Women are sharing how little men in their lives know about reproduction

Women are sharing how little men in their lives know about reproduction

Last week, when word got out that the Supreme Court was about to overturn Roe v. Wade, Sabrina Fonfeder decided to tweet something that was partly inspired by the news and partly inspired by an ex-boyfriend.

“I tweet this every time men decide it’s time to make decisions about women’s bodies, but my ex-boyfriend thought all women got their period on the 15th of the month,” she told her followers. “He was 26 at the time.”

In a follow-up tweet, Fonfeder, a New York-based development executive at TV and film company Irony Point and podcast company Radio Point, explained her ex’s confusion.

He once heard a comedian joke that he “loves his girlfriend except around the 15th of the month, if you know what I mean”. Fonfeder’s ex thought he knew what the comedian meant: All women get their period on the 15th, naturally!

Fonfeder’s tweet went viral, racking up over 19,000 retweets and 196,000 likes. It also opened the floodgates for women who wanted to share stories of ex-boyfriends who were equally perplexed by the workings of the female body.

“My ex thought we could start menstruating whenever we wanted,” said one. woman said. “He asked if I could schedule around his birthday once. Someone married him and had his child.”

“My ex-husband – while I was pregnant with his child – believed the baby was literally in my stomach and when I ate it fell on top of the baby.” another wrote.

“I once dated a 23-year-old girl who was furious that I mentioned drinking wine while she was menstruating.” another woman said. “He assumed it was dangerous because periods are related to pregnancy. I was like, sir, I’m the opposite of pregnant now.”

then there was this doozy, from an aspiring doctor: “I had an ex tell me that women shouldn’t complain about their periods because they’re clearly enjoying their tampons. He was pre-medical.”

Reading the collected tweets it’s seriously funny, but also seriously sad; The myriad misconceptions men have expressed about women’s bodies and simple issues of reproduction highlight the dire need for comprehensive sex education in American schools.

According to the US Sexuality and Information Council, only 38% of high schools and 14% of high schools nationwide teach topics identified as critical to sex education by the Centers for the Control and Prevention of Sexuality. Illnesses. This includes instructions on healthy relationships and lessons on birth control, abortion, and sexually transmitted diseases.

Currently, 21 states do not have sex education requirements.

The struggle to improve reproductive health education in schools is also not getting any easier. Increasingly, critics of even basic sex education are labeling the teachers who teach the classes as “groomers” with the intention of “sexualizing” children in the classroom.

If you are a parent concerned that your child will end up being equally misinformed, it is worth contacting your child’s school to find out who oversees the health and sex education program, what the teaching involves, and what grades the classes are in. happen.

If you want to cover your bases at home, Sex Ed for Social Change (SIECUS), a group initially known as the Sex Education and Information Council of the United States, recently released a large list of online sex education resources for kids of all ages. .

Fonfeder said the need for better sex education is an obvious lesson from his topic. But his intended argument was just that men shouldn’t be able to legislate over parts of reproduction and the human body that they don’t understand.

“I mean, scroll through the replies to my tweet for 10 seconds and remember that literally anyone can run for office and make rules that govern their body,” she told HuffPost.

Supporters of abortion rights march in downtown Detroit after a leaked document showed the US Supreme Court was preparing to overturn Roe v.  Wade.

Matthew Hatcher/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Supporters of abortion rights march in downtown Detroit after a leaked document showed the US Supreme Court was preparing to overturn Roe v. Wade.

It’s scary, noted Fonfeder, that the guy who thought his pregnant wife carried the baby inside her stomach, along with lunch, could run for public office and vote on legislation on women’s bodies.

It’s not as if elected officials haven’t expressed similarly mixed beliefs. Think of former Missouri congressman Todd Akin and his infamous rape statement: “If it’s legitimate rape, the female body has ways of trying to end it all.”

Then there was Dan Flynn, a former Texas state representative who was a key architect of a 2013 anti-abortion law proposed in the state — though he had no idea how abortion actually worked. As he revealed in an interview with Samantha Bee, Flynn seemed to think that abortion providers cut women’s bodies. (Wrong procedure; this is a cesarean.)

“Each story in the thread about someone’s dumb ex is dumber than the next, but nothing in this thread is much crazier than some of the things current members of Congress have said,” Fonfeder said. “Madison Cawthorn is somebody’s dumb ex. Ted Cruz is a poor woman’s dumb ex.”

In addition to providing comic relief, Fonfeder hopes his thread will remind readers that if lawmakers are going to legislate on women’s bodies and reproductive health care, they should at least be able to pass a ninth-grade biology class. .

“I shudder to think that anyone other than the woman herself has a say in healthcare decisions, especially if that someone is a guy who thinks women can swallow a camera for a gynecological exam.”

“No,” joked Fonfeder, “that’s not a belief of a guy from my topic. This is a real Idaho legislator.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.