This past week, I ran across three interesting posts online, from three different Pinays.
The first comes from a single woman studying at one of the top universities in the Philippines. In it, she tells Facebook that she is for contraception.
What message does this send? Some probable responses:
- she’s modern
- she’s progressive
- she cares about women
- she cares about “human rights”
- she cares about “health”
- she’ll take responsibility for “protection”
Impressive, or mere virtue signaling? Hm. Let’s take this a few steps further.
What message does this send to a man, especially a potential boyfriend? To answer this question, let’s move on to the second post:
Not much there that’s remarkable. It’s 2018, and unfortunately, despite the Catholic Church’s teachings on contraception, many people, including Catholics, go ahead and use it anyway.
Commenters on the thread presented both pros and cons, and it made me smile to see some of them recommending NFP instead (there are still sane people in the world!). But here’s one man’s response that caught my eye:
This man had no compunctions whatsoever about telling the world his girlfriend uses contraceptive pills. He sounds rather… proud of her. But… do you detect respect? He even talks about her private parts, no qualms at all. Does he even take sex and its consequences seriously? It doesn’t seem so.
Let’s move forward to the last scenario:
WHOA. Thankfully, there were many common sense comments that followed:
There were common themes, like
- RESPECT YOURSELF
- KNOW YOUR WORTH
- THE IMPORTANCE OF SACRAMENTAL MARRIAGE
- WHAT WAS SHE WAITING FOR, A MIRACLE?
Which brings me to several points I wanted to make with this post.
- Contraception has never been about a woman’s HEALTH, unless you equate health with preventing her body from doing what it naturally does, and rather excellently, if I may add.
- Still thinking, in 2018, that contraception is all about health and “balancing hormones” displays a woeful ignorance about the suffering that real women go through with hormonal imbalances AND about the history of contraception. One just has to dig a little deeper to look more closely at endometriosis, PCOS and other women’s health issues, to find what has been true all along but unknown to many, and kept from the general public by the very people they trust (doctors): that contraception has never been a panacea for women’s reproductive problems and never will be. While some of the components of contraceptives can be helpful to varying degrees, research and the experience of thousands of women now show that there are many factors behind hormonal imbalances, and contraceptives alone won’t address most of them. In fact, contraceptives alone either simply mask symptoms as to prevent a real cure, or can and do make these conditions worse. Let’s not even talk about complications like uterine perforations and infections brought on by IUDs and implants. (For more information, see the links provided after this article.)
- Stop being silly. Contraception per se was not designed to “help” with women’s health issues. Its chief aim has always been the prevention of pregnancy, which is only a possibility for a woman IN RELATION TO A MAN. (Whether it really does that, safely and effectively, is for another discussion altogether.) You may flatter yourself about being a feminist and focusing on a woman’s needs, but CONTRACEPTION IS PRIMARILY ABOUT A MAN’S WANTS AND A MAN’S DEMANDS.
Three women, three different points in time, three perspectives. And yet you don’t need a huge stretch of the imagination to stitch these three threads together and picture them occurring on one woman’s timeline. Or even thousands of women’s timelines.
Contraception has always been about men wanting sex without the responsibility that should come with it. Women have become quite happy to take that upon themselves, sending the message, “You don’t have to worry, I can take care of it,” and to proceed to sacrifice THEIR bodies in the process.
Men will happily chant the feminist mantras “Her Body Her Choice” along with “Her Pregnancy”, “Her Baby”, “Her Abortion”. Should we be surprised? Does a man sleeping with a contracepting woman TRULY care about HER health or HER needs? Why should he? A woman telling a man she is ready and willing to use contraception is basically saying, “I’m available for sex, no strings attached.”
But do women really want to be available for sex, no strings attached? Do women really want to take care of all the “worrying” over potential pregnancy and abortion?
In the third post above, it is clear that many Filipinas still know what it is they really want:
Women WANT sex with strings attached. They want men to share in the worrying, and they want men to take responsibility. They KNOW it’s WRONG when he doesn’t.
When, then, do you flip that switch and ask that man to BECOME A MAN and take responsibility for his actions? Is it when he’s taken advantage of you for twelve years? Is it after he’s used and abused your body and basically become a parasite?
What would have happened, if she had been told, twelve years ago, the advice that she’s being given now: RESPECT YOURSELF, KNOW YOUR WORTH, TAKE THE SACRAMENT OF MARRIAGE SERIOUSLY, and she had actually listened? Perhaps she wouldn’t be in the situation she is now.
Too late she has to learn the lesson that she is worth a man’s sacrifice and a man’s respect. Too late she has to learn that a man will keep milking a cow for all its worth, especially when the cow gives the milk as freely as she does without expecting anything in return. That is not love. It is stupidity. And many have been stupid about love. It makes no difference whether they’re moneyed or not, educated or not, street-smart or not; too many women find themselves in these situations.
It doesn’t pay to be stupid about love or sex. But at the same time, an honest discussion about this requires inclusion of what “stupidity” or “ignorance” consists of, because it is most certainly not just about “preventing pregnancies”. Not giving this matter the attention and thought that it deserves could see you suffering twelve years or more hence.
When you begin your messaging with “It’s all on me”, you often end up with “It’s still all on me.”
And I’m NOT “just sayin’.”
SOMEWHAT HAPPY UPDATE: The original poster in the third scenario has left her boyfriend. It took her breaking and jumping out a window to avoid getting beaten up again, but she has left him. Let’s hope she’s learned her lesson and that she teaches her child the right ones.