Feminists for Life, men and abortion

Several years ago, I became a regular contributor to Feminists for Life.  It wasn’t much, mind you, just a few bucks deducted each month automatically from my checking account.  I first found FFLA (as it is often called) in 2000 after reading a Frederica Mathewes-Green article on the web.  I was very excited to join, particularly as Feminists for Life seemed to advocate a strong consistent-life ethic; they opposed abortion, of course, but also euthanasia, capital punishment, and had several articles on their site about domestic violence.

I joined FFLA because I was eager to match, in some way, my convictions about the sacredness of all life (including embryonic human life) with my belief in equal political, social, economic, and sexual rights for women.  Everything I had learned as a student in women’s studies courses (and from my solidly pro-choice family) had convinced me that the right to control one’s own flesh is the most basic and important right of all, the sine qua non, if you will, of feminism. On the other hand, as my faith grew and deepened (thanks in no small part to my encounters with the Mennonites), I was increasingly convinced that the life of a Christian ought to be one of radical, total non-violence.  My conviction that life began at conception deepened as I read everyone from the aforementioned Mathewes-Green to Mary Ann Glendon whose famous address to the 1995 Beijing Conference on Women I have read and reread.

During this time, I came to believe that abortion was also a critical issue for men.  Glendon’s words from the conference struck me:

…as John Paul II has emphasized, primary responsibility for a
woman’s tragic and painful decision to have an abortion often lies with men
and
with the general social environment. All who are genuinely committed to the
advancement of women know that society can and must offer a woman or girl who is
pregnant, frightened, and alone, a better alternative than the destruction of
her own unborn child. Many proponents of abortion as a woman’s
"right", however, are far from having women’s interests at heart. In
fact, hiding in the shadows of the abortion rights movement are: irresponsible
men
; the prostitution traffic…

(Bold emphases are mine)

Honestly, I still find myself in complete agreement with every single word in that paragraph. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a pro-life, pro-feminist man.  (For starters, it means you’re going to confuse a lot of people, and annoy lots of others.  Oh, and you’re gonna have lots of ‘splainin’ to do!) I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way I can reconcile these two aspects of my faith and my beliefs is to focus solely on calling men to greater accountability.  In practice, that means dropping out of the current abortion wars.  I have, as of this month, cancelled my contributions to Feminists for Life.  I’ve been thinking about doing so for a while, ever since they quietly dropped their anti-death penalty advocacy (I find nothing about it on the site these days, though there were once many articles on capital punishment) and become a solely abortion-focused movement.  At the same time, I’m not going to give a dime to NARAL or Feminist Majority or Planned Parenthood.  To the best of my ability, I’m going to avoid supporting either side in the struggle over legalized abortion.  My heart is too torn, my politics too conflicted, for me to do anything else.

But I am not going to shirk all responsibility here.   Rather, I’m determined to work harder on reaching out to and interacting with young men on the issue of sexual accountability.   That may mean several things.  For one, it means working with teenage boys to resist the overwhelming culture of peer pressure that encourages them to "hook up" and "hit it" with as many young women as possible  It means working to break the cultural connection between having sex and being a "man".  It means teaching them that being "responsible" is about more than wearing a condom (though heaven knows, some of them need to start doing just that).  It means teaching them that they are responsible for the outcome of any sexual activity in which they engage.  At its bluntest, that’s a message that says "don’t ejaculate inside a woman until you are ready to raise the child that may follow."  In my book, coming inside a girl or a woman is the moment at which you give your complete consent to all that may follow as a result, physically, emotionally, spiritually.

I can already anticipate the Men’s Rights Advocates’ response: "What about the woman’s responsibility?"  Women, including sexually active teenage girls, have their own agency.  They have their own moral responsibilities.  But I do believe that at this phase of the struggle, the most effective work that pro-life/pro-feminist men can do is with other young men.   That doesn’t mean I won’t work with and counsel young women (I already do as a youth leader).  But my primary focus, and the primary focus of all men who want to end abortion must be to change the hearts, minds, and above all, the behavior of their brothers. 

I’ve decided that in both public and private, I will take no position on whether abortion ought to remain legal.  But I will work, in whatever way I can, to make it unthinkable.

183 thoughts on “Feminists for Life, men and abortion

  1. Rather, I’m determined to work harder on reaching out to and interacting with young men on the issue of sexual accountability…..It means teaching them that being “responsible” is about more than wearing a condom (though heaven knows, some of them need to start doing just that). It means teaching them that they are responsible for the outcome of any sexual activity in which they engage. At its bluntest, that’s a message that says “don’t ejaculate inside a woman until you are ready to raise the child that may follow.”

    Thank you for that Hugo. Although I strongly, but respectfully disagree with your “pro-life” position, I am glad to see that you’re trying to reach out to young men and trying to make them understand their own accountability during the arena of sexual encounters.

    One of the biggest problems I have with those who are anti-choice is that they never hold the guy in the situation accountable for anything. One-hundred percent of the blame is always on the woman or adolescent girl. But at least you get it and are trying to change some of the attitudes of young men. Good for you.

    By the way, you that’s not my blog on your blogroll. You got the wrong blog address. Just click on my name and you should be able to put up the right one. It’s okay. Everyone makes mistakes :-)

  2. I too disagree with your “pro-life” position and have to agree with pseudoadrienne that it is a rarity to hear men held accountable by spokepersons or individuals in the “pro-life” movement. So I applaud your efforts to educate men to be responsible themselves and to promote responsibility in others.

    Most “pro-choice” individuals are enthusiastic about making abortion safe, legal, and rare, and have been harping on the “supply side” of the issue – better education, better birth control accessibility, better communication between partners, more responsibility shown by men, and better prosecution and prevention of rape and abuse. People whose religious tradition does not exclude abortion don’t wake up and say, what a fine day to have an abortion. They would prefer that the pregnancy was a healthy one, or that the condom didn’t break, or that they hadn’t been raped by an ex-husband. In an ideal society, it would be an option used mostly when serious and otherwise unmanageable health issues arose (cancer, heart failure).

  3. It’s funny; when you went on abortion-blogging hiatus, I had feeling you were going to post something very much like this in 3-6 months. But not too surprising; most of the people I know who are have deeply felt and thoughtful pro-life positions don’t focus their energy on prohibition either.

  4. I am quite acquainted with FFL and have shared positive discourse with them.

    One thing we need to do is to lose this whole contraceptive attitude we have that puts having a child on a par with contracting a venereal disease. Mind you, I’m not really talking about everyone who uses contraceptives, but rather the whole attitude. Even some who don’t use contraceptives have the contraceptive attitudes when they harp about the world population total, or give teen moms and dads a hard time for their “crime.”

    Imagine if people always went into sex with the philosophy that, should a pregnancy arise, they’d welcome the new life with open arms, rather than cry about “what went wrong”….

  5. “In fact, hiding in the shadows of the abortion rights movement are: irresponsible men; the prostitution traffic…”

    Well I have to agree with you 1000% here although most men try to absolve themselves of any responsibility…

    Like I often say men INVENTED these things, the pill, abortion, the sex trade…and they did it to have sex w/o responsibility…and I’m glad to see two men finally willing to admit it…you and the pope…

  6. Well, to be fair, the Pill was also very much wished for by the birth control movement, Margaret Sanger in particular. I’d take a more nuanced view. It has both empowered women and allowed men to evade responsibility simultaneously. Definitely a both/and, not an either/or…

    And to compare me to his Holiness is an honor I don’t deserve. ;-)

  7. bmmg39: I have to strongly disagree; I think the most important step that people who want to reduce the number of abortions need to take is to push for better access to more effective contraception. It’s never made any sense at all to me that the staunchest anti-abortion folks are also anti-contraception– it’s obvious that people are never going to limit their sexual activity to the point that they only have sex when they want to conceive, and they shouldn’t be expected to, particularly if they do not subscribe to a religion that prohibits it.

    Your final paragraph sounds nice in theory, but hopefully you recognize that not every sexually active woman is at a point in her life where an unplanned pregnancy is something she can (or wants to) deal with. Not all sexually active couples are financially and/or emotionally stable enough to adequately care for a child. Many women are in school or starting a career and aren’t in a position to want to drop everything and have a baby. And some women don’t *ever* want children. Now, no matter whether or not you think abortion should be an available option for these women if an unplanned pregnancy does occur, don’t you think they should at least be able to take steps to avoid that possibility if they know they’re not ready for it, without being condemned for it?

    Pregnancy doesn’t have to mean exactly the same thing in every situation for every woman. For some women, it’s a beautiful miracle; for others, it can be a disaster. Suggesting that every woman should be prepared to “welcome new life with open arms” regardless of her situation and her own feelings about the subject is a really shallow analysis of the whole issue and completely disregards the complexity and seriousness of the choice to have or not have children.

  8. Keri, that’s very well-put. At the same time, bmmmg and I (may) are coming from a stance that suggests that we do need to think more seriously about when and why we choose to have sexual intercourse. His “imagine” paragraph was less a prescription than a dream.

    I am confident we would all love to see a world in which abortion was utterly unnecessary and unthinkable. You might like to get there through ever more reliable forms of birth control; others might like to get there through a radical shift in terms of sexual behavior, some (like me) might like a combination of these approaches.

  9. “But not too surprising; most of the people I know who are have deeply felt and thoughtful pro-life positions don’t focus their energy on prohibition either.”

    I am a full participant in the Hugo Schwyzer fan club — often giddily so. Still, I couldn’t care less about Hugo’s feelings on this matter. I do care about his reasoning and how his faith informs this decision. I know many, many thoughtfull (whatever that means) men and women who disagree with Hugo on this matter.

    As I understand this post, men are to take responsibility for their part in a pregnancy but men are not to have a say in the outcome of the pregancy?

    Help me out here. (Nancy P., La Luba, Amanda — w/out assuming I’m a knuckle-dragging troglodyte please.)

  10. As you know, Steve (and you owe me a phone call), the feeling is mutual.

    Yes, Steve, that is my contention. I don’t think men ought to have veto rights over a woman’s decision to get an abortion –unless we have made all abortions illegal, a subject about which I am (through great effort) taking no opinion.

    Our time to exercise control is sometime prior to ejaculation. After that, and until the child is born, our decisions ought to be subordinate to those of the mother because, in fact, she carries the child inside of her. Once that child is born, both father and mother can begin to exercise full and equal responsibility for the new life they have created.

    Steve, I want to end abortion. But until we have exercised far greater self-restraint over our own flesh, we cannot ask to exercise control over the flesh of another.

  11. But until we have exercised far greater self-restraint over our own flesh, we cannot ask to exercise control over the flesh of another.

    Thank you. A “pro-life” man who gets it.

  12. “It has both empowered women and allowed men to evade responsibility simultaneously. Definitely a both/and, not an either/or…”

    Does it not allow women to evade responsibility as well? Or is the pill a natural function now?

  13. How is using contraceptives evading responsibility? That’s like saying that buckling your seat belt is ‘evading responsibility,’ because you might survive a car crash.

    Hugo, as with others, I couldn’t disagree more with your position on abortion, but I applaud your post here.

  14. Its so refreshing to find a man who is pro-life and means it. Rather than someone who is pro-life when it comes to a fetus in a woman’s uterus, but is happy for men, women and children to be murdered (aka the so-called war on terror). If that seemed to harsh a comparison – it came from a conversation with an anti-abortionist.

    Myself, I’m pro-choice, but I can respect a position like yours. One that demands actual responsibility from the men involved. AND a position that looks towards the childs future life. So many anti-abortion people I’ve met are also anti-welfare, anti-public-education, anti-environment – just about anti anything that will help the woman raise the child in a decent environment.

  15. One problem I do have with the Glendon quote, Hugo, is that it still fixates on the idea that unwanted pregnancy happens only to women who are alone and frightened–read, young, single, and abandoned by the father. It hints uncomfortably of the ‘pro-life’ position that abortion doctors are the real villains and women merely poor misguided dupes. And it buys into the notion that of course every woman who is not “alone” or “frightened” or helpless doesn’t get pregnant unless she wants to, and if she does anyway happily bears the child.

  16. FP: “Does it not allow women to evade responsibility as well? Or is the pill a natural function now?”

    A heart attack is a “natural function”. A defribillator is an artificial intervention that prevents cardiac arrest from taking its normal course, i.e., death. It doesn’t follow from this that you are evading your responsibility to die.

    Broadly speaking, “natural” is not a term with any intrinsic normative content whatsoever. Certainly not for human beings, anyway: invention is a part–perhaps the most distinctive part–of our nature.

  17. “I think the most important step that people who want to reduce the number of abortions need to take is to push for better access to more effective contraception. It’s never made any sense at all to me that the staunchest anti-abortion folks are also anti-contraception– ”

    It makes sense if you realize that they are against contraception and abortion because they want to control womens’ behavior and NOT allow us to have sex outside of the context of marriage and childbearing…

    They are trying to put a stop to ‘recreational sex’ if you could call it that, although why you would I’ll never know…I’ve had more fun reading a good book or blogging…

    But it’s the recreational aspect, they think is there, they are trying to take away from sex…

  18. “Well, to be fair, the Pill was also very much wished for by the birth control movement, Margaret Sanger in particular.”

    Well to be fairer, wishing about something doesn’t make it so…and men came up with ALL of these things, they claim to hate so much today…and THEY did it to have sex w/o responsibility…

    Margeret Sanger did NOT think of having a birth control pill so that women could have one-night stands more frequently and casual sex and NOT get pregnant…she saw it in the context of married women using it so they could plan their families better…

    I mean what is in sex w/o responsibility for women if we want to be honest about it? Nothing…absolutely nothing…it is men who benefit disportionately from these things…not women…

    Just like the pill NOW that they are working on for men…is this for use by men in the context of a marriage to plan their families…No, not at all…it’s another symptom of the male disease of irresponsibilty, as NOW men can have more sex and not have to worry if women use birth control or NOT, as men themselves will take the pill…

    It’s being touted as a way for them to avoid the ‘crime’ of paternity fraud and to NOT have to pay child support…

    Margeret Sanger, in spite of what people say about her today, would be rolling in her grave hearing about this…

  19. I mean what is in sex w/o responsibility for women if we want to be honest about it?

    Pleasure? Sex for the sake of sex? Women can (and do) want that too.

  20. No time to read the comments, direct to post:

    Hugo – I was talking with my buddy Jenn last night about the abortion debate; I’d run across a woman’s site where she’d found my post about a US without Roe, and she said that every time abortion would come up in personal debates, she tried to tune it out “that’s just politics” she’d say, “that’s about those other women. Not me.”

    Not *me*.

    And she realized, in fact, she had a *right* to be pissed off, because, in fact, all those men who made the laws *were* talking about *her.* They had their hands on her body, on what she was, and she was really, really, pissed off.

    I respect your moral stance on abortion, your faith, and I’m also incredibly… What I felt when you said you were not going to take up a side of the debate, you were going to focus on men, honestly, what I felt was that – oh, thank you – one more man had taken his hands off me. And let me be.

    It’s an incredibly, incredibly good feeling, cause I think you’re doing great work, and though I know you’ll always morally disagree with abortion, I am… relieved to sort of see you step back away from it, and leave it to women and their bodies – and turn to men and work with them on their side of the issue.

    Relief.

  21. Although I strongly, but respectfully disagree with your “pro-life” position, I am glad to see that you’re trying to reach out to young men and trying to make them understand their own accountability during the arena of sexual encounters.

    What is male ‘accountability’ in the aftermath of consensual sexual activities with a female? It is whatever the female decides, not the male, so the accountability sliding scale is a scale derived from absolute power, as the slave (male) was accountable to the slave-owner (in our times the female).

    Obtestor

  22. So I applaud your efforts to educate men to be responsible themselves and to promote responsibility in others.

    What is male responsibility when it comes to sex? Do we interrogate females to see if they are using birth control? What if the female lies so that she can become pregnant and what if the male doesn’t want the child? Where is his choice?

    Answer: He doesn’t have a choice.

    So all of this talk about ‘educating men’ is logic fallacy because men cannot prove nor disprove the fertility of the woman they are having sex with, nor do men have any say whatsoever in whether or not the female will keep or abort any baby conceived through the sexual act. To think otherwise is to wrongly demonize men.

    Obtestor

  23. One problem I do have with the Glendon quote, Hugo, is that it still fixates on the idea that unwanted pregnancy happens only to women who are alone and frightened–read, young, single, and abandoned by the father.

    I’m standing by mythago here. While it’s absolutely true that male responsibility, increased contraception, better support systems and the whole canoodle will reduce the number of abortions (I know women who had them who wouldn’t have if they felt they had a better choice), you’re never going to stop all abortions. Some women will get pregnant and become so sick they can’t go through with it. And some women like me have all the support in the world for having babies, but because we don’t want them, we shouldn’t have to have them.

    Call me selfish because I won’t turn my body over for child-bearing just because others judge my situation as a “good” one for it. I thought I was pregnant once, and I would have been one of those who “should” have had it by the measure of those who think abortion is always chosen with regret–I was fixing to graduate, I had a man who wanted to have it and marry me, the whole thing. So what? I didn’t want it, I didn’t want him and that’s my right. Had I needed one, I would have done it. And still would today if my birth control method failed. I am open to discussions of reducing abortions chosen out of desperation. But I still am pro-choice because I see it as a fundamental right.

    Not trying to get into an argument, but just a reminder that there is more at stake than women choosing abortion out of desperation or loneliness or poverty.

  24. Well I have to agree with you 1000% here although most men try to absolve themselves of any responsibility…

    Why should men be responsible? All decisions, every single one, is made solely by the female. There is no male responsibility when it comes to pregnancy, as defined by modern feminism, with the only exception being that men provide money to the pregnant female.

    Since there have been over 50,000,000 abortions in the United States, that means that on average every American female of breeding age has had at least two. Now, if you take the claims by these American women who say they have never had an abortion, and a full 60% say they have not, that means there is an undercurrent in our society of women that have had 5, 10, possibly even 20 abortions before they are age 35.

    So tell me, how does having 20 abortions per American female benefit the American female? It’s for her ‘health and wellbeing’, right?

    Obtestor

  25. There is no male responsibility when it comes to pregnancy, as defined by modern feminism, with the only exception being that men provide money to the pregnant female.

    And here I was thinking they provided the sperm on purpose. Damn us women for kidnapping men and stealing their seed.

  26. “One of the biggest problems I have with those who are anti-choice is that they never hold the guy in the situation accountable for anything. One-hundred percent of the blame is always on the woman or adolescent girl. But at least you get it and are trying to change some of the attitudes of young men. Good for you.”

    I have to respectfully disagree. I agree that in some cases, depending on who the speaker is, there is a certain amount of moralizing on the culpability of the woman which I agree is destructive.

    But from my experience as someone who really studies up on this dynamic — I see much more often that the woman is portrayed as a victim and the man as more of a predator.

    And in terms of our legal system, we have a huge infrastructure now that forces men to be accountable, while at the same time, legislation that in some ways eases the accountability of women if they so choose.

    Could you please explain some more?

  27. It’s never made any sense at all to me that the staunchest anti-abortion folks are also anti-contraception– it’s obvious that people are never going to limit their sexual activity to the point that they only have sex when they want to conceive, and they shouldn’t be expected to, particularly if they do not subscribe to a religion that prohibits it.

    I think we should take it a step further. We should make a law providing each American female with one abortion only. Just one. With modern science and modern contraceptives, there is no excuse for an American female to have more than one abortion. In the event that American women do have more than one abortion, then the state should decide if sterilization is necessary to correct that bad behavior.

    Men do not get pregnant, women do. Women cannot deny their responsibility to their own biology and murdering babies in the womb after that bad behavior should not be legal. Sterilizing women would be a moral state solution to this problem.

    Obtestor

  28. And here I was thinking they provided the sperm on purpose. Damn us women for kidnapping men and stealing their seed.

    When women have sexual intercourse with men, they are ‘taking the sperm’, right? Women know this. Men do not know if the woman is lying or not about contraceptives and fertility. Men find out the truth about contraceptives and fertility from the female ‘after’ the act, usually by venue of: “Gosh, uh, ummm, your baby is growing inside of me and I don’t want to have an abortion because I have already had twenty of them and I am going to keep this one. I think you are the daddy and my attorney will be contacting you shortly for child support.”

    Now, if the male says: “I don’t want any children”, where is his choice? He has no choice. That is why any argument of responsibility regarding consensual sex rests solely with the female and not the male. Men have no rights, and since men have no rights, it is ludicrous to claim they have any responsibilities.

    Obtestor

  29. Hugo and I have something in common: we’re both studiers of Christianity and fans of CS Lewis.

    I bring that up because as we’re talking aout morality and responsibility, I see it as an opportunity to start talking about what those things are in general rather than just as they relate to this topic.

    Morality is paramount to life in a free society since as the people become less moral, unavoidably the government must become more powerful and tyrannical. Whether we like it or not the influence of Christianity is inescapable in the development of free Western society. And by the time the Enlightenment came about Christian morality had become something of a science — though you won’t learn about that other than from people like Lewis.

    So the way Lewis explains it, morality can be broken up into seven elements called “virutes” — 7 Cardinal virtues: prudence, temperance, justice, and fortitude; and 3 theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity.

    These days we seem to oversimplify and whittle down morality simply in terms of personal responsibility like, “is my behavior hurting anyone else?” which is important of course, but really just the beginning of the discussion.

    According to the Christian science of morality, any moral question has every one of the 7 virtues as an element of the answer and each is measure against the other providing deeper and deeper reference and clarity to the answer.

    It goes something like this, say for any moral choice — prudence: what are all the possible outcomes of the choice? How should I prepare myself or protect myself from negative outcomes? Temperance: does the choice represent excess or avarice or am I simply enjoying a healthy aspect of physical life? Fortitude: do I have the inner strength to handle the possible negative outcomes of my choice? Do I understand that it’s my responsibility and not someone elses? Justice: is my choice fair to other people? Will a negative outcome of my choice unfairly burden others?

    This is a simplification and only covers the cardinal or civil virtues, maybe I’ll post more about the theological virtues.

    Hugo — care to chime in?

  30. Our time to exercise control is sometime prior to ejaculation. After that, and until the child is born, our decisions ought to be subordinate to those of the mother because, in fact, she carries the child inside of her.

    Men do not relinquish their individual rights in consentual sex. It takes two to tangle. Men should have the right to decide if they want a child or not if a female becomes pregnant because the female already exercises that right herself. What you are advocating is the ‘entrapment’ of men and the surrender of their rights so that they indeed become ‘less than equal’, a key modern feminist objective in matriarchal totalitarian America.

    Obtestor

  31. There are many aspects to this issue. First, reproductive rights can never be “equal” because the biological circumstance — the true objective facts of it — can never be equal.

    That said, rights should be proportional. The choice to bring a baby to term or not is a choice that is simply the mother’s choice. There’s just no way around it — it isn’t something that’s negotioable.

    But what happens AFTER the child is born is where the problems lies for me. At this point, rights and responsibilites are neither equal or proportional.

  32. Not trying to get into an argument, but just a reminder that there is more at stake than women choosing abortion out of desperation or loneliness or poverty.

    Those are just feminist propaganda guilt-traps. I am talking about male rights. When a female becomes pregnant, what are the right’s of the male that she claims is the ‘daddy’?

    That male is really a victim without any rights.

    Let me put it to you this way, using pure logic instead of analogy:

    1) When a woman becomes pregnant, what rights do men have in the disposition of the pregnancy?

    Answer: Men have no rights.

    So, using logic, you can’t take all the rights away from a specific class of citizen (ie…men) and then claim that those same citizens you have raped of their rights are somehow ‘responsible’ to you since you stole their rights. That is police state activity.

    Using an analogy now, what the female pro-abortionist movement does, in essence, is seek out a male slave at auction (but there is no cost incurred to the female purchasing the male slave at this modern slave auction), taking the male slave home with them to plant and then harvest a melon field, and then the female cashes in on the planting and harvesting of the melon field and then the female uses components of the slave industry itself to “punish” the slave for being stupid enough to be suckered into planting and harvesting a melon field for the female.

    I mean, hey, if I could get some sucker to come on over to a slave-ranch and farm 500 acres for free, plant and till and then harvest my crops and then I kick them out and sue them for financial support for twenty years after the fact, I would be an idiot not to do it. The slave (modern American male) is the ultimate sucker in this deal.

    That is what women do to men in America today legally using the racketeering divorce and child custody criminal syndicate. The abortion agenda is just another vast mechanism in that criminal conspiracy to strip men of their Constitutional rights.

    Obtestor

  33. Could you please explain some more?

    Certainly. You’re right, it does depend who the ‘speaker’ is when it comes to placing culpability on the biological parents. For women, I believe it’s more societal and cultural culpability; people will say she should have done ‘this’ and ‘that’ to avoid an unwanted pregnancy and socially “damn” her according to social/cultural mores.

    In the case of men, it is within the legislative and family court realm. But with most anti-choice arguments I see, the ‘speaker’ always seem to place the blame for the unwanted pregnancy on the woman.

    The so called ‘blame’ should be distributed equally, at least in my own opinion. Both parties were equally negligent in their actions, but in too many anti-choice arguments, only the neligence of the woman is mentioned. I hope that helps. I’m just glad that Hugo is doing what he can to change people’s views of culpability concerning unplanned pregnancies.

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  35. I see much more often that the woman is portrayed as a victim and the man as more of a predator.

    And I don’t agree with that portrayal. Both parties were equally negligent and irresponsible in their actions and I believe the culpability should be distributed equally.

  36. NYMOM: Why is not wanting to bring about a pregnancy inherently “irresponsible” behavior? Personally, I think any man who knows that he’s not prepared or doesn’t want to support a child and therefore takes steps to prevent one from being conceived when he has sex is being very responsible.

    There are too many different situations and different beliefs out there to state across the board that the only responsible behavior for a sexually active person is to “let nature take its course” and fully accept whatever happens. That might be a nice dream for financially secure middle-class women who have stable relationships and want children, but for the rest of us, it’s a disaster waiting to happen.

    craichead: The Lewis stuff is interesting, but I’m not sure what you’re trying to say with it. No matter how influential Christianity has been in the development of society, many people are not Christian, and therefore (in my opinion) shouldn’t be expected to live by Christian moral theories or by laws that are justified by nothing but Christian faith. The Christian moral philosophy is only one of many, and though there seem to be some ideas in it that might be good in a secular sense as well, it’s not going to be as compelling to non-believers as it is to believers (which may explain why you see fewer people living by it these days).

    As far as I’m concerned, personal responsibility/”is it hurting anyone” is pretty much the limit as to how much morality I’m comfortable with imposing on people through law, norms, etc. Everything else should be negotiated by each individual, whether he/she does it through Christianity or another religion or a secular philosopher or his/her own personal ethics. (This may have had nothing to do with what you posted, so I’m not really trying to argue; these are just some things your post made me think of.)

  37. “The so called ‘blame’ should be distributed equally, at least in my own opinion. Both parties were equally negligent in their actions, but in too many anti-choice arguments, only the neligence of the woman is mentioned. I hope that helps. I’m just glad that Hugo is doing what he can to change people’s views of culpability concerning unplanned pregnancies”

    I agree — though I do hate the word blame and would much rather use the word responsibility.

    I find myself in this debate somewhat often — what is the distribution of rights and responsibilitis of men and women in this situation. Yes, the rights and responsibilities post-birth are extremely lopsided and men should have as much choice at this point as women do.

    But I say it, and at the same time I hate saying it. I’m a Dad. A proud Dad. I work hard for every aspect of my daughter’s life and of everything I’ve screwed up in my life due to ignorance, laziness, immaturity or ineptness, being her father is the one duty around which I haven’t a single regret. And I work hard reaching out to other fathers and mothers and groups to help make what we do better.

    So even though I believe we should have equal rights and responsibilities, I find that arguing for the right to leave a child we’ve brought into this world to be at best a tragic debate. So in the end, what I’d really like to see is an equality in the rights and responsibilities in our personal value to our children, their value to our lives and how much more we can be to them other than just a paycheck.

  38. “craichead: The Lewis stuff is interesting, but I’m not sure what you’re trying to say with it. No matter how influential Christianity has been in the development of society, many people are not Christian, and therefore (in my opinion) shouldn’t be expected to live by Christian moral theories or by laws that are justified by nothing but Christian faith. The Christian moral philosophy is only one of many, and though there seem to be some ideas in it that might be good in a secular sense as well, it’s not going to be as compelling to non-believers as it is to believers (which may explain why you see fewer people living by it these days).

    As far as I’m concerned, personal responsibility/”is it hurting anyone” is pretty much the limit as to how much morality I’m comfortable with imposing on people through law, norms, etc. Everything else should be negotiated by each individual, whether he/she does it through Christianity or another religion or a secular philosopher or his/her own personal ethics. (This may have had nothing to do with what you posted, so I’m not really trying to argue; these are just some things your post made me think of.)”

    I understand what you’re saying which is why I purposely stayed away from the theological virtues.

    I also understand what you’re saying about the “it doesn’t hurt anyone else.” But like I said it’s a good start, but only part of it. It kind of reminds me of the objectivist Ayn Rand school of morality which is to live your life with the utmost integrity. Sure that’s true, but it could be interpreted in so many ways that it quickly becomes meaningless — which is why it’s important to have a moral philosophy that measures the choice against several references — and you don’t have to be a Christian to measure your choices against prudence, temperance, justice and fortitude. Those can all be very secular and humanistic — not to mention that they are fairly pervasive standards in nearly every human society.

    To for the pregnancy and abortion issue the scenario could kind of go like this:

    Prudence: What are all the possible outcomes for this act? I may be using birth control, but that’s not 100% effective. Do I have the means to support a child of other outcomes? What about the person I’m having sex with? How well do I know him/her?

    Temperance: am I having sex because I’m in a loving relationship with someone I know and trust or am I engaging in behavior for its own sake? Am I hurtin myself in some way through over indulgence?

    Justice: if a child is conceived through this relationship, what is fair to the child, what is fair to his father? Is it just to see him as a source of income and not much more? Is it fair to the child to leave him out?

    Fortitude: Do I have the strength to live with this? If I become pregnant and have an aortion, how will I feel after that? Will I be able to live with that or will I be changed negatively forever as a result? Same thing for adoption or keeping the child. Can I handle it?

    So you see, measured against several elements the questions come more into focus whereas if there is only one question: “How does this hurt anyone?” rationalizations flow so quickly and easily that the question becomes valueless.

  39. Craichead, I’m not far off from where you are, though I don’t think I am as quite as enamored of Lewis as you (though I remain a fan). But you and I share a commitment to the virtues of temperance and justice, among other things! Keri, I’m with you on this:

    “Personally, I think any man who knows that he’s not prepared or doesn’t want to support a child and therefore takes steps to prevent one from being conceived when he has sex is being very responsible.”

    Agreed. Of course, I might prefer that he not have intercourse at all under those conditions, but if he is going to, I would much rather he wear a condom than nothing at all. I won’t let the good b the enemy of the best, as some of my fellow pro-lifers are inclined to do.

  40. What you are advocating is the ‘entrapment’ of men and the surrender of their rights so that they indeed become ‘less than equal’…

    Heaven forbid men, especially white men, finally learn what is is like when you get the short end of inequality! Obtester, twice you have referred to men as slaves and women as slave-owners. Not only is that offensive, but it has no basis in reality. Men make more money than women even when they have the same education level and are in the same line of work. Political offices the world over (including the US) are, and have been, heavily dominated by men. Women are far more likely to be victims of sexual assault and domestic violence than are men. If anyone is the slave here, it sure isn’t men. My point here is reflected in your own words:

    In the event that American women do have more than one abortion, then the state should decide if sterilization is necessary to correct that bad behavior.

    Why do you assume that “the state” will choose to violate women in such a profound way? Because “the state” is controlled by men. No one who values and respects women should advocate a forced, invasive, often irreversible procedure that would rob them of the ability and the right to give life and carry a child. Forced sterilization has been used by governments (including the US) to prevent a group of people from multiplying. It is a form of genocide, not social policy.

  41. craichead: I guess it’s kind of a matter of semantics, then; while I consider the process you outlined a good, responsible, intelligent one to go through when making a decision, I don’t know that all those things would fall under my personal definition of “morality.” For example, I consider morality a set of guidelines to follow when interacting with others, and therefore I do not consider an action that hurts only oneself an “immoral” action. Might not be a good idea, but to me “not a good idea” and “immoral” are separate concepts. (This may be a Christian thing as well– the justification I’ve heard for it in the past is that one’s body belongs to God, not oneself, and therefore transgressions against oneself are immoral because we’re obligated to protect the body God has given us. Does that make any sense to anyone who knows more about this stuff? I’m definitely no theologian.)

    The other place where I see potential problems with the process from a secular point of view (at least with the pregnancy/abortion example) is the section about “temperance,” because it assumes a Christian approach to sexuality. Not everyone believes that sex outside a loving relationship is unacceptable, overindulgent, etc. There may be a secular case to be made for that degree of sexual restraint, but in my opinion it’s not as strong as the secular cases that can be made for the other steps in the process.

    Otherwise, though, I’d agree that we might all be better off if everyone did that much analysis before making a major decision.

  42. Keri-

    I agree with you to some extent, but I still believe there’s more to it than that. Also, it may be important to note that someone like yourself is perhaps more responsible than most in that if you incur some negative consequence, you may not expect someone else to pay the price. To me that’s where the problem lies: a person may make the argument to him/herself that the choice hurts no one else, but when the consquences come to roost, it clearly does impact others.

    I mean, in many ways this draconian child support enforcement system and systematic denial of the rights of fathers and children could be in many ways considered the result of men and women doing things they think involve no one else but themselves. Cynics could argue it, but we are a culture that by and large cares deeply for our children and when people do things they think effect no one but themselves the civil rights of good people beging to quickly evaporate.

  43. As a vehement pro-choicer, can I say that it is very nice indeed to see someone on the “other side” advocating a sensible approach to sex education and birth control.

  44. On abortion, I agree that both the man and the woman bear equal responsibility for their actions. I agree the man should be held accountable for the child. The woman should be held responsible, also. If the unborn child is both parent’s responsibility, then the father should have a say in the matter. Until that happens, the man should not be held responsible (legally), if the woman has an abortion. To say that a man has all of the responsibility but none of the say in the matter, is ludicrous. One cannot have it both ways.

    On the subject of men leaving women high and dry, there are laws to protect the woman. If the man does not pay, then he is put in jail. That is the law in many states. In fact, there are cases of men being held responsible for child support, when they did not even know the woman. They just had the wrong name.

    On pay differences, men and women do have the same pay for the same job, educational background, experience at the company, etc. I think alot of the studies use average pay without any regard for the above. If someone knows of a study supporting that women get paid less for doing the same job, with the same experience, with the same education, etc., I would like to read it. I will say that women have an easier time getting into professional schools. In 1991, an African-American female needed only ~2.7 GPA to get into med school.

  45. I can assure you, this will matter a whole lot less once reliable pill based birth control for men comes out.

    Truth be told, all this moralizing about sex gives me a headache. It affects women negativley – particularly at abortion time. It affects men negativley – particularly when they turn him into some kind of monster for the crime of having heterosexual sex.

    It is the vice of righteous indignation that needs to be moderated (ironically, I read somewhere that you can become addicted to righteous indignation – I kid you not!)

    The bottom line is this… men would love to have sex without consequences. Why shouldn’t they? Sex feels good, it is healthy in moderation, and is good enjoyable fun when done with a willing partner. Heck – most of you reading this probably wish you were having sex right now!

    So… when a technology comes along that allows men to have sex without consequences (and that isn’t, coincidentally, something that makes the act sometimes ackward – aka condoms) – men WILL embrace it.

    The funny thing that I am waiting for… in fact… hope to god happens – is to watch what happens when good male pill based birth control appears. I predict that men will start to get sued for *failure to empregnate*.

    Why? Because women will no longer have de-facto choice. As some feminists like to say about pregnancy – the women have the babies, so the women get the choices. Fine. But when we control the sperm (and technology will soon give us that choice – in ways that are historically unprecedented) – AND men can make sperm for a lot larger span of their lives than women can make eggs – well – the conflict from this imbalance is only inevitable.

    The male pill will make the abortion argument, as we know it, obsolete.

  46. Souraaron,

    Male contraception (other than condoms, which aren’t as effective as other forms) is very difficult to achieve. Men do not have a “cycle” in the sense that women have, so using a hormone to regulate spermatogenesis (the formation of sperm) doesn’t work, because men make sperm all of the time, whereas women ovulate once a month. Therefore, it is so much easier to make a female contraceptive (The Pill). There is in works a way to temporarily block the vas deferens and get contraception in men, but it requires a minor surgery.

    Men should welcome male contraception. Why have someone else, possibly, control your destiny?

  47. I’m all for a reliable birth control pill for men–and I’m glad that more people are finally clamoring for it. Before the new and improved paternity tests and child support, it was common for people to assume that birth control is a woman’s concern only.

    So yes, I’m quite happy that more men want reliable birth control for themselves. Even though I’m on the pill, I’d feel much more relaxed if I knew my partner also had something just as reliable.

    However, we shouldn’t dismiss condoms. They may be awkward and I’d rather not use them as sole birth control, but they’re better than nothing when it comes to slowing the spread of STD’s. In fact, it’s dangerous to have casual sex with no protection at all, and I don’t care if you’re sterile, your partner is sterile/on the pill, or you are willing to have hundreds of kids. STD’s are a real concern and issue.

    Also, I doubt very much that men would get sued for failure to impregnate. First of all, if a man is sterile, there’s nothing he can do about it. Secondly, if a woman wants to be pregnant that badly, there’s IVF. Third, there’s no obligation for a man to impregnate a woman and there is (for now) no obligation for a woman to have a child for a man. If a married couple is in conflict over the decision to have children, this will be brought out as a reason if they get divorced, but that’s an irreconcilable difference.

    I also doubt very much that the male pill will make the abortion argument obsolete. Certainly, good birth control, when readily available (and affordable), coupled with good sex ed greatly decreases the incidence of unplanned pregnancies. However, failure rates for all forms of birth control do exist, planned and wanted pregnancies go awry, and people still get careless.

  48. The male pill will make the abortion argument, as we know it, obsolete.

    I completely agree and that very pill that science has withheld from men because of the criminal racketeering of the feminist racket will also cause the total collapse of feminism.

    Can you imagine a world, our world, when men no longer have to worry about fertility? Men will be indulging themselves with every American female without having to part with any of their rights nor resources in the process. It will be total male liberation.

    I simply cannot wait for the male pill to hit the street.

    All men have to do once the male pill does hit the street is watch out for some other criminal shift in the divorce/child custody syndicate. When men control their fertility and that racket starts to dry up, you know the vultures in the feminist movement will move on to some other money-making racket. Perhaps the greatest danger will be government’s increased attempts to marry the massive populations of free males off to keep the syndicate going. All men will have to do is not marry and the perverse system that has preyed upon them and hunted them down like animals will self-destruct.

    When that day comes, it will be a day of celebration.

    Obtestor

  49. A male version of “the pill” sounds just fine to me. But to echo what Sheelzebub said, remember that pills don’t protect against STD’s, so it’s still important that we still encourage condom use.

    The engineering of a male version of the pill should help end the bitter arguments between pro-choice advocates and anti-choice advocates. Not to mention it will greatly reduce these battles over paternity testing and child support.

    But then again, I fear another Conservative “moral outrage” protest and backlash, should a male version of the pill is engineered. Oh but where’s their “moral outrage” over Viagra?!

  50. “Also, I doubt very much that men would get sued for failure to impregnate.”

    I doubt such lawsuits would become common – but I do predict it would happen in some cases. Particularly if a man lied about his pill taking status while leading some woman along clear into her mid-forties, well past the time when she could have a baby. But as a part-time “MRA” as we apparently are calling them now, that is the kind of problem for “men in general” I would like to have.

    I think the presence of such a pill changes the debate because it puts men and women on much more equal footing. Condoms – as a very visible form of birth control. You can’t privatley wear a condom without your partner knowing very much that it is there. In a marriage that is “on the rocks”, in an “on again, off again” sense – I have heard of wives getting offened because their husband insists on a condom, saying it is a trust issue. True enough (it is, obviously, a trust issue). But the reality is this – people have sex, rightly or wrongly, with people they don’t altogether trust. Women can mitigate, to some degree, the lack of trust using BC pills. Men cannot… yet. When men can, things definitley will change.

    I am purposely leaving the STD side out of the argument – for now – though that does bring in a whole different dimension to the argument.

    So let me rephrase – a male pill will make the abortion debate – as we know it today – obsolete. That is not to say abortion itself would be… or that the debate would not exist. But it certainly will change, dramatically, the nature and terms of the debate.

  51. However, failure rates for all forms of birth control do exist, planned and wanted pregnancies go awry, and people still get careless.

    That won’t occur with the male pill. The female ‘pill’ fails only because the ‘female’ mysteriously awakes from her slumber on any particular day and decides that she wants a ‘baby’. That is when the ‘female’ pill fails. The female makes it fail.

    With the arrival of a male fertility pill, the male already knows the sheer terror of the feminist racket and he will be mathematically much less likely to ‘miss his day’, so to speak. Men will eat those pills like M&M’s.

    When men take the pill, they are not regulating their ability to have a child. Men will actually be disarming feminist organizations of their ultimate anti-male weapon; a female’s fertility and her ‘choice’.

    Mother of God! Bring the male pill out NOW!

    Obtestor

  52. I doubt such lawsuits would become common – but I do predict it would happen in some cases. Particularly if a man lied about his pill taking status while leading some woman along clear into her mid-forties, well past the time when she could have a baby.

    You can’t forcibly compel someone to have children with you, let alone to have sex with you. That is laughable.

    The male pill will ensure the total freedom of all men. Men want women childless. That is a very important pro-male freedom objective. Men making babies with American women is very, very dumb.

    Male freedom hinges upon three aspects of the law:

    1) Never marry

    2) Never have children with American women

    3) Completely avoid all single American women that have children

    If men simply obey those three key points, they will be the freest souls on the entire planet.

    Obtestor

  53. Wrong, Obtestor. I know of someone who got pregnant while taking the pill–and it was “the male” who asked her to cancel the abortion she scheduled. So “the female” in this case didn’t wake up and decide that she wanted a baby, so stopped taking the pill; she freaked out royally. Her partner–”the male”–wanted her to have the baby.

    But yes, let’s bring out the male pill. I’m all for it, as is every feminist I know. It’s interesting that we’re accused of being part of a racket to enslave men through pregnancy when we’ve said for years that birth control is a man’s concern as well as a woman’s.

  54. No matter how reliable a male pill, I wonder how many women are willing to trust their future to a man who says he has remembered to take it that morning? Use of a condom is, in an obvious way, verifiable. A male pill isn’t.

    We don’t have a lot of drugs on the market, do we, where person A takes it to prevent something from happening inside person B.

    Male responsibilty will not be achieved pharmacologically; it will be achieved by changing men’s hearts and minds.

  55. Heaven forbid men, especially white men, finally learn what it is like when you get the short end of inequality!

    This attitude is exactly what turns me away from being a willing supporter of feminism. The writer leaves me with the impression that I, a white male, need to suffer in order for us all to be equal.

    I resent the implication that I am expected to apologize just because I happened to be born a white male. I try to life a good honest life, loving the people I’m close to, working hard to support my family, etc.

    Life IS hard, for everybody, including me. I don’t need a “lesson”, thank you very much.

    That comment just really made my blood boil.

    Regarding the “men controlling their sperm” comment, I guess I side with Hugo: if men want to control their sperm, they already have the ability. Don’t take your thing out of your pants. Prevents pregnancy every time. Sorry, I don’t buy into the argument that one should be able to have recreational sex whenever they want with whomever they want as if it’s a right with no side-effects, then run to an abortionist or whatever to take care of that unwanted byproduct.

    I think we need to work to change our attitudes in ourselves and our young people to respect sex and LIFE more so that an abortion isn’t such an easy decision.

    Now, I’m sure some are going to think that since I’m a white male I must be in favor of criminalizing abortion, but actually I’m not in favor of that. I prefer social change, attitudinal change, the kind of change which can ultimately achieve the same goal without having to ask government to do the job for us.

    But until then, I don’t see why this is a hard problem: guys, if you don’t want a baby to happen, wrap that rascal or don’t even get it out. Girls, if you don’t want a baby to happen, make sure the BC works or don’t spread your legs! Why is this such a difficult concept???

  56. No matter how reliable a male pill, I wonder how many women are willing to trust their future to a man who says he has remembered to take it that morning? Use of a condom is, in an obvious way, verifiable. A male pill isn’t.

    I dunno, Hugo, I see the situation so much differently.

    I see men taking the pill SO THAT they won’t have to depend on less-effective forms of birth control OR to have to trust the female to take hers. The pill allows the male to control whether he wants a pregnancy to result.

    If the woman doesn’t trust the man to take that pill, she can always take her pill.

    Wow, doesn’t this sound the same, only reversed? When a man complained in the past of getting his partner pregnant, no one sympathized with him when he said “she TOLD me she was on the pill” — they say, sorry pal, if you wanted to make sure she didn’t get pregnant, you should have taken care of it yourself and wore a condom.

    So now the potential is there for a man TO TAKE CONTROL. I say, Hallelujah, take it. It will solve SOOOOOOOO many problems.

  57. Hugo-

    This isn’t about women trusting a man to take the pill. It is rather the converse that is causing men to demand pills of their own – men distrusting women who say they are on the pill, but are not.

    “Male responsibilty will not be achieved pharmacologically”

    Perhaps not… but we certainly can achieve, pharmacologically, a means for men to not worry about knocking women up without having to interrupt sex or explain why we want to protect ourselves when putting on a condom – or make decisions that are potentially irreversible and require surgery (vasectomy).

    Frankly, I am suprised. I would think someone who doesn’t like abortion, such as yourself, would be all over the idea of a male pill. There is no faster path to drastically reducing the number of abortions than effective, reversible, male birth control. We “MRA”s and feminists may disagree on a lot of things, but I would think this one thing is something that we call could agree on, in a strange bedfellows sort of way.

  58. Oh, I’ve got no objection to a male pill, per se. Bring it on. In a loving, committed relationship built on trust, I can imagine that many women would be thrilled to have their partners take the pill. But I suspect that if both men and women were able to take pills, men would be far more likely to lie about having done so. The physical consequences of such a lie are simply greater for women, and that is a biological truth no amount of rhetoric on either side can obscure.

    But I’d like to hear some women’s voices on this. Am I right in suggesting that the biggest problem with the male pill is trust?

  59. When women have sexual intercourse with men, they are ‘taking the sperm’, right? Women know this. Men do not know if the woman is lying or not about contraceptives and fertility.

    I’m sorry that women steal your sperm, Ob. You must live in a very strange world. In my world, men give it pretty freely to the women they have sex with. In fact, they often seem downright eager to give it away.

    The pill has a 1% failure rate if used properly. Which means that female malfeasance, though of course a huge problem since all women are pure, sperm-sucking evil witches, is not actually the cause of pregnancies on the pill.

  60. “women are pure, sperm-sucking evil witches”

    I promise I have no comment about that ::grin:: – other than only wish it were more true.

  61. Hugo, I absolutely agree with you that the biggest problem is trust. As you said, we don’t have many drugs one person takes to prevent something from happening to another person’s body. I’ve already come across several men willing to say just about anything to get me or another woman into bed. I’m assuming that a male pill would not prevent against STDs, so I would still insist on a condom, anyway. Further, I’m not on the pill, but if I were, I would take it anyway unless I had absolute trust in my partner.

    Scarbo, the comment about males and white males was a sarcastic reaction to a comment that made my blood boil. I assume (reasonably so, I think) that Obtester is male. I was using it to illustrate a point and did not intend to imply that you (or white males) should suffer. My apologies if offense was taken.

    Being white, middle class, college-educated, and American, I have advantages in this world that many do not. I did not create the social structure that gave me those advantages, all that I can do is to try to be aware of them and work to give others the same opportunities. Plenty of white men feel the same way. I don’t want white males to suffer for equality, I want everyone else brought up to that level.

  62. So – Hugo – do you propose that you can only get the male pill if you are in a loving, committed relationship? What if you are just the local, smooth talkin, “ladies man” on the block – the random guy who just wants to get laid. Would he not be allowed to get the pill?

    And what about guys who take the pill, secretly, without their wives permission, because they don’t want any kids – so he lies about taking it, telling his spouse that “it must just be that I have a low sperm count and can’t concieve”. Isn’t this a man imposing his choice about fertility on his wife?

    And, in this alternate world where men have this kind of birth control, what happens when the birthrate declines, because men are deciding not to enter into parenthood unless it is on their terms?

    I don’t know the answers to these questions… but it certainly seems like some real interesting things happen when men get this kind of birth control available to them.

  63. Hugo, to answer your question:

    It’s not an issue of trust, per se. If I can’t trust the person I’m involved with, then I’m thinking I shouldn’t be involved with him. I’d hate to be so bitter and angry that I regarded every man I knew as malicious fiends out to trap me with an unwanted pregnancy. If my partner assumed that I was out to steal his sperm and make babies against his will, then I’d break it off and let him find someone he feels more comfortable with. (Okay, more truthfully, I’d leave him because being with someone so paranoid would be a miserable experience.) In the case of men who think women are sperm theives out to destroy them, I especially think a male BC pill is a good idea. I also think staying out of relationships period would do them (and women) good. The stress would be too great for them.

    If it’s casual sex, condoms are imperative. Anyone who has casual sex assuming (or believing the claim) that their partner can’t get pregnant/can’t get you pregnant is opening themselves up to great risk–on top of a risk of STD’s.

    No, for me, it’s an issue of extra protection. I don’t think that women–or men, for that matter–are so malicious and twisted that they purposefully stop using their birth control to trap their partners. I think the big problem with pill failure rates is that women forget to take to take them, or women not realizing that certain medications (such as penicillin) reduces the effectiveness of the pill, etc. It would be those kinds of issues that would be of most concern regarding men and a male BC pill–honest forgetfulness, ignorance about drug interactions, etc.

    With both people using such protection, you would have that much more security (unless, of course, each assumed the other took their pill faithfully and didn’t worry so much if they forget theirs–but I’m thinking people who are that slack may prefer Depro or may not even use BC at all). I’d love it if my boyfriend also had access to reliable male birth control–not because I would slack, but because I’d feel that much more secure.

    Look, if you (in general, not you specifically, Hugo) can’t trust your partner, then maybe this person shouldn’t be your partner. And if you think every prospective partner is out to trap you, then my advice is to stay single. Seriously. If you aren’t now, you will be soon.

  64. “But until we have exercised far greater self-restraint over our own flesh, we cannot ask to exercise control over the flesh of another.”

    Nice turn of a phrase, just not true. First, I am and have been very willing to take responsiblity for my ejaculations, does that mean I now have the right to comment on abortion? I would doubt many who post here beleive that. Second, I know many women who are pro-life. Is their argument more valid? No, because the moral weight does not rest on my choice or my “need” to control but the the moral status of the fetus. Your comments are well-placed and speak truth but do not negate that primary moral status.

    “The so called ‘blame’ should be distributed equally, at least in my own opinion. Both parties were equally negligent in their actions, but in too many anti-choice arguments, only the neligence of the woman is mentioned. I hope that helps.”

    I’m still noodling through this — good stuff for someone who has historically be a knee-jerk pro-lifer and knows next to nothing about feminism. (As an aside, could we agree that the “sides” in this debate be re-ferred to as “pro-life” and “pro-choice?” I am no more anti-choice than you, or others, are anti-life. We can both argue that the more inflamatory descriptions merely reflect the outcome of the positions — but this merely inflamatory.)

    Perhaps the best way to put it is that both men and women must, when engaged in sexual activity, be prepared for the outcome of sexual activity — the most obvious being a pregnancy. The rub lies in “being prepared” and exactly what that means. For those who believe that the created life should be accorded all the rights of a human being, it means both parties should act accordingly, i.e. avoid abortion. I’ve seen some pretty ugly and self-righteous pro-lifers who have motivations beyond merely valuing the human life. That doesn’t mean what they profess, sanctity for life in utero, is wrong.

    “As far as I’m concerned, personal responsibility/”is it hurting anyone” is pretty much the limit as to how much morality I’m comfortable with imposing on people through law, norms, etc. Everything else should be negotiated by each individual, whether he/she does it through Christianity or another religion or a secular philosopher or his/her own personal ethics.”

    Which is precisely the point. Laws which don’t limit abortions do hurt others — namely the baby. I, and those men and women I know who are pro-life, are not interesting in legislating sexual relations out of marriage — at least not the more sane ones. They are interested in the outcome of life destroyed.

    Hugo’s (and Amanda’s, mythango’s, LaLuba’s and NancyP’s) posts do make me think — the outcome of the “pro-life” position is directly applicable to a woman’s control of her body. Men can somewhat blithely argue that the greater moral weight lies in the life of the fetus. Still, even when one weighs these factors, I can’t see an argument that sanctions a state supporting abortion.

  65. Stephen: I am aware that pro-lifers believe that abortion hurts “the baby” (the fetus, actually, if using less loaded language is our goal), and that this transgression is serious enough that fetuses should be legally protected from it. Pro-choicers, however, believe differently; their focus is on the way that illegalizing abortion would hurt women by forcing them to undergo the emotional, mental and physical stress of pregnancy/childbirth against their will.

    That’s why abortion is so hotly debated– either way, somebody or something is getting “hurt,” so the “moral answer” isn’t so obvious as to be generally accepted.

  66. Does anyone else find it ironic that Obtestor, the self-proclaimed ‘meninist’ calls upon the Mother of God? ;-)

    Well, I assume that the phrase “mother of God” refers to certain Catholic prayer traditions, and the Virgin Mary being the mother of Jesus, he was supposed to be ‘god on earth’ (or god’s chief representative here on earth), so I once again assume that’s where the saying comes from. I’m not sure, my sister-in-law is Catholic so I’ll ask her. But it does reminds me of the bumpersticker “My Goddess Gave Birth To Your God.” ;-)

  67. I think I have scanned Obtestor’s comments thoroughly, and I have come to the conclusion that he has never heard of the condom, of vasectomy, or of sex not involving insertion of penis in vagina.

  68. Steve, you’re right that my phrase left something to be desired…. but I stand by its general theme.

    Pseudo-Adrienne, I love the bumpersticker, even if its theology makes me queasy.

    Sauraron, I’m not “proposing” anything. I am asking about how much value women would put in a male pill, particularly around issues of trust. I find it risible that the local “ladies’ man” might be a prime candidate for such a drug. If at all, I see it being used by men in long-term, stable relationships with one female partner who is willing to trust his memory and his word.

    And Sheelzebub, when you said:

    “Look, if you (in general, not you specifically, Hugo) can’t trust your partner, then maybe this person shouldn’t be your partner. And if you think every prospective partner is out to trap you, then my advice is to stay single. Seriously. If you aren’t now, you will be soon.”

    You said it perfectly. As a Pentecostal friend of mine says, “praise Jesus, the girl done got it.” (Sorry about the “girl” bit.)

  69. It’s interesting that we’re accused of being part of a racket to enslave men through pregnancy when we’ve said for years that birth control is a man’s concern as well as a woman’s.

    Well it is true. If it wasn’t a racket, men would have legal input into abortion decisions.

    If you will be a good student of history you will think about the truth that all crimes against humanity and human rights violations are derived from one caste in a society grossly trampling the rights of another caste. In America, men are the trampled.

    Obtestor

  70. Obtester I am quite heartened by your exhorations to your fellow MRA to not get married. I will sleep much better tonight.

    Men in America shouldn’t marry because marriage in America is contract law that has been perversely manipulated to ravage men. Marriage in America is no longer a valid institution, but an anti-male human rights violation of all men.

    Obtestor

  71. Male responsibilty will not be achieved pharmacologically; it will be achieved by changing men’s hearts and minds.

    Sorry Hugo, but you know as well as I do that science can create a better umbrella of protection for men in this regard. The male pill is an incredible idea, one that should have been addressed many years ago.

    A male ‘pill’ to eliminate sperm-count will be the final blow to the feminist rackeering problem in the west. I could write another Doctoral dissertation on such a subject.

    Obtestor

  72. But I’d like to hear some women’s voices on this. Am I right in suggesting that the biggest problem with the male pill is trust?

    Contraception is never an issue until a female wants a baby. Then contraception is manipulated in favor of a woman’s “choice”, meaning the female has always been the gatekeeper. That is what this whole ballgame is about.

    That is why men need the pill. It will finally give men their “choice” and restore their rights as human beings. Imagine this Hugo, if you will, the fact that men will finally get a say on breeding decisions. A woman mating with a man will have to ask the man for permission for him to get off the pill so she can get pregnant. That is a rather tantalizing development because the smart male who uses a male “pill” can no longer be deceived or even surprised by life-changing events that were only yesterday fully in the realm of the female alone.

    Obtestor

  73. Isn’t this a man imposing his choice about fertility on his wife?

    You mean the exercising of a man’s Constitutional rights. No one can compel any man to have children with any female. The current racket thrusts children unto unsuspecting men via total control of fertility by the female. That socio-legal pathology would end with the advent of the male pill.

    It is in the best interests of society and the country for men to have such a medication at their disposal. It might actually end the human rights violations against men in the United States by feminism which would be a remarkable outcome.

    Obtestor

  74. Men will ultimately wind up removing themselves from the reproductive ‘game’ if they start using a pill…just the same way as men did when they started playing ‘hard to get’ about marriage…

    As late as the 70s, most women had children within the context of a lawful marriage…today over 30% have children outside of it and I don’t know any woman no matter their economic or professional status who would hesitate to have a child just because she was NOT married…

    What’s going to happen is that women using artifical forms of insemination are going to become MORE common and we are going to get more comfortable using them, just like we got comfortable with having children w/o benefit of marriage…

    AND a decade or two from now, men will be once again wondering why their role vis-a-vis children has been pushed even further to the margins of society…

    Men are setting themselves up to shoot themselves in their collective foot once again…

    I don’t care, better for women and children…just commenting on it…

  75. Steven, what I don’t understand is being pro-life, yet using terms like ‘avoid abortion,’ or arguments from some pro-life advocates that abortion is acceptable under circumstances like rape or incest.

  76. “Pleasure? Sex for the sake of sex? Women can (and do) want that too.”

    Really…well if you are looking for pleasure I think you’ll have more fun blogging or watching a good movie as casual sex or a one-night stand is generally NO pleasure for a woman…

    Men are the ones who benefit from these encounters…Men…

    AND women who believe otherwise FOOL themselves…and thus they are getting ‘screwed’ in more ways then one…

  77. “Why should men be responsible?”

    Then don’t be…

    Perhaps that’s the problem…we need to look at society feeling collectively responsible for ALL of its children…then we won’t have to chase you for money and you won’t have to chase us for rights…

  78. “In the event that American women do have more than one abortion, then the state should decide if sterilization is necessary to correct that bad behavior.”

    As long as you are going to do the SAME THING to men who have more then one abortion as well…since WE get pregnant NOW, WE MUST also have abortions…

    So think about that buddy as well…that if more then ONE woman shows up for an abortion and YOU are the father of the fetus, you’ll get sterilized…

    OKAY…

  79. “NYMOM: Why is not wanting to bring about a pregnancy inherently “irresponsible” behavior?”

    It’s the wanton sexually behavior which primarily benefits men since women get little or nothing out of it…which as you know MOST women would NOT engage in casual sex if reliable birth control was NOT so readily available…

    So as much as men complain about having NO say in terminating pregnancies or carrying child to term, they gave away their say for more access to sex w/o strings attached, as you realistically can’t have BOTH…

    In other words one night stands and pregnancy out of casual flings does NOT mix with men wanting any SAY over an abortion, pregnancy or child that might be the result of those actions…

    Married men could make a good case over having a say…but their voices got drowned out in the chorus of single unattached men wanting to ‘hit it’ all the time with no strings attached…

    So men wanted to be ‘Playboys’, so go play…but do NOT expect to have any say in what happens after the fact…NONE…

  80. “I find myself in this debate somewhat often — what is the distribution of rights and responsibilitis of men and women in this situation. Yes, the rights and responsibilities post-birth are extremely lopsided and men should have as much choice at this point as women do.”

    Why?

    You invest NOTHING in the entire process, bring nothing to the table, don’t even have to BE there at the birth or provide a damn thing to assist that baby GET to that point, YET feel you should have as much rights as a mother, post birth.

    See I just don’t understand this logic? AND I hate to say it but I don’t think a lot of other people really do either… which explains this “bias” fathers are always talking about…AND until you can explain to MOST of us why you feel fathers should have as many rights as mothers in this area…you are always going to be dealing with what you call ‘bias’ and most of us call ‘common sense’…

  81. “The male pill will make the abortion argument, as we know it, obsolete.”

    The male pill will make men obsolete…

    Once again shooting yourselves in the foot and making men more irrelevant then you are already in the family…

  82. “All men will have to do is not marry and the perverse system that has preyed upon them and hunted them down like animals will self-destruct.

    When that day comes, it will be a day of celebration.”

    Yeah right…

    Let’s go back to the video tape and show me one all-male institution that is a ‘celebration’, talk about self-destruct…

  83. I’m concerned about the lack of communication and trust between people who are having sex. Sure we all make mistakes, but I would propose that a discussion of the possible consequences should occur before the act. I know this won’t be a popular suggestion because it is not romantic or seductive, but knowing how both participants feel before an unplanned pregnancy occurs is the only way to avoid the “after the fact” impossible situation that is created when one person wants the child and the other one doesn’t.

  84. Once again shooting yourselves in the foot and making men more irrelevant then you are already in the family…

    Freeing ourselves from feminist evil is not shooting ourselves in the foot. Men are finally taking the responsible stance and that is letting women go it alone. You can’t correct the bad behavior of the modern American female, so why should men waste their energy trying?

    So go on down to the ‘invitrofertilization’ clinic and start popping out John Doe babies on your own. Have fun! The beauty is that those women who do that won’t have a living male slave to slave for them, and when those test-tube John Doe babies get older and ask where ‘daddy’ is, you can tell them that their ‘daddy’ was a 6′ x 10′ scientific freezer where the test-tubes were stored. That will be the new feminist ‘daddy’ and the new feminist ‘womb’ wrapped into one neat materialist package.

    The most dangerous behavior of American men today is breeding with American women. Breeding with American women in the modern state is like a slave showing up at some redneck’s cotton field thinking he is going to drink lemonade and watch football.

    Men are freeing themselves from the feminist system of slavery. You say that is ‘shooting ourselves’ in the ‘foot’. In truth it is nothing more than freedom, pure freedom for all men from feminist evil.

    Obtestor

  85. Obtestor, not only do I commend you for refraining from marriage and contact with women, I urge you to talk to the men who refuse to take “no” for an answer. With your permission, I’d like to cut and paste your rantings–er, I mean your comments–and pass them along to men who approach me and my friends when we go out and get agressive when one of us declines their, er, offers. Perhaps they’ll see that it’s in their best interest to avoid me and other women–and respect the “no” –once I show them that they are unwittingly enslaving themselves.

  86. and pass them along to men who approach me and my friends when we go out and get agressive when one of us declines their, er, offers.

    The male behaviors that you are talking about are feminist behaviors. That is what the modern feminist female wants men to do. The modern American secular hedonist female promotes free sex. Now you are saying that you don’t want that feminist behavior from men?

    Obtestor

  87. once I show them that they are unwittingly enslaving themselves.

    Men only become the slaves of modern feminism if they marry and/or have children with the polluted American female. It is a very simple concept to grasp and one that I have explained again and again.

    Obtestor

  88. You’re right, Obtester–pre-feminism, men never wanted or tried to get free sex. Anytime they had sex, it was evil women stealing their sperm. Even when these guys don’t take no for an answer, it’s not their fault. They’re victims of polluted feminists who tell them no and steal their sperm.

    Ob, I can guarantee you–your sperm is safe from feminists. I promise.

  89. NYMOM: What makes you think you have the authority to speak for women everywhere? Admittedly, it’s difficult to dispute arguments like “women don’t like casual sex and the ones who say they do are fooling themselves!”, but that’s not because they’re logically strong, it’s because they have an automatic “silencer” built in (anyone who disagrees must be one of those deluded ones, right?).

    In any case, I’m wondering what your justification is for the sweeping generalization that women are incapable of enjoying casual sex. I’m really hoping it’s not that tired old “women just suffer through sex to get love and babies!” gender stereotype; if so, that’s ironic, because I think that has a lot more to do with men dodging responsibility than anything you’ve been arguing about. After all, if women just can’t enjoy sex as much as men, men don’t have any obligation to concern themselves with their partner’s pleasure, do they?

    As for “women would have less casual sex if reliable birth control wasn’t available,” that may or may not be true, but if it is, it has nothing to do with women not enjoying casual sex. They wouldn’t do it because they’d be *afraid.* It wouldn’t just affect casual sex– even women in committed monogamous relationships would be afraid to have sex with their partners if they weren’t prepared or didn’t want to conceive. A world without birth control or abortion would be a world in which women are tyrannized by their own fertility– it *wouldn’t* be an improvement.

  90. NYMOM-

    Appears I struck a nerve with you. lol

    I can’t wait for the reactions of 35-45 year old women when the male pill becomes widely available. I hope they do rush to the sperm clinic and properly purchase it. Frankly, it will help provide more men with a secondary income because there will be more demand for sperm banks.

    More likely, however, is more moaning about how men wont commit, or how they are not “cooperating” in their baby making plans. Or how they are not “responsible” because they are going around and, as some have said, “hitting it”. Too funny.

    I look forward to a day when single men who get tired of meaningless sex (it does happen – amazingly – men are the ones with withering desire in their 30s most of the time)… decide to get into parenting via adoption as a single parent.

    What I find funniest of all – are the attempts to genderize meaningless sex, as if it is something men “do to” women and need to be “civilized” about. WTF are we in here, the Victorian era? Clearly, that is only the opinion of someone who is not familiar with the current singles scene. Women have become very sexually aggressive in the past 10 years. I know a lot of single guys – particularly in their early 30s – who routinely turn down sex on the first or second date. It was shocking to me, coming back into the singles scene after 7 years of marriage, just how things had changed. I can assure you, if you believe casual sex is wrong, and should stop – you need to address women just as much as you need to address men.

  91. “As for “women would have less casual sex if reliable birth control wasn’t available,” that may or may not be true, but if it is, it has nothing to do with women not enjoying casual sex. They wouldn’t do it because they’d be *afraid.* It wouldn’t just affect casual sex– even women in committed monogamous relationships would be afraid to have sex with their partners if they weren’t prepared or didn’t want to conceive. A world without birth control or abortion would be a world in which women are tyrannized by their own fertility– it *wouldn’t* be an improvement.”

    It’s funny you should mention that. I’ve been reading and interesting Margaret Mead book lately and one of the things I came across last night was a description of one culture where young unmarried women and men have frequent casual sex before marriage. However, the young women rarely if ever get pregnant. Mead attributes it to knowing their bodies well enough to avoid sex that would make them pregnant. As an aside, in this culture women at this stage are also the gatekeepers to sexual access.

    Just something I thought was interesting.

  92. Well, this particular childless 35-45-year-old woman would be delighted to see a male pill; if the man as well as the woman is on the pill, then, a) the chance of contraceptive failure is lower, and b) if the woman gets pregnant, the guy has to admit that, yes, the contraceptive failed, instead of living in an imaginary universe where contraceptives are perfect, never fail, and pregnancy is always deliberately planned by a woman. Of course, they should still use a condom as well, unless they’re both guaranteed disease-free and monogamous.

    Of course, I’ve long wanted a child myself, and would have one by now if we were more fertile, but I’ve gone about trying to become a mother the way most normal women who want to be mothers do – by finding a man who shared my desire for parenthood, and marrying him in my twenties. And I had darn well made it clear before we ever had sex that there would be no abortions if a child came ill-timed, and he firmly agreed with me. Which doesn’t change my view that where a couple was foolish enough not to discuss and be prepared for the possibility of birth control failure before having sex, the guy has no right to whine if the woman won’t get an abortion.

    Basically, I’m for people who don’t want a pregnancy being free to make their odds as low as they possibly can, without harming anyone else in the process, and then, if they’re having penis-in-vagina sex (yes, guys, there are other kinds of sex), neither is sterilized, and the woman is still pre-menopause, accepting facts and realizing that there’s still a chance that pregnancy will result. Two pills and a condom would be great; till then, live with the odds that one pill and a condom give you, and accept that that still means you may become a father.

    Oh, and by the way, Obtestor, even if there is a male pill, no, men will not be “indulging themselves with every American female,” because they will still need to find a woman who actually likes them enough to want to have sex, a thing which may be difficult for men who think of women as sperm-stealing witches. Most women prefer to indulge themselves with men who don’t hate and mistrust them; we’re picky that way. Not because we don’t love sex, but because the kind of sex we love is sex with someone who gives a damn whether we’re enjoying it, too.

  93. You’re right, Obtester–pre-feminism, men never wanted or tried to get free sex. Anytime they had sex, it was evil women stealing their sperm.

    Your understanding of history is clearly deficient. In recent history, men wanted only in a woman a person that was not contaminated, you know a female that hasn’t had 500 sexual partners and STD’s in less than 10 years, or a woman that hasn’t had dozens of abortions, or a woman that hasn’t bought into the feminist delusion that since women are born women, when they should have been born men, all men must suffer for it.

    Men just want a female that isn’t mentally ill, that they can build a life with, start a family and work to a better future. The modern American female’s obsessive-compulsive pathology deconstructs those positive outcomes.

    For example, when men marry, instead of that becoming a positive development for the female (and the man), feminism attacks it as the ‘enslavement’ of women. That is an obsessive-compulsive brain disorder. The obsessive-compulsive attacks positive developments in their lives, doing everything possible to stay off the ‘hilltop’ and remain in the ‘valley’.

    If men want to have children and raise a family, feminism attacks that as the denying of the female “her” rights to have a “career” (whatever that means) and exposes the female to various pseudo-science things like so-called Post-Partum Depression (another racketeering term used to loot the treasury on behalf of false female victim groups).

    If men want to just marry a woman and the couple decides not to have children, feminism teaches women that marriage is whatever she wants it to be. That means as the man works to build up the relationship, property and wealth, the female attacks that with obsessive-compulsive methods to dismantle the man’s ability to do those things. She will put strains on the marriage with affairs, spending and every other feminist trick imagineable to destroy the marriage so that when she leaves it she can go back into the valley ‘alone’ self-convinced that she ‘saved herself’ from something, even though she is not entirely clear about what she saved herself from. That is the feminist self-fulfilling prophecy.

    That is also the obsessive-compulsive sociopathic nature of the modern American secular hedonist female. Feminism in particular is saturated with these types of women (and men, unfortunately).

    So what this means is that the modern American male must not only be the husband to his new wife, but her psychologist as well. Mass obsessive-compulsive pathlogy is inherently feminist so men shall encounter that pathology as certainly as they do puddles along the road during and after a thunderstorm.

    Women today have no clue whatsoever what marriages are about. Women today can’t cook (well maybe a pot-pie and some Rice’ A ‘Roni and a can of Beefaroni) and are completely tapped into the fast-food racket. Women today really don’t do as good of a job cleaning up after themselves as they used to do. Women today are really terrible with certain other responsibilities too, but feminism says it is ‘cool and fashionable’ for women to act that way in the feminist war against men.

    Now tell me, what value do men have to marry the modern American secular hedonist female?

    Obtestor

  94. “Men only become the slaves of modern feminism if they marry and/or have children with the polluted American female. It is a very simple concept to grasp and one that I have explained again and again.”

    You must spend a LOT of time alone I bet…

  95. “NYMOM: What makes you think you have the authority to speak for women everywhere?”

    When did I say I spoke for women everywhere? I speak for myself, my own opinion, thoughts, words, etc.,

  96. “…it’s because they have an automatic “silencer” built in (anyone who disagrees must be one of those deluded ones, right?)…”

    So I guess no one can ever use that argument out of ‘fear’ of silencing those who disagree?

    Feel free to disagree with me as I never held myself out as an authority figure who speaks for all women…

    I speak for myself only…my thoughts, words, ideas, my OWN…

  97. “After all, if women just can’t enjoy sex as much as men, men don’t have any obligation to concern themselves with their partner’s pleasure, do they?”

    AND in my OWN opinion, they don’t…

    BUT that’s just my opinion, feel free to disagree…

    “A world without birth control or abortion would be a world in which women are tyrannized by their own fertility– it *wouldn’t* be an improvement.”

    AND I never said we should have a world without them, although I personally could exist in a world without abortion, if ALL the other forms of birth control were left alone…

    In the post you were replying to (I think) I was just making the case that MEN have been pushing for eons to have casual sex w/o responsibility which is why they were originally pleased as punch when all these products came out on the market…

    They all wanted to be like Hugh Hefner…

    NOW they appear to be trying to shift the blame onto feminists for this and I was trying to point out that they were wrong…men got what they wanted and NOW they don’t like it, so they are trying to ACT like they never wanted it in the first place…

    I was NEVER implying (I think) that women should NOT have any of these things (although I, personally could live in a world w/o abortion, as long as all other forms of bc were left alone)…

    AND please don’t reply attacking me as being against choice now, I’m not…

    I just said I could live in a world w/o abortion…

    I also could live in a world w/o Monday Night Football but that doesn’t mean I’m going on a campaign against it either…

  98. “I look forward to a day when single men who get tired of meaningless sex (it does happen – amazingly – men are the ones with withering desire in their 30s most of the time)… decide to get into parenting via adoption as a single parent.”

    Men have had the right to adopt as single parents FOR YEARS now, few avail themselves of the opportunity…

    “I can assure you, if you believe casual sex is wrong, and should stop – you need to address women just as much as you need to address men.”

    I never said it was wrong…

    I don’t recall using that terminilogy.

    I just was making it clear who benefits the most from it…and I believe it is men…I just get sick and tired of men always trying to have it both ways…that you want the availability of ‘casual sex’ that your own history, reliable birth control and feminism, to a more limited extent, helped provide you with; but then you sit around self-righteously acting like this situation was forced upon you by feminism…if it wasn’t for feminism you would be better men, reliable husbands, great dads to your children…

    The reality is that since history has been recorded practically, MEN have been trying to wiggle out of marriage, abandoning your wives and denying or ignoring your own children. So I just don’t want any of you to get away with trying to blame feminists or the womens’ movement for mens’ bad behavior which has been going on since the year 1…

    You want to be better men, fine…do that…but stop trying to blame women for your past bad behavior…accept the responsibility for it and move on to becoming better men…

    BTW, I never said casual sex was ‘wrong’ anymore then watching too much TV or playing video games for hours on end is ‘wrong’…I mean we are a free people, once you are of legal age you can do what you want…

    Probably a more accurate definition of what I said would be ‘a time waster’ for most women…I don’t really have a moral position on it…unless wasting time could be considered sinful…

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  100. “I’ve been reading and interesting Margaret Mead book lately and one of the things I came across last night was a description of one culture where young unmarried women and men have frequent casual sex before marriage. However, the young women rarely if ever get pregnant. Mead attributes it to knowing their bodies well enough to avoid sex that would make them pregnant.”

    It could be true although later some of her research was discredited…but the ancient Greeks and the Romans has some sort of religious holiday and celebrations where everybody (including women) were allowed to drink and have casual sex…probably women just got married off very quickly if they became pregnant, I guess if the dowry was big enough the new husband kept his mouth shut…

    As oppposed to today where some guy would have been running through the forum screaming about paternity fraud…and embarrass the crap out of both families…

    AND even if this DID happen I don’t see how it disproves my point…that men benefit from casual sex, women don’t…I would have to know the social status of all the girls and boys families involved before I could say this proved anything; as even when I was growing up in the 50s/60s there were always enough low class girls in my school who were used for casual sex by the boys…

    They didn’t take them to proms or date them, they probably didn’t even give them their phone numbers but they had sex with them…

    The bigger question for me was not what the boys got, but what did these girls get out of a quickie in the back seat of a car…

  101. “Oh, and by the way, Obtestor, even if there is a male pill, no, men will not be “indulging themselves with every American female,” because they will still need to find a woman who actually likes them enough to want to have sex, a thing which may be difficult for men who think of women as sperm-stealing witches.”

    That is pretty funny…

  102. “Your understanding of history is clearly deficient. In recent history, men wanted only in a woman a person that was not contaminated, you know a female that hasn’t had 500 sexual partners and STD’s in less than 10 years, or a woman that hasn’t had dozens of abortions…”

    In recent history…that’s because you saw the results of your handiwork…you got what you wanted and NOW you don’t like it…

    Just like you became irrelevant to your children, then you tried to get back into the family in your former role and couldn’t, so now you’re trying to claim that it is women’s fault too…

    Don’t blame feminism for what MEN HAVE WROUGHT…my friend…you made your own beds, now lie in them…

  103. This is too funny, watching NYMOM and Obstestor fight it out about who – men or women – are the biggest demons.

    All I am trying to say – at least at the core, is that male birth control will:

    a.) Have some very interesting effects on male/female relations, since men will no longer be need to trust women to take the pill in those cases where condoms are not a desired form of birth control for those couples taking part in sex.

    b.) Probably cause a new kind of lawsuit to appear based on men “leading women on” under the pretense of wanting to have kids, when in fact, they do not want to have kids. Whether such lawsuits would ever be successful, I haven’t the foggiest idea.

    c.) Further into the future, once men are have the pill, and can therefore lead whatever sexual life they want without worrying about parenthood… therefore, having finer grain control of their own destiny vis-a-vis parenthood, it will become more likely that some men will, in fact, persue single parenting as an option.

    The last point is the most controversial – and I will admit, speculative. But hear me out. Men, for reasons that obviously have to do with their social conditioning – in fact – the gender roles they grow up with – do not usually think of themselves as single fathers until they find themselves in that position by external circumstance. I do not put a value judgement on that statement – but that is, by and large, just the way it is, and has been, for a long time. There is nothing inherent in the Y chromosome that precludes single parenting – it is not unknown for gay men to adopt children (so long as you are not in Florida – but that is a whole different conversation).

    Most men never consider the option of single parenting – mostly because it simply never occurs to them. There are few examples of it, for one. Most adoption agencies would probably look at you with some combination of curiosity, scorn, or distrust, because it would be something very far from the mainstream.

    This is one of those cases, where I am sure Hugo will agree – where gender roles are inhibiting to both genders. One of the things, even as an “MRA” – I am thankful to feminism for – is that it provides a model for questioning traditional gender roles.

    This is the thing. There is nothing about manhood that prevents a man from being a good single parent. Not… a… thing. The good news – for men being single parents – is that people are becoming more used to the idea of “single father”. This was not as true, even 10 years ago. At my son’s pre-school, there are easily as many men dropping off 3-4 year olds as there are women. An anecdote a trend does not make – but still – it goes along with the general trend of men being more involved, not less, over the past ten years.

    So – men as single parents by choice? Well – first, for that, we need men who decide, at some point in their life, that they want to have kids, but they don’t want risk losing them in a divorce. The second part is easy to imagine. The first, despite NYMOM’s description of men as creatures that hate kids, is not that hard to imagine. There are plenty of men who desire families – and would not mind doing so as a single man if they thought that was a possibility.

    I dunno – if your charactarization of men is nothing more than guys prowling around to get laid… then you know very little about men. This is, perhaps, true of men in their 20s and early 30s – for certain types of men (and who am I to question their lifestyle – at least they have a hobby). To paint all men with that brush – or even most men, is ignorance at best, but more likely, simple misandry.

  104. Your understanding of history is clearly deficient. In recent history, men wanted only in a woman a person that was not contaminated, you know a female that hasn’t had 500 sexual partners and STD’s in less than 10 years, or a woman that hasn’t had dozens of abortions, or a woman that hasn’t bought into the feminist delusion that since women are born women, when they should have been born men, all men must suffer for it.

    That’s odd, as that’s what women look for in men–however, men can also be riddled with STD’s, have numerous sexual partners, and dozens of children with various women (and as an added bonus for men, they aren’t called polluted or slutty). Check your Bible for examples. Or some of our more revered sports heroes.

    Add to this list of no-gos for women: no decent woman wants a bitter, paranoid man who thinks that women are out to get him, steal his sperm, and oppress him. (Although it is great fun to watch him melt down online.) Also, even “nice” girls by your definition aren’t very enamoured of men who refer to women as polluted. But that’s okay, since you don’t want to get married anyway. It’s best that you make yourself as unappealing as possible–something you do effortlessly.

    (Though it’s strange you’d get all stroppy about a woman having dozens of abortions–she is saving men from slavery, after all.)

    Again, trust me–your sperm is safe.

  105. NYMOM: There’s a point at which “expressing your opinion” crosses a line into imposing motives and beliefs on others against their will. If your “opinion” is that women don’t get anything out of sex (not just that *you* don’t, that women in general don’t), and you dismiss anyone who claims to get something out of it as “fooling herself” and “wasting her time,” then you are trying to characterize your opinion as fact and speak for a group of people who certainly never appointed you their spokesperson.

    And yes, in fact, I do wish people would refrain from making arguments like “I think (insert opinion here), and anyone who doesn’t agree is (insert negative/discrediting/dismissive adjective here)!” Generalizing like that is not only offensive, it’s a really lazy way of debating; pre-emptively attacking your opponent’s credibility just makes it look like you can’t counter his/her argument any other way.

  106. Again, trust me–your sperm is safe.

    Good luck with that Sheelzebub. He, like most MRAs, have this perverse and ridiculous image of all women being succubi from Hell (if there is such a place).

    Anyway, believe me, there’s no pleasing these MRAs. I’ve tried, it doesn’t work. Nothing will make them happy. Even if all American women were erradicated from the planet they would still piss and moan about something. Save your strength for more important fights almighty President-For-Life ;-)

  107. Even if all American women were erradicated from the planet they would still piss and moan about something.

    Hmmm, interesting concept. A gender weapon like that would have to have global reach and be biological in nature. A very interesting thought though. Thanks for sharing it.

    Obtestor

  108. Don’t blame feminism for what MEN HAVE WROUGHT…my friend…you made your own beds, now lie in them…

    Hey hon, we are well on our way to changing the sheets in that bed even as you speak. Now, answer the question I presented in an earlier post. I can repost the entire post if you want, since you spammed it away with your feminist rage a bit ago.

    What value do men have to marry the modern American secular hedonist female?

    Obtestor

  109. “Men, for reasons that obviously have to do with their social conditioning – in fact – the gender roles they grow up with – do not usually think of themselves as single fathers until they find themselves in that position by external circumstance.”

    It has nothing to do with social conditioning as males in every species pay no attention to the young…I never said men ‘hate’ children…I said they pay no attention to them, just like their counterparts in every other species…don’t twist my words…

    Perhaps you are right and men will start paying more attention to children due to this ‘pill’; although what the connection would be I have no idea.

    Actually I think just the opposite will happen and men will become MORE disconnected from women and children as well once this pill becomes common.

    Only time will tell who was right.

  110. “NYMOM: There’s a point at which “expressing your opinion” crosses a line into imposing motives and beliefs on others against their will.

    …then you are trying to characterize your opinion as fact and speak for a group of people who certainly never appointed you their spokesperson.”

    No…I am not appointing myself as your spokesperson…

    I never said I represented you in anyway,

    I don’t know you, nor do I want to know you,

    My beliefs, thoughts and words are my own and represent no one but myself…

    “And yes, in fact, I do wish people would refrain from making arguments like “I think (insert opinion here), and anyone who doesn’t agree is (insert negative/discrediting/dismissive adjective here)!”

    Well then if you don’t like it, don’t read what I write…

    This is not your blog and until the owner tells me that I have to listen to how you THINK I should post, I won’t…

    If you have a problem with it…TOUGH…

  111. “Though it’s strange you’d get all stroppy about a woman having dozens of abortions–she is saving men from slavery, after all.)

    Again, trust me–your sperm is safe.”

    This is pretty funny too…

  112. “Anyway, believe me, there’s no pleasing these MRAs. I’ve tried, it doesn’t work. Nothing will make them happy. Even if all American women were erradicated from the planet they would still piss and moan about something. Save your strength for more important fights almighty President-For-Life ;-)”

    Yes, I heard that Wendy MacElroy (their former defender) is now persona non grata with them now…

    I don’t feel any sympathy for women like her however, these women are enablers and deserving of no sympathy…

    I hope no womens’ group allows her in now…as she hurt many women with her nonsense…

  113. “What value do men have to marry the modern American secular hedonist female?”

    What any men get from marrying any women…companionship, comfort, home, children…

    What do you want?

  114. “It has nothing to do with social conditioning as males in every species pay no attention to the young”

    NYMOM – That is just factually incorrect. Seahorse males actually have the baby seahorses. And that is just off the top of my head. I am sure there are other examples – I have seen enough Discovery channel to vaguely recall a few.

    When men have more control about when they do and do not become parents – if follows that many men will only become parents when they ready. If a men only become parents when they decide, for themselves, that they are ready, they will not be as averse to the responsibilities attached to parenting. I am not talking about every man – I am sure people have anecdotes about men who said they were ready, but in fact were not. But on average, I don’t find it such a stretch that men, if they can control the entirety of their reproductive destiny the same way women can using birth control pills, will perceive a greater stake in the whole thing.

    Men, in the large, will continue to desire relationships with women, including marriage and children. The world will not stop procreating. The only big difference that will be mainstream – is that men AND women will both have a much more equal starting point when negotiating when the babies will be made in the context of a marriage. This is a good thing for everyone, as once there is a male pill, nobody can claim that they were trapped into having kids… feminists can rejoice that the C4M argument no longer applies – and they know that if they get pregnant, chances are, the man involved was probably willing and ready for a baby (at least in the context of long term relationships where the man has access to the pill). MRAs can rejoice that they finally have a way to avoid pregnancy and child support without having to resort to condoms or abstinence. Everyone wins.

  115. “NYMOM – That is just factually incorrect. Seahorse males actually have the baby seahorses. And that is just off the top of my head. I am sure there are other examples – I have seen enough Discovery channel to vaguely recall a few.”

    Yes, you’re right I remember…and the Disney Clown Fish as well…

    Unfortunately we must deal with what MOST species, including our own, do NOT the small groups that exists on either end of the bell shaped curve… and in the vast middle of the curve that most of us inhabit, females are the ‘mothers’ of the species…

    Sorry.

    Of course, a few men MIGHT decide to adopt or have their own children with surrogate mothers, that will happen, but for the most part, I don’t think that too many men will do this…

    I could be wrong and I speak ONLY for myself, my opinion…but I don’t see it happening…not on a very large scale anyway.

    This is why that pill is so dangerous for men…since many men become fathers quite accidentally and are quite happy to do so once the child is born; however, those accidental children will no longer happen or be far fewer in number.

    Plus many women will now decide to take the plunge into artificial insemination whereas before they might not have done so; but this male pill will make that a more attractive option…It will be just like what happened with marriage when men started playing hard to get. Women decided NOT to wait and just started having their children anyway.

    The end result is that today, almost 30 years after the fact, no woman is bothered by a child out of wedlock…no matter her income or professional level…the stigma is virtually non-existent…and 30% of our children are now born to unmarried mothers…

    The same thing will happen with artificial insemination if men go through with this pill, women will become comfortable with the concept of AI and begin knowing many other women who will have done it too and then after a certain percentage do it, that’s it…men will have an even MORE difficult time convincing women to go back to the way it was before…just like what happened with marriage…

    It will be the same thing.

  116. “If a men only become parents when they decide, for themselves, that they are ready, they will not be as averse to the responsibilities attached to parenting.

    Men, in the large, will continue to desire relationships with women, including marriage and children. The world will not stop procreating.”

    Really…well that’s not what happened before when men were in complete control of everything…like let’s run the video tape back to Rome…Men did NOT flock to marriage and they were in complete charge of families then…totally in control… instead they tried to avoid marriage, spending their time and money on chariot games, horse races and purchasing slave girls (probably boys too).

    Augustus Caesar had to step in finally and pass laws that FORCED men to marry and bear children. They had to be taxed and fined and threatened with service in the legions before they gave in…They even had a couple of street riots about it…

    AND even now, that society is more relaxed about lifestyles, men don’t marry like they used to…actually men were the ones who pushed this whole lifestyle situation, trying to be ‘free’ like Hugh Hefner… although now you all blame feminism for it…

    Feminism was not the cause of this change, but a reaction to it…

    So no…I don’t think this pill is going to change men so drastically as you think…not for the good anyway…it will probably push them into even MORE casual sex and one night stands, actually just the sort of behavior that society wishes to discourage…

    I guess the bottom line is that only time will tell which one of us is right.

  117. Hmmm, interesting concept. A gender weapon like that would have to have global reach and be biological in nature. A very interesting thought though. Thanks for sharing it.

    Yeah, *some* of you MRAs are so damn misogynist and belligerent I wouldn’t be surprised if *you* pushed for massive gendercide against women. After reading your posts it’s obvious that’s your life’s goal.

    Yes, I heard that Wendy MacElroy (their former defender) is now persona non grata with them now…

    I don’t feel any sympathy for women like her however, these women are enablers and deserving of no sympathy…

    I hope no womens’ group allows her in now…as she hurt many women with her nonsense…

    I cannot believe that Wendy believes that pornography is some how empowering for women. But anyway, women’s rights groups won’t let her in, they know her record.

  118. “I cannot believe that Wendy believes that pornography is some how empowering for women.”

    Empowering?

    I didn’t even know that was her position…

    That’s one more reason to not pay too much attention to her…

    Well she reaped what she sowed, that’s for sure…her former buddies are ripping her to shreds on their board…

  119. Well she reaped what she sowed, that’s for sure…her former buddies are ripping her to shreds on their board…

    Good. Oh and she also wants to decriminalize prostitution too. Which means pimps will have a field day at the expense of women. Especially young women of Color from the inner city who sometimes have no other choice but to prostitute themselves, due to the lack of income in their own families. And I’m sure the sex trafficing industry would have a “boom” too. Sick, sick, sick.

    Well she reaped what she sowed, that’s for sure…her former buddies are ripping her to shreds on their board…

    You should only go to those boards if you enjoy being told how evil you are because you have XX chromosomes. I endured that when I used to, or tried to sympathize with them. “Used to” and “tried”, are the key words.

  120. “DDJW, you are a keen observer of character.

    bmmg39, amen, amen, amen,amen.”

    Welp! It took about two weeks, but Hugo and I finally agree on something. I’m not all that surprised…

  121. “bmmg39: I have to strongly disagree; I think the most important step that people who want to reduce the number of abortions need to take is to push for better access to more effective contraception. It’s never made any sense at all to me that the staunchest anti-abortion folks are also anti-contraception– it’s obvious that people are never going to limit their sexual activity to the point that they only have sex when they want to conceive, and they shouldn’t be expected to, particularly if they do not subscribe to a religion that prohibits it.”

    Not everyone who opts against using contraceptives does so because his/her religion prohibits it. I have a book by a Protestant couple who was frustrated after not being able to find an already existing book for Protestants who eschew it.

    It’s pretty heavy, when you think about it — the power to keep another human being from coming into existence. The chances against my being conceived were astronomical, and that’s even with my parents deciding NOT to use contraceptives. If they had, the odds would have been even more astronomical…

  122. NYMOM (surprise):

    “It makes sense if you realize that they are against contraception and abortion because they want to control womens’ behavior and NOT allow us to have sex outside of the context of marriage and childbearing…”

    Huh-kay…

  123. “I agree — though I do hate the word blame and would much rather use the word responsibility.”

    There ya go.

    I find it quite sad that all of the “nice” words — “responsible,” “careful” — are attributed to NOT having a kid, whereas “irresponsible” and “careless” and other words with a bad connotation are used for HAVING a kid. I’d hate to think that, when my parents found out I was now extant, they argued about whose “fault” it was.

  124. “This is why that pill is so dangerous for men…since many men become fathers quite accidentally and are quite happy to do so once the child is born; however, those accidental children will no longer happen or be far fewer in number.”

    Now I have seen everything. I have managed to get a self-proclaimed feminist to claim that birth control pills for men would be “dangerous”. I will sleep very well tonight.

    Thanks for the debate this evening. I think I can rest my case.

  125. “Now I have seen everything. I have managed to get a self-proclaimed feminist to claim that birth control pills for men would be “dangerous”. I will sleep very well tonight.

    Thanks for the debate this evening. I think I can rest my case.”

    I am NOT a feminist…but an independent person. I’m not part of a group or ‘ism’ and I don’t need to get my marching orders from others…I do NOT subscribe to group think…so as usual you are wrong.

    I don’t really care if those things come to pass for men once they begin using the pill, better for women and children, less fighting, child abductions, custody battles, etc.,

    You all are shooting yourselves in the foot by these actions…I’m just commenting on it; but do what you wish, as I don’t really care…

  126. Hugo:”No matter how reliable a male pill, I wonder how many women are willing to trust their future to a man who says he has remembered to take it that morning? Use of a condom is, in an obvious way, verifiable. A male pill isn’t.”

    Ok fine. I can see that point. Just see the other side of it though. Change male for female and woman for men and you have today’s current situation. Thats the point. Ultimately, each individual has to be responsible for their role in contraception. Teach that to young kids and to use protection from STDs. The male pill would give men more control over their reproductive life/choices.

    One could argue that it (responsibility) should be all on the female side of the equation simply because they’re the ones carrying the child and women have all the choice when it comes to having a baby or an abortion. I think they should have that choice, but then men should also have the choice of a “paper abortion”.

  127. Anyway, believe me, there’s no pleasing these MRAs. I’ve tried, it doesn’t work. Nothing will make them happy. Even if all American women were erradicated from the planet they would still piss and moan about something. Save your strength for more important fights almighty President-For-Life ;-)

    But he makes such a cute pet. His head spins around on command. It’s quite amusing.

  128. FP: by “paper abortion”, you mean the right to legally abandon any child that may result? You know, as was fairly common in my mother’s era and before? Why not have a vasectomy instead?

    We (by that I mean, the usual suspects) went around and around on this in the (now closed) Manpower thread.

    I understand not wanting to have a child, or not wanting a child until a certain moment in time. I understand that birth control may fail, or that someone may be lying about birth control. But let’s face it: you know the risks. You know that when an unsterilized man has sex with an unsterilized premenopausal woman, there is a risk of pregnancy. Act accordingly. Take the risk, or don’t take the risk.

    Sex with another person involves a certain amount of intimacy, like it or not. And whenever you are dealing with another person, there are complications. In everything! The time to exercise that full veto power is before the act.

    The vibe I get when I read various calls for “choice for men” is one of…..jealousy. Almost like a “why does she get to call the shots?” “She can decide to have an abortion, why can’t I?” And I can’t help but get the distinct feeling that there doesn’t seem to be any recognition of the full import of the decision to have a child, put a child up for adoption, or have an abortion. These are heavy questions, heavy considerations. And in the call for “paper abortion”, I only see a call for lightening the load…..shifting the burden onto someone else. A call to make this “not my problem!!”

    Sex is risky. Life is risky. Relationships are risky. Say you get your wish, FP. You get a woman pregnant, and lo and behold…you get your legal “paper abortion”. And you breathe your sigh of relief, and think, “whew! good! I don’t end up paying child support for 18 years, plus college costs.” Is it over? Really?

    I’m seeing some larger control questions here than just those of parenting or finances.

  129. bmmg39: I never said that everyone who doesn’t use contraceptives is religious, or that religion is the only reason not to use them. However, I can’t think of too many reasons to object to their use that aren’t somehow spiritual in nature. At the very least, it probably comes from a belief that life is sacred and should be encouraged/created whenever possible, which is certainly a spiritual one whether one links it to a particular religion or not. Since not everyone shares this belief/priority, it’s a bit unreasonable to expect everyone to live by it.

    As for “keeping another human being from coming into existence,” I’m not sure how abstaining from sex is really all that different in that regard. After all, couldn’t it be argued that every time a woman fails to have sex with a man while ovulating, she has prevented a human being from coming into the world? Is it wrong for a woman not to be pregnant at any given point in her life, because she could be in the process of creating a new life at that very moment and she isn’t?

    That, combined with the fact that I don’t believe there are souls lined up in heaven who just can’t wait to be given form– I believe if someone or something doesn’t exist, it really doesn’t exist– means that I don’t actually think preventing conception is all that “heavy.” I don’t believe we have any sort of moral imperative to reproduce, so when it comes to my decision about whether or not I’m willing to give up total independent control of my body/money/time/energy/life for a creature that’s totally dependent on me, I’m afraid that the “rights” of something that doesn’t exist to be brought into the world really aren’t a high priority.

    FP: I think the argument that women won’t be able to trust men to take their pill comes from the idea that a woman has a higher stake in preventing conception, because it’s her body that will have to deal with whatever happens (carrying it to term or aborting it), so she’s more likely to be diligent about birth control than her male partner might be. I’m not sure if I buy it– in the current system, the stakes are pretty high for men as well, just in a different way (not physical but financial and perhaps emotional). I do think that once men have reasonable short-term birth control options, everyone, male or female, who doesn’t want to have a hand in creating a child should be on some form of BC if possible, regardless of what his/her partner is doing– just to be certain.

  130. In response to SourAaron’s a, b, and c predictions of what would result from a male birth control pill:

    a) I agree; it would have some very interesting effects on male/female relations. After all, the female pill had a significant effect on male/female relations, so it’s reasonable to assume a male pill would do the same. The effect of the Pill has been, in my opinion, mixed, but on balance positive. The downsides: more casual sex, less incentive to use condoms (which turn out, after all, to be the only protection against VD), a sense of entitlement that some men (that since a woman can use the Pill, she should be able to take care of things, and it should always work, or else it’s her fault – a really bad thing if it’s assumed she then ought to be expected to get an abortion if the pill fails). The upside: being able, most of the time, to control when and how many children you have, with all that entails (more freedom to do other things with your life, less dependence on men, etc., as well as less demand for abortion if you’re able to properly use birth control). Since most of us don’t want to have fifteen children, I think the upside far outweighs the downside.

    A male pill would likewise have disadvantages as well as advantages. For example, one disadvantage: if we continue to preach to women only the advantages of not postponing your children for too long, but have husbands as well as wives driving the birth control decision, we’ll be asking for trouble; we’d better start giving the same advice to husbands and wives, rather than setting them up for conflict by telling one sex to mind the budget and the other sex to mind the biological clock. On the other hand, as with the Pill we already have, I think the advantage of being able to control fertility still outweighs the disadvantages.

    b) Well, I suppose anyone can try any sort of lawsuit, so someone might, sometime, try to bring such a case to court. But I can’t think why it wouldn’t be laughed out of court. Men can already lie about vasectomies, and we’re not seeing any lawsuits about that.

    c) I expect a modest increase in men pursuing single parenthood, and in gay male couples pursuing parenthood, with or without a male pill, simply due to continuing shifts in sex roles. Maybe a male pill would boost this trend a bit, maybe not; I find it hard to believe its role would be significant. I think most heterosexual people who want children want an opposite sex partner to raise them with, and only go the single parent by choice route when they find they can’t marry. In any case, I’d consider more single fathers by choice a good thing if they’re adopting hard to place kids, and a bad thing if they’re using surrogate mothers. (I don’t think surrogate motherhood is a good thing, since I think contracting to go through pregnancy and then surrender the child is asking too much.)

    Jumping way upthread, to where Keri and craichead were discussing morality, Keri wrote: As far as I’m concerned, personal responsibility/”is it hurting anyone” is pretty much the limit as to how much morality I’m comfortable with imposing on people through law, norms, etc. Everything else should be negotiated by each individual, whether he/she does it through Christianity or another religion or a secular philosopher or his/her own personal ethics.

    I’m not sure whether this is a difference in terminology between Keri and me, or what, but I find it odd to separate out norms from people’s religion and ethics. Surely Christianity isn’t a purely personal, individual thing; Christians are part of churches, and discern their ethics together. This is as true for Christians who want to see a shift in traditional Christian views of sexual morality as it is for those who want to reassert said traditional views. Likewise, ethics, even secular ones, seem to me to be not purely personal, but rather something people learn from others, and promote to each other, and therefore linked with norms. So I’d draw the lines differently: there are those things that should be a matter for law (for example, stick to consenting adults), those things that might be a matter for social norms (secular or faith-based), and those things which are a matter of individual preference. And within the “norms” category, there are things that you can justify with secular reasoning that people of different faiths could agree to (let’s say, for example, “it’s not a good idea to go around having sex with hundreds of people and not using a condom with any of them”), and things that don’t hold up so well with people who don’t agree to your faith.

  131. Lynn, do you really think the male pill would result in more casual sex? How so? I can see more of a desire for casual sex on the part of men on the pill, but they still have to find a partner! I do see the possibility of condom usage going down…”but hon, we don’t need that! I’m on the pill!” And in this atmosphere of no sex ed (my school district has the “abstinence only” mindset, which of course is resulting in more teen STDs and pregnancy, sigh), that could definitely result in more STDs.

  132. “Stephen: I am aware that pro-lifers believe that abortion hurts “the baby” (the fetus, actually, if using less loaded language is our goal), and that this transgression is serious enough that fetuses should be legally protected from it. Pro-choicers, however, believe differently; their focus is on the way that illegalizing abortion would hurt women by forcing them to undergo the emotional, mental and physical stress of pregnancy/childbirth against their will.”

    Yea, I undertand this and it’s what makes this issue so tough. Re: terminology. Agreed. I can use fetus but wonder at what point we can use baby? Is it only a baby out of the womb — that’s pretty arbitrary. When pro-lifers use pictures that others find offensive my response is, of course, that’s exactly the point. I don’t do that but I’m not sure if it’s wisdom or weakness.

    Let me put it this way. Abortion is one of the most hotly contested political issues on the American landscape. Yet we never see a NYT’s Sciences Edition with graphics outlining the various abortion procedures, explaning how they are done and at what stage. Time magazine doesn’t have a nifty pull-out section to educate the public on abortions. It’s not public squemishness either. I’ve seen breasts and prostates and all manner of innards and surgeries.

    Why is abortion different. Because all (or most) parties would react with horror on many (though not all) of the procedures. I was reading through the transcripts of one of the abortion debates w/ the Supreme Court and Justice OConnor said, “Well that gruesome and very troubling.” Precisely. That should inform us. I’m not a big fan of emotivism as a basis for morality but surely it has some relevance.

    “Steven, what I don’t understand is being pro-life, yet using terms like ‘avoid abortion,’ or arguments from some pro-life advocates that abortion is acceptable under circumstances like rape or incest.”

    Valid and troubling. Your point, to re-phrase, is “If it’s murder then it should always and everywhere be illegal. Is that fair?” I don’t have a great answer for this. So, in response to La Luba or Nancy P — if someone is raped by their ex-husband and a baby is a result, should the state be in a position to make an abortion illegal. I feel totally unprepared to respond to that. “Fools fly in . . . ”

    Still, I would hesitate to legislate out of the gray. My pro-life stance comes from the basic belief that at some point, the state is sanctioning the killing of humans and that’s wrong. I don’t always agree or like my bedfellows in this debate and think they (and we all )are muddled and imperfect in our motives and thinking. It still doesn’t address this core issue.

  133. I guess I’m never going to see the point of men who complain that they never really *know* whether their girlfriends are taking the Pill. If you’re suspicious, you do have options, such as using a condom or deciding not to have sex with someone you don’t quite trust.

    I also don’t understand the resistance some men have to using condoms, even when they’re told that it’s the only method of birth control being used.

  134. zuzu, the point of complaining about whether or not they “know” if their girlfriend is on the pill, is that if the birth control fails, then they can absolve themselves of any responsibility….”but, you told me you were on the pill!!!”

  135. You want to educate the boyz to break the connection between ‘having sex and being a man.’ Man or woman is a designation based upon sexual biology. You are great at denying it but the main, if only, differing characteristic of gender is sexual biology. To deny that sex is not indelibly intertwined with being a man/woman is… talking in circles.

    Pro life and pro-feminist are not incompatible? Yeah and holding you breathe whilst breathing under water are not incompatible too. It seems that this is fundamental contradiction of one of the most essential notions of feminism (reproductive autonomy = independence). How you can ‘reconcile’ these mutually exclusive poltical premises and yet claim to be pro-feminist, l do not understand. It leads me to suspect that you could rationalise anything and that the fundamentals of logic are of no value in your mind. True this place for insight into logical fallacies… http://www.ramdac.org/fallacies.php?fallacy=Introduction

    Sometimes divergence is not reconcilable. In my view its easier to admit the hypocracy, let go of the fallacy that human being are consistent in thoughts and actions and just admit and emrace the double standards. Its much easier than convoluted rationalisations, denials and delusions and going through life talking in (you guessed it)… circles.

  136. Whilst pregnant, the difference between a foetus and a baby seems to be one of intent.

    If you want the child… its a baby.

    If you dont… its a feotus.

    Semantics.

    Your body, your choice. Its also about power. You have the power to exercise control of what ever is dependant upon you and your body.

  137. Lynn, do you really think the male pill would result in more casual sex?

    No, no. Sorry I was unclear on that. The pill that resulted in more casual sex is the regular old female pill that we already have; it was just an example of how I could not like some of the behavioral shifts that come from something, and still believe that the increased choices it offers are a good thing.

    I doubt a male pill would result in more casual sex, since, like you, I can’t see much reason it would make women more willing to have casual sex, and without more willing women, it doesn’t matter how willing the men are. Less condom use, maybe, and maybe more “when are we going to have kids” arguments among married couples if we keep seeing the same old pressure directed at women only to be sure to have kids before it’s too late. But the problem in that case wouldn’t be men having more control of their fertility; it would be men and women being told conflicting things about what decisions they should be making about childbearing.

  138. “But he makes such a cute pet. His head spins around on command. It’s quite amusing.”

    Again, pretty funny…

  139. “After all, couldn’t it be argued that every time a woman fails to have sex with a man while ovulating, she has prevented a human being from coming into the world? Is it wrong for a woman not to be pregnant at any given point in her life, because she could be in the process of creating a new life at that very moment and she isn’t?”

    Well that IS the argument of many who are against sex being recreational as opposed to creational (if that’s a word although I like it, so I might continue using it in the future)…that’s also the (albeit subconscious) argument behind MOST who are against abortion and other means of birth control….

    AND who are going to be the biggest and strongest opponents of a male bc pill…as feminists are NOT going to be your most vocal opponent but instead other MEN like Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, even George Bush…since they are going to see very clearly, what you keep trying to deny, which is that this idea will result in making men even MORE marginal in the family…more marginal…as accidental pregnancies are a much LARGER portion of men having children then you care to admit…

  140. “The male pill would give men more control over their reproductive life/choices.

    One could argue that it (responsibility) should be all on the female side of the equation simply because they’re the ones carrying the child and women have all the choice when it comes to having a baby or an abortion. I think they should have that choice, but then men should also have the choice of a “paper abortion”.

    It will give you MORE choice to NOT be a father, but that’s it…it won’t help you BECOME a father and THAT is going to be your ultimate problem…and the end result will be that it will cause social changes that will prove to be irreversible…as women will become MORE comfortable with using other means to become pregnant and it will further sideline men from the process…and you cannot always reverse those changes afterwards just like what happened with marriage when men rejected it for ‘freedom’ and women just moved on to having children outside of it…

    Obviously men have learning nothing from that experience…

  141. “b) Well, I suppose anyone can try any sort of lawsuit, so someone might, sometime, try to bring such a case to court. But I can’t think why it wouldn’t be laughed out of court. Men can already lie about vasectomies, and we’re not seeing any lawsuits about that.”

    There will be lawsuits from men using the pill w/o a wife’s knowledge (even inlaws probably) as it could delay her from having a child until it was too late…vasectomies are rare, that’s why you don’t see many lawsuit regarding them, but pills are easier, cheaper, more convenient so the likihood of a LOT of men using them is good…thus more trickery, thus more lawsuits…

    Then we’ll be seeing the usual thing happen: which will be MORE restrictions placed on women using birth control although men’s reproductive life is much longer, but gender neutral eggheads or idiots as I can them, will argue that BOTH men and women now need permission from their spouses in order to get a prescription for birth control…even though the male/female situations are totally different…

    So ultimately men using these pills will place MORE restrictions on women using them…w/o written permission from husbands…once again showing how women frequently get punished for the bad behavior of men…

  142. Stephen, that’s really where my respect pro-life views breaks down. Please understand that I’m not scolding you for being hesitant to make snap judgments. It’s just that this seems to be a no-brainer. If abortion is wrong because it results in taking a human life, then questions like “what about cases of rape?” or “what about the IUD?” are quite easily answered. So the gray area has a lot less to do with principle and a lot more to do with people getting their Issues about sex, women and families mixed up in it.

  143. “c) I expect a modest increase in men pursuing single parenthood, and in gay male couples pursuing parenthood, with or without a male pill, simply due to continuing shifts in sex roles. Maybe a male pill would boost this trend a bit, maybe not; I find it hard to believe its role would be significant.”

    You’re right it wouldn’t be significant in the least in MORE men pursuing single parenthood, actually less will pursue it now or should I say have it pursue them…as men starting to use birth control pills will probably tranlate into fewer men having the kinds of ‘accidents’ that men frequently have, let’s face it, when they have one-night stands and casual sex with women who aren’t ‘marriage material’ in their eyes…

    Cutting down on THOSE sorts of accidents will LEAD to fewer men becoming single parents as about 30% of the pool of custodial fathers is composed of never-married men…

    Regarding gay men it will have NO impact…as gay men have been free to adopt for years now…actually it could result in fewer accidentally pregnancies leading to fewer potential adoptive children being available for gay men to adopt…so it could mean FEWER gay men adopting…just as making abortion legal led to fewer children to adopt for everyone…

    The bottom line is that the male pill will dry up the pool of ‘accidents’ which is a large portion of the children that men, both gay and straight, become single fathers through…

  144. “Contraception is never an issue until a female wants a baby. Then contraception is manipulated in favor of a woman’s “choice”, meaning the female has always been the gatekeeper. That is what this whole ballgame is about.

    That is why men need the pill. It will finally give men their “choice” and restore their rights as human beings. Imagine this Hugo, if you will, the fact that men will finally get a say on breeding decisions. A woman mating with a man will have to ask the man for permission for him to get off the pill so she can get pregnant.”

    Imagine this: birth rates dropping through the floor as more of you decide you’d rather spend your money on season tickets for hockey games or a new Harley with more bells and whistles then on having children…

    You’ll all be like David Letterman, 51 years old and STILL wasn’t sure if he wanted to be a father…his g/f finally took the decision away from him by just going ahead and getting pregnant…

    Of course, he was pleased as punch (although he still hasn’t married her) BUT if she had to wait for Letterhead to stop using a pill in order for her to get pregnant…Letterman would STILL be thinking about his options…and that child would not even exist…

    STILL…

  145. “(As an aside, could we agree that the “sides” in this debate be re-ferred to as “pro-life” and “pro-choice?”

    No…as being pro-life gives you an assumed moral superiority over those who are called pro-choice…

    You are anti-choice, not pro-life…as everyone is pro-life including pro-choice people…

  146. “I dunno – if your charactarization of men is nothing more than guys prowling around to get laid… then you know very little about men. This is, perhaps, true of men in their 20s and early 30s – for certain types of men (and who am I to question their lifestyle – at least they have a hobby). To paint all men with that brush – or even most men, is ignorance at best, but more likely, simple misandry.”

    Yeah, I’m 32 and I’m the exact OPPOSITE of that.

  147. “As for “keeping another human being from coming into existence,” I’m not sure how abstaining from sex is really all that different in that regard. After all, couldn’t it be argued that every time a woman fails to have sex with a man while ovulating, she has prevented a human being from coming into the world? Is it wrong for a woman not to be pregnant at any given point in her life, because she could be in the process of creating a new life at that very moment and she isn’t?”

    But there are plenty of reasons that people don’t have sex. I don’t pursue sex because it doesn’t interest me, others fear VD, and some choose to remain abstinent until marriage. I’m talking about the deliberate decision to do something artificial to prevent a person from coming into the world…

    “That, combined with the fact that I don’t believe there are souls lined up in heaven who just can’t wait to be given form– I believe if someone or something doesn’t exist, it really doesn’t exist– means that I don’t actually think preventing conception is all that “heavy.””

    I’m not really talking about whether or not we have souls. I’m just referring to how philosophically “heavy” it is to think of what it would be like if one never existed.

    “I don’t believe we have any sort of moral imperative to reproduce, so when it comes to my decision about whether or not I’m willing to give up total independent control of my body/money/time/energy/life for a creature that’s totally dependent on me, I’m afraid that the “rights” of something that doesn’t exist to be brought into the world really aren’t a high priority.”

    I’m not talking about “rights,” either, in this case, because we’re not even talking about someone who has been fertilized. I’m merely discussing an overall mindset of treating the prospect of conceiving a child as equivalent to contracting herpes.

  148. “Anyway, believe me, there’s no pleasing these MRAs….Yes, I heard that Wendy MacElroy (their former defender) is now persona non grata with them now…I don’t feel any sympathy for women like her however, these women are enablers and deserving of no sympathy…I hope no womens’ group allows her in now…as she hurt many women with her nonsense…”

    Yeah, like treating men like they were actual human beings, right? [eyeroll]

  149. “”(As an aside, could we agree that the “sides” in this debate be re-ferred to as “pro-life” and “pro-choice?”

    “No…as being pro-life gives you an assumed moral superiority over those who are called pro-choice…You are anti-choice, not pro-life…as everyone is pro-life including pro-choice people…”

    The best thing to do is to call each side what it wishes to be called: “pro-life” and “pro-choice” will do just fine. The argument made by some pro-choicers is that pro-lifers aren’t always pro-life about everything, such as war and capital punishment. But the obvious response to that is that pro-choicers aren’t always pro-choice about everything, either, including the smoking of cigarettes, the owning of handguns, the legalization of certain drugs — not to mention things I hope ALL of us are anti-choice about, such as rape, child abuse and arson. I have no problem saying I’m anti-choice when it comes to these things; it’s not a slur word.

  150. As we’re speaking about their position on abortion, I would leave ‘pro-life’ as a label off all those who make exceptions that have nothing to do with life–they think it’s OK to allow abortion in cases of rape or incest, or if birth control failed, etc. That’s not protecting the life of a fetus. That’s using a baby as a shield to hide behind when spewing morality about women’s sexual behavior.

    I would similarly exclude anyone who supports forced abortion from the ‘pro-choice’ label.

  151. “Yeah, I’m 32 and I’m the exact OPPOSITE of that.”

    Somehow, believe it or not, that does NOT surprise me…

  152. “Yeah, I’m 32 and I’m the exact OPPOSITE of that.”

    “Somehow, believe it or not, that does NOT surprise me…”

    That I’m not preoccupied (or even interested in) sex?

  153. “I’m not talking about “rights,” either, in this case, because we’re not even talking about someone who has been fertilized. I’m merely discussing an overall mindset of treating the prospect of conceiving a child as equivalent to contracting herpes.”

    Well sadly since BOTH of these things come about through the same method, people who aren’t on the ‘women with child as sacred’ train have a habit of confusing the two…

    AND if it continues, fewer young women will want to be mothers…as already we are seeing that many women who are the ‘cream of the crop’ are simply saying no to motherhood. It’s almost like women who have no OTHER choices are the only ones who want to be mothers anymore…

    Well where is our society heading if that continues?

    AND I might add that you and other MRAs are the main ones leading the charge in that direction…so you better think about it a little bit more before you continue paling around with these idiots on other sites who keep denigrating women, especially in their role as mothers…

    You just better start thinking about it…

  154. I’m not talking about “rights,” either, in this case, because we’re not even talking about someone who has been fertilized. I’m merely discussing an overall mindset of treating the prospect of conceiving a child as equivalent to contracting herpes.

    Can you spin this last sentence out a bit? I’m not really sure what you’re getting at. I can tell you that, certainly, it’s a hell of a big thing to think that you’re pregnant when you don’t want to be. I mean, you’re talking about a big decision whether or not to continue with the pregnancy, and if you do, there are huge changes to your body and lifelong responsibilities. Why not treat it as something to avoid unless you’re willing to do it?

    And really, with contraception, you *are* talking about rights. There are any number of pharmacists who will refuse prescriptions for birth-control pills because they think it’s tantamount to abortion. And these are people who presumably spent time learning just what exactly happens when a woman takes a pill, which is that her ovulation is suppressed and she therefore does not produce eggs which can be fertilized.

    Same with emergency contraception. A lot of pharmacy chains and pharmacy professionals’ groups are allowing the pharmacists to refuse to fill such prescriptions, though they’re supposed to refer the person to someone who will fill them (it sometimes doesn’t happen).

    Frankly, unless there’s a potential for bad drug interaction with something I’m already taking, I don’t want my pharmacist overriding decisions made by my doctor, particularly when that is based on the pharmacist’s personal religious beliefs unsupported by medical science.

  155. “And really, with contraception, you *are* talking about rights. There are any number of pharmacists who will refuse prescriptions for birth-control pills because they think it’s tantamount to abortion. And these are people who presumably spent time learning just what exactly happens when a woman takes a pill, which is that her ovulation is suppressed and she therefore does not produce eggs which can be fertilized.”

    The reason birth-control pills are brought into the abortion issue is because many or all of them have a “backup” mechanism in which, should fertilization take place, implantation of the newly created human being is made very difficult.

    “Same with emergency contraception. A lot of pharmacy chains and pharmacy professionals’ groups are allowing the pharmacists to refuse to fill such prescriptions, though they’re supposed to refer the person to someone who will fill them (it sometimes doesn’t happen).
    Frankly, unless there’s a potential for bad drug interaction with something I’m already taking, I don’t want my pharmacist overriding decisions made by my doctor, particularly when that is based on the pharmacist’s personal religious beliefs unsupported by medical science.”

    It isn’t a religious belief to understand the abortifacient nature of these medications.

  156. “Anyway, believe me, there’s no pleasing these MRAs….Yes, I heard that Wendy MacElroy (their former defender) is now persona non grata with them now…I don’t feel any sympathy for women like her however, these women are enablers and deserving of no sympathy…I hope no womens’ group allows her in now…as she hurt many women with her nonsense…”

    Yeah, like treating men like they were actual human beings, right? [eyeroll]”

    No…she aided and abetted you in acting out upon all your worse impulses…

    For instance, encouraging you to fight for custody of children by claiming that the only reason fathers didn’t get custody in the past was that you were discriminated against in courts…Full well knowing that was a lie…knowing full well…

    Thus she was personally responsible for separating many thousands of mothers from their children, even infants…Wendy McElroy gave the intellectual and moral justification to Judges, GALS, Evaluators and others for these sorts of actions…

    She encouraged you all in this nonsense. All of it…

    Additionally McElroy was responsible for helping spread this nonsense that as many men get abused as women.

    Again, causing many Judges, GALS, Evaluators and others to ignore violence committed against women in custody cases…and thus, again, giving Judges moral and intellectual justification to put many more women and children in harm’s way by her articles and other actions encouraging you all with her nonsense.

    Bottom line, her bullcrap give the moral and intellectual impetus to Judges who award custody to dangerous men…

    So you all turning on her now is GOOD… It’s Karma and richly deserved by her, richly deserved…

    She’s lucky, she can walk away from all the havoc she wrought…unlike many of the victims of her bullcrap who are stuck having to live through it…

  157. “No…she aided and abetted you in acting out upon all your worse impulses…
    For instance, encouraging you to fight for custody of children by claiming that the only reason fathers didn’t get custody in the past was that you were discriminated against in courts…Full well knowing that was a lie…knowing full well…”

    Except that it ISN’T a lie.

    “Additionally McElroy was responsible for helping spread this nonsense that as many men get abused as women.”

    Which ALSO is a fact: http://www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm

    Man, you’re REALLY bad at this…

  158. “It is a religious belief that a fertilized egg is a newly-created human being prior to implantation in the uterus.”

    The human development textbook at my disposal must endorse religious beliefs, in that case…

  159. ‘Of course, he was pleased as punch (although he still hasn’t married her) BUT if she had to wait for Letterhead to stop using a pill in order for her to get pregnant…Letterman would STILL be thinking about his options…and that child would not even exist…

    STILL… ‘ NYMON

    He didn’t marry her and wouldnt have been a father… still. So. What a bad man for not getting a written contract and reproducing. Just evil.

    So what… heaven forbid that a free will should exercise choices. We cant have that now can we.

    Seems like Letterman just has to deal with the situation and learn to make the best of it. What’s he gonna do… leave the missus and suffer all of the emotional, financial and social fallout. Don’t think so. Most descent human beings will love their children once they come into existence, but that says nothing about them having been deceived. And the attend reflection of and implications for the essence of a relationship which is trust.

    Why would you lament men having a birth control pill? It would likely solve more problems than it creates (if any).

    So what if women and men are having fewer babies. Whoopie do. Just increase immigration if local population growth is an issue. Their are plenty of un-wanted kids in China and India. Places, incidently, where many same sex couples already go to adopt.

  160. bmmg39: There are also plenty of reasons that people use contraceptives. Some aren’t interested in becoming parents, others fear the pain of pregnancy/childbirth, and some choose to avoid conception until marriage (or financial/career security, or until a certain age, etc). Sounds familiar, no? I’m not seeing why one choice is more “moral” or acceptable than the other, unless you’re really objecting to non-procreative sex in a roundabout way, which again generally tends to be a religious imperative.

    As for what it would be like if I never existed, well, I doubt I would be in a position to feel any emotion about it whatsoever, considering I wouldn’t exist. I’ve never understood why some pro-lifers seem to think that’s an effective argument against abortion. Sure, I like being alive now, but if I hadn’t been born I wouldn’t know the difference, so what does it matter? (Also, again, I’m not seeing much difference between “what if my parents had used a condom the day I was conceived?” and “what if my parents had chosen not to have sex the day I was conceived?”)

    And you may not like this, but honestly, if I had to choose right now between finding out I had herpes and finding out I was pregnant, I’d probably choose the herpes. I don’t think you appreciate to what degree a pregnancy can be catastrophic for a woman who is not prepared or does not want to have a baby. It may sound nice to say “oh, if she only had the right attitude about it and worked hard enough, everything would turn out just fine!” but that’s unfortunately a myth. “Embracing new life” isn’t going to put money in the bank or food on the table, and getting pregnant isn’t automatically going to give a woman who doesn’t want to raise children sudden maternal instincts.

    You’re right in that we shouldn’t always treat pregnancy as a disease, but nor should we all be expected to treat it as a wonderful miracle. I don’t feel that I’m being disrespectful to women who are pregnant by choice or wanting/trying to get pregnant because I feel that pregnancy would be an extremely unpleasant and terrible experience in my individual case. Again, one’s outlook on pregnancy is going to be strongly affected by one’s situation and one’s attitude toward parenting, and since both of those variables differ so much from person to person, it’s ridiculous to suggest that everyone should think the same way about it.

  161. “Why would you lament men having a birth control pill? It would likely solve more problems than it creates (if any).

    So what if women and men are having fewer babies. Whoopie do. Just increase immigration if local population growth is an issue. Their are plenty of un-wanted kids in China and India. Places, incidently, where many same sex couples already go to adopt.”

    I personally would not lament it as it’s less problems for mothers and children to be free of legal entanglements with men…as they appear to lead to nothing but trouble today…the problem would be men lamenting it just as you did when you discovered how many single mothers were having kids w/o you when you abandoned marriage…

    So take the pill…I don’t care…just take it…

  162. ‘the problem would be men lamenting it just as you did when you discovered how many single mothers were having kids w/o you when you abandoned marriage…’ NYMOM.

    Lamenting single mums having babies… no way. l dont regret that in any way. Great, if that is what you want.

    In terms of abandoning marriage… l cannot see how one can abandon something which they have never embraced. l dont see the point of marriage. l doubt l ever will see the point of that arcane failed institution. Cant be bothered living off (and not living as result of) each others neuroses.

  163. The human development textbook at my disposal must endorse religious beliefs, in that case…

    Your human development textbook states that a fertilized ovum pre-implantation is a human life the moral equivalent of a born human being?

  164. It isn’t a religious belief to understand the abortifacient nature of these medications.

    It’s also not the pharmacist’s place to impose their religious beliefs on me by refusing to fill a prescription. Take BCPs, for example: they’re quite often the only thing that can regulate painful periods and cramping and excessive bleeding. Ergo, there is a legitimate medical need for them beyond contraception, AND the primary way they work is suppressing ovulation, not preventing implantation. Even if the “backup” were to kick in because ovulation had not been suppressed, there’s no guarantee that there has been fertilization (since, let’s recall, it takes a good deal of time for the sperm to actually reach an egg, if one’s been released at all, and there’s no guarantee any of the sperm will do the job). So, why would any service person’s religious beliefs trump my doctor’s instructions to dispense medication?

    Let’s try another example. Say you have a pharmacist who believes that certain mental conditions, such as depression, are caused by demonic possession. If you had crippling depression and the only thing that was keeping you functioning was Zoloft, wouldnt’ you be just a leetle pissed off when the pharmacist refused to fill the prescription because it might make exorcising the demon more difficult?

  165. “Your human development textbook states that a fertilized ovum pre-implantation is a human life the moral equivalent of a born human being?”

    No, not the “moral equivalent,” but rather a human being in and of him- or herself, stating that “your true beginning took place at the moment when a sperm cell fertilized an ovum.”

    I can look for the exact excerpt if you’d like. Furthermore, other textbooks and dictionaries I’ve consulted on the manner suggest the same thing…

  166. ” So, why would any service person’s religious beliefs trump my doctor’s instructions to dispense medication?”

    I’ve already addressed this. It’s not a religious belief.

    If the “date rape” drug were legal to dispense, but I refused to dispense it on the grounds that it (obviously) makes it easier for a person to be raped, would you accuse me of religious intolerance?

  167. Faith? What faith do you have Hugo? You do not follow the Bible… (If you did you wouldn’t be: anti-marital-rape and anti multiple-wives-for-men and pro-women’s-rights) Are you a buddist, or perhapse a deist or an agnostic?

  168. If the “date rape” drug were legal to dispense, but I refused to dispense it on the grounds that it (obviously) makes it easier for a person to be raped, would you accuse me of religious intolerance?

    I would accuse you of not doing your job and of substituting your judgment for the judgment of my doctor. Which is exactly what I’m doing with the pharmacist who refuses to dispense BCPs. Which are legal. Whether that pharmacist thinks that through some attenuated possible set of circumstances my use of this legal product might could result in the failure of a zygote to implant itself does not change the fact that it is legal, my doctor prescribed it, and that pharmacist’s job is to dispense it.

    In any event, the pharmacists in Pharmacists for Life explicitly state that their objection is on religious grounds.

  169. “If the “date rape” drug were legal to dispense, but I refused to dispense it on the grounds that it (obviously) makes it easier for a person to be raped, would you accuse me of religious intolerance?”

    “I would accuse you of not doing your job and of substituting your judgment for the judgment of my doctor.”

    Okay…at least you’re consistent…even if that consistency means supporting the sale of child-killing drugs and the date-rape pill…consistency is good, though…I suppose…

  170. Lots of drugs can be abused and not used for their intended purpose. Lots of drugs have effects that might happen if not used correctly, or if there’s an interaction with another drug.

    Does that mean that the pharmacist is entitled to substitute his or her judgment for that of the FDA, Congress and the doctor? No. If dispensing legal medications makes someone uncomfortable, they should not be in that line of work.

    And before you bring up roofies again, I have a friend who was raped after someone put some in her drink.

  171. “And before you bring up roofies again, I have a friend who was raped after someone put some in her drink.”

    What. You think I’m using such an analogy LIGHTLY? It’s a mortally serious subject. They both are. Hence, the analogy.

  172. I think you are right on the money. I, too, can no longer support FFL because they do not support the use of condoms. If distributing condoms in high schools and colleges would reduce the abortion rate drastically among those students, who in their right mind would have a problem with doing so? Are those of us who call ourselves “pro-life” actually concerned with saving lives or with promoting our moral beliefs? I wish every woman could have the maturity and foresight to know if they are ready to have a child. I wish every man could realize what a responsibility it is to create a life. But we have to live in the real world. My mission is to take my message to other mothers like myself, and focus on our own children, especially our daughters. We need to teach our young women that they must respect themselves enough to INSIST on a condom every time. I know of three girls in my own class who had abortions, because they had been convinced by their teenage boyfriend that “nothing will happen; just this once”. One friend told me she would give anything to have that moment back where she could have said “no way, if you want to be with me, you have to wear a condom.” A lifetime of regret could have been prevented if she had only been empowered to take control of the situation. I want to live in a world where abortion is the very last resort. Doesn’t everyone? This is why I can’t agree with FFL or with my own faith’s teachings on the use of condoms. Condoms will and do save the lives of unborn children. To restrict their availablity or condemn those who use them in any way is contrary to the cause of protecting life.

  173. “I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a pro-life, pro-feminist man. . . . In practice, that means dropping out of the current abortion wars. I have, as of this month, cancelled my contributions to Feminists for Life.”

    If you reconcile feminism and pro-life stances by stopping do anything to promote life, you have in effect abandoned your pro-life stance. Like most pro-choicers, you’ve adopted the logic that the concerns of grown women are more important than the lives of unborn person. You’ve reconciled nothing. If you were really interested in reconciling your views, instead of abandoning one of them, you would have retreated into silence and confusion on both.

    I read your site from time to time. My friend Russell Fox is a friend of yours and–though I’m pretty conservative myself–I felt I could trust you in part because of I had this vague idea that you were against abortion, which led me to believe that your feminism was not typical liberal self-hatred, but principled. I saw the consistent life ethic in your banner. But following some links from other sites today I found out that I was wrong. You don’t stand up for life after all. Guess I was right about the corrosive effects of feminism after all. God have mercy on us.

  174. Adam, I’m sorry to disappoint you. I remain prayerfully silent on the issue of the legality of abortion, and pray for the day when it becomes unthinkable. That position earns me scorn from both sides, and perhaps that scorn is merited. Call it foolish ambivalence, call it un-Christian cowardice, call it what you will — here I sit, and I cannot do otherwise.

    Regards to Russell, and peace to you.

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