Eric Benét: A Provocative Statement About Birth Control
Eric Benét is an American singer-songwriter. His soulful, R&B music has touched millions around the world. In fact, Benét was nominated for four Grammy Awards throughout his career. However, the singer-songwriter does not limit his platform to all things music. As we will see, he is a father, husband, and maybe–we can even call him a feminist.
Every women knows that women’s rights–specifically women’s reproductive rights–have been a controversial topic throughout history, law, and so forth. While Roe v. Wade gave women the right to choose how to proceed with their pregnancy on a federal level, abortion is a topic that comes up time and time again. It continues to be revised and restricted depending on the state. Abortion laws are something we continue to struggle with decades later.
However, people get so caught up in the abortion stigma, whereas pro-life groups claim a ‘living’ baby is being murdered. As a result, we often forget that abortion rights are generated directly from unplanned or unwanted pregnancies. When considering sexism, misogyny, and how the blame for getting pregnant is often put on women instead of men; Eric Benét’s twitter statement is thought provoking.
Analyzing The Statement From Eric Benét
In September of 2020, Eric took to twitter to share some thoughts:
Theoretically, a man could impregnate 4 women a day per year [resulting in] 1,460 pregnancies. A woman can give birth only once a year. If “birth control” was the objective…science created the pill for the wrong gender.
Eric Benét, Twitter, September 2020.
This is a controversial statement; Benét is suggesting that the birth control pill should have been made for men rather than women. Yet, Benét’s tweet reveals there is a deeper issue behind this topic of birth control and women’s rights. Birth control should be made for men–in terms of social thinking, who carries the child, and what this means for future laws.
The truth is, ‘birth control’ was not the objective, and it still isn’t. If a woman becomes pregnant, law makers perceive it as her responsibility to carry out the pregnancy. We have heard the narrative that abortion is murder, and we typically blame the women for not taking the right steps to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. As a result, men escape the responsibility of carrying, caring for, and raising a child. Eric Benét leaves us thinking: why should we care?
The Implications For Sexism
Between celebrity reactions and that of law-makers, it is hard to ignore injustices to women’s rights. Rihanna is another celebrity who uses Twitter and discusses relevant issues.
Take a look. These are the idiots making decisions for WOMEN in America. Governor Kay Ivey…SHAME ON YOU!!!
Rihanna, Twitter, May 2019.
In May of 2019, Rihanna shared a picture to twitter with the statement above. The picture featured the faces of 25 white male legislatures that created one of the most restrictive abortion laws the country has seen in decades. Kay Ivey, the Governor of Alabama at the time, signed the law into action–making abortion practically illegal in the state of Alabama.
Today, I signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act. To the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious & that every life is a sacred gift from God.
Governor Kay Ivey, Twitter, May 2019.
One of the common themes in the world stems from the desire for men to have control over women’s bodies. How many instances have there been where men argue against using protective measures for their hedonism instead of worrying about the woman?
As Benét’s tweet touches on, it seems that men tend to want to sleep around with women more. While this may not be statistically true, society makes it far more acceptable for men to be sexually promiscuous. However, a young girl is deemed unpure with a lack of self worth. Why shouldn’t the men take on the responsibility to not get women pregnant?
AMERICA IS BACK!!! #46thPresident #BidenHarris
Eric Benét, Twitter, November 2020.
While many of us agree with Benét that political change means there can be greater change, there is still the problem of science. However, Benét’s followers appreciate the sentiment behind what he was saying. He clearly condemned the sexual promiscuity of men.
Moreover, he seems to be acknowledging everything that woman have to go through when it comes down to it. One fan wrote that they understand what Benét’s trying to say, but it’s not scientifically “possible to chemically affect the fertility of sperm cells”.
[Al]though there’s ongoing research into a male contraceptive pill, there isn’t one available yet.
NHS (National Health Services).
As stated by the NHS, right now, there are only two ways that men can take on the responsibility for not getting women pregnant. The first is buying adequate condoms. It is also important to make sure there are not holes in them. The only other option for men is to get a vasectomy. Hopefully, there will be a contraceptive pill for men. It is just very far in the future–so much so that despite research, none of us know when it will come to fruition.
What Does Eric Benét Reveal?
Benét’s tweet is definitely controversial. Additionally, it is hard to see how male birth control can be practical. Yet, there is a much bigger picture here for all women.
Despite the scientific obstacles, Benét reveals that birth control is not the objective at all. While all contraceptives can fail, abortion seems like a right that every woman should have–without question. Yet, in the 21st century, we are still battling for these rights. What is the objective then?
Male law-makers, as well as conservative and religious women, use abortion rights as a tool. If more women could get an abortion, they would be able to further their career. Perhaps, abortion access might change the course of a young woman’s life, which, without intervention, would have been that of a housewife.
Yet, it is a problem if we make personal decisions about our bodies and future. If abortion rights are about preserving the future rights of the fetus, does the patriarchy view women as less human than an unborn child? If abortion access is constantly restricted, threatened or removed; is it because law-makers care so much about a future fetus life, or are they just trying to keep the system in place? We think you know the answer.
It is clear that birth control and abortion access are a huge topic for debate. Women’s rights have always been a fight, and we cannot stop now. We all have different beliefs, religions, and morals. It is crucial, though, that we ensure access to these tools–for those women who are not ready to have a baby–whatever that reason may be. This is a matter of gender equality and not subjectivity. We must continue to fight–for us and all the women to come.