Lately on Twitter I’ve seen a some Black men tweet that they think birth control is evil, then mention the old Margaret Sanger/Planned Parenthood stories and other assorted yadda yadda that I really don’t care about. It seems like typical pseudo-religious anti-choice exertions of patriarchal masculinity as power to try to control Black women’s fertility. It’s usually a part of a larger “submission” narrative that they proselytize, of course misquoting Galatians/Ephesians as if I and other Black women automatically care what is written in these books (not all women they proselytize to happen to identify as Christian, or even theists at all), or if we do care, they behave as if women haven’t read it themselves to know that “submission” is not required of random women simply because they are women. The extrapolate the word “wife” in these verses to mean “any and all women.” These two books of the Bible are consistently taken out of context either because of incompetence or maliciousness.
Some White men have the same anti-choice views. When (primarily) White men in various GOP-controlled state legislatures (currently more state legislatures, more governors, the House and the SCOTUS identify as Republican versus Democrat or Independent) pass or attempt to pass a plethora of anti-abortion legislation under the guise of religious freedom, and this occurs during the same span of years that the Census Bureau remarks on the underwhelming White birth rate, one must scratch one’s chin. Prison Industrial Complex for Black people? Deportation for Hispanics? White women forced to bear? (Most of the loudest [as in, receive the most media coverage, not care the most, per se] voices against their legislation are in fact White women’s voices. I keep thinking of Rachel Maddow’s line when she says “jobs, jobs, jobs, by which I mean abortion” in reference to the GOP’s agenda since 2010.) Population numbers adjust? Doubtful in the long run. But it probably just feels good and probable to them.
It’s fascinating seeing both Black and White men rail on about the very same issue for purposes that slightly differ (with obviously different levels of implementation power—there ARE more White men in government positions [not to mention White men clearly have more access to power in a White hetero-patriarchal capitalist system] who can flex power to affect more women than a Black man per se, who may share the views on Twitter, and even enforce these views against his partner/daughter etc., but has a more localized impact) yet still leads to the same conclusion. Controlling women’s bodies. It’s just that White men have the added annoyance of race getting in their way it seems. Their actions often seem…desperate. Desperation about a changing demography. Desperation about who can vote, and who they will vote for. However, with the growing divide in what are tools for power—media control and money—their actions, though desperate still can have quite a devastating impact. This is why women, and the men who support women, fairness, and equality have to keep fighting. A desperate opponent is a dangerous opponent.