From Pink Collar To Blue Collar?

Annalee Newitz questions Hanna Rosin's thesis: It's unlikely that the female dominance of the working class will last very long. As Ann Friedman points out, the aspirations of job-seekers will shift with the market. Men who want a respectable working class income can certainly tackle nursing, child care, and food preparation with as much aplomb … Continue reading From Pink Collar To Blue Collar?

The Abortion Debate, Cont’d

by Conor Friedersdorf

A few days ago I wrote a carefully worded post on the abortion debate. Though I find my argument difficult to sum up in a single sentence, it's basically that prevailing social norms in progressive circles send men a mixed signal: should their girlfriend become pregnant, the decision about whether or not to carry the pregnancy to term is hers alone; but should she choose to have the child, he is expected to be as fully invested in its gestation, birth and upbringing as she is.

Personally, I haven't any objection to a society where males are held responsible for their progeny. There is no circumstance in which I'd abandon a women with whom I had sex, or my own offspring. Nevertheless, I think that progressive social norms on this matter work at cross purposes with one another: if men think that whether or not to carry a fetus to term is the sole province of women, they are less likely to be equally invested in raising a child they fathered. "Her body, her choice," these men say to themselves. "The fact that she bore the child must mean that she wanted it — if that's her decision, why should I bear the cost for it?" Again, I am repulsed by any man who takes that attitude toward a child he fathered. It is nevertheless my estimation that a "my body, my choice" approach to abortion marginally increases the prevalence of that attitude.

Damon Linker wrote a thoughtful rebuttal to my post:

Feminists and progressives want abortion to be legal, taken out of the political sphere. Fine. But these goal do not require that abortion be rendered morally unproblematic. And it's a good thing, too, because the decision about whether to terminate a pregnancy is and always will be, among the other things it is, a moral decision, whether or not the decision is legal.

I agree. In my original post, I tried my best to focus on a narrow argument, obscuring my views on abortion generally. Perhaps by doing so I wrote a post that seemed to implicitly agree that abortion is an amoral act. I actually don't think that, and I'm grateful to Mr. Linker for correctly clarifying that "abortion is not, and will never be, a matter of moral indifference. A man can fiercely defend a woman's (public) right to choose an abortion without state interference while also passionately trying to persuade his girlfriend (in private) to carry their (not her) baby to term."

The Daily Wrap

As the Tiller tragedy wound down today, O'Reilly stood his ground, Malkin revealed her hypocrisy, Hilzoy and Megan locked horns, and Ann Friedman urged the protection of clinics. We also published more abortion testimonials here, here, and here. In torture news, McChrystal addressed his shady past, another detainee killed himself, Wheeler and Sargent parsed Cheney's … Continue reading The Daily Wrap

Tiller Reax

We rounded up some initial reaction here, but here's a more thoughtful reax to yesterday's tragedy:

Kansas Jackass:

Too often lost amid the concern about foreign terrorism is the very real presence of homegrown right-wing terrorism in our own backyard. Today's tragedy in Wichita should serve as a reminder that violent extremists have found a home in Kansas's conservative movement. For years this movement has committed acts of harassment, vandalism, and more than once tried to assassinate Dr. George Tiller. Each failure seems only to strengthen the resolve of the movement as their actions and rhetoric grew more extreme. For more than a few sick Kansas conservatives, today's sad events will be viewed as the successful conclusion to a long struggle.

Kansas City Star's Mike Hendricks:

[W]e already know the identities of his accomplices. They include every one who has ever called Tiller's late term abortion clinic a murder mill. Who ever called Tiller "Tiller the Killer." … Hate. Not heated opposition. Not strong disagreement. But blind hatred. … His accomplices know they have blood on their hands, which might explain why they were quick to issue statements today expressing disapproval of Tiller's murder.


It cannot be true, however much some pro-choicers may want it to be, that pro-lifers are obliged to shut up and go away because one violent kook killed an abortion doctor. Think about the harsh criticism of the US torture policy under Bush. If, God forbid, someone infuriated by that committed murder against one of the Bush officials who devised the policy, it would be a heinous crime, but most people would understand that torture critics could not be blamed for it. Nor would the severity of their moral indictment of torture be at issue.