It’s a strange thing to boast

Boastfulness is a weird character trait to observe. We all do it to varying degrees, our reasons are unique but often have some similarities; self-justification and validation are major underlying factors in most boastful behaviour.

Anonymous boasting to strangers is a particularly strange and modern phenomenon, examples include writing a blog under a pseudonym (*waves in the mirror) or commenting on someone else’s blog to explain how astute an investor or business person one is (*waves to the newly-unemployed Bardon).

What we boast about is also quite instructive.

Take, for example, Sarah Thompson’s public boast about an abortion ten years ago.

Let’s give Sarah some dues here; she’s setting herself up for serious judgement and negative comments, not only under the Op Ed but on her Twitter and Instagram accounts.

That this criticism will include some that will be brutally personal and judgmental does not invalidate the act of criticism or allow Sarah a free victim pass to avoid scrutiny. We can judge her boast in a respectful manner instead.  

The anectboastful OpEd is ostensibly about the latest law in the US state of Georgia to limit the abortions under the so-called “heartbeat rule”. I suggest you do some research across multiple news sources to familiarise yourself with what this does and does not mean, before picking a side of the argument to support.

The facts presented are that when she was 27 (ten years ago) she had an abortion because she felt that becoming a mother then would negatively impact her career and she assessed her boyfriend at the time as not good life partner material.

Apparently, the procedure was illegal at the time in the Australian State within which she resided. We’ll not bother addressing this as the more interesting element of the story is the boasting about it. Also, legislation tends to be downstream of the public perception of morality on a subject, hence why we aren’t currently governed by laws on dowries under the Code of Hammurabi.

There are many cases made by the “pro-choice” lobby in favour of abortion. Pregnancies due to rape, incest, or to save the mother’s life in medical emergencies, are all compelling arguments that require the judgement of Solomon to navigate through. Career inconvenience seems one of the weaker reasons offered to prevent an otherwise viable fetus from gestating to term, by comparison.

A skip through Sarah’s Twitter and Instagram account history shows a fashionable 37 year old woman who is employed by an extreme left-leaning charity (more on that in a moment), enjoying a life replete with frequent visits to the tattoo parlour, nail bar and overseas holidays. Significant others and children? Not so much.

Is she happy? Who knows? If she is happy now, will she remain so in future? Again, who can tell?

An obvious fact though, is she invests a lot of time and resources in to her job at ActionAid, a charity helping women around the world. When I suggest above that it is an extreme left-leaning charity, I am referring to the order of priorities listed on their website; apparently, what women in places like Afghanistan need most is protection from climate change. Not countering denial of access to education, self-determination in who to marry and at what age, physical safety in an actual patriarchal and violent society, prevention of rape and murder, access to proper nutrition and sanitation, etc. etc.

Whether or not that prioritisation is borne out in the targeting of resources on the ground or whether it’s a canny marketing ploy to gain access to the huge amounts of cash thrown at anything labeled as fighting climate change, we can’t know.

Bill’s Opinion

Sarah looks like she’d have been a bloody awful mother and at 37, with no obvious life partner in tow, chances are she’s missed her main opportunity to find out. With enough cash though, she still has options available, and failing that, pet shops all over Australia will be more than happy to sell her a few cats.

Sarah and I share similar qualifications to comment on USA Constitutional Law, Roe vs Wade and the legal autonomy of the states. i.e. neither of us are qualified to comment.

For what it’s worth, my view is that Roe vs Wade was a Federal overreach and each state should be free to legislate on abortion as their electorate deems fit. That way, people who want to live in a society that wants abortion to be safe, early and rare can move to Georgia while people who have no issue with killing a baby on its way out the birth canal can move to California. That is, after all, the system of government the USA has, resulting in a healthy competition between states to find the best legislation for the morality of our time.

Some folk recuse themselves from commenting on abortion, Scott Adams for example, because they take the position it’s an exclusively female issue. This is moral weakness disguised as sensitivity.

My views on abortion have become less ambiguous the further away in time I am from potentially benefiting from its convenience. It’s clear to me that, if you wanted to define the point of commencement of a new human life, conception is the only obvious moment. All other versions I’ve seen of the definition have a logical fallacy at their heart.

I understand though, from a pragmatic point of view, those who are determined to not carry an unwanted child to term are going to find a way not to, regardless of the law. I like the statement; safe, early and rare as a imprecise compromise to a horrid choice, therefore.

Sarah would define herself as pro-choice. She is correct, she has had many choices, many of which she is refusing to acknowledge. Let’s list the relevant ones in chronological order;

  1. Abstain from having sex.
  2. Abstain from having sex with someone you know you don’t want to be be with for the rest of your life.
  3. Use contraception – the OpEd has a conspicuous omission by not explaining how two well-educated people in their late 20s had a contraception failure.
  4. If an “accident” happens, carry the baby to term and decide whether you can cope with parenthood after it’s born.
  5. Offer the child up for adoption to one of the desperate couples who can’t conceive naturally.
  6. Kill the damn thing like a virus.

As brave as Sarah is for putting her head above the parapet, and a cynic might say she’ll actively benefit from this within her “in group“, the situation she describes isn’t exactly our generation’s Rosa Parks.

She’s made a lifestyle choice which, a decade later, she feels the need to boast about.

In the meantime, a ten year old boy or girl isn’t making any choices.

The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

2 Replies to “It’s a strange thing to boast”

    1. Thanks. I’ve been thinking about the issue for some time so it was a useful prompt to get the thoughts down in writing.

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