“What I Call Them Is, Is You’re A ‘Host'”

We’ve all heard the slogan: “My body, my choice”
Again, and again, and again…
But now, Oklahoma will heed a new voice:
They will finally listen to men!

For lack of a uterus, men get ignored—
They’re an “interested party” at most
But soon, they’ll be getting their due, thank the Lord,
While women are merely the “host”.

But “host” as a metaphor’s shaky at best
Though the lawmaker thinks it is apt
A true host can kick out an unwelcome guest,
But in this case, our hostess is trapped.

It’s unconstitutional, petty, and cruel
When a woman’s autonomy’s thwarted
If this is the cost of Republican rule…
Next election, they must be aborted.

First, a brief apology; constraints of rhyme and meter have forced the use of “men” and “women” where those terms are too narrow. I tried other ways, but nothing worked this time. I will happily entertain suggestions.

Secondly… [long rant deleted]

Anyway, today’s verse comes from Oklahoma, where they apparently make special heavy-duty fans specifically designed to handle the industrial-agricultural levels of shit that hit them, coming out of the state legislature.

it was the second bill, HB 1441, that was even more disturbing, devoid of any nuance and completely unconstitutional. Written by another of the chamber’s freshmen, Rep. Justin Humphrey, the legislation would require a woman seeking an abortion first to obtain written permission from her sexual partner. It would also require her to provide his name to her doctor and would forestall the procedure if the man wanted the opportunity to challenge paternity.

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a similar provision in 1992.

Beware of first-term legislators. The combination of new power and old ignorance is a heady brew. Humphrey explained the intention behind the proposed legislation:

Ultimately, he said, his intent was to let men have a say. “I believe one of the breakdowns in our society is that we have excluded the man out of all of these types of decisions,” he said. “I understand that they feel like that is their body,” he said of women. “I feel like it is a separate — what I call them is, is you’re a ‘host.’ And you know when you enter into a relationship you’re going to be that host and so, you know, if you pre-know that then take all precautions and don’t get pregnant,” he explained. “So that’s where I’m at. I’m like, hey, your body is your body and be responsible with it. But after you’re irresponsible then don’t claim, well, I can just go and do this with another body, when you’re the host and you invited that in.”

And there she is–the invisible woman!–now, the “host”; usually missing from the picture. Whose bodily autonomy has been sacrificed for the sake of someone who must be more important.

I remember inviting a replacement window sales-weasel into my house. About a half an hour later, he was unwelcome. Another half an hour, and I threatened to call the police, as he was clearly not planning on leaving my home until I signed a contract (and I would, at that point, rather have burned the house down). I have no doubt that this man was so calm and cool with me because he had already faced down homeowners who were ready to shoot him where he stood, calling it home defense. Inviting someone in to your house in no way obligates you to keep them there against your wishes, against your best interest, against your very health and welfare. Oklahoma wants to give blastocysts more rights than replacement window sales-weasels.

Replacement windows are trivial. Bodily autonomy is not. Don’t allow pregnant individuals fewer protections than I had, to evict an unwanted trespasser.


  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    These stupid initiatives always remind me of a debate on a thread long ago and far away, in which That Other Guy claimed such was necessary because elsewise men would have no “input” concerning pregnancies…

  2. says

    When I first heard this story with the word “host”, I somehow kept thinking about the Catholic sacramental bread (the “cracker”). That usage of “host” comes from the Latin hostia, meaning “sacrificial victim”. See, e.g., Sacramental Bread. Seems rather appropriate here, doesn’t it?

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