Recent comments by presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann have stirred up the discussion about gay marriage once again. While speaking to a group of high school…
Birth control has been in the news a lot lately.
Well, let me rephrase.
Birth control for women has been in the news a lot lately.
Whether it’s on the political spectrum or in the entertainment industry, women’s reproductive rights have been hotly contested in the past months.
As this is discussed, women themselves are discussed. Are they using birth control for the “right” reasons? This has become one of the key issues.
In a rush not to paint women as “sluts,” people are quick to point out the many uses for oral contraceptives. It’s beneficial for cramps. It helps with acne problems. It’s used to control premenstrual syndrome.
These are all good and true. Most women who use oral contraceptives use it for more than just contraception.
But most women use it for contraception as well. They use it because they want to have sex and not get pregnant.
This is okay.
The discussion about birth control revolves around women because we still have a problem with women having sex just for fun. We have accepted a “boys will be boys” mindset, so insurance covering things like vasectomies or medicine for erectile dysfunction doesn’t raise eyebrows, but when it comes to women, we prefer to think that they simply react to men, rather than have sex drives of their own.
And while trying to keep women from enduring name-calling, many have stepped unwittingly into the realm of shaming those who use the pill for no other reason than to avoid pregnancy. When we insist on framing the support for coverage of birth control around things that have nothing to do with sex, we add fuel to the idea that sex is of less importance to women. Unfortunately, this contributes to the culture that insists on labeling a woman who enjoys sex as a slut or whore.
Yes, it’s important to cover birth control for issues unrelated to pregnancy. But it’s equally important to cover it for women who don’t want to have babies but do want to have sex. Trying to soften this truth by ignoring that group hurts all women.
Having sex for enjoyment is okay, even for women.