Just the Facts, But Not the Stats

Prefatory Remarks


“‘NOW, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them. This is the principle on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle on which I bring up these children. Stick to Facts, sir!’ “(Book 1, Chapter 1, Page 1, Hard Times, Dickens


“‘The Earth is flat!’ was once a fact,” said I to my readers in a essay (how long ago?) I had written for a blog I was publishing.


“Compression waves created by a tree falling in the woods exist in a superposition state of sound and not-sound until they are heard by a hearer,” he said. She said, “How does the sound or not-sound state of the wave compare one-to-one with Schroedinger’s cat? I don’t think it does?” “But you can say that if no one were present to hear the sound, the tree falling would not make a sound, but a compression wave. The thing here to establish is this: is it the compression wave or the sound that exists in a superposition state, and couldn’t we establish a superposition state for either the sound or the compression wave?” He asked. She said, ” But what would the superposition state for the compression wave be? It is, I am assuming,  a priori  true that if a tree falls, it creates a compression wave. So, then the question of whether the sound is made or not . . .” He interrupted by saying that it is not the tree that makes a sound but an ear–that sound is created in the ear, so then, without someone there to hear the tree falling, it does not make a sound . . . “but it is a fact that even when someone is there to hear a tree falling, the tree does not make the sound,” she said, interrupting him. “It is the hearer who hears the sound only because it is the hearing that is the sound. Sound is created in an ear, as we have said already,” she said. He agreed, he thought. They paused as they considered if they wanted to have lunch home or out. We do not have the text of their considering.


All women’s bathrooms have urinals. This bathroom has a urinal; therefore, it is a woman’s bathroom.



It seems absurd to have to say that sex is normal, that sex is natural, that it is as natural and normal for women as it is for men. However, this Puritan America–and it comes with some pain to a great many  to say that men do not have extra sexual needs that allow for an unequal treatment or assessment of a woman’s sexuality, or her fertility, or her desire to have a baby, or simply to fuck.


Insemination under most circumstances is natural; even under other circumstances, the physiological process of insemination is natural. I have not yet assumed that medically induced miscarriage is also natural, unless that’s what we are saying, that the natural flip-side of pregnancy and birth is abortion. I hate the word–it has been meant to strike fear, trepidation at least. In the ways that biology and psychology are connected, interconnected, mutually influential, I’m not so sure that abortion is as easy on a young girl as some defenders of her right to choose may assume. Psychological ramifications are always going to exist. Choice has results and consequences. These consequences are not, though, arguments against the right to choose. They are simply facts we cannot avoid if we are going to justly and defend a person ‘s right to choose, thus a woman’s right to choose. It is a human right, as I have asserted elsewhere, this right to choose, but in being a human right, a woman’s right to choose birth or abortion is part of her larger right to choose anything that she suffers the consequences of.


I am still a bit puzzled by anyone who can claim that an abortion must be made available to a young girl because we would be saving this girl the trauma of pregnancy, when she is not ready to have a child. I have also not assumed what is natural is right. I have not even addressed normality because what is normal is highly relative. The norm for a Nazis and the norm for a practicing Christian might be light years apart, or simply as dissimilar as night from day. It seems in our culture, in our contemporaneity, we love the gloaming. I am amazed how the persistent and tenacious the Puritans have been.


There is a norm for every context of observation; there is a norm for healthy and one for sickness. We are not here to address the normality or even the naturalness of birth or abortion.  It is a woman’s rights we are concerned for here, and more specifically, her right to choose. To choose is everything; the right to choose a fundamental human right. There is no belief in or respect for free-will or for an integral individual without a respect for or a defense of thus a protection of a woman’s right to choose, which is a human right to choose.


Abortion is normal, abortion is abnormal. Birth is natural, birth is not natural. What is natural is right, right cannot be determined by nature. Norms are the arithmetic of ethics; ethics cannot be judged arithmetically. I can’t imagine that either side of the abortion issue has a hot line to any young woman, who she is, who they are, the many selves she houses in her Self. No one sees with her eyes; nor does she see the same way every day in day out over time. Is she the same person she was ten years ago, the same she was last year, the same last night? Is she the same woman with her lover as she is with her mother or grandmother or father or brother or elderly neighbor or boss or co-worker, the mailman, the dentist, her gynecologist? No. No one thinks with her mind, feels her pain, her joy or her pleasure. Only she has sovereignty over her body and mind; only she can make this choice rightfully. How many times can this be said? How many ways? We don’t imagine what our thinking leads to, we cannot in too many cases. We are not taught to think but to brainstorm, and in the storms we mange in our minds, visibility is shortened.


How much clarity is there during a thunder storm, a tornado, a hurricane, a blizzard? We are amid a storm of information; we are as confused as ships in hurricanes are sometimes confounded.


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