Live Vasectomy: Australian Addition

American doctor Doug Stein is on a mission that makes men lay their balls on the line, literally. Dr. Stein is trying to encourage men to do their part to lower global population rates and lower the impact humans have on the world. Dr. Stein is trying to save the world two balls at a time.

Sixteen Australian men agreed to get their vasectomies on stage in front of an audience. The reason they did this was to help raise awareness about vasectomies. Many men believe myths about vasectomies: that it will make your voice higher, it will make you less of a man, ext. Stein is challenging these ideas by performing them live; this shows the ease, simplicity and painlessness of a modern day vasectomy. Stein is travelling the world performing vasectomies and making a documentary about this.

He believes that the world is suffering from over population, and that this is taking a toll on the planet. I think vasectomies for Mother Earth is great, but I like one thing he said much more then the tree hugger angle:

…meaning that we would actually make a sacrifice, that women make all the time.

On top of wanting to save the environment and cure poverty through vasectomies, Stein also wants men to step up to the plate. He talks about men taking responsibility, taking the burden of birth control off women, and making a sacrifice that is usually placed on women (hysterectomies are more common, but also more invasive, have a longer recovery time, and a greater chance of complications).

I think it is good that men can have greater control over birth control. As I have said before, it is more socially acceptable for men to have sex, so why aren’t men taking charge of their reproductive capacities?

If I were a man I would be fighting for my reproductive rights for the creation of and access to more then just vasectomies.

For more information on Dr. Stein check out this article:


Intersex Rights

I have talked about both cis and trans women and men’s reproductive rights but what about those who do not fit those body types? Many are unaware that intersex people even exist, let alone about their reproductive rights. An intersex person is someone who is born with a mix of ambiguous genitalia, a mix of reproductive capacities, or a difference in chromosomal and genital sex. There are different types of intersex people but I must be clear it is not a choice. People do not identify as intersex they are born intersex, the same way someone is born Italian; it isn’t something you choose to be it is just the way it is.

There are many problems that intersex people face when it comes to their reproductive rights and control over their bodies. They get forced into the body of a man or a women through surgery and this can prevent them from being able to have children, or sexual arousal.

To shed more light on this topic I will send you to a Huffington Post video that has intersex people discussing the new change to German birth certificates where you can choose a third gender option:

To watch this

Reproductive Knowledge

You can’t have reproductive rights without reproductive knowledge. In the 1960s there was a feminist movement to try and understand the female body; specifically it was a movement to get to know your own body. It is amazing how many women back then, and to this day, do not know their own bodies. I believe that you can’t have control over your body if you don’t know anything about it.

In order to help you know more I am sharing this video that I found through Everyday Feminism but is by Sexplanations about the Vuluva:

I hope you learned something new and that this helps you understand your body and reproductive rights.

Canadian Public Opinion

A year ago this month Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth tried to put forward a motion in the House of Commons which could have opened the possibility of re-criminalizing abortion. This may be old news but it is important news.

It was on April 26 2012 that conservative MP Woodworth tried to open up the abortion debate. Feminists fought long and hard for the removal of abortion from the criminal code and legislation. In 1988 abortion was dropped from the criminal code and the possibility of that being changed caused an uproar.

Liberal MP Lucie Pépin created a petition against MP Woodworth re-opening the abortion debate and 110364 (including myself) Canadians signed the petition. This shows the power of feminism and women’s rights that is in Canada. People may say we are post-feminism but actions like these stand for themselves. Canadians came together to tell MP Woodworth that he needed to back down. This is a sign of the power of individuals and collective in combating sexist, misogynist and/or patriarchical actions and attitudes that are still present in our society.

Here is the petition created by MP Pepin:

Meanwhile in the USA…

Feminist and comedian Tina Fey gives us some insight on the current fight for reproductive rights in the USA, at a Reproductive Rights Gala in 2012. She pokes fun at the myths and misconceptions many male politicians have about rape and pregnancy.
This provides some insight into many of the problems feminists face when trying to gain reproductive rights. Just as these male American politicians are misinformed many other men (and women) around the world are misinformed about reproductive rights. There are many misconceptions and myths about reproduction and reproductive rights that can only be stopped by the sharing of actual information. Hopefully Fey’s speech will be helpful in shinning a light on the problem of lack of information on reproductive rights and open up a dialogue and find a way to share information to fix all these misconceptions.

The Backlash

There are many forms of backlash that the people fighting for reproductive rights faced. The most common would be protesting and harassing women as they try to enter abortion clinics, but assaults and threats also happened.

Two Attempted Murders on Dr. Garson Romalis’ Life
Dr. Garson Romalis is a friend of Dr. Morgentaler and started performing abortions in 1972. His life was threatened many times, and he was shot on November 8th, 1994. This is Dr. Romalis’ description of what happened to him in a speech he gave at the University of Toronto Law School Symposium to mark the 20th anniversary of the Canadian Supreme Court decision in R v Morgentaler:

I had a very severe gunshot wound to my left thigh. My thigh bone was fractured, large blood vessels severed, and a large amount of my thigh muscles destroyed. I almost died several times from blood loss and multiple other complications. After about two years of physical and emotional rehabilitation, with a great deal of support from my family and the medical community, I was able to resume work on a part-time basis. I was no longer able to deliver babies or perform major gynecological surgery. I had to take security measures, but I continued to work as a gynecologist, including providing abortion services. My life had changed, but my views on choice remained unchanged, and I was continuing to enjoy practicing medicine. I told people that I was shot in the thigh, not in my sense of humor. (Romalis)

He was also stabbed by a young man in July 2000. He said his life was forever changed by the event but he felt that he was helping women and saving lives by performing abortions, and continued to perform them even after these two attempts on his life.

Attempts on Dr. Morgentaler’s Life
There have been attempts on Dr. Morgentaler life and this CBC news coverage from 1983 shows a man’s attempt at attacking Dr. Morgentaler with garden sheers. Author and activist Judy Rebick actually blocks the man from Dr. Morgentaler.
Dr. Morgentaler video – CBC News Toronto

“New” Abortion Caravan
This is modern form of backlash. It is a group of anti-choice people who call themselves the New Abortion Caravan. Their main tactic is to show pictures of aborted fetus as a way to scare women out of having abortions. I find this group repulsive. I think that women who do not support abortion should not get one, and not impose their “morals” onto other women.

Anti Choice Protesters Outside a Clinic
Here is a video of a man defending his wife’s abortion against women who stood outside the clinic and yelled at her. His wife needed an abortion to prevent her from delivery a still-born baby. He makes some valid points that hese protesters should learn. He says they should be helping children; I agree if they believe unwanted children should be born then they should be spending their time helping under privilaged children or volunteering at an orphange.