Letter: The Audacity: In response to Mr. Lydon

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The Iowa Supreme Court overruled a 2018 decision that protected abortion rights under the state’s constitution Friday.  

Britt Jungck

I am summoning my best academic version of Drew Afualo when I say, “Please stop speaking.” Your editorial on reproductive rights was the grandest display of white male privilege we have seen in this section in a minute, and it hasn’t been that long since Shapiro was on campus.  

As someone who has had three human beings live inside me, I feel I have the credentials to both speak on this topic and rebut your statements that are so bathed in audacity I could hardly hear your message through your self-aggrandizing pronouncements.  

Let’s start with one of the worst problematic lines in your piece, “At its core, abortion is one of the greatest acts of despair that mankind has ever performed.” Sir, a simple glance at your LinkedIn profile shows you appear to be a white man who went to private high school and has worked as a golf caddie at country clubs. Of course, this is your perspective. You probably have no idea that a 25-year-old Black man had 60 holes put in his body this month by police officers. You probably have not witnessed a child’s teeth literally rot out at their desk due to hunger and lack of access to healthcare, as I have as an urban public-school teacher. Please, please tell me what qualitative data you used to back up this hypothesis that abortion is one of the greatest acts of despair mankind has EVER performed. I am pretty sure the citizens of the many countries plagued by genocide would beg to differ. I think one trip over to the LAS department and a few weeks in a history class would challenge this notion a bit.  

The logos in your piece slides off the rails at this point, “The arguments are based on lies, but they are compelling, nonetheless.” There are no arguments for abortion, Mr. Lydon. The arguments surround whether people with uteruses get to decide if they should carry and deliver another person. As someone who is never going to experience their placenta being left inside them and causing a case of nearly life-threatening sepsis (my experience in 2009) or the grand horror that is the episiotomy, you should not be executing any ethos, logos or pathos toward this topic in any way.  

I am glad you get to enjoy your coffee in peace now that you feel a victory has fallen on America and your dreams of what you envision our country to be are coming true. Contrastingly, I base my actions on empirical research, and Linder (2018) asks us in the Power Conscious Framework to “Name and call attention to dominant group members’ investment in and benefit from systems of domination” (p. 21).   

So: James Lydon and his Letter to the Editor.  

Linder, C. (2018). Sexual violence on campus: Power-conscious approaches to awareness, prevention, and response. Emerald Publishing.  

Britt Jungck is a graduate student in the School of Education.