Tuesday, March 21, 2006

As a lot of you already know, The American Prospect's Garance Franke-Ruta has noticed something about the New York Times op-ed page:

... during [the past two years], not one op-ed discussing abortion on the op-ed page of the most powerful liberal paper in the nation was written by a reproductive-rights advocate, a pro-choice service-provider, or a representative of a women's group.

Instead, the officially pro-choice
New York Times has hosted a conversation about abortion on its op-ed page that consisted almost entirely of the views of pro-life or abortion-ambivalent men, male scholars of the right, and men with strong, usually Catholic, religious affiliations. In fact, a stunning 83 percent of the pieces appearing on the page that discussed abortion were written by men.

Please note that the Times op-ed page editor during this period -- he was appointed in January 2003 -- has been David Shipley, whose marriage to the Godmother of Postfeminism, Naomi Wolf, is only now ending in divorce after about a decade. Wolf's position on abortion is quintessentially "abortion-ambivalent": she calls for

an abortion-rights movement willing publicly to mourn the evil -- necessary evil though it may be -- that is abortion

and laments that

many must pretend that abortion is not a transgression of any kind if we wish to champion abortion rights. We have no ground on which to say that abortion is a necessary evil that should be faced and opposed in the realm of conscience and action and even soul; yet remain legal.

If you're a man and the person closest to you who has a uterus thinks like this, it's no surprise if you hate abortion (while perhaps also supporting abortion rights). And it's no surprise if you advance this way of thinking in your role as a cultural gatekeeper.

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