Flutterby™! : banishment for birth control

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banishment for birth control

2007-06-29 03:44:44.750477+00 by Dan Lyke 8 comments

I was trying to find an old conversation on the ecological impacts of breeding to bring up in the context of Eric's comment below, and ran across an old long discussion titled "Dan as parent-hater", when what should appear on my local news site but... a story about a woman who's been banned from her local bus station for giving contraception advice to mothers of large families:

Stevens said she recently noticed a mother struggling to control her six children.

"I felt sorry for her. Maybe she doesn't know that she could get a patch and not have a kid for five years," Stevens said.

[ related topics: Children and growing up Sexual Culture Public Transportation ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2007-06-29 15:38:09.70056+00 by: Mark A. Hershberger

If Ms. Stevens were banned for pushing the book of mormon instead of contraception, I doubt that would have made Flutterby. People who push their values in a pluralistic society are annoying. (Note, I'm not saying she should be banned.)

#Comment Re: made: 2007-06-29 16:16:41.283185+00 by: Dan Lyke

Mark, it may surprise you, but I agree with you on both counts.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-06-29 16:31:02.114662+00 by: TheSHAD0W

I don't think the lady was banned for the advice, I think she was banned for being obnoxious about it.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-06-29 17:43:24.72488+00 by: mvandewettering [edit history]

Frankly, I'm frequently annoyed by people who approach me on the street and feel they have to tell me something. This happened most recently at the San Francisco Gay Pride weekend. First of all, I'm completely supportive of equal rights for all people, gays included. I support gay marriage. I support societies which seek the cure for AIDS, just as I do for diseases like cancer, Alzheimers, and diabetes.

So, as I wandered into the square in front of Civic Center, I'm confronted by a 20 something young man with a clipboard, who catches my eye and says "I'm here to talk to you about gay rights!". I stare at him for a moment, and say "I'm for them. I mean holy crap, look where I am. Do I have anything else to say to you?" I walk away at the pitch which was obviously designed to get me to donate somethign and sign something. Within another thirty seconds, another guy comes up to me: "Can I talk to you?" I sigh. "Blah blah blah, homeless shelter, blah blah blah, drug addiction, blah blah blah donation..."

Here's an idea: if I don't know you, maybe I don't want to know you. Certainly there is little reason to believe that the vitally important information that you seek to tell me is actually important or vital to me. This kind of conversational "cold calling" is perhaps even more annoying than getting a phone call from a telemarketer in the middle of dinner (or, frankly, any other time).

If you see a woman struggling to control her six kids, don't bother to have any opinion at all. Not every woman who has six kids is ignorant of birth control. If you can't manage keep from forming an opinion, at least have the common decency to keep it to yourself. Or if you can't do that, start your own blog and rant about it there. There is no reason to burden the woman herself with your discomfort.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-06-29 18:06:42.198253+00 by: Dan Lyke

I don't know any more of the situation than the story, my guess is that she was being obnoxious about it, however... there are cultural situations where "obnoxious" is defined as anything other than "oh my children are our future and look at how many little contributions to our future you're making".

So I'm not gonna defend the woman, but there have been times when I've certainly had to consciously hold my tongue.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-06-29 19:36:46.996977+00 by: ebradway

In Boulder we've got this Environmental group that hires students to hang out in public spaces to collect donations. If they only asked me once every six months if I "had a minute for the environment", I wouldn't mind them. But they sure are annoying. Even the panhandlers notice who passes regularly and doesn't pester them (actually, they start getting a little more friendly with a "how are ya today?" which is probably just the technique for milking locals). And the Democratic Party is starting to hound passersby regularly. Sheesh...

Maybe I should petition the City Council to require these groups to get a Busking Permit and provide some kind of entertainment, like the big black guy, Mitford Ibashi-i Brown, who squeezes into the little 20x20 plexiglas box or That Harp Guy.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-06-29 23:02:54.322141+00 by: m

"but there have been times when I've certainly had to consciously hold my tongue."

I hold my tongue a lot. Quite often on the very issue that you mention. It is sometimes called being civilized. It is especially important in public places where people don't know one another, or don't know each other well enough. I suspect that my keeping my mouth shut has saved me from more than one bloody nose. Fortunately there are other places where we can be less formal and say what we please, without worse consequences than a flaming or a mail bombing.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-06-30 18:21:41.626648+00 by: Mark A. Hershberger

Dan, I'll admit it: I'm mildly surprised.