Talk:Susan B. Anthony abortion dispute

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"A number of"[edit]

I find that going back into the history of these articles and their "Talk" pages can pay dividends. For example I have now discovered that in June of 2012 editors Roscelese (explicitly) and Binksternet (tacitly) agreed to this much discussed consensus wording of the article's second sentence "However, a number of scholars, pro-choice activists, and journalists have said that this narrative is a case of invented historical revisionism." This version remained in the article for more than two years until about six months ago when "sly devil" Binksternet unilaterally removed "a number of" to recreate the version that he had preferred more than two years earlier. That being the case, I feel justified in going back to the wording that existed between June 2012 and August 2014. KatieHepPal (talk) 16:57, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Name the scholars that explicitly agree with the FFL and SBA List narrative about Anthony... Right, the number is zero, which is why there should not be any attempt to water down the scholarly assessment of the narrative as wrong. Binksternet (talk) 17:09, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
First of all, Mr. Knowles, let us put paid to the notion that (in your most recent edit to the article) you were "restoring a long-standing consensus" about the article's wording. You did nothing of the sort. What you restored was your own unilateral change to the article made on 20 August 2014. It was THAT edit which violated a long-standing wording consensus from 20 June, 2012 formed between yourself, Roscelese, and Badmintonhist. The wording "a number of scholars" made by Badmintonhist was explicitly accepted by Roscelese who said "I'm fine with 'a number of' - it seems to convey limitations while not falsely suggesting anything." You made no objection to the new wording in that discussion, but rather, when the coast was clear, removed " a number of" some two years and two months later.
As for your attempt at substantive argument above, I am not impressed. Serious scholars tend to avoid getting directly involved in spitting contests between ideologues. I wouldn't really expect a Joseph Dellapenna or a Carl Degler or a Marvin Olasky to explicitly and publicly announce whether the Susan B. Anthony List or its critics are right about Anthony's views on abortion.
One other issue here, Mr. Knowles, perhaps the most important one. Could you describe for me precisely what the "FFL and SBA narrative about Anthony" is, perhaps with specific quotes from representatives of those organizations? I suspect that there may be some straw man burning going on. KatieHepPal (talk) 18:59, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

The "Ravinsky quotation"[edit]

The mere fact that a supposed quotation weighing in on the Anthony/Abortion dispute appeared in an academic journal is not a cogent reason for including it here. We don't really know if there is an Annette Ravinsky who was once a vice-president of Feminists for Life (no independent source has been presented to confirm this). We more or less do know, however, that she was not an especially prominent figure in that movement, and that she was neither a well known commentator nor an academic historian. Tracy Thomas might as well have quoted a Joe Blow on the subject and the mere fact that an academic paper quotes a Joe Blowis is not enough give the quotation sufficient weight for Wikipedia. Moreover, we now have someone earnestly maintaining that she is the Annette Ravinsky in question telling us that she never made the comment that is being attributed to her. [1]. Under these circumstances why would anyone think it a good idea to keep the quotation in the article? Surely there is something better in the Thomas Seattle Law Review article that we could put in its place. Motsebboh (talk) 18:52, 16 August 2015 (UTC)

Tracy Thomas is the reliable source here, supported by the prominence of the scholarly publication. If Thomas looked at a quote and thought it was significant to understanding the topic, then that is much more leverage than an IP editor from Philadelphia who says that somebody was pretending to be her. As far as I can tell from searching the interwebs, there is indeed a person named Annette L. Ravinsky who lives in Philadelphia, with various group affiliations such as white supremacist, animal rights activism and pro-life. I can't see whether she was ever in FFL, but again, it was Tracy Thomas who determined that Ravinsky's quote is important to the SBA abortion dispute narrative. Who are we to dispute a topic scholar? Binksternet (talk) 19:54, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
Editors here and everywhere pick and choose AL THE TIME as to what parts of reliable sources they use and don't use. That is the basic job of an editor. Why pick an especially dubious line of an academic work to quote? Just because Tracy Thomas thought it was significant in her paper doesn't mean that we are obliged to use it. Again, is there any other source besides Thomas who says that an Annette Ravinsky was ever a vice -president of Feminists for Life much less wrote such a letter? Daughters of Sarah, incidentally, seems to be long gone. Motsebboh (talk) 20:33, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
I have no strong feelings in favor of including the quote, but Binksternet is right that we have no way of knowing that this IP is really Ravinsky. I've invited the IP user to submit an OTRS ticket, which I believe is the right way of going about doing things when you need to confirm your identity. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 00:49, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
There are plenty of copies of Daughters of Sarah laying around in libraries and archives. The fact that the periodical is defunct doesn't make its contents less authoritative. Pamela D. H. Cochran, the director of the Center on Religion and Democracy at U of Virginia, writes that Daughters of Sarah "was the first, and at its height, the most polished" of the four primary journals of evangelical feminism. She says that the journal was published from late 1974 to late 1996. The authority of the DoS journal adds to the letter written by Annette Ravinsky to the journal's editors. If the editors of DoS had any suspicion that the letter was a fake, they would not have run it. Binksternet (talk) 04:18, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
Again, what is the compelling reason for including the quotation? That somebody who may or may not have been a vice president of Feminists for Life, may or may not have changed her mind about abortion, and/or about Anthony, and may or may not have written a letter to a then existing publication. Even if all true, so what? And again, what sources exist other than Thomas and (maybe) DoS confirming that an Annette Ravinsky was once a VP at Feminists for Life? Motsebboh (talk) 16:25, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
The IP user says she notified several periodicals about false quotes. If that is accurate, she should be able to tell us which journals printed retractions and when.
In Wikipedia, as in academia, the history research of a professor is presumed to be reliable unless there is evidence to the contrary. That qualifies Thomas's material as a reliable source, and Wikipedia requires only one reliable source. (Unless, of course, it is contradicted by another reliable source, which hasn't happened here.) The Ravinsky quote is relevant to this article because it comes from a former vice president of one of the organizations that popularized the idea that Susan B. Anthony opposed abortion. Bilpen (talk) 18:37, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
You mean that it may have come from a former vice-president of Feminists for Life. It is unlikely that Tracy Thomas would have done anything other than assume that the letter was legit when she wrote her article. As for the now defunct Daughters of Sarah, who knows? Perhaps someone should check with the FFL office. Of course, even assuming that Ravinsky was a former FFL VP and actually did write this letter, it would not be especially edifying fact. Many people both famous and obscure have changed their positions in either direction on abortion and the issues that surround it. Motsebboh (talk) 19:24, 17 August 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The characterisation of an evangelical feminist who headed an organisation that helped proselytise the idea that Anthony opposed abortion into the dialog as "Joe Blow" is disenheartening. It's also cited in a reliable source and that RS sources a known publication considered to be reliable for scholars of the field. Need I remind everyone of Wikipedia:Verifiability, not truth? Ogress smash! 19:28, 17 August 2015 (UTC)

What we really have now is a letter in a magazine describing someone name Annette Ravinsky as a former vice president of Feminist for Life. If whoever wrote the letter is not an Annette Ravinsky, former vice president of Feminists for life then citing it in our article would be worse than citing a letter by Joe Blow. Relying on verifiability doesn't mean that we go out of our way to print stuff that might be false. Motsebboh (talk) 19:50, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
Two respected journals thought enough of Ravinsky and her ideas to print them. The first was Daughters of Sarah, a Christian feminist journal that purposely stayed neutral on the question of abortion, so that its readers could read about and discuss the issue in an open forum. The second journal is the Seattle University Law Review which published the Tracy Thomas piece. Just one of these would be sufficient to tell us that Ravinsky's words are important to the topic, but we have two. Binksternet (talk) 20:05, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
No. We editors determine what is important to the topic based on information that we get from reliable sources. Nothing whatsoever obligates us to include the Ravinsky/Thomas quotation in this article. Motsebboh (talk) 20:27, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
What is your evidence that the information is false? "It could have been a person impersonating her" is ridiculous. Ogress smash! 20:29, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
Have you been following the discussion? Someone claiming to be Annette Ravinsky has recently buzzed in to one of the editors and claimed precisely that. Motsebboh (talk) 21:03, 17 August 2015 (UTC) PS: I've just E-mailed Feminists for Life for information on the Annette Ravinsky in question.
An IP claims quoted material is fake because they are the quoted person and never said it... Feminists for Abortion Life have been specifically criticised for their use of Susan B. Anthony quotes and you are going to them for confirmation? Ogress smash! 21:16, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
No. I'm going to Feminists for Life about someone who is supposed to be a former VP of Their organization. I don't know anything about an organization called "Feminists for Abortion." Motsebboh (talk) 21:21, 17 August 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Yeesh, that was one heck of a slip. Ogress smash! 22:18, 17 August 2015 (UTC)