I’ve posted about Dollhouse before.  You can see previous posts here, here and here. The big thing I took away from most of the eps of Dollhouse was consent.  It seemed to me that Joss Whedon was exploring differing levels of consent and how valid the consent of the person who signed themselves over to the Dollhouse could really be.

It couldn’t really be informed consent, could it?  So is it really valid?

I’m not sure the show has, or ever will answer that question, but I believe it is worth pondering in any case.

Season 2 of Dollhouse starts tonight.  By all accounts it will be darker than season 1.  I’m really looking forward to finding out where the series goes from here.

I also happened across (thanks to Whedonesque.com) this, somewhat dated, but recently posted interview with Joss Whedon about Dollhouse.  It gives a little insight into how he sees the show and what he intends.  It’s worth reading.

Well, it appears that the hardcore anti-abortionists are at it again.  They want to define a person as a human at any stage of life or development, from the fertilization of the egg onward.  Specifically they’re going after the Due Process clause of the Montana State Constitution.

The full text of the CI-102 Ballot Initiative can be read here.

First, the definition of person in this initiative:  “CI-102 amends the due process section of the Montana Constitution to define “person” as used in that section to include every human being regardless of age, health, function, physical or mental dependency, or method of reproduction, from the beginning of the biological development of that human being.

Section 17 of the MT Constitution reads: “Due process of law. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.”

In searching for a good definition or explanation of Due Process I’ve discovered that it’s fairly vague, but seems to boil down to fairness.  A simple explanation can be found here, though it is not specific to Montana.

So if a fertilized egg is a person, it cannot be deprived of life (or liberty or property, but we’ll come back to that) without due process of law.  Does that mean that anyone wishing to have an abortion would have to request legal permission to proceed?

It certainly does. That’s exactly what these folks want to accomplish. If they cannot outlaw abortion outright they will continue to seek to  make it as difficult and burdensome as possible.  That this directly conflicts with a woman’s right to privacy is of no consequence to them.  And what happens when the rights of the mother and fetus are in conflict?  In those instances where the continuation of the pregnancy could kill the mother, how does the law decide which “person’s” rights to uphold?

Beyond the obvious, this amendment could have some pretty drastic consequences.  Planned Parenthood of Montana has posted about the issue here, focusing on privacy rights. And really, this isn’t all that different than 2008’s CI-100, which failed to gather enough signatures to make it to the ballot.  You can read a really well titled 4and20BlackBirds post on that initiative here.

Many of the same issues that could be seen with CI-100 also apply to CI-102.  If a person cannot be deprived of life without due process, and legal personhood begins at the moment of fertilization, what happens when a woman has an ectopic pregnancy?  Or a miscarriage?  Would miscarriages have to be investigated? Could charges be filed if a woman was found to have been less than perfect in nurturing her unborn child?

And moving on to the rest of the wording. Would fetuses be able to own property?  And what about liberty?  What exactly constitutes liberty when still inside the womb?

The proposed amendment is dangerous and more than a little potentially ridiculous.

I truly hope that Montanans will decline to sign this petition when they are presented with it.  Please spread the word and remember to always ask for the details of whatever petition you’re being asked to sign.  Petition gatherers can be fairly creative in finding ways to make their petition sound like the sort of thing any sensible person would support.

Remember, miscarriage is NOT murder.

15andcounting

September 22, 2009

Imagine my surprise when the folks over at 15andcounting commented on this blog to let me know they’d like to include me in a Feminist Blogs We Love post.   Looking at the list of blogs included in their post I’m struck with feelings of extreme unworthiness. Especially since I haven’t blogged in ages.

Please take the time to check out 15andcounting as well as the feminist blogs they list.  I feel quite humbled to be included in a list of blogs I love.

In other news, I am still around and will be blogging about local politics in the very near future.  We’ve got a lovely Constitutional Initiative out for signatures that I need to rant about and the new seaso of Dollhouse starts on Friday.

Thanks for having kept me in your readers or blogrolls while I was gone.

The way we use language

March 20, 2009

Yesterday, Courtney over at Feministing posted a list of five issues she wishes feminist men were taking on and asked commenters to add their own.

I’ve been pondering which issues I wish feminist men were taking on, and then I came across this post, On Language and the Comodication of Sexism via Humor at Shakesville, by Melissa McEwan.

At the top of my list of things I wish feminist men were thinking about, talking about and addressing more is the use of sexist, reductive language. When I hear men, especially feminist men crack jokes using words like slut and cougar, it really depresses me. And as Ms. McEwan points out, often taking a stand and pointing out that these sorts of things are not acceptable results in being viewed as humorless, over-sensitive and weak.

Ponder this for a second. Everyone understands the ridiculous, sexist difference between studs and sluts. Men who have sex with a lot of women are praised as studs. Women who have sex with a lot of men (or maybe even not that many) are vilified as sluts. So why would any reasonable feminist man use the word?

Cougar is even more offensive. It likens any 30+ year old woman who considers dating younger men to a predatory animal. It’s reductive and disgusting. Full-stop.

I wish that people in general would give more thought to the language that they use, but particularly feminist men. The way we use language affects the way we think. Accepting the use of certain terms makes it harder to to battle the concepts behind them. Feminist men are in a good position to take on this issue, pointing out to their friends and acquaintances that such language is sexist, hurtful and gross.

So now that I’ve ranted a bit, here’s my list of four (’cause that’s what I came up with) things I wish feminist men would take on more:

  1. The use of sexist, racist and homophobic language.

  2. Sexist, racist and homophobic “jokes.
  3. Access to birth control.
  4. Sex Education in schools (See Courtney’s #1).

Oh, and as a bonus, how about crap like this? Read this post at feministing in response to a disgusting post over at askmen.com.