A call to action for pro-choice men everywhere
This past weekend was another exciting milestone for RTN, as we held our second CPC protest event and the number of participants doubled! We learned a lot from our experience the previous week and had several new people excited to get out there and peacefully demonstrate in the spirit of Reproductive Justice.
In total, there were nine of us out there holding protest signs. Nine people of different ages, from a variety of backgrounds, and with a collection of experiences. Nine women.
This is not to say that we do not have men volunteers, because we absolutely do. But in a world where male and female births occur in an approximately 1:1 ratio, it is highly unlikely that nine women would assemble by random chance.
Based on the composition of our volunteer group, you might expect that the typical profiles of our supporters and detractors are easy to define. In other words, women driving past us honk, wave, and raise their fists in support, while men look away, glare at us with disapproval, and give us a thumbs-down (or worse, but we can handle it). But this is simply not the case. Like, at all.
Any pre-conceived notions you have about who is pro-choice and who is not should be thrown out the window right now. Stop what you are doing, pick up those notions, and literally toss them out like it's your neighborhood's trash day and you're about to miss the garbage truck.
As we hoisted our protest signs in the air (by the way, our new favorite is "HONK IF PRO-CHOICE"), we chatted about our observations throughout the morning. Remarkably, there was no identifiable pattern for those who supported our message and those who openly disagreed. Here is a small sampling of the results:
Middle-age man driving a pick-up truck? Honk and thumbs up.
Woman in her 20s or 30s in a sporty sedan? Rolls down her window and screams at us repeatedly "F**K YOU! F**K YOU!"
Fire Engines? First time, nada. Second time, most rewarding honk I've ever heard.
Man in his 20s driving a Jeep? Smile and honk.
Senior woman in the passenger seat? Eager encouragement for her husband to honk.
Another older woman? A sustained angry scowl.
Senior man with a long, gray beard? Honk, honk, honk with a celebratory fist pump.
Hundreds of cars passed by us over the course of two hours, and we simply do not have the resources to conduct a scientific study of responses; however, there is one thing that I can say unequivocally. There are A LOT of men out there who are pro-choice, and we absolutely savored every single car horn that we heard. It's like Ford built an energy booster just for our pro-choice souls.
This is the point in the blog where I issue a challenge for our readers. To pro-choice men: we need you to be vocal, to learn about reproductive rights, and to stand out there with us in the streets. We need you as allies. We need you as volunteers. We need you as amplifiers of the pro-choice movement. Even if you, as an individual, cannot become pregnant, there are many people in your life who can. And when one of us is deceived, lied to, or denied our rights because of a crisis pregnancy center, we are hurt as a collective group.
This fight has been going on since the beginning of time, and there is no end in sight. If you believe that people facing an unplanned pregnancy deserve honest, transparent, and unbiased health information, then take the first step today by talking with a friend or loved one about the dangers of crisis pregnancy centers. As a starting point, you can find helpful resources on our website: bit.ly/RTN-Resources.
You can also subscribe to our email list and follow us on Instagram (@ReproTransparency), Facebook (@ReproTransparency), or Twitter (@RTN_Repro). We will continue sharing updates via these platforms as we move forward in our journey.
Editor's note: At Reproductive Transparency Now (RTN), we believe it is essential to think about sexual and reproductive health in an inclusive way. People of all gender identities and sexual orientations can become pregnant, and our mission to raise public awareness of crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) is therefore in the interest of any person who can become pregnant as well as anyone who plays an important part in the pregnant person's life. In this blog post, we are using the word "men" to describe cisgender males who have typically felt the need to remain in the background of the Reproductive Rights movement as a result of their inability to become pregnant and/or a fear of speaking out of turn.