Monthly Archives: July 2011

You Are “Less Than”?

How could anyone ever tell you
you were anything less than beautiful?

How could anyone ever tell you
you were less than whole?

How could anyone fail to notice
that your loving is a miracle?

How deeply you’re connected to my soul.

The song “How Could Anyone,” has had a worldwide healing impact. The lyrics have touched AIDS orphans, cancer survivors, disabled teens, and women and girls redefining beauty.

These words by Libby Roderick have touched me, too.

I first heard them soon after I’d broken up with a boyfriend. This man had said nothing outright about my being “less than,” but sent heavy cues by his occasional gaping at women who took up all the space of his vision while I disappeared.

When I asked about it, he said, “Well, yeah, other women are more attractive than you.” And added, “There’s an archetypal image that men are just naturally drawn to.” Archetypal Playmate, that is.

Men are naturally drawn to something unnatural? Plastic-chested, unnaturally starving and airbrushed? The current ideal is actually both new and strange.

In his eyes I felt less than beautiful. And less than whole.

But this song made me reflect on whether I wasn’t whole or whether he simply had a partial view.

Just what is whole, really? What is beautiful?

False, synthetic, shallow?

Genuine, sincere, heartfelt, deep connection?

When we meet those who dwell on the surface, living with limited sight – whether ourselves or others – forgiveness begs. For blocked vision brings suffering to the seer.

And remember:

Every loving thought is true

   Everything else is an appeal for healing or help

                                                      From Accept This Gift

It’s not that we’re not whole. But in obstructed vision, we aren’t entirely seen.

How Could Anyone   http://www.libbyroderick.com/cd_new.html
Words and music by Libby Roderick c 1988
From the recordings “How Could Anyone” and “If You See a Dream”
Turtle Island Records Anchorage Alaska
www.libbyroderick.com     libbyroderick@gmail.com

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Does Sexual Objectification Lead to Bad Sex?

Turning women into sex objects heightens the erotic experience, right?

A growing body of research indicates the opposite: for women and, surprisingly, men.

A new longitudinal study out of Pennsylvania State found that when women lost their virginity, they lost self-esteem, too. Before they had sex, the body image of the women in the study steadily improved. But after a first sexual experience it dropped. Why? The study found that in bed women became self-conscious and critical of their bodies.

Tracy Clark-Flory over at Salon.com points out that this loss of self-esteem likely spells a loss of sexual pleasure. While women are supposedly enjoying sex, an awful lot of us are distracted, worrying that we don’t meet sex-object standards. Breasts are too small? Butt is too big? Cellulite, anyone?

Or as Clark-Flory puts it, “You think, ‘Do my breasts look OK from this angle’ instead of, ‘Wow, this position feels fantastic.’”

Even if you are proud of your body, self-scrutiny can distract from lovemaking. Caroline Heldman, assistant professor at Occidental College, writes that women who are hyper-aware of their appearance see sex as an ‘out of body’ experience, but not in a heavenly way. They view themselves through an imaginary camera lens, focusing on how they look in one position or another, as if they were porn stars. And their sexual pleasure suffers.

Heterosexual men should pause at this news. It’s likely they would enjoy themselves more if their partners were present and actively engaged, instead of dealing in distraction.

But objectification of women can also interfere  more directly with straight men’s enjoyment of sex. Men who consume porn often say they come to objectify women in a way that has them expecting a particular body type, leaving them disappointed if their partner looks different from the images they’re used to.

“I prefer women with a C- or D-cup, full-figured but definitely not overweight. I don’t want some small spindly girl either,” a young man explained in Pamela Paul’s Pornified. “Briana Banks is the ultimate. She’s not only blonde, she’s got the right chest size.”

In Pornified, psychologist Gary Brooks explains that he is concerned that many of these men lose the ability to be aroused by their partner’s positive features, and try instead to “re-create the images from porn in their brain when they’re with another person in order to maintain their arousal.” Adds Mark Swartz, clinical director of the Masters and Johnson clinic in St. Louis:

You’re making love to your wife, but you’re picturing someone else. That’s not fair to the woman, and it’s miserable for the man.

Some men may think objectifying women is a harmless pleasure, but the Penn State study and others suggest it’s a buzzkill.  Think this information could spur a movement to end objectification?

I originally wrote this piece for the Ms. Magazine Blog, where it appeared May 10, 2011

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Men Are Naturally Attracted To Unnatural Women

Ask a guy why he looks at porn and he’s likely to say that men are just naturally attracted to women. But the women in porn don’t look too natural.

Actually, women in fashion magazines and billboards don’t look too natural, either.

Women and men both learn to admire a feminine ideal that ends up frustrating both men and women.

Most women have to starve themselves to be ideally skinny. Many models are so thin that they have stopped menstruating. Isn’t the natural instinct to stay alive and well?

And how about fake breasts? If men are naturally drawn to breasts, why do so many women go under the knife and mutilate themselves so that men – and society – will find them attractive?

Then there’s the preference for blondes. Few women past puberty are true blondes. But unnaturally bleached hair is the top color of choice, both for men and for women who want to look beautiful. Well, at least peroxide doesn’t require enormous amounts of money or risk much bodily harm.

So models go through all their pain and suffering, but it’s not quite enough. Next, the malnourished, plastic-chested, bleached out images go to be photoshopped and airbrushed to look even more fake than they already are.

So women try in vain to match ridiculous notions of beauty. Then get depressed because nothing they do seems to work.

But the models don’t look like “themselves,” either!

At the same time, male students have told me that all this hurts them, too. “What’s wrong with me?” they wonder. “Why can’t I get women who look like THAT?”

Well, those “picture perfect” women don’t actually exist.

So women can never achieve the ideal. And men can never have the ideal woman.

Meanwhile, men are left feeling “naturally” attracted to something that isn’t natural.

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Why Did Nancy Garrido Help Kidnap Jaycee Dugard?

jaycee-dugard-4Jaycee Dugard told Diane Sawyer in an ABC interview that after kidnapping her, Nancy Garrido was intensely jealous. So why did she do it? Beyond the question of how she could commit such an atrocious crime, I’d like to focus on why Nancy Garrido made herself miserable by actively acquiring a sexual rival.

I don’t know the specifics of why. Nancy clearly wanted to please her spouse, even if that entailed personal anguish. But in asking why Garrido assisted in her own torment, we might as well ask why women too often stay in distressing, and even abusive relationships, in some ways imitating her – if on a lesser scale.

Everyday women mimicking Garrido?

In one section of Why Women Have Sex, psychologists Cindy Meston and David Buss talk of women reluctantly agreeing to bring other women into their relationships in order to keep their men. As one put it:

Right now, the guy I am with is into swinging. I am not comfortable with that lifestyle… I just pretend he is my master and I am to follow his every command and it makes it easier for me to get through the night… He keeps asking me to have a threesome with my best friend and I keep acting like it is okay, but I am dreading it.

Others tolerate the incest that partners inflict upon their children. Some endure marital or relationship rape and battering.

That’s quite a range. But all of these women are allowing their hearts and souls to be hurt, and sometimes they are letting others be harmed, as well.

Why?

They may feel they love these men. More than they love themselves – or anyone else for that matter. A sick sort of love swimming in injury.

They may think they have no better options. They don’t deserve much and can’t expect better. They aren’t lovable or attractive enough, or they can’t survive on their own. They can’t find a better man. And their partners willingly prop up the downbeat assessments. And so they desperately try to please, and appease, their men in hopes of gaining love.

Poor self-esteem anchors their submission.

But they also hold their own sex in low regard. Women who endure pain to give their men pleasure see men as better-than and more deserving than women. And so they sacrifice so their men may have all.

Some stay in relationships due to “sunk costs.” Having invested so much – emotion, all of the work gone through to create only small changes in partners, resources – they can’t bear to give it all up with nothing to show.

But if we’ve learned something is the cost really sunk? We could take what we’ve learned and move on.

For whatever reason, too many women don’t realize they don’t have to put up with crap.

Too bad Nancy Garrido never figured that out.

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Women Want Emotionally Connected Sex. Why?

Women want emotionally connected sex.

Not all women, all the time, but University of Texas psychologists, Cindy Meston and David Buss interviewed over 1,000 women around the world for their book, Why
Women Have Sex
, and what did they find? Both women and men have sex because they are physically attracted, for pleasure, because they are in love, or just because they’re horny… the list goes on. But most women want emotionally bonded sex.

Why?

Conventional wisdom looks to evolutionary psychology which says that women are genetically driven to be more monogamous so that fathers will stick around and provide resources, helping children to survive. So perhaps women pass up casual sex with whomever in favor of the connected sex that would provide those good-for-baby resources.

Yet not all women are terribly monogamous. And in some cultures, none are. Women who belong to tightly-knit, interdependent tribal groups often have sex with many men, often outside their marriages or partnerships. In these places the entire tribe raises children so paternity is unimportant and women’s sexuality is not guarded. These sex-positive cultures produce women who are highly orgasmic and who greatly enjoy sex.

But when these societies are destroyed (as with the Cherokee and Iroquois) immersion into a sex-negative culture (for women) can quickly turn their sexuality around.

Today in the U.S. a sexually interested and active woman may be called a slut, whore, ho’, tramp, skank, nympho, hussy, tart, loose, bitch, promiscuous, and perhaps most tellingly, freak or super freak.

Women leaving the frat house Sunday morning may be chided for taking the “Walk of Shame” as frat boys returning from the dorms stroll the Walk of Fame.

Slang for our privates? “Cock” versus “down there.” Put another way, cocky versus unspeakable.

And who gets screwed, f’d, banged, nailed and rammed?

Meanwhile, women are the sex objects in our culture, with busts and butts ogled in word, picture, and x-ray vision, offering men a trove of sexual stimulus. What do women have to look at? Not much.

But as sex objects, women may also become more focused on how they look in bed (whether good or bad) than enjoying anything erotic.

Add to this the sexual violence that so frequently ends in lost sexual interest.

All of this leaves women less responsive, with a University of Chicago study finding 43% of women experiencing dysfunction.

Any wonder men are more interested in random acts of sex, while women are more inclined toward emotional bonding? In the arms of someone she loves a woman may feel free from slut-shaming. She may focus on intimacy and not how fat or thin she is. She is freed from worry about being screwed. And if she has difficulty achieving orgasm, she can still revel in her man’s love-filled attentions.

On top of this, women are more often taught that “sex is okay if you love him.”

Of course, women have varieties of social experiences and personalities, so despite the culture, some will certainly be up for sex with anonymous others.

The longing for bonded sex emerges from sources other than the horrors listed above. And certainly, many men want loving, connected relations, too. Justin Garcia, an evolutionary biologist at Binghamton University, observes that, “Having deep relationship with someone can be really magical and people all over the world experience that… (it) can really change someone’s life.” But for all the reasons listed above, sex-for-fun may not be so fun for a lot of women, which can leave other options out.

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Virtually Attack Women, But No Nudity

A gamer creates an avatar resembling himself and plots to kill a three-dimensional, lifelike woman. The avatar grasps an axe and raises it to strike. He hears the thud as the axe slices her head. He hears her cry out in pain. He sees her split skull and feels the sensation of blood on his hands and face.

I’ve just paraphrased one part of Supreme Court Justice, Samuel Alito’s opinion on whether video games of this sort should be protected as free speech in sales to minors. Yes, he uncomfortably concludes.

In dissent, Justice Stephen Breyer wonders why Playboy is off-limits to thirteen-year-olds, yet interactive games that allow those same boys to actively, if virtually, bind, torture and kill a woman are perfectly fine – so long as she’s not topless.

Justice Antonin Scalia counters that violent scenes have long been part of the American tradition.

True enough. One Super Bowl Sunday America went ballistic over Janet Jackson’s exposed nipple. Justin Timberlake’s choreographed battering beforehand went unremarked. No nudity on the national networks, but Law & Order: Special Victims Unit weekly dwells on the rape, battering and torture of sex victims.

Developmental psychologist James Prescott looks to America’s preference for sexual violence over sexual pleasure with wonder. “Apparently, sex with pleasure is immoral and unacceptable, but sex with violence and pain is moral and acceptable,” he reflects.

But why?

New York Times columnist, Timothy Egan sees prudery at base. “Ultimately, the back-and-forth by the high court reinforced the notion of a nation that will always be a little skittish about sex, while viewing violence as American as apple pie,” he writes.

Naomi Wolfe’s The Beauty Myth adds insight. In the 1960s pornography portrayed beautiful women playfully and joyfully enjoying sex. By the 70s this sort of imagery suggestively seeped into popular culture.

As Wolf described it, mainstream beauty pornography looked like this:

The woman lies prone, pressing down her pelvis. Her back arches, her mouth is open, her eyes shut, her nipples erect. The state of arousal, the plateau phase just preceding orgasm… for Triton showers, a naked woman, back arched, flings her arms upward… for Opium perfume, a naked woman, back and buttocks bare, falls face down from the edge of the bed… The reader understands that she will have to look like that if she wants to feel like that.

But later, something shifted as beauty pornography was replaced by a glorification of violence against women. Again Wolf highlights the imagery in advertisements, which sound very much like those we see today:

In an ad for Obsession perfume a well-muscled man drapes the naked, lifeless body of a woman over his shoulder… In an ad for Hermès perfume, a blonde woman trussed in black leather is hanging upside down, screaming, her wrists looped in chains, mouth bound.

By the 80s violent sexual imagery centering on abused females had surged. Film titles like Dressed to Kill, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! and 9½ Weeks filled movie theaters while female corpses, in sexy bras and panties, piled up in thrillers. By ‘89 The New York Times was discussing sadomasochism in kids’ comics.

Why the shift? Wolf maintains that sexual imagery follows politics. As women gained power as a result of the feminist movement, male anger and female guilt about taking power created a backlash. Something “needed” to be done, like socialize and eroticize male dominance.

On the one hand, depictions of women’s freely given and enjoyed sexuality was restrained. On the other, men were reassured that women weren’t so powerful. And everyone got the message that women were most attractive when they were dominated and powerless.

Wolf points out that court rulings have enforced these values from the top-down. Women taking pleasure in sex has been named obscene, while sexualized violence against them has not – so long as they are clothed.

Wolf makes an interesting argument.

Oddly, even as more and more women and men today have taken on values that support women’s equality, this way of seeing has become such a taken-for-granted part of American life that it has come to seem natural and normal to most of us, including many feminists.

Something to think about.

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Women Want Good Sex, Men Want Cuddling

What makes happy long-term relationships?

Everyone’s happier when touching, kissing, hugging, and sex fill our lives. Surprisingly, hugging and kissing are more important to men’s happiness. Men who snuggled were three times happier than non-snuggling husbands. So much for the stereotype that men don’t cuddle.

Psychologist, Aline Zoldbrod, talks of the importance of touch.

Touch from a person you love and trust is a major emotional resource and a way that people can regulate their emotions when they are upset. Couples who use touch to comfort, to compliment, and yes, to seduce and arouse, are bound to be happier.

Surprisingly, cuddling has less impact on women’s contentment, perhaps because culturally, women have a greater range of emotional outlets than men.

Instead, sexual satisfaction had a bigger impact on women’s happiness, and typically, the sex got better the longer a couple stayed together. Yet, as TIME put it, “a man’s happiness rose 17% with each additional point he rated the importance of his partner’s orgasm.” Caring husband, happy wife? Happy wife, happy husband?

Why would sex so often get better for women over time? Women often talk of the importance of love and connection to sexual enjoyment. With time, the couple can become deeply bonded. But they can also become more skilled. Safety and relaxation are important to a woman’s orgasm and long-term relationships can enhance both. Finally, over time the messages of a sex-negative culture for women can slip away in the security of marriage, where all agree that sex is virtuous.

Co-author and clinical sexologist, Michael Sand, said the study is important in showing that long-term relationships can be filled with “healthy, vibrant sexuality.”

In another reversal of stereotype, men were happier, overall, in their relationships
than women. Maybe it’s not so surprising. In modern marriages, men still have more
power and more say. Women are more likely to nurture and care for their spouses.

But both men and women felt greater relationship satisfaction the longer they stayed together. Are happier couples simply more likely to stay together? Or do the deep bonds that form over long-term relationships create the contentment? Perhaps it’s a bit of both.

Interesting, all. And hopeful.

These findings are based on a survey from the Kinsey Institute of 1,009 heterosexual couples from five countries who were middle-aged or older, and in long-term relationships.

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Keep Your Boobs, Get Better Guys

boobsIf I had I been more spiritually evolved, or more grounded at 22 when I got breast implants, I never would have gotten them. Yes I got lots of attention, sexual attention. And for awhile I enjoyed it. But as the saying goes, be careful what you wish for. It became apparent that the attention I received was not from quality people… Why did I mutilate my body to appease the tastes of SOME men? We were all duped by the media, the medical profession, our low self esteem. I am now ready to have these D cups removed.

That’s a comment a woman placed on a web site called “48 Reasons Not To Get A Boob Job.” The response followed the male author’s contention that:

If you want more male attention, implants may increase the quantity but only with a corresponding decrease in quality. You’ll probably get your biggest gains in approval among guys who are most prone to objectifying you.

Whether you see all this as good or bad depends on what you’re after. If you want all eyes on you, or random sex, fake boobs could do the trick.

So I’ll address this to those who want something else. Quality men for quality relationships.

Fake boobs seem to create an image of “sex object.” Consider this experience:

A woman asked me about implants last week and I told her about the risks. But I told her the things people don’t talk about, like not being able to buy every little cute top, how no one looks you in the eyes, how people think of you as a bimbo.

Sex may not be so fun, either. Men don’t see objects as having feelings, and feel little empathy in return. Women exist to fill their needs, as far as they’re concerned. In Pornified Pamela Paul talks of objectified sex lives as all about bodies and positions, and not about intimacy.

But the culture worships its fetish, leaving a young woman asking girlsaskguys.com the following question.

Are big boobs important to guys? Because as you can see from the photo, I have really small breasts and I have really low self-esteem because of it. Do guys only think a girl is hot by the size of her bra cuz if that’s true I am in big trouble.

Here’s what some guys thought about guys who judge women by bust size:

  • If someone would not date you based solely upon the size of your breasts they would not be worth jack squat anyway.
  • If any guy judges you differently because of your breast size, he doesn’t deserve you!
  • I like girls more for how the face looks. Nice eyes, lips, smile, hair, eyelashes… Any guy getting with someone just because they have a nice rack doesn’t seem like it could be a stable relationship.
  • Don’t worry about your boobs, period. We love you for who you are.

These are some higher quality men.

There’s only a two-inch difference between an A-cup and a C-cup. Or between a B-cup and a D-cup. Two inches! That is the measure by which a woman judges herself? Or the measure by which a man judges a woman? Please! Be glad to lose those guys!

Do you really want to be wanted for your boobs and not for you? Are these types of
men even worth bothering with?

And here’s some good advice:

I’m not busty, nor am I gorgeous, but when I was single, I had NO TROUBLE attracting plenty of great men. I have some hints for women who are interested in attracting men — they have NOTHING to do with your boobs!…. #3 Carry yourself well! Stand tall… #5 — Don’t apologize for your body…. If the man you’re with constantly makes you feel insecure, you don’t need a boob job – you need a new man!

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Why Hasn’t Open Marriage Caught On?

Open marriage, the sensible alternative to monogamy? With several high-profile men caught in sex scandal, the notion is being pondered.

On the plus side, a couple may enjoy a close-knit family and loving spousal relationship,
but with an exciting dash of sexual variety.

In a recent New York Times piece sex columnist, Dan Savage, acknowledges there are advantages to monogamy: sexual safety from infections, emotional safety, paternity
assurances. Still, he thinks monogamy brings boredom, despair, lack of variety,  sexual death and being taken for granted. Plus, society imposes monogamy on  men, who were never expected to be monogamous, he complains.

Men. And what about women?

The ground rules for sex with others run along the lines of “sex for fun without emotional involvement.” But for many, if not most women, the only good sex is emotionally connected. So it can be hard for men to find enough partners to enjoy just-for-fun romps.

New York University sociologist, Judith Stacey, says it’s easier for men to separate physical and emotional intimacy. Lesbians and straight women tend to be far less comfortable with nonmonogamy.

And therein lies the rub.

Asked if his view is male-centric, Savage admits it is. So open relationships may work best in partnerships between men. Luckily, Dan Savage is gay.

I suspect women’s widespread desire for emotional connection is more cultural than biological, and I’ll discuss why in a later post. Either way, that’s most women’s reality. While some want more sexual variety than their spouses, more often it’s the other way
around.

But even when everyone’s open to opening marriage, jealousy can be a killer. Kate Spicer of the London Times researched the nonmonogamous community and said that everyone she spoke with had experienced fierce jealousy.

And likely for good reason. Sex so often leads to deep emotion that partners may be lost as a consequence of the intense involvement.

As one woman put it:

To be honest, neither of us was emotionally prepared for the realities of an open relationship. The first time I found myself not having sex with another man, but making love to him, I cried. I rang my husband to say I could never see this man again. Open relationships can be messy and exhausting.

Her husband eventually left her for a woman who would not tolerate nonmonogamy.

Psychiatrist, Judith Lipton, who co-authored The Myth of Monogamy: Fidelity and
Infidelity in Animals and People
, says that monogamous lifestyles go against “some of the deepest-seated evolutionary inclinations with which biology has endowed most creatures, Homo sapiens included.”

Yet Lipton doesn’t think open marriage is the best answer for most. “Who can tolerate it?” she asks, “I have not met many people who can.”

Besides, animals have it easier. They lack the human capacity for jealousy or the deep emotional bonding that humans so often crave in relationship.

And is monogamy really so bad? Among the college-educated divorce and infidelity are both down. While the trend is turned around among the working class stress, and not sexual boredom, seems to be the culprit.

Meanwhile, married men are healthier and happier than their single brethren who are free to gain as much sexual variety as they can muster. Men are also quicker than women
to remarry after death or divorce.

In a world where so many of us seek soul mates to fill us with passion, joy, intimacy, transformation, and oneness, the dalliances of open marriage can seem both distracting and lacking.

Open marriage may work for some couples when they are lucky enough to find suitable others. But in a world of imperfect options, most of us seem to find monogamy the happier choice.

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Have Abortion Rights Led to a World of Missing Women?

A woman’s right to safe, legal abortion has created a world of missing women, according to the most recent anti-choice talking points.

A new book by Mara Hvistendahl, Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls and the Consequences of a World Full of Men reports that in the natural scheme of things, 105 boys are born for every 100 girls. But those numbers are skewed in many countries: In India 112 boys are born per 100 girls, in China 121, in Azerbaijan 115, in Georgia 118 and in Armenia 120.

Hvistendahl does not blame the right to chose. But others do. Conservative New York Times columnist Ross Douthat and Jonathan Last of the Weekly Standard (writing a book review for the Wall Street Journal) look at this study and blame abortion rights. Feminists cannot be consistent advocating the right to choose while criticizing sex-selective abortion at the same time, they say. In their view, abortion must be restricted in order to save the world’s girls and women and regain the natural sex ratio.

But the right to choose is not the problem. The core culprit lies in valuing male children over female. When girls are esteemed as much as boys, parents will no longer seek to have sons and not daughters.

Douthat wrongly claims that patriarchy isn’t the core problem. He sees women’s empowerment as leading to more sex selection, not less, with many women using their increased autonomy to choose sons. Somehow he fails to see that patriarchy lies behind the phenomenon. Strange, since his next sentence admits that sex selection occurs “because male offspring bring higher social status.”

Unfortunately, patriarchy becomes embedded in women’s and men’s minds alike. If males are more valued in a society, women unconsciously pick that up at a young age. Or they may ask their parents, who are likely to reinforce the status quo. Is it any surprise, then, that so many women choose sons over daughters, hoping to increase their own worth?

Meanwhile, the proposed remedy of abortion restriction would only devalue women further.

Another recent New York Times article introduces us to Danielle Deaver of Nebraska, a state which restricts abortion after 20 weeks. She was devastated when her water broke at 22 weeks, leaving her fetus little chance of survival. She risked serious infection without induced labor, but that wasn’t allowed under the new law. She had to wait another 10 stressful days until she went into natural labor. The baby only survived 15 minutes, while Deaver developed an infection. Angered, she said, “This should have been a private decision, made between me, my husband and my doctor.”

Last year, there was another even more horrifying instance of how restrictive, moralistic abortion policies impact women’s lives. In this case, a Polish woman named Edyta died because doctors felt that treating her colon condition could lead to miscarriage or force an abortion. As writer Brittany Shoot explained,

Poland is one of several countries (along with Italy, Hungary and Croatia) in which doctors, not unlike pharmacists in the U.S., can refuse to treat someone on moral grounds.

Do these restrictions really value women? Or do we become disposable nothings whose bodies, hearts and minds don’t really matter?

Despite what Douthat and Last say, feminists are consistent in being pro-choice while criticizing sex-selective abortion. We must get at the root of the world’s missing women–the devaluation of women–and not try to remedy it with a “cure” that exacerbates the core problem.

I originally wrote this piece for the Ms. Magazine Blog. It appeared June 29, 2011

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