Thursday, December 13

:: Former Head of Feminist Organization Admits Life is More Important Than Privacy

Why, people?
Why must we offer bad soundbites like so much leftover Halloween candy?

"Let's face it: Weigh the moral scales of privacy against life and there is no contest."

Well, read the column. Yes, the human rights argument is valuable and effective elsewhere around the world. Unfortunately the last time Americans cared about "human rights" as defined by international norms was... was... when was that, exactly? Last time I checked, we're still the country happy to take a long, leisurely piss on the Geneva Convention if Jack Bauer thinks its a good idea. Besides, you get into "whose human rights?" and all that.

The next person who knocks privacy (aka "the right for you to keep your goddamn hands to yourself") and Roe in my presence is going to get a special knock of their own.

Just sayin'.


Kirsten said...

Bring it, Ciccina, I'll take you on! I don't think privacy is a useful framework for a movement, although I think Roe remains a vital symbol.

I think Gloria makes a good point to a certain extent: I think that when the public debate is so stark -- woman v. her eggs -- the pro-choice movement has a really good position. And the reason why is the same reason why the human rights framework isn't effective: American individualism. We are not big on the collective good; if we were, families wouldn't have to prove they are poor enough to deserve government health care -- whereas in most other countries, basic health care is a starting point, not a privilege.

When women start seeing themselves being displaced instead of "helped" (in Ohio, women seeking abortions will be "allowed" to see their sonograms -- as if they weren't before) then they will take action. But as long as anti-choice yahoos can pretend that what they are doing will improve women's health care, women won't put up a fuss.

Anonymous said...

I think one of the problems is the use of the term "privacy" to refer to the rights mentioned in the 4th and 14th amendment. IMO, that's a poor term. What the right one word term for "right to freedom from unreasonable and unconstitutional government coercion" should be, I don't know. But it's not like we're saying the government should come into our bedrooms to peek at our diaries.

In other words, the "privacy" argument is a human rights argument, it's just that the terminology used makes it sound like it isn't one.

My problem with the column is that it was confused and poorly written.

Anonymous said...

OK, so I should proofread more.

I meant to say "we're saying the government *shouldn't* come into our bedrooms to peek at our diaries."

Anonymous said...

As a man who has and will continue to support a woman's right to choose, the 4th Amendment reasoning in Roe was crap. There are plenty of good reasons to leave such decisions to the woman (among others, that the state has absolutely no legitimate authority to get involved), but a right to privacy isn't one of them.