An article in the latest magazine issue of First Things, a Catholic publication, introduces an unconventional concept worth contemplating.
In the article, “Her Choice, Her Problem: How Abortion Empowers Men,” Richard Stith builds on radical feminist Catherine MacKinnon’s argument that Roe v. Wade actually does little to liberate women and, instead, “frees male sexual aggression.”
MacKinnon argues in her essay “Privacy vs. Equality” that men control sexuality.
“The availability of abortion removes the one remaining legitimized reason that women have had for refusing sex besides the headache,” she said.
Which is why, she says, the Playboy Foundation has always supported abortion rights.
“Male responsibility really does end at conception,” Stith points out in his article. “Men these days can choose only sex, not fatherhood; mothers alone determine whether children shall be allowed to exist. Legalized abortion was supposed to grant enormous freedom to women, but it has had the perverse result of freeing men and trapping women.”
Stith writes that MacKinnon’s essay, which was given little credence when it was published, warrants further discussion. He argues that in a competitive sexual marketplace, the number of women willing to have an abortion “reduces an individual woman’s bargaining power.”
“As a result, in order not to lose her guy, she may be pressured into doing precisely what she doesn’t want to do: have unprotected sex, then an unwanted pregnancy, then the abortion she had all along been trying to avoid,” he said.
I think there’s some truth here. I for one have heard men admit they will never wear a condom during sex because there is no shortage of women who’ll oblige their demand for optimal pleasure. It’s sad, but it’s true.
It seems to me, following this logic — and contrary to what many feminists would argue — that the only way to be a true feminist is to make a man wait until marriage to have sex.