Abortion Laws: The epidemic of Hegemonic Masculinity

*warning: controversial content*

I’m a feminist, whole-heartedly, through-and-through. But that doesn’t mean I hate men. What I do hate is the unequal society that perpetuates their superiority over women. As such, you can probably imagine my frustration when hearing about the recent bill that’s been passed in America.

A common misconception about feminism, that thrives as result of social media, is that women want to tear men down, in order to build themselves up. This is simply not true. This is a lie perpetuated by men (and some women, don’t get me wrong) that do not understand the intentions of feminists. Strong-minded women are not monsters, making a fuss for no apparent reason. Feminists simply want women to be equal to men on all fronts (note: men can be feminists too, obviously). All women want are equal opportunities and liberties to make choices for ourselves; to make decisions on our own futures and our own bodies. But that at present is not happening.

On May 14th, a bill was passed in the state of Alabama banning nearly all abortions… regardless of circumstance (including rape and incest).

Hegemonic masculinity was first discussed by Connell within Gender studies and sociology. It refers to the current behaviours of men that advocate their superiority in society above women and minorities. Now, let me make it clear, most men are not like this at all. But it is becoming pretty evident that men in leading political positions in the US are. Nearly all those individuals that passed this now infamous anti-abortion bill were white, middle-aged men, voting on women’s bodies, to encouarge “pro-life”.

Now, here are some of my issues with that:

1. Womens bodies: womens choice…simple. I understand men have opinions considering it’s their featus too, but fundamentally women need to decide if they want to have a child or not. Women are sacrificing their bodies, so it’s ultimately their decision

2. Putting the “life” of a featus (which is highly debated), before the life of a woman

3. Total disregard for bodily autonomy. You’re not allowed to take a kidney from someone without their consent, even if it is to save someone else’s life. It’s the person donating that gets to choose to save the life, nobody would force them. Yet women are going to be made to have a baby against their will? Doesn’t really sound fair.

4. Pro-life is a bullshit excuse… more like pro-birth. I know this is controversial, and I totally get that you may not agree, but I feel the need to be genuine here. Individuals that advocate pro-life often don’t consider the actual life that a child will be born into. They don’t care if the mother is on drugs, if the child won’t have a safe home, the child will go into care, the state of mind of the mother, etc. All they seem to care about is the birth of the child, rather than the quality of life it would have.

5. They are moving backwards nearly 50 years, doing a u-turn on a law from 1973 that made abortion a right. If we’re turning back the clock on this, what else will happen? What else are we leaving the door open too?

6. With men being the decision makers on women’s bodies, they are reaffirming the oppressive system that places the opinions of men above those of women

7. Not allowing an abortion for incest? Rape? What the actual fuck is that about. The mother will constantly be reminded of what happened to her, seeing the result of her trauma every day for the rest of her life. That could but horrible strain on the mental wellbeing of the mother and the child, if it is not loved as a result.

8. Rise in back-street abortions… what could possibly go wrong there!? With doctors facing up to 99 years in prison for conducting an abortion, women will look for solutions wherever they can. Just look at Ireland, where abortions are band. Just because they won’t be legal doesn’t mean they will stop happening, it just means the mother is at greater risk as a result of botch surgeries.

I know this was heavy, and you may not agree with my opinion, but it’s something I’m really passionate about. Women need to have control over their own bodies.

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