September 25, 2014

I Want To Play A Game: When and where was this written?

I'm going to share a passage that struck me as very, very relevant. You all give me your best guesses on when and where it was written. Sound like fun?

It does to me! ;)

Here we go.

There are few subject on which bourgeois society exhibits more hypocrisy: abortion is a repugnant crime to which it is indecent to make an allusion. For an author to describe the joys and suffering of a woman giving birth is perfectly fine; if he talks about a woman who has had an abortion, he is accused of wallowing in filth and describing humanity in an abject light....It is claimed to be a dangerous operation. But honest doctors recognize, along with Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, that "abortion performed by a competent specialist, in a clinic and with proper preventative measures, does not have the serious dangers penal law asserts." It is, on the contrary, its present form that makes it a serious risk for women. The incompetence of "back-alley" abortionists and their operating conditions cause many fatal accidents, some of them fatal. Forced motherhood results in bringing miserable children into the world, children whose parents cannot feed them, who become victims of public assistance or "martyr children." It must be pointed out that the same society so determined to defend the rights of the fetus shows no interest in children after they are born; instead of trying to reform this scandalous institution called public assistance, society prosecutes abortionists; those responsible for delivering orphans to torturers are left free; society closes its eyes to the horrible tyranny practice in "reform schools" or in the private homes of child abusers; and while it refuses to accept that the fetus belongs to the mother carrying it, it nevertheless agrees that the child is his parents' thing....If this is morality, then what kind of morality is it? It must be added that the men who most respect embryonic life are the same ones who do not hesitate to send adults to death in war.

Can you guess?

It sounds suspiciously like the same rhetoric we hear today:

  • Abortion is dangerous
  • People supporting abortion but not public assistance
  • People not considering the unborn as part of the mother, but considering children the sole responsibility of the parents
  • People willing to send adults to war without hesitation but willing to protect the life of the unborn at any cost.

Is this a stirring criticism of our current political climate?

No. Most of you probably recognized it as a section of The Second Sex, a 1949 book by French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir.

We're just fighting the same fight today.

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