Thursday, August 2, 2012

So about that whole men and abortion thing...

A while back I recall a post at Good Men Project by Courtney Martin in which the argument was made that men need to be talking about abortion.:
There is a price to both men and women when men don’t feel supported or safe to talk about their experiences with a partner’s abortions. Men can be pushed further into anxious masculinity, subconsciously convinced that if the world acts like their feelings don’t matter, they’ll just pretend not to have them. Women are then burdened with both the physical responsibility of the abortion and the entire emotional responsibility of processing what it means.
As I said in that post the path of shutting men out of the conversation altogether is not right. You can't hardly expect someone to be secluded from the discussion and then get mad when they are not receptive or responsive or maybe even angry later.

For the record let me clear something up. By all that is holy I am not trying to say that men (or those who do not or cannot bear children or are not bearing the child in question) should have the final say on an abortion. What I am saying is that if women (or those who do bear children or are bearing the child in question) are expecting some sort of magical filter where only supportive things are said then things might not end so well. Or at least that is what I'm thinking.

Would it really hurt if a guys were freely saying what they think about abortion? Is it the mere act of men saying their possibly unsupportive going to cause so much trouble that they deserve to be be silenced?

Looks like some folks do:
As men who wish to be called men, you have no role in the abortion debate other than to unquestioningly support women in whatever choice they might choose to make. Politicians, we are not your daughters, and even if we were you have no right to compromise our futures with one stroke of your patriarchal pen. Boyfriends, lovers, flings, sex buddies and men we knew for a night, this is not your choice. It is ours. We will figure it out. Trust us.
Letting the attempt at insulting manhood with the "wish" bit slide this is pretty much why guys don't talk up much about abortion, even in cases where we support it. I actually agree with most of what's going on here. But what I do not agree with is that opening bit which is nothing more than a demand for us to stay quiet unless we agree with them.

That is basically the definition of a yes man.

So there you have gentlemen. We are only allowed to talk about abortion if we agree with women. If we disagree we deserve to be silenced. That sounds a good bit different than saying we shouldn't have the final say (which I agree with).

At first I was thinking about not making this post and trying to be nice and say that the scope of this was being limited to politics. And then I read the comments. Between the presumptions that woman that makes the decision along has a good reason to be doing so and the followup that even if the reason is bad he still deserves to be silenced I just had to.