I am a slut and a prostitute.
Or that’s what Rush Limbaugh would have you believe. Because when he labels one female Georgetown Law student that way for using birth control, he’s not just using those words towards her. He is using those words towards all of us.
I am terrified of living in a country where using that sort of language directed at women who choose to family plan is labeled as “inappropriate” and “absurd.”
What it really is: abhorrent, obscene, repugnant, dangerous.
So it’s time. For us as women to take control of this dialogue and tell our stories.
Because as a dear friend told me, Silence Hurts All Women.
Because I have nothing to hide and I think that we need to very publicly start discussing what the ability to use birth control (or not use birth control if that’s what strikes our fancy) means for us as women.
Because at the end of the day, this discussion is about us and what we choose to put or not put in our bodies. It is not about one man telling us to put aspirin between our knees.
It’s about us.
It’s about the ordinary women who go to work. Who stay home with their families. Who are married. Who are divorced. Who are young. Who are old. It’s about our mothers, sisters, friends and yes, even that girl that you hated throughout the entirety of high school.
It’s about all of us.
So I’ll go first.
I have been taking birth control pills since the age of 16. Which means that in the past eight years, I have taken approximately 2,922 pills.
That’s actually a pretty big number when you think about it. It’s hard for me to think of putting 2,922 of anything into my body. So there’s some context for you, I guess.
I have only had sex with one person. I was going to say “slept” with. But it’s really not about sleeping with anyone. I’ve physically slept in the same room and/or bed as a number of people in a non-sexual way. So for the sake of this, we’re not going to call it that.
We choose to family plan because right now, we are in the truest sense of the word Not Ready. Do I think that I could be a wonderful, doting mother? Absolutely. Do I think that my husband will be a caring, adoring father? I always have.
But that’s not even on our radar.
I have taken the Morning After Pill. Because the condom broke and I had missed a few pills that month.
In terms of Life Events, it ranks amongst the most boring and anticlimactic. This might appall some of you, but really. It was.
As a society, we have determined that it is easier for a woman to bear the majority of the responsibility for preventing unplanned pregnancies. It’s less work, less hassle, and less permanent than giving every man a vasectomy. Or more simply, expecting people to have the self-control to Keep It In Their Pants.
I am fine with that.
I am happy to set an alarm on my phone that reminds me to take a pill that not only benefits me but my husband as well. I’m fine with some women deciding that they would rather not use birth control.
Because that’s what’s so exciting about all of this.
What I choose to do with my body, has nothing to do with what someone else chooses to do with theirs. There is no direct relationship. I’m just as excited for the sister that has an IUD as I am for Michelle Duggar. Because we get to choose.
What I’m not fine with is forcing women to bear the burden of responsibility for a couple’s choice to use (or not use) contraception and then demonizing us for it.
This situation and dialogue are absolutely ridiculous and as much as I’ve been hoping that it would just disappear, it absolutely is not.
And so that’s why I write today.
Because birth control is something that I choose to use. It has been a routine part of my daily activity for the past eight years.
Because I am one ordinary woman who lives in the suburbs who is not ready to start a family.
If you want to respond to this in the comments, go wild. But what I’d really like you to do is consider this an open invitation. To break the silence on your blog and show your face as an ordinary woman who uses birth control. Pay it forward and invite your readers and blog friends to write as well. And if you do (decide to write, that is), please leave me a comment with the link to your post.