Three posts in three days…wait, what?!?! No worries, it’s a fluke, or maybe I’m just feeling particularly inspired as of late. 🙂
This little gem popped up in my Facebook feed today. It’s an old article, but it’s new to me and hence I’m going to share my thoughts in response.
“We Asked 24 Women Why They Don’t Use Birth Control And These Are Their Answers.” This Buzzfeed list by Leah Murphy promises “24 women answered, and every answer was different,” although honestly reading through it, the answers didn’t seem that different at all. They all seem like the women in the pictures don’t really understand how modern birth control works, and have been the victims of abstinence-only education.
Warning: sarcasm ahead.
1. “Because I can avoid pregnancy without poisoning my body.”
Well aren’t you special? And guess what else? You can use birth control and not poison your body.
2. “Because even though cramps suck and I get acne, that’s a normal part of being women.”
Why? Do we just not treat anything because it’s “a normal part of being a human?” If you break a bone, do you not have it set because that’s not natural? Do you not take acetaminophen if you have a headache because headaches are a natural part of being a person? There are ways to safely control acne and cramps, so why not?
3. “Because it is ALL worth it.”
Define “ALL.” There are a number of reasons that people take the pill besides avoiding pregnancy: heavy, painful menstruation, hormonal shifts, endometriosis, PCOS, and acne to name a few. Is suffering from all those things worth it? And what about *gasp* people that aren’t ready for a baby or don’t want to have children? Is having an unwanted pregnancy worth it to them?
4. “B/c my body is a GIFT to my future husband & that GIFT includes Motherhood.”
Where to start with this one? No, your body is YOURS and it doesn’t belong to anyone else. It’s not a gift to give away to anyone. YOU get to say what happens to YOUR body.
5. “Because I am responsible & make mindful decisions accepting the consequences for my actions.”
I love how this one implies that people that use birth control aren’t responsible, when actually they are the ones that are responsible enough to realize that for whatever reason (and it really doesn’t matter what that reason is), they are choosing to not bring a child into the world, and taking the proper precautions.
6. “Because I want a healthy natural organic body.”
Because there’s absolutely no birth control option that lets your body remain “natural?” There are a lot of different kinds of birth control, certainly one to fit every need. I also hope that this woman doesn’t take any other kind of medication and doesn’t ingest anything else that might make her body “unnatural.” Ebola is natural and organic, just sayin’.
7. “Because fertility isn’t a condition that needs to be fixed.”
Good thing, since birth control doesn’t make you infertile.
8. “Sex = TOTAL gift of self. #NFP”
Um…what? How does using birth control make sex any less than what it is? Here we are again with the “giving yourself to someone thing” – sex isn’t something you give away, it’s something you enjoy and want and share.
9. “Because I don’t have to give up my womanhood to be a feminist.”
And using birth control doesn’t mean that you’ve given up your womanhood. You can be sex positive and control when and if you get pregnant and you can still very much be a woman at the same time.
10. “Because I can control myself.”
Women who use birth control can control themselves too. Using birth control doesn’t mean that you just start having sex with every person that you see. Remaining abstinent doesn’t mean that you’re better than anyone, so get over yourself.
11. “Because it allows men to use women with no consequences.”
Because a baby should be brought into the world just so there is a “consequence” to having sex? That’s fucked. And why don’t you go tell all those single mothers out there that having a baby is a consequence for men? My bio father bailed when I was a baby and I’ve never seen or heard from him – me (the consequence) must be a huge inconvenience for him and I’m sure that it really derailed him from having sexual relations going forward.
12. “Because it treats the symptoms, not the problem.”
Having consensual sex isn’t a problem, period.
13. “I don’t want to put something artificial in my body to stop something natural from happening.”
Hmmm… didn’t this article promise that there were 24 different answers? Because I feel like I’ve heard this one before (hint: #6).
14. “Because SEX is more than fun… it creates life!”
It can, but it doesn’t have to. What’s right for you isn’t necessarily right for everyone else. Also, there’s nothing wrong with it just being fun. It should be fun.
15. “Because I have PCOS and the pill does less than natural alternatives …but pharmaceutical companies want to make $$$.”
Yes, big pharma wants to make money, but at the same time, it works. So why not make yourself more comfortable?
16. “Because children are NOT an inconvenience – they’re a gift!”
Oh, no, of course not. Children could never be an inconvenience to anyone – not the high school student who really needs to finish school, or the person that can’t afford a child, or the person that is working two jobs to make ends meet, or the person who doesn’t have the capabilities to raise a child, or…
17. “Because babies are cooler than pets!”
Really? Because my puppy will be house trained in a matter of months, not years. Isn’t this the same woman as in #15?
18. “Because breast cancer, cervical cancer, and infertility just aren’t worth it.”
No, just no. Ugh.
19. “Because NO ONE is ever really ready for kids – & they are one of the best, most exciting & fulfilling things to ever happen to me.”
I’m happy for you, really, but way to speak on behalf of everyone everywhere.
20. “Because womanhood and fertility are a beautiful gift and I want a love that is self-giving and life-giving.”
Cool story, bro. Tell it again.
21. “Because I’m proud of my womanhood, and because I know too many young women who have reproductive issues as a result of years on birth control.”
I know a whole bunch of women who used birth control, went off of it, and got pregnant and had healthy babies. I know people that never used birth control and have reproductive issues. None of that makes me any more of an expert than you.
22. “Because life is a beautiful thing. Always.”
Life is a beautiful thing. Always. Go tell that to someone who is suffering from stage 4 cancer, or who is in too much pain to get up and move around, or who is watching a loved one with dementia deteriorate, or someone who is hooked up to several machines to stay alive. Not to mention, I think we are going to disagree slightly on when life begins, because I can’t wrap my head around how a fertilized egg is a life.
23. “I want a 100% healthy and unaffected reproductive system for when I AM ready to have kids.”
More repeats? Not good when we’re wrapping the list up.
24. “Because the ability to create life is a superpower that I’m proud to have.”
I think I’d rather have x-ray vision or the ability to fly. Now those are superpowers.
Reading through this list ran me through a whole range of emotions. Some of them made me sad, because these women probably think that they are doing something awesome and honorable. They have been fed the idea that sex is only okay in certain situations, that their body is a gift to give to a man, and that taking control of their sex life and reproductive choices is a bad thing. They also made me sad because some of these women seem to be truly uninformed about how birth control works, and the many different kinds of birth control options. Some of these made me angry, because they imply that women who use birth control are irresponsible, have no self control, and that having sex for a purpose other than procreation is a bad thing. I mean, how dare you make that assumption about someone you don’t know? Someone who is taking charge of her life, when and if she wants to reproduce, and is taking precautions in that area. That sounds like a pretty responsible person to me. Some of the signs made me chuckle because they are just so ridiculous, but then that would quickly turn to feeling sad, disgusted, or angry. Some of them just dumbfounded me, because well… you read the list.
Consensual sex isn’t a bad thing, and I am fed up with the idea that it is only for procreation being implanted in the minds of women at an early age and perpetuated by religion and society. It is 2015, as long as they are consenting adults, who cares what they do with each other?
I posted this article on my Facebook page earlier, and so many of my friends posted great comments on it. I hope you will share those comments on this blog post, because people should really read what you have to say about it as well.
Thanks for listening. /rant