When I was nine, I overheard a friend’s mother say, “If men got pregnant, there would be a cure for stretch marks.” Her point remains clear: In a patriarchal society, a problem will not be addressed until it directly affects men.
The United States is still embroiled in debates over the validity of providing women with coverage for contraceptives. This should be a non-issue at this point; access to reliable contraception benefits everyone, men and women alike. Unfortunately, many of these benefits are indirect, and as a result, many men continue to roll out the “correlation is not the same as causation” argument and have thus rendered moot any benefits of birth control outside of not getting pregnant.
So, ladies, how are women supposed to prove to the old white-haired men that access to contraception does work to their benefit? Do what the men’s-rights activists accuse us of doing anyway: withhold sex. What if a nation full of women started saying “no” every time? How long do you think a nation full of sex-deprived men would last before eventually everyone starts crying out, “Fine! Whatever! Just give them what they want!”?
On an individual basis, I do not believe that sex should be used as a weapon. In a relationship between two people, you talk, you discuss, and you come to a conclusion. I think we can all agree, though, that the relationship of women and women’s health with American society and American government is a toxic one. On such a grand scale, it is not about a petulant woman getting her way by withholding sexual activity; it is about forcing a change in society. It certainly won’t be easy, since women like having sex, too. But I fear the world has come to a crossroads where traditional solutions are not working, so let’s take a leaf out of the book of our union friends and go on strike. I do not want to sit around and debate anymore, so now is the time for action! Or, as the case may be, active inaction! We have one demand: fair access to contraceptives. Until this demand is met, no sex.
Let society hear us chant: what do we want? BIRTH CONTROL! When do we want it? NOW!