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Tuesday, April 22, 2014 | Last updated: 11:56pm

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Women's rights: Men deserve to have their voices heard



There are many battles in the “War on Women,” from the difference in pay to blatant workplace discrimination. Though each of these is important, the battle over contraception and why a man needs to keep his opinions away from women’s bodies seems to be a hot topic lately.

On a topic that directly deals with reproduction, why is it that men are made to feel uncomfortable about speaking up? Why don’t men have a say in the matter when they should?

Fox News recently had a panel of four men that ended up discussing the topic of contraception and the “War on Women.” The men seemed uncomfortable with the lack of women present as they discussed these issues surrounding what women supposedly want regarding birth control freedom. Should the government provide birth control, and where does a man’s opinion fit in?

While some argue that men should keep their laws, as well as their hands, away from women’s bodies, that’s simply impossible considering the circumstances. However you’d like to put it, men rely on contraceptives as well. It takes two to tango, and at least half of the two has to be a guy for there to be a contraceptive needed.

Modern day feminism seems to push government-funded child care to assist women staying in the workplace. The idea was to open up child care to women so they could return to work as they pleased, but according to Softpedia news, a third of women opt to be stay-at-home moms over having a career. The study suggests that some mothers return to work not because they want to, but because “they simply have no other choice.”

Though in the first nine months the majority of parental responsibility falls on women, men cannot escape the innate responsibility of being a father to the child. And men want to be parents. A Pew Research Study found that over 50 percent of men ages 21-34 say they want to have children. Being a part of the conception process should entitle them to some say in the contraceptive argument.

A Medscape study cites that it takes 90 percent of couples on birth control over a year to conceive after stopping the use of birth control. Some of the other 10 percent could also end up with fertility issues. That’s not including the fact that women are less fertile as they age and, even though having a child is still possible, there are risks of cerebral palsy and down syndrome attached to delayed maternity.

Some women who reach the end of their childbearing years without having children didn’t have them because they were physically unable. This inability affects the men in their life who want to be fathers just as much as it affects them.

With over 50 percent of the 21-34 male population wanting to have children, and the push for women to delay it, the voice of the father is being silenced. And this is at the cost of the stigma that the mother’s job of raising children is not worth its demands.

Gavin McInnes, founder of vice.com, spoke about how he sees the role of a housewife as superior to his own job.

“I essentially … make comic books. You flip through it and you’re done,” he said. “My wife creates life from her vagina and then — that’s just the beginning — then she shapes this human life.”

So when a panel of four men come together to discuss the “War on Women,” like they did on Fox News, instead of attacking them for their opinions, we should recognize that this affects them just as much as it affects women. Instead of trivializing childbirth and the gift of fertility, we should embrace the separate but equal roles of both parents, birth or adoptive, as the caregivers and guardians of the children they’ve taken responsibility for. A man doesn’t need to have the final say about birth control, but his voice needs to be heard.


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