There is life after the Pill.
I don’t know how many of you watch those Upworthy videos that seem to be everywhere these days. Mostly I cough, chuckle, or roll my eyes and pass them on by because 1) they’re pumping out an insane number of these things and who has the time, and 2) I find the vast majority to be most definitely UN-upworthy – clearly I’m not their target audience. We’re not on the same page. I am not worthy of Upworthy. So I ignore them.
But I’m sorry, even against my better judgment I had to watch. If you haven’t seen it, some guy cooks food and talks about how hormonal birth control works and encourages women to go on the pill, and it all kind of culminates with the pithy phrase SEX WITHOUT THE BABIES showing up on the screen at the end.
At least he’s being honest.
Now I’m not so much troubled by the fact that some random guy with a webcam who goes by the name of “Bedsider” thinks this way – isn’t that what everyone wants these days, sex without the babies? – but I am highly disturbed that plenty of people (including the folks at Upworthy and, you know, Bill and Melinda Gates) think it’s pro-woman and pro-feminist and pro-sexual-freedom to promote this stuff.
Think about it: this is a guy apparently so committed to using (and then discarding) women for his own personal gain that he wants them all on synthetic hormones, hormones that carry great potential for unpleasant side effects. Not the least of which is, um, stroke. It’s worth it to him, though, because then he can have all the fun he wants without any of the consequences. Because SEX WITHOUT THE BABIES. Because he can be with a woman, without having to truly be with a woman. Score.
And people are applauding this! Instead of asking hard questions like “What happens if/when the pill fails and our friend Bedsider does become a father?”, or “Is something wrong with a culture that prizes unattached and recreational sex so much that it is willing to destroy women’s health in its pursuit?”, everyone is all OHTHISISSOGREAT! and UPWORTHYISTHEBEST!
When are we going to stop victimizing and shaming women for having female bodies? When will enough be enough? It’s funny – as in knee-slapping, fall-out-of-your-chair, snorting-Dr.-Pepper-out-your-nose funny – because Upworthy has the video categorized under and tagged as both “gender” and “health.”
Do you get the irony? It sure seems to me like we’re trying to rob and deny women of their gender by dumping carcinogenic chemicals into their bodies that suppress natural female processes. And seriously, health? There is nothing remotely healthy about the birth control pill. It is actually quite the opposite of healthy. For women and for babies. Forever and ever. The end.
Frankly I’m both baffled and offended by Bedsider’s belief that anyone with two X-chromosomes ought to get a prescription for the pill so he can have his beloved SEX WITHOUT THE BABIES. “Your lady needs to take the pill…every.single.day.” There is no freedom for women in that, no dignity or beauty in altering our physical makeup and putting our health at risk so as to always be at the ready for some good old-fashioned fun with someone ill-prepared to take any sort of responsibility for the relationship. Webcam-gone-viral or not, it’s time for this guy to grow up.
Of course men like him aren’t the only (or even primary) problem. At all.
We women need, from a place of strength and autonomy, to stand up and say no to the pill.
People identifying as pro-life Christians need to start having an honest conversation about this because the pill is an abortifacient, and yet its use remains common in these circles.
It is not pro-life to use an abortifacient. You should not be taking it. End of story.
Parents need to tell their children the truth about sexuality, motherhood and fatherhood, gender, and marriage – in age-appropriate ways – as their children grow. Then and only then will we have a society of adults prepared to do the long, hard work of raising families and thus building healthy communities.
Is this stuff inherently uncomfortable to talk about? Maybe. Probably. Okay, most definitely, and anytime I write about how women deserve better choices I hear from angry ladies identifying as feminists but who apparently don’t understand what that word ought to mean. And that’s understandable, because for decades now the birth control pill has been marketed to women as a more or less essential, common-sense method of regulating fertility and achieving ultimate sexual freedom, and so to question its hallowed place in society is tantamount to puppy torture, or worse. But I would argue that exposing the truth about the pill is necessary so that women will know.
That there is life after the pill.
That there is life after motherhood.
That womanhood in its fullness ought to be respected, not suppressed.
That SEX WITHOUT THE BABIES is a myth. Any abortion provider could tell you that where there is sex, even “safe” sex, there will be babies.
That Upworthy, Bill, Melinda, Bedsider, and your best friend aren’t telling you the whole story when they advocate the birth control pill as a reliable, healthy, positive choice for women.
So you know what, Upworthy? If that pathetically misogynistic video is what you consider upworthy, well, I have only been confirmed in my general feelings of ambivalence for your multiplying-like-rabbits-in-my-Facebook-feed videos.
Because I’m a woman, and I’m over the whole women being shamed for being women thing. I’m a woman, and I’m over the expectation that there is something so wrong with women that it apparently necessitates putting all of us on a daily, dangerous hormone regimen. I’m a woman, and I’m over women being used only or primarily as sexual partners, as if our sexuality can somehow be separated out from the rest of who we are.
And you should be too.
Because SEX WITHOUT THE BABIES is overhyped, love and beauty are far better, and the dignity of the human person–the whole human person–are worth fighting for.