What better way to celebrate International Women’s Day than with a mansplaination of the menstrual cycle from a (presumably) young man on Tumblr who doesn’t seem to have ever seen a vagina in real life?
In a sort of rebuke to men who complain that they’re “too big” to wear condoms, one Swedish gal pulled a condom over her leg and up nearly to her knee, and posted a pic documenting this feat to Instagram. This pic:
So over in the Men’s Rights subreddit, some of the regulars have declared war on the meme above, attempting to “rebut” it by pointing out the many ways in which men’s bodies are regulated by the state.
Trouble is, they don’t seem to quite grasp what it means to have one’s body regulated by the state.
Never mind that alimony, which is rarely awarded, can also go to men. And never mind that by this logic, every single law that’s ever been passed, including laws against embezzlement and jaywalking, could be considered a restriction on someone’s body. Hell, by this standard, parking tickets are an assault on your body because you have to earn the money to pay them.
“reproductive rights…” have never been limited. They can fuck out an endless supply of babies without a single hindrance. Hell, men are obligated to pay for each and every one of them.
Huh. So women “fuck out babies” with no help from anyone else?
I’m thinking that this fellow might need a refresher course in basic human biology
Also, I’m pretty sure that women as well as men are obligated to shell out money to provide for their own children. I don’t see a lot of young mothers getting showered with free food and diapers when they go to the grocery store.
To their credit, the regulars in Men’s Rights didn’t reward this last fellow with any upvotes.
Interestingly, none of the commenters bothered to track down the source of the claim in the meme. It’s not hard to find. It came from a report by the Guttmacher Institute documenting the number of bills regulating “reproductive health and rights” that were introduced in state legislatures in the first quarter of 2013. That’s right: there were 694 — not 624 — bills introduced in the first quarter of 2013 alone; 93 of them passed.
39 states enacted 141 provisions related to reproductive health and rights. Half of these new provisions, 70 in 22 states, sought to restrict access to abortion services. …
This makes 2013 second only to 2011 in the number of new abortion restrictions enacted in a single year. To put recent trends in even sharper relief, 205 abortion restrictions were enacted over the past three years (2011–2013), but just 189 were enacted during the entire previous decade (2001–2010).
This legislative onslaught has dramatically changed the landscape for women needing abortion. … In 2000, 13 states had at least four types of major abortion restrictions and so were considered hostile to abortion rights … 27 states fell into this category by 2013. … The proportion of women living in restrictive states went from 31% to 56% … .
While the overwhelming majority of these new laws restricted reproductive health and rights, there were a few states that bucked the trends:
In sharp contrast to this barrage of abortion restrictions, a handful of states adopted measures designed to expand access to reproductive health services. Most notably, California enacted the first new state law in more than seven years designed to expand access to abortion, and five states adopted measures to expand access to comprehensive sex education, facilitate access to emergency contraception for women who have been sexually assaulted and enable patients’ partners to obtain STI treatment.
You can read the details here. Somehow I doubt that any Men’s Rights Redditors ever will.
Fox News host Jessie Watters: seemed to be channeling Warren Farrell with some particularly obtuse remarks he made recently on the Fox show “Outnumbered” on the “single ladies” vote.
Hillary Clinton needs the single ladies vote. I call them ‘The Beyoncé Voters’ — the single ladies. Obama won single ladies by 76% last time, and made up about a quarter of the electorate. They depend on government because they’re not depending on their husbands. They need contraception, health care, and they love to talk about equal pay.
If we ignore the implicit racism of his castigating “Beyonce voters” for being welfare “takers,” Watters is more or less rehashing an old, bad argument that Farrell made in The Myth of Male Power. In a section of the book called “Government as Substitute Husband,” Farrell wrote that “when divorces left women without husband-as-savior, many women looked for substitute saviors … .”
You might think that Pickup Artists, dudes obsessed with sexing up the young fertile lasses, would be huge fans of contraceptives – which, after all, are what makes their particular lifestyle possible. But some prominent PUAs are about as enthusiastic about contraception as a Pope.
In the case of the charming fellow who calls himself Heartiste, I mean this literally. In a recent posting, he quotes approvingly from Pope Paul VI’s 1968 Humanae Vitae dissing contraceptives for allegedly demeaning the women that use them. Paul suggested that contraception may cause men to
lose respect for the woman and, no longer caring for her physical and psychological equilibrium, may come to the point of considering her as a mere instrument of selfish enjoyment, and no longer as his respected and beloved companion.
I’m no Pope, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work that way.
We’ve heard a lot in recent days from assorted manosphere dudes about how the “slut vote” – and the endless hunger of our nation’s “sluts” for free contraception – helped to bring about a humiliating end to Romney’s presidential hopes. The sluts went for Obama, we heard, because he promised them (and women in general) what they supposedly want most: “free stuff without ever having to work.”
Minus the word “slut,” this was the basic argument we’ve heard over the past week from a lot of right-wingers as well, including such big names as Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly, who’ve been loudly complaining that Obama won over women – and minorities – by promising to give them “stuff.”
Well, today, a new voice joined this chorus: Mitt Romney himself. In a conference call today with some of his big donors – no doubt a fairly dispirited bunch – Romney offered this explanation for his defeat:
The Obama campaign was following the old playbook of giving a lot of stuff to groups that they hoped they could get to vote for them and be motivated to go out to the polls, specifically the African American community, the Hispanic community and young people. … In each case they were very generous in what they gave to those groups.
Never mind, as the Los Angeles Times points out, that Romney lost in some key states that have a minimal minority population, or that Romney’s promised tax cuts could be considered gigantic gifts to the rich.
While Romney talked less about gender than he did about race and enthnicity, he did single out one group that he said Obama had been especially generous to: young women. And you all know the easiest way to bribe a young female voter. As Romney put it:
Free contraceptives were very big with young, college-aged women.
Apparently the government has been shipping out birth control pills along with those Obama Phones.
If you ever have the desire to get yourself downvoted on the Men’s Rights subreddit, here’s one sure-fire strategy: Write a sensible comment suggesting that birth control benefits people with penises as much as people with vaginas.
Here are the two top replies to this comment:
I was going to point out some of the ironies inherent in Men’s Rightsers getting mad about women getting “free” birth control, but I suspect you can figure those out on your own.
This is why the so-called Men’s Rights movement is not so much a rights movement as a take-away-other-people’s-rights movement.