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On Being Pro Choice and Male

I'm a white male, with Welsh, Greek and German roots, blue eyes, you name it... my God, I couldn't be whiter if Casper was ejaculating all over my supple rear. Forget the music I listen to, or the things that I do; really, when it comes to just being viewed as a number, I don't get any more stereotypically WHITE.

I'm not alone; we're the majority in this country, after all. And the last time I checked, thanks to some wonderful (heh) foresight by our forefathers, we've made just about all of the rules, including the ones that only we could vote, and that we could own other human beings as property.

Naturally, we've had a "do-over" on some of those, especially that whole slavery bit... that was a hoot, eh? The blacks got their equal rights, women were able to fight for equal rights and equal pay (in most places, though nowadays, I'm not seeing old fashioned feminism anymore; it's either "RAWR MAN KILLER" or "As long as I get to watch CSI, I don't care what happens", and nothing in between), and the playing field, more or less, is more even than it's ever been.

So excuse me if I don't understand why the fuck we still think we can decide what a woman can and can't do with her body.

My mother miscarried twice before having me. After me, she - being about as fertile as a fucking dandelion - had four more that she had to abort. The first one was choice; she didn't have the money for another kid. But the last three were health reasons; she flat-out would have died had she had those children, and by then, she WAS ready for another child. So to anyone that wants to abolish Roe vs. Wade and make it totally illegal, or put Draconian rules and standards on it that would make it virtually impossible for someone that DID need an abortion to be able to get one before the end of the second trimester, really, I have no respect for you, because if you people would have had your way, my mother would be dead, and as I never met my father until I was 10 years old, I'd be an orphan.

COULD my mother have aborted me? Of course. Would I be sad about it? No; I'd be non-existent. I wouldn't know a thing. There seems to be an image of a foetus screaming in pain, and taking memories to the grave that I don't understand, and it seems like little more than pandering.

And why is this? Why is it that you want to tell a woman what she can and can't have in her body? There's two reasons: the debate of when life "begins", and the big one of all, religion, or more specifically, AMERICA'S religion; as a country, we're just as radical and fundamental as we deride Islam for being, we just don't blow up AS many doctors, or buildings; in short, God's lost a bit off his fastball over the years. The first point has been debated ad nauseum over the years by people more qualified than me to make that determination, so I don't really think I need to go there. But the second point is asinine.

I am not Christian. You are? Fucking bravo. But I refuse to allow someone else's belief on how we should be affect how we act. Now, what I'm about to say is going to make people like Dale and Wilfor flinch, and to those people, I'm going to do something rare and apologize in advance, because they're good Christians, and it feels wrong to bunch them in with what I'm about to say, and Wilfor's had issues with my opinion on the Bible for some time. But the fact of the matter is that throughout history, religion has been used to control masses of people and get them to do the biding of another man for as long as it's been around. It's very easy for a man telling another man to do something to be usurped; he's just a man. But for a man to tell another man that there's a being up there that could give him happiness - or pain - forever, that's something that has just enough plausible doubt, depending on the education level of the person in question, for a person to go "maybe...", and possibly being taken in. After all, what man can possibly quantify, in his mind, forever? To me, forty-five minutes in line is practically an eternity, now multiply that times infinity + infinity + one? I could see our LONG ago ancestors being scared straight by this ideal, and let's just say they didn't have Wikipedia back then.

And as they grew up and had children of their own, these teachings manifested themselves in the children at a very impressionable age, and just like how it's convenient to put a child in front of the television just to shut him up, it became convenient to say to do just about anything because God said so. Do good in school, little Timmy, or God won't be happy, and he knows everything you do at every point in life! In a way, it hearkened back to the eras of the Greek gods, where children's questions would be answered by saying there was a God of whatever. Now, take the self-righteousness, add in the belief that it's OK to "convert" someone, and leaders willing to exploit the inevitable mob mentality (remember, the Crusades were a political war fought over religious auspices), and you have a large group of people that will do anything in the belief that their time on Earth is temporary, that the true heaven comes after one dies, and that it's noble to die for a cause and to be a martyr.

So where am I going with this inane rambling? This is the exact mentality that brings us most of our current debate on Roe vs. Wade, and a woman's right to her own body. In the eyes of most religions, a woman's job is to mind the house, bear children for her man, and serve her man. Nowhere in this is "individualistic thought" part of the equation, and the only thing I'm thankful for is that Christianity isn't as nuts about this sort of thing as Islam, or the Asian cultures. But there's still an underlying current of a woman being there to serve a man is still alive nowadays. It's alive in the vast majority of domestic abuse cases being man against woman, just as much as it's alive in the fact that a white politician feels it's OK to tell a woman how she can treat her body, and to cast doubt on the virility on those that disagree... all in the name of Jesus, of course. And apple pie, because somewhere along the line, Jesus cast his lot with the Republican party of America. If a woman wants to have an abortion, she's a whore, harlot, murderer, whatever coarse word you want to use. If a woman wants the CHOICE to have one, she's not Christian (itself a negative tone), or any of the above words. Too much of a demand to fall in line or be outcast for my liking, and it comes under the same underlying premise: God says it's OK for us to essentially own our women, for men are the breadwinners.

If I want to own a woman, I'll run down to VIP and get a blow-up doll, thank you. They even have little Hentai ones that aren't QUITE as creepy, but that's like saying Dahmer wasn't QUITE as creepy as Manson.

Aileen and I have been dating for almost two years now. She's still a virgin. Why is this? It's not because she's a cold fish, trust me on that. It's because we made a choice - how about that! - that pregnancy was not something we wanted to risk just yet; it was a major part of our ongoing decision. I don't "expect" her to "put out" or anything like that. We decided, even with abortions being legal in all three states of ours (New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts), that it wasn't worth the risk yet. If we are smart enough to make that choice... aren't we smart enough to decide what to do if something does go wrong? Or if her life's in jeopardy?

America is a "free" country, we're told oftentimes. Usually, we're told of our symbiotic freedom as we're being asked to sacrifice our real freedoms - protections against search and seizure, freedom of privacy, freedom of speech and choice, etc. - in the name of counter-terrorism; after all, we're so "free" we can't even defend ourselves, and have to have our government do it for us. If we're so "free", then we need to go all the way with that: we cannot take a woman's right to have an abortion away from her. She needs to have the choice to do what she pleases. THAT is true freedom. And we cannot allow some religious zealot to play to the evil in our hearts in the name of "greater good", because I know that as a collective, we're smarter than that.

I don't want anyone - man or woman - telling me what I can do to my testicles. It's not right for me or my kind to tell a woman what to do with her vagina, or her ovaries. Simple as that. And even beyond what's right and moral? The Supreme Court ruled on it already, and I'm not about to say that court in '73 was "worse" than the one we have now.

I support Blog for Choice Day, on the 35th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade


Jan. 23rd, 2008 08:00 pm (UTC)
I feel like I should preface this by saying it's not meant as an attack on pro-life beliefs, just pointing out that the existing social structure, at least in America, makes things a lot more difficult than many pro-life arguments acknowledge, and that I hope that if you take a pro-life position, that you're also in favor of better health care, improvements to the adoption/foster system, and the like, because a better social structure to support young, poor, and/or unmarried mothers would likely bring down the need for abortion in the first place.

Sometimes it's not the raising of the child, but the health and financial demands associated with the pregnancy itself, that contribute to the decision to abort. Adoption isn't a panacea for all of the reasons that someone might make that choice; if a woman doesn't have access to prenatal care, if she can't afford to take care of her own health, let alone that of someone else, simply carrying the pregnancy to term and then putting the child up for adoption isn't as easy of an option as it's often made out to be.

That's not to start on the problems with the adoption system itself; while it's less trouble to find a good home for a healthy white baby, it can be difficult to place children with birth defects, minority children, et cetera, and the older a child gets, the more difficult it is to place them.

Birth control effectiveness varies with methods; while using two methods are recommended, I know there have been cases -- rare, but still existent -- of both methods failing, even in the case of two 99% effectiveness methods such as condoms plus the pill. I don't think it's fair to force a woman to take on a pregnancy, which can be an extreme physical, financial, and emotional burden, because she falls into that unlucky 1%. Once again, your mileage may vary, but...yeah.

-- okay, there is one point where I am going to actually attack something and not just point out that I feel there are factors that complicate the issue, sorry. :X That would be:

What if someone rapes you? Then you could be royally fucked. Take the damn pill if you don't want kids.

No. No no no no.

I'm on the pill, and not even because I'm worried about pregnancy, but for other health reasons. But there are potential health risks involved in taking the pill, as with just about any medication out there. In my case, the benefits outweigh the risks, but there are times when that's not the case, and where there are factors that make the pill not a good option for someone. Going on birth control pills isn't like popping Tylenol; it's a decision that should be made with a doctor, with full understanding of what you're getting into, and it's not the best option for everyone -- there is a reason it's prescription medication, not over-the-counter.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 08:10 pm (UTC)
"I feel like I should preface this by saying it's not meant as an attack on pro-life beliefs, just pointing out that the existing social structure, at least in America, makes things a lot more difficult than many pro-life arguments acknowledge, and that I hope that if you take a pro-life position, that you're also in favor of better health care, improvements to the adoption/foster system, and the like, because a better social structure to support young, poor, and/or unmarried mothers would likely bring down the need for abortion in the first place."

I agree completely. The current systems do make it exceedingly difficult and DO need reform. Maybe with any luck the next presidency might help that. Only time will tell. There are many broken systems in this country that need reform and most people are doing nothing about it.

As for the line you're attacking, I'll admit I'm not very knowledgeable about the health risks. It would be helpful if someone could tell me what they are, but in any case if there ARE such health risks, what the fuck are our pharmaceutical companies doing? They need to get their asses on working towards a pill without such bad health risks - this is part of a bigger issue here, that this country should be dealing with now, to shut everyone the fuck up.

Don't get me wrong, I believe there should be a choice, but I believe there should be very many things deterring women from undergoing abortions for any reason other than life threatening situations.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 08:24 pm (UTC)
It's really not as simple as "make a better pill" -- there are a lot of kinds out there, and while they all do the same basic thing, there are lots of subtle differences, because since it essentially is used to regulate certain hormone levels, it's very much not a one size fits all thing. One of the first things my doctor told me when I started taking them was that if I had problems with the first kind we tried, let her know and we'd try a different one, because there are seriously a fuckton of them on the market.

The pill can influence blood coagulation, so someone already at high risk for heart problems might not want to take the risk of aggravating that. The research can't seem to agree on the (possible) link to breast cancer; there's a possible link along the lines of increased estrogen -> increased risk, but it's also been suggested that woman on the pill may just have a tendency to be more proactive about screening for these things, and more likely to be diagnosed early. Aside from that, there's the usual side effects. Weight gain, vomiting, headaches, changes in blood pressure, depression, and some others, IIRC.

While not everyone will experience all of those, and some of them are relatively minor, they're still nothing I'd say a non-sexually active women should be told to shut up and expose herself to on the off chance that she might get raped someday.

And while it's possible that some of these factors might be removed with new pharmaceutical advances, a lot of them are likely not going anywhere, as quite simply, if you start screwing with hormone levels (which is how these things work), you really can't expect nothing to be affected.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 08:31 pm (UTC)
Well really, I don't see a problem with abortion in the case of rape anyways. I just only have an issue with it in other cases. I stated that on my LJ, where I cross-posted the original comment.