One piece that has gotten much attention surrounding HB2 is this article from Burnt Orange Report: “Bro-Choice: How #HB2 Hurts Texas Men Who Like Women.” The author, Ben Sherman, also posted a follow-up piece, “2013 or 1950? Conservatives Rail Against Having Sex Outside of Marriage.” Both posts are problematic in their view of opposing pro-life legislation in order to supposedly stand with women and their justification of casual sex.
Sherman has his host of reasons for “How #HB2 Hurts Straight Texas Men“: not only will women’s lives be in danger, but men will lose their freedom to decide when to have kids – and lose their sex lives as well.
He does make a telling point with this earlier paragraph:
The old way of viewing reproductive rights as a women’s issue alone is easier and in some ways encouraged by outdated parts of masculine culture, and it’s wrong. When men stand with Texas women against this bill, they are also standing with Texas men.
Sherman fails to consider the unborn. In a sense, the first sentence is correct. Men should stand up in the reproductive process for the children they create and whom they have a duty to protect. But when men stand against this bill, they are standing against not only the lives of the unborn, but also the health of women and the personal responsibility of fellow men.
As the two pieces in question are “Bro-Choice” pieces, it is not unexpected that they would be against HB2. The author tries to normalize abortion by using the “1 in 3” figure of women who have had an abortion, but that does not make it right. And it should not be all that surprising that with abortion as the ultimate rejection of personal responsibility, Sherman would have such an irresponsible view on sex.
It does not make it any less disturbing, though. Take for instance, what Sherman feels so strongly about (emphasis in original):
It’s clear: if the Legislature basically takes away a Texas woman’s right to choose, having sex becomes a much, much riskier proposition for women and men.
It becomes much, much riskier for women who currently count on access to safe, legal abortion because now an accidental pregnancy could mean death or serious infection. It also becomes riskier for us men, who may well end up fathers well before we intend.
Except that sex is “risk[y],” if that’s what Sherman considers conceiving children to be. If Sherman is a man or knows men who don’t take seriously enough the fact that sex can and does create children, perhaps these men shouldn’t have sex. And men are outright being irresponsible if they see abortion as a way out for those “who may well end up fathers well before [they] intend.” But with such a normalization of casual sex, and with those like Sherman almost depending on abortion, we can’t really expect much.
In his second piece, Sherman tries to further defend his crusade of casual sex while also responding to his critics:
But this reality is clearly lost on (or disliked by) many conservatives. Blatantly misrepresenting my post, “Bro-Choice: How #HB2 Hurts Texas Men Who Like Women,” many right-wingers have taken to attacking it on Twitter and various blogs. They are are [sic] up in arms about one of the ways Texas’ anti-choice bill will affect not only women’s lives, but men’s as well…
Sherman also presents his tendency to not only fail to accept sexual responsibility, but also over-generalize the opposition while pointing out that they “blatantly misrepresent [his] post.”
And he mentions that “[t]he fourth point I made is that it will also significantly affect both women and men’s otherwise healthy sex life. This is undeniably true.” It is “undeniably true” only if and when the rejection of responsibility with one’s sex life is healthy. It’s not, though; on the contrary, it’s dangerously ignorant.
Sherman’s first paragraph in this piece seeks to normalize sex outside marriage and casual sex with all sorts of statistics. But normalizing abortion does not make it moral, and the same can be said for casual sex.
Sherman goes on to point out:
Sex is important to both men and women (and yes, women happily engage in casual sex too). We deserve to know what this Big Brother bill will do to endanger women’s lives, hamper free choice, force Texans into unplanned parenthood, and affect their sex lives. These are not all equally weighted because the first three clearly outweigh the last – but they are all true.
This is not a matter of “Big Brother” wishing to “endanger women’s lives [or] hamper free choice[.]” Courageous pro-life men and women participate as politicians and voters in the state of Texas to stand up for the voice of the unborn, so that they may too have this “free choice” that Sherman speaks of.