As mentioned in my elegant little Public Service Announcement, though I haven’t been around blogs much lately (including this one), I’ve been slogging around in my hip waders on Twitter’s Motion 312 timeline, known in the Twitterverse as “#M312“. (Hip waders? you ask… Yes, the bullshit’s that high.)
As we begin the feverish countdown to the Motion 312 debate and the vote that will put the whole ridiculous farce to sleep for good (September 18 & 19 respectively), Twitter has been an interesting read. Motion 312 was conceived on Twitter with MP Stephen Woodworth’s insipid ejerkulations about a “respectful debate on when life begins”, so it’s not surprising to find much of the battle over it being waged there. With “tweets” limited to 140 characters, it’s also the medium of a jabbering fetus fetishist’s dreams: a venue ideally suited to spitting out rapidfire gobs of propaganda at breakneck pace. Even sweeter, anyone who asks a question or makes a dissenting point can simply be “blocked”, the Twitter version of “disappeared”.
And so it’s gone with the antichoice Twitter campaign in support of the nefarious Motion 312: long on lies but extremely short on feedback when lies are called out. No surprise there since lying is like an uncontrollable, violent verbal tic with these people. It’s how they roll in any venue: Twitter just makes it easier. Every day #M312 is inundated with the same boring talking points, the same lame videos, the same spamload of gawdawful embarrassing pleas imploring MPs to vote “YES! Because I love Motion 312!”. But after awhile some disturbing inconsistencies were noticed…
Antichoicers in general and Woodworth in particular have always gone to great pains to emphasize that Motion 312 was NOT about abortion, or personhood, or so-called “fetal rights”. Yet the fetushists’ tweets in M312 are routinely tagged “fetal rights” and their content is often abortion-related:
…both of these being things they continually insist are unrelated to M312. Questions about this incongruity are ignored, questioners blocked.
Remember now, these are the people who were shrieking and panting for a “debate”.
Despite their bellowing (“We want the debate!“), it’s clear they want anything but a debate, or at least, a “debate” with only one side. I came up with a Twitter hashtag for it — #Masturdebate — but humour aside, it seemed to me that we were missing something. The flip side of never blaming on Malice what can be explained by Stupidity, you know? All these little inconsistencies might be part of an overall Plan…
…if “debate” isn’t what they want at all, and never has been. What they really want is a venue, an opportunity to mainstream their goofy language about “fetal rights”, by getting prochoicers to engage with them. We are, after all, the mainstream. Remember the Team Fetus Rolling Roadshow earlier this summer? How much media attention did they get before pro-choicers started pushing back with counter-protests? I rest my case.
Look, antichoicers have always had trouble getting any mainstream traction, or even attention, especially here in sane, pro-choice Canada, where they’re largely ignored and considered nutbars and flaming religious fascists. To the broader Canadian public, a fetus is a lower life form than a pregnant woman and abortion is a private reality best kept between patient and doctor.
And that’s the way we’d like to keep it.
There’s little chance of “fetal rights” becoming an expression that will get you much other than a look of fear and loathing or at least puzzlement and a quick end to the conversation, before Motion 312 bites the dust. But it’s something to keep in mind for the next time they screech for a “debate”: that what they’re really doing is trying to fast-track their language into popular lexicon.
Change the language, change the attitude.
It’s pretty slick: in the states antichoicers buy a lot of this kind of advice from expensive, high-pressure marketing consultants. I was in the business and I recognize certain strategies when i see them.