Note from Design Mom: Two years ago, I tried something new. I wrote a Twitter thread for the first time. That first thread is about abortion, irresponsible ejaculations, why politicians who claim to care about abortion don’t really care, and how I think we need to approach the topic of abortion differently. I’m republishing it here today to mark the anniversary (and because I know many of you don’t use Twitter).
I’m a mother of six, and a Mormon. I have a good understanding of arguments surrounding abortion, religious and otherwise. I’ve been listening to men grandstand about women’s reproductive rights, and I’m convinced men actually have zero interest in stopping abortion. Here’s why…
If you want to stop abortion, you need to prevent unwanted pregnancies. And men are 100% responsible for unwanted pregnancies. No for real, they are. Perhaps you are thinking: IT TAKES TWO! And yes, it does take two for _intentional_ pregnancies.
But ALL unwanted pregnancies are caused by the irresponsible ejaculations of men. Period. Don’t believe me? Let me walk you through it. Let’s start with this: women’s eggs are only fertile about 2 days each month. And that’s for a limited number of years.
That makes 24 days a year a women’s egg might get fertilized. But men can cause pregnancy 365 days a year. In fact, if you’re a man who ejaculates multiple times a day, you could cause multiple pregnancies daily. In theory a man could cause 1000+ unwanted pregnancies in just one year.
And though their sperm gets crappier as they age, men can cause unwanted pregnancies from puberty till death. So just starting with basic biology + the calendar it’s easy to see men are the issue here.
But what about birth control? If a woman doesn’t want to risk an unwanted pregnancy, why wouldn’t she just use birth control? If a women can manage to figure out how to get an abortion, surely she can get birth control, right? Great questions.
Modern birth control is possibly the greatest invention of the last century, and I am very grateful for it. It’s also brutal. The side effects for many women are ridiculously harmful. So ridiculous, that when an oral contraception for men was created, it wasn’t approved…
… because of the side effects. And the list of side effects was about 1/3 as long as the known side effects for women’s oral contraception.
There’s a lot to be unpacked just in that story, but I’ll simply point out that as a society, we really don’t mind if women suffer, physically or mentally, as long as it makes things easier for men.
But good news, Men: Even with the horrible side effects, women are still very willing to use birth control. Unfortunately it’s harder to get than it should be. Birth control options for women require a doctor’s appointment and a prescription. It’s not free, and often not cheap.
In fact there are many people trying to make it more expensive by fighting to make sure insurance companies refuse to cover it. Oral contraceptives for women can’t be acquired easily, or at the last minute. And they don’t work instantly.
If we’re talking about the pill, it requires consistent daily use and doesn’t leave much room for mistakes, forgetfulness, or unexpected disruptions to daily schedules. And again, the side effects can be brutal. I’M STILL GRATEFUL FOR IT PLEASE DON’T TAKE IT AWAY.
I’m just saying women’s birth control isn’t simple or easy. In contrast, let’s look at birth control for men, meaning condoms. Condoms are readily available at all hours, inexpensive, convenient, and don’t require a prescription. They’re effective, and work on demand, instantly.
Men can keep them stocked up just in case, so they’re always prepared. Amazing! They are so much easier than birth control options for women. As a bonus, in general, women love when men use condoms. They keep us from getting STDs, they don’t lessen our pleasure during sex or prevent us from climaxing.
And the best part? Clean up is so much easier — no waddling to the toilet as your jizz drips down our legs. So why in the world are there ever unwanted pregnancies? Why don’t men just use condoms every time they have sex? Seems so simple, right?
Oh. I remember. Men don’t love condoms. In fact, men frequently pressure women to have sex without a condom. And it’s not unheard of for men to remove the condom during sex, without the women’s permission or knowledge. (Pro-tip: That’s assault.)
Why would men want to have sex without a condom? Good question. Apparently it’s because for the minutes they are penetrating their partner, having no condom on gives the experience more pleasure.
So… there are men willing to risk getting a woman pregnant — which means literally risking her life, her health, her social status, her relationships, and her career, so that they can experience a few minutes of slightly more pleasure? Is that for real? Yes. Yes it is.
What are we talking about here pleasure-wise? If there’s a pleasure scale, with pain beginning at zero and going down into the negatives, a back-scratch falling at 5, and an orgasm without a condom being a 10, where would sex with a condom fall? Like a 7 or 8?
So it’s not like sex with a condom is not pleasurable, it’s just not as pleasurable. An 8 instead of a 10. Let me emphasize that again: Men regularly choose to put women at massive risk by having non-condom sex, in order to experience a few minutes of slightly more pleasure.
Now keep in mind, for the truly condom-averse, men also have a non-condom, always-ready birth control built right in, called the pull out. It’s not perfect, and it’s a favorite joke, but according to experts, when done correctly, it is also 96% effective.
So surely, we can expect men who aren’t wearing a condom to at least learn to pull out correctly and pull out every time they have sex, right?
And why not?
Well, again, apparently it’s slightly more pleasurable to climax inside a vagina than, say, on their partner’s stomach. So men are willing to risk the life, health and well-being of women, in order to experience a tiny bit more pleasure for like 5 seconds during orgasm.
It’s mind-boggling and disturbing when you realize that’s the choice men are making. And honestly, I’m not as mad as I should be about this, because we’ve trained men from birth that their pleasure is of utmost importance in the world. (We’ve also trained them to dis-associate sex and pregnancy.)
While we’re here, let’s talk a bit more about pleasure and biology. Did you know that (with few exceptions) a man can’t get a woman pregnant without having an orgasm? Which means that we can conclude getting a woman pregnant is a pleasurable act for men.
But did you further know that men can get a woman pregnant without her feeling any pleasure at all? In fact, it’s totally possible for a man to impregnate a woman even while causing her excruciating pain, trauma or horror.
In contrast, a woman can have non-stop orgasms with or without a partner and never once get herself pregnant. A woman’s orgasm has literally nothing to do with pregnancy or fertility — her clitoris exists not for creating new babies, but simply for pleasure.
No matter how many orgasms she has, they won’t make her pregnant. Rule of thumb: Pregnancies can only happen when men have an orgasm. Unwanted pregnancies can only happen when men orgasm irresponsibly.
What this means is a women can be the sluttliest slut in the entire world who loves having orgasms all day long and all night long and she will never find herself with an unwanted pregnancy unless a man shows up and ejaculates irresponsibly.
Women enjoying sex does not equal unwanted pregnancy and abortion. Men enjoying sex and having irresponsible ejaculations is what causes unwanted pregnancies and abortion.
Let’s talk more about responsibility. Men often don’t know, and don’t ask, and don’t think to ask, if they’ve caused a pregnancy. They may never think of it, or associate sex with making babies at all. Why? Because there are 0 consequences for men who cause unwanted pregnancies.
If the woman decides to have an abortion, the man may never know he caused an unwanted pregnancy with his irresponsible ejaculation.
If the woman decides to have the baby, or put the baby up for adoption, the man may never know he caused an unwanted pregnancy with his irresponsible ejaculation, or that there’s now a child walking around with 50% of his DNA.
If the woman does tell him that he caused an unwanted pregnancy and that she’s having the baby, the closest thing to a consequence for him, is that he may need to pay child support. But our current child support system is well-known to be a joke.
Only 61% of men (or women) who are legally required to pay it, do. With little or no repercussions. In lots of states, their credit isn’t even affected. So, many men keep going as is, causing unwanted pregnancies with irresponsible ejaculations and never giving it thought.
When the topic of abortion comes up, men might think: Abortion is horrible; women should not have abortions. And never once consider the man who caused the unwanted pregnancy.
If you’re not holding men responsible for unwanted pregnancies, then you are wasting your time.
Stop protesting at clinics. Stop shaming women. Stop trying to overturn abortion laws. If you actually care about reducing or eliminating the number of abortions in our country, simply HOLD MEN RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS.
What would that look like? What if there was a real and immediate consequence for men who cause an unwanted pregnancy? What kind of consequence would make sense? Should it be as harsh, painful, nauseating, scarring, expensive, risky, and life-altering…
… as forcing a woman to go through a 9-month unwanted pregnancy?
In my experience, men really like their testicles. If irresponsible ejaculations were putting their balls at risk, they would stop being irresponsible. Does castration seem like a cruel and unusual punishment? Definitely.
But is it worse than forcing 500,000 women a year to puke daily for months, gain 40 pounds, and then rip their bodies apart in childbirth? Is a handful of castrations worse than women dying during forced pregnancy and childbirth?
Put a castration law on the books, implement the law, let the media tell the story, and in 3 months or less, tada! abortions will have virtually disappeared. Can you picture it? No more abortions in less than 3 months, without ever trying to outlaw them. Amazing.
For those of you who consider abortion to be murder, wouldn’t you be on board with having a handful of men castrated, if it prevented 500,000 murders each year?
And if not, is that because you actually care more about policing women’s bodies, morality, and sexuality, than you do about reducing or eliminating abortions? (That’s a rhetorical question.)
Hey, you can even have the men who will be castrated bank their sperm before it happens — just in case they want to responsibly have kids some day.
Can’t wrap your head around a physical punishment for men? Even though you seem to be more than fine with physical punishments for women? Okay. Then how about this prevention idea: At the onset of puberty, all males in the U.S. could be required by law to get a vasectomy.
Vasectomies are very safe, highly reversible, and about as invasive as a doctor’s exam for a woman getting a birth control prescription. There is some soreness afterwards for about 24 hours, but that’s pretty much it for side effects.
(So much better than The Pill, which is taken by millions of women in our country, the side effects of which are well known and can be brutal.)
If/when the male becomes a responsible adult, and perhaps finds a mate, if they want to have a baby, the vasectomy can be reversed, and then redone once the childbearing stage is over. And each male can bank their sperm before the vasectomy, just in case.
It’s not that wild of an idea. 80% of males in the U.S. are circumcised, most as babies. And that’s not reversible.
Don’t like my ideas? That’s fine. I’m sure there are better ones. Go ahead and suggest your own ideas. My point is that it’s nonsense to focus on women if you’re trying to get rid of abortions. Abortion is the “cure” for an unwanted pregnancy.
If you want to stop abortions, you need to prevent the “disease” – meaning, unwanted pregnancies. And the only way to do that, is by focusing on men, because: MEN CAUSE 100% OF UNWANTED PREGNANCIES. Or. IRRESPONSIBLE EJACULATIONS BY MEN CAUSE 100% OF UNWANTED PREGNANCIES.
If you’re a man, what would the consequence need to be for you to never again ejaculate irresponsibly? Would it be money related? Maybe a loss of rights or freedoms? Physical pain?
Ask yourselves: What would it take for you to value the life of your sexual partner more than your own temporary pleasure or convenience?
Are you someone who learns better with analogies? Let’s try this one: Think of another great pleasure in life, let’s say food. Think of your favorite meal, dessert, or drink.
What if you found out that every time you indulge in that favorite food you risked causing great physical and mental pain for someone you know intimately. You might not cause any pain, but it’s a real risk.
Well, you’d probably be sad, but never indulge in that food again, right? Not worth the risk!
And then, what if you further found out, there was a simple thing you could do before you ate that favorite food, and it would eliminate the risk of causing pain to someone else. Which is great news!
But the simple thing you need to do makes the experience of eating the food slightly less pleasurable. To be clear, it would still be very pleasurable, but slightly less so. Like maybe you have to eat the food with a fork or spoon that you don’t particularly like.
Would you be willing to do that simple thing, and eliminate the risk of causing pain to someone you know intimately, every single time you ate your favorite food?
OF COURSE YOU WOULD.
Condoms (or even pulling out) is that simple thing. Don’t put women at risk. Don’t choose to maximize your own pleasure if it risks causing women pain.
Men mostly run our government. Men mostly make the laws. And men could eliminate abortions in three months or less without ever touching an abortion law or evening mentioning women.
In summary: STOP TRYING TO CONTROL WOMEN’S BODIES AND SEXUALITY. UNWANTED PREGNANCIES ARE CAUSED BY MEN.
Well. There it is. My first Twitter thread. I actually had this written for several months before I published it, and was hesitant to share it. Not sure why. But hearing so many men talking about women’s reproductive rights (related to the Kavanaugh hearings), brought me to hit publish. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. What could we do as a society to have men shoulder the burden of preventing unwanted pregnancies?
755 thoughts on “My Twitter Thread on Abortion”
Yes, yes, yes! Best post ever. Such clarity. I love your argument and whole-heartedly agree!
This is the perfect argument. Thank you.
As a now 64 yro woman, I had an abortion at age 19 in Dallas. It was one month after Roe v. Wade was in effect in 1973.
Men need to be held responsible. Women must take over the politics and power in America~
Politics have nothing to do with this i dont exactly agreevits all mens fault either it does take to quit blaming we dont have is laws. When it comes down to it if you dont want to get pregnant just dont have sex period.
omg. can we please tell guys to stop having sex if they don’t want babies? such a double standard putting the responsibility of not having a baby solely on the shoulders of the woman. Women have greater and more frequent orgasms than men, yet society makes decisions based on the man’s sexual desire. This statement is like saying to a woman, “If you didnt want to get raped, you should’ve worn more conservative clothing”.
In 53 years I’ve never had the thought, never, that ALL pregnancies are caused by men. It’s so obvious and yet blew my mind.
When an unintended pregnancy happens, natural law puts all the consequences on the woman. Society has mistakenly collapsed the woman bearing the costs with it being her fault the pregnancy occurred. Personal responsibility stands, but the big idea I take from this blog is breaking that entrenched mindset.
The religious (and the patriarchy it supports) falsely believe their personal choice of a deity & how they interpret that somehow gives them the right to intervene in other’s lives and control/ legislate how they live!?! CRUSHING that BS is the first step to realizing a world where men are seen as responsible for pregnancies and women are supported in the any consequences that result. Thanks for publishing!
Oh and don’t get raped…
Even with such clothing alot of women still get raped
This article does not resonate with me at all. I’ve had five babies. You portray pregnancy to be a prison sentence. Wrong. Very one sided as it can be a beautiful experience. Yes, sacrifices are made, but good God not the life sentence you describe. This article is full of male bashing. Typical feminist approach. 100% men’s fault? Not buying it. Not even close. As much moaning as is going on about women being martyrs and living in a men’s world, a woman does have a choice as to who she lets enter her. She can say no to intercourse. That’s big. 0% of women who said no and kept their legs closed, had to have an abortion.
Except for those women forcibly raped by men and impregnated. Why should a woman say no to sex to avoid getting pregnant? Men don’t. Men even have sex with unwilling partners. Your view is incredibly narrow.
It doesn’t have to be the end of the world for someone to still not choose it. And go blame the man. He ejaculated.
Funny, when I said no and tried to keep my legs closed he hit me in the face and forced it on me, choked me, and left me bleeding. But sure, feminists are the issue.
Apparently you missed where Gabby said she has six…count ’em, SIX, children of her own. So how do you conclude that she’s portraying pregnancy as a prison sentence?
She’s taking the equation of unwanted pregnancy (emphasis on UN) and turning the argument around, focusing on men and their part in Unwanted pregnancies.
And this part of your comment: “As much moaning as is going on about women being martyrs and living in a men’s world, a woman does have a choice as to who she lets enter her. She can say no to intercourse. That’s big. 0% of women who said no and kept their legs closed, had to have an abortion.” is so…..startling in its ignorance, once again, I am gobsmacked.
You’re a woman, too! That you are naïve to the world around you says more about you than women experiencing unwanted pregnancies.
Name one way that women can get pregnant without a man having ejaculated?
The privilege wrapped up in this comment is astounding. You assume all women live lives similiar to yours. Newsflash : they don’t. Women say no all the time, only to have their legs forced open.
The article specifically referred to unplanned and unwanted pregnancies, not those in the context of a marriage where children are part of the plan, and it doesn’t make sense that the way women have to avoid unwanted pregnancy is to be celibate and sociosexually isolated in that way. It’s unnecessary and absurd, and men can take some responsibility. It’s really not asking much.
Wow, moe: Talk about li ing in a fantasy world. The article doesn’tvtreat pregnancy as a death sentence. It DOES treat an UNWANTED pregnancy as a potential disaster for a woman, because it is.
There also isn’t a HINT of make-bashing: it critics uses only those men who are willfully selfish.
And a woman gets to choose who is inside her? One out of every five women in the U.S. will be forcibly denied that choice, at least onced in her life.
The Authore is right: Whether an unwanted pregnancy occurs to a woman who is being careful and responsible, who is being irresponsible, or being violently forced into it, absolutely every unwanted pregnancy in human history occured, because a man chose to be irresponsible.
This starts to get at what the article doesn’t address: informed consent.
To have informed consent, women would need to be aware of the risks (pregnancy) of unprotected sex, and fully choose to accept those risks without being coerced, threatened, or otherwise manipulated thus invalidating consent. For men to be 100% responsible, it means that informed consent isn’t happening at all, and thus all unintended pregnancies are a form of sexual assault. This very well may be the truth. It is inappropriate, however, to claim there was informed consent on the part of the woman, and yet blame consequences of agreed to behavior solely on men.
Thank you, Rob Field. Since the moment our hormones begin our sexuality is viewed differently. For girls who enjoy sex, we’re called sluts or ‘easy.’ For boys to enjoy sex, it’s often a high five. Women enjoy sex, too (thank God!), but nearly all the ‘responsibilities’ and inconveniences (i.e. birth control) are place upon us. Pregnancy is a gift when it’s wanted. When it’s not, especially after rape, it is a constant reminder of a terrible, often brutal, experience.
Moe, you’ve totally missed the point. And I am stunned that you believe ‘a women does have a choice as to who she lets enter her.’ Let me tell you a bit about when I clearly did not have a choice. I was 18. This man pushed me down – I was so confused because I did not see it coming. Suddenly he’s holding me down to the floor, pulling up my skirt, pulling down my panties… I was screaming no, hitting him… even while he was inside me I was hitting his back with my fists, yelling no, crying… afterward he came inside me (he was at least twice my size as I was about 94lbs), he passed out on top of me. I pushed his very heavy body off me. Because there were a lot of people outside the room – I had nowhere to go because I was so upset, so I went to the back corner of the closet to hide like an animal, crying, completely traumatized, and I waited until it seemed to quiet down and I was able to pretend I was okay – all the while praying my rapist didn’t wake up… peeking outside the sliding closet door once in a while. Twenty years later, and I was still having nightmares over it. Quite honestly, I am deeply offended by your statements such as ‘She can say no to intercourse.’ God, I’ve had men with whom I’m in a committed relationship pressure me when I said I was too tired or didn’t feel well or was just sore because we’d already had a lot of sex. One man refused to hold me that night because I just couldn’t ‘again’ have sex. So, yeah, we can say no to ‘intercourse’ – which I assume you mean a choice in sex we might want to engage in with a partner, but even then we can get guilted or pressured or the literal cold shoulder. Rape… you think we can say no to that?! Women who think like you are blessed to be clueless to what so many of us experience, but you are also a big source of this problem.
What about rape victims who screamed no?
You think of yourself as nothing more than a baby machine. Good for you. Fun fact… millions of other women don’t see ourselves that way. You are free to not value yourself all day long, but you don’t get to put that self hatred on the rest of us. Now if your life is so fulfilled and happy, then what are you doing here? Why aren’t you off taking care of all your kids that bring you so much joy instead of worrying about what the rest of us are doing? Ahhh I know the answer… you’re miserable inside and you just want the rest of us to be miserable with you 🙄
I’m glad your pregnancies went well. Not every woman’s do. And MANY, MANY women who keep their legs closed have had to choose between giving birth to a child or having an abortion.
Open your mind and think!
key words you’re missing Unintentional/irresponsible pregnancies!!! You know, the kind that lead women to the abortion clinic. 🤦🏻♀️ You can’t be this dense.
Great. Then don’t YOU get an abortion… but don’t decide for others.
“0% of women who said no and kept their legs closed, had to have an abortion.”
That is one of the most naive sentences I’ve read in a long while.
“a woman does have a choice as to who she lets enter her.”
I allowed him to enter me because I was already bleeding from where he had gashed my neck and I was scared not to.
I hope your choices were easier.
0 percent of women who said no and kept their legs closed had to have an abortion? I’d laugh except it’s too sad that a woman actually said that! Have you read the statistics of rape in the USA?
And you can cut off your nose to spite y our face. You don’t agree that pregnancy is because of the man’s ejaculation?
Wow, Laurie -your argument comes down to “don’t hold men responsible” for unwanted pregnancy. So in essence you have nothing more to lend to this issue than women should not be allowed to have sex ever. That’s your answer to entire issue.
I’m not straight, but wonder how straight women navigate such a cruel world. Your comment leaves me gobsmacked. It’s as if you read this woman’s blog and came away with “nothing new to see here, move along”. And you’re a woman! I am flabbergasted.
It is mens fault. How is that not clear from the post???? We can all have as much sex as we want. It’s a very natural thing. But women bear all the responsibility for the action and the consequences. Vasectomies for all…such a simple, easy solution. Brilliant. Don’t have sex has never worked and never will. Humans have sex. PERIOD! Now lets get real about putting the blame on pregnancies where they belong, finally. Men take some responsibility for making a life. If you don’t want to do that…get snipped. Easy. It’s about time women stopped having to take care of everything and men grow the F up and stop being protected, especially by other women. We’ve done enough. Now it’s theri term.
Laurie, that doesn’t take into account that men do the raping and now some men even drug women before raping them. I am 67 and was raped at age 30 and went on to have an abortion. Women shouldn’t be the only ones who are responsible for contraception. As stated in the article a huge percentage of men get away without even paying childcare when a woman has an unwanted pregnancy. So it is ALL on the woman, is it? Maybe if you were ever to get into this situation, or a daughter of yours, you might show a bit more compassion. As it is we are all sisters and we need to support each other, show some compassion instead of denial.
Exactly, this blog was written by a lunatic, and I’m exhausted just thinking about the number of women who are great candidates for lesbianism.
Is it now time for the REAL and HONEST discussion/debate about Consent; Respect; Contraception; Health; Reproductive Rights; Human Rights; Responsibility and
Accountability to take place?
We know that during puberty male and female bodies undergo the necessary changes to allow them to reproduce – menstruation/seminal fluid production and the experience of sexual urges.
These changes occur at an age where becoming a female/male parent is not desirable on many levels:
physical, mental, emotional, financial, cultural and societal.
However, sexual experimentation from an early age always has and will occur.
The high risk very possible consequences are:
Unwanted Pregnancies and
Transmission of STI’s.
The self-righteous societal ‘naming/blaming and shaming’ of females who experience unwanted pregnancy and/or STI’s is disrespectful, degrading, humiliating, unfair and downright wrong.
When a female consents to sex with a male she is NOT consenting to:
The female is ONLY consenting to a sexual encounter – nothing else.
Females CANNOT impregnate/inseminate anyone in a sexual encounter.
They also CANNOT protect themselves from contracting STI’s.
Society has always labelled contraception a ‘female responsibility’ – especially since the development of the hormonal Oral Contraceptive Pill 50+ years ago.
Where is ‘Respect for and Safeguarding of Women’ when society dictates that females DEFEND/PROTECT their bodies against the possible ‘high risk’ consequences of sexual encounters with males – with the prolonged use (30+ years) of physically/mentally/emotionally and financially harmful (occasionally deadly) current contraceptive methods?
Males have both the ‘Biological’ and ‘Moral’ responsibility to protect females from the effects of NON-CONSENSUAL spermicidal assault resulting in unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection.
– CORRECT CONDOM use:
significantly reduces the number of Unwanted Pregnancies.
Why IS the number of these pregnancies so high?
– CORRECT CONDOM use:
significantly protects both males and females from contracting/transmitting STI’s.
Why ARE the numbers of contracted STI’s so high AND increasing?
50+ years after development of the Oral Contraceptive Pill, why are there NO ‘effective’ male SPERM INHIBITING methods to prevent non-consensual sexual assault?
Why are there no effective methods to prevent STI transmission?
In this present day of medical, pharmaceutical and technological advancement, why are females and society allowing historically ‘entitled’ MALES to avoid taking responsibility for their sexual actions?
WHY IS THERE NO MALE
– Female Pelvic Inflammatory
– Female chronic abdominal pain.
– Female Infertility.
Hormonal Contraception – HAS a ‘Mortality Rate’.
Childbirth – HAS a ‘Mortality Rate’.
Abortion – HAS a ‘Mortality Rate’.
Permanent Surgical Contraception=
(Tubal Ligation) – HAS a ‘mortality’
The current ‘female’ reproductive life:
1. Monthly menstruation.
2. Responsibility for contraception
(has a ‘mortality’ rate).
4. Childbirth (has a ‘mortality’
5. Child rearing
x number of children.
6. Resume responsibility for
contraception (has a
7. Responsibility for Permanent
Surgical Contraception – Tubal
Ligation (major surgery/hospital)
– has a ‘mortality’ rate.
The current ‘male’ reproductive life:
1. Condom use (statistically
UNRELIABLE usage) –
Unwanted Pregnancy and STI
2. Permanent Surgical
Contraception – Vasectomy
(minor surgery/GP or clinic)
– NO ‘mortality’ rate.
Very low percentage of vasectomies performed (due to societal/male perceptions of female contraceptive responsibility and/or fear of decreased libido/masculinity).
Why is society still dictating that females are responsible for contraception and accountable for unwanted pregnancies, single parenthood and STI transmission?
Why do males perpetuate this injustice?
Why do females allow this unjust situation to continue?
– INSEMINATOR MALES are biologically and morally responsible for:
ALL unwanted pregnancies AND the female need to undergo pregnancy abortion.
– MALES are responsible for:
ALL transmission of STI’s.
Males are responsible for every female DEATH occurring as a result of:
– taking hormonal contraception.
– undergoing surgical permanent
– childbirth of unwanted
This is a Global Public Health Issue and current male sexual actions are:
– CRIMINALLY NEGLIGENT.
– CRIMINALLY DAMAGING FEMALE
HEALTH AND ‘REPRODUCTIVE
– CRIMINALLY VIOLATING
FEMALE ‘HUMAN RIGHTS’.
Is it time for the societal change
1. acknowledge the male ‘Responsibility’ to protect females from pregnancy and STI’s in sexual encounters?
2. finance development of ‘effective’ Male contraceptive methods?
3. enforce the ‘Responsibility and Accountability’ of males with regard to:
– non-consensual unwanted impregnation.
– STI transmission and consequences.
This article is not ‘anti-males’.
It is a view condemning:
– misplaced female shaming.
– harm caused to females by the
prevalent male sexual behaviours
presently condoned by society.
Ok Alabama has not put all womans bodies in chain
What next woman place on the auction block
Woman will now be controlled by the state
Free our wombs
Well, hello, what about those who get pregnant for being raped??? Do they want to have sex with the guy raping him??? What if that happens to you? Would you still think the same?
Laurie LITERALLY did. not. read. the. article.
Laurie also hates herself and is only here to berate other women hoping to make them hate themselves like she does.
What about those who are raped? Should women just not go outside? What about those who are abused by their older relatives – what should they do? Just lock themselves in the bathroom until they are old enough to move out?
An abstinence focused sex “education” doesn’t work. Period. It has been proven to flat out not work. What we need is to focus on education and real resources for preventing unwanted pregnancies (i.e. free condoms, birth control, etc.). The argument presented in this blog brings up a very important point of view (and a fresh perspective) and that is holding MEN accountable rather than allowing all the burden to be on women.
lol. Yeah, cause that’s real practical. Women should be able to have sex for pleasure and not just procreation!!!
That is a drastic and irrational suggestion.
You need to study .
You need to educate yourself.
You are not educated enough to post publicly.
Yes, if one doesn’t want to have a baby “don’t have sex.” That makes sense. Or pleasure yourself and don’t worry. But what about men who rape women? They’re having what they want and risking you without permission. Your answer of “don’t have sex” is simplistic and unworkable. I like the forced vasectomy idea.
Rape victims everywhere thank you kindly for this brilliant suggestion!
Watch the movie Women Talking then read your post again.
With the large number of women elected in the recent midterms, we (women) now have a larger political voice.
FYI. Condoms only work if the guy knows how to put them on. Put them on like socks and they will break. There needs to be ample room in the tip for the sperm to collect or BAM they will pop like a balloon.
They (condoms) also need to be the right size. I once had to go to an emergency room because the condom was two small for him and it was literally pushed into me and a doctor had to pull it out!
Condoms are super durable. Blow one up a bit and pull it, stretch it, etc. and you’ll get it’s not a delicate thing.
In all my 37 years of using condoms, I’ve had ONE break. ONE. And I’m happily sex positive and active.
Yep! During consensual sexual experiences with three separate partners when I was first sexually active, their condoms broke anywhere from 2-5 times each. Why? It was the wrong size or incorrectly put on. Thank goodness for my birth control pill, IUD, and that I was not being raped. Had my birth control options been unavailable, or I was not in a consensual, I could’ve had an unwanted pregnancy.
This shows the poor sex education rampant in our country. Men did not know how to properly put on condoms, or purchase them in the correct size. I trusted them to be able to purchase the correct size and put it on.
I now feel it’s on me to check that men have the correct size and safe application. But is that really my job? Should I go to the store and by condoms in every single size and keep them on hand for my first sexual experience (when I do not know his size)? That seems like an unnecessary effort, as a back-up for if they have not purchased correct fitting condoms themselves. So I have an IUD as by backup. Just in case there’s an unprotected, irresponsible male orgasm.
My point here? Being a woman is challenging enough with all these contingencies. Sure would be nice if men would take an iota more responsibility for their sex and pleasure lives.
Only a fool would have a problem putting on a condom.
Hopefully you don’t have alot of money,
Because you are a fool.
Interesting, but a little sad to read this. More than 2,000 words and not a single word about the welfare of the very small human beings involved. Should they have to die for the crime of being unloved?
Forced vasectomies on children. Wow … just wow. And all the commenters cheering that. Speechless.
It feels like you’ve given up on the idea that there are still honorable men. They’re out there, and I think many women would be happier if they focused their dating attention on finding those men of character who will *respect* them. Seriously, they’re there; just don’t be surprised when you find out many of them are conservative (& often at least somewhat religious or military or otherwise living by some kind of moral code. They’re not bohemian.). The Jeff Flakes & Ben Sasses of the world actually share your view that men should be more responsible. Meanwhile, the Harvey Weinsteins of the world tend to be pro-choice liberals.
And the Scott DesJarlaises of the world tend to be hypocritical conservatives, who say they want to outlaw abortions for votes and campaign contributions while taking advantage of a legal medical procedure to clean up their own irresponsible ejaculations.
No. Just no, mo.
I began reading with a high degree of scepticism. I come at this issue after having had a mercifully safe and legal abortion three months before marrying my husband, with whom I have two fab children, born after we were married. I terminated that earlier, unwanted pregnancy because we were responsible adults who knew we were not in the right place to bring a child into the world – at that time. We’d been using triple contraceptive methods as I was on anti-convulsants that interacted with the pill. The ONE night we had sex without a condom (after discussing this with my doctor), was the unlucky night…which might have been lucky if life were a little different at the time.
Termination was not an easy choice, it was terrible. But the alternative would have been worse, and our life and the lives of our children, are better for having made that painful choice.
But…if men, including wonderful men like my husband, were not schooled to think this is all on us… and not inclined to risk our health over their pleasure, then perhaps the landscape might be different. I would NEVER support anything that removed a woman’s right to determine what she did with her own body, and my experience – which now includes the full gamut of reproductive experience – teaches me EVERYONE should have access to safe and legal abortion if required. But this kind of reimagining needs to be part of the big conversation on this issue. Thank you for putting your thoughts out there.
Yep, sadly, there are some of those, too. There are heroes & zeroes across the spectrum. Nobody’s politics are a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.
You missed the entire point.
yes, exactly, they did
You mean the point wasn’t about how abortions are evil and the solution to women’s issues is to date conservative men more? Hrmm…
In all seriousness, this guy strikes me as one who is upset younger women want more liberal guys and is suggesting the whole of the problem is that we refuse to date the insanity that is incels and MRAs.
Jim, let’s first stop with the blame game. Conservative vs liberal, black vs white, Republican vs Democrat. Picking teams and blaming the other side is destroying this country and compromising our democracy – so let’s just knock that off right now. We all know there are good people and bad people in this world – regardless of affiliation, politics, culture, or race. We don’t get to stand on a righteous pedestal because we are conservative (hello, Catholic church), and Liberals shouldn’t either. All people are flawed – we are all human. We are all on the same team. We are all Americans.
Annie: well said.
You seem to want to return to shaming women rather than deal with the reality that all too often men share none of the responsibility of a pregnancy. And again blaming “liberals.” Believe me there are plenty of conservatives in the same camp!
The highest rates of abortion are in the most conservative states…….so that an inconvenient contradiction to your post.
The writer is interested in reducing the levels of abortion maybe reread the article over and over again until it starts to sink in!
This is a stat from 2010. Let the facts set in…
10 States With the Highest Teen Abortion Rates
The available 2010 data for abortions among women aged 15 to 19 is ranked by state. The rate reflects the number of abortions per thousand women in this age range.
Rank State Abortion Rate
1 New York 32
2 Delaware 28
3 New Jersey 24
4 Hawaii 23
5 Maryland 22
6 Connecticut 20
7 Nevada 20
8 California 19
9 Florida 19
10 Alaska 17
2022 Reality Check from the stats above: For the record, the *highest* abortion rate of 32 per thousand in NY = 3.2%. 3.2%. That’s a reported max 3% of women forced to protect themselves and make an exceedingly difficult choice about their own body & welfare. Or, now, if women in trigger-law affected forced-birth states didn’t have to seek safety & sanctuary elsewhere. Just think about how low the rate could be if men didn’t have their panties in a bunch about ejaculating responsibly. Zero, maybe?
Let those facts set in.
“The states with the lowest abortion rates in 2010 were South Dakota, Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Utah, Arkansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, and Texas. Each reported that fewer than 15 percent of teen pregnancies ended in abortion. However, that does not account for state residents who sought an abortion in neighboring states.”
Let me repeat the last part: that does not account for state residents who sought an abortion in neighboring states.
The states with the highest teen birth rates are just as you’d expect– the ones in the conservative controlled South. Where far more men ejaculate irresponsibly into teen vaginas and more of those teens are denied power over their own bodies. Forcing children to give birth is not a solution to the irresponsible behavior of men.
I don’t know about the other states, but here in Utah, it would be pretty darn near impossible for a teenager to get an abortion here. We have a trigger law that is poised to make it even worse after Roe v Wade is struck down by SCOTUS, which seems imminent.
By relating the more liberal politics of the states with the highest teen abortion rates, you blew your argument full of holes. What those numbers mean is that those states are enlightened enough to allow teen girls to HAVE abortions. The states with the lowest abortion rates in 2010 were South Dakota, Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Utah, Arkansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, and Texas. That’s not because the girls in those states are all moral non-sluts. It’s because, in those states, abortion is illegal. What you need to look at is teen pregnancy and birth rates. These states have the highest in the country. Guess why? No sex ed, blind, literal belief in the Bible, preaching chastity, and thinking that keeping an aspirin between your knees is the solution to unwanted pregnancy. Politically, all of these states are solidly conservative Republican and run on profound ignorance.
Fyi to the person above me (not you Matthew):
New Mexico is as blue as a state can get. Colorado (my state) and NM are the often forgotten blue states in the sea of almost never-ending red.
Nevada is also commonly blue. However, you can link poverty to these issues as well.
I honestly didn’t think I could like you any more, Gabrielle Blair!!!
Thank you. I’m forwarding this to several friends, and my 20-year-old son.
That’s simply not true. The best men are:
Secure in themselves and are aware of and acknowledge toxic masculinity
Believe in, support, and defend equality in all ways
They can be bar tenders, chefs, teachers, military, plumbers, layers, and on and on.
They’re out there. And every generation produces more and more.
After the fact, Jim. Sex, for women, always carries the risk of becoming pregnant. BC fails, condoms break, and women are raped EVERYDAY. ALL resulting in UNWANTED pregnancies. What did you fail to understand here? Ah, that men who ejaculate irresponsibly shouldn’t be held accountable for unwanted pregnancies. And all you can focus on is the fetus -NOT the woman now consigned to dealing with the unwanted pregnancy. You completely missed the point, Jim, but really, the more comments I read here like yours, the less gobsmacked I am at the abject ignorance & narrow focus of some of the commenters.
Amen, Jubie, and that fetus can be avoided if men stopped forcing themselves on women! There would be no more need for abortion. I wish these commenters would read the article objectively!
Well, no, even if all men were perfectly responsible and never forced themselves on women, there are still medical reasons for abortion: either gross fetal disformity/disease, or risk to the mother’s health, or, she is just not able to mentally/emotionally/financially/physically care for an additional child. This can be true in a loving, committed marriage with consensual sex because no form of birth control is 100% effective short of surgery.
Hell yeah Julie! You know what I took away from his comment? I bypassed the abortion part because I frankly don’t feel like he should have any say in that discussion.
It seems to me he is upset that women tend to be more interested in liberal/Dem men who believe in equality and not conservatives. It seems like an underhanded plea for us to date more incels and MRAs.
Such a well thought out blog post. I hope it was received objectively by fellow members of your faith and without repercussions by your church. This was certainly the most coherent piece I’ve come across on this subject and the fact that it was written by a Mormon mom of six was also fascinating. Unless there is some enormous shift in the way children are raised from birth, the pleasure of men will continue to be emphasized and put before women’s pleasure or safety when it comes to sex and the possible outcomes or fallout from all those irresponsible ejaculations. Knowing that this change in thinking will be a SLOW snails-pace process solidifies the argument for CHOICE all the more for me.
Thank you for your share.
Our sociopathy both small beings is quite vast. A small being in a womb is a formed ejaculation and egg. We give farm animals horrifying treatment but, born-agains don’t care. They vote in people who are against their own economic interests and praise war, love guns and care nothing for homelessness. That’s a SOCIOPATH. The problem is sociopathy and lack of critical thinking and depth.
This. This. This.
A lot of the sociopathic behavior that these people have comes from their religion. I had an evangelical upbringing, and I still have spiritual beliefs now, but I left religion because the cognitive dissonance it took to be an evangelical was legitimate sociopathy. First of all, the concept of God they believe in and the one I grew up with – that guy is raging maniacal abusive sociopath. But aside from that, their entire away of being is built around rationalizing completely irrational things and drowning in hypocrisy and conflicting stances, all of it with the end game of having control. The goal of their beliefs is literally all about control. Not happiness, not peace, not love, not even “living for God” – just control. And at the top of the food chain of course, men.
It’s really why abortion is their big deal, because the attack on women, and men having control is truly their favorite thing in existence.
I understand where you’re coming from, Jim, however, I don’t fully agree. I am completely pro-life. The fetus should not have to pay for the decisions of someone else. BUT the author of this has some awesome point. I am completely for abstinence but as a born-again Christian, I understand that while I DO NOT condone any sexual relationships outside of marriage not everyone shares my views and I can’t expect people to live the way I think they should when they don’t share my faith and beliefs. With that being said, because of condoms, there should be no unwanted pregnancies. I fully believe that if men carried the children there would be no unwanted pregnancies. I understand what you mean about there being good men however there are WOLF IN SHEEPS CLOTHING!! No one goes out with someone who won’t care about knocking them up because they enjoy not being cared about. Also, your generalizations of political left and right were kind of gross. I don’t mean to start an argument or disrespect you. I understand that as a male you do not understand what it is like to be a female in this society because you are not one, but let me say IT IS NOT EASY EVEN WITHOUT HAVING FULL BLAME FOR UNWANTED PREGNANCIES!!! With all due respect, I am not sure that as a male you will ever fully understand because you don’t realize you’re entitled until it’s taken away and it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen any time soon. Thank you for trying to understand, and God bless.
“because of condoms, there should be no unwanted pregnancies.” Well, not quite. First, many men won’t wear condoms. Second, condoms are not 100% failure-proof. Third, there are other reasons for abortions than not wanting a pregnancy. Women who desperately wanted to get pregnant sometimes seek abortion because of gross deformities or inherited diseases in the fetus, or complications that threaten her own life. Not being able to seek an abortion, which is valid medical care, means a woman cannot defend her life from a risky pregnancy.
Fourth, rapists don’t typically wear condoms. Protecting the woman from disease or unwanted pregnancy is not top of mind to rapists, it seems.
Jim. Stop having irresponsible ejaculations and there will be no small human beings involved.
On that much, we agree.
That, Jim, is the point.
As usual, the man on this thread was so hell bent on making his voice heard that he never bothered to actually read the article he was commenting on. Go back and read it. Then read it again, until you understand it. Until then, we don’t need or want your opinion.
Yes Jennifer! Yes!
So on point Jennifer!!
The point she is making is that men never have to be responsible and that we should make them all as responsible for their sexual behavior as we make women responsible. Yes, there are good men out there, but when 51% of the population is female and 49% male, you see how it can be difficult for many to find them.
Jim, she’s trying to prevent abortions. She said there could be better ideas out there and if there are then bring it. So what’s your better idea Jim? Just do what we’re doing and let the abortions tally up?
If your plan is “make em illegal” then don’t even worry about responding to this. It’s a waste of our time.
Don’t see how that’s relevant at all, considering the article doesn’t mention, let alone calls out “honorable men” by any means?
I guess if women just avoided men who weren’t of character, it would stop them from getting unwanted pregnancies from rape too.
So if I was to avoid men who weren’t of character I would have to avoid leaving my house. Wait I’m not even safe there. Might accidentally meet one if he breaks in. Your fix for rape is extremely flawed. I would have to live in a bunker where no one could break in to avoid being raped..
Jim’s point is that to stop unwanted pregnancies women should only have sex with “responsible men” – who are religious, conservative, not at all bohemian, and wait for it – just like Jim. So his argument is that women need to have sex with men like him. I cal conflict of interest there. ;-)
Utterly amazing that you missed the ENTIRE POINT of this. And yet not, really. The whole problem is that people like you blame the women 100% and refuse to blame men at all. You just said it’s the woman’s fault for dating a jerk (something that, unlike with you, isnt always immediately obvious). But its still ok for they guy to be a jerk.
Or, putting it another wsy: the next time someone comes up to you with a nice smile and asks for the time, and you give it to them, then he pulls a gun out of his coat and robs you, its YOUR fault you were robbed cuz you are a bad judge of character and didnt think he would do that.
A few quick answers to my replies then I’ll go back to being a reader:
Monica, Ruthie & Justen, good points. Justen, I’ll demur on my preferred policy. It would require a longer answer than appropriate for a mere commenter. Ms. Blair’s goal of males taking more responsibility is an important part of it.
Jennifer, I read the post multiple times before replying. If I misunderstood the writer, it wasn’t for lack of trying.
Kit, let me try again: Men can & must be better. Women have a right to demand it, notwithstanding Monica’s good point on why that can be hard to do.
Jim, I want to thank you for trying. It’s hard, uncomfortable work. I am glad you read these words multiple times and I can see that you are working to listen and be respectful.
Thanks for your thoughtfulness Jim
That you feel the need to continue blathering is testament to how differently men & women view this issue. Ask yourself why this is, Jim.
And almost always, from men’s perspectives, the onus is on women to prevent unwanted pregnancy. I don’t believe ANYONE has ever articulated this issue from the perspective of MEN’S irresponsible behavior. Brava, Gabby!
And yet you ignore everything else she said…what about the ‘pull out’? My husband is a responsible man who has done this for 25 years, since my last pregnancy and c-section nearly killed me. Are you interested in in any view but your own?
thanks but no thanks for the mansplaining. When you get a vagina, then you can talk about reproductive anything.
They came up with a birth control for men in India cheap 100% effective and reversible. Its a foam injected into the tubes cost about a dollar. US government doesn’t like it so no go here in the USA
On the contrary, Jim, I have found that the men most likely to truly care about and take into account women’s feelings and well-being are more of the bohemian mindset than of the conservative or military. The bohemian mindset is one of equality and humanity. Women are viewed more as equal partners than they tend to be among conservatives.
Different life experience; different conclusion. Okay, bohemian probably isn’t the right word (and may even be unfair); how about nihilist?
My point really was to say ‘seek men who know and live by an ethical code, something that says there are more important things than their own comfort.’ It’s actually not far from Ms. Blair’s point about responsibility. I disagree with some of her essay, but I’m all in on the responsibility part..
“Different life experience; different conclusion.” As in, “I’m not a woman, so I don’t actually know how men care about and take into account woman’s feelings since I’m never at the receiving end of how conservative men treat women”? Or, “I’m a conservative man, and I haven’t demonstrated here that I take into account woman’s feelings to any woman here, but I believe that I have done so adequately, and therefore anyone who does as I do must be doing what I say they’re doing even if women disagree with my assessment of what conservative men do and of what women actually prefer in a mate rather than what I believe they should prefer”? I’m not sure which different life experience has led you to a different conclusion, but I’m guessing it’s the mere fact that you probably don’t have a vagina and don’t date conservative men, maybe?
Like Riley, I’ve found that conservative men are far less empathetic to women and don’t seem to much care about how they might feel about carrying an unwanted fetus. I’ve tended to see “responsibility” from conservative men coming more in the form of “I now feel responsibility for the fetus I helped create even though you didn’t want to create one in the first place.” The point Ms Blair is trying to make is one of empathy for the women and her position, and I’ve seen very few conservative men attempting empathy with women who don’t want to become pregnant. But maybe that’s my “different life experience” as a woman growing up in the South raised by and surrounded by conservative men (and who somehow got lucky enough to marry an amazing liberal man)?
Forced vasectomy on male children is offensive to you but forced circumcision isn’t? Forced pregnancy and LABOR for a female isn’t offensive? Open your mind. Think about the absurdity we are living with.
Gabby – thank you for hitting publish. <3
I think you need to realize that an actual honorable man would not ejaculate irresponsibly to begin with.
Jim, I’m glad you came here and exposed yourself to this. That’s a great first step to opening your eyes to how rigged the system is in favor of men. My dad knocked my mom up on the Dallas/Ft. Worth military base. They were both in the service. She was 22 and it was her first time. He was in his 30s, married, with 5 kids. She was discharged (honorably), pregnant and penniless. Thank you for your service, Ma’am, get the hell out. He was not discharged (despite illegal fraternization) and never had to think about it again. This was Texas before Roe v. Wade. There was no choice for my mom. And she has been there every single damn day of my whole life. Men are given a complete pass. There are no natural consequences for their actions. That has got to change. You can take issue with the writer’s mostly tongue-in-cheek prescription, but you should think long and hard about how society should be structured to take the privilege out of your pleasure.
Hey Jim. Those very small human beings were put there by the irresponsible ejaculations of men. Hang on… …MEN. Your argument implies –ONCE AGAIN –that women in their “dating habits” should take some responsibility for this. STFU.
Jim, as the mom of an 11-year-old boy, the author’s proposal that we sterilize boys upon puberty made me raise my eyebrows too. But I took the time to read the entire article and that is not at all her point – it’s in there (as is the idea of castration) to reframe the argument. Her point is that we take the blame of abortion off women, and put it on the shoulders of the men who cause unwanted pregnancies. Because, as she states, biologically unwanted pregnancies are the fault of men 100% of the time. (Not solely in cases of rape.) Please re-read the article. I read it three times and got more from it each time. Glad to hear you are a good, moral man, but I don’t think that has anything to do with the point of this article. In fact, your comments that women should be looking harder to find a good man come dangerously close to placing full responsibility for unwanted pregnancies back on women. Which is not at all where they belong. I realize that as a man, the contents of this article might be hard to swallow, but you are clearly a good, moral, thinking person, so I strongly encourage you to reread it and perhaps you will have a fresh takeaway. I shared it with my husband (also a good, moral, thinking person) and he agreed with every word of it, especially that we need better birth control methods for men.
I’m confused, where did she mention Forced vasectomies on children? Choice vasectomies for men who don’t want to cause unwanted pregnancies. There are laws that prevent women to have their tubes tied. They must be a certain age, they must already have X number of children. But if a man wants a vasectomy, he can get one. The laws in this country do favor men.
I think the point was more about the éjaculation itself and putting the onus where it belongs. Even the most responsible of men seems to think that unwanted pregnancy is the woman’s fault omitting the fact that ejaculate caused it.
I don’t think that’s a political view, it’s one shared by most in the world, myself included. Yes I bore some responsibility in my daughter’s conception but had I taken a different contraceptive, not orgasmed, or gotten the dates right, I could not have stopped it yet her father 100% could have without having to do any of those things.
Oh look, another man putting responsibility on women to make the right choices.
Women shouldn’t have to “look for” and “find” honorable men. Respect for women should be the norm, not the exception that we have to hunt for. Good gracious, already.
Read Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal. It will help you understand satire.
There are a few good men.
I love this post. So thought-provoking. Shared it after seeing it on the unfundamentalist Facebook page. as a nurse practitioner I have 2.01 ever. Men can cause pregnancy without ejaculation. There is a small bit of fluid containing sperm that is present when a man gets an erection. as one of my patients, many years ago, coined the term that’s where the dirty dozen are.
Yes, I love this post, but want to mention that the linked article from Planned Parenthood states that the withdrawal method is only 78% effective in normal use. When I was part of the 22% who got pregnant using this method (because a man didn’t want to wear a condom), the nurse told me that pre-ejaculation fluids cause pregnancies. I wouldn’t want women who read this post to think withdrawal provides 96% reliable birth control—there’s too much opportunity for things to go wrong.
Ditto. As a mother of 8 children and a midwife, Please, if you don’t want to risk getting pregnant, use a condom BEFORE penetration.
So you had a 9 babies, and one of them was a midwife. (LOL I’m sorry, I couldn’t help myself, my inside grammar Nazi stuck its head out and yelled.)
This can only happen if the man does not pee between ejaculations. Or he has a perforated vas deferens. Anatomy fact.
I wondered if anyone was going to mention this fact! I did so much research in my years of TRYING to get pregnant after I got married and I often red in medical journals that you can get pregnant with just this tiny bit even if he doesn’t ejaculate. Rare but it does happen!
complete ignorance, is this satire?, What about men who wish the child was born, but an abortion was had anyway?
Wait, Tim — are you seriously saying that women should be forced to be incubators for men whether they want to or not?
Because if a man wants a child, then he needs to find a woman who wants to have his child. Not just demand that any woman deal with his irresponsible ejaculations and then carry the fetus to term.
Thank goodness someone pointed this obvious fact out!
Women die and suffer through birth control, pregnancy, and abortions, and she has some very thought provoking answers But you say what about men? Well, let me womansplain… see, you build a relationship with a woman, and you talk to a woman, and you ask the woman if she would like to start a family. But if she says no….. you don’t get to have a baby with her.
I’ve heard this complaint before. The answer is for a man who is against abortion to refrain from having sex with a woman unless he knows that she will carry an unplanned pregnancy to term. How does he know this? He spends a lot of time with her learning about her history, her character, her belief system and her plans for her future. He meets her family, friends and coworkers. He finds out if he can trust her if she says she’s on birth control, has her tubes tied, or that she will give birth to an unplanned child. Of course this means months of friendship prior to having sex. But he still doesn’t have sex unless he is financially and psychologically ready to co-parent an unplanned child with her for the next 18 years. And this expectation isn’t one bit different from that exacted from women by those who want women alone to exercise all the prudent measures required to prevent an unplanned pregnancy in order not to need abortions.
Tim, why wait until after ejaculating into the woman to decide you want a baby?
I will fight against forced medical procedures for anyone. I don’t like abortions, but I know that I can’t force a woman to keep that baby and love it. It’s her choice. How can someone be for the castration of males, every male? or just some of them, and having all boys (some go through puberty at age 10) get a vasectomy as soon as they go through puberty. Every boy/man isn’t responsible for an unwanted pregnancy. There are many men who would never have sex with a woman without consent, do wear condoms at all times, would pull out if that’s what the woman wanted, and respect a woman in every way.
I’m pretty sure the castration scenario was a philosophical thought experiment.
My thoughts too, Liz…I got the feeling that she was illustrating how it might be if we women were the ones telling men what to do with their bodies, in order to control unwanted pregnancies, not that she was advocating for those procedures.
Reread….all the way to the end. You missed the forest for the trees.
Great post! I totally agree.
Amazing. You’ve nailed it, sister. At the core of the abortion rights argument is this fundamental quandary – STOP TRYING TO CONTROL WOMEN’S BODIES AND SEXUALITY. UNWANTED PREGNANCIES ARE CAUSED BY MEN. We need to move beyond the control question, just like with climate change, and fix the problems!
I am pro life so is my wife that is my belief and I would never force my beliefs on anyone. The problem I have with the pro choice side is that most believe it is a right which is far from the truth. For me it’s not about taking control of women’s bodies it’s about 1. Me having to pay for something as a tax payer I don’t morally believe in and 2. What other rights in the bill of rights does the government subsidies? You can have your abortions just not on my dollar. I would love to use that tax money for prevention and education. I know a lot of people will say that’s what planned parenthood does but in reality they spend the vast majority of it on abortions. Again my opinion, murder is murder no matter who you want to blame.
Abortions have never, ever been subsidized with taxes. Ever.
I don’t want my tax dollars going to war and killing people and children. It is against my moral belief but I don’t see the same emotion from people that I do on abortion.
I enjoyed reading this one… It’s always been this simple; there’s a problem but rather than solve it, another is being created… Abortion cannot be a women’s crime if they can’t get pregnant on their own. Let men be more responsible adults and we wouldn’t need a debate.
As a women who has terminated a pregnancy I guarantee you didn’t pay for it, i did. I also don’t “morally” believe in the death sentence, mandatory minimums etc. but understand the majority does so I accept this is my country. I have used planned parenthood for years to get low cost birth control and Dr. visits. The unplanned pregnancy was after cancer where I was told I could no longer use hormonal birth control and while waiting for a copper IUD which ended up being awful. My body, my rules, end of discussion.
MC, that is an unsubstantiated claim. Please provide sources in future posts.
Abortions represent 3% of services provided by Planned Parenthood.
While PP does receive federal funding, IT CAN’T BE USED FOR ABORTIONS BY LAW. The other 97% of services were for:
treatment and tests for sexually transmitted diseases,
& other women’s health services.
Roughly 10 percent of its clients received an abortion.
M C I pay for unjust wars, chemical weapons, executions (even those of innocent people), mass incarceration, corporate welfare, You telling me I can opt out of footing the bill because I find it morally objectionable? Good to know. You and your ilk owe me a lot of money! YOu are paying for health care, and the woman and her doctor decide the best treatment, abortion being a last, unwanted resort. Maybe I can sit in on your doctor visits and decide what treatment you get?
“The problem I have with the pro choice side is that most believe it is a right which is far from the truth.”
“This right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment’s concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, or, as the District Court determined, in the Ninth Amendment’s reservation of rights to the people, is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy. The detriment that the State would impose upon the pregnant woman by denying this choice altogether is apparent. . .
“We, therefore, conclude that the right of personal privacy includes the abortion decision, but that this right is not unqualified, and must be considered against important state interests in regulation.
“Clearly, therefore, the Court today is correct in holding that the right asserted by Jane Roe is embraced within the personal liberty protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. It is evident that the Texas abortion statute infringes that right directly.”
You might want to read Roe vs. Wade again, before you conclude that it’s “far from the truth” that abortion has been determined by the Supreme Court to be a constitutional right (where the fetus is not viable).
Did you miss the whole part about outlawing abortions being the LEAST effective way to prevent abortions? It’s simple. Abortions don’t happen without unwanted pregnancies. Unwanted pregnancies are caused by couples having irresponsible sex. Men are not held accountable for irresponsible sex in our society. Hold men responsible and you will prevent unwanted pregnancies and therefore abortions. If you truly believe abortions are murder – hold men responsible for their ejaculation and you will prevent abortions. We just want you to be more effective at reaching your goal. (unless your goal is to perpetuate societal control over women’s bodies – in which case, by all means, continue to fight against legal abortions) The thread puts it so much more elegantly and with a fun thought experiment to boot! I never pictured myself considering mandatory castrations or vasectomies “A fun thought experiment” but here we are, and it is. and I love how many great conversations it has opened up across the internet. Keep rocking the thought-provoking articles Gabby! You’ve made me a reader for life with this one.
This post is perfect and should be sent to every lawmaker and read aloud at some of these meetings where they make laws concerning women’s bodies. Seriously, send this to Kamala Harris, Angela Rye, Elizabeth Warren, etc!! Get this into the hands of powerful women who can make this happen!!!
Every single porn site should include checkboxes to continue
*Yes I’m over 18 yrs old
*Consent is the law
*Condoms are cheaper than babies and STD’s. Protect your privates every time.
I agree!! This is absolutely brilliant! I’m so glad to find this blog post. I wanted to share this, when I saw it yesterday, but as I absolutely detest how Twitter makes things like this so ridiculously difficult to read, I went in search of a blog post.
I’ve seen some commenters who’ve said “duh…well that’s obvious!” But I found the way Gabrielle put across her arguments, although convoluted, was so good. Her conclusions are undeniable. And as for people finding it obvious, I disagree. I very much doubt that most people have thought that deeply into this reasoning in such a clever way.
Thank you for the feedback, Lorna.
Gabrielle, thank you for this well articulated argument, essay and collective thoughts.
As a woman of 68 who enjoyed the freedom of owning her own sexuality in the 60’s, your thought provoking Twitter thread hit many nerves. I have not raised boys but am a grandmother of 4 girls. Raising boys with awareness of your many points requires parents teaching with strong messages and modeling behaviors of men’s RESPONSIBILITIES to consider the costs of their pleasures. We feed them, do their laundry and care give beyond what is considered equal. On the world stage, specifically on beaches in Greece, France and elsewhere, moms allow their sons to run naked while girls are covered. It is only girls who are shamed with teen pregnancy.
Shifting responsibility of pleasure and burden may begin with parental modeling. I fear that men will always prefer to be treated by women as the entitled one, to be taken care of.
Gabrielle, thank you for this well articulated argument, essay and collective thoughts.
As a woman of 68 who enjoyed the freedom of owning her own sexuality in the 60’s, your thought provoking Twitter thread hit many nerves. I have not raised boys but am a grandmother of 4 girls. Raising boys with awareness of your many points requires parents teaching with strong messages and modeling behaviors of men’s RESPONSIBILITIES to consider the costs of their pleasures. We feed them, do their laundry and care give beyond what is considered equal. On the world stage, specifically on beaches in Greece, France and elsewhere, moms allow their sons to run naked while girls are covered. It is only girls who are shamed with teen pregnancy.
Shifting responsibility of pleasure and burden may begin with parental modeling. I fear that men will always prefer to be treated by women as the entitled one, to be taken care of.
Hi Lorna! I’m curious-did you read about this in the newspaper while in the UK?
Also agree, and proud to be one of your readers right now.
Universal Health Care!! Free Vasectomies for all!
As one who is 35 weeks pregnant with a very wanted and loved baby in a healthy marriage, I am convinced men COULD NOT HANDLE pregnancy. Not even for a month. And although I don’t support abortion, I applaud the argument here that men need to be seen as RESPONSIBLE too for pregnancy. (Duh!) Thank you for your perspective.
Sorry Gabby, birth control is a partnership between two people.
It’s not as black and white as you’re making it.
Brings about some interesting discussion though.
Hopefully leading to social sexual progress.
Thanks for that!
Nah. I’m a woman and I have a right to my sexuality. I like bareback sex and I like semen, all for sexual pleasure. My birth control works fine and I have no problem getting an abortion if my birth control ever fails me. All informed decisions for me to make.
Gloria Steinam once said, “Honey… if there was a male contraceptive pill it would be made a Sacrament”
Glad someone pointed out all the worlds (worst) problems come down to 5 second intervals of pleasure. Pick a country, race or religion and the villains are all men. And thanks to their own insecurities women (historically) have been the enablers. The right to vote has yet to have a payday and that now seems too late. Civilization has peaked. Trump is ahead of the curve of the swine on the rise. The Military Industrial Complex is back in charge, globally. Except for weapons and energy, entertainment, a luxury, is the third leg of our economy and the first to evaporate. (having someone cook or pour drinks for you is a luxury too) Macho Putin’s president for life so the USSR will be back in no time. Thanks to Brexit the EU has about 20 years left despite Angela’s best efforts. And… despite the C19 pandemic, China MAY be the hope of the future… I think 1 person in 9 is a Chinese Woman! Smart men know women are smarter… it just doesn’t seem to matter. Amazon Women on the Moon… Now that was a workable society!
Call me in about… say 2150 or when the population is under a billion, which ever comes first.
Hmm. I almost hate to be one of the first commenters. I am 100% pro-choice but I am not sure putting the burden of that on men is right either. Relationships are a two way street. And i think women need to take responsibility for birth control too.
I had a similar reaction. I am also absolutely pro-choice. I myself had an abortion in my early 20s, and I can absolutely say that I was an active participant in the irresponsibility that led to that pregnancy. I chose to have an abortion, but my then boyfriend would have preferred to have the baby–this detail also points to the complexity of responsibility and choice. I understand the sentiment of the thread, and in particular I agree with the underlying argument that women should not be demonized (especially by men) for their reproductive choices while men’s part in those choices goes unmentioned, but the idea that unwanted pregnancies are caused (only) by men is oversimplifying the issue, in my opinion. That being said, I applaud Gabby for using this forum as a place for discussing this and many other important issues.
The whole issue is much more complex than the thread actually shows.
Being responsible means to learn values including equal opportunities, equality itself and foremost respect. Learning these values mean to look into sex education, both at schools and educational institutions. If both women and men actually learn (about) their value and equality, they are capable of having a responsible sex-life, including making responsible choices regarding pregnancies and child-birth. Reducing these issues to physical or medical issues is ‘too easy’, don’t you think?
Thank you Gabby, for opening up to such an important issue.
I think she was meaning that there should be at least equal consequences for men and if there was mens behaviour would change dramatically.
I had an abortion in my early twenties too and I think it is not complex, it is actually very easy. I only ever dated nice men, understanding, respectful human beings, but when it came to sex, only one of them behaved like someone who really didn’t want to cause unwanted pregnancies (it was not the one who got me pregnant).
I really feel there has to be a big shift in society and how we think about this issue and how we talk to boys about it. Women can’t really relax and enjoy sex as long as men don’t understand how they can harm her. And society and parents are not telling them enough. I am so sick of feeling like a sex educator every time I’m in bed with a new partner. I have only heard of one women in my circle of friends, who doesn’t have bad side effects from the pill, yet my really nice female gynocologists (I had a few of them) is surprised every time I’m telling her I’m using condoms. It’s the only way to prevent unwanted pregnancies and stds, that is not hurting woman in any way and yet doctors are surprised when couples pick them as their choice of contraception. Really? They are the people who are most educated about this topic, they are the ones who write sex education guide lines but they don’t believe in contraception that puts responsibility on men? That needs to be changed. it’s that simple.
The scary thing is that condoms aren’t consequence free for women either. I hadn’t thought about it until I took microbiology recently. Spermicide kills good bacteria and can lead to yeast infections :(
Not all condoms have spermicide. My husband and I use condoms exclusively as birth control, and the kind we buy has no spermicide. Spermicide can also be internally irritating to some women, which is why we don’t use it. But the non spermicide condoms are not difficult to find at all. They’re very common.
Purpose of marriage is the propagation of children.A committed relationship is important for the welfare of wife,husband & kids.Sex outside marriage is immoral,irresponsible & selfish.God did not make sex for recreation.Remember, Jesus said the door to heaven is narrow.
Actually sex is pleasurable because it is ment to be..therefore yes sex is for solely for pleasure..especially women, whom can have a 1000 orgasms with ever being penetrated, having sex with a man or having unwanted sperm deposited inside of her, the only organ on the entire human species that is literally only for pleasure..sex is pleasurable to foster desire, thus fostering the continuation of our species is the by product or reward if you will of participation in desirable act..same as eating is enjoyable because it is a necessity for survival.. all human instincts are driven by some form of desire, safety, survival ect ect ect .truth be told it is only men that are in capable of separating an orgasm from the baby making aspect of his reproductive parts..women are both necessary and sufficient for carrying and growing of a fetus,
Men are neither same as men are both necessary and sufficient at preventing while women are neither..she cannot will her body to not become pregnant once sperm has been deposited, no more than a man could will his sperm to not fertilize an egg after sperm has been set loose however he can control where it is that he deposits said sperm..sorry but biology dosent care about your culture, morals or feelings it cares about survival and continuation..making sex an immoral act in need of societal control is just a way to control people and the labor production you can extract from the masses..imposing marriage and single partner fidelity as a stipulation for a powerful and instinctual part of human nature was seen as necessary to make men far more relevant in the process after the sexual act itself..making him relevant and perpetuating a percieved authority and responsibility of the family, women and the reproduction of their offspring was seen as the most efficient way to extract necessary physical labor from men, while also making the man more reliable. essentially making the whole family unit dependent the good will and success of the employer..all about perpetually instilling consumerism on a capitalist society. All built of the unpaid labor of women raising teaching their next generation of workers, while also taking care and building up of the current generation of male workers..at least as I see it
Francis, you do know that Christianity existed for eleven hundred years before marriage became a sacrament and came under Church regulation, right?
God DID make sex for recreation; He created orgasms, too. If not for orgasms, all pregnancies would be planned and wanted, and sex would take place only a few times in a person’s life. It might be similar to, I don’t know — buying a house, or renting a new apartment. And lack of sexual pleasure would also make rape and incest obsolete. You may need to re-think your belief system, Francis.
Your response perfectly encompasses my feelings on the article. While I understand the sentiment, it’s far too oversimplified for me to feel comfortable fully agreeing with.
I think Gabby’s point is to highlight how absurd the disproportionate the current focus on women is. Obviously she knows women have a role in responsible, consensual sex. But the current focus is ENTIRELY on women bearing the responsibility to prevent or avoid unwanted pregnancies. I think she’s flipping the mirror to show the contrasting argument and stretching minds to consider how much of the problem is being ignored and could be addressed.
Exactly. Gabby, thank you SO MUCH for putting this out there. Caitlin, thank you for this comment to 💯 co-sign.
Thanks for responding. Honestly it hadn’t occurred to me that Gabby might be using hyperbole as a way of pushing people to think more critically–I assumed that she was being literal in everything she wrote. I’d love to hear from her about whether this is the case or not. Either way, thank you for pointing out this alternative reading of the thread that I definitely hadn’t considered.
Caitlin’s correct. Essentially the entirety of the responsibility is currently on women and I would like to see it shift. Equal responsibility? That would be amazing. Sadly, I would probably jump for joy if I saw even a 10% shift. Which I realize is cheering at bread crumbs. Sigh.
On the other hand, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s quote comes to mind:
“When I’m sometimes asked when will there be enough [women on the Supreme Court] and I say, ‘When there are nine,’ people are shocked. But there’d been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that.”
She’s got a point. If women have been solely responsible for decades (centuries, millennia), and no one ever raised a question about that, then why is it such a crazy notion to ask men to take full responsibility?
Thank you for responding, Gabby! And for opening up this great conversation!
Exactly. Thanks, Caitlin!
I think you explained it perfectly, Caitlin!
Exactly, Caitlyn. It kind of blows my mind that anyone thinks Gabby actually wants any of her “solutions ” to be implemented. They’re obviously horrible and barbaric. Just as horrible and barbaric as making abortion illegal.
Forcing men to get vasectomies is almost as problematic as forcing women to go on birth control—but why do so many women choose to go on birth control despite the inconvenience and cost and men, for the most part, do not?
Don’t tell me about the many reaponsible men who pull out or use a condom. I am married to a good husband who is a good father to our planned child, but for some reason it was more of a priority for me to find consistent birth control than it was for my husband.
And as she states, birth control is a bit more than inconvenient, it’s deadly (thehe pill causes strokes, aneurysms and heart attacks at alarming rates that are never advertised). Death is a bit more than an inconvenient method of preventing pregnancy.
Yes … finally … not only do we have to work on reproductive ignorance, but inability to follow a critical thinking argument as well! Thanks for explaining that this was an attempt to contrast with examples, small and overreaching, what is done to women versus men. And yet critical thinking is so lacking that people comment on the absurd and not the core concept. I fear for the unwanted brain as much as the unwanted pregnancy!
I’m a man and completely agree with Gabrielle. I have carried this responsibility in my own marriage and after 15 years we still have great and regular sex and have had zero unwanted pregnancies (we have normal fertility and have two kids). My wife helps by monitoring her cycles and communicating that to me, so yes it is a shared responsibility in that sense, but ultimately I’m the only one who can control where the sperm wind up.
To me the guilt and anxiety that would come from putting my wife through an unwanted pregnancy cancels out whatever increased pleasure I’d have by multiple orders of magnitude. It’s really not a difficult decision. And yes a vasectomy is in the plans.
Thank you, Gabrielle, for writing this. I feel validated and empowered by this and will incorporate it into my sons’ sex education when they’re old enough.
I should add to the above that we have never used condoms or birth control. It’s not that difficult!
Robert, if you are using the rhythm method or withdrawal you should be aware that these are certainly not as effective as.condoms or the Pill. You and your wife have been lucky.
The rhythm method and withdrawl are not the same thing as tracking you cycles. Actually tracking your fertility, as a woman, is incredibly liberating, and I always recommend it to anyone looking for an alternative to the misery of hormonal birth control (my experience with which I like to call having been chemically castrated).
Rob, you rock! My husband feels the same way, and I adore him for how willing he is to put my well being, and the welling being of our kids, above his own desires.
I have an 11yr old who was conceived using the rhythm method. I am one of the 10% of women who can release an egg from each ovary at two different times in one cycle. Did not know this till it happened. just sayin’
If you’ve been married 15 years then the odds are high you and your wife are past your peak reproductive years. Even with your wife monitoring her cycle and you withdrawing the odds are high you could not conceive at this point in your life and your fertility is no longer “normal” but over. Try telling a young couple in their prime/20s that withdrawl and monitoring is all they need and they’ll just laugh at you. Those methods are more effective for the 30-40 crowd whose fertility has declined (like you and your wife).
The withdrawal method worked perfectly for my husband and I for years until we were ready.
When we were ready to be parents I was 24 and got pregnant the first month.
If you are doing it correctly, it is almost as effective as condoms. The problem is most guys wait too long to pull out.
YES! This piece will be quintessential to my boys’ sex education in the very near future. Earlier this week, we had an in-depth conversation about the song “Bui Doi” from Miss Saigon and how soldiers’ few moments of pleasure resulted in so much pain and devastation for the children and mothers they left behind. Thank you for sharing your experience, Robert.
i’ve tracked my cycle for oof, a long freaking time. it’s something i am going to teach my own daughter to do (along with a slew of other sex & self-care tidbits i plan to share in small chunks as she grows older/the time comes to introduce them…) i’ve had a lot of sex. with my husband the past 10+ years, and before that, a few boyfriends. three children now, all planned, still fertile as can be (and im 34, had my children “young” for these modern times, again by choice and sadly, got shit on by more woman for ruining my life) not a single unplanned pregancy.
so tracking your cycle does work. but it is in fact, work.
that said. there’s a lot of feelings on the topic. the bottom line though, woman NEED acess to affordable care. they need abortions to not only legal, but safe and humane (unlike so many clinics where you walk in through a group of people bombarding you with signs, only to find a doctor who goes through the motions like a robot) we also NEED realistic sex education.
and lets try to treat sex like it’s something special. lets make it something fucking sacred. men, respect us. the fact that we both together can holy shit, make a fucking LIFE happen is big. if something goes wrong, lets BOTH handle it with respect for each other. and woman, lets not bash men because rape aside, i know in the heat of the moment we too, can be foolish. lets guide them and work together and celebrate our differences without finger pointing and MAKING SHIT ILLEGAL.
Please make sure you also tell your daughters that it is possible to ovulate twice in one month.
I was a religious proponent of the rhythm method for many years and thought I knew my cycles inside and out.
But that was how my 4th child was conceived 3 years after I was done having kids.
I was mystified at how this was possible since I was way outside my fertility window for the month when we had sex.
My midwife illuminated the situation for me after looking over my calendar and notes.
She said it only occurs in about 10% of women, but that it can/does occur.
I do the same and have two children with no unplanned. This has been successful over a decade. The fact that a woman can only ovulate twice within the same 36 hour period makes this method watertight. I use the very affordable bulk opk’s. Cheers to effectiveness.
As a man, I 100% disagree with this. As things work now, women are almost entirely responsible for birth control, and then for kids after they give birth. I’m absolutely ok with men being 100% responsible for birth control.
Dear Dude, your last sentence means you agree with the article. You just disagree with the solutions. There are many solutions, not just the ones in the article.
Dude, men already are 100% responsible for birth control, we just keep failing to live up to those responsibilities.
Beth, women DO take responsibility. Women have no other choice, since they cannot trust men to do it.
you’re right it should be a two-way street but it isn’t.
But, it’s true. If you as a man don’t want a child, wrap it up. She says she’s on birth control and you don’t want a child? Wrap it up. She swears she’ll take Plan B and you don’t want a child? Wrap it up.
If you want a child, find a woman who wants a child and don’t wrap it up.
It’s really that simple. Men shouldn’t be having condom-less sex with women unless they’re ready to face the potential consequences and raise a child (sound familiar? I’m pretty sure a lot of people say that women shouldn’t have sex if they’re not ready to face a pregnancy).
We as a society out all the onus on women – only date decent guys, don’t be a slut and sleep around, birth control causes abortions and we’re not going to let insurance cover it, abortions are immoral, sex can lead to babies so don’t have sex if you’re not ready for a baby – but we (as a society) don’t tell men to… wear condoms while having sex. We’re okay dictating what a woman’s behavior in the bedroom should be, and yet are uncomfortable telling a man he should… wear a condom before engaging in whatever behavior he chooses?
Come on. Condoms are not invasive, they protect both participants from STIs, and they’re the easiest way to prevent almost all unwanted pregnancies. Ta-dah! It’s not even about blame necessarily, it’s about the simplest way to reduce abortions.
I’d love to recommend this comment a million times.
Beth babies aren’t always conceived within the constraints of a “relationship” and while both should be responsible our society states that pregnancy is the woman’s fault when the reverse is true. Take any sort of way you could have been more responsible to prevent pregnancy, it would be 100% more effective without ejaculate. It’s not really about who should do what, I think it’s just basic math.
This is so right on! I love this post so much! You brought in such a clear perspective. This is your best post yet!!
PREACH! I love this post. I haven’t heard anyone talk about abortion from this angle and I totally agree. I’m so tired of living in a male-dominated world.
You are my hero for this. Thank you for having the guts to put this out there!!
Wow, such a logical and persuasive argument. I hope this goes viral. Kudos!
This is awesome! Thank you.
Fascinating. I love and appreciate how thoughtful and thought-provoking this is. I consider myself a progressive Mormon feminist, but this has brought my thinking to a whole new level. Thank you!
I love that you are brave enough to write this, and at the same time sorry that it feels like such a discussion requires courage. These are our bodies!
I was worried about the Twitter trolls, but so far it’s been manageable. I block actively. No one has threatened my family or called me a c*unt yet today, so… yay?
Gabby I’m a 58 yo mother of two young adults and have been following you for years. As much as I have admired your work and your honestybivwr the years, nothing has made me admire you more than THIS THREAD. Thank you for speaking up like this.
Agreed Ann. Thank you fir speaking up like this. I have never thought of it this way. It brings up many other aspects we just take for granted, as thrush because we are looking through the eyes of the world instead of our own. I appreciate the thought and effort put into this marvelous article. ♥️
Your comment made me super happy, Ann. Yours too, Debra.
cosigning Ann’s comment. Thank you, Gabby!
I was prepared to roll my eyes when reading this, as I am passionate about protecting womens reproductive rights. I can honestly say you have opened my eyes even further to some ideas I haven’t even thought of. Thank you for hitting publish.
I don’t comment much- maybe a few times, ever? But I needed to tell you that I have the utmost respect for you. As an atheist in the Bible Belt, I have struggled with bias towards those who are members of what I know to be a more conservative faith. Fortunately, I have great Christian friends who have softened me. But you’ve further softened me to a group I have less exposure to and have long considered one of the “others.” Thank you for exposing me to diversity in social views within faith systems. I appreciate it.
“Thank you for exposing me to diversity in social views within faith systems.”
Thanks for saying that.
Design Mom, I fully agree with all that you have posted so far on this subject :) but I would love to have your thoughts if we shift the focus just slightly. For you to do this I will need you to stand even a little farther outside your ‘faith system’ than you are already. I have come to observe that children come about either through carelessness or selfishness on the part of one or both parents. To conceive a child, even intentionally, is actually a tossing of the genetic dice. There are no guarantees that the resulting human will enjoy a sound mind or body. Or whether its life will be one of poverty and starvation in a third world slum or one of wealth and privilege in a free, advanced country. Whether it will grow up to be happy and fulfilled or maybe be depressed and anxious. When viewed from this perspective the decision of parenthood is an audacious gamble and the consequences are not just about you but about someone who will probably outlive you. I appreciate the import of your article and I hope it raises awareness. But for me it is still very much a surface discussion. Sex ed needs to include discussions about all the ramifications of forcing someone else to live who had nothing to say about it in the first place.
I saw your tweets appear in real time and liked them as soon as they posted. This is brilliant, logical and all too true.
Thank you for hitting publish, Gaby. I’ve felt this way for ages (I’m almost 63). After being raped (in college which resulted in a pregnancy) and having birth control fail mid-30’s, this is a subject I feel strongly about.
Best comment I once heard about birth control was : “Why do women have to wear the bulletproof vest, when the guy could simply disarm the gun?”
Great post Gabby!
Please continue to be authentic and brave!
I want to like this comment a million times!
I also want to like this comment a million times, Mariam. :)
Yes! Yes! Yes! A-flipping-men!
Long time reader, first time poster. I consider myself a pretty wonky, well-informed progressive and this take is so fresh, and really resonates. Thank you so much for sharing it.
What an interesting read. Thanks for sharing it!
I have a question. Since you have two sons, what are you doing to raise sexually responsible men? I ask this as the mother of a toddler son who’d love to hear what you’ve done/are doing and whether you think it’s working. This might be too big of a question for the comments…future blog post?
Thanks again for the share!
Yes, this! This perspective is so eye-opening for me and I really want to extrapolate it so I can incorporate it into discussions with my teen boy and tween girl. But I’m not exactly sure how and I’d love Gaby’s clarity on the matter.
I like the idea of a follow up post. I’ll see what I can do.
This would make an excellent opinion piece…..Salt Lake Tribune……The Guardian……etc.
As a mom to 4 boys, 2 who are teens, I started reproductive education with the older two when they were quite young at the “birds & bees” level and slowly and gradually expand the conversation as the years pass as their emotional maturity evolves.
It’s not a once and done thing, it’s a constant, that involves taking advantage of situations that arise to model a response, talking about things that happen in real life, in fiction on TV / in movies, and asking a lot of questions about what they observe in school.
The foundation for sexual responsibility based on respect for a partner starts with general respect for everyone. This includes respecting personal body space and touching in kids as young as 2. We stress asking permission for hugs, for example and model asking first ourselves, so it’s the child’s choice whether or not to accept the contact.
Start with teaching general respect and consent when they’re young and then expand the conversation to sex when they get to middle school, using your judgment about how much your individual child is ready to hear about.
I also provide discreet access to a supply of unexpired condoms for my older boys, just in case. My hope for them as they are under 18, is that they won’t need them, but I consider it my job as their parent to help them be responsible about this, until they are independent enough to supply themselves (neither can drive, pharmacies aren’t easy to get to without a car, where we live.)
I have stressed to them multiple times that it is their job to make sure they are keeping themselves and their partners safe from STDs and unwanted parenthood. They can work out finer details with partners when they are older, but my plea and direction to them has been “wrap it, or pass on it” or do other things that are fun and don’t involve penetration. I also made it clear that I expect them to ask would-be partners for positive consent, and had conversations about things like dress code for girls versus boys and whether or not they think the way girls dress is an unspoken invitation.
Both have said things along the lines of it being “hard not to look”, but they don’t stare and they don’t think short shorts and spaghetti straps are an invitation to touch.
I’m hopeful this means that the ideas have sunk in at a basic level, though there will be more conversations and modeling and situational awareness training, especially as my oldest heads off to college in a few years. He’s autistic, so his ability to pick up on social cues is less developed than some and I’ve been very concerned that he have a good logical understanding and clear guidelines for these matters, because he will miss the subtleties of body language and facial expression.
Some important points here. Thanks for your insight Beekay.
As one who personally disagrees with abortion, I have softened to the terrible reality that, while an unwanted pregnancy (with or without terminating the pregnancy) completely changes the life of a woman, the male partner seems to suffer no harm or consequence. What scenario could more epitomize the unequal power/ opportunity dynamics between the sexes? Even more so, how much anger it stirs up in women when male politicians wax poetic about the evils of abortion! I get it. I mourn the loss, abandonment and systemic failures that inform why we are at such a contentious place in our country over this issue. The message to females that I hope can ring out is this: Women much feel empowered to say “no” to sexual partners who do not take birth control as a non-negotiable issue. Demanding use of condoms, I believe, is a great litmus test concerning a man’s willingness to be a responsible, equal-partner, in the relationship. Women should not give themselves to men who can’t think beyond the “best orgasm.” I understand that tough decisions must be made in the heat of the moment; but not really– decisions about sexual boundaries– at least in quality partners– are thought-through way in advance.
But this is the thing- I have married friends that have amazing husbands and they were all uninterested in preventing further pregnancies. One actually told her husband he was uncomfortable with the idea of a vasectomy and refused to get one, leaving the burden of birth control on her. I recognize that having an unplanned pregnancy for this couple wouldn’t be nearly as catastrophic as in other situations, but the reality is.. birth control is solely placed on the shoulders of the women in many relationships. Add to that the ideas placed on women that they need a partner, need a man to support and protect them, etc.. so sometimes we sacrifice our better judgement for prevention of losing our partner.
Oh yeah, my husband has zero interest in getting a vasectomy, even though I have flatly told me that I am scared of getting pregnant again. At least he wears condoms, but I would be lying to say that my interest in having sex hasn’t gone down because of this.
Why wouldn’t it? To have your lifetime partner tell you that he won’t go through a reversible medical process that takes minutes so that you can live without fear and (as a result) enjoy sex more?
It’s funny how men don’t think that your desire to have sex with them should be impacted by the way they treat you.
My OB was very outspoken on this topic. She said a vasectomy is a quick out patient procedure where tubal ligation and c sections are major operations. After two extremely difficult pregnancies and births (my C section wound needed to be reopened 2 weeks later and had to heal open faced!), my husband announced he wasn’t comfortable with a vasectomy. He really tried to come up with a multitude of reasons why it wasn’t a good idea for the male body. Of course they were weak arguments compared to birth control and unwanted pregnancies. In the end I remembered my OB’s words and gave him the choice of sleeping on the couch or a vasectomy. After the vasectomy, he proudly pranced out of the dr’s office saying how it didn’t hurt one bit, not even the shot! *lol followed by eye roll
Jeanne, three cheers for your O.B.!!
My husband had a vasectomy when he turned 30, we had 4 kids. I really think more women need to push this or just say no more sex. He even had complications and it was 1/10000 as much as the tearing I had with one kid. I asked the day after if he wanted to have “another one” just like how everyone seemed to ask me after giving birth.
“Do you want to have another one?” LOLOLOL
Thank you for this. xox
I had a vasectomy while still relatively young – in my thirties. It was a Father’s Day gift from my wife.
I really appreciate this blog entry and reading through the comments. I’m saving it for my grandsons to read someday soon.
My younger brother had a vasectomy, at age 25. He is committed to his fiance, who had two children previously, and then they had another together. They both agreed their family was complete with three kids, so my brother got the snip.
It was the most responsible decision he’s ever made, and I was so proud of him.
My dad had one after they had their third child and my mom said it was entirely his decision. They divorced and he remarried, reversed it and he had his 4th daughter.
I’m betting that the husband in this couple would have plenty to say if she took care of birth control in the easiest and safest way possible for her ie by becoming celibate within the relationship . I’m afraid that’s the option I would be giving him , celibacy or vasectomy – you decide .
Because all men who are told no respect that.
Admire your perspective and appreciate your sharing it!! Thank you.
I LOVE YOU!
Another post to share with my teen daughter. Thank you!
Gabby, I’ve been reading for years and I LOVE how you sometimes make me think of the world in a totally different way. This is one of those times. Knowing how many trolls are out there I will send you the best of wishes but this was AMAZING. One of the best posts I’ve ever read by you.
Wow. Thank you for the kind words, Luisa.
Yes!! This is so great. I love how it forced me to see the assumptions I’d been making and all the leeway I grant men in my thinking. And I’m already so pro-choice. So well put together! So beautifully inflammatory ❤️👏 🔥
I like the phrase “beautifully inflammatory”.
YES YES YES. 100% YES.
Coming out of the woodwork to say how much I respect and admire you, Gabby. When you share your opinion on something it is are always well-thought out, fair, and articulate.
(also, I nearly ROFL’d at ‘waddling to the toilet as your jizz drips down our legs’…I’ve never seen any one spell out — much less so hilariously– that particularly sticky aspect of having sex. brava!)
The waddle struggle is real! : )
I haven’t had the stomach to watch the Kavanaugh proceedings but this post tells me all I need to know! Gabby you are amazingly brave and as a fellow LDS woman I applaud you! I hope your Twitter post gets a LOT of exposure i.e. goes national.
P.S. don’t let the Republican trolls get ya down!
Ouch, Carolyn. Just as Gabby has demonstrated that not all Mormons think alike, I think you should consider that the same is true for Republicans. Thank you, Gabby, for this cogent, thought-provoking piece.
Not every Republican is a troll, but every troll (of this post) will be a Republican.
The Republican comment is divisive and uncalled for. Simply better to say not to let the trolls get you down. As a conservative who typically votes Republican, I read this blog post with great interest. My Liberal sister is always telling me I’m more Progressive than I realize. I am not interested in being loyal to conservatism or the Republican party. I’m interested in integrity and fairness. It’s just that mostly how I view those things end up leaning conservative. The point being you’re lumping all Republicans together as one thing. Isn’t that just as wrong as labeling all Liberals as one thing?
News for everyone: the two party system is a scam. Yes, republicanism is wrong. So is the left. Stop living in the box and getting all upset when others have the humanity to call it out.
Totally metal. Love it.
Gabby, I couldn’t love you more after reading this. Wonderfully written and thoughtfully articulate. 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾
The best thoughts i’ve Ever read or heard about abortion. Good job Gabby.
So, apparently I will be no. 31 to say: I love this and I applaud you. Pure excellence!
Hello fellow feminist, your article is so logical. I’m really impressed, and enlightened. Thank you.
Wow! I’d never put it together quite this way.
On a silly tangent… This is why I had to get my husband a little drunk in order to get pregnant. He’s a wonderful, careful, sweet man and he just couldn’t be that “irresponsible” without a little help. So we made a calendar and bought some beer and we have a beautiful baby girl as of a couple months ago. :)
Did he want a baby? Would you think this was just as cute if a guy got the girl deunknin order to impregnate her without her consent?
Sounds like they planned it together… “we made a calendar “
What the hell? This is not cool.
She did say “we” made a calendar
Sorry if that wasn’t clear. Yes, we did plan it together. The beer was his idea. Months in advance in fact. He was just so anxious… When we stopped actively trying not to have a baby, I called it being responsibly irresponsible. That probably didn’t help. :)
I am staunchly in favor of women being in charge of their own bodies. The argument of “pro life” vs “pro choice” somewhere along the way confused the issue, when the bottom line is they cannot be mutually exclusive. This is hands down THE BEST argument I have ever heard, that tackles the issue from all angles and puts the responsibility firmly between both parties, one of whom somehow managed to escape judgement, accountability and consequence. Please please please share your genius with the world, it needs logic and clarity like yours in spades, now more than ever.
IF YOU WANT LESS ABORTIONS, MAKE IT HARDER FOR WOMEN TO GET PREGNANT.
I cannot wait for this to go viral. Sending you a round of applause from Australia :-)
Hello in Australia! One of the results of the Twitter thread going viral is that I’ve been invited to speak at a University in Sydney. I’ve never been to Australia and am hoping to make it happen.
Thank you for the kind words.
Wow, so exciting!! If this happens can you please give us advanced notice? I’m not in Sydney but I’d like to hear you speak so if there was enough notice I could work out a way to get there. Fingers crossed you get to come and maybe make a holiday of it too :)
I can’t think of an original way to agree/praise/applaud….
I do like the way you think.🍦😉
Male and father here.
YES, YES, YES!
You are so on point and correct!
Now, how do we convince all men? *sigh*, here comes the patriarchy…
What a wonderful, eye opening, 100% accurate perspective. I have always just used birth control as a teenager in the 1970’s til no longer necessary. I simply never thought of it from this point of view. Men cause unwanted pregnancies. Awesome. Thank you.
You want to know what I think?
I think this is the best effing thing on this dubjrcy I’ve ever read. PREACH Gabby.
Go go go go go. I getthat it must have been a deep breath and a leap to pull the trigger and post this but you should never doubt how important and appreciated it is you did. You’re speaking for many many many of us and I am filled with admiration, respect and gratitude for you ❤️
Yes! Thank you for saying everything I have felt in such a cogent and thoughtful way! Bookmarking this post to reread and to share with my daughter.
P.S. Have you ever thought about writing a feminist book for teen girls? I would buy it in a heartbeat!
I agree with this comment. I’d buy any book you wrote about raising a feminist (son or daughter) in a heartbeat.
I don’t know if I have enough material to fill a book, but I’m complemented at the suggestion. : )
BRAVO! Thank you for putting this out into the world.
This is genius.
An excellently written post. Thank you! What a wonderful world it would be if men took more responsibility for the consequences of sex.
When I was 30 years old, I was very ill and medically advised not to have any more children (I already had 4 children). My husband and I talked about it and felt this was sensible. My doctor suggested that the easiest course of action was for my husband to have a vasectomy, but my husband was having none of it – he said that no doctor was touching his man parts. So I had a tubal ligation. I am okay with that, because I saw it as me being responsible for my health and afterall, I was the one that was advised not to have any more children. That being said, I still felt disappointed in my husband for being unwilling to undergo a minor procedure to save me having to have a tubal ligation.
And my daughter’s partner lost some of my respect when my daughter told me that he refuses to use condoms, so she has to take the pill.
I’m glad you shared your story, Debbie. I’m sure you’re not alone.
And tell your husband it would have been way sexier if he’d gotten the vasectomy.
I think there is a knee jerk reaction men have about their testicles… my husband had that thought too. But then he deliberated about it and found that it was the safest approach for our family.
He had complications, and it was not a great experience, but I know that he would do it again for us. Maybe without the complications, though.
I think with a societal shift the somewhat selfish knee jerk reaction and fear could subside.
We all know how the internet is teeming with abortion posts, but your tweets defend reproductive rights in such an original and thought provoking way. I’ll be sharing your wise words widely. Bravo and thank you!
Best thing you’ve ever written. Brilliant!
I just came across the book The H-Spot about how women’s happiness is completely devalued in our society, and think you’d like it. This argument in many ways falls right in line with hers.
Thanks for the recommendation.
Wow. I’m blown away by this post.
I’m going to read it aloud to my teenage daughters and son (and husband of course).
I’m already looking forward to the family discussion that we’ll have afterwards.
I love how you put these posts out into the wild.
This was the most phenomenal post on this subject that I have ever read! Thank you for posting this!
Absolutely brilliant. BRILLIANT! I will be sending this link to my friends.
I have no words…blown away by the logic, the tone, the thought…. so brilliant.