It’s another year, Halloween is tomorrow, you have nothing to wear — life is an exercise in déjà vu, and this shall be your eternal fate. This week, I’ve clicked through more or less infinity “last-minute feminist icon costume idea” slideshows, and while they are all well and good, I don’t necessarily recommend that you do the same. And also — none of them (that I’ve seen) include any options for men!
Yes — I am really, sincerely asking, “how can we have more options for the men???” But it’s actually a really important question — particularly when it comes to contraception, because in that department, there really aren’t any great options for men.
So this week’s Shots & Chasers is going to focus on What’s Going On With Male Birth Control. And because I like my male feminists to be easy to spot at a party, we’ll follow those updates up with some great — and low effort! — costume options.
SHOT: You’ve probably at least heard of Vasalgel, which sounds like a knockoff Astroglide but is actually a gel injected into the vas deferens to block sperm. Elaine Lissner, executive director of the Parsemus Foundation — which has been working to develop this product since 2010 — reports that two years of clinical trials should kick off imminently, and estimates that Vasalgel could be on the market as early as 2018.
CHASER: Try dressing up as … Johnny Condom-seed! The Johnny Appleseed story can be construed as a metaphor romanticizing certain harmful beliefs that support men spreading their genetic material around willy-nilly. Turn that story on its head by being the guy who shows up to a party with a burlap sack of condoms (unopened, please) to sprinkle all around the house.
SHOT: Vasectomies: They’re here, and they’re great (if you’re pretty sure you don’t want to have any more children). World Vasectomy Day is right around the corner, which means, if you so choose, you could have yours livestreamed across the world!
CHASER: Try dressing up as … Dr. Vasectomy! All you need for this costume is a lab coat, a scalpel and/or syringe, and an official consent-to-treatment form (uh, that last part is for extra convincing medical authority). Use this opportunity to explain to every man you come across that vasectomies are not nearly as scary — or as painful — as they may believe.
SHOT: While there’s been plenty of research into how — and how well — it could work, the male birth control pill is … still not here. And we still don’t really know when it will be here. The most recent promising study was, as RH Reality Check reports, simply a “proof of concept.”
CHASER: Try dressing up as … guy who wants to know more about birth control! It’s easy: You wear a sign on your chest that says, “Please tell me about your birth control” and then spend the evening in conversation about women’s reproductive healthcare and concerns. You are sure to learn a lot! Whatever you do, don’t be creepy about it — make it clear from the get go that this isn’t a move to get into someone’s pants, it’s purely to educate yourself.
But you know what? There are few things sexier to the modern woman than a well-informed, respectful male feminist. Just sayin’.