THE BLOG
19/06/2015 10:14 BST | Updated 19/06/2016 06:59 BST

The Male Pill Means Men Finally Have To Take Responsibility When It Comes To Contraception

Two years ago we heard it was in the making (you know, only 52 years after the female pill), and now we have a name and a date. It's called Vasalgel, it may hit the market in 2017 and is being developed by the Parsemus Foundation.

For all of my teenage and adult life, I have known that contraception was my responsibility, not the man's.

I'm Indian, so we don't have great talks with our parents - if at all - about sex as culturally we operate on the same level as 17th-century Puritans. But I remember the only time my mother mentioned it was in a 'If you get pregnant, we'd be really disappointed' one-liner when I was 17, ironically when the thought of sex terrified me.

But the message was clear - it was my business to sort out.

Since then, I've discovered that - as have my female friends - that men don't quite care about contraception because they've never had to. Over the last few thousand years, we've been sticking lemon-soaked sponges and crocodile poop up there, dabbled in plant therapy and partaken in some wafting via a special kettle. I'm pretty sure the men didn't hang around to see what happened.

In recent times, they've had the extreme choice - a vasectomy - or the more daily disposable type, a condom. And as any woman who has heard the phrase "I don't like using them because they don't feel great," knows, the latter isn't always effective.

What could be a game changer in the contraception responsibility stakes is the arrival of the male pill.

Two years ago we heard it was in the making (you know, only 52 years after the female pill), and now we have a name and a date. It's called Vasalgel, it may hit the market in 2017 and is being developed by the Parsemus Foundation.

The Telegraph quoted a psychologist Donna Dawson, who said: "I don't think men will opt for it. They'll either say it's the women's job, or they'll be too squeamish. They're not used to taking that amount of responsibility for birth control."

It's enough to make any feminist's eyes pop out.

I'm not angry at Donna, I'm angry because on some level, I know she's right. I know that the reason the bozos I and my friends have encountered over the years - who were so nonchalant about protection - weren't doing it because they had only one option, it's because it wasn't really their problem.

While I understand the basic biology and reality of why this is the case - an accidental pregnancy upends the life and body of the woman mainly - to me, that's just not acceptable.

First, they get an easier ride than us. This male pill is non-hormonal, so unlike all the times women have felt their pill utterly mess with their sanity, their peace of mind and sense of judgement, guys won't have this problem.

Secondly, if they don't think it's a big issue, then it's up to us to say no. Not just go along with it passively, or continue to take responsibility anyway because we don't trust the men to do it properly.

Because honestly, the male pill is more than just fancy science.

It could genuinely alter the balance of power between the two sexes, if we allow it to. But we have to change how we view it as a society - whether that's parents teaching their boys about it or schools doing the educating - and we have to be able to trust that men eventually will get the picture.

If we can't expect them to do even the basics, then why the hell are we having sex with them in the first place?