As I think most of us have noticed, we are deep in the middle of the war on women. Bloated talk show hosts accuse women of being “sluts and prostitutes” because they want birth control. Several state legislatures trying to eliminate abortion attempt to take punitive action against a woman seeking legal control over her own body; requiring them to undergo invasive procedures akin to rape, or in the recent case in Arizona, requiring a woman seeking a legal end to her pregnancy to first witness an abortion.
And all this leaves me wondering; where are the men?
Here is one fact I am fairly sure of. A woman only needs birth control or an abortion because she has had sex or intends to have sex with a man. (Except, of course, in the case of immaculate conception. And I guess I will go on record here – in the case of immaculate conception I remain firmly opposed to abortion.)
But I would make the case that men play an even bigger role in this problem than women. Like most men, I spent a significant amount of my youthful single years attempting to convince women that sex with me was a really great idea. Most men devote significant amounts of time and personal resources to make this case to women, so when they do capitulate there needs to be shared responsibility.
A woman who wants birth control is a slut – but what about the man she has sex with? What do we call him? Of course, I think most of us hope and pray that Rush Limbaugh and his sex partner always use some sort of birth control for the good of mankind, even though it is easy to forget the condom when you are high on Oxy, but my point…. there is always a man in the equation.
And let’s discuss the Arizona situation. A Republican in that state has introduced a bill specifying that any woman who wants an abortion should have to first witness an abortion. What about the man who impregnated her? What does he have to do? If we believe we should punish the woman for her unplanned and unwanted pregnancy by humiliating and causing her trauma, shouldn’t we take the same action against him? Maybe it would help eliminate unwanted pregnancies if he had to have his penis tattooed “slut stick”.
Here’s another idea. If they pass this law, in addition to having to witness an abortion, the couple should then have to go spend a day in a double-wide with a 15 year old unwed mother raising the Down’s-syndrome inflicted baby she conceived after being raped by her uncle Lenny.
Actually, a few legislators are responding with some interesting counter legislation to combat the stupidity of this movement. In Virginia, State Senator Janet Howell proposed mandating rectal exams and cardiac stress tests for men seeking erectile dysfunction meds. Her amendment failed by just two votes.
In Illinois State Rep. Kelly Cassidy proposed requiring men seeking Viagra to watch a video showing treatment for persistent erections, an occasional side effect of the little blue pill. As she explained, “It’s not a pretty procedure to watch.”
In Missouri, nine female lawmakers cosponsored a bill restricting access to vasectomies except for men risking death or serious bodily harm.
Oklahoma, a state normally associated with a lot of crazy right wing stuff, had some interesting proposed legislation. When a zygote-personhood bill came before the state Senate, Sen. Constance Johnson penned an amendment declaring that ejaculating anywhere outside a woman’s vagina constitutes “an action against an unborn child.” Bonus: Johnson also suggested that any man who impregnates a woman without her permission should pay a $25,000 fine, support the child until age 21, and get a vasectomy, “in the spirit of shared responsibility.” In response to the same bill, state Sen. Jim Wilson proposed an amendment requiring the father of an unborn child to be financially responsible for its mother’s health care, housing, transportation, and nourishment during pregnancy.
I suspect that if men were subjected to the same penalties as women when if comes to sex, we would have a different political landscape.