Men Need to Listen

In case you didn’t know, there is an election in just over two weeks. There are a lot of things on the ballot. Inflation, Democracy, Social Security, Equality, and Roe. Trumpists and elected Republicans want to take away the social safety net, equal rights, choice, and have no plan whatsoever to attack inflation. Each of the things on the ballot are highly important and are interconnected, but choice has been on my mind this week after a conversation some friends were having earlier this week.

The friends were all females. Each of them are experiencing some newer life challenges. New babies, pregnancies, and a surgery only a woman must contend with in life. The conversation was around lactating after birth for breastfeeding. A couple talked about milk production, and how sometimes a woman’s body is ready at birth, other times it can take a little while for the body to start producing breast milk. All of this was interesting to me as I will never experience these issues.

At one point, one of them apologized to me as it wasn’t the conversation I might have expected at lunch. I let her know no apology needed as it was interesting to hear. Hadn’t really been a part of this type of conversation. I didn’t say this, but I mentally chalked it up to most women probably don’t have these conversations in front of the men in their lives as most men would chalk it up to female problems, so why listen.

What startled me a bit was what had happened to the other woman at the table. She recently went through a procedure, rather half a procedure. The doctors wouldn’t do the entire procedure due to her age. Even though not doing so would negatively affect her health. Even though he know she will need to finish the procedure at some point in the near future. Even though she was willing, in fact insisting to have the full procedure, the doctor wouldn’t do it.

Here was a man, a medical professional, who knows what the future holds as her doctor and as a person who knows the medical history of his patient, still said no. No because she wasn’t at a magical age in his mind. No because he didn’t trust that she knew what was best for herself and her future.

When I heard this, my first thought was, why? Why did this man think he knew better than his patient in what she wanted and why she wanted it? What right did he have to deny her a full procedure knowing he would have to finish it at a later date? Why would he essentially force this adult woman to have to go through a major surgery again?

This decision made for my friend by a man, has haunted me all week. I kept thinking what would happen if it were a woman in my family. What if they needed a necessary procedure, with the doctor knowing the negative long-term effects of not doing it, saying no!

So men, you need to start paying attention and listening to the women around you. Men, you also need to start standing up for the rights of the women in your lives. Women are, after all, equal to you. Now is the time for you to show you believe this to be true. You can do this by voting for candidates who believe women are more than chattel, not able to make their own decisions about their bodies and their lives. This means voting Democrat for local, state, and national candidates running for office. The women in your lives have been carrying the burden to keep democracy alive and in support of your rights.

Time for you to return the favor.

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