The Whore in the Mirror

Photo by Laura Lewis

There is currently a lot of discussion about women’s rights and contraception going around our fine country, all because one man said that no company should be able to limit an employee’s health care coverage from employee health insurance due to differences in that company’s and the person’s religious beliefs: a government mandate against religious and gender discrimination. Instead, suddenly women who want the right to make their own decisions governing their bodies and those who choose to use contraceptives are whores.

Call me a whore, if you like. I want to make my own decisions about my body, not to have my coverage limited by an employer because they disagree. I want my family planning to be a decision made between myself and my husband, not somone else. More importantly, I want all women to have the opportunity to make their own choices.

As women, we haven’t always had choices. We’ve been property and slaves. Throughout history, contraception has been an important issue, one many of us have given our lives for in one way or another. Before you start slinging the accusation of whore, though, let’s examine it a bit.

Who is considered a whore?

  • The woman sold into prostitution. She had no choice in the matter. She was sold, by men, into it. Men chose her profession for their own financial gain. Men chose to have sex with her.
  • The woman, who unable to provide for herself and/or her family does what she can to get by. When women are unable to make decent wages compared with men or have the same opportunities as their male counterparts, they will do what they need to. When, born into poverty, a woman is not given opportunities to rise out of them, she grasps what she can. Society cornered her into the profession, and men chose to have sex with her.
  • The woman who has sex with multiple partners, looking for something she isn’t finding. Beaten down by others, she is looking for love or self-worth in all the wrong places. Were she a man, she would be accepted for her choices. Because she’s a woman, she is looked down upon – acceptable to have sex with but unacceptable to marry.

And now, according to some conservative fringe, if a woman embraces and owns her sexuality, she is a whore. If society chooses to call these women whores, these women who survive under impossible conditions, who have been beaten down by society and feel unloved, or who dare to own their own bodies rather than let someone else own them, then call me one, too. I stand beside these sisters and daughters, mothers and wives. It doesn’t matter if we share beliefs on contraception or childbirth. What matters is that we all, as human beings, be given that choice, free from discrimination.

Before slinging mud at women, perhaps society needs to take a good look in the mirror. What they will see is a reflection of themselves.

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