Lawsuit-free since 9/14/05

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

A Reply to My Critics

[For any new readers, go here to see the original post about the Women's Resource Center and the comments that ensued.]

I must admit that I agree strongly with my critics. However, my agreement would be much more so had I actually written any of the remarks they attack.

This is normally the case when one writes of politics. My critics have taken quotes out of context and invented simple arguments in order to build a misogynistic straw man they are capable of destroying. While I find flattering the burning of my effigy, I would much prefer that my "feminist" correspondents engage with what I actually wrote.

Thus, I'd like to take the time to correct the authors of these epistles and offer a few admonishments of my own. Now then, out of the introduction and into the fray:
part 1:
- ok:
"While this may seem like a timely topic, especially for the promiscuous and careless students at SLU..." -you're implying that abortions are only given to "promiscuous" girls. right... because most unplanned pregnancies don't happen to girls whose birth control has failed them or anything.
Cheerfully, you're wrong on both counts. I implied none of the misogynistic sentiment you ascribe to my writing. I wrote that a lecture on reproductive rights would be especially helpful to the "promiscuous and careless students at SLU" (i.e. most of the student body), as they would be further at risk for an unplanned pregnancy (as well as scrofulous viruses-- but that's neither here nor there) than those students careful and chaste.

Further, (and I promise to explain one day to my readers the difference between "further" and "farther") your conjecture that unplanned pregnancies occur because birth control fails is not so unscientific as it is imaginary. Birth control failure rates range from around 10% for latex condoms (no spermacide) to less than 1% for oral contraceptives such as the pill. [See this report from the Food and Drug Administration for the actual data.] However, these rates (based on laboratory testing) don't always correlate to the real world. A study in the British Journal of Family Planning found that one-fifth of the women referred for an abortion claimed to be taking oral contraceptives. See Ann Furedi's "The Causes of Unplanned Pregnancy," in which she argues that this rather alarming discrepency is due to not the failure but human error causing the misuse of birth control-- a likely event in the case of the promiscuous and careless students at SLU. You stand corrected.

Moving on:
part 2:
bringing judith degroat in the middle of an article criticizing the girls of the wrc makes no sense- the incident with judith (her misspelling, which is probably the fault of the hill news) is from 2003. also, picking apart someone's grammar rather than their ideas is a weak way to argue. take back the night aims to bring women of all backgrounds together. making it political sends off signals (whether or not they're meant to be there) that women who identify as republican and who have been sexually assaulted or harassed are not recognized as being legitimate victims of sexual violence. sexual violence trancends political views, that's for damn sure.

all in all, a poor article.

-a SLU feminist (we actually exist, contrary to popular tboc belief)
Thanks for the letter. I always appreciate a self-advertised "SLU feminist" who refers to the young women of the WRC as "girls." Perhaps (at least in your case) the "popular tboc belief" is not so removed from your "contrary"?

But enough with the snipes. Allow me to attend to your gripes. That the members of the WRC (this caveat for the third time-- with one or two brave exceptions) denied a speaker as "too political" for the Take Back the Night rally codified their shift from the leaders of the SLU feminist movement to their current position as timid haus fraus.

Thus it extremely apropos to mention WRC advisor Judith DeGroat's tepid and unfunny (and grammatically incorrect) 2003 letter to The Hill News. [Free Registration Required] My earlier remarks about the letter can be found here. However, as you insist that DeGroat's error "is probably the fault of The Hill News," I am obligated to respond. The point in question is "[a]s far as." The correct phrase would have been "[a]s for." You are assuming that The Hill News staff edited her letter in any way, which would defy their normally lazy behavior. However, my ultimate point in mentioning the letter was that DeGroat, as one of two Women's Resource Center advisors, taught her students much in assuming only moronic and inconsequential political causes during the fall of 2003 (i.e. attacking an unfunny t-shirt slogan rather than protesting SLU's treatment of sexual assault on campus).

Your final point ("sexual violence trancends (sic) political views") strikes everyone as obvious and your folksy final oath ("that's for damn sure") made me laugh. It is unbecoming (to say the least) that you affect a colloquial locution to bludgeon us with the righteousness of your obvious point.

Moving on:
Two more comments went on to agree with my detractors (as they had similarly misread or not bothered to read my original post), including Take Back Our Campus' own "Promisebreaker," acting as his own liberal apologist. As we have said before-- there are a diverse group of people running Take Back Our Campus!. The contributor known as "Promisebreaker" is simply the sniveling Alan Colmes of our collective.

[This post will be continued tomorrow in a piece entitled, "A Reply to My Critics Part Two: When Did Feminism Become 'Politically Neutral'?"]


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