Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

BIRTH CONTROL: It’s 21st century, not 1950s

Letter by Alex Markey, Tacoma on March 6, 2012 at 10:02 am | 11 Comments »
March 6, 2012 10:44 am

Behind the recent controversy over whether or not insurance plans must cover birth control, there seems to be a new debate about how women’s sexuality should be expressed in our society.

I can understand the conservative argument that the government should not force any private company to carry a product they disagree with morally. I don’t agree with it, but I understand it. However, when public and private figures, including commentators on this site, say things like, “Well if we’re going to fund your birth control, you should have to post online sex videos of yourself” (Rush Limbaugh), or “Here’s a way to control your fertility: Keep your pants on!” (commenter on a recent News Tribune op-ed), it becomes clear that the furor isn’t over birth control so much, but over whether women’s open sexuality is acceptable in our culture.

I find it morally reprehensible that so much abuse should be heaped on women for expressing the sexual aspect of their characters. Considering that philandering men are often seen as “studs” and role model, it is deeply hypocritical to shame women for being themselves.

It is also hypocritical that there is no moral outcry over insurance coverage of Viagra, when erectile dysfunction pills have no medical function other than sexual pleasure, while birth control is used for a variety of medical uses besides preventing pregnancy.

This is the 21st century, not the 1950s. Let’s debate policy without disgraceful “slut-shaming.”

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