“Post-Abortive Men”: FUCK YOU.

January 7, 2008 at 5:02 pm (politics, sexism, stupidity) (, , )

Via both Melissa at Shakesville and Cara at the Curvature, I’ve unwittingly been prompted to confront (not really for the first time, but officially) the existence of a disgusting group of men whose intentions lie at the intersection of the men’s rights (so long as they’re posited and pursued as being oppositional to women’s) movement and the anti-choice crowd, and proclaim themselves victims of their sex partners’ decisions not to carry unplanned pregnancies to term. Lovely.

Now, I don’t deny that a partner’s abortion may have severe emotional implications for some men. And that those feelings should be assessed and dealt with. But…duh?…restricting women’s access to the health care they need, in this case abortion services, is not an acceptable method for moving past any possible grievance. Therapy, maybe? Some attempted compassion for the woman and the situation she found herself in, at least?

No, I don’t mean the kind of therapy or “compassion” offered by so-called Christian counselor Mark B. Morrow mentioned in the above-linked LA Times article, who claims that “We had abortions,” or, “I had abortions.” If, in this case, I’m not making a mistake by consciously assuming that this guy does not personally harbor his own female reproductive system, then this is an offensive and impossible over-reach of egocentricity. There is a distinct difference between being emotionally involved in another’s abortion and actually having one. And, you know, it’s that bit right there that makes all the difference and really matters when addressing that other person’s right to healthcare and physical independence, for pete’s sake!

And let me spoil the end of that wonderful piece of journalism for you with one of the last quotes from one of the men profiled, who had just been chronicled as re-imagining what his life might have been like (not for his present wife or children, but only for himself, of course) if his previous girlfriends had endured their unwanted pregnancies (emphasis mine):

In the end, Aubert says his moral objection to abortion always wins. If he could go back in time, he would try to save the babies.

But would his long-ago girlfriends agree? Or might they also consider the abortions a choice that set them on a better path?

Aubert looks startled. “I never really thought about it for the woman,” he says slowly.

Clearly. Because the importance of his retrospective feelings about their potential life-altering choices and actions eclipse the actual human experience of the women who found themselves face-to-face with whatever options they had to choose from to better their own living situation.

GAH.

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9 Comments

  1. Daisy said,

    Ughhhh

    “Fuck you” just about sums it up, yeah.

    Stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

    I remember shortly before my oldest cousin was born, my mom’s brother called her and said “We’re pregnant!” My mom, of course said, “…No, she’s pregnant.” Hellooo

  2. Daisy said,

    Also, since I calmed down enough to think about it, I’ve been laughing really hard about the title of this post, hahah

  3. Miragh said,

    Self-importance, greed and arrogance. Is there anything worse?

    Big. Fucking. GAH!

  4. Sarah said,

    If the abortion and pregnancy belongs only to the women, as you seem to be saying, the men have zero claim whatsoever to the child.

    Why, then, once the child is born should she/he belong to both parents? There’s no getting around the fact that it takes two to make a baby. Obviously, the mother is one pregnant, but the child remains the product of both parents.

    And I have a question: If it is the right of the woman and the woman alone to decide to have the abortion, which effectively washes her hands of the matter of the child, then why, if she decides to have the child, can’t the man decide that he wants to wash his hands of the matter of the child and decide that he will not provide support for the child and that he will estrange himself from the mother?

  5. Daisy said,

    Sarah, this is Emily’s post, so she may wish to engage with you next time she’s on. For now, though, I will refer you to our commenting policy.

  6. Januaries said,

    “I never really thought about it for the woman” — exactly the point; sums up anti-choice thinking and the MRA perspective.

    Because a pregnant woman is easily put in the position of everybody’s property, not a person anymore. Why is this kind of thinking so deeply ingrained and gleefully passed on by various movements?

    Pregnancy is easily medicalized while the simple facts about the pregnant woman’s situation are ignored: the fetus is within the her body, she cannot leave it anywhere to stop and think, she cannot separate it from herself.

    And all the time she is faced with a great deal of vicious argumentation telling her that the fetus’s life takes precedence over hers, that her pregnancy’s everyone’s matter, her sexual partner’s, the state’s, the various churches’, the various movements’… but not hers.

    “Claims to the child” are put in the foreground, with the woman, even when she decides to be the future mother, treated as a mere vessel. I don’t see how this could be thought to be “sanctity of motherhood” for anyone, if the mother isn’t even treated as a free, thinking subject.

  7. Emily said,

    Alright, Sarah, here we go:

    If the abortion and pregnancy belongs only to the women, as you seem to be saying, the men have zero claim whatsoever to the child.

    The men have no claim whatsoever to the woman’s body, which harbors the fetus. This is not about “claim” to the fetus or possibly later, the born child, neither of which should be treated as products to be owned; but jurisdiction over the pregnant woman’s body, and I refuse to concede to the insulting shift of emphasis. The only person with rightful and final authority to determine the intended outcome of a pregnancy is the pregnant woman herself.

    This is not to say that men are never involved in such decisions, or that they never should be, or that they should be or are. Just that being involved in the decision-making process does not equivocate having any right to the final say. If it’s considered stooping to the bottom of one’s own ego to allow a woman this last word on her reproductive health, physical and emotional capacity, and willing preparedness, and is truly perceived as unjust to some men because of their romanticized ideas of the fetus, bizarre concepts of ownership, desired control of the woman who’s pregnant, or for any other reason, then, well, less power to them.

    As for your final question: If a pregnancy results in birth, and when the child is no longer physically harbored by the mother’s body, then the questions surrounding the mother’s, child’s, and father’s respective futures become inherently changed. Because their respective situations are. Similar but different complications arise, but one thing remains consistent: given her options, the choices the woman and mother make to better and/or ensure her health and life trajectory are effectively hers to make and, yes, if she so wishes, to make alone. Meaning: this may be an unfortunate issue for some and it’s seemingly convenient to use it in anti-choice argument, but it doesn’t belong there.

    And that’s all I want to say about that. Done.

  8. Emily said,

    And Thanks, Januaries, I appreciate that comment.

  9. Januaries said,

    Thank you for the post. Nobody cares about The Invisible Mother — anti-choicers claim to be “protecting life” when they are erasing it by erasing the woman as a person with rights to her own body.

    The mother is not sanctified nor celebrated. She’s rendered invisible.

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