You know it’s not just slutty liberal college women who are having sex.
Non-slutty women in monogamous relationships have sex too.
In fact, I have it on good authority that there are plenty of perfectly respectable, married, conservative, Christian women out there engaging in the act, many of them with their own husbands. And though I’m sure that most of them don’t enjoy it, some of them actually might. But that’s beside the point.
What’s not beside the point is that when the GOP tries to take away, limit, or restrict access to contraception, it impacts men every bit as much as it impacts women. Because most of those women who are having sex are having it with men.
It’s not a moral issue. The fact is, people have sex all the time in perfectly biblically-acceptable, non-promiscuous circumstances, for perfectly virtuous, healthy reasons. And I doubt that those perfectly married, church-going husbands want their wives popping out babies every year. Because babies are great, but they’re expensive and messy and demanding and loud. And at some point they become teenagers. A couple of babies are fine, but I wouldn’t want to have 10 or 15 of them, and I don’t believe that most people in modern America would either.
Husbands, boyfriends, and even the merely-hopeful have an interest in maintaining reasonable access to contraceptives. Unless, that is, men would like to start using condoms again. And I can count on the fingers of zero hands the number of men I’ve ever encountered who think that condoms are a great idea.
Men are the beneficiaries of birth control every bit as much as women are. So why are we still talking about it like it’s a “woman’s thing”? And why are men continually and predictably so silent on the issue? Why don’t men care when our government makes it more difficult and expensive to get the very simple, very effective method of preventing their wives, girlfriends, and mistresses from getting pregnant? And why don’t husbands care more if a larger portion of their own household income must go towards the not-insignificant cost of contraception?
Why are women the only ones speaking up about the latest of the many attempts to limit ACA coverage for contraceptives?
It’s women who are marching, protesting, voting, testifying, and opining about the importance of contraceptives. Ironically, one of the go-to arguments in support of access to contraceptives is its many medical uses other than contraception, as though a cure for endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, or PMS is somehow easier for men to comprehend than where babies come from.
But apparently babies — birthing them and preventing them — is still the mysterious and exclusive domain of women. Our culture constantly reinforces the idea that reproduction and fertility is the woman’s responsibility. How many movies and TV shows have you seen where a woman confirms that she’s pregnant and then worries about telling her partner? How will he react? Will he be mad? Will he blame her? That’s ludicrous. When a woman turns up pregnant, how is it her fault? As grandma used to say, it takes two to tango.
Even the New York Times revealed its bias in an article this week when they wrote that a federal judge “temporarily block[ed] the Trump administration from putting into effect new rules that would make it easier for employers to deny women health insurance coverage for contraceptives.” [Emphasis mine.] But take out the word “women” and the sentence would have still been completely accurate.
But for some reason, we refuse to admit that the GOP’s backwards policies impact men. And men continue to ignore the issue and behave as though they are not at all involved. Well it’s high time for them to get involved.
Still, the question remains: Why are conservatives always trying to make it so hard to prevent pregnancy, even within the biblically-sanctioned, straight-laced confines of marital sex? As unpleasant as it might be to contemplate, surely even Republican lawmakers occasionally have sex with their wives. We know for sure that a lot of them have mistresses. Yet they have been fighting the idea of birth control for years. To justify their attempt to let companies deny their female employees access to contraception, they conflate contraception and abortion. But contraception is not abortion. Contraception, by definition, prevents pregnancy. There never is and never will be a fetus involved. And while this most recent attempt to allow companies to deny coverage for contraceptives has stalled, there is no chance that they won’t try again.
The one and only reason to deny women access to contraceptives is this: a belief that a woman is nothing more than a baby-making machine. Over and above any other function or aspiration, regardless of how selfless or charitable, she must produce children. Not unlike the unfortunate wives of Henry VIII, a woman’s sole function is to produce offspring. It’s sexism plain and simple. But in 2019 are there really still people who believe that women should be kept barefoot and pregnant? These old men want to deny women birth control because the ability to plan for children puts women on a more equal footing with men by allowing them to concentrate on careers and other aspects of their lives without being faced with an unexpected child to carry, bear, and raise.
It’s time to come out of the dark ages. If we’re to live in a more enlightened world, couples must have access to some way to prevent pregnancy. Allowing them to make their own family planning choices is in the best interest of a modern society. And men have to know that without access to contraceptives, every married woman, once she’s popped out her 2.5 children, must stop having sex. Every girlfriend, mistress, and even the slutty college coeds, must say no.
We’ve got two choices: contraceptives or abstinence. There’s simply no other alternative. Which one do men want? The fact is, men have a dog in this fight. And they can’t remain silent when a bunch of old men try to impose their sexist outdated views on our society. So if men don’t want all women to abstain, they better start speaking up.