So leaving the land of chemists and other pointless fluff, I have noticed a lot of discussion on some of the feminist blogs about a bill in Ohio that would require a woman to get the mans signature before having an abortion.
The same rule applies here in Japan, although where it differs is that in Ohio no signature = no abortion, whereas here there is a loophole (in Japan there is always a loophole) that means you can get a signature from a male friend if you don’t know who the father is, or for whatever reason don’t have any contact with him (of course you would tell the clinic your friend is the father, something you could surely do in Ohio – how do they plan to discover you’re lying?!).
A lot of people are up in arms about this bill (still at the proposal stage AFAICT) but I don’t really see why. Feminism isn’t, or shouldn’t, be about women getting the world dropped at their feet, wrapped in sparkly paper with a big bow. Rather it should be about ensuring the rights shared between men and women are equal. If a woman gets pregnant and decides to have the baby, perhaps against the wishes of the man, perhaps even without his knowledge, she can later trace him down and force him through a court of law to pay child support. This is the other side of that story – the one where it’s not a one-sided decision not to have the child. Of course there will always be exceptions – drunken one-night stands, abusive partners, rapes and so on – but shouldn’t we be applauding this step which not only involves the man in the decision making process, but also actually forces him to take some responsibility for a situation he was equally involved in creating?
I’m all for womans rights, but sometimes feel like a lot of the other people who are have completely missed the point. Maybe I have. What do you think?
[Edit – been thinking about this some more. Where this getting-the-man’s-signature thing, and consequently my view on it, fall down is that it assumes the sex will take place in the confines of a mutually respectful and loving relationship. Obviously life isn’t always like this, but I still think the idea isn’t a bad one]