Written By Naomi Chambers
Reproductive rights are human rights - or so it seems. This is the theme of John the Other's opening paragraph in his blog Reproductive Slavery. He asserts that for him at least, reproductive rights are human rights. He argues that every person has the right to self-ownership. Every person has the right to choose whether or not they will reproduce. That being said, I cannot see how any moral person would disagree with him. He concludes paragraph one, stating that in the real world, only women have the right to choose whether or not to reproduce themselves. Men have no such rights. Therefore, reproductive rights are women's rights, not human rights.
One of the first issues I wish to examine, is whether slavery is the correct term to use when we are discussing men's rights to reproduce themselves. From a legal perspective, when sperm enters a woman's body, the woman has legal ownership of the sperm. The heart of John's argument seems to be, if a man does not want a baby, and the woman does, does he have the same reproductive rights as the woman? Can he force a woman to have an abortion?
I think the statement, "reproductive rights are human rights," is a misleading cliché. The reason is simple. Men and women do have the right to reproduce themselves. I know of no law forbidding men from having children. I know of no law forcing sterilizations upon men. Although I strongly believe that people who carry certain genetic diseases should not reproduce when there is a likelihood they will pass that disease onto their offspring, the fact is - everyone has the right to reproduce. Therefore, the right to reproduce is a human right extended to both women and men.
But, that is not what John is arguing. He is arguing, "the right to not reproduce, is a human right." Herein, I must also agree that the right to not reproduce is a human right. He goes on to write, "her body, her choice." So what we are talking about, is about a man's right to not reproduce. Men do have the right to not reproduce themselves. John has yet to explain why men are choosing not to exercise their right to condoms and vasectomies, but he does raise important points about male birth control which I will address later in this blog.
Let's imagine for a moment you are in a long-term relationship, and you do not want a baby. Consider your options: A woman can choose from eleven forms of contraception- including permanent sterilization, barrier methods, the pill, hormonal birth control rings, patches and injectables. A man can choose two: vasectomy or a condom. John argues it is not fair that women have many types of contraception available to them, while men have only two forms of contraception. He argues that the men who choose not to exercise their right to contraception (condoms and vasectomies), instead choose to foolishly trust that the woman is taking care of things.
|MRA Conspiracy Theorist|
Let us entertain a few prevailing theories as to why chemical birth control is not available to men.
Theory One: An extensive, covert operation of power hungry feminists work to keep birth control in only female hands so that women can extort child support from men.
Theory Two: We have never invested in male birth control because men have been unwilling to dedicate the time, energy or financial resources to contraception. Men have been unwilling to go to the doctor, endure the bodily invasion of contraception or suffer any of the health related problems. Men unwilling to use condoms or get vasectomies are obviously not willing to get an injection once a month.
Theory Three: It is much easier to stop a woman's once-a-month ovulation than it is to stop the millions of sperm created by men every day. If men produced only one sperm, once a month, then it would be a much easier task.
DR ELSIMAR COUTINHO
John's blog claims that the male birth control pill is currently used in China, and not being offered in the West. The only evidence he has to support this argument comes entirely from the testimony of Dr. Elsimar Coutinho in a Brazilian television show. In his blog, John recounts Dr. Coutinho's alleged disconcerting encounter in Budapest with Betty Friedan (née Bettye Naomi Goldstein).
My first task was to locate corroborating evidence that the Budapest event occurred and how many other people heard the rant, “no male pill! no male pill!” I conducted several Google searches for ‘Betty Freidan Budapest’ and found only one event Freidan attended. It was the 1974 World Population Conference. I was not able to find a shred of evidence that Dr. Coutinho was there, or spoke with Freidan about the male birth control.
The Brazilian doctor seems to be the only person who records this disconcerting event with Friedan in Hungary or that male birth control has been used for decades in China. I was fortunate enough to find Dr. Coutinho's grandson. He posted a blog about his grandfather Dr. Elsimar Coutinho. Coutinho's grandson had some interesting things to say about his grandfather's Brazilian interview: "In this clip he talks about a discussion with Betty Friedan who he calls ugly. He also confuses a scientific congress in Bucharest when he had to meet Ceausescu to another in Budapest which is the one with Friedan. "
My second task was to learn more about the miracle male birth control Dr. Coutinho claims has been successfully used in China for decades. The substance is called Gossypol. It is crude cotton seed oil. The Chinese and Brazilians did conduct many tests because the oil does cause some male infertility. Studies found gossypol has several serious flaws. There was a high rate of hypokalemia, causes symptoms of fatigue, muscle weakness, and at its most extreme, paralysis. Moreover, there is a wealth of current research proving that this crude oil causes problems not only in humans, but also in livestock.
In the mid-1990s, the Brazilian pharmaceutical company Hebron announced plans to market a low-dose gossypol pill called Nofertil, but the pill never came to market. The reality is that men who had been taking the drug for a long time required higher doses to get the same effect. When they stopped taking the drug, and tried to start a family, they suffered either low fertility or infertility. The Chinese stopped research because their men suffered the same side effects. To further prove the correctness of my claims, I will be linking a peer reviewed PubMed article proving gossypol causes infertility in men.
The way I see it, John the Other must be maintaining that the secret, evil, covert feminists tampered with all the independent studies in Brazil, China, and every other nation on planet Earth that came to the same conclusion that gossypol is dangerous for men. From the MRA forums, it appears the only way human beings can outsmart this evil, covert operation is to put on a hat made of tin foil and swallow a red pill. Perhaps the second explanation is that he knows gossyprol is dangerous for boys and men, but simply does not care. The real problem is many radical feminists and men's rights activists are unsavory characters willing to publish blogs riddled with errors, sacrificing honesty, ethics, morality and fairness just to promote their own agenda.
FACTS ABOUT CURRENT CHINESE MALE BIRTH CONTROL
The fact is that China has not developed and used a male birth control pill. Goodness, if the Chinese had developed such a thing, given their population control, they would have been forcing men to take it against their will decades ago. Are we to believe that the Chinese prefer forcing women to have abortions rather than to force men to take birth control? I suppose with the tin foil hat and the red pill, anything is possible.
The fact is that China has been working with an experimental male birth control injection. Their drug is currently in clinical trials. The Chinese trial, is being conducted in nine other Chinese research centers, 1,045 healthy fertile males were injected monthly with 500 milligrams of a formulation of testosterone undecanoate (TU) in tea seed oil during the course of thirty months. The androgen works by dramatically reducing two regulatory brain chemicals, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinsing hormone (LU). These two hormones temporarily disrupt sperm production rendering the men infertile. The good new is that only 6.1 percent of men in the Chinese study, did not react to this treatment which is a failure rate similar to that of female birth control pills.
WHAT THE WEST IS DOING ABOUT MALE BIRTH CONTROL
John poignantly asks, why don't we have it in the West? Evidently John thought it better to listen to the Brazilian doctor rather than doing his own research. Bayer University and Harvard University have been diligently working on a male birth control pill that is ready for clinical testing this year. The pill works by acting upon a molecule JQ1. The JQ1 molecule inhibits a protein in the testes that is imperative to fertility. For more information: Read a Q and A with the Researcher
According to the researcher, JQ1 is known as a small molecule, meaning it effectively passes through the blood stream into testes. Once JQ1 is in the testies, it binds to BRDT (bromodomain testis specific protein). This protein is essential in sperm production. JQ1 works by blocking the region of BRDT responsible for chromatin remodeling, resulting in temporary reduction of sperm production and quality. When tested in mice, researchers found that mice started to reproduce healthy sperm when the were no longer exposed to JQ1. >>Link<< The cells forget how to make mature sperm and impare sperm mobility resulting in an impressive contraceptive effect.
JOHN THE OTHER IGNORES JQ1
|August 16th AVFM Comment on JQ1 Article|
John's blog, Reproductive Slavery, was published Wednesday August 15th, 2012. What I find peculiar is that someone from the A Voice For Men Facebook page, left a comment on the same JQ1 article that I cite in this essay August 16th, 2012. With so much information online about male birth control research and development, much of that information I already linked in this blog, why would John and other AVFM authors, deliberately mislead his readers into thinking that the West does nothing to promote male birth control? Why does he promote these conspiracy theories that vast, covert feminist groups with far-reaching powers are trying to control men's sperm? JQ1 is tremendously important for boys and men. It seems very counter intuitive that any person claiming to care about the male sex would not enthusiastically promote JQ1 research.
THE REAL FUNCTION OF AVFM
The real function for A Voice For Men is the same function as Free Thought Blog forums. It is a place for people to sit down, bitch, complain, feed into each others anger, and then give each other a pat on the back. It is an angry circle-jerk. I mosied over to AVFM, and conducted a search for JQ1. Guess what I found? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Not a single writer for that website is sharing this information with their readers. (To back up this claim, see the image below.)
JQ1 is a break through for men. It is male birth control that will give men a tremendous amount of power over their right not to reproduce. After all, the right to not reproduce is the premise of paragraph one of John's blog.
It would be unconscionable that someone who cares so much about boys and men would not share such valuable information.Why? How could a person who claims to care so much about boys and men not write about JQ1 or try to raise money to fund the research?
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO TRULY ADVOCATE?
What I did find is that John published an article, Are All Feminists Morans? What a charming play on words. Is it me, or does moran sound a bit like the word, moron? Surly he would not call all feminists morons, because that would be an ad hominem attack. They dish out personal attacks, yet seem to be very sensitive to any criticism thrown in their direction.
I have never made a secret of my dislike for feminists, and particularly The Free Thought Blog Feminists who drive me bonkers. Calling all feminists morons, if that is truly his implication, is very wrong. In the blog, he reiterates the stance that men have no reproductive rights. He mentions nothing about JQ1, instead only bitching about something some lady said that he did not like.
Complaining about pop culture actresses who make misandrist comments is not a productive way to advocate for boys and men. Whining about trivial things is not raising awareness. It is only making the person look like an angry, complainer actively looking to be offended. I fail to see how this is any different from angry feminists, sitting around bitching about how some guy did them wrong. It is an angry circle-jerk.
I respectfully ask my readers not to support A Voice For Men until they change their platform. This means, do not visit their website. Do not donate. Tell them that you prefer to support Men's Rights Organizations that do not spend their time complaining about things celebrities say, or things feminists say that they do not like. Tell them that if they want your support, then they need to focus on things that actually improve the lives of men - like JQ1.
I see plenty of links asking for donations to AVFM, but where are the donation links set up to help fund the male contraception research at Harvard? Why aren't they funneling money into the Harvard research? That being said, there is an epidemic of male homelessness and suicide. What are they doing about that? If they want money to advocate for boys and men, then the first thing they need to do is start advocating for boys and men.
Some women do deceive men into impregnating them or tricking them into believing they are the biological father. That's why I believe men should be more careful, protect themselves and never underestimate a woman's ability to manipulate. We must advocate for boys and men, but financing research for JQ1. ( At the end of this blog, I will show you how to donate directly to the Harvard JQ1 Research program.) Aside from always using a condom, JQ1 is a great way men can protect themselves.
When teenage boys or young men are sexually active, their parents can bring them in for an injection. If the drug is available in seventeen years, you better believe my boys will be at the doctors office. Regarding the few manipulating women who try to become pregnant, there is nothing we can do to stop them, but we can protect our boys if we invest our time, attention and money in the right places.
Here, in the above caption, we see that John once again asserts that men have no reproductive rights when clearly they do have reproductive rights. What they do not have the right to do, is force a woman to have an abortion. I know of a Frenchman who intentionally crashed into his ex-girlfriends car at a busy intersection, causing her to miscarry a baby he did not want. This is not the morally correct action to take. I do feel for men who are trapped. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It sucks and I am very sorry for it. Until men are willing to take more responsibility for what happens to their sperm, they will continue to end up in these situations. Once the child is born, the law is on the child's side, not the parents.
Men need homeless shelters. Men need suicide prevention. Men need more funding for JQ1. Men need help graduating from a four year University. A Voice For Men's platform is mostly about complaining and hanging up signs. They are not doers, they are talkers. Do you want to give your money to an organization that talks a lot, or do you want to give to an organization trying to do something good for men?
Be a Doer - not a Talker
The premise of John’s blog is that the right not to reproduce is a right extended only to pregnant women and not to the fetus’s biological father. The Law will not absolve a parent of their responsibility to support their child. Here is the question. Do you want to be a doer or do you want to be a complainer? Do you want to solve a problem or do you want to bitch about it until the day you die?
If you would like to be a doer, and be part of the solution, what you can do is click on the following link, and make a donation to support the Harvard University clinical trials for JQ1. If you want to be a doer, and not a complainer, contact Emily Lindberg at 617 582-8830 or send an to firstname.lastname@example.org or Giving_Catalog@dfci.harvard.edu. You may also contact Alice Tobin Zaff. Director of Gift Planning 617 632-3756, or send her an e-mail at email@example.com. When you phone or e-mail them, let them know that you would like to make a donation specifically to JQ1 research and/or clinical trials. Your donation is tax deductible.
If you would like to be a complainer, and not a doer, then donate money to A Voice For Men. On their website, you will enjoy many articles complaining about any perceived misandrist comment made by a feminists or celebrities.
I would like to drive home the point that time and money are valuable. If you are capable of donating, send your money to a place where you know they are working for a good cause. Whether we are talking about a circle of angry women, complaining about how they feel so objectified by unrealistic standards of beauty, or a MRA organization whining about some trivial thing a celebrity says that they do not like, I ask you to remember that bitching about trivial crap is not raising awareness. It is only bitching about trivial crap. They are not making the world better for anyone by feeding into each other’s anger.