Chuck Ross, who has grown into an effective and tenacious young journalist, uncovered a telling article published in Slate’s Double-X women’s magazine. It brings up the years-old manosphere idea that if women have the right to choose via abortion whether or not they want to support a child, so should men.
It’s fairly obvious that it’s inherently unfair that women have choice about the “oops” results of their sexual activity, whereas men do not. Author Katie Roiphe presents the idea reasonably, without resorting to shaming or blaming men, which prompted Chuck to label the piece as “radical.”
It’s kind of strange that such a concept is “radical,” but these are strange times in which people who were raised during an entirely different era still have a great deal of influence over policy. Abortion was only fully legalized when people turning 40 this year were born, so those older than that tend to view the issue in terms of giving women a break, while those of us who are younger are left to wonder about whether we had brothers and sisters who never made it.
I’m a bit ambivalent about seeing the idea come up on what is, for all intents and purposes, a feminist site. On the one hand, I’m glad to see people talking about it, but on the other I’m aware that without people like Paul Elam pushing the issue on sites such as The Spearhead and A Voice for Men without pulling any punches, it would have been ignored in perpetuity.
To me, this vindicates the approach the manosphere has taken over the last several years. Being nice and trying to appease feminists wasn’t working, despite decades of effort. All they’d do was turn up the dial on shame and blame and push for yet more criminalization of fatherhood. It’s unfortunate that we had to resort to being ungentlemanly to make a difference, but sometimes shit-tests like feminism demand ungentlemanly responses.
It’s a positive development to see these ideas propagating throughout our culture. Chuck’s got a great nose for this stuff, and I’d recommend readers subscribe to his RSS feed.