Flashback - a 1960s' perspective on current TX legislation debate - with cartoon

Flashback One: During the 1960s, my alma mater offered a course called "Marriage & Family Life." One of the classes was a showing of the film 'The Birth of a Baby," provided to the university free of charge by a pharmaceutical company that made birth control medications and devices. 

One of my roommates took this course and reported back to the room after the showing of the film that one of the women in the class had attended the movie with her spouse. The woman (with spouse) was also very obviously with child and had dragged her spouse along for his edification.

After the movie was over, the spouse whispered to his wife, "Honey, do you really want to go through with this?"

Flashback Two: A similar film (or the same one, not sure which) was also offered to various residence halls as a free, public service. The film was accompanied by a spokesperson from the pharmaceutical company who would offer a talk on birth control alternatives, if the university and residence hall wished him (not a generic 'him') to do so. My residence hall decided to show the film and offer the birth control lecture.

As the room was filling with students (both male and female), the front rows were, of course, the last to fill up. Just before the start of the program, a group of young men came sauntering proudly in and seated themselves in the front row seats, as if these were the seats of honor in a medieval court. Their whole demeanor was "We're going to get to see the 'dirty' parts of a woman in a room full of women!" 

The speaker began his lecture by saying that he had shown the film hundreds of times and had never had an adverse reaction from women in the audience. He continued by explaining that he had seen males in the audience have to leave the theater, faint or even become physically ill. The young men in the first row began to nudge each other with their elbows, as if to say "Not us, man. Not us!"

The lights dimmed; the film began; the first birth was a normal head first delivery - the boys started to slide down in their seats; the second birth may have been a breech birth - where the baby's feet come first, with the danger of the umbilical cord becoming kinked and cutting off the baby's blood/oxygen supply before the head comes out - the boys slipped deeper in their seats; the third birth was an emergency caesarean section - one of the boys left his seat in a hurry and the others followed shortly.

The point of this prologue is that women know from the time they are toddlers that most likely they will have children someday. They will hear their mothers talk about the birth process with other women. They will pay close attention in sex education classes (if their school actually provides a class with real education).

Most men, as toddlers, do not usually have the same opportunities to hear those discussions between their fathers and other fathers. If their fathers were in the delivery room, it was likely with a video camera to film the birth of "my son" or "my daughter" and not to provide physical and/or psychological support to their wives. In sex education class (again, if their school offered real education), they raced each other to find the 'dirty pictures.'  

With these thoughts in mind and given the history of conservative legislators' comments over the past few years, I offer the following cartoon:

gynexam.jpg

 

 


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