Saturday, February 04, 2006

Pollitt gets the last word

On the Slate debate with Saletan

Nobody else seems to talk this way, so let me be the one to say it: Legal abortion is a good thing, and not just because it prevents illegal operations. Without abortion, women would be less healthy, less educated, less able to realize their gifts and talents, less able to choose their mates; children would be cared for worse and provided for less well; sex would be blighted by fear of pregnancy, as it used to be back in the good old days; families would be even more screwed up than they already are; there would be more single mothers who can't cope, more divorce, more poverty, and more unhappy people feeling sandbagged by circumstance. We hear a lot now about regret and sorrow, and I know some women who have abortions feel that way, but we don't hear about the regrets and sorrow women feel who went ahead and had the baby, and we don't hear much from women who are just completely relieved and thankful that the clinic was there for them and they can get on with their lives - lives that are good and moral.

That's the end of her response. Earlier she says that Saletan seems like "a delightful person." I can't believe she really thinks that though, since she pretty much demonstrates exactly why he is not nice - and certainly shows what a second-rate thinker he is.

Maybe that's just her style. She chided me once for being too angry in an email to Donna M. Hughes (I cc'd Pollitt), who in my opinion deserves all the grief I gave her for claiming to be a feminist while hooking up with David Horowitz and giving anti-feminist soundbites to Kristof at the NYTimes.

Or maybe, because Saletan observes the social niceties, she feels she has to play along or look like a bitch. Probably a good career move in any case.

But I think that Saletan demonstrates, courteously and in well-measured prose that he doesn't actually give a good goddam about women's lives.