The Protectors

Where are the men in stopping the Texas abortion ban?

This piece may howl conformity of gender roles, and even assume sexuality, and it is not directly intended to do so. However, I’m going to weigh in on the abortion ban in Texas and the ongoing assault on women every where, of every sort and for generations. 

I for one, as a Black, cisgendered, childrearing woman, have an absolute lived experience of the realities of a good dose of oppressive policy, legislation, opinion and practice. I, like most decent human beings, feel for others and empathize with others’ realities and try to do our best to be a rainbow in someone else’s storm. As a woman, it can’t be ignored, any longer, that without the direct efforts of women, the most monumental civil rights movement could not have happened.

Yet, even the gratitude — the recognition, “the credit” — for our efforts is still attached to the man who we are assisting to get any validation, given to whichever group has — primarily white, sexual and then gendered privilege — We all know this, right? 

What I don’t understand is: Where are the legions of men, the proud fathers and, grandfathers, besties and boyfriends, partners and bosses; where are the marches, the billboards, colored ribbons, the visible demand for the protection of our reproductive rights? The fierce “protectors”: Where are you? 

Is it as hard for men to speak up for your wives or your partners like it is for mediocre white folx to talk about racism when they perceive that it will weigh on the white privilege? Is it as fearful that cis-male privilege will be in question if you refuse to accept the abuse women are experiencing at the hands of government involvement in women’s reproductive rights? Where are the arguments and open letter demands of more open information in the choices around vasectomies? 

 My point is, reproduction is not just a woman’s issue, or a birthing person’s discussion. Creating a child requires egg and sperm — pregnancy prevention is not solely the birthing person’s obligation. The toxicity of this thought process is status quo. We can’t change anything being the same people we were a year ago or two years ago. We must evolve, choose a different narrative, a different reality, one that centers on collective wellness and balance. 

The fighters for justice in this world will keep fighting. Those fighters grow and pass the torch. The people who send their love and light, grow and pass their practice of spiritual bypassing to their next generation. Can we face that perhaps the roles where we so comfortably sit are exercising privilege? 

Whichever privilege allows you to pass the torch, to keep the fight going, without the advice to re-evaluate the fight and choose innovation; to choose courage, to expose and exploit the hidden narrative. It’s amazing that in 2021, men putting themselves first in line for a discussion around reproductive rights could be revolutionary. To those who believe you are the protectors of this world, the male feminist, the “I love all women…” Fellas: Who are you truly protecting in this fight?

Ayisha Elliott’s podcast Black Girl From Eugene is raw and uncensored monologues and conversations about living while Black in the PNW. Listen locally at 11 am Sundays on FB Live; simulcast on KEPW 97.3 FM. Find it on all major podcasting platforms. You can support BGFE at