The Tennessean, July 21, 2012
During the continued debate regarding men’s making decisions about women’s bodies, I have remained mostly silent, partly because I can hardly believe that we are having this discussion at all. In 2012, what kind of patriarchal, backward nation can acknowledge, without snickering, men’s attempts at making these decisions? I am not only disappointed but appalled and upset, as are many women.
You might think that I am some radical feminist who hates men and thereby discount my opinion on this matter. You might also try to label me a nut case who obviously doesn’t understand. This is not only a serious matter but a fairly dangerous one for us all.
I wonder how many of you men have ever had sex with a woman without the use of a condom, risking pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted diseases? I would guess that the numbers are high, but perhaps I am mistaken. I hear that men prefer intercourse without being wrapped up; they prefer skin to skin. How can any man who has had intercourse with a woman without using a condom look us women in the eyes and say that he is not only against abortion, but also against healthy birth-control options for women?
Do men want women to get pregnant most every time they have sex? As some say, if men could get pregnant, there might have been far more research and development of excellent birth-control choices by now.
How about Rush Limbaugh’s calling a female law student a slut earlier this year? Because she wanted women to have access to birth control, he suggested that she was sleeping with every Tom, Dick and Harry on campus. Perhaps he was projecting.
Throughout time, men have often been concerned with women’s bodies and women’s sexuality. Some men even seem to fear that if they allow women to enjoy sex, then women will be promiscuous and not responsible wives or mothers. Most of the men who want to control women’s bodies are also men who like to enter women’s bodies when they can.
Perhaps some men, like white men in general, fear not only the browning of America, but are frightened and angry that women are becoming so successful in business, in government, in educational systems and in churches. Maybe these men worry that their roles as leaders and heads of family will be taken over by women.
An appeal to these men: It is not wise to continue this war on women. If pushed too far, we women may rise up and create some very uncomfortable situations for you if we so desire. We love you guys; we really do. We need you to listen to us and respect us. You do not want to start a war on men. Nor do we.