A ranty, funny, dead-serious intersectional feminist blog.

Sandra Fluke and All This Entitlement Bullshit

Conservative Talking Point: Sandra Fluke wants someone else to pay for her birth control.

Truth: Sandra Fluke and I and a lot of other women want birth control to be covered by health insurance (the same way Viagra is).

Why is this so hard to understand?

I’m in a long-term relationship (i.e., living in sin), but for the sake of argument, let’s say I’m married. And let’s pretend I still have a uterus. And let’s imagine that my husband has an erectile dysfunction issue, or just likes the way Viagra keeps him standing tall, I don’t know, but his doctor prescribes it and insurance covers it. And let’s say I don’t want to get pregnant right now because I’m in my late 40s and it’s just not a good idea at my age. It might actually be bad for me or the baby. But I want to have sex. I want to have a loving sexual relationship with my husband without getting pregnant. And he’s got this raging Viagra boner, after all.

So, here’s my question:

Why should my husband’s desire for an erection trump my desire to PROTECT MY BODY from an unwanted pregnancy when it comes to health insurance coverage?

It’s just not that complicated, people. It’s about health. It’s about the individual responsibility conservatives claim to value so highly. It’s about our bodies and our right to choose when and whether to carry a child within them.

Tell your friends.


UPDATE:

A number of critics here and elsewhere have argued that my logic is flawed for a number of reasons. That may well be true, but not for the reasons they state, I don’t think. I’m going to address those now.

Argument: Viagra is used to treat medical conditions unrelated to sex.

Have you watched Ms. Fluke’s testimony? Two-thirds of it is about women with serious reproductive health issues who rely on birth control medication to treat them and the consequences when they don’t get their medication because the insurance they pay for (unsubsidized by their college) won’t cover it.

Argument: Viagra is not covered by most health insurance programs.

I don’t have numbers for the country at large, but I did find this story which speaks directly to the issue of Viagra vs. birth control and the Catholic church, which as commenter Craig pointed out below was behind the original thrust of Ms. Fluke’s campaign. (Pun intended.)

Argument: Viagra is way more expensive than birth control.

Maybe that’s so, but as commenter Mike pointed out, “birth control is far less expensive to the medical system than pregnancy and childbirth.” Not really a black-and-white thing.

Argument: The choice to have sex without becoming pregnant is not a health issue.

Ok, here’s where we’re going to have words. Let’s talk a bit about pregnancy and childbirth, shall we? I’ll just give you a quick rundown based on experience and let the readers chime in on anything I might have missed.

Pregnancy

1. Oh, hey, I’m pregnant! I wake up every morning and vomit my guts out while diarrhea sprays out the other end with every heave. I can’t eat until after 4pm or more vomiting and stuff!

2. Check it out: my ankles are swelling, and if I’m not careful, I could develop preeclampsia and toxemia or a blood clot and die!

3. Lucky me! Pregnancy carries the risk that I might develop gestational diabetes which will increase my risk of developing regular diabetes later in life! And there are lots of other things that can go wrong in my body as well. (Good thing I’m not over 35*, or there would be even more things to worry about, and a higher risk of them happening!)

4. Oh, great, there’s this thing called toxoplasmosis I can get from my cat. It can kill me. Whoopee!

And that’s not even going into just how uncomfortable–and even painful–pregnancy can be. For nine months of your life. But I survived it! Now it’s time to deliver.

Childbirth

1. OHMYFUCKINGGOD THE PAIN.

2. There are so many things that could go wrong, and I could die, but I’m in good hands and I’m not thinking about that because THE PAIN THE FUCKING PAIN OH GOD.

3. My water won’t break on its own. The doc has to reach his hand up inside my vagina and prick the membrane, at which time the water WHOOSHES out and the pain…oh, I only thought it hurt before. I’m so fucking scared. I want to go home. As they wheel me down the hall from labor to delivery, I piss myself.

4. My vagina isn’t quite big enough for the baby to pass without the delicate skin between my vagina and anus ripping as it is doing now, so the doctor uses a scalpel to slice that skin open and increase the size of my vaginal opening. There is blood. Lots and lots of blood. And then, my daughter is born.

What part of this does not sound like a health issue to you? What part of this does not sound like something a person should be able to CHOOSE?

That’s all I’ve got for now. Love ya.

~Rosie

*I’m over 35 now, but I wasn’t when I was pregnant. ;)


Respectful discussion is welcome and encouraged. When in doubt, see the Comment Policy.

70 responses

  1. Catherine

    Whenever I read things like this it makes me so happy to live in the UK!

    November 26, 2013 at 2:49 am

  2. Are vasectomies covered by health insurance in the U.S.A.? Because if the answer is yes, then the government is paying for men’s birth control with no other health issue involved, so the conservative arguments against covering women’s birth control medical treatment are fully uncovered as what they really are: Blatantly hypocritical lame excuses.

    June 25, 2013 at 1:32 am

  3. Hi Rachel, the problem with this logic is two-fold. #1 Birth control is used by many women to regulate medical problems (e.g. heavy periods). So this IS a basic health issue. #2 Unwanted pregancies often become a cost passed on to the government in food stamps, medicaid, head start and so on. (Women, families, are using birth control to prevent unwanted pregancies oftentimes because they can’t afford another child.)

    So the government pays. One way or the other Uncle Sam pays. But when he’s paying for birth control he’s paying a LOT less.

    The United States is woefully behind other so-called developed nations when it comes to providing government subsidized health care. And we know why that is, don’t we? Because corportations like those who own pharmaceutical companies still have health care system in a stranglehold.

    Then there’s that pesky war conservatives are waging on women, as some of the eloquent bloggers above have already pointed out. The GOP’s attitude is If they could just stop women from accessing birth control and having abortions they wouldn’t have to deal with so many women escaping the bedrooms and kitchens of America.

    BTW: if men could have children we wouldn’t even be having this discussion :)

    June 15, 2013 at 4:30 pm

  4. Rachel

    I am a young female, and I believe it is a woman’s right to be able to use contraceptives and do whatever else with her body she pleases. However, when it comes to finances, I’m a bit more conservative. I believe that health insurance provided by the government should only provide for the basic and most important medical issues (doctors appointments and serious diseases/injuries). I do not think that health care should provide Viagra for men, nor do I believe it should provide contraceptives for women. If you need something and it’s not a life or death situation, it’s your responsibility to get it yourself.

    June 15, 2013 at 10:14 am

  5. Evisceratus, you’re making a lot of assumptions here and I think they may be clouding your vision a bit. Feminism doesn’t operate as a unit. It’s an ideal shared by men and women across the political spectrum and around the world. People from all walks of life. Any generalizations you make about feminists is going to be wrong because we are all different people.

    I appreciated some of your thoughtful comments on other posts, so I know you’re smart. I’m not here to convince you of anything, but if you want to learn what this feminist thinks on any given day, and what her readers think about what she thinks, then stick around. This is hardly Feminist HQ–look around and you’ll find plenty of sites willing to step up and claim that title. This is just my little blog where I say what I think and learn from the people who comment.

    MARISA: I love you. :)

    February 22, 2013 at 5:40 am

    • The feeling is mutual, Rosie. And you hit the nail on the head: “Feminism doesn’t operate as a unit.” We don’t get our marching orders handed down from Feminist HQ by Gloria Steinem and Barbara Streisand, for God’s sake. :D

      February 22, 2013 at 5:45 am

  6. Evisceratus

    It’s becoming clear to me why feminism is dead in the water.

    “Just like just because someone’s a man, it does not necessarily mean that they have every man’s best interest at heart either.” -except for the part where it does. You will notice that men have had Viagra covered for quite sometime. You will notice there is no equal pay legislation being forwarded and you will notice that men continue to outnumber women in every branch of government and every branch of engineering.

    I don’t understand where you see a difference between “rightwingers” or liberals they are both men who legislate things to benefit men.

    That 53% is power to the extreme and apparently no one thought to use it to I don’t know maybe fix a few things feminists see wrong with the world.

    Nobody see’s anything wrong with using votes to get stuff they want even if they say they do it’s how politics works. It also why the country is broke, but that’s another discussion.

    The only thing that confused Republicans is why you sold your votes so cheap. The prevailing notion was “we could have done that” after the election. Not that it would have mattered with Mitt Romney running our ship into the ground. Then Barrack ran the country into the ground which is funny in a sad sort of ironic way.

    The country will rebound of course, but budgets are going to be slashed in the process which was really the 2012 campaign in a nutshell do we slash the budget or do we really slash the budget? When do we tell the American people their social security isn’t worth the paper the cards are printed on? Such riveting questions that I am sure they will be solved in the next 2 or 3 elections.

    February 22, 2013 at 5:35 am

    • Okey doke, chief. You make some good points, but I still stick by mine, which you still really don’t get. I’ve said my piece, I’m done.

      February 22, 2013 at 5:38 am

  7. Evisceratus

    Yeah yeah the war on women. Well you won and now a man sits in the oval office like a man always has. Does victory taste sweet? Are women now better represented?

    Methinks women got used Sandra Fluke included.

    February 21, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    • Hey gang, Eviscerama here thinks we’d be happier with SARAH PALIN!!!! ‘Cuz she’s a WOMAN, you know!!! LOLLLL!!!!! Oh, the hilarity!!!

      You know, he’s right though! Silly us, we forgot to vote for the WOMEN nominated for President by the only two parties in the United States who have a snowball’s chance in hell of ever getting elected!!!

      OH WAIT

      February 21, 2013 at 11:49 pm

      • Evisceratus

        Sarah Palin ran for Vice President I guess you missed that part.

        53% of American voters are women and your telling me electing a woman is impossible. Not exactly glass half full folks here at feminist HQ are you.

        Put the pressure on the Democrats(as apparently that is the side you have chosen for some reason) make them nominate a woman. As apparently that didn’t work at least shake down Barrack for stuff you want. If all you wanted was free birth control that’s akin to climbing everest for a T Shirt.

        February 22, 2013 at 3:06 am

        • Yeah I do remember Sarah Palin running for VP. She didn’t win, as you may recall, and VPs don’t do a hell of a lot anyway as far as making policies, enacting laws, etc. Just because she’s a woman does not mean that she has every woman’s best interest at heart. Just like just because someone’s a man, it does not necessarily mean that they have every man’s best interest at heart either.

          Where in the hell did you get the idea that I said that “electing a woman was impossible”? A woman didn’t get nominated this time. That does not preclude a woman EVER getting nominated. Think your thought processes through carefully.

          I have chosen neither the Democratic nor the Republican side. Both parties are beholden to special interests and corporate dollars. I have no idea what the answer is, but nobody sure as hell can “make” anyone nominate anyone. “Shake down Barrack for stuff you want”? “If all you wanted was free birth control”? Dear God, where are you right-wingers getting these ridiculous ideas? Did you read ANY of Rosie’s original post, at all? You guys need to drop the “all you want is free stuff” talking point. It’s old, it’s stale, and it’s a lie.

          Also, consider this: People ARE going to have sex. They’re not going to leave their pants on just because you or I might get offended. And the more people use birth control when they do have sex, THE LESS ABORTIONS THERE ARE. Chew on that one for a while.

          February 22, 2013 at 4:52 am

  8. BRAVA! Well and truly spoken! Thank you! This blog is wonderful. Thank you again!

    November 5, 2012 at 2:33 am

    • Thanks, Marisa!

      November 16, 2012 at 1:48 am

  9. Jac

    Bottom line, erectile dysfunction is not a choice, pregnancy is, and no ammount of rationalization will change that fact. One is an disease the other a consequence of a personal choice.

    October 12, 2012 at 6:24 am

    • Sorry, stating that something is the bottom line doesn’t make it so.

      October 12, 2012 at 5:58 pm

  10. Charlie Brown

    Insurance deductibles and co-pays are so high these days that it makes the whole argument moot. I don’t know anybody that’s getting viagra or birth control actually paid for by any insurance company.

    September 26, 2012 at 9:09 pm

  11. Rosie, this comment is to your update.

    As one who’s done this giving birth thing four times for a total of no less than three full days in hard labor (they had to hack the last one out after 12 hours because he had no chance to be born normally), I’d like to say the picture is even worse than you painted. Not the pain part–some women sail through that, and bless ‘em. But each pregnancy–even if you eat really well and take your vitamins like a good girl–is terribly hard on a woman’s body, from her bones on out. This is deliberate on nature’s part. Both women and men, in the wild, are disposable as long as there are more coming behind them.

    In pre-contraception societies, women quite frequently didn’t live to raise their youngest children (without surgical intervention I would have died when mine were about 8, 4, and 2, along with the one I was trying to deliver). It was not at all uncommon for a man to be married two or three times in the course of a long lifetime.

    Nature, like the honey badger, just doesn’t care. It doesn’t give a shit. The point as far as nature is concerned is to flood the world with babies, because most won’t survive childhood in a hostile world. But we live in different times. The vast majority of children in first-world countries survive infancy and childhood, so we’re not having four or five or six babies to be able to raise two to adulthood to replace our numbers. In the society you and I live in, women are not expected (by sane people) to devote short, unhealthy lives to endless pregnancies. And without this obligation to give birth until our bodies give out, we’re better able to contribute to society in other ways, INCLUDING giving each child we do have more of our attention and financial resources.

    Women choosing when to become pregnant is a huge step forward for women in any society, and that frightens some people the way civil rights and gay rights and a lot of other social changes frighten people, and for a lot of the same reasons.

    September 22, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    • Thank you. I wasn’t even thinking in terms of multiple births and the long-term effects on our bodies.

      I just don’t get how making birth control widely available and accessible can be a bad thing from any perspective. If you want people to be more responsible when it comes to sex, making birth control difficult to get makes about as much sense as trying to get people to drive more safely by removing the seat-belts from their car. People have sex regardless. Sex without birth control results in unwanted pregnancies, which result in abortions and overpopulation. Again, it just seems so straightforward to me.

      September 22, 2012 at 11:21 pm

      • Jac

        Birth control is widely and easily available to all, as a matter of fact, it has never been more widely available and has never been less expensive. Cost is not and issue (3 for $1.88 at walmart) Why should anyone but you be responsible for paying for your personal choices.

        October 12, 2012 at 6:32 am

  12. This post has been updated!

    September 22, 2012 at 10:42 pm

  13. I agree…it’s not that complicated. Health insurance should only cover health issues. Erectile dysfunction is a health condition. I see no reason why any appropriate drug prescribed to aid that condition can be paid for through health insurance. Anybody that has not been diagnosed with E. D. and simply wants the prescription to improve their sex life should not be able to acquire it through health insurance coverage. The same should apply to women. If birth control is needed to address a health issue, of course it should be attainable through insurance. But just as I believe that men shouldn’t receive prescriptions simply to aid their sex life, contraception for women should not be covered just because a woman does not want to get pregnant. That is not a health issue; it is a preference. And really, that is all that us conservatives mean when we say people should be responsible and held accountable for their own actions.

    September 22, 2012 at 2:37 am

    • You know, your argument almost sounds reasonable right up until the point where you deny that the choice to become pregnant qualifies as a health issue. When sex with your wife carries the risk that a child will form in your body and grow there and finally make its way out the most convenient orifice while you scream in agony, then maybe we can talk about whether pregnancy is a health issue for you.

      September 22, 2012 at 9:27 pm

  14. Libby

    As I see it, what seems to bother the folks like Limbaugh and Akin (oh my God, I’m so embarrassed to be from Missouri sometimes) is the blister pack.
    Think of like this: I have a health problem. I go to my doctor and she says, “Oh, you have a defective franistan gland! Take this prescription and come back for another checkup in 3 months.” I take my slip of paper to the pharmacy and they give me a little bottle with a childproof cap and a label with some tablets inside. I take my tablets as instructed and I feel better. I watch for the side effects and let my doctor know if any are severe or cause problems, like any smart patient. If those tablets a woman must take to keep her ovarian cysts under control or her endometriosis from bleeding her pale as moonlight only came in a little bottle with a childproof cap and a label on it, everything would be OK. That would be medicine, an important treatment for a difficult, possibly life-threatening condition. But they come in a blister pack marked with the days of the week on it and sometimes it has a girly-looking compact to hide the blister pack. It’s often pink. Therefore she’s a slut. That must be it. The blister pack must be what bugs them.

    September 16, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    • Works as well as anything I’ve come up with… :)

      September 17, 2012 at 5:50 pm

  15. Melissa

    Hi, I’m 17 and what is this?
    I’m not really good with politics but I want to learn and this seemed to be an interesting topic. How exactly are the conservatives stifling your ability, through health insurance, to choose whether or not you want a pregnancy?

    September 16, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    • Hi Melissa,
      Conservatives are not stifling my ability to choose and I made no such claim. I’m addressing a conservative talking point that says Sandra Fluke wants someone else to pay for her birth control and pointing out that it’s not true. My point is that if health insurance covers Viagra, it ought to cover birth control as well, and that fighting to make that happen is not the same as asking someone else to pay for our birth control.

      September 16, 2012 at 7:21 pm

  16. I once got my insurance company to change a policy on preventive care. They refused to pay for a mammogram. “So,” I said to the rep, “I see here that you’ll cover at 100% if I have my teeth cleaned, which will prevent dental caries. Cool. And if I develop breast cancer you’ll meet my medical expenses up to one million dollars when you could have paid for a screening instead.” The rep looked thoughtful and said “I’ll talk to someone about this and get back to you.”

    Reframing is a powerful tool. :)

    September 16, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    • And they changed it? Fabulous! That’s very rare.

      September 16, 2012 at 7:14 pm

  17. Mike

    I don’t think anyone actually answered your question, so I will.
    Insurance companies that cover Viagra and not birth control do it because Viagra fixes a system that is broken, while birth control interferes with a working system. They are looking at it from a medical perspective, not a social or political one. Both should be covered for many of the same mental/emotional health reasons but mostly because birth control is far less expensive to the medical system than pregnancy and childbirth, an important consideration the insurance companies would be wise to consider.

    September 16, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    • Good points, Mike. Thanks for making them.

      September 16, 2012 at 7:04 pm

  18. Pat MacEwen

    You know, men are getting shafted too. I used to run inventory crews in drug stores, and some of those were done using price tag codes that indicated the wholesale cost as well as the retail price. Condoms are routinely jacked up by 300-400%. Your Trojans ought to cost half what you’re charged for them, and that would still be a monster mark-up. Of course, nobody has to pay an OB-GYN two hundred dollars to walk in the door, and then pay for tests, and then get a prescription for condoms. So a man can walk into Rite-Aid, spend five minutes pondering color and texture choices, and Bing Bad-a-Boom, he’s covered. Women can’t do that. And trust me, if you’re on the receiving end of a load that may completely destroy your life (and in some cases, I do mean kill you), you don’t want to rely on nothing more than a hunk of latex (and did you check that expiration date?). In any case, contraception is less expensive than pregnancy by orders of magnitude, so why wouldn’t an insurance company prefer to pay for contraception?

    September 15, 2012 at 7:16 am

  19. Mike Jones

    Sweetheart, most insurance companies only cover Viagra for 6 pills every 30 days because when it is used it that quantity over that time, it is indicated to treat a lie threatening condition called pulmonary hypertension. In fact, it is used to treat both women and men afflcted with this disease. The alternative treatments [ranging from injections to lung transplants] are either a) less effective or b) waaaaay more expensive and therefore significantly less cost-effective when Sildenafil (Viagra) is equally effective or c) hard to come by as in the case of recieving a new lung.

    Next time please do your research before you write such misleading posts.

    September 14, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    • Don’t “sweetheart” me. Birth control is also used to treat life-threatening illnesses. I realize most controversial issues are not black and white. I welcome intelligent debate here, but I do not welcome patronizing bullshit, so please adjust your attitude or don’t come back.

      September 15, 2012 at 5:52 am

  20. Craig

    And why would anyone care whether viagra is free?
    It costs about 10 dollars for 10 or 20 pills. I have a pile of it at home because an Indian pharmacy I’ve ordered medication from throws 10 of those in for repeat costomers. It can cause headaches and blury vision, so I don’t use it.

    It’s a blue pill that looks like hay fever medicine like Benadril. So I’ve thought about switching it with someones have fever pills. Then they find themselves having to think about baseball so they can walk upright.

    If you’re that poor it’s not what you should be worrying about anyways.

    September 12, 2012 at 7:52 pm

  21. Craig

    Most health plans have a 40 or 50 dollar copay for prescriptions. So I think regardless of whether birth control is paid for (I think it is in most health insurance plans that covers prescriptions.) you’re still going to have to pay for most of it.

    The difference between American group plans and public plans that they have in other countries is that there is no upper bound on the cost. Someone with hiv will have some anti-viral prescription that costs 2000 per month paid for. But someone who buys birth control pills or prozac or codine for migrains will pay for it out of pocket because there’s a copay.

    It’s a higher priority that health insurance cover unexpected potentally devistating needs rather than small things that can be paid for out of pocket.

    They could remove the copay. But then they would just raise the primium 40 dollars a month on everyone. But then you’re still paying for it, unless you have a job that covers 2/3 of the health plan cost I suppose.

    September 12, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    • Yeah, I’ve been lucky, I guess, because my co-pays have been much lower, and I understand that birth control tends to be less expensive compared to other medications, so that is a factor.

      My primary point is that this is not and was not ever about a sex-crazed college student wanting someone else to pay for her birth control, and I’m really, really tired of people saying that it is.

      Thanks for reading, Craig!

      September 12, 2012 at 7:41 pm

  22. I’m Canadian, where we have Medicare, and am originally from the province of Quebec where there is a universal drug insurance programme. Most any prescription drug is covered with a co-pay fee of about $2 (I moved from Quebec to Ontario 9 years ago so that number may not be totally accurate or current). Contraception is covered, if I am not mistaken, as are “performance enhancing drugs” such as Viagra. In Ontario we don’t have a provincial drug plan. I’ll have to ask one of the young women at work if The Pill is covered by the company’s drug plan and hope that I don’t get accused of sexual harassment!

    In Canada, I don’t think we have anything specifically mandating the separation of church and state. I’m not totally clear on this because the issue never comes up here (except in rare circumstances, like on 9/11 when some politicians suggested that we pray for Americans’ well being). Nobody runs for office here claiming to have God on his or her side (yes, we’ve had a female Prime Minister and her gender was a non-issue). We did have a Prime Minister in the ’50s who consulted his dog on important political issues, but that revelation didn’t surface until years after he was out of office. We have several flavours of communist parties that run in elections but never get in because, you know, no one voluntarily wants to live under communism.

    This is just my take as an outsider but it seems that in the US everyone running for office must align themselves with Protestantism (remember the big stink about Kennedy being Catholic?). Why isn’t there a big push to truly remove religion from political discussion? Remember Bush with his whole “God’s on our side” crap? Seriously! The Religious Right seems to be shoehorning religion in everywhere from access to reproductive control to the teaching of “intelligent design” in science classes – the Tennessee “monkey law” is a major face-palm for America’s reputation as a secular and technologically-advanced society.

    At the very least can’t you guys get together and pressure the passage of laws that require even private insurers offer a certain minimal list of covered drugs which includes contraceptives and forbids employers from being able to edit that list?

    September 11, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    • Craig

      This flap was cause by the Catholic church not wanting to cover contraceptives.
      Sandra Fluke was, or is, at Georgetown Univ. which is a Catholic University. I’m not sure what the government can require, besides following the non-discrimination laws and such.

      Currently employers aren’t required to provide health insurance. Although, better jobs and universities do.

      I know from experience that some countries are much much worse. I signed an offer for a postdoc in Australia and I got stone cold fired for a pre-existing condition. It isn’t contaigous; they just didn’t want to sell me health insurance.

      September 12, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    • The drug companies in the US charge Canadians less for the same drugs that we pay a fortune for here in the US because the Canadian government cares enough about it’s people to say, “Here is what we will pay, take it or leave it.”

      That’s why you have affordable prescription drugs, because your government gives a damn. Wish ours did.

      August 11, 2013 at 12:25 pm

  23. Today I got nominated for the “One Lovely Blog Award”: http://mandaray.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/one-lovely-blog-award/, and part of the rules say I have to nominate other blogs. I thought of this one immediately, and wanted to again say thank you for all of the great posts. :) You rock!

    September 11, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    • Thanks so much, Mandaray! You have a way of making me blush and go all “d’awww…” <3

      September 11, 2012 at 7:43 pm

      • Yup, you pretty much have the same power over me. Clearly, we are X-men and our mutant power is the power of INCREASED BLOODFLOW TO THE FACE AREA.

        Move over, Cyclops.

        September 11, 2012 at 7:46 pm

        • Huh. My CACKLE didn’t show up. Must have been the brackets. :)

          September 11, 2012 at 7:47 pm

  24. Bill

    I don’t know of any man getting FREE Viagra. It may be covered in the insurance, but nearly all medications have a co-pay. At this point in time white males don’t have a constitutional right to vote.

    September 11, 2012 at 1:39 am

    • Not sure I understand your point, Bill. I didn’t say anything about free Viagra, and as for the other, well…I confess I’m stumped.

      September 11, 2012 at 1:56 am

  25. Oh, and lest I forget, when my mother was a young woman, giving a woman any form of birth control, or information about birth control was punishable by a prison term.

    September 8, 2012 at 7:05 pm

  26. changeforbetterme, we are–despite some recent heavy hitting from the right–NOT worse off than 100 years ago. Heck, I’m so old I can practically tell you that from experience!

    From my own experience, birth control before my daughter was born in 1964 was clumsy and inefficient. Before Betty Friedan published _The Feminine Mystique_ in 1963, only a very few women were brave enough to fight for equality, even though their mothers had worked in factories and government facilities such as printing plants (my mother) and supported troops in foreign lands (my mother-in-law), and their grandmothers had marched for the right to vote.

    Now just say that out loud to yourself once or twice. The right to vote. Until 1920, American women didn’t have it except in Wyoming and some other progressive western states. By the way, when the US Congress opposed Wyoming’s suffrage law and threatened to withhold statehood in 1890, Wyoming told them to go to hell if they didn’t like it; they’d stay out of the union another hundred years before they’d take away women’s vote. They got statehood.

    In 1963, just 49 years ago, most women believed–or more likely thought they ought to believe–that they actually were second-class citizens. I know this because I was one of them, and so was every woman I spent any time talking with. Then some of us read that darn book, and talking to other women who had read it and books like it, and we gave our status in society some more thought.

    Women not only didn’t get even close to equal pay 49 years ago, most people thought women shouldn’t work after marriage, or at least after their first child (this put a lot of extra social stress on men, by the way, who had “failed” if their wives took jobs). They were affectionately denigrated on popular TV shows, and made the butt of jokes for their silly ways much the way men are now. Their job was to have dinner ready, kids clean, and house spiffed up by the time their husbands got home. Their were a lot of gin bottles hidden in laundry baskets in those days, because until women read that darn book, they thought that if they felt they were made for more than this, THERE WAS SOMETHING WRONG WITH THEM. Their doctors tut-tutted and wrote them prescriptions for tranquilizers.

    I’ll be the first to say we need to stand up to keep the rights we have and to make life better for women in America. But trust me–I’ve been there and I’ve been here, and here is better.

    September 8, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    • karawynn

      Thanks for the perspective, Bridget.

      September 10, 2012 at 12:44 pm

  27. Excellent argument in favor of common sense. And very well said, as always.

    September 8, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    • Thanks, Elsie!

      September 8, 2012 at 4:39 pm

  28. Seb

    Perhaps the point should be that neither should be paid for out of the public taxes and that people should be made to take responsibility for their own lives a little more. Perhaps, maybe.

    September 8, 2012 at 5:17 am

    • Well, by that logic, what should be covered by health insurance? What should we not be required to pay for out of our own pockets? Should I take responsibility for my depression and stop taking Prozac because I can’t afford to buy it? (Boyfriend yells “NO!” from the other room.)

      September 8, 2012 at 4:38 pm

      • Seb

        (Says Seb, taking a slightly contrarian position in order to further the discussion) – What should be covered by health insurance is whatever you are willing to pay for to be covered by health insurance. Are you suggesting that people who pay for their own insurance, to suit their own needs, should also be subsidizing the costs for the 400 lb shut in who has a stroke because of their own poor lifestyle choices, or the old man who can’t get morning wood.

        I have secondary-progressive Multiple Sclerosis. My health insurance premiums are a bitch. But I don’t expect the government to take responsibility for it. I don’t TRUST the government to take responsibility for it. I trust the government to do police, fire, defense, roads etc. That’s their job. Live free or die, etc! :-)

        September 8, 2012 at 8:00 pm

        • Seb, I don’t think the position Rosie is taking (or Sandra Fluke, for that matter) is that you or the government should be paying for birth control, but that it be part of health insurance plans which people are paying good money for. Also, there are people who believe that if your boss doesn’t like women to use birth control, he or she should be able to restrict your access to it through your insurance plan. I believe your boss’s opinion should count only for him- or herself. Don’t like birth control? Don’t use it. Even insurance companies gotta love that.

          September 8, 2012 at 8:08 pm

          • Seb

            Oh true – I was sort of arguing the secondary point :-)

            September 8, 2012 at 8:09 pm

  29. You know what I don’t understand?? When did women’s rights become so back burned?? I mean, it seems to me the hard won fights of my youth to have some kind of say so in my own body is reduced to nothing! We are viewed as live stock now. Hell, if pigs can have babies out in the mud, then who are we to whine about decent health care or even IF we want babies or not?? When even some women in politics complain when we as women want equal rights? When we want to be treated as a human being. When IF we have been violated, or our bodies are in jeopardy we have the right to make a hard decision to end that pregnancy! It seems lately that we are worse off then we have been in 100 years! Also, I agree with mandaray! When did man having an erection trump the basic rights of women??? We need to do some serious decision making on who we vote in office and get rid of these people that want to put women back in the home barefoot and pregnant with no rights! …….sorry for the vent. But damn this gets me angry!

    September 7, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    • Me too! That’s why I dashed this off today. Some things need to be said and said again in this ridiculous climate. And yes, we’ve got to get to work. Planning a fundraiser right now. :)

      September 7, 2012 at 10:12 pm

  30. There’s just no way to win with these wingnuts. First, they tell us abortion is murder. Then they tell us contraceptives are evil too. Then they tell us we’re sluts and whores for even thinking about sex. Then they tell us we’re frigid bitches because we don’t ever put out and it’s not their fault we’re pretty. Then they violate us and tell us we “needed” it in order to fix us being frigid. Then we end up with babies that we can’t care for and didn’t want, and of course the kids are bright shiny little gifts from God, but we’re still whores and sluts because we had a kid outside of marriage. Then they tell us to get married and hope to find some man who will “take pity” on us and our illegitimate kid. Maybe we manage it, and then all our friends and neighbors get to praise the man because he was so sweet to raise a kid that’s not his. Then we have to have a few more babies because satisfying our man is our duty as his wife. Then we look in the mirror after about twenty or thirty years and wonder where our lives went.

    Meanwhile, men can double fist Viagra (and anything else, really) as much as they want. The idea that they can/should control or curtail their sexual desires is regarded as laughable. A few people might think it’s inappropriate for them to put their dicks into everything that walks by, but generally it’s just an expected behavior. (especially if you’re young.) Besides, if any of the women he’s sleeping with get knocked up, or refuse to use condoms or aren’t on birth control…well, they’re just irresponsible sluts. What’s he expected to do about it? After all, he paid a *lot* for dinner. This dick’s not going to fap itself!

    As a writer, I could plot for *days* and still not come up with anything that evil, or that confusing.

    September 7, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    • Oh, man. You are an EXCELLENT writer, and I LOVE it when you comment. <3

      September 7, 2012 at 9:11 pm

      • *blush* Thank you! I’m glad you enjoy my comments. :)

        September 7, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    • Great Post Rosie, and @Mandaray: “As a writer, I could plot for *days* and still not come up with anything that evil, or that confusing.”…. You rock. There’s a lot of awesome in this one comment, (I’ll have to track you down and find out if there’s more at book length. :-) )

      If I might offer a tangential thought, my personal opinion is that contraception pricing (as opposed to the use thereof which is an argument in a different sphere) is in the province of pharmaceutical company profits. Our reproductive system puts us at the mercy of the producers of contraception, pads and tampons…(please note, I’m not touching on the issues of male-controlled culture or religion, nor the support that a mother needs here). In the western culture, and as users of pregnancy prevention and personal hygiene, we are ALL the victims of price-fixing — on a grand-scale.

      Remove the profit motive, offer choice and the freedom to use it, and imagine a world where every single woman has access to free contraception. What a power shift that would presage…

      September 7, 2012 at 10:29 pm

      • Thank you! :) I don’t have any completed books available yet, (though some have accused me of having book-length blog posts) but I am working on one as we speak. A lot of the discussions of feminism I see on these blogs helps me to examine fictional tropes that I had been using without even realizing it.

        While I absolutely agree that the pricing of feminine hygiene and contraceptive products needs a good, hard look…right now, what I’m concerned about is whether I’m going to have access to those products *at all*. A lot of times when I try to discuss subjects pertaining to women’s health, the argument quickly devolves into a lot of name calling and religious nitpicking, which doesn’t get anybody anywhere. But I agree that we need to examine price-fixing in our country, (for all genders) especially when it comes to products pertaining to our health.

        September 7, 2012 at 10:39 pm

      • Thanks, Lyn! <3

        September 8, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    • That’s a Triple-A comment, right there.

      September 20, 2012 at 1:10 am

    • amen, beautifully said! down to a science.

      September 25, 2012 at 8:48 pm

      • Thank you, Rebekah, for stopping by and for chiming in. We <3 Mandaray around here. :)

        September 25, 2012 at 9:22 pm

      • Thank you!

        September 26, 2012 at 2:56 am

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