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February 17, 2009

More Choice

Choice occurs when you have a multitude of options and the ability to select whichever of them you prefer. One choice is whether or not to bear children. Another is to become a mother. But these decisions build on a legacy of choices that the ‘choice’ debate seldom mentions, like the choices to pay attention in sex ed, to read Savage Love, to consent to sexual activity, and even to rape. Still other choices may occur parallel to the pro-life/pro-choice debate. Some of these include the choice to work, to sell your eggs, to stay home, to pay for day care, to save for your children’s college, and to return to college yourself. When we talk about choice, I’m concerned we are ignoring these choices.

The right to choose is important to each of us, and to feminists, because choice (control over your own lifestyle) is essential to ending oppression by others and by other systems.
But I think we need to remember what choice really means, and that choice is something all people deserve, rather than collapsing it into a pro-life vs pro-choice binary.

Question #2

I think that the readings that we were assigned this week brought up a completely different side to the issue of “choice? that I had never considered before. They brought up the fact that choice is being able and encouraged to choose to give birth, or not to give birth, to choose adoption, to choose the type of birth, and all other choices based on an individual’s desires, not forced by any other individual or group.
However, in Sayce and Perkins’ article, they bring up the point that we should be able to “choose? not “pick and choose,? meaning that while we are free to make decisions for ourselves, we need to make them for the right reasons, for example not aborting a child simply because a woman does not wish to have a female child, the article states.
In Nadya Suleman’s case, I think that Sayce and Perkins would disagree with her choice. I think the main point of their article was to advocate that women have the right to choose, but they also have the responsibility to not make careless choices. On the other hand, Allison Crews would have a different view on the topic in my opinion, because I think the main point of her article is to advocate that women have the right to make choices for themselves and for their own lives, and no one has the right to question those choices but the woman herself.

Choice- Entry 2

Choice. It’s obviously not an easily defined word. It encompasses many meanings that can be very subjective. I do think that the right to choose is a fundamental right for feminists. However, I would further argue that it is a fundamental right for all humans. Unfortunately, however, it can come with downfalls. With choice comes power. One person’s choices can affect a lot more than that one person. Not only positively, but also negatively. Choices can also be selfish. Nadya Suleman was give the right to chose to have children. She chose, and she ended up with 14 of them. Nadya should have definitely been granted the right to choose to have children, to chose to have in vitro fertilization (and she was granted this right).
However, as Sayce and Perkins so poignantly put it, this right also goes hand in had with the “right to debate particular choices.�? The fact that Nadya, a single, unemployed, mother of six was able to bare 8 more children without any debate shows a failure in our system. In my mind, to be “pro-life�? is to be “anti-choice.�? Abortion rights are merely giving women the right to choose what to do with their bodies. If Nadya Suleman is able to chose to have 14 kids, then what says someone can’t chose NOT to have 14 kids? How can the same person criticize Nadya’s choice and at the same time criticize those who chose to have abortions? Choices need to have limits, but whom do we CHOOSE do decide those limits? The world is full of choices.

No one has a choice

The articles we read for this week delved into many of the layers of the debates over choice. But I feel like even the most heartfelt of what we read (Allison Crews’ piece) didn’t quite manage to capture what lies at the heart of much of the debate over choice. The socialization at work in our society marshals women into ideological camps that pre-ordain what choices they are willing to make. If I truly and, possibly, religiously believe that abortion is wrong, then I will not ever view it as a choice. The choice all these authors complicate does not recreate the issue in any meaningful way that would ever let us get past our initial assumptions about what the issue of choice is actually about. Roberts argues about law and constitutional rights, and Sayce and Perkins champion a more complex version of choice that limits discrimination but empowers both a feminist and disability rights platform. Saxton focuses on what new technology means for the idea of choice and preference. All these authors call history, either personal or national, into their understandings of choice. But none of the rhetoric actually addresses the underlying war. This issue can only get more complex and more violent, and some of our authors for this week put forward ways to move forward the feminist doctrine on choice to be more inclusive and supporting. However, I do not believe that the choice issue will ever be resolved as long as we continue to build upon a flawed rhetorical base that is used to mobilize both pro and anti choice proponents. The word choice does not mean an actual choice at all. It only lays bare what side of an ideological war one is fighting on. The issue of choice has become so fundamental in defining which women are feminists that all other issues lose primacy. Has anyone else noticed that no matter who is portraying women involved in coverage around these issues, some women is described as the villain. My friend had an abortion last year, one of my relatives feels compelled to enter a loveless marriage immediately so as to bear her unborn child with imagined propriety, and Nadya Suleman has produced octuplets. Society has conditioned all these women into acting in ways they feel appropriate and expected of them. None of these women is facing the same "choice" yet the only word we can use for their rights and emotions and mistakes is choice. Do we really feel that any of us have that much control over our lives and emotions? We really aren't that rational. No one is.

February 16, 2009

Question #2: Choice

I am not exactly sure how I feel about this question of "choice". To me, it means the ability of a woman to decide to abort or continue with a pregnancy regardless of race, economic status, or disability. I believe that if one woman is allowed to choose then all women should be allowed to choose. It should be the duty of the mother to decide if they are able to support another child, but what if their judgement is wrong? What about all of the children already who are unable to be cared for, living in poverty or going without adequate care? These questions are hard to answer, but in the same light, the decision must be left up to the mother because the government would not restrict men who have fathered children and then left those children without support from having more. What if vasectomies were required for men who were considered "inadequate" in some way? On the other hand, the right to choose also has another side; the right to choose "who" to abort. I don't believe in the use of abortion to create the perfect child; it should not be a "tool" for those people wishing to have a certain child or to rid themselves of a baby who could possibly be disabled. What happened to "it takes all kinds of people to make a world"? In response to Nadya Suleman and her choice to have octuplets, I think that all of the authors would support her choice because they are against selective abortion. The collective agreement is that choice should be extended to all women but that it should not be used as a eugenics tool to weed out minorities and disabled persons. It should be the mother's responsibility to decide if she is able to support the human being that will be brought into the world, however, it should not be her right to decide how much support she is willing to give based on the babys' traits, but this decision cannot be governed by anyone because the real motive behind people's decisions cannot really be deciphered unless they choose to make them known.

Suleman, Choice & Reproduction

I feel that choice is to be made by the individual. Not to be dictated by other’s opinions or our government. I feel that the right to choose is the most fundamental right for feminists. If it were not for the right to choose in the feminist movement life as we know it would not exist today. Women would not have the choice to decide and determine when they would like to become mothers. However, I do believe there should be limits to the right to choose. Just because we have the option to choose doesn’t mean that we don’t need to choose carefully and people can do whatever they feel like in society. I feel when an individual’s choices become the burden of society one’s rights needs to be restricted. For instance, I feel that Nadya Suleman’s rights to her reproduction should no longer be her own. And I am unable to understand the logic behind her decision making. She couldn’t/can’t take care of the previous six children she had, and she has placed a great burden on her parents and society with the birth of her other eight children.
I would hope Sayce and Perkins would choose to debate Nadya Suleman’s choice(s), but based on their article I feel they would agree with her choices. I say this because they said “For feminist, the right to choose was fought for collectively-it is part of what defines women’s relationships with society and to male power. As such it must be protected? (pp 24). Ross said, “Population control policies are externally imposed by governments, corporations, or private agencies to control-by increasing or limiting-population growth and behavior, usually by controlling women’s reproduction and fertility? (pp 54). Therefore, I feel that Ross would want Suleman to make the final decision in regards to her reproduction.

Blog Two: The right to choose

According to Webster’s choice is “the power to choose and the act of choosing.? Having options is choice and choosing to act on your options is choice. I believe that sometimes choice is taken for granted. Not so long ago many people did not have the right to chose when it came to voting or schools. Even today in many states people not have choose that effect their lifestyle. I fully believe that the right to choose is the most fundamental right for feminists still today. It is easy to forget that women did not have the right to vote many years ago but it is a right that women had to fight for. Women are fighting for the right to equal pay which is out of their control at times. Women want the right for abortions and better birth control coverage something that even though we have right now we are still fighting for. I believe that everyone not only women deserve the right to choose but everyone. No one has the right to take certain freedoms anyway from anyone. I do not know about having limits to choices, I believe there are certain instances where limiting choices could be the right thing and in a perfect world if someone could not afford to provide for their children they wouldn’t be able to. However I do not believe that there would ever be a fair and equal system that could limit choices without being bias or corrupts in some way.
Sayce and Perkins “The right to choose and the right to debate particular choices have to go hand in hand? seems to fit perfectly with Nadya Suleman’s choice to have octuplets. When thinking about her situation I am always conflicted like so many people. I believe that she should have the right to have children for herself, but I do not think she is making the choice for her children. Her choice has brought up a huge debate in our society about whether she made the right choice and her true intentions for having children. She is creating a debate of her choices and her right to have all those children. Does society have the right to criticize and scrutinize her choices? I do believe that people have a right to their opinion and it can be something talked about but you do not have the right to take away the choice from her without good reason? It is something that seems to be very complicated and controversial.

Blog Two

I feel completely conflicted when I think about Nadya's choice. I sat here for a good twenty minutes trying to formulate an argument one way or another, but I can't fully commit to either side. Crews' moving piece on her choice to give birth when most people found her incapable makes me think outright condemnation of Suleman's choice to have octuplets is wrong. However, I've volunteered many hours in women's homeless shelters, and my experiences make me predisposed to think that large families headed by women in poverty don't provide sufficient resources to the children. It'd be one thing if every baby born to a poor women had the same opportunities and quality of life that babies born to upper-class families have, but they don't. Some people argue that women like Nadya, who give birth without the means to raise the children, negatively affect society and the economy. I believe that the issue here is the children. The mother's choice negatively affects the children who are raised in an unsatisfactory environment. I want to stress that this is not always the case, some women find a way, but I've seen the horrible conditions some children face through no "choice" of their own.

But whether or not my opinion aligns with Suleman's choice should have no effect. When Sayce and Perkins said that choice and debate should go hand and hand, I think they meant that people's right to choice is shaped by the debate over time but the debate itself should have no say-so in a person's individual decision. It is important that we have opinions on what the right choice is, and eventually that may bring us closer to a mutual understanding of a correct choice, but it is imperative for the feminist movement and women's rights that people have complete autonomy over their reproduction.

Blog Question #2

I would argue that choice is one of the most important issues for feminists today, especially in the area of reproductive rights. Roberts notes that “….to most Americans, ‘reproductive rights’ is still synonymous with ‘the right to have an abortion’?(300), but more complex choices of reproductive rights and women’s rights in general are at issue here. I personally believe that Suleman’s actions are irresponsible, as would I if someone of upper or middle-class made this decision; it’s not necessarily only an issue of economics, but an issue of social responsibility in a world that is already overpopulated. However, I want to stress that I believe that my own opinion (or those of anyone else) should not have effect upon this or any woman’s decision. As noted by the assigned authors (Crews, Roberts, Ross, etc…), reproduction is a very personal issue, and women should have the right to control over their own reproduction, as well as continued care for their children. “The right to be let alone (Roberts, 309) is inadequate, and liberty should be a positive right, not only a negative one against tangible harms (295). This is where Sayce and Perkins’ quote: “The right to choose and the right to debate particular choices have to go hand in hand?(24) comes in. Suleman should have the right to bear children and receive the necessary aid for those children, but individual debate and disagreement concerning her and other women’s choices are necessary and, I would venture, even critical in a changing world where bioethics and women’s reproductive choices are becoming more and more intertwined. It’s just unfortunate that this woman is going through national media scrutiny over this choice. In terms of the limits of choice, Sayce and Perkins make a good argument that “selection of an embryo based on eugenic characteristics…is perhaps a case where choice is not a sufficient basis to challenge injustice? (24).

Question #2

I find this question very debatable. My first reaction is yes! I support the right to choose because choice belongs to the beholder and no one, including our government, has the power to take that right away. This argument is debated amongst many pro-life and pro-choice advocates, and it is a belief that is commonly tied to abortion in the United States. Do we, as women, have the right to choose what we do with our own bodies? Pro-choice supporters say yes, but would these people share the same response when this question is applied to Nadya Suleman and her choice to reproduce? Crews states “being pro-woman, being pro-choice, means being supportive of any reproductive choice a woman makes for herself? (148). Therefore, this quote implies that pro-choice crusaders should indeed support Ms. Suleman’s decision. When you take the quote –“The right to choose and the right to debate particular choices have to go hand in hand?- and apply it to Ms. Suleman’s situation, Nadya’s situation can be looked at in an entire different way. Yes, she has the right to choose, but did she and her doctors debate this particular choice to the magnitude it deserved?
In my eyes, I don’t think she did.

Blog #2

It is hard to face with a choice between abortion and motherhood. There is not right or wrong answer to this because it is the condition, age, and education that are the cons side of not having bearing the child. If a female has a good education, at a legal age to work, and get a good job then no one can question her whether to bear or not to bear the child. Allison Crews experience is a true experience because we can make the same mistakes like her. In the reading she said she was surround by pregnant teenagers when she was little not thinking she would be one of them one day. If anything choice we have made before is easy, choosing to abort or be a mother is not an easy choice. It really depends on the time one were born such as being in the generation where one have access to birth control or not because of race, gender, discrimination, and disability has been the obstacles. If we have a choice, it is something our body either create a permanent being or destroy this being in us. It is always good to be happy with somebody's choice to have a child and encouraging to them. If they are not yet pregnant, but are thinking about becoming a parent at a teenage then it would be appropriate to tell them what are the disadvantage and advantage. This is the way a parent would teach their children. This is why when the child happened to be pregnant then the parents still is supportive of them like in Crews case. Friends and other people are part of the society that do not understand the child best as the parents do. Crew showed this when she said, " Yet, I never carried through with any of those appointments." (Pg. 145)

Question #2

Choice. How do we decide how much choice any one person is to have? How do we decide where to go with choice? How do we define choice? Not many people define choice as the same thing. Some emphasize justice, others empathize the importance of living within ones means. Many feminists believe that choice is one of the most important aspects of feminism. The choice to have children, the choice to work, the choice to vote, etc. Choice is what feminists have been pushing towards since feminists inception. However, we now are faced with questions that may split the feminist group. Does everyone have the same choice ability? When are we to draw the line?
In my opinion, it must be awful for Nadya Suleman to be in the heat for making a choice this drastic (having 14 babies). However, it is not in the best interest for her, her family, or the country to have this many children without the financial wealth to do it. Declaring bankruptcy in 2008, Nadya clearly will not be able to afford the diapers, food, bedding, clothes, etc. for all 8 of her new babies. College tuition is going to be difficult, basic living is going to be difficult. I feel that if Nadya really wanted something in the best interest for her children, she would have put extra care and attention into just a few children rather than bring 14 children into the world that she can’t take care of. The choice that she made was not the choice in the best interest for her family. All in all, when people make choices, they should think of a larger scale as opposed to the right here right now thoughts. That’s one issue with choice that we have to clarify.

Blog 2 - Choice

The right of choice should be equally distributed amongst the sexes and open for our abilities to shine. Women and men alike should have the choice of their own body, feelings, thoughts, opinions, work and educational opportunites, and so forth. Feminists as well should voice about what they feel most importantly. I believe that everyone should have the freedoms and right to choose and do as they please as long as they don't harm others or essentially break any laws. If everyone was true to themselves and others, the world would go round.

I enjoyed reading Allison Crews' work "And So I Chose" because it hit home a little bit. I could relate some of her feelings and experiences to my best friend as she was in the similar place as the author and those we advocated for and against. "And her rights were ignored because she was young, she was female, and she was pregnat" (145) related to my friend. Far too many people were quick to judge and oppress in these situations. Who are they to judge? I believe with the saying walk a mile in my shoe...

Nadya's decision and position she is in, is hard for me to understand. She knowingly went along with the procedure and said she understood that her house was in foreclosure, her other six kids were being taken care of by her mom, they lived off of welfare and food stamps. With how society views her and her decision we discriminate and point our fingers, however, who are we to say who can and cannot have children. If she loves them and takes care of them to her best ability, isn't that fair enough? I am torn between that issue and do not know exactly how I feel or view her. I am curious to see how the doctor justified his reasoning given the circumstances.

Question #2

Choice (as defined by Webster) is the right, power, or opportunity to choose; option. The ability to choose is something that has blessed and plagued humanity since the beginning of time. I would consider choice to be a fundamental right for all people, not necessarily just select groups. All people should have the ability to choose the way in which they would like to live their life. This is the idea behind democracy and freedom. However, with autonomy comes a dark liability. The fact that we are able to make vital decisions that will affect not only our lives but the lives of those around us puts a heavy responsibility on the aspect of choice. Of course our ability to choose should be limited, hence the reason there are laws. Without some regulation on the choices of all people—there would be anarchy. A society without restrictions would produce chaotic results.
Hence we have—the question of the right to choose an abortion. It is a woman’s right to choose exactly what she does with her body and how she does it, there is no one that can honestly deny another human being that right. But, is it that woman’s right to choose what happens to a child? Once pregnant, a woman’s body is no longer holding just one life, and her choice is no longer just affecting her.

February 14, 2009

Question #2

I think all of the authors we read this week are making the point that we must incorporate a more comprehensive definition of choice into the movement. Roberts holds that choice in a social justice framework allows for greater equity, and Ross also integrates the notion of justice into her definition of choice. Crews, Sayce and Perkins, and Saxton all remind us that choice must also be extended to those who want to have children but are pressured not to. This is the same situation that Nadya Suleman is in. Because of her financial and marital situation, she has been pressured and encouraged not to have more children, even though children are clearly her passion. This is very much the same as encouraging working class or impoverished women not to have lots of children; the “responsible? thing to do is to have only as many children as you can afford. I think the reason Suleman is taking so much heat is because her pregnancy was the result of in vitro fertilization. In this case, it’s not just that Suleman accidentally got pregnant and didn’t have an abortion, it’s that she went to great lengths to become pregnant in the first place in order to have LOTS of kids she knew she probably couldn’t afford.
I like thinking of this situation in the framework Sayce and Perkins set up; that women should be supported in any choice they make (that Suleman should be able to raise her kids with any and all assistance that she needs), but also we need to be careful when we implicitly encourage some women to have abortions (those who will give birth to disabled children and those who will have trouble supporting their children). The difference between Suleman and that one family on TLC with 17 kids (which, admittedly, I’ve never watched) seems to be the financial situation. So is it fair to give one family a show (which I would say amounts to implicit approval of their choices) and call the other one crazy and irresponsible?

February 11, 2009

Blog Questions #2

What is choice? Is the right to choose the most fundamental right for feminists? Are there other rights that are just as important? Should there be limits to our ability to “choose?? Who gets to decide those limits?

How do we think about “the right to choose? in relation to Nadya Suleman and her choice to have octuplets (see: Nadya Suleman-and-the-choice-we-never-respect)? How do you think Sayce and Perkins, in “They Should not Breed? would respond to this when they write: “The right to choose and the right to debate particular choices have to go hand in hand? (24)? What about some of the other authors (Ross, Crews, Saxton or Wood)—what do they say about the limits and/or possibilities of choice?