more on MALE SABOTAGE of birth control, the myth of the “femme fertile”
16.03.2011 § Leave a comment
Leyla W. couldn’t figure out where her birth control pills kept going. One day a few tablets would be missing; the next, the whole container. Her then-boyfriend shrugged and said he hadn’t seen them. She believed him—until she found them in his drawer. When she confronted him, he hit her…
Despite his role in getting her pregnant, when Leyla decided she did not want to have an abortion, her boyfriend did a 180, screaming at her belly that he didn’t want the baby to live, threatening to “kick the baby out” of her stomach and even, one day, pushing her down a flight of stairs…
— From a really fascinating article over at the Nation, “When Teen Pregnancy is No Accident”. Artfully shows that this insane abusive practice of sabotaging birth control is NOT about becoming fathers even at all! but about “control”:
Their goal: not to settle down as family men but rather to exert what is perhaps the most intimate, and lasting, form of control. (“Control” may also include attempts to force both pregnancy and abortion, even in the same relationship.)
It seems like this sets in relief really one of the biggest and most difficult questions for those of us trying to systematically understand patriarchy (that is, racial, patriarchal capitalism, or what have you) — how incredible it is that a social system can produce with such consistency these kinds of individualized control practices – can so regularly create men who are compelled to exert this kind of control in the most intimate of realms on women in their lives. It is not natural, it is not biological, but nonetheless has structured our lives so, so, so meticulously.
Leyla’s story turns a modern fable on its head: that of the woman—call her the femme fertile—who conspires to get pregnant, perhaps by “forgetting” to take her birth control pills, as a way to “trap a man” and force marriage—or at least keep him in her life. In reality, experts researchers on dating violence and unintended pregnancy say, it’s Leyla’s version of that story is all too common. Two new studies have quantified what advocates for young women’s health have observed for years: the striking frequency with which it is in fact young men who try to force their partners to get pregnant.
quite convenient that there hasn’t been made the FUCKING OBVIOUS connection between the abortion/reproductive rights crap and this crap. Like its always about ‘women dont have access to contraception or sex ed” and crap like that, but what about straight up male sabotage? that doesn’t sound so Planned Parenthood quotable.
finally: this article barely mentions race&class, and implies that perhaps this practice is cross-cutting and not confined to any particular demographfuckitic group. noteworthy
Comrade Suzyx comments further here.