Planned Parenthood used to have a slogan: “When she gets pregnant, so do you.” I appreciate that message and it seems to me this campaign is saying something similar.
Of course, Planned Parenthood said that before they made pregnancy a choice, sweeping responsibility quite off the table for both sexes.
If she can walk away from her pregnancy at any time, why shouldn’t he? It’s an irony entirely lost on feminists, who firmly believe that once a woman makes up her mind, the man ought to toe the line.
Then there’s the fact that “taking responsibility” used to mean the man would marry the woman and make a life of it, where now we awkwardly ask men to sort of stand by. Be involved. But not too involved. Because we are very, very busy pretending that marriage doesn’t matter.
Finally, the advice to avoid this situation of “pregnant men” is likely to amount to “use protection,” and/or “get on the Pill,” which is bad advice. And doesn’t work, furthermore, since all these kids have access and know how it use it and don’t, or use it improperly.
I’ll readily acknowledge this isn’t exactly amounting to standing ovation for this ad campaign. Yet, I support the idea of driving home that men are actors, not bystanders, alongside women in any pregnancy. “It’s her choice, I wouldn’t say anything,” was the recent comment of a cameraman filming one of my TV news hits about abortion. I cheerily replied that women don’t get pregnant on their own before leaving the studio, to which he nodded in agreement. (It was that easy, people. Just shake the tree and pick up the fruit.)
Another positive about this ad is that it serves to remind that men and women are different. Because men with pregnant bellies remain an impossibility and rather odd-looking, too. I think I’m still allowed to say that much out loud, right?
A half-hearted, thin cheer then; a one thumb up for this campaign.by