I have (barely) held my silence about this issue for a few weeks now, but my rage has reached a boiling point and I can contain it no longer. Why in the name of Jesus H. Christ are we talking about birth control when Syria is in the middle of a civil war, Greece is on the verge of financial collapse, our own economy is still in the toilet, we’re in the middle of one of the biggest and most important elections in our history, and Iran is THIS CLOSE to getting nuclear weapons? I think we have bigger issues in this country than who is paying for our birth control.
I’ve been following this obnoxious line of public discourse for a couple of weeks now (vaguely at first, and more intensely after the Rush Limbaugh-Sandra Fluke incident), and each week I’ve become a little more outraged. First of all, if you KNOW that a school or company does not share your values, then why would you chose to go there? If the fact that their insurance doesn’t cover birth control is a big deal for you, then go somewhere else. If you need birth control for a medical condition, you can supplement your employer’s insurance with insurance that DOES cover it, or you can get it on the cheap at Planned Parenthood (since that’s what they claim their main business is – supplying health care to under-served women). And why is everyone acting like this is “limiting” access to birth control? No one is saying “You can’t have that.” They’re just saying “You can have it, but we’re not going to pay for it because it goes against something that we strongly believe in.” The government has no right to FORCE someone to pay for something that they believe is wrong. If we just stopped tying employment to insurance, we could solve a lot of these problems.
Second, everyone keeps talking about “women’s rights,” or, to speak more plainly, “abortion.” First, I don’t believe that there is such a thing as a “right” to abortion, because it infringes on the right of another human being to live, but putting aside my moral objections to the practice, let’s look at this fairly. If women have a “right” to abortion, or birth control for that matter, then we also have a responsibility to pay for it. I don’t know why we suddenly assume that just because we’ve decided we have a “right” to a good or service means that we don’t have a responsibility to pay for it. We keep saying “keep your laws off my uterus” but the unspoken end of that phrase is “but keep the money, pills, and abortions flowing.” We have a responsibility for everything that we put into our bodies and everything that we DO with our bodies. So how can we expect others to pay for the consequences of our actions? We have a right to free speech, but no one demands that the government pay for us to publish books. Isn’t the government subsidizing our rights with tax dollars in contrast to everything the founders intended? Those rights were enumerated specifically to PROTECT US from the government. If the government is paying for something that is deemed a “right,” isn’t that a precarious situation? Like Jefferson said, “A government big enough to give you everything is big enough to take it all away.”
Third, there is an enormous amount of hypocrisy in the media over this Limbaugh-Fluke incident, and I find that to be extremely offensive, as both a conservative and a woman. Was Rush Limbaugh wrong to call Sandra Fluke a prostitute? Absolutely. But what really irks me is that Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, and even Hilary Clinton were called all sorts of vile names by a number of people in the media, and I heard little to no outcry over that. They definitely didn’t receive an apology phone call from Barack Obama. Believe me, I’m not a big fan of any of those 3 women, but I do believe they have been treated very unfairly by the press. Can we at least PRETEND to be SOMEWHAT outraged when conservative women are mistreated by the media? Where were the feminists when Bill Maher repeatedly called Sarah Palin a cunt? Why are they only outraged when women of their own political leanings are insulted? Are conservative women not worthy of the same respect given to liberal women?
Fourth, American women seem to be under the delusion that this so-called “right” to abortion is THE most important right that we have and that there is a “war on women” in this country. I’m sorry, but there are women around the world who are never taught to read and who aren’t even allowed to leave their house without a male relative with them. Please don’t act like you are SO OPPRESSED when there are places where it is ILLEGAL for girls to go to school – where you could be killed for trying to get an education. And we’re complaining because we might have to pay for our own birth control? No wonder the rest of the world seems to hate us.
Finally, there has been a great deal of anger directed at “white men” during this whole debacle. More than usual, I mean. I’m so sick of this cliched political cop-out that I could just vomit. The point of feminism is not to demean men, to speak ill of them, or to put women above men. The goal was to make us equals in the eyes of the government & society. Period. Nothing more, nothing less. Not everything bad in the world stems from this vague, evil group of “white men.” I know a lot of white men. I married one. My dad is a white guy. If I ever have a son, he’ll be a white man. I had a lot of good teachers who were white men, and both of the pastors of my church are white men. I’m quite fond of all these “evil white men,” and I wish the media would get off their nuts. Literally. And can we stop with all the dumb comments about “Where are the laws for just MEN’S health? HUH?? Why aren’t THEY targeted?” I’ll tell you why. Because like it or not, men cannot carry babies. It’s a fact of biology. I know that upsets a lot of women, but you can’t change nature. Getting a prostate exam just isn’t as controversial as vacuuming a dismembered baby from the womb.
So, can we move on now? Can we stop talking about birth control and worry about stuff that really matters? Because the world is kind of falling apart around us, and I think that’s slightly more important that who pays for birth control.