Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Creepy Waiters

JD and I go out to dinner a lot because we are Busy Young Professionals with No Kids and, at the end of the day, no energy to do things like grocery shop or clean the kitchen either.  Tonight we went out and had the weirdest waiter I've ever encountered-- a guy that, at a family-friendly, not upscale in appearance but upper middle scale in price restaurant, semi sexually harassed us and made some jokes that rely on the existence of rape culture and coercive sex attitudes for their impact.

Basically, I decided I wanted a drink with dinner.  I was looking at the menus, he recommended one, I said sounds good bc of the coconut, and he said "And it has a TON of booze, which I know you'll like" winking at JD.  Through the course of the meal he made a couple more jokes about how if I order a second, JD can have me good and drunk, and some other comments about how much attention I was or wasn't paying JD.

We were both a little weirded out and annoyed by it.  Plus, I'm currently tipsy off of one of those drinks.  So while I know that there is a lot more to write out to explain why that sort of interaction from a stranger was inappropriate, I'm just not gonna tonight.  Let your thoughts, and your google, be your guide.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

It's the little things.

I never realized before I had a busy job how much I enjoy and come to rely on the small pleasures in life.  Two of my favorite blogs are down right now, and even though my main plan for the evening is to power through as much as I can of the second to last Wheel of Time book, I'm feeling very "but nooooooooo".

And this is AFTER actually having a social life and seeing a friend tonight.

Monday, December 31, 2012

My Resolutions for 2013

I might be being overambitious.  We'll see.

1.  Get back in touch with the people I love.  Facebook is not enough, and I am terrible at being a friend.

2.  Read all of Les Miz, including the Battle of Waterloo.

3.  Focus my reading on books I already own, instead of constantly getting things out from the library.

4.  Plan my work outfits over the weekend!

5.  Put laundry away as soon as its dry.

6.  Keep a neat and organized closet.

7.  Plan menus over the weekend.

8.  Be conscious of my spending.

9.  Write daily.  Whether it's journaling or blogging, just write.  I spend most of my day talking to people and doing paperwork, so when I get home, writing is among the last things I want to do.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Santa is bad for society

Now that Christmas is over for most people (except for my Ruskie and orthodox friends and people who know about epiphany), its time for an unpopular opinion.

From my perhaps overly cynical point of view, Santa teaches kids two things:
1. Material possessions are what really matters in life, and
2. Some kids deserve better things than others.

The first point is pretty obvious-- as a culture, we tend to frame Christmas as a secular holiday about getting stuff.  Not even about giving stuff, but about getting stuff.  And even the hard core super Christians tend to shape their holiday around the stuff aspect.  Especially for kids, what you get is the most important part of Christmas-- they compare their gifts with their friends in great detail-- and that ties directly to the first point.

Because up to a certain age, kids believe in Santa.  They believe there is this magical man who evaluates how naughty and nice kids are, and who gives kids presents based on their niceness, which, since abstract concepts, even easy ones, tend to be difficult for very younguns, is often equated with worth.

So you get a classroom, and a bunch of kids who don't  really understand class differences start comparing presents and some major disparities are going to show up.  Santa brings one kid a bike, an iPad, the newest games, and some cool clothes.  Santa brings another kid some less cool clothes and some candy.  They both asked Santa for a bike and an iPad, so why did Santa bring them less things?  They don't  know that Santa is really mom and dad, so they go home feeling sad, and like they must secretly be "bad" kids after all.  That sucks.

The anticipation of Santa is great, and the joy kids get opening presents is great, but I know people who felt bad because Santa didn't deliver like he did for other kids.  And sure, there's probably an element of greed there, but the question of character, and worth lingers with kids too, and on the societal level, its pretty messed up.

I don't know whether we're going to tell our hypothetical future kids about Santa.  Based on our careers, we won't have to worry about our kids being in the sad group for financial reasons, and it kind of sucks for kids to get left out of the whole thing.  But I still really have come to dislike the whole Santa concept.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Job Satisfaction

Today has been one of those days when, overall, I feel a lot of job satisfaction.  The weird part is that I haven't really done much today-- but just thinking about the fact that I got some people out of jail today, I got to watch some Drug Court graduation speeches this week, and I argued motions and did a not too terrible job on them, for a case that was dismissed shortly after our motions arguments (though not as a result of motions arguments-- rather as a result of something that didn't happen during them, in a different place).  I have good coworkers who I both like and respect, and I'm busy, but not so busy that it leaves me empty when I get home.  After lunch, I have Drug Court again, where I should get to see some more speeches, and plea in a new participant-- keeping her out of prison and helping her to learn how to handle her addiction instead.  I know defense attorneys are among the most reviled people in the US, but I think we all do a lot of good.

Monday, November 26, 2012

because the media won't shut up about this

I find all the hysterical marriage-fear articles/books/posts telling women we will never be able to find good men unless we turn into Stepford Wives hilarious, because I am so far from their ideals, and yet I got married to a wonderful man, when my original life goals didn't even include marriage as young as it happened.

Eat it, MRAs and conservatives.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Nancy Keenan For The Win

You all, women's rights matter so much to me, especially reproductive rights, and damn does it feel AMAZING to see the address that Nancy Keenan, the president of NARAL, just gave.

The party reaffirmed its commitment to women with that.  It may be just politicking to invite her to speak, but  it matters.  

I can't believe we are still fighting about women's bodily autonomy.  I'm 27.  I did a paper in highschool on RU-486 and the history of birth control and abortion in the US and their legality (Yeah, in 10th grade, I didn't really know what a feminist was, but I clearly already was one, since we got to pick our own topics for our little historical analysis of a specific political issue).  At that time, even in my deeply evangelical, fairly fundie Christian community and school (public school, but still more overtly religious than many of the private religious schools my friends attended) the legality of abortion was accepted and people tended to be pro-choice even if they were morally opposed to it.

And now, it's a real issue in the Presidential election.  

So thank God for people speaking out in favor of reproductive justice.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Thank you, Mom, for being pro-choice.

Mothers Day was last week, and even though I'm states away from my mom, I was thinking about her and missing her, and I was also thinking some about her views and the way she raised me, thanks to some posts I saw online that said things like "Thank your mother for being pro-life" and "You're here because your mom was pro-life".  Because... my mom isn't, and wasn't, pro-life.  She's pro-choice.  I'm glad she's pro-choice for a number of reasons.  For one, it means I know I was wanted.  It's reassuring.  If your mom is pro-choice then you know that she actually had the option to abort you, and she chose not to, whereas if your mom is anti-choice, then you never really get to know if you were wanted, a horrible devastating mistake, or something somewhere in the middle.  Even though we didn't talk about abortion at all until I went off to college (and then it was for the World's Shortest Sex-ed conversation of "If you get pregnant, you will get an abortion so fast your head will spin" which was mildly ironic since I was as pure as fresh-fallen snow at that point, and self-righteous enough to annoy the hell of out myself in retrospect), my mom's politics did affect parts of her upbringing.  I learned that children are awesome and that my mom was SUPER happy that she had my brother and I, but I also learned that it was important and good that she got to control when she had kids and how many kids she had.  My parents were married for 11 years or so before they had my brother, and when they got married my mom had no desire of ever having kids.  Because she always sent the message that the way to have kids is to plan them, I don't have any stress or internal pressure about the fact that I'm not ready for kids yet.  I'm controlling my reproduction, and when JD and I someday have kids, it will be because we're ready, not because we got surprised.

I'm also glad that my mom is pro-choice because she was a good example of the fact that a woman's value is in more than her baby-making abilities.  My mom not only taught me that children were a choice rather than a default stage of life, she taught me that who you are matters, and that women can work like men do.  My mom worked until my senior year of highschool, and when she quit working it was retirement.  When she first started teaching, she wasn't allowed to wear slacks to work and a pregnancy could mean being fired.  By the time she ended, maternity leave and protections against discrimination towards pregnant women were already in place across many industries.

I don't want to parent exactly like my mom did.  She did a great job, but I'm not her, and some of her style wouldn't work with me.  Plus, we all swear that there are some things we won't do like our parents and certain things that are almost necessary to change because of the ways society changes (when I have kids, they'll probably get communication chips implanted in their heads at age ten or something equally sci-fi silly; I didn't get a cell phone until I went off to college).  But I am thankful for my mom, and I am thankful for her example.

So thank you, Mom, for being pro-choice.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What it's actually like to experience a trans-vaginal ultrasound

There are all these ridiculous new movements, and in some cases actual laws, to force women to get a transvaginal ultrasound before an abortion, even when it's not medically required.  Some people have responded to it by saying that if women don't want to see the images, they can close their eyes, and others have said that if women don't want an ultrasound wand in their vagina, they shouldn't have put anything else (PENIS!) in their vagina.  These responses seem to be missing the point that, in situations where it isn't medically required, it basically exists to function as an additional uncomfortable, unpleasant punishment.  Equating the wand to a penis is especially odd, since dicks and hard plastic ultrasound wants don't actually have a lot in common.

But the main idea seems to be that women who have sex shouldn't mind having something else shoved up their vag.  I'm actually surprised I haven't seen it compared to a dildo yet, since they have similar general shapes, but that comparison would fail too, especially since the vast majority of women who use masturbation aids use external vibrators, rather than internal vibrators or dildos (their are actually statistics on this out there if someone wants to go hunt them up, but I'm not exactly in the mood to wade through the kind of search results that query would get).

The main thing is, though, that a transvaginal ultrasound is fundamentally different from sex.  During sex, if a "normally" functioning woman is interested, her vagina actually lengthens, lubes up some, and widens.  Penises are rigid, but also bendy.  Time and angles can be navigated to provide pleasure, or diminish discomfort.  In a transvaginal ultrasound, you're probably not aroused, so the vag is going to stay its typical, unwelcoming size.  The wand is going to be hard plastic with no bend and no give.  And rather than working for comfortable, pleasing angles, the thing gets purposefully moved around and held in positions that, well, can hurt an awful lot and be just plain uncomfortable when they don't hurt.

This isn't speculation.  I had to have a transvaginal ultrasound a couple of years back as part of a diagnostic procedure, because it really can see what's all up in your abdominal cavity business.  And it hurt and was unpleasant, and was basically way awful.  It helped that the technician was super kind and tried to be gentle, but still.  To get some of the pictures she was needed, it involved a lot of super unpleasant maneuvering and felt even more vulnerable than a regular gyno visit.  It wasn't the worse pain I've ever felt, and I wouldn't rank it up as one of the worst parts of my life, but if someone told me that I had to have one when it wasn't even medically necessary, to try and make me reconsider my previously made health decisions, when it wouldn't truly add any new information to my decision-- God, I'd be furious.  It is not a pleasant procedure, and it is not some little inconsequential thing.  It is painful and unpleasant and when it isn't medically necessary it's useless.  I can't see how requiring women to have a transvaginal ultrasound before an abortion is anything other than a punishment, meant to discomfort, shame, humiliate, and possibly hurt women.  She already knows what's in there. That's why she's getting the abortion.  What purpose does showing her a grainy image, indistinguishable from a stock image actually serve?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Reddit and misogyny

The was originally posted back in 2010, but I missed it when i was restoring posts to the blog.  Since it was one of the more popular posts, I'm letting it go up to the front, now, rather than posting it as its original date.  In that time, I've come to intensely dislike what Jezebel has become and have stopped using Reddit, but I'm still frustrated by people on the internet on a regular basis.

I spend a lot of time on the internet. More time than I should, really. And I visit a pretty wide range of sites-- feminism, sci-fi, cooking, design, fashion, and health are some of the categories I hit up the most. But one of the things I really love are sites where I can see a lot of user participation, where people talk back and forth in comments in a productive way and have conversations, rather than just posting a one-liner and leaving. It's one of the things I've found really awesome about Jezebel, and it's one of the things that's been getting me more and more into Reddit.

Except... the more time I spend in the comments on Reddit, the less I like what I see. There is a lot of reasonable, mature conversation. But there's also a ton of sexism and misogyny. Some of it is blatantly intended, but much more of it is casual-- a joke or an offhand comment that the poster probably thinks shouldn't be offensive because, gee, it doesn't offend him and he doesn't really think all women should go make him a sammich*, or that we're all sluts, that you can't trust some"thing" that bleeds for a week** and doesn't die. And like, we should all just get a sense of humor and get over it.

I'm fairly certain I have a sense of humor, even though I've been accused of not having one before. I'm just also fairly certain that repeating a bunch of misogynistic drivel is not actually funny.

But the main point is-- there is a lot of misogyny in the Reddit comments. And it begins to be tiring, after awhile. At first, I figured, well, whatever, it's just a few users, I can ignore it. And proportionally, it likely is a minority of the user base-- but it's a vocal minority that creates a fairly hostile environment. Part of it is the sexist, sexual insults that get used on women, but a lot of it just comes from the attitudes of users, showing up in their jokes or even in serious comments. Reddit is mostly known for its aggregator use, but there are also a ton of self posts, which tend to lead to lengthier comments sections-- and those often show the dichotomy between guys who think of women as sluts or cockteases, guys who think they are somehow entitled to sex by pretending to be a girl's friend, guys who feel their girl friends have used them by "stringing them along"-- which, after reading a description, often seems to read like any normal friendship-- except that the girl has either been oblivious to the guy lusting after her, or has turned down his advances in the past.

There're a whole lot of Nice Guys who aren't nice out there, basically.

So one of the things I've been wondering is how to deal with this. The other is why this happens.

Why it happens is a little easier. Reddit is a mostly male community. It is a mostly nerd/geek community. And it is a mostly young (late high school-college aged) community. Or at least-- those are the ones who are the most vocal. The age means a lot of them just may not get sexism yet, and my not understand why what they're doing is jerky. A lot of them are at the age where everything seems OMG SO IMPORTANT and where emotional wounds seem like they'll last forever. And a lot of them are the sort of awkward dude who doesn't have good luck with girls-- but who also ends up lusting after girls who are not dorky or nerdy or geeky and who won't really be interested in them. These guys want women to be perfect and get pissed when they aren't. That's just youthful stupidity and lack of experience.

But still, it's a problem. Especially since some of the dudes are in my age range, and should know better. So, how do we fix this? Both to get the attitude online more respectful, and to make them really internally realize that women are human and equal too, and yet still given a suckier place in American society than men? And how do we make them realize when they're being inappropriate?

I tend to be one of those annoying people who calls others out for stupid generalizations. I mainly see generalizations about men ore women-- I don't mind as much when people say "most" or "many"-- but I hate when that most becomes something like "Most women are dumb sluts" and I get even more irked when it's an all-- like "all guys want to sleep with their female friends". I sometimes comment that a joke is misogynistic and not funny, if I'm willing to deal with the anonymous online insult I'll get in return. But I don't know if this is actually doing any good, or if it just makes people who see it more resentful of some chick coming in and trying to ruin their fun.

It surprises me, because I see so little actual sexism from the people I spend most of my time with. So movies, tv, advertising-- they don't surprise me any more. But individuals? Even on the internet? I know that a lot of them only say the things they do because of the anonymity, but it still surprises me, and wears at me. And after awhile, makes me wonder just how many people out there really do think I'm less of a person, all because of what's underneath my clothes.

*I have a special hate in my heart again the "sammich" jokes because I endured an ex who seemed to think they were the most hilarious thing ever to say to me. Needless to say, I cook for my fiance-- who does not make stupid, sexist, lazy jokes at me-- a whole lot more than I cooked for the ex that did.
**Also, dudes? For most*** women I know, it's less than a week.
***This is the proper way to use most, since this is something that is an empirical fact and I am referring to the subset of women I know, rather than women as a whole.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Body Acceptance, The Gym, And Naked People

Before I started going to Healthworks in Boston, I'd never been to a gym with a naked-place culture.  From my first day at Healthworks though, I noticed that women of all shapes changed out in the open, wandered to the showers nude, and used the hot tub, dry sauna, and steam room naked.  It was the first time in real life I'd seen that much nudity, and even though I wasn't looking, I still managed to realize that there was a LOT of variability in what women were shaped like, and that what someone looks like naked has very little to do with what they look like clothed-- clothes can enhance or detract from someone's appearance, altering it in subtle and major ways, and while I knew that, it was never so obvious as when you see someone strip down in front of you outside of a sexual context.  The naked-place aspect of the locker room isn't something I'd seen a lot of before or since-- maybe it's that people in Boston care less about nudity than those in Ohio or Oklahoma, or maybe it had something to do with the spirit of Healthworks itself.

Healthworks was a lot more body positive in general than many gyms are.  Instead of targeting fat busting or weight loss, their class descriptions talked about strength, endurance, and cardiovascular health.  Their fitness trainers ranged from the typical hot young stereotype of what a female fitness instructor looks like to buff older women who looked like they'd do well in a fight.  And they put in the idea that that you go to the gym for health, but also for fun.

A lot of women--and some men, but more women-- I know have issues with body acceptance.  The ideas behind why people have body image issues are discussed ALL OVER the place, but I think one small thing that could go a long way towards getting people comfortable and happy in their own bodies is to just see the range of shapes others come in, and see that in a neutral, non-sexual context where the body is just there, valueless.  Even if a gym like Healthworks, you can't get completely away from value aspects, since there ARE issues of strength and weakness and muscle, but hell, it's a step in the right direction at least.  Plus, going to the gym generally involves some form of exercise, which tends to get people more in touch with their body and all the awesome things it can do-- whether its yoga, cardio, or lifting, it's hard to hate a body that produces awesome endorphins.

Even though I don't currently go to the gym on a regular basis, it inadvertently cemented a lot of ideas about body acceptance in my head.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Are sci-fi and fantasy fans more likely to be feminist?

Are sci-fi and fantasy fans more likely to be feminist?  I really don't know, but I've been wondering about it lately, and I'm thinking the answer miiight be yes, based solely on anecdotal experience and the themes that showed up in the books I read as a kid.  If anyone knows of any actual, real, hard core data on this, I'd love to know!  But... it's a topic worth thinking about, overlap and interplay between sff and feminism, because some books.movies/games in the sff genres are extremely supporting of feminism, but others really... are not, and lack female characters or at least female characters that are developed in the same way as men and have roles beyond sex object and mother.  Plus, fan culture revolving around certain extremely popular sff franchises can be actively hostile towards women-- so those fans certainly aren't getting any sort of feminism boost.

But my big thought right here is that girls who grow up reading sci fi and fantasy?  i think they're more likely to turn into feminist women than girls who don't.  And this is in large part because, even though it is very easy to find books with extremely harsh male characters and no real female characters of substance, it's also quite easy to find books that are gender neutral or that are directed at girls.  I got to thinking about this for a couple of reasons-- 1. I just read Octavia Butler's oeuvre-- she was a black feminist woman writing sci fi in the 70s and under her own name, 2. I found out about James Tiptree Jr., a popular Scfi author who wrote under an assumed name but who has since been honored with an award for female scifi authors in her name, and 3. a lot of chatter on feminist blogs in the past year or so discussing The Ten Thousand Kingdoms, the third book of which I am STILL trying to get around to reading.

In thinking about some of the formative sci fi and fantasy books of my youth, there are a lot that have female warriors or female characters with power-- The His Dark Materials trilogy, Patricia C. Wrede's The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness Quartet, Anne McCaffrey's Pern and Rowan books, and things by William Sleator.  While romance is often a factor in these books, it isn't usually the main focus-- instead, general character development and struggles on a kingdom or world level tend to take place.  Granted, a lot of modern fantasy and sci fi aimed at young adults are just romance novels in different wrapping (and I have to admit, The Vampire Diaries started when people my age were young, and I read them when I was a tween too), but I think that people my age who grew up reading some of these books sort of developed the idea that women are individuals in the same way that men are individuals, rather than just a simple stereotype.

But like I mentioned above, it's really easy to avoid the feministy stuff, especially if a reader doesn't want to follow a female protagonist (and traditionally, surveys have shown that girls are more likely to read stories about boys than boys are to read stories about girls), and a lot of men who grew up on the more male dominated sides of sci fi and fantasy have turned out to expect women to fall into only a few categories and get bitter when women don't follow a certain script of acquiescence.  So I honestly have no clue how things fall out, but I'd love to hear other folks' takes on this.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Valenti's The Purity Myth

A while ago I read Jessica Valenti's book The Purity Myth.  It's a good book!  It's really informative about some societal trends in hating on women's sexuality, which is even more relevant today than it was when it was published, given all the recent attacks on women's reproductive rights.  Buuuut, it has some major flaws.  One of the things it addresses is defining what sex actually is, which is an important thing to talk about since sex is so different for so many people-- most people thing penis-in-vagina is sex, period, but when both partners have penises or both partners have vaginas, or they aren't interested in penetrative sex of any kind, but they're still having sexual experiences together, and possibly even getting more sexual or exploring more kinks that straight up penis in vagina, you've got to think that more things that penis in vagina should count as sex.  So, like many other authors do in many other works, Valenti discusses definitions for sex.

From The Purity Myth, page 20-21, on what sex is: "My closest friend, Kate, a lesbian, has the best answer to date (a rule I've followed since she shared it with me): It isn't sex unless you've had an orgasm.  That's a pleasure-based, non-heteronormative was of marking intimacy if I've ever heard one.  Of course, this way of defining sex isn't likely to be popular among the straight-male sex, given that some would probably end up not counting for many of their partners.
But any way you cut it, virginity is just to subjective to pretend we can define it."

I totally agree that virginity is too subjective to just easily define (because otherwise, there are a gay men and lesbians who've had multiple partners, but who are still virgins), but I still think that defining it by orgasms is problematic and kind of insulting.  It's still framing things through a normative view, in which sex is about the finish rather than the overall experience, and it's framing it in a way that shuts out a lot of women who really like sex but who can't come from penetrative, or oral, or who are still trying to do social programming that makes them too tense to come when they have another person in the room.  These are real issues that you run into if you spend time on blogs or boards where women talk about sex, and framing things from an orgasmic point of view shuts out a very large swath of women who either don't value orgasms that much, or who don't experience them, but who still consider themselves to be having sex.  It ties into what I see as one of the larger problems of sex positivity-- that a lot of sex positive people end up being negative about those who aren't interested in sex, or kink, or multiple partners, possibly because a rejection of those things can feel like negative judgement.  But really, if you're sex positive, you should focus on other people getting joy out of sex, and having sex in the way they like-- whether it's a poly lifestyle with bdsm tones, or someone who waits for a monogamous marriage to do things beyond kiss.  As long as they're being true to themselves, and have thought about the issues and aren't trying to force anyone else into their lifestyle, neither is better than the other.  And for a lot of people, that idea that neither is better than the other also holds true for orgasms during sex.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Work Life Balance: I Don't Quite Understand It?

I've only been working for two months in my first Big Grownup Job, and I'm noooot entiiirely sure how people do this whole work life balance thing.  I get home, and I'm generally not in the mood to cook, so JD's either brought something home or we go out.  Then we come home, I collapse on the couch and read for a big, then I'm in bed by nine and asleep by ten.

My mom cooked dinner every night (granted, she got home at like, 4:30) and graded papers after dinner, but she and my dad still seemed to do more leisure things in the evenings than I did.  I remember my mom was in a bowling league for a while, and my dad would go skiing in the winter and ice skating at other times, and they always made it to my school plays and concerts and had time to pick me up from school every night and drive me to and from practices and competitions every weekend (literally EVERY weekend in high school).  And in highschool, I'd stay up until at least 10 every night, and I had practices and homework, but it never seemed as... stressful and tiring as having a job does?

I think part of the difference is pure age-- I physically have less energy than I did ten years ago-- and part of it is the change in scale of what I'm doing.  How you do in school really only effects you-- even in team competition, you don't have as big an impact on others as you do in a work place.  Now, I worry that messing up on something could really negatively effect someone else, not just myself.  And maybe I'm putting too much of myself into it (my mom says I always internalize everything which, hey, may be true) but I just don't know how to separate home from work.  Even when I'm at home on the weekend doing something unrelated, the thought that I should be researching one of the many work related questions I have is at the back of my mind, constantly.

I'm assuming that as I work longer, I may adapt better-- hopefully both becoming better at doing my job, and finding it easier to take on normal home-related tasks like cooking and cleaning.  I remember that a lot of people were worried JD and I would go crazy when we were spending all day, every day together, but I actually really miss him during the day.  I guess we're one of those weird couples that never get sick of each other, and we're not really out of the honeymoon stage, despite never actually going on a honeymoon.  Our first anniversary was a week ago, so we're still pretty close to being newlyweds.  But just how much time do most people spend with their spouses in those after work hours?  Do most couples spend all evening cuddling and talking, or separated on individual computers, or physically close but watching some tv show together?  I don't know what the normal balance is!  And it isn't like normal matters, as long as individuals are happy in their own lives, but it is something I'm curious about.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Birth Control Costs More Than a Few Cups of Coffee

If you don't have insurance, birth control costs a lot more than a couple cups of coffee. The generic of the pill I'm prescribed costs $60 a month. Sure, some generics may cost as little as $8 a month, but you can only buy what you have a prescription for, and different birthcontrols have different effects on different people. If your body doesn't react well to some of the cheaper ones, then they aren't an option.  Some people suggest that we all just switch to condoms, but birth control is more effective, and you easier for a woman to control.  Plus, non-latex condoms are more expensive and less effective than the regular kind, but if you have a sensitivity to latex, like I do, they're the type you'd have to use if you want to have sex more than once a week-- and I think it's safe to assume that a lot of young folk want to have sex more than once a week, and also not get pregnant.  

What's also interesting is that it seems like a lot of people who are opposed to birth control or to having birth control covered by insurance are conflating a need for birth control with "screw[ing] everything in sight".  I'm all for people sleeping around if that's what works for them and keeps them happy in life... but statements like that are ignoring the fact that a lot of people who use birth control are in monogamous relationships, and others may be single and having sex quite rarely.  I'm married.  I'm a newlywed.  My husband and I aren't ready for children yet.  Birth control is what keeps us, a monogamous married couple, from having an unwanted pregnancy that we aren't financially or emotionally ready to deal with.

After a lot of research, I decided hormonal birth control is a better fit for me than an IUD or condoms (though I am considering looking into the arm implant, after I get insurance).  I've decided it is a WAY better fit than trying to track my fertility, since so many women do not have consistent cycles based on changes in diet, stress, and exposure to other women.  As I don't have insurance, so I pay $720 a year on the generic of the birth control my doctor prescribed, and i consider myself lucky that I'm not paying $1080 a year for it, the way a friend of mine who was prescribed birth control for non-contraceptive reasons does.