"There is difference and there is power. And who holds the power decides the meaning of the difference." --June Jordan

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Hoax

So, this is interesting:

The Hoax:

Despite using protection, my girlfriend has fallen pregnant. We're both only 19 and at the start of our university lives. The cost of raising a child in this world is just too expensive, but we don't want to abort. Adoption is NOT an option. If we can't raise TWO MILLION US DOLLARS by JUNE 30, 2008 - We have no choice but to ABORT our BABY. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Can you HELP?

The Deconstruction of The Hoax:

Recipe for a hoax: Establish a web site announcing that you are going to bring about (or allow) some dire circumstance unless you can raise a specified amount of money by a given deadline. Set up a mechanism on your web site to receive donations from the public (or at least make it appear that you're receiving donations, even if you really aren't). Stand back and watch with amusement as people heap opprobrium on you for daring to consider such a terrible thing, much less crassly tying it to money.

Tobes' Awesome Pro-Choice Analysis of The Hoax:

A real pro-lifer would give some cash, no? I mean, they're willing to tirelessly lobby our legislatures and our courts. They'll picket clinics, patients and even the construction companies who BUILD clinics. They organize Marches for Life in Washington DC and travel the country with gruesome billboards comparing abortion to the Holocaust and slavery -- I mean, wouldn't this be way easier?

They could possibly eliminate abortion if they eliminated factors like poverty. If every pro-lifer pitched in, how many abortions could they stop?* Studies show that one of the main reasons women choose abortion is they can't afford to care for a child.

But I really, sincerely doubt that this couple will make 2 million. In fact, right now they're sitting at just 55 cents. With just over a month to go.

How can this be???

Because anti-choicers are less about saving the innocent unborn and more about finger pointing. Gruesome displays and pickets and restricting women's rights are TONS more fun than opening up your pocketbook and doing something concrete to fix the problem of unplanned pregnancy.

What I predict will happen...

-- Lots of finger pointing--
-- "YOU got into this mess. YOU have to take responsibility."
-- "Abortion is murder. You won't be able to live with yourself if you murder your baby."
-- Somehow this will get blamed on feminists.

Therein lies the brilliance of this hoax. It will essentially reveal that the true "pro-life" goal --- not to help people but to shame them and deny them options. A project like this, where the fetus is essentially in 'pro-life' hands (or pocketbooks), may just make their tiny heads explode.

But just to be clear, this IS clearly some sort of hoax. If you do want to carry a pregnancy to term, you do it-- you find government aid and try and make it work. If you don't want to surrender your life to struggle and aren't invested in bringing a child into the world, you adopt or abort.

And if you want to make 2 million dollars, you create an elaborate hoax that plays heavily on people's emotions.

She's totally right about the finger-pointing and shaming, by the way. Just look at all the comments on their site.

(h/t: Hear Me Roar)