No announcement yet.

The Right to Decide

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • The Right to Decide

    One of my favorite discussion methods is the role reversal. It allows a social practice to be examined from the opposite direction and gives us the opportunity to examine what we truly believe.

    For some years now, I’ve challenged others with “The Man’s Right to Decide.” In this, I suggest that men, within the first three months (trimester) of discovering they’ve created a child, may pay a nominal fee and sever all social, financial and legal ties with and obligations to said child without the knowledge or consent of the female involved in the child’s creation. This is provoked by two feminist axioms: “My body, my choice!” and “Equal rights!” It’s based on the “Woman’s Right to Choose” dogma, which states that no woman should be permanently burdened with an unwanted child and the social, financial, and legal burdens which accompany that life-altering event. It’s exactly the same as “pro-choice”, but without terminating the fetus.

    About two years ago I proposed this in a poli-sci class, after one of the flaming pro-choicers whined, "Why are the men so quiet?" This blithely disregarded the poisonous environment of college campii, in which all males are told they have no right to speak on the issue, since we have no involvement in a pregnancy. Yes, there are a dozen responses to that, but we're dealing with feminist ideology here. When I suggested it, I expected to be praised for supporting feminist views. Instead, the pro-choice crowd turned into a pack of wolves, howling for my blood. They shrieked that such a policy would only encourage men to sleep around, commit unspeakably trashy acts and take no responsibility for their actions—oddly these were the same arguments against Roe v. Wade in the early 1970s. Helpfully, a male classmate explained that he drove a friend to an abortion and the cost was a nominal $200. Eventually the prof had to shut the conversation down because I wouldn't back down on what I believed (and still do) is a viable answer to the demand for "choice" and "equal rights" from women. So it’s interesting to see how “choice” is an inalienable human right, but becomes an unspeakable wrong the moment the other party wants their human rights as well.

    There's also a matter of disingenuousness as the years go by. Used to be, abortionistas would actually use the word abortion. Then it became choice; the implication being that no one supports the act (or won't use the gerund) but that the option should be available. Later still, it became twisted into convolutions hardly to be associated with the specific procedure its advocates defend. Now the euphemism seems to be "a woman's right to make her own medical decisions." This, I suppose, to combat the legions of advocates stopping women from getting tonsillectomies, hip replacements, broken arms and legs into casts; elective surgery like nose jobs, boob jobs, facelifts, tummy tucks; relying on holistic remedies, crystals, herbal teas or even generic painkillers instead of name brands. Using increasingly bland generalities to describe a specific thing makes a powerful statement about the advocate's confidence in and devotion to his/her beliefs.