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Violent Anti-Choice Rhetoric Must End, or Anti-Abortion Violence Never Will


Violent Anti-Choice Rhetoric Must End, or Anti-Abortion Violence Never Will

Jessica Valenti

Words matter. When we dehumanize people – when we call them demons, monsters, and murderers – we make it easier for others to do them harm. Let’s not pretend that we don’t know that.


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It's no accident that "pro-life" (anti-choice) men tend to be conservative and patriarchal in their outlook. For they rightly understand that a woman's reproductive freedom is closely bound to her sense of her own personhood. A woman who thinks herself free to do what she wants with her own body is a threat to the patriarchy, because it is precisely a form of power that entails the subjection of woman to man. Conservative men may or may not object to abortion on principle, but they certainly object to the free woman, as such an animal, in their view, is a threat to the integrity of the family and thus the stability of society. Conservatives clamor for women to remain in the home because they see them as "wives" and "mothers," not as sovereign individuals. Conservatives ideologically need the family because what other institution can serve as a moral force in our disenchanted, vicious capitalist society? Also, the "gender wars" are useful because they deflect attention from the other great divide in our society, that between rich and poor, the powerful and the powerless.

I agree with Ms Valenti that the violent attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic was entirely predictable. Anyone who knows the history of this remarkable and demented country called the United States would immediately recognize the great danger of using inflammatory political rhetoric on the abortion issue. American culture has strong veins of religious fanaticism and ideological extremism; and the American penchant for violence, as a "problem-solver," is well known. When Republican politicians got going on the alleged evils of Planned Parenthood, widely exaggerating the charges of moral depravity among Planned Parenthood staff, it might have well been expected that someone somewhere, in the United States, was going to pick up a gun and attempt to become a Man of Destiny, a Martyr for the Cause. The drama plays out with such numbing frequency that you can almost write the story in your own mind before you hear the full details---"a lone gunman...mental issues..shot....five victims...police say...motive unclear....neighbors say....strange guy...known for his weird views about the government....etc, etc." The story repeats itself, week in, week out, but still there are those who speak recklessly of the "murder of children" in "abortion clinics."

While we look far and wide for "Muslim terrorists," home-grown terrorists walk freely among us, just waiting for the opportunity to commit mayhem. The fact that many of these terrorists have been right wing white males in the service of the patriarchy is striking evidence that the center no longer holds, and that we are slouching towards a definite and perhaps irreversible state of apocalyptic chaos. Many Americans believe in End Times, and some of the believers are ready to act to bring the end into the view. Welcome to the remainder of the 21st century!!


In the year of 2015, some 45 years after this right was granted, we see the lines drawn pretty clearly, don't we? Let's stop pretending that all the " fire and brimstone " generated about women's reproductive rights isn't really just about religious control by mostly male lunatics with a perverted idea of human sexuality and human liberation.. Oh, they can fire up a few of the repressed women uncomfortable in their own skin; who are always willing it seems to spread their phony moral order and proper role nonsense, among the less assertive and assured. But make no mistake these people are closer to the KKK than to some often overlooked preacher spreading the teachings of an ancient Golden Rule. And, the professional politicians, talking heads and radio show freaks see $$$ and personal promotion to plunder in abundance in death threats and explosions, et al.. And, therefore the low rent scum that they are, jump up and sprint to grab the money and fame. " It is better to be talked about than not talked about " in America, after all. Being a Pro-Death Freakazoid pays well in some high and very sick places in this country, too. Is this a great country, or what? :wink:


Needless to say, I compliment you for this post. Nicely-argued. You saved me the time and trouble.


As the saying goes, "the fish rots from the head."

When unstable angry white guys see any and all of the following, their own urge to express violence is reinforced:

  1. Police officers shooting down Black kids and getting no penalties for doing so
  2. Armed gendarmes answerable to the New World Order torturing people of a darker hue and receiving no punishment for doing so
  3. Flagrant forms of pornography that degrade women in so many ways (a new one is flushing the woman's face in a toilet after using her--since that is what this level of coitus is all about--sexually)
  4. 20% of young girls being raped on college campuses with the usual, "he said-she said," or "boys will be boys," or schools covering up the problem to protect their reputations essentially allowing perpetrators to get off scot-free
  5. The President following a Kill List and the military shooting at hospitals and wedding parties... with no one being blamed or sanctioned
  6. The U.S. MIC selling so many weapons to a world already inflamed by all sorts of opened wounds and internecine conflicts

And imbeciles like Trump pumping up the crowd with racist and sexist smug remarks.

I am glad that both Mr. San hits and JRP both identified specific groups (angry, white, conservative guys) responsible for most of the carnage. That specificity is far more honest and accurate than the usual "we" memes that conflate what dominators do with those being dominated.


I like the 6 points you've raised. But, let's see if some of the other gender can let go of what some women choose to do, too. We're all gatekeepers when the Golden Rule is quite clear, " Do unto others as they would do unto you. " Just don't always do it first.:sunglasses:


That's mrsannhitts, btw.


Stochastic terrorism strikes again. The best strategy to defeat it is more socialization among the young, which does seem to be occurring, albeit at a frustratingly slow pace. "Teach your children well", as the song goes. Unfortunately, the troglodytes play that game, too.


"more socialization among the young..." do you know what socialization means? It's generic... it requires an identifier. For instance: Youth were socialized into the Nazi mindset during the l930s. Didn't you say you were a professor?