Male Privilege and the Birth Control Debate
"Excuse me, your male privilege is showing." This is what I’ve been screaming at the TV in the past few days of this debate over providing no-cost contraceptive coverage to women. I’ve seen argument after argument talking about how this ruling infringes on religious liberty, and how the Catholic Church is very much against this rule. And most of the talking heads I’ve seen making these arguments have been men.
I’m not going to get into an argument about religious liberty. Suffice to say that I think the initial rule issued by the administration addressed this topic sufficiently. But what I want to discuss is how the thoughts of a few men are not representative of the general population. My Think Progress colleagues just released a report showing that my perceptions were indeed reality. The majority of people speaking about this rule have been men; they made up 60 percent of MSNBC’s guests and 65 percent of Fox News Channel’s guests on this topic. It was painful to watch hosts like Joe Scarborough go on and on about the rule with his panel of mostly men, getting many of their facts wrong. Also, the last time I checked, men cannot give birth. That’s not to say that they don’t have a vested interest in the issue, because obviously they do. But they don’t get to speak with absolute authority about something they never personally experience.
Read more here.
This article was originally published in The Huffington Post.
To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:
Print: Liz Bartolomeo (poverty, health care)
202.481.8151 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or email@example.com
Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education)
202.478.6331 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Print: Tanya Arditi (immigration, Progress 2050, race issues, demographics, criminal justice, Legal Progress)
202.741.6258 or email@example.com
Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues, TalkPoverty.org, faith)
202.478.5328 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Print: Benton Strong (Center for American Progress Action Fund)
202.481.8142 or email@example.com
Spanish-language and ethnic media: Jennifer Molina
202.796.9706 or firstname.lastname@example.org
TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or email@example.com
Radio: Sally Tucker
202.481.8103 or firstname.lastname@example.org