A Message to the Gentlemen July 8, 2009
You hear a lot these days about abortion being a “women’s issue.” (No pun intended.) You’ll hear people say that men have no right to an opinion on the subject, though those same people will welcome a man’s opinion if it is “pro choice.” They will say, though, that it is none of your business if you presume to think about it beyond that. Until you can conceive, they yell, any other thoughts on the subject constitute a bullying attempt at male dominance over women, subjecting them to the barefoot and pregnant, in the kitchen, cowering under your fist role.
And you know you aren’t abusive.
So you begin to think that if you would never hit a woman or tell her she has no right to a paid job or respect of any kind, then your only other option is to support unlimited abortion on demand at taxpayer expense.
Honey, I’ve got news for you. You’ve been manipulated.
Until men have no part in conception, no legal requirement to pay child support, no moral obligation to ensure their progeny’s well-being, it is your business. Giving rights to one group of people should never, ever, in a civilized society, mean trampling the rights of another group. To believe that isn’t old-fashioned, and it doesn’t make you an ogre or a wife-beater.
And for that matter, old fashoned isn’t beastly. And beastliness isn’t old-fashioned. A man who denies “his woman” basic rights or respect isn’t old-fashioned, he’s just a beast. That isn’t an element of conservatism or liberalism, modern thinking or tradition… it is oafishness of a kind that defies age and transcends generation. Some men are oafs, most are not. But to define a man as abusive based on his political bent or desire to have a say in his child’s well-being is preposterous. You do NOT have to fall for that machination.
Having a say isn’t merely a matter of men’s rights or women’s rights, anyway. It is also a matter of (listen carefully, it’s a phrase you won’t hear spoken loudly and in public often) ethics, compassion, and morality. It goes beyond party affiliation or self-definition as liberal or conservative. Morality is not reserved to the “Christian right,” no matter what some may tell you. For that matter, neither is manliness.
And manliness isn’t something to be ashamed of. Abuse isn’t manly. Disrespect isn’t manly. But protecting those who need protection is manly.
Helping a woman who is being raped is manly. Stopping a mugger is manly. Buying (and cooking) food for your family is manly. Paying child support if you can’t raise your child yourself is manly. And defending a child — no matter how old or young — from child abuse or infanticide is definitely manly.
A man who refuses or neglects to protect those who need protecting doesn’t deserve the title of man. He isn’t modern or enlightened, he is a wimp and an ennabler. A man who supports a woman in killing his own offspring is cooperating in child abuse, and is therefore an abuser… the very sort of person he is trying to avoid being.
So don’t let people manipulate you into thinking you deserve no say. Remember, if they really believed that they would oppose you for being pro-choice as fast as they would oppose you for being pro-life. If they really believed that only those in “danger” of bearing a child deserve a say, they would oppose lesbians and menopausal women from speaking their mind, too.
In a civilized society, one person should not have liberty to trample the rights of another.