My body my choice. This statement seems to be populating social media posts everywhere with regards to two different current social issues – abortion and vaccinations.
I wonder if people really think through this statement before posting. I was particularly distressed – and saddened- about the former application today.
Leaving violent or forced intercourse out of the discussion (as this is not a pro vs. anti abortion argument) – how is abortion simply a woman’s choice? Yes, her physical body is the carrier for another human life but two other lives are involved. (Yes, I do consider an unborn child a life. I can listen to arguments about when the fetus has the ‘right to life’ but I know where I stand on that as a matter of opinion.) Unless the woman is the second coming of Mary, a man was involved in the creation of another life. You simply cannot take him out of the equation. My heart breaks for all the men single handedly removed from the discussion without their consult. I see many women saying it’s actually none of men’s business. None of their business? Was it their business when their penis was inside of you?
For the men that agree with the statement – do you really care that little for the women with whom you chose to have sex? In this statement we’ve relegated men to mere perpetrators of an act against women and sex to a transaction. I can’t think of anything more disempowering to women. Even if you aren’t having sex in the context of a loving exclusive relationship (which I don’t judge AT ALL) there are still two people – preferably adults – involved. Responsibility falls on both for potentially creating a life. Responsibility should fall on both for deciding to end that life. Spin it any way you want – abortion is terminating a life. So I am very disturbed by comments that men have no right to decide what a woman does with her body. It is one of the most selfish things I’ve seen. Because it’s not just about YOUR body. It’s about the life living INSIDE your body that you created with another human. Whether you meant to or not. Where is our sense of humanity?
As one of my favorite humans, Dave Chapelle (I can only imagine he would be one of my favorite humans if I met him) once said about abortion “Are you pro-choice or anti-consequence?”
I also can’t help but think about my LEEP procedure many years back. Nothing – and I mean nothing – felt more violating then having steel forced up my vagina and an electrical current sent through it to remove pre cancerous cells in my cervix. I cried for days. It certainly didn’t feel like “a routine procedure” as my ob-gyn often referred to it.
I can’t imagine having a fetus removed.
I wish I didn’t have to go through the LEEP procedure alone. I certainly would never want to go through an abortion without the support and presence of the man who conceived the child with me.
Some of this line of thinking may stem from the old feminist notion that “Yes! Women can ‘have it all’ just like men!” I’ve got two newsflashes for you. First – you can’t have it all. No one can. Even men. There are only so many hours in a day. You choose how to spend them – working, resting, tending to a home and children, or in my case tending to my spiritual life for ten years. I prioritized my well being, mental health and inner world (maybe under the false premise that I couldn’t truly be happy in any other area of my life until I “fixed myself” which is a completely different story) and sacrificed larger paychecks, and likely, a family. I don’t regret my choices as I’m on my own path and have lived a lot of life. However, I’d be lying if I didn’t, in my forties, lament the fact that I likely won’t have my own child of my flesh and blood. I hit the snooze button on my biological clock (or maybe it was out of batteries for a while) and my reproductive organs are on a different time table.
Men often sacrifice their desire for freedom for a career, to support a family or, serve their country, as has been a highlight for the last two weeks. Sure, they probably rather be drinking beers with their buds and playing ball, but duty calls and if they mature into actual men and don’t become perpetual Peter Pans, they heed the call and act accordingly. (For more on this topic, Google Jordan Peterson and “Peter pan” and you’ll find some interesting sound bites.)
I’m not saying abortion can never be an option but to say unequivocally say “My body my choice” in the case of abortion, seems immature to me, stemming from a childish notion that it’s all about me. God forbid if my pregnancy would cost me my life – I can’t imagine going through that decision – or the psychological aftermath – without my partner or the toll it would take on him. Especially if other children were involved.
I thought women fought to have equal rights to men – not cut them out of the equation completely. I worry about furthering the divide and dissent between men and women – amongst other polarizing lines – in our country and the world when what we need most is the recognition that, yes – males and females are biologically different, and the masculine and feminine qualities (however they may express themselves in gender) are both valuable and necessary for a stable, creative and thriving society. We need them both and more than ever, we need the union of the two.
Let the public stoning begin.
May as well whittle down my friends before I tackle “My Body My Choice” with regard to vaccination.