Finally, research is showing us that there may be a birth control pill for men on the market in the foreseeable future. Researchers from Japan have discovered a way to make sperm less flexible, rendering them unable to fully penetrate the outside of an egg cell and thus making male mice infertile in as little as two weeks. Luckily for both mice and men, fertility returned within a week of stopping the drugs— cyclosporine A (also known as CsA) and FK506 (also known as tacrolimus), which basically inhibit one protein that is found only in sperm from being made. The result is that researchers are actually on to a possible birth control method for men that may give them as much control over their reproductive organs as the pill does for women.
Now, for the real question, will men also be called sluts for seeking the pill?
Birth control has long been considered the onus of the woman. Sure men are told to wrap their tool, but women were the only ones with the ability to conduct chemical warfare on their reproductive organs to prevent pregnancies. If a woman seeks birth control pills, especially as a teen, she is widely declared a slut. Don’t get your panties in a bunch, it is just a fact, a woman seen as having an active – healthy – sex life is often seen as a slut. Will this new birth control pill for men cause a change in the way we look at using birth control?
It has long been said that if men got pregnant birth control pills would be available in bathroom stalls and abortion would be an elective procedure that your insurance would cover as preventative medicine. That may not be entirely true, but many people are still trying to restrict their daughter’s access to birth control, and micromanage their sexuality, because they feel that birth control causes you to become a giant, unrepentant, open-for-business whore. How will this puritanical, and just plain wrong, viewpoint play out when men are actually able to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies with a pill also?
If a man takes the pill, and can, therefore, have sex without worrying about getting a girl pregnant (without having to pause to place a prophylactic over their wee-willy-winkie) will birth control suddenly make “slut” a non-gendered term? Please don’t attempt to say that because you can use the word slut for a man, doesn’t mean that it isn’t assumed that the person you are talking about is a woman when you use it. Slut-shaming is not shaming a woman because she has no morals, it is treating a woman like a whore for having a sex drive.
Will we suddenly fight our sons, telling them that they are too young to be on birth control and that taking it is just an excuse to be a slut without the consequences? Will we warn our daughters that men will stop taking that pill to trap them into an unwanted child and attempt to force them to marry them? How about telling our sons that women will only want to date them because they know they are on the pill and are probably “easy?”
Or, could this be when men suddenly realize that without Planned Parenthood their best chance at not being tagged for child support for the next 18 years may as well be on Mars, because they sure as hell can’t afford it without them?
Not highly likely, but I am hopeful it at least will make a few men sit back and think, gee – if taking the pill didn’t make me a slut, maybe it doesn’t make women one either.
Feature image via Feminspire.com