Silencing Men

13 Feb

As a feminist I fight every day to demonstrate that I am not a misandrist. As any feminist knows, that is an uphill battle. It seems that feminism and misandry are synonyms for much of the population, and that really upsets me. In fact, my partner held the belief that feminist hate men before he met me. He quickly realized that is the furthest thing from the truth, but that was only because he met me. When I meet new men I like to get them to like me (as friends of course!) and then “drop the bomb,” so to speak, that I am a feminist. Many of them are usually shocked to hear that I have serious concerns with the family justice system too. Because I so strongly feel that the patriarchy hurts men, and that I love my feminist boyfriend, this next sentence hurts me.

I want to silence all the male voices in the abortion discussion.

Trust me, it hurts for me to write that. My partner is one of the biggest supporters of abortion rights there is. I know a great many men who are huge supporters of abortion rights and I so greatly appreciate their support. But I still want to silence their voices.

Abortion, as I have previously blogged, has become a hot topic in Canada recently. The major voices from the government for the anti-choice camp are Stephen Woodworth, Brad Trost, and Rod Bruinooge (there is one more but for the life of me can’t find the correct spelling of his name so we’ll leave it at 3). I’m sure you guessed what they have in common: they’re all MEN! The main anti-choice voices for the U.S. are also all men. In fact, the majority of persons in government who are anti-choice, are men. And none of them can get pregnant. The people who are making decisions that affect the lives of women, CAN’T EVEN GET PREGNANT!

And so, I want to silence the voices of all men. I am so tired of men giving their opinion about abortion. I am so tired of it that I am willing to sacrifice the voices of all the men who support women. I truly believe that if men were no longer allowed to speak on the topic of abortion, every country would be pro-choice. Anti-choice women get abortions too. Abortion crosses every religious, cultural, and political line. The only line it can’t cross is biological sex, and that is where the problem lies.

Of course there are anti-choice women, Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann being the two most prominent ones. I dislike them just as much as I dislike male anti-choicers, but something about a man, a person who could never fully appreciate the terror upon seeing a positive pregnancy test, a person who could walk away from a pregnancy if he so chose, a person who will never DIE in childbirth, something about him telling a woman that she should be forced to keep a pregnancy sends me into a rage.

It is that rage, that sense of complete and utter anger at a man telling me what I can and cannot do with my body that causes me to write that sentence, that causes me to want to silence all the male voices in the abortion discussion.

I know not everybody will agree with me, and that is okay. Some people view the male allies as more important than the male antis. I just happen to believe that if we take away the male voices, we will take away most of the antis. Our patriarchal society is based upon male control of women, and control of their bodies is key. I have decided that it’s time to take away male control. It’s time to silence male voices.


17 Responses to “Silencing Men”

  1. Cand86 February 13, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

    Eh, I disagree, although I appreciate your sentiment. I think men should absolutely keep mum when it comes to the right to access abortion (i.e. unless you are supporting that right, your inability to ever be in that situation, as a cis man, means you have no credibility in speaking out against it), and I think that similarly, no cis guy is in a position to judge a woman (again, because he will never be pregnant). But silencing men altogether? I think men have valid experiences with abortion- as partners, fathers, sons, doctors, abortion providers, and so on, and they should be able to discuss them- so long as they abide by the rules of non-judgment and supporting reproductive rights.

  2. Servalbear February 13, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

    I agree with you, though it pains me to say it too. There are many men I know who support abortion access with no apologies. They work to further reproductive rights, but they can only understand the abortion issues partially because they will never need one. It would be a sacrifice to silence men supporters, but if we could also silence the anti-abortion men it would be worth it. There seem to be way more men with more power to effect women in the anti ranks than there are pro-access male supporters. As you say: “The people who are making decisions that affect the lives of women, CAN’T EVEN GET PREGNANT!”

  3. Peter February 13, 2012 at 7:58 pm #

    – Non-soldiers should be SILENCED in a discussion about war crimes.
    – Those who do not own guns should be SILENCED in a discussion about gun laws.
    – Non-taxpayers should be SILENCED in a discussion about tax policy.
    – Men should be SILENCED in an abortion discussion… because they’ve never been fetuses.

  4. Not Guilty February 13, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

    @Cand86 the reason I didn’t say that non-supporters should be silent is because I don’t really think it’s appropriate to just silence the people I disagree with. I believe that if I am going to argue that men should have no voice, it should be all men. I think it’s hypocritical to simply silence dissenters. The reason behind silencing men is that they can’t get pregnant, and it is the reason that is important. But I’m fine that you disagree with me!

    @Peter You’ve really just shown that you don’t get it. I *could* go to war, I *could* own a gun, I *do* pay taxes (as do like 99% of the population, if not 100% – think sales tax). The reason men shouldn’t have a voice when it comes to pregnancy and abortion is because they can’t get pregnant. “Being” a fetus is irrelevant. You’ve taken my well-reasoned post and made a fool of yourself with your reply.

  5. Bakpappa February 13, 2012 at 10:13 pm #

    Uh, I think you are shooting at the symptom, not the problem now.

    I think you are working for the anti-choice movement by saying that, not that you intend to.

    Claiming that men don’t “need” an abortion is just silly. Men just can’t choose having one. BIG difference.

    I personally don’t think women as a group should have the right to choose about abortion. It should always be up to the pregnant woman in question. In an ideal world it would also be up to the male who inpregnated her, I just don’t know how that would work in the real world.

    In an ideal world the “I’m pregnant” should put the same fear in men as a positive test do in women. Not that I wish fear on anybody.

    In the real world women as a group are probably less likely to legislate for anti-choice. But why not limit the legislation to women who have had an abortion or only women who are pro-choice. That way we can be sure the right choice is made?

    Or, wait. Why not limit all legislation to the ones with the right opinion? Or why make it complicated, let me decide on everything!

    But, seriously, let’s work towards a world where nobody can just walk away from a pregnancy, ok?

    Let’s work towards a world where everybody sees anti-choice as the right choice!

    And, oh, welcome to Scandinavia. Here everybody is so much a feminist that the word has almost lost it’s meaning… You would maybe get a raised eyebrow here if you “dropped the bomb”.

  6. Antonia February 14, 2012 at 3:36 am #

    I agree with you and it is hard for me to silence anyone’s voice because they do have a right to speak. I still agree with you that men who pilot the plane in regards to everything we know, see and think of ourselves and our bodies from a political and media POV should keep quite as they do not know nor understand the women, their bodies and their situations. It is not their choice nor their decision.

  7. TJ February 14, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    Good. So men should not have to pay child support by your logic.

  8. Peter February 14, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

    @NotGuilty – Thanks for your response. You correctly draw a distinction between your argument and my first three statements (soldiers, gun-owners, taxpayers). We share our disagreement with these statements. As for the fourth statement, you haven’t yet offered an argument for why “only those who *could* become pregnant are allowed in the abortion discussion” is a better rule than “only those who have been fetuses are allowed in the abortion discussion.” One thing I notice is that your rule excludes infertile women, including all those beyond menopause.

    Your “well-reasoned” post points out that many men disagree with you, and that you are tired of listening to people who disagree with you, and that it makes you angry when men participate in an abortion discussion. I don’t find these reasons sufficient; perhaps we’ll have to agree to disagree on that account.

    One area of common ground that I believe we hold is frustration that the “anti-choice” movement primarily pursues policy changes that impose a burden on women rather than men. I would love to see a greater emphasis on legal and social pressures on men to support women with whom they have conceived a child.

    By the way, the Washington Post recently pointed out ( that nearly all the leaders of the U.S. “anti-choice” movement are women. I’m not as familiar with the Canadian movement.

  9. Ben February 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

    @Peter Is it really all that painful to shut up and listen? Look, I’ll show you how it works: “….”

  10. Spud February 25, 2012 at 10:32 am #

    @Ben ah because arguments that aren’t in agreement with yours or -even worse- superior to yours are not valid. I see what you did there.

  11. Ci February 26, 2012 at 10:11 am #

    “In an ideal world it would also be up to the male who inpregnated her” creeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepy. nobody impregnates me thanks, I am not a castle!

    that said, was the cissexist implications of this article really necessary? yeah, fuck those transmen who are affected by “women’s” health just as much as you. otherwise, yeah, I like this.

  12. Rammer February 29, 2012 at 11:11 am #

    I apologize for my late entry to this discussion. I happen to think Peter makes an excellent entry point to this discussion. Simply for the reason that you are incapable of giving physical birth does not exclude you from the discussion (I.E. women can speak but men can’t). Then he follows up digging down deeper uncovering the authors anger at men even talking about the issue. Illustrating it is an insufficient leg with which to build a position for argument. As a man who happens to be of the “LIFE” persuasion regretting Roe V Wade but understanding it I am perplexed by my fellow Americans who seem to have a double standard quickly developing in this country. On one hand many of my pro-abortionist friends tell me as a pro-lifer that the GOVERNMENT of the U.S. has NO RIGHT to interfere with a woman’s decision to abort – YET – today in support of President Obama’s pilicies these same pro-abortion voices are completely content and satisfied having the GOVERNMENT of the U.S. tell the Catholic Church they MUST provide funding and the actual services to perform abortions AND provide contraceptive care. Sorry my fellow Americans – that’s a double standard. What say you?


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