After I posted this piece, I notified the person I was trying to help, and I get this back from her:
Dear Glenn, thank you for your thoughts.  I understand that you have put a great deal of effort into your research but I found your willingness to dismiss the things women go through (especially the glib way you spoke about the pain and discomfort they go through in pregnancy!), as unfair.  Maybe its your American way of thinking, but I don't think you have been entirely honest in this and I think you have done what many others have done- focused on the bits that help your cause and skirted those that didn't.  For example, I have heard from feminists the belief that women will only ever be truly free and happy when children are created in test tubes!  Feminists have their ax to grind just like everyone else.  I have also spoken with mothers who had their tubes tied immediately after giving birth the first time because the whole experience was dreadful for them.  I'm sorry that I approached you with this in the first place...I was pregnant and the things I went through before I miscarried certainly didn't feel beneficial to me!  There is much you don't understand.  You'll never understand what it's like for your body to be taken over by what feels like a parasite (it's all very well to fall pregnant if a woman wants to be pregnant but it's something else entirely if pregnancy is not desired at all)


Now, I don't often get accused of dishonesty and glibness, so I thought I would ask some other people about the piece. I sent the above comments to two friends from my past, neither of which are Tank readers/fans and only one of which would be considered an 'evangelical Christian', and asked for their assessments of the piece (and I asked for any details of their female histories that I could use in describing their backgrounds). I told them that I would pull the piece from the site IMMEDIATELY if they agreed that it was dishonest, glib, or flip.

The first reply was from a mother in the midwest. She had had 5 live births, one miscarriage, and one medically-required abortion:
 

Glen, long time no hear...I DID read the woman's letter and then read then scanned (there is just SO much info) your response. Your response is outstanding information that I think you SHOULD leave on your site. However, it IS pretty clinical "sounding" and doesn't "hit" what she is REALLY asking--I think her question has more to do with "the problem of pain" period relative to the female gender.  My take is that she has had some kind of abuse from men in her life...they are ALL painful and increase any physical pains that we "normally" have to go through to a GREAT degree.  Oh, and an aside--menstrual pain does NOT decrease as you get older, in many cases (as in mine personally) it becomes greater.  So, it sounds like she is angry at God for a lot of pain in her life and may well be focusing on the female physiological pain problems to attack God and justify her anger.  Pain is a part of THIS life--The Road Less Traveled. Just my "unscholarly" take--J.


The second reply was from a young women in NYC. Unmarried, with an academic background in feminism and sociology, very forthright and outspoken, non-evangelical. One unplanned pregnancy, one voluntary abortion, still planning on having children later:

1. the article does not seem flip at all, Mr. Miller--it's 20 pages long. You obviously took this question very seriously, even thought it so obviously came from an unbalanced and emotionally wrecked source. It's a beautiful testament to your care and concern for the human mind.

2. i don't think the woman who wrote in had any right to get mad at you. If she's suicidal, she needs to be on suicide watch. Period--regardless of her religious position.

3. the one line that did seem slightly dismissive was the statement that (roughly) "drugs can eradicate almost all labor pain". there just was no citation...didn't look like you'd looked into it.

4. i was surprised you also didn't include the argument that childbirth INCREASES pleasure later in life by vastly increasing women's' sexual pleasure! that's why women hit their peak in their 30s! all that extra bloodflow and sensory stimulation in the pelvis makes many women able to have orgasm for the first time ever!

i can revisit all those arguments later, if you wish ...but in general, Mr. Miller, don't take it down. I found it very sympathetic to women, very warm, and those personal stories just blew me away.

good job! K.


So, I have decided to keep it up...maybe it will be of value to someone else...glenn miller



 
 
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