Anti-Abortion ‘Men’s March’—the New Straight Pride Parade—Attracts Hundreds in Boston

Both absurd demonstrations are premised around the imagined oppression of straight men owing to the rights of women and marginalized people.

Anti-Abortion ‘Men’s March’—the New Straight Pride Parade—Attracts Hundreds in Boston
Men participate in the anti-abortion Men’s March in Boston on Oct. 15. Screenshot:Twitter

How did you spend your weekend, reader? At a farmer’s market? The local watering hole? Catching up on errands? Or maybe you’re one of hundreds of mostly cis hetero white men who made the trek to the state house at Boston Common for the “Men’s March” on Saturday, a rally against abortion rights—which are literally already gone—and matriarchal oppression in general.

The Boston Globe reports that hundreds of men marched from a Planned Parenthood clinic in Allston to the state house, where they were met by an unspecified number of feminist counter protesters and, of course, clowns. Despite “aggressive verbal confrontations,” according to local police, the protest didn’t escalate to physical violence and no one was arrested—a relief, seeing as these protests often end with numerous pro-abortion protesters arrested by the same police who go out of their way to protect (or join) the other side.

The full name of the event in all its misogynistic glory was the “National Men’s March to Abolish Abortion and Rally for Personhood,” and it was hosted by a national initiative to highlight how many women who seek abortion care are supposedly pressured by male partners. The message is that men have an even greater responsibility to fight against abortion rights for that reason—which, trust me, guys, they’re already disproportionately doing!

The Boston National Men’s March this weekend comes after a Straight Pride rally outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Modesto, California, at the end of August. Both are premised around the imagined oppression of straight men owing to the rights of women and marginalized people—rights that have rapidly vanished, recently, between the groundswell of anti-trans and anti-LGBTQ state-level legislation this year, and the overturning of Roe v. Wade. The Men’s March continues the tradition of Straight Pride and decades of male tears shed over women being allowed to sexually reject men, and LGBTQ fictional characters in books and TV shows.

Straight Pride events are notably organized by the National Straight Pride Coalition, a Christian group that claims to stand up for straight people by targeting not just LGBTQ rights, but reproductive rights, too. Following the group’s “logic,” abortion and contraception, like same-sex marriage and other protections for LGBTQ people, are attacks on the white, cis-hetero, nuclear family. These rights give women and pregnant people the option to not be state-controlled, baby-making machines, and that’s innately offensive to heterosexuality.

But perhaps more than ever this year, Men’s Marches and Straight Pride come off as pathetically desperate, at this point—what more could these men possibly take from us? What more could they possibly have to cry about?

Apparently, a lot.

Per its website, the National Men’s March is protesting not just against abortion and calling for men to more proactively force their partners to remain pregnant (which, by the way, is abuse), but for total personhood for “every preborn child.” It’s a legal nightmare that opens the door for (even more) people to be jailed for miscarriage, IVF to be banned, and pregnant women charged with kidnapping if they cross state lines without their partner’s consent. When men protest for fetal personhood, they are, by proxy, protesting for the end of women and pregnant people’s personhood.

That a Men’s March in Boston attracted hundreds is horrifying. Even more horrifying, it’s not over: Another Men’s March is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 14 in Baltimore. I’m not convinced that any amount of gendered terror that men and the government inflict on women, pregnant people, and queer people will ever be enough to shut these men up. They’re as obsessed with oppressing and gaslighting us as they are making an embarrassing little spectacle of it all.

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