Insulting Talk on Women's Rights
How much of a howl would go up across this nation if there were a panel made up entirely of women who, not allowing any men to speak, decided health issues and reproductive issues for men?
Would they like to be denied their Viagra, no matter what positive side effect it might have for various conditions for which it was not originally intended? Can we honestly assume that all men north of "a certain age" are looking to father children? Or might we rightly assume pleasure is involved?
There is something very creepy about a panel within our governmental structure that would discuss men's or women's health issues and not include at least testimony from those who are (a) experienced with the issue in an up-close and personal way, and (b) most directly effected by the ruling of said panel. I would hope the panel itself would be at least 50-50 in its makeup.
The right to be heard before a government panel should not be denied to a woman, even if one does not support her position on an issue that directly affects her. She is a citizen and deserves her place at the table - especially when that table is going to directly impact her health and life.
There may be rational arguments on both sides of any health and insurance issue, but I find it hard to believe that all the people cheering for the exclusion of Sandra Fluke do not, in the privacy of their homes, rant and rail when their private insurance company denies something they want/need. I bet they say something like, "Why don't they think of me as a person, not a case number?" Or, "How can they make this decision without ever talking to me or my doctor?"
So how much more indignant should we be when our very own citizen-government does this? Even if you do not agree with Ms. Fluke's position, you may at some point have yet another panel that excludes you when your side should be heard. So beware the sanctimony you may be feeling because you don't approve of coverage of birth control by private insurance. Your turn will come if we do not howl about this now.
Robert Levy, in a March 11 column in this paper, made a statement I found a bit distressing - something about a guy getting a girl to drink two or three Long Island Iced Teas (and for folks who don't know, these are very, very potent drinks, not your Southern sweet tea) and then finding his solution for birth control in the restroom for the cost of about $1 for a condom.
How sad that Mr. Levy would find humor in getting a girl drunk on Long Island Iced Teas and then "getting lucky," with the added bonus of cheap condoms, as being what this is about.
Firstly, let's not find getting girls drunk to have sex with them a great way to view women. Or men. Then let us remember that a woman's reproductive life is not as easily handled as a man's. Lucky for his scenario that the "young man" supposedly got a condom. I'll bet many get the girl drunk and don't bother. Guess who raises the baby?
Mr. Levy probably has not been writhing on a floor monthly with terrible cramps or various lovely side effects of the beautiful right to bear children. He probably never wondered how he would drive to work in time to change a pad before bleeding through his pants.
Sorry, but these are some of the issues that many women face and that some medications can help. The right to bear children is wonderful. The path to it is walked monthly and is not always pretty.
I would hope that when men speak again about women's rights, they find less salacious ways to look at our reproductive rights. They might find it far better to sit and talk with a woman and get to know her and understand her life, work and needs.
Then he and Mr. Limbaugh might not be so afraid to have one of us speak before a panel of men about something they know next to nothing about.
Joyce Reehling lives in Pinehurst. She recently retired here from New York after a 33-year career in theater, TV and commercials.
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