Culture wars

Election fever hasn’t really hit Scotland yet. After the Referendum, when democracy was on the table, I just don’t know anyone who’s excited about it. Not that there isn’t a political process going on, among the grassroots, but no-one seems to be in love with the parties. A brief survey from a voter who, like so many, doesn’t attend rallies and doesn’t even listen to political spin, but does have a vote:

No-one loves a Tory. Nuff said. The peg-on-the-nose school of New Labour tactical voting have forgotten that we’ve heard it all before. Do I really need to even mention the LibDems? The SNP were riding high but their support of the Named Person policy is alienating their heartland from conservative families to radicals concerned for civil liberty. The Greens would do better if they came across as Scottish, in touch (at all) with the working class (Tommy, Tommy, Tommy, you were morning star of hope, why did you fall so far?) and actually embraced the diversity they’re always banging on about. Disdain of cherished values is never attractive to voters (PH isn’t even trying to win hearts and minds for the Assisted Suicide Bill among the faith community) and they were latecomers to the campaign Independence. No, we really don’t like being compared to an English county, thank-you, even a big one. Everyone else is either a nutter or a fascist.

So what’s my vote? Probably SNP (we don’t know that the Greens can actually govern and their flakey arrogance doesn’t help) but with a peg-on-my-nose. Meanwhile, here’s my contribution to some resolution on the ‘culture wars’, which govern American elections and are a major (and largely unheeded) factor over here:


  • Abortion is the most divisive issue in the ‘culture wars’ and one way or another it affects us all yet no-one is listening in this debate that is not worthy of the name
  • Good women on both sides are being pushed into the front line in this conflict by obsessive men aware only of their extreme ideology
  • In the name of feminism and in the name of religion, women’s human expressions of ambiguity are being censored by both sides
  • Under the old patriarchal tactic of ‘divine and conquer’, man-made ideological divisions are preventing the solidarity of women on common ground:
    1. resistance to (sex-based) forced abortion
    2. resistance to (class/ ethnicity-based) forced sterilisation
  • Men are utilising both pro-life and pro-choice stances to leave pregnant women in difficult circumstances to do all the ethical heavy lifting and to cope with the physical and emotional aftermath of birth or abortion alone
  • Rather than focusing solely on changing the law, Life Choice encourages women to find common ground in the material and emotional support of women who want to give birth but are under economic and social pressure to change this choice
  • Rather than braying their disdain of any women who does not agree with their absolutist ideology, Life Choice challenges men on both sides to shut up, to stop confusing the issue with non-related topics, and to support women by dismantling misogyny
  • This little book is inspired by the Sabine women who dramatically presented an alternative to conflict, by affirming the relationships we already have with one another, no matter what side we are on
  • Life Choice imagines mixed groups of pro-choice and pro-life women collaborating for better choices and campaigning for workplace crèche facilities, for equal pay and opportunity, supporting breastfeeding in public, for a ‘revolving cradle’ policy in maternity hospitals so that mothers in fear of their lives do not have to give birth on park benches but may do so in anonymity   

When we, as a society, as a species, ask women to give birth to our young, we are asking for an act of heroism. Some women, in some circumstances, refuse that act. Some wish they had and some wish they had not. Instead of vilifying or coercing women in regard to their choices, would it not, squeaky clean ideology aside, make more sense to provide women with better choices?


‘War Hero Memorial’ by Tammy Sue released to Public Domain


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