Four Actions For Pro-Choice Men

Photo by Luke van Zyl on Unsplash

The past days have been a mix of confusion, rage, and fear.

Confusion around how it seems we’re going backward in a big way and how it could have been prevented.

Rage because it seems like there’s almost nothing to stop it from being overturned, and it seems (at least feels) extremely nonconsensual.

Fear of the potential impact this will have on the already widening distance between women and men.

Men,

Can you imagine how some of the women around you must feel?

Their right to choose what they do with their bodies is being taken away, with no recourse or viable alternatives.

Unimaginable as it might be, what would it be like if the same happened to men?

Imagine a world where you were forced to get a vasectomy the moment the numbers from a medical checkup showed you weren’t virile enough or an economic assessment showed you could not support raising a child.

Far fetched, and before I lose you, stay with the emotions and sensations.

I imagine there’s a mix of disgust, outrage, and perhaps even outright rejection at even the thought of such foolery.

And yet, that’s very similar to the feelings many women around you are feeling right now.

Doubtful Men,

Where do you stand on the Roe vs. Wade situation?

It’s easy to say this is a woman’s issue and not to get involved or speak up.

It’s ok, not to be sure. It’s ok to need more information. It’s ok to wait and see.

It’s also ok for women to distance themselves from men who aren’t clear about where they stand on women’s issues.

Benevolent Men,

Where do you stand on the Roe vs. Wade situation?

Many of us feel in our bones we stand at the threshold of something grave and great.

The death of a human right may lead to a potentially chaotic process of urgency and rebirth as people rally and demand their voices be heard.

How can we support ourselves and the process?

Communicate Your Beliefs

Actively let the women around you know where you stand.

A common critique of women is how men don’t speak their minds and emotions, leaving them having to guess what their partner or the men in their lives really think.

While actions do speak louder than words, words combined with action create certainty, accountability, and confidence in a man. Both within the man and with those who relate with him.

Be Clear

If you’re unsure, take the time to reflect on the situation, what’s at stake, and how this decision may impact you, those you love, and your greater community. This goes far beyond just what our eyes can see.

The time for waffling men is coming to a close. The world needs pillars and guardians (of both genders), but as patriarchal power dynamics are at play, the impact of a man who speaks and stands his ground is felt, especially in the face of opposing men.

Regardless of what you believe, be clear about what you stand for, the time for ambiguity and veiled beliefs is over.

Learn to Be Present and Spacious

The art of holding space is very much that, an art. One that much needed and many will need over the coming seasons.

The grief, rage, and trauma from these times need space to be seen, and completing its healthy process requires containment. This is where the masculine energy within you comes in.

Learn to ask questions, listen, and offer permission for more. Do the inner work of clearing space for another’s experience while having the boundaries around what is yours and what is theirs.

Be a conduit that supports the rage and grief to be transformed into swords and shields that may be needed in the coming seasons.

Find or Form a Fellowship with Resonate Men

The coming seasons will undoubtedly be challenging. While streets may be filled with the cries of protest, our homes have the potential to be either battlegrounds or bastions of safety and regeneration.

As much as society and the media would like to tell us otherwise, men don’t do very well on our own. During such times, it will be vitally important, if not essential, for our own mental and emotional health to have a circle of men we can lean on and find support.

Safe masculine spaces within which men can learn to hold space and express the hurts, confusion, and visions for peace and potency will make a massive difference in how we show up in our households.

If you don’t have such a fellowship yet, consider reaching out to a man or two and forming a peer support group. As much resistance we may feel, rest assured other men feel it as well, and this sense of resistance can often be the fertile ground from which to build a solid foundation of brotherhood.

But someone has to go first, will that be you?

I share this with some caution as I notice the flavor of raising banners and the conflict that comes with it. There’s lots of context and nuance missing for the sake of calling out and calling in.

Yet not speaking to the state of things does not honor either the warrior or the lover within. Perfection and procrastination is a luxury we perhaps no longer have.

Let us not forget too quickly that a man set himself on fire for something he believed in only a little over a month ago.

Perhaps extreme, perhaps not in times like these where the need to be heard is great and grave.

The world, and its women, need us not to burn, but to step up.

Where do you stand on the Roe vs. Wade situation?

In case I myself have not been clear enough, banning abortions and essentially forcing women to have to give birth or suffer severe consequences in attempts to do otherwise, is super fucked.

If you’d like resources on starting a men’s group or holding space for yourself and others, send me a message on instagram @soulfulintimacy.

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Justin H. Lee

Justin H. Lee

Human/Being • Expat in Asia • Connection Facilitator • Slightly Angsty • Writes on Mental Health, Relationship Dynamics, Man Stuff, and Heart-Forward Leadership