Earlier this year, Choice USA launched a "Bro-Choice" campaign to encourage men to speak out against reproductive injustice. Cut to hordes of conservative bloggers lambasting an imaginary douche collective of "horny young men who think 'women's right to choose' translates to 'men's right to use.'" Uh, what? Here's how your bullshit right-wing outrage sausage (bro-sauge?) gets made.
In April, Choice USA emailed me about a new campaign called "Bro-Choice" that "specifically targets men to become stakeholders and true advocates for reproductive justice." According to Kierra Johnson, Choice USA Executive Director, the program was devised last year by students "as a series of panels to talk about engaging men in reproductive rights and the challenges of that;" since then, it had evolved into "a broader conversation about masculinity and sexual assault.” Choice USA hosted a week "of visibility around masculinity and rape culture," posted a series of topical blog articles, hosted a twitter chat, and collected Bro-Choice pledges at college campuses across the country. From the pledge:
LIVING BRO-CHOICE means having the courage to speak out against injustice, even at the risk of being alienated. It means creating broader, more equitable definitions of masculinity. Living Bro-Choice means being a vocal advocate for reproductive justice, and an authentic ally to women. Living Bro-Choice means being a part of the solution.
Alas, the pun, so full of potential, was bound to be co-opted, both by good — in December 2012, Sarah Silverman released a message to her "bros" called "Be Bro-Choice," in which she told dudes that "If anybody messed with you, bro, I'd be all over it" — and by evil.
The Bro-Choice "movement" piqued anti-choicers' interest earlier this month, after Ben Sherman wrote a post for Burnt Orange Report called "Bro-Choice: How #HB2 Hurts Texas Men Who Like Women." The tongue-in-cheek article included this warning:
Your sex life is at stake
Can you think of anything that kills the vibe faster than a woman fearing a back-alley abortion? Making abortion essentially inaccessible in Texas will add an anxiety to sex that will drastically undercut its joys. And don't be surprised if casual sex outside of relationships becomes far more difficult to come by.
A valid point, especially taken in context of the post — which covered a number of crucial HB2 issues — and the website, which has been a must-read source for anyone following Texas anti-abortion fuckery.
Anti-choicers disagreed. "Hey Ben. BRO! Sex is not primarily recreational and women’s bodies don’t exist to serve your every-72-hours-discharge needs," wrote Ask the Bigot. "Sex has life-creating properties, and this bill will make it harder for you to separate that reality from your weekend hook-ups." The post passed (and is still circulating) from fetus fantatic to fetus fanatic — LifeNews, in a pathetic quest for relevancy, even made anti-bro memes — until Breitbart really got things going with multiple posts dedicated to outing the Bro-Choice momement as led "by horny young men who think 'women's right to choose' translates to 'men's right to use.'"
Soon, Caleb Bonham, a "Christian politico with a sense of humor," visited a college campus to get students' reactions to the now infamous Bro-Choice movement. "Do pro-choice leftists really support abortion "on-demand" because their sex life is at stake?" asked the intrepid investigative journalist. "Well, the #BroChoice movement does."
"An undercover video filmed at a university campus in Colorado recently exposed the belief system of the 'bro-choice' movement, a term for men who support abortion so that they can have sex without being responsible for fathering a child," My Christian Daily breathlessly reported.
OMG you guys, giggling college kids agree that "being pro-choice will get guys more tail" and think there's "nothing wrong with getting laid a little bit more." I haven't been so scandalized since the New York Times told me that girls like sex!
"Back in the day, women's libbers would have called such men 'male chauvinist pigs,'" Breitbart's Debra Heine wrote of the Bro-Choicers. Nowadays, they're more concerned with men who really want to control women, like politicians who are hellbent on dictating what women can do with their wombs and anti-choicers who advise men to get restraining orders against women who seek abortions. Silly feminists!