Saturday, 15 April 2017

Abortion and Masturbation: are they Comparable?

A Democratic representative in Texas, called Jessica Farrar, has filed a bill to regulate masturbatory emissions in men. The bill proposes that men be fined $ 100 if they ejaculate outside of an appropriate receptacle. The appropriate receptacle, you might have guessed, is a vagina (you’d hope, with a real woman attached to it) or, if it can’t be a vagina, then any receptacle approved by a medical facility. Any emission that does not end in either (or any) of the certified receptacles will be considered an act against an unborn child and the man will be charged with the failure to preserve the sanctity of life.

Jessica Farrar introduced this satirical bill to highlight her opposition to the anti-abortion measures advocated by the Republican politicians.

I must confess that I don’t get the anti-abortion stance of some sections of the societies all over the world. I mean, I get it that Catholic Church opposes all forms of abortion, because the Church holds the sanctity of life so dear. So, in vulgate, the Church is saying that if you f**k and the woman gets pregnant, then that’s it. Whether the woman can afford it or not, whether she likes children or not, whether the f**ker (in the strict technical sense of the word) wants to stick around or not, she has to give birth to the child. (There are other ways of getting pregnant without actual f**king, such as artificial insemination; but I should guess that if you have gone all the way to the IVF to have a baby, and it works, you would not want to abort the foetus.) That is OK. It’s OK in the sense that it is, like, the opinion of the Church. Those who are Catholics and think that it is OK for the Church to be so prescriptive about their personal lives, are welcome to follow it. But what about those who are not Catholics, or, who are Catholics but want to have the right to abort? If you are in Texas, you are f**ked (figuratively, this time, although, if you have become pregnant, you have also been literally f**ked), as, it looks like, the only way to get an abortion if you live in Texas (and are a woman, a pregnant woman, it goes without saying) is a twisted hanger in a dodgy back-street.

I therefore am in fully empathy (you should try it, empathy; I have been giving it a go for a while, and I am slowly getting better at it; I allow myself only a smirk these days—and do not guffaw—when a confused geriatric runs over a toddler in ASDA with his trolley and the toddler’s mother eloquently brings to the geriatric’s notice his many character-flaws (and to everyone else’s, within the hearing distance, that she learnt her eloquence in the gutter) with the women in Texas, not because they live in Texas which, I am sure, is a fine state in America, and certainly not because they are women, but because they can’t get an abortion which I think should be their right, irrespective of their motivations for abortion.

Abortion, let me make it clear hear and now, is a boon to the society, like Salvation Army, Amnesty International, and PoundLand. It is a bringer of inestimable, indescribable good and happiness.

I wonder, though, whether introducing the anti-masturbatory bill, however satirical, is the right way of going about it. It can’t be that everyone who supports the anti-abortion bill dangles a penis between his thighs. It seems statistical improbability to me that not a single woman supports the anti-abortion bill. The bill does an injustice to all those lonely men who sit in front of their computer (a sock in one hand) staring intensely (and empathically) at the YouTube videos (uploaded strictly  for educational purpose), who might be wholeheartedly in support of women’s right to abort. These men might be creepy (you might die of fright) but their hearts are in the right place.

What can, then, be done? Stopping men from tossing off will, I am sorry to say, not work. The women could leave Texas. That is no doubt a cop-out option, but, in its support, it could be argued that sometimes retreat is the wisest, if not the bravest, decision. My suggestion is that all these Republican politicians bringing anti-abortion measures (or, even better, the Pope) should be made to read David Lodge’s How Far Can You Go. If Lodge’s wise and humane musings on the Catholic Church, the pill, and the rhythm method fail to change the hearts of Republican Politicians (and the Pope), I don’t know what will.