Opinion

Feminists lamenting “sexist” contraception culture should look in the mirror

Bro-choice sex

The Cult of Contraception doesn’t exactly enjoy an overabundance of brain power, but when it comes to truly insipid commentary, PolicyMic has always been in a league of its own. This weekend, Marcie Bianco wrote that the birth control market is—what else?—even more sexist than you think.

She opens with a comedy video from Buzzfeed (now there’s a font of deep cultural analysis) that purports to illustrate that “society places the burden of birth control on women rather than men,” whose condoms just don’t come with the cost and “cultural stigmas” of female birth-control options:

The justification process alone — to parents, the medical establishment and to one’s partner — is exhausting and intimidating. It is also a costly process. As the medical assistant notes in the video, upon the guy’s admission that he doesn’t have health insurance, “That will be $150. I hope it’s worth it.”

That women have to justify the need for birth control at all reveals the wild, sexist hypocrisy pervading American culture: On one hand, women are responsible for “taking care of the situation,” while simultaneously fighting all the legal and societal preventative measures — from gawking comments about one’s sexual habits to the increasingly limited and cost prohibitive access thanks to Congress and the courts — in place that make it frustratingly difficult to procure said contraceptives.

[…] Now, if buying female birth control was like buying condoms, there would be no need to “buy” at all. Women simply would go to any clinic or school nurse’s office or nightclub and reach her hand into a basket for a “free” tablet.

Where to begin? Probably with a warning to any Hunter College parents: they hired the author of this crap to teach your kids, so you should probably ask for a refund.

One Mic commenter put Dr. Bianco’s first glaring logical fallacy succinctly:

Do you really compare birth control pills- pills that change the hormonal balance of your body, that are body specific and can be seriously dangerous, with condoms, a piece of rubber meant for external usage?

Are we really at this stage of stupid?

Yes, S.R. Berr. Yes we are.

Second, there’s the small matter of sex being a two-person activity. Talk of any given birth control method only being “for” one partner is silly, considering both of them are presumably trying to avoid pregnancy. Yes, because the resulting child develops in the woman’s body it’s easier for the man to abandon them, but you don’t need birth control to understand that having sex with deadbeat slime is a really bad idea—and if you lack that common sense, no pill is going to give it to you.

Third, no contraceptive whine-fest is complete without swipes at Rush Limbaugh for calling Sandra Fluke a slut and Hobby Lobby for asserting their basic freedom not to pay for products that kill embryonic human beings.

Yes, for the millionth time, Rush was wrong and apologized. But he was not simply “gawking at her sexual habits” but at her desire to legally force her sense of entitlement on everyone else. And if we’re to be endlessly browbeaten with one mean thing one commentator said about one liberal, then shouldn’t we expect in return an apology or two for the countless personal attacks they’ve levied against pro-life Americans and faith-based organizations? Like, for example, Bianco’s own suggestion that Hobby Lobby was limiting employees’ “access” to birth control as if they didn’t already cover 80% of the methods ObamaCare wanted covered, and were somehow stopping workers from purchasing the rest rather than merely not paying for it themselves.

Also, while I have reservations about the details, it’s worth noting that Republicans are increasingly interested in making oral contraceptives over-the-counter, which would alleviate much of the cost and hassle the author laments—yet it’s the pro-choice, pro-contraception establishment standing in their way.

But Bianco’s biggest fallacy? It’s not “the wild, sexist hypocrisy pervading American culture,” but that pervading America’s casual-sex subculture—a world created by her own ideological predecessors and deified by her own ideological contemporaries. The blame for its associated indignities lies squarely with them, not with those of us who have been advocating sexual responsibility all along.

Instead of looking for scapegoats for the fact that the reality of the Sexual Revolution doesn’t match the dream, how about left-feminists start reassessing their priorities? They could start by acknowledging that those of us they’ve spilled so much ink demonizing as patriarchal, theocratic killjoys just might be on to something after all.

Yes, foregoing sex until marriage denies you lots of immediate gratification. But gratification is hardly a need, and treating sex with the mature, honest seriousness it deserves also spares you a litany of life-changing complications and hardships—medical, emotional, social, economic, and parental. Try as we might, society just can’t seem to conquer sex’s innate power to change an entire lifetime, so isn’t it simple common sense to save it for someone you can trust to share a lifetime with? Isn’t a little delayed satisfaction now a fair tradeoff for stability and peace of mind later?

Winston Churchill once said, “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” That’s the only sort of equality the left’s sexual ethos has any chance of bringing women.

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