Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Slut Shaming, Misogyny, and Why Women are Responsible for Luring Men into Wanting Sex (not)

Women can't get pregnant without sperm, right? But is it their fault that men want to have sex with them? Are they responsible for saying "no?" Is it their responsibility to not get pregnant?

In the last few months, I have read and fielded thousands of online abortion discussion posts that are anti-choice. Well, really "pro-live birth." Thousands.

You see, in July, 2013, my daughter wrote a sign to protest Texas' "Women's Health" legislation, Senate Bill 5. This bill, now a law, "is plainly intended to interfere with the patient-physician relationship and restrict the reproductive rights of women in Texas," , according to the 58,000 member American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

What's the most surprising type of comment I've read throughout this time? Concern for the mother? Concern for our freedom of choice? A lack of widely spread factual information? Politics happening behind closed doors? The righteousness of organized religion to have legislators force their beliefs on the population? Bible quotes? Comments about Tuesday's sign's "vulgarity?" Nope. I expected those. The most surprising comments I have seen/read blame the woman for getting pregnant and being told that "they should have known better." And wow, there are plenty. Here's a good one, blaming the woman for "spreading [her] legs."

What happened to the "male influence" on those pregnancies? Men are (at least) 50% responsible for these pregnancies and they are hardly taken to task.

Misogyny and slut-shaming is rampant in all abortion discussions I have been part of, either explicitly or implicitly. Here's one aimed at my 14 year old daughter:

Let's call up Wikipedia: "Misogyny is the hatred or dislike of women or girls. Misogyny can be manifested in numerous ways, including sexual discrimination, denigration of women, violence against women, and sexual objectification of women. Misogyny has been characterised as a prominent feature of the mythologies of the ancient world as well as various religions. In addition, many influential Western philosophers have been described as misogynistic. The male counterpart of misogyny is misandry, the hatred or dislike of men; the antonym of misogyny is philogyny, the love or fondness of women."

Here are a couple of real comments I have read during this abortion debate:
  • "Why can't women just be smart enough to use contraceptives from the start? Why should their lack of responsibility go un-punished. Abortion should not be used like a contraceptive. Just saying......"
  • "Don't worry little girl Jesus wouldn't have anything to do with you cause only God only knows where that vagina has been and with who."
  • "Has anyone asked this little girl if she is glad her mom didn't accidentally get pregnant and choose to abort her?"
  • "The proud father, he raised a sausage slurper."
  • "With a father like that she will be a stripper strung out on drugs in no time." - "Oh. I see. The chubby, shabbily dressed pulchritudinous-challenged girl actually made the sign." {pul·chri·tu·di·nous - adj. Characterized by or having great physical beauty and appeal.}
  • "In other words, there are female contraception methods that you can always be prepared to make us of if there is any risk of you getting raped."
  • "Aha, but Mommy is probably advocating a sexually active lifestyle for her little lovely girl hoping she gets pregnant so they can kill a fetus."

Want to see more? Check this out: "14 Year old Womens Rights Activist Attacked Online

Who is taking up the reigns of taking the men to task for their role here? Why is it that parents aren't teaching their boys better? In fact, just this week Tuesday and I were pointed to a blog post named "FYI (if you’re a teenage girl)," where a mother is, essentially, saying that her boys can't be controlled when they see sultry pictures on the internet. What? Who is parenting these children?

Tuesday wrote a response to the original article - you can read her response here. So far the comments have been amazingly positive, but who knows.

What I want to know is this: why are men not taught to be responsible? Where are the parents that are modeling correct behavior? Why should it be the woman that's held to task? Why are their bodies the ones that are taboo? Men can run around completely topless without a problem. I don't get it. 

My wife and I just ordered Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood and Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men to see if they'd be good books not only for us to share with our son, but to see if they are worth recommending. If you've heard of them or a better book, I'd love to hear it. 

Someone has to stop this runaway train, and it is you.