Marti Oakley    copyright 2012

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The double standard is alive and well when dealing with women’s health care and what is available and covered by insurance or government programs.  If you are a woman it is most likely your insurance company will not pay for contraception and many pharmacies won’t fill the prescription even if it is to treat a medical condition or used as a preventative treatment.  If you get pregnant?  Ummm………tough crunchies.

If you are a male, you have it made.  We’ll pay for your impotence problem, and if you are involved in an unwanted pregnancy, we will do everything we can to make sure you are never held accountable for your part in this event.  And the women who try to speak up in defense of women’s health or reproductive rights?  There is no end to the list of names we will use to denigrate, humiliate and belittle her and this will most likely be done by men who keep mistresses, hire prostitutes, frequent strip clubs and adult book stores. But hey!  That’s what a man does!

For me, the most tragic part of this situation is that women have reduced themselves to the level of men when it comes to sex.  Obviously all the efforts to marginalize, to reduce the value of, and to objectify women has worked; many women have come to believe they have no value other than what they can offer sexually.

Where is that He-Man now?

At what point in time we will see legislation that includes a penalty, even a reference, to the man involved in an unwanted pregnancy?  The way this issue is treated and reported by both men and women, it is as though somehow through some mysterious and magical process, women get pregnant all by themselves.  Not one piece of legislation, not one health regulation, not one word is ever mentioned about the lack of responsibility, the lack of accountability by the male who contributes to an unwanted pregnancy.  It is obvious that the men and women writing these edicts believe we are being subjected to widespread immaculate conceptions and that no male was physically  involved. Its a miracle! And, its all her fault!  SHE didn’t make the right choices.  SHE didn’t use contraception.  SHE was irresponsible!  SHE is the one who got pregnant…..all by herself.

When we speak of contraception, why is there never any mention of the responsibility, or the lack of, with regards to the men?  Why didn’t/doesn’t he use contraception?  A condom maybe?  Why didn’t HE choose not to drop his drawers?  Why didn’t HE make better choices?  Oh! I forgot.  HE wasn’t there.

The recent closed-door meeting where a panel of men took testimony from other men who agreed with them on the issues of limiting women’s health coverage was just the last assault on women’s health issues and women’s reproductive rights.  Darrell Issa (R-California), who chaired the recent closed-door meeting never considered voluntary sterilization for men as a preventative in reducing unwanted pregnancies.  I believe Mr Issa should be the first male to submit himself for voluntary sterilization to avoid any potential future lack of responsible choices. We could continue from there sterilizing one man at a time.  In fact, I would suggest Rush Limpbaugh as the next volunteer candidate except that nature has most likely taken care of that for us.  Could be why he needs someone else’s viagra when he travels.

Do you think Issa will consider passing (or trying to) laws insisting on rape with a medical instrument inserted into the penis, just to make sure the patient and the doctor get a good look at what’s going on inside the mans family jewels?  We can always use the excuse that we are trying to determine whether or not we should pay for their viagra and cialis, or even for testicular cancer treatment.  Maybe if a guy gets a good look at his own stuff he’ll change his mind about wanting those treatments or thinking he needs them.  We could get just as good a picture of his internal workings with a standard ultra sound, but that wouldn’t be nearly as humiliating or painful.   If we make this a requirement before a man can receive medication to improve his sexual performance, or before he can have his testicular problems treated, maybe he will just find a way to accomplish these things on his own.

After all, why should we have to pay for his flagging manhood or for preventative treatments that might have saved him from future illness and disease?

Let’s turn the table here just for a moment.  How about if we women got together and decided that testicular cancer, impotence payments for viagra, cialis and other male sex enhancing medications should not be covered by insurance or funded by government programs as they are now?  How about if we decide that we, simply by virtue of being women, know more about men’s reproduction, and reproductive rights, than they do? And that, because we are women, we have a right to dictate and determine what men’s access and rights will be in the event of participation in an unwanted pregnancy.  I’m sure some biblical scholar can surely drum up some scripture to support this.

I want men treated with equality

As a mother and grandmother, I cannot imagine what would induce a woman to abort her child.  But I was never raped and impregnated by a stranger or family member.  I have no idea what my response to that would be and neither can anyone else who has not endured that.

I do know what it is like to raise children on my own, after divorce, and I did this during a time when women in the workforce were always given the menial jobs and never allowed to obtain the really good paying jobs that might be available.  After all, those men had families to support.  I could only assume that my children that I was working to support, were viewed as something else.

I also have enough intelligence to understand that two people were involved in any unwanted pregnancy and that holding only one of those individuals accountable and responsible for the pregnancy is not only discriminatory but bordering on gender biased malice.  To devise a medical instrument to be inserted vaginally based on the claim that it allows both patient and doctor to get a better view of what is readily viewable with a standard ultrasound is nothing more than harassment and humiliation of the woman if not outright rape under the guise of medical treatment.  Just because you called it a medical instrument doesn’t make it any less of an assault.   In whose misogynist nightmares was thing dreamed up?

So I’m waiting for that legislation, regulation, rule or whatever that says there is a man involved and he needs to be held accountable right along with that woman.  It won’t happen because men write the legislation and regulations for the most part and the fear that they themselves might be caught in one of these situations is too much of a possibility considering men’s proclivity for spreading their “seed” where ever and when ever possible. This could cause some real problems especially in congress where male politicians appear to have an increasingly hard time keeping their pants up.

Besides, if you hold men accountable and highlight their own promiscuity and lack of character, who will be left to run away screaming “slut! whore! and the ever popular “it ain’t mine!”  Well, there is always Rush Limpbaugh.