Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My Uterus: Ladies First, INC


"Because when a corporation has more protections than a woman, the best way to keep lawmakers out of your business is to be your own business."

On Saturday, I attended a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood. There was cake, free stickers, donation jars, and forms that we could fill out in order to "incorporate" our uteri. I decided to name my uterus "Ladies First, INC," because when it comes to reproductive rights, the feelings, opinions, beliefs, and morals of the woman attached to the uterus should always, in my opinion, come first. There were some other good names too - my favorites included "No Country for Old Men, INC," and "No Man's Land, INC." Are you sensing a theme here? Because you should. 

While any day is a good day to stand up for our rights, this protest in particular was sparked by a recent flurry of idiocy. A few weeks ago New Hanover County, where Wilmington is located, was offered a $9,000 grant that would pay for family planning services - in particular, for IUDs for low income women. The members of the New Hanover County Board of Health - all of them men - turned down the money. The Chairman of the board, Ted Davis, stated his reasons: “If these young women were responsible people and didn’t have the sex to begin with, we wouldn’t be in this situation." Commissioner Jonathan Barfield said he was “one of those abstinence guys” and agreed with Davis. 

I find it infuriating, frustrating, and ludicrous that going out of your way to get the birth control you need in order to avoid an unwanted pregnancy is viewed by men with power as "irresponsible." Personally, I think taking your health into your own hands and thinking ahead about your reproductive choices is about as responsible as you can get. Ted Davis and his friends on the Board of Health think sex = irresponsible, period. And that just won't work, not for me, and definitely not for my uterus. 

Since the vote, there has been public outcry, a protest (which I was sadly unable to attend), and the Women's Uterus Incorporation Day. While filling out a form and naming my uterus doesn't accomplish anything literal (I'm pretty sure my corporation is in name only, and doesn't actually enjoy the rights and privileges of a real business) it's the act that's important. When fucked up shit happens, we have to react and voice our anger. I'm hoping that the Board of Health will realize the error of their ways, accept that they serve both the men AND women in our county, and stop using women's health to make a political point about their own "values." 

Ladies First, y'all. Because if we don't look out for ourselves, no one will.


14 comments:

  1. Beautiful!

    Still amazes we are going backwards in this country. I love how the girls are irresponsible, but nothing is ever said about the boys that get them pregnant.

    Thanks for this post.

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    1. The double standard is, unfortunately, alive and well!

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  2. I can't believe they turned down the money!!! Fucked up shit indeed.

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    1. Seriously. Last I heard they were going to reconsider their decision, but so far - nothing. :(

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  3. Great post Chrissy! I shared to my FB wall :)

    That is ridiculous, i cannot believe they would turn down the money. Let the low income women vote on whether or not to accept...i bet they would take it.

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  4. Wow, that is RIDICULOUS that they turned down the money. What about low-income women who are married? Can they have birth control, or should they have sexless marriages? (Note that I don't think we should discriminate against people based on marital status, but it's worth remembering that a good percentage of women who get abortions are married and already have children.)

    I really can't even believe the discussions we're having now about women and sexuality. It's 2012! Haven't we finally accepted that people are going to have sex? I feel it's our job, as a country, to help people be proactive about their reproductive decisions. Their babies are our fellow citizens, so reproduction is NOT just about "personal responsibility." It's also about social responsibility.

    {okay, end rant now}

    PS I love that you went to this protest, Chrissy, and I love "My Uterus is My Business." Because seriously, it is.

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    1. I agree with your whole comment! Thanks for the support. Sometimes I feel like I jumped from the frying pan (Texas) and into the fire (NC). Sigh.

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  5. If men could get pregnant, I have no doubt that there would be reproductive rights in a flash and birth control would be available in vending machines on the cheap (not just condoms but packs of the pill, nuvaring, etc.) This infuriates me to no end. We have already seen that abstinence only education doesn't work, and many of the women who use Planned Parenthood and other similar resources are actually married, some even already have kids and maybe would like to prevent having more so that they can actually give the ones that the have a decent shot at success in life. Jesus. Fucking. Christ.

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  6. Wow - I cannot believe they turned that down...
    This frustrates me like non other.
    And yes... our uterus IS our business!

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  7. Wow, I don't even understand that we don't own our bodies in 2012 ! Good thing people react and protest !

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    1. It's crazy to think we're still arguing about this issue. Grrr.

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  8. I have become a fiery ball of rage when it comes to this subject. Men making decisions regarding women's reproductive rights and being the police on morality makes me want to start a war...grrrr. I do not take birth control but use the family planning method (configuring my fertility based on what day I begin my period and what days I typically ovulate) and it has not failed me yet, but I am one of the lucky women who has a very regular and on time cycle. (Which is one reason NFP works for me). I become outraged that the very people who makes the decisions to decline funds to support women's health are also usually the same idiots that do not support programs like food stamps and welfare. Its because of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies that lower income families usually need this type of public assistance and the laws are making it more difficult for them to lead normal and happy lives.

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    1. I'm intrigued by NFP but I know it wouldn't work for me. I'm glad you've had success with it! And I appreciate your rage. If you aren't angry, you aren't paying attention.

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