College Articles

The Generation X Files
Please bury this truth

By Benjamin Sumner
May, 1997

Every generation has a select group of people who define their generation through trends, actions and music. The Roaring Twenties had the flappers. The sixties had the hippies. Now we have this overused name- Generation X.

First, let me single out the people I am talking about. We all fall into a gray area between self and trend, but some people are more ‘one of them’ than others.

They have a chain from their lip to their ear, a ball thing drooping from their tongue, mini-horns poking from their nose, black or blue nail polish (on guys, too), and “Mean People Suck” and “NIN” bumper stickers on their eighties model car they bought for under a grand. They drink lots of coffee and read poetry at Planet X about the first time they had sex and how they got dumped the next day. The barb-wire tattoo around their ankle has the same color ink as the Aztec emblem above their ass. Their hair-dye glows in the dark. They are tree huggers and vegetarians for humanitarian reasons, though they feel abortion is one of the most important rights a woman can have. As for the drugs, (which is typical for more people than have any of these other characteristics), they smoke lots of weed and drop acid every now and then. Lastly, they voted for Bill Clinton.

There is nothing unusual about rebelling between the ages of 12 and 25. Sometimes the age goes beyond that. It is common for select members of a generation to rebel against however their parents raised them, so everything regarding these current trends are typical.

How do they expect to get careers looking the way they do? Though many are college educated, I can’t imagine an employer wanting to hire them after seeing enough metal in their face to hold them back at an airport security checkpoint. Imagine them as doctors and lawyers. Safety procedures will eventually state they must remove their eyebrow rings before doing triple bypass surgeries. When they’re making their case in front of the Supreme Court, the justices will be gaping at the ball thing drooping off their tongue than listening to why marijuana should be legalized.

Many will or already have faced discrimination during job interviews. People with more hooks in their face than a tackle box will be subject to some sort of hiring discrimination. The Blacks, the Jews, now people with rings on the side of their mouths… maybe they can be fit into the affirmative action plans as a minority.

The newest trend of discrimination-waiting-to-happen goes to the metal Mohawk. Spikes are actually implanted into the shaved scalp. Other acts of craziness will appear as time goes on, which will become trendy, then become stereotypical of that generation. The metal Mohawk won’t catch on, but other body markings will, such as body branding. Maybe other things farmers do to animals will become popular.

The next generation will be way worse than this one. They will make body piercings and tattoos look small time. Their name will be the Revolution. Here are my predictions about what kids may be like:

1) Cross dressing is an every day activity, and not just for drag queens, Halloween outfits and those Rocky Horror Picture Show fanatics.
2) Political slogans are shaved in the hair, especially ‘pro-choice,’ ‘Save a tree,’ ‘Meat is murder,’ ‘legalize (leaf),’ and ‘Republicans can suck me.’
3) Body branding will become more common
4) Chrome teeth
5) A new version of rock music- Gruel
6) Turbans
7) Facial tattoos
8) Red dots on the forehead to signify that you are not available (actually, that’s not a bad idea. It will save people a lot of time and trouble at parties.)
9) A real popular Gruel rock star will either die from a heroin overdose or jump off a building, leaving the Revolution to mourn
10) They will purposely contract AIDS so they can smoke their medical marijuana

The select few in the next generation will outdo those of this one. It’s just another thing to laugh at in our society.

The Paradox of Racial Unity
Examining the ‘diversity’ of Maryland

By Benjamin Sumner

For a college that is hung up on diversity, I find it hypocritical that the University of Maryland has an offering of racially segregated student-funded groups. I realize that banning the Black, Hispanic, Chinese, Jewish and all the other racial and religious student unions will not be tolerated among many students, so that is not what I am arguing.

The racially-segregated (though all are welcome) groups do much good. However, the fact that they are classified by race keeps people of other races away. I am white, so why would I want to go to a BSU, CSU or HSU sponsored event? There are people that are not intimidated and do go, but if the racial student unions were not classified by race, more people of different races will get involved. That may sound like a paradox, but it is certainly true.

Though I feel intimidated to join or attend a meeting of a racial group, almost 75% of my friends are of a different ethnicity than me. I am not friends with them because they are of different ethnicity, only because of what we have in common. Also, our gang name is not “The Multi-Racial Friends Club.”

After the Simpson verdict, black and white people are supposedly facing opposite directions. In fact, the JSU and the BSU were doing just that because of those anti-Semitic speakers that the BSU obtained with student funding. Because we have these groups, multi-racial friendliness is not being strived for. I suppose the Cross Culture group is, therefore, it is more productive in that area than the others.

Of all the different clubs and organizations on campus, I could not tolerate spending too much time with my race (Race? There is no White Student Union! It’s called the KKK! Or the college of Republicans.) or religion, when I could be at WMUC or the Diamondback, earning valuable career experience. There is nothing wrong with being a member of a racial student union, but someone who is so dedicated to it should also try something else to gain career experience. I hardly see how racial group members earn as much experience as those in career-oriented groups (with the exception of leadership positions). People who are spending too much time with racial groups are not making the most of their education, nor does it seem that they are making an effort to meet people despite race. If you devote your time to both racial and non-racial groups, more power to you.

People of the same race or religion may have cultural similarities that other races or religions do not have. However, I doubt that every interest in their lives is similar, which gives them reason to join a group that has nothing to do with race or religion. I simply do not have the time to join the Jewish Student Union, because I am too busy gathering career experience at WMUC. If I had the time to do both, sure, I would join. Career experience can get me a paying job, but inborn factors and religious affiliation usually will not.

Anything that has to do with racial separatism creates racism as well as unity among that race. While the Million Man March certainly showed unity among Black men, there were people of other races that discovered their prejudice just by the existence of the march. Same thing applies with the existence of the racial student unions. There are prices to pay even when racial unity is being strived for, and that does not help our goal to end racism.

Racism in all forms is spiraling downward. Thirty years ago in America, racism was much more common than it is today. Thirty years from now, it will be even less common. I honestly believe that if there was no Million Man March, Nation of Islam, racial student unions or anything classified by race, there would be less racism as a result. However, there would also be less racial unity and identity. Intense racial unity creates racism toward that race. Obviously, racism also generates from other sources, but more racism is the price we have to pay for racial unity.

I have a bad feeling that people will not understand the point I am making, and trash me as if I am spreading a racist message. Whether they do or not, I will be hanging out with my friends and spreading the word that one day, we will all live together in greater peace.

After this article was published in The Diamondback at the University of Maryland in 1996, I couldn’t believe what happened.

Someone in my speech class showed me a copy of the article and said she got it from her social psyhology discussion class. She said they used the article as a basis of discussion. Flattering!

A few weeks later I noticed an article in the Diamondback about a forum on the importance of race and culture. I forgot the organizer’s name, but she said she was partly inspired by an editorial in the Diamondback on the issue. I knew it was mine. I called her up and invited her on my WMUC radio show, “No Holds Barred.” She did say that my article helped inspire her to have the very successful forum. I asked her why I wasn’t invited and she appologized for not doing so. I would have made a speech! However, since then I have been invited to another forum on race relations but I choose not to go. I regretted it. It would have been good experience.

No Necesito Hablar Espaniol
Ban foreign language requirements in colleges

By Benjamin Sumner

In certain areas around the world, people are almost forced to know multiple languages because of the diverse surroundings. Here, our educators decide it is best for many of us to learn foreign languages, and require us to do so. Though America is diverse, English is our medium, therefore making it unnecessary to force people to learn languages they do not need to know unless they want to.

After asking several people about the languages they took in high school, they said they can only remember basic words and phrases despite taking two or three years of classes. This is consistent testimony that students who take foreign languages as a requirement may have little use for it and will eventually forget much of what they learned. How can anyone argue that these results are good?

I took three years of high school Spanish. The only use I had for it was ordering fast food from people who were unqualified to be at the register because of the language barrier. Since high school, I can only recall basic Spanish, most of which was taught in Spanish I. I have forgotten those past-tense irregular verb congegations from Spanish III due to lack of use. There is a lack of use because there is a lack of need to speak it.

I have also taken 12 credits of conversational Hebrew to fulfill my abstract thinking requirement. The only time I have spoken conversational Hebrew outside of class was at a video rental store (Actually, they also spoke English so there was no point in speaking Hebrew with them). Since my last Hebrew final exam, much of what I learned has faded from my memory due to lack of practice and reason to practice.

Twelve credits in the journalism major is the same needed for a minor. Those 12 credits could have been better spent in something more useful, longer lasting and employable, than in a foreign language through the intermediate level.

At the college level especially, students should have more freedom in deciding what they take. The distributive studies section of CORE forces people to take classes they would probably not take if they had more choices. Distributive studies should be banned and replaced with student’s options. Double majoring and minoring will rise, opening the way for more job options.

The argument for the distributive studies program is that students need a general education. How general is it when much of the information is forgotten due to a lack of interest? Most of my ‘general education’ classes have been a waste of time because I missed out on many of the useful and employable classes, many of which are prerequisites for upper level classes. The administrators fail to realize this, and they continue to constrict student options.

The foreign language option should still be there for anyone wishing to learn. I wanted to learn both Spanish and Hebrew, and I was required (not necessarily those two). After forgetting much of both languages soon after the final exams, I realized that I wasted my time for two reasons, though I had little choice.

The first reason is that there really is no use for me to know much of either language. I have known Hebrew since the third grade for religious purposes, but prayer Hebrew is different than conversational Hebrew. I know few Jews who speak conversational Hebrew. I do like knowing the basic words because at least I got something out of the classes.

The second reason is that I could have taken something more useful, like computer or business courses, both of which I had no room to take because I had to take CORE classes that I did not care about. I’ll take what I can from those classes, but I’d rather be in a class that fits my interests and career goals.

There are many people who speak foreign languages on this campus. But what is the median between us all? It better be English because I’m not about to learn French, Italian, Ebonics, German, Latin or whatever else is spoken here. It’s bad enough that I had an economics T.A. who spoke little English. Because of that obvious dilemma, should I have learned his language, or should he have learned English?

If learning about other cultures is so important, this university would require a multi-culture class. Don’t give me that “diversity class” in CORE because students take classes about their own kind. There wasn’t one gentile in my Jewish philosophy class.

It seems only the Asian students take classes about other cultures because they have so few of their own. Finally they’re doing something about it! They’re getting sick of taking African-American studies courses. Also, they put on one of the best rallies I’ve ever seen. “Gooks, chinks, spicks and japs, take these labels off our backs! We want diversity, yes we do, we want diversity, what can you do? Asian American studies NOW!” That bit alone should be enough to get their own classes.

I’m sick of administrators getting euphoric rushes every time they mention the word ‘diversity’ because they don’t seem to realize how segregated this campus is, despite the great number of so-called minorities. “UMCP- where excellence is achieved through diversity! Call the press, we’re diverse! Hurray for diversity! Oh diversity! OH! YES! OOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHMYGOD DIVERSITY!!!!!”

Excellence is achieved through hard work and commitment, and diversity is achieved through time and the fact that everyone else in the world wants to come to the U.S.A. Why do they come? Because it’s the best country in the world, and not because of our educators commitment to force students to take languages of far inferior countries! Except Japanese. I think we should all learn Japanese because they’re buying us out anyway.

Foreign languages in America should not be forced upon anyone because of its continuing failure to be retained by those who were forced to take it. However, it will open the doors for more courses that are beneficial that students may not have had room for in their schedules. If they want to learn a foreign language, they have every right to. Lets start giving the options of courses that matter to the individual rather than courses that don’t.

Foreign Languages I’ve Learned and Forgotten

When I think about all the class time I spent in Spanish and Hebrew, and then think about how little I remember, I now understand why the education system is in such a mess. People say that education is lacking in many people because of little funding, television taking away from homework time and unqualified teachers. Yeah, but how about this reason? Students are forced to take certain courses that do not appeal to them, and they soon forget what they learned. I will never argue that a general education is not necessary on the high school level. There they should be taking all kinds of courses, from home economics to anthropology. However, they shouldn’t be forced to take a language, especially through the intermediate level. If anything, one year of a language is enough, because the basics are recalled more often than words taught in the third year of classes. I know this because I asked so many people, and it happened to me as well. One friend of mine took 7 semesters of Spanish, in high school and college, and can only speak the basics. What a waste of time.

The College of Journalism at UMCP requires either 9 credits of foreign language through the intermediate level, or certain math classes. Math is another subject that does not appeal to everyone, especially the upper level advanced honors classes that engineers need. I choose the lesser of the two evils. I took Hebrew, a language that I had some knowledge of. It was only offered in 6 credit lumps.

My first teacher was the strictest grader I ever had. Though I was studying as much as I could, this idiot woman still made the class much harder than it should have been. She expected us to study 2 hours a night. Two hours a night, on top of six classroom hours a week! The fact that she even suggested that should have led to her dismissal.

Anyway, going into the final, I had a D average. That was with plenty of effort. I took the final, and I ended up with a 67% in the class. However, I got a 93% on the final, proving to my idiot teacher that I learned the material, but not at the extreme fast pace she expected. She gave me a C in the class, even with a 67%- it was not a curve, just her being nice.

I was still upset. Six credits of a C is not good. The next semester, I had a different teacher, and I coasted through the class with an easy B. Since then, I have spoken little Hebrew. Meanwhile, the 12 credits brought down my GPA. All I can think is that those dumb idiots who make up the requirements wasted my time, and I paid for it. I could have taken prerequisites for business classes. This is one reason I hate the administrators. They don’t know what’s best for anyone. I don’t care how educated they are- they’re a bunch of idiots if they think they helped educate me with those requirements.

Black History Month
Or is it George Washington Carver’s Nuts Month?

By Benjamin Sumner
February, 1997

Every February not only comes Black History Month, but the complaints and criticisms that go along with it. The complaints come from all kinds of people, black and white alike, ranging from racist views to the-shortest-month-of-the-year-isn’t-enough complaint.

I am very much for the education of Black American history incorporated with American history. In elementary school, I recall starting American history from Columbus through the present, and Black history was incorporated as it happened.

Black History Month only gave us the chance to learn about Black inventors and unsung heroes. I learned about George Washington Carver’s peanuts every February. Black history month should change its name to “George Washington Carver’s Nuts month.” That is all I remember learning year after year until I entered middle school. After elementary school, the only way I knew it was Black History Month was by passing the Black hero exhibit in the middle school hallway.

Much of what I was taught about black inventors and unsung heroes is less interesting than the struggles of the Civil Rights leaders. There are several White inventors and unsung heroes that we never learned about in school, none more important than the Black inventors.

Does it really matter what color the inventor was? How often do Jews mention that Einstein was one of them? That is insignificant compared to what he accomplished. We have the same product despite skin color or religion, so why must inborn factors be an issue?

If teaching about inventors is so important, why not have an entire inventors ed course be required in elementary school? I understand the struggles Black inventors may have gone through because of their race, but many other inventors had major struggles in one way or another, especially Galileo.

This is not a proposal for a White history month regarding inventors and unsung heroes. This is an appeal to question the reasons and importance of learning about the same people every year who, like many White people, were not important enough to be included in the standard passages of American history.

All vital parts of American history involving Black heroes should be dealt with during that era of study, as they were in my school. Some of my favorite parts of American history include Harriet Tubman’s underground railroad, the 54th regiment and the struggles of Martin Luther King Jr. No one should need February to appreciate these events.

March through January are not the White History months. Learning about the founders of this country is not a lesson in White history, but history that changed the course of this world. Columbus discovered America for Europe, and fewer people are appreciating that for various reasons. The early Americans had to rebel and gain independence from the British as the Blacks had to gain acceptance from the Whites. Just as the United States and Britain are on good terms now, all Americans should be on good terms with themselves.

With all that said, what is the point of Black history month? I am not proposing to rid it, but I hardly find any use for it if Black history is taught properly. Black American, Native American, Asian American and all other experiences should be incorporated with American history as they happened, and not during one well-intentioned month.


Pro-Choice and Pro-Drug Legalization
You can’t be one and not the other

By Benjamin Sumner
Most pro-choice people are for abortion not because they believe life begins at birth, but because they feel that a woman has the right to do with her body what she wants. Lets take that a step further. Because they believe a women, or in this case, everyone, has the right to do with their body what they want, then how come not all of them feel that drugs should be legalized? Sure, there are several pro-choicers and even pro-lifers that are for the legalization of drugs. However, isn’t drug use doing with your body what you want, just like abortion?

One counter argument is that drug use can cause one to break other laws as well, while having an abortion does not necessarily mean that a woman will break the law. It is quite common to find a drug addict who is guilty of other crimes than just their drug use.

How can someone believe a woman has the right to do with her body what she pleases (in this case, abortion), while denying a someone the right to snort cocaine or shoot heroine? As long as the drug user does not harm a second party, it should be okay, right? Drinking alcohol is legal, but driving while intoxicated is illegal to protect people from getting injured or killed in car accidents. Why should drugs be illegal when the users do not hurt anyone? Why deny them the right to do with their body what they want?

Another argument may be that drugs can drive people mentally crazy, while abortion may not. Many women who get abortions suffer mentally to some degree. There would be no abortion support group counseling if this were not true. The side effects for women who have abortions can vary, just like drug users. I doubt there have been too many women doing cartwheels out of the clinic and having luncheons in honor of the aborted fetus. Some women are so irresponsible that they get pregnant again after their first or even second abortion (The men may me irresponsible, too). Even pro-choicers have said that abortion should not be used as birth control, though many women are ignorant enough to use it that way. Others, who may not be able to afford an abortion, may steal to get money to pay for it. Mental depression, low self esteem, irresponsibility and theft are also related to drug use. Therefore, there are similarities between the side effects.

Now let’s combine the two. The premise is that a woman has the right to do with her body what she wants. The following situation is true. A Wisconsin woman purposely drank while she was pregnant. “I’m going to kill this thing because I don’t want it anyways,” she said in the hospital. The baby was born with fetal alcohol syndrome.

Alcohol consumption is not illegal during pregnancy, no matter how much it is. A woman has every right to drink, smoke and bounce on her belly because, say it with me, “You can do with your body what you want.” That argument cannot at all morally be justified. Does anyone care to justify the right of a woman to purposely injure her fetus?

Pro-choicers in this situation would say that it is better for the woman to get an abortion than let the child live with FAS. I suppose they are saying ‘kill, don’t torture.’ Death or torture. I have yet to figure out which is worse.

Of course, there are many differences between abortion and drug-use, but the same argument is used to justify both. If you are going to use the “It’s-my-body-and-I-can-do-what-I-want” argument to justify abortion, it is hypocritical not to use it to justify drug use, drinking and smoking while pregnant, suicide, euthanasia, body piercing or anything else that one can do to his or her own body.

If you are pro-choice and against drug legalization, please take my points into consideration. Question your reasons or at least admit you are a hypocrite.


© Copyright April 1997
I am proud of what I did with this article because I completely changed a woman’s opinion on abortion from pro-choice to pro-life. My intentions have never been like the uninspirational pro-life propaganda because they do not succeed too often in changing people’s opinions with their protest rallies and posters of fetuses. Who is inspired by someone standing outside an abortion clinic yelling “She’s a child, not a choice!”? That changes nobody’s opinion. This article did, and I have never felt better in my life.
Check it out:(Note: This is the exact text she sent to me after the article was published in the Diamondback at the University of Maryland in April of 1997)

Oh my.

I am twenty years old. For eight years of my life I have been staunchly pro-choice. This is especially odd in light of the fact that I am also staunchly Catholic, and nothing anyone, including my Church, could say would change my mind about the abortion issue. Not only is it my body to do what I want with, but it’s not my place to tell others what to do with their bodies. Period.

Your editorial changed all that.

I started reading your article because I thought it was another piece of lifer bullshit. I’m still not sure what your point was, whether it was arguing against abortion or against drugs or just against hypocrisy. It doesn’t matter. And I’m not saying your article was an extraordinary piece of literature. But somehow, it changed my mind– something I never, ever thought would happen.

I was reading your article going bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, when I hit the line about “a woman has every right to drink, smoke and bounce on her belly because, say it with me, ‘you can do with your body what you want'”. Again, I thought, bullshit, she doesn’t have that right because that’s attempted murder, just like on ER a couple of weeks ago with that woman who tried to drink her baby to death.

And then I realized I was being a hypocrite.

And suddenly a hundred things fell into place. I realized that if a woman gives birth three months prematurely she can’t dismember the baby on the delivery table, but she can have an abortion at six months and that’s legal. I said, hey, it’s a body inside MY body and so it’s my right to do what I want with. Then I thought, just because the dentist puts his hand in my mouth doesn’t give me the right to bite it off. I thought, Having a child inside you gives you a responsibility, not a right.

I know you didn’t do it on purpose, but you snuck up on me. Here’s what you did do on purpose: you made me face up to my own hypocrisy.

What about feminism? I thought. And then I thought, in a society where motherhood is not sacred but negligible, is it any surprise that women’s roles as mothers are not much respected?

How dare I bitch about the lack of sanctity for motherhood while demanding my right to kill my children?

A man named Milan Kundera once wrote that as humans, it is our treatment of the helpless, not of the able, that says the most about us. Now I think I’m a different kind of pro-choice: putting the choices of my children before my own choices. That sounds like the right kind of feminism to me.

This is getting long, so I’ll end this here. I want to thank you for setting me straight. I think you should be proud. I marched in the pro-choice march in ’93. Though I never believed I could live with myself if I had an abortion, I always vigilantly supported the right of women to do so if they chose. Even my church couldn’t change my mind. And somehow you did.

And I’m surprised because I really feel good about it, like I finally chose the right thing. Thanks.



Roe vs. Wade is Nothing to Party Over
Nor is anything death-related

By Benjamin Sumner
On this year’s anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the leader of modern feminism, Gloria Steinam, hosted a celebration of the 1973 Supreme Court decision with musical acts including Mary Chapin Carpenter and Joan Osbourne.

What songs were they singing? They were probably holding hands and rocking back and forth, singing (to the tune of “We are the World”) “We have the choice… to kill our children… we get to choose to keep or abort, it’s our decision… it’s a choice we’re making… we’re saving no one’s life… God could- have only wanted life- to end this way.” (repeat with a loud backup singer).

Even many pro-choicers understand that abortion is a procedure that is OFTEN done for a sexually irresponsible woman or couple’s convenience. If we can’t trust them with a choice, how can we trust them as parents? That bumper sticker usually sits opposite the “I have every right to be irresponsible” sticker. We do. Now let’s celebrate that right by having unprotected sex and throwing a concert like the original Woodstock.

How about doctor-assisted suicide? No one will see 70-year old bone cancer victims going to a concert in honor of their right to kill themselves. That party would probably suck anyway.

I have never seen anyone celebrate the death penalty in general, but there have been celebrations when a murderer is fried. They count down to the time of the execution like on New Years Eve, throw confetti and streamers and cheer as a pedophile-necrophiliac-cannibal-serial killer burns down to hell. Then, they dance the Electric Slide.

That is also sick, though I believe cold-blooded murderers should be stripped of their right to live. There are no winners with capital punishment or doctor-assisted suicide, nor are there with abortion or any unnatural death.

“Hurray for abortion! Thank God for the death penalty! Yippie for doctor assisted suicide!” Do any of those ‘cheers’ sound moral, even if you believe in them? One women called a radio show and said her abortion was “self defense” against the child who was invading her body like in the movie Aliens. She probably raised her arms in victory after the procedure, spiked the fetus like a football, cheering, “In your undeveloped face, klumpy! Try and get back in there and grow larger! I’ll abort you again!”

The reason this abortion celebration sickens me is because abortion is something to be pitied, regardless of stance. It isn’t a procedure granted from heaven. It doesn’t feel good.

Wait a minute. A bunch of women right now are asking out loud, “Who are you to tell me what to do with my body? Abortion is a women’s right! Stay out of my uterus!”

All right. I see what they’re saying. Based on their hard-core fighting for the right to choose, I have figured out the real reason they support the right to abort their unborn developing children.

Abortions must be orgasmic. They get off by having their cervix dilated and having a hollow plastic tube shoved up there sucking the fetus out. They make a sound similar to Meg Ryan’s in the restaurant from “When Harry Met Sally.” All women ought to have two, maybe three abortions. After all, everyone should exercise their rights. Just knowing they have the right to this euphoric procedure is enough to party!

Why doesn’t Steinam have a concert in honor of women’s right to vote, which was granted long after it should have been? That amendment is more of a milestone in the women’s rights movement than their right to kill their unborn children. There are plenty of women against abortion, but there are very few against their own right to vote. Maybe I’m wrong, though. Since abortion is so personal (and such a wonderful physical experience), it cannot be compared to the right to punch a hole through a ballot for some crooked politician.

I personally know four women who have had abortions, and all of them got pregnant because they were not using birth control. Sure, it is the guy’s fault too, but that doesn’t justify anything. When are these people going to learn to be responsible? Spare me the incest-rape-life-or-death arguments for a second, and lets focus on the majority abortions- what I call the “oops” procedure.

Who has incest, anyway? “Elly May, you’re looking awfully perdy!” “Thank you, Jethro. Let’s do it like them ferrets was in the kitchen.” “WEEEE DOGGIE!” A few months later. “Jethro, I’m pregnant. Didn’t you use a rubber?” “Only when it’s raining. But if you pregnant, we gotta get you one of them abersions.”

People who have incest are probably greatful that they have the pro-choicers (and many lifers) on their side. Maybe they should throw a concert if incest is ever legalized. One big hootenanny.

Pro-choicers are not the only ones who have moronic ways of protesting or celebrating their right. Some lifers bomb clinics, cause public disturbances and show pictures of dismembered fetuses in public, including to little kids. Those tactics change nobody’s view. They also shouldn’t bother people with useless babbling like “She’s a child, not a choice,” only to be followed by the popular counter argument, “It’s a choice.” “She’s a child!” “It’s a choice!” “Child!” “Choice!” Both of you shut up.

All joking aside, and abortion stance aside, all women and men should practice safe sex. No woman should want to have an abortion. Don’t celebrate the Roe vs. Wade decision as if it will have a direct effect on you, because abortion is one of those things that you should not have to consider having. If that is the case (which it is for many pro-choice women), you do not have to celebrate your right to abort the natural birthing process. I can understand this concert as being an excuse to get drunk and party, but that is how many women get pregnant anyway.

Being responsible sexually could save your life, too. I’m sure you already know this, but for some reason, too many of you ignore this advice (which was probably given to you by more credible sources than me), end up pregnant, with AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases.

Now, is that message so controversial?


© Copyright 1997
This was published in The Diamondback, the student newspaper at the University of Maryland in 1997. I wrote it knowing that it would cause much controversy. When I heard that Steinam was throwing a concert to celebrate Roe vs. Wade, I knew that even pro-choicers would think the event was uncalled for because they know abortion is not a glorious thing (though they believe in the right). I spent many hours over a three month period writing this article because I was trying to make it as good as possible. I showed it to a few critics to get some feedback, and they gave me some pointers of how to change it. As for the content itself, I realize it is extremely sarcastic and tasteless, but I made my point very clear. I have no regrets.

The feedback was interesting. Half of it was negative, and the other half was pretty much positive. Some pro-lifers were upset because I didn’t make clear exactly what ‘safe sex’ is, and some said birth control is a form of abortion. Many pro-choice feminists disagreed, while some pro-choicers said it was one of the best articles they ever read. My favorite reply was when a lady walked up to me in the hall and thanked me for taking a moral stand. I wouldn’t call the article moral, but the overall point is. I guess that’s what she meant.

Below are just a few of the replies I received.
That article was a tight piece of work. I congratulate you on your honesty and forthrightness. That type of writing has been lost to the pages of the Dback since….well… since me! :).
I like it. Even I, being pro-choice, sort of have to agree w/ you on this riduculous “celebration”. – James
Your writing on the diamondback today is wonderful. I like it very much and appreciate your work. Keep going, and good luck. Thanks, vuhuy
Hi Ben. How are you? Just as tastless as ever I bet, but that’s ok. I actually liked your article and I helped my friend Bridgid write a responce to Liz Baquir’s letter to the editor. Women like that give femininists like me a bad rep.
Take care,
hey benny boy,

while cleaning my desk, i found an old diamondback. in it was your abortion article. you’re a moron and your picture isn’t so hot either. tammatha