Posts Tagged bodily autonomy
Do you suffer from erectile dysfunction? Do you have a hard time getting hard and good? Do you need a penis pump, also known as a “vacuum erection device” because you cannot go the pill route? (something which can also, quite conveniently, serve as a masturbatory aide. *wink*). Do you maybe need a penile implant because pharmaceuticals and penis pumps cannot get you hard and good? Are you done with having kids or simply do not wish to go down that route and need a vasectomy?
Well, worry no more as all of these procedures are covered by health-insurance, no questions asked- in case you missed that in all the cacophony surrounding the things that health insurance should not cover (or does not cover) for women, such as birth-control and abortions. Some of them, such as the penis pump, are even covered by your handy Medicare.
If, as a man, you did not know that these items, devices and procedures are covered by most private insurances (and Medicare) then, quite frankly, I don’t blame you. After all, what reason would you have to question a society that so perfectly suits your needs?
Where your mere sex does not render you a ‘liability”, a “pre-existing condition” as far as insurance and access to medical care is concerned?
A society where you get to make your own health care decisions (within the confines of privately-run health-care schemes) for yourself without entities such as employers, a dusty clergy and legislators constantly feeling like they are entitled to step in and make those decisions for you, thus taking away autonomy over your own body and, crucially, the freedom of choice with regard to what you want to do with that body.
You don’t have to worry about someone questioning or taking away your choices, treating you like some object for which and over which others can make decisions as opposed to treating you like an autonomous, rights-bearing human being deserving of full equality.
As a man, your autonomy, agency, and the ability to consent—as your own best decision-maker, your own best advocate, and your own best protector – are respected and never questioned. You are born into a world in which your humanity, agency, dignity and autonomy are not in question – both philosophically and legally.
You don’t navigate a world in which everyone believes that policing your body and reproduction is an acceptable recreation. You don’t have to navigate the institutional misogyny that underlies the anti-choice movement where everything about it serves the interests of those who want to limit choice, and those who want to marginalize women.
While religious employers are choking to death at the idea of having to “pay” for a female employee’s birth control pills or, flying spaghetti monsters forbid, abortion, arguing that doing so would somehow compromise their delicate morals and religious convictions, they have no problem shelling out money to make sure you get to have an erection and a penis pump and penile implants and so on so you can fuck a woman, get her pregnant and make her have all the babies she may or may not want. That is irrelevant.
Even the government, even Medicare, is more than willing to pay for penis pumps and no one ever questions why tax-payers have to pay thousands of dollars to make sure a man can have an erection.
Your employer, the government, the clergy, some suit sitting at a mahogany desk in Washington do not have a problem tasking insurance companies to pay for a vasectomy that results in all these babies they all love so much to not be born.
Of course not. Those things are not an issue. They have not been an issue in major court proceedings, at state legislatures, with employers, insurance companies or even in the media and the public. In fact, it is a non-issue. As women’s reproductive choices are being eroded one by one, step by step, the national debate centers about the same few garbage notions about the alleged “rights” of fetuses, morality and god. Be it Republicans or Democrats, ultimately it is about making women bargain away autonomy over their bodies to whoever feels entitled to them – in some sort of a insincere, deceitful “both sides have a point” false equivalency argument. As if people with uteri somehow owed the world control over some significant function of their body
No one talks about the duplicity inherent in the national debate we have on women’s agency where one group is systematically robbed of personal autonomy because another believes that they can make, and are entitled to make, better decisions for you than you can for yourself.
As a man, you get to make decisions about your sexual and reproductive health for yourself without anyone questioning their necessity, cost, or even morality.
Your personhood is not subject to inescapable, incessant and insistent debate. You are not made to feel that you are nothing if you don’t use your body to have children, where you are merely seen as a uterus with some vague female parts attached in service to its reproductive capacity.
Women, on the other hand, have to stand by and let everyone decide on those things for them, everyone but the woman herself.
It is terrible to have to navigate a world in which you, as a woman, are made to feel that you deserve less respect, less dignity, less autonomy, less opportunity, less agency, less voice, less ownership of self and ultimately less of your humanity.
A world in which you have to negotiate away the concept of absolute autonomy over your body to accommodate, please or else appease some privileged class/entity – be it a man or a church or whatever other institutions out there that believe they are entitled to make decisions about your own life and your body, for you.
Being religious in this country is really hard, just as Jesus predicted it would be. After all, there is so much bigotry, ignorance and hate to spread, so much discriminating, judging and pissing on people to do, so many rights to take away and so much damage to be done to reason and sanity – yet so little time – even in Biblical terms.
Case in point, “Dr.” Philip Hall, a Walgreens pharmacist of six years who was fired at a Walgreens store in Jamestown, Tennessee because he, a Baptist with deep religious convictions blah blah blah, refused to compromise said religious beliefs (which his attorneys assure us are protected under the US Constitution that was clearly written by the Founding Fathers and the Twelve Apostles) by selling Plan B, also known as the “morning after pill” to patients, because selling an “abortion-inducing drug”, as the Christian Newswire is erroneously calling Plan B, was allegedly “in violation of his constitutionally and statutorily protected right to freedom of religion.”
Ok so now that we all had a good laugh at the expense of Mr. Hall’s (and his attorneys’) hilarious assertions (boy they must be giving away law licenses these days), let us return back to fact-based reality and remember the following:
1) Plan B is not an abortion-inducing pill.
Repeat after me: Plan B is not an abortion-inducing pill.
One more for the cheap seats: Plan B is not an abortion-inducing pill.
Plan B is an emergency contraceptive preventing ovulation or fertilization and thus inhibiting implantation. It is not effective once the process of implantation has begun. As in, it will not induce abortion. That is what RU-486 is for. Not Plan B.
Dr. Hall appears then to be against contraception, which is strange because I am sure he had to dispense contraceptives of all kind. If not and he really thinks Plan B induces abortion, then, quite frankly, he needs to have his medical license revoked and not be a pharmacist. He may, however, consider a career in the church business.
2) Religious organizations wish to fire people left and right because they don’t believe. Yet here they are complaining that they are being treated unjustly and violated for their religious beliefs and how that is totally unfair. So which is it then? You can’t have it both ways. Or you can, especially if you are a contemptuous hypocrite who believes that the freedom to believe what one wants should only apply to religious people who’d like to impose their beliefs on everyone, and to no one else – especially not to lowly, misguided, god-less atheists whom the gates of hell are anxiously awaiting.
3) “Dr.” Hall works for a private company and the company’s rules dictate the terms of his employment as well as obligations contained therein. If he doesn’t like them, he doesn’t have to work for them. Simple as that.
At any rate, can we stop accommodating religious people? Fuck them. I am tired of calls to accommodate their backwards, harmful beliefs under the guise of “fair play” and “respect” for their beliefs. No one is under any obligation to respect the beliefs of religious people. We have to acknowledge that they exist but we are not obliged to respect them.
Respect denotes “a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.” There is nothing I particularly admire about religious people and religion – qualitatively or otherwise – other than its immense ability to spread mass-delusion and ignorance until the bitter end (although I will acknowledge that when religion and religious people are not busy fucking up someone’s life, the tenets surrounding religious belief certainly create all sorts of food for hilarious musings).
Yes, the government may not persecute them or deny them their basic civil rights because of their privately held beliefs but other than that they are not owed anything.
Religious people are not owed employment and understanding and embracing of their beliefs. Society doesn’t owe them anything, especially if what religious people think they are owed and entitled to is harmful on so many levels to people in a real, tangible manner.
“Dr.” Hall deserved to be kicked out on his ears because he was unprofessional, because he doesn’t know that Plan B is not an abortion pill and because society does not owe him accommodation in the form of employment, of his personal beliefs – especially when those personal beliefs interfere with other peoples’ rights and prerogatives.
This is not a case of wrongful termination. This is just another case of a religious person whose actions harm society playing the victim and whining discrimination because those who have been subject to the religious person’s abuses are pushing back, refusing to become collateral damage on the religious person’s road to salvation by an imaginary figure.
Frankly the fact that they may exist is already one concession too many in my opinion.