Friday, March 26, 2010

Abortioneer Lovin': a MOTA follow-up

"I wonder if he thinks I have the right to reproductive autonomy." 

Hey there. Just popping in on a busy Friday to share a little bit of awesome.

Does anyone remember this entry? I wrote there that I often think that "if I separated from my partner, I'd probably remain single for a long time, because meeting someone who is fun, caring, smart, feminist, anti-racist, and pro-choice and who's a foodie and who doesn't care that I'm always running late (etc etc) can take a long time, and I'd much rather be single than settle for less."

And surely you remember Mr. Banana Grabber's post about meeting a boyfriend's mom for the first time, and several by other co-bloggers mentioning the frustration of first dates and bar flirts always wanting to have "the debate," and how we just can't help ourselves from saying what we do anyway, because how could we not?

Well! A Famous Internet Feminist (Jaclyn Friedman) talks about all this and more in an interview by another Famous Internet Feminist (Amanda Hess), and yet another Famous Internet Feminist (Jill Filipovic) weighs in with lots of stuff I totally sympathize with. I love all these women, and I love that most of what they say sounds so very familiar. I also feel for Jill when she says she'd be OK with not settling down if it required a compromise of values - and wish she didn't say that "maybe something is wrong" with her for it!

Well, how do you feel about it? What are you willing and unwilling to accept in a partner? Would you put up with some sexism but not the anti-choice variety? Are you more likely to fuck them or date them?

Do your answers vary according to whether you are currently abortioneering or simply pro-choice but not in the field? Does your experience vary based on your or a partner's gender identity, sexual orientation or anything else?

And...good luck to those of you with Friday-night dates :)


  1. I'm married, so it's all pretty theoretical, but I would definitely never date/sleep with/wink at an anti-choicer and while I'd never expect anybody to be the perfect feminist right off the bat, I wouldn't be interested in someone who wasn't pretty solid on equality and open to learning about other feminist issues. My husband was a lot more conservative when I met him, but he was extremely open minded and ready to explore new ideas when they were presented to him. A decade later, he's probably one of the best feminists I know. If he were to get hit by a bus or something, it would be awfully hard to start from square one with someone else who didn't have the excuse of youth and inexperience.

  2. I just got PTSD from reading through those links..ugh...SOML (story of my life)

  3. I have always been opinionated and unafraid of sharing what I thought. Although I have gotten a touch more diplomatic with age, I have never had a tonne of success dating. I've moved around quite a bit and because I know exactly where I want to be in a few years, it limits me. Which I accept. Once I've settled I'll start trying to date.

    As I've identified more as a feminist, I've realized that while my dating pool may have been small before, I can see it shrinking before my eyes. And that is a little scary. I have zero interest in having kids, and I am unwilling to compromise on that, or on pro-choice mentality (indifference can be educated). I am willing to accept ignorance on topics of race, gender, choice, etc because ignorance can be educated (heaven knows I needed some!). So if there is willingness to learn, I can overlook sexist/racist jokes at the start.

    I guess at the end of the day, I can't and don't expect to find the right guy wrapped in cellophane and tied with a bow. Since I only volunteer at a local clinic and am involved on my own time, it is easier. I can talk about my career (hopefully a lawyer sooner rather than later!). And luckily, in Canada, being pro-choice isn't such a big deal. All the kerfuffle up here is that our PM thinks birth control and abortion don't contribute to maternal health. And most of the country thinks he is a lunatic. Yay Canada!

    Ultimately, I'd like to get married but I don't have a "clock" telling me it's time. I will continue to do everything I love, single or not. If the right guy comes along to join me, awesome. If not, I'll still travel alone, eat out alone, and enjoy my company!

  4. I'm not a picky person when it comes to relationships. I think it's pretty sensible to refrain from dating antis, though. I mean, I wouldn't date a person who believes that I shouldn't have the right to vote, so why would I date a person who believes that I shouldn't have the right to my own body?

  5. Consider your partners carefully. I have only anecdotal evidence from friends and family and, of course, the political and religious news, but it seems to me that there are a lot of folks with whom you should be wary. There is potential dating material out there who currently claim to be so hip, so bold, so fresh because it's politically valuable to their career. In reality, they paid for former girl friends' abortions in their younger years. But they will never tell you as a prospective date or potential spouse that they are the "use 'em and leave 'em" type. So what could you watch for? What are some signs that trouble is ahead? I'd offer the following things to ponder. Watch out for the cosmopolitans who claim to be very open about gender issues but grind your gears over socially constructed notions of femininity, maternity, masculinity, work-family balance. Watch out for any signs where there is a need for disparaging comments that smack of male superiority. Pay attention when the political conversation involves defunding for social justice programs for children, the poor or minorities but ensures funding for corporations, Supreme Court, Halliburton, former vice presidents and presidents, and so forth. I'd also suggest ditching anyone who measures your value by your dress size, your cup size and the length of your eyelashes.

    But these are the thoughts of an aging boomer feminist. Whatever you do, whoever you date, make it work for you. Be safe. Have fun.

  6. Like Kelsey, I'm married (second time, and this one for thirty plus years), but I do remember my own dating parameters. I decided when I was twelve that I would never get pregnant or otherwise have children, and I have never changed my mind. Any guy who tried to talk me into it got his walking papers -- it was THE deal-breaker. Both my husbands knew well ahead of time, and they were just fine with it.

    Almost everything else is negotiable. But under no circumstances would I ever allow "us" to make a decision about MY body. And it has never even been a topic for discussion.

  7. Wow, thanks for all of your perspectives! Another thing I forgot to mention is that it's not really an external "law" for me - more that I naturally have a hard time imagining a true friendship with someone who didn't believe in my human rights, much less an intimate relationship with them. And the same thing seems to happen with hooking up - if I'm attracted to someone then find out they're a reprehensible person, it's hard to remain attracted. So it basically answers the issue for me.

    You know, I wonder how many dudes out there have similar dealbreakers?

  8. Lady Janus, I am glad to hear that women who don't want children can find men who support that. Sometimes I really wish I was just "normal" and wanted children. But anytime I consider it, I find it easy to talk myself out of it; far easier to talk myself out of having kids than into having kids. My suspicion is that there are more men who aren't keen on kids than women, and thus I am a "catch" for the right guy. The key is finding him I suppose! Hearing that you found 2 (even if the first didn't work out) makes me hopeful and helps me stick to my guns. I guess the only thing I have to determine is whether this is first date conversation...


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