Sunday, February 10, 2008

Clarifying My Blog for Choice

On my Roe anniversary blog, I wrote about how straight men can be better supporter's of women's rights. I said something that I now want to clarify. This is what I said:
  • If we get our lady pregnant, we must let the choice be hers, and hers alone. If we are in a serious relationship, naturally we will need to open our hearts. But we cannot place pressure on her decision. Whatever she decides, we must support her, emotionally and financially, even if the relationship itself ends. Don’t worry, we don’t have to marry her. Chances are she won’t want that either. Never marry just for the sake of the pregnancy. It’s hurtful to both of you.
  • It is wrong and misogynistic to force a woman in either direction in her choices on abortion, whether or when to have sex, what to wear, which gender to love, whether or not to use birth control or EC, whether or when to have children, the length of her hair, the length of her leg hair, or what imagery is acceptable for her eyes. And force in either direction is equally wrong. And force can be subtle and unconscious, so we must be conscientious to restrain ourselves, even when we are a “progressive, non-sexist man”. It OK to share our heart and our fears – in a relationship, its necessary – but never in a pressuring way "
Now I wish to clarify:

While I feel the above points are clearly stated, I can understand how some might interpret the insistence on pregnancy options being the woman's choice, which they are, as meaning men shouldn't participate in the decision process - even if the the woman wants or needs him to.

In the principle of being supportive in everyway (except marriage) I believe men should be involved in the decision process if their woman wants that. It still holds that the man shouldn't pressure her decsions, whether parenting, abortion, or adoption. Of course, a man can and should share his heart and feelings, especially if he's afraid of moving forward. We need to be afraid openly.

And accidental pregnancy is scary, for both partners. It's a time to process, to talk, to fear with one another, and probably to fear alone individually. The steps forward are a decision process, more so with a long-term relationship, but I still abide by the principle of a woman's decision over her body being ultimately her own.

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