Posted by: bridget | 27 April 2007

Friday Round-Up

*Drunken man parks horse in bank foyer.

Confronted with the lack of a hitching-post, he brought the 6-year-old horse, named Sammy, in with him.

So it’s okay to drink and ride?

*Marilee Jones, the celebrated admissions dean at MIT, has resigned after admitting to having falsified her academic credentials 28 years ago. When she first applied for a job at MIT, she claimed to have a bachelor’s degree, although her job did not require one. Since then, she performed remarkably well. As the admissions dean at MIT, she worked tirelessly to bring attention to the problem of over-worked, over-stressed high school students.

Over the years, Jones has said, she became increasingly concerned about the effect on young people of the rising competition to get into top colleges. Admissions offices and anxious parents were turning high school students into “human doings instead of human beings,” she told the Globe in 2004.

There is some irony in the fact that Ms. Jones, who falsified her academic credentials, has become famous – and made MIT a better place – for her advocacy on behalf of students who are under enormous pressure to have a flawless resume. Yet, it makes a lot of sense that the woman who lacked the traditional credentials has nevertheless become an outstanding dean of one of the nation’s best colleges and has de-emphasised the importance of such credentials. Ms. Jones’s career makes it plain that a stellar education is not required for success – only the appearance of one.

*Ellen Goodman, naturally, attacks Justice Kennedy’s partial birth abortion decision. One now-famous part in Justice Kennedy’s opinion states that abortion is harmful to women. Ms. Goodman writes:

Abortion is inherently harmful to women, their argument goes, because it violates a woman’s true “nature,” her role as a mother. This would be familiar stuff to Justice Bradley, but Justice Kennedy also wrote about “the bond of love the mother has for her child,” suggesting that any true woman would suffer.

Ms. Goodman is incorrect. It has nothing to do with being a “true woman,” the very face of the pieta herself, and everything to do with the fact that killing your child does not come without psychological consequences. This pachyderm is a hard-core evolutionist and is pretty sure that humans were not designed to lose offspring without feeling the deepest sense of grief. We are not fruit flies who multiply with abandon and do not invest in their offspring: our survival, rather, is predicated on long-term emotional investment with our children.

Furthermore, the ready availability of abortion undermines other options: if a woman can abort, there is no need to support pregnant and parenting students, re-work our adoption laws to ensure that women have a variety of options and protections available to them, or provide social support to women who find themselves unexpectedly pregnant. Abortion becomes the only choice available to women – which is hardly a victory for feminism.

While we rarely criminalise things based on later regret, it is entirely sensible to factor that in when balancing the rights of women and their babies. If the “right” to abortion does not even confer a positive effect upon women, there is virtually nothing weighing in for the right to abortion. It is akin to asserting the right to deliberately crash one’s car. Normally, we would not criminalise such behaviour; however, if the person were asserting the right to crash a car into an innocent pedestrian, we would certainly point out that the driver gains nothing from the transaction when balancing the rights of the driver to use his car as he sees fit and the pedestrian to his life.

Ms. Goodman, like all hard-core pro-choicers, misses this point because she fails to even consider the rights of the developing fetus in analysing the morality and legality of abortion.



  1. Magnificent! This is some of the most impressive wisdom espoused about abortion I’ve seen. I agree with you vis-a-vie the shortsightedness of Ms. Goodman. Moreover, the comments made by the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg to wit: “…how far the court had come in defending a woman’s right to shape her own destiny” is only part of the whole and rather disgusting when viewed from the perspective of the other individuals involved—the father and the child.

    The example used regarding the crashing of one’s car is brilliant! Then when you put it into perspective of crashing one’s car into a pedestrian makes some of the most graphic sense imaginable. Be assured that this is the one example I will be using in my further discussions on abortion. One last thing: the way you describe the services regarding pregnant and parenting students and other options available is an argument that the Court should hear! Bravo and well done!

  2. Paulo,

    Thank you for stopping by and reading. :)

    Good point regarding the fathers. In my own abortion writing (and there’s a LOT of it!), I rarely mention them except to make the point that we confer rights upon women not conferred upon men, i.e. to terminate a pregnancy and have no responsibility for one’s child. Something to consider.

    As I blogged earlier, the problem with Justice Ginsburg’s language about “shaping her own destiny” is that it leaves the door open for a woman to kill her 5-year-old child because she doesn’t want to happen to be a mother any more. She fails to state why the mother should have the right to slaughter her (viable) child and why, even if she did have such a right, it would actually allow her to “shape her own destiny.” A rapist hardly “shapes his own destiny” by assaulting women for his own gratification; unfettered rights are the stuff of anarchy.

    Glad you like the car crash analogy and I would be thrilled if you were to use it. :)

  3. “Ms. Goodman, like all hard-core pro-choicers, misses this point because she fails to even consider the rights of the developing fetus in analysing the morality and legality of abortion.”

    Why should she. To her babies are nothing more than obnoxious parasites that put a cramp in her style (i.e. reproductive freedom).

  4. Everytime I realy your articulation of the Pro-life debate I am in awe of how well you do it. Someone needs to get you on a mike and broadcase you across the world!

  5. haha that’s good!

  6. Good point, TT. Ann Coulter once said that we could justify the death penalty to leftists by saying that it’s just a really, really late term abortion. ;)

    Thanks, MommyZabs. I don’t think anyone wants me in front of a mike, though! ;)

    Thanks for stopping in, Justin.

  7. good post, keep up!

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