I first got my period in the fourth grade. I was running in gym class and I thought I was just sweating a lot. Little did I know, I just became a ~woman~.
My period was so heavy I was always staining my undies and checking myself in the mirror. One time I bled through my maxi pad, onto my pants, onto my sneakers (because I sat on my feet in a desperate attempt not to get any on my chair), through my sneakers and socks, and onto my feet! I was only 11 years old. I thought this was normal.
Not to mention, the CRAMPS. I would have to leave softball games, school dances, and sleepovers on the reg because my cramps would knock the wind out of me. I missed at least two days of school per month because the cramps would leave me bedridden. But it wasn’t until I became really tired and pale that I raised my concerns to my mom. After multiple appointments and a pap smear (YUP. Got one of those before I ever even kissed a boy), I found out my period had caused me to become anemic. I went on iron supplements and the pill, and haven’t looked back. It took years of experimenting with different pills, but once I finally found the one, I got my life back.
So you can imagine my horror when I found out yesterday that the Senate (led by the GOP) voted in favor of leaving 55 million women without no-copay birth control.
For the life of me, I cannot fathom why a bunch of old white dudes care so much about controlling women’s lives. But they do, and they are. Along with heinous attempts to defund Planned Parenthood (because access to cancer screenings and affordable healthcare is apparently sinful), Republicans now voted in favor of women paying out of pocket for IUDs and BC pills. Because since they’re chewy and colorful, they’re as unimportant as candy! Or at least that is probably what Chris Christie thinks.
Not to mention, BC pills run anywhere between $15 – $50 per month and IUDs cost over a grand! This decision will leave millions of women without contraceptives and without affordable healthcare to deal with the consequences of this dangerous decision.
If the GOP had it their way, women would have:
- No sex (because women can’t be sexual beings and have sex for fun! They should only have sex with their husband in hopes of creating… babies)
- No jobs (because denying women of birth control will make it harder for them to enter or stay in the workforce because… babies)
- No money (because women will now have to find the money to pay for contraception, they will have a harder time finding and keeping a job, and… babies)
- No support
Now, let’s imagine if men could have babies for a second. There would be:
- Free BC pills at pharmacies and Targets and school nurse offices and 7-Elevens
- Superbowl commercials about IUDs and Fiats that would make everyone laugh
- On-site daycare at every job
- Private lactation rooms in public places
What they don’t teach you in pubescent books or health classes is that once you become a woman, your body becomes a matter of politics. Since I was just 11, my innocent skin and bones and blood have been subjected to a society that sexualizes and a government that controls. I don’t know if it’s because of my age or because of the current political climate, but either way I’ve never been more acutely aware of how misogynist my country has the capacity to be. I am more pissed off than that time my dad ate my gourmet red velvet cupcake while I was seriously PMSing. If the Senate thinks they can get away with robbing 55 million women of a basic human right, they are wrong. There will be blood.