Of trolls and teens

Among The Many Things I Do To Piss The Anti-Choicers Off, what seems to get them the most up in arms is when I deliver the smackdown to an over-righteous (and usually fundie) teenager who comes on the guestbook and proceeds to pontificate that anyone who gets an abortion is a dirty baby-killing slut and that if we knew any better we would listen to his/her innocent words of wisdom and repent of our wicked non-Jeebus-loving ways. My response is usually on the lines of “yeah, you’re young, when I was fifteen I thought I was bulletproof and knew everything, but when you gain some life experience you’ll see that it’s not all black and white.” Then come the e-mails castigating me for being mean because I disagreed with them or didn’t give them the “respect” that should have been due.

Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. However, that doesn’t mean that the opinion has to be agreed with. I don’t know why people (kids and adults alike) go to a site that states pretty plainly what it’s about, post opposite views usually not worded very respectfully, then whine when I call them on it. Before INS went up, I spent about four days reading sites such as StandUpGirl and AfterAbortion and National Right To Life and Rachel’s Vineyard and that horrifying Neal Horsley site and basically any site that I thought would be the opposite of what I wanted INS to be. And I saw some truly foul stuff-outright lies, barely veiled (often not veiled at all) misogyny, and of course Mr. Horsley’s lovely photographs. The “lighter” stuff was heavy on virtual there-theres and “God will forgive you for your sins, you poor misguided deluded soul” and self-hatred. An INS friend reminded me of the scene in Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” where the handmaids have a gathering and are encouraged by the “mothers” to weep and wail over their sins (which include wearing makeup, having sex outside marriage, and, of course, abortion). Remind you of any organization? Pretty much all of them had guestbooks-but I didn’t post. Instead, I put up INS. I still visit anti-choice sites-gotta know what the enemy’s up to-but it’s rare that I post unless they mention me by name, and ninety percent of the time I don’t even do that.

Being pro-choice, I must acknowledge that women will make choices that I don’t agree with. That doesn’t mean that I’ll deny them the choice. It’s particularly difficult when dealing with teenagers. Why is it that teenagers in a lot of states need to get their parents’ permission to have an abortion-but not if they want to have the child? Shouldn’t it work both ways? Logic tells us it should, but it doesn’t. If a teen seeking an abortion has to go through a waiting period and counseling, why isn’t a teen who wants to continue her pregnancy sat down and given a list of everything that’ll happen during pregnancy and shown a graphic video of childbirth? The teen who thinks that having a baby will be JUST LIEK OMG TEH BOMB!!!1111! will benefit from the reality check. Actually, there’s a lot of adult women who could stand to see that too.

And, finally, I must speak about the recent comment drama. I will state this only once and will refer to this post in the future. I won’t play referee here. You guys can flame each other until you’re all burnt to a crisp, but I don’t want people appealing to me or accusing me of playing favorites. If you choose to enter the fray, there will be NO complaints to me about the weapons used. THIS GOES FOR BOTH SIDES. So no whining either here or in my e-mail that I’m cutting pro-lifers too much slack or that I homer for pro-choicers. Got it? Good.