štvrtok, 24. decembra 2009

represívny sentiment

Abortion defenders must pretend that it is a “tragic” but necessary evil; a redoubt of “choice,” just like any other choice; a sentimental necessity for the victim of rape or the mother whose life is in danger. In short, safe medical abortion, a fundamental social good in any sexually egalitarian society, an invention to be celebrated like the polio vaccine, must disguise itself as everything but what it is—the freedom from involuntary motherhood, owed to any woman young or old, to let her shape a life equal in freedom to those of men.

Same-sex marriage and the minimalist defense of abortion are both tactically sound for now. But the strain one begins to feel in public discussions is that people of good sense are being compromised by sentimental rhetoric originally adopted to convince bigots. Sentimentalization may be effective in a Hallmark regime, but it’s a bummer at home. Around the kitchen table, we ought to speak plainly. The goal of gay marriage, in the pro-marriage position, has to include indifference to marriage as an institution. Marriage must remain abstract—it hardly matters if anyone does it once the original blush is off and the initial rush abates. But the point of abortion rights, in the “pro-choice” position, should truly be abortions. Abortions need to occur concretely, readily, until the day contraception is magically universal and perfect; the idea that they’re inevitably tragic is just false.
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