August 4, 2008

Sarah Haskins Does It Again

How have I missed this?

I hardly ever watch TV, so I'm not up on the current state of commercials at all. However, Sarah's depiction of birth control ads as sanitized and sexless does not surprise me a bit.

I just wonder (although the answer should be obvious) how many female producers/directors said commercials have. 10-15 percent? Maybe? This should account for a sin of omission so great the viewer's lips shake and shimmy to shout it out.

Why do (most) women use birth control?

Not to control painful periods, but to AVOID PREGNANCY!!!

This is a "duh" moment if I ever heard one. However, any mention of pregnancy would confirm that women are indeed HAVING TEH SEX, and we can't have that. No matter whether women are single or married, the fact of their being sexually active must be swept under the least in teevee-land.

One wonders how all the children who watch said ads, and who advertisers are mortally afraid of offending (and/or educating) got there in the first place.


Unknown said...

I have to say that while I agree that the new approach to birth control advertising is anti-women, I see it from a different perspective. My daughter, at the age of 15, came to me and said that she wanted to go on the pill. I trotted out the talk about how I didn't think she was ready for sex, but that I absolutely wanted her to avoid pregnancy and be safe, always use a condom, etc. I told her she could see our provider with no questions asked, with or without my presence. She stared at me and then said, "I cannot BELIEVE you think I'm having SEX."

I said, "What?" She wanted it for her period. The new trend is to utilize birth control to either minimize or, in many cases, completely eliminate menstruation, and it is all the rage in the high school set. I think the idea of teaching young women to view their periods as disgusting is absolutely based in hatred of women and their unclean bodies. Menstruation isn't a medical problem, it's a natural bodily process and is no more or less "gross" than any other.

I'm terribly concerned about the message that sends to young women who already have learned to hate their bodies as they naturally occur. We can't wear comfortable shoes, we can't have bodily hair, we can't even have periods!

I apologize for length, but it was so shocking to me to realize that we've taken this huge step backward in terms of what birth control is to be used for. If I didn't have a daughter in high school, I might not have realized what message is being sent.

Unknown said...

Ha. This is funny, because this is the exact reason I've been on continuous birth control for the past eight years. I got tired of my painful, crampy, clotty, icky periods, and decided to put a stop to them.

This didn't have anything to do with hating my body. I did come to hate my periods, because they were such an all-around pain in the ass. Just because something is "natural," in my opinion, doesn't mean we have to put up with it if we don't want to. You don't have to view something as disgusting to decide you simply don't want to bother with it anymore.

In my case, the freedom from pads, tampons, leaks, stained sheets and clothes, and pain is the best thing I ever did. If that's what my daughter wanted birth control pills for, more power to her.

Unknown said...

Good point, but doesn't the source of that message matter? If a woman is making an informed choice, it's different than a cultural mandate that menstruation is repulsive and to be avoided.

Also, there is a reason for menstruation, and I am concerned that it is one of those instances where the research hasn't really been done to determine just how safe it is to stop it altogether in normal instances. That entire high school classes of young women should be stopping a natural process is, to me, alarming. Most of them aren't having unduly difficult menses, they are simply stopping them out of distaste for their biology---and they don't have to look far to get the message that women are unclean when they are in their more natural state.