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Pro-Choice and Pro-Voice

Posts tagged eugenics

Dec 5 '11
Sep 17 '11

mstashers asked:

I am at a loss for an argument and was hoping you could help me out. I just had a person tell me that she cannot support ANYTHING Planned Parenthood does because of Margaret Sanger's political views when she started the organization. What can I say to this?

America was founded on the backs of slaves, and I still think it’s a pretty cool place. The Catholic church protected pedophile priests for decades. Mormon? Read Under the Banner of Heaven and tell me the origins of that religion aren’t super fucked-up. Just find something she’s into, whether it’s religion, a pro-life group, or something else, and look into it. She might be pro-gay rights, in which case you could point her to, I don’t know, every pro-life leader ever and their history with homophobia (and other things). Everyone’s got a fucked-up history.

I’m assuming by political views you mean her views on eugenics. Margaret Sanger wrote about eugenics around the 1920s-30s. That was almost a century ago, and a lot of stuff was happening then that we would think today was absolutely awful. For example: Nazis. Totally cool with a lot of German people. Not cool today.

Okay, that was kind of a joke. I’d do some research into the eugenics movement and Margaret Sanger herself to get a complete history, if you’re interested. I doubt your little friend has done any further thought than what the pro-life movement has told her. Bottom line is this: If someone isn’t going to support affordable, accessible health care and education because the founder of the 90-year-old organization was racist and ableist in a time when that was pretty much the fucking norm, because it’s easier to attack a flawed human being than it is an organization that offers sexuality education for people with developmental disabilities and works to provide more accessible education and care to minorities, then the fact is that they are just more willing to swallow whatever their friends or leaders tell them, rather than challenge their own beliefs and utilize their critical thinking skills. It’s aggravating as hell. I’ve come to realize, doing this blog, that for my own health, there are some people I just have to leave alone. Speakfortheweak is one. If you don’t think you’ll ever convince someone, just give them the information and let them do with it what they will. You can’t make someone change their beliefs; they have to, on some level, be ready to.

I hope this helps. Once I’m done with advocacy training, I’ll have some more time to write up posts on this subject and others that have been floating around in my brainspace.

Jul 5 '11

Soapbox: On The Language Of Pro-Life




I am a feminist. I am also a Woman of Color. And I fancy myself an academic. Considering that, I often traipse around the internet looking for articles relevant to one, if not all portions of my life mentioned above. During that journey, I stumbled upon this great piece from Sociological Images discussing the use of loaded imagery when it comes to conversation around the global population. That got me thinking: the world stage is not the only place we as Westerners (or those plugged into Western Culture) are inundated with images and ideologies such as these (namely, the specific ideology being that of Women Of Color are “other” or “less-than” women of distinctly European descent), especially when it comes to discussions on fertility and/or sexual freedom. In fact, it is not uncommon to see images such as this one in the US: 

That is an incredibly loaded image, and contains loaded language that we all have seen before. I got to thinking about the language that surrounds the Pro-Life movement in general, as well as the several discussions I have gotten into with self-identified Pro-Lifers who like to discuss who “should” and “should not” be allowed reproductive choice. Remember those phrases, everyone: “should” and “should not”. For me, that sort of language puts me immediately into the discussion of Eugenics.

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This is me being serious about something. Savor it, as it is a rarity. 

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