I like to stay up to date and in the know when it comes to politics, but I'm not an expert and don't always understand a situation fully until someone explains it to me. No shame. But this is not a political post. This is a personal post because I saw something on Twitter today that actually made my blood boil.
So what did I see? A man wrote that if women cannot afford their birth control, they shouldn't be having sex in the first place... And for a number of reasons, this really pissed me off.
First of all-- Who are you? Who are you to tell women what they can and cannot do? A woman doesn't want to have sex, she's a prude or a tease. A woman does have sex, she's a slut. "Teen pregnancies are bad" "Abortions should be illegal," etc. Well, do you know why some women want to take birth control? -- So they don't end up in that kind of situation in the first place!
I am a woman. I take birth control. I have been taking the pill since I was 15 years old. And, said Twitter user, who I am very nicely letting remain anonymous, guess what I was NOT doing when I was 15 years old? I was not having sex. I did not start taking the pill because I wanted to let any guy in the hallway have sex with me. I didn't go to numerous doctor's appointments, try 9 different brands of pills, and miss weeks of school because I thought it would be cool or because sneaking around having sex was all the rage. Truth is, I have a medical condition. And in order for me to live comfortably and be content in my own body, I need to take these pills.
When people look back on their teenage years they thank their parents, teachers, siblings, and mentors for helping them get through the rough times. I thank birth control. I really do. My life became increasingly better when I was told by my doctor that I could take the pills.
A woman who is taking birth control is doing it for reasons other than sexual intercourse. What a damn concept. There are thousands of women who need to take these pills for medical conditions. Some women want the pills because it makes them feel safe. The fact that I even have to write this out makes me punch the keys harder because it seems so absurd that people do not understand this. And what if the woman is "old enough" by your standards to have sex? What if the woman wasn't born into a privileged family? Or what if she was and is on her own now? What if the woman just lost her job or didn't have the fortune of attending school so she can't get a job in the first place? Are you going to tell those women that they shouldn't have sex? Because if you are, guess what? You have absolutely no right doing so and I highly suggest you stop.
So I'm on my train ride home, trying to calm the fumes coming out of my ears and I foolishly look at some of the replies and responses to this Twitter user. In one, he suggested that people just have children. He has kids and he loves them. If women are already expressing their concern over not being able to afford a pill, how do you expect them to raise children?! And guess what, guy, some people (me), don't want kids. It's wonderful that you love yours but don't start using children as a reason women do not need the pill. Don't spin this and make it look like "just having kids" is a breeze. Next, you're going to say that women should just wait until marriage or until they are financially stable to have a family. Well, let me let you in on a little secret... Some women don't have a choice with who they have sex with. Some women don't say "yes" and some women are left to deal with the consequences of someone else's actions because this world doesn't feel she deserves justice. So no, "just have children" is absolutely not a valid reason to turn away from the pill.
It is endlessly infuriating to me that this guy, and many others, think they can talk about this issue like they have all the answers and women are so silly to have not come up with them before. You do not know a woman's body or life. It's almost embarrassing to me that men today still solely see birth control as a means of "safe sex or unsafe sex." The reasons are far broader than those tiny minds and a woman, and her rights, goes beyond the suffocating box people are trying to fit her in.
Listen, have your opinions. It's pretty clear that I do. But if you're a man who doesn't need to depend on birth control or really think about it at all, do not take your opinions and state them as facts. It would be like if I started saying you don't get to have... Wait... What is the world threatening to take away from men comfortably sitting on their high horses?
Oh, that's right. Nothing.
I guess it would be like if I took away your horse. How horrible it would be for you to see the world from down here.