By Dan Solomon
And it’s true on abortion, too. Conservative dudes love to talk about abortion! They can give impassioned speeches on the subject, they can weep for the fetuses, they can make statements on the floor of the Senate that aren’t intended to be factual about Planned Parenthood statistics. But liberal dudes — that is, guys like me — we tend to be quieter. We’ll speak up occasionally, if someone else starts the argument, but for most of us, it’s hard to see it as a cause that we’re really entitled to an opinion about. “Her body, her choice!” we shout even if we’re marching for Planned Parenthood. It’s between women and their bodies, and our opinions aren’t necessary, except to try and keep other dudes — lawmakers, especially — from getting too into their opinions. And that’s true, except when it isn’t.
Because abortion affects men every day, too. Legal abortion saves the lives of women who would otherwise be threatened by being forced to carry an unviable fetus to term. One of those women could well be my wife. Legal abortion helps the lives of women who would otherwise find unsafe or illegal ways to terminate their pregnancies, or be forced to bear children that were unwanted. The woman in that story could well have been someone I’d dated, and the eventual baby in that scenario would have been my unwanted responsibility, too.
So why don’t we talk about this stuff more, fellow liberal dudes? Why do we let conservative men rally for a return to traditional roles or cry about all of the poor fetuses as they pass restrictive laws that would mean we’d have more unwanted children, too, when we could be speaking up? Why do guys who are outspoken advocates for any number of causes keep their mouths shut so often when it comes to feminism?