“I am not a slut…

…though I thank the god(des)s I am foul.” ~As You Like It

I’m not a hardcore feminist by any means, but I still don’t think it’s okay to call someone a slut, especially when you don’t know her personally and especially when you’re being broadcast for an awful lot of people to hear. I would apply this stance to other derogatory terms (for both sexes). I would further apply this stance to anyone, anywhere, no matter what his or her politics. That’s a long way of saying that there was certainly a better way for Mr. Limbaugh to voice his objections–but he is by no means the only one who uses this kind of language.

Just to dispel a few myths I’ve seen floating around FB:

*The Pill is NOT available over the counter (at least not in the US, Canada, or the UK!). The Plan B or ‘morning after’ pill IS, but this is explicitly not meant to be used on a regular basis.

*There are lots and lots of reasons that women take the Pill. Most of these have nothing to do with sexual activity.

*A Catholic doctor / hospital / institution can prescribe birth control in good moral conscience if it is being prescribed to treat a medical condition (ie, debilitating cramps) rather than for contraceptive purposes. I do not know if this applies equally to other sects of Christianity or other religions that oppose the use of birth control.

Let’s all think before we speak.

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Priorities

In the run up to the 2012 US presidential election, there has been loads of controversy cropping up regarding various politicians’ positions on various issues. The most recent and perhaps the most far-reaching example is last week’s birth control/insurance hearing at which no female witnesses were called to testify.

In a world where economies are crashing, regimes are collapsing, and wars are raging, some in America have expressed the feeling that the US president (whoever he or she may be in January 2013) should be chosen based solely on those ‘bigger issues’. They argue that it’s entirely justifiable to vote for a candidate who doesn’t match their own views on, say, birth control and insurance policies if said candidate ticks all their boxes on the (perceived) bigger issues of domestic (read: economic) and foreign policy.

I’m not by any means arguing that a presidential candidate should not have a solid plan for the economy and America’s place in the world–both are hugely important issues. But I’d like to ask this question: when do the ‘little things’ become important? When does birth control or school curricula or the environment matter enough to be something that we choose a president by? In any global scenario I can imagine, there will be war and poverty and turmoil; those things never go away. Looking at ancient art tells us that those things have been around at least since humanity was capable of making cave drawings. So if the big things will always be issues, at what point do we decide to care about the other stuff? And how do we prioritize the other stuff once we start thinking about it?