As many of you know, the birth control pill turned 50 this year, which means that we’re all in for a lot of editorials chewing that favorite conservative theme, which I’d describe as, “Women only think they like sex.” Via Roy, I have to say that this screed from Kathryn Jean Lopez is in the running for my favorite. Lopez, who I have to point out for reasons that will soon become clear is (as far as I know) childless and unmarried, is the first to line up to explain to all the stupid feminists why we’re so stupid thinking we actually enjoy contraception, sex, and having choices.
In an otherwise largely celebratory forum on the pill at CNN’s website, Republican strategist and book publisher Mary Matalin cleverly and jarringly wrote: “Packages of portable liberation ushered in a generation of women determined to break free from their inferior patriarchal oppressors. And how did they manifest their superiority? Their freedom? Thanks to The Pill, by casual, drive-by sex. Whoa. That really showed those stupid boys.”
They can keep telling us that feminism is about hating men, and therefore we’re breaking our own rules by having good relationships with them and (if we’re straight) enjoying sex with them, but it’s not sticking. Perhaps they’re wrong about what feminism is? I don’t know; I’m just an actual feminist. So when I say that feminism is about women’s equality and creating a non-patriarchal world where men and women are freed get along as equals, I don’t know what I’m talking about. The only people who get to define feminism are people who oppose it.
After this, the bullshit gets so thick that I can’t even make fun of entire paragraphs, or even entire sentences.
The feminist movement has a lot to answer for when it comes to the open and enthusiastic embrace it gave the contraceptive mentality, which interferes with a woman’s relationship with her own body,
You can only have a relationship with your own body if you’re constantly pregnant, according to K-Lo, who has never been pregnant. Perhaps it doesn’t count if your relationship with your body is enhanced by repeatedly denying your body those unnatural sexual cravings? Oh yes, they’re unnatural. You’re stupid, pliable women, and the only reason you think you like sex is you say that stupid HBO sitcom where the women wear expensive shoes and have female friends they don’t hate.
never mind her relationships with men.
I asked my boyfriend if he’d like me better if I was always pregnant and miserable about it, and/or unwilling to be sexually active ever again. He said no. But that’s only where the confusion began. I thought feminists were supposed to want to ruin our relationships with men, and K-Lo says that being on the pill ruins them, so we should go off, right? But then she said that being on the pill made the guys like us, and so we’re suckers, and….
Fuck, I just don’t understand. Both being on and off the pill makes me bad at my K-Lo assigned man-hating duties. What’s a girl to do? (Answer: quit fucking and have more babies. Don’t think about it. God didn’t give you a uterus because he wanted you to use your brain.)
So, we can blame the pill for making relations too good between men and women, and also ruining relations between men and women, whichever potshot seems more convenient. But since “ruined” is the most recent charge, let’s deal with that, especially since Maggie Gallagher came in and explained that the ruination is due to the dreaded separating of sex and reproduction. Perhaps there is some statistical evidence indicating who has better relationships with their menfolk: the bad women who separate sex and reproduction in order to marry and have children after they get educated and install themselves in careers, or women who do it the right way by getting pregnant at a young age? (We’re leaving the relatively rare women who presumably live like K-Lo and hang onto that virginity into their 30s.) I link it alot, but it’s really the book to read for this kind of information: Red Families v. Blue Families. The enemies invoked by Gallagher and K-Lo—those liberal feminist yuppies with the college degrees and contraception use—are more likely to get married and stay married that other groups of women. Good women who connect sex and reproduction the old-fashioned way through youthful marriage and baby-making, especially through shotgun marriages, have higher divorce rates. Also, it was found that the later you marry, the happier you are in marriage.
There’s only one conclusion: High divorce rates and marital acrimony are the best sign that women’s relationships with men are right by conservative standards. If you actually like your husband, you stupid feminist, you’re doing it wrong. Contraception interferes with the natural order, where you get ensconced in a committed relationship at a young age and watch things deteriorate rapidly until you can’t even speak to each other in civil tones. That, or you stay a virgin. Either way, if you find yourself overly happy or satisfied about your romantic life, you’re doing it wrong.
Of course, many of the women of the “sexual revolution” generation paid the price in their own lives — they found that their best fertility days were gone by the time they realized they wanted to be women, not women suppressing that which makes them most creative.
You know what I like? Being scolded by a childless writer about how I need to put down my pen and start pushing out babies, which is the true creative outlet for women. Part of me suspects that K-Lo is just trying to take out the competition in the realm of female writers—until she’s taken us all out, she’ll never be considered good, much less the best.
The AFP dispatch from the pill PR agency betrayed its ignorant agenda by making stale jokes about “the rhythm method” — a term that has been, for decades, used by no one but critics of the Catholic Church.
What’s funny is how angry conservatives get when the rest of us won’t agree to be as stupid as they think we are. You can call it whatever the fuck you like, K-Lo, but it’s still a birth control method based on the wildly unpopular notion that you shouldn’t be fucking if you don’t want to have babies. You can’t convince us to be slatheringly grateful that we’re allowed a couple of weeks when the whole month is available with other contraception methods.
Janet E. Smith, editor of Why Humanae Vitae Was Right, among other books, and professor of life ethics at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, tells me, “I keep hoping common sense might have some force with the secular world.”
I don’t know. I think the widespread acceptance of the fact that people like to fuck indicates the secular culture is doing A-OK in the common sense department.
When the first Sex and the City movie came out a few years ago,
It’s the law that every screed about the pill has to mention this franchise, because remember, women didn’t think they liked sex before “Sex and the City”. 1998 was a rough year, because it was also the year of Bill Clinton’s impeachment. Think of the society we would have if Bill Clinton hadn’t invented the blow job and Carrie Bradshaw hadn’t invented the female orgasm!
The reactions of the young audience members, in their Jimmy Choo knock-offs, suggested that a little talking-to from Janet and Raquel might do them a world of good.
What the hell were they doing that was so offensive in the middle of a comedic movie? Eating popcorn? Laughing? Hanging out with their friends? God, that must have been hellish for K-Lo, being in a roomful of women having fun. They need to make it up to her, by giving birth about 10 times in a row with no painkillers or forswearing sex so they have more time to drop heavy objects on their toes.
But the truth is that motherhood is at the heart of what it means to be a woman,
So sayeth K-Lo in her 33rd year of childless Unwomanhood.
and, for decades now, the pill has been trying to deny that reality.
Apparently, she believes that one cannot take the pill and be a mother. Perhaps she thinks it causes permanent sterility? Even then, it doesn’t quite make sense, because you could still have children and then take the pill. In fact, as Elaine Tyler May noted in her wonderful history of the pill, for the first decade of its existence, the pill was mostly used by married women, and knowing what we do of demographics then, most were already mothers.
Mind you, you don’t have to have children to be in tune with that great gift
This is how she wriggles out of the fact that she, a childless woman, is advocating mandatory motherhood for everyone else.
but you do have to know it, acknowledge it, and not pop a pill the purpose of which is to treat fertility as if it were a disease
You know who’s in a position to lecture the rest of the world about what’s natural? People who think it’s perfectly reasonable to suggest that the over 50% of adult women who don’t have husbands should suppress their sexual urges (as well as all married women who are done having children), and apparently think really hard about how sinful it is to have a little too much fun with your girlfriends at the movies.