* 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.
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.
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.
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.