Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Jessica Valenti's Curious Attack on Pam Stenzel [Jay]

Women who use birth control are more likely to contract sexually transmitted diseases than women who do not use birth control. Presumably because people who use birth control are likely sexually active and they may or may not be taking similar precautions to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases as they are against pregnancy. Also, reducing the likelihood of pregnancy is easier than stopping the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. People who contract a sexually transmitted disease are at risk for the resulting physical damage that can be caused by such diseases including sterility and death. If you give your children birth control to protect them from pregnancy you are not doing them a favor based on this dynamic but may be encouraging a false and dangerous sense of security. Also, some young women suffer from emotional side effects after having an abortion and among those side effects encountered by one trained and experienced counselor are depression, eating disorders, and suicidal tendencies.

That looks like a pretty straight forward statement that clarifies a position. The person who disagrees with this position has many areas to address and can pick the statements they wish to rebut and begin the honest intellectual work.

Unless of course you are Jessica Valenti at Feministing and you are responding to a YouTube video of Pam Stenzel. If you are Jessica you mount a confusing and misleading “liar liar pants on fire” attack and then sit back and soak in the adulation of your adoring, obscene, and apparently vacuous supporters. You twist her argument and claim that Pam thinks and teaches that birth control itself sterilizes and kills women. You exaggerate her statements that recounted her experiences as a counselor and claim that Pam said that abortion causes anorexia, depression, and suicide nearly universally. Pam is an evil yet seductive harbinger of anti-choice misinformation that is funny, enjoyable, and despicable.

When Jivin Jehoshaphat points out (here and here)to you that you are mistaken in your analysis, you make it clear that you do not want people who disagree with you posting on your website and get vulgar with him. Despite your impressive resume of degrees and accomplishments you make a silly appeal to numbers as your defense against Jivin’s accusation that you are apparently not accidentally mistaken but intentionally twisting Pam’s presentation to suit your purposes. One can only speculate as to why you would do this, possibly you had a deadline that you were not prepared for or you just woke up and needed to write a vitriolic screed against the first “anti-choicer” that crossed your path.

Don’t worry Jessica. Your fans will continue to pour out their obscene support no matter how silly your position is. Just keep refusing to engage the arguments and hysterically screaming about anti-choicer trolls and you will be just fine. Stick your fingers in your ears, paint everyone who disagrees with you as dangerous, and whatever you do please do not answer the actual statements of those “anti-choice” loons. Even when someone like Pam Stenzel opens her presentation by being very clear that no one can make these choices for the young people that she is talking to but that they must be informed so that they can make the best choice for themselves you just keep telling your fans that pro-lifers want to control women’s bodies. After all, that is so much easier than thinking.

HT: JivinJehoshaphat

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