I have recently been reading a few different issues in the news that have brought me to ponder equality in sexual rights and responsibilities from different perspective than usual.
The first issue I’ve been reading about is A Man’s Right to Choose. This concept actually makes sense to me. As you all know I ardently support pro-choice, pro-women abortion rights. However what about when a woman decides to see her unplanned pregnancy to term and raise a child but the man involved does not wish to be a father. He can not have an abortion. I know the standard response is if you don’t wish to be a father use contraception. I agree with this, but I also don’t think this condition should be attached to access to the abortion pill or surgical abortion for women. So how can we hold the males involved to that standard? In the current circumstances with unplanned pregnancies men are not privileged with the same rights as women. If they have sexual intercourse that results in an unplanned pregnancy they are powerless. Of course they should not be given the legal right to make a woman have an abortion, or to make her not have an abortion. The dominion over a woman’s body must hers and hers alone. However I feel that a man should have the legal option to be recognised in these circumstances as a sperm donor and not as the legal father if they so choose. What do you all think of this complex issue? For example it could not be applicable between partners who already have children together that the father can opt out of an unplanned one and leave the woman solely responsible and he just a sperm donor. I suppose whilst we’re still living in a society where women are paid less for the same work and where female professions are massively underpaid and where rape, domestic violence and the abandoning of women by their child’s fathers happens all too often and is in far more dire need of being resolved it is quite ridiculous to theorise on this. Still it is food for thought.
The second issue was related to the Julian Assange debacle. This post is not about wikileaks but I want to make it clear before I begin that personally I totally support wikileaks as a means to force governments to be transparent. I realise diplomacy often requires secrecy and discretion to be effective but ultimately government secrecy has gone way beyond this and is actually protecting government administrations from being accountable for war crimes and other forms of corruption. When official channels for holding governments to account have no teeth then the responsibility to hold governments accountable rests in all our hands.
Okay…the part of the story I want to discuss here is what actually went down in Sweden. It was not a crime by any stretch of the imagination from what I have read but it does raise issues of sexual responsibility on both Assange’s part and the women who had sex with him. Both women made statements that they felt in no way pressured into having sex but where asked to have sex without a condom and so they did. This is not a sex crime in my mind but is an ethical issue. If someone asks you to use a condom you should use it. If you don’t wish to use a condom and you ask someone not to and they say no you should use a condom or NOT HAVE SEX. To ask someone more than once to not protect themselves with contraception is shitty behaviour. However, if someone is asking you not to use a condom and you want to use one you should insist on using one or NOT HAVE SEX. If you can’t say to a man you have decided to have a one night stand with that condoms are mandatory then you should not be having one night stands. You are responsible for protecting yourself sexually and in a sexual situation with a person who is not physically threatening you must be able to insist upon protection for yourself, that is your responsibility to yourself. However, Julian should not have pressured women into having sex without a condom after they asked to use one. If he had forced them to have sex without a condom he would be a rapist regardless of whether they had consented to sex. There was no force used but there was pressure. Is this rape? Is this sexual assault? Or is this two people making bad choices and abdicating sexual responsibility?
Okay speculative rant over. If anyone wants to discuss this at length we can move the topic to the fourm. Let me know.