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Saturday, April 03, 2004

Not another one

Another pharmacist took charge of a woman's body for her again. That's two incidents in Texas within a month. This sort of thing raises flags for me. Are fundie Christians targeting pharmacists and trying to guilt them into refusing to give medication to women?
I follow this stuff pretty closely, and it seems that lately the anti-woman contigent is getting sloppy and letting their true motivations slip through more and more. The general rule is to frame all attacks on female autonomy in terms of protecting babies and protecting family. They know that the vast majority of Americans don't see birth control as hurtful to family or babies, regardless of any opinions on women working or whatever. In fact, I would argue that most people view birth control as a positive factor in their family life, since reducing their family size means that they can give each individual child a better chance. Birth control strengthens marriage as well, by allowing couples to make love without worrying about conceiving. I doubt really that conservatives have much of a problem with either of those arguments, but they are still against birth control because of it is so critical to women. Without it, there really is no way to both be free and live with men, like it or not.
When birth control is challenged, it is usually couched in the language of misogyny. Letting women have birth control means losing woman control. Women become sluts and whores. Eventually, women are going to lose their respect and subservience to men, and then, well, huh. What horrible things would happen if women actually achieved equality are described hazily, if at all. The very fact of equality is taken as horror itself.
I know it sounds paranoid, particularly to people who are unaware of the history of legislation against birth control and abortion. For instance, did you know the Supreme Court only allowed birth control since married couples, i.e. where a man was calling the shots, needed privacy? Roe vs. Wade established more than right to abortion, it helped establish that women have sexual privacy rights as surely as men, a right that the Justice Dept. is challenging right now.
Anti-contraceptive advocates claim they are against sexual pleasure in and of itself. (Still doesn't explain why they don't keep it to themselves, but whatever.) But if that is really true, then where are the pharmacists refusing to fill Viagra prescriptions? No matter how vigorously they protest that sexual pleasure is to be denied to both men and women, women do seem to get the brunt of it every time.


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