Tag Archives: women

It’s Not a Matter of Choice

Previously, we looked at the Pro-Choice argument in what is one of the biggest issues dividing our country. Many people, mostly (but not exclusively) liberals, feel that a woman has the right to determine what happens to her body. It is a laudable position and it is difficult (but not impossible) to make an argument against it. The flipside of the argument is the hot button and it is the language that sets people at odds. Pro-life. The term is inherently positive in its connotation. I like life. I am all for life. Are you not in favor of life? The opposite of life is death. Is not life better than death?

Who can honestly take the position opposite pro-life? Who would want to be labeled as being pro-death? Those opposed to the pro-life position cast themselves as pro-choice because it sounds better than pro-death or anti-life. So, in order to enter into a discussion on the issue, they do a rhetorical shift to a different, although related, issue.

To terminate a viable pregnancy is, quite simply, killing. Those who take the pro-death stance claim that it is not killing, since it is not born. In actuality, it is killing—if only the group of cells that form the fetus. Those cells die as a direct result of the intervention of abortion. If that pregnancy is left to progress to its natural conclusion, the chances are very good that a human being will be born. To intentionally terminate the pregnancy is to end that human being’s existence, which is tantamount to murder. Those who would champion a woman’s right to choose to not have a baby do not want to stigmatize themselves by admitting that. Many who align themselves with the pro-choice camp are opposed to abortion for themselves, but champion a woman’s right to choose for herself. These individuals are evading the thrust of the argument. It is not a matter of choice. To end a pregnancy is to kill a human being, and none of the usual arguments can justify that.

Some arguments claim that to deny a woman access to the abortion option will force the woman to subject her body to possible risks associated with childbirth. There are far fewer risks with child birth than with abortion. Child birth is a natural process. The human body was designed—among other things—for this purpose. Surgical or medicinal abortion is the opposite of natural; it is mankind altering the natural process and that is far riskier than anything natural. Life is a risky proposition in any case; one does not give up and die when the risks seem too high, so why should a baby have to?

Some would argue that to deny abortion would put more children into an already overtaxed adoption system, or put the single mothers on welfare. There are still many families on waiting lists to adopt new children, and there are many alternatives to welfare such as family or church support. And while many families find themselves burdened by an unwanted pregnancy, many others find themselves drawing closer and healing broken relationships during the process.

Some would argue that these children may not survive anyway, considering the child mortality rate. Life is always a gamble and any one of us could die tomorrow. Does that mean we should have been denied the opportunity for life? One can never morally deprive a person of the opportunity to be a productive member of society just because it is inconvenient that he or she exists. There are plenty of homeless that many in our society would prefer didn’t exist, but no one would suggest that killing them is a viable option.

Unfortunately the courts have not made the determination that killing an unborn baby is murder because there is debate on when “life” occurs. Is a fetus a baby? If so, at what point does it become so? Well, to put a point on it, it happens when the gamete is formed. That starts a sustained chain reaction of cellular division that grows into a person, therefore it is alive. Some would argue that it is not sentient, it is not self-aware and it cannot exist outside the womb so it must not be alive. There has been a consensus in the medical field that if the baby can exist and survive outside the womb, then it is alive and medical doctors have set that time limit at 20 weeks. This has led to a public acceptance of abortions prior to the 20-week mark, even though many people still try to abort babies past that time. This was set for political expedience: to appease both sides and try to quell the argument; something it fails to do. To say that a baby that cannot survive outside the womb is not a baby is the same as saying that an infant should be able to fend for itself and doesn’t need parents.

Life is precious and needs to be nurtured by its parents from the moment the sperm enters the egg. No infant can survive on its own, whether in the womb or out. To think otherwise is an exercise in delusion. Destroying a fetus is the same as killing the newborn and it is just as wrong. It is not an issue of choice. It never has been. The choice issue is choosing to engage in unprotected sex. Make your choices there…not after conception.

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It’s not the same, no matter how you cut it.

While sitting in the airport recently, I was listening to the endless repetition of HLN (anyone notice that CNN Headline News changed their name?) the anchor woman asked the following poll question: should women be allowed to serve in combat roles?  Now, I am not that old, but have we not debated this point ad nauseum?  Why is it being brought up again now?

The women of America have come a long way over the years.  From housewives and mothers of old, the typical woman today has many more life choices than their predecessors.  The women’s lib movement gave women the right to vote, and during WWII, many women moved into male dominated jobs when the men went to serve in the military.  Women now serve in senior leadership roles in every major corporation in the country.  They even have professional sport teams in basketball and football.  They have come a long way, baby.

Not far enough, evidently, for some.  There are loud voices still clamoring for the NFL to allow women to play on the same teams as men.  There are still cries of pay inequality in corporate America, and—from what I gathered this morning—still loud voices wanting women to serve in combat roles in the military.  My question is why.

Why do women feel the need to compete on a physical level with men?   Women have proven they are quite intelligent and in many standardized tests they score higher on average.  Ok, good for them.  They can solve problems and make tough decisions.  Well, this is why they have gotten as far as they have in jobs and rights.  Women have equal rights as men, that is not in question.  What is in question is ‘are they the same?’

I am not a chauvinist, but women are not equal to men in one very basic way.  Biology.  Women are put together differently.  It is a simple biological fact and one that cannot be ignored.  The average human female is smaller in stature than the average human male (and the key word is average—please don’t offer specific examples of Amazonian-class women who can beat me up).  Between that same average male and female, the male will be stronger with a more defined musculature.  I don’t care how you cut it, if you take the average woman and the average man and put them into the exact same exercise regime and diet, the male will remain bigger and stronger than the woman.

Because of this, women cannot compete on the same playing field as men when it comes to intense physical games like basketball and football.  Sure you can look at tennis and golf and cite the fantastic female players in those sports who can even beat the male players, but really—apples and oranges.  Jack Nicholas would get creamed by William Perry and Tiger Woods couldn’t stand up to Warren Sap, so why would anyone think a woman would fare any better?  I mean, I am sure there are women who could beat me in football, but that’s not saying much.  Football and basketball are too physically intense for a woman to play a man on a professional level.

The same goes for combat.  In the trenches, combat is a physically intense activity.  Few women can pass the male standards for the APFT (at least that was the case in my day); which is why the Army has a different set of standards for females.  Also, on the battlefield, combat can often come down to man-to-man, hand-to-hand fighting and while I know there are some women who can beat some men, they are still at a distinct disadvantage when you average it all together.  Besides, there are so many combat support roles that women can fill that are integral to any war effort.  Why insist on picking up a rifle and shooting at the enemy when the risks involve capture?  Women who get captured may have to endure a whole different captivity than their male counterparts.  This problem is not only with the enemy either.  Our own male troops may be tempted to exploit the proximity of women is an unpleasant way.

The problem comes from those who are not particularly interested in the specific case of women in combat for the sake of national security.  They want women in combat so that the government has to say women are the same as men.  Essentially, they want society to no longer see any difference between the sexes.  The only way to do that is to put blinders on and dispense with intelligence altogether, which does seem to fit into the Liberal agenda anyway.

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The Great Follicular Expansion

One thing we as humans share with primates is a need for grooming. A whole industry has arisen to address this need, and many people think so much of it that they devote their lives to grooming others. They can actually make a good living at it. I once heard that to schedule an appointment with one Paul Mitchell stylist can run more than $400. But why do we groom? Why does a woman spend anywhere from one to five hours in front of a mirror on a daily basis plucking and primping? Why do men spend anywhere from five to ten minutes doing the same thing? What is the reason—to look good, to feel good about ourselves? Ok. I can buy that. But if that is the case, then why is my body constantly working against me?

When I was a kid, my mom took me to the barber shop for haircuts (this was before she started cutting it herself—a skill at which she got quite good) and the barbers and hairstylists would fawn over my hair saying how thick and full it was and that any girl would be envious of it. I was born blonde, but being a kid in the 60’s and 70’s I spent most of my time outdoors in the south which sun bleached my hair white. Now it is a sandy brown with light-colored (no—not gray…never gray) highlights, and I still have most of it left. It is a little thinner, but no bald spots and the hairline is not receding. I keep it shorter but not the buzz-cut that many vets maintain after they return to civilian life. No, my hair is just fine.

I think there is a part of my brain whose job it is to keep the hair growing. I’ll call it Pete. We all have it, somewhere up there next to the parts that track where you put the car keys and what the route is to work. A segment of the brain that says, “grow. Now, turn gray. And now fall out.” It has a simple job and for the most part it does it quite well. Oh, sure, some guys would argue that Pete is falling down on the job when they pull wads of hair out with a hairbrush, or when they see the gleam of the light reflecting off the scalp. Poor Pete pushed the “Fall-out” button too early. But be that as it may, and I say this as a man with a full head of hair, Pete is working ok in the head department.

But the head is not the only place with hair, and many of us spend countless hours doing our best to remove hair from any place that is not the head (and many remove it from there too) I never understood someone intentionally shaving every hair off of their body. My son did that once. He said he was bored. Go figure. But my point is that, because we are mammals, hair does grow aplenty all over.

The problem I have with good ol’ Pete is that while he seems to be keeping the hair on the head (although he seems to be focusing too much on the highlights these days) is that he has been springing up hairs in places that previously there was no hair. Why do I have hairs growing out of my ears? Not just from inside, but on the lobe, the auricle and just about any open space of skin on my ears seems fair game to Pete. It’s like he’s a gardener that decided bare Earth is a bad thing. And they grow so fast! The hair on my head loses this race like the south Florida luge team going up against the Swedes. I can pluck one in the morning, and it’s back to three inches by lunch. If I could figure out how to transplant these to bald men, I would make a fortune. They would all be Yani within a week.

I can almost see ol’ Pete sitting there looking around and saying to himself, “There’s a good spot. Oh, and right there,” as he sprouts new hairs between my eyebrows and on the tip of my nose. Lon Cheney would call me cousin if I didn’t pluck and trim (and if you didn’t get the reference, howl at the moon). Thankfully I have a lovely, loving wife who hates these errant follicles more than I do and she is quite diligent in reminding me to pluck away as well as taking tweezers in her own hands when needs be. She relishes making my eyes water going after the sprouts on my nose. I have to limit the plucks to three, however. I know women can take the pain of repeated yanking of these follicles, but I would much rather run my hand through a meat grinder.

I wonder why Pete waited until I was 40 before going on this great follicular expansion project. It’s not as though I don’t have enough to worry about with my failing eyesight and the annoying white noise in my ears, not to mention the every shrinking-wardrobe. Life was so much simpler when I was young. Just jump into whatever clothes were lying on the floor that didn’t stick to it, grab my stuff, push the hair out of my eyes and go to school. Now I have to find an outfit that fits, find my glasses and pluck and trim so I don’t get confused with a homeless person.

And I guess that is the reason why we do it. We want to set the right impression. You know what they say, first impressions are lasting impressions. I guess it’s a good thing they don’t know what we go through to make those first impressions. Unless the people we meet are over 40. By then, they should have a good idea, having spent the better part of their morning going through the same ritual. Thanks Pete!

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