The united states of women: Why we’re still discussing women’s rights

Thirty-eight years ago, the Supreme Court voted to uphold Roe v. Wade – yet women’s reproductive rights are still being challenged today. Late Wednesday afternoon, the Republican controlled house passed HR 3, which its sponsors called the No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act.  Supporters said it was necessary to codify the decades-old Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal funds to be used to pay for abortions. Opponents point out this bill goes much further. One of its key provisions bars tax breaks for small businesses whose insurance includes coverage for abortion services. By redefining D.C.’s local government as part of the federal government, the bill also bans the district from using local taxpayer funds for abortion.

Alison Stewart talks to three different women, from three different eras, about some political, legal, economic and cultural issues faced by women in the U.S. today, from the recent battle over reproductive rights to motherhood and “opting out” of the career track. Joining Stewart are Jessica Valenti, founder of the blog Feministing; Tricia Rose, author and chair of the Africana Studies department at Brown University and Dorothy Rabinowitz, Pulitzer Prize-winning Wall Street Journal columnist.

In a segment later this month on Need to Know, pro-life advocates will discuss their legislative successes.

 

Comments

  • Mary

    One change I’d like to see is using the term ‘anti-choice’ instead of ‘pro-life’. We have allowed extremists to pervert the language for too long. Who isn’t pro-life? I certainly am, and it’s one reason I support a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices. Some don’t want her to have that right – thus making them anti-choice.

    We are all Pro Life and need to stop using that phrase as a description of only one group of people.

  • Tom

    Reversing Roe is not practical, just, or fair to women. The pro-life movement should focus less on changing that law. At the same time, I am glad the pro-life movement exists because I believe someone must speak for the unborn. Let them march, let them express their concerns — it’s a free country. Women should be able to make informed choices. Republicans mustn’t kowtow to social conservatives in the party. (I’m a conservative, but I still feel that I “need to know” the mainstream liberal perspective. That’s why I watch PBS.)

  • Freedomrose2

    What an interesting use of the word diverse. I failed to see the diversity. Why is this called public broadcasting when it fails so miserably in allowing both sides of the public to dicuss this issue?
    I love watching public television. Sadly shows such as this reveals the fear of actually allowing diversity of opinion.
    Why is it that diversity and free speech are only applied to certain groups and other groups are considered irrelavant and their positions must be kept under your heel. You have the power and position to make your case openly yet you bring three guests who fully agree with the position that you choose to perpetuate. Really, what are you afraid of???

  • Anonymous

    I take it you think “diversity” means giving the microphone to the spokeswoman for political white males in their war against women. MSM does just fin focusing a spotlight on them.

  • Anonymous

    Tricia Rose, you rock. I’ve always thought the source of criminalizing women making their own health choices emanated from a fear of female sexuality as a force of nature. It’s like other never-ending wars (drugs, terrorism) over-reaching subjugation and control through buzz words.

    I would go even further and say the root of legislating women’s body choices is in the criminalization of prostitution. Women will never be able to control our reporductive lives until laws against our sexual lives are decriminalized.

  • eldosgatos

    If you had read what was written underneath the picture/video above, you wouldn’t have had to post,

    ” Why is this called public broadcasting when it fails so miserably in allowing both sides of the public to dicuss this issue?

    I love watching public television. Sadly shows such as this reveals the fear of actually allowing diversity of opinion.”

    Appears under picture above:

    In a segment later this month on Need to Know, pro-life advocates will discuss their legislative successes.
    There’s your “diversity”.

  • Freedomrose2

    Why the racial terms, why white? Are you of the position that everyone needs to be labled too? How sad. Also, is it impossible that women, who cares the color, can have an opinion that differs? Thus diversity. Or will you cast yet another label to discount a diiffering position.

  • Anonymous

    I used the racial terms to remind you that diversity means including the perspectives of non-male, non-white people who are never given the bulk of consideration, despite accounting for the majority of people in the world. I do not wish to deny the silencing of other minority voices as well.

    I don’t understand what you mean by lumping “women, who cares the color” having “an opinion that differs.” An opinion that differs from what? What are you attempting to communicate if not that you were saddened that the well-promoted discourse of white males as repeated by non-thinking stenographic mouthpieces was set aside for this one Mother’s Day special report?

  • Ssawtell49

    Thank you for such an intelligent discussion regarding the status of women. I feel that reproductive rights have always been at the core of obtaining economic, political and social equality. The more recent attacks on women’s reproductive rights are frightening, and I have little confidence in our Supreme Court’s willingness to maintain.

  • steph

    Great segment, and thanks. Re: the economy, in 1970, my liberated father, born 1911, said that “women’s lib” was going to be a justification that for the coming generation, women were going to have to work. Families wouldn’t be able to cover costs without that income. Boy was he right. Re: reproductive rights- yes please, no matter what the income, and now that my daughter can be a global architect, she has no support in the work place for her desire to be a mom, too.

  • Joesmith50194

    Yes, but to have a good diverse disscussion on an issue, you need both sides of the issue represented at the table, so you can debate in front of the viewers who will be able to see both sides of the issue in front of them. Only then can they make their own opinion. Democracy is all about seeing all sides of an issue and making your own opinon. Good reportin is all about covering the whole truth.

  • Joesmith50194

    Yes, but to have a good diverse disscussion on an issue, you need both sides of the issue represented at the table, so you can debate in front of the viewers who will be able to see both sides of the issue in front of them. Only then can they make their own opinion. Democracy is all about seeing all sides of an issue and making your own opinon. Good reportin is all about covering the whole truth.

  • Joesmith50194

    I think this country would be better off without all of the African American this, and Hispanic American that, and white America this, and minority, women, and all of these different groups that everyone puts emphasise on. I agree there are issues we need to work on, but wouldn’t it be better if we called everybody Americans and put the adjetives to rest?

  • Joesmith50194

    I think this country would be better off without all of the African American this, and Hispanic American that, and white America this, and minority, women, and all of these different groups that everyone puts emphasise on. I agree there are issues we need to work on, but wouldn’t it be better if we called everybody Americans and put the adjetives to rest?

  • Joesmith50194

    I aree, I’m glad that we can hear the liberal perspective. That is part of what makes our country great, but on the other hand it sometimes seems that the media is dominated by the liberal perspective, wth little room for the conservative opinion. It seems that liberals are afraid to let the conservative opinion get out to the masses. Why?

  • Joesmith50194

    I aree, I’m glad that we can hear the liberal perspective. That is part of what makes our country great, but on the other hand it sometimes seems that the media is dominated by the liberal perspective, wth little room for the conservative opinion. It seems that liberals are afraid to let the conservative opinion get out to the masses. Why?

  • Joesmith5019

    It is not Pro-life to deny a growing human being the right to exist. And if the termiology is changed, then wouldn’t pro-choice, and anti-choice go together? By denying a growing baby the right to live you ar denying it the right to make the millions of “choices” it would have made in its life.An everyone on this planet should be glad that their mother was ” anti-choice” enough when they were in the womb to let them live.

  • Joesmith50194

    Morality? “terminating”(killing) a growing human being inside the womb is not health care or a proper formof “reproductive rights”. Whatever happened to the miracle of a new growing, developing baby?Have we become so cold as to not even think of a fetus as a growing human? Wher is our respect for life? How sad….

  • Joesmith50194

    We do need to support women who want to work and raise a family!

  • Joesmith50194

    I hope our respect for life does not continue to degrade.

  • Anonymous

    I can only assume you are a white male, meaning you benefit from the assumption that America means a monoculture of you. Guess what?

    The white male monopoly on culture is boring, ignorant, narcissistic, greedy, abusive, corrupt, annihilating, sleazy and worthless to the majority of people on earth as well as other life forms.

    So, no, adjectives will not be “put to rest” because they actually describe something real and important (that threatens you and that you do not attempt to understand). But most people do speak a very complex language, with adjectives.

    And, by the way, we are not “issues to be worked on” — we are diverse beings who contribute abundantly.

    Stop taking an eraser to the majority of people. We’re here, we’re here, we’re here!

  • Anonymous

    You make it very apparent that America is overpopulated.

    I couldn’t care less about elevating a “growing human” mass of cells above real, live women and their choices.

    I certainly don’t elevate a mass of cells above other species.

    Respect for life includes all the biota as well as real existing women who have yet to experience full respect and rights in the US.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Colleen-Patricia-Williams/606432976 Colleen Patricia Williams

    Seems to me that we are focusing on the wrong gender being controlled. Hmn…who frequents prostitutes? Let me see…
    Men?
    And as for the abortion issue, if we institute cock locks, then we can eliminate the need for abortion, period. If we can control and outlaw unnecessary ejaculation, then we have no abortion to worry about. What? This issue doesn’t apply to men? How is that? Are they not the majority of rapists? The majority of pedophiles? It sure seems to me that we should take away tax breaks from businesses that have RX prescription coverage for Viagra, or Cialis. If the one eyed trouser snake is tamed with a male chastity belt, then there is no need to destroy women’s rights. If Conservative men are so worried about this should swear off of sex; not just in the bedroom, but in the airport bathrooms, as well…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Colleen-Patricia-Williams/606432976 Colleen Patricia Williams

    So at what point in a pregnancy is your life in danger, Joesmith? At what point in labor are you in danger of dying? The number one killer of pregnant women is the father or the father’s family. Is that the right to life your talking about? So what about supporting those women not allowed to have an abortion? It amazes me that every right to lifer has this dichotomy of save the fetus and let the born rot. It is soooo compassionate to cut food stamps and to try to eliminate health care and Head Start. Is that the compassion yer talkin’ about? That compassionate bunch that is totally into the death penalty and no WIC?
    I can live without that compassion. Cause it’s not compassion.
    Nope. This has not one thing to do with “compassion”. Hell NO! This is about religion, plain and simple and the need to force a fundie view down the throat of America. Interesting, that most of these Right to Lifer’s have no use for birth control; tell me that is not religious in nature!
    There is no compassion here. Just dogma.

  • Anakushar_peace

    Joe…you are proposing that your beliefs are the only “right” way? Religion isn’t allowed in government for this reason! What is your fear of women, or anyone for that matter, that makes you want to take away her right to choose? pretend for a moment, you were in a similar position yourself! How do you feel now? Can you even allow yourself to contemplate this?

  • pinkwink

    Actually, not everyone who disagrees with abortion are even “religious”. I’ve known people who are atheists but don’t believe in abortion; a fetus is a growing human being. They also believe in the right for a woman to choose whether she wishes to reproduce or not, however, if she has sex, she AND her partner have both “chosen” to accept the risk of pregnancy. It’s not a perfect world but it’s the one we live in, risks and all.

  • pinkwink

    Actually, not everyone who disagrees with abortion are even “religious”. I’ve known people who are atheists but don’t believe in abortion; a fetus is a growing human being. They also believe in the right for a woman to choose whether she wishes to reproduce or not, however, if she has sex, she AND her partner have both “chosen” to accept the risk of pregnancy. It’s not a perfect world but it’s the one we live in, risks and all.

  • Tracy

    And mentioning Viagra… how about forcing insurance companies to cover birth control in prescription plans? They always cover medicine to make men’s knubs work again. But the Cons don’t want that, they want women punished with childbirth.

  • Tracy

    And we must remember that at no point did the white male elite allow those who differed from him to be simply Americans. That’s a new trend, but it won’t be catching on until we have true equality.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_W2DLOYWD7WLQOZ4GHFY3WQSD4Y Kai

    The attack on abortion is a big deal, granted. But considering the fact men have no choice what happens after a baby is born, even if he was swindled, fooled or had his sperm stolen to make a baby he didn’t want. He has no choice but to enter force servitude for the state and the woman.

    If women earn less advanced degrees, then they’re oppressed and
    discriminated against. If women are out performing men in college
    degrees then they’re a victim because some people might start devaluing
    the worth of their women’s studies degrees. Meanwhile, men die in our
    wars, commit more suicide, are forced to pay child support even if
    statutorily raped, are worth less over the course of a life time, die
    earlier, drop out of school more frequently, are victims of more overall
    violence, are victims of 70% of non-reciprocal domestic violence, their
    child visitation rights aren’t enforced, constitute 90% work force deaths and so on.

    Society isn’t structured to support women? Welcome to a man’s world. Men have never had a society structured to help them. If a man can’t cut it in the work force then he gets the chopping block, and no one is out there trying to support the men who face the myriad of problems they face, especially women. Women? Going out of their way to help men, even at their expense? Hell no! That is a man’s “duty” to a woman! Perhaps men should go on strike. Society is inherently structured to treat men as disposable, and men are socialized to think their disposability is somehow honorable. Once men are taught that disposable is not honorable then women will be forced to take more accountability for themselves and not expect society (in other words, men) to reorganize itself just for them.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_W2DLOYWD7WLQOZ4GHFY3WQSD4Y Kai

    As much as male self determination frightens you, your sexist knee jerk reaction is not the answer. The vast majority of men are in support of reproductive rights for women only, not even for themselves. The problem is ideological. But the fact that you want to oppress men as a reaction to this speaks volumes to your value system.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_W2DLOYWD7WLQOZ4GHFY3WQSD4Y Kai

    I agree with you, this is very one sided debate. But the problem is there is no adequate oppositional force. We need a moderate, compassionate and reasonable voice of opposition. Unfortunately, too many defenders of the rights of men are lunatic conservative libertarian fringe. The only major voice out there that I’m aware of which meets the criteria is Warren Farrel.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_W2DLOYWD7WLQOZ4GHFY3WQSD4Y Kai

    “I can only assume you are a white male, meaning you benefit from the assumption that America means a monoculture of you.”

    No, he said America means a multiculture of “us”.

    It’s a self fulfilling prophecy to emphasis “us and them” because when you do that you end up with “us and them”.
    Joesmith is a true progressive.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_W2DLOYWD7WLQOZ4GHFY3WQSD4Y Kai

    That’s a good question. See my blog, eimos [dot] blogspot [dot] com where I will explain why you hear so much of the liberal perspective but only hear the conservative perspective on their own networks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=520890694 Kyra Morris

    You can’t blame problems caused by patriarchy on women. Nor can you reasonbly expect women to argue for men to benefit from it MORE. Please look up the word “kyriarchy” and do some historical and sociological reading. Your point of view makes no sense within a more historically and sociologically accurate context.

  • Steve

    The issue is whether or not unborn children are people. All (except for Rabinowitz who hedged) take the view that unborn children are NOT people. I wonder if these women realize what risks they are taking. Its a fair assumption that they do not believe in divine justice in the next life. But what if they are wrong about that? And what if history takes a turn against abortion? Those who had a hand in the killings might very well find themselves on trial.

    I saw no hint of humility or any sense of personal fallibility on this panel. But life teaches those of us who are willing to listen to be cautious. The old saying pertains here: EITHER YOU FIND HUMILITY OR IT WILL FIND YOU.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=520890694 Kyra Morris

    Since the conversation is focused on reproductive rights! Minority communities are disproportionately affected by any legislation enacted in this area and drawing attention to the lack of racial diversity in this discussion is not spurious unless you are unaware of that fact.

    Have you never noticed that “welfare queen” “unwed mother” and “teen pregnacy” are used in the media to invoke the image of black and latina women and actively cast “those” women as irresponsible, ignorant, and oversexed and therefore not deserving of family planning– they “earned” the “punishment” of being pregnant and the “tax-payers” shouldn’t have to pay to bail them out?Ever heard that? So yeah, it might be good to have some of “those” women on the panel.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=520890694 Kyra Morris

    No, if he actually believed it was multicultural he would have no problem acknowledging and here’s that word again: DIVERSITY. Hyphenation is not a threat to anyone who believes that diversity is not a problem. Acknowledging difference is not the same as racism, in fact it is usually racism that creates the pressure to assimilate, not diversity.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=520890694 Kyra Morris

    honey, it’s hyperbole. Unless you really think people thought eating Irish babies was the proposed cure to starvation, too, you’re just pretending instituting male chastity belts is a real argument on her part in order to vilify her. No real debater would go there. Your ad hominem argument is just as convenient as hers is absurd. If you really wanted to make a valid point, you would have addressed one of hers. Good day. ISAIDGOODDAY.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=520890694 Kyra Morris

    too bad it only got a minor mention *in the clip*!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=520890694 Kyra Morris

    too bad it only got a minor mention *in the clip*!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=520890694 Kyra Morris
  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_W2DLOYWD7WLQOZ4GHFY3WQSD4Y Kai

    Which history? Real history or the one sided historical revisionism that paints everything in a one dimensional men bad, women good? But you’re hard pressed to justify how actions of people no longer living are relevant to women today living a life more privileged than even most modern men. You’ll also have to explain to me how letting men commit more suicide, be 70% of victims in non-reciprocal domestic violence, falling behind educationally and so forth is considered liberation for women and how helping them is a threat to women everywhere.

    You think the only way women can be “liberated” is by perpetuating the oppression the vast majority of men has been subjected to historically? If you weren’t lucky enough to be born in to the higher echelons of society, life for men has been brutal, violent and oppressive in order to keep the women and children in their life safe from external threats. The scary truth that threatens your gynocentric world view is the vast majority of people, men and women, have been oppressed by a powerful elite minority consisting of both men and women.

  • Adriane

    REMEMBER: Reproductive rights includes the righst to choice with whom, how, when and where to give birth. The right to informed consent surrounding the peripartum period (which rarely happens) and to be treated with respect during the childbearing and childbirth process. Our bodies work, why are doctors performing major abdominal surgeries 33% of the time?!

    -Adriane RN, New York, NY

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_W2DLOYWD7WLQOZ4GHFY3WQSD4Y Kai

    I wasn’t vilifying her, I was using her own words against her. It was hyperbole, but it was hyperbole which expressed the contempt for men she holds in her heart. It was that which I was exposing. If you don’t think misandry looks pretty when a mirror is put in front of it then don’t blame the messenger, change the message.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_W2DLOYWD7WLQOZ4GHFY3WQSD4Y Kai

    Granted, too many conservatives are reactionary to multiculturalism, some have a strong aversion to diversity, and many of them are xenophobic. But not all of them are like that. Unless and until he shows signs of being such I think he should be given a fair hearing and consideration. Social justice can be blind when your goal is to simply help those in need regardless of ethnicity, creed, sex or anything else.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_W2DLOYWD7WLQOZ4GHFY3WQSD4Y Kai

    Interesting article, I haven’t had time to read entirely “The Feminine Mystique” but I’m certainly not arguing the basic premise of ennui women felt at that time. Men need their own “Mystique” because I suspect they’re feeling more alienated today than women did back then.

    But if this is supposed to be an example of patriarchy, then a historically unprecedented two decade period in the most wealthy nation to ever exist on this planet (The United States, circa 1945 – 1965 A.D.) is not representative of a true historical account of the relations between the sexes through the ages and all civilizations and all social strata.

    Right now, men face a lot of the problems women faced then. No legal protection against an abusive wife. A biased legal system which allows a woman to leave her ex-husband destitute at age 50, and a systematic degrading portrait of the role of fathers in today’s families. More men feel alienated from society today and commit suicide in greater numbers in all age groups compared to women. Today, it’s all about women’s options and choices. Men? They have duties and responsibilities, not choices.

    I also find this factoid interesting: “When you compare the diaries and letters of 19th-century women with
    those of women in the 1950s and early 1960s, you can see the greater
    confidence of the earlier mothers about their value to society. Many
    felt they occupied a “nobler sphere” than men’s “bank-note” world.”

    It makes one rethink some of the very one dimensional historical analysis we’re taught in schools about patriarchy and such. But I do have to wonder. If the roles of women in society being attacked as negative was so wrong then, could it possibly be right and just to do it to men today without having to resort to ideological justifications and equivocations?

  • Anonymous

    joesmith said he didn’t want to hear anything about diverse peoples in America. He wanted to “put a rest” to the fact diverse people exist.

    I think that makes him “like that”. Also, he never said “muilticulture of ‘us’” — he said “I think America would be better off without.”

    I’m not sure why you felt the need to twist that opinion into something you think reads better, but it’s wrong, and you are lying.

    Clearly you have a preference for thinking we are all one, in it together. Great fantasy, works poorly in reality as it lets the “I’m in it for me” people run amok because there are no words or structures to rein them in.

  • Anonymous

    Good comment, but it isn’t a trend of male elites allowing others, it’s a trend of others actively pursuing rights.

    Women do not have equal rights in America. It isn’t law and it isn’t happening.

  • Granny Lizzy

    I am anti abortion, and Pro choice. This question is between a woman and God. No man, no government has the right to tell her she has to have a child that is the result of rape, incest or violence.
    As long as Viagra is paid for by insurance, then birth control should be covered.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_W2DLOYWD7WLQOZ4GHFY3WQSD4Y Kai

    No he didn’t, he said he doesn’t want emphasis on demographics in general. Read what he said. He’s criticizing the divisive language we use. He wants us to instead all be Americans, indivisible.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_W2DLOYWD7WLQOZ4GHFY3WQSD4Y Kai

    No he didn’t, he said he doesn’t want emphasis on demographics in general. Read what he said. He’s criticizing the divisive language we use. He wants us to instead all be Americans, indivisible.

  • Anonymous

    What respect for life?

    Humans are annihilating life on the planet.

  • Anonymous

    I am sure fear of women’s sexuality is at the core of economic, political and social equality.

    From that fear comes lack of equality in health care for women’s bodies overall, and especially reproductive health care.

    Start by decriminalizing prostitution.

    I agree, this Supreme Court hates life.

  • Anonymous

    I did read what he said. He doesn’t want anyone to use the words minorities or women. Sorry, but your selective reading just doesn’t hack it.

    “Women” is not a divisive word. It is especially not divisive on Mother’s Day.

    Neither are the terms for minorities which they select to describe themselves.

    Sorry you’re so threatened we’re here, but paving over differences is not what most of America is all about.

    Mono-Americanism only benefits rich white men and the few that serve their purposes.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_W2DLOYWD7WLQOZ4GHFY3WQSD4Y Kai

    He doesn’t want emphasis on the demographics which divide us, which isn’t bad at all. The key word is *emphasize*. You’ll have to explain to me what’s so wrong with that.

  • Anonymous

    The very first thing you would notice about me is that I am a woman. What’s wrong with emphasizing that?

    You’ll have to explain to me what’s so important about not being a woman.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_W2DLOYWD7WLQOZ4GHFY3WQSD4Y Kai

    The problem is when we emphasize our differences too much, which is what Joesmith was getting at. I really don’t see what’s so difficult about that concept.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_W2DLOYWD7WLQOZ4GHFY3WQSD4Y Kai

    Women live longer than men and more research money goes in to developing cures for female specific diseases and dysfunction. In England, only young women received an HPV vaccine to the explicit exclusion of boys citing fiscal responsibility as the justification. The only fear of female sexuality exhibited by our Institutions is the fear of not making it priority #1 above the well being of men.

  • Anonymous

    Uh Oh.
    I’ve got an internet stalker on Need to Know.

    As for England, they were right. Boys just don’t get cervical cancer from HPV and therefore the health system doesn’t save much protecting their cervixes.

    Regarding research money for what you negatively label diseases and dysfunction of women, you are wrong about the amounht of money and you are wrong for seeing us that way.

    Your last sentence makes no sense.

    Stop posting lame aggressive statements in response to me.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QJLWNSDQBKVTS67R2IW62XSLYA kwdesigns

    I agree wholeheartedly. What ever happened to First Amendment rights – the separation of Church and State?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QJLWNSDQBKVTS67R2IW62XSLYA kwdesigns

    I agree wholeheartedly. What ever happened to First Amendment rights – the separation of Church and State?

  • Joesmith50194

    I don’t know about those in power who are of a different generation, but i know your there, as a Christian I am all for equality. I hate the whole” white elite” complex. I HATE racism. By the way the ” issues to be worked on” are NOT people, they are the tensions, misunderstandings, and hate that excists between people.

  • Joesmith50194

    I don’t know about those in power who are of a different generation, but i know your there, as a Christian I am all for equality. I hate the whole” white elite” complex. I HATE racism. By the way the ” issues to be worked on” are NOT people, they are the tensions, misunderstandings, and hate that excists between people.

  • Joesmith50194

    There needs to be a differentiation between ” equality” and “diversity”.People are not equal in all their abilities which is why we have diverse careers. The same holds true for larger more complex issues

  • Joesmith50194

    I am NOT ABSOLUTELY NOT aversionary to diversity. I love the fact that America is so diverse. I think that is why our country is so great. i love your comment about social justice, affirmative action is a good example. There should be no race requirement when hiring, NOR SHOULD THERE BE DISCRIMINATION FOR THOSE WHO WILL RESPOND TO THIS COMMENT.It should be based on character, skill, and merit.

  • Joesmith50194

    Thank you so much for twisting all of my words to mean something NOT intended. I never said put a rest to the fact diverse peoples exist.

  • Joesmith50194

    Thank you! That is precisely what I mean!

  • Joesmith50194

    Please don’t take my words soo literally. Read between the lines to get the meaning behind what I said. I am not against thw word women, or women in general. That probably wasn’t even necessary in the point I was trying to make!

  • Joesmith50194

    You have more equal rights than almost all the women in the world! And being combative, and emotional in a debate blinds, and blocks the person from ever looking at the other side. You are American. I would fight and die to save your right to disagree with me

  • Anonymous

    I’ll have to assume you honestly believe you hate racism, or other oppressive thinking about different humans. But the way around racism, etc. isn’t to pretend different sexes, sexualities, colors of people don’t exist. It is to see people clearly, acknowledge their existance and celebrate different abilities and compassionately provide for various needs, understand histories of oppression, celebrate the fact differences exist.

    For instance, you look down a wine aisle at the supermarket. Sure, they’re all wines, but they are made of different grapes, in different regions, by different techniques, packaged in different bottles. It would be ridiculous to force everyone to just call all that diversity wine.

    Why would anyone think it’s a good thing to limit human diversity like that? If you really are not racist, you are happy to explore and benefit from human diversity, not want all the diversity squashed under one jingoistic banner of “American” — Am I right?

  • Joesmith50194

    I am Catholic (don’t judge me or steriotype me please), and if we could get a catholic conservative, we could debate this issue without the lunatic conservative libertarians out there. We see these issues in a light of morality, human worth, andthrough a scientific view ( yes Catholicism and science are compatible, another annoying steriotype created by our media).

  • Joesmith50194

    You are a growing mass of human cells, and chemicals.Ask a scientist! Respect for women is part of our respect for life, that is why I am horrified at what happens in the Arab world. Overpopulated? Where did I say that?

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps you should re-read your first sentence:
    “I think this country would be better off without all of the African American this, and Hispanic American that, and white America this, and minority, women, and all of these different groups that everyone puts emphasise on.”

    I’m not sure how else to interpret this other than that you don’t want to hear about African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, white America, minorities, women or other groups. That is what your sentence means.

    Exist or not, you just don’t want to hear about people’s differences. And that is what is hateful about you posting this on a Mother’s Day program about women. (Or anywhere else differences are celebrated.)

  • Joesmith50194

    Sorry, I can see that you are extremely entrenched in your viewpoint and will see nothing else. So i cannot debate with you.

  • Anonymous

    You wrote it. You meant it. Words matter.

    You owe the apology for writing it.

    You cannot backtrack and say you didn’t mean your hateful statement to be taken literally.

    You are wrong to try to undermine my understanding by saying I understood the words the way they were written. I will continue to be correct in my understanding of the words you wrote until you can come up with a radical explanation for how they didn’t mean what you wrote.

  • Joesmith50194

    No I am not, otherwise I would not read your comments and comtemplate what your saying.

  • Joesmith50194

    I agree, if you don’t want to be preganant, don’t try

  • Anonymous

    This essay is about the united states of women and our rights here in America. Women do not have equal rights in America. I don’t particularly want to compare American society to the Arab world. I want to compare my rights to those of males in America and I fall short.

  • Anonymous

    Oooh, you big strong man, will you really go fight and die? Please?

  • Joesmith50194

    stop being so defensive about other viewpoints

  • Joesmith50194

    Then find out how to feed, cloth, and give a decent life to all those on Earth, while protecting the enviroment. You could be a billionaire

  • Anonymous

    Why do you feel the need to put your ridiculous 2 cents into everything I write?

    Your assertion that there’s one patentable and profitable way to protect the environment and those on earth is insane.

    Life is not about abundant money.

    One good step in stopping American overpopulation is to reduce the number of unwanted children.

  • Anonymous

    Dear stalker,

    Pointing out that you are dead wrong is not being defensive.

    Stop stalking me.

  • Adelaide D. Schaaf

    I came to this site intending only to commend “Need to Know” for having a discussion that, really, I could find nowhere else. The steady shrieking about how abortion — and now, even family planning — is evil beyond measure in any and every circumstance is almost unchallenged these days. And these are days in which something like 1 in 10 American girls is subjected to rape before the age of 20. Mind you, that statistic might be off: it might be ‘only’ 1 in 15 or 1 in 20. The stats on rape of the under-20′s do not, of course, take into account the rapes inflicted on those 20 and over. That’s thousands and millions of girls and women who have been put at risk of pregnancy, thousands and millions of girls and women who have been treated not as thinking, feeling humans but rather as objects, as sperm cans. As, in fact, pissoirs.

    If you’re a woman and you don’t mind being treated that way; or if you have a daughter and don’t mind having her treated that way: well, then, that’s your choice. If that’s the way you want to have a child or grand-child, well, again, that’s your choice.

    If you’re a pregnant woman and if that pregnancy endangers your life; and if you’d rather die than abort: well, that’s your choice.

    But that’s the point: choice, and what ‘choice’ means, and what being ‘pro-life’ means.

    I understand — intellectually at any rate — the view of those who believe that a human being is THERE, in full, from the moment of conception. It’s a view I reject as religious claptrap, but I understand its force. For those people, no one is forcing them to abort or even to plan the sizes of their families.

    No, all the ‘force’ these days is against those of us who, wholly responsible behavior notwithstanding, are being strong-armed into vile and degrading births that blight our lives and may well also blight the lives of our already living, already breathing, already needy loved ones, including children. Who is ‘pro’ any of those lives? Prayers don’t put food on the table. All of your religious conviction, all your expressions of love and concern won’t cleanse or repair a rape victim, won’t bolster a family in crisis.

    I made the mistake of trying to read through all of the posted comments, only to find myself — as usual — disheartened by the tenor of the ‘discussion’ and the generalized silliness that anonymity not only allows but encourages. Of the comments I did plow through, the only ones to be signed by actual names rather than ‘web monikers’ were by women. Making cheap attacks is very easy when one can hide behind a pseudonym. It’s also cowardly. And that’s another reason I so appreciate this particular “Need to Know” segment: three women, of three age groups, all willing to have their full names and their faces openly in public. No cowardice there. How refreshing.

    Adelaide D. Schaaf
    Cleveland, Ohio

  • http://twitter.com/felinius cyan

    (Since my original comment did not go through)
    “growing mass of human cells”
    Stop. Right. there.

    Please pick up a book on basic physiology. A blastocyst is a growing mass of human cells. A person is most definitely not. If you can’t tell the difference then maybe you should not be attempting to have a conversation on reproduction.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Terry-Kocjan/100001042388498 Terry Kocjan

    You are a person without any education and no knowledge of history or anything else. What ploanet were you hatched on?

  • Joesmith50194

     Sometimes I feel as though I am worth less as a man, and that I can’t be honorable in this new age. I am all for equality under the law, and equal pay for EQUAL WORK between men and women, but I feel like men are becoming well less manly, which leads to a host of problems, including domestic abuse, which saddens my heart.
            I also feel as I read these posts how some just eminate with anger and hate(like the one below at this time). All this will accomplish is more anger and nobody will listen to you. Present your opinion with love and understanding and people will listen

  • Joesmith50194

     I can understand. Sometimes I wonder why our society needs to rush around so much. I’m only in high school and I get cut short on sleep, and seem to have no time on my hands, I can’t even imagine having a family and housework, and whatever else society throws at us. I think our society needs to slow down!

  • Joesmith50194

    why do you keep pointing out typing mistakes? Is it an attack to feel better than others? and mabye everyone needs to take a breather to see if they are pushing too hard in one direction despite how it might affect others. 

  • Joesmith50194

     unwanted children? I am glad that i wasn’t in that category and that MY mom was pro-life when I was in the womb, or I would have been drugged, suctioned, or yanked out of the womb and killed! Even if my mom had not wanted me, their is a loving mom out there that would have taken me in for adoption.
                I hope our society’s disregard for those children doesn’t spread to say the elderly, or handicapped. They are not unwanted are they? Not to me, to me they are those to be cared for, and loved because they are vulnerable
                And do you know what? I was going to basically attak your opinion, but then realized how wrong that is, and that it does not represent love for my neighbors. I respect you just for your fire in representing your opinion. We need more people like that in America to support our democracy. We just need to represent our opinion in a loving manner.

  • Joesmith50194

    2 cents…………..I feel sad

  • Tiddas

    Oh, pish. You are just full of it.

    Why exactly do you assume a woman out there would make herself available to be your “loving Mom”?  There’s no evidence in the universe to support this.

    Why does it always become the woman’s task to appease male egos, make them feel cared for, convince them they’re wanted?  Put stupid ideas in their heads that they are something important in the world?

    No.  The decision to let a male roam around in the world abusing and using and arrogantly sucking off all life is a poor choice that is destroying the Earth’s biota.

  • Steve

    Joe: Honor is not something that someone else can give or take away. It is inate. If you want honor then simply live an honorable life. If society does not recognize your honor, you will be just as honorable as you would be if it did. Pay no attention to those who mock you and your ways. We will all die someday and then the books will be squared.

  • Junk90

    Is there a point to this comment, besides name calling?  What an idiotic reply.

  • Junk90

    Is there a point to this comment, besides name calling?  What an idiotic reply.