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Three Non-Exhaustive Lists

Things that are none of your business (a non-exhaustive list):

  1. My decision to not change my last name
  2. The last time I shaved my legs
  3. The conversations I have with my gynecologist
  4. If and when I’m going to have kids
  5. If I’m on birth control and why

Things that are none of my business (a non-exhaustive list):

  1. Your sex life and the consenting adult(s) with whom you conduct it
  2. How many kids you decide to have
  3. Your weight and how you choose to manage it
  4. How you deal with your crippling anxiety disorder
  5. The way you want your end of life care handled

Things that “my” money gets spent on that I dislike immensely (a non-exhaustive list):

  1. Tax breaks for religious organizations
  2. The TSA
  3. No Child Left Behind/Race to the Top (not to be confused with education in general)
  4. Drone warfare
  5. Professional sports venues

I hope you can take a look at the three above lists and catch my drift. But if not, allow me to summarize: My personal life, which includes my medical decisions, is none of your fucking business. Your personal life, which includes your medical decisions, is none of my fucking business. No one gets to pick and choose so that their money only gets spent on things they personally like when they are part of a societal collective, whether we’re talking about a government budget or group health insurance.

You’ll notice the third list is entirely about things the government spends “my” money on that I don’t like, rather than health decisions people make under their insurance that I would decide differently. I tried to make a list like that (for example, if I suffered a traumatic brain injury and thought I even had the right to make those choices, I’d probably cut you off after three kids, max) but I found the entire concept so deeply repugnant I couldn’t do it. Because your medical decisions are none of my fucking business.

As you may have already figured out, this is about the Hobby Lobby case the Supreme Court is hearing right now. That this is even a question disturbs me more than I can really articulate. I was under this strange impression that when a company employed me, it purchased my time, my effort, and my skills–not the manipulative right to weigh in on my life outside of work.

I’ve seen people point out a lot in this argument that you know, there are other reasons people take birth control pills. Not just contraception. Which is true, and does point out a nice hole in the moralistic bullshit. But that argument also bothers me, because it can effectively legitimize the unstated claim that it’s anyone’s business to begin with. It can be heard to imply that well, there are certain uses of the pill that are legit, it’s not just for sluts who want to sleep around. Just like the whole “rape and incest” exception for abortion tacitly supports the idea that some abortions are totally more legitimate than others.

Your abortion is none of my fucking business, by the way. Just like your use or non-use of birth control. Just like your sex life. Just like your type II diabetes or your depression. Your health and the maintenance thereof is not mine to control.

So let me tell you a story that’s none of your fucking business. I was on birth control pills for well over a decade, and it wasn’t because I had crippling cramps or endometriosis. It was because I was an adult human being in her twenties who didn’t want to have kids, and who believed (and still believes) that sex is part of being human and living life, as opposed to a crime punishable by pregnancy.

Don’t like that? Good thing you have your own life to live.

When I was unemployed and paying ridiculous amounts of money for COBRA on my old healthcare insurance, I had to drop off birth control pills because my plan didn’t cover them and I was struggling to make my mortgage payments. I’d just met someone (Mike) with whom I was head over heels in love–but neither of us were in any kind of place where kids were an option, and we still aren’t now. It was pretty scary until I could afford to buy the pill again, which involved Mike helping me out financially. And that’s always fun.

Oddly enough, if I’d been a man who couldn’t get it up, the plan would have still covered my Viagra. Even more hilariously, if I’d become a failure statistic for condoms, the plan would have covered my much more expensive pregnancy. A pregnancy which likely would have made it significantly harder for me to find employment, and probably prevented me from going back to college at that time.

That’s why I was so indescribably happy when the ACA mandated birth control in healthcare plans, because of bullshit like that. These things matter. When you have no money, these things matter a hell of a lot. These things shape the course of a person’s life.

And that should not for Hobby Lobby or anyone else to decide.

Originally published at Rachael Acks: Sound and Nerdery. You can comment here or there.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
idemandjustice
Mar. 27th, 2014 07:41 pm (UTC)
What you said about not liking when people bring up the other reasons women might need birth control is also why I can't stand it when pro-choice people say they would never have an abortion. Aside from the fact that I think you can never know for sure (and I would certainly hope to never need one), it just seems shitty to put it that way, like you're condescending to support it while clutching your pearls at the same time.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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