So, Mike Huckabee recently said something about how women who want birth control can’t control their libido or their reproductive system.
I find this hilarious because he’s spot-on; just not in the way he thinks he is.
I mean, no shit; libido is not a static thing!
Really, how many times have we heard the defense of a rapist (NOTE: I chose my word with care here, because I’m pretty sure I have heard this exact thing heard used in the defense of both male and female rapists) say “I just couldn’t control myself”? Sure, you can’t control who you find attractive. Most people have someone. I had cute teachers in high school. I’ve had crushes. Just because you can control the actions resulting from that—Which, hey, is exactly what most of these women are doing, I’m pretty sure; it’s just that their control results in consensual sex that is far less likely to produce children. Where’s the condemnation of the guys who engage in this? Oh, right, they’re “sowing their wild oats”… which is code for “can’t control their urges”. Forgot about that. My bad… *coughchokeDIE*—doesn’t mean you can control exactly when you’ll find yourself ready to go. Yeah, women are supposed to have that famed “on/off” switch for those *ahem* romantic feelings, but Hollywood lies to us about a lot of things, and I’m pretty sure this is no exception…
To be clear, I believe that men are just as capable as women of controlling their urges. People are, by and large, pretty decent. For some reason, we give the ones that aren’t the most press. Kinda sad if you ask me.
(What I find absolutely hilarious is that I’m watching this little exchange in the 1993 “The Three Musketeers” right now:
Aramis: [teaching female student about the fall from the Garden]
Student: [leans over and kisses him]
Aramis: Madam, I’m flattered, but I am here to tutor you in theology.
Student: Forgive me, Monsieur Aramis, but when you started talking about original sin, I lost control and became impassioned. It won’t happen again; go on.
Aramis: [puts down Bible] Well, there’s nothing… unholy about… expressing one’s emotions. On the contrary, religion should be experienced in an all-embracing way. Feel free to express your spirituality.
Student: Yes, darling. [They start making out]
Husband: [Turning door knob] LET ME IN!
Student: [panicked whisper] My husband!
Aramis: You’re MARRIED?
Student: Yes, I’m married!
Aramis: Oh, we must pray for our sins. [They bow their heads; door bursts open, husband takes a shot at Aramis, who ducks] On second thought, God is often busy… [runs as Student tries to hold off Husband])
As to being unable to control my reproductive system, God, I only wish I could. I can’t just go, “Oh, hey, uterus, my homie; I had a rough go of it last month–think you can tone the cramps down? Actually, all you bits and bobs down there, can we just not do this this month? Actually, can we just not do this until I’m ready to have a baby*? That’d be swell, thanks!” (* Funny story: that’s actually how fertility works in Terre D’Ange in Jacqueline Carrey’s Kushiel series.) Is there some sort of black magic by which men control their bits and bobs? Given the conversations I have had with those of the biologically male persuasion, I’m pretty sure there isn’t…
Oh, right; they can’t actually control it and they’re sowing their wild oats. Anyway… *coughchokeDIEAGAIN*
More seriously, I can sort of see the point he’s making in his other remarks. I don’t agree with it, but I can see how he got his slant on it. The thing is, I don’t feel like a victim when I can make my own choices and when I’m not debilitated by cramps three days a month. (And apparently 3 days is me getting off lucky. Either that, or my friends have some really crappy luck…) I actually feel really empowered. Something about not having to excuse myself from work, especially in an industry that is still largely male-dominated, just makes me feel good. I mean, not that I try to wave banners and announce it to the world, and it’s not like the guys I work with ask or are jerks about me being female. It’s just one of those facts-of-life-that-we-just-really-don’t-want-to-think-or-talk-about things. As long as that’s understood, it’s all cool.
Rather like abortion, I’m not going to force birth control on someone who doesn’t want it; it should be a choice. It is that choice that is empowering. It’s a choice that does give me control over things I otherwise can’t control.
…At least we agree on that point?