Nearly six years into my relationship with Oron, he had a decent sense of what birth control means for women. I’d told him about every appointment, every trip to the pharmacy, every uncertain side effect. He’d talked me through moods, coached me through cramps.
Still, all these stories — of being poked and prodded and getting a device inserted inside of me — were just that: stories. Sure, he’d heard everything secondhand. But he’d never seen it for himself.
So, I decided to give him his own, firsthand experience in the gynecologist’s office.
“I thought everyone does this,” he told me after I’d scheduled the appointment. “But my co-workers seem to think it’s a little weird.”
Oron is, and always has been, almost unbelievably respectful. When, less than a week into our relationship, I got my period during sex, he told me it was no big deal as he changed the sheets, while I stood paralyzed, mortified, and apologizing profusely.
Thus, it was unsurprising that Oron didn’t put up a fight.
It’s not that I wanted to be married to the kind of man with chauvinist beliefs about reproductive responsibility. But over the years, my frustration with the system had morphed into a sort of anger toward men. If I could drag one man, kicking and screaming, to the gynecologist, I could exert what little control I had over an inherently sexist system. If I could force one man to open his eyes and see all the time, energy, and pain that go into the things that men take for granted, I could log one small victory against the patriarchy. If I could change one man’s perspective, I could chip away, if only slightly, at society’s sexism.
As women, the entire weight of reproductive health falls on our shoulders.
Unfortunately, Oron didn’t fight or complain or try to worm his way out of it. In fact, he even changed his flight — unprompted — so he could accompany me.
Okay, so maybe I wasn’t changing any minds. Maybe I wasn’t enlightening a man with a sense of entitlement or doing my small part to dismantle sexism.
But still, I was providing a peek behind the curtain. That counts for something, right?