Why I, a college feminist, believe birth control is misogynistic
Every morning, 10.1 million women in the US wake up and take a pill just so they can go about their sex lives. What percentage of men change their biochemistry to prevent unwanted pregnancy? Zero. But, according to the University of Utah HealthThat’s about to change – the fast approaching advent of the male ‘pill’ is forcing us to question why we’ve been putting the burden of safe sex on women for so long.
I’m a feminist on a liberal college campus and I believe the pill is a tool of female oppression. Researching the sexual assault law on college campuses Alongside the New York state legislature, I have learned that of all the barriers that hold women back, sex and its consequences are the greatest.
While a Catholic upbringing initially taught me that the pill was morally wrong, this was far from the case. Nations in the Middle East restricting contraception have the lowest female literacy rates and highest maternal mortality rates in the world. The male anatomy is optimal for escape. They can, and often do, have fun, leaving women with the living aftermath of sex.
The idea that the pill levels the playing field has a fatal caveat: Birth control isn’t necessarily safe.
When I entered college, my friends went through birth control-induced hormonal imbalances only to be abused by the men it brought them closer. It seemed deliberately anti-feminist to me to do what they did to bring uncompromising pleasure to men.
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Birth control can cause this blood clots, severe migraines and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder that causes irregular menstruation and sometimes infertility. Countless women fall into depression, gain weight, and experience frustrating sex drive swings just to “enjoy” the carefree sex that men have been having for millennia.
Counter-arguments that birth control can also combat these health problems are beside the point. The pill’s potential to affect the female body in unpredictable ways is reason enough to stop forcing it on women, especially when there are alternatives to share the burden. The pill takes the risks of unwanted pregnancy and lets women carry it in shape negative health effects instead of contraceptives.
We once again accept the abuse of female bodies as a “solution” to a problem blamed on men. The playing field was not leveled at all.
Recently, a gel applied to the shoulders has become established early attempts as an effective form of contraception for men. Such advances have long been deterred by delayed medical trials and claims that it is impossible for a drug to have a targeted effect million sperm – an argument that disproportionately protects men from harm to their sexual health and masculinity, while women bear the cost.
The medical field and men need to stop promoting this dangerous double standard that absolves men from responsibility and women from empathy, and educational institutions need to educate men and women about their equal responsibility to practice safe sex through condom use, vasectomies, and one day as a man . Pill.”
I refuse to go on birth control if it means taking a potential risk a man is not willing to take. Blaming men for consequences that are inherently their fault is the only way the feminist movement can thrive in the 21st century.
Veronica Tadross is a freshman public policy student at Vanderbilt University. She is the founder and former CEO of Non-partisan feminist project.