I have been informed by several parties that it's time for me to blog. My brother asked if the reason I've been absent is because of all the hubbub and vitriol about my "Choosing Us" essay (Hubbub and Vitriol should be the name of a band).
The answer is no. I firmly believe that if I'm not pissing people off, I'm not doing my job--and this essay has sure as hell pissed people off. To date half a dozen conservative blogs have picked it up and had posts about what a selfish, unChristian, unwomanly, soon-to-be-rotting-in-hell crackpot I am.
The selfish, unChristian, and unwomanly parts I agree with, by the way.
Hundreds of people have commented and said nasty things that don't bear repeating here. But rest assured, I am gathering this data. I'm collecting it all for some sort of writing project down the road. Here are some patterns I've noticed already:
- They are obsessed with "Walter." They often call him "Walter," with his name in scare quotes, as if I made him up. Obviously he's either a figment of my twisted feminist imagination (in which case it was an immaculate conception, which makes the abortion oh-so-much worse), or he's some fully emasculated little feminist girly-man that I've created.
- They seem very disturbed by the fact that the act that led to the conception was "a hushed fling on the bathroom floor." They quote that in their comments and their emails to me. I'm not sure what bothers them about this--the fact that a married couple has fun, secretive sex? The fact that it wasn't missionary-style, in a bed? The fact that I'm talking about sex at all?
- They can't abide my selfishness. They call me selfish--this is the term that comes up most often--as if it's inherently obvious why this is bad. More than bad--it's an insult. I'm supposed to feel chastised because they've called me selfish. But of course I'm selfish! Contraception and abortion and having children are all selfish decisions--they are decisions we made and make because they affect the quality of our own lives, and the directions we want our lives to take. Getting an education is a selfish decision, driving a car--selfish, trying to pay as little tax as possible--selfish, having a blog in which we share all our inner thoughts--most assuredly selfish.