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View Diary: Republican political leaders want to prevent you from using birth control (160 comments)

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  •  Mississippi's proposed Ballot Initiative 26 (8+ / 0-)

      This would redefine personhood.  As such, BC pills, etc would be illegal as they would prevent fertilization, ie killing a human being.
        This is not just Planned Parenthood!

        And this is not just the youth.   I hope that everyone in Mississippi will learn and speak out against this...and not just WOMEN.  MEN should think about the consequences of women no longer having birth control prevention.

    •  I have been stunned by the lack of support (12+ / 0-)

      from progressive men.

      They operate as if they think that the removal of access to birth control and abortion will not affect them.

      I have said it before - there will be a lot less "consent" when there is also less access to the full range of reproductive health choices for women.

      •  I strongly support women's rights.... (6+ / 0-)

        speaking as a progressive male. In fact, I've often taken stronger positions on abortion rights, etc, than many women I know, especially the more religious ones. I hate bullies, and misogynists are bullies of the worst kind. I call them out on their bullshit constantly, and I think it startles some of them to hear it from a male.

        I also suspect most truly progressive men feel similarly. The larger male-female divide in this country's politics is that men are far more likely to be conservative, not that progressive men don't support women's issues.

        Now, I agree that there is sometimes a disturbing lack of focus on these issues by progressive men, although that isn't the same as a lack of support. I feel it's tied strongly to my larger concerns about the religious right. I think more liberal men should get involved more directly, as this does affect us all. But the real problem are all the conservative men, including the many married or in relationships with liberal women (or even just conservative women who support women's rights, like my mother). I find it hard to understand how they can show so little care for the women in their lives.

        •  i have had men right here on DK (7+ / 0-)

          say, women should be doing this...not them.  Well, OF COURSE, women should be speaking up, but how much more powerful the message - how much more broadly would the message spread - if men would speak up too (like you do) and support our reproductive rights.

          Where are the elected Democratic MEN who are speaking out against this onslaught?  If they just sit back and let our choices disappear, they are just as bad as the people who are proposing these laws.

          Thanks for your support, btw.  We need you and millions more like you.

          •  Unfortunately... (6+ / 0-)

            "Democrat" is not a synonym for "progressive". There are plenty of Democrats, including on this site and in elected office, who are not progressives or even liberals. That was painfully demonstrated during the whole HCR fight. And it's important to remember that we also have a number of Republican trolls operating here at any given time, who make it their mission to foment dissent and discord in our ranks. I'm not denying that what you say you saw here happened, as unfortunately I've seen some of the same thing. However, I don't believe it's a majority opinion.

            Actually, I think that "anti-choice progressive" is kind of a contradiction in terms. Supporting all forms of women's rights is prerequisite for calling yourself a progressive in my book.

            I agree that there is a disappointing lack of action to protect women's rights among elected Democratic men, although there are also plenty of elected Democratic men who HAVE spoken out on this issue. President Obama is one of them, and he's the one who appointed a supportive woman to the post that has jurisdiction over these contraceptive issues. Whatever else you think of his politics and record in this area, he's not an enemy in the same sense that Republicans are the enemy.

        •  The lack of concern for women in general (8+ / 0-)

          is embedded in the Bible and the main religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam.

          Patriarchy has been fostered by the physically stronger male element in society throughout history.

          Women's civic rights have only been recognized in the last hundred years or so.

          Rights over their bodies began to be recognized with the Roe v. Wade decision.  But the religious ideologues have been forcing a backpedal on women's reproductive and health rights for the last 20+ years.

          Patriarchy in the guise of interpretation of "God's will" is the main problem here.

          •  Agreed. (3+ / 0-)

            The problem is a deep cultural prejudice, not just this one issue. Religion helps to perpetuate and worsen the problem, though it isn't the fundamental root of it. Female inferiority is a belief that has been internalized by huge numbers of men AND women in this country.

            I think that the religious right really needs to be confronted on a whole host of issues, with this just being one front in a larger war. They need to be marginalized by society and ridiculed to the point where no one accepts "because the Bible says so" as a reasonable political argument. In order to do that, religion (especially right-wing religion, which is where the real problem is coming from) needs to be stripped of its privileged position in our society. It's absurd that anyone in 2011 thinks that "religious belief" should be treated as some special amulet that invalidates all the other premises of our modern social contract. Many organized religions, including Roman Catholicism in particular, truly believe that their god's "law" trumps our secular law, and would seize total political power over our society if they could do it. Our Enlightenment-era secular political institutions are all that is holding them back.

      •  From my perspective (0+ / 0-)

        as a progressive man, well, I'm using a condom every time I do it anyway.  I wish every guy were like this, but you have a certain group of dumbass guys who refuse to use condoms (even when having sex with a complete stranger) and, well, I frankly just wish women wouldn't have sex with these idiots.  (Yeah, maybe it doesn't feel as good, but unless you're ready to have a child you're an idiot.)

        There's another sideways current to this, which is that condoms do something to prevent the transmission of STDs and the pill doesn't, so I don't know why we're not equally focused on that end of it.

        As an aside... I'm personally annoyed with a certain subgroup of women who get offended when a guy still wants to use a condom after she says she's on the pill.  As if taking extra precaution is a bad thing.  They act like you just accused her of sleeping around.

        27, white male, TX-26 (current), TN-07 (originally), liberal-leaning independent

        by TDDVandy on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 11:47:11 AM PDT

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        •  I wouldn't presume... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TDDVandy, Pandoras Box

          as a man, to tell women who they should and shouldn't have sex with. That's up to them. However, I would argue that being opposed to female autonomy on the issue of abortion and/or birth control might well be a red flag for other undesirable characteristics of that potential mate.

          •  Oh, don't get me wrong (0+ / 0-)

            I am in agreement here.  I'm just pointing out the perspective that may be happening with progressive men, many of whom -- I'm guessing here -- don't understand why this is so important just because WE are doing the right thing.

            I think men and women should both have autonomy in terms of reproductive rights.  (And yes, men have reproductive rights, too -- if you can slap me with child support payments for 18 years I certainly have the right to prevent that from happening.)

            27, white male, TX-26 (current), TN-07 (originally), liberal-leaning independent

            by TDDVandy on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 12:10:45 PM PDT

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            •  except (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              you don't have the right to FORCE someone to have an abortion.  you certainly have the right to only have sex with a partner who has views that match your own

              and, of course, you certainly have the right to take as many precautions as you deem fit

              •  Exactly. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Pandoras Box

                Again... I think the problem is that even progressive men don't intuitively understand women's reproductive issues.  I think it would be more productive to have a meaningful dialogue to bring some more understanding rather than chastising progressive men for NOT understanding this issue.

                I'm certainly not arguing that I should have the right to FORCE someone to have an abortion.  Aside from that, however, I have as much of a right to reproductive autonomy as a woman does -- the comment was expanding on my complaint about women who apparently think the decision about whether or not to have a child is hers alone (if you do get pregnant, yes, but I have as much of a right to prevent that from happening in the first place.)

                I live in a state with abstinence-only sex education, so apologies if I don't exactly trust women to use birth control properly.  It's not their fault.  :)

                27, white male, TX-26 (current), TN-07 (originally), liberal-leaning independent

                by TDDVandy on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 01:03:56 PM PDT

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                •  You have "autonomy" in that it's up to you... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  arlene, Pandoras Box

                  to decide who you're going to have consensual sex with. After that, your autonomy ends, because you no longer are biologically going to be the one carrying any resulting fetus. Abortion rights stem from women's right to control their own body and medical privacy, so it's no longer anyone's decision but theirs whether to carry a fetus to term once pregnancy occurs. Biology dictates that male reproductive autonomy ends after sex occurs, while female reproductive autonomy ends after the pregnancy is over. That's the only equitable way to resolve the question of conflicting rights.

                  AFTER a child is born, then a different set of rights kick in: those of the child to be supported by its parents. That is the basis for the 18+ years of child support: it's not about the rights of the mother; it's about the needs and rights of the child. So male reproductive autonomy is irrelevant to the question of child support, because the two questions have nothing to do with each other.

                  And, of course, men should be protected from things like paternity fraud, ideally (women have an obligation to name the correct father of their child, both out of respect for the rights of the man and respect for the rights of their child). But this is really a fairly a trivial issue when compared to the reproductive autonomy problems that women have faced and continue to face. And frankly, I'm very wary of being associated with any sort of "male rights activism", given how many of the proponents of that school of thought seem to be raging misogynist dickbags. Not saying you necessarily are sympathizing with them, but just warning that you should be careful about how you come off when discussing this issue, especially with women.

                  •  I think right now (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Pandoras Box

                    My viewpoint on all this is being affected by a recent conversation I had with my girlfriend, in which she asked if I would still use a condom if she were on the pill, I said yes, and she got pissed.

                    This is really what I'm having trouble understanding.

                    27, white male, TX-26 (current), TN-07 (originally), liberal-leaning independent

                    by TDDVandy on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 01:54:48 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  That sounds like less of a conflict of "rights"... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Pandoras Box

                      and more of an issue of communicating feelings, as well as trust on at least one person's part. You've got the right to stop having sex with her if she insists on you going without a condom. She's a got right to stop having sex with you if you insist on using one. Those are the only relevant "rights". But, of course, human relationships are about much more than just "rights": it's also about having respect for each other's feelings.

                      She probably feels like you're saying you don't trust her, for whatever reason. You feel like she's saying she doesn't respect your reproductive autonomy. I'd just discuss it further with her so that each of you can better understand where the other is coming from, if you think it's an important issue. If you can't come to agreement or compromise, then each of you have to respect that, too.

                      (I feel like a marriage counselor, here! lol)

                      •  Heh, yeah. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Pandoras Box

                        I basically said "what's the harm in taking extra precaution?"  I admit to not knowing THAT much about the pill (I also grew up in an "abstinence-only" state, though I at least had parents who explained condoms to me.)  So I may be under the misimpression that there's still a possibility of pregnancy even if a woman is on the pill and takes it consistently.

                        I've heard plenty of stories about "accidental" pregnancies to be freaked out about it.  Though when you get down to it it usually involves a man who didn't use a condom and a woman who probably stopped taking the pill.

                        I do think there is some validity in the "male rights" argument about not having to support a child that isn't biologically your child.  That's it.  They pretty much are misogynist dickbags otherwise.

                        27, white male, TX-26 (current), TN-07 (originally), liberal-leaning independent

                        by TDDVandy on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 02:18:07 PM PDT

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                        •  The pill is not 100% effective. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Pandoras Box

                          And using condoms + the pill DOES decrease the chances of accidental pregnancy, so you do have a valid argument there, especially if you are very concerned about preventing that. But there's still some risk of pregnancy no matter what you do to prevent it. It's just something you have to accept when you have sex with someone. Some countries (e.g., the Netherlands) encouraging doubling up on contraceptive methods among teens especially, and as a consequence have the lowest teen birthrates in the world. But we'd have to get over some of our aversion to actually TALKING about sex in this country before we can get to that.

                          As I said, I agree that men have a right to hear the truth about paternity, and that women have an obligation to tell the truth about it as far as they know it (it's fraud, otherwise). However, I also understand some of why women lie about it sometimes: they are worried about not having a man around to help them provide for their child. Lying isn't ever justified, but I think it's worth noting that women who lie about it are usually women who are in a bad situation in part because of the behavior of other men.

                          •  Agreed. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Pandoras Box

                            I am very concerned about preventing pregnancy... I'm not ready to be a father.  But, I think what happened here is not that I'm against women's rights, but more that my own personal experiences mean my perspective is "why is it so important to make it so the guy doesn't have to wear a condom?"  Forgetting, of course, that again, you're dealing with a lot of dumbass guys who refuse to wear one.

                            Yeah, this country is backwards in a lot of ways.  There are some segments of our society that actually seem to GLORIFY teen pregnancy, as shocking as it may seem.  I've always found it ironic that the pro-life movement made it such that Christian conservatives no longer stigmatize unwed teenage mothers ("at least she didn't have an abortion" is the normal reaction to it now.)

                            27, white male, TX-26 (current), TN-07 (originally), liberal-leaning independent

                            by TDDVandy on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 03:00:26 PM PDT

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                        •  you absolutely have a right to use extra (0+ / 0-)

                          birth control

                          I think if the situation were reversed, and men were the ones who were supposed to take "the pill" (and they are working on developing one), I would NEVER trust him to have taken his bc consistently if I was worried about getting pregnant.  Not because I think men are essentially jerks, but because they are so essentially human (just like women).

                  •  you are so right about this (0+ / 0-)
                    many of the proponents of that school of thought seem to be raging misogynist dickbags.
      •  Squeamishness (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pandoras Box

        There is a sizable contingent of both conservative and progressive men who just want the issue of birth control and abortion to go away.  These men often leave birth control up to the women in their lives so the men don't have to deal with it.  On the other hand, there is another cohort who use children as hostages to keep the women in their lives from gaining independence from them.  

        Abortion and contraception are both health and economic issues.  By framing it as a religious issue or a social issue, the hostage takers make the health and economic implications invisible.  An unplanned pregnancy that goes bad in the last weeks of the second trimester or early third trimester can be the straw that breaks a family apart.  Who is likely to have to cope with an unplanned pregnancy?  It is: 1) the newly unemployed, 2) someone recently diagnosed with a serious illness like cancer, 3) a couple with abstinence-only sex education as their guide and parents who treat sex as something shameful and 4) contraceptive failure.

        Don't look back, something may be gaining on you. - L. "Satchel" Paige

        by arlene on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 02:12:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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