Category Archives: Roe v. Wade and men

Where is the Male Suppport for Roe v. Wade?

 
 
I understand why people have religious beliefs which make overturning Roe v. Wade a matter of faith. These Americans find it impossible to separate their religion from their politics, although most Americans are able to link a more generalized and secular philosophical morality to governance. However, we must resist this religious pressure and protect our hard-won freedom because the whole issue of abortion is indeed an issue of women’s health and women have the right to call the shots here. Women are responsible for their own moral view; they can bear the weight of their own sin if it is their view that not continuing an unwanted pregnancy is a sin. Women should not have to bear the burden of other religious Americans who feel that they are being forced to sin each time an American woman has an abortion. In this view, if even one American has religious strictures against abortion, no American woman should be allowed to have an abortion. But no one forces a woman to have an abortion against her will (unless some domineering sexual partner bullies a woman until she is intimidated to abort). This religious crusade to root out sin is about taking away a freedom. It is a much greater “nanny state” intrusion into our privacy and autonomy than any of the government programs so many warn us about. Is America a brave experiment in freedom or a fundamentalist religious state where women will be placed, once again, under the dominion of men? [I find it more difficult to understand why anyone (even the Catholic church) would oppose birth control when the population on our tiny planet spinning all alone in this isolated arm of the galaxy will approach nine billion by 2050.]

But what I have a huge problem with is the total disconnect between men and unwanted pregnancies, as if men were not there when the act of union took place. After all, women usually do not get pregnant by themselves. As I understand the process, sperm and an egg must be involved. As far as I am concerned the choice of whether or not to end a pregnancy always rests with the woman. She is the one whose womb will be the incubator, whose life will be turned upside down for at least nine months, whose career path may be interrupted at great disadvantage, whose sanity may be challenged by being forced to accept an unintended additional child, or whose very life may be challenged by some medical aspect of the pregnancy.  But, since men often father children and then disappear, I would think men would be supportive of the rights of women to control the decision about whether or not to allow the rapidly multiplying cells in her womb to turn into a human being. Being an absent progenitor can cause lifelong guilt and expensive child support payments or complicated continuing relationships between two people sharing a child, but not sharing a life.

Yesterday, in a newsletter that arrives in my email from the Daily Kos, an admittedly lefty publication, I was treated to a report summarizing the things Rush Limbaugh has to say about women. This man has no filter, of course, and can spout misogynist crap just to be shocking, but his meanness finds an audience and his arrows sometimes find a home in the hearts of those he skewers. He has a number of nasty things to say about women who are not born beautiful. Apparently he believes that only pretty women have a right to appear in public, to flirt, to wish for love and marriage. He says that feminism is not really a movement by women to gain rights to control their own lives, but is a movement by ugly women, women who will never find a man or get married or have a family. He calls feminists, “femin-nazis”. He says single women are “semen receptacles” (an image that makes us wish to deny sexual relations to all men forever) and that ugly women should wear burqas so men (especially men as handsome as Rush Limbaugh, the old coot) don’t have to look at them.

Limbaugh on feminism:
“Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society.”

Limbaugh on sexual harassment:
“Some of these babes, I’m telling you, like the sexual harassment crowd. They’re out there protesting what they actually wish would happen to them sometimes.”

Limbaugh on the women’s movement:
“I love the women’s movement — especially when walking behind it.”

Limbaugh on longevity:
“Women still live longer than men because their lives are easier.”

Limbaugh on breasts and intelligence:
“The larger the bra size, the smaller the IQ.”

Limbaugh on chauvinism:
“We’re not sexists, we’re chauvinists — we’re male chauvinist pigs, and we’re happy to be because we think that’s what men were destined to be. We think that’s what women want.”

Limbaugh on women’s clothing:
“I’ll tell you, you women. Why don’t you just make it official, put on some burkas and I’ll guaran-damn-tee you nobody’ll touch you. You put on a burka, and everybody’ll leave you alone if that’s what you want.”

Limbaugh on overweight women:
“Female politicians get a pass on every aspect of their appearance. You would never have stories about how some female politican’s fat… There are plenty of lard-ass women in politics, and they get a total pass on it.” 

Limbaugh on contraceptives:
“So Ms. Fluke, and the rest of you Feminazis, here’s the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. We want you post the videos online so we can all watch.” 

Here’s the link:

I did not quote the part about “semen receptacles” because it is part of a longish rant against Terry McAuliffe, the Democrat recently elected as governor of Virginia, but you can see the context if you follow the link.

This is all part of the rudeness and incivility that these radio ranters have brought to modern American discourse and I shouldn’t even give this man a thought, except that he has an audience of “worshipers” out there who agree with every word he says and every opinion he opines.

What I am trying to say here is that there are quite a few men out there in America who should be a lot more active in supporting women’s freedom to control their own reproductive health choices. It is a manly thing to do and women, faced with the many laws that state governments are passing to make it more  difficult (or impossible) to have an abortion, could use their help in this matter, which we don’t want to abdicate control over, but which does also affect you, the men in our lives. We don’t want you to express your opinion on this issue; we want you to fight for this right along with us and help us stop the attacks of the GOP on women’s reproductive health issues. Help preserve Roe v. Wade and the rights that go along with this law.

The photo is from Business Week.

This blog post is also available at www.brissioni.com