Originally posted on nikbunting.me on February 16, 2012.
Neither do men of any other age or color. So, honestly, does it make sense they get to be the major deciders and loudest voices of what women can and “should” do when it comes to our reproductive system? No, no, it doesn’t. And yet…
Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past few weeks, you’ve heard about the brouhaha over the “birth-control mandate” as part of healthcare reform. Conservative types, most loudly the conservative and high-ranking types of the Catholic persuasion are OUTRAGED that this is infringing on their religious freedom. Seriously? Then the requirement got changed so the entity paying for it is the insurance company, if the religious institution objects. Still there is outrage.
Many people have posted far more eloquently on the subject from political, religious, what-have-you angles:
Although from last week before the “compromise”, Fred Clark on slactivist has a good collection of links from around the web (some even written by women—either I need to expand my blog feed more or more women need to post on this topic).
I don’t care what bullshit they try to couch this in, it’s not about religion or government or the sanctity of whatever they want to define as life. It’s about women having sex. Period. Not even having so much as the possibility of having it. Because giving women a sound education in their options when it comes to sex—having it, not having it, contraception, protection, treatment, care, etc.—will just make us sluts. Education leads to autonomy and autonomy means the old white men in power won’t be the ones running the show. The more you learn, the more you want to learn, the more you question the status quo. Questioning is a good and healthy thing—unless you’re in the camp of trying to retain your power at all costs. Keep people stupid and beholden to “your” way of thinking and you get to keep your power.
It’s all about oppression and keeping women in their place. Morality and religion and conscience are all ways of trying to get women to bow to the reality the old white guys want.
Fuck that and fuck them. If they can have their Viagra, I can have my Pill. And I shouldn’t have to pay extra for it.
Once upon a time I was a Catholic. I never cared for the patriarchal structure, never understood why women couldn’t be priests and (in my day) girls couldn’t be altar servers. I liked the ceremony of it all and for a time got comfort from the motions of religion, but that was about it. As far as politics, conscience, morality…I was brought up to learn and question and have an open mind. No one person is always right regardless of who or what they are or how high in whatever ranks they may be. We’re all human. All of us.
I guess my point here, other than we women need to be more proactive and vocal in this “debate”, is to make up your own damned mind. Don’t let the president or the pope or the news or your friends and family, etc., tell you what to think or what’s right or wrong. Look to others for guidance but ultimately make up your own damn mind. Believe something because you believe it not because someone told you to or out of fear if you don’t. Think for yourself and speak out.
And that’s my two cents, as inelegant and rambly as it might be.