, as all reformers know, though, in another sense, it is not conservative at all but terribly destructive.

Interesting too that the right to legal abortion is not defended on the grounds of convenience, freedom, health, eugenics or global warming but egalitarianism. 

it is easy to moralise about abortion and I do not like to - it's such a difficult issue. But abortion is a dreadful thing, often the result of pressure by men on women. I admire, by the way, single mothers who resist intense pressures to have abortions and I think that people of every political position should think for themselves about abortion. I remember Roy Hattersley saying that for him, as an atheist, life was the only thing that was sacred.

Let me finish with something Charles Moore said about progressive people on Saturday:
The concept of life itself has warped. People who go white with rage at the idea of any restriction on the abortion of human foetuses get even more beside themselves at any killing of wild animals by human beings. 

1 comment: