You refuse to wear a condom and yet you won’t march for abortion rights

Abortion rights demonstration
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“It’s good to see that there’s men here today”, a woman shouts over the microphone. “But there’s not enough of you! We need men to be allies in this struggle.”

We are in a hundreds-strong crowd, demonstrating for abortion rights. We’re marching in solidarity with every person around the world who is being denied access to abortion, whether it be in the US, Poland, El Salvador or Nicaragua – all countries that have passed stricter abortion laws since the 1990s.

Before coming to the demonstration, I sent messages to friends, asking them if they would join. Some cis male friends said they would come, and then didn’t show up. Others just flat-out said that they weren’t going to bother. If you’re a man and you can’t be bothered to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with your comrades to fight for their right to abortion, then you are, quite frankly, complicit in the patriarchy that you’re claiming to try to dismantle.

Refusing to wear condoms

The woman on the microphone continues. She shouts out exactly what I have been thinking since Roe vs. Wade was overturned:

“So many men refuse to wear condoms! And then they don’t even come to an abortion rally!”

If, like me, you have sex with cis men, then I can guarantee that you’ve come across at least one guy who refuses to wear a condom. And I am certain that you’ll have met a few more who ‘forget’ to put one on, trying their luck until you insist that condoms are, actually, a necessity. They might guilt-trip you, complaining that sex just doesn’t feel as good with a condom. These men are seemingly oblivious to the small matter of spreading STIs, not to mention the possibility of getting someone pregnant. But don’t worry – they will, they say, pull out just in time. 

We’ve all been born into a patriarchal world that has indoctrinated us into believing that we need to prioritise the needs of cis men, and that we need to perform sexually for said men. So we might let them get away with not using a condom, even if we know nothing about their sexual history.

Read on...

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If you are someone who refuses or ‘forgets’ to wear a condom, you may also be someone who doesn’t want a baby right now, either. Likely, you would be horrified by the news of your impending offspring. And yet you can’t be bothered to come to a demonstration for abortion rights. Shame on you.

Birth control and patriarchy

Tied in with all this is the wider issue of birth control, which is inherently patriarchal in the way it is developed and rolled out. People with wombs can get pregnant roughly once a year. Yet a cis man could, theoretically, impregnate hundreds of people per year (if he were to find enough people who actually wanted to have sex with him, of course). Despite this, the responsibility for birth control mostly lands on people with wombs, with a range of options for us, whether it be the pill, the coil, hormonal injections or implants. Other than a condom or a vasectomy, there’s no contraception on the market that forces people with penises to take responsibility and face the fact that pregnancy, does, in fact, begin with sperm. The pharmaceutical industry is, of course, a cog in the patriarchal, capitalist wheel that we live in, so it is perhaps unsurprising that it puts the burden of not getting pregnant squarely on the shoulders of people with wombs.

Contraceptives for people with penises haven’t been successfully developed, and while there has been talk of a ‘male’ contraceptive pill coming onto the market, it is not going to happen in the near future. Meanwhile, trials for rolling out a ‘male’ hormone injection were shelved because of the side effects – including depression and acne – that the trial subjects experienced. Meanwhile, the contraceptive pill for people who can get pregnant comes with all sorts of physical and mental side effects, too – whether it be long-term depression, or blood clots, or an increased risk of cancer – which we are expected to just grit their teeth and deal with. The sexist hypocrisy of this is astounding.

We will take back our rights

In the UK, we are watching developments in the US closely, and we’re right to be apprehensive. After all, politicians like Jacob Rees-Mogg, who is against abortion even for victims of rape, wield considerable power. We should remind ourselves that it was only a couple of years ago, in 2019, when almost 100 Westminster MPs voted against making abortion legal in the north of Ireland.

The male politicians who are instrumental in making terrifying decisions to keep abortion illegal, are, more likely than not, the men who refuse to wear condoms – men who put their pleasure before anything else. It is unlikely that these men care about the ‘life’ of a foetus. Rather, they thrive on controlling all of us who have a womb. They don’t want to see us free, and the ultimate way to keep us in chains is to take away our autonomy over our own bodies. 

But women, non-binary people and trans men – everyone with a body affected by these laws – are clear: if you take away our right to abortion, we won’t just obediently ask for it back. We will fight, and we will take back our rights.

Featured image via Eliza Egret

 

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  • Show Comments
    1. Other than a condom or a vasectomy, there’s no contraception on the market that forces people with penises to take responsibility and face the fact that pregnancy, does, in fact, begin with sperm.

      Now I’m no scientist but I’m fairly sure that pregnancy, does, in fact, begin with sperm AND eggs. You cannot have one without the other. I’m all for men taking responsibility as much as women but this sounds like some man hating extreme feminist argument. Pregnancy begins when sperm and egg meet, not when sperm enters the female body!

      1. There was someone else involved, immaculate conception only exist in ancient Middle Eastern folklore.
        Both parties have equal responsibility, if a child was conceived.
        That is the risk of hanky panky, if you’re not sterilised, be you man or woman!

    2. Perhaps on a planet of nearing 8 billion humans we aut to take some responsibility for over-population.
      Firstly there should be no question of legality of abotion, but mostly both men and women could at a young age decide on a childless life.
      I think it is obscene for anyone today to want more than one child if any at all.
      People also have to take responsibility for their actions, having sex take 2 or more people and contraceptive responsibility lands on both or all people involved. If you want a chap to wear a condom and he says no, then you bid him a good night. To say it is just his fault, is verging on misandry. You have responsibility for your womb as much as he has reponsibility for his sperm. People should have the snip it is far less traumatic than an abortion.
      And on an added bonus, it really pisses off The Elites/Establishment/Old World Order because the warpigs, in their suits and airconed offices, will have less young mother’s young boys to send to their deaths for some greed or colonial cause.

    3. @ Nikki Boo

      Well put! both people with penises and people with vaginas have the responsibility to reproduce, or engage in non-reproductive sexual practices responsibly – it is actually the law of this land that we do so.

      @ Article

      Again the focus is on men being the problem (when will we ever get an article on the disgusting women of the world who use thier bodies and minds to trap and manipulate men, and of which there is an endemic?) yet I know from personal experience, there are plenty of women who don’t want ‘their’ men to wear condoms, insisting that they (the woman) are already protected (even when they are not), when in fact what they want is the money, support, and the council housing that comes with that single successful sperm. The man after that is just an unwanted complication (unless he performs financially or physically in the proscribed fashion).

      Many women trap men all the time through sex and dishonesty, in order to game them, and the system. This is NOT a one-way street, or the sole responsibility of men. I am not blind to the tricks and machinations girls and women use against others, even their own gender.

      There are quite likely a whole bunch of legitimate and illegitimate reasons why the men you wished would turn up, didn’t. Quite possibly even that the abortion rights thing is yet another thing being dragged up to divide us all, and is so very obvious to some that this is what it is currently really all about. Seeing this in The Canary, makes me think that despite claims to the contrary, The Canary is moving closer to sensationalism and entertainment (the very things that are claimed the MSM does, and actually does).

      I can understand your frustration that you didn’t get the support you rightly or wrongly felt was deserved, but this article is clearly (to me anyway) another attack peice on men in general, an attempt to generalise and drive a deep wedge between the genders, using streotypes and misleading tropes to garner and illicit a divisive reaction. All of this is very much inline with the divisive intentions of our overlords.

      It seems to me that a whole bunch of humans have decided to ignore the good advice that you can attract more insects with honey than with vinegar, and instead are writing deliberately (from my perspective it looks that way) divisive opinion peices that aren’t news, and also not a recipie for reasoned, logical, and inclusive debate, and also offer NO solutions.

      @ Canary editor (you asked me in an email why I’m having less and less to do with you, this is one of the reasons). If you’re genuinely interested to know why I am being turned off, PM me.

      Vent away Eliza Egret, but be aware you are contributing to the division of us all (to our human detriment), and that shit ensures that those who hold real power over us, get exactly what they intended, which is to divide us, and conquer us, whilst blinding us to that fact.

      Abortion is, and always will be, something deeply divisive, but very personal and emotive, this in itself is not an unknown.

      THE simplest solution is to NOT have penile/vaginal sex, but engage in non-pregnancy sex. That IS where all the divisiveness is heading.

      If either party insists on unprotected sex, say no and/or kick them out. Perhaps sex (not procreation) should only take place when both parties wear/take apporpriate contraception, don’t blame your partner for what is ultimatley your choice (male or female can and do trick and co-erce each other).

      The best solution, which avoids multiple problems, is to not have sex at all. We can always have our various and differing reproductive components stored, and when we later need to propogate our species, and carry on our lines, we can ensure the species goes on that way (it’s not a new idea, and some have taken that option).

      Perhaps our society needs to abandon the idea of reproduction between genders, and instead use science to cover that base. We could also give up on sex completely and just treat each other as non-sexual beings, this would negate the practice of romance, and all the crap that comes with it – including most notably the tricks and deceptions genders use to ‘attract’ the other side into mating with them. We’d still have families, just not in the conflict creating sense that we have now.

      Regarding abortions, there would only be wanted preganancies and children with the above solutions, no abortions – problem solved.

      Oh but wait …. yeah that isn’t going to work because we are all instinctually programmed to procreate, and we have drivers and rights to have unprotected and dangerous sex with each other, and well that would mean excercising self-control over our instincts which is unnatural, so we must must must have sex whenever we feel the urge, and god help anyone getting in the way of that!

      No instead let us create a monumental fuss over abortion rights, and treat each other in the vilest ways whilst we ignore the fact that we all have it in us to abstain responsibly from sex in the first place.

      Ask yourselves how precious that unborn life to you is BEFORE the spreading of legs and load-shooting begins. Surely if the lives we seek to protect are THAT precious to us, we should practice abstinence rather than the risk-loving behaviour we ALL display?

      Oh. sorry, have I got it wrong? Do people not engage in dangerous sexual practices?, do they not already put their right to have sex with whomsoever above the potential and future needs and rights of the progeny that might issue forth, and of the world and species too? Of course we do.

      The world is literally full with people born against their will, to experience existance, to experience suffering, and all that this world can inflict on us against our wills. Not one of us asked to be here, and we all arrived here due to someone else’s desires. Is it better to exist and suffer, or to have never existed and never sufferd? No one can answer that honestly, but regardless, we have a whole bunch of excuses ready to defend our rights to sex, even in the face of our own extinction from it.

      Seems to me a perfect case of we want to be able to break the laws of existence with impunity, don’t like the horrible outcomes, and would rather blame each other for lack of self control and respect, rather than take the literally simplest solution which shows a great deal more responsibilty and care about the lives we bring into this word (accidentally or deliberately).

      It is ironic that some people who claim to love life and the unborn, are willing to subject the grown-up children of others (the already living) to all sorts of horrors and death, just because their neurons don’t fire in quite the same way as theirs. This is all of us.

      If we don’t want abortions, then don’t have dangerous sex, and let’s change society and ourselves so that we never take the risk of hatred between the genders again, after all it is literally the driving force to recreate ourselves that is responsible for the greatest number of evils to befall this planet. Let us in fact ignore genders, and treat each other as loved and respected Angels or Androgens, and stop kidding ourselves that sex is not one of, if not the most destructive potential and actual acts we engage in.

      All this hatred generated over the rights of the unborn, yet when they get here, one of the first things they will learn is that they will die, and that life IS suffering, with every conceivable horror awaiting some or all – apparently all THAT, is worth existing for and sacred, so that they too can repeat what was done before them to others.

      When we can justify the murder of people in wars and conflicts, and we do this wholesale, across the board, it is even expected of many males to die in this fashion, how is it OK to incite others to more of the same on the basis of the rights of the unborn?

      Are we trying to defend the rights of the unborn to experience these horrors, horrors they would not be subjected to if they did not exist in the first place, or the rights of the unborn to live a life worth living? If it is the later, then we MUST change ourselves and society so that is possible, otherwise its all hot air, and pointless, hypocritical pandering to ideals we cannot even aspire to.

      I suspect that there are plenty of those who love the fight, the hatred, the division, the dangerous and exciting sex, far more than they actually desire peace, love, respect, understanding, and humanity.

      Too many love to hate on the opposite gender (or opposite whatever) because they have no other satisfying interests in life, are deeply insecure, deluded, or both, or just need to feel part of something bigger than themselves, but mostly all of our human issues stem from the fact that humans desire to have control over others lives, more than they do over their own.

      Come on Canary writers, by all means have your own opinions, but don’t do so in a divisive, society twisting way, and remember to remind us that you too are human, make mistakes in everything at one time or another, are not neccessarily experts in what you write about, or in other words – you don’t know as much as you think you do.

      Also please stop using offensive terms such as Cis-Male or Cis-Gendered – none of us got to choose our existence, we were all literally thrust into this world with no pre-knowledge, and raised in ignorance, in an ignorant world, by ignorant people, a state no human can claim they are truly free of. Yes we learn, but what we learn only alleviates the problems associated with ignorance, not cures us of it.

      Because we each only have our utterly unique, yet similar experiences, we are all better off remembering that not a single one of us can survive on this planet (or any other quite probably) without each other, or others. We need to stop fucking about, quite literally, and figuratively, and start to really listen and help each other ditch the concepts and modals which prevent us from offering a better world for our progeny to inherit, an inheritance they learn from us to maintain or destroy.

      1. “women of the world who use thier bodies and minds to trap and manipulate men, and of which there is an endemic” according to you. If you can provide some independent evidence of this pattern of behaviour, readers would take you more seriously.

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