09 October 2009 at 4:11 pm
Why isn't there a pill to temporarily sterilize men?
(This has more impact as a stand-alone sentence, but I'm going to include the rest of this so my mom doesn't freak out that this is some sort of clandestine message that I'm pregnant, which I am decidedly not.)
I don't use the pill. I'm happy for you if you're happy with it. I used it for awhile, when I was a virgin. My mom took me to my first gynecologist appointment with her gyno and instructed me on what to say to get the pill:
"Say that you're just being practical because you're going to college in a few months." I didn't realize I would have to justify it at all. (I love my mom. Years later, she asked me if I was a virgin. I said, "No." She said, "Well. Neither am I.")
I was asked a few questions, why I wanted to be on the pill (the "since you're a virgin" was implied), so I made up that my period was often off, but underestimated how much "off" is since mine is as reliable as, I dunno, monarch butterflies or the key ceremony I went to in London.
If I'd answered honestly, I would have said, "Because it seems like something I'm supposed to do." I had no desire to have sex, save for having said I'd done it. Don't feel sorry for me; that's how I feel about everything except for, like, sleeping late. My biggest weakness is that I miss the forest for the trees.
I was on the pill for about a year and a half, during which time I remained 100% Jesus-approved. I went off it sometime around the time I was dropping out of college, going crazy from flashbacks, at least 30 pounds overweight, cutting my hair every day, cutting myself on a weekly basis, basically going batshit insane begging for attention. (I don't blame the pill for this -- it was a long time coming.)
I haven't been on the pill or any birth control except for condoms since then. Even though everyone from my gyno to my DERMATOLOGIST WTF has begged me to get back on it, I don't like the idea of manipulating my body with chemicals, and I don't like the idea that not getting pregnant is completely my responsibility, and I don't like the idea of all this having experienced friends' pregnancies, even though they swore they were religious with their pill taking. It's annoying, and it's potentially ineffective.
Joanna recently went off the pill after almost a decade of regular use, and for months her skin was so horrifically pocked with acne she was embarrassed to leave the house. How is that not a form of addiction, that your body chemistry changes with it? It freaks me the fuck out.
In the most recent Bust, there's an article about natural birth control, which I unofficially use. Without having researched it all that much, except for knowing that there are only 24 hours in a month that I can get pregnant, that it's going to fall between the 12th and 18 days after my period begins, that my mucus (gross, sorry) is going to get thick a few days before it wants me to get spermy (sorry), and that all these rules are up in the air because of God and whatnot, and I haven't been pregnant since that miscarriage I had a few years ago. (Granted, I wasn't having sex most of the time -- I also practice abstinence when there's no one interesting around.)
I've not yet been pregnant again, that I've been aware of, so I'm thrilled to say that I've found something that not only makes the arrival of my period a cause for celebration, but also allows me to keep the health care industry the fuck away from my vagina.
But I wish guys could shoulder some of this responsibility with us, because, let's face it, us girls do enough to keep this world overpopulated.
As a side note, let's all applaud the unbelievable misogyny in this statement:
“'It is time for men to have some control. I think it would empower men and deter some women out there from their nefarious plans,” says Brown. “Some women are out there to use men to get pregnant. This could deter women from doing this. An athlete or a singer is someone who could be a target and they could put a stop to that.'"
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