The LiveJournal group sluts4choice have levelled a number of charges against the manifesto Pro Every Life, Pro Nonviolent Choice, Pro Reproductive Justice for All and its authors/sponsors, Turn the Clock Forward and the Nonviolent Choice Directory. Examples:
- we hate women, especially women who seek sexual pleasure;
- we believe women are stupid and incapable of conducting their own lives;
- we believe in mandatory motherhood;
- we destructively romanticize childbirth and motherhood;
- we oppose contraception.
None of this is stated or even insinuated in the manifesto itself--quite the opposite. And none of this explains why, for example, the Nonviolent Choice Directory:
- Advocates for comprehensive sex education and contraception, outercourse & oral sex, & LGBT sexuality as well as abstinence and fertility awareness/natural family planning methods. See also this blog's sidebar for current action alerts on these matters.
- Sells nonprescription family planning and safer sex items through the website.
- Has a page on Other Ways to Give Life that covers childfree/childless/nonparental lifestyles and supports the right to pursue them.
- Lists a number of resources about a wide range of serious real-life problems that face mothers before, during, and after birth, including global maternal mortality, postpartum depression, and poverty. If we romanticized childbirth and motherhood, we would have no idea of what these problems are and what resources could possibly address them.
sluts4choice are reiterating dogmatic, by-definition stereotypes against anyone who opposes abortion. More importantly, they are cutting off all possibility of cooperative action on those large areas of reproductive justice where genuine agreement exists. There is so much work to be done, and these stereotypes really get in the way.
The group complains profusely about prolifers who do not support abortion-reducing measures. Although sluts4choice do not make it in a particularly respectful, constructive fashion--that's a fair challenge. Prolife does have to be during and after as well as before birth, or what good is it?
Yet what is their response to prolifers who *do* support abortion-reducing measures, and avidly, comprehensively so? Why, we can't possibly be for real!
ps I know that some feminists are trying to reclaim the word "slut" as a way to overcome its bigotry-enforcing history, and in fact I heartily endorse the goal of destigmatizing and affirming women's right to seek and enjoy sexual pleasure. But for some reason feminists calling themselves "sluts" sounds to me like the young African Americans in my neighborhood who refer to themselves and one another by the n-word--not particularly self-respecting, and wasn't the NAACP onto something when it gave said term a funeral?