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Are Women People?

March 9, 2012

First it was the Chris Brown tweets, then the birth control debate, and the ultrasound bill in Virginia. Then, I read an article that put it all together. I stole the headline for my blog title, because it was way too enraging to not share. I read the article and thought about what the author proposed. The connections weren’t hard to make.

Subject for Debate: Are Women People?

For a country that has apparently come so far in women’s rights and fair treatment, women still have a lot to deal with when it comes to parenting, privacy with their own bodies, keeping their jobs after reproducing, and keeping their pay for the same work.

The issues in the article are things we shouldn’t even be debating in 2012. Some of these issues sound like they belong in the 50s, like birth control rights, lactation rooms in corporate offices, and maternity leave.  It seems like we’re going backwards. What does the future hold for women if everything we’ve fought for suddenly disappears?

birth control, rush limbaugh, newsFirst of all, I will speak to the birth control issue because it affects me personally, very deeply. And not for the reasons you might think, although the author of the article does address my situation as well. Typically, I keep my health issues private but I can’t keep private here because a) it’s become a public issue, and b) I can’t make my point effectively without sharing.

I find most of the things that have been said to women regarding the birth control issue offensive, like Rush Limbaugh’s comments, calling Sandra Fluke a ‘slut’ and a ‘prostitute’ for having the need to use birth control. Of course I find it offensive, but I find it more offensive, and downright appalling that he didn’t do his research. Birth control, I’d like to argue at least 25% if not more, is not even used for actual birth control. In my case, it’s used to handle a very common, but dangerous disease: endometriosis. Some of the symptoms include debilating pain during a women’s menstrual cycle, heavy bleeding, clotting, extensive tissue production, fainting, vomiting, just to name a few. Some women have it really badly, like myself, and some women don’t have nearly as excessive symptoms.

Let’s share a story. Once at 16, I was driving my car around the Christmas holiday to return a gift my mother had purchased that didn’t fit. Since I live in a small town, I had to drive to the mall in a neighboring city to exchange it. I was cramping pretty badly that day, but thought I could make it. I was wrong. Fifteen minutes into the trip, I began to get very dizzy during some of the cramps. I pulled over, fearing I’d faint, and locked my car just in case. I called my mother. The next thing I remember is waking up on the side of the road. In my locked car.

Same week, while walking to my front door, I was having cramps. I passed out on the front stoop. No one was home, no one was around. I was alone.

After many tests, it was finally discovered that during those cramps, at their peak, my brain was literally saying, “Screw this, I’m out.” The extra hormones in birth control that my doctor suggested could help regulate the cycle, even prevent my period (although pills like Seasonale and skipping periods weren’t recommended back then). This could prevent the fainting, the sickness, the vomiting, and the horrible pain that leaves me green. (Literally green, I have some old co-workers who can attest to this.)

My mother never wanted me to take birth control, because at the tender age of 15, she felt the same as Rush. That my taking birth control would result in promiscuity, even when my doctor told her it was the only way to fully relieve my symptoms and provide me the ability to have children later in life. After I started fainting and puking in the car from the pain, she gave in, and decided that maybe we should try.

I haven’t fainted since, nor do I have to take medical leave for expensive surgeries to make sure I’m safe. Thanks to birth control, I may be able to have children before I am forced to have a hysterectomy. Birth control pills have saved my life.

I wonder what Rush would say to that. Did he do the research on thousands, millions, of women who use birth control to regulate things like this? Endometriosis isn’t uncommon, and I can name five people now that I know and talk with about this disease.

I feel very strongly about women’s rights, not only because I am a woman, but because I have always felt that I can do anything that a man can do. My parents (however dismal I may make my childhood seem) have always taught me that no matter what I want, I can get it with a little hard work and determination. So imagination my frustration and disappointment when someone else, even women, tell me that I can’t have those things I want, simply because I have the ability to reproduce children, because I have a vagina.

Yes, in the Bible it states that God made man first, but he made woman to keep men going. How fair is it that we’re constantly berated when women are the reason those men who are berating us are here in the first place.

I’m saddened by these reports that men are fighting so hard to take away my rights as a woman, my human rights. We’re humans too, and just because I have two X chromosomes, that doesn’t make me a freak of nature, a slut, or a prostitute. We made the men, and we can take them away.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Social Media Sojurn permalink
    March 9, 2012 6:47 pm

    Don’t forget about the Personhood bill in Oklahoma! Seriously folks, stay out of our uterine business!

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