Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Nip In The Bud

The frothing confluence of religious and political positions on issues of reproductive justice is a central, defining theme in this presidential election. Caveat: as will be noted in an upcoming post regarding specific legislative efforts in Alaska, this isn’t necessarily the providence of any particular party. But the sheer number of legislative efforts sweeping the nation to police the uterus is squarely on account of the overwhelmingly white, male, Christian arm trunk of the Republicans poking about where it's not wanted.

My default positions on this issue is the “none of your business” angle, which, being a man, is most often the best approach. That said, one of the core reasons I have tremendous empathy with women with regards to reproductive health choices, is the personal one I took for myself. And I believe men should also step up, take a stand, and back reproductive freedom of choice.

Case in point for me was to get a vasectomy: whether a prudent decision as it relates to personal commitment, or concerns about the effects of global overpopulation, or for any number of other reasons, there are/were many motivations. Maybe just that my last name is Smith, and with sixty-odd 1st cousins on that side of the family alone, this particular branch of the family tree could be pruned without any discernible impact on the herd at reunions. Another major contributing factor for me was being in the food-service industry and observing firsthand the overwhelming number of women working a second job to make ends meet while raising fatherless children alone. That made an indelible impression... fact is, there simply is no shortage of children.

And regardless of any reason, it being my body, the choice was mine to make. Which sounds awful familiar.

This can be as touchy and delicate a subject as other issues around birth control, particularly given the patriarchal machismo surrounding gender roles and virility. Whereas women are too-often relegated to serving as mere containment vessels, men can be viewed as being good for nothing but bulls roaming out in the pasture sowing their proverbial oats.

Non-invasive or “scalpeless” vasectomies are comparatively cheap (approximately $500) and relatively painless. This notwithstanding the gallows humor of the doctor who quipped “Now this is gonna hurt like hell” the instant before administering a needle (“Ha ha haaaAAAGH”). But even this has been eclipsed by more modern techniques, putting to rest the stereotyped concerns echoed by many a sensitive male. And for good measure, the cat also got fixed the same day, so we both sat around on the couch giving each other dirty looks. 
The world could use less strays.


  1. About the flood of bills - look to groups like ALEC that help state legislators with model right wing legislation.

  2. Excellent post Steve - thanks for posting the link!

  3. The fact that you did this without, I mean, Republican guidance is proof that America is run by Satan.

    David James