My Mommy always wipes my bottom!!!! I need you to wipe it!!
I sat coolly on the sink, swinging my leg and staring at him, dead-pan. I might as well have been smoking a Virginia Slim from a stylus, in the dim lighting of a prohibition speakeasy.
“Parker, i’m not wiping your bottom. You’re five.”
“But I can’t do it!!!!!!! I always get poop on my hands!”
“Parker…you are five. You can read. You can get your own food. You speak Spanish. I believe in your full ability to successfully wipe your bottom on your own. You don’t need your Mommy for this, and i’m not doing it either. You gon’ learn today…”
He went back to his wailing and rolling, as I slid my right hand over my lower abdomen and smiled at myself in the mirror. This moment would have been the best commercial for Mirena, ever.
My job was ending, and so was my health insurance, so in those final Spring weeks leading up to D-Day, I found every reason I could to see the doctor – full physical, full blood work, I got my teeth cleaned and cavities drilled, and I went to see my OBGYN, Dr. Albritton. I’d recently gotten back on The Pill, but after years of being off of birth control, wasn’t ready to commit to daily pill popping and wanted an option that would be available and strong when my sex life was active enough again to even warrant fertility intercession. The IUD was not only a less expensive option (appox $50 for five years of work) vs. $30/month for Ortho Tri-Cyclen, but it was also zero hassle. Just pop that thing in, and watch as babies miraculously do NOT pop out.
At the doctor’s office, the nurse ran my vitals as I sang songs of pending triumph. My spirit was contagious, and the doc started sharing his views on the feminine authority of fertility.
“I’m sorry to say but, birth control is indeed a woman’s responsibility. In a world of endless options, a woman alone holds the power of childbirth, whether she takes the pill or reaches to check that the condom is still on.”
I hoisted up in the stirrups way too easily, giggling and clappling like a seal at the Fall carnival. Given the option to listen to music while my cervix was briefly dilated, I launched Spotify and found myself singing along with “Go To Sleep Little Baby” from O Brother Where Art Thou. I bonded with the good doctor through and around my thighs over the famous line “He done turned into a horny toad!”. A bit of pranayama through the cramps, an ultrasound to verify that it was correctly in place, and waa-laa…insurance. I can’t make this shit up.
Let me be clear and state how much I love children. I do….I really do. They are sincere and pure souls, full of wonder and potential. They learn, laugh, and grow. I want to be a wife and a mother one day, but LAWD not TOday. I’m happy to indulge in my selfish ambition a bit longer. So when I come across women with eight children, no education beyond high school, and making $22,000 per year, I’M SO DAMB CONFUSED…talmbout “I wanna open a daycare”. I bet you damb do…. Or, when I see a neglectful mother, a mother with no love in her for the child(ren) she has birthed, i’m again SO DAMB CONFUSED.
I started taking The Pill when I first started having sex at 16. It was at the urging of my parents, who were very frank about my reproductive health. The school’s celibacy teachings had worked as long as they could, thus my parents asserted that having sex meant having new responsibilities – period. The same ole mantra from childhood of “Keep yo’ panties up and yo’ skirt down” became “Don’t bring home no babies” and then became “Be safe”. I learned about the county health department, and went regularly and on my own to get annual pap exams, condoms, pills, breast exams, etc. At this age, I had no income of my own…thus my treatments were FREE. Yes…FREE.99, no tax. And on this continued through college and grad school. My sexual health has always been my responsibility, my charge, and in a way…my pride.
Why do I love birth control? Because I feel like i just rigged the lottery and I get to WIN WIN WIN every time. And i’ll say this as PG-13 as I can: in the five months that i’ve had this thing living inside of me, I have yet to test out how (ahem) full proof it is. Using birth control isn’t a replacement for condoms. Birth control doesn’t guard one against STDs. Hell, using birth control hasn’t even made me promiscuous (although, in another world, it would be MUCH easier if men could smell pheromones coming from my device and be all I want to mate with this female…or at least practice.). Birth control is a conscious and mindful decision that i’ve made to say “Not yet” in creating a life to whom i’m not ready to give every opportunity he/she/they deserves.
Where i’m from, birth control methods and education are free, or little/no cost. In Georgia and Florida. But you don’t know what you don’t know, and i’m so sorry for the women who just don’t know. But for those out there who intentionally foil the widespread availability of birth control and reproductive health services…?? [puts on boxing gloves]
Summa Deez Politicians Aint Shit.
I don’t understand the continued fight against birth control. I don’t understand why the opposite of Pro-Life is …. Pro-CHOICE. Not Anti-Life. Why must the American people (read: Women) lose the ability to CHOOSE what goes in and out of their vaginas? Why is the power of choice itself a threat? I’ve been told 5 times this year by different men that i’m intimidating…I suppose a woman who thinks and chooses on her own, is indeed a threat. Because women who make decisions change the world. Anywho…Sarah Silverman, I will always love you for this.
The politicians in America’s capitals…do they have anything against birth control used by the hookers they frequent? Clearly not Eliot Spitzer. Buddy was probably handing out grab bags of Ortho and Now-and-Laters. We need many more politicians like Texas Sen. Wendy Davis (D) who stood for 11-consecutive hours to protect the reproductive rights of women in her state.
Do the old white male politicians of America desire for American women to build up an army of citizens, of sorts? Like, a clone army? Clearly they aren’t afraid of the overpopulation of Earth, but perhaps just being outnumbered by non-white babies? Check here and here for reference.
So In Conclusion…
Birth control shouldn’t be about making a decision for someone ELSE’S desires (ex. your partner hates condoms, but doesn’t want a baby and kinda makes this passive aggressive assertion to get on the pill and this makes you uncomfortable. Listen to me…this is NOT ok. This is manipulation, and you don’t have to consent. xo). Birth control is the decision to exercise a right, and it is not new. Anyone ever heard of Silphium?
With that said – Pop that Ortho, girl. Put your heels in those stirrups and smile at your OBGYN for an IUD right quick. Keep your own condoms in all of your purses and check expiration dates. Abstain, because you choose. Talk to your husband about World Vasectomy Day. If an abortion is what you choose, then exercise your right. Get your pap smear every year to check for abnormalities and HPV (the most common STD in the world…a social/sexual disease that causes cervical cancer). Consider the Gardasil vaccine.
Because YOU were born with that body. YOU chose that body. You OWN you, from the top of your head to the soles of your feet. And if you won’t love, honor, and protect You – simply because you are human, thus worth it…why should someone else?