Politics & Policy

Abortion Is Not a ‘Women’s’ Issue Because ‘Men Have Abortions’ Too

And so do transgender people and two spirit people and . . .

Feminists are now arguing about whether or not it’s offensive to talk about abortion as a “women’s issue” because gender is not that simple and men have abortions too.

“We must acknowledge and come to terms with the implicit cissexism in assuming that only women have abortions,” feminist activist Lauren Rankin stated in July 2013.

Or, as Jos Truitt of Feministing explained: “Trans men have abortions. Gender queer people have abortions. Two spirit people have abortions. People who do not fit into the box of ‘woman’ have abortions.”

In response, abortion funds around the country have already been changing their names and language to be more “gender inclusive.” Last year, “Fund Texas Women” became “Fund Texas Choice,” because, in the words of co-founder Lenzi Scheible, the group “refuse[d] to deny the existence and humanity of trans* people any longer.”

But not every feminist agrees with Rankin and Truitt and Scheible and friends. At the risk of being branded a “cissexist,” feminist essayist and poet Katha Pollitt wrote a piece for the The Nation today daring to suggest that maybe it’s not totally offensive to link being pregnant with being female.

“I’m going to argue here that removing ‘women’ from the language of abortion is a mistake,” she writes.

“In an era where politics is all about identity, as a tool for organizing and claiming public space, are women about to lose theirs? Because after all we’re all just people now.”

Pollitt’s viewpoint may seem unquestionably logical, but the tone and language of her piece clearly demonstrate that she’s worried that she’s being too controversial:

“I know I’ll offend, hurt and disappoint some people, including abortion-fund activists I love dearly,” she continues. “That is why I’ve started this column many times over many months and put it aside. I tell myself I might be wrong—it’s happened before.”

Lest anyone think she’s some kind of uneducated moron, she also opens up the piece by clarifying that she does of course know that “men have abortions” and that “we can, and should, support trans men and other gender-non-conforming people.”

She even offers a suggestion for how to support them:

“Why can’t references to people who don’t identify as women simply be added to references to women?” she asks.

Great question. Why not? After all, “Fund Texas Women/Transgender/Genderqueer/Two Spirit/Other” sure does have a nice ring to it.

Most Popular

Elections

The Post-Election Madness Gets Worse

On the menu today: Two lawyers who aren’t formally on the president’s legal team but who keep filing lawsuits on his behalf tell Georgia Republicans to not vote in the Senate runoffs; Michael Flynn endorses a call for “limited martial law” and a “re-vote” of the presidential election; and the ... Read More
Elections

The Post-Election Madness Gets Worse

On the menu today: Two lawyers who aren’t formally on the president’s legal team but who keep filing lawsuits on his behalf tell Georgia Republicans to not vote in the Senate runoffs; Michael Flynn endorses a call for “limited martial law” and a “re-vote” of the presidential election; and the ... Read More
White House

Trump’s Disgraceful Endgame

President Trump said the other day that he’d leave office if he loses the vote of the Electoral College on December 14. This is not the kind of assurance presidents of the United States typically need to make, but it was noteworthy given Trump’s disgraceful conduct since losing his bid for reelection to ... Read More
White House

Trump’s Disgraceful Endgame

President Trump said the other day that he’d leave office if he loses the vote of the Electoral College on December 14. This is not the kind of assurance presidents of the United States typically need to make, but it was noteworthy given Trump’s disgraceful conduct since losing his bid for reelection to ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Biden’s Unhelpful Mask Stance

On the menu today: Joe Biden brings his own problems to the national stage, declaring that he wants Americans to wear masks until the end of his first 100 days in office -- well after the 100 million most vulnerable Americans will be vaccinated! -- and warns that the nation’s death toll from the pandemic will ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Biden’s Unhelpful Mask Stance

On the menu today: Joe Biden brings his own problems to the national stage, declaring that he wants Americans to wear masks until the end of his first 100 days in office -- well after the 100 million most vulnerable Americans will be vaccinated! -- and warns that the nation’s death toll from the pandemic will ... Read More

America Waits Out the Biden Era

Now that the post-electoral haze is clearing a little, and we see that the Democrats so skillfully arranged for massive ballot-harvesting electoral fraud in several swing states that their likely theft of the election may, in yet another demonstration of the atrophied condition of the American legal system, be ... Read More

America Waits Out the Biden Era

Now that the post-electoral haze is clearing a little, and we see that the Democrats so skillfully arranged for massive ballot-harvesting electoral fraud in several swing states that their likely theft of the election may, in yet another demonstration of the atrophied condition of the American legal system, be ... Read More