Fiddling With Themselves While Rome Burns

Exactly what I would do if approached by a giant baby-carrying stork.Like pretty much every other woman in America, I’ve been horrified by the cold realization that there are influential political voices out there who don’t want women to have access to birth control.  I wasn’t planning to write about it, because I have been ignoring what comes out of the mouths of Republican politicians and their pundits for quite some time. Their hearts are set on fanning the flames and I really want no part of that. Plus most of them are old and I am just hoping they will forget to take their Lipitor one of these days and I will be spared their rants forever more.

But – – – get this— I am a woman who enjoys sex. However, I already have two children and our family feels complete. So, in order for me to enjoy sex, I need to know that we are not at risk of bringing another baby into the family. My husband, not the slightest bit wistful for sleepless nights or newborn poop explosions, is in complete agreement.

I suspect that my husband considers enjoyment of sex is a good quality in a wife. And that he might like it to remain that way. But without birth control, “not tonight honey” would turn into “not this year honey.” I know that is not a future he wishes to face.

A nice thing about my husband is that he does not equate my enjoyment of marital bliss with my being a trollop. I think that is true of many men of our generation. Their thought process goes something like this:

  1. I like sex. I also consider myself to be smart, good at my job, capable and ethical.
  2. My wife/girlfriend/partner is smart, good at her job, capable and ethical. Thank God she likes sex.

Let’s pretend for a minute that Rush Limbaugh is a woman. I’ll call her Rushlyn. A disturbing yet hilarious visual image, I know.  And aside from Rush’s gender transformation, everything else about the world stays the same. Then let’s pretend that that Ms. Rushlyn states that any MEN who both like sex and use birth control ought to post pornographic videos of themselves on YouTube. While she’s at it, she also implies that men who enjoy sex aren’t good for much beyond intercourse.

Can you imagine this? Of course not! Because everybody knows that enjoyment of sex is simply a part of being male (for most men, or so I hear). It’s not something newsworthy. Just a fact.

So why is this same standard so difficult to apply to women? Women like sex. It is not newsworthy. It just is. It doesn’t make us wannabe porn stars. It just makes us mammals.

If Rush Limbaugh and his ilk could stop fiddling with themselves while Rome burns, they would notice that our country has some serious issues to contend with these days. Hello…economy! (And education, clean energy, immigration, and healthcare, just to name a few). And here we are talking about birth control. And the sweet irony is that actually supplying women with low cost, easily-accessible birth control would solve a lot of the problems that the Republican Party is supposedly so concerned about.

So, old guard Republican men (Rush. Rick. Mitt. You know who I’m talking about.), why don’t you stop obsessing about the intimate details of women’s lives and apply your brainpower to solving some real problems? Try this:

  • Stop abortion! Use birth control!
  • Can’t afford babies and might need welfare? Use birth control!
  • Can’t afford obstetric or pediatric healthcare? Use birth control!
  • Demonstrate personal responsibility. Use birth control!

So there it is, my challenge to the old men of the Republican Party: Put down the Viagra, turn off the porn, and start thinking about the important issues. Show us that there is more going on in your little-old-man brains than thinking about sex all day long. Either that, or hurry up and die off, because the generations that come after you are much more sensible.

One last thing: Keep your dirty-old-man hands off my birth control legislation. My kids are just now getting old enough that I have the bandwidth to reconnect with my husband. And I don’t want to hear him say, “Not this year, honey.”

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