Tech

It was a matter for discussion at the last ChicagoBoyz Zoom meet-up this last weekend; how the development and widespread use of ultrasound technology likely has reframed the debate about abortion, over the last two decades. Trent T. affirmed how some of his contemporaries had named their children early on in utero, already knowing the sex of the child, and were sometimes devastated with grief when the mother naturally miscarried; as devastated as they would have been if the baby died at birth, or as an infant. The baby – their child – was real to them. They had pictures in indistinct black and white; proof that their child was already a child, not just a clump of cells. The existence of the embryo, the child – becomes even clearer, later in development.
The 3-D ultrasound of Wee Jamie in utero at seven or eight months was a stunningly accurate visualization of how he would look upon delivery some weeks later – strongly-marked eyebrows, amazing-long eyelashes, curving lips that carried out the family resemblance to my daughter and myself, and affinity towards showing his feet to the observer. The only question remaining to us was what color his hair and eyes would be, once he was delivered. (The hair is light brown, the eyes at this point an indeterminant hazel. God only knows what it will say when it comes to the identifiers on his drivers’ license.) My daughter treasured those prints of the ultrasound sessions – as she remarked now and again, if something happened to savage her pregnancy, they would be the only souvenir and proof she had that her son ever existed.

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The Hill to Die On

I swear, I have never been able to understand how the loud and proud Capital-F official feminists made the ready availability of abortion the hill (for the pre-born fetal humans, mostly) to die on. Yes, I’ve pondered this in blogposts many a time. The 19th century suffragettes certainly were what we would now cast as pro-life, and so was a modern iteration, IIRC. (I used to get their newsletter.) Why that one single aspect, out of all the others which would have a bearing on the lives of females; extended maternal leave and benefits, quality childcare … practically any other concern other than that of abortion on demand at any stage of pregnancy could be a rallying ground for those affecting an intense interest in matters of a particularly female orientation. This, when birth control in so many forms (and for male and female alike) is readily and economically available. This is not the 19th century anymore, not even the first half of the 20th,. Truly, it is a mystery why this particular cause and no other animates the radical fem-fringe. I can only surmise that many of the radical and early feminists had abortions, felt horrifically guilty about it all and wished to drag other women into that particular hell with them as a matter of solidarity.

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Erasing Women

Well, it’s really kind of sad – that erasing biological XX-chromosome no-kidding 100 percent female women seems the ultimate endpoint of early 21st century popular prog-thought, as mad and illogical as that might seem as an ambition, or rather an idée fixe. The ancient jape of a fox hunt described as ‘the unspeakable in hot pursuit of the inedible’ comes to mind, only this is the deranged in pursuit of the unachievable. As little as I think of the long-time and loud professional Feminists-with-a-capital-F (or LT&LPF(F) as I call them), and their tendency to view all men as potential rapist and abusers, I would have expected them to be assiduous in protesting for the actual physical safety of biological women in women-only spaces like restrooms, locker rooms, battered woman shelters, hospital wards and prisons. Alas, they would seem to have fixated on the availability of reproductive health or as the rest of us call it, abortion, as the great fight for the LT&LPF(F); the hill upon which they wish to see fetal humans die. I mean; what the hell, LT&LPF(F) – you look away from the physical safety of real, no-kidding vulnerable women … and focus on the rights, ways and means of killing fetal humans. Good job, sisters. (Not.)

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Belated Valentine’s Day

Without Wi-fi since Sunday, I’ve spent the last two hours going through e-mails and trying to catch up on Chicagoboyz. One e-mail was a Valentine’s Day greeting from a charming friend, whose later-in-life marriage and three children have been as deeply fulfilling as her scholarly career. She is often a contrarian in the bitter world of academia – partially because of the joy she finds in uniting these passions. So, here is an intro to her article, from a more casual forum than she usually chooses:

As a chivalric literary historian who has studied the origins of the holiday, I find this [“for the birds”] a shame. When the notion of Valentine’s Day as a day for romance emerged in the 1380s it was all about love as a natural life force – birds choosing their mates, the freedom to choose or refuse love and the arrival of springtime. But even then many people did not understand or value these things. In fact, that is why it was invented.

The first to write of Valentine’s Day – a feast day with ancient pagan roots – as a holiday celebrating love and lovers were the 14th-century English squire Geoffrey Chaucer and his friend, the internationally admired knight and poet Oton III de Granson, from Savoy in modern-day France. Both poets were recognized in their own time as chivalrous advocates for human rights. And in tandem, they seem to have concocted Valentine’s Day as a day for lovers.

Chaucer and Granson encountered one another in the service of Richard II of England and admired one another’s poetry. Their poems about Valentine’s Day show them operating as an international chivalric team to address pressing issues in the theory and practice of love, then and now.