Friday, July 29, 2011

The Misguided and Archaic #1

"The Misguided and Archaic" will be a new series on this blog where I log and discuss misguided and archaic quotes regarding gender, sexuality and birth control.  I am not simply trying to criticize, but I will offer rebuttals in a direct way:

For this first entry, I am actually starting with the news from July 21st because several misguided posts and editorials were made after the July 19th publication from the Institute of Medicine.  An independent panel argued that insurance companies should offer birth control to women without co-payments:

1)  Jeffrey T. Kuhner in his July 21st post, "Obama's Culture of Death," Writes:
The administration is now contemplating forcing health insurance companies to provide free birth control - including the “morning-after” pill - as part of Obamacare.  ... The proposal is profoundly immoral. Contraception violates the natural moral order. It decouples sexual intercourse from its main purpose: procreation. It entrenches the hedonistic ethic that sex is about recreation and individual gratification.
 I find several problems with his basic rhetoric.  First up is Kuhner's belief that the "Morning-after pill" is somehow worse than the normal birth control pill.  This is incorrect.  The Morning-After pill is simply a stronger version of the birth control pill, which can be taken up to 3 days after unprotected intercourse. By including the phrase "including the 'morning-after' pill" as an addition to "free birth control," Kuhner is arguing that it is entirely different, more nefarious somehow.  He needs a better metaphor, so consider this: if the birth control pill was aspirin, then the morning-after pill would be extra-strength aspirin.

Next is Kuhner's belief that birth control is not natural. Nature, in her beautiful wisdom, has provided humanity for centuries with natural forms of birth control.  Here is a top ten list!  Granted, many herbs such as the Blue Cohosh is not as effective as the birth control pill or the diaphragm, it is effective. When you think about it, birth control is as natural as deciding to drive, wearing clothing and so on.  Indeed, if we are talking about "natural" vs "unnatural" in the world of medicine, then all medicine, including anything that might save a life, should be off limits under Kuhner's logic- if man-made does not equal natural that is. So, no Viagra for you, or aspirin, or antibiotics, and so on.

Finally, I take objection to Kuhner's belief that sex and the use of birth control "entrenches the hedonistic ethic that sex is about recreation and individual gratification."  This "individual gratification" concern seems to miss the point of consensual sex- I should hope to shout partners in sex all receive gratification.

2)  Bill O'Reilly - on his July 21st show, he expressed the following:
"Many women who get pregnant are blasted out of their minds when they have sex and [are] not going to use birth control anyway."
I do not mean to be uncouth, but WTF?  What women have you dated Bill? Seriously - you have a warped understanding of women and sex.  I guess there are some women out there who enjoy mixing sex with drugs, but all women? As if that is the only way a woman can bring herself to having sex?

I am afraid dear O'Reilly that you are displaying "truthiness" logic here - based only on your imagination and nothing else.  I'm feeling a bit sorry for your wife.

3)  Summer Eve's "Hail to the V" campaign.

What do we have here?  Talking vagina hand puppets. Gotta see them to believe them:

lady Wowza - Targeting Black American
Leopard Thong  - Targeting Latino Americans
BFF-Targeting Anglo-Social Medial-Americans

The only good thing about this ad campaign was that it was finally pulled. "Hand puppet vaginas" do not bother me really, hell I have some great comic bits already forming in my brain. But the message does.  The message being that without a special product, I am somehow unnatural.

As far as I am concerned, douche ads have always been horrific and sexist. As women, we are told that we should be offended by how we smell.  Just another reason to be wary of the vagina. We are told we are not natural, or normal. Bad jokes such as telling a woman she smells like "fish" has been promoted for decades.  To combat it, we must feel fresh and clean!  Take this ad from 1948 for example: ladies douche with Lysol so that your husband will actually, finally, want to take you to bed. You will smell as clean as the kitchen! 

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