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February 15, 2011

I WAS TALKING TO A COLLEAGUE ABOUT this article on “nonconsensual insemination,” and it reminded me of this, er, seminal piece on pregnancy deception by Tracy Quan: Conception by deception: Why do women get away with “accidentally” getting pregnant — when if a man tried to pull the same manipulative stunt, he’d be Bobbitted?

In fact, in today’s New York Times, male efforts to sabotage birth control are called abuse. Women, on the other hand, are just making use of a “gift.” All those people deploying “scope of consent” arguments in the Julian Assange rape case need to address this double standard.

Then there’s the whole needing a wife’s consent for a vasectomy thing. What are these “reproductive rights” I keep hearing about?

UPDATE: Reader Shelly North writes:

I am the oldest of four children and my mother did not want to talk to my two younger brothers about sex and so she asked me (their older sister) to handle things. This was in the 80’s in a small town in west Texas. I believe that my conversation with them went something like this.

“I am a girl and I know this to be true, Girls LIE about birth control. You have to take responsibility for yourself. I also know the girls in your class who are putting out (an advantage of a small town) and I know for a fact that none of them are on birth control. No Glove No Love. If you are too embarrassed to buy them I will buy them for you.”

I didn’t have any nieces or nephews until after my brother was married. I knew too many girls who planned their pregnancies around what they wanted. It is a horrible thing to say but it is still true today “Girls lie about birth control.”


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