What We Missed

Out magazine finds only nine gay women powerful.

Laura Eldridge reminds ladies of the “dark side of birth control.”

Check out the Love Your Body poster winners for 2010.

The trigger warning conversation continues.

Jack Kimball, a Republican candidate for governor in New Hampshire, compared paying taxes to getting raped at a recent tea party event. Smart campaign move, a-hole.

According to a new study, women who change their surname are seen as more dependent, less intelligent and less ambitious. No word on how men who pressure women to change their surname are perceived. Of course.

Civil rights leader, Benjamin L. Hooks, Dies at 85

In breaking news on why the world hasn’t totally gone to shit: padded bikinis for kids have been recalled.

Thomas Macaulay Millar blasts the usual sexist “because it’s just natural” argument to smithereens…
with an 80s music soundtrack no less.

Join the Conversation

  • redmuser

    Another dumb-ass who thinks he can make a good argument against women voting, and failing miserably.

  • Mezzogiorno2009

    I have to admit, maybe it’s the Catholic guilt. Somehow, I almost feel I deserve the side effects of birth control, deadly or not. After all,if you have sex, you deserve to have a baby. It’s your punishment. And if you tried to duck having the baby,you deserve punishment for that, only worse.
    I don’t know. Maybe that’s why we haven’t made that much progress in getting more, better, and safer options.

  • Ms. Junior

    I just wanted to say Thank you Feministing for using trigger warnings. As a survivor, it helps me a lot.

  • syndella

    More scaremongering about the pill.
    Oh, we’re putting evil CHEMICALS in our bodies. CHEMICALS. I’d much rather be knocked up than use CHEMICALS.

  • MiriamCT1

    Oh I know! Silly silly people worried over chemicals…I wouldn’t want to worry women and their poor little minds with facts about risk factors with medications, it’s not like women can be expected to make informed choices about their health. No, much better to not worry (educate) them at all.

  • Hypatia

    Can’t believe people like Thomas Mitchell even exist…yuck

  • creebakthedestroyer

    I agree. I hate when people write about the side effects of certain medications as if they’re the only ones with them. Every medicine has potential risks and side effects.
    Also, some of the comments on that article point to the rhythm method as being a preferable alternative that doctors don’t want you to know about (BIG PHARMA CONSPIRACY!!!!11!!!11!!!!) but it’s a wildly unreliable method (13-20 percent failure rate) that only works if your menstrual cycle is identical every month. Which applies to exactly zero percent of women.

  • tec

    What is wrong with a woman shedding light on the fact that our contraceptive options are NOT good enough for some of us? That’s great that you’re ok with putting CHEMICALS into your body, but I am not. It is completely unfair that in order for me to obtain control over my own body and reproductive system in the best way possible (as in most effective), it must be done with chemicals that could possibly come along with horrible side effects. I have never used any type of contraceptive (I have never had intercourse) and therefore do not know my body’s reaction to these chemicals, but I honestly don’t want to find out. I am so happy that finally someone is attempting to open a discussion about the problems with birth control. I’m horrified that anyone, let alone feminists, would mock a woman for this. We feminists say all the time that feminism has brought women a long way, but there are still things that need to change. This is exactly what Laura Eldridge is saying.

  • Broggly

    Come on. Just because there are people who think all chemicals are evil doesn’t mean the correct answer is to not care what you put into your body. The article seems to me to be saying that women should push for men to use condoms, and that pharmaceutical companies need to develop birth control with fewer side effects, not that the pill has to be banned and it’s better to have unprotected sex than use it.
    Just like how we know DDT can do all sorts of horrible things, but it’s still used when the risk of dying from malaria is high enough.

  • rhowan

    On the other hand, I think I’d rather use a barrier method with spermicide as backup and have a chemical abortion if absolutely necessary rather than put potentially dangerous side-effect inducing chemicals in my body on a daily basis. *shrug* But that’s me and my choice and I don’t expect everyone to feel the same way.
    I think we can be grateful for the existence of chemical birth control and critique it at the same time. If those critiques lead to safer products (as they have in the past) that’s hardly a bad thing.

  • Devoted_Toucan

    Being physically intimate with the person you’re in love with, or someone you like, deserves punishing?

  • Emily

    While hormonal bc is a great option, it can have severe side effects that can outweigh the benefits over non-hormonal bc for some women. I wish there was more discourse on the topic, especially from doctors. I never had my gynecologist discus any options other than hormonal bc or mention most of the side effects and so it took years before I recognized the source of my side effects and even longer before I found alternative bc.
    Hormonal bc causes me to lose almost all my libido (actually, in a way the bc worked twice as well though not in an acceptable fashion) I just thought I couldn’t get turned on unless it was with a new person but I now realize that as soon as I got in a exclusive relationship, I switched from condoms to hormonal bc which is likely what killed my sexual appetite. When I lost access to bc for a while I suddenly had an almost inconveniently insane libido and suddenly enjoyed sex allot more and no longer had to use lubrication or almost boring amounts of foreplay. I switched to early withdraw and was happy but decided to get a copper IUD for extra protection which has had extreme side effects compared to hormonal bc (I haven’t stopped bleeding for four months) but I still prefer it because the sex is still incredible. I’m going to stick with my IUD for a while but if it doesn’t work out, I’m not going back to hormonal bc- probably back to early withdraw or even anal only because at least then I can enjoy masturbation and anal more- which is better then so-so vaginal in my opinion.
    A similar situation occurred with my best friend and the doctors couldn’t figure out why sex was so painful for her even with lubrication and were suggesting possible surgery thinking she had endometriosis before one thought about the hormonal bc killing her sex drive thus making her genitalia less non-receptive to intercourse. (I’m surprised at the amount of people assuming lubrication is the only aspect of vaginal receptivity, the position of the cervix, elasticity of the vaginal walls, and the receptivity of pleasurable stimulation are all affected by arousal).
    Both our situations sucked (though hers was allot worse) just because lack knowledge about the possible effect bc can have on libido and we’re both looking forward to when we decide we have had enough or definitely don’t want children so our husbands can have vasectomies. (her experience was so bad her husband and her considered having some of his sperm frozen and getting a vasectomy now even though they want children in a few years, or having children now before they really want them to get it out of the way so he can have the vasectomy earlier)
    Basically, I’m a big proponent of open discourse of bc options and recognizing the potential side effects is part of that. Hormonal bc works great for many women but putting a name to possible side effects and possible alternatives can only empower women more and make sex and life more enjoyable.

  • AgnesScottie

    When used correctly, a combination of checking cervical mucous and keeping a very accurate calendar of your basal temperature is 96-98% effective. It requires you to keep a consistent record of your basal temperature, and you do get to learn your body. I was trying to start using this method, but I wasn’t waking up at the same time everyday, so my temperature was very unstable. It really helped me to become more in tune with my body, however. Checking cervical mucus, looking at where my cervix was, even being able to tell when I was ovulating by the way my body felt. It was great. (I was and still am using condoms)
    Imperfect use has a 14-20% failure rate, but so does imperfect use of condoms and imperfect use of the pill also has a higher failure rate. I am for women and men having access to correct information about all birth control options.

  • AgnesScottie

    The choice isn’t knocked up versus chemicals, it’s other very effective methods of birth control versus chemicals that you might have previously had bad side effects with. I think the author wasn’t discouraging any woman from taking birth control. I got that it was an encouragement for us to fight for BETTER birth control. New improvements that make birth control less dangerous and less annoying.
    I loved the freedom of being on birth control, but I didn’t even wholly realize the side effects I was experiencing until I got off of it. I used to cry constantly, and I was often very moody and touchy. I thought this was because my mother had recently died, but I quit the birth control last October (a two years after her death). Surprise, I’m still upset about my mother dying, but my mood is much more within my control and I don’t have sobbing crying jags every other day. I lost weight. I felt more like myself, more in control of my mood. I didn’t even know that birth control was part of how messed up I was, maybe it still wasn’t, it’s not like this was a scientific experiment. However, my personal experience makes me slightly averse to getting back on the pill. My friend who took the pill also had her migraines worsen considerably, and her doctor was like, oh yea, I forgot you get migraines, that particular pill is terrible about making migraines worse. She’s off the pill and hasn’t had another migraine since. Side effects our real, and they are worse for some women than for others. Let those women have a choice and don’t make fun of them for not wanting to put those particular chemicals in their bodies.

  • paperispatient

    Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion about their sex lives, but I do NOT believe that I deserve a pregnancy and a baby for doing something fun and extremely satisfying.

  • syndella

    How is it unfair? Is it unfair that in order to control my allergies, I have to take sudafed?

  • cmb

    has anybody here read malcom gladwell’s essay about birth control? the social aspects of medical research can really skew the data.
    anyway, i use condoms because the side effects of bc were making me sick. i know several other women who have made the same decision. i think of chemical contraceptives as a work in progress.

  • tec

    It’s unfair because it could have the potential to be better but apparently scientists aren’t really concerned with women’s health. It’s unfair because women are experiencing horrible side effects and yet no one seems to care. I think we deserve a form of birth control that is as safe AND effective as can possibly be. And I don’t believe that that is what we have now.
    If your allergy medicine is one of the most effective choices out there while at the same time causing awful side effects on women around the world and possibly harming your body, and nothing is being done or said about it… then yeah I wouldn’t call that fair lol.

  • dancedreaming.myopenid.com

    The thing that bothered me most about the dark side of BC piece? More smears of Margaret Sanger, as racist. This time not as a central aspect of an anti-choice piece, just as a side note, presented as a well known fact. It’s not, as I’m sure most here are aware. She worked diligently to -help- the poor, especially those of color. She was someone MLKjr referred to as ‘an inspiration’.
    Really upsets me to see, in what appears to be at least a somewhat liberal news medium(alternet), such lies about her presented, especially in such a manner.