There are rumous Angelina Jolie is pregnant again, perhaps with twins. I have no idea whether to believe this or not, but one thing I know for sure: I find the couple’s ambition to raise a large family awfully cool. Not that we all should aim for our very own soccer team, but hey, if you’ve got the resources, why not?
Lorne Gunter has a fine piece in today’s National Post about pro-life clubs on campus and how difficult life can be for them. The open-minded and tolerant, we are now discovering, are only open-minded and tolerant of opinions they already agree with. The same is happening all over the United States, as Evan Maloney has documented in his splendid Indoctrinate U (the film is playing in Ottawa Feb. 18).
But what really got my attention in Lorne’s piece is the advice to pro-lifers at the end of the column.
I have read scores of anti-abortion pamphlets of the kind given out by campus pro-lifers, and while I passionately defend their right to distribute them, I have a friendly word of advice: Get new tactics.
Your efforts to use graphic photos of mutilated fetuses and claims of “genocide” aren’t winning you any mainstream supporters.
INDEED! While I would encourage people to see those pictures at least once – it’s important to understand what it is we’re talking about – I really don’t like the way some activists display the pictures without warning. These are deeply offensive and disturbing images (as offensive and disturbing as the procedure itself), and as such should not be thrust in anybody’s face. If pro-lifers want to hold such exhibits, they should have the right to do so. But not right where people (including children) will just stumble upon them.
I should go see Juno. Look at the Oscar nominations it received. Yay!
Saudi Arabia is to lift its ban on women drivers in an attempt to stem a rising suffragette-style movement in the deeply conservative state.
Government officials have confirmed the landmark decision and plan to issue a decree by the end of the year.
The move is designed to forestall campaigns for greater freedom by women, which have recently included protesters driving cars through the Islamic state in defiance of a threat of detention and loss of livelihoods.
So maybe in a year there will be some decree? Gosh… Though the story also points out that: “If the ban on women driving is lifted, it could be years before the full impact is seen. Practical hurdles stopping women obtaining licences and insurance must be overcome.”
I tip my hat to the Saudi women who are fighting for their rights: They’re a courageous bunch.
Well, some of them anyway.
America’s favourite television presenter is paying a painful price for her intervention in the US presidential campaign last month. Oprah Winfrey has been dubbed a “traitor” by some of her female fans for supporting Barack Obama instead of Hillary Clinton.
Winfrey’s website, Oprah.com, has been flooded with a barrage of abuse since the queen of daytime chat shows joined Obama on a tour of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina in mid-December.
It started with a message on her website entitled “Oprah is a traitor” and rapidly expanded to include several discussions that attracted hundreds of comments.
In the original post, a reader called austaz68 said she “cannot believe that women all over this country are not up in arms over Oprah’s backing of Obama. For the first time in history we actually have a shot at putting a woman in the White House and Oprah backs the black MAN. She’s choosing her race over her gender.”
Oprah? A traitor to women? Some sisters need to give their head a good shake.
Don’t get me wrong: As a rule I’d rather pregnant teens kept their babies instead of going for abortions. But really, I’d much rather teens didn’t have to deal with such issues through the good old-fashioned trick of not getting pregnant in the first place. I didn’t use to think that made me a weirdo. Now I wonder…
Andrea adds: I am flat out encouraged by what I’ll call the Juno phenomenon: Teens who understand what abortion is and refuse to go through with it. All these commentaries decrying the lack of abortion representation in Hollywood these days–I’ll have none of it. A pregnant teen is a problem. An abortion is a bigger problem. So is this idea that you can have sex and never get pregnant–that women can always prevent pregnancy. I’m going to go out on a limb and say something really controversial: Sex and pregnancy are linked. So long as all of us–teens, young women, young men–are encouraged to believe they can be separated, we’ll see teen pregnancies, and indeed pregnancies everywhere. I reject the notion that women can always prevent pregnancy, that there is a foolproof way to do so. We all know someone who was cautious, very cautious, and then got pregnant.
Sex education these days is a mess: who got the “Intimacy Pyramid” in grade nine phys ed? Ah yes, one is supposed to check off the level of intimacy one is comfortable with. At the bottom, holding hands and kissing. At the top–you know what (sex)– the idea being you could call it quits at any point in between. And that one step was unrelated from the other. I’m sorry, but it don’t work that way, especially not in high school.
Anyway–teens are the least likely to use contraception properly, and the least likely to be able to express at any point with a boyfriend or girlfriend: “Excuse me, but we are currently hitting a point in the intimacy pyramid that I’m uncomfortable with.”
We need to change channels on sex ed. But nonetheless, I’m glad we are seeing teens reject abortion. So they should. Nothing worse than hitting your 30s, finding you’ve spent your whole life preventing pregnancy, only to find now you want to get pregnant and can’t. That must be agonizing for those women who were encouraged to have an abortion.
So Brigitte–while I think I get what you are saying, I say this instead. Do tell me this is happening. Not the normalization or full out acceptance of teen pregnancy as a normal phenomenon, but the rejection of abortion as a fix-all.
Brigitte, er, clarifies: The headline on that Maclean’s cover story to which I linked is, “Suddenly teen pregancy is cool?” To which my answer is: Golly, I sure hope not!! Otherwise I agree with Andrea. But at the risk of exposing myself as a terminally old-fashioned and uncool person, I like to think 13- to 17-year-olds are better off studying, getting a job, playing sports and preparing themselves for a fulfilling life as a smart, educated woman, than they are testing the efficacy of various birth-control methods.
Andrea adds another two cents: Brigitte–terminally uncool is the woman who suggests babies have something to do with sex. I think you are doing okay- downright hip! With your clarification then we can agree: Teens are better off not having sex. But that’s where sex ed needs to change channels. Because (say it all together in singsong) “if they’re going to do it anyway,” they might as well have the “intimacy pyramid…” Right.
The abortion rate for 2005 was 19.4 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44. In comparison, the rate was 29.3 abortions per 1,000 women in 1981, 21.3 abortions per 1,000 women in 2000, and 19.7 abortions per 1,000 women in 2004.
The report says there were “1.2 million abortions in 2005, compared to a high of 1.6 million abortions in 1990.”
Well, that’s what the headline writer probably wants you to think. Here’s what the candidate said:
Leaving it up to individual states to outlaw abortion within their own borders is not enough, he said.
“That’s again the logic of the Civil War — that slavery could be okay in Georgia but not okay in Massachusetts. Obviously we’d today say, ‘Well, that’s nonsense. Slavery is wrong, period. It can’t be right somewhere and wrong somewhere else.’ Same with abortion,” Huckabee said.
So it’s not the kind of rhetoric one would want to use if one were trying to reach out to middle-of-the-road voters, or to those who haven’t really given the subject of abortion much thought. (These people exist, you know.) But it’s ideologically coherent; if one believes abortion is wrong, period, then one believes it ought to be outlawed everywhere, period.
I’m not wild about Huckabee myself. And, as I said elsewhere, I don’t believe legislation is the answer to the problem of casual abortion – at least, it’s not the only answer. But you sure can’t accuse Huckabee of wobbling. And that I like.
Andrea adds: The media put headlines on stories, and then other media incredulously pick up on them. That is a terrible, biased, convoluted headline–and all the candidates should be allowed to have their citations stand in full so that voters can read them and choose.
On a different note: The abortion-slavery comparison gets at another mantra we repeat often, that abortion is strictly a private issue. Was not slavery a private issue too? As in, you can have slaves, or not have them, and that’s your choice? Shouldn’t bother you if I purchase a couple at the market this weekend. My life is busy these days. Heck, I could use one to help moderate comments on this site. Trust me, if I had slaves, I’d treat them well–which should make all of you feel better about the fact that I have them. Right?
So there’s some kind of hoopla in the world of tennis. Apparently some male commentator said something tasteless and dumb about Venus Williams’ bottom. Well, pfft. While I agree his comment was stupid and inappropriate, I also have to have a good laugh at the girls. Players nowadays display A LOT more than a mean backhand. Not that it excuses idiotic comments. But you know, when you dress like a tart, don’t be surprised if people treat you like one.