Thursday, 30 August 2012

A Hate Story

Warning: The article I link to may distress you if you are sensitive, have had an abrtn or a miscarriage, are pregnant, having problems conceiving, have given birth, or are an observant Jew.

I came across this story thanks to Andrea Mrozek at ProWomanProLife. It's "well-written," but the author seems completely lacking in self-awareness. For example, she doesn't indicate that she knows how much she despises her ex-boyfriend. The story is so shocking, I noticed only when I read it a second time.

Here's an experiment. Go through the article and note every time she says something disparaging about the man with whom she "created" ("creation" is her word) a baby. ("Baby" is also her word.) It makes me wonder if he suspected that she despised him when they were together.

There are two victims in the story. One is the living being ("a Jewish embryo") who was killed during Passover. One is "Josh."

I am hanging onto a hope that the story is fictional. Meanwhile, I am not looking for comments about the baby, who (if the story is non-fiction) is dead now, and hopefully died very quickly, at a very early stage, without much pain or any fear. I want your thoughts on the author and Josh.

If you are an observant Jew, and you can bear to talk about this story, I would be interested to know what you think of the author's juxtaposition of Jewish religious traditions and imagery with her, um, surgical procedure.

I know men will find this story shocking and distressing, too, but girls only in the combox, please.


Kim Vandapool said...

Wow, that was just... disgusting. I don't know what else to call it. So I guess now it's fashionable to romanticize abortion??

But at least she feels so very liberated from her pregnancy that she can now enjoy some good matzah.

Urszula said...

It's an awful story, and very sad for everyone involved. And by everyone I am including the author too. I do think she was selfish, motivated by considerations that weren't legitimate (did she ever think of other options for the baby? Adoption? Bringing it up on her own, since she didn't want to include Josh)?

At the same time, the imagery she uses - all the references to blood and sacrifice - make me think she actually hasn't passed over this smoothly and easily. That while she is enjoying the matzah, somewhere in her head and heart she is still thinking about the 'mass of tissue' having a heart.

Tara P. said...

I mean this comment in complete respect to the previous comments, because ultimately, I agree with you. But the thing is, it's easier to think about other options when you are safe and secure and not pregnant (or pregnant in your 'ideal' situation), and surrounded by people you trust and who love you. I hate abortion and I think it's wrong. But when you are alone, or with a man you don't love, or focused on your career (with no one to tell you they think you're awesome anyway or an understanding boss who will still have it there at the end for you), or without friends who will walk that path with you, or with family who will only judge, (etc), it's really hard to see the other options as anything but remote possibilities. Again, I agree with you, but this is a really hard, emotional, heart-breaking issue (though many, on both sides, try to pretend it isn't), and I've seen several discussions on abortion devolve into hateful, name-calling sessions when someone expressed similar sentiments (about other options). I guess my challenge is, it's not that simple. I mean, it is, it absolutely is, but that's because we've taken abortion completely off of the table. With an unexpected, undesired pregnancy, we would be choosing from a list of options that never included abortion. For the people for whom that option is still on the table, choosing something else, especially considering the extreme difficulty of raising a child period, not to mention in non-ideal situations, would be very hard, indeed.

Anonymous said...

Believe me when I tell you that I’m not superficial. I can go weeks without lifting a brush to my hair or applying makeup to my face.

That doesn't make her not superficial; it makes her a holder of double standards - one for her, one for the men she dates.

Aside from that, she seems ridiculously self-absorbed, and also seems like one of those people who thinks, "If I can make this symbolic and deep, it's morally okay, good even."

She never mentions what Josh thought about the abortion, which makes me think that all of her criticisms of him being boy-like aside, he was a man when it mattered most - and she wasn't an adult.

Final thought: I have no doubt that it's a true story. Over a million healthy American women kill their healthy babies every single year.


Seraphic said...

Tara P, I'm not interested in why soi-disant higher social class adult woman with a religious community and a job changed her mind and got rid of the baby she was carrying. I'm interested in her relationship with her boyfriend, and I'm wondering what we can learn from it.

Jackie said...


I know this woman, Josh and their baby all need our prayers, more than anything. But I can't deny it: This story made me sick to my stomach.

The overwhelming feeling I got from the author was one of contempt: Contempt of Josh, contempt of his "prospects" and, though I doubt she'd agree, self-contempt as well.

This could be completely wrong. But I feel that she dwells in the realm of illusion. She has some pie-in-the-sky ideal for men: The "right" class, manners, appearance, attire and accomplishments.

But even this "perfect" guy is still a human being and until you are ready to love and accept the *person* and not the accomplishments, you are not really ready for love. And your romantic relationships will, ultimately, disintegrate.

The story also made me think of how people will use "stopgap" relationships -- her contempt is borne out of the feeling she is "settling" for Josh-- instead of sticking to your standards, even if it leaves you single. I think our modern culture encourages these strange creations-- part mini-marriage but with the expectation that both/either party has one foot out the door at any time. To our detriment. :( Again, the realm of illusion.

Also: So much scarring could have been saved if just one person had asked, in the cold light of day, How will we handle the consequences of sex? All of the following are possible: Bonding, disease, and pregnancy.

Again, the realm of illusion: Instead of facing these possibilities, she drifts off into a kind of haze of golden coins and non stop sex.

To me, the bigger question is, Where did she learn to live like this? Where (or who) is the source of tacit support in our society? How can we prevent this taking hold, and, hopefully, turn things towards the other direction?

Incredibly sobering reflection today, Seraphic, but I appreciate you bringing it to our attention.

Charming Disarray said...

It's embarrassing to read her description of the ex because it's so brutally honest, but she is clear from the beginning of the story that she doesn't admire or respect him. She does say quite a few nice things about him along the way, which in some ways makes him more sympathetic than her in the article, but it seems to me that she's just telling the truth about her complicated feelings towards him--being attracted but not completely. Of course that's a reason why the relationship should never have happened, and it's horrifying to think how embarrassed he would be reading it, but since she decided to tell this story which is clearly going to sicken a lot of people, why should she have gone out of her way to sugar-coat her feelings about him? Does the fact that she got pregnant mean that she should have suddenly thought he was a really amazing man? (And she doesn't try to make the case that she's the better person of the two, either.) I guess my feelings about it are that we've all dated guys where we thought "He has this or that good quality, but [insert whatever shallow observation] makes me feel kind of inwardly repulsed." Of course most women are too nice to say anything about, much less write it down in such a cold-blooded way, but not being attracted to someone isn't a crime. And if a woman can't look up to a man and admire genuinely, does that make her bad a person?

That said, obviously the impulse to sit down and write something like this in such a self-glorified way is revolting. I just wonder if the juxtaposition of her description of the ex along with everything else going on makes her opinion of him seem worse than it really is.

okiegrl said...

I don't think she should have sugar coated, but she left plenty of identifying traits so acquaintances could identify who the guy is from the article. That was a rather low blow, in my opinion. It's pretty common to use a fake name in embarrassing stories. Yes, she says some nice things about him, but the overall tone is not positive towards him at all.

Urszula said...

Am I the only one who reads this as self-justifying rather than self-glorifying?

I wonder why she wrote it... and I can't help feeling that though she lacks introspection and a basic decency towards a) someone she claimed to love b) her own child, she seems to dimly suspect something is wrong, and tries to write it out to justify herself. Or am I reading too much into this?

Tara P. said...

Seraphic, I was responding to the commenters (just the one, I guess) who wondered aloud if the author of that article had considered other options. I wasn't responding to your post because, as you said, you were focusing on her relationship with Josh. And I maybe wasn't even commenting on the author of the article specifically. I was attempting to explain that people who believe in abortion have a really hard time listening to people who don't when we toss out statements like, "Well, there are always other options" without making any indication that we understand how difficult those other options would actually be (especially in comparison with what seems like the easy way out). I've had friends who were sick their entire pregnancies, but they wanted the babies, so it was wonderful. And my husband and I were not at all prepared for our child (financially, even emotionally), but abortion wasn't ever, ever an option for us, and she's been a huge blessing. My personal opinion is that abortion is wrong and should not happen. But I can't go around voicing that opinion unless I can say that I understand how difficult and frightening it is to carry an unexpected, even unwanted, baby to term, and then having all of the stress of raising it or giving it away. I think it is worth it, that the "easy way out" will end up haunting someone for years, that there are other people to consider in the decision (the father, grandparents, etc)... I guess I feel that I can't tell someone they shouldn't have an abortion unless I'm willing to say, "If you take care of yourself and put in the effort to take care of this baby, I will walk every step of this with you."

Tara P. said...

*steps off soapbox...*