Friday, November 21, 2008

Enforced Birth Control

I was having a conversation with a group of female friends the other day. They were each bemoaning the effects of birth control on their bodies, which always seem to wreak havoc by altering a woman's hormones and changing the way her body works.

Me: I never understood why birth control is always about finding ways to enable vaginal intercourse. There are so many other ways to have sex, so why can't we just do those?
Friend: For the same reason that you wouldn't neuter your dog.
Me: *blank stare*

During the course of this conversation, I apparently forgot that, in our society, male penetration of the female genitalia is deemed an irrevocable, inalienable right (even if the woman doesn't want to). Obviously, random dudes need to have continual access to our bodies in order for society to go on.

Isn't it interesting that the only way we approach the topic of birth control conceptually is to enable the act of penetration without fertilization? There are so many sexual acts that can be performed that don't result in pregnancy, including oral sex, manual stimulation, anal intercourse, and so on. The majority of women (70%) don't orgasm from vaginal penetration alone anyway, so what's the big deal?

Hormonal birth control methods such as pills, shots, and IUDs are not exactly unhealthy, but the following side effects are considered "common" for women undergoing them:
  • Nausea and vomiting (particularly for the first few cycles)
  • Dizziness
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Vaginal infections
  • High blood pressure
  • Loss of libido
Wow. So anyways, I don't believe that there is anything wrong with hormonal birth control, but I think it's important to examine why we consider it to be the obvious solution to a problem with so many other side effect-free options.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading this blog entry of yours. I use birth control because I really like having sexual intercourse, rather than receiving oral sex or doing anal. To me, it's just a way for a girl to have fun without having to deal with pregnancy when we're not ready for a baby yet.