Daddy Don't Get It
Meg Waite Clayton has a very interesting take on President Obama's refusal to allow open dispensing of Plan B to young women.
In the uproar about making the morning-after contraceptive known as Plan B available to our daughters, there has been no similar outcry about condoms and our sons. Anyone of any age can walk into a drugstore — as well as most grocery and big-box stores — and buy condoms. If you want to remain anonymous, you can pay cash; no ID is required. If you're too embarrassed to face the checkout clerk, use the self-check aisle or, for $17.97, get a box of 100 — flavored or with "added sensations," even — delivered to your door in a plain brown box.
President Obama has suggested that restrictions on making Plan B available to younger girls are justifiable because we can't be confident that a younger girl in a drugstore "should be able — alongside bubble gum or batteries … to buy a medication that potentially, if not used properly, could end up having an adverse effect." ...
The only reasonable objection to making Plan B available over-the-counter to anyone of any age is that, as parents, we want to know if our children are sexually active. But then why aren't we questioning the easy ability to buy 100 condoms for less than the cost of movie tickets for a boy and his date? ...
Teenage boys are expected to desire sex, and sexually active boys are often described as studs. We may not physically stone women in the U.S. for being sexually active before marriage, but sexually promiscuous girls are still verbally stoned as sluts. Is there a word for a promiscuous boy that compares with "slut"? [Emphasis added]
It is certainly possible that the president's decision was based on the fact that he has two teenaged daughters, and he doesn't want to think about them having sex. Most fathers get squicked out whenever "daughter" and "sex" are used in the same sentence.
But even if that is not the case, he would certainly know that our culture does not happily allow for women, especially young women, having sexual drives. I am reminded of a now notorious radio broadcast by one of the fouler Republican wackaloons with regard to a law school student testifying about insurance coverage for birth control. Rather than lead us away from this cultural misogyny, the president chose to cave to the worst elements in Congress and in the country.
As Hecate would say, "Patriarchy ... you're soaking in it."
And isn't that a shame.