John Jalsevac

On Facebook, full-frontal female nudity is ok (if it’s pro-choice)

John Jalsevac

Yesterday, we reported on the protest happening Thursday featuring billboard-sized photos of women’s genitalia on the campus of the University of Cincinnati.

Interestingly, the pro-abortion groups behind the display have set up a Facebook “event” page to coordinate the effort. The page prominently features a photo of the lower half of a woman’s body, completely nude, the private parts prominently on display.

Yesterday I reported this page to Facebook, reasoning that full-frontal female nudity was clearly a violation of their “community standards” policy. After all, an event page is a completely public page that anybody can access. 

But as of today the photo remains prominently featured on the event page. I see from our comments section that other pro-lifers have also reported the page, evidently to no avail.

While it is true that the photo is not particularly sexual, it is certainly pornographic in the sense of being obscene, and there are very few parents who would want their children looking at graphic photos of women’s genitals.

This is a far cry from the debate about whether Facebook should allow tasteful images of women who are breastfeeding (which they have rightly decided to allow). The photo in question serves one purpose, and one purpose only: to depict genitals (and thereby to shock).

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The persistence of the photo raises rather important questions about a double standard when it comes to how Facebook enforces their community standards policy.

On Facebook any post of a graphic image of abortion is subject to rapid censure. Even being a celebrity is no guarantee of immunity. Earlier this year, Saturday Night Live star Victoria Jackson was banned from Facebook for 24 hours for posting a photo of an aborted baby.

At the same time, the social networking site famously removed, and then restored and apologized for removing a leading abortion activist’s post giving detailed Do It Yourself instructions for performing an illegal self-abortion!

And now, it seems, pro-aborts can get away with posting graphic nudity. All, I suppose, because it’s in the name of the “cause.” 

The irony, of course, is that a graphic photo of an aborted baby actually educates people on the reality of a very important social justice issue. It serves a discernible purpose. Many people have no idea what an abortion actually looks like. A photo opens their eyes to the truth and provokes meaningful debate based upon critical facts that were previously missing from the debate.

But how, exactly, does a crass photo of a naked woman educate or create meaningful debate? It doesn’t. It merely shocks and provokes. It is a marketing ploy, no more, and an offensive one at that. This kind of nudity has no place on a public social networking site. 

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Take heart: Nature is on our side, and she does not change

Anthony Esolen Anthony Esolen Follow Anthony
By Anthony Esolen

Our opponents in the battle to form or deform the imagination of children have on their side, for the most part, the school, the airwaves, and mass culture.

That may seem an insuperable triad. But, even setting aside the power of prayer and the mighty grace of God, these three share several weaknesses we would do well to remember, lest we grow discouraged. And we have one formidable ally whereof they cannot avail themselves.

As for the weaknesses: the first is that they are often stupid and inept. For every one of my college freshmen who is dismayed to hear that his beloved childhood schools taught him things that were foolish or false, there are five who are gratified to hear it, and who feel vindicated. For every one of my college seniors who will try to persuade me that I should take a Leonardo Di Caprio seriously as an actor or an intellect, there are five who want me to give them a “viewing list” of classic movies made by men and women whose roots were set in the earth of a Jewish or Christian culture before the advent of mass entertainment. It is hard to listen to or even to look at a Justin Bieber when once you have encountered the far greater talents of George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, or Cole Porter, let alone Aaron Copeland or Antonin Dvorak.

I am persuaded that we could clear our heads of most of the unnatural evils we have come to accept if we would simply leave the Teaching Machine and the Entertainment Machine, and go out of doors, and stay there for a while, walking, listening, perhaps whistling, playing, working, thinking, or simply being.

The second is that they bring no joy. Sure, for as long as there have been schoolboys, they have been “creeping unwillingly to school,” as Shakespeare put it. But the very worst of schools in ages past were still bad in a human way and on a human scale. You might have a crabby old lady for your second grade teacher, or a sour-stomached schoolmaster who was quick with the ruler. They still taught ordinary things, and even ordinary virtues, by precept if not by example. You knew your fellow sufferers by name, all of them, and their families. The schoolhouse was, in distance and in being, not so far from home. And then there were schools that might press a tear from the eye of an old person walking past its venerable doors.

That's not true now. What joy is there in the long bus ride, the rushed lunch, the bustling from room to room, the general anonymity, the indoctrination in partisan politics, the mass-marketed slop for reading, the noise, the surveillance, the ever-looming standardized tests, the sexual chaos, the enmity of teacher against parent?

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None, as there is no joy in the boredom of the Internet, or in the twaddle for the ear and eye and soul that is sold and consumed like fast-food hamburgers, more plastic than meat.

The third is that they bring no peace. School is instruction in simultaneous sloth and busy-ness. The Internet delivers a jittery stasis. Mass entertainment is little more than an array of needles to prick people into handing over some of their cash. 

What then is the formidable ally I have alluded to? Gerard Manley Hopkins knew:

But for all this, nature is never spent:
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things,
And though the last lights off the black west went,
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs,
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with, ah! bright wings.

It is the world that God has made, waiting outside of our doors and windows.

It is not heaven, that I know well. But it is also not hell, or an unnatural cubicle, fitted out with fluorescent light and the drop-ceiling tiles with their prick-marks as numerous, alas, as the stars in the sky.

I am persuaded that we could clear our heads of most of the unnatural evils we have come to accept if we would simply leave the Teaching Machine and the Entertainment Machine, and go out of doors, and stay there for a while, walking, listening, perhaps whistling, playing, working, thinking, or simply being.

You walk past a field in autumn and there are the wild turkeys pecking away in the stubble. How they got there, you don't know; or where they roost, or how they are going to last through the coming winter. You know that turkeys have been living and hatching young and finding their food and dying, for thousands and thousands of years, and something of the permanence of nature strikes you. It is apart from you, but also within you; it warns you, and yet it sustains you. It is good that there are turkeys. The tom turkey you see with his brilliant red accoutrements, his thicker muscles, and his imperious ways among the females, and you smile, and you understand, for better and for worse, that maybe human beings and turkeys are not so far distant after all.

You walk on, and you see the dragonflies flitting about a muddy little pond, hardly more than the puddling of a creek, and you know that they will be laying their eggs soon, and they will die, though their wings are dazzling green and violet and indigo. And the life of man on earth is, in comparison with eternity, no more enduring than the brief glory of the dragonfly. Is there something in you that then that cries out, “This cannot be the final truth about man”?

Or you are in the field, working, wiping on your sleeve the sweat from your brow and brushing away the gnats. The hay has to be made. The silly feminist who declares that fairy tales are evil – she has never had to make the hay. Most things that most people fret about, and most of the unnatural states they imagine themselves into, vanish into the vanity they are when you have a field, mown grass everywhere, and hay to make. Your very muscles will rouse you back into reality.

Our opponents claim the unnatural. Let them. Nature is on our side, and she does not change.

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A topless activist with Femen attacks Belgian Archbishop Andrè-Joseph Leonard, who is known for his strong pro-life and pro-family stance.

Why are pro-abortion protesters always taking their clothes off?

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon van Maren

I’ve seen a lot of bizarre responses to pro-life activism. There’s the crude picket signs, the illiterate chants, the flashes of violence, the incoherent threats that so often seem to involve used tampons, and even activists dressed up like giant genitalia.

But there is one phenomenon that never ceases to stagger me with its counterproductive stupidity and moral blindness: The increasing prevalence of “feminist” protestors, almost exclusively women, stripping down to “protest” something—usually protection for the pre-born or some other dissent from the totalitarian death cult of the Sexual Revolution.

When people ask me what the weirdest response to pro-life work is and I try to explain this phenomenon, they find it hard to believe. So do I. But yet it happens, time and time again.

The suicidal tendencies of modern-day feminism would be almost laughable if they were not so depressing.

One student stripped down and sat on a folding chair in front of our pro-life display at the University of British Columbia. A few protestors decided to protest the launch of our 2012 national tour by going topless. Then, at a presentation in London, Ontario, a bunch of pro-abortion protesters showed up at a counter-protest organized by the Canadian Auto Worker’s Union, sans clothing. And of course, at last year’s March for Life a topless Femen protestor flung herself at a remarkably composed Catholic bishop as he spoke to the crowd, shrieking “F*** your morals!”

You’d think such behaviour would attract ire rather than admiration. But this is 2014 and most of our municipal governments use our taxpayer’s cash basically to fund a day dedicated to that type of behaviour when the Pride Parade rolls around.

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Instead, these women are now generally referred to as “brave.” Even the popular, but tiresomely far-left website Upworthy recently pushed a video with a street activist protesting harassment by misogynist pigs by standing on the street in her lingerie. (Little tip: Protesting the fact that some misogynists define you by your body by voluntarily showing them what they wanted to see in the first place isn't defiance, it's acquiescence. Protesting the fact that these guys aren't treating you with dignity by acting like you have none is counter-productive. “That guy crudely suggested he wants to see me naked! Well, I’ll show him! By showing him exactly what he wants to see! Wait…”)

A bit of research into the infamous nude activist group Femen (“Our mission is protest, our weapon is bare breasts”) shows just how exploitative (inadvertent though it may sometimes be) this entire phenomenon is. In recent documentary the group’s leader, Viktor Svyatski, admitted that he had perhaps started the group to “get girls,” and that he carefully selected only the most attractive girls for his group. The documentary also revealed that Svyatski had described the Femen girls as “weak,” and was often verbally abusive with them.

Again, the suicidal tendencies of modern-day feminism would be almost laughable if they were not so depressing.

But the phenomenon of public nudity is also more than just incoherent protest—it is a way of forcing people to accept any and all manifestations of the Sexual Revolution. As I noted some time ago:  The public is now regularly subjected to crude and wildly exhibitionist “Gay Pride Parades” and “Slut Walks.” These are not considered to be optional festivals hosted by tiny minority groups. No, politicians who refuse to attend are labelled as heretics by the high priests of the New Moral Order, which is of course not an order at all, but a proud lack thereof.

Liberal activists don’t want the State to be outside the bedroom anymore, they want the State in the bedroom—loudly applauding the acts they see taking place, refraining from any judgment but one of approval, and paying for pills and bits of rubber to ensure that such acts do not go awry and result in reproduction or infection.

Your prayers are not welcome in public, but your privates are. The Emperor has no clothes, and is quite enjoying it—so long as the chilly breezes of moral truth don’t leak out of drafty cathedrals to cause discomfort.  

There may be hope on the horizon, as indicated by the wild popularity of such books as Wendy ShaIit’s A Return to Modesty, as well as increasing disinterest in topless beaches in places like France. Some “feminists” have responded to such trends with irritation, grumbling that all the hard-won ground they had fought for is being spurned by the ungrateful brats of today. But perhaps, instead, many women are realizing that allowing men to freely objectify them in public is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Perhaps people have begun to rediscover a human value that was once enormously prized, but now almost forgotten: Dignity.

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Planned Parenthood thinks pro-life counselors are the embodiment of evil: here’s their latest absurd reason why

Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben
By Ben Johnson

Last June 26, the Supreme Court unanimously struck down a Massachusetts bubble zone law requiring sidewalk counselors to stand at least 35 feet away from the entrance of any abortion facility in McCullen v. Coakley. The city of Burlington, Vermont, rescinded its 35-foot city ordinance the next week. The abortion industry has tried to come up with new laws to silence pro-life sidewalk counselors ever since.

There's just one problem: There's no evidence that the laws “protect” anything except abortion facilities' profits. Thus, pro-abortion activists are trying desperately to gin up something, anything, to keep pro-life people away from their clients. The Vermont-based newspaper Seven Days reports:

Planned Parenthood has also been collecting evidence attempting to show that, without the protection of a buffer, patients have been intimidated and harassed. According to its medical director, Donna Burkett, some patients come in with elevated blood pressure and other physical symptoms brought on by the stress.

Because pregnant women never have high blood pressure on their own! Actually, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, “High blood pressure problems occur in 6 percent to 8 percent of all pregnancies in the U.S., about 70 percent of which are first-time pregnancies. In 1998, more than 146,320 cases of preeclampsia alone were diagnosed.”

Perhaps recognizing this claim's innate fragility, they have outlined a few instances of outrageous pro-life behavior. Here's how Jill Krowinski of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England described the alleged harassment of the vicious rosary-bearers:

On July 30, "There were four protesters today chatting with each other and praying out loud. They had signs they held and large signs on their cars. One woman entering the health center complained about the protesters, saying that they are so loud, they make people not want to come here."

Of course, that “one woman” could have been the director or an employee.

Another outrage took place on July 19, when “[t]here were up to 10 protesters (including a baby) picketing and praying loudly. They were parked right outside the clinic with signs on their cars.” They parked right outside the facility? On a public street? The nerve.

Is that really the best you can muster? People praying and displaying signs?

Well, Planned Parenthood Volunteer Coordinator Paige Feeser said, “I had one protester come right up to my face and hand me a flyer showing how Susan B. Anthony would not approve of the decision of women getting abortions."

"I would definitely say the Susan B. Anthony [incident] was one of the hardest things I had to witness," she added.

The action she detests – the distribution of literature and handbills – is the most fundamental action the Bill of Rights was written to protect.

It's almost as if the First Amendment itself offends the abortion industry, that they see uttering anything other than the Planned Parenthood party line as a direct threat.

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The Supreme Court cited the lack of any actual threat in its ruling striking down the Massachusetts law. Captain William B. Evans of the Boston Police Department, the justices wrote, “testified that his officers had made 'no more than five or so arrests' at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Boston” under a 2000 law establishing a bubble zone, “and that what few prosecutions had been brought were unsuccessful.” The state could “identify not a single prosecution brought under those laws within at least the last 17 years.”

The justices ruled unanimously that sidewalk counselors only engage in “personal, caring, consensual conversations” with pregnant women.

That has not prevented the abortion industry and its media myrmidons from castigating people engaged in peaceful prayer outside abortionists' offices as the embodiment of all evil. In February, Cosmopolitan magazine published an article entitled, “6 Women on Their Terrifying, Infuriating Encounters With Abortion Clinic Protesters” that provided no evidence for any of the stories contained in it.

The Huffington Post likewise repeated Mississippi abortion escort Michelle Colon's claims that pro-lifers are "racist,” although her testimony did not bear out such a conclusion.

Then there is the never-ending campaign to demonize crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) as horrid profit centers that lie to women, although one such “exposé” cited zero falsehoods.

The abortion industry, and the Left generally, knows only one method to respond to any other viewpoint: legal suppression. And apparently no argument is too ridiculous to bolster that effort.


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