We Asked One Woman (Me) Why Birth Control Is Great And Here Was Her Answer

24 Jul

So today Buzzfeed published a post with the title “We Asked 24 Women Why They Don’t Use Birth Control And These Are Their Answers.” And like, first off, where do they find these women? Are they living under a rock in Arizona where they don’t actually know what Buzzfeed is and don’t understand that their images will be fodder for a million internet feminists/misogynists/what-have-you looking for easy prey? Or are they so secure in their beliefs that they actually just don’t give a fuck? Are they hoping they’ll convince other women to join their YAY BABIES BOO BIRTH CONTROL tribe? I mean, I sincerely hope it’s the latter, but I don’t know. Some days I just don’t know.

Also why are so many of them standing in front of the same white brick wall? Did Buzzfeed recruit them off the street and then take them to the same weird alleyway to photograph them? Do they all work for Buzzfeed? IS THIS A CONSPIRACY? Someone should look into this and get back to me stat. Meanwhile, on with the feminist rants.

So, first up, I’m assuming that what many of them mean by “birth control” is “hormonal birth control,” based on responses like this:

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So, real talk: I actually do have a sincere amount of empathy for these women. Hormonal birth control is not for everyone. I know plenty of women whose bodies just can’t handle artificial hormones, and the range of their reactions to the birth control pill and/or hormonal IUDs and/or shots or patches have ranged from migraines to decreased sex drive to severe mood swings to recurrent panic attacks. NONE OF THOSE THINGS ARE COOL, AND WHAT UP IF HORMONAL BIRTH CONTROL IS MAKING YOU FEEL TERRIBLE THEN I FULLY SUPPORT YOU NOT USING IT.

BUT.

BUT.

THERE ARE SO MANY FORMS OF BIRTH CONTROL THAT DO NOT INVOLVE HORMONES.

Like condoms, for one. No, they’re not as effective as hormonal birth control, but they are still PRETTY DAMN EFFECTIVE. If, for whatever reason, the pill et al are not for you, then condoms are an extremely viable alternative. “OH BUT MY DUDE DOESN’T LIKE TO GET IT ON UNLESS HE’S BAREBACK.” That’s cool! I mean, I mostly think it’s kind of a dick move (pun SO intended) for a dude to pull because it puts the onus for contraception almost entirely on the woman, but I get that this is a genuine issue for some couples. The good news is that you still have options – for example, a copper IUD, which is super effective and is totally non-hormonal. Or the sponge, which contains spermicide but no hormones. Or a cervical cap or diaphragm, the latter of which should be used in conjunction with spermicide but the former of which can be used totally chemical-free!

OR (and I know I’m about to get a lot of shit for this) the dude can just pull out. Like, if he is a trusted partner and you both know that he can pull out in time and you’re both STI-free and blah blah blah, this is actually totally an option. If done properly, the rate of success is pretty high. I say this as a person who used this as my primary form of birth control for like three years, and it’s not like I have fertility issues. I got pregnant literally the first time we didn’t use any form of contraception, so it’s not a case of “well sure he pulled out, but maybe you just wouldn’t have conceived anyway.” You guys, my body is a conception machine.

So, like I said, I feel for these women on some level and I support whatever choice they want to make about their body, but also I think they’re spreading gross misinformation about what “birth control” actually is.

But some of these other women? I am digging real deep in the empathy vault in an effort to not just scream WRONG YOU ARE WRONG WHY ARE YOU SO WRONG PLEASE STOP BEING WRONG but you guys, I am having a pretty tough time. To wit:

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WHAT IS ALL WORTH IT. Risking pregnancy every time you get it on? Having more children than you can afford and living in poverty? Struggling to be able to pursue any dreams or goals beyond “have lots of babies?” Never sleeping again? PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME WHAT IS WORTH IT BECAUSE I DO NOT UNDERSTAND.

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BIRTH CONTROL IS NOT A ZERO-SUM GAME. You can use it sometimes, and then not use it when you want to get pregnant. IT’S NOT LIKE YOU TAKE A PILL AND BAM YOU WILL NEVER EVER HAVE A BABY, WHAT THE FUCK DID THEY TEACH YOU IN HEALTH CLASS.

Oh and I am not even touching the whole “my body is a gift to my future husband” thing with a ten foot pole. Except to relate this anecdote from when my now-husband and I were planning our wedding and the priest wanted us to sleep in separate bedrooms in the months leading up to the wedding. The reasoning he gave was this: “I want you to think of your sex as a gift. Now [turning to my husband] have you ever received a gift that someone else had already opened, then wrapped up and then re-gifted? How would you feel about a gift that’s been re-gifted seven or eight times before you finally receive it?”

He may as well have just pointed to me and yelled “WHOOOOOOOOOOORE!”

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That’s awesome! Devoid of any context, I would fully support the message this woman is holding up. Also, her hair is really fucking swag.

BUT HOW IS TAKING BIRTH CONTROL NOT A MINDFUL DECISION AND A WAY OF ACCEPTING RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS. This actually kind of breaks my brain. Like, the only way of accepting “responsibility” for sex is to get pregnant? THAT IS NOT A SUSTAINABLE MODEL TO WORK WITH.

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I mean, I guess? But like, do you also think that hair growth isn’t a condition that needs to be fixed? Or nudity? Like, you are just never going to alter your body for your own convenience because nature or god or whatever?

I don’t really think of my fertility as a “condition that needs to be fixed” so much as “a reality about my body that I prefer to have control over.” BEING IN CONTROL OF YOUR OWN BODY IS SO AWESOME, YOU GUYS. I DON’T GET HOW ANYONE COULD DISAGREE WITH THAT.

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I guess when you think your husband owns your body, then you also believe that he owns all of your unfertilized eggs. So.

(At first I accidentally typed “unfertilized effs” and actually I’m pretty sure that’s what my body is full of)

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I LITERALLY DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT THIS MEANS.

YES. YOU CAN CHOOSE NOT TO USE BIRTH CONTROL AND STILL BE A FEMINIST.

CONGRATULATIONS.

NOW LET’S ALLOW OTHER WOMEN TO MAKE THEIR OWN CHOICES ABOUT THEIR OWN BODIES.

FEMINISM, Y’ALL

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I know that what she actually means is that she has enough self-control not to be a slutty slut who has hot sex whenever she feels like it. Which is stupid and nonsensical because ALL women have that control should they wish to exercise it – it’s not like those of us getting it on are doing so because we are slaves to our own desires. But I’d rather think that what she’s saying is that she has total control over her own body and can stop eggs from being fertilized or whatever using her intense MIND POWERS.

She also never farts because CONTROL.

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… I actually think that she just said that birth control makes men feel like they can get away with rape.

I just.

I can’t.

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I also fully don’t understand this one. WHAT SYMPTOMS. WHAT PROBLEM.

MY PROBLEM IS THAT MY OVARIES ARE FULL OF EGGS AND MY BODY WANTS TO MAKE BABIES ANY TIME IT SENSES A SPERMAL INTRUDER AND I DON’T WANT ANOTHER KID RIGHT NOW. SO YEAH, CONTRACEPTION ACTUALLY DOES TREAT THE PROBLEM.enhanced-buzz-14348-1406076618-8

Hey man. You do sex your way, I’ll do it mine. If sex was meant ONLY to create life then god wouldn’t have invented the multiple orgasm, just saying. Or gay people, for that matter.

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Real talk: they’re both. Take it from someone who’s been there, done that. Kids are awesome and magical, but they will get all up in your shit and you will never have a moment to yourself. I love my kid and all, but when you’re considering what to get me for my birthday just know that I’d rather not, at this moment, have another creature in this house who will look me full in the face, grinning broadly while doing exactly what I told him not to do, just fucking WAITING to see my reaction. One of those gifts is enough for now.

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Arguably cooler, but also a bajillion times harder to rear and exponentially more expensive.

Call me next time your pet gerbil has a meltdown in the candy aisle because you won’t buy him the chocolate he wants and oh my god you need to get your grocery shopping done but everyone is staring at you and whispering and you know you should just leave but then you won’t be able to eat for a week.

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I actually agree that no one is ever really ready for kids. Nothing in this world can prepare you for what it’s like to go weeks without sleep and spend your days being screamed at by a tiny tyrant. By the same token, nothing can prepare you for the super intense love you will feel for your kid. It’s kind of a two-sided coin.

But legit that doesn’t mean that people who don’t want to have kids are wrong or misguided or just don’t understand how wonderful babies are. Some people don’t want to have kids and that’s their choice, end of story. Go read the fucking Handmaid’s Tale or something and then we can talk about what it would be like to live in a world where women have no bodily autonomy.

ANYWAY.

Everyone has a choice and gets to make their own choice and that’s rad. I’m glad that these women have all considered their options and decided what makes the most sense for their bodies. And I guess the argument could be made that they’re not trying to convince other women that they shouldn’t use birth control either – I mean, they’re just saying what works for them, right? But I think that when you photograph yourself holding up a giant white sign explaining why you don’t use contraception, then it definitely seems like you’re trying to change the opinion of women who DO put up the no-baby shield. And that’s a pretty shitty, unfeminist thing to do.

Also I really want to organize a basic sex ed class for all of these women and explain to them how their body works and what contraception ACTUALLY means because I am sincerely sad that a lot of this seems to be a grey area for them. WOMEN EVERYWHERE: YOU SHOULD EDUCATE YOURSELVES ABOUT YOUR RAD BODIES. IT CAN ONLY LEAD TO MORE HAPPINESS.

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67 Responses to “We Asked One Woman (Me) Why Birth Control Is Great And Here Was Her Answer”

  1. mandaray July 24, 2014 at 6:07 pm #

    A lot of these bother me, but “Babies are cooler than pets” is blowing my fucking mind right now, and not in a good way. Not only is that an EXTRAORDINARILY flawed “argument” for not using birth control, but how is that going to make your kids feel when they’re older? “Oh hey there, little one. I had you because I thought babies were cooler than getting a pet cat!” Even if that conversation never happens, it’s still comparing two things which may have some similarities but are, at their heart, RADICALLY FUCKING DIFFERENT. That line of thinking also segues scary-easy into “I had babies because I thought they were cute and I was lonely” territory. (Which, by the way, are both decent reasons to get a pet. NOT a miniature human being.)

  2. Josie Rebello July 24, 2014 at 6:28 pm #

    The femism/womanhood one really offended the fuck out of me. I want to scream at that girl that if your feminism isn’t intersectional, then IT IS NOT FEMINISM. Girls with dicks DO exist, ya know.

    See also: “cramps suck” girl in terms of the transcritical bullshit.

    The natural/organic one was just…what. Copper IUDs exist and oh hey, WHOLE FOODS SELLS CONDOMS GOLLY GEE.

    PCOS girl brought out the Tim Minchin in me and I thought “you know what they call alternative medicine that works? MEDICINE!” but welp. Look honey, I feel for you, but don’t shit all over people who utilize birth control for reasons other than contraception because you no longer do.

    Basically, this whole thing made me really fucking angry at what’s being passed off as “sex ed” nowadays.

  3. linddykal July 24, 2014 at 6:33 pm #

    This is a result of abstinence only education. A friend told me the teacher actually said condoms cause cancer.

  4. Samantha July 24, 2014 at 6:40 pm #

    I know that Buzzfeed probably went with this list because they also asked women why they use birth control, as well. I’m assuming that the woman who said “it fixes the symptoms not the problem” was referring to the medical conditions birth control is prescribed to treat, but hey if it STILL FIXES THE SYMPTOMS WHY NOT. Just because you use it to treat symptoms doesn’t mean you have to stop looking for the solution. I hate that I have to use hormonal birth control to control my stupid cramps, I’d LOVE to use a copper IUD…but still I’d rather not have the debilitating cramps and not have babies. Some of those reasons were really, “Well, bully for you, but if you’re trying to convince people that makes no sense whatsoever.”

    • welliswan July 24, 2014 at 7:40 pm #

      Yes! And in the end, a lot of medicine is about treating the symptoms. Cold medicine doesn’t treat the problem, nor do NSAIDs–they treat symptoms until the problem resolves. A significant amount of the time, the symptoms essentially are the problem. I mean, taking medicine instead of addressing serious health issues is no good, but taking medicine to treat symptoms associated with non-serious health issues or as a preventative measure is dandy, as is taking it to treat symptoms while, as you said, you work on the larger issue.

    • ScrewLooseHoney July 26, 2014 at 7:14 am #

      I think that girl may actually have been trying to say something she thought was profound about sex is bad, blah blah blah. As in, SEX (specifically young, pre-marriage sex or promiscuity, I’d imagine) is the real problem with society here, and birth control only addresses what we treat as the “symptoms” of sex, the parts we don’t like so much — like pregnancy!

      • Samantha July 26, 2014 at 7:18 am #

        I wouldn’t doubt that, either. I’ve just heard the medical thing as a reason too, as symptoms vs. problems.

  5. Brenna July 24, 2014 at 6:41 pm #

    Wowowowow. Some of these turn my stomach inside out, especially the “I don’t use birth control because if I do then guys don’t have to be responsible for their actions” one. Holy crap.
    And babies are awesome, but cats are pretty damn cool, too. I wouldn’t want to carry one in my womb, though. Thankfully you don’t have to, because THEY AREN’T THE SAME THING AT ALL.
    P.S.- I’m from Arizona, and I promise you that these women are not! It’s way too hot to wear any of the things they are wearing here. 🙂

    • Annie July 25, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

      I like to think that the one about guys not being responsible for their actions means this: If I don’t get pregnant, then the guy who spread his legs won’t be punished with a baby! The parallel of women taking responsibility for having sex by getting pregnant, if you will. It’s a horrifying and ludicrous concept, of course, but it’s funny to think of it that way round.

      What she actually meant by it is a complete mystery.

  6. Beth Caplin July 24, 2014 at 6:41 pm #

    Buzzfeed really missed the mark with this one. As someone who is getting married in a few months and is exploring birth control options for the first time, it would have been really nice to see a post featuring educated women giving EDUCATED opinions on why bc doesn’t work for them. This…didn’t help me at all. Bottom line, I need some kind of birth control because my fiance and I are too broke to be parents. And we don’t feel like we’d make good parents right now, period.

    • Val July 24, 2014 at 7:49 pm #

      Hi Beth, I’m one of those women for whom hormonal BC was a disaster… (the Pill gave me migraines culminating in a scary mini-stroke; Norplant made me suicidally depressed). I loved my cervical cap w/caveat that I did suffer a failure using it! (Isn’t that romantic, Valentines Day ’01??!!??)

  7. aqilaqamar July 24, 2014 at 6:43 pm #

    I think these women, some of them need a reality check. I am happy if they are secure in their choices but what gets to me is the amount of exposure that this is targeting to women. Men do not easily say “his body is a gift to his future wife” if a man said that it would be totally cool but unfortunately this shows that women have more pressure to be chaste and are validated by their chastity politics alone. The male body is not as scrutinized as the female body. Men wear condoms or do not. No one critiques them on respectable sexuality and safe sex. In fact porn and erotica celebrates the violent, sexually dysfunctional male who rampages on female bodies like an infant tantrum. It is not cool to police female bodies so easily and go carte blanche and give it to male sexuality.

  8. deweydecimalsbutler July 24, 2014 at 6:55 pm #

    I’d love to post something witty about this, but I can’t. I just can’t.
    All I’ll add is:
    1. My body is a gift to myself, first and foremost.
    2. My husband doesn’t think he owns my body, even after making 2 babies and lots and lots of test runs.
    3. I’m pretty sure most people’s experience with kids was much more enjoyable when it wasn’t from a game of sexual roulette.

  9. aqilaqamar July 24, 2014 at 6:55 pm #

    Reblogged this on Iconography ♠ Incomplete and commented:
    I am not in any spectrum in pro-life or pro-choice but what I understand by some of these messages is sexism. Pure, unadulterated sexism; so impregnated into society that women must refrain and men must indulge this Manicheanistic weirdness is going off scale. I do not completely disagree with these women. I respect their choices but pregnancy is a joint venture and I think that it is cardinal to understand that chastity and birth control politics are hardly focused on men. If a woman gets pregnant she gets it on with a dude in many cases and the dude needs to be responsible. The man needs birth control too for his sperm is part of the birthing fusion but it is so obvious that men are told not to think of pregnancy as a male thing. It is akin to menstruation that is what they are taught mostly. But it is not. Menstruation happens independently out of fertilization thus independent of the sperm birth requires both sperm and ovum. Thus why are chastity politics so focused on women and not men? I am utterly disgusted by the sexism politics regarding pregnancy and the need to censor both female and male sexuality in disparate ways to weave a conditioning in a consumer oriented world. Responsible parenting for both sexes is noble not consumer oriented but propagandist sex is usually related to consumer politics. Promiscuity can be consumer oriented and deeply shattering to both sexes but it feeds a demand to the corporate machine and ugly product machine.

  10. Amber M. Thille July 24, 2014 at 7:01 pm #

    I don’t take the pill or any other kind of semipermanent birth control because I mostly have sex with women… And hormones really fuck with my crazy. But if I meet a guy I can get down with, condoms abound! I have one child. I don’t want or need any more. 🙂

  11. welliswan July 24, 2014 at 7:46 pm #

    Some of these are directly critical of women who use birth control (“children are NOT an inconvenience”), but even the ones that aren’t are critical because they’re predicated on a made up binary, like *I* can be responsible (not like those sluts who take birth control who *can’t* be responsible). I just…ugh. Ugh. You were much nicer about this than I would have been, Anne.

    I GUESS I JUST LACK SELF-CONTROL.

  12. theaccidentalnomad July 24, 2014 at 7:58 pm #

    Wow. Just wow. If you’re saying that “babies are cooler than pets”, then you probably are not ready for a child. A baby isn’t a bearded dragon you just stick in a cage and feed every now and then; seems to me there’s a little more to parenting than that.

    Seriously – comprehensive sex ed for all!

  13. nikkiholicz July 24, 2014 at 8:03 pm #

    Wow. I’m actually at a loss for words on some of these. I feel bad for those terribly misinformed women! To be that ignorant, and not even know it…

    I used birth control for 4 years after my son was born. I felt more empowered than ever because his dad and I could just jump in the sack at any moment and get it on and not worry about popping another kiddo out in 9 months.

    To the woman with the sign about men using women with no consequences…Um, is she not an active participant in her sex life? Sounds like she might need to reconsider the types of men she’s sleeping with. It lies with her and her alone if the men she’s choosing just fuck her and walk out. Or would she rather permanently tie a piece of shit to her by letting herself get pregnant from a one night stand? Maybe…Then she can bitch about what a shitty father he is and get sympathy and child support.

    Just because our bodies have the ability to carry a baby, it doesn’t mean we should go making babies just because. There is nothing wrong with preventing it.

  14. linddykal July 24, 2014 at 8:33 pm #

    These gir

  15. tendernessontheblock July 24, 2014 at 8:34 pm #

    “Spermal intruder” heh heh.

    Nodding along as usual.

  16. eyeontheuniverse July 24, 2014 at 8:56 pm #

    The thing that always gets me about a lot of folks coming from this camp is that they seem completely unaware of the correlation between a strong sex life and strength and contentment in long term relationships. Do they as a point not read research or are they just really selective?

    • Joe August 8, 2014 at 11:45 pm #

      Eve,

      It is entirely possible to have a strong sex life and not use birth control.

      NFP teaches women how to understand their bodies and to decide if the time is right to conceive or not conceive a child — that being said the chances of conception are far from 100% with out using birth control.

      And yes those of us in the natural sex camp do understand the importance of a hot sex life in our marriages.

      Check your statistics out, we have more sex just as much as anyone else!
      http://savannahnow.com/stories/111405/3426814.shtml

      • eyeontheuniverse August 12, 2014 at 4:04 am #

        If and only if you can afford to get pregnant.m Even the pro-camp put’s failure at 4-7%

        http://www.aafp.org/afp/2012/1115/od1.html

        and the CDC puts it at 24%. People who actually use this are either in a very comfortable position of not really needing birth control, or have one party living in fear. Everyone else is using methods that really work.

  17. Britt July 24, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

    I thought the same thing when I saw these young women with their signs… easy prey, indeed. But you took the bait, anyway.

    These are women expressing their personal opinions and choices. As feminists, do we not applaud and support women expressing their personal opinions and choices? Is mocking their life choices “feminist?” It certainly isn’t kind.

    And God help us if our sisters are getting their medical information from fucking Buzzfeed. Let these girls have all of their married gift sex and gazillion babies… it’s their choice.

    • Moonstruck July 24, 2014 at 9:52 pm #

      Okay but then they say things like “it allows men to use women with no consequence” and we’re supposed to cherish that because it’s their opinion? No, I’m pretty sure that shit needs to be called out.

      And I don’t mean to take a rude tone with you, but that particular one really made me angry.

      • Joe August 8, 2014 at 11:15 pm #

        It should make you angry because it is true and you are the one who needs to be called out.

        Birth control is a major contributing factor to the modern day sex trade. Sure you all paint this argument from your selfish cocoon where the issue is all about your fears and insecurities with having children, but look into the eyes of the girls around the world who are trafficked for the sex trade, and know that what you find will not be liberating but dehumanizing.

      • eyeontheuniverse August 12, 2014 at 4:07 am #

        “Birth control is a major contributing factor to the modern day sex trade. ”

        Joe, could you supply some evidence for this? Fewer women in developed countries enter sex trades, and reduction in fertility is one of the top predictors of development. Encouraging women to use the best birth control methods out there has saved millions from exploitation.

    • welliswan July 25, 2014 at 6:07 am #

      Everyone is free to make their own choices and to hold their own opinions, but when those choices and opinions are broadcast on a public platform, and when they reenforce deeply troubling aspects of culture, it’s important to engage critically with that.

      I am a feminist, and I absolutely applaud and support women expressing their personal opinions and choices, but when they are using their voices to inform the public in a harmful way, I neither applaud nor support that. I don’t believe that that’s unfeminist of me.

    • tinyorc July 25, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

      Ah, choice feminism. Where every choice is a feminist one so long as a woman made it, and criticizing a woman for her choices is anti-feminist… somehow.

      First off, no one is mocking these women for their life choices. The original post states that these women are welcome to their choices several times over, and the author herself says that she used the pull-out method rather than use condoms or hormonal birth control. No one is judging these women for not using birth control.

      But these women are, variously:
      – Spreading misinformation about what birth control is and how it works. It’s lovely that you know that Buzzfeed is not a reliable source of medical information, but teenage girls who have never received proper sex education and are desperate for any scrap of information they can find might not be so savvy. Also, myths and misinformation that receive exposure on huge platforms like Buzzfeed tend to start spreading all by themselves without any reference to the source.
      – Judging women who use chose birth control as somehow lacking in self-control. They are spreading the idea that pregnancy inevitable consequence of sex, and that women who want to have sex without getting pregnant are somehow ducking their society-mandated child-bearing responsibilities.
      – Perpetuating the idea that women who use birth control are somehow anti-child or anti-motherhood, rather than, you know, responsible adults who are planning the trajectory of their own lives, including the timing of the children they may or may not want to have.
      – Perpetuating the idea that women’s bodies are objects or “gifts” to be bestowed on men.
      – Blithely ignoring the existence of women for whom a child is not an “inconvenience”, but the difference between survivable poverty and abject poverty. There are women who quite literally can’t afford to get pregnant, and they are also the women who really take the hit when government and corporations decide to restrict access to birth control.
      – Doing all this in a political atmosphere where there is a huge and growing backlash against a woman’s right to take control of her own reproductive health.

      Widespread access to reliable birth control was one of the single most revolutionary developments to the fight for women’s equality. It was a total game changer. So as a feminist and regardless of my own personal reproductive health choices, I’m going to be intensely critical of any woman who chooses to participate in something that contributes to the huge mess of stigma and misinformation surrounding birth control at a time when millions of women around the world are still fighting for their basic reproductive rights.

      • Britt July 25, 2014 at 11:55 pm #

        I suppose my beef is with that urge to be “intensely critical.” These are young women holding up signs saying they (personally) want gift sex and a gazillion babies. Why would anyone take offense just because she’s had the naughtier version without plans for little people? I suspect that anger here is the slim chance that a handful of placard-ed women could undermine the availability of contraception for the rest of us. I don’t think they have that power. Instead, I think Buzzfeed is using these poor girls for likes and retweets, and they are not deserving of such ire.

      • tinyorc July 28, 2014 at 11:25 am #

        Nope, sorry. These “poor girls” are all adults with agency and decision-making power, and when you make a decision to stand up and hold a sign stating your beliefs for a major website, people are going to hold you accountable for those beliefs.

        Also, when you hold up a sign that says you don’t use birth control because you have “self-control”, that’s an implicit judgement of women who do use birth control. That’s not just saying “I personally want this thing”, it’s saying “Women who use birth control are irresponsible”.

      • eyeontheuniverse August 12, 2014 at 4:09 am #

        Agreed. We need to treat grown-ups like grown-ups and ask people to be accountable for their opinions.

  18. storymother July 24, 2014 at 9:41 pm #

    I am amazed that women still think that birth control is something irresponsible women that can’t control themselves use, or that women use it because they can’t be bothered with children. Some of us have children but want to be responsible and stop having children so we can afford to take care of them.
    These signs are so embarrassing and sad.

  19. Jenn Berney July 24, 2014 at 9:46 pm #

    Sheesh. This is like if I held up a sign saying “I don’t take Albuterol for my asthma because it makes me feel jumpy.” Or “I prefer cupcakes without frosting.” Choosing not to use chemical birth control is fine, but it doesn’t come with bragging rights.

    • Rachel Creager Ireland July 26, 2014 at 5:47 am #

      I think this is why these signs are so maddening. There is a subtle implication that these women’s choices are superior to those of women who use birth control (hormonal or otherwise). I can control myself (not like you sluts), I accept the consequences of my actions (not like you, woman who wants sex but no children). I know that babies are cooler than pets (unlike you, woman who lives alone with her cats). I know sex/my body is a gift (while you selfish sluts want to take the pleasure a man offers, without giving him a baby).

  20. unsolicitedtidbits July 24, 2014 at 10:43 pm #

    I love everything about this post.

  21. Victo Dolore July 24, 2014 at 10:47 pm #

    Wow. Just wow. Many of these statements are outright lies. For instance, tell my PCOS patient who died from endometrial cancer that the “natural” path she chose was the right one. Wow.

  22. lovetrustlive July 25, 2014 at 3:38 am #

    This was extremely entertaining. You made me laugh. I am still on the fence about some birth control issues, but some of these claims are just outrageous and nonsensical. A healthy, natural, organic body? Have you ever had a candy bar or a diet coke? Nice post!

  23. smartypants196 July 25, 2014 at 3:59 am #

    you are so right on, your comments after each picture are insightful. The pictures of women trying to convince other women to have children, that they don’t want was so obvious and you called it every time. Women sometimes aren’t good friends to other women, we all know it, we should stop being brainwashed and take our destiny in our own hands. Its not a competition. In a world with seven billion f…ing people who in their right might wouldn’t want us to forgo having so many children. So many times children are born into homes where they weren’t wanted, what a horrible way to have children when they aren’t wanted. What a wonderful world to have children be planned and to be truely wanted.

  24. Aylson Stewart July 25, 2014 at 8:53 am #

    As ever a fantastic blog post. Bravo!

  25. izzy82 July 25, 2014 at 10:36 am #

    Yeah I totally don’t get this Buzzfeed article. Obviously it’s in response to all the pro-birth control support in the wake of Hobby Lobby in the US (I’m stating the obvious here) but why? It’s like someone was like “oh all these women have said why it’s important for them to have ACCESS to have birth control so we should tell them why we don’t use it to begin with because…” And that’s what I’M wondering because WHY?! No one is going to force you to use birth control – access just means you have the option. I just don’t see the logic.
    And two asides – uhhh… I can control myself too – I just don’t want to so …what up?
    Also on the guys not wanting to use condoms – yeah, it’s a jerk move and also highly associated with domestic/dating violence. The power and control piece is often not mentioned so I just wanted to throw it out there.
    Sigh….

    • tinyorc July 25, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

      Yeah, this exactly. The reason loads of women are standing up and explaining why they use birth control is that they are living in a society that is trying to limit their access to birth control. They need to make their cases, loudly and in public, or risk further restrictions. But there’s no reason to stand up and explain to the world why you personally don’t use birth control – no one is forcing you to take it. The only reason to participate in a public declaration of why I don’t take birth control is if you oppose women having access to it in general.

      • izzy82 July 27, 2014 at 5:50 pm #

        Totes!

  26. Anna July 25, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

    The “Cramps & Acne = regular womanhood” one is steeped knee-deep in the anti-woman / masochist )* version of Christianity, daughters of Eve being punished for the apple & all. It would be silly if she weren’t serious.
    )* former if you’re male. Latter if female. Both if you where my gran, bless her soul.

  27. anawnimiss July 25, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

    Okay, so what’s up with these women? Were they paid to hold up these cards? Or is it that they are non English-speaking people?
    In either case, the one holding up the “children are not an inconvenience” definitely doesn’t look convinced!

  28. themindlessmusings July 25, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

    This is a topic of a lot of debate, but I believe that the choice to use or not to use birth control is entirely up to the individual. Not using birth control does not mean that a woman has to have a million babies…one of the pictures showed #nfp which refers to natural family planning, a perfectly safe way to “avoid” having children. There are millions of reasons why people choose to not use birth control and there are millions of reasons why people choose to use birth control. But I think we need to respect both sides because people have their own beliefs. I believe if I use birth control there is a possibility that I will abort an already conceived child. This is a fact. However, I don’t want to badmouth other woman who choose to use birth control because there is so much more to the issue than my own beliefs. More education needs to be reached to understand both sides of the issue.

    • welliswan July 26, 2014 at 6:14 pm #

      I agree that there are plenty of reasons people might not want to use birth control*, and I respect whatever fully informed and uncoerced decision a woman makes on the matter. I do not, however, take kindly to misinformation, shaming, and coercion.

      I use birth control. That is my choice. I do not believe that people who make other choices are inherently bad people, that they are unloving or irresponsible or manipulative. Several of the women pictured don’t seem to understand what birth control is, and several employ false dichotomies to shame women who are making other choices (as in “I don’t use birth control because I have self control [unlike women who use birth control, who lack it]”). That’s problematic.

      In the interest of education on both sides, I encourage you to read more about hormonal birth control. I respect your right to choose not to use it, but it is not true that it causes abortion. There is no evidence that oral contraceptives interfere with implantation or fetal development. The progestin-only pill *can* increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy, if conception occurs; perhaps this is what you meant?

      *Hormonal birth control, specifically. Natural family planning is of course itself a form of birth control, as is any other act undertaken to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

  29. Jessica July 25, 2014 at 11:49 pm #

    Just have to add – pulling it out in time doesn’t work. The penis start to squirt out little troops here and there long before the big army of sperm arrives at the scene.

    Now, why would I control myself from something as natural as sex? I’m just saying, some of these women advocate what’s “natural”, but it’s natural to have sex all through-out your teen and adult life, without marriage. It’s not natural to limit sex the way some dogma and tradition wish to impose.

    • mgpcoe July 27, 2014 at 6:07 am #

      Less reliably effective than a barrier is not the same as completely ineffective. It depends on a LOT of factors, one of which is obviously *when* you pull out. If you’re waiting till absolutely the last possible nick of time, yeah, you’re playing with fire, but if you know your own body’s cues, then you can rock coitus interruptus without any babies. I know, I’ve done it.

  30. definitelynotapoet July 26, 2014 at 3:56 pm #

    Reblogged this on On Faith, Fishing and Feminism and commented:
    Yes. I have been on hormonal birth control for two years and it is one of the best decisions I could have made. I have control of my body and my life, and am not ruled by fear of children, sex, etc. I may write a larger blog later as to how as a Christian I can support using birth control and am pro-life.

  31. Jenni July 27, 2014 at 1:47 am #

    While I agree with a lot the author has to say and I firmly believe every woman has the right to choose what birth control method best suits them (or not use any at all) and that sex education should be a requirement in all schools, I have to disagree with one thing. The author is assuming these woman do not know anything about their bodies. Natural Family Planning actually requires an intimate knowledge of the female body. I think everyone should have to read, “Taking Charge of Your Fertility”. It is basically the NFP bible, that explains exactly how sexual reproduction works and how to know your cycle so you can avoid and succeed at getting pregnant without chemical birth control. I was on the pill for years but started showing signs of pre-menopause in my late twenties so I went off of it. I avoided getting pregnant for years after that, by just knowing my body and when in my cycle required a condom and when didn’t. It also helped me conceive my daughter. However, I would never begrudge someone the pill and I don’t think babies are for everyone. 🙂

  32. hadalzonecafe July 27, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

    May they all have lots of gay babies.

  33. Erin July 27, 2014 at 3:12 pm #

    May I ask why you were being married by a priest? In light of your views here (which I share), I cannot imagine … I just cannot imagine.

  34. nikeyo July 28, 2014 at 4:00 am #

    I have to really question whether any of these woman were not religious….

    Cause I just can’t even either..

  35. rae1992 August 4, 2014 at 1:42 am #

    Another amazing post!

    But–for the record–these crazies are not directly affiliated with BuzzFeed. A random BuzzFeed reader/user created this page in response to the following legit (and extremely feminist) post: http://www.buzzfeed.com/laraparker/we-asked-women-why-they-take-birth-control-and-these-are.

    The 24 women opposed to contraception are implying that their vague, ignorant and offensive reasoning is a valid counterpoint to the original article. Obviously, it is not at all. I just don’t want writers at BuzzFeed to receive the blame for one reader’s agenda.

  36. Margaret August 8, 2014 at 10:42 pm #

    I find it interesting how you chose not to use the picture of the woman holding the sign stating she had PCOS. Lets not pretend that birth control doesn’t make it easier for men to use women.

  37. tentoesfabulous August 9, 2014 at 4:42 am #

    I love your wit. I also love my copper IUD!

  38. Patsy Gardiner August 14, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

    I don’t normally make a comment on the blogs I read, but you, young woman, are so authentic and true, and I am so impressed with your insights. I’m a 65 year old retired legal secretary (I live in Colorado USA) and have battled not only sexism, but depression, also. I have researched and read psych books, feminist books, women’s history, etc. until my eyes fall out, and after 5 years of reading, studying and realizing so many things about myself, as a woman, as an introvert and highly sensitive person, I truly thought that all the younger women (my daughter, daughters-in-law and others your age) were going to put the woman’s movement back 100 years. But coming across your blog has been so inspiring to me. I ache for your sadness in your situation, but I strongly disagree that any of this is “mental illness”! I too went to psychs, etc., and every single one of them, man or woman, seemed hell bent on NOT understanding me, and it turned out that because of my reading, I actually knew more than they did about my own situation.

    With the understanding that you currently have of yourself, and the patriarchial institutions that women have had to deal with for THOUSANDS of years. You are awesome. It’s such a pleasure to read you. Keep it up. PJ Gardiner

  39. Writer X August 16, 2014 at 10:25 am #

    That post on Buzzfeed just hurt my brain. Hormonal birth control is not the only birth control and to be frank it isn’t a ‘once you take this pill you are infertile for life’ type thing.

  40. jeffismyname August 24, 2014 at 4:54 am #

    When I see a Van Gogh, I don’t see an image of beauty. I see a world at a loss. Sure he paints wonderfully. But it is only a testament to the loss of purpose unfulfilled in the world. Look around our world- at the decrepit ruin born out of stupidity. And we celebrate it by making birth control an issue. It has always been our loss.

  41. sellmaeth November 22, 2014 at 7:15 pm #

    You have to understand those women – for many of them, sex probably is really about a man using their bodies to pleasure himself.
    That is SO not worth the risk of pregnancy and STDs, and as that kind of man won’t use condoms, refusing to take the pill is a method to regain agency for those women – at least, that way, men will be forced to use a condom or accept a tiny bit of the responsibility for potential children.

    I think that’s what the woman who is all about “contraception only treats the symptoms” means: The pill does not stop coercive rape, it just prevents the consequences that would affect the rapist, i.e. child support.

    All “natural” methods of contraception, like “pulling out”, or just having sex of the non-babymaking kind, require that your male partner is not a rapist. (Even condoms require a minimum of male cooperation.) Purity culture is not very concerned with consent, it is assumed that a woman who goes into a bedroom with a man has to accept that he will stick his dick into her. In that environment, women can either use contraception that has potential to harm their bodies in some way (pill, spiral, all that), or just not have any sexual contact with men at all.

    (Regarding their thoughts and motivations, this is all just my theory, because it is the only way this whole thing makes any sense, but I think it is a pretty good theory)

  42. Tina February 3, 2016 at 4:50 pm #

    I guess you could also ask if this article is a controversy to silence these women. They have every right to argue their point on a site self-styled as being a place ‘for everyone’ to write whatever they want, so I don’t see the controversy in the original article. In the same breath, you have every right to make your argument so I hope everyone notices my first statement was facetious. Conclusion: Arguments require both sides to respectfully argue their points so that those listening can make informed decisions. Thanks for the token kudos disclaimer, but all caps paragraphs and suggesting that the opponent is so dumb they live under a rock aren’t really appealing to a reader.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Let women decide when or if to have children. 7 billion people in the world. | My Blog - July 25, 2014

    […] https://bellejar.ca/2014/07/24/we-asked-one-woman-me-why-birth-control-is-great-and-here-was-her-answ… […]

  2. Worth Reading — 8/13/14 | A Touch of Cass - August 13, 2014

    […] Belle Jar: We Asked One Woman (Me) Why Birth Control is Great and Here Was Her Answer (this is pretty hilarious…and pretty dead […]

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