The April 29 issue of Newsweek featured a conversation among liberal feminists about the future of the abortion movement.
Surprising to me was a recurring lament about the shortage of outspoken pro-abort men. Hasn't the mantra for almost 40 years been, "My body, my choice"?
Only last week pro-abort Florida Rep. Janet Long told fellow legislators to "stand down if you don't have ovaries" when voting on a bill requiring mothers seeking abortions to undergo ultrasounds.
The message has been loud and clear ("hear me roar") that if you don't have female reproductive organs, you have no say in abortion either personally or corporately.
But while pro-abort women have always despised and disparaged pro-life men, they apparently have begun to see value in their counterparts. From Newsweek:
Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon: [O]nly women are held accountable for fighting for reproductive rights. When the anti-choice side pulls energy from both men and women who are eager to halt sexual liberation and control female bodies, and pro-choicers can only look to women, we're already running at half capacity. ...
Nancy Keenan of NARAL: I agree with Amanda's point about needing men to become more vocal on our issue. … The perception is that men are the loud, boisterous and ever-present faces of the anti-choice movement (Mike Huckabee, Randall Terry, Rick Santorum), while women are the leaders of the pro-choice movement. And yet, if we are to win in the political arena, we simply cannot move pro-choice legislation, defeat anti-choice attacks, and protect Roe v. Wade unless we engage both genders. ...
How schizophrenic. How hypocritical. What, now that they're losing the abortion battle they admit they can't handle it on their own? They need men's help, seriously?
Over 37 years ago feminists outlawed giving fathers any say whatsoever when aborting children they may want while forcing fathers to financially support children they may not want – and feminists are now calling on men to help uphold the status quo?
Feminists are demanding that male pro-life legislators butt out because they have no ovaries while demanding that male pro-abort legislators intervene – on what grounds?
Feminists decry male pro-life activists outside abortion mills but ignore that most abortionists inside the mills are men. They find pro-life men creepy but not male specialists in the field of gynecologic child killing?
Is it any wonder men don't know how to behave around feminists?
Even homosexual men, more in touch with their feminine side than straights, are having a hard time. Wrote gay AJ on the Feminists for Choice blog:
As a "dude for choice," I find it difficult sometimes to negotiate space in the movement for reproductive justice. This isn't to say that I don't feel welcome. Hell, the feminist pro-choice movement is the one place that I have truly felt accepted for exactly who I am. But, I do think it's important for us to constantly challenge our preconceived assumptions. …
I have no preconceived assumptions about pro-life men. I know exactly what kind of men they are. They are stand-up, not stand-down men. They respect women. They love children. They take responsibility. They are protective. Unlike pro-abort men, pro-life men have no selfish stock in the pro-life movement. They don't exploit women as sex objects where consequences are dealt away with.
I love pro-life men. They bring valuable, unique God-given gifts to the table to help in the abortion battle. Feminists have no trouble bragging about strengths women have that men don't, but they cannot admit men have strengths women don't. I have no problem there.
Come to think of it, the abundant male-female mixes within our movement never have gender struggles. If ever there were an egalitarian social movement, this is it, and believe me, I am very sensitive on this subject. It may only come up that women are better spokespersons in various situations, and the men always defer.
Pro-lifer Gerard Nadal commented on my blog:
Pro-choice men have been effectively neutered by the feminists. Now that they've created an army of lap dogs, they decide that they really want attack dogs.
It's easier being a pro-life male. We get to be and act like men ought. And we get great women who aren't at war with their own nature, which means they aren't at war with the men who complement that nature and whose nature is complemented by women's.
One other reason pro-abort men may have trouble taking initiative. It must feel pretty slimy to grandstand killing one's own progeny.