What’s Good for the Gander….

Posted: January 20, 2012 in Elections, Healthcare, Personal, Women's Issues
Tags: , , ,

Today is an important milestone in the seemingly endless march toward equality for women in the U.S. For years (at least since 1998 when Viagra hit the prescription drug market) health care plans in the U.S. fully covered, ie, no deductible or co-pay, drugs that allowed men to have more sex. What on earth am I talking about? Today the Dept. Of Health and Human Services announced a new rule that all health care plans in the U.S. Must now fully cover contraception for women just as they have been covering drugs like Viagra for men.

You can argue on behalf of men with erectile dysfunction all you want but, in truth, I don’t have a lot of sympathy. Men have always had it easy when it comes to sex. Not only are they more likely to enjoy it, they are more likely to reach orgasm than women. Geez, for some guys all you have to do is say hello to them. And in truth human beings don’t need to have sex to live. Not having sex will not kill a person (make him or her unhappy, yes) and it would definitely affsect quality of life, which I don’t mean to disparage. However having sex can, in fact, kill you. There are STDs to worry about and all the various risks in pregnancy and giving birth. Of these potentially deadly consequences only women are subject to both.

I myself have had two high risk pregnancies, resulting in two emergency C-Sections, and managed to have two healthy kids thanks to modern medicine and a whole lot of luck. If I had lived just 100 years ago or in many parts of the world today, I and my daughter would have bled to death three and half weeks before her due date. While I do not regret having my children in any way, I have to be honest and say that I have paid a heavy price both in physical and financial security. I am not complaining, mind you. I am using my personal example to explain why birth control is so important.

My children were planned for when I was married and ready to have the responsibility of children…I waited until my 30s. But if I did not have access to birth control this conscious choice would not have been possible. At the time it was pretty expensive because it was only partially covered by my employers health care plan–$30 to $40 per month for the standard pill, but more expensive for the specialty pills with different hormone dosages, patented ones new to the market, ones for those with allergies, etc). If I had been poor, what would I have done? Like many of the poor, they do the best they can using condoms, abstinence, etc.

Once the baby is born who is expected to be the primary caregiver? The woman regardless of whether she works or not. Beyond these obvious practical issues are the cultural stigma and double standards. Even in 2012, unmarried women who become pregnant bear most of the stigma. it’s the old “she’s a slut” but he’s just “acting like a man”. Think about the words in our language for “loose” women v. those for “loose” men. It’s hard to come up with very many for the guys isn’t it? It even sounds weird to call a man “loose”. So the notion that women bear not only the practical consequences of having a child, in or out of wedlock, there is also the deeply ingrained cultural stigma placed on the unmarried mother.

The supposed morality argument on this topic has always irritated me. Doctors have been giving out Viagra and Cialis like they were Pez Dispensers for about 13 years now. Let’s face it, how many guys who don’t suffer from ED out there are using Viagra? Too many. Estimates by the medical community indicate there are about 30 million men in the U.S. that actually suffer from Erectile Dysfunction and not all of those seek treatment. On the other hand we pretty much know how many Viagra pills are being handed out. Here’s an interesting fact-in 2006 GM reported that their health care plans paid $17 million for Viagra pills ALONE. That’s just one corporation in the U.S. Add to that company and thousands of others the online and black market for such drugs and the numbers become absolutely staggering.

Regardless of the illogical nature of the situation society says it is okay for men to take these drugs to improve their sex life. Ironically they aren’t saying that for women. To date they have not found a female Viagra and you know why…they just now started looking! Why? Loose women…if we let them have more sex society will simply fall apart! /sarcasm. I have to wonder who they think is going to have sex with all these “ginned” up men…I mean, if men can have as much sex as they want without any real consequences but women aren’t allowed to have any sex without being forced to deal with the consequences you have to wonder how that will work numerically. Do our great paternal leaders have some secret coterie of prostitutes to service all of the Viagra men because us regular women aren’t “allowed to”.

As a result of this bias, I and millions of other women have had to scrape together whatever money we could find to pay for something that made us healthier and more productive workers, that aided us in being more responsible to ourselves and our children when we eventually had them. But would the health care companies, the Catholic Church, or blowhard politicians like Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich ever support fully funding or even partially funding birth control? No, they didn’t, they don’t, and they never will. Never mind that millions of us are not Catholic, we may not even be Christians, so why is their morality determining our health care options? Why do they morally approve of men running around popping pills like stags in heat, but morally condemn women who only wish to do the ethical thing by being responsible? Never mind the horrible sexual peccadilloes and escapades of many male politicians and religious figures (Newt I’m looking at you buddy)–hypocrites all.

That’s why today is a good day because our society is that much closer to acknowledging that what’s good for the gander is good for the goose.






  1. alopecia says:

    I agree with almost everything you wrote—I’d even go further than you on the medical worthlessness of ED meds and the gender asymmetry of the English language—except this:

    To date they have not found a female Viagra and you know why…they just now started looking!

    Actually, researchers have been looking for exactly that for a couple of decades now, but (at the risk of sounding like I’m mansplaining, which I’m not, and you know all this already but it needs to be said for clarity’s sake and this parenthetical is in danger of becoming an essay in its own right) sexual arousal in the human female is more complicated than sexual arousal in the human male. For guys, make some blood vessels open and hey presto! sexual arousal. Doing the same thing for women can make sex more pleasurable (or possible), but that’s not the same thing. Crudely, arousal in men follows the physical manifestations; arousal in women precedes them.

    To do for women what ED meds do for men, someone will have to find an honest-and-for-true aphrodisiac, and good luck with that. You’d already have your own version of Viagra if you people weren’t so damn’ complicated. :^)

    • drangedinaz says:

      Very well put and I thank you for the correction…nevertheless….thppppttttttt. Thank goodness women are complicated otherwise the human race would have died out with the Dodo bird. Ha! Take that….

      Seriously though, with women arousal isn’t so simple and I think it’s an evolutionary thing…males having to spread their seed and women having to provide stability for the child to reach self sustainability…something that takes longer than any other animal on the planet (I think). I believe and this is speculation based on, ahem, personal experience, that arousal for women starts in the brain and insofar as we have drugs to “turn on our brains” maybe we already have what we need out there but haven’t found it acceptable to make those widely available? I honestly don’t know enough about this particular avenue…never have experimented with LSD, Ecstasy, etc. Of course, I am not a doctor, nor a drug user, so what the hell do I know? 😉

      • alopecia says:

        Thou shalt not use poetry, art or music to get into girls’ pants. Use it to get into their heads. –dan le sac vs. Scroobius Pip, “Thou Shalt Always Kill”

  2. drangedinaz says:

    Now that one I had to look up…you ARE the king of pop culture references, aren’t you?

  3. alopecia says:

    I’m not playing “Can You Top This?” just so you know. The track makes me laugh and that specific line seemed oddly on-point. Beats a lengthy monograph on psychological disinhibitors and sexual arousal, yes?

    • drangedinaz says:

      LOL I thought it was a perfect quote! I just didn’t know who the artist was. As for lengthy monographs….my response is pretty standard, “Not tonight. I have a headache.”

  4. Ugh, don’t get me started, it’s too early for me to rant! But, thank goodness and finally come to my lips on reading this.

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