Archive for July, 2014
With the recent Supreme Court decision about Hobby Lobby, lots of people have been pointing out that birth control has lots of other uses besides just preventing babies. My Facebook and Twitter feeds have been full of folks pointing out all sorts of alternate things The Pill is good for (lists here and here). These posts are in a vein of “THESE WOMEN AREN’T SLUTS, LOOK! YOUR GRANNY MIGHT BE TAKING THESE!” By posting all these lists, people are trying to draw attention to the fact that by limiting birth control, you may be keeping a perfectly innocent non-whore from being healthy. This tactic may appeal somewhat to the old white men that are in charge, but I think it does harm to constantly point out and sanitize the birth control debate. Also, the Hobby Lobby case wasn’t about female contraception in general, it was just about Plan B (aka the “morning after pill”) and IUDs, which they (albeit based on faulty science) consider to cause abortions. That’s beside the point, as many people don’t get that. It’s good that it has opened up a wider argument, though– I think conversation about sexuality in general is a good thing. All too often have we pretended that sex was some weird deviant thing that went on behind *other peoples’* closed doors.
While it is true that there are lots of other medical uses for birth control, I think we’re forgetting the main thing is that people just like having sex. Face it, contraception or not, you’re not going to stop people having sex for fun rather than for reproductive purposes anytime soon. Think about it. Sex for the sake of sex and not for the purpose of babies is really not as bad as you think. You’ve probably done it! We need to stop the whole stigmatization of women who want to just have sex and not worry about the consequences. In fact, the word “consequences” is not the best word I could have chosen. I mean, it’s perfectly fine for men to go out and have sex simply for fun. However, in society’s eyes, women who have sex just for the sake of having sex are considered questionable at best. Remember the whole Sandra Fluke debacle? I remember my mother telling me about how when the Pill was first widely available, in order to get a prescription, she had to prove not only that she was married, but also had to get her husband’s permission. God forbid women not be held accountable and/or have a babysitter to account for their whorish antics!
So yes, it’s true– birth control does have uses other than for preventing babies. I don’t know the statistics off hand, but I’ll bet that most women who are on birth control are using it for –gasp– preventing pregnancy. The sooner we acknowledge that sex is just sex, and that it’s not this heavy moral thing, the better.
Will we, as a society get over it? Probably not in my lifetime.