With all due respect to Irina Dunn who felt that “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle”, I’m getting the feeling that there are an awful lot of guppies pedaling around the aquarium these days.  I tried to remember why and at what point in my life I stopped opening doors or giving up my seat on the bus to the gentler sex as my mother had taught me to do.  The recent debates on “free” contraceptives brought it back to me; I got tired of having to apologize and explain my motives to indignant women who were insulted by the gesture.  So, we were cads if we treated women with respect just the same as if we treated them poorly.  And all the while, the women’s magazines would scream out from the checkout stands lamenting, “Where have all the nice guys gone?”  It used to be funny, a standing joke, what do women want?  We men could never figure it out, knuckle-draggers that we are.

And while you're at it, change your own water....

Confusing as it was then, it got a little more confusing over the past couple of weeks with the contraception flap over the presidents’ health care plan.  Try as I might, I couldn’t really boil it down to a core issue because my liberal friends are all over the map.  Is it the church they hate?  Or is this just another wedge issue to divide us along gender lines?  Is it an extension of the poor versus rich divide, which the administration has been using to justify the less than disguised redistributionist policies it believes in?  Hell I can’t even get liberals to stay on topic.  I watched one on-line exchange  between two friends when one came up with the argument that “well, you guys got Viagra paid for.”  Um, okay.  I’ll bite, but seriously, I don’t think we should be paying for Viagra either.  If we’re sticking with the bicycle-fish meme, that’s pure red herring

Speaking of red herring, what do women have to say about another woman who sleeps around?  I mean a lot?  Sorry, but I’ve actually heard the conversation before, and it ain’t pretty.  That’s why the flap about Sandra Fluke has me so puzzled. So tell me, why is this woman the new face of feminism?  Is it because she lied about who she was?  A 30-year old woman posing as a 23 year old college student, playing the victim to advance her ideology?  Anyone bother to ask her about her belief that not only should we be paying for her contraceptives, but also funding gender reassignment surgery?  If she had come out as a radical feminist in the first place, would she have all the support she has now?  Do any strong women feel that they’ve been played, at least a little bit here?  Or are all bets off because someone called her a nasty name?  I thought feminism was more than that.  I thought wrong.

For me it’s far simpler.  I just want some consistency.  Fish don’t need a bicycle, just the bicycles’ money.   If you get pregnant, you want the right to abort your baby regardless of what the father says.  Equal?  And he, along with the rest of us gets to pay for it.  Equal? If you want to keep the baby and he doesn’t, you get to take him to court and garnish his wages for the next 18 years.  Equal? You want to be a firefighter or a soldier but want the physical requirements lowered so you can pass.  Equal? You want the sexual freedom you demand but want someone else to pay for it.  Equal?   No, this isn’t a women rights issue.  This is purely a responsibility issue.  You and your partner can pay for your own contraceptives, thank you very much.  If you can’t get him to help pay for them, maybe he’s not he kind of guy you should be having sex with.  Of course, one would have to assume you’ve known each other long enough to even have had that discussion, but that assumption too could be seen as argumentative. In any event, your rights come with responsibilities as well and it’s time you owned up to them.  Stop blaming the rest of us for poor choices on your part and pay your own way.  Simple, you want to control your body just as fiercely as I want to control my wallet.  Unfortunately, it’s you who keep them inextricably linked.

Maybe it’s time you stopped pedaling around the aquarium with your hand out…