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In Coverage of Planned Parenthood Smear, Partisan Conflict Crowds Out Reproductive Rights


In Coverage of Planned Parenthood Smear, Partisan Conflict Crowds Out Reproductive Rights

Janine Jackson

“Indictment Deals Blow to GOP Over Planned Parenthood Battle” was the New York Times‘ choice of headline for a January 26 piece reporting that a Texas grand jury—set to investigate the women’s health organization for selling fetal tissue for profit—found no wrongdoing on the part of Planned Parenthood, and instead indicted members of the anti-abortion group that made the deceptive video promoting the allegation.


Until such time that ALL representative bodies proportionally represent ALL constituents, any talk of the U.S. being a post-racist or post-sexist society is not just premature, it's 100% dishonest.

And it's typically white males who minimize things as important to a woman--as control over her reproductive destiny--as being "mere" identity politics.

Not only are most articles about women's reproductive choices (and access to service providers) written by a majority of men, most corporations are headed by men, most big banks are headed by men, most of the military top brass is male, a majority of the Supreme Court is male, and the Vatican is male-only. All of these patriarchal entities play a major role in the lives of millions, if not billions of people.

Also recently brought to my attention is the fact that only about 20% of produced plays are written or directed by women. And just as Black artists are boycotting this year's Academy Awards for no mention of a Black Actor or Director on the award lists, it's also true that only about 20% of movies are directed by women.

When so much of culture and the social/cultural/political/economic dialogs and actual events that we live by are defined, controlled, and enforced by males... usually white males... the result is NOT a society that honors diversity or respects the gamut of human needs, values, gifts, abilities, and priorities.

THAT is why I challenge the uniform use of the WE frame often. It is disingenuous. It speaks for the dominant paradigm and makes any opposition (or alternatives) to it... invisible. Then, using the lack of visibility of said alternatives, its advocates insist THIS IS ALL THERE IS.


For an ex-English teacher, you really seem to struggle with the concept of rhetorical devices as just that....sometimes a cake is just a cake, to to speak.


The author is highlighting the fact that the layers of complexity in the discourse on female reproductive rights are numerous, and that the underlying narrative is, and always has been, patriarchal Judeo-Christian values. That many women play into it and become (perhaps unwittingly) complicit in their own oppression shows how entrenched these have been over the centuries.


Here is the link to the Move-On petition to end the Ryan-RepubliCon witch hunt against Planned Parenthood - the Special Committee on PP. Enough taxpayer resources and public servant time wasted on partisan attacks!

Over 20,000 signatures so-far.



What you mean by "rhetorical devices" (a covert reference to the term "we") is a veiled way of insisting that those commonly used expressions favored by status quo interests somehow are fair, wise, neutral, and true.

Like so much of history, assumptions are drawn from language and its framing. History is mostly defined through very sterilized narratives that leave out a great deal; and they either empower a few or reinforce the stories that allot power to those same relative few.

Take the common understanding of "the discovery of America," or the lie that JFK was gunned down by a lone gunman, or that 911 was an outside attack engineered by some radical Muslims. These are but a few.

Such frames are overdue for examination. And often, it's what's implied that's more significant than what's obviously stated... but anyone trained in the most rudimentary forms of disinformation, misinformation and propaganda has to know that.

The more curious and tragic thing is how many of this forum's "Progressive" males wish to make my challenges to the language and acts of patriarchy into some pesky peripheral thing... rather than take in the magnitude of what I am saying and what it means that the whole of human experience has been narrowed to suit a very small sector of the spectrum. That small sector does NOT speak for all, and it never has.

And the particulars of our world, given its radical state of unbalance go back to the problem of a relative few holding a very disproportionate say and influence over what becomes manifest reality (via politics, economics, academics, religious worship, and so forth) for the rest.

The contrast between a few insider powerbrokers (most answerable to Big Oil and Big Industry) at the Paris COP21 talks and the hundreds if not thousands of protesters outside is a good portrait of the lopsided nature of power and who gets to define, write, finance, and impose THE STORY that becomes "us."

Sexism and/or misogyny hiding behind arrogant assumptions about language may fool some... but I am well-aware of the mindset behind these subtle attacks and what they say about the spiritual retardation of those making them.

This comment is probably way over your head or goes beyond what you CAN understand. So consider... it's offered on behalf of those who are open-minded.


Your view is crippled by your misogyny.

When power dynamics are anything BUT equal, it's ridiculous to push the lie that women were complicit.

How complicit was Nichole Simpson in her murder?

How complicit are all the women whose rape kits just collect dust on police station shelves?

How complicit were the thousands of women burned as witches by the "holy" church... likely because they were women who tried to buck the rigid rigors of patriarchal controls in their era.

How complicit are the Latino women locked up in detention centers and separated from their children?

The power structure IS patriarchal. That means it favors men.

Lots of women who try to bring charges against men who rape or abuse them are treated to a 2nd dose of attack BY the system. This is well-known by many women.

Try watching Democracy Now's program yesterday and see if you still have enough of a living heart to understand what two young girls went through after being gang raped at teen parties.

The system blames them!

A poster (and it's usually a male, although there are right wing Christian types who go along with the whole father knows best/man is head of household/females must submit to males crap) who tries to make a case for equivalence in a system that's obviously anything BUT equal is like the person who argues about "both sides" in the Israeli-Palestine debacle.

The card-carrying leftists have no problem recognizing how unfair that frame is when discussing their least favorite nation. But they sure toss out ridiculous frames when they discuss gender.


Oh, zut alors. I forgot the obsequious bow and scrape when I addressed your liege majesty. Give me a break, SR. I don't think I have ever met anyone as steeped in self importance as you appear to be, and frankly it detracts from your points because I have to parse out the pedantic pompous BS from the occasionally insightful aspects.


I appreciate the points you raise. I have said more than a few times that when SiouxRose writes on an issue, she is usually correct and on point, but when her obsessions take hold -- the "we frame," the supposed "tag team" of posters who, because they disagree with her, are accused of being "paid" for their opinions, the haughty insulting tone that smacks of contemptuous presumption of superiority ("you wouldn't understand')" "Mars Rules," "the dominator ethic" -- which seems to me her personal put down posts are the perfect personification of -- all serve to sew dissention at a time when what is needed is for people of liberal progressive sympathies to find and nurture common ground and become supportive allies in the mind war with us that the establishment is waging.


Ah, the New York Times...the effing headline should have been, TX finds that PP sold NO fetal parts, period.
That NYT (in the 22nd paragraph) and other 'news' outlets bury that big fat fact is quite telling.