I've been dating this girl for a while now, and I knew she was Catholic.  I knew that going into it and I accept that.  She knows that I'm an Atheist. 


The other day somehow we got on the subject of abortion.  I simply told her that I'm pro-choice, and don't think that I have any say in what a woman does with her body.  She responds by telling me that women that would consider getting an abortion are "failures as women"(I'm quoting). 


I was forced to sit there an smile and not say a thing because it left no room for discussion.  I had no idea what to say to that.


I feel like I should run away from this girl and not look back, despite the fact that we seem to be compatible in every other way.  Should I over look this, or slap myself for thinking that a relationship with this girl would actually work out?

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Yeah, it'll be a bit simpler when we're on the same side of the continent.
There's the Marijuana festival in Vancouver in April :P
Great, now you just have to overcome the fact that smoking anything makes me throw the hell up, and we're in business.

oh my lungs can't handle smoking! LoL (my parents' 3 packs/day kept me sick for 17 years! more child abuse... sigh).

I choke endlessly and pee myself... but I want to look into vaporizers... ô.ô

I stick to caffeine.  I have enough psychological issues without adding harder drugs to the mix.
From what you've said she doesn't sound like an ultra-observant Catholic. There's a possibility that her pro-life stance isn't primarily based on religion, especially since she didn't use the terms 'sin', 'god', 'souls' or any other purely theistic term to argue her point. As I said in my earlier comment, my dad's pro-life and he's an agnostic bordering on atheist. There are pro-life atheists at the Nexus (though they are few in number). So maybe this isn't a religion vs. atheism issue, it's just a differing of opinions. Could you date a pro-life agnostic or atheist? Is disagreement over abortion a deal-breaker for you? Only you can answer that.

In many couples there are hot-button issues where debate is not a good idea. It could be racism, sexism, child-abuse or any issue that creates a strong emotional response, especially if one partner has a history in that area, or can be directly affected by it. Whether you can accept this in a potential partner is up to you.

Of course, her pro-life stance may be a product of brain-washing and upbringing but she may not feel it is directly related to religion. If so then she may end up changing her position over time like many other lapsed theists.

Whatever you decide I wish you luck!

What does "failures as women" mean anyway? To me it sounds scarily like the idea that pregnancy, childbirth, and child-rearing are the sole purpose of female existence. It sounds like an idea whose underpinning is the belief that women are only valuable to society as reproductive vessels. But that's just a guess from a stranger. If I were you, I'd start by asking her what she thinks makes a woman a success as a woman. What is her understanding of the role of reproduction in the female experience? Why does she feel that she can so confidently declare such a large group of women (all those who would even consider abortion) as failures?


Yeah, I'd have a lot of questions.


I'd also be inclined to tell her she sounds like someone who doesn't know much about women's experiences with abortion. Women who consider and who have abortions are a diverse group. Among us there are those who are single, married, and partnered... there are those of us who are mothers of children already, those who are childfree by choice, those who may hope to become mothers later in life, and those who just aren't sure... we are diverse of skin color, diverse of gender identity, diverse of ability, age, income, and ideology. But we are probably in some way performing our gender on a daily basis. Really now, who is she to say that we aren't being women successfully? I might give her a copy of Susan Wicklund's "This Common Secret" and see what she makes of it.


Ditto.  I've heard some whack jobs (almost all women (all that I remember, but I don't want to qualify that)) describe menstruation as a woman's womb weeping because it's not full.  I don't specifically remember seeing the two in association, but it sounds like the Quiverfull movement's sort of thing.
  • I'd also be inclined to tell her she sounds like someone who doesn't know much about women's experiences with abortion. Women who consider and who have abortions are a diverse group.

My significant other's mother worked for a family planning center in Georgia, once.  Oh the stories she had.


My favorite is about those women she'd see on both sides of the picket line.  They look a bit different without their little banners waving.  Because there are three things that will make even a lot of pro-lifer's consider abortion: rape, incest, and me.

When I hear the phrase "failure as a woman," that tells me that there is some preconceived notion of what a woman is "supposed" to be.  There may be more to that than just not having abortions.  Many think women aren't "supposed" to make more than men, or "supposed" to like to wear pink and dresses rather than jeans and flannel, or "supposed" to want to spend the day shopping rather than play some sport considered masculine.


If she has such notions about women, then she probably has them about men too.  Men are "supposed" to know how to fix everything mechanical and build stuff, and "supposed" to be able to lift all heavy stuff, and "supposed" to not be into art and flowers, etc.  Do you have anything you do that she might not see as manly?  If so, are you prepared to completely squash that activity or thing you may like to fit her ideas of what a man is supposed to be?  Oh, and don't forget that the "manly provider" provides most of the financial support.  Hope you have a good job. ;-)


I really hate gender rules and think they all should be thrown in the garbage.  It's just another case of people trying to force others to be just like them instead of respecting other people's differences. 

Does your girlfriend know you are posting about her on a public forum?  If not, then this whole thread is pretty creepy.
He's only speaking in very general terms, and he's seeking advice.  He's quite far from any impropriety.




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