Okay so there are a lot of scary things happening in the U.S.A, the anti abortion proponents are revving up in hopes that the current supreme court will uphold whatever strict and crazy thing they manage to wiggle through into their law books.
There are laws that ban abortion starting at as early as 6 weeks, a time when the majority of women would not suspect they are even pregnant. For those who don’t know, periods are not precise, and a few days or weeks late is actually the norm.
There are laws that would make a miscarriage a 2nd-degree murder if you can’t prove that you didn’t do anything to help cause it. Especially problematic considering that 10%-25% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, and that a distraught woman suffering from that kind of loss would be prone to blame themself even if they didn’t do anything wrong. Also problematic considering that many things can cause miscarriages and the cause is not always clear, so women will be at the mercy of whatever opinion their doctor happens to have on the root cause.
As these are serious and scary issues there has been a lot of debate and conversation about them, but what I am finding again and again in these conversations, is that certain people, usually men, totally miss the point. They turn around and use the conversation as a platform to say, “men have problems too and women are the cause of most of them.”
Now look, I don’t have anything against men, I believe in equal rights, actual equal rights for actually everyone. So I just wanted to take this moment to say that I really do not understand why a lot of people, not just men, cannot comprehend, that many different problems can exist without being mutually exclusive.
Totally unrelated problems exist for different groups of people at the same time, and these problems can exist, without invaliding the other group’s problems. One group worrying about a problem that affects them, does not nullify another group’s concerns about the problems that they are affected by, especially when the two problems do not intersect.
Women, like me, are concerned about laws actually now on the books in some states. Laws that make the idea of even consensual pregnancy terrifying, let alone if you were to get raped and impregnated against your will.
It’s this extreme situation that is making women draw comparisons to “what if there were laws demanding men risk their bodies in terms of reproduction”, “should we also mandate vasectomies since even birth control methods are currently under attack?” They are drawing the comparison in order to shock men, to try to make them see how crazy things have gotten in a way that they will understand even though they have no uterus.
But this doesn’t mean that we should get into an argument about the success rate of reversing vasectomies, because it’s not really about the vasectomies.
It’s not really about an imaginary world where there’s a small chance that we might start legislating what men do with their own bodies and start mandating surgical procedures.
What it IS about is the very real world that we do currently live in, in which actual legal steps are being taken, and have already been taken, to mandate what women are allowed to do with their bodies and their lives. Women’s health and safety is really, actually, currently, at-risk. No hypothetical nothing involved.
And all of this is totally terrifying for sure, but it doesn’t have anything to do with problems that men face and it doesn’t negate any of the problems that men face.
Men have real problems: female criminals stealing men’s sperm to impregnate themselves against the will of the man who will be asked to pay child support and for whom there is not much in terms of legal recourse, men getting the short end of the stick in divorce court, men being thought of as the breadwinners and being expected to make the majority of the family’s income doing long hours in sometimes dangerous jobs, dangerous jobs that the majority of women aren’t expected to seriously consider as career options, men who’d rather be spending time with their kids than working and being shamed for it, spousal abuse (women can get mad and hit people too just watch one of those housewives shows), toxic masculinity creating a culture where men are afraid to share their feelings and that in turn leading to a high suicide rate for young men, ect. I get it, these are real problems and something needs to be done about it.
BUT when I hear about one of these problems facing men, I don’t respond with
“No, what about me? What about my problems? The Real issue is everyone is out to get my kind for various reasons in various ways.”
Instead I respond with, “oh no, that’s terrible, what can we all, as human beings, do to make this world a better and safer place for everyone”.
And when a woman’s problem comes to the fore I want my concerns to be met with that same level of respect.
Just because we take the time to discuss problems facing one group does not mean that we are signing a declaration that says these are the only “real” problems facing the world and we are giving up the right to complain about anything else. The other problems are still there, and are still valid, and they will still be there when we are done coming up with a solution to this problem.
We are all humans and we are all in this together.
Very scary things are happening in terms of what medical procedures governments are allowed to mandate that we can and cannot choose undergo. Crazy laws, that affect the health and safety of half of the earth’s population and set precedents about bodily autonomy that put all human bodies at risk, are already on the books in one of the most powerful and populous nations on earth. It behooves all of humanity to stand up and say no, and put a stop to this, even if it is only out of concern for our own future self-interests.
“Bad men (and I’ll specifically point out that I mean this to refer to all bad humans not just people who identify as male) need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good [hu]men should look on and do nothing.” – John Stuart Mill