Fighting the mansplaining anti-sex police
Great piece at Pandagon on the war on contraception:
the most important argument—-that a woman has a right to be a sexual creature and that sex is good—-[is] being abandoned by all sorts of liberals and feminists. The most common form this concession takes is well-meaning, and often person conceding the argument that women who have sex for pleasure are somehow less-than don’t intend to concede it. But that’s nonetheless what they’re doing. That concession looks like this:
“Some women aren’t even taking the birth control pill for contraception! They need it for cramps/endometriosis/etc.”
Every time you say this, a right winger wanting to imply that women who have sex for pleasure are sluts gets his wings. This statement and all variations on it feeds into the right wing claim that a) contraception is not health care and b) that women who have sex for pleasure are so indefensible that you have to lean on off-label uses for a contraceptive drug to justify its existence. It also does absolutely nothing to defend the non-pill contraception that’s covered by the health care act, such as IUDs or sterilization. Plus, that gives them an easy out, which is to say that they’re fine with insurance covering pills that are prescribed for non-contraception use, but just object to prescriptions for women who use them to prevent pregnancy.
I realize talking about and defending female sexual pleasure is a hard thing to do. Our society still has a ton of shame around the topic. But that’s what this fight is about. It’s not even really about contraception, per se. That’s why the Republican candidates, when asked about contraception, actually answered the question as if John King had said, “Where do you fall on the subject of women having sex without your explicit permission first?” (I’m serious; their answers about “out of wedlock” births and the like make way more sense if you substitute the phrase “unauthorized sex” for “contraception”.) We can only win this if we have a clean fight about it. And that means tackling the question of sex directly, and not chewing around the edges or worse, building our defenses around women who could theoretically be celibate but still on the pill.
Worth reading in full.