« Last post by Jag on January 15, 2017, 01:54:38 PM »
@ JagGood, this is going well then.
You made me smile and giggle.
That's good advice about Google.Share it far and wide please. Google is not evil, but it can be problematic when looking for non-biased info.
The reason I even mentioned it was because of this video I watched about crisis centers and how they are dishonest in their advertising. Had a girl go in undercover. You call them for a price and they say you have to come to their office for that then proceed to talk you out of having an abortion. They will lie to you about how many weeks you are. It's disgusting.They often partner with religious organizations and are fronts for adoption agencies that place children in highly religious households. This, in and of itself, is not necessarily a bad thing. BUT, the laws are such that as I am registered as an ordained minister, all I need is a shady lawyer and suddenly, I can be making ridiculous sums of money for playing on people's desperation to be parents, with no governmental agency having ANY right to oversight of what I'm doing. THAT is really frightening to me. It's not about the well-being of the child, it's about profit.
<snip> now is I have coping skills. I'm not a threat to myself anymore.I'm honestly really pleased to hear this.
If you don't want to answer me about the actual affect changing what you call the decision will have I don't know where else to go. That is the topic. It might not satisfy me but someone else reading may be satisfied by it. I am honestly convinced it will further the polarization and that is not a good thing. I am not as convinced that it could possibly affect the effort to focus on prevention if we get too casual about it.Ok, I'll give this a shot. I also want to address the last paragraph as well, but that will be a separate post.
I'm going to make your question a lot bigger in order to answer it. I'm not dodging it, I just can't address your specific question effectively without going into lecture mode. This is going to get long, so it may test how much you really wanted to know what I think
Remember that my interests and education are human communication, (specifically rhetoric and persuasion) and interpersonal conflict. I pay attention to messaging, themes, and narratives. I analyze the language used to talk about social justice topics I'm interested in almost instinctively now. And abortion happens to be one of those topics, for a lot of reasons.
In my opinion, the entire dialogue needs to change. Politically, the Right, while sketchy with their use of facts, are FAR more effective at framing the dialogue than the Left. Dems want to share facts, figures, and analysis to lead people to make reasoned choices and decisions. But that's not how it works. Without getting to deep into this, there are (in a general sense) 2 paths to persuation - the Left is over-reliant on one, and the Right have done a fantastic job of exploiting the other - but not without consequences. (<That last is a different discussion, hopefully this is enough context for this one.)
The Right relies heavily on the "indirect" path to persuasion. They present information, but they use lots of emotional appeals - fear, outrage, indignation, disgust and "trigger" words - brave, independent, proud, American, values, deserve, protect and so on. In many respects, they tell stories, literally and figuratively. Think about the average Muslim American as describe by the Right - that's a character whose attributes can be determined by the story teller depending on how the audience is intended to "see" him or her.
The Left is overly dependent on the "direct" path. Again, it has a place, but it requires a lot from the receiver/audience to be effective. They need to be interested first, because this route requires thought, cognition, processing; all of these things take energy and if the interest isn't right there and easily accessible, most people don't do this. The Left isn't as good at telling a compelling story (a notable exception is Obama, but he has some weaknesses too in this respect). They try to be reasonable, rational, and expect everyone else to do so as well.
Abortion is a perfect example. The language most commonly used by everyone in the discussion is "pro-life" and "pro-choice". Set aside the context, and negate the "pro" on both sides. You're left with "life" and "choice".
Which word is more attention getting on it's own? Which word - on it's own -sounds more compelling?
This framing puts the pro-choice side at a disadvantage from the very beginning. No matter what the dictionary says, most people's not-thought-through - indirect - cognition process knee-jerks to "if this side is pro-life, the other side is ...pro-death? Anti-life?". This leads to, more or less, "Ew, how awful they must be" with no conscious thinking involved. I find that very unnerving.
The Right continues to frame the dialogue on any and all issues that touch on morality. Until the Left stops allowing it, little will change.
I hope I haven't bored you to tears already - I can get carried away talking about this, and I'm not done
The language most often used, or heard/read about abortion needs to change. For the Left to stop using the language of the Right, this is a perfectly reasonable place to start. It doesn't even have to be dumped all together - and in my somewhat expert opinion, it shouldn't be, not right at first. Just modify the existing message and phase out the phrase over time.
Modify the message? How about "For some women, abortion is a difficult decision. For others, it's the only decision." A small change, but one that reflects reality better than the first one, and it helps shift the dialogue just a little bit. And it stops reinforcing the message that choosing to abort is, by default, supposed to be difficult.
This isn't going to change the mind of a hard-core anti-abortion person. But it's going to stop privileging their frames like we do now by continuing to use them ourselves - this has the unintended side effect of subtlety weakening the argument enough that we need to quit doing it.
Abortion is one of several deeply connected (established by messaging) issues that have been programmed into the American culture as "hot-button" topics. Pause for a moment and think about the intersection of language regarding adoption and abortion. It's academically fascinating, in a horrifying kind of way.
Adoption is frequently held up as an alternative to abortion. But there's a big flaw staring us right in the face that we rarely notice, because it's not part of the standard narrative, the story we all tell and accept. Adoption is NOT an alternative to pregnancy, it's an alternative to parenting. This is the first of many, many rhetorical traps we fall into on this topic in the general, public discourse, if not necessarily when individually talking about it.
For some reason, when asking people who take this position if they have adopted a child themselves, it tends to get very, very quiet.
Worse, in the less public dialogue, adoption is still talked about far more negatively than not. This is based on both personal experience and research. As a collective, the anti-abortion side verbalizes support for adoption, but individually, they do not act in accordance with that position.
The perception of adoption in our culture is highly skewed. It's fine for "other people" but fought against within one's own family. We talk about "giving away" or "giving up" a baby. We often treat adoptive parents as something akin to saints, and we pity their adopted offspring, behaving and speaking as though they were saved from some unidentified horrible fate, and should be grateful to have a family.
What do we say about the woman who gives birth to a child she chooses not to raise herself? I strongly suspect a high correlation between single mothers and being raised in a household that expressed disapproval of women who choose adoption for their children.
This is deeply embedded in our culture. We're really not that far removed from an era in which young women who "got themselves in a family way" either had no choice but to marry, quickly, the father of their child to save the family from unbearable shame, or sent away to "stay with her aunt in <random far away place>", give birth in shame-inducing surroundings, and came home forbidden to ever mention it.
One way to look at this, a frame of my own devising, is this: a woman who gets pregnant when she does not wish to be pregnant - for whatever the reason - is caught in a three way bind. This young woman, we'll call her Penny, has several "identities" that are significant in her daily life. She's a family member (daughter and sister), a student, a church member, a friend, a neighbor, a citizen of her community. In all of these identities, she sees herself as a good person. Others do as well. She fits in with the culture of her various communities. She's also a teenager, head over heels in love for the first time. It's a small community, and there is no easily accessible Planned Parenthood, and the only pharmacist in town knows everyone because he's the only pharmacist in town - so Penny and her boyfriend Tony are too embarrassed to go buy condoms there. They're young and in love, and hormones are running rampant with no regard for anything but some goddamned relief! They're not dumb,they're not bad, they're human.
And Penny gets pregnant.
1. Sneak off and abort, knowing that she will have to keep this a secret from nearly everyone. She has been culturally conditioned to see abortion as an immoral, irresponsible choice. There will be guilt. She may or may not tell Tony what she is doing.
2. Continue the pregnancy and raise the child. This is going to change many, many things about her own life, her families lives, Tony's own and families lives. It's going to impact how she sees herself, and she is likely to be shamed by parts of her community. Tony may or may not remain actively involved. They're young, and the families may or may not agree about what is the best decision for all parties. But the baby will be raised in the family of origin, come what may.
3. Continue the pregnancy intending to become part of an adoptive triad. She may or may not choose to select the infant's adoptive parents. She may or may not choose to be involved to some degree with the child as it grows up. She will face her various communities with impossible to ignore evidence of her unintended, unwanted pregnancy, and will be subject to shaming from parts of it, perhaps most or even all. After her pregnancy is over and she returns to her communities with no baby, she continues to be subject to judgment and shaming from various parts of them, to varying degrees. This will continue as long as she tolerates it, or until she leaves it completely.
The above is just blending the stories of many women I've known. It's a story from the real world, the one we actually live in, not the one anti-abortion advocates seem to believe they can will into existence.
More! There is a really strong narrative tying womanhood to motherhood as though they coexist as a biological imperative for all women in eery circumstance. Women who choose to be childless are subject to all kinds of intrusiive, obnoxious judgments, and are frequently depicted as selfish. Umm...Selfish? What the f@ck? Why is half of the population of the US obligated to reproduce just to be seen as validly female?
I wrote a 32 pages paper about this ^ if you really want to know more. I'm sure I still have it somewhere
To avoid using a single phrase is not going to lead to significant social change. To reorganize the way we talk about a lot of things related to morals, being female, self-determination for both genders, and all kinds of other things is part of a bigger shift that needs to occur if "we" expect to make real headway.
|1.||as usual, this is from researching for a school assignment|
|2.||I'm not willing to engage in a political argument about this topic with anyone in this thread|
|3.||these kind of strong emotions tend to bypass cognition and go straight to taking a position|
|4.||Ex: Asian immigrants are often depicted in the national narrative (the story we tell ourselves about who we are as a country) as the Model Immigrant. There's a lot of research on this in cultural studies if you're interested.|
|5.||I'm an adult adoptee and have heard all kinds of jaw-dropping things said about adoption throughout my life, often by adults who really should have known better.|