Coates Responds to Mourdock’s Remarks

Ta-Nehisi Coates reposted a piece he wrote two years ago in light of the comments Senate candidate Richard Mourdock made about pregnancy.  I really recommend checking it out.  I don’t know what Coates would think of the following comparison, but he and W. E. B. Du Bois make up the entirety of a an obviously very short list of writers who are men and whose writings on women I’ve found to be down right enlightening.


In regards to Du Bois, what specifically comes to mind is his chapter “The Damnation of Women” in Darkwater.  (Chapter starts on page 110.)

Only at the sacrifice of intelligence and the chance to do their best work can the majority of modern women bear children. This is the damnation of women. All womanhood is hampered today because the world on which it is emerging is a world that tries to worship both virgins and mothers and in the end despises motherhood and despoils virgins.  The future woman must have a life work and economic independence. She must have knowledge. She must have the right of motherhood at her own discretion.

That was written in 1920.

God intended what now?

From the Indiana Senate debate between Richard Mourdock (R), Joe Donnelly (D), and Andrew Horning (L):

Asked whether abortion should be allowed in cases of rape or incest, Mourdock said during Tuesday’s debate, “I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And, I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

Mourdock has said he regrets that anyone has interpreted him as implying that sexual violence is anything other than abhorrent, but:

 “In answering a question from my position of faith, I said I believe that God creates life, and I believe that as wholly and fully as I can believe, that God creates life.”


Rep. Akin’s Knowledge of Human Biology (or lack thereof)

(trigger warning for discussing rape and pregnancy.)

I’m sure a lot of people have seen the remarks made by Rep. Todd Akin (he’s currently running for a spot in the senate).  If you haven’t, here they are:

First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare.  If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.

I’m not sure which is  more disturbing:
(a) the specifying of legitimate rape (which implies there is an important subset of rape called “illegitimate”  or  “women lying about being raped”)
or (b) the fact that this legislator–someone who participates in making laws about things like reproductive and sexual health–was walking around with a completely misguided and wrongheaded set of beliefs about human biology that probably could have been cleared up if he had taken / stayed awake in a sex ed or anatomy class.

Catholic newspaper: Romney is the real pro-abortion candidate

Some remarkable stuff.

According to the parallel magisterium, it is also a doctrine of the faith that Obama is pro-abortion and Romney is pro-life, and the church and its bishops and cardinals can associate only with the latter and not the former.
“Let me say a few things about that comparison. First of all, I don’t know anyone who is pro-abortion. Think about what that word means. It means you favor women becoming pregnant so you can help them abort their child and maybe profit from it. It is an ugly word, and it is used to emotionalize the debate when what we are really talking about is people who do not favor criminalizing abortion because they believe criminal statutes are ineffective ways to solve social evils. This makes them pro-choice, not pro-abortion….

Obama favors, and included in the Affordable Care Act, $250 million of support for vulnerable pregnant women and alternatives to abortion. This support will make abortions much less likely, since most abortions are economic. Romney, on the other hand, has endorsed Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan’s budget, which will cut hundreds of millions of dollars out of the federal plans that support poor women. The undoubted effect: The number of abortions in the United States will increase. On these facts, Obama is much more pro-life than Romney.

I was especially please to see a Catholic newspaper distinguishing ‘pro-abortion’ and ‘pro-choice’, and to see the attention to economic matters.

Thanks, T!

Exams 28 hours after giving birth

People are posting this as an impressive story of triumph in adversity, which it undoubtedly is. But why isn’t anyone asking about the choice she was given: be *deemed* to have deserved honours, or take the exam 28 hours after giving birth? Why wasn’t she offered the chance to take the exams on a different date? (Note: I am trusting the journalist’s reporting as to the choice she was given. Perhaps they’re mistaken.)