Anti-choicers say that they care about “life,” and they’re not anti-sex.
Anti-choicers say that they aren’t about punishing and judging women.
Anti-choicers say that their views are the mainstream.
But often, they let their true beliefs show through. And it’s increasingly clear that their opinions are incredibly far outside of the mainstream, and that they wish to project their “my way is the best and only way” POV on everyone. Some quotes from the comments about contraception:
Sounds like it wouldn’t be as good as the real thing, but still a nice way to pass the time with your wife while you’re waiting for her body to recover from giving birth to the last child.
Birth is the most natural thing a woman can do. It’s not a medical emergency. Stop pathologizing it. Her body will be fine, and there is still no excuse to contracept.
Yes. Her body will be fine! Even if she’s just given birth and doesn’t want to get pregnant immediately, her body will be fine. Even if she had a difficult birth and her doctor has told her that another pregnancy could cause her serious injury or even kill her, her body will be fine.
I was thinking about it because it seems to me that every day we are moving closer to “Brave New World” — all contracepted sex and no love.
Today, some people say, “What’s wrong with substitutes for passion?” — like the cybersex setups to which Rhys links above. Likewise, people don’t see anything odd about willfully turning oneself into a sterile fembot in order to achieve said pseudo-passion.
You heard it here first: Use contraception, lose the love! This must be particularly bad news to the 95% of American women who will use contraception at some point during their reproductive lives. Wouldn’t you know it? The vast majority of women are in loveless relationships. Thanks, Dawn Patrol, for letting me know that I’ve never been loved!
Wait, what is that you say? That most women will use contraception at some point, and not use contraception at another point? So the same marriage, with the same two people, with the same sex life could go from “not-loving” to “loving” all with (or without) one little pill? Amazing!
Vasectomy brings in a different kind of barrier, Ledasmom — a barrier of refusal to accept the possibility of life. One doesn’t love a man completely if one hotly desires to damage his properly functioning body by making him sterile.
That’s right: She’s damaging his body if he chooses to have a vasectomy. Ignore the fact that perhaps he doesn’t want to damage her body by putting her through childbirth, or that maybe he just doesn’t want any kids. Reproduction is of paramount importance, regardless of the wishes and desires of the people doing the reproducing. Case in point:
If you can’t yet afford to have kids, why are you getting married?
Also, it’s perfectly obvious that the amount of love is less in contracepting marriages. Maybe not zero (I should certainly hope not!), but definitely lower. As evidenced by the higher rate of divorce.
Apparently, marriage in an institution for child-bearing only, and confers no other benefits onto the married people. Kind of a dim view, eh?
Oh, and if you use contraception you have less love in your marriage. Not zero, darling, but probably close. Because in really loving relationships, your husband knows that your entire value as a human being is wrapped up in your ability to get pregnant and give birth. In fact, if he really loves you, he’ll write you cards with sweet phrases like, “Happy Anniversary to my favorite walking uterus!” and “Happy Birthday, my little incubator!”
Ledasmom–What is the problem with Natural Family Planning? You don’t need a piece of rubber dividing you or a hormone poisoning you to avoid pregnancy.
Well, with that poisonous hormone — interesting that she thinks the same hormones your body naturally produces during pregnancy are “poisonous” — you can be pretty much guaranteed to avoid pregnancy. You don’t have to plot our your fertile days, take your temperature, and refuse sex on all the days of the month when you could potentially get pregnant. You can be spontaneous. You don’t have to be worried during sex that maybe you miscalculated. You don’t have to plan your sex days in advance. Sex doesn’t have to be a terrifying, nerve-wracking experience. You can even have sex every day if you want to! (An absolutely disgusting, terrifying, porn liberal thought, I know).
Jill, not all choices are right. You can choose to abuse your body in myriad ways, including taking a pill that makes you sterile. That doesn’t make it right.
Apparently I’m abusing my body (although for the record, I’m not taking any pills). As opposed to, say, self-flagellation for so much as thinking about sex, and refusing your body any sexual pleasure at all until you’re in a church-ordained marriage and having sex only to reproduce. Now that is the picture of health.
Of course, as another commenter pointed out, we use “altered” products all the time in our bodies. Most of the food we eat has preservatives added, or had hormones added, or was grown in a way that isn’t completely natural. We further prepare that food in a way that takes away from its “natural” quality. Unless you’re a strict raw foodist, you’re putting altered, life-sustaining material into your body every single day. Sinner.
If you want to argue on those terms, I’m older than you, Jill, and I’ve tried quite a few modes of life. I don’t claim that my current one is objectively the “best” — it’s a life of striving towards a higher goal, without having perfectly attained that goal — but I wouldn’t take my former life back if you paid me.
I do love the “I’m older than you, so I know!” argument. Especially since I know a lot of people older than you who use or have used contraception and love it. Oh, and I wouldn’t take any of your lives if you paid me, either. I’m sure you wouldn’t take mine. That’s the beauty of being able to make our own choices for our own lives. It’s why you don’t want me projecting mine onto yours, and I sure as hell don’t want yours projected onto mine.
Oh no, “risk” pregnancy–I can’t! But my careeeer! My figure!!
How about, my liver, my kidneys, my uterus, my income, my apartment, my job, my education, my enjoyment of sex? How about my entire life, and the life of that yet-to-exist child that I don’t want and can’t take care of? How about, the reasons that any woman wants to prevent pregnancy are her own, so mind your own damn business?
Do I really have a moral duty to bring every egg to term? I don’t think so.
Non-contracepting couples love all of each other. Contracepting couples say to each other, “I love this part of you (your body) but not this part (your reproductive capability and life-giving purpose).”
Riiiight… or could we say that non-contracepting couples say to each other, “I only view you as a baby-maker, and not someone who has an individual right to sexual pleasure.”
We could also point out that couples who use Natural Family Planning (NFP) don’t have sex on potentially fertile days. So aren’t they also saying, “I love your body but not your reproductive capability”? Aren’t they saying that even more strongly, since they’re literally booking dates for sex specifically based on when the women is least likely to get pregnant?
The issue of using NFP to avoid children for life, where one lives in mortal fear of getting pregnant, is a big ethical dilemma for many, because that does involve withholding fertility. But I don’t think that NFP by definition consists of withholding fertility. It in no way alters the body’s natural processes. When an NFP couple has sex, they really have sex.
As opposed to the “contracepting” couples who have fake sex. Which is awesome — “No, honey, of course I didn’t have sex with him! Not real sex, anyway!”
It must be wonderful knowing that one’s husband loves her as more than just a blow-up doll. What is possibly romantic about a man who slaps a slab of latex on his intimate parts just to use you for 15 minutes with no possibility of life resulting?
As opposed to a man who says, “Lay still and think of England, baby” and then uses you for 15 minutes with the express intention of impregnating you. Now that’s love!
Point is, there are lots of different ways of seeing this. Do all “contracepting” people have a single mentality? Of course not. Neither do all “non-contracepting” people. Couples who use contraception aren’t “using each other as blow-up dolls” any more than couples who don’t use contraception are using each other as breeding animals. Indeed, the vast majority of the time “contraceptors” and “non-contraceptors” are the same people. Most married couples will have periods when they use contraception and periods when they don’t. So this division between contracepting and non is a completely false one.
But this clearly illustrates the anti-choice mentality: Sex isn’t about pleasure, and it’s especially not about female pleasure. It’s strictly about baby-making, and if you don’t want to make a baby then your sexual experiences should be filled with terror. Moreover, it’s about judgmentalism: In their view, there is only one way to live your life as a sexual human being, and that way is best for everyone, regardless of their circumstances, beliefs, desires and needs. Anyone who departs from that singular ideal is a slut, or is being “used,” or doesn’t know how to experience love, or is somehow otherwise flawed. Now this is problematic in and of itself, but it goes further — these are the kinds of individual ideas that are being made into policy. It’s one thing to think that your way should be the only way (and let’s be clear, this isn’t about them thinking that their way is the best way for themselves; they genuinely believe that it is the only way that anyone should behave, and that every single person should conform to it), but it’s another thing entirely to have the government funding programs which dictate that this frighteningly narrow view of sexuality be imposed on everyone.
And that’s what they’re trying to do. They’ve been partially successful with things like abstinence-only education and various anti-abortion laws. But let’s not kid ourselves: This isn’t about saving babies or postponing teenage sex. It’s about imposing an anti-sex, anti-pleasure mentality on all of us. It doesn’t end at abortion: If they win that fight, they’ll be coming after your contraceptives next, because it’s truly all about fitting every individual into their highly limited, extraordinarily bitter worldview. Reproductive rights are about your basic freedoms to do with your reproductive organs what you see fit — to have a child or not, to experience sexual pleasure, to give sexual pleasure. Anti-choice is not “anti-abortion.” It’s a full-frontal attack on nearly all American women by a handful of zealots. Instead of being satisfied with the pro-choice view, which would allow them to carry out their sexual beliefs however they saw fit in their own lives and wouldn’t force a single thing onto them, they want to make you live your life according to their standards. And they’re perfectly happy to try and legislate that in any way they possibly can.
So these comments, at first glance, are so ridiculous that they’re funny. I know I laughed, because they seemed like a farce. And then I laughed again, but in a much more evil way, because I imagined what their sex lives (or non-sex lives) must be like and I felt somewhat vindicated (but that’s just because I’m a huge bitch). But unfortunately, people with this kind of staggeringly regressive mentality have quite a bit of political power right now. And they aren’t afraid to use it, with El Salvador as an inspiration.
- Anti-Choicers Defeat Birth Control Bill in South Dakota by Jill February 11, 2008
- The Good Body by Jill October 26, 2006
- A Christian man considers contraception by Jill February 18, 2007
- Utah bill would criminalize miscarriage by Jill February 23, 2010
- BOO! It’s a Baby! by frau sally benz December 3, 2009