Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Let's make women feel even worse.

Kinda weird that it even needs to be said, eh?
There are so many ways to make mothers feel bad. You can criticize them for their choice to breastfeed or not. You can give them a hard time if they have an epidural while delivering the baby. You can also tell them that they haven't properly bonded with their babies if they have a C-section. (Which overlooks the important fact that the C-section child will be able to kill Macbeth.) It's really fortunate that we have so many ways to make a mother, who's already going through an emotionally taxing experience, feel like absolute crap.

Oh, yeah, Lance? Well what if I know a woman who's not a mother? How can I make HER feel like there's something wrong with her?

Unfortunately, your options are a bit more limited. However, one good way to make them feel bad is if they use birth control. Recently, there has been a post from Buzzfeed where 22 women gave their reasons for taking birth control. I pretty much assumed that all of them responded with: "Because I'm a whore." Turns out, that's not the case, interestingly enough.

Some of the women cited the cramps that they undergo without birth control. Two of them wrote about how it clears up their acne. Apparently the pill also helps keep things like PCOS  and endometriosis under control. Even though I'm a man, and I don't know what any of these things are like, I have a feeling that if I suddenly started having the same sorts of issues every month, and the pill could help alleviate that, I'd be down at the doctor's office at the first sign.

And go figure something else - a couple of these women said that they liked having sex but didn't want to have a kid! Women like sex? Is that true? Are they allowed to say that out loud?

A response showed up on Buzzfeed where 24 women gave their reasons for not using birth control. I'd like to say that their reasons were equally reasonable and explained why they made their particular choice without coming off as condescending or judgmental, but I'd be lying. Allow me to give you the highlights along with my reactions:

1. "Because I can avoid pregnancy without poisoning my body."

The pill is poison? Geez. Peer reviewed source, please?

2. "Because even though cramps suck and I get acne, that's a normal part of being a woman!"

I guess that I have a couple of responses to this. Even though I'm a dude, so chances are I'm probably screwing up something on this post in a colossal way, I'm going to venture to say that not all women go through the exact same amount of pain and discomfort. My wife tells me of a friend who'd have to take a day off of work every month because it was so bad. I don't know many women who go through this (but then again, maybe it's because they don't tell me) but I'm pretty sure that if I had a monthly visitor who liked to kick me in the abdomen until I fell on the floor, I'd do whatever I could do to stop it.

But let's say that there's a woman who has the easiest period as one can possibly imagine. Let's say that her cramps only rank a 2 on a 1-10 scale and there aren't any other side-effects. As far as I'm concerned, if she can do something to prevent it, and chooses to, THEN THAT'S HER DAMNED BUSINESS.

Yeah, so she's subverting what's "normal" about being a woman. How many of us do what's "normal" in the first place? We all pick and choose what aspects of nature we accept and which we fight off like it's the frikken' Balrog.

4. "B/C my body is a gift to my future husband and that gift includes motherhood."

So...much...facepalm. "Hello. I would like to surrender my sense of identity and bodily autonomy to a hypothetical man." If I had a daughter, and I heard her say this, I would scream at the top of my lungs at her. "YOUR BODY IS YOUR BODY!!!!" Sure, she may choose to "share" her body with somebody else some day, but becoming a "gift"? Ugh.

And are these people not aware that you can stop taking the pill? My wife took it. She stopped when we wanted a baby. We had a baby. Then she went back on it. Why is this so hard?

5. "Because I am responsible and make mindful decisions accepting the consequences of my actions."

Umm...okay. This can be true, but what does it have to do with you not taking birth control?

6. "Because I want a healthy, natural, organic, body."

Go find a cave and live as a hunter-gatherer then. No fair taking any kind of medicine, okay?

7. "Because fertility isn't a condition that needs to be fixed."

Who's saying that it is? I'd like to introduce you to my friend Strawman.

9. "Because I don't have to give up my womanhood to be a feminist."

Is that what the pill does? Make a woman less of a woman? Isn't part of feminism the belief that women can have control over their own decisions? I'm sure that the women from the other group don't think less of you for not using birth control, but way to completely dismiss them in one fell swoop.

10. "Because I can control myself."

I find this one to be the most infuriating, and if I was a woman, I'd be so infuriated that I'd bust my infuration meter and have to get a new infuriator. 

I realize that I've been using a lot of sarcasm here, so I just want to make sure that it's clear that my next statement is sarcasm-free:

The implication of this message is that there's something wrong with sex, as it's something that needs to be "controlled" like a desire to eat an entire chocolate cake. If a woman has decided that she wants to have sex, and she has a willing partner, then she can have all the damned sex she wants. She can take a day off of work to have a sex marathon that begins in the morning and ends at midnight, and she can only take breaks to watch some porn, and THAT'S HER DAMNED BUSINESS. 

And let's be honest - we have a biological urge to want to have sex. I think that many of us, given the right set of circumstances, would find ourselves not being able to "control" ourselves very well at all. And I'm talking about men and women. Don't be so quick to think that you're able to control millions upon millions of years of naturally selected desire.

11. "Because it allows men to use women with no consequences."

I wasn't aware that I was using my wife. Good to know. I'm sure that's how she feels.

Seriously though, how much more screwed up of an attitude about sex can a person possibly have?

15. "Because I have PCOS and the pill does less than natural alternatives ...but pharmaceutical companies want to make $$$."

Peer-reviewed source, please?

Honestly though, if some "natural alternative" helps you out, then that's fantastic. I'm going to assume that they're not giving it out for free though, right?

16. "Because children are not an inconvenience - they're a gift!"

These ideas aren't mutually exclusive.

And again - do these women think that once you take the pill you can't ever have a kid?

I'd like to make myself absolutely clear. I respect a woman's right to choose one way or the other as to whether she takes the pill or not. I don't respect the implied judgments of those who take it, the acquiescence to being regarded as chattel, or the fact-free hysteria that's being spread. I honestly can't find any sort of equivalent with the women who give their reasons for taking it. They're giving their personal reasons, and there isn't any sense that choosing to not take the pill is the wrong choice. 

Personally, I feel like all of these women, on both sides, could have just written the same as #5 from the list of women who take birth control:

Also acceptable: "'Cause fuck you, that's why!"

1 comment:

Charla said...

Preach it, brother! (And I think you should find a comparable list of nice respectable men saying why they don't take Viagra. After all, that sort of difficulty is just part of being a man, right? Ma Nature at work? A natural defense mechanism for the tired wife?