One of the hallmarks of the authoritarian left is their tendency to censor people, with any excuse — in their depressing and distorted understanding of reality, there is only room for the ‘right’ ideas. Much of this cancer has spread to rights issues, so it is not uncommon to find people saying, for example, that men shouldn’t talk about abortion.
This is batshit crazy, because we can all have opinions on any subject and, additionally, we have the right to express those views as strong and often as we want. To limit the issues on which I can express views based on my biological traits is the same traditional and old fashioned racism and sexism — if someone doesn’t like the owner of a penis talking —in any way— on abortion, they can go cry me a river.
I could leave it there, and the argument is complete; however, we will take the opportunity to examine this sexist tantrum.
Those who insist that men have no right to speak on abortion, seem to base their advocacy of censorship in the belief that men couldn’t understand the problem given that we do not carry fetuses in the womb, we don’t get periods, nor we feel the effects of pregnancy on a day-to-day basis. But the legal status of abortion also affects men —and, again, that doesn’t confer or deny legitimacy to give an opinion—:
To say that abortion is a woman’s issue, or that they’re the only ones allowed to have opinions about it because they bear most of the consequences, is to overlook a lot of social impact. Men have mothers, sisters, friends, and sexual partners would who be affected by the legality of abortion; some men who do not wish to become fathers are certainly affected by abortion laws, just as men who wish to become fathers might be.
And it turns out we all understand the arguments for and against abortion, regardless of whether we get menstrual periods or not — lacking the ‘right’ biological traits has never been a handicap on this issue. And that’s for a very simple reason: opinions on abortion are not driven by sex, but by our sexual strategies, something all individuals of the human race have, regardless of our sex.
And this idea that you can only comment on issues that affect you directly is as dumb as it gets, for two reasons: the first one is empathy and solidarity — I don’t need to be affected by classism or homophobia to understand that discriminating against someone because or their wealth or sexual orientation is wrong and I won’t tolerate it, even if I’m not on the receiving end.
The second one is even more blunt: it does affect me. Once, a friend asked me why I was so concerned with LGBTQ rights if I’m straight. The response was swift — I live in this society, and when its public policies discriminate on biological traits or sexual orientation, that concerns us all, because denying rights to a group of people based on arbitrarily selected characteristics means that at any time they might come for any of us, for the most sovereignly absurd reasons one can think of —wearing glasses, having blue eyes, being AB+, not liking to wear ties, being gay, being an atheist, being Buddhist, being asexual—.
The fact that today discrimination happens mostly against LGBTQ (and women, people of color, singles, poor people, etc.) is just a historical accident; any of us could be discriminated against and that, as a society, diminishes us. So it does affect me, because I want to live in a truly open and egalitarian society and, precisely because I can’t stand discrimination on the basis of any biological trait, I won’t stop saying what I think about any subject.
I don’t need to be black to reject racism, I don’t need to be gay to reject homophobia, I don’t need to be Muslim to reject the anti-Muslim bigotry, and I don’t have to be a woman to support abortion. In short: I don’t need to belong to a discriminated group to oppose discrimination — how can anyone who claims to defend rights fails to grasp this is beyond me.