Friday, March 2, 2012

Even a Broken Clock . . .

Like many teenagers of my generation growing up in the late 1970s, early 1980s, I was terrified of becoming pregnant. Schools did not tolerate unwed teenage mothers and the few girls that did manage to pull an "oops," as we called it, were expelled and shunned. On the other hand, like many teenagers of my generation, I was able to make an appointment at any time with my family physician, discuss my birth control options, and pay for them out of my own pocket, with no parental involvement, just like I paid for my concert tickets and hamburgers after school with friends and the books I wanted to read—just like, once I was an adult, I also made sure I had enough money to pay my rent, utilities, and groceries.

Unlike many women, however, my terror of becoming pregnant wasn't just societal or situational, it was deeply personal, almost philosophical. I don't know if it's genetic (all the other women in my family have children) but I knew from a very early age, around 8 or 9, that I never wanted to be a mother. As I grew up and my feelings solidified and strengthened, I realized that I was the only person responsible for my decision. Did I—do I—have a right to make it? Yes. Did I—do I—have a right to make someone else pay for it? No. It was personal, not social, not cultural, and not, God forbid, political.

And you know what? Never once in all these years, have I ever felt that I was being denied access to birth control or that my doctors did not take my health care concerns seriously. Where is this white male religious establishment pointing a gun at my head, forcing me to either be abstinent or to breed like a bunny? I've never seen it. I still don't.

So tell me, why do I need to stick up for Sandra Fluke?

31 comments:

Strawman Army HQ said...

Subject 945822-67 said:

"Where is this while male religious establishment pointing a gun at my head, forcing me to either be abstinent or to breed like a bunny? I've never seen it. I still don't."



This is most irregular. Our records show that you were visited by Sergeant Mather of our Puritan Fanatic Infantry division on April 13th, 1986.

Please let me know if the Sergeant failed to do his duty and falsified the record so we can put him in the fiery pillory.

Sincerely,

General Lib Bogeyman
Invisible Strawman Army

moi said...

Huh. See, I could have sworn that was David Lee Roth . . .

Buzz Kill said...

I wish I had the courage all those years ago to stand up and say "NO KIDS". I'd have enough money to retire today instead of 25 years from now.

So you went to your contraception physician first, then off to the concert? I'm sure Diamond Dave appreciated that. Bwahahaha

My stance on this - the government does not have the right to tell employers and healthcare providers that they must provide contraception for everyone. Sex is a personal choice that comes with personal responsibility. For the most part, you won't die from not having sex. At least that's what The Mrs. keeps telling me. Bwahahaha

moi said...

Buzz: My child-free status is something that psych docs call an "early articulation," a strong, pervasive sense of surety at a young age about certain self-identifying isssues, one of them being the desire not to have children. It isn't so much a choice as a trait--it just "is." So perhaps, even had you stood up for yourself, you would have forced the Mrs. into something unnatural to HER nature.

As for David Lee Roth, you bet I have a story there.

Boxer said...

Well I wasn't playing with dolls for a reason, either.

I waited until I was 18 and then went to Planned Parethood, paid for it for myself. Sadly? I thought I had to be 18 to do that (and obviosly another "thing".) They were kind, helpful and non judging. I believe that's still the case, right?

RIGHT.

My fear of pregnancy is so deep seeded that when friends have told me they were pregnant I had to keep myself from saying "Oh no!". Ahahahah.

moi said...

Boxer: And of course, anyone with two feet and a heartbeat could walk into a 7-11 and buy condoms. I mean, seriously. It's just not that haaaaaaarrrrrrd!

My parents knew not to get me baby dolls. Barbies were another matter. I had nine, each with their own individual wardrobes and shoes, by the time it was all said and done. When I was 14, my mother pried them from my cold, dead hands and gave them to the little girls who lived next door. They probably made a mint selling them on eBay :o)

Buzz Kill said...

I was half joking about the no kids. Your right, The Mrs. has breeding in her nature. She just wishes we had girls.

And do you know how tough it was for an 18 year old in the 70s to buy condoms?

Let me have one of those porno magazines, large box of condoms, a bottle of Old Harper, a couple of those panty shields, and some illegal fireworks, and one of those disposable enemas... eh, make it two.

See what I mean?

lx said...

I also think that is one's own personal business and responsibility.

I think the Democrats, Republicans, and press are flogging the topic as a distraction from the economic failures of the President and Congress.

Boxer said...

in regard to Rush's use of the word slut, that was stupid and meant to get ratings. Making it into something is equally stupid.

moi said...

Buzz: It was super easy to snag a pack of ciggies, too.

lx: It's all pretty much smoke and mirrors, isn't it?

Boxer: You bet. That's what pisses me off so much about the hysterical branch of this party. They can't MAKE THEIR FREAKIN' POINT without pissing everyone off and sending reasonable people scrambling over to the side that looks slightly less bat shit crazy.

And so the very valid core message here--that contraception is NOT a right and therefore should NOT be paid for by either taxpayer or employer dollars--gets lost in the kerfuffle.

Boxer said...

I don't understand how personal attacks on ONE person actually helps anyone make their point about a GENERAL issue.

I agree it creates a scenario where the smart ones don't get involved.... and that's why the GOP has zero candidates that make me want to vote for them.

BlazngScarlet said...

Then add viagara to the list.
I'm not paying for some dude to get a reduced priced boner.

moi said...

Boxer: Which always leaves me shaking my head at Rush, who I like and who could, in fact, be a leading intellectual for the conservatives if only he didn't have to snag those pesky ratings.

Blazng: Bwahahahahahaha! But of course. And now I am picturing you in a Seinfeld-esque episode, black gloves and riding crop, behind a counter, as schlub after schlub stands before you, hands out, "Please, Miss, may I have my free Viagra?" And you, sizing them up with a disdainful eye: "No! No boner for you!"

BlazngScarlet said...

The Boner Nazi.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA
I do have the crop ..... ;D

Karl said...

Good afternoon Moi,

I took Mrs. K to the doctor's office to get her first prescription for the pill. Paid for the visits and the pill for 3 years before we got married. This is where I have an issue. I was responsible enough to know it was necessary to pay for. And back then, to me it was a big expense. However a necessary one. I resent the idea that folks today can't be that responsible. These stupid mandates are costing a lot of money my Health Insurance premiums went up 20% this year. That was before this new stupid mandate.

If the government's going to mandate contraception it should be mandating it to anyone on food stamps, unemployment or welfare. Not bloody likely to happen.

Have you figured out how to get follow-up comments sent to your e-mail yet?

moi said...

Blazng: You need that on a tee shirt.

Karl: Good for you for being responsible. That's another thing that chaps my bottom about Ms. Fluke's argument: where are the DUDES in all this? It takes two to tango, after all.

And I'll keep asking this until I'm blue in the face: What on earth does health INSURANCE have to do with health CARE? Madness! Insurance is for EMERGENCIES, not upkeep. If medicine were returned to the free market, then we could all afford our yearly check ups, etc., as well as individual catastrophic policies at a small monthly premium for if and when the poop really hits the fan. But we will never have a true health care overhaul until we break the hold of the insurance companies.

Karl said...

It's the entire concept. Everyone's getting brainwashed into thinking they can't take care of themselves. They have to have "wellness visits". You want wellness: don't smoke, get off your ass and do something, eat a reasonable diet and challenge every medication the doctor tells you to take. It's really not that hard.

Karl said...

Forgot to say. I'll take one of those tee shirts.

Curmudgeon said...

I was the only unwed father in my high school and I worked my butt off. Now a days, It's paid for and peer pressure assures it's going to happen. There are no consequences. Of course they are going to go wild.People do what you let them get away with. As a manager I felt I owed employees strictures and loss prevention procedures for the employee's sake.

troll said...

And I'll keep asking this until I'm blue in the face: What on earth does health INSURANCE have to do with health CARE? Madness! Insurance is for EMERGENCIES, not upkeep. If medicine were returned to the free market, then we could all afford our yearly check ups, etc., as well as individual catastrophic policies at a small monthly premium for if and when the poop really hits the fan. But we will never have a true health care overhaul until we break the hold of the insurance companies.

Well, actually. NO! No, the system wouldn't work if YOU decided to restrict Capitalism by FORCING Insurance Companies to only offer catostrophic coverage. And NO, the path to a more practical system is not "breaking the hold" of insurance companies.

The problem is Government FORCING insurance companies to offer things that neither they nor a majority of their customers want.

And Government FORCING insurance companies (and doctors) to spend huge sums wrestling with Government bureaucracy, paperwork and red-tape.

And to a much lesser degree, those large politically-connected insurance companies who saw that FORCE as a way to make the indrustry an oligarchy.

Let freedom ring. If YOU want only catastrophic coverage, YOU (or your business) should be free to choose that (or offer only that to your employees).

FORCING insurance companies to only offer that is not the way to go.

moi said...

Karl: Shit happens in life, it does, in spite of our best efforts to stay well. But, yes, there are very basic things we can do to stay healthy and out of the system.

Curm: It's funny, how different a society can be in just decades, isn't it?

Troll: My bad for my wording. Of course, I do not mean legislation forcing in the OTHER direction. My statement about breaking the hold of the insurance companies means we break their hold over our perception that they, and only they, can provide us with care. AND we break the oligarchial relathionships with government that guarantee we have no options. Of COURSE insurance companies can offer whatever they want and of COURSE individuals and employers can pick and choose at will from those policies.

What I'm saying is, if medicine were returned to the free market, neither cash-for-service nor insurance would be as expensive as they are today. Together, S.B. and I pay over $400 a month for insurance. But we don't spend $400 a YEAR on our care! That gap is ridiculous, when we could just go write a check for our annual check ups and then a MUCH lower one for a catastrophic policy that more than likely we will never need. AND, on a long-term care policy, which makes much more sense anyway.

BlazngScarlet said...

My greatest fear with this legislation isn't even about birth control; to me that's just a stepping stone.
My greatest fear is that companies and corporations can decide that other medications and treatments shouldn't be covered (ie: stem cell therapy) for whatever reason.
Currently, 26 states require that insurance companies cover FDA-approved medications (including birth control).
Of those 26, 21 have opt-out options.
I live in NY, one of the 26 and 21. Every insurance plan I have ever had has NOT covered birth control.
I have no problem with an opt-out plan, I just don't want this amendment to become a stepping stone to denial of other treatments.

czar said...

I can't even keep up with this issue, but I heartily agree with your statement, "Rush . . . could, in fact, be a leading intellectual for the conservatives."

Of course, I probably agree for entirely different reasons than those you intended.

Pam said...

Sigh. There you go, trying to get me to read up on this Rush Limbaugh thing. I have gone out of my way to avoid it this week.

Mainly because I have already had hundreds of e-mails about "personhood," "health insurance exchanges (Obamacare)," free market insurance that crosses state lines (some call it Obamacare), puppy mills and a certain someone (who I actually adore) holding a sign at a rally that states, "If I wanted the Government in my womb, I'd ***k a Senator."

Here's one report of hilarity: http://www.thelostogle.com/2012/02/17/the-total-dominance-political-news-update-every-sperm-is-sacred/

You can trust me that the "white male religious establishment" does exist.

But as usual, I have no opinions. Because so many others have them.

You want to defend this woman because she is entitled to her opinion as well.

Pam said...

P.S. I want to hear the David Lee Roth story, please!

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

Hi Moi-

I'm Bud from the blog Sunday Stealing (http://sundaystealing.blogspot.com). Every week we rip a meme off someone's blog. Today we chose one of yours from last week. We give you full credit and link back to your blog. The great thing is that a lot of previous "victims" such as yourself have become regular players! We usually publish the blog between 1 and 3 PM EST Saturday. We usually get between 40 to 60 people who play and comment on each others responses. And a lot of our players are previous victims of our theft like you! We hope you play along in the weeks to come! Thank you and have a great day...

Bud

moi said...

Blazng: I'm not saying birth control shouldn't be covered. That's up to the each individual insurance company to decide. I'm saying it should not be FREE, paid for by the government, i.e. the taxpayers. And, yes, it's scary, the government mandating what insurance companies can and cannot pay for.

Czar: Rush is not a stupid man and when he calms down, he makes sense on a few, not all, issues. But he is, first and foremost, a personality.

Pam: Yes, I support Sandra's right to express her views; I do not support her demand that I pay for her birth control. What part of attending law school at a Catholic college did she not understand? And I know that you are inundated with The Crazy, especially in the land of Life Begins at the Thought of Life. I just finished reading your email. Oy. Vey. I'm sorry. No wonder nothing gets done. Maybe we need to take a cue from the Dutch: a dozen parties, a million opinions = still must come to a consensus.

moi said...

Bud: I'll check it out; thanks!

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

I always return to see if someone has an objection. I'm really sorry that I neither read or commented on your post. You are a terrific writer. But more importantly, you made me feel your emotions. And I so agree with your opinion...

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Couldn't agree more Moi. I feel exactly as you do and have never changed my mind.

moi said...

Poet: :o) It would be interesting to know your perspective on the NHS providing free birth control. I was having a conversation with a friend of mine just yesterday who lived in the UK for a while and touts your health care system to the moon. Her argument for free, government-supplied birth control is it lowers the expense of unwanted pregnancies and other health issues, but I wonder. Even if women and men were provided access to free birth control, would they actually avail themselves of it? I'm speaking specifically to your recent post about the number of abortions that are still performed in Britain, regardless of free contraceptives.