, welcome back, how is Joannah doing? I hope she has a speedy and full recovery. We've just had to deal with a similar situation with a friend who usually comes to eat with us on Sundays - Bill, who's 84 and was born in this district, and who did a lot of the fencing and hazard reduction burning on this piece of land we're on before we bought it back in 2010. He's a wonderful amateur naturalist and storyteller, and basically a history textbook of the local district. Unfortunately he collapsed with a heart attack just over a week ago. Had this happened at his home, he would not have survived (he lives alone), but it happened in a shopping centre and people with first aid skills were immediately helping, plus there was a defibrillator, and he was right next door to the regional hospital as well. We heard the news from his neighbour when Brett tried to drop some of our baking off to him in town. He was flown to a hospital in Perth 400km away and had stents inserted, as well as a pacemaker. We've been unable to contact him because his phone battery went flat, but have just had a call from one of his daughters to say he is doing OK. He is a little confused, but he recognised everyone and understands what has happened to him,
This is him here, with Brett, at one of our Sunday lunches - we always use it as an excuse to make a feast day:
If anyone has good vibes to beam to him, it would be much appreciated. It's nice to know people care, and I do think it makes a difference when they do - and in wider ways than to a particular situation.
Brett and I will beam good vibes over to you and Joannah.
Thank you for your contribution to the current discussion here.
While there was a pregnancy and abortion in the novel which gave rise to the discussion, the novel was very much trying to make the point that family dysfunction is behind so much pain in this world, and behind so many mistakes that people make. Anna Fienberg set out to show that simplistic thinking is unhelpful in scenarios like this, as is moral judgement, especially considering we live in a secular society where people with diverse sets of beliefs are living side by side. She wrote a compassionate and engaging account of growing up in a dysfunctional family, and its consequences through several generations - and unfortunately, the majority of children grow up in families with significant problems. Therefore, compassion and understanding are needed when approaching such issues.
I agree heartily with many of your points, and thank you for your manner of engaging in this discussion.
And I personally think it's important that men and
women (and boys and
intersexes etc too) are involved in such discussions.
Re emotional scarring from abortion though, there are women who are significantly affected by this, and also women who are not - so both sides exist. Furthermore, a lot of women who have given up babies for adoption have emotional scarring, and usually far worse emotional scarring than those who had abortions - there are no guarantees that the adopting family will be lovely and the child happy, and also, in adoption, a mother is giving up a complete, full-term (or near it) baby which she has given birth to, and this is not comparable biologically (and generally emotionally) either with having an early miscarriage, or having an early-term abortion. And for those who keep their babies after birth, there may be significant emotional scarring from not being able to bring the child into the kind of situation that they would really have wanted for a child of their own - such as having a supportive father, a healthy loving relationship, reasonable means instead of poverty, absence of huge life stressors such as mental or physical illness - and the chances of reducing family dysfunction from their own family of origin patterns may in such situations be much reduced.
, I do think we have to distinguish between who is physically pregnant (pregnancy means carrying developing offspring in your body), and who is ethically responsible. So, in humans, as with most mammals, it's the females who get pregnant - who incubate the offspring in their own bodies until they are able to survive in the outside environment. I say in most
mammals, because here in Australia we have monotremes, who lay eggs!
The echidna - showing eggs, baby echidna, and an adult...
In Australia, we also have viviparous snakes, and gastric-brooding frogs. With the snakes, it's the females who basically hold on to the eggs internally until they hatch there. With gastric-brooding frogs, males can be involved in incubating the young - and with seahorses, it's the males who get physically pregnant:
Here's a fascinating article on the similarities between human and seahorse pregnancies: https://sydney.edu.au/dam/corporate/...0.2099.2x.jpeg
I completely agree with you that (in consenting sex) a male and female human are both ethically responsible for a pregnancy. I don't mind people saying "This couple is pregnant" because it underscores the mutual responsibility for the condition. But, I do think that biologists need to be able to continue to distinguish between which gender is carrying the young. So, when a couple is pregnant, the male is not physically pregnant
- but he is
potentially reproducing! In horses, the mares get pregnant, not the stallions - but both sexes reproduce
via this arrangement.
And wouldn't life be so much simpler if humans just laid eggs, like emus do...