This morning, my 8 year old son sat next to me, and started a conversation.
Mama? Why do people have to have sex?
Um. They don't HAVE to, but it's fun, and it can let a family have babies if they want to.
But. Why do some companies TEASE women and say they can't have pills so they don't have babies if they don't want them?
Honey? Where are you getting this information?
Oh. Got it. Doonsbury. Well, it's not teasing. It's real. Some companies are arguing that women who have sex should always have to deal with the possibility of getting pregnant.
But, Mama. It says here that the men get to have a pill called "Vitagro" (Viagra, I presume, although his interpretation is hilarious) so they CAN have sex. Why is that legal, but the lady pills aren't?
Oh honey. It's crazy, isn't it? Some people think that they know how the world should work for EVERYBODY, and what is right for EVERYBODY. I disagree. This is why I keep writing letters to politicians, and why I vote.
This is just wrong! It's wrong! I think boys and men should be against this. I think I should tell politicians that. I think I know how to solve it.
When I grow up, I'm going to start a business where I get people to go to these companies -- the ones who don't let ladies have these pills -- and they will join these companies. Then? They'll all go on STRIKE. And the businesses will lose money, and they'll go out of business.
Wow. That's awesome. Just wondering, Simon, but why do you think women should have the right to these pills?
Because some ladies want to be able to be loving and close with a man, but don't want to make somebody else to take care of.
Oh, honey. That's so true.
Mama? Are there other things where ladies don't get to do things that they should?
Well, years ago, women couldn't vote.
WHY? Mama? Why should ladies not be able to do all these things? (choking up) I don't understand why other men and boys aren't talking about this ALL. THE. TIME. I am GOING TO. It makes no sense at all.
Honey, can you think of any things that men or boys aren't allowed to do, just because they are male?
I really can't, Mama. That is so unfair to ladies and girls. It makes no sense at all to me.
Honey, I'm so proud of you.
Mama, I'm proud of YOU.
[Note: some people think I give too much information to my kids, but as you can see, my youngest is an example of how information, delivered calmly, can lead to thoughtful conversation. And hopefully, a compassionate and loving man, someday.]
*Note #2: I had originally thought it was Doonsbury Simon was reading. It was actually "Candorville," a similar comic. Whoops.