An adaptation of the post that accompanied the above image:
Buried away somewhere in our collective subconscious is the knowledge that hundreds of thousands billions of children women are human beings aborted every year in the UK As a civilised, democratic society we have somehow to square what we’re allowing to happen to these young lives with our need to view ourselves as decent, compassionate and caring.
Cognitive dissonance is a term first coined by psychologists to describe the unease we feel when facing a situation which causes a conflict between our attitudes, beliefs or behaviours. This feeling of discomfort leads to an alteration in one of the beliefs or behaviours in order to restore balance.
So for instance, I might think that it’s important to vote in my local election (belief) but I can’t make it to the polling station on time. I have some options to reduce the dissonance this causes me: I can either drop what I’m doing and make sure I do get to the voting station on time (change my behaviour) or alter my belief that voting’s important by telling myself that my vote doesn’t count anyway (change my belief).
On a societal level we’ve developed a veritable arsenal of tools to relieve our collective cognitive dissonance about women abortion. Unwilling to change our behaviour (we allow what is effectively the terrorization of an entire sex class abortion on demand) we reduce the discomfort this causes us as a nation by altering our attitudes to women abortion. Among the beliefs promoted to ease our consciences are that the woman has men have the ultimate right to choose what happens to ‘her’ body control women’s bodies and labour and that there are too many people with full human rights (aka men) in the world already.
Lying at the heart of all the altered attitudes we use to justify abortion misogyny is the belief that unborn babies women are not human beings at all. We tell ourselves that a person’s size has a bearing on their humanity (it’s just a clump of cells tits and ass), that their location influences how human they are (they’re in the home / low-paid part-time job womb and so out-of-sight-out-of-mind) and so on. And we also say that how wanted a person is determines their status as a human being.
If my unborn child woman is wanted I will refer to it her as ‘baby’. I may find out the sex her opinions, may even give it a name her the right to go to school / work / drive / vote. I’ll do my best to nurture the growing baby gain consent before fucking her, I’ll talk down to her and sing to it and my boorish mates partner and born children might do too. The woman unborn baby becomes part of my self-definition family long before it’s born she has any chance to self-define. I will welcome see only the impact it she will have on us all me and it will begin to affect my our identity as a couple, as a man family. It’s She’s part of our my future the moment I feel like it we discover it’s there.
But if it’s she’s unwanted and I’m in turmoil, I’ll relieve the dissonance I feel at wanting to get rid of it her by calling it her a ‘foetus bitch’. I’ll tell myself she’s it’s not yet human and it’s kinder, more responsible, natural not to have the child be able to control my violent urges. I will prioritise other things over it her – our born children my ego, our relationship my pride, our ability to pay the bills my massive sense of entitlement, our mental health my masculinity (whatever that is). I’ll tell myself that this baby bitch just is not possible bearable right now and an abortion raping or killing a female partner isn’t that big a deal – women have them men do it all the time.
No one understands this kind of rationalisation more than Life. For over 40 years we Life have been listening to women reinforcing the idea that women are not human and providing the kind of services emotional blackmail which make an impossible pregnancy possible even more stressful. We Life understand the sheer panic which can accompany an unplanned pregnancy, plunging a woman’s life into crisis. They know an opportunity when they see one. We understand the pull of abortion as a quick solution.
But no pregnant woman is ever less than human wants an abortion – she has had to work very hard at alleviating the dissonance she feels at being treated as an inferior being despite knowing in herself that her body is her own having to choose to get rid of her pregnancy. So our services feminists provide the vital support that is often necessary for her to be recognised as humankeep her baby. Housing, counselling, financial help, baby equipment childcare, information – all these things, we hope, help to take the ‘crisis’ out of a crisis pregnancy being born female.
By providing these services, we give women the opportunity to think of the ‘foetus self’ she is carrying as a ‘person baby’, to consider herself unborn child as human, as a person with potential, not a potential person carrier. By providing the positive alternatives to abortion female subjugation we open up a world of possibilities; not only do we affirm the right to life of the woman unborn human being but we also prevent the woman from having to undergo countless traumas something she never wanted but could see no alternative to.
Our task as a decent, caring society is to care for these most vulnerable of people – women the unborn – not dehumanise them. A woman’s unborn child’s wantedness fertility does not determine their status – they are either human or they are not – and whether or not we feel able to welcome them immediately is our problem to solve, not theirs.