Guest Post: Women's Health, And Why Dudes Should be Paying Attention to This Stuff

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With women's access to basic healthcare constantly under attack, it's important to remind the other half of the species that curtailing access to birth control and annual exams can impact men, too. We recently ran Glenn Smith's excellent post, “Stand Up Men,” which called on the gents to stand with women and defend family planning and women's healthcare.

Today, we hear from the generation that is coming of age amidst these attacks on birth control, abortion access, and basic annual exams.
Burnt Orange Report was pleased to receive the following guest post from Travis Brown, a University of Texas undergrad, who has a message for the dudes out there who think this “women's stuff” has nothing to do with them.

Women's Health, And Why Dudes Should be Paying Attention to This Stuff

By Travis Brown, University of Texas Undergraduate

All right guys, here's the deal: I know we don't have lady bits or personally use birth control other than condoms, but the fact of the matter is, if you like having sex with women, or just like women in general, and respect them as human beings, then you have a vested interest in the ongoing war on women's health. You should be supporting every effort women make to get birth control.

Here are three reasons you need to take a stand:

1. Sex. If you like having sex with women, then you most definitely want them to have access to birth control. Why? Because women already take considerably more risk when they engage in the copulatory events. They already risk multiple STIs (of which men exhibit no symptoms), social and public ostracism, and it simply being an unenjoyable time.

Consider all of these reasons, add the fact that women are more desirable than most of us college-aged gents, and it's a wonder that women even want to have sex with us when they have access to birth control! And now, the Republican Congress and Republican Texas Legislature, you say you want to do what?! You want to increase the odds that one night of revelry results in them having your child?!? Look at us! We're drinking Natty Ice at a lame party in an attempt to possibly have sex, and Republicans want women to think we're FATHER material? Even I don't think I'm father material right now!

And this, my friends, is why you should be actively peeved that Republicans in Congress and the Legislature are attempting to make birth control less accessible to women: they are making it considerably more difficult for you to have sex. If you enjoy sex, then this is a bad thing.

2. Freedom! That's right, you love FREEDOM and 'MERICA! If you like freedom and believe that people should be treated equitably regardless of the bits and pieces they were born with, then you should be in favor of women having access to affordable birth control. Having a say on your own body is not a privilege; it's a right. Plus, keep this is mind: if women can have their rights to their body taken away, who's to say they can't do the same to us? Maybe one day they'll just say, “Hey guys! So you know how you were allowed to have sex freely and choose your partners? Well, now you actually have to have a vasectomy at 12 years old, because we really can't trust you with your bodies.” After all, Congress is so diverse right? And you know what? I bet no 12 year-olds would be invited to speak at that hearing either…

3. Love. The number one, absolutely most significant reason to care about the attacks Republican lawmakers are making on women is because you care. If you have, or have had, at least one woman in your life who you love, then you have an obligation to care. She doesn't necessarily even have to be your girlfriend. She can be a friend, teacher, mother, or heck, even your sister. If there is a woman in your life whom you care about, chances are they use some form of birth control. I don't know about you, but when someone I care about is having their rights taken, I stand up with them and say, “Aw HELL no!”

Love, Sex, and Freedom. That sounds like all the reasoning I need to realize this stuff matters.

Please pass this on to all of the dudes and bros in your life who need a reminder that Republicans are trying to make it scarier and riskier for the ladies to have sex with them. Thanks for speaking up, Travis!  


About Author

Katherine Haenschen

Katherine Haenschen is a PhD candidate at the University of Texas, where she studies political participation on digital media. She previously managed successful candidate, issue, voter registration, and GOTV campaigns in Central Texas. She is also a fan of UCONN women's basketball and breakfast tacos.

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