Saturday, March 10, 2012

Free Contraception or Free Love

By now everyone knows that Sandra Fluke’s Congressional testimony was either dishonest or disingenuous or both. She distorted facts and pretended that anecdotes were probative.

Clearly, the number $3000 gives it away. According to Fluke this is how much a Georgetown Law School student has to pay out of pocket for contraception during the course of her legal education.

Everyone knows by now that this number is an outright lie.

If the contraception in question is a condom—we all remember when condoms were touted as the ultimate birth control and disease prevention device—why would enterprising young female law students not share the expense with their boyfriends.

Since when, Ira Stoll suggests, has it become customary for young women to pay for their own condoms?

In my somewhat retrograde view, if a man cannot pay for the condom a woman should refuse to have sex.

No condom; no sex… it can be the new feminist mantra.

But, even if women, as a matter of feminist principle, insist on paying for their own condoms, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to spend $1,000 a year on condoms. Besides, it is very, very easy to get them for free.

Stoll reports:

One Georgetown student group reportedly handed out 4,500 "free" condoms during one recent semester. Or the law students could buy condoms online at $40.25 for a package of 100. At about 40 cents a condom, the Georgetown students could have sex twice a day, 365 days a year, for all three years of law school, for just $881 dollars.

If, however, female law students prefer oral contraceptives… which are far less effective at preventing STDs-- the cost still does not approach Fluke's number.

In Stoll’s words:

Ms. Fluke and her friends could go to Walmart or Target, whose lists of inexpensive drugs include the oral contraceptive Tri-Sprintec priced at $4 for a 28-day supply. Total cost, assuming continuous use for three full years (including the summer after graduating law school or before starting): about $150.

When we hear Fluke telling the heart-wrenching story of the young woman who dissolves into tears at the pharmacy counters because she has just discovered that her health insurance does not cover oral contraceptives we are within our rights to doubt its veracity.

At best, it feels like a partial truth. At worst, it’s a gross distortion.

Since Fluke is an activist and a zealot, it is perfectly reasonable to assume that she would be, at the very least, shading the truth.

Since Fluke failed to offer any counter-argument to her claim that oral contraceptives should be handed out for free to anyone who wants them, allow me to report some of the unpleasant side-effects that come from taking the contraceptive pill.

Writing on the Nerve site, Rachel Friedman lists a few.

Taking the pill influences which men a woman chooses. It may cause women to have less sex. It changes the biochemical signals women send to men and changes the way they receive the biochemical signals that men send to them. A woman on the pill will not go into sexual heat. Also, the pill changes hormone levels and this might not be very good for a woman. 

Do we still need to remind people that the contraceptive pill is not anodyne?

I mention these factors because Fluke has presented the nation with a false picture of the efficacy and risks of taking the contraceptive pill. If it happens, in an individual case, that an insurance company refuses to reimburse the pill—that would be around $9 a month—there might be other reasons. Without knowing the particulars of the case we cannot offer a judgment. We would certainly accept that insurance companies make mistakes, but, then again, so do government agencies.

As Stoll points out most of Fluke’s testimony focuses on the use of oral contraceptives as a medication used to treat medical conditions.

Fluke does admit that Georgetown’s health insurance covers oral contraceptives when they are used for such conditions. She complains that insurance companies sometimes refuse to reimburse the expense.

Beyond the fact, as Stoll points out, that there are other treatments for these conditions, if there is a problem with insurance companies we should want to see the details of the individual case and to have a representative of the insurance company explain what really happened.

It would be folly to take the word of a radical activist. Since the $3,000 number is obviously fabricated we have no reason to trust Fluke’s testimony on anecdotes she gleaned in class.

To my knowledge no news sources have checked the accuracy of Fluke’s anecdotes. It might be worth the trouble, since all scientists know that anecdotes, taken in isolation, have no  probative value.

Feminist activists like Fluke want birth control to be free. Why?

Stoll asks the salient question: “Why should people past reproductive age who are paying copayments for their heart or arthritis medication be paying taxes to subsidize free prescription contraceptives for law students?”

Why should birth control pills be free while other medications have a copay?

The hidden message is simple. Radical feminists like Fluke believe that sexual activity is hygienic. They believe that women should have as much sex as possible because it promotes mental health. And, they believe that women will have more sex if they do not have to pay for it.

Disguising the sexual freedom issue as a health care issue is clever. Inducing women to have more sex, regardless of whether or not they really want to have it, feels largely irresponsible.

When it comes to sex the cost is not really about the price of condoms or even oral contraceptives. The real issue is the emotional cost, and especially the emotional cost for women.

As I have often had occasion to point out feminists believe that, for women, sex should be cost free in the sense that they should feel no shame and guilt.

In their own fantasyland feminists believe that since men do not feel shame or guilt women shouldn’t either. They believe that if men do not incur a pregnancy risk then women shouldn’t either.  

Feminists believe that the patriarchy has created a world where women are judged ill for promiscuous sexual behavior. They believe that no women should ever be judged ill for expressing her sexuality, however she wishes. If no one ever looked askance at a woman for her sexual behavior, all women-- feminists maintain-- would magically be freed of shame and guilt.

In a time of hookups, and in a time when more than a few women feel less than proud of their sexual behavior, feminists are saying that if women feel guilty or ashamed of their behavior their emotions are really a product of cultural conditions.

They need not feel badly about what they have done; they need not change their behavior and be more judicious with their intimacy; they need not rebuild their self-respect. They need merely to join the feminist cause and, by the way, to vote Democratic.

Sandra Fluke may or may not be aware of it, but, as a priestess in the feminist cult she is trying to entice young women to join her by offering blanket absolution without confession or penance.

Since the Catholic Church also offers forgiveness and absolution, but only after confession and penance, Fluke is trying to outdo the Church by offering a free ticket to irresponsible behavior. 


Joe said...

You said: Radical feminists like Fluke believe that sexual activity is hygienic. They believe that women should have as much sex as possible because it promotes mental health.

I've thought so for years, but I haven't been able to articulate it quite so well.

But it's an attitude that's more universally accepted. I start to believe that it's a common belief, and thought to be true for men, too.

Frankly, I doubt it. But just try to intimate otherwise in polite conversation. It's almost a heresy.

n.n said...

I would argue that the principal cause of dysfunction in America was the sexual revolution and "liberation" of women. It was this "progress" that not only perverted the natural order, but it also corrupted the enlightened order. This "progress" was nothing more than regress. It is the same decadent degeneracy that corrupted and collapsed other civilizations. It is a sort of complacency that follows from perceptions isolated from reality and confined to personal ego.

Consider, for instance, that dating is now intended to become familiar with the penis and vagina, rather than the personality and character of the man or woman with which we desire to share a lifetime and family. Is it any surprise that the great majority of marriages conclude with irreconcilable differences? They never actually knew each other or their untold expectations.

There were no civil, human, or woman's rights movements per se. They were temporal efforts to address circumstantial -- real and perceived -- grievances. Those grievances were neither unique nor exclusive to the people who claimed injury from them.

And because I just can't get enough of Fluke and like-minded who are advocating and advancing agendas which are antithetical to evolutionary fitness and incompatible with the preservation of individual dignity...

Fluke, in giving public testimony to promiscuity is correctly considered a slut. In giving public testimony to solicit funds to enable promiscuity is correctly considered a prostitute. In advocating for behavior without consequence, and in advancing opposition to the natural order and evolutionary fitness, she is committing crimes against humanity.

I am tempted to assign exclusive responsibility for the progressive degeneracy in our society to the American left and their allies. However, I will not excuse corruption in the exception, which is capable of mimicking fundamental corruption. Still, it's a useful and productive exercise to attempt distinguishing between cause and effect.

This nonsense is cyclical. People do learn from history, then they rationalize their circumstances, which leads them to repeat history.

I wonder if God actually needed to intervene in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Whether it is God or nature's order underlying our world, the consequences of our defiance is predictable. It is unadulterated arrogance to believe humanity has achieved mortal god status capable of defying the natural order. Our consciousness allows us to influence our environment; our technology amplifies that effect; but, we are inviolably constrained by the greater order of God or nature.