Will Adoption Rates Spike if Abortion Becomes Illegal?

Stephanie Wilkerson from the Evangelical Outpost blog posted a piece this morning titled “Practical Love in the Pro-Life Fight.” It’s worth reading although I know many of my readers will disagree with Stephanie’s second point.

Stephanie’s thesis is that pro-life Christians need to commit to:

  1. be willing to make the necessary sacrifices to participate in adoption;
  2. reconsider our methods of sex-education;
  3. learn to love the women who are considering or who have had abortions.

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I want to make a comment about her first point, because I know people who are pro-choice solely because they’re concerned about the social ramifications of making abortion illegal before we are setup to take care of the children that would be born who would have otherwise been aborted. I absolutely agree with Stephanie that we should encourage Christians to adopt more, but I think there are more factors that would influence how many newborns would be available for adoption in a post-abortion America than she covered.

I suspect in a post-abortion country, (or more likely, a state that makes abortion illegal after Roe is overturned,) many people will actively work harder to not get pregnant. Some people will take birth control use more seriously. Some may abstain from intercourse if they really feel like an unplanned pregnancy would be a major disruption to their lives. Right now abortion can be thought of as a very late form of birth control. I’m not saying lots of women USE abortion as a form of birth control, (although some demonstrably do,) but that one of the things that may factor into a persons sexual decisions is the availability of abortion if birth control fails. Obviously some single people will still engage in premarital sexual activity, but I suspect that activity would be reduced, because life without abortion would be different.

I also suspect that most of the people that would get pregnant would choose to parent as opposed to gifting their child for adoption. We actually see this now, and I don’t know why it would drastically change. Many people feel like it’s morally wrong to choose adoption, often because they are confusing newborn adoption with the foster care system. Some simply don’t want to go through the emotional pain of carrying a child to term and then giving the child to somebody else, even if the adopting couple is clearly in a better position to care for this child.

So, yes, we need to keep pushing adoption, and I’m grateful to see mega-church pastors taking this issue on and strongly encouraging their congregation to love the “widows and orphans” of our society in dramatic ways. But I don’t think there would be 1.3 million more children available for adoption every year in an abortion-free country because I think our unwanted pregnancy rate would go down considerably and because many would continue to choose parenting over adoption.

Question: What do you think? What does the church need to do to prepare for an abortion-free country? Leave a comment below.

President

Josh Brahm is the President of Equal Rights Institute, an organization that trains pro-life advocates to think clearly, reason honestly and argue persuasively.

Josh uses speaking, writing and campus outreach to emphasize practical dialogue tips, rigorous philosophy and relational apologetics.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • Navi

    Good post. If I remember correctly, the change in birth rate was very modest in the years following Roe v. Wade. There’s also this study from eastern Europe, which suggests that ending legal abortion will significantly reduce the abortion rate but have a negligible impact on the number of births:

    https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:dgpzxlQboE0J:www.dartmouth.edu/~dstaiger/Papers/LevineStaiger%2520JLE%25202004.pdf+The+Journal+of+Law+and+Economics+2004+communist+europe&hl=en&gl=ca&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESgHVHsmd2qCbCfe_HlDZho_o-c0k2BRk-MWfA_2yyyP8h7kknG8uyviPas52KrUF5fZF7MB7EXJR0XAlSnImrOCR1LhzbwAqU3g32JR2m0fKR9l3wfC1mwKHdeVjsFJpjyuk4bM&sig=AHIEtbQSAlgaDusNCOnlJHDPU5is6OnV3Q

  • Jonathan

    Another point is that according to this Lifenews article: http://www.lifenews.com/2012/05/17/why-do-more-people-choose-abortion-over-adoption/

    the ratio of couples waiting to adopt vs those who receive placement of an adopted baby are 36 to 1.

    The article further states that, “In the USA, there are approximately two million infertile couples waiting to adopt.”

    And I know from personal acquaintance that some of those who adopt overseas do so because it is easier to adopt overseas then from here in the States.

    So I would think that info would also make a significant difference in the end-result.

  • Crystal

    I read this article recently:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2015/11/09/ohio-high-school-teaches-kids-that-adoption-is-only-option-for-babies-resulting-from-rape-or-incest/

    My thoughts on it: I think the teacher should have given all the options but explained what was morally wrong with abortion. But I wish that we didn’t have to keep choosing like this between women’s right to abdicate pregnancy and unborn person’s right to live. Sad. If only we had something to answer both dilemmas. How should the teacher have handled this? I think that doing it like, speaking about how serious rape and rape culture is and then saying “is the answer to violence more violence” is a good idea. If anyone else wants to tell me I am right or wrong they are welcome to.

    • averagjo

      Hi Crystal,

      This is a very sad predicament. I have talked recently with my friend Kim at work and she told me that even though her pregnancy was potentially deadly she chose not to abort. Though in the same breath she said she couldn’t carry a child that was conceived due to rape. This is so difficult for me as I have always believed in abortion to save the life of the mother, but felt that rape or incest would be a case where at lease adoption could take place. She opened my eyes in feeling the hurt that one would feel having a constant reminder of that terrible and horrible act for 9 months, I must admit this is something that makes me wonder if I have misjudged things. If what is damaging to the body is as damaging as what is damaging to the soul then both would be justifiable. Again this moral issue is hard for me but rape is a horrible act and I just can’t continue to have the thought that I can stand in Judgement of a Woman who makes that choice. I am not perfect either and I would not want to be judged for trying to protect myself. I leave the answer to this one in God’s hands as I don’t have a clear answer.

      • Crystal

        Josh Brahm has a very good answer for rape babies. He encourages people to empathise with the woman while asking a question like “Is it right to respond to violence by committing more violence?” Is that not a good inquiry to this question?

        Yes, rape is troubling on both sides of the coin. I believe showing empathy to the mother AND to the baby is crucial. Because rape babies can grow up and when they hear that people think rape babies should die, then they think that they are inferior and unworthy. Also the child did not commit a crime by its presence and it is not fair to put it to death for the crime of the father. However I think that the conservative position that women must carry despite the intense trauma of rape and depression, as it currently stands, is a highly unjust one because it forces a woman to carry a pregnancy to term regardless of her feelings (which I find highly offensive). That doesn’t mean I don’t advocate against abortion in cases of rape; what it does mean is that I am deeply restless and troubled with a position that demands so little empathy for a victimised woman and I would like to see serious reform in this area so that the needs of both mother and child are respected.

        Here’s the story of one woman conceived by rape:

        http://www.rebeccakiessling.com/rebeccas-story/

        And here’s the story of one woman who was raped, whose blog I follow and I deeply respect her despite disagreement on the life issue:

        http://www.xojane.com/issues/pro-life-activist-to-pro-choice-christian

        I know of rape victims who are pro-legal abortion who would rather that people believed rape victims should keep their babies because it’s sl*t-shaming consensual sexual relationships otherwise (the woman I referenced is one of them).

        Here is a horrifying piece of satire about rape, supposedly written by a rapist to thank the GOP for being pro-life:

        http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/10/25/a-fan-letter-to-certain-conservative-politicians/

        It really made me think in a lot of ways, I must say.

        You state that you’re troubled by the thought that you could be standing in judgement of a woman in such a terrible situation. On the one hand, you have every right to voice your opinion for the sake of human life, because every life is equally worthwhile. On the other hand, you are trying to be empathetic to a woman struggling with a rape pregnancy and I commend you for that. My advice is to LISTEN to women who have been raped and express support for both pregnant and unborn persons as empathetically as possible.

        I struggle with this question myself. How can I respect a woman’s trauma and empathise with her need for bodily autonomy in this case while exhorting her not to take innocent life? At present I do not know but I think compassion for rape victims is an area of needed reform for quite a few (not all, because some are good in this area) PL people.

        As for life-of-the-mother I completely see the inconsistency in that position, because even in those cases the unborn person is as worthy of life as the mother. However, sometimes you can’t save both and in those cases, the life that can be saved should be saved. I do hope for a day in the future where we can save both lives due to superior technology and abortion to save the mother’s life will no longer be employed to save life.

        This is my position on the PL movement as it stands, spoken in the words of another person who shares my feelings:

        http://www.xojane.com/issues/confessions-of-a-former-pro-life-activist

        • averagjo

          Truly thought provoking Crystal.

          Those articles definitely raise a lot of thoughts and questions in regards to giving the truth in love. As I see it the only way we can show the mother who is raped the love of Christ is to show them support and love no matter what their choice is. Yes we should most certainly give them the information that all life is precious and given by God, but we must also respect that they will ultimately have to make that choice for themselves. I am afraid that now that Pandora’s box has been opened there is no shutting it now we must pray that God will change hearts and minds individually. I will continue to pray on how to minister to those who have faced this horrible choice.

          • Crystal

            Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

            I think both lives and both people’s rights are equally important. I should have stated that we need to show compassion not just to pregnant but to unborn persons in this terrible situation, because their lives could be snuffed out at such short notice. To be honest I find both the position that women can be forced (not required by laws that should be designed to protect both women and children but forced) to bear the consequences of the rapist’s actions and the position that unborn children can be forced to bear the consequences abortion through death to be equally repugnant, and I think it’s high time we found another way.

            I also believe it’s time that people started investing their time in technology that would allow unborn persons to live while allowing women their bodily autonomy; if created in such a way that it could sustain unborn life while women could repeatedly use it without surgical or societal problems, I think it would do a lot for the abortion debate and it would decide matters decisively on our side. However I have heard that once the unborn person is disconnected from the woman’s womb it tends to shut off and die due to its disconnection; a very heavy dilemma indeed if this problem is to be solved:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_uterus

            • averagjo

              Hi Crystal,

              That is a very intereating idea, and I think it has some good potential. It does raise some possible concerns though. If the mother gives up her child who then takes custody? Will there be a chance for adoption agencies to step in and find homes for these children? Would family member be allowed to adopt? Would the mother be required to have her parental rights terminated? What is it was due to rape would the Father have rights through genetics testing? Is it possible that some would become wards of the state and thereby government property? I am not all saying it would be a bad idea as it certainly solves the issue of life vs death, but it does raise some other concens.

              • Crystal

                Hey, those are good questions, and I appreciate them. I’m just worried the idea is dead because of that factor I mentioned about the embryo dying due to disconnection from the uterus, although I have this feeling that if this particular brainwave doesn’t work out that we’ll find something better.

                I can’t give answers to all those questions, because I don’t know. You’re right; we’d have to have a plan and really make sure everything worked out on those levels too. Although I will unhesitatingly state that a rapist should automatically lose rights to his child, and not be allowed rights through genetic testing or in any other way. Were you aware in quite a few states in the US that a rapist has visitation rights??

                Also, do you think PL people are seriously involved in science, or not involved enough?

                • averagjo

                  Hi Crystal,

                  I wonder on the grounds of bringing a child to viability you could make the point that instead of early abortions it could be advocated for late tern c sections? I understand there are issues with cost and then the inherent risk of surgery. If we would claim then to be comparable to the inherent risks of a botched abortion though perhaps this could be a road taken? I was actually shocked to hear that rapists can have visitation rights, that is definitely something that needs to be lobbied against. My fear in the case of a mother who abandones the baby due to rape, what if she never tells anyone and the father (rapist) finds out and then tries to take custudy, or if he someone claims she is lying and that it was consensual, definitely would have some check and balances in place to keep these things in check. Interesting point on science, I think true science what we can see and observe needs to be part of our argument against abortion for science actually tells us that life beginning at conception will continue to the point of birth if the process remains uninterrupted. Anything that happens in between is either as a result of things not lining up correctly or some external force terminating that life.
                  Also from the standpoint of trying to save the lives of unborn babies I think out approach should be two fold offer solutions through medical progress (maintaining the life of the baby outside of the mother) and offering love and support to the mother and not condeming them by calling them names or making rash character judgements.

                • averagjo

                  HI Crystal it’s bedtime here, have a good night’s rest and we’ll talk more later :)

                  • Crystal

                    Okay, sure bud. Please come back when you can, I’ll try to answer more of your questions. As for me RL comes first and is calling me away too. Bye and bless ya mate.

                    • averagjo

                      Thank you Crystal and bless you as well, thank you for helping me to see things from a different perspective. It truly helps my witness as a Christian and relationships as a man. :)

                    • Crystal

                      I don’t mind hearing a different perspective myself, it’s part of growth. Civility helps! I generally can’t stand it when people are rude towards those trying to express a different opinion. I am rude to racists and name-callers if they’re not willing to change their ways though but that’s just me.

                      I appreciate that you want to do your job well as a man and I congratulate you for that.

                    • averagjo

                      Hi again Crystal,
                      Yes being rude to those who are hate filled or rude is definitely something I struggle with myself. I think it’s easier to say you don’t let anybody’s words affect you than it is to live it. Thank you, yes as I have mentioned in another post, I have not always been this way, but I am learning to become a better person and man because truthfully my goal in life is to spread the love of Christ that I feel so deeply in my own life. Sometimes that means talking about the scriptures but more often than not it mean loving people where they are at. Which is what I am desperately trying to work on in my life these days.

                    • Crystal

                      Generally I am too polite and obedient to the meanies! Although I tend not to be when I see them attacking another person. I’m happy I could be so helpful in exhorting you to be a better person and man. You’ve got a rough journey ahead of you so it makes it harder but it shows character that you would try.

                    • averagjo

                      Yes rough journey indeed. But your perspective is definitely helping to change some of my misconceptions. I pray that I can be helpful in your life as well. Definitely worth putting effort towards being a better person and man God has called me to do so, so that is my goal. :)

                    • Crystal

                      “But your perspective is definitely helping to change some of my misconceptions.”

                      That’s great! You’re young, you’ll learn and grow if you keep being open to it. Some of the ideas you’ve written up are very brilliant as well I must say :)

                      “I pray that I can be helpful in your life as well.”

                      Just curiously puzzled – how can you be helpful in *my* life, and what do you mean by this?

                      You have a great goal, please continue keeping it as such.

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,
                      To respond to your question the best way I can describe it is in the Bible it mentions the idea of Iron sharpening Iron, by giving and receiving information we can both be sharpened in our way of speaking to other and to one another. Also in our ways of understanding one another, for as Iron sharpens Iron, so one person sharpens another Proverbs 27:17

                    • Crystal

                      Oh, okay, that’s a great answer! I can accept that.

                      I was a little worried you were going to try to convert me, because I would respectfully resist such behaviour and it wouldn’t work out.

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,
                      Understood, to ally your fears I will state that I do not believe in the ideology of conversion. It is the choice of someone to believe what they do and God is not forceful so if I am to be lead by his example it is important that I respect peoples beliefs even when they don’t exactly match mine. Again something the spirit is working on in me :). You are a wondeful creation just as you are and I am truly enjoying our conversations.

                    • Crystal

                      Thank you for being understanding :)

                      I have to say this as generally as possible – I’ve seen what fundamentalist Christianity can do to people, how it can break them down and make others into tyrants. It and my own bad choices nearly destroyed my life and that is why I don’t want to be Christian today. I appreciate that you have chosen to forsake that road and follow the path of love.

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,

                      I can completely respect that, I have seen many church and Christian abused people in my own walk, I have even experienced it some myself first hand so I do understand. we all have made bad choices in life and the amazing thing is it’s never too late for a new start. We can all be new creations and leave the past behind. Yes I most certainly would rather be an ambassador of love than of judgment these days. Here is one of my favorite chapter in the Bible 1st Corinthians 13 ”

                      13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.

                      4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

                      8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

                      13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love”
                      That last verse is so clear, that love is the greatest and the other that without love nothing really else matters. I feel unfortunately the modern “Church” has forgotten their true commission, which is not to convert but to show people the love of Christ.

                    • Crystal

                      Do you think abortion is a conversion issue? Also, would you consider yourself “personally pro-life but politically pro-choice”?

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,
                      Interesting questions, I am not certain how best to describe it other than to say that I think the value of life goes well beyond any theological discussion. Obviously there are pro life individuals who are not any religion and celebrate life based on the ideology that all life is important Woman, Children, Man and Animal. That said it does still surprise me that people who are not Christian can be pro-life it’s refreshing to say the least. Not to say that I believe people who are not Christians don’t believe in the sanctity of life, but that my experience has brought me to see that few I have met have been pro-life, that said I haven’t met a lot of Christians even who were fully decided on their choice between pro-life and pro-choice. So abortion being simply a conversion issue ie needing to convert someone to convince them of the value of life? No not at all.

                      Part two.

                      I would most definitely consider myself pro-life on a personal level. As far as my political desires? The truth is I feel the Pandora’s box has already been opened, I am under no illusion that the political landscape will be able to change the way we view abortion or change it’s legality. To me it’s more of an intellectual and emotion driven conversation (science definitely helps in this pursuit) So I guess from a political standpoint I am neutral on the issue of abortion as I feel it is overly politicized already. Also because from someone who started as a right wing conservative republican I can transferred my views to a more libertarian stand point. I want less government and more personal accountability. I know that we have what we have, but I think we could all stand to have more of an ability to make our own choices, not that, that relieves us from having laws and controls, but that we have more freedom on certain issues. So I hope that long rabbit trail wasn’t too confusing… to sum up I am personally not for abortion but neither am I for government having full control of the decision process either way.

                    • Crystal

                      On the first question you misunderstood, because my question was do you think it’s a good thing to convert people to the PL position through reasoned arguments, honest morality, and scientific proof for the PL position?

                    • averagjo

                      oh ok I guess I had never considered that conversion would be a term used in changing ones for from pro-choice to pro-life or visa versa. OK from that perspective yes I think it is a good thing to use the above mentioned arguments to help change peoples ways of thinking in regards to pro-life and pro-choice through reasoned arguments and research yes. I guess I again I had never thought of this as an issue of conversion.

                    • Crystal

                      I’m glad we agree that encouraging people to come over to the PL side is a good thing. It could be seen more as an issue of persuasion than conversion. PL is not a religion but rather a moral stance on a moral issue that affects all of us.

                      Do you personally think that adoption rates will spike if abortion becomes illegal, and also do you think abortion will ever become illegal?

                    • averagjo

                      Again another fascinating question,

                      Truth is I am not certain adoption rates would spike, the reason I say this is that I feel people would take more precautions if they didn’t have an easy way out (not that I consider abortion an easy way out) but it can be used that way at times. I think if at the very least it was made to be less convenient that would at least cause there to more time to think about it without making a rash decision based on emotions. The truth is though the beginning of that has to come from loving our daughters even when they have a pregnancy that wasn’t expected. If we as a culture and the Church being a large part of that can embrace mothers and show them that the life they are carrying means something to us, I think we have a strong case for the end of abortion. That said I am not certain it will ever become illegal, there are too many proponents and I feel our culture has gotten to used to the idea, in a way it would be like banning cell phones how can you take away something that people have become so dependent on? Not justifying it by any means but I feel that will be one of the arguments made.

                    • Crystal

                      I think that adoption needs reform, because too many children get given away to bad families where they become more battered and more abused than before. However there are ways around this, as movies like Juno will attest.

                      As for solo motherhood, I don’t consider it a tragedy. I deem it an opportunity for women to have children in a matriarchal-structured household, which I think is valuable for society. One reason we have abortion is that solo motherhood for young single women is still severely stigmatised in the sense that it’s seen as not-cool to have a baby when you’re young.

                      If PL wins the battle on abortion they have to embrace feminism. The church attitudes toward solo mothers have encouraged abortion for too long. We need a better way – a way that recognises the spirituality of such feminine functions as menstruation, pregnancy and childbirth, and menopause, while being truthful about anything that could go wrong and all that could go right (also do you personally believe there is anything spiritual about these functions, just curious and hope you don’t mind my asking); the right of women to be solo mothers; and the celebration of new life and a woman’s countercultural acts (those of having sex while being female and getting pregnant too) before all else. Although some folks say being forced to be pregnant just for having sex is a punishment, and I get where they’re coming from. I simply don’t think that there is any moral justification for abortion in non life-threatening circumstances and even in those life-threatening circumstances choosing to save one life when all else has failed is a difficult decision to make.

                      Here’s some feminist perspectives on solo motherhood:

                      http://www.singlemothersbychoice.org/2015/06/27/in-praise-of-the-single-mother/

                      http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/08/single-parent-double-standard/

                      As for abortion being illegal I think we have an uphill battle, but I don’t consider it impossible. If Wilberforce could get slavery illegal in England while so many people believed in slavery, then I think we can do it too, although in a way it would be tougher due to living in a global world.

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,

                      I am afraid this is another area of which we will fall into disagreement. Simply because there seem to be issues that have risen due in part to a patriarchal society, does not mean to me, that it is necessary to move towards a matriarchal society. I believe Fathers are still a very important part of he equation and that indeed God has endowed us to be leaders in our households. That he has set this in place from the beginning. While in my own part I see it as more of a partnership I also see the importance of having the Man as the leader of the household. Because of my views in this regards they are incompatible with the idea of solo motherhood, that said I don’t see it as being necessary to have a man for a woman to raise children I just feel that is not the design that the God I worship desires. I am also not sure that embracing feminism is the right way to go either. There are ideas that the suffragettes fought for that I strongly agree with, however there are extremes of the feminist movement that I don’t agree with. Such as referring to God as Female when A he refers to himself as Father and Son and B he is neither Male or Female according to his own words. Another issues of concern for me is the desire to emasculate males and subjugate them to being feminized. I believe there is a reason for masculinity and femininity and I believe by embracing both parts we get what we strive for, which is equality. Short of this we have issues on both sides of the coin and it becomes a matter of opposition versus compatibility. I think if we are to win the war of hearts and minds in regards to pro-life we must embrace the best of who we are equally not raising one ideal higher than the other. As far as the spirituality of womanhood, I believe God has set into place a very wonderful process inside the body of a woman, where life has a chance to be formed and grow. I think there is spirituality involved as the whole process brings a soul into existence and not just a body. Yes I think we can agree on that but possibly from different perspective.

                    • Crystal

                      I hope you don’t mind if I touch on this first:

                      “As far as the spirituality of womanhood, I believe God has set into
                      place a very wonderful process inside the body of a woman, where life
                      has a chance to be formed and grow.”

                      I do agree with that, but sometimes the process is very difficult for the woman :*(

                      “I think there is spirituality
                      involved as the whole process brings a soul into existence and not just a
                      body.”

                      It is possible, but I never thought about it that way very much. I tended to think of the feminine processes as a way that a woman could experience herself on a level of ecstasy and appreciation for the unique feminine functions because they make her different from a man, become more aware of everything in every way (including learning about her body if she is struggling to have a better life in this area), and possibly be in touch with higher powers as well. Which is one reason why I stress to myself that my language used to describe these processes be as positive as possible, and train my mind to want positive outcomes; I’m getting better at it but sometimes it’s very difficult. Such areas are very neglected, I’m afraid. Hence the pain and torment that many women suffer due to the great chasm set between them and their feminine functions from an early age onwards.

                      “Yes I think we can agree on that but possibly from different
                      perspective.”

                      Agreed, and hoping conversations like this are in your comfort level range, because I don’t mind dropping this topic if it isn’t.

                    • averagjo

                      Not at all, I think it’s wonderful that you can celebrate your femininity. I guess from my perspective I never though of it that way, but we are spiritual beings so it makes sense that it is intertwined into all things that make us who we are. Not being female I guess I have a hard time identifying with the ideas, but I am happy that you are learning to embrace them. I know that society definitely makes it a negative point of women and their physical and emotional differences from and early age. It seems they do the same thing to young boys in a different way, by telling us to be tough and not to cry. So from that perspective I can identify with being discouraged to explore certain feelings and emotions. As I say I think we are all beautifully and wonderfully made and that even the things that society wants us to view as grotesque are beautiful in their own way. So yes I can agree that there is a spiritual connection between or bodies and ourselves.

                    • Crystal

                      You mentioned the following as a concern of yours:

                      “Another issues of concern for me is the desire to emasculate males and
                      subjugate them to being feminized. I believe there is a reason for
                      masculinity and femininity and I believe by embracing both parts we get
                      what we strive for, which is equality. Short of this we have issues on
                      both sides of the coin and it becomes a matter of opposition versus
                      compatibility.”

                      I can understand this worry, and I want to reassure you now, I believe in equality. I don’t want to suppress men and I try to be very sensitive to that because I love feminism, not in spite of it. Because feminism means equality not suppression of anyone and I wouldn’t want to see you or any other guy squashed because you’re a man. I think men are highly intelligent and I have a deep respect for them if they behave with dignity especially towards women and nonwhites, and think that treating weaker members of society well is also important for men to do as well. I’d appreciate an explanation as to why you have those concerns, especially of being emasculated, as well. Because I think it’s important for guys to celebrate their masculinity too. And non-cis people should celebrate their identities whatever they are (disagreement there but that’s what I think).

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,

                      I guess part of my concern comes from what seems like a desire to change men into women, such as having men wear skinny jeans, have feminine hair styles, make up lines just for males, I understand that there are those men who want to look or act more feminine and that is their choice I don’t necessarily disagree with that. What I think bothers me is what seems like a desire (from perhaps a radical feminist standpoint) to cause males to lose their masculine identity so that they can more closely identify with females. I do agree that men need to understand feminism and females better, if they did I think they would be respectful to women and understand their needs better. Again I guess my point is balance, but seeing as your comments reflects this I guess my argument has been deflated lol. Next :)

                    • Crystal

                      “What I think bothers me is what seems like a desire (from perhaps a
                      radical feminist standpoint) to cause males to lose their masculine
                      identity so that they can more closely identify with females.”

                      Please explain how you define masculine identity. Also in what other ways do radical feminists want men to lose their masculine identity that you have observed?

                      “I do agree that men need to understand feminism and females better, if they did I think they would be respectful to women and understand their needs better.”

                      This is the way for men to truly more closely identify with women. If they have those fashion changes without a change of heart then they won’t be any better off. It’s attitude not performance that counts.

                      “I guess part of my concern comes from what seems like a desire to change men into women, such as having men wear skinny jeans, have feminine hair styles, make up lines just for males”

                      Just curious but have you ever thought that this might be a way for men to explore their femme side? Also how is this suppressing guys, please explain as I am trying to understand. As a choice we agree it’s not suppressive but if men were being forced into this we would agree this is highly suppressive; do you see men being forced or pressured into such choices anywhere? Although I know of butch femininity, or masculine femininity, where women celebrate the maleness of their character.

                      “Again I guess my point is balance, but seeing as your comments reflects this I guess my argument has been deflated lol.”

                      Well, I do try to be balanced. I believe in equality first and foremost, which means that women don’t get to rule over men unfairly either, just as men don’t get to rule unfairly over women. Ability, not gender role and biological sex, determines your aptitude.

                      Here is a definition I wrote up about what being manly means to me as a woman; please read it and tell me what you think of it:

                      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2016/02/nagmeh-abedini-franklin-graham-and-the-silencing-of-evangelical-abuse-victims.html#comment-2494976076

                      The thing is, I don’t mind men being manly as long as they are respectful to us the women. I want to feel safe and to implicitly trust and reverence my future hubby knowing he will be honourable with me, but I can’t if guys handle me inappropriately and treat me like an object because I am a woman. To be honest I’ve lost a lot of respect for the sex due to their disgusting behaviour including wife battering (which conversation we had the other day).

                    • averagjo

                      I identify Masculine identity as being strong protectors, courageous in protecting the weaker but also being warriors. I determine that men in general should be considered the stronger vessel and Women the weaker vessel. This is not to say that women don’t have there own particular strengths, because they do women have incredible skills and abilities, but I think men should be in the role of protector and champion of the woman. Yes I think men should definitely be influenced to understand women, I know quite a few of my male friends consider that a lost cause, but I don’t I think understanding breeds familiarity which leads to understanding. I will never be able to fully understand what it feels like to be a woman, but I can definitely do my best to gain information so I can better understand. I guess my fear is that in the process of Women pushing men towards being more sensitive and towards embracing their “feminine side” by wearing different clothes makeup and hairstyles, blurs the lines between female and male, if I can identify with females that is good, if I become confused and identify as a female, well I am not so pleased with that idea. I am not saying that transsexuals or effeminate men are bad or wrong. I just think there is confusion in roles that takes place. (I am sure we won’t agree on that one} I liked your article on the expectation of men masculinity and the role it should fill. I am in agreement with most all of those ideas. I think the truth is that men need to respect and love women and visa versa, feminism on it’s own doesn’t always seem to embrace this idea, there can be a lot of male bashing (not physical) that takes place in what I’ve seen. I think that embracing the best of who we are is a good thing and generally trying to gain a better understanding of one another I think is the key. These are just my ideas though and as I say I am open to discussion on all these points. Just to let you know you have very kind in your responses I really have enjoyed our conversations.

                    • Crystal

                      This will be long, so I will break this up into two parts. Some of these issues I’ve got strong feelings about so please don’t be offended or worried if my tone comes across as passionate, as I am by no means intending to be hostile by my comments, just challenging you to think through a few things; but never be afraid to disagree ever. Thanks for talking about these things with me, some men I know wouldn’t give me the time of day.

                      “I identify Masculine identity as being strong protectors, courageous in protecting the weaker but also being warriors.”

                      I do agree with this sentence, although I have to state that not all men have the temperament or the ability to do this. Are those men any less male? I don’t think so, because masculinity is determined by biology rather than role. Also women can protect men and other women and are very good at it; we should not pass those contributions over as such women are heroes!

                      Putting that aside, please let me explain how the butch cis male ideal of protector makes me think, if he lives up to it, and I hope it’s okay what I’m going to say next. I think of men as these amazingly strong, brilliant, beautiful people with such physical power and strength, and such deep, powerful voices, yet with the ability to be so gentle and kind and respected by everyone because they are honest and compassionate, I find it nothing short of a miracle that such people should exist. Men are capable of marvelous feats but the greatest one of all is being good. In short I’m very pro the idea as long as he lives up to his side of the bargain and doesn’t use it to hurt and betray.

                      I mean nothing inappropriate by the following scenario, but just so you understand a little better what women want in a man. Do you know how a woman feels when her partner, with hands so capable of gentleness and strength and voice so soothing, commands her lovingly to come to him, turns her towards him, draws her gently nearer in such a way she would not dream of resisting his voice nor his hands as she knows this man means her nothing but kindness, and holds her close to his heart, tightening his strong arms around her to help her feel more secure? She snuggles into his embrace, feeling safe, protected, and loved, as he kisses her tears away and lets her know that he loves her for now and for always, and she swears in her heart to be loyal to him, to always make him happy, to never leave his side, and to suffer and die for him if necessary. You earn our loyalty, respect and devotion if only you are kind. Sorry to ramble on like that as I mean nothing by it but to please remember to treat your bride like that on the hardest of days, and some women consider it sweet to be called “my bride” even when they’ve been married to the same man for years. Also I think they are words you need to hear, very much. If you want reverence you need to be willing to show respect back, because women don’t want to be only loved, they want to be respected too.

                      Also another scenario – imagine your friend coming to you with a problem, and she’s been condescendingly patted on the head by other men, told her problem is insignificant, and basically been mansplained to. But she looks to you because she knows you to be intelligent and she knows you will help her. To listen to her when she talks and then try to solve the problem, to let her know she is intelligent and smart when other men have told her only that she is beautiful, means a lot coming from a man, because it means you, as a male, value her with her contributions and her sharp mind. Being complimented for intelligence by a good, kind man speaks volumes to a woman’s heart and secures respect for you. After all, if you want to be a leader, isn’t this the way a good leader acts?

                      For a woman who doesn’t want to be protected but can look after herself the offer can come across as condescending rather than helpful, as she has securely established her independence in herself. I believe that men need to be respectful of the fact that sometimes women *don’t* want to be protected and take a hands-off approach yet be there for the woman if she asks for or needs help, giving her courage and support in enforcing her boundaries. There is a balance between being overprotective and not being protective enough. Being overprotective means smothering the woman emotionally and spiritually but not being protective enough means being neglectful and in some cases either apathetic or a despicable coward.

                      I want to see men raise their voices to defend us when other guys are rude and call out suggestive things to us on the street. I want to see them look tall and imposing as they step between a woman and her attacker and not back down. I want to see men listening to women they care about rather than saying “that sucks”. I want to see men empower women by treating them as equals not using them as inferiors. That is what I think the best way to protect, provide, and lead is, if indeed that is what you think you must do.

                      “I determine that men in general should be considered the stronger vessel and Women the weaker vessel.”

                      Do you mean physically? Or emotionally? Or neurologically? Also on what basis do you determine this?

                      Also, if women really are the weaker vessel how could your mother have borne you into the world? Are you aware of how much physical and emotional effort it takes to birth a child, and to be pregnant? It’s hard, challenging work, and sometimes it can be painful and even life-threatening! What about a woman raising a child, especially by herself? What about the fact women visit the Red Tent (have their cycles) once a month and often feel pressured to pop a painkiller in their mouths and move on rather than respecting themselves, suffering in silence often without the hope of proper treatment? What about the woman who rises above the challenges of fighting for better treatment of women, and faces being ridiculed, mocked, spat on, scorned? What about the woman who faces torture and rape for refusing to reveal the names of people she is hiding or rescuing from an evil government? What about the woman who puts on a pair of boxing gloves because she knows she has to defend herself in this world? What about the woman who works hard, without a break, stinting herself of time and sometimes food so she can feed her children? What about the woman who faces shame for solo pregnancy, or speaks out about her past experiences with a rapist and faces ridicule on that level? What about the woman who has had to stare down her attacker because no man would defend her and say that is no way to speak to a lady? What about the fact that more often than not we bear in silence things men don’t even have to think about? How is that weakness? Don’t you think with the things we face we’re a bunch of tough little b*****s? Please just think about it, very carefully.

                      “I think men should be in the role of protector and champion of the woman.”

                      May I ask why you believe that, so I can understand your opinion better?

                      Here’s my POV on that:

                      That’s a nice sentiment on paper, but men so far have generally done a bloody poor job of it. More often than not, they’ve beaten and betrayed us, and they want the title without the responsibility. They frequently brag about being protectors and use protection as a way to control and exploit women, but when trouble comes they hide behind mummy’s apron strings because all it is is really bluff and they didn’t mean it at all. If men are to call themselves protectors they need to try changing a society that gives them the power to hurt women. Also women need to learn to protect themselves, because men cannot always be trusted. This is a comment from my friend, I found it insightful:

                      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2016/02/nagmeh-abedini-franklin-graham-and-the-silencing-of-evangelical-abuse-victims.html#comment-2494843490

                      “Just to let you know you have very kind in your responses I really have enjoyed our conversations.”

                      I will always be kind unless you do something to betray my trust. I know of some people who would have torn you apart and cursed you for some of the beliefs you espoused. But I care more about a proper dialogue with an open-minded person than turning them off by snarling at them, it’s not helpful to be rude online unless you’re defending yourself. Also you have been very gentlemanly, nary a peep of sexual advances or condescending talk towards me in your conversations, so thank you for being honest with your partner and respectful to me. Plus I want you to enjoy yourself! Online discussions should be polite and fun.

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal, Reply part 1

                      Well you weren’t kidding about the long part, I have decided
                      to copy these comment into a word document so that I can respond to each point
                      easier, as what has been written is very point by point and I don’t want to
                      miss any. I hope you as well will understand my passion about my viewpoints and
                      understand that while I am open to changing my views on certain things, there
                      are others that define my very being which will not be changed. Of course I am
                      willing to talk about these things; only through conversation can there come
                      to be understanding.

                      I am glad that my first sentence on Identity of Masculinity
                      is something that in the most part we can agree with. I understand your
                      position that not all Men may have this temperament, some men are very brutish and
                      strong and others are more sensitive… this is true and my argument doesn’t discount
                      that idea. What I will say is even though every man shouldn’t necessarily be
                      out fighting in wars, I think every man is called to be a leader, those who
                      shirk that responsibility are still male biologically speaking but they have
                      cast aside the role God gave them (in my opinion)

                      To your second point about this, I understand that we are
                      living in a culture that has decided that everything and everyone need a label,
                      while I can understand the desire for it, I do not and never will consider myself
                      a butch cis male. I am a heterosexual Christian Male and if I am to be labeled
                      that is how I desire to be labeled. As far as your view if these men I agree to
                      be a man requires more than brute strength it requires intelligence, wisdom,
                      strength, sensitivity, compassion and many other of the attributes you
                      mentioned. I take issue with your last statement though, because of what our
                      culture has decided the word good to mean. In my understanding good is to mean
                      perfect in all ways only God matches these qualities therefore any man or woman
                      will fall short of this no matter what they attempt. Being merciful, loving and
                      compassionate are all “good” qualities but no one except God has them perfected.
                      I agree a man should never use his position as a means to hurt, harm or betray
                      if this is your definition of “good” then yes I can agree with that.

                      This next passage is quite interesting to me, and my
                      response will be much shorter as a result. All of the things you mentioned in
                      the section are my relationship with Carolyn to a tea, if you don’t believe me
                      I can have her respond to it with her own remarks. So since we can agree that
                      this is an ideal; of what a man should look like then yes I believe we can move
                      on.

                      Good scenario with the friend as well, and I can tell you in
                      the time I have been in my current position all my co-workers have been women and
                      I have always kept and attentive ear to them and lifted them up when others put
                      them down (including their male acquaintances and spouses, lovers etc). On your
                      point of some men only calling women beautiful, my belief is that there are
                      many types of ways people are beautiful and physical attraction Is only one and
                      not nearly the most important. That said I appreciate women for their minds and
                      their compassion more than for their physical looks, so yes I believe can move
                      on to the next point, whew…. (Perhaps in the future we can break these up more)

                      Your language in this passage is very passionate so I can
                      see these ideas matter a lot to you, so I will make my best attempt to tread
                      lightly. I agree that people in general need to respect one another’s
                      boundaries, I may not always need or desire someone’s help or assistance, and
                      you as well can be independent and do things on your own, no disagreement
                      there. Though here is where things become complicated. Your desire is for a man
                      to know his place? He is to be both a care taker and protector when needed but
                      take hands of approach when he’s not? I do understand there is a balance but
                      the issue I run into with feminists is they half way expect a man to know what
                      approach to take? Sorry it doesn’t work that way… we can’t read minds and if
                      you consider me apathetic or a despicable coward for now knowing the
                      difference, then I guess I’ll accept that lol.

                      So in the scenario of the woman on the street getting cat
                      calls, what if I am stepping on your independence and your desire to defend
                      yourself? How am I to know the difference? I’ll give you an example. One day I
                      am working in my job and I notice a doctor being overly familiar with one of my
                      co-workers, brushing up against her and saying things that are demeaning and
                      condescending. I wait until after the moment has transpired and ask her if she
                      was ok with what just happened? As if not it is my intention to bring it
                      someone else’s attention. She says, no she’s fine with what happened and she
                      wants to handle it herself. I know she’s not fine with it, but I still have to
                      respect her judgement, I could have gone to that doctor and placed him on
                      warning, but then I don’t have her backing my story because she doesn’t want to
                      cause waves. Do you see my quandary? Do you realize also that few men have as
                      much vocabulary as I do in regards to these things? As far as men who are
                      emotional and in touch with their feelings, I feel (and have been told) that I
                      am very sensitive to others feelings and caring and compassionate. I would
                      never simply tell a woman “that sucks” and then just move on I aspire to have
                      empathy not apathy. So I feel we agree for the most part, with how all this
                      should look but disagree on what role each person should play.

                      Here again in this next part is where I feel we will find
                      the least amount of common ground and is another sensitive subject, I’d say it
                      is for both of us; again I will try to tread lightly. I think whenever someone
                      says weaker, it sounds at the beginning like an insult, the truth is though
                      from a biblical weakness is considered a good trait. “For the meek shall
                      inherit the earth” “In our weakness we find strength” So when I say weaker vs
                      stronger I do not mean it say inferior more to say valuable and precious, something
                      to be attended to and cared for. The very idea of my compassion comes from the
                      understanding that it is my role and duty as a husband to care for and protect “my
                      bride” and to offer protection to all the women around me (who actually desire
                      to be protected). God has given me an interesting trait in that I am 6 foot 10
                      inches tall and weigh 350 pounds and am weak as a kitten lol, in that I don’t do
                      anyone harm I don’t strive to be aggressive. That said just the look of me is
                      imposing and people often times think I am aggressive or mean simply because of
                      my size. It has caused me to desire to be more careful and sensitive as it
                      would be easy to just intimidate I’d much prefer making people feel comfortable
                      and safe around me. So for me to say women are the weaker vessel and men are
                      the stronger vessel is only to say men (all men) should seek to protect and compassionately
                      love all women as Christ set the example of his love for all mankind. That said
                      if a woman doesn’t want men or a man to protect her I feel she has made that
                      choice and her decision and the things that happen are her responsibility,
                      often times these situations don’t work out for the best, but if that’s what
                      they desire then they can choose that for themselves. That said I see absolute
                      strength in women and their abilities they are capable of many great feats and
                      as many if not more than men in their own ways, we all have strengths and
                      weaknesses but we should celebrate those things not condemn one another or try
                      to take the others place. Again I think understanding is the key here.

                      As far as men being the champion and the protector, I think
                      I made it pretty clear in my last section what that looks like, but to emphasize
                      more clearly I think as a woman is oftentimes (not always) in need of a
                      physically strong counterpart it is the role of a man to treasure and protect
                      and keep women safe from harm and abuse (especially from himself).

                      I don’t disagree with the next point, men have done a poor
                      job of it, the way men treat women these days is horrid and it is nothing close
                      to what the Bible has as an expectation of the way women should be treated. I
                      think in a lot of ways though the confusion of roles is what has caused a lot
                      of this. Men aren’t being taught to be protectors, as women are not being
                      taught that they need protectors. As a result I think a lot of men think women
                      are to be treated however a man desires to treat them, men don’t know their
                      role and women don’t know theirs so we end up in a place where both are angry
                      with each other and they end up fighting over who is right rather than
                      accepting that they are both right in their own way and wrong in their own way.
                      As far as men changing the society, trust me some men are trying to change
                      these things… We are facing flack though as we are seen as trying to control
                      women in the process, again see how we can’t win?

                      I want to again make it clear that I am enjoying our
                      conversations and even though I am certain there are many more things we won’t
                      necessarily agree on it does help me to have the conversation at least so I can
                      gain perspective. I understand that you know of people who would have torn me
                      apart for the beliefs I am espousing, but let me just mention this, these same
                      beliefs are the ones that cause me to treasure my beautiful Bride Carolyn, and
                      to listen hear the thoughts of other women around them and show care and
                      compassion, so if the beliefs I am espousing are hard to hear perhaps it’s because
                      there is an element of truth there?, just something to think about. Thanks I
                      intend to be gentlemanly and I am glad that is how I have come across, I will definitely
                      consider your points some more, but as I say there are some things of which I
                      will not change my mind about.

                    • Crystal

                      Hey, thanks for your response :)

                      Two things in mind. First I don’t consider you a coward at all! I think you’re a very nice person and I appreciate the fact you would talk about these things so civilly with me.

                      “Being overprotective means smothering the woman emotionally and
                      spiritually but not being protective enough means being neglectful and
                      in some cases either apathetic or a despicable coward.”

                      You said in response:

                      “Sorry it doesn’t work that way… we can’t read minds and if
                      you consider me apathetic or a despicable coward for now knowing the difference, then I guess I’ll accept that lol.”

                      I said that statement because some men can’t be bothered protecting women and do everything they can to get out of it, not in the sense that they’re not built to be strong and protective or have had something happen in their lives so they can’t protect (like being crippled, etc) so much, but because they consider women inferior and they as men matter more. It was not meant to be an indictment on your character and I apologise for implying this. Also you’re not a coward for not knowing the difference, and I think you did the right thing for asking that woman what she wanted done. However if it were me I know I would want intervention on my behalf regardless of whether it was masculine or feminine and I tend to think the default position for a man should be to step in and intervene on the woman’s behalf especially if she’s having a difficult time dealing with it herself. Also I didn’t mean to preach to you about those long paragraphs but was rather telling you how it feels from a female perspective.

                      Secondly, this is my fault in this way – the rules here say we have to stay on-topic, and I think that we need to keep the conversations about adoption rates spiking on this page, and move the conversations about masculinity and femininity onto the page provided below:

                      blog.equalrightsinstitute.com/responding-to-the-astute-observation-that-i-am-a-man/

                      Which means I will respond to your comment in full, on that page and then send you the link so you can respond to me there.

                      Thank you, you are kind and you don’t have to change for me or for anyone. In some ways we don’t agree on this topic but we can still have good discussions about it.

                    • averagjo

                      Yes I agree we will do that, from here on. I’ll make any comments to this over there.

                    • averagjo

                      Reply part 2

                      That said I see absolute strength in women and their abilities
                      they are capable of many great feats and as many if not more than men in their
                      own ways, we all have strengths and weaknesses but we should celebrate those
                      things not condemn one another or try to take the others place. Again I think
                      understanding is the key here.

                      As far as men being the champion and the protector, I think
                      I made it pretty clear in my last section what that looks like, but to emphasize
                      more clearly I think as a woman is oftentimes (not always) in need of a
                      physically strong counterpart it is the role of a man to treasure and protect
                      and keep women safe from harm and abuse (especially from himself).

                      I don’t disagree with the next point, men have done a poor
                      job of it, the way men treat women these days is horrid and it is nothing close
                      to what the Bible has as an expectation of the way women should be treated. I
                      think in a lot of ways though the confusion of roles is what has caused a lot
                      of this. Men aren’t being taught to be protectors, as women are not being
                      taught that they need protectors. As a result I think a lot of men think women
                      are to be treated however a man desires to treat them, men don’t know their
                      role and women don’t know theirs so we end up in a place where both are angry
                      with each other and they end up fighting over who is right rather than
                      accepting that they are both right in their own way and wrong in their own way.
                      As far as men changing the society, trust me some men are trying to change
                      these things… We are facing flack though as we are seen as trying to control
                      women in the process, again see how we can’t win?

                      I want to again make it clear that I am enjoying our
                      conversations and even though I am certain there are many more things we won’t
                      necessarily agree on it does help me to have the conversation at least so I can
                      gain perspective. I understand that you know of people who would have torn me
                      apart for the beliefs I am espousing, but let me just mention this, these same
                      beliefs are the ones that cause me to treasure my beautiful Bride Carolyn, and
                      to listen hear the thoughts of other women around them and show care and
                      compassion, so if the beliefs I am espousing are hard to hear perhaps it’s because
                      there is an element of truth there?, just something to think about. Thanks I
                      intend to be gentlemanly and I am glad that is how I have come across, I will definitely
                      consider your points some more, but as I say there are some things of which I
                      will not change my mind about.

                    • Crystal

                      “As far as men changing the society, trust me some men are trying to change these things… We are facing flack though as we are seen as trying to control women in the process, again see how we can’t win?”

                      I can sympathise with the difficulty and I appreciate that some men are trying to change these things; it means a lot to me and I know a handful of good men I trust. It helps hearing a man’s perspective on these things as well. How do you think women can make it easier for men to protect them? Also in what ways are guys accused of controlling women when they try to change these things, can you explain?

                      Although I will say that topics related to adoption spike rates and similar subjects are for this page, so on that note I have a question for you: What do you believe about in-vitro fertilisation?

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,
                      Yes it is interesting where the topic took us lol, ok back on track with the ideas of the thread. I believe in-vitro fertilization is a wonderful invention but I believe also it has the potential to misused, obviously when multiple embryo’s are implanted from a worldly stand point selective reduction is acceptable, but if you are pro-life this can lead to a quandary as selective reduction is just polite way to say abortion of the unwanted embryo’s. From this perspective it becomes a moral issue every embryo is indeed a potential life. Another problem is the idea of life put on hold through the freezing process. The thing I like about in-vitro is it gives women who may have never had any other chance to birth a child, but I find it irresponsible on the part of doctors who implant more than 2 or 3 because there is always the chance that as many as you place there will become viable. This said there have been instances where multiples in the realm of as many as eight have been viable, and doctors have actually tried to persuade the women to use “selective reduction” as a way to overcome the possible problems involved with this many children at once. I liked what the woman in this particular instance had to say “When I look at my children these days, which one of them would you have had me selectively reduce?” So in the end I think like many technological advances it is neither good nor bad it’s how it’s used that can be either one. If that makes sense?

                    • Crystal

                      I think your answer is very fair. Except I am curious to know, what is so problematic about freezing the embryos? I completely understand your concerns with the first one though.

                      What’s your opinion on the following subject in the article:

                      https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/feb/01/human-embryo-genetic-modify-regulator-green-light-research

                      Also, what is your opinion of the following scenario:

                      Woman A got three ZEFs created for her through in-vitro fertilisation, and she decides she does not want them implanted in her, or she only wants one. The others will most likely be taken and used for embryonic stem cell research. Woman A tells her friend Woman B, who is pro-life, single, and abstinent (a virgin in fact), about her in-vitro fertilisation and her decision to only have one embryo. Woman B decides to have the other two embryos implanted in her and carry them to term, and Woman A and Woman A’s doctor say yes, she can (I’m not sure if that is legally possible and I’d really like to know if it is; but for the sake of this scenario it is). Woman B carries them to term and finds a loving family to adopt them out to, which Woman A also likes. I have a question: do you think Woman B is sinning against God by being pregnant (partially because it could give the appearance that she was sexually active when she wasn’t), and looks like a sl*t for offering to carry the ZEFs, or do you think Woman B is a hero for saving them from a lethal form of embryonic stem cell research (not all forms are lethal to the embryo but some are)? I’m curious to know what PL people’s thoughts are on this kind of scenario because I’ve heard a lot of folks say in-vitro should only be used for married couples, etc; and also tend to disapprove of unwed pregnancies.

                      In regards to the masculine/feminine side of the argument could you please answer this on the link I gave you, when I respond to your comment in full, rather than on this page:

                      blog.equalrightsinstitute.com/will-there-be-a-needed-spike-in-adoption-rates-if-abortion-becomes-illegal/#comment-2506699347

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,
                      I guess I didn’t explain to well lol. It’s not the freezing part that bothers me, it’s the idea that at some point someone might say well I’m done with these and just discard them. I know at this point they aren’t being harmed in the same way as abortion, but there is the connection to life that exists even at this early stages, and I fear that if neglected it just leads to the idea that life isn’t really all the important, or at least not until it is born. To the article you posted, I can’t morally stand behind genetic research even for noble causes. I don’t like the idea of man trying to control how things turn our, perhaps there is a purpose behind what we are trying to eliminate or perhaps by eliminating something we deem bad we also eliminate something that could be positive. Either way I just don’t like the idea of any type of gene manipulation. To your discussion of the use of embryo’s to be given to surrogates to pass on life and adoption to the life that exists, I stand behind that fully, and no I don’t think the woman should be viewed as a (insert derogatory name here) I think she should be thought of as a hero, and I would to shake her hand!

                    • Crystal

                      In regards to your beliefs on freezing embryos I can understand that although I think there is a time and a place for freezing them. Yeah, people create them then discard them, which is morally problematic unless you can find a willing surrogate to take them.

                      “To the article you posted, I can’t morally stand behind genetic research even for noble causes.”

                      Personally I never thought about it the way you said it. What worried me about the article was two things: life might be taken in the process, and human beings are being experimented on without their consent which is not ethical. Again, I’m reminded of the Maze Runner which deals with this very topic, only the subjects are teens.

                      Also I dislike genetic manipulation for animals as well as people; I think that animals should be left alone as they are. Personally there might be a time and a place for genetic experimentation but not at the expense of human or animal life or consent, nor of ethics.

                      “To your discussion of the use of embryo’s to be given to surrogates to
                      pass on life and adoption to the life that exists, I stand behind that
                      fully, and no I don’t think the woman should be viewed as a (insert
                      derogatory name here) I think she should be thought of as a hero, and I
                      would to shake her hand!”

                      I totally agree with you although I am curious as to why you hold the position you do on this issue :)

                      Is it legally possible to do that though?

                      Also I have heard people say that IVF should be illegal because it promotes the abuse of innocent unborn life. I would have thought the abuses should be strictly regulated by law rather than the practice itself being made illegal. I’m pretty sure there would be people in the PL community who would frown on that kind of action for whatever reason possible – for destroying morality and decency, for becoming sl*tty or at least giving the appearance of it, for becoming a parent in a non-traditional way – yes I can hear some of the criticism now. Yet I think you gave the right answer, because every good PL person knows that LIFE comes first, before anything else, and if some other moral position will demean life it is generally best to err on the side of life unless you are defending yourself or executing a genocidal individual.

                    • Crystal

                      Just interested in your opinion – if abortion ever became illegal what do you think would happen to such practices as IVF and embryonic stem cell research? Furthermore, if you could foresee that abortion could become illegal in the future, what do you think the church would need to do to prepare for an abortion-free* country, and would you think the church should even be involved in such preparations?

                      *By this the author means making abortion illegal, but we will always have abortion with us so abortion-free is inaccurate in this sense.

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,

                      Intereating ideas, well if abortion were to become illegal I would think that anything that could be done to an embryo should be stopped short of giving it life. I don’t agree with stem cell research as I think it is often used as an excuse to keep doing more and more abortions. Anything that is done with an aborted baby I consider horrible because as you mentioned it completely ignores that right of that creation to make the choice. As far as IVF is concerned I think you would definitely have to make some changes in regads to procedures but I would hope that with reforns it would continue, as a way for mothers who have a hard time getting pregnant to become pregnant and also for woman who for whatever reason can’t carry a preganancy, to pass on their life through surragacy. I love the idea of women who are willing to.make that sacrafice for each other I see it as a very beautiful practice. No One Should ever shame a woman for wanting to help bring life into this world .

                    • Crystal

                      “Intereating ideas, well if abortion were to become illegal I would think
                      that anything that could be done to an embryo should be stopped short
                      of giving it life. I don’t agree with stem cell research as I think it is often used as an excuse to keep doing more and more abortions.”

                      Agreed. I do, however, have a question. I know of embryonic stem cell research procedures that do *not* take the life of the embryo; do you consider those unethical? Also, what is your opinion on mothers who donate their miscarried or stillborn babies’ bodies to medical science so that they could help someone else? One reason people want abortion to continue is that women donate their aborted babies to PP so that the organs, etc, can be passed on to a child that needs to live; what is your opinion on that?

                      “As far as IVF is concerned I think you would definitely have to make
                      some changes in regads to procedures but I would hope that with reforns
                      it would continue, as a way for mothers who have a hard time getting
                      pregnant to become pregnant and also for woman who for whatever reason
                      can’t carry a preganancy, to pass on their life through surragacy.”

                      I totally agree. It shouldn’t be banned entirely as that would force couples to be sterile unless someone decided to adopt a baby out to them. Yet I think that it can open the door to some very unethical practices if not properly regulated with respect for human life.

                      For curiosity’s sake, do you think that secular humanism and the desire to utilise science in every area of life has such an intense grip on the West that abortion becoming illegal is next to impossible?

                      “I love the idea of women who are willing to.make that sacrafice for each
                      other I see it as a very beautiful practice. No One Should ever shame a
                      woman for wanting to help bring life into this world .”

                      I do agree with that answer and I appreciate the fact you would understand why some people would want to do that.

                      Would your answer be the same if Woman A had totally decided against carrying the embryos at all? Also, would it be the same if there had been no Woman A involved, and Woman B had simply decided to either adopt a snowflake baby or at least give it life and find it a good home?

                      Also, what would be your response to those who protested that such behaviour was out-of-order, and that it is shameful for a woman to seek to be pregnant outside of the bounds of marriage whatever her motives (which would be to save embryos from embryonic stem cell research, to find or offer a good home for a child, or simply to experience birth in a positive way while making sure the child’s future home was well accounted for), protested that IVF should only be practiced by married couples (one reason out of many being that children are best raised by a mother and father), or gave any of the other objections I listed? I can understand the objection that people are carrying on an inhuman trade from the level of arguing that it should be illegal though I don’t totally agree with such reasoning. But as for the other objections they would be rooted in very anti-women taking control of their fertility ideas, wouldn’t they? I know your opinion but in this question I’m asking for your response to the nay-sayers who would make life difficult for someone like that.

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,

                      As the idea of an embryo not being harmed and there being research done through stem cells, I was not aware of this process. If life is allowed to continue, I can’t really see this as a bad thing. Especially if it allows good things to come of it, stillborn and miscarriages, if I were the woman I would not want this, but I am not sure of the ethical complications. Should bodies be used to further science? This one I am not sure where I stand on it, it seems cold and cynical but at the same time it might serve a higher purpose? As far as aborted babies being used as tissue donors.. I don’t think this is right, I don’t see a way to justify taking someone else’s life simply so another can live. Now let me say this though, I lost my daughter to a tragic accident when she was 5. I know for the type of girl she was she would have wanted her death to mean something. So we did agree to donate her organs for the hope that others cold have a better life. We also donated certain other pieces for research, obviously outside of that we had a burial and service. But I do agree with the idea of tissue donation, and entire body? That I struggle with. As far as those who try to make some moral issue about surragacy of embryo’s they can go dive off a cliff! Lol jk, my view on this is I don’t care how it “might look” to someone who says only married people should be having children, if its for the sake of saving life I don’t see that it should matter if it’s a doctor in a hospital or a young woman who wants to bring forth a discarded life they are both heroes in my sight, and tell the naysayers to piss off lol

                    • averagjo

                      Oh and one other thing I forgot to mention (and this will really make those nay sayers flip I am sure) I am so on board with the idea of saving these unborn embryo’s that if science were to make it possible I’d carry one to term myself.

                    • Crystal

                      Unfortunately as a male-bodied individual it would be presently impossible for you to do so, but I admire the offer :)

                      Do you know how science could make it possible for male-bodied people to be able to carry unborn embryos to term?

                      I’m happy to hear it doesn’t matter the reasons that a woman would choose to do such a thing, nor her station in life; thanks for being a reasonable person and putting life first.

                      Also especially considering a few factors:

                      1) a woman has a right to control her fertility (within reason of course)
                      2) reproductive choices are empowering when chosen
                      3) that child could be raised in a loving home
                      4) anyone offering to do that would be pretty brave especially considering pregnancy and childbirth are potentially life-threatening, and unless someone is using medical or alternative (including spiritual) means to overcome pain they might very well suffer greatly
                      5) I thought life was the highest ideal here; again I am reminded that for some folks it’s a smokescreen

                    • averagjo

                      I have heard that there is research in this area, but yes as of yet it is not a reality.

                    • averagjo

                      Yes I am I open to women of all stations in life being willing to making that aacrafice. I know it is a huge sacrafice and there is incredible pain and suffering that comes through this. As I have said before I see it as a wonderful thing that women would make this sacrafice and if I could I would do so myself.

                    • Crystal

                      I hope my mentioning the potential downsides of the childbearing process is okay with you. I totally agree with your statement and I tell every mother out there with a baby that she is brave. I don’t know why they don’t get awarded medals for courage, Anne Frank noted. Yet I will say that not all women suffer; painfree childbearing is a thing :)

                    • averagjo

                      Not at all one must mention all of the negatives along with the good. yes I agree women should be celebrated for child bearing and birthing and yes I believe that as a society we should do whatever we can to make it as painless and comfortable an experience as possible. I have heard that water birth can be a very comforting experience as far as making birthing easier. I know in all cases it isn’t possible but when it is I think birthing should be done in most natural ways possible.

                    • Crystal

                      I think you are right. Also I believe we need to start changing our language toward childbirth – like encouraging people to think of it as *challenging* rather than *painful* and *pressure waves* rather than *labour pains* – hypnobirth therapists frequently emphasise positive language to describe the experience. You’d be surprised how many people had less to no pain when they employed such methods as hypnobirth and took such speech to heart. Although I will say, it doesn’t always work out and some people suffer horribly, but I think that pain is a sign something is wrong rather than a sign that everything is normal; why do people only say there is good pain when it applies to women I will never understand.

                      My mother had me via C-section so natural birth was impossible in her case (yes, sometimes we need the hospitals!). The disgusting thing is that some people (as I mentioned before) really believe C-sections are a sign of narcissism in our society and that it is less selfish to birth naturally, ugh! Although I will admit sometimes C-sections are unnecessary that doesn’t mean we can’t have the practice itself because sometimes it just might save a life!

                    • Crystal

                      Oh, I nearly forgot – will such people offer pain relief or encourage alternative methods to overcome and reduce pain and nausea? This answer doesn’t apply in every case, but more often than not, NOPE.

                    • averagjo

                      hmm I am not sure about what your question is here? but I if you are saying that in regards to the birthing process, I am not sure why it would be any different for invitro pregnancies that non in this case.

                    • Crystal

                      It’s a rhetorical statement. Of course it wouldn’t be any different for in vitro; that’s not my point. My point is this – despite all the advances in medical science and all the alternative ways of eliminating pain and nausea out there, there are people in this world who STILL believe the nonsensical idea that women deserve to suffer pain in childbearing and would rather shun anesthetics and epidurals for childbirth or hypnobirthing/yoga/other, nonspiritual ways (at least I think they are) than open themselves to Satan (in the case of some alternative methods), impede the birthing process (in the case of medical methods). In short, they believe women should feel the raw pain. I am not joking. I could back up my claims.

                      For instance I spoke to one person once who believed that women should not have C-sections because they were selfish (no kidding) and when I tried to reason him out of his ideas by explaining to him I did not appreciate pain in the area of femininity most common to my single life and was trying to get rid of it (and I used examples to prove this) – and at least that was my motive in my comment although I’m not sure how clear I made myself, his response was that it was beautiful that I could feel the many aspects of pain. Also I tried to explain to him my fears (I got pretty graphic, to my shame) and his response was positive enough but I couldn’t help but notice that this guy got excited whenever I described anything painful :(

                      He’s not the only one. There are more people with this mindset that childbearing requires neither medical nor alternative methods. Then they tell women their only purpose is to bear children. People like that make me really, really angry. Some of these people have a sadistic pregnancy fetish that makes them enjoy the suffering of others, while others are religiously minded and believe that the pain is punishment for being a woman and the sins you committed and you shouldn’t do anything to decrease/eliminate it or you can’t do anything about it. If you’d like I’ll be happy to try to back up my statements because I wouldn’t say these things if I didn’t know some people’s minds.

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,
                      Wow there is a lot of passion in your statements, I am sorry I had missed the point of what you were trying to say. Let me give my personal experience of birth through the process my ex-wife and I went through. My ex-wife decided that she would like to have as natural a child birth as possible, not painful mind you just less medical. Being that she is Diabetic a home birth would not have been a possibility. So she hired two Doulas. I am not sure if you have heard of this practice but basically a Doula is a person (usually a woman) who has either experience her own children’s births or other women’s births who understands the pain and discomfort in the process involved. They were both amazing support people and they were able to work with the medical staff to get my ex (her name is Susan) what she needed (they were a go between with the medical staff) They also brought in essential oils and knew about massage techniques and pressure that could be added during things such as back labor (when the baby is pushing on the back) There was also the option of going into the water and showers to help with the pain as well as soothing music when possible. It was quite the experience and even though medically a C-section was required due to her not being able to get to the point of being dilated enough to give birth, just having those support people there through the process was an amazing experience. Unfortunately it is also a cost that insurance doesn’t pay for, but if the culture could change I think this would be a great option. As far as thinking pain is beautiful or thinking that women should have to endure pain because of some sin in the garden of eden “bullocks to them!” If there is a way to reduce the pain without danger to the woman or the child I am all for it. Also as far as C-sections go, there is nothing I can see that is wrong with the idea of all births being done by C-section if that is what the woman desires, Susan actively wanted to try for a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After C-section) and it was hard to find a Doctor willing to go along with that plan, but we did find one, and had the same doulas along for our second child. This also was not successful (Due in large part to having the same problem as last time. Ultimately both children were born by C-section but I don’t consider that a bad thing. I am glad that the technology existed and I don’t see it as selfish at all if that’s what it takes to make it comfortable I am all for it.

                    • Crystal

                      Thank you for sharing that, very much. I honestly hope Susan didn’t suffer very much if at all; pain in childbirth is horrible but I do appreciate that she had support during this very difficult time. Yes, I do know about doulas :)

                      Have you ever heard of abortion doulas? As I see it, this is yet another way of legitimising morally unacceptable behaviour. Can I understand that women might desire support through an abortion? Yes, on that level I grok it, yet at the same time I am deeply appalled by this:

                      http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/ct-abortion-doula-turner-met-20150824-column.html

                      http://nymag.com/thecut/2014/09/my-year-as-an-abortion-doula.html#

                      I’d like to know what you think.

                      Thanks for letting me know that you don’t approve of this attitude against pain relief. I agree, anyone who wants to punish women for Eve’s sin can go fornicate themselves with a rusty pipe. Also I don’t see how C-sections can do anything but benefit those who need them! Nothing narcissistic about that, in fact it’s life saving and as I mentioned, LIFE comes before other considerations as much as possible. However what kinds of situations would pain relief bring danger to mother or child, do you know of any?

                      In regards to our discussion on celebration of femininity, I wrote and said, “I’d give you some articles about what influenced my thinking on this issue but you’d have to be okay with that first.” I very much want to share at least some of what led me to this place but is this offer acceptable to you? Also would your wife mind if I did, because she can read them too and be encouraged if she wants :)

                      Last but not least, I saw this interesting video recently on YouTube called “Hypnobirthing Dad’s Role” and I was struck strongly by the way the man treated his wife. I sensed by the way he touched, supported, served, spent time with, and looked at her, that he deeply cherished her and he treated her with nothing but the utmost tenderness and service, and when she smiled at him I saw how much she blossomed under his affection and she was happy to bear him their child; it was a truly beautiful birth and I know if I ever had a partner I would want to be treated the exact same way. I’m telling you this because, again, I’m wanting to help you be a better man and if you have any guy friends that will soon hold their children then please let them know, this is the way they should treat their wives/partners during that time.

                    • Crystal

                      There was a time when women DIED if they didn’t push the baby out. Also women still die in childbirth, even in the US!

                      Also, just wanted to make it clear – it’s not the support for a woman having an abortion that horrifies me; on that level I can understand people having abortion doulas. What I find horrifying is the normalising of taking another person’s life and treating it the same way as other types of surgery that really help people live, on that level it’s sad and I’m shocked and grieved by it. Do you think I am wrong?

                    • Crystal

                      BTW, I know I’ve said this before but if your wife ever wants to be part of our conversations that will make me very happy :)

                    • Crystal

                      “Anything that is done with an aborted baby I consider horrible because
                      as you mentioned it completely ignores that right of that creation to
                      make the choice.”

                      Why is it we take such care to care for born people’s right to refuse to be used as medical experiments, even to the point of allowing abortion and of allowing people to refuse to be organ donors, yet if someone is seriously ill (ie braindead, PVS, sometimes coma, or just suffering from some serious physical or mental disease), unborn, or an animal, that we don’t care about their consent when it comes to medical science? That just doesn’t make sense to me at all!

                    • averagjo

                      Yes I agree it is sad that people allow that to be the case. People should always respect life in all it’s forms as well as animal lives. I do agree medical science shouldn’t be using living people or animals for experiments that is just wrong.

                    • averagjo

                      Oh and to answer the role I see the Church taking , I believe it’s only responsible for the Church to step up and provide love and caring support to these mother’s and help them through the various stages of the pregnacy and either adopton process or raising and supporting. I believe in the idea that it takes a village to raise a child and if the Church were to adopt that ideology I think we could definitely make some headway in making ourselves more than just speakers of pro-life but supporters of it.

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal I have posted a response to the first part of this over on the other link.

                    • Crystal

                      Thank you :)

                    • Crystal

                      I do hope I am listening to and being respectful towards your concerns rather than being dismissive and brushing them under the carpet. I know what it is to have that happen to me so I am trying not to do the same to others.

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,

                      Let me just state this really quickly and the I will reply to your other posts. No not at all this is genuinely good discourse and I am enjoying it, I have been spending some time talking with Carolyn (My Beautiful Bride) and that is why I haven’t responded until now. Now back to your points lol

                    • Crystal

                      That’s great, please tell her hello from me. Also I hope she doesn’t mind the things we talk about.

                    • averagjo

                      Yes I will definitely say hello to her, yes she knows we are talking and I have told her what we talk about so yes it’s fine :)

                    • Crystal

                      Oh, that’s good. I’m glad you don’t keep secrets from your wife and I don’t tend to trust men that do.

                    • averagjo

                      Nope to Carolyn my life is an open book. :) I don’t think you can love or be loved if there is no trust :)

                    • averagjo

                      Ack I responded to this but it didn’t post lol. Ok let me try again

                    • Crystal

                      Yes, it did post. Please don’t bother writing it up again.

                    • averagjo

                      Oh ok thank you, for some reason I am not seeing it?

                    • Crystal

                      Don’t know why you’re not but will respond when I can.

                    • averagjo

                      ok I see it now weird.

                      No worries sounds like you are busy today.

                    • Crystal

                      I will be soon.

                    • Crystal

                      Just curious – how do you define femininity? Because when I think of it I think of the biological feminine processes but do you have more in mind as well?

                      “Not at all, I think it’s wonderful that you can celebrate your femininity.”

                      Thank you, that is very nice because today is one of those days that hearing such a thing is very meaningful to me :)

                      “Not being female I guess I have a hard time identifying with the ideas, but I am happy that you are learning to embrace them.”

                      In some ways, due to my ignorance on certain matters, it became a harder road than it needed to be; but I am getting on the right track again and am working to experience my femininity on my own terms, learn a lot about myself to improve all aspects of my life including this one, and take pride in it again rather than being subjected to what I believe and know to be negative experiences. I’d give you some articles about what influenced my thinking on this issue but you’d have to be okay with that first.

                      “I know that society definitely makes it a negative point of women and
                      their physical and emotional differences from and early age.”

                      Yes, ever heard of those jokes about women’s biological femininity, or men joking about raping or assaulting women, or other such things? Just the statement that women are inferior alone is enough. Also what do you mean by emotional differences (which in some ways are largely influenced by hormones)?

                      “It seems hey do the same thing to young boys in a different way, by telling us to be tough and not to cry.”

                      Boys should be allowed to cry because they’re people first and foremost and have emotions. Just curious though, how can you believe in roles yet think that boys should be allowed to shed tears? Because complementarianism tends to lead people away from allowing boys to show any emotions at all.

                      “So from that perspective I can identify with being discouraged to explore certain feelings and emotions.”

                      Woman up and take painkillers, resting is wimpy and that time of the month isn’t that special anyway. You’re being way too sensitive about childbearing and you’re afraid of nothing. If you didn’t wear that provocative outfit those boys wouldn’t have been tempted to whistle at you/you wouldn’t have been raped. Women should be quiet in church, etc. Women can lead men into sin theologically and sexually. Women should have intimacy whenever the husband wants it, he is the head after all. This and a lot of other stuff makes it hard for us to explore who we are. Just like it must be for men, being told they can’t cry etc.

                      “As I say I think we are all beautifully and wonderfully made and that
                      even the things that society wants us to view as grotesque are beautiful
                      in their own way.”

                      They are, yes. But problems with them aren’t beautiful – they need fixing.

                    • averagjo

                      So much to answer in this one,

                      I see femininity and masculinity as being both biology and psychology. I see men and women and being dynamically different in both regards. So yes there is the biological pieces and the the cycles, but there is also a different emotional reaction. Men tend to be (even without environmental adaptation) to be more logical thinkers and less emotional. Not that men are not capable of emotion we just aren’t naturally as emotional and I think that is even besides hormones. I think this is actually a good thing as men are able to live in a fire fight when people are dying all around them and not be emotionally crushed. (let me say I don’t like war, but I do see it as a necessary evil in some ways) Where as women are great in hospital situation because of their more natural empathy and sensitivity can be strong but also emotional and great care takers. Men as Doctors and Nurses (I have noticed) tend to be more withdrawn from the person and drawn to the symptoms, where females in the same role seem more capable of treating the person. I am not saying one cannot learn to be like the other, but that there is a difference in who is good at what. Yes I have heard the jokes and language men use to and about women I have never agreed with it and I do my best to tell people who tell me those things that it is not respectful. About allowing boys to cry, I believe that men need not some much get in touch with their “feminine side” as much as getting in touch with their emotions (which are not necessarily masculine or feminine maybe a combination of both). Yes I do agree it is out of balance we definitely need to encourage men to explore their feeling and women to explore the emotion, feeling, bodies etc. These are definitely things we can agree on.

                    • Crystal

                      Also when I correct or disagree with you I’ll generally be as gentle as I can be (unless you defend nazis or some other such crazy thing – I know you wouldn’t but I’m very harsh on that kind of thing). I’m letting you know up front that you’ve got nothing to be afraid of, because you seem to have had a pretty rough start in life and if anything I don’t want you to be scared to speak your mind, and I want you to know someone cares about you the person despite not liking some of your ideas. I hope I’ve been gentle in our past interactions as well, because I think it can mean a lot to an emotionally battered individual when someone is kind to them and possibly help heal them further.

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,
                      The feeling is mutual Crystal, I respect your values. You have been brought through life on your journey and I on mine whatever the reason our paths crossed I pray that I can be a good friend to you and invest myself in being a positive reflection of the love of Christ. :)

                    • Crystal

                      Seeing a different side of Christianity should be interesting. I’m happy you took my invitation to this site, and I hope you don’t mind if I show you another one:

                      blog.secularprolife.org

                      Also I think you’ve been very nice. Some men are just plain rude.

                    • averagjo

                      Not at all I am more than open to take our discussions to whichever forums you would like to converse on :)

                    • Crystal

                      Thanks! Just pick an SPL article (preferably recent), comment on it, and send me the link. I’ll be down as soon as I can, but am rather busy today so might not get to you immediately. Also I hope you don’t mind my pointing out that you missed these comments although I don’t expect you to answer everything I write:

                      https://disqus.com/home/discussion/joshbrahm/will_adoption_rates_spike_if_abortion_becomes_illegal/#comment-2502079110

                      https://disqus.com/home/discussion/joshbrahm/will_adoption_rates_spike_if_abortion_becomes_illegal/#comment-2502116893

                    • Crystal

                      Same to you.

                    • Crystal

                      BTW if anyone is rude to you online it’s best to ignore them, I learned the hard way. I see you have the tendency to try to reconcile, like me. It doesn’t work with some folks and sometimes I will be rude or ignore them to stand my ground and defend myself, then I leave them forever. That’s just the way some relationships online are, especially as some people consider confrontational statements as speaking forth truth to be a virtue.

                    • averagjo

                      Good morning Crystal (or at least it is morning here)
                      Yes I think you are right, probably best not to try to reconcile with those who are openly hostile, it might be considered akin to trying to keep a starving tiger from eating you when your in it’s cage lol. I will do my best to keep that though in the forefront of my mind while I am posting on Love, Joy Feminism for sure. Thanks again for the good advice :)

                    • Crystal

                      It’s best that you do for LJF, it’s unofficially a safe space for survivors of spiritual abuse, domestic violence, and that kind of thing. For some, they find the mention of the words and the ideas “pro-life” and “Christian” to be triggering.

                    • averagjo

                      Yes I can understand that, the Church as not done enough to let people know they are loved. I myself have been part of the condemning side, but no more God is calling me to love people where they are at and even though it’s easy to say you love everyone it’s much harder to prove it, thank you again for helping me to understand that. I will do my best to be more sensitive to the issues discussed there.

                    • Crystal

                      Thanks for the admission. Just curious, how did you judge people in the past? Also if you want to be sensitive lurk for a while, get to know the territory, and if you have any controversial ideas phrasing them in a question rather than a dogmatic statement could ensure that you are less likely to be attacked.

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,
                      Boy what a tough story, well I guess to start with I was raised in a very “traditional” Christian home. The ideas that were forced into my mind at a very early age, were; if someone disrespects you or challenges you any in way you have to right to respond with physical abuse, emotional abuse, spiritual abuse or any other type that exerts control over that person or animal. You have the right to be racists against those who have intimidated you or made you feel unsafe. You have the right to hold people accountable to levels that you yourself are not held accountable to. Long story short I was the poster child of not how to raise a child. I have struggled my whole life for identity as this is not who I wanted to be, and I have found some success but also a lot of failure along the way. As I mentioned in another post it is quite possible the Lord is still working on these heart issues within me, I must admit these are hard things to talk about, but as much as I say it’s wrong to objectify women, I have. As much as I say it’s necessary to love and respect women I haven’t. As much as I say it is best to meet people where there are, I have failed there as well. My only saving grace truly is that God Jesus has not allowed me to stay as I once was, and continues to change me from the inside out on a daily basis.

                  • Crystal

                    Oh and when you can, can we please pick up where we left off? Thanks.

                    • averagjo

                      Of course! Where exactly did we leave off again?? lol

                    • Crystal

                      I think there are a few comments of mine you haven’t answered if you check in the Inbox. We could resume there if that’s all right with you.

                    • averagjo

                      Of course, although now I think I have responded lol.. So I will wait for your response and go from there :)

          • Crystal

            Although I will note, that even if a raped woman got an abortion she will still bear the consequences of the rapist’s actions, she just won’t be pregnant.

            • averagjo

              It’s true as rape doesn’t go away just because the baby isn’t there as a reminder. I feel all women who have been raped are probably suffering some form of n PTSD and I think we as a nation need to acknowledge that and seek to trear them appropriately and help them seek the best possible care.

              • Crystal

                I know. Though an abortion might bring relief for some, it would bring intense guilt over killing a person for others.

                I think you have it. We need to address the issues of trauma behind rape through therapy, etc. Then we can talk about abortions, but not before then (unless the situation requires something different).

                Also what do you think of rape culture? Do you think it’s real or imagined by the evil liberals?

                • averagjo

                  No I definitely believe there is a rape culture. In most women I’ve dated and or been Married to there have been issues of rape and incest. I read about it in the paper constantly and I also work at a Prison where more than half of the people incarcerated are sex offenders we definitely have a rape culture in this country and no evil liberals convinced me of that lol

                  • Crystal

                    How would you suggest addressing the issues of trauma behind rape in therapy?

                    Also, have you ever read at this website before:

                    samanthapfield.com

                    Cuz I have and she’s confounded awesome :)

                    She’s also the one who taught me about rape culture, although there were others that had a hand in that as well.

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,

                      I will have to look at the article more in depth later. To answer your question as easily as I can. I believe the first and most important thing is to let them know “it’s not your fault” this can seem silly after all why would you assume they would think it’s their fault? It is strange how the mind works but it seems no matter how little responsibility we hold for what has happened to us we always tend to second guess ourselves and say “if only i’d done this” or “if only I hadn’t done that”. These are normal reactions in minor incidents in our lives they are magnified when we face trauma. A victim of rape needs an opportunity almost immediately to regain a sense of contol. Our society rushes them straight to a hospital where a rape kit is taken furthering the shame and embarassement. Then comes the police questioning which often times makes the Woman feel like she is being interrorgated and made to feel guilty. If I could find a way to do it I’d lobby for a rape recovery center. The first thing that would be offered is something to drink and eat in a calm peaceful environment. Then when she was ready I would offer counsel , but mostly someone to listen and hear her. It’s important she regains sone sense of power. Then I would ask her what she wants to do in regards to the rape kit. I would offer her the ability to do it on her own terms with no pressure. I would then offer a place of peaceful sanctuary where she could clean up and listen to calm peaceful music and other things that restore peace. I would make allowance for her to stay until she feels ready to leave and make sure she has a safe person to escorts her. I would make sure that all interactions that could feel shaming or embarrassing were done with women either exclusively or at least present and then have regular followups setup for the next 6 months with continued followups for a year as needed. I would have in thsee followups chances for the women to talk to each other through group therapy. I would give them the opportunity to speak freely and not be judged for their feelings and emotions. I would make sure to continue followup for the next 5 years on a more limited basis or at any point where the services were no longer desired.

                    • Crystal

                      That solution you have offered is simply perfect. I swear you must have a brilliant mind!

                      As for the “article” it’s actually a website. Just type in “rape” and “rape culture” into the search engine and you’ll come up with dozens of results.

                      Confronting rape culture is essential if we are to end the abortion battle. People need to see that prolifers CARE. I have read that some people consider rape culture to be more of this feminist stuff so they don’t look at it, although it’s actually very real and terrifying!

                      Also have you heard of Roosh V and the pro-rape conferences he was planning to hold? Guys like that ought to be locked up in prison, what a hateful bastard (sorry for swearing Josh but that guy disgusts me beyond measure).

                    • averagjo

                      Oh yes I meant to comment on this, my co-worker Kim and I had conversation about the rape culture today. Apparently one of her classmates in a class she was taking made the comment “well if women wouldn’t dress so provocatively” needless to say she was not impressed with that comment. I think its that overall viewpoint that continues the culture and makes it easier for Men to continue to justify their evil behavior. No I had not heard about Roosh V and the pro-rape conferences and frankly I am shocked and appalled. This is something that should not be allowed and yes for certain any participants and organizers should be locked up!

                    • Crystal

                      Another thing – these dear people think it’s their fault because society made them believe raped and abused women were always at fault, and they’ve seen others that spoke out get blamed, ridiculed, and shunned while the perpetrators get a free pass. In the interests of true justice we have to fight this and rapists must be PUNISHED!