Episode 2.15

24Jun12

Beth, Jen and Tracie discuss "Vagina", anti-choice bloggers and more.

  • Tony

    Hi bitches!

    I’m not the kind of person who seeks out confrontation, but there’s something in this podcast you guys talk about in length where, in my point of view, you seem to glance over a very simple fact. (To be honest, I’m less than halfway into the show , so, sorry in advance if you do bring it up later on.)

    There’s this point brought up by pro-lifers fabricating a situation; What if a pregnant woman strands on a deserted island and gives birth to a child. The counter argument I don’t hear being made is that a pregnant woman on a deserted island does -not- have the choice to abort the pregnancy. (Unless she is willing to inflict heavy bodily harm to herself)

    Placing a pregnant woman on a deserted island is the -exact- same thing as taking her choice away.

    Basically what they were asking you is, “If we -force- you to have a child, would you abort it even if it puts your own life in danger?” And putting your own life in danger is exactly what you have to do when abortion is made illegal and you have no other option than to get one from a shady doctor up in his attic.

    It almost sounds like an unspoken threat of hell. “We forbid you to do it, but IF you do it, you’re going to suffer!”

    Jun 24, 2012 at 7:39 pm
  • edwin dunkerley

    firstly the woman silenced for using the word “vagina” needs to keep using it and maybe her fellow members would grow past their teenage mentality. second, kids who have not been vaccinated maybe did not live long enough to be exposed to very many diseases, and migraines are an inherited condition usually from their mothers. and lastly i’m all for educating people, if you can choose to have sex then you should be aware that you could become a parent weather or not you use protection. if your not ready to become a parent then you should avoid vaginal sex. If a woman is raped or if the fetus endangers the womans life then she should have the right to end it if they want.

    Jun 24, 2012 at 7:49 pm
  • microbiologychick

    Tony,

    I did not relate the hypothetical situation correctly. In the typical anti-choice scenario, the woman is a birthmother who goes on a trip in her 8th month and gets stuck. The baby is born and because she wanted to give it away anyway, she doesn’t use her breasts to feed it.

    Beth

    Jun 24, 2012 at 7:58 pm
  • Tony

    Beth, Hi And thanks for the response.

    The extra info you’ve given sheds a whole different light on the situation. If a woman is 8 months into her pregnancy, then that sounds like she made the choice to keep the baby.

    On the other hand, you get placed in this highly unlikely (though not impossible) situation where you get stranded with basically no way out.

    Whatever a woman decides to do in that situation, 8 months pregnant, no support, no (health)care, no certainty or even food.

    What-ever- she decides to do, I will not hold her accountable for her actions. The situation itself is so…. what’s the word?… unfathomable I will pardon her all the way. Even is she gives birth to the child and strangles it to death. That -still- might be more merciful than letting the child suffer a slow starving death.

    Jun 24, 2012 at 8:17 pm
  • Ian Lovell

    Tracie’s rants are so much more entertaining when she has a drink in her blood LOL

    Love you bitches, you’re awesome! keep it up!

    Jun 24, 2012 at 10:00 pm
  • Trewornan

    I just really doubt Jen’s theory that pro-lifers are significantly influenced by a concern over de-population. I respect Jen generally but that idea doesn’t pass the basic plausibility test (imho). I’ve never heard or read anything from any pro-lifer which would even tangentially suggest that thought had ever crossed what passes for their mind.

    Jun 24, 2012 at 10:39 pm
  • microbiologychick

    http://www.issuesforlife.com/Population/TheUnderpopulationProblem.htm

    http://www.clmagazine.org/article/index/id/OTE3OQ/

    http://www.massprolife.org/diary/704/forbes-low-birthrates-will-ruin-the-developed-world

    http://www.socon.ca/low-birth-rates-threatening-our-society/

    I have been researching the anti-choice movement for well over a decade. Depopulation, low fertility rates etc… are one of their major talking points, especially when they want to be “intellectual.”

    Beth

    Jun 24, 2012 at 11:16 pm
  • Melissa Rogers

    I move for a two hour fifteen minute podcast length standard with mandatory cumulative cabernet savignon. seconded?

    Jun 24, 2012 at 11:28 pm
  • ullrich fischer

    I don’t think the wristband or the “Hypersensitive Cunt” T-shirt is a good idea. It would just give the creeps an excuse to harass the people who are not wearing one of those.

    The best solution is to have a clear anti-harassment policy and well-marked (with unique T-shirts, for example) conference volunteers to which one could report violations. If everyone who violates the policy knows they’re going to get booted without a refund, (and reported to the cops if the violation is egregious enough) it would probably go a long way to clearing up the problem.

    BTW, what’s wrong with Howard Wolowitz? In all the episodes I saw him, he was perfectly ok with taking no for an answer. I don’t think we need a policy against being socially awkward. Sales to males would plummet!

    Jun 25, 2012 at 2:21 am
  • ullrich fischer

    Another great episode. Well done, bitches. :)

    Jun 25, 2012 at 2:29 am
  • Rilian

    So, I wet the bed till I was 13. It got less frequent in the last couple of years, the time between the last two times was almost a year. Then it just didn’t happen anymore. My dad says he wet the bed *every night* till he was 12. What’s up with that? If I and my dad had some disease, why would it stop on its own? Not that I really expect you to know.

    Jun 25, 2012 at 3:44 am
  • fenchurch

    I hope Tracie’s husband doesn’t overhear the one half of the conversation where she’s weighing whether she’ll rescue him or not, and starts to worry :-)

    Jun 25, 2012 at 4:22 pm
  • Learned_Hag

    Re: the Anti-Choicers worry about de-population… I think this is correct, but, only in the context of ‘us’ vs ‘them’ and a worry about being out-numbered.

    Love your show and I wish I could be as articulate as Tracie at any time… let alone when I’ve had a couple!

    - Learned_Hag (could be a bitch Elder or an elderly bitch;)

    Jun 25, 2012 at 5:54 pm
  • TonyInBatavia

    Absolutely loved this episode. Tracie, when you’re on, you’re really fricken on fire.

    And Melissa, I second your motion. All those in favor of two-hour-fifteen minute podcast episodes with mandatory cumulative Cabernet Savignon, say “aye.”

    Tony

    P.S. Stay away from the bracelets! I can’t go into detail, but let’s just say that I found out from the “Oh, No, Ross & Carrie!” podcast that the Raelians do the colored-bracelets-for-sex-status thingy.

    Jun 25, 2012 at 7:02 pm
  • Rilian

    No humans are needed for anything. No organism is needed for anything.

    Jun 26, 2012 at 12:28 am
  • SJ

    I really enjoy this podcast, but I’m really struggling to listen with the echoing. Please please please have everyone use headphones so their microphones won’t pickup the audio of other people speaking., and proper headsets would be even better because built-in laptop microphones sound pretty shitty.

    Also, I live somewhere with pretty ordinary internet access and it takes a really long time to download the GB podcasts. I had a look at the mp3 and they’re 128kbit/s mono which is about twice the bitrate one really needs for a podcast. You could halve that to 64kbit/s and I doubt many people would notice and that may potentially make your hosting costs cheaper, too.

    Technical quibbles aside, I really enjoy the podcast and will keep listening.

    Jun 26, 2012 at 4:11 am
  • eharvey

    Great podcast as usual. One question though; Beth mentioned at one point having an issue with TAM aside from the harrassment problem. It was mentioned off hand and had something to do with defending theism or something like that, I’m not sure exaclty what it was but I’d be interested to know what the criticism is as I haven’t heard a lot of negative things about TAM from the community.

    Jun 26, 2012 at 9:18 am
  • godlessbitches

    TAM and the JREF have a problem with strident atheism.

    Jun 26, 2012 at 5:33 pm
  • BV

    Atheist with couple VERY quick comments. 1. I slightly disagree with you guys on the vag. thing, I feel a man would have gotten the same reaction had he said something similar about his genitals. 2. The ONLY valid argument against vaccination is that some people have allergies to vaccine mediums. It sucks, but people should to get a proper allergy panel before taking FLU vaccines. 3. You guys make the BEST arguments for abortion rights. I find it funny, that people want to treat the unborn as born children. If this is the case, can’t women just file a restraining order against the baby; and when the order is repeatedly violated, does the child go to jail at birth? or charge the child with rape for entering parts of your body without permission?

    -great show guys!

    Jun 27, 2012 at 2:42 am
  • sharkjack

    Tracies idea reminded me of a party I’d been to which was called “slet of bezet” which translates to slut or occupied. In this party, everyone had the coice between two bracelets, labeled either slut or occupied. The great thing about this was that there was no negative connotation to the word slut. It just meant someone potentially interested (male or female). It worked great because people who just wanted to party with friends could be identified right away, but it didn’t devolve into a groping orgy for everyone else. You could try approaching them, get a conversation started or dance together. People going further than that without consent would not be tolerated and it went great.

    You have a slightly different version which I think would work when you’re under the assumption that people who harass others do it because they’re socially inept. However the whole point is that these people know exactly what they’re doing by manipulating step by step. The only use I see for it is that for the rest of the crowd, it is a clear signal that the other person is overstepping their bounds, lowering their inhibition to intervene.

    I’ve never gone to a meeting like this and I can’t really grasp the atmosphere there because of it, but as a fellow socially inept person, I would never assume someone would like to be hit on. I can’t read these signals accurately, so I don’t rely on them.

    To me the solution seems clear. Having a sexual harassment code is great, but the conferences and hosts must make clear that they won’t tolerate any harassment and take complaint seriously. If the environment is very clearly negative towards harassers instead of the harassed, then the conference would be so much better for it.

    If DJ had said that there were 20 complaints, about 10 persons and that they were documented and the harassers involved dealt with, (I’m just making up numbers here), that would have been fine. A stern warning to people that TAM won’t tolerate your harassment on top of that and it would have set the tone. Instead denying previous incidents gives people the idea that TAM wants to hide harassers, giving them the perfect cover. It also gives female attendees (and rightly so I’d say) the idea that they won’t be taken seriously.

    On a completely unrelated note, the fruitfly thing still bugs me. Fruitflies are studied so much because we know so much about them. They’re a model organism. Any deviation from the wildtype means a step away from that knowledge. They’re a crappy model at that, but we figured that out far too late. Anyway why would any scientist want to spend years of their life breeding these flies just to potentially see something they already know can happen. If you want to see the effects of evolution, just look at the difference between broccoli and colliflowers.

    On another completely unrelated note, I only knew the vagina monologues as a redub of yugioh abridged, in which just about every noun is replaced with the word vagina. I just imagined that being played in front of their capitol, which would have been hilarious.

    Jun 28, 2012 at 6:19 pm
  • Dave D

    Many anti-choice people think that something magical happens at conception and causes a person to be created, not just a clump of cells. This is clearly incorrect if you look at what happens at the cellular level, and especially if you consider issues like twins forming after conception. But, many pro-choice people seem to make the same mistake at the other end of a pregnancy, thinking that something magical happens at birth. There is nothing substantially different about a child a day before and a day after birth (is this correct, I don’t know of anything, but it seems obviously true since you can induce birth). Most of the arguments in this episode are about legal rights…but I’m concerned about what the laws should be, not what they currently are. I really think that pro-choice people hurt their position by insisting on drawing the line of when a pregnancy can be stopped at birth. (personally I would draw the line at when a fetus can feel pain, although I’m not sure when that is).

    I guess I just don’t buy the bodily rights idea. It makes me wonder if there’s been a case where one Siamese twin (with the same organs) kills the other…would that be ok? Sure, in most cases I don’t think a person should be forced to help someone else, but in many cases when someone else’s life is at stake, like donating blood when you’re the only one that can, I don’t have a problem with it. I could come up with cases on both sides of this, there’s another line here I’m not sure where to draw.

    Jun 28, 2012 at 9:10 pm
  • Muzz

    SJ: “Also, I live somewhere with pretty ordinary internet access and it takes a really long time to download the GB podcasts. I had a look at the mp3 and they’re 128kbit/s mono which is about twice the bitrate one really needs for a podcast. You could halve that to 64kbit/s and I doubt many people would notice and that may potentially make your hosting costs cheaper, too.”

    Unable to resist tech talk, 64bit might make the echo more noticeable and emphasise skype artifacts (and introduce its own). But a band pass filter somewhere in the range of 200-250hz to 10khz (or just a high pass above 250hz) can cut out a lot of useless information and reduce file size by a third to a half, depending on the source.

    (yeah, no one knows how to do this stuff, but see my opening remark)

    Jun 29, 2012 at 2:09 am
  • sharkjack

    @Dave D. I think it is important here to make a distinction between the right to abort a pregnancy and the right to kill the fetus. You can claim that a woman has the right to end the pregnancy, which means that if the fetus can’t survive it will die. If the baby is viable then the woman signs off her parental rights and the fetus is taken out alive and taken care of by the state, just like with adoption. The furthest I’m willing to consider is if people reason that by not aborting the fetus within a certain term, that they by this consent to carry the fetus until it is viable.

    The reason why birth is given such importance in the pro choice movement is because it is a very clearly definable moment from which everyone can basically take care of the baby even if the mother is completely removed from the equation. This is impossible as long as the woman is pregnant. Nobody here believes anything magical happens at birth.

    What you shouldn’t confuse here is the difference between rights and morals. Things can be morally wrong yet perfectly legal and vice versa. This is why the bitches don’t care about what people think is the right thing to do when discussion abortion. They care about what people think should be allowed. If giving a drop of blood is all it takes to save a persons life, would it be immoral not to do it? You could probably build a solid case why this is the case. However for the state to mandate this would mean they can decide when you have to give up parts of your body. The line is drawn here because it can be maintained this way.

    An example of where I think the states has better laws than the netherlands, is when people break into our houses, we don’t have the right to kill them. Not to long ago, a burgler was taken down by the owners of a gym and they faced charges because of excessive damage to the burglar (who was alive but hospitalised). This leads to all sorts of problems with what you can and cannot do. Would it be immoral to kill someone who breaks into your house? Depending on the circumstances it might (killing someone clearly unarmed and no longer a threat would pretty much be wrong, but the situation isn’t always going to be clear and forcing people to take it into account presents a danger to them.) In this case the burglars right to life is trumped by the right to protect yourself.

    The fetus grows in the body without consent, posing a risk to the woman it is growing in. Without consent from the person whose body is being parasitised, this would be allowed under any other circumstances. Sex is not consent, consent is consent.

    Jun 29, 2012 at 4:51 am
  • Jason

    Just to expand the comments about the rights to restrict use of body, we even extend these to after death. Your freshly dead body could be sitting in the hospitol bed next to someone whose life will be saved by your organs, but they cannot use them unless you’ve explicitly previously consented to such use.

    Also the island hypotheticals necessarily break down when it comes to laws and morals. If there are two people on an island and one dies, the other would not be obligated to abstain from eating their body in order to survive.

    Jun 29, 2012 at 9:40 am
  • bob

    I have a question for any of the hosts: One of you said that a pregnant women shouldn’t have any responsibility for the fetus until after it is born. Does that mean you think a pregnant women should have the moral right to drink, smoke, and do drugs while pregnant? I’m pro-abortion, but I am hesitant to call myself pro-choice because I don’t agree with the “it’s my body, I can do what I want with it” line of thinking. If abusing your body effects something that can grow to be a human being, then I think you have a moral responsibility not to do it. Even if you are planning on having an abortion, I still think it is wrong until after it is done; you could plan to have the abortion, but change your mind after abusing narcotics and the child will grow up to suffer the consequences.

    On the bracelets: the “I don’t want to hook up” ones may be a good idea, but the “I do want to hook up” ones are a terrible idea. Especially at the atheist conference, there is going to be a lot of collateral damage with the pro hooking up bracelets.

    On mandatory blood donation: I really don’t know if I would support it, but I’m not that against it. What is the difference between inconveniencing someone to go through with jury duty and inconveniencing them by forcing them to give blood? Going through with jury duty is way much more of an inconvenience to an average persons’ life. Now, I am against jury duty, but as long as we already have it in place, mandatory blood donation isn’t much of a step up. I really don’t see a society that requires it as a scary place to live.

    Jun 30, 2012 at 8:43 am
  • Holmbo

    Hello guys and girls.

    I am on the fence when it comes to abortion. On one hand I fully support the right to choose, and on the other hand I feel like it is a living human being AFTER a certain point. So perhaps I am just against late-term abortion. Getting pregnant is always a possibility when you have sex. The fact that people don’t like that possibility doesn’t change the reality of it. Yes, sex is great. It also comes with real risks that you may have to deal with afterwards. I just don’t know. It’s a complicated issue rife with misinformation and out of control emotion. It makes it hard for me to make an informed decision on my position. I also believe we should have compulsory organ donation after death. It benefits society as a whole, and it can save countless lives using parts that are just going to rot otherwise. I believe refusing to donate is disgusting and selfish. I bring up this point so that maybe someone can get a feel for where my mind is at, based on my stance on other issues. My mind is open at this point but heavily leaning pro choice. I would appreciate comments on points that I am perhaps missing.

    Love the show “bitches,” Jeremy

    Jun 30, 2012 at 1:38 pm
  • feline

    @Holmbo Since you wanted feedback, it would appear to me based on your stance on those issues that the issue of consent is not a compelling reason for you. I would also guess that maybe your question of forcing someone to continue even a late-term pregnancy is connected to the reason you give for mandatory organ donation, the alleged benefit to society? I’m not judging btw, just mirroring back what I’m interpreting.

    The point that was brought up in the show with the risk of driving a car intrigued me. Indeed, sex is not consent, consent is consent. I do not like, though I acknowledge the fact that when I drive my car there is a very real possibility I could get in some form of accident even when precautions are taken. However driving my car anyway does not mean I would okay with getting in an accident, nor does it even mean I’m okay with say, donating blood or tissue to a passenger who could be critically injured in said accident (and having such a legal requirement would be a HUGE can of worms). Likewise, I own a car and always park it outside, uncovered. This doesn’t mean I consent to it being keyed.

    Jun 30, 2012 at 9:46 pm
  • Cody

    Availability bracelets do actually exist. Not in the “up for sex” sense of forwardness, but they’re bracelets to put on if you’re single. They were on a TV programme here looking for investment in their business for them, they didn’t get it. :P

    Jul 1, 2012 at 1:56 am
  • JoshM60

    @feline

    Getting into a car is not consenting to being in a car accident, but it IS consenting to any damages you cause others unintentionally. You will likely be charged with manslaughter if you unintentionally run over and kill a pedestrian.

    With regard to having an unintentional pregnancy, if you have an abortion after the point when the fetus can experience pain, even though you had ample opportunity to have an abortion earlier (prior to the fetus being cognizant), you ARE causing the fetus to suffer.

    I think it is justifiable to inflict that suffering on the fetus in cases where the mother’s life is sufficiently threatened, but it otherwise isn’t justified to do so without some sort of extenuating circumstances.

    Jul 1, 2012 at 3:19 am
  • JoshM60

    Correction:

    I meant to say, “but it is consenting to LIABILITY FOR any damages you cause others unintentionally.”

    Jul 1, 2012 at 3:21 am
  • Niall

    That point about the Rubella is something I’ve heard before from older people. I remember talking to my grandfather about it, and he had some horror stories from his early childhood (1920s).

    It seems like the anti-vaccination crowd just aren’t old enough to remember when Polio was something you had to worry about. The same goes for Rubella, Measles, Smallpox, the list goes on.

    I contracted the Mumps as a young adult (around age 21), but it only lasted for two or three days, and thankfully didn’t spread anywhere south of my head. I have vaccination to thank for this.

    I worry that these people’s children will ultimately pay for their stupidity. I’ve even heard people saying that the eradication of smallpox was some sort of global conspiracy.

    Jul 3, 2012 at 5:43 am
  • StruggleBrother

    I realize that people like Beth have the whole relationship thing sealed up and have forgotten what it was like to be a little lonely and want some companionship (maybe she never knew, though I doubt that), but Tracie’s idea about having a designator (of who is available and who isn’t) is a very humanistic solution to the problem. And who cares if a few people are little more obsessed about hooking up than others (minus people who have acute mental illness)? Wouldn’t it be better if there was some way of indicating one’s openness to the “possibility”? Diversity is not just skin color, it’s psychological makeup. And not everybody that is in a lonely place in their life is a sex-crazed freak. How am I ever going to find companionship, how am I ever going to learn the boundaries unless I stick my neck out there? And believe you me, I and a lot of other less than socially astute people need more understanding and direction than to be demonized and ostracized and locked in a box of rigid rules (though rules have their place). It seems like some level of empathy and compassion is missing from those with the “harassment police” mentality. Tracie’s got the most realistic, compassionate, humanistic approach here, in my honest opinion.

    “You’re so full of what is right, you can’t see what is good.” Neil Peart, “The Color of Right” from the album Counterparts

    PS> I’m not trying to deny that there is a real problem with sexual harassment, but Tracie’s solution seems to come closer to giving us all what we’re looking for, without demonizing the lonely few. Try living in a small town in the middle of the bible belt where everybody seems to be married or has a boyfriend or is so bat-shit crazy religious that you wouldn’t even consider it, and see how it shapes your innate desire for companionship and understanding. It can make you a little nuts and most likely at least a little weird and inappropriate when interacting with the opposite sex. A lot of those people are good people… cut them a little slack and make it a little easier for them to connect and experience the joy that you’ve got to experience with the person you found to spend your life with. :)

    Jul 3, 2012 at 9:54 am
  • Steven Doyle

    Vagina, Vagina! Vagina! Vagina, Vagina! Vagina!

    That’s my favorite song from Fiddler on the Roof.

    Jul 4, 2012 at 9:53 am
  • Steven Doyle

    If criminals kidnapped somebody and put him in your house without either your or his consent, and chained him to your house’s foundation in an unbreakable harness with a timer that would open it up in nine months, you would not be allowed to kill him and cut his body out of the harness. He’d be involuntarily using your house without your consent. Sucks for you, because your rights as a homeowner would be trumped by his right to live.

    If you stipulate that a fetus — at some point in its development — has the rights of a person, then — after that point — you simply don’t have the right to kill it.

    For most of us, there’s a grey area regarding personhood. Outside of religious fanatics, nobody considers a zygote or embryo to be a person. But, an eight-month fetus? Well-developed human central nervous system. Viable outside the womb (it’s quite common to give birth that early and have a reasonably healthy baby). Basically a baby that happens to still be in a placenta.

    It’s not a blindly ideological response to consider such a late fetus to have rights, and that specifically, having reached that point, its right to life trumps the woman’s right to get rid of it by killing it.

    (Unless, that is, there’s a good medical reason for ending the pregnancy. It would require blind ideology to require giving the fetus’ right to life more importance than the woman’s right to life, or conferring personhood on, say, an anencephalic fetus. Generally, when there’s an abortion that late, there’s a compelling reason.)

    Jul 4, 2012 at 12:59 pm
  • Jason

    Steven, Is there someone claiming that late term abortion of a fully viable fetus without significant health/safety justifications should be available? I haven’t seen that anywhere…

    And your house/property is quite different than your body in any legal or philosophical terms. I would be willing to bet in your scenario it’s entirely likely that you would actually lose the right to use your house during that time as it would be an active crime scene and there would be people there constantly, taking care of and attempting to the person. In fact if part of your house had to be removed / demolished in an attempt to do so, that may be justifiable.

    I don’t think you or anyone would then like to project this analogy back to say that if you are pregnant you should be completely controlled by the state and medical professionals and that you could be killed in order to safely remove the baby… unless maybe it was the baby Jesus. =P

    Jul 4, 2012 at 4:43 pm
  • godlessbitches

    Steven,

    Listen to more of the shows, because we address this. Late-term abortion is a red herring. Induced labor or c-section can be done without killing the fetus.

    Jul 4, 2012 at 6:52 pm
  • adamtm

    Hey,

    I’m having trouble downloading/listening to the podcasts. This never happened before but podbean just gives me a “error file not found”.

    Can i get them from somewhere else?

    Thanks.

    Jul 4, 2012 at 8:10 pm
  • David

    @adamtm: I’m also having problems downloading any episodes atm. I right-click “Save as”, but then nothing happens for a while (not selecting location or anything) and suddenly I get a popup window that says “The download cannot be saved because an unknown error occurred. Please try again.” without exception. :(

    Jul 4, 2012 at 10:02 pm
  • godlessbitches

    The podcasts are on itunes.

    Beth

    Jul 5, 2012 at 7:57 am
  • Hugo

    Just listened to the podcast, about the bracelets, I don’t think it’ll have the desired effect, all (obvious hyperbole excluding the statistically negligible) the guys (it was perhaps forgotten but in fairness the package should obviously be for everyone) would be wearing the “wanna have sex” while all (see above) the girls will be wearing the “don’t even think about it” bracelets. The few girls with the approachable bracelets would be targets for the few creeps and it has a high potential to end up really bad. The idea about a specific event is much better but on the other hand I think making such very open relationship (sex) oriented events or items will give the wrong impression about what the conference is about, the freaks are gonna focus on it and be frustrated when nothing happens. Those are the bad apples that should not be catered to in the first place so don’t give them an excuse, draw up a good policy be open and decisively dismissive about the wrong things that happen and give people the opportunity to interact in a civil way.

    Jul 6, 2012 at 2:56 am
  • Annique

    Totally with you guys on the anti-vac. I always laugh when autism is brought up btw. I always think: “if, despite the overwhelming evidence against a vac-autism link, there really was a link, I’d much prefer being the way I am over being in a wheelchair or fucking DEAD.”

    Vaccines are just one of those things we humans figured out in the past centuries that really turned our lives around and wiped out a lot of suffering. Makes me really grateful to live in this era where a minute of discomfort (although at the time I would call it pure, unadulterated agony) can prevent crippling or even fatal diseases.

    Jul 7, 2012 at 4:57 pm
  • Domush

    Tracie, I’m so glad you are part of this podcast (you also make atheist exp great, too). Your arguments are so well reasoned, logical and stated without pussyfooting around the facts, the world is better for having someone like you in it. Thank you.

    In general, this episode was fabulous. The arguments presented solidified my pro-choice position, absolutely. I wavered on a few specifics, but this episode shot down every confusion I had. Again, thank you.

    From now on, Tracie, you should really drink every episode :) , you become purely honest, straightforward, no BS, and respectful enough to not waste anyone’s time (referring to the time wasting example you used).

    I hope this is the beginning of a new trend of episodes.

    Great work.

    Jul 9, 2012 at 11:47 am
  • draconismoi

    Ugh, anti-vaccers. Sadly several people in the backwards town I grew up in have started breeding and are all jumping on the anti-vaccination wagon. They read a few internet rumors about autism and start yammering that I’m not educating myself (yeah, that law degree with a focus on public health didn’t cover anything about vaccines). A couple are even opting into religious education, because the local catholic institution does not mandate vaccinations for enrollment. (Nor did they require accreditation from the teachers).

    Which is funny. I went to that school and remember they had to shut the school for a week one year because the whole place was brought down by whooping cough. A good number of kids were hospitalized…..I know we had a death that year, but don’t remember the cause. 11 year olds are pretty self-involved.

    Note: this story about children dying, and teachers being uneducated does not turn these parents away from this school. But when I tell them that this is where I contracted atheism….

    “This school is terrible. The teachers are not accredited, the books are filled with bullshit, there was a child molesting monsignor, and my memories of that place are filled with school-wide memorials for dead children.” Oh hush, I’m sure it wasn’t that bad!

    “That school is directly responsible for turning me into a virulent atheist.” Wait WHAT? Now I need more details!

    Gotta love those priorities.

    Jul 11, 2012 at 1:08 am
  • Lee

    WELL DONE!

    Jul 19, 2012 at 12:44 pm
  • CareBear

    In regards to abortion I’m not sure there should be a line drawn on late-term abortions. I was just thinking about my own situation. I was 19 weeks along when I found out I was pregnant. How the f**k did that happen?? I have a condition called Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and wasn’t diagnosed with it until AFTER the birth of my son. I never had regular periods. In fact, it wasn’t uncommon for me to go a year without one, which was a large part of the reason that I had no frickin’ clue that I was preggars. What if I had wanted to terminate at that point? I mean, I didn’t know, I was only 20, and I definitely thought that there was no way I was going to become pregnant. Where do you draw that line or do you simply say that no matter what it’s the woman’s body and her choice? I made a conscious choice not to terminate, but I wouldn’t object to someone else in my position making that difficult decision.

    The other thing is, yes there are options available like adoption. But there is also a lot of responsibility for caring for a fetus while it is growing. You have to take pre-natal vitamins, you can’t pick up heavy objects, no salt, no caffeine, don’t smoke, don’t drink, etc. What if you don’t want to abide by any of those rules or just don’t want to or are not in a good financial/home situation. Great, now you have brought a heroin baby into the world and who is going to take that on? Kids with fetal alcohol syndrome or who are born with drug dependencies end up with so many issues. Point is, every situation is different and there will always be so many exceptions that it would be hard to pin-point a one-size fits all solution. That’s why it should be left up to the person who is pregnant and not anyone else. =)

    On the whole anti-vaccer thing, Forbes actually just came out with an article stating that the movement has created the biggest Whooping Cough epidemic in 70 years: http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevensalzberg/2012/07/23/anti-vaccine-movement-causes-the-worst-whooping-cough-epidemic-in-70-years/

    I’ve also read some pretty sad stories of women losing their children to very treatable diseases, like the mumps, because they didn’t vaccinate their kids. One in particular who lost a child to the mumps made sure that her other children were vaccinated after that. I wish people would just do the research in the first place, rather than learning the hard way.

    P.S. Great job and I love the show!

    Jul 29, 2012 at 9:48 pm
  • Shmeetes

    I am pro-abortion, but I don’t think we all need to become so robotic or mechanically selfish with regards to our points of view as some of the hosts here. Referring to a fetus as some kind of squatter or parasitic organism that occupies a woman’s body without “consent” is an absurd and irrelevant comparison to make, specially considering that a fetus is in no position to seek “consent” in the first place. You cannot say the fetus is not a person until born, and then accuse it of being inside you without consent as though it is a person. That is contradictory to the argument.

    If we are talking about consent, the two people answerable to this question are the parents- by letting a penis ejaculate inside you knowing very well the probability of falling pregnant (which will vary according to what contraceptive method you’re using) is a form of indirect consent. There’s no paper signing here. Sometimes, we need to stop whining and take some responsibility. I am pro-abortion simply because I understand that there are women who have been raped or sexually used and abused, are too young/poor to mother a child etc etc and all these situations can be helped by abortion. But for self-sufficient, educated and Godless women, who have no fear of being judged by religion/society for having illegitimate children/being a single mum - I don’t see their problem. This is just my personal opinion, nothing about legal issues.

    And of course refusing to breastfeed your starving child is manslaughter (assuming there’s no other food source on an island, which i highly doubt). We have already established that after the child is born it is a person. It may be dependent, so what, many old people are dependent on others, doesn’t mean we refuse to feed and cloth them. Beth seemed confused about this - she has confused pro-choice with being inhumane. You can’t judge every situation with a legal definition of “freedom of choice, or freedom to use my body as I please” - our humanity is our litmus test. Laws change from country to country, but any decent human being would feel dreadful about watching their own child die from starvation.

    Lastly, when talking about abortion, we often forget the role of the father in this issue. Why is the decision to abort or not abort only given to the woman, when the father has just as much right to WANT the child? Men don’t have the option of carrying a child, and this is reality. If you can’t handle the responsibility, but the father wants to, then why not let him? Otherwise, we would need a place like in “Brave New World”, where everyone is made in test tubes. I certainly don’t want that.

    Aug 1, 2012 at 3:31 am
  • jim

    i always thought a bitch was a girl dog. that’s whatus southern guys call them.

    Sep 20, 2012 at 1:38 am

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