'Tis the season for lists

Something about the end-of-the-old-year / beginning-of-the-new year seems to inspire people to list creation. Or perhaps it's the proliferation of awards ceremonies in the entertainment industry. Anyway, I've been coming across a profusion of lists in the last couple of weeks, and thought I'd post a few here: a list of lists, if you will. And yes, this blog being what it is, it's a feminist-centric sort of list.

There's a list of the "Top 100" gender studies blogs over at BachelorsDegreeOnline. As with any such list, it includes blogs I read regularly and enjoy, blogs I'll now have to check out, and some blogs I'm not sure should have been included in the "feminism category." I really take issue with the idea, for example, that it's possible these days to have a "a distinctly anti-male" yet "pro-feminist point of view." Granted, feminist movements have always included those people who insist on blaming men as individuals for patriarchy and sexism -- but I personally don't think that it should be recognized as feminism.

In response to the above list, Fourth Wave Feminism is compiling an alternative list of "Radical/WOC/Alternative/Global" feminist blogs which will also be fun to explore.

Last week, Hanna forwarded me an article from the Guardian naming the favourite female renegades of five women in cinema.

The bloggers over at Evil Slutopia their top ten priorities for the Obama administration when it comes to reproductive health: "Here's our top 10, with lots of links. We want it all."


  1. here is a post from the blog labeled as "anti-male" and "pro-female" about the list. doesn't look like she likes that idea either.

  2. Eliminate federal funding for crisis pregnancy centres, but keep it for Planned Parenthood (wherein, according to their own stats, they perform 186 abortions for every adoption referral)? Require that people pay, at the point of a gun, for abortions (i.e. taxpayer funding and abortions as a perk of federal health care)?

    When it has been demonstrated, time and time again, that women regret their abortions; when it has been demonstrated that over half of women who abort feel coerced into obtaining an abortion; and when women's decisions in the face of a crisis pregnancy are not predicated upon the availability of abortion, but on the availability (or, often, lack thereof) of familial and social support, it becomes clear that less, not more, support for abortion is in order. When anyone can say, "Here's your abortion, now STFU," we aren't doing much for women.

    Then again, it's possible to be pro-abortion and anti-choice, which that list demonstrates.

  3. Bridget, if you're going to make sweeping claims such as "women regret their abortions" I'd appreciate it if you back your comments up with a little more evidence or qualification. The decision to have an abortion, like most major life decisions, obviously carries the potential for regret even when women believe they have made the decision that was the right one for them and their families. If we attempted to legislate away the possibility of regret, we'd be moving into extremely dangerous territory.

    Some women, I know, regret the loss of a pregnancy. Most of us who are pro-choice see very clearly that women's circumstances (social, economic, political, physical) often put women into a position where they feel forced to choose not to carry a pregnancy to term, even if they wish to have a child at that point in time. Reproductive rights activists, particularly those thinking in terms of reproductive justice, are working tirelessly to create a world in which women's choices about her body and her family are never coerced. No pro-choice activist I have ever known or read would ever see their work as complete if women were being bullied into terminating wanted pregnancies.

  4. This lists are really helpful as I am looking for new blogs to read every day.

    Speaking of which I added your blog to my roll and would love it if you checked out my new blog (that is a work in progress).


  5. Anna,

    I'll send links, books, and information your way. As one data point, however: the March for Life. This year, over a quarter-million pro-lifers marched on Washington to protest abortion. When I went in 2008, the thing that struck me, beyond all else, was the plethora of women carrying signs saying, "I regret my abortion." (I'll get a cite for it later, but there are six times as many post-abortive women in National Right to life as there are in NARAL.) They carry signs at this event, not to express just personal regret, but to promote the idea that post-abortive regret is a more universal experience.

    Then again, pro-lifers know that former pro-choicers are our strongest allies. Food for thought. :)

    No pro-choice activist I have ever known or read would ever see their work as complete if women were being bullied into terminating wanted pregnancies.

    Off the top of my head: Amanda Marcotte, who slams Feminists for Life at every opportunity. Sure, college women aren't "bullied" into terminating "wanted" pregnancies, but 98% of those who do get pregnant end up terminating, because colleges provide little or no support to pregnant and parenting students. Wander around the campus of any elite institution - with billion-dollar endowments and talented young women from able families - and you won't see a toddler or even a bulging stomach anywhere. FFL wants to change that, but is the recipient of constant scorn from your feminist role models. Go figure.

    "Wanted" pregnancies? 'Tis a bit intellectually disingenuous, Anna. You're imposing a higher standard on life-affirming choices than on pro-abortive ones. A woman doesn't need to "want" a pregnancy in order for us to provide support for her; she just has to want it more than abortion. Lesser of two evils and all that.

    Incidentally, even non-regret isn't a sufficient condition for saying that abortion was the right choice: women may not regret the abortion, simply because life-affirming options were not available to them. Often, women do not regret the abortion itself, but regret that they did not have the capability to bring the pregnancy to term. Do they fall into the category of women to be ignored, brushed off, and hustled to an abortion clinic before being used as "pro-choice" statistics?

    By the way, in a pro-choice world, there is no such thing as post-abortive regret. If a foetus is not a human, and has no rights, there is no more reason to regret abortion than to regret using a condom or abstaining. If embryos are not persons and, therefore, are interchangeable, there is no harm in discarding one and getting another at a later date. No personhood, so all embryos are interchangeable, right?

  6. Bridget,

    You and I have discussed these questions at length through email, and I am not sure if I have anything newly-engaging to say on the subject. However, I wanted to respond to a few specific points in your comment.

    I obviously don't speak for Amanda Marcotte (whom I respect as a fellow feminist but don't necessarily consider a personal role model), so I won't speak to anything she has or hasn't said on Pandagon or elsewhere about Feminists for Life. Personally, I do not believe someone can be legally anti-abortion and also feminist. Absolutely, women should be able to decide they could never personally terminate a pregnancy, and absolutely a woman who spends her life working to reduce the number of abortions and supporting comprehensive services to children and families can be a feminist. But in my book, this is only feminist if it's in the context of ensuring that women have the legal right, and real-world access, to a full range of family planning options including abortion. Feminists for Life does not recognise that context, so I find it very difficult to respect the work that they do.

    I do not believe distinguishing "wanted pregnancies" is disingenuous. If a woman has decided to continue a pregnancy, that -- in my book -- is a wanted pregnancy. The reason why she wants to give birth is immaterial. However, the context in which she makes the decision should be as free as possible from external pressures, including inability to secure reproductive healthcare, financial worries, and fear of social ostracization if she chooses to become a parent at that point, or if she chooses an abortion. Women's abilities as moral decision-makers should be placed front and center in any decision regarding their own bodies: that is the essence of what being pro-choice is about.

    I also absolutely disagree with you that "in the pro-choice world there is no room for regret." There is always room for regret. Just because most pro-choice people believe that embryos are distinct from fetuses capable of survival outside of the womb does not mean that we wouldn't feel sad about the loss of a wanted pregnancy or even feel complex, conflicting feelings about a decision to terminate a pregnancy. It is a false opposition to say that because an embryo isn't a person, and is "interchangeable," a person can't feel regret for a whole host of reasons that they were not able to bring another human life into being and nurture it at a particular point in their lives. Of course there is room for regret.