08 June 2005

gamete games

"The double standard still waves over the nation's bedrooms," writes Kathe Pollitt in her most recent The Nation article Stiffed.

The right wing salutes this waving flag. Of course, they've no problem "saluting" with the availability and coverage of Viagra. According to Planned Parenthood, "in 1998, less than two months after Viagra entered the U.S. market, more than half of all prescriptions received some insurance reimbursement."

Contrast that with "only four out of 10 women with employer-based health plans have coverage" for the five most commonly used contraceptives.

If my e-mail spam is any indicator, fostering men's pleasure supercedes women's (not just pleasure, but basic health needs). An e-mail subject today reads "A Good Boner Backk in My Life." The message directs me to a site where I can obtain "Viagra, Cialis, Valiums and many other!" The spam I've received that's most concerned with women's health implores me to help "horny ladies in need of sex."

What the ladies need is sex without fear—fear of pregnancy or fear that they can't do anything about an unplanned pregnancy. And even when BC is accessible, choosing a birth control method can be like choosing between the lesser of two evils.

Pollitt playfully derides the right wing's conflation of contraception with "not supporting a culture of life": Viagra is pro-life, the Pill is pro-death--sperm rules! But oh, how true for them and how conveniently it amplifies the extant sexual double standard.

No comments: