Thursday, March 29, 2007

I Hate this State (A continuing series)

I am never, ever staying in North Dakota. There is not a single redeemable quality about this whole back-water state.

What is particularly irking me off here is its recent legislation. First, they passed a "Trigger bill" making abortion illegal when and if Roe v. Wade is overturned. But worse, they just passed into law a bill requiring parent's permission for pregnant girls under the age of 18 to get pre-natal care.

This is stupid, cruel, and misogynist legislator, and that's really all I can say about it right now.

Via the Bismarck Tribune.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Pro-Choice Voice

Last night there was a meeting of the Pro-Choice Voice, our one and only pro-choice campus organization. It was pretty good, we had a local nurse, a professor from the law school, and a professor from the medicine department. The discussion went all over the place, but it was expressly focused on women's reproductive rights.

The discussion, while awesome and well overdue, was disappointing in how few people actually showed up. For as "liberal" as college is supposed to be, this is a socially conservative state. There aren't very many people who support abortion rights. Heck, I can't even broach the subject at my table; it gets way to personal way too fast.

For instance, my friend, let's call him Mark, is a birth control baby. His mom was on the pill when he was conceieved (it does happen). Because of this, his parents had a somewhat rushed engagement and he was a magical first-born that gestated in 6 months. I once asked "Did your mom every think about abortion?" he got very, very offended, which I guess I get, but not really.

He was offended because I suggested that he could have not existed, and he felt that I implied that it would have been better. I feel this is a point of emotional contention: since abortion is illegal, there is just one more step that could have had you not existing.

The thought of non-existence bothers people. Yet, oddly enough, it does not bother me in the least. The thought that I was unwanted, the thought that I may have ruined my parents' lives THOOSE thought bothers me. Non-existence is a non-issue, to me, and it very well could have been me. I was not a planned baby: my mother was told she wouldn't be able to get pregnant for five years, and I was up in five months. Abortion was legal at the time, she could have done a cost benefit analysis and decided that her and my father couldn't afford me and had an abortion before I existed. And that would have been okay, because I wouldn't exist to care. The world would probably not be that drastically different. The "It's a Wonderful Life" is a fallacy for most of us, and very narcistic view most of the time. I like that it was available to my mom to have an abortion. Maybe not very likely, considering she had no money and was raised to oppose it, but she had the option. She was not coerced into giving birth by the government.

Mark was embraced and loved too, and my guess is that his mom had the option (seeing as he was born post-Roe as well). Maybe not a very practical option, but an option. And instead of seeing my question of one of embrace (Yes, my wasn't expecting me, but choose to have and love me anyway) he saw it as one of rejection (you were a mistake).

I am not entirely sure how to counter this emotional appeal of non-existence when talking about abortion. I suppose there is the other argument that, if there are tons of ways you could have not existed (a la Back to the Future) that have nothing to do with abortion, so please get over your existential crisis other ways than deny women the right to our bodies, but that sounds somewhat callous.

Any ideas?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I got Engaged

As the title of this post suggests, I got engaged last week. No one was more suprised than me, except of course, for maybe my new fiance.

The reactions have been...mixed. Some have been happy for me, some of started crying fearing for who we will become, but most of them have been shocked. Extrodinarily shocked: gaping mouthes, unable to communicate, considered it a sign of the apocolypse shocked.

I shudder to think how our respective parents will act when we get around to telling them.

But the reaction that hurts the most is the idea that I'm a hypocrite for getting engaged. This worries me, because it may be true.

I don't like traditional marriage: it has been a property exchange instead of joining of people, or a religious experience. I'm trying to avoid this by not taking his last name, my father is NOT giving me away, and not getting married in a church. But, is the institution reclaimable? It's currently discriminatory: my gay friends and relatives can't get married while straight me can. There is still a lot of social capital wrapped up in it.

But, on the other hand, I do love him. I want to make a promise to him. Not to mention, when he has to move away in a few monthes for a job, I want to be told if something ever happens to him.

So instead of spending a long post on this, I shall ask you in the feminist blogsphere: is getting married anti-feminist?