The man-to-man medical chit-chat about vasectomies is light-hearted and common place. We “bust each others balls,” so to speak, about the snip-snip and being a eunuch.
Then yesterday, I read that, actually, female sterilization is twice as common as male sterilization. Twice.
What? So what was the chit-chat of the snip-snip?
Then more shocking news. According to this New York Times’ article, the reason that women are twice as likely as men to be sterilized is “cultural expectations about what truly defines a man.”
What? What? Defining a man? Is that what my buddies think define them?
It is times like these that I wonder if I live in an alternate universe. The guys I know (if they are being honest), have vasectomies and, though we do not specifically talk about it, don’t define themselves by the content of their ejaculate (this just become an adult post).
The article did go on to say that men who have vasectomies are “typically white, non-Hispanic,” live in the “Western regions of the country” and have “private insurance.” Sounds like me.
When I went and saw Dr. Biggers (yes, that was his name) for my vasectomy, I thought I was doing what everyone else did. I had no idea that it was twice as likely for Brenda to have a procedure than me. I would have missed out on those post-op days with frozen vegetables on my lap.
The lesson here isn’t about who gets snipped or why (although I do have some serious questions about that). The lesson is that we all see the world through our personal lens. That lens is developed by our culture, those that are around us, our region of the country and, even, if we have private insurance (which actually speaks to many things).
Let’s not “bust our balls” but actually better understand our varied experiences…as uncomfortable as they may be. Just put some frozen veggies on ’em.