T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 51221
posted 01-08-2011 09:20 PM
I've been hearing some of these claims recently and wondered if you had any good reliable information for me. I find this espesially disturbing because I plan to go into that feild myself when I'm older. I know that Margaret Sanger said some pretty questionable things but I didn't think Planned Parenthood was the same. Thanks!
Member # 3
posted 01-09-2011 10:36 AM
Planned Parenthood was founded by Margaret Sanger, which is why it gets associated with her. And yes, she did have an association with eugenics (though I'm not sure I've ever heard of her actively doing anything with that stance).
Here's the tougher thing to face: almost EVERYONE of privilege at that time thought eugenics was a good idea. It's an ugly, ugly part of history, one that you can see flowed through into WWII, clearly, but very few people who had privilege were not on board, and fewer still actively stood against eugenics. So, the idea that the field of reproductive health, expressly, is more associated with eugenics than others is flawed. Certainly, it could come up a bit more because of family planning, but if you wanted to avoid any fields that wasn't touched by it in some way, or where some important people in it during that time weren't pro-eugenics, you'd have a tough time finding one. If we wanted to avoid using anything in our daily lives that someone who was a eugenicist didn't tough, even that'd be tricky: for instance, we'd have to ditch using the phone, since Alexander Graham Bell supported eugenics, too. We could say the same for sexism, other kinds of racism and ableism, etc. In other words, any filed which is around now and has been around for a long time has likely had those things as part and parcel of it. Sexual/reproductive health -- and especially abortion -- mostly seems to get tagged with it more often because they are areas so opposed by so many in general. Know what I mean? That all said, we know we need sexual and reproductive healthcare, so I don't think saying we should tank it or not work in it because some ugly stuff was in some of it once -- as it was in almost anything. I think it's all the more important those of us who find ideas like "ideal breeding" repugnant work in this. As well, Sanger and Planned Parenthood hardly started reproductive/sexual health. Not even close. People often say prostitution is the oldest profession, but from what we can tell, it's midwifery that was. For thousands and thousands of years before Sanger and PP, people were working in reproductive healthcare even if they didn't call it that. I haven't read it myself, but I hear that "The Unfit: A History of a Bad Idea" by Elof Axel Carlson is a pretty amazing piece of work on the eugenics movement. [ 01-09-2011, 10:40 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]
Member # 51221
posted 01-11-2011 08:41 PM
Thank you so much for the answer! It really does make me feel better. I was just making sure that I wasn't going to end up entering something corrupt or aiding something immoral. But what you said makes alot of sense. I've just started reading Women's Body, Women's Rights and I think that's going to discuss it a bit too. I'll also check out the book you recommended. Thank you again for the response!
Member # 3
posted 01-11-2011 08:49 PM
You're very welcome.
I think it's awesome you are making a point to make assurances around this kind of stuff in whatever work you do!
Member # 43206
posted 01-29-2011 04:10 AM
Further you know, bad people, even with evil(for lack of a better word) intentions, can on occasion accomplish some things that turn out to be pretty great.
In the same way, good people with the best of intentions can often lead to disaster.