Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

Women Should Stop Sleeping with Pro-Life Men

You know what doesn’t get you pregnant? Lesbian sex.

So, yeah, looks like the supreme court is going to overturn Roe v Wade based on a draft opinion that was leaked. Which, you know, isn’t a surprise, but it’s a thing.

Quick aside; before Texas tightened their abortion laws, you want to know how many abortions Texas had a year? About 50,000. Want to know how many cows they kill every year for food? About 5.8 million. Do you want to know how many deer they hunt for sport annually in Texas? About half a million.

All of which is to say; overturning Roe v Wade is not about preserving the sanctity of life, because the people outlawing abortions are clearly not valuing life in other contexts. It’s kind of ironic, actually, how much so many conservatives hate on vegetarians and vegans, because for me, the desire to have fewer abortions in the US is deeply linked to the desire to have fewer animal killings in the US. Which is to say, I would like to preserve the life of helpless creatures who can’t help themselves.

Additionally, the main metric on how much I value life is the mental complexity of the animal. Yes, we should try to preserve all life, but — to me — killing an insect seems like a less of a crime than killing a whale. By this standard, it is actually worse to kill a fully mature cow than it is to kill a fetus, because a mature cow has significantly more mental complexity than an early stage fetus.

So, from my vantage point, the hypocrisy of Texas — and other heavily meat eating areas — forbidding abortion is astounding. I generally don’t hate on meat eaters, but I also don’t hate on women who have abortions either. Effectively, I get that life is complex, and I would like to create a world with fewer abortions and less meat eating, but I believe banning it from the government is not the right way to go. Consider the case of (hypothetically) banning meat eating; people who currently rely on meat for their nutrition would be malnourished and would find it very hard to make the change. We need to change cultural attitudes, and likely, popularize access to meat substitutes then I believe people will naturally phase out meat eating if we do this.

Similarly, outlawing abortion in our current climate that heavily penalizes single mothers and people with lower incomes basically means you’re condemning people to a life of hardship over a one time sex incident. I believe, better approaches for reducing abortion are providing better access to birth control, and better support for single mothers so they will be less inclined to want an abortion. Indeed, giving people access to free birth control cuts the abortion rate by up to 75% whereas there is evidence that outlawing abortion doesn’t actually drive down the rate significantly. So, instead of outlawing abortion, I would prefer to liberalize distribution of birth control because I believe it to be both more effective and more humane.

Anyway; I don’t actually think it is bad to eat meat or need an abortion as an individual, and I’m not trying to shame anyone who has done either of those two things (I myself, will eat meat on occasion if I’m in a situation where it’s hard for me to get vegetarian food.) I just think, as a society we should move so both of these things happen less, but most people in American have a massive divergence of opinion on these two topics.

Now, if we get into a religious aspect of it, that doesn’t make much sense either. I’m a Buddhist — admittedly , a sort of weird reform type of Zen Buddhist but Buddhist nonetheless — and can you imagine the outrage, if I went to some of these conservative areas and started trying to get the government to outlaw meat eating because killing animals was against my religion? Eating meat is often against Buddhist practice (depending on the type of Buddhist) but the idea that I would be able to impose my religious will on others who don’t share my religious views would be seen as outrageous. So, it’s deeply hypocritical that a lot of these conservative Christians feel entitled to impose their religious beliefs on the rest of the US, especially when so many of them they are committed to deep hypocrisy when it comes to saving the lives of animals, which many religions do value.

Like, honestly, I feel a lot less anger at Seventh Day Adventists who are pro life than I do at severe meat eaters who are pro life, because at least Seventh Day Adventists are consistent with their ideology, and are willing to make personal sacrifices. Not only that, they live longer than their meat eating compatriots as well.

But, what really gets my goat is the gendered aspect of meat eating vs abortion. I know all genders eat meat, but compared to women men eat more meat, and they are less open to becoming vegetarian. Most especially, men who “conformed to traditional gender roles” ate more meat than men who did not conform to traditional gender roles, implying a link between meat eating and masculinity.

All of which to say, is we live in a world where killing helpless beings is societally tolerated if it’s something we think of as “male” or “masculine,” but if it’s something that disproportionately impacts women, then it’s a problem.

Added to that, when it comes to a dating situation between a cis man and a cis woman, who is usually the one pushing for more penetrative sex? Is it the man, or the woman? (Spoiler: in my life, it’s usually the man.)

It reminds me of a Savage Love article I read once upon a time (that I can’t find right now) when Savage informed his readers that many gay men don’t have penetrative sex. He followed it up with the comment to the effect can you imagine if a straight woman refused to have penetrative sex?

Frankly, nowadays, penetrative sex is something expected of straight women in dating relationships. If a woman refuses penetrative sex, she is likely to be dumped. It’s that simple. Women who are lonely and want to be loved need to risk the repercussions of penetrative sexual activity in order to find a partner.

People argue that women who don’t want to face the repercussions for having sex shouldn’t have it in the first place, but let’s get real, for the average straight woman in America, sex with men isn’t even very good. Straight women orgasm significantly less than straight men during straight sex, and also significantly less than lesbians do during lesbian sex. It’s not that women enjoy sex less than men, it’s that the type of acts promoted in straight culture are less satisfying for women.

So, let’s add this all up.

  1. In the straight world, women’s enjoyment of sex is valued as less important than the man’s enjoyment, and because of this women enjoy sex less (and, we can measure this by orgasmic frequency.)
  2. Women, if abortion becomes outlawed, will be forced to take on even more risk from an act that is primarily about pleasing their partner than pleasing themselves.
  3. Because of modern social pressure in dating situations, women are very likely to be pushed into penetrative sex by men who want it from them, and if they refuse they may not ever be able to find a romantic partner.
  4. When it comes to other situations that allow for killing helpless creatures, our culture allows it for masculinely coded things, but not for things that will disproportionately impact women.

Look, ladies, if you live in a conservative area that outlaws abortion, I think you should really consider not having penis in vagina sex with pro-life men. Personally, I would NEVER have sex with a man who both ate meat and was pro life unless he raped me — I could do a pro-choice meat eater, and I could consider a pro-life vegetarian depending on the circumstances. But, what pro-life meat eater implies is that person believes their pleasure is paramount, and they believe in holding you to a different standard of morality than they are willing to hold themselves.

And finally; how long do you think this attitude would last if women really stopped having sex with pro-life men? My experience with men suggests they are far less willing to tolerate a lack of penetrative sex than women are. I think it’s unlikely for women to really have the power to initiate a “sex ban” due to ingrained cultural misogyny and a woman’s (continuing, though now reduced) need to rely on a man for income and social status, but it is an interesting thought experiment.

If being pro-life meant a man was restricted to only being allowed to have penetrative sex for procreation, honestly, how many men do you think would still be pro-life? Because, if a pro-life man believes he is entitled to sex for pleasure, that means he is valuing his own pleasure above his partners personal agency.

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