Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Pill's Birthday

Another important holiday to celebrate today is the 50th anniversary of the Pill. On May 9th 1960, FDA approved the first ever contraceptive pill.

This is, without a doubt, the most crucial invention ever in terms of women's rights.

Yay for the Pill, everybody!


Khephra said...

Sooo... what about all the harmful links to women's sexual health? And the sociological /transcultural impacts? Yay for that too?

Clarissa said...

The Pill is a lot more healthie than having 46 abortions in one lifetime (that's an actual woman I know in a country with no access to the pill)) or a pregnancy every year starting at puberty. Any "harmful" effects the Pill might have, surely don't even come close to this horror. I have been on the Pill for exactly 15 years now. No harmful effects so far. And no unwanted pregnancies either.

I have no idea what you mean by sociological /transcultural impacts.

Clarissa said...

And the troll is back. Go away, you freak. Your comments have no chance of being posted here.

Khephra said...

Were natural abortifants available prior to the pill? How reliable were they? What role did they play with midwives? Doctors?

Saying there are people living in oppressive cultures is impossible to disagree with. Zizek might point out that's an indication of being deep in ideology.

For instance, there's an implicit desexualization bundled up within the pill. It's role in "female sexual dysfunction" is well-established and - I would argue - incredibly destructive.

Or, looking from a sociological perspective, what role has the pill played in demographics? How is that aggravated by class?

Or, from a biological perspective, what effects has protracted hormonal supplementation been shown to have on women's health? Cancer? Future pregnancies?

Or, from an ecological perspective, how has the progressive suffusion of hormones in the water supply contributed to mutation, feminization and endocrinological problems?

I'm not advocating against "women's rights", but I see the pill with far more ambiguity than you seem to. It's given more women access to a choice, but at great cost and with tremendous context.

Clarissa said...

If you "see the pill with far more ambiguity", then you aren't a woman. It's as simple as that.

When every sex act carries with it the threat of unwanted pregnancy, that is far likelier to cause sexual dysfunction than any kind of pill. Just think about it. How can you enjoy something when you terrified out of your head by the very thought of it?

And honestly, if the pill has liberated me from this constant fear, from endless abortions, from constant pregnancies, I really really don't care how much it has "cost" anybody. Male toys have cost a lot more to this planet. Nuclear weapons have not been invented or deployed by women. So any discussion of how the pill has hurt anybody does not interest me in the least. It is the greatest invention ever for women, and that's that. Only if you are woman you can understand what it is like to perceive your body as a prison. The Pill has provided an escape from that prison.

There has been no connection found between the Pill and cancer. Let's just leave that dead horse in peace.

Khephra said...

"There has been no connection found between the Pill and cancer."

You are mistaken:

And I that's aiming for official and orthodox. I could cite numerous studies which argued far more vigorously.

You seem far more focused on your experience with the pill than with larger issues surrounding its use.

Clarissa said...

You are right, Khephra, I do care about my health and well-being. There is nothing wrong about that.

As for cancer and other diseases, I believe in the psychological origins of all disease. I am not imposing my beliefs on anybody and people are free to believe whatever they want. But this is my worldview. Happy and fulfilled sexuality is crucial for overall health, in my view. And I don't see how it's possible to achieve that without reliable birth control. Until there is a viable birth control alternative, the pill it is.