Thursday, January 12, 2006

Alito Hearings and John Tierney's abortion

? What is there to say?

In the final day of the , she thought she was attending a church social. And lucky her, she was the only "gal" invited to the big to-do. She basked in the male gaze.

Hey, I'm sure she's had many Wendy Jo Sperber moments. Being able to have Kip and Henry's attention without a Donna Dixon about to enter the room () was probably quite enjoyable to her.

If it weren't, she would have called on his patronizing her with remarks about her "dramatic entrance." That a U.S. Senator can't call a man on that isn't encouraging to the rest of us.

But she seemed quite happy to be belle of the ball.

Too bad she didn't seem too keen on questioning Alito.

As C.I. noted at :

So what has today been like? Not as lively as yesterday. "Enough of that. Let me move on." Who said that? Which Democrat? Does it matter? Doesn't that seem like those two sentences summed up much of what's gone on so far today? (Diane Feinstein said it today to Alito, for those who missed it.)

I found the hearing disappointing. I think it's a shame that we know ahead of time who we can count on. That doesn't really change much, does it?

Maybe Diane Feinstein was worried that and others might not like her?

I hope most women get past the point of needing to be liked long before they reach Feinstein's age. has often spoken and written of how, as we grow older, women feel the need to be "liked" by everyone less and less. In our later years, we really discover our voice and how to use it. Does Diane Feinstein not grasp that she's in her later years?

If so, that's probably aided by being a senator. You're the "kid" in the senate if you're under forty. So she's still busy playing the "girl" that most of us stopped playing in high school and college.

Well hopefully Bill O'Reilly won't say mean things about her like he did Barbara Boxer. That seems to be the operating principle at play -- "Like me! Don't say anything mean!"

Feinstein was just the most extreme example of it but you saw quite a bit of it on the Democratic side of the commmittee.

So now Alito's probably headed for a full vote. I wish I could tell you that I had hope he would be defeated. As a woman who has had an , I take Roe very seriously. I don't think it's John Teir

I could tell you my own story again, but I'd rather focus on and his abortion.
It wasn't the sixties, when abortion was illegal. But it may as well have been after John Tierney found himself pregnant by . It was the late 80s. Abortion was legal. For women.

Poor John, however, was a man. And the first man to become pregant. Doctors laughed him out of their waiting rooms. Abortion clinics thought he was a quack when he'd show up claiming to be pregnant. So in the end, he had to seek out a .
While examing him, the doctor kept fondling him. The place was dirty and full of germs. John worried that he might catch something.

He was right to worry. He did catch something following the procedure. He admitted himself to the hospital two days later and it was almost too late. (I'm told some brain damage did occur.)
When he finally was on the road to healing, he learned he was now sterile. It was very traumatic for him. Both having to repeatedly explain why he, a man, wanted an abortion to one doctor after another. Dealing with their judgemental looks. Having to seek out an illegal abortion and then, because it wasn't regulated, nearly dying.

He just knew that David Brooks wasn't going to support him and a child. And he knew he couldn't support a child on his own. He had other reasons as well, but we'll label those "private" and respect his right to not mention them.

So that event shaped John Tierney and made him who he is today.

What's that you say?

John Tierney was never pregnant?

You're right. So why he felt anyone needed his weighing in on the "rights of men" to abortion is beyond me. I'm sure that his next column will tackle the equally pressing issue of the "rights of women" to . Fair's fair, right?

No, it isn't.

It's perfectly acceptable for insurance carriers to cover every procedure you can imagine for males and having a highly restrictive coverage policy when it comes to women. The double standard has been weakend but it still lives. Some, like Diane Feinstein, seem dedicated to ensuring that we're tokens and not fully realized persons.

Hope that's working out for her at least because, for most women, it's not.