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Pregnant women are vessels...

 
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ephemeral
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 11:39 pm    Post subject: Pregnant women are vessels... Reply with quote

... and need to be treated like children.

(Actually, I don't believe that even children should be treated like this). Anyway, here's the link and obligatory quote:

Punishment For Pregnant Women

Quote:
In Arkansas' recent special spring session, Hot Springs Rep. Bob Mathis followed up his successful proposal to make it illegal for someone to smoke in a car with children with a proposal to ban pregnant women from smoking. For those who subscribe to the view that pregnant women are vessels, treating them like cars makes perfect sense.

No one disputes that smoking, drinking and using drugs raise serious health issues for everyone, including pregnant women and their future children. Addressing these health matters, however, through punitive prohibition measures does not work to protect the health of women or the babies they're carrying. Rather, focusing on pregnant women as dangerous people who require special control or punishment inevitably undermines maternal and fetal health. Such measures divert attention from pregnant women's lack of access to health services, and deters them from seeking what little help is available.
...
Meanwhile, a county in Alabama is also pursuing public policies that punish pregnant women for their otherwise legal behaviors. Late last month in Franklin County, a woman was arrested and charged with child torture for giving birth to a baby that tested positive for methamphetamine. Never mind that Alabama's legislature has not made it a crime to continue a pregnancy to term in spite of a drug problem or that more than 90 medical researchers warn not to rush to judgment about the potential harms of prenatal exposure to methamphetamine. And just ignore the fact that access to appropriate family drug treatment for pregnant and parenting women is virtually non-existent in this country.

Again, drug use and pregnancy are serious public health issues. But reinterpreting pregnancy as a form of torture and pregnant women as torturers won't help. Drug treatment, access to health care and family support will. It is highly unlikely, however that these services will be provided if the pregnant women and new mothers who need those services are stigmatized as child torturers.

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morningstar
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

they are getting more desperate in their war against women. happily, with the y chromosome steadily losing genetic material with each generation, in 10,000 years it is thought that men will no longer be fertile.

scientists have been able to combine the genetic material from 2 eggs to grow a perfectly normal baby something. it would seem that the x chromosome is stronger than ever.
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The Evil Twin
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
happily, with the y chromosome steadily losing genetic material with each generation, in 10,000 years it is thought that men will no longer be fertile.


Shocked Do you have a link for this? Don't get me wrong, I'm not doubting you, it's just I've never heard this before.* I'd like to read more about it.

* I have heard that male sperm counts are dropping in industrialized countries (mostly due to pollution and stress), but not about the y chromosome losing genetic material. Is this limited to industrialized nations, or is it a worldwide phenomenon?
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i was just reading 'are men necessary' by maurreen dowd
she references this stuff nicely

sorry, i've returned the book

i often can't link anything because it is book stuff or my own obscure notes.
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was a study that showed that the Y-chormosome was losing about 5 genes every million years. However, according to a research team from the MIT the Y-chromosome is in fact able to repair itself, so it'll likely be with us for a while.

Quote:
The human male sex chromosome does have the ability to repair itself and may not be headed for extinction as had previously been thought, according to a surprising new study.

A 40-strong team of researchers led by Dr David Page of the Whitehead Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, report their findings in this week's issue of the journal Nature.

As well as having a previously unknown and elaborate back-up system for self-repair, the Y chromosome also carries 78 genes, almost double the previously known tally, the reseachers report.

... Both the male Y and female X chromosomes are thought to have originally been the same size, but after the Y took on the sex-determining role for maleness it apparently began to lose genes. At this time it also lost the ability to pair up exactly with its partner and to swap faulty genes for good ones, as the other 22 pairs of non-sex chromosomes do.

Earlier studies had suggested that the Y chromosome carried only a few dozen genes, compared with more than 1,000 known on the X chromosome.

A team of Australian researchers led by Dr Jenny Graves, of the Research School of Biological Sciences at the Australian National University in Canberra previously found that the Y chromosome had been losing five genes per million years. Dr Graves had thus predicted that the chromosome might be heading for extinction within five to 10 million years.


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ShyViolet
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

morningstar wrote:
they are getting more desperate in their war against women. happily, with the y chromosome steadily losing genetic material with each generation, in 10,000 years it is thought that men will no longer be fertile.

scientists have been able to combine the genetic material from 2 eggs to grow a perfectly normal baby something. it would seem that the x chromosome is stronger than ever.


Do you have a link about making a healthy baby from 2 eggs? B/c last I heard, they tried that with mice and the babies died. I also wonder how they'd overcome the imprintation on the eggs. The mother and father's respective genetic contributions are marked as to which parent they came from, and this plays a role in disorders such as Angelman Syndrome and Prader-Willi Syndrome. Both of this disorders are caused by the same missing chunk of chromosome (I forget which specific chromosome), but if the mom's contribution is the one missing the critical part, then the child will have Angelman, and if the father's has a chromosome with that section missing, then the child has Prader-Willi. So, it does make a difference whether or not the genes came from a male or a female. That's why I'm not so sure the 2 eggs thing would work.

If it really is true that the Y-chromosome will someday be gone or men will be infertile, then I think that's quite unfortunate. In fact, I don't think that's wonderful news at all.

Quote:
Quote:
happily, with the y chromosome steadily losing genetic material with each generation, in 10,000 years it is thought that men will no longer be fertile.


Shocked Do you have a link for this? Don't get me wrong, I'm not doubting you, it's just I've never heard this before.* I'd like to read more about it.


Adam's Curse by Bryan Sykes is a pretty good book on this topic.
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DSquared
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ShyViolet wrote:
If it really is true that the Y-chromosome will someday be gone or men will be infertile, then I think that's quite unfortunate. In fact, I don't think that's wonderful news at all.


Drift: This isn't something I'd be worried about. Our species has persisted for a long time, and given that, I'd suspet there are several naturally built-in mechanisms to keep us from becoming extinct because the Y-chromosome disintegrated. We haven't been studying this for that long, so there's problably a large amount of things going on we don't know about.
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, with losing five genes every million years, even without any kind of self-repair, with 78 genes it would take 15+ million years for the Y-chromosome to completely wither away.

So there are likely other things we should be worrying about more. Wink

ETA: Back to the thread title. The idea that pregnant women can be legally liable for behaviour that may or may not endanger the fetus is highly questionable, to say the least. Legally, this strikes me as yet another example of trying to define a fetus as a separate human being, so I always suspect an anti-abortion motive behind this kind of initiative.
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The Evil Twin
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
So there are likely other things we should be worrying about more.


For starters, (if it will take that long for the y chromosome to disappear) we could work towards ensuring that life (male or female) on this planet still exists in 15 million years. Judging by current events (political, social or environmental), I'm not confident we'll last even 100 years. Sad

Nevertheless, it is an interesting topic.

As for the original post, I think the chances are good that the same type of assholes who oppose abortion, cut social programs and close drug rehab centres are the same idiots who would charge a woman for "torturing" her fetus with meth.
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ephemeral
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

morningstar wrote:
they are getting more desperate in their war against women.


Yes, isn't it ridiculously scary? They want to get rid of birth control, they want to get rid of sex education, and they want to ban abortion. Such policies will only lead to a greater number of pregnancies and births, and some of those women who end up pregnant will be addicted to various drugs and alcohol. (Men too - I read somewhere that there is a plausible link between fetal alcohol syndrome and sperm from men who drink too much). Making it illegal for women to smoke or consume other substances the day they find out they are pregnant is only going to discourage these women from seeking help.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
a county in Alabama is also pursuing public policies that punish pregnant women for their otherwise legal behaviors.


I don't remember the exact quote, but when The Handmaid's Tale was published, Atwood said that there is nothing in her novel that isn't happening in some form in the world at the present moment.
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ickydicky
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ShyViolet wrote:
If it really is true that the Y-chromosome will someday be gone or men will be infertile, then I think that's quite unfortunate. In fact, I don't think that's wonderful news at all.
What about if they lost the genetic chunk that makes them act violently? I don't know if that bit is only carried by the male, though but if it was gone, that wouldn't be a bad thing.
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Simon Valle
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ickydicky wrote:
ShyViolet wrote:
If it really is true that the Y-chromosome will someday be gone or men will be infertile, then I think that's quite unfortunate. In fact, I don't think that's wonderful news at all.
What about if they lost the genetic chunk that makes them act violently? I don't know if that bit is only carried by the male, though but if it was gone, that wouldn't be a bad thing.


Yes, cause we all know that women are innately unable to be violent... Frankly, how would you react if someone here was saying he hoped the genes that made women hysteric would vanish? He'd probably be liable to be banned in the next few minutes, so why do you tolerate such disparaging comments about men?
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can I recommend laying off the generalisations? Male violence has been a bit of a hot topic here for the last few days and I'd suggest that if we want to talk about it, a serious thread would be a good idea, rather than comments in various places ... and that serious thread should also preclude personal attacks.
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Senor Magoo
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Can I recommend laying off the generalisations?


Aw c'mon... everybody generalizes.
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Magoo, I've told you a million times not to exaggerate.

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morningstar
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

just like misogyny, male violence is a pervasive problem that is imbedded in virtually every culture in the world. it is imbedded in human history and effects almost every aspect of human life on the planet.

if women were going to have even a shred of the problem with violence that men have, i would suggest that our human history would be quite different looking. something tells me that it would have surfaced as a global issue in a big way in 10,000 years.

i think that when male violence and misogyny rear their pesky little heads in a variety of threads dealing with social justice, feminism, etc., it is only a testament to the fact that they are such intractable human problems.
people who get all sensitive when these topics run as a subtext to so much discussion should study herstory much more thoroughly.

i don't think that it is honest or healthy to attempt to corral these difficult topics into one place as if they were sideissues. they are the essence of much of the misery in the world and need to be included everywhere.

generalizing is the only way to intelligently discuss broad issues with few words. otherwise you can't have overview, trends, history. you can nitpick details forever without ever really being truthful.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, I certainly agree about the pervasiveness and destructiveness of violent males (note how reversing the words makes a difference?). I'm just getting a bit frustrated at seeing thread after thread derailed. Okay, that's maybe a slight exaggeration, but it's been a bit tiresome!
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Simon Valle
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is no such thing as male violence, violence is violence, whether the perpetrator is male, female or other. As the more physically strong gender, men have emerged as the dominant wielder of physical violence, the kind of violence that is the most direct and evident, women tending towards more subtle psychological violence. This doesn't mean that physical violence is "male violence" or that psychological violence is "female violence", violence has no gender, or worse, that women committing physical violence are merely "tainted" by "male violence".
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Simon Valle wrote:
There is no such thing as male violence, violence is violence, whether the perpetrator is male, female or other. As the more physically strong gender, men have emerged as the dominant wielder of physical violence, the kind of violence that is the most direct and evident, women tending towards more subtle psychological violence.

fwiw, I've seen substantially more "subtle psychological violence" come from men than from women.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could we please try and stay on topic? This is the feminism forum after all. /mod hat off
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I don't remember the exact quote, but when The Handmaid's Tale was published, Atwood said that there is nothing in her novel that isn't happening in some form in the world at the present moment.


Yes, actually, going on for over a century is the practice of infant adoption to strangers when a woman is pregnant and without resources (whether internal or external) to raise a child. This practice developed in order to punish sexually active unmarried women (I can get a quote on this from a social workers textbook but don't have it at my fingertips.) Here is a link to an article about the grief experienced by many mothers after losing a child to adoption: Here is article on that subject by a women who has studied adoption grief for many years.

Before we get into whether adoption is good or bad (and I do hold a position), what I'm talking about here is a society/government/families that withholds adequate support for those facing untimely pregnancy (who either didn't have access to abortion, didn't realize they were pregnant early enough or couldn't choose abortion). Yes, unmarried women are vessels for the provision of babies to the more well-off in our society and world -- check out this link from the UN covers this matter and this one that looks at international adoption specifically.

It's time we stopped the adoption industry ($1Billion U.S. per year) from creating a market for children. In New South Wales, feminists and women who had lost children to adoption got together to change legislation to stop the victimization of poor pregnant women -- they lobbied for and got proper supports for pregnant women, changed the rules on adoptions by strangers and generally stopped the industry that had grown up around adoption from interfering in a crucial decision in many young women's lives.

These kind of moves, as referenced in the opening post, are all about creating the climate in which babies can be grabbed from their mothers and other family members on flimsy pretexts and then sold to the highest bidder (oops, I mean processed through an adoption agency).
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for those fantastic links Loretta. It's a much needed perspective that we rarely hear about.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After years of scaremongering, a British study says that a) a small amount drinking during pregnancy appears to do no harm and interestingly b) children of mothers who drank small amounts scored higher on cognitive tests and behaved better, than children whose mothers drank no alcohol.

I doubt that drinking during pregnancy is all that great, but maybe some of the hysteria around it may abate with this news. I have seen super-crazy excessiveness around this issue, from completely over-the-top patriarchal signs in bar and restaurant washrooms, to having female friends with slight pot bellies (in one case with a hernia) being told outright that the fact they had a beer or glass of wine in their hand was hurting their baby, and how dare they?

Quote:
... In fact, the study, which appears in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, found that children born to light drinkers were 30 per cent less likely to have behavioural problems than children whose mothers did not drink during pregnancy.

As well, the study found that children of parents who were light drinkers achieved higher cognitive scores than those whose mothers had abstained from alcohol while pregnant.

The researchers used data from a study that tracked the health of more than 11,000 children in the U.K. born between September 2000 and January 2002. Mothers were asked questions about their children's behavioural and intellectual development at age three. They were subsequently assessed at the age of five.

... Mothers who consumed one or two drinks a week were considered light drinkers. Heavy drinkers were those who consumed seven or more drinks a week or six at one sitting.

... Not everyone agrees with the report's findings. As a specialist in keeping babies safe from the effects of drugs even before they are born, Dr. Gideon Koren of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto takes issue with the suggestion that there's a safe amount of alcohol that pregnant women can consume.



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's bear in mind that this is just one study. Other studies have reached opposite conclusions. Clearly more research is required.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It doesn't take away from the fact that women, whether pregnant or not, are subjected to paternalistic advice on how they should behave.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sparqui wrote:
It doesn't take away from the fact that women, whether pregnant or not, are subjected to paternalistic advice on how they should behave.

True. I didn't mean to deny that.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It doesn't take away from the fact that women, whether pregnant or not, are subjected to paternalistic advice on how they should behave.


But it takes a whole village to raise a child!
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I definitely do not believe that anyone has the right to dictate to me what I should or should not be doing. However, while working at a liquor store you do run into some situations that make you cringe. One young woman was pregnant, buying Southern Comfort, and telling me that she named her previous daughter "Comfortable" because that was what she was drinking then too. FAS is on the rise. I find it quite depressing to see so many of these cases have multiple children, ending up in the welfare system with no hope because their little brains have been fried while in the womb. And YES, the drunken partner who got her pregnant is also responsible. If you are planning to bring your child to full term, should you not be responsible to ensure it has a healthy start? If you have no desire to be healthy, or can't because of addiction, abortion should be the other option. I find it quite selfish to continue with a pregnancy, yet continue destructive behavior for the baby. I am sure that there are all kinds of implications and reasons why this could not be done, but I can see why people suggest various things to protect the fetus. I am excluding the pro-lifers who talk about the sanctity of life then couldn't give a shit less once that baby is born.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
And YES, the drunken partner who got her pregnant is also responsible.


Do you mean he shares responsibility for the pregnancy itself?

Or he shares responsibility for what Mom puts in her body for the next nine months?
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think if he wants to drink and screw around - he should be using a condom, go on the pill for men, get a vasectomy.... Be responsible for the offspring he produces as well. He should not be dictating to her how she should behave. And as for her part - same thing - if you don't want to, or can't live a healthy lifestyle - go on the pill, use condoms, get an iud....
I understand that poverty and lack of education plays a major part in this. Oh, and the Catholic church. That is why its so damn depressing to see all the funding slashed for women and childrens groups. The religious zealots and their anti-abortion campaigns I'm sure are a factor. Maybe more would choose an abortion if there weren't pressured with big doses of guilt to have the baby.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's not mistake correlation for causation. For example, parents who are capable of light drinking probably have other behaviors as well as genetics which will be found responsible for 'positive differences' in cognitive behavior.
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