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Entries in birth control (2)

Saturday
Mar032012

* Women's History Class for Rush Limbaugh

With two words, Limbaugh proved that he is an unevolved, unenlightened man who is fearful, if not disdainful, of women and their innate nature. He represents the patriarchal network that is digging in their heels to maintain control over women and perpetuate outmoded concepts of how women should act and be. 

Childishly calling Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown Law School student who was denied the right to state a case for women at the Congressional contraception hearing, a 'slut' and a 'prostitute,' Limbaugh exemplifies the very myopic way in which church-raised, conservative men perceive women's sexuality - as something that is dirty, evil and sinful.  In their patriarchal eyes, sluts and prostitutes are akin to the devil. In fact, Limbaugh's remark has little to do with a law that requires insurance companies to cover birth control pills, but is an unbridled, negative opinion of women in general. Blatantly disregarding Sandra’s education, her status in the community and an eloquent advocacy for women’s empowerment, he focused on what he believes to be an unsavory aspect of women – that they are sexual creatures who wish to control the timing of their own pregnancies. 

Limbaugh, it’s time for you and all of your misguided conservative cronies to wake up to who women really are, and get used to the idea that we women are rising into a powerful force and accepting our true natures, no matter what names you call us, and no matter how much you try to suppress us.  You may as well learn to love, respect and accept us as the sexy, creative and expressive beings that we are.  

So, I’d like to give you a history lesson, Rush, about how your opinion about women was formed in the first place.  Here we go. 

First of all, women are naturally sexual creatures.  It is women’s nature to dance, move her body, exude a vibration of love, adoration and sensuality. And before patriarchal religions infiltrated our human life and social laws, women’s sexuality was celebrated. Women were considered the vehicle to enlightenment, and men revered female sexual energy. Priestesses represented the Higher Power and through which Goddess gave her blessings, and men approached women in reverence. In some cultures, men sexually united with women in ritual as the ultimate spiritual path to connect with Goddess. 

Once patriarchal religions forced their way into our cultures, sex became sacrilege rather than sacred. Very different definitions were applied to women; sexually active women and priestesses were labeled harlots. Women who expressed sensuality were ostracized and as whores and ‘dirty.’  God-fearing men, who had no tolerance for their expressive behaviors, destroyed them.  (For centuries, Christians called Mary Magdalene, Jesus’ best friend and closest confidant, a ‘prostitute,’ when nowhere in the entire Bible is fact indicated.)  Christian and Jewish laws said that the only safe place a woman could be sexual was within marriage. If a woman was discovered to have had sex prior to or during marriage, she was stoned to death and the man left unharmed, a practice that still endures in some parts of the world. Male god religions trained their people to believe that sex was wrong, bad, shameful. Women were forced to extinguish their sexual fire, and that essential aspect of women was controled by social and religious laws. 

In ancient days, midwives, herbalists and other women managed their birth control with herbs and other practices. But during their Crusade of Witches, sponsored by the Catholic Church in the Medieval era, those women were considered consorts of the devil and were burnt at the stake. In fact, hundreds of thousands of women (some believe millions) who exhibited a broad spectrum of innately feminine talents and expressions, including artistic, intuitive, emotional and sexual, were tortured and put to death. Ancient secrets of women’s health, birth control and spirituality were obliterated.

The patriarchy forbade women to attend school or work outside of the home, let alone practice medicine. Women were to stay home and have children. Men became the doctors.  Herbs were verboten. Without the ancient, traditional birth control methods, women were at the mercy of nature, and many women gave birth to far too many children, rendering far too many mothers emotionally and physically incapacitated, and the men financially overdrawn.

I could go on and on about our history, but let’s fast forward to today.  Here are a few facts about today's contemporary world:

1)  Our culture is changing and patriarchal ways no longer works. The fire inside of women is stoked and we are taking a stand for our sexual lives. We are not going to suppress our natural instincts and our sensual nature.  Women who are able to express their true natures are healthier and happier. We are also smarter about sex. And get this - not every woman who is sexually active is promiscuous! Most women honor their bodies more than you think. 

2)  Women who use birth control are being responsible for their lives.  They know they don’t want children, and they’re intelligent enough to know birth control pills equal no pregnancy, no babies. In fact, you should be happy that women wish to use birth control!

3)  Birth control pills are expensive, at a cost of nearly $60 a month.  For women in any relationship status - married, single, monogamous or polyamorous - this is a lot of money.    So if a woman wants to avoid pregnancy but can’t afford it, shouldn’t we help? Birth control is a lot cheaper than government programs that feed and care for children. Right?   

4)  The abstinence programs in schools didn’t work, and they were expensive.  So just pretend that the funds from those programs are going into birth control programs.

5)  By the way, this law to cover birth control pills helps men, too. In many relationships, men are footing the bill to prevent pregnancy.

6)  Hey, you don’t want women to have abortions, but you don’t want birth control to be assessable, either.  This is a classic example of men wanting to control every aspect of woman’s sexuality and health.

So, Rush, get with the times.  No matter how much the patriarchal conservative posse wants to dominate society and control women, feminine power is on the rise. Calling us names won’t keep us down, and it certainly isn’t doing anything to make you guys look good. It’s time to evolve, Rush, and accept, respect and appreciate the dynamic aspects of women!

 

 

Saturday
Apr162011

* Women's Sexual Health: Our Personal Responsibility

Hooray! This week, by a vote of 58 to 42, the Senate defeated a resolution that would have eliminated all federal funding for Planned Parenthood and denied millions of women access to health services such as cancer screenings, family planning, and HIV/AIDS tests.  I thank the women who took to the streets to protest, and our senators who fought to spare this cut from the US budget. Thank you!

By this time, you may know that the possible shut down of the government was due to the debate of Planned Parenthood, and ultimately the Pro-Choice issue, which continues to be hot topic in the political domaine.  See this article that explains why.

The good news is that Planned Parenthood can continue to support women’s health and women’s rights remain intact. At  the moment. The scary news is that rights of women are challenged every day, as the masculine ideal (held by both men and women), that a woman’s body and personal decisions are matters of the government, rather by the woman, prevail.   

Women have a big lesson to learn:  If we are to maintain control of our body and reproductive rights, we must be responsible for it. While government programs are important to help women, especially those of low socio-economic populations, we must not become dependent on it. We must shift our consciousness from one of dependence and  to one of giving, learning, teaching and empowering all women, of all walks of life to take charge of their own sexual lives and health. This is not an issue of politics, but of women’s empowerment.

How did the government get involved anyway?  Long ago, women ruled their own bodies, and empowered themselves with education and natural resources for birth control and healthcare. With the rise of patriarchal influences in church and politics, woman became the domain of man, who stripped them of their natural practices and traditions, and created laws to keep them in line.  

What would happen if Planned Parenthood was cut?  What if pro-choice becomes outlawed?  What would women do?  It’s time for women to wake up and realize that, while our government has been generous in funding and supporting women’s health and rights, it’s woman’s personal and collective responsibility to take care of themselves.  Modern woman has become lackadaisical and dependant on outside forces to decide for her. Now is the time to make positive changes for womankind, before the governmental makes laws to control our bodies forever.

WOMAN'S SELF-RESPONSIBILITY

Following are a few steps toward feminine self-responsibility. Let’s begin to exercise them immediately.  These are empowering practices for women, no matter what your political perspectives are. Perhaps by our next generation, women will be conscious and responsible with their bodies, and the debate on who presides over women’s reproductive health will be a thing of the past.

Educate our daughters, sisters and all young women 

We are not doing enough to educate our daughters and sisters about their bodies and their sexuality. Too many young women loath their bodies and its functions, and unconsciously engage sexually without insights about the spiritual repercussions. As responsible women, we need to change this. It us up to us, not the government or school system, to teach young women about the power, mystery and beauty of their feminine bodies,  to help them understand the body’s functions, changes, and abilities, and to train them to monitor the cycles of their body and to honor these cycles. 

It is up from us, not Planned Parenthood or any other organization, to teach our daughters not just sex education, but conscious sexuality education, in which the multi-dimensional aspects of intimate union are explained. Let’s share information about the traditions of old, when initiation rituals welcomed women to womanhood, and when men looked to women as the vehicle of enlightenment. It will give our daughters a new perspective of themselves as women, and provide them with a new framework from which to make decisions about their sexuality, which could result in more welcomed pregnancies, and fewer unwanted ones.    

Become a Positive Role Model

Our media is obsessed with misbehaving celebrities, and our televisions and magazines are filled with stories of their latest escapades of Brittany Spears and Lindsay Lohan. This distorts our daughters’ perceptions of what is acceptable behavior. With few positive, female role models in our culture, and it is up to us, as mothers, big sisters and friends, to provide a model of empowering, feminine behavior. We must subjugate the media’s focus on addiction, breaking the law, abusive relationships and unfit mothering with positive actions, such as creative expression, community service and socializing, enterprising activities, and more.  By becoming women who embrace our own natural qualities of creativity, community, nurturance and cyclical natures, we can lead the way for young women to become responsible, self-loving and positive influences on the planet.

Take birth control into our own hands, and learn alternative methods.

Unwanted pregnancy is perhaps the biggest personal and social issue for women in our culture. So with the pill and other birth control methods, why are there still so many unplanned pregnancies?  I believe the reasons vary from lack of discipline, to birth control methods that are unsafe, uncomfortable and complicated.  

As responsible and empowered women, I recommend the exploration of natural birth control to add to our arsenal of self-responsibility.  Pharmaceutical companies aren’t the only resource, herbalists and other natural practitioners broaden our options with education, techniques and natural remedies.

Herbal birth control is practically as old as humankind, and the use of herbs for any healing purpose was driven underground in the Dark Ages of Europe. Today, herbalists are emerging and answering a call for safer and more natural methods of general and sexual health, including pregnancy prevention. Herbs are powerful medicine that, when used with care and following the advice of an herbalist, can support women’s health through all ages of her life, from her fertile years to menopause.

Learning about alternative health methods is empowering, as it adds to our self-responsibility. Two resources are Susan Weed and Sister Zeus.

Rhythm Method and Cervical Mucus Method are two more birth control methods a woman can take into her own hands.  Conscious birth control, coupled with self-discipline, is empowering for women and safe.  Double emphasis on self-discipline.  A cooperative Method Of Natural Birth Control By: Margaret Nofziger  is a good book for reference.

 What if  . . . unwanted Pregnancies

Let’s face it, every day the right to abortion is on a political precipice, with powerful forces trying to take the ‘right to choose’ from all women. Truly, abortion is a much more than a political issue, but one of spiritual and personal values, and whether or not you believe in the right to choose, and whether abortion remains legal or not, women will continue to seek abortion as a method of eliminating unwanted pregnancies. Pro-choice does not mean unwanted pregnancies are to be terminated. It provides an option for unwanted pregnancies. In days of old, women who didn’t want babies terminated their pregnancies through natural means. In many cultures, infanticide – the killing of newborns, often of barbaric means – was, and still is, a common practice, illustrating a measure of desperation of families too poor or unfit for a child. By all measures, abortion, while an unpleasant choice, is a more merciful practice.

With the right to abortion, women have become reliant on abortion clinics, which provide a safe means of termination. But these clinics are not the only option. Two other more natural practices, one which was used for centuries, are available. They include herbs and menstrual extraction. Please note that these are administered by experts, and not to be used in experimentation, as they can be harmful. But they are options that the government can not control.

Menstrual extraction is a non-medical and gentle method of removing a woman’s flow with simple tools by non-medical practitioners. First introduced in the U.S. in the early 1970s, the technique can be learned in a few weeks, with hundreds of women currently performing with rare incidences of infection or complications.   

Herbs, as mentioned earlier, are an age-old remedy for birth control and even termination. See Susan Weed and Sister Zeus.  

Conclusion

Women: let’s become responsible, conscious and healthy.  Yes, we love a government that supports the advancement of women, but by becoming educated, we become empowered to take care of ourselves, no matter what the political climate may be.