Tag Archives: Birth Control

Letting the terrorists win

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted. Frankly, I’m overwhelmed.

Every day, every paper, every broadcast, every news site, brings a new and upsetting wrinkle to the “debate” over women’s health and reproductive rights. And yes, that’s “debate” in scare quotes: this isn’t a debate, it’s a temper tantrum. It’s is the farthest thing from a reasoned push-pull of wits that I’ve seen since I worked at a preschool. The lies are getting bigger, the screams louder, the talkers themselves more brazen and unapologetic. The extreme fringe–people who would hesitate to condemn outright acts of violence against women and those who care for them–are the ones driving the discussion. The fate of women across the country is being used as a distraction, a sop thrown to the wingnuts.

I am not a sop to be thrown. And I’m so, so tired of this.

My jaw is sore from gritting my teeth. I find myself wanting to curl my knees to my chest, protectively over my uterus, and just go blank. I’m sick of screaming to myself, the same disconsolate wordless wail. It would be so much easier to stop thinking about all of this, to convince myself quietly that the good guys will win in the end, to retreat back into my daily business and not let all of this mishagas get to me so damn much.

But I’m afraid that if I do that, the terrorists will win.

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Digression: an open letter to Rush Limbaugh

Dear Mr. Limbaugh,

You don’t know it, but you helped me today. I was at the gym–I hate the gym, Mr. Limbaugh–and I started surfing the channels on the dinky gym TV for a distraction. I landed on CNN, and watched Anderson Cooper replay the footage of you saying those words–the ones that have landed you in such trouble. And suddenly I had so much fast-moving rage coursing through my limbs that my workout was a breeze.

You said this about Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke’s decision to testify before Congress about the need for affordable birth control:

“What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex…If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it, and I’ll tell you what it is. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”

Mr. Limbaugh, I have PCOS–the disease that helped land Sandra Fluke in your cross-hairs. During her testimony, she told the story of a friend who lost an ovary, and possibly her chance at having children, to PCOS. I have never had that experience, Mr. Limbaugh, and I am thankful every day that I have so far avoided it–because I have unfettered access to hormonal contraceptives.

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