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Where Are All Of The Pro-Choice Men?


#1

Where Are All Of The Pro-Choice Men?

Senti Sojwal
Abortion rights and reproductive freedom are in jeopardy like never before. The Trump administration has proposed radical cutbacks to Title X, the nation’s only federal grant for family planning services. And now, with the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, Roe v.

#2

This is very good. Only the vast majority of people I work with will have no idea what ‘cisgender’ means.


#3

Thank You for this reminder. It is a fight I will never abandon as the son of a mother and the father of a daughter – and for establishing what it means to be a “man.”

Tom Johnson
Columbus, OH USA


#4

“We need the voices of pro-choice men to stand up for abortion rights more than ever, and yet they remain noticeably absent from our movement despite their support.”

The pro-choice movement is dominated by feminists. The overriding message from feminists is that those of us who don’t have a uterus aren’t qualified to have an opinion on this issue, and we should just shut up and sit down. And they particularly don’t want or need men taking any leading activist roles–especially in saying (or mansplaining) the same thing feminists have been saying all along. That’s just male privilege swooping in, once again, to take credit for the work women have done.

“This is in stark contrast to anti-abortion men, who make their derision for reproductive autonomy heard”

You may have missed it, but there are a lot of anti-abortion women. But they feel very differently about having men in activist and leading roles. They encourage, value, and reward the contributions of men, and that can make all the difference.


#5

Speaking for myself, I am all for abortion rights. However, we also live in an age where abortion rights needs to get in line behind a dozen other greater threats coming from the extremist right-wing - some of them threats to every human on the planet.


#6

I disagree. Abortion rights are central to girls and women controlling all aspects of their health and bodies. This is not just “another issue,” but a defining one as to how we view engage in our collective humanity.


#7

“Men, have you ever…”. Yes I have and women have my support 100%!


#8

@Trog Agreed.
I have no problem supporting pro-choice candidates, pro-choice legislature, Planned Parenthood (monetarily or through other efforts), etc. but there doesn’t seem to be any forum where my voice would be welcomed. And that’s fine. The most annoying thing is articles like this one which simultaneously implore men to just “listen”, and also bemoan their lack of vocal support.


#9

Agree, somewhat differently. Quote “Yet, women and those with uteruses are continually expected to be the ones in charge of obtaining and paying for contraception.” I’m pretty sure I hear the complaint, but …
No matter how supportive men get (and I’m all in for that) we are still talking about women’s bodies and who controls those bodies. So women should make sure of contraception from their end. Because the consequences will fall on women most directly, regardless of partner support, women need to make sure. As in the old “trust but verify” motto.
Otherwise men wind up controlling women’s bodies again in some measure or other. And that’s not right. Of course we males need to support this totally, just make sure.


#10

On a private, invitation-only forum comprising liberal and progressive folks only, I once offered my opinion on abortion rights (pro-choice) and was told by the woman who thought enough of me to invite to the forum in the first place, that she would rather hear from my wife or daughter on the matter. I have not again offered such an opinion…


#11

Yeah, that whole passage was classic:

“The role of men in the fight for abortion rights and reproductive autonomy is to listen and support those who can get pregnant. Amplify our voices. Educate yourself. And show up for us.”

Unpacking that tone-deaf wad of cluelessness; we have to have our role explained to us because 1) we’re not competent to decide or create our own roles for ourselves and 2) because this isn’t our show, and we have to be kept reminded of that. We also have to be told to listen because we have a bad habit of tuning feminists out, for some reason. And last time I checked, anti-abortion women can get pregnant, so are we supposed to support their position too? ‘Amplify our voices’ means ‘say only what we tell you to say’. And nothing drips of smug condescension quite like telling us to educate ourselves, but they can never resist throwing that one in. And of course show up for them, because it’s all about them. We aren’t supposed to show up for the issue, or to represent ourselves. We are only supposed to be there to support them.

And that was the invitation that was supposed to attract men. I think I can anticipate how successful it will be. And good thing too. Just as pro-choice feminists do not speak for all women, Sojwal is clearly not speaking for all or even most feminists. If anything, I think she’s gone completely off the reservation here in taking it upon herself to invite men to show up. I also think that will quickly become apparent to any man who is foolish enough to actually show up.


#12

I’ve known a number of men who have a story like that.
I’ve even met one man who had two stories like that.
I’ve never met a man who had three stories like that.


#13

I’m pro abortion. The anti abortion movement has turned itself into a crusade. You can read about them in Thomas Frank’s books. They changed the wording of what they do to make themselves feel good. Pro Life indeed. Their religion informs their crusade, doubt you will change their minds. Remind them continually their religious views are their own and worthy of respect but they have no right to impose their religion on others. Make it as simple as that.


#14

It’s difficult because professional class white women dominate the organized pro-abortion rights organizations and activist networks. Tragically, as much as I agree with them, many of them are my mortal enemies on issues of life and death, bread and butter, as they are littered with corporatists. They wanted us to sit down and shut up. Well, they got their wish.


#15

Yunzer, reality doesn’t work that way. It never has. Inequities, injustices, exploitations, bigotries of all types, cults, irrationalities, dangers, threats have existed simultaneously, in parallel with each other. And often overlapping and intertwined. Those perversities don’t line up in a pecking order with the top of the list engaged while the rest await their turn. Countering them must also be at least as broad. You imply you can’t be everywhere. But this is not a case of solving the ubiquity problem. There’s not a shortage of people. This is an assault on literally half the population of virtually all societal groups. It’s not a law of nature that this half of the human population is made vulnerable due to evolutionary biology’s answer for species reproduction.

This is one of the strongest examples why diversity in all aspects of society is necessary for a sane world, and for survival itself. It’s our greatest protection and strength. It’s the very moral and rational core of democracy itself. Hopefully some day this country will have democracy. Until then we have to fight like hell for any and all protection and strength that we can. Women’s reproductive rights are NOT negotiable. Ever. Attacks on those rights are a violation of the highest order. Rationality says we should always protect those rights. Morality says we have no choice but to protect them.

The reproductive issue, generally labeled in the MSM as abortion, pro/con, has two underlying components.

(1)_We grew up being told that America offered religious freedom for different groups. Considering the cult like beliefs of some of these ‘religions’ and their inability to coexist with groups outside of their own, one has to wonder if their places of origin felt these cultists were too perverse and dangerous to the rest of society and suggested they get a one way ticket to somewhere else. Many came to America and adhering to their religious principles aided and abetted the genocidal practices of ridding the land of its indigenous populations. They object to any other source telling them how to practice their ‘beliefs’, but are duty bound via their xenophobia, to demand others conform to their philosophies. That’s Gold Medal hypocrisy.

(2)_The right-wing have been represented throughout the 20 century mostly by the Republican party, post Lincoln. The GOP have been a minority party for much of this time since they most certainly didn’t represent the vast majority of the population. In order to increase their voter base the GOP raised the practice of xenophobia to a higher level. Race, via the Southern Strategy, the religious orthodox cultists, patriotism, gays, any outside groups that could be labeled as threats. All the things that make the GOP what they are today. The real wealthy power brokers aren’t necessarily anti-gay or anti-choice, or pro-prayer in schools or any other hot button issue. Many probably despise those who are in those categories. But it raised their vote totals and won elections. Thus the right-wing religious types are now under the protection of the GOP, but at the same time the GOP leadership are beholding to the cults. The success this brought the GOP induced the ‘wonk’ types in the Democratic party to find a ‘third way’, a neoliberal way. No more soft on crime or communism. Hurray for corporatocracy. And the population got screwed from both directions.

But changes happen. Using the Millennials as a demarcation, the continuum of Cold War propaganda came to a halt. It’s still used towards Baby Boomers but has zero effect on younger generations. Polls show socialism is favored and capitalism more of a disease than an economic system. Human decency is recognized. The basic impulses and sense of morality we inherented from birth are now accepted as normal. Youth has the energy to be involved beyond gatherings around coffee and cake. The information age exists. TV is not the chief source of information for younger types. Or anyone with a functioning mind.

As shitty as things are, if we look around and open our eyes we see what an emerging evolution/revolution looks like from the inside. Things are changing. Just don’t expect to be told that in the MSM.


#16

As a Black man, I am Pro-choice, but due to “Good old girl racism” and “White girl power”, in the form of misandry, passive aggressive racism and being demonized by white women for being a heterosexual Black man, both feared and hated by white women, there is no space, no acceptance and no voice for human and spiritual beings like me in the Pro-choice industrial complex!
In the progressive movements, White women are the gatekeepers of white dominance and White power for white women
White girl power is very much an active and aggressive form of gender bigotry and racial oppression in AmeriKKKa today!


#17

hey senti - here in southeast new jersey, the women make all the decisions about everything…lets have dinner


#18

Except the author, Senti Sojwal, is obviously not “white”. Your blanket statements about “white women” are another form of the same bigotry that you accuse “white women” of … (all white women? rich white women? middle class white women? cis gender white women?)


#19

Some interesting comments-----I think something like 96% African Americans who voted in 08 voted for Obama and he is only half black. Yet 53% of white women voted for Trump. I could not vote for Clinton because she stood for NOTHING and is a strong supporter of militarism. But if I were a woman I think I would have voted for her.------I guess woman enjoy being second class slaves. And please note I did not vote for Trump------BUT HOW COULD ANY WOMAN VOTE FOR TRUMP-----when you listen to his comments about women.

And what is really sad is that both sides of this issue have used it as a political football to create division. The real people who are upset about abortion should be listened to–over 50 million abortions in the US since wade was decided. We live in a sexually dysfunctional society incapable of having a real discussion about relationships.