Gender Equity

Time for Men to Take the Pill?

This means that in the near future, men could could be able to have a pill which they can take (possibly on a daily basis) and help share the burden of birth control. Good news?
The reaction to the news on social media was hilarious, and borderline outrageous. If social media posts can count as a good statistical sample, we can conclude that very few men want that pill! Men shared their fears, expectations, assumptions and opinion of the upcoming ‘man pill’ and the general outlook is that the pill is undesired.
Why are men hesitant to adopt this?
Contraceptives are a Women Affair?
While most women know about oral contraception pills that should be taken almost daily and preferably at the same time every day, this idea seems repugnant to men. Why is this the case?
It is also a well-known secret that when it comes to sex, men have a higher interest in it than women. One would expect that men ought to shoulder the biggest burden of birth control, and be willing to do whatever it takes to ensure success. That has not been the case, and the reason is not just due to limited options. If it were, the pill would be very welcome.
Perhaps, it could be because men do not get pregnant. But that is a weak point, and an insult to many responsible men who are keen on taking care of their children. Why then does it seem like the ‘man pill’ is unwelcome?
For some, taking the pill would be a form of emasculation. This is why memes of men hiding their faces while their women buy the pill on their behalf went viral. Taking the pill does not sound manly enough. Some fear that it will undermine their manhood. Others are afraid that they will never be able to stand when duty calls. Men have already imagined everything that can go wrong after taking the pill, and that is why would want to approach the matter with caution.
These reasons are similar to what many use to argue against vasectomy, although science says otherwise. The problem with vasectomy is that it is permanent (ideally), so there is no room to experiment and see if it is a thing for you . With the pill, one can use it for a while monitoring the side effects and discontinue if necessary. Hopefully, this will help dispel all fears and misconceptions about the pill. The society also needs to change and accept that birth control is a desirable human function, and no man should feel less a man by taking the initiative.
Fear of the Unknown
There is also the fear of the unknown.
While the pill has no known side effects, according to scientists, the message that sticks in the brain is ‘no known yet.’ One imagines that there will be side effects that will be unique to them. This is not hard to imagine considering the narratives that went around about Covid-19 vaccines.
This fear can only be dispelled with time, after some men use the pill successfully. It will be hard to build the critical mass needed to make the pill acceptable to most men because everyone takes a cautious approach. Hard pill to swallow for the gender that is known to take extreme risks.
But would women even trust men to take the pill diligently? Stories abound of men who forgot their children in the supermarket. One can imagine how much easy it would be for a man to forget taking the pill and only remember when the second trimester is announced.
Whatever the case, there will be a huge barrier to cross for the ‘man pill’ to take off.

About author

Jacob lives in Nairobi, Kenya, and is an Electrical Engineer with experience in Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Currently, he is a consultant at Aslan Afrika Limited where he is involved in empowering people to use digital technologies. He is also a columnist with iAfrikan Media where he covers matters to do with business and technology
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