Friday, March 2, 2012

something that has me upset

As journalists we are taught to remain objective and focused on the story, not the emotion that goes along with it, when reporting.  But as a woman, I really cannot help but feel outrage for the attacks I have seen against my sex in the past week.  In speaking to several other female writers, we are all shocked that the issue of birth control and basic access to women's health services are up for debate in this day and age.  Not only because most women are not divided on this issue, but also because it is coming up during an election year where one would think the economy, jobs, Syria and the nuclear possibilities of Iran would be main talking points.  
I have been watching this issue in the news, twitter, everywhere for the past month or so and wasn't so shocked at what had been going on.  I mean, the things I saw coming out of conservatives mouths were expected.  The things coming out of the mouths of the religious right were expected.  And even the lack of women present at the congressional talks on women's health care was expected (I don't have high hopes for our members of congress).  However when I heard this, there was really no stopping my level of outrage.  Yes, Limbaugh is an accepted crazy person.  He says things that are outlandish, ridiculous, and I believe sometimes just for ratings.  For goodness sake, a man who weighs nearly 300 pounds said First Lady Michelle Obama resembled a "tub of mustard" when wearing a yellow dress.  
This is not a man who deserves any respect.  But it was the context of him calling this girl a "slut" that made me so mad.  In the tape, he continually asks how much sex this girl must be having that she cannot afford birth control.  Anyone who knows how birth control works, knows that that is the stupidest statement you can make.  Whether you are having sex once a month or a thousand times a month, you use the same dosage of birth control (one pill/day, one shot/3months/, etc) and it speaks nothing of your sexual behavior.  And even if this girl was having tons of sex with tons of men, it is really no place of any man, woman, radio host or member of congress to judge.  He continued to shame this woman by saying her parents must be "so proud" that she is admittedly having so much sex she can't afford it.  
The way I see it is women are more at risk in terms of sexual disease than men (that is a fact, based on basic physiology), they have to buy things for their period every month (this stuff is expensive), and have to visit a gynecologist in addition to their primary care physicians each year for a check-up (more co-pays, more tests, more money).  To impose the idea that women who cannot afford birth control shouldn't be having sex is a ridiculous argument.  Almost as ridiculous as teaching abstinence in schools--it's simply not effective and an all around ideological way of thinking.  
But you know what really makes me angriest about all of this?  Is the other group of people they are not asking to testify.  Women should be able to testify at these hearings, but so should men who refuse to wear condoms during intercourse.  Especially if those men are members of Congress.  I think that will quickly shut everyone up and stop this debate over a basic women's right issue.  

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