The Absolute Worst Blog Post You’ll Read This Year: Mansplaining Abortion Edition

I typically have a policy of not giving links back to blog posts that are little more than transparent clickbait attempts to shock with an edgy position, but the more I thought about this post at Big Sky Words today, the more I realized the author really seems to believe what he’s arguing about abortion rights and rates, namely that we have too many abortions in this country because women are just irresponsible.

While you could make the mistake of reading the entire incoherent rant for yourself, the author buries his thesis in the middle of the piece before repeating it 8-13 times. Women, it seems, have abortions because they, with their little girl brains:

…let the heat of the moment get the better of them – perhaps with a little help from alcohol or drugs – and next think you know – Boom! – they’re pregnant.

From this insightful claim, the author contends ad nauseam that “we have a problem,” because (and the logic is a bit hard to follow here) women should only have sex with the intention of producing children and they really shouldn’t have the right to terminate a pregnancy they are emotionally or financially unprepared to deal with. Women, it seems, in the unimpeachable opinion of the author, simply need to control their “baser desires and impulses” and not have sex until they are ready for pregnancy and childbirth. Men, one is left to assume, can copulate with anyone or anything they desire, because they can’t get pregnant and upset the author with an abortion.

Because it’s, you know, “a problem.”

At this point, the piece degenerates into some bizarre territory, suggesting that women are having abortions because their parents are in prison or working 2-3 jobs. He asks:

if 73,000 women are mature enough to have sex but not mature enough to have kids (because they weren’t mature enough to use birth control)…then what the hell are we doing?

I don’t know if the author was ever in his twenties, but I’d say a whole hell of a lot of people are plenty mature for sex without being mature enough to raise a child. And it’s certainly not the business of an e-book author from Missoula to tell people when they are allowed to have sex, or what the purpose of that sex should be.

From his perch on Mount Patriarchy, the author moves to a discussion about reducing the number of abortions in the United States and condemnation of “non-profit abortion organizations.” Perhaps his research was clouded by his massive supply of manly testosterone, but abortion rates in the United States have been in steady decline since 1990, largely, I would argue, because of the very work done by non-profit organizations like Planned Parenthood, who, rather than pontificating about the need for women to be chaste, provide accurate reproductive health information that gives them the best tools to control conception.

Of course, there’s another reason our intrepid male columnist who I assume has never had to personally deal with the fear of an unwanted pregnancy may not have explored in his piece. Abortion rates are declining in part because states are making it more difficult for women, especially poor women, to access reproductive health services. From the Atlantic:

States have enacted a total of 231 restrictions on abortion since the 2010 mid-term elections, when Republicans picked up a record 680 seats in state legislatures. These include limitations on insurance coverage, access for minors, the use of medication to induce abortion, and more. Many states established mandatory counseling and waiting periods: As of the beginning of June, 26 states required women to wait between one and three days to get an abortion after receiving counseling.

In the end, this absolute failure to consider the politics of abortion in the United States is at the core of this sexist tripe. In this piece, and others, the author contends that abortion rights aren’t an important issue because they don’t affect him. Even though recognized experts on abortion rights say that as many as one-third of women will need abortion services in their lifetimes, The Great Male Hype thinks that abortion is a “detractor” issue that only affects “0.2% of the population of the country.”

That abortion access isn’t important is an easy position for a man to take when there is no scenario under which he will be, through poverty or legal restrictions, coerced into carrying a child to term. Over on Penis Privilege Point, there’s no chance you’ll be in a state where violence closes reproductive health facilities you desperately need to access, no chance that a state will require a doctor to lie to you before performing a medical procedure, and no chance your state will pass a law that will expose to you unnecessary medical risk to have that procedure.

Women don’t need me to explain the importance of reproductive health, but they certainly don’t need to endure the barely coherent ramblings of someone who can’t understand just how threatened abortion rights and access are in this country.

The question is certainly not “why are there so many abortions in this country?” The question is why do women still have to fight so hard to access rights that have been recognized for over forty years?  A lot of the answer is found in the opinions of men who who think like the author of the piece linked here, that because they aren’t directly affected by the issue, they can presume to ignore the crisis of reproductive health in this country. Or worse yet, that they can mansplain how women should really lead their lives.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.


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