Men's mysterious silence on their responsibility for pregnancy

·3 min read
Celia Rivenbark
Celia Rivenbark

Where are the men?

Have you noticed the peculiar absence of them from the Roe v. Wade discussions? It’s as if no one realizes they supply half the genetic material. Have they “gone fishin’?”

Outside of a few depressing references to some shadowy rapist whom a young woman may or may not be related to down in Back Acne, Arkansas, we’re hearing…crickets.

(While we’re on the subject of insects, researchers say male crickets attract females for mating by singing “loud repetitive songs at night.” Ugh. Even female insects try to “be nice” when they should just say, “Seriously? Metallica? Would it kill you to learn a little Harry Connick?”)

Being nice. It’s often our downfall. Because we have that burdensome need to be liked which men lack. Or we used to. Finally, mercifully, that may be relegated to the “before times.” Now we are mad and looking around for … the men.

They’ve disappeared as swiftly as they do when you want to go to Anthropologie and he sees Bass Pro Shop just ahead. Byeeeeeeeee.

Has the Rapture come and swooped up all the males of childbearing age? No, that can’t be it. They are out there, walking and talking and singing loud repetitive songs at night.

The Supreme Court’s decision was poorly reasoned and punitive against pregnant women, not their partners. I’d trust a decision made by a Bojangle’s Chicken Supreme before I’d trust those toadies in grad gowns.

Where are the gents? Do women suddenly reproduce all by themselves like a gaggle of greenflies?

There is nary a mention of the man’s responsibility in conception other than memes suggesting mandatory child support at the first heartbeat and required billing of his insurance for 50 percent of all the medical bills.

I’m not talking about the men out there marching and supporting women because, overnight, they lost the right to have a say-so over their own bodies. I’m talking about the ones who father the babies and then…split. Not a new problem, I’ll admit, but with the repeal of Roe v. Wade, it’s a whole different convo.

She: “I’m pregnant.”

He: “May the Lord open.”

She: “Wait. What?”

He: “Blessed be the fruit.”

She: “The state has taken over my body. You didn’t even get the Covid vaccine.”

He: “My body, my choice. Duh.”

People joke that if men could get pregnant, they’d be able to get an abortion at an ATM. (Which just makes me realize their bank must not be nearly as crappy as mine. Out of service. Again.)

Depending on the cruelty scale of your own state, the WOMAN can be arrested as can her doctor, as can anyone who so much as gives the name of a provider to the WOMAN.

At this point, she has the rights of her sister greenflies, which is to say none. She’s not even three-fifths in the inalienable rights department. The Constitution has outlived its usefulness. We cling to a document that was written during a time of slavery, no voting rights for women and minorities and, sure, muskets.

The Constitution is like a dress you can’t donate because it’s so comfortable and…pockets. But it’s old and torn and stained and hopelessly outdated.

The men, despite their absence from any of these discussions of forced pregnancy and consequences of jail time even in cases of rape and incest, may well be hurting for their girlfriends, wives, sisters, daughters.

But it’s a different kind of hurt when you have no skin in the game. Maybe they’ll find their voice if they can wear suits cover in decals like NASCAR drivers. The loud logos of Dick’s Sporting Goods, Amazon and Sony, all of whom pledge to help the womenfolk would stand out.

At least then we’d be able to see…the men.

Celia Rivenbark is a NYT-bestselling author and columnist. Write her at celiarivenbark@gmail.com.

This article originally appeared on Wilmington StarNews: Celia Rivenbark: Men's mysterious silence on their share in pregnancy