Have you heard of brochoice? Ben Sherman recently explained their philosophy as he rallied men to protest a bill in Texas that protects women and preborn children. NCLN’s Rebecca Richmond responds in the blog piece below.
By Rebecca Richmond
Ben Sherman has come under fire for saying what countless people have been thinking. If people are surprised, it is only because they are surprised someone had the gall to say such things out loud. So I would actually like to thank the bro for his refreshing honesty.
Photo credit: Students for Life of America
He saw the ‘blue shirts‘ closing in on the Texas Capitol; he knew that HB2 posed a challenge to abortion on demand in his state; and he, apparently, thought to himself: “challenge accepted”.
He called his fellow Texas men to action because,
“Your sex life is at stake. Can you think of anything that kills the vibe faster than a woman fearing a back-alley abortion? Making abortion essentially inaccessible in Texas will add an anxiety to sex that will drastically undercut its joys. And don’t be surprised if casual sex outside of relationships becomes far more difficult to come by.”
In other words: rise up, men of Texas, to protect your vibe-y, anxiety-free, casual sex outside of relationships!
#Brochoice might end up trending on Twitter but it’s not novel at all. So excuse me while I pull out my ‘Intervention Banner’ and address the reality of the situation.
First, Mr. Sherman did get something right. He admitted that “those pregnancies didn’t happen all on their own.” He understands that, should a woman not decide to abort his preborn child, he would have responsibilities.
But then he actually tries to claim that this bill would endanger Texas women. True story. Please explain to me how applying safety standards normal for other out-patient surgical centres to clinics offering abortions (a.k.a. invasive surgical procedures) is contrary to women’s health and well being?
And then there’s the issue of late-term abortions on pain-capable preborn children. Maybe he doesn’t realize that the majority of Texas women oppose late-term abortion and, in fact, that late-term abortions are quite risky for women.
No, the point of the brochoice argument obviously doesn’t have anything to do with the well being of women. It rests on a man’s desire to maintain abortion on demand to ensure that men can have an active sex life without the risk of diaper duty.
The term brochoice might be relatively recent, but we’re all very familiar with the concept. The thing is, although the rest of society tiptoes around the connection to abortion, Ben was just stating what is made out to be the ‘norm’. Look at our TV shows, our movies and our books. Look at How I Met Your Mother, the sitcom entering its 9th season which boasts an average viewership of 9 million each year.
And that viewership includes, I’m sure, many of us that find brochoice despicable. I’ve known many men I hold in high esteem – who would never ever live that kind of lifestyle – make light of The Bro Code, the guide to help men “accomplish perhaps the most important challenge society faces – getting laid.” And Barney Stinson, that playboy character who lives by the code? Everyone thinks he’s hilarious.
But what is The Bro Code other than cheap tricks to ‘bang chicks’? And who is Barney Stinson other than a horny womanizer?
But we laugh at it. We normalize it. We might not live that kind of lifestyle ourselves, but we almost don’t expect society to know any better.
Let’s call a spade a spade.
Women deserve better than brochoice. But guess what, men deserve better than brochoice too. Men deserve to grow up with fathers. Men deserve to be loved and protected by their fathers at all stages of development, and not sacrificed on the altar of their dear dad’s sex life. Men deserve to have real meaningful relationships with women. And men deserve to have role models that are not Barney Stinson or any other fictional playboy.
Because it’s a wonder that Ted, the main character of How I Met Your Mother, actually finds the mother. The show, despite the title, has never been about the mother, but rather about the glorified culture of sex without consequences. The show might not have involved abortion, but we all know that it’s part and parcel of a lifestyle that requires abortion on demand.
But pro-life men, on the other hand, are – or ought to be – the role models. In their families, in their workplaces, on the streets or on campus, pro-life men present a very different model with their willingness to stand up for life, to endure the abuse of angry passersby, and to sacrifice their time, their talents and their reputations in order to protect women and children.
So brochoice men, keep it in your pants. If you want to show the world that you have balls, then take off the orange shirts and #stand4life in true blue.