• The Hopefulist

It's time to change the conversation

The recent passage of the heartbeat law in Texas should worry every person. Every woman of course, but also any man who has a wife, mother, sister, daughter of niece. If you aren't familiar with the law it states that a woman cannot get an abortion after a heartbeat is detected which is typically six weeks of pregnancy regardless of rape, incest or the fact that it could be life threatening to the mother.

No matter your stance on abortion this law should worry you. I understand that people are very passionate on both sides of this issue and I get a lot of people won't like what I am saying. That is why I want to CHANGE the conversation so it isn't about abortion...it's about being truly pro-life. Because it doesn't make sense to me that people are fighting for the life of a fetus but don't worry about it once it's born. I don't know many people that want more welfare and children that can't be taken care of. To just say you are pro-life is very misleading in my opinion. Pro-life means to me that it's an effort to make sure a child is born but there is no worry about that life once it is actually in this world.

Again though, let's take the whole abortion issue out of this and start changing the conversation about how to avoid unplanned pregnancies. Because make no mistake, forcing women to carry babies full term is all about control. Men controlling women and telling them what they have to do with their body.

So let's think about this a little differently. What if we came up with a plan to have men get reversible vasectomies after puberty until they are ready to have to children. Then have them reversed? Sounds radical, doesn't it? It may even sound ridiculous. In fact, when I mentioned it to my male neighbor he actually laughed and said; "there is no way I'm getting surgery." There is no way he would consider a 15 minute procedure that would solve this problem (yes, I understand there will be a percentage that may not take) yet women are expected to go through nine months of pregnancy whether they want to or not. When you compare the two what seems more radical?

The reason it seems so radical is merely because it's never been brought up before. Do you realize why that is? It's because men are still in charge of this country. Men are in the positions of power and are the majority when when it comes to making and deciding laws.

I did a little research and it seems there are currently only 24 women in the U.S Senate. That is a 12% representation. It's a touch better in Congress where women represent 24% because those positions aren't as powerful as Senate seats. The Supreme Court has 3 seats out of 9 which is a 33% representation. This is why the idea to force men to do anything is so radical. They don't want to be told what to do with their bodies but yet there is no issue with telling a woman what to do with hers.

Ruth Bader Ginsberg was asked once how many women she would like to see on the Supreme Court. When she answered all nine she was met with incredulous as if that would be ridiculous. She said we wouldn't bat an eye if all nine were men and she is right. Make no mistake, women are far from being equal in this country and this law in Texas has just set us back 50 years.

Why is it that men have no repercussions in this talk about abortions? Why is it only the woman who is potentially punished when it takes a man to impregnate her. A man has all the rights and none of the responsibility. Another example of this is Viagra being covered from the get go by insurance but women have had to fight for decades for birth control to be covered.

We encourage men to have and enjoy sex yet women are still (in 2021) supposed to hold out and not give it up. If they do and get pregnant then it's on them to deal with the lifelong consequence. And let's not forget how many daddies disappear and are never to be heard from again. Again, this whole system is set up that men have it all ways. They get to have sex free from guilt (because you know, their guys) and free from consequence of those actions. Doesn't that seem wrong?

But let's talk about abortion for a moment. Thankfully I've never had one but I know from others what a harrowing experience it is. I've never seen a woman wake up in the morning and exclaim I get to have my abortion today. Are there women that use it as a form of birth control? Yes, there are a few. But the majority of women painstakingly make this decision when they feel there are no other options for them.

Let's talk about some of those situations that don't even involve rape or incest. Suppose a 16 year old girl gets pregnant (remember if it's okay for 16 year old boys to have sex then it's okay for a 16 year old girl) and she's an athlete that will be potentially scouted by college recruiters but now she can't play that sport because she is being forced to carry a child full term. Not to mention all the judgement and potential harassment she may face if she can still stay in school. Meanwhile, the dad is getting accolades for getting the girl in the sack and his manliness. Seriously, this is how it still is in 2021. Imagine if the girl is even younger than 16.

Consider a situation where a woman in her early 20's is in a abusive relationship. She has low self worth and has a hard time getting out of the situation. She finally gets the courage to leave him and literally goes into hiding to keep him away from her. Yes, these things happen. I know them. But then a month later she finds out she is pregnant. If she chooses to have this baby she will be tied to her abuser for the rest of her life. If she choose to put the baby up for adoption her abuser can stop her from doing that and she is still tied to him for life. And there is little hope of him not finding out if she is visibly pregnant for months because even if she doesn't see him others will see her and people talk.

Let's think about a single mom of two kids who is struggling to make ends meet. She is dating someone and he breaks up with her and not long after she finds out she is pregnant. She tells the ex-boyfriend and he says he has no interest in being a father. Yes, men get to make that choice. They can be forced to pay child support but they can't be forced to be a father. So the woman will have to go on public assistance and may even go into even more debt because she doesn't have health insurance. She won't get maternity leave because she doesn't have that type of job so what does she do?

How about a woman who is nearing 40 that is on birth control and somehow gets pregnant anyway. She's married and she can afford to move forward with the pregnancy but how many women aren't in a position to do that? She did everything she is supposed to yet became pregnant anyway. Yet again, it all rests on the shoulders of the woman who had the audacity to have sex with a man yet the man has no repercussions in the decision to not follow through with the pregnancy.

I once knew a woman who was in her late 30's and became pregnant for the first time and wanted that baby more than anything. Her boyfriend told her he had no interest in having a child because he already had a child and didn't want to make them compete with a new baby. This ridiculous statement is coming from the man. She ended up having an abortion because he told her he would end their relationship if she went through with having his baby. Yes, I wish she would have done it anyway but she had her reasons for staying with this man.

There are also times when a woman in her 40's and even 50's become pregnant. Of course it is high risk and could threaten the woman's life. Maybe she had her children in her 20's and is ready to start living for herself but now this. And even if she were to put the baby up for adoption she goes through nine months of growing a child with many restrictions and potentially life altering/threatening issues. Do you think a man would ever consider denying themselves or putting themselves in danger for nine months for a baby he didn't intend to keep?

So, let's get back to changing the conversation. If we are really talking about pro-life then we need to take better care of the people who are already here. We need to find a way to stop unwanted pregnancies from happening. And all the ideas will be radical because they've never been discussed before.

So, let's go back to the idea of having men get vasectomies at puberty. Is it that radical? A fifteen minute procedure that can be undone whenever he is ready to father children responsibly. I do understand that some men may have issues with it getting reversed. But some women have such horrible pregnancies they can't carry a child again but nobody worries about that part. Seriously, give it some thought. It is that radical? This would avoid so many unplanned pregnancies. So much more than any other form of birth control which is still extremely hard to get in some states. If it's okay for government to tell women what they can do with their bodies it only seems fair that men face the same treatment.

While we're at it we need to stop shaming women for having sex. Women are encouraged to be sexual by society from the time they hit puberty but are judged if they actually have sex. If we are going to send the message that sex is bad then it is bad for both sexes. I say this as I just watched a football game last night with very flimsy outfits on the cheerleaders. There was the issue recently of women in beach volleyball being fined for wearing shorts instead of bikini bottoms. Why don't men have to wear such skimpy outfits? Because they aren't being sexualized. They get to hunt the sexualized and then leave the women once she finds herself in an unwanted situation. Again, I know men can be forced to pay child support which can be a pittance by the way but you can't force a man to be a father.

Does all this sound harsh and unreasonable? I know some of you will feel that way. I know that some of you may not like or agree with what I'm saying and that's okay. But it's time to change the conversation no matter how uncomfortable or radical it may be to find a solution in 2021 that doesn't involve government regulating what women do with their own bodies.

There is a march for women's right this Saturday, October 2. They are taking place in most states and I urge you to look up where the one in your state is taking place and show up. Fight for women to have the right to do what they feel is best for their own body and their own life. I'm not sure why the life of the fetus is more important than the living woman. If that doesn't show woman how low their worth is considered by the government I don't what else does.

We can't stand for this women. We have to fight for our rights. We have to stop men and government from telling us what we can and cannot do with our own body. We have to start coming up with better solutions to the issue. And the conversation needs to start now.

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