Yesterday I was part of a long, interesting, and ultimately heartbreaking discussion of abortion. Many, many stories were told of abortions women had themselves had, or that a friend or relative had had, and whether there was regret attached to that decision or not (it leaned toward 'not'), there were lots of common factors.
And the one that was most common? A bad relationship. Either a controlling/abusive man, or a drunkard, or a general asshole whom the woman knew she didn't want to be tied to for life.
So, you are asking, why the hell was she having sex with him?
Y'know, that's exactly my point.
When was the last time you heard/read "Don't stick your dick in crazy?" It's kind of a cliche, but that's because it's actually really good advice delivered in a pithy, albeit crude, fashion.
We need to make the other end of that advice just as common: "Don't let crazy stick its dick in you."
Now, I'm not saying that we don't tell women to be picky with their sexual partners. We sort of do, but we do it in a totally different fashion than we deliver the same message to men. The old double standard still holds: men are free to have as many sexual partners as they desire, while women are sluts if they go above some random, arbitrary number which--bonus fun!--is different depending on who is passing the judgement.
Don't believe me? When was the last time anything negative was said about Gene Simmons, who claims to have had over four thousand sex partners? On the other hand, Kim Kardashian, who has had somewhere between three and who knows how many sex partners (I'd be willing to go out on a limb and say I bet it's not even a tenth what Simmons has had) is the obvious subject of a song called "I Hit It First" and no one seems to care because bitch had a sex tape. (More to the point, most people would plotz if Simmons's partner showed up to her kids' PTA meeting.)
So anyway, we allow men to have casual sex, but women are only supposed to have it in relationships, and what that means is that women tend to fall into relationships with men they're having sex with. And the idea that women need to be in a relationship is some BS we're shoving on our daughters from a young age. (All these princesses have princes, y'know) So women are having sex for the same reasons men are, but expectations tie her to her relationship whether it's a good one or not, because it's not acceptable for a woman to say "The sex is great, but you're unstable, so can you just be a booty call?" And we all know that people are more careless with birth control in a long-term relationship 'cause you're not so worried about STDs then, and then a woman finds herself pregnant, looks at the asshole who got her that way, and would happily chew off her own foot to get away. But that won't help, so she makes an appointment that will help.
Most people I know consider abortion to at best be a necessary evil. I consider it a rarely-ever-necessary evil. The thing is, by the time the woman has gotten pregnant, it's too late. She is going to make whatever decision she is going to make, and heaping shame on her isn't going to stop it, or help her, or even prevent the next one.
But making an effort to let our daughters and our sisters and our friends know that while it's ideal to have sex only with people you love, the truth is sometimes you have sex because it's fun, and sometimes even if you have sex because you love someone, there will be that little voice inside you that says This dude ain't right, and it's actually more important to listen to that voice and to run than it is to worry about being a slut.