By David Futrelle
Most reproductive rights activists today are doing their best to deal with the increasingly likely reversal of Roe V. Wade, brought a step closer to reality by the draconian anti-abortion bill just signed into law in Alabama, likely to be appealed all the way up to the Supreme Court.
But the exceedingly sui generis reproductive rights activist John Howard — Twitter’s @EggAndSperm — has rather different concerns. Like men trying to gestate their own fetuses in a box, women trying to fertilize the eggs of other women, and single and/or gay people having sex.
I first ran across Howard in tweets from @Chinchillazllla and @NuclearTakes several days ago, and I’ve been trying to figure him out ever since. He’s no feminist, obviously, but he’s no Men’s Rights Activist either — he doesn’t seem to want men to infringe on what he sees as women’s fundamental right to gestate. He’s kind of his own thing, mixing the assorted bigotries of a Christian fundamentalist with the paranoia of someone who’s just read Brave New World for the first time. (And he seems way too dedicated to be a troll; he’s been at this for years.)
Huh. It never occurred to me that my inability to become pregnant was a right; I just thought it was a biological limitation. I guess I also have a right to not be as smart as Einstein, as well as a right to not be able to fly by flapping my arms. Apparently I have as many rights as there are things I’m unable to do.
Oh, and as a single person, I also have the right not to have sex. When Howard talks about the reproductive rights of men and women, he makes clear he thinks these rights (including the right to have sex) only apply to straight, married couples.
Howard is so sure that (straight) marriage is the only way to go that he’s managed to convince himself that all sex between single people is therefore somehow rape.
But Howard seems less concerned with this sort of “rape” than he is with the specter of gay marriage, which he manages to blame for everything from school shootings to the opioid crisis.
While gay and lesbian couples are shit out of luck in Howard’s imagined utopia, he’s an eensy, teensy bit more forgiving towards trans people — but only if they accept the fundamentally transphobic belief that trans women are really men and trans men are really women.
You might wonder why Howard is so intent on banning things that aren’t actually possible in the world we live in today — obviously, neither cis men nor trans women can produce eggs; nor can cis women or trans men produce sperm. But he of course has an answer.
No, really. His answer is “aliens” — or at least their technology.
Howard — while not a TERF himself — has some awfully TERFy concerns:
But he also thinks he’s got a solution:
Yeah, that’s not how that works.
Indeed, Howard might well be the poster child for Not How This Works. So I’m just going to end this with that lady from that commercial. And every other gif along those lines I could find.
And for you Star Wars fans:
As for me, I’m just going to go lie down for a while.
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