#Stand4Life: As only a woman with first-hand experience can tell us:
If a woman tells her doctor she wants to have a double mastectomy, the doctor won’t assume she’s made a sound decision. He or she will want to review her health history, get a detailed family history, find out if the woman has tested positive for the gene that will put her at increased risk, and so forth.
Similarly, when a woman expresses her desire to have an abortion, the health care provider should not assume she’s making a sound decision. It is their duty to make sure she understands her Carbaby’s development, including a way for her to see an image of her baby. And if that’s not possible, at least an image of a baby at the same developmental stage. Pregnant women deserve exposure to as much information as possible. I would argue that there is no more serious matter than the creation of a new life, save the destruction of it. This is no time to withhold vital information and resources.
As a point of comparison, several years ago my routine screening mammogram showed something abnormal. The immediate follow up diagnostic mammogram confirmed an abnormal mass. The radiologist brought me into her office to discuss the images with me. She showed me the area of concern. Explained the difference in color and shadow and what that meant. She also discussed why the image suggested a mass that was hard, and why that added to her concern. She recommended we move forward with an ultrasound and a fine needle aspiration. Throughout the entire discussion she checked in to make sure I understood everything. She invited questions. During the fine needle aspiration, she showed me the image on the monitor as she was guided with the needle to the area in question. When she withdrew the contents of the mass, she showed it to me and explained, to our great relief, that it appeared that I had nothing more than a benign cyst.
Looking back, I now realize that I knew more about the cyst in my breast than the 3-month old baby who once grew inside me. And that is dreadfully wrong. Not because I knew too much about the cyst. But because I knew too little about my baby.
Edited – title for typo – 8/1/13 at 7:45 AM — BBN
L.L. Lewis has written about her experience as a 17 year old college freshman, My surreal experience reporting staff sexual molestation to my college administration,” published in today’s American Thinker website.
“How many will blame this woman for writing her story now and claim that she’s exploiting Herman Cain’s “troubles” or the Penn State sexual molestation cases? She’s just asking for it, right?
Ms. Lewis did the right thing, even as a 17 year old, and was treated as though she was the perpetrator, not the victim. “Blame the victim” is common in sexual harassment and that is one reason why the perpetrators get by with it.
What’s often overlooked when we discuss sexual harassment is that the abuse is not due to sexual needs or attraction. At its base is the power and control that the abuser believes he has. He does it because he can, because he’s smarter than the rest of us, and – because of the sexual element introduced by his actions – he can get his thrills (even without actual sexual acts) and she will be intimidated, limited and/or humiliated – even more than she already is – if she objects.
The abusers are usually in positions of some power, but not always. They like to take advantage of hourly wage earners and students, but even professional women are not immune. The common thread is that there is some element of “deniability.” — because who would believe them? “He said/she said” is a powerful accusation as well as a comment on the circumstances.
Like this doctor: it’s just part of his job, he was just being friendly and helpful, making a joke, or it was just a compliment, etc. She misinterpreted, needs a sense of humor, or is fantasizing or is just plain ol’ crazy. And – wait for it – she hates men or is prejudiced for some reason against the man.
There is also an underlying theme among those who should react and protect that “There but for the Grace of God go I,” and the very real liability that lawsuits could bring. That’s why the Dean of Students in this story made such a point about the doctor being a good husband and family man: part defense, part inoculation against similar accusations. Who among us has not had some moment when we were tempted or inadvertently found ourselves in a near-compromising position? And everyone has heard the stories about the litigious, gold-digger, the temptress who becomes the scorned woman and exploits laws against sexual harassment for money, advancement or out of meanness.
One of the best things my parents did was to teach me to speak up for myself and to protect myself. I remember Daddy teaching us girls “where to kick” when we probably were too short to kick “there.” We certainly didn’t have any idea *why.*
I’m not saying that every act of sexual harassment is really threatening or requires a response. I would be willing to bet that every woman and most men remember some episode when they knew that they were made uncomfortable because of their gender, whether in a sexual way or professionally. Most of us let it slide, ignored it and learned to deal with it. I’m proud of similar times in my life. But my cheeks still burn at the memory of others and a couple are just confusing. I am also proud of times when I stood up to harassers and of the couple of times when I defended others.
There are certainly times – as with Mr. Cain’s troubles – when we must judge who is the victim and when “He said/She said” is all we have to go on. My wish is that we who call ourselves Conservatives will attempt to lay aside our own prejudices and emotions to defend the true victims.