Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hi Mom!

If you're on the Supreme Court and you're writing an abortion opinion, there are some words you want to avoid. For instance, don't say "mom". You don't say "mother" either but you really don't want to say "mom". If you say "mom" there will be gnashing of teeth and people will cry. Don't ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever say "mom" in an abortion opinion.

What do you say? "Woman." If you're really daring and provocative you might say "pregnant woman," but some people don't like that either. Ginsburg will glare at you. "How dare you call her a pregnant woman, she might not be a pregnant woman, it's her choice." For that matter, she might not be a woman, right? I mean, a little nip and a tuck and clip, clip, clip and she's a man, baby.

One day this "woman" word will upset the PC brigade, too. Right now it's okay. They say "woman" all day long. Don't say "lady." Oh my God, you said lady. Lady will start a shitstorm. Pregnant woman is borderline. But mom is verbotten. You say mom you might as well be a deranged right-winger or something.

Have sex with a man. Go on, do it, it's fun. Now, wait a month. Okay, now tell him he's a father. Yes, that will freak his shit out. "How did that happen?" That's when you give him a look. Or you can remind him. "You put your penis in my vagina and..."

If a man's happy about your pregnancy, what does he say? He says, "I'm a dad!" Happy moms and happy dads with their happy baby do not end up in Supreme Court caselaw. If you're an unhappy man, what do you say? "No I'm not. That's not mine. I didn't do it. I don't want it." You deny, deny, deny.

So when the Supreme Court refuses to use this "mom" word, what are they doing? They are denying your status as a mom. The Justices are denying your motherhood. You're not a mom. You're a woman. Maybe a pregnant woman. But you're definitely not a mom.

Which, of course, is a lie. You're a mom. And he's a dad. You might need a DNA test to sort out which one is the dad, but there's a definitely a dad. And you're definitely a mom. Deny it all you want. Shake your head and jump up and down and have a nice little feminist snit. You're still a mom. Might be a really crappy mom. Might be a horrible mom. But you're a mom, all right.

That's the whole point of abortion. "I don't want to be a mom!" But you are a mom. What you want is to go back to your previous status as a non-mom. You want to turn back the clock. You want to get in your DeLorean and set the dials on one month ago and put a condom on that damn idiot. That's what you want. Because he made you a mom.

Why does the Supreme Court object to this "mom" word? Well, it's warm and friendly. The Supreme Court hates it when anybody is warm and friendly. What this world needs is more cold and distant rhetoric. I mean, the Supreme Court writes an opinion, and then they read it and they say to themselves, "let me suck all the love out of it." And then they say, "let me suck all the humanity out of it." And then they say, "let me add some big words so I sound smart." And that's how you do it!

But the main reason we don't call an unhappy mom a "mom" is because we want to allow her an easy path to make maternity disappear. And one way to do that is to deny motherhood in the first place. In Roe v. Wade, the Court slips up and says "mother" in a few places. They don't say "mom." Nobody says "mom". But they did say "mother" once or twice. This was back before the Supreme Court got any hate mail. Now they say "woman, woman, woman."

If you're a mom, after all, you got duties. You got obligations. You got a baby. The Supreme Court says you have no duties, no obligations, no baby, and you're not a mom.

The reality, of course, is that an abortion, like a pregnancy, changes your status. A pregnancy means you're a mom now. And somewhere out there is a dad. And you got a relationship. Yeah yeah, with that drunk one-night-stand. You thought it was thrills and spills but it's actually a relationship. Go on, tell him. He'll deny it, too. "We're not in a relationship!" Oh yes you are. Hi, Dad!

When you deny maternity, when you deny paternity, when you deny the baby even exists, what are you doing? You're lying. It's a mindgame the Supreme Court plays with us all. Their use of language, their refusal to say "mom" or "baby," it is an ideological sham. It's a subtle use of rhetoric to dissemble, to obfuscate, to hide. The Supreme Court, like any lawyer, knows how to deceive.

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